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Warren Commission Hearings: Vol. VI - Page 28« Previous | Next »

(Testimony of Dr. Kemp Clark Resumed)

Mr. SPECTER. May the record show that Dr. Kemp Clark has returned to have a few additional questions asked of him following the deposition which was taken on March 21.
Dr. Clark, the purpose of this additional deposition is the same as the first one, except that I am going to ask you a few additional questions based upon a translation of an article which appeared in "L' Express", which has been provided to me since the deposition of last Saturday.
Would you please stand up again and raise your right hand?
Do you solemnly swear that the testimony you will give before the President's Commission in this deposition proceeding will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God ?
Dr. CLARK. I do.
Mr. SPECTER. Dr. Clark, I have made available to you, have I not, what purports to be a translation from French of the "L' Express" issue of February 20, 1964?
Dr. CLARK. Yes, sir.
Mr. SPECTER. And let me read for the record and for you this excerpt.
"On his part according to the New York Times of November 27, 'Dr. Kemp Clark, who signed the Kennedy death certificate, declared that a bullet hit him right where the knot of his necktie was.' He added," apparently referring to you, " 'this bullet penetrated into his chest and did not come out'. The surgeon went on to say that .the second wound of the President was 'tangential' and that it had been caused by a bullet which hit 'the right side of his head' "
Dr. Clark, my first question is--what, if anything, did you say to a New York Times representative or anyone, for that matter, with respect to whether a bullet hit the President where the knot of his necktie was.
Dr. CLARK. I remember using the phrase to describe the location of a wound in the President's throat as being at the point of his knot of his necktie. I do not recall ever specifically stating that this was an entrance wound, as has been said before. I was not present when the President arrived and did not see this wound. If any statement regarding its entrance or exit was made by me, it was indicating that there was a small wound described there by the physicians who first saw the President.
A specific quotation regarding entrance or exit, I feel, is a partial quotation or incompletely quoted from me. The part pertaining to the bullet entering the President's chest rests on the reasons for the placing of the chest tubes which were being inserted when I arrived. It was the assumption, based on the previously described deviation of the trachea and the presence of blood in the strap muscles of the neck that a wound or missile wound might have entered the President's chest.
Mr. SPECTER. Well, what was there, Dr. Clark, in the deviation of the trachea and the presence of blood in the strap muscles of the neck which so indicated?
Dr. CLARK. Assuming that a missile had entered the pleural space, if there had been bleeding into the pleural space, the trachea would have been deviated or had there been leakage of air into the pleural space, the trachea would have been deviated, as it is the main conduit of air to the two lungs. Collapse of a lung would have produced, or will produce deviation of the trachea. There being a wound in the throat, there being blood in the strap muscles and there being deviation of the trachea in the presence of a grievously wounded patient without opportunity for X-ray or other diagnostic measures, Dr. Perry assumed that the findings in the neck were due to penetration of the missile into the chest. For this reason, he requested chest tubes to be placed.

Mr. Specter.
Well, is the deviation of the trachea and the presence of bleeding on the strap muscles of the neck and the other factors which you have recited equally consistent with a wound of exit on the neck?

Dr. CLARK. Yes, sir. Furthermore, let me say that the presence of the deviation of the trachea, with blood in the strap muscles, are by no means diagnostic of penetration of the chest, and the placing of the chest tubes was prophylactic had such an eventuality occurred.
Mr. SPECTER. Was there any external indication that there was a missile in the chest?
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