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The Lisagor Has No Clothes

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Dear editor:

I was delighted, at last, to see the lamentable George Lundberg (recently fired editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association) and his sidekick, Dennis Breo (winner of the 1993 Lisagor), publicly unfrocked--or at least partially disrobed [March 5]. I, like several of my AMA colleagues in 1992, stood aghast at the zealous and pigheaded reporting of our own Journal regarding the autopsy of President John F. Kennedy.

At a Chicago debate in 1993, in which I participated, Lundberg publicly admitted that he was no expert on this subject. He furthermore did not answer any of the substantive questions that I or others posed to him. During this same weekend he had the audacity to invite only members of his side for a TV program that later aired on the AMA network. Those of us who opposed his side did not even learn of this covert production until much later. Lundberg's audience was never informed that more AMA members opposed Lundberg than supported him at this debate.

In these Lisagor award-winning articles, Breo quoted and employed words and phrases that would never otherwise have appeared in a professional article. Examples include (1) irrefutable proof, (2) foolproof, (3) hogwash, (4) supreme ignorance, (5) idiocy, (6) blatantly obvious, (7) dead wrong, and (8) defamers of the truth.

Although Lundberg was described by Breo (ever the sycophant; see his "Extraordinary Care," published by the AMA in 1986) as "a stickler for detail," in these articles Lundberg failed to raise any of 20 critical (medical) questions that we distributed at this meeting. For example, the pathologists repeatedly described the bullet debris on the X rays as extending to the lower rear of the head, where they claimed that one of Oswald's bullets had entered. In fact, as I have personally observed during many private X-ray viewings at the National Archives (something Lundberg and Breo never bothered to do), the debris is much nearer the top rear of the head--where it is totally inconsistent with the supposed Oswald entry site. This fundamental paradox apparently remained forever beyond Lundberg's ability to grasp. Like most of the essential medical questions in these Lisagor award-winning articles, it remained unasked, and therefore unanswered. For that reason it was a genuine personal pleasure to see Michael Miner's reporting on this particular Lisagor award. The surprise is not that it took so long, but rather, given the state of our media, that anyone bothered to notice at all.

David W. Mantik, MD

Loma Linda University Medical Center

California

PS: With the assistance of those of us who have carefully examined the medical evidence, the essential questions were finally asked, under oath, of all three pathologists by the Assassination Records Review Board. These depositions were finally released in July 1998. They provide only embarrassment for Lundberg and his cronies. Compared to Breo's sophomoric and self-serving caper, it is these interviews that are truly worthy of a Lisagor.

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