Mr. PAINE. No; Krystinik came in his own car, so just Lee and myself.
Mr. LIEBELER. Go ahead with your story.
Mr. PAINE. I thought the meeting was conducted in a manner that illustrated its own beliefs. One of the things said was that the Birchers must not be considered anti-Semitic, anti-Semites because they' are also Birchers.
Lee at this point got up, speaking loud and clear and coherently, saying that, reporting that, he had been to this meeting of the right-wing group the night before or two nights before and he refuted this statement, saying names and saying how that people on the platform speaking for the Birch Society had said anti-Semitic things and also anti-Catholic statements or spoke against the Pope or something.
Mr. LIEBELER. Do you remember what Oswald said?
Mr. PAINE. No; I don't remember. He said something very similar to, "I disagree with what had just been said," and I do remember that it contained both some corroboration of his points of view. There had been some kind of an anti-Semitic statement and criticism of the Pope.
Mr. LIEBELER. Oswald seemed to make a convincing argument and seemed to make sense?
Mr. PAINE. That was good speaking. It was out of keeping with the mood of the meeting and nobody followed it up in a similar manner but I think it was accepted as--it made sense; yes.
Mr. LIEBELER. Did anybody else say anything in response to Oswald's remarks?
Mr. PAINE. I think not.
Mr. LIEBELER. What happened then later on in the meeting?
Mr. PAINE. Later on in the meeting, when the meeting broke up, people clustered into discussion groups, and Frank, I told Frank, who was a colleague at work, Frank Krystinik, about Lee and Marina, and so of course he immediately came to defend free enterprise and what not in opposition to this fellow I told him about, and I left the discussion at that point, thinking I knew the kind of discussion it would be.
It was a discussion between three people, a more elderly man whom I probably thought was a member of the ACLU, and Frank and Lee.
Mr. LIEBELER. Did you hear any part of the discussion?
Mr. PAINE. I didn't hear any part of the discussion.
Mr. LIEBELER. Did you subsequently discuss it with either Oswald or Krystinik?
Mr. PAINE. And in the car going home, Lee asked me if I knew this man he had been talking to, this older man he had been talking to, and I think he said that the man seemed to be friendly to Cuba or rather he said, "Do you think that man is a Communist?" And I said, "No." And then he said something, "I think he is." Then I asked him why and I think he said something in regard to Cuba or sympathy with Cuba, and then I thought to myself, well, that is rather feeble evidence for proving a Communist.
But he seemed to have the attitude of, felt he wanted to meet that man again and was pleased he had met him. I thought to myself if that is the way he has to meet his Communists, he has not yet found the Communist group in Dallas.
Mr. LIEBELER. Was there a Communist group in Dallas, to your knowledge?
Mr. PAINE. Not to my knowledge.
Mr. LIEBELER. Did Oswald ever speak of a Communist group in Dallas?
Mr. PAINE. No; he did not. I had the impression, this I remember clearly that he had not found the group with similar feelings to his. I then asked Frank in regard to, I can't remember when I asked Frank but I asked Frank about the same conversation and whether he thought that this third man was a Communist. And he thought no, he thought the other man was a better--Frank almost got into a fight with Lee, and the other man was more receptive or didn't argue with him, or drew him out better, Frank used the word, I think.
Mr. LIEBELER. Drew Oswald out better?
Mr. PAINE. Drew Oswald out better. But he didn't gather the impression that he was favoring Castro or Cuba.
Mr. LIEBELER. What else did you and Oswald say on the way home after the meeting?
Mr. PAINE. So I was describing to him the purpose of the ACLU, and he said specifically, I can remember this, after I had described it and said that I was a member, that he couldn't join an organization like that, it wasn't political and he said something or responded in some manner, which indicated surprise that I could be concerned about joining an organization simply to defend, whose purpose it is, shall we say, to defend, free speech, free speech, per se, your freedom as well as mine.
He was aware of enjoying his freedom to speak but he didn't seem to be aware of the more general principle of freedom to speak for everyone which has value in itself. And I think it took him by surprise that a person could be concerned about a value like that rather than political objective of some sort, and this was, struck me as a new idea and it struck me that he must never have met people who paid more than lip service, he wasn't familiar with the ways of expressing this value.
Mr. DULLES. Did you say anything to him about the activities of the Civil Liberties Union in connection with the defense of people accused of crimes under certain conditions?
Mr. PAINE. Yes; I am sure I told him that it came to the defense of all people who didn't seem to be receiving adequate help when it seemed to be an issue involving the Bill of Rights. I was then--that was a pang of sorrow that occurred after the assassination when I realized that he had then subsequently, a fortnight later, joined the ACLU, and still didn't quite seem to perceive its purpose, and then I realized--I had also perceived earlier that he was still a young fellow and I had been expecting rather a lot of him, when I first approached meeting him; this man had been to Russia and had been back and I had been--met some others who had been around the world like that and they are powerful people.
Mr. LIEBELER. Did Oswald impress you that way?
Mr. PAINE. And he did not impress me that way; no.
Mr. LIEBELER. Did Oswald respond to your, or did you request Oswald or did you suggest to him that he join the ACLU?
Mr. PAINE. No; I don't think I was eager to have him join until he knew what was what about it.
Mr. LIEBELER. During the time after the ACLU meeting did Oswald say anything about his discussion with Mr. Krystinik?
Mr. PAINE. No; I don't believe so.
Mr. LIEBELER. Did you subsequently discuss that with Krystinik?
Mr. PAINE. Yes; I did.
Mr. LIEBELER. What did you say and what did he say?
Mr. PAINE. He told me how he had argued, that he had pointed out. that he had employed a few people himself, he works at Bell but on the side, at night he had done a little extra business and had employed other people, and had to receive from them more than he paid them, that he received from their labor, for their product, more than he paid them but that he created work and jobs, and he was fully--and he was ready to defend his way of that activity and was presenting that against Lee's criticism and apparently encountered the same kind of nonsequitur response or no response from him or Lee's response didn't--Lee presented his opposing view against it without any issue.
Mr. LIEBELER. You mentioned that Krystinik and Oswald had almost gotten into a fight, did Krystinik tell you that?
Mr. PAINE. I think it was Frank who told me that.
Mr. LIEBELER. Can you tell us more about that?
Mr. PAINE. I am sure Frank would not haul off and slug him, but just Frank said he got pretty mad at this. I think Frank was using that expression to me only, you know, saying how irked he was at Lee.
Mr. LIEBELER. He didn't indicate that Oswald had threatened any physical violence toward him in connection with the argument, did he?
Mr. PAINE. Oh, no; I think Lee knows how to keep his temper, knows how to control himself,
Senator COOPER. Might I ask a question at this time?
Earlier you talked about your, I think your, first meeting with Oswald and your conversation with him?
Mr. PAINE. Yes.
Senator COOPER. You said, you talked about, the fact that subsequently your wife was bothered by his attitude?
Mr. PAINE. She was bothered by--
Senator COOPER. I am not going into that.
Now, you have talked about this conversation with Mr. Krystinik?
Mr. PAINE. Krystinik.
Senator COOPER. In which they reached some point in which further discussion was not, if not impossible, was at least difficult between them?
From these experiences you had was there a situation, that after some arguments or discussion of economic or political issues, he would reach a point in which he relied upon certain fixed positions that he held about which he would not admit of any further discussion or argument?
Mr. PAINE. That is correct. He would just present his dogmatic view and then one was at loss to find any way to get off that impasse.
Senator COOPER. When he was questioned about that view or when an attempt was made to argue that view with him, would he then become angry or disturbed in any way?
Mr. PAINE. The time that I reported I was angry and I noticed he was holding his temper pretty well and I wasn't going to let him hold his temper better than mine.
Senator COOPER. Did you see indication--
Mr. PAINE. I saw he was angry, his hands trembled a little bit.
Senator COOPER. All right.
Mr. PAINE. But he was dogged, I think he was practiced or skilled or took pride in this was a kind of struggle or fight that he would do this, and he would do it for a long time.
Mr. LIEBELER. Clench his. fists and put them together?
Mr. PAINE. No; it was expressing this as a mood.
Mr. LIEBELER. He would hold himself back?
Mr. PAINE. He would oppose himself to you steadily, and it seemed to me he liked to put himself in a position of belligerence or opposition, and he would just hold his ground or something, was accustomed to doing that and expected to stick it out. It reminded me a little bit of Lawrence of Arabia when Lawrence held the match that burned down to his finger and the fellows asked him what is the trick? He said no trick you just learn how to stand the pain.
Senator COOPER. I have to go and I would like to ask a few questions.
I ask these questions to get a certain background of his views which you have said he finally came to some fixed position which he would hold and would not move and there was no brooking of real argument on that position.
You said earlier in response to a question by counsel that he did not believe there was any possibility of any evolutionary progress in this country, at least upon this issue of economic change.
Mr. PAINE. This he never said that specifically. But I would ask him what policy should we take or I was trying to find if he didn't have some avenue of following a policy in this country.
Senator COOPER. Did you direct questions to him which showed some evolution in our own economic ideas and theories which he either refused to accept.
Mr. PAINE. Yes; I did. I mean I tried to show him how labor and management, first labor had a right, I was criticizing labor for the rigid position it is getting us into now.
Senator COOPER. He would not accept that idea of evolution?
Mr. PAINE. I think he did not accept it; yes. He didn't have patience with it.
Senator COOPER. Is that also a tenet of the Communist dogma, do you know?
Mr. PAINE. I don't believe, I don't know whether you can say there is a single Communist dogma of that sort. I suppose there are some groups that feel that way and others don't.
Senator COOPER. Did he indicate any other way in which he thought that economic change might come about in the United States?
Mr. PAINE. He did not indicate or reveal to me how he thought it would come about and I on several occasions felt by his, perceived from his attitude or felt impelled by his attitude to say that the values that I held dear were diminished in a situation of violence, to which he remained silent and I took it as disagreement. But I don't remember if he had said that.
Senator COOPER. He remained silent when you spoke about that?
Mr. PAINE. When I said I was opposed to violence or said, why, when I said that he remained silent and I took it
Senator COOPER. You took it that he disagreed in any way by your statement?
Mr. PAINE. Well, just by the way he would sort of withdraw.
Senator COOPER. He did not agree with your position?
Mr. PAINE. He did not agree; no.
Senator COOPER. That violence was unacceptable as a means of change?
Mr. PAINE. That is right, and I don't think he perceived also, was a war of the kind of values that I am--tolerance, for instance seems to me disappears when strained situations--
Senator COOPER. Did you discuss at least the kind of economic changes that had occurred in Russia by means of violence?
Mr. PAINE. No; I was trying to find out whether he thought it was going to come by revolution or not and he never did say, I never got an answer as to how he thought this change was going to come. He did not reveal constructive, or from my point of view, constructive effort to make.
Senator COOPER. Did he ever discuss the revolution in Russia where by means of violence the change had come about?
Mr. PAINE. He did not. That would have been the kind of argument I would have accepted, a normal kind that you would have accepted it as evidence here is the normal way to produce it, but he never said that.
Senator COOPER. Did he ever say any way in which he was expecting Russia or any other country to indicate that he felt the use of violence had produced good?
Mr. PAINE. No. As I say he did not--I would have accepted that argument as a debating argument but he didn't bring it up.
Senator COOPER. That is all.
Mr. DULLES. Did he say or did you get the impression that he felt that violence was the only way to improve things, let's say, in the United States?
Mr. PAINE. I felt he was so disgusted with the whole system that he didn't see a way that was worthwhile fussing around trying to modify the situation.
Mr. DULLES. Other than violence or he didn't go that far?
Mr. PAINE. He didn't mention advocating violence or didn't say anything in regard to violence but he did seem to me he didn't see dismissed as trivial, no difference between the parties so why join one party or another. They were all the same.
Churches--there is no avenue out that way. Education--there is nothing there. So that he never revealed to me any constructive way that wasn't violent.
Mr. DULLES. Did he think that communism was different from capitalism in this respect?
The CHAIRMAN. All right, gentlemen, the Commission will be in order.
Mr. DULLES. What I was getting at with my question was as to whether he thought that probably violence was necessary with respect to both systems to achieve the millennium that he sought or did he think it was just necessary with regard to the American system.
Mr. PAINE. He didn't reveal to me to my satisfaction what criticism he found of the Soviet Union. He had indicated he didn't like it. But I wasn't aware that he was proposing to change that system also in some way. Neither did he ever speak, he never spoke to me, in a way that I could see a paradise, see his paradise. He spoke only, he was opposed to exploitation of man by man. That was his motivating power.
(At this point Senator Cooper left the hearing room.)
Mr. LIEBELER. Did Oswald indicate to you in any way that he had been
present at the right-wing rally that was held in Dallas the night before Stevenson appeared in Dallas?
Mr. PAINE. He indicated that at the ACLU meeting.
Mr. LIEBELER. Did he say he had met anybody there?
Mr. PAINE. Not that I recall, no.
Mr. LIEBELER. Did he mention speaking to anyone at that meeting?
Mr. PAINE. No.
Mr. LIEBELER. Did he tell you whether or not he was at the Stevenson meeting itself?
Mr. PAINE. I guess I didn't ask him that. I remember asking myself subsequently what was the answer to that question and I couldn't answer it then and I can't answer it now.
Mr. LIEBELER. You have no recollection of his mentioning it at all?
Mr. PAINE. No, I don't remember what--I think I assumed that he had but--
Mr. LIEBELER. You assumed that he had been at the Stevenson affair?
Mr. PAINE. I think I assumed that.
Mr. LIEBELER. Do you have any basis for that assumption?
Mr. PAINE. There had been some discussion in the ACLU, some other people had gotten up and had spoken of that awful last night, I guess, this was the previous night, that awful time and I think he seemed to nod his assent. That was my--
Mr. LIEBELER. You inferred from that that he had possibly been present at the Stevenson meeting?
Mr. PAINE. Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER. There was no other basis for your assumption in that regard?
Mr. PAINE. That is right.
Mr. LIEBELER. On the weekend of November 8, 9, and 10, do you recall when you came to your house in Irving?
Mr. PAINE Well, I would come out regularly on Friday after cashing my cheek at the bank.
Mr. LIEBELER. Do you remember coming on Friday evening on the 8th of November?
Mr. PAINE. I don't remember any break in that habit.
Mr. LIEBELER. Do you recall whether or not Oswald was present at your home on the Friday evening November 8, 1963?
Mr. PAINE. No; I don't specifically remember that.
Mr. LIEBELER. You don't remember one way or the other?
Mr. PAINE. That is right.
Mr. LIEBELER. Were you at the house on Saturday? November 9th?
Mr. PAINE. I was at the house probably on Saturday and certainly on Sunday. I think that weekend I remember stepping over him as he sat in front of the TV, stepping past, one of these things laying on the floor and thinking to myself for a person who has a business to do he certainly can waste the time. By business I mean some kind of activity and keeping track of right-wing causes and left-wing causes or something. I supposed that he spent his time as I would be inclined to spend more of my time if I had it, trying to sense the pulse of various groups in the Dallas area.
Mr. LIEBELER. Do you know what Oswald did on Saturday morning, November 9, 1963?
Mr. PAINE. No.
Mr. LIEBELER. Did you know that he was taken by your wife to apply for a driver's license and take a driver's license test on that morning?
Mr. PAINE. She told me sometime subsequently that she had taken him for--wait. I remember the incident that he had arrived on a Saturday morning at the drivers' license bureau, stood in line for a long time but they cut off the line at 12 o'clock and he did not stay there long enough for him to get his driver's license student permit.
Mr. LIEBELER. Was this at this time or would that have been another time. Let me help you.
Mr. PAINE. I don't remember that.