yitzhak rabin
BARRY CHAMISH.COM

Yitzhak Rabin`s third wound!

November 1998. It had been a good eighteen months since the last hidden documentation about the Yitzhak Rabin assassination had been uncovered. Since then some serious evidence had emerged about the political side of the murder. A year before, the government released some sections of the previously closed Shamgar Commission findings which incriminated Avishai Raviv far more deeply in widespread crimes of provocation. Two months later, one former Eyal activist, Benny Aharoni signed a sworn statement to Knesset Member Michael Eitan, that under orders from Raviv, he phoned three dozen reporters and delivered the infamous "We Missed But We'll Get Yitzhak Rabin Next Time" message, well before the shooting was announced on the Israeli media. And journalist Adir Zik had gathered powerful evidence of Carmi Gillon's complicity in the murder.

But the tap had shut tight on any new medical, police or forensic documentation. It looked as though the evidence I had collected for this book would be the last of the proofs that Yigal Amir had not shot fatal bullets into Yitzhak Rabin. The strongest evidence was the testimony of Police Chief Lieutenant Baruch Gladstein proving that Yitzhak Rabin was shot point blank and Dr. Mordechai Guttman's surgeon's notes describing a frontal chest wound which passed through the lung before shattering the vertebrae at D5-6.

When this book was written I had read Guttman's full surgical report, which included the description of three gunshot wounds and the publicly released procedural summation of November 5 which removed the frontal chest wound and shattered spine. Thus, it was Dr. Guttman's written word from the night of the murder versus his altered version of events, co-authored with Drs. Kluger and Hausner, the next day. Whenever Dr. Guttman was confronted with his report of the chest wound on the murder night, he answered that he had mistaken Yitzhak Rabin's ribs for his spine. If so, that Dr. Guttman couldn't tell the difference between ribs and the spinal column, as one doctor attending a lecture of mine told the audience, he should be disbarred from ever practising medicine again. However, another doctor did give Dr. Guttman the benefit of the doubt: if the bullet shattered the vertebrae at the point where the ribs join the spine, such a mixup was both logical and understandable.

The main problem was that we were missing reliable descriptions of Yitzhak Rabin's condition before and after the doctors went to work on him. Dr. Guttman's report of a frontal chest wound lacked overall perpective and seemed an oddity that could be sloughed off with the explanation that he was mistaken when he wrote it. In early December, American filmmaker Peter Goldman arrived in Israel with the intention of gathering the evidence needed to justify raising funds for a full length documentary based on my book. I gave him my contacts, who were new to him and we shared one contact in common. I expressed the opinion that visiting him would be a waste of time. I had a meeting with him a year and a half before and followed it up with two phone calls. It was all for naught; this contact had not provided me with any new evidence. Undaunted, Peter met him anyway and was well rewarded for following his instincts. Just a few hours before departing the country, Peter presented me with three new documents. I immediately understood that they were the final pieces of the puzzle. We now had a complete diary of Yitzhak Rabin's treatment at Ichilov Hospital.

Document one was the initial visual diagnosis of Yitzhak Rabin by Dr. Guttman. Hastily written in English, the diagnosis reads, "GSW Abdomen and Chest": Gunshot wounds to the abdomen and chest. When I read the word chest, I thought I had found the smoking gun. Yitzhak Rabin arrived with a chest wound. Yigal Amir never shot him in the chest. Case closed. I would have to change my book. There were only two wounds, not three. There was no third shot in the hospital. Yitzhak Rabin was shot in the chest in the car. However, within a few days, two experts set me straight. A chest wound can also begin from the back if the bullet travels forward and injures the chest. Page two was far more detailed. It begins with a description of Yitzhak Rabin's first bodily examination and provides us with indisputable proof of Yitzhak Rabin's condition immediately after he was placed on the examination table. Page three was the summation of the operation. At last, we no longer had to depend on the public summation of November 5 to understand the cause of Yitzhak Rabin's death. I now had the whole story in hand and it was told in the following reports:
1. First diagnosis
2. First bodily examination
3. Surgical procedure
4. Operation summation
5. Altered public summation

By the time I had completed my book, I had read 3 and 5. Four months after the book was released, I received 1, 2 and 4. And to my great relief, they confirmed my thesis conclusively. The documents, though not lengthy nor wordy are surprisingly complicated and packed with information which can be interpreted in different ways. Nonetheless, one piece of information cannot be disputed: Yitzhak Rabin's first chest wound cannot possibly be the same one which Dr. Guttman described on the last page of his surgical procedure report. As recalled, Guttman operated on a wound beginning in the upper lobe of the right lung, which exited the lung in the direction of Dorsal Vertebrae 5-6, leaving a 2.5-3 cm. exit wound in the lung before shattering the vertebrae. That is the wound Yitzhak Rabin ended up with. Here is the wound he arrived with. According to the newly uncovered first bodily examination report, Yitzhak Rabin's chest wound was caused by, "an entrance wound in the area of the right shoulder blade which lodged under the skin in ICS3 at MCL 3-4." Translated: The bullet entered the right shoulder blade and took a straight line path to Intercostal Space 3 at Midclavicular line 3-4. Simplified: The bullet went from the right shoulder blade to just below the right nipple. Dr. Guttman could not have mixed up the ribs and the spinal column because this bullet was lodged in the mid-section of the ribs, almost as far from the spine as is possible.

I received a detailed explanation from a physician who had the foresight to bring visual aids in the form of largescale skeletal charts. In report 3, Dr. Guttman does indeed begin the operation with procedures to treat a rear chest wound. And Yitzhak Rabin responds. His pulse returns to 130, his blood pressure to 90. Then without explanation as to why, his pulse drops to 60, his blood pressure also to 60 and then all vital signs disappear from the monitor. It is at this point that Dr. Guttman suddenly operates on a frontal chest wound which shatters the backbone. The physician explained, "It's as if that wound came out of nowhere. The patient's vital organs had stopped functioning and other procedures were called for. There was no reason to begin a new operation, unless there was a new wound."

The physician then tried every hypothetical bullet path to match the frontal chest/spine wound Dr. Guttman finally operated on, with the rear chest wound Yitzhak Rabin arrived with, as described in documents 1 and 2. Even with the most deft of contortions, the wounds didn't match. In order for one bullet to do all the damage described in reports 1, 2, and 3, it would have to take the following journey: Yigal Amir would have had to have shot Yitzhak Rabin in a near straight line from the side, not the back, something he did not do. The bullet would have entered the shoulder blade and carried on to the upper lobe of the right lung, switching directions to go down to Dorsal Vertebrae 5-6, which are in the mid-back. Then it would have had to have shattered the vertebrae and been deflected upward, entering and exiting the lung again before lodging just below the skin in the area of the right nipple.

The physician concluded, "If that was so, and I add that it most certainly wasn't so, why was the first diagnosis a straight line back to chest wound and why didn't Dr. Guttman report the two additional lung punctures? Even if somehow one bullet caused these two wounds, it was incumbent on the surgeon to accurately describe the damage." Finally, all THREE of Yitzhak Rabin's wounds were revealed. The first two wounds, to the chest and abdomen occurred before Yitzhak Rabin's arrival. The third, frontal chest wound, had to have been inflicted after he entered the hospital. Of the second wound, the bullet entered the abdomen via the left flank. Dr. Guttman failed to notice another rather important detail as we shall soon see. We now examine report 4, and what a tale it tells. The operation is now over and the surgical team writes its conclusion of their very busy night. And what a latented team it was. Department Heads all. No longer is Dr. Guttman the sole witness to the night's events. Though he writes the summation, it is witnessed by Drs. Kluger and Yaacovitz, anaethesiologist Dr. Ostrovski and nurses Evelyn and Svetlana. Svetlana, co-signs the report and adds signed confirmation, finally, of Dr. Guttman's surgical procedures. Let's begin easy. At the bottom of the page are the times of the whole night's events. Yitzhak Rabin was received at 22 hours, on the table at 22:05, under anaesthesia at 22:10, operated on beginning at 22:15 and ending at 23:30. The problem here is that Yitzhak Rabin's death was officially announced at 23:20. We'll assume for now that the clock was wrong in the operating theater.

The real story is at the top of the page. First, it goes a long way to confirming the laboratory conclusions of Chief Lieutenant Gladstein by noting that Yitzhak Rabin was shot from close range. Next, in report 1, we read that Yitzhak Rabin was admitted with gunshot wounds to the chest and abdomen. By report 4, some new wounds seem to have been added. The major wounds are still GSW to chest and abdomen. But now four secondary wounds are added in English.
They are:
GSW to right lung
laceration of spleen
hemorraghic shock
spinal shock?!

Dr. Guttman added the question and exclamation marks for emphasis, apparently indicating that this was the final cause of death. At least, that's what the physician and an IDF officer from the medical corps both guessed. Laceration of the spleen and hemorraghic shock were likely internal wounds caused by the shot to the flank. However, the first and last wounds are highly problematic, as the physician explains. "First, you must accept that unlike the nearly conclusive evidence of two chest wounds that we examined before, this document is open to much more interpretation. Still, some really bothersome questions should be asked. "Let's look at the secondary gunshot wound to the lung. Why would the doctors have even mentioned it? They reported a major gunshot wound to the chest and that, except in the rarest of injuries, includes the lung. What's the point of mentioning the lung wound again unless it came from another gunshot?" The Shamgar Commission examined these very same documents and asked the same question. They were told that the second wound to the right lung was caused by the bullet that entered the flank. It passed through the spleen and stomach before lodging in the right lung. That is the official version held by the Israeli government and accepted by the judges at Yigal Amir's trial

However the physician notes a fact the Shamgar Commission somehow missed. In order for a bullet shot in the left flank to reach the right lung, it has to pass through the left lung and most likely the heart. If the doctors were so fastidious about noting a secondary wound to the right lung, why didn't they record the entry and exit wounds that must have occurred in the left lung?" And now the biggest issue of all, spinal shock. Recall that the state pathologist Dr. Yehuda Hiss conducted a limited autopsy on Yitzhak Rabin after Dr. Guttman's team had completed its work and found no damage to the spinal column. Recall also, that based on this conclusion, the Shamgar Commission and the judges at Yigal Amir's trial concluded that Yitzhak Rabin suffered no spinal damage. And finally, recall that the film of the assassination shows Yitzhak Rabin walking after the shot to his back, an impossibility if vertebrae 5 and 6 were shattered as Dr. Guttman reported

Well, now it's not only Dr. Guttman reporting spinal shock. It's also five other members of his team. Would we could put them all in a courtroom and ask each why they agreed to appear on a report which concluded that Yitzhak Rabin died of spinal shock when the government of Israel's Justice Ministry and courts insist he did not. I asked the physician, can spinal shock be caused by something other than breakage in the vertebrae or spinal cord? Perhaps a severe bruise or shaking can cause spinal shock. "Out of the question," he replied. "Spinal shock is the trauma resulting from a break or breaks in the spinal column. The breaks can be in the outer vertebrae or in the cord, but there is no other definition of spinal shock."
The physician made another poignant observation. "When the patient arrived, the doctors did not record any symptoms of spinal shock. Again this is possible but hard to understand. One of the first things doctors look for in shooting cases is spinal shock. It's very easy to diagnosis. When the spinal nerves are severed, the blood stops pumping naturally and is forced downward by gravity. So, typically, the upper body is white and the lower body, red. The victim was shot at 9:45 and examined at 10:05. You would expect that twenty minutes after being shot in the spine, spinal shock would be detected and diagnosed."
The physician was reluctant to let me hear what I was waiting all these long months to prove. He would not say that the summation proved there was a third shot at Yitzhak Rabin from the time he was admitted to Ichilov Hospital but he stated, "If I didn't know who the victim was or the circumstances of his death, I think I'd have to conclude that the patient received another wound subsequent to his initial admission. But I would advise you to stress your strongest points and they are that two separate chest wounds are reported by Dr. Guttman and that it is inconceivable that Yitzhak Rabin had no spinal damage. The six members of the operating team were too skilled to have all been wrong about that."

There you have it. It is a certainty that Yitzhak Rabin suffered a frontal chest wound and spinal shock, neither of which Yigal Amir could physically have caused. But there is even more to the documents than just the description of the wounds. There is confirmation of a vital vignette in my book. I recounted an episode told to me by Zeev Barcella, editor of the country's largest circulation Russian-language newspaper, Vesti. On the morning of the assassination he received a phone call from a Russian-born operating nurse who told him, "The media is lying about Yitzhak Rabin's wounds. I saw them. His spinal cord was shattered and they're saying it wasn't." Ninety minutes later the nurse called Barcella back and with well-remembered fear in her voice said, "I didn't call you before and you don't know who I am." Then she hung up the phone. The newly uncovered documents revealed new names to me of people who were in the operating theater that night.
The nurse's first name, Svetlana and her signature were on the surgical summation. By comparing another document I possessed, I discovered her full name, Svetlana Shlimovitz. I found her phone number, introduced myself as best I could and had the following short conversation:


"Svetlana, I would like to know what happened to Yitzhak Rabin in the operating theater."
"How did you get my name?"
"You signed the surgical summation report."
"I don't work there anymore and I can never say what happened. Bye."
And she hung up.
Barcella's story was true as well. As was my book. I got it right the first time around.

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see also - "Yitzhak Rabin'S MAGIC DISAPPEARING HOLE"

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