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HSCA VOLUME XI

 

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Volume XI



INVESTIGATION OF THE ASSASSINATION
OF PRESIDENT JOHN F. KENNEDY

APPENDIX TO
HEARINGS
BEFORE THE
SELECT COMMITTEE ON ASSASSINATIONS
OF THE
U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
NINETY-FIFTH CONGRESS
SECOND SESSION


VOLUME XI

THE WARREN COMMISSION
CIA SUPPORT TO THE WARREN COMMISSION
THE MOTORCADE
MILITARY INVESTIGATION OF THE ASSASSINATION

MARCH 1979

Printed for the use of the Select Committe on Assassinations




U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
WASHINGTON : 1979

For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office
Washington, D.C. 20402

Stock No. 052-070-04981-2

Page ii
SELECT COMMITTEE ON ASSASSINATIONS

LOUIS STOKES, Ohio, Chairman
RICHARDSON PREYER, North Carolina SAMUEL L. DEVINE, Ohio
WALTER E. FAUNTROY, STEWART B. McKINNEY, Connecticut
District of Columbia CHARLES THONE, Nebraska
YVONNE BRATHWAITE BURKE, HAROLD S. SAWYER, Michigan
California
CHRISTOPHER J. DODD, Connecticut
HAROLD E. FORD, Tennessee
FLOYD J. FITHIAN, Indiana
ROBERT W. EDGAR, Pennsylvania

Subcommittee on the Subcommittee on the
Assassination of Assassination of
Martin Luther King, Jr. John F Kennedy

WALTER E. FAUNTROY, Chairman RICHARDSON PREYER, Chairman
HAROLD E. FORD YVONNE BRATHWAITE BURKE
FLOYD J. FITHIAN CHRISTOPHER J. DODD
ROBERT W. EDGAR CHARLES THONE
STEWART B. McKINNEY HAROLD S. SAWYER
LOUIS STOKES, ex officio LOUIS STOKES, ex officio
SAMUEL L. DEVINE, ex officio SAMUEL L. DEVINE, ex officio


(II)















Contents
Page iii
CONTENTS

Page
Foreword . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . v
The Warren Commission . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
Analysis of the support provided to the Warren Commission by the Central
Intelligence Agency . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 471
Politics and Presidential protection: The motorcade 505
Possible military investigation of the assassination 539


(III)























Foreword
Page v
Foreword

(1)* During the course of its investigation, the committee conducted an extensive examination and evaluation of the Warren Commission's investigation of 1964 and final report. As the most authoritative document ever produced on the assassination of President Kennedy, the Warren Commission report stands as the assassination must be weighed.
(2) The committee carefully examined the work of the Warren Commission, its structure and operations, conclusion-drawing process, and production of a final report. This staff report is in two parts. The first addresses the operations and performance of the Commission. The second looks at the Commission's relationships with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Central Intelligence Agency.
(3) The Commission's report sets forth the testimony of various key members of the Warren Commission staff, as well as those members of the Commission who were still living at the time of the committee's investigation. The former members and staff of the Commission have, by and large, refrained from any substantive comment on their past work on the Commission, during the 15 years since their investigation took place. The following staff report based primarily upon their testimony, sets forth a review and narrative of the Commission's work by those most familiar with it at the time.


---------------------------



(v)


















The Warren Commission
Page 1
THE WARREN COMMISSION

Staff Report

of the

Select Committee on Assassinations

U.S. House of Representatives

Ninety-fifth Congress

Second Session


March 1979



(1)




Contents
Page 2
CONTENTS

Paragraph
I. Operations and procedures --------------------------------------- (4)
Creation of the Warren Commission ------------------------------- (4)
Purposes of the Warren Commission ------------------------------- (22)
Organization of the Warren Commission --------------------------- (44)
Independent investigators --------------------------------------- (59)
Communication among the staff ----------------------------------- (71)
Interaction between the Warren Commission and the staff --------- (74)
Pressures ------------------------------------------------------- (88)
II. Relationship with the Central Intelligence Agency and the Federal
Bureau of Investigation:
A. Perspective of the Warren Commission:
Attitude of the Commission members ----------------- (113)
Attitude of the Commission staff ---------------------- (144)
Predispositions regarding the agencies -------------- (144)
Attitude of the staff toward the investigation ------ (152)
Initial staff impressions of the agencies ----------- (160)
Attitude of the staff during the course of the
investigation -------------------------------------- (163)
Dependence on the agencies: Staff views ------------- (183)
B. Attitude of the FBI and the CIA toward the Warren Commission:
General attitude -------------------------------------- (188)
The FBI ----------------------------------------------- (188)
The CIA ----------------------------------------------- (205)
Examples of attitudes and relationships --------------- (216)
Introduction --------------------------------------- (216)
Inadequate follow-up --the Odio-Hall incident ------ (218)
Unreasonable delays -------------------------------- (228)
Misleading testimony ------------------------------- (238)
Withheld information ------------------------------- (240)
Attachment A: The Warren Commission ---------------------------- (278)
Attachment B: Monthly progress of the Warren Commission
investigation ------------------------------------------------- (279)
Attachment C: Days worked by Warren Commission staff--1964 --(280)
Attachment D: Transcript of the executive session testimony of Arlen
Specter, W. David Slawson and Wesley Liebeler before the House Select
Committee on Assassinations, November 8, 1977 ----------------- (281)
Attachment E: Transcript of the executive session testimony of W. David
Slawson and Wesley Liebeler before the House Select Committee on
Assassinations November 15, 1977 --------------------------------- (282)
Attachment F: Transcript of the executive session testimony of Judge
Burt W. Griffin and Howard P Willens before the House Select
Committee on Assassinations November 17, 1977 --------------- (283)
Attachment G: Transcript of the executive session deposition of J. Lee Rankin by the House Select Committee on Assassinations,
August 17, 1978 ----------------------------------------------------- (284)
Attachment H: Transcript of the depostion of Howard P. Willens by
the House Select Committee on Assassination, July 28, 1978 ---- (285)
Attachment I: Letter and attachments from Judge Burt W. Griffen
to G. Robert Blakey, November 23, 1977 --------------------------- (286)
Attachment J: Letter from Howard P. Willens to G. Robert Blakey,
December 14, 1978 ---------------------------------------------------- (287)

(2)



Operations and Procedures
Page 3
I. OPERATIONS AND PROCEDURES

CREATION OF THE WARREN COMMISSION

(4) On November 22, 1963, President Kennedy was assassinated and Vice President Johnson became President. President Johnson was immediately faced with the problem of investigating the assassination. On November 23, 1963, J. Edgar Hoover forwarded the results of the FBI's preliminary investigation to him. This report detailed the evidence that indicated Lee Harvey Oswald's guilt. (1) On November 24, 1963, Hoover telephoned Presidents Johnson aide Walter Jenkins and stated:

The thing I am concerned about, and so is Mr. Katzenbach* is having something issued so we can convince the public that Oswald is the real assassin. Mr Katzenbach thinks that the President might appoint a Presidential Commission of three outstanding citizens to make a determination. I countered with a suggestion that we make an investigative report to the Attorney General with pictures, laboratory work, and so forth. Then the Attorney General can make the report to the President and the President can decide whether to make it public. I felt this was better because there are several aspects which would complicate our foreign relations, if we followed the Presidential Commission route. (2)

(5) Former Attorney General Katzenbach told the committee* that there were a number of factors that led to his belief that some kind of statement regarding the absence of a conspiracy should be issued without delay. Katzenbach recalled:

I think*** speculation that there was conspiracy of various kinds was fairly rampant, at that time particularly in the foreign press. I was reacting to that and I think reacting to repeated calls from people in the State Department who wanted something of that kind in an effort to quash the beliefs of some people abroad that the silence in the face of those rumors was not to be taken as substantiating it in some way. That is, in the face of a lot of rumors about conspiracy, a total silence on the subject from the Government neither confirming nor denying tended to feed those rumors. I would have liked a statement of the kind I said, that nothing we had uncovered so far leads to believe that there is a conspiracy, but investigation is continuing; everything will be put out on the table.(3)

----------------------



(3)




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(6) Katzenbach further stated:

I had numerous reports from the Bureau of things that were going on. Again, I cannot exactly tell you the time frame on this, but there were questions of Oswald's visit to Russia, marriage to Marina, and the visit to Mexico City, the question as to whether there was any connection between Ruby and Oswald, how in hell the police could have allowed that to happen.
Those were the sorts of considerations at least that we had during that period of time, I guess. The question as it came along as the result of all those things was whether this was some kind of conspiracy, whether foreign powers could be involved, whether it was a right-wing conspiracy, whether it was a leftwing conspiracy, whether it was the right wing trying to put out the conspiracy on the left wing or the lef wing trying to put the conspiracy on the right wing, whatever that may have been.
There were many rumors around. There were many speculations around, all of which were problems. (4)

(7) Deputy Attorney General Katzenbach also indicated his desire to have "everyone know that Oswald was guilty of the President's assassination."(5) On November 25, 1963, Katzenbach write a memorandum to Presidential aide William Moyers in which he stated:

It is important that all of the facts surrounding President Kennedy's assassination be made public in a way which will satisfy people in the United States and abroad. That all the facts have been told and that a statement to this effect be made now.
1. The public must be satisfied that Oswald was the assassin; that he did not have confederates who are still at large; that the evidence was such that he would have been convicted at trial.

* * * * * * * * * *

3. The matter has been handled thus far with neither dignity nor conviction; facts have been mixed with rumor and speculation. We can scarcely let the world see us totally in the image of the Dallas police when our President is murdered. I think this objective may be satisfied and made public as soon as possible with the completion of a thorough FBI report on Oswald and the assassination. This may run into the difficulty of pointing to inconsistency between this report and statements by Dallas Police offcials; but the reputation of the Bureau is such that it may do the whole job. The only other step would be the appointment of a Presidential commission of unimpeachable personnel to review and examine the evidence and announce its conclusion. This has both advantages and disadvantages. I think it can await publication of the FBI report and public reaction to it here and abroad.
I think, however, that a statement and the facts will be


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made public property in an orderly and responsible way; it should be made now; we need something to head off public speculation or congressional hearings of the wrong sort.(6)

(8) Recalling that memorandum, Katzenbach stated:

Perhaps I am repeating myself, but everybody appeared to believe that Lee Harvey Oswald had acted alone fairly early. There were rumors of conspiracy. Now, either Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone or he was part of a conspiracy, one of the two, or somebody else was involved.
If he acted alone and if that was in fact true, then the problem you had was how do you allay all the rumors of conspiracy. If he, in fact, was part of a conspiracy, you damned well wanted to know what the conspiracy was, who was involved in it, and that would have given you another set of problems.
The problem that I focused on for the most part was the former one because they kept saying he acted alone. How do you explain? You have to put all of this out with all your explanations because you have all of these associations and all of that is said, you put out all the facts, why you come to that conclusion. I say this because the conclusion would have been a tremendously important conclusion to know.
If some foreign government was behind this, that may have presented major problems. It was of major importance to know that. I want to emphasize that both sides had a different set of problems. If there was a conspiracy, the problem was not rumors of conspiracy. The problem was rumors. Everything had to be gone into.(7)

(9) On November 25, 1963--the same date as the Katzenbach memorandum President Johnson directed the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation of all the circumstances surrounding the brutal assassination of of President Kennedy and the murder of his alleged assassin." (8)
(10) Then, 2 days later, Senator Everett M. Dirksen proposed in Congress that the Senate Judiciary Committee conduct a full investigation. Congressman Charles E. Goodell proposed that a joint committee composed of seven Senators and seven Representatives conduct an inquiry. In addition to the proposed congressional investigations, Texas Attorney General Waggoner Carr announced that a court of inquiry, authorized by Texas law, would be established to investigate the assassination. In his oral history, Leon Jaworski described the creation of the Texas Court of Inquiry:

I saw Lyndon Johnson within a few days after he assumed the Presidency. Waggoner Carr had been *** [interruption]*** heard was that naturally the President--President Johnson--was tremendously concerned over what happened in Dallas from the standpoint of people understanding







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what really happened. Here and in Europe were all kinds of speculations, you know that this was an effort to get rid of Kennedy and put Johnson in, and a lot of other things. So he immediately called on Waggoner Carr who was attorney general of Texas. Waggoner Carr, follwing President Kennedy's funeral, appeared on all the networks and made an announcement to that effect.(9)

(11) On November 29, 1963, Walter Jenkins wrote a memorandum to President Johnson, which stated:

Abe [Fortas] has talked with Katzenbach and Katzenbach has talked with the Attorney General. They recommend a seven man commission--two Senators, two Congressmen, the Chief Justice, Allen Dulles, and a retired military man (general or admiral). Katzenbach is preparing a description of how the Commission would function***.(10)

(12) This memorandum also included a list of possible members of the Commission and asked Johnson if they were satisfactory. This list was in fact apparently satisfactory since all of the people noted were appointed to the Commission.
(13) Former Attorney General Katzenbach told the committee:

I doubted that anybody in the Government, Mr. Hoover or the FBI or myself or the President or anyone else, could satisfy a lot of foreign opinion that all facts were being revealed and that the investigation would be complete and conclusive and without any loose ends.
So, from the beginning, I felt that some kind of commission would be desirable for that purpose***that it would be desirable *** for the President to appoint some commission of people who had international and domestic public stature and reputation for integrity that would review all of the investigations and direct any further investigation.(11)

(14) On the same day, President Johnson told Hoover that, although he wanted to "get by" on just the FBI report, the only way to stop the "rash of investigations" was to appoint a high-level committee to evaluate the report.(12) That afternoon President Johnson met with Chief Justice Earl Warren and persuaded him to be chairman of a commission to investigate the assassination. Johnson explained his choice of Warren by stating,"*** I felt that we needed a Republican chairman whose judicial ability and fairness were unquestioned."(13) Although Warren had previously sent word through a third party that he opposed his appointment as chairman,(14) President Johnson persuaded him to serve. In "The Vantage Point," President Johnson stated he told Warren:

When this country is confronted with threatening divisions and suspicions, I said, and its foundation is being ricked, and the President of the United States says that you are the only man who can handle the matter, you won't say "no" will you?(15)






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(15) In his memoirs, Earl Warren stated that on November 29, 1963, Katzenbach and Solicitor General Archibald Cox met with him and attempted to persuade him to chair the Commission. Warren refused. He related:

***about 3:30 that same afternoon I received a call from the White House asking if I could come to see the President and saying that it was quite urgent. I, of course, said I would do so and very soon therafter I went to his office. I was ushered in and, with only the two of us in the room, he told me of his proposal. He said he was concerned about the wild stories and rumors that were arousing not only our own people but people in other parts of the world. He said that because Oswald had been murdered, there could be no trial emanating from the assassination of President Kennedy, and that unless the facts were explored objectively and conclusions reached that would be respected by the public, it would always remain an open wound with ominous potential. He added that several congressional committees and Texas local and State authorities were contemplating public investigations with television coverage which would compete with each other for public attention, and in the end leave the people more bewildered and emotional than at present. He said he was satisfied that if he appointed a bipartisan Presidential Commission to investigate that facts impartially and report them to a troubled Nation that the people would accept its findings. He told me that he had made up his mind as to the other members, that he has communicated with them, and that they would serve if I would accept the chairmanship. He then named them to me. I then told the President my reasons for not being available for the chairmanship. He replied, "You were a soldier in World War I, but there was nothing you could do in that uniform comparable to what you can do for your country in this hour of trouble." He then told me how serious were the rumors floating around the world. The gravity of the situation was such that it might lead us into war, he said, and, if so, it might be a nuclear war. He went on to tell me that he had just talked to Defense Secretary Robert McNamara, who had advised him that the first nuclear strike against us might cause the loss of 40 million people.
I then said, "Mr. President, if the situation is that serious, my personal views do not count. I will do it." He thanked me, and I left the White House.(16)

(16) In his oral history, Warren related a similar version of the meeting.(17)
(17) In his appearance before the committee, former President and Commission member Gerald R. Ford, also recalled the appointment of Chief Justice Warren as chairman. He testified:

I believe that Chief Justice Warren accepted the assignment from President Johnson for precisely the same reason that the other six of us did. We ere asked by the President to undertake this responsibilty, as a public duty and service,





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and despite the reluctance of all of us to add to our then burden or operations we accepted, and I am sure that was the personal reaction and feeling of the Chief Justice.(18)

(18) In "The Vantage Point", President Johnson presented two considerations he had at the time. He believed the investigation of the assassination should not be done by an agency of the executive branch. He stated, "The Commission had to be composed of men who were beyond pressure and above suspicion."(19) His second consideration was that the investigation was too large an issue for the Texas authorities to handle alone.(20)
(19) Apparently, Earl Warren also did not want Texas to conduct the court of inquiry that had been announced earlier by Texas Attorney General Waggoner Carr. In his oral history, Leon Jaworski discussed Warren's attitudes and actions regarding the court of inquiry:

I came on to Houston, and then I began to get calls from Katzenbach and from Abe Fortas telling me that they were having a Presidential Commission appointed to go into this matter. This would be to keep Congress from setting up a bunch of committees and going in and maybe having a McCarthy hearing or something like that. The next thing I knew they were telling me, "Leon, you've got to come up here." This was Katzenbach and Fortas both. "Because the Chief (Chief Justice Warren, who had accepted the appointment from the President) doesn't want any part of the court of inquiry in Texas. And I said, "Well, as far as I can see it, there's no need in our doing anything that conflicts-- let's work together." He said, "Well, he doesn't want any part of Waggoner Carr, the attorney general down there, because he said it would just be a political matter." He said, "He respects you and so***
In and event I then went up to Washington, and I had the problem of working this matter out. I must say that Deputy Attorney General Katzenbach was a great help; Solicitor General Archie Cox was of great help. Those two promarily and Waggoner Carr and I worked with them--Katzenbach saw the Chief Justice from time to time, bringing proposals to him from me; the Chief Justice was willing to talk to me without Carr present--I could'nt do that. It finally evolved that--from all these discussions, there finally evolved a solution that we would all meet. We did meet in the Chief's office, and the Chief addressed all his remarks to me and ignored Waggoner Carr, but I would in turn talk to Carr in his presense and direct the question to him and so on. What we did is agree that we would not begin and court inquiry, but that we would be invited into hearings; would have full access to everything.(21)

(20) After this meeting, Leon Jaworski related to President Johnson that the matter of the Texas court of inquiry had been resolved







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satisfactorily. The President appeared to have been pleased with the result. Jaworski stated:
When we got through with that, I called Walter Jenkins and told him that we thought we had solved it properly, and that I ought to have a word with the President. He said, "By all means. The President is waiting to hear from you."*** I went on over there and he was in the pool; he came immediately to the edge of the pool and shook hands with me. Then I told him what had happened, and that we had worked it out and had worked it out in great shape, and we were going to work together, and everybody was happy and shook hands and patted each other on the back and so on. And that even the Chief Justice had warmed up to Waggoner Carr before the conference broke up. Then Lyndon Johnson looked at me and he said, "Now, Leon, you've done several things for me--many things in fact for me. Now, it's my time to do something for you." I said, Mr. President, there is nothing I want. I don't want you to do anything for me." And so he looked at me and he said, "All right, I'll just send you a Christmas card then."(22)

(21) On the evening of November 29, 1963, President Johnson issued Executive Order No. 11130 that created the President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy, hereinafter the Warren Commission. The Commission was composed of seven people:

Hale Boggs--Democratic Representative from Louisiana;
John Sherman Cooper--Republican Senator from Kentucky, former Ambassador to India;
Allen W. Dulles--former Director of the CIA;
Gerald R. Ford--Republican Representative from Michigan;
John J McCloy--former U.S. High Commissioner for Germany and former president of the World Bank;
Richard B. Russell--Democratic Senator from Georgia, and Earl Warren, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

PURPOSE OF THE WARREN COMMISSION

(22) The purpose of the Warren Commission, as stated in Executive Order No. 11130, were:

To examine the evidence developed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and any additional evidence that may hereafter come to light or be uncovered by Federal or State authorities; to make such further investigation as the Commission finds desirable; to evaluate all the facts and circumstances surrounding such assassination, including the subsequent violent death of the man charged with the assassination, and to report to me its findings and conclusions.

(23) Although this may be an accurate statement of some of the purposes of the Warren Commission, there were indications that there wee additional tasks that it was to perform.
(24) It is apparent from some of the statements previously quoted that many members of Government were concerned about convincing




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the public that Oswald was the assassin and that he acted alone.(23) In addition to the memoranda, referred to earlier, on December 9, 1963, Katzenbach wrote each member of the Warren Commission recommending that the Commission immediately issue a press release stating that the FBI report, which had been submitted to the Warren Commission that same day, clearly showed there was no international conspiracy and that Oswald was a loner.(24)
(25) The Commission did not issue the requested press release. Although in their testimony several of the Warren Commission staff members indicated they were not aware of these memoranda, (25) it is apparent that this purpose was clearly in the minds of some of the people who were in contact with the Warren Commission and the members of the Warren Commission could not have been unaware of the pressure.
(26) Another purpose of the Warren Commission, which was at least apparent to Chief Justice Warren and to President Johnson, was the quashing rumors and speculation. President Johnson was conserned that the public might believe his home State of Texas was involved in the assassination. He was also aware of speculation about Castro's possible participation. President Johnson expressed his consern in "The Vantage Point":

Now, with Oswald dead, even a wounded Governor could not quell the doubts. In addition, we were aware of stories that Castro, still smarting over the Bay of Pigs and only lately accusing us of sending CIA agents into the country to assassinate him, was the perpetrator of the Oswald assassination plot. These rumors were another compelling reason that a thorough study had to be made of the Dallas tragedy at once. Out of the Nation's suspicions, out of the Nation's need for facts, the Warren Commission was born. [Italic added](26)

(27) On January 20, 1964, at the first staff meeting of the Warren Commission, Chief Justice Warren discussed the role of the Commission. A memorandum about this meeting described Warren's statements:

He (Warren) placed emphasis on the importance of quenching rumors, and precluding further speculation such as that which has surrounded the death of Lincoln. He emphasized that the Commission had to determine the truth, whatever that might be.(27)

(28) At this meeting, Warren also informed the staff of the disscussion he had had with President Johnson, including the fact that the rumors could lead to a nuclear war which would cost 40 million lives. (28) Both the Chief Justice and President Johnson were obviously concerned about the rumors were not quashed.
(29) World reaction to the assassination, and its coverage in the media, may have reinforced this concern. An editorial on November 23, 1963, in the New York Times stated that President Johnson "must convince the country that this bitter tragedy will not divert us from







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our proclaimed purposes or check our forward movement." On November 24, 1963, the New York Times reported that Pravda was charging right-wingers in the United States of trying to use the assassination of President Kennedy to stir up anti-Soviet and anti-Cuban hysteria. The same article stated:

The Moscow radio said Oswald was charged with Mr. Kennedy's slaying after 10 hours of interrogation, but there was no evidence which could prove this accusation.

(30) On November 25, 1963, Donald Wilson, acting director of the United States Information Agency, submitted a memorandum to Bill Moyers that discussed world reaction to Oswald's slaying. This memorandum went through each major city and summarized newspaper articles that had appeared regarding Oswald's death. A Tass dispath released after Oswald was killed concluded:

All the circumstances of President Kennedy's tragic death allow one to assume that this murder was planned and carried out by the ultrarightwing, fascist, and racist circles, by those who carried out by those who cannot stomach any step aimed at the easing of international tensions, and the improvement of Soviet-American relations.(29)

(31) On the same day, the New York Times stated in an editorial:

The full story of the assassination and its stunning sequel must be placed before the American people and the world in a responsible way by a responsible source of the U.S. Government *** The killing of the accused assassin does not close the books on the case. In fact, it raises questions which must be answered if we are ever to fathom the depths of the President's terrible death and its aftermath. An objective Federal commission, if necessary, with Members of Congress included, must be appraised of all and tell us all. Much as we would like to obliterate from memory the most disgraceful weekend in our history, a clear explanation must be forthcoming. Not in a spirit of vengeance, not to cover up, but for the sake of information and justice to restore respect for law.(30)

(32) An editorial in the Washington Post stated:

President Lyndon Johnson has widely recognized that energetic steps must be taken to prevent a repetition of the dreadful era of rumor and gossip that followed the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. A century has hardly sufficed to quiet the doubts that arose in the wake of that tragedy.(31)

(33) On November 27, 1963, the New York Times reported a Tass dispatch that severly criticized the Dallas police. On the same day the Washington Post reported that Castro had accused American reactionaries of plotting the assassination to implicate Cuba. The Times also reported that the general feeling in India was that Oswald had been a "tool" and silenced



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by "enemies of peace." (32) Throughout the world, identical sentiments were being voiced, probably impressing Johnson with the fact that something had to be done.
(34) The Testimony of several staff members of the Warren Commission supported the conclusion that the Warren Commission had multiple purposes. Staff members testified that the purpose of the Warren Commission was to ascertain the facts of the assassination and to submit a report to the American people.(33) The staff was however, also aware of Chief Justice Warren's fellings. Staff counsel David Slawson stated:

His [Warren's] idea was that the principal function of the Warren Commission was to allay doubts if possible. You know, possible in the sense of being honest.(34)

Staff counsel Arlen Specter described his reaction to Warren's concern about rumors by stating:

*** that was a matter in our minds but we did not tailor our findings to accommodate any interest other than the truth.(35)

Staff consel Norman Redlich believed that the objective of allaying public fears was "a byproduct of the principal objective which was to discover all the facts."(36)
(35) While their statements reflected that staff members were concerned with getting at the truth, there was an additional motive for finding the truth. Staff consel Bert Griffin stated:

I think that it is fair to say, and certainly reflects my feeling, and it was certainly the feeling that I had of all my collegues that we were determined, if we could find something that showed that there had been sommething sinister beyond what appeared to have gone on.*** (37)

Slawson stated:

I think it is hard to remember 13 years ago what the timing of all these things was but among the staff members themselves, like when I talked to Jem Liebeler and Dave Belin and Bert Griffin particularly we would sometimes speculate at to what would happen if we got firm evidence that pointed to some very high official. It sounds perhaps silly in retrospect to say it but there was even rumors at the time, of course, that President Johnson was involved. Of course, that would present a kind of frightening prospect, because if the President or anyone that high up was indeed involved, they clearly were not going to allow someone like us to bring out the truth if they could stop us. The gist of it was that no one questioned the fact that we would still have to bring it out and would do our best to bring out just whatever the truth was. The only question in our mind was if we came upon such evidence that was at all credible how would we be able to protect it an bring it to the proper authorities? (38)



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(36) Although the staff members' promary concern was the truth, the memers of the Warren Commission, and not the members of its staff, were the final decisionmakers with regard to what exactly went into the report. There was some testimony that indicated Earl Warren's concern about rumors did affect the writing of the report. When asked why some statements were made that were more definitive than the evidence, Slawson stated:

I think because Earl Warren adamant almost that the Commission would make up its mind on what it thought was the truth and then they would state it as much without qualification as they could. He wanted to lay at rest, doubts. He made no secret of this on the staff. It was consistent with his philosophy as a judge.(39)

Slawson also stated:

I suppose he did not think that an official document like this ought to read at all, tentatively, it should not be a source of public speculation if he could possibly avoid it. (40)

(37) Staff counsel Wesley J. Liebeler, when asked about some of his critical memoranda that he wrote regarding the galley proof of the final report, stated:

I think also part of the problem was, as I said before, a tendency, at least in the galleys of chapter IV, to try and downplay or not give equal emphasis to contrary evidence and just simply admit and state openly that there is a conflict in the testimony and the evidence the Commission could conclude whatever the Commission could conclude. (41)

Liebeler also stated:

Once you conclude on the basis of evidence we had that Oswald was the assassin, for example, taking that issue first, then obviously it is in the interest of the Commission, and I presume everyone else, to express that conclusion in a straightforward and convincing way.***(42)

(38) Former President Ford stated that there were in fact differences between the proposed language of the report's conclusions as drafted by the staff and what the Commission finally approved. Ford recalled that one such difference pertained to the wording of the Commission's conclusion about possible conspiracy:

There was a recommendation, as I recall, from the staff that could be summarized this way. No. 1, Lee Harvey Oswald was the assassin.
No.2, the Commission has found no evidence of a conspiracy, foreign or domestic.
The Commission, after looking at this suggested language from the staff decided unanimously that the wording should be much like this, and I am not quoting precisely from the Commission staff, but I am quoting the substance:
No. 1, that Lee Harvey Oswald was the assassin. No. 2, the Commission has found no evidence of a conspiracy, foreign or domestic.



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The second point is quite different from the language which was recommended by the staff. I think the Commission was right to make that revision and I stand by it today.(43)

(39) In his appearance before the committee, former Commission member John J. McCloy stated that he had come to hold a different belief regarding the possibilty of a conspiracy than he had at the time of the Commission's probe in 1964. He stated that he had come to believe there was in fact some evidence outweighed the Commission's conclusion. McCloy said:

Insofar as the conspiracy issue is concerned, there hs been so much talk about that. I don't think I need to dwell on it any longer. I no longer feel we had no credible evidence or reliable evidence in regard to a conspiracy, but I rather think the weight of evidence was against the existence of a conspiracy (44)

(40) The late Senator Richard B. Russell, the senior member of the Warren Commission selected from the Congress, voiced much stronger feelings regarding the possibility of conspiracy before his death in early 1971. In a television interview reported by the Washington Post January 19, 1970, he stated that he had come to believe that there had in fact been a conspiracy behind the President's murder. With respect to Lee Harvey Oswald, Senator Russell stated, "I think someone else worked with him." He also stated that there were "too many things" regarding such areas as Oswald's trip to Mexico City, as well as his associations, that "caused me to doubt that he planned it all by himself." Russel believed the Warren Commission had been wrong in concluding that Oswald acted alone.
(41) J. Lee Rankin, the Commission's general counsel, recalled that toward the end of the Commission's investigation, he encountered serious difficulty in the process of coordinating the staff's writing of the report:

The one factor that I did not examine with regard to the staff as much as I would from my having had this experience was their ability to write and most of them had demonstrated a considerable ability to write and most of them had demonstrated a considerable ability to write in Law Review or other legal materials by their record but my experience taught me that some people are fluent in writing and others while they are skilled at it have great difficulty in getting started and finishing and getting the job completed. I don't know just how I would have tried to have anticapated that problem and worked it out but it became a serious difficulty for me in my work as general counsel. Looking back on it I would have much preferred that I had not only all the skills that I did in the staff but the additional one that as soon as we had completed the investigation they would go right to work and write a fine piece in which they described their activities and the results.(45)

(42) Although the Executive order authorized the Warren Commission to conduct further investigations if the Commission found it desirable,






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Chief Justice Warren did not believe further investigation beyond what the investigative agencies had provided would be needed. He stated at the first execution session of the Warren Commission:

Now I think our job here is essentially one for the evaluation of evidence as distinguished from being one of gathering evidence, and I believe at the outset at least we can start with the premise that we can rely upon the reports of the various agencies that have been engaged in investigation of the matter, the FBI, the Secret Service, and others that I may know about at the present time.(46)

In fact, the Warren Commission did rely extensivly on the investigative agencies rather than pursuing an independent investigation. (The effects of this reliance is discussed in another section of this report.)
(43) The evidence indecated, therefore, that the Warren Commission not only had as its purposes those stated in the Executive order but it also had additional purposes that may have affected the conduct of the investigation and the final conclusions. The desire to establish Oswald's guilt and thus to quash rumors of a conspiracy may have had additional effects on the functioning and conclusions of the Warren Commission.

ORGANIZATION OF THE WARREN COMMISSION

(44) The Warren Commission investigation was divided into six areas, with two attorneys assigned to each. Area I was "Basic Facts of the Assassination"; Francis Adams and Arlen Specter were the two lawyers were Joseph Ball and David Belin. Area III was "Lee Harvey Oswald's Background" to be handled by Albert Jenner and Wesley J. Liebeler Area IV, "Possible Conspiratorial Relationships" was given to William Coleman and W. David Slawson. Area V was "Oswald's Death," and Leon Hubert and Burt Griffin were assigned to it. Area VI was "Presidential Protectin." Samuel Stern was assigned was assigned to this area. The General Counsel of the Commission, Lee J. Rankin, was to assist Stern. Norman Redlich worked on special projects. He drafted the procedural rules for the Commission, prepared for the Marina Oswald testimony, and worked with Ball, Belin and Specter on the investigation of the assassination itself. He also attended as many Commission hearings as possible and reviewed and edited the drafts of the report. Howard Willens assisted Rankin in organizing the work, staffing the Commission, reviewing the materials received from the investigative agencies, and requesting further information where necessary.
(45) The organization of the Warren Commission staff is important because it, in fact, determined the focus of the investigation. Four of the areas (I, II, III, and IV) were concerned primarily with Oswald--his activities on November 22, 1963, and his background. Only one area, representing one-sixth of the available personnel, was devoted to the investigation of Ruby's role. This area was also framed in terms








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of Oswald--it was called "Lee Harvey Oswald's Death." No area specifically focused on the investigation of pro- or anti-Castro Cuban involvement, organized crime participation, or even the investigative agencies' role in the assassination. The area of domestic conspiracy was considered as part of Area III, "Lee Harvey Oswald's Background," which again focused the issue of conspiracy on Oswald.
(46) Former President Ford testified that he had been critical of Chairman Warren's selecting a general counsel without first consulting the other members of the Commission. Ford stated that he beieved Warren was attempting to place too much control over the Commission in his own hands:

After my appointment to the Commission, and following several of the Commission's organizational meetings, I was disturbed that the chairman, in selecting a general counsel for the staff, appeared to be moving in the direction of a one-man commission. My views were shared by several other members of the Commission.
The problem was resolved by an agreement that all top staff appointments would be approved by the Commission as a whole.(47)

(47) In his testimony, Howard Willens explained the rationale for the organization of the staff:

I believe the rationale is readily stated. In order to begin and undertake a project of this dimension, there has to be some arbitrary allocation of responsibilities. There is no way to do it that eliminates overlap or possible confusion but this was an effort to try to organize the work in such a way that assignments would be reasonable clear, overlaps could be readily identified, and coordination would would be accomplished among the various members of the staff.(48)

(48) The staff members who testified before the committee generally believed the organization was effective. Specter stated, "Yes, I think the categories were adequate to finding the truth."(49) Redlich said, "The procedures and the organization were an important part in introducing the end result which I thought was professional and thorough investigation of the assassination."(50) Only Griffin expressed dissatisfaction with the organizational structure:

GRIFFIN. As far as I was concerned, I did not feel that it operated in a way I felt comfortable.
STAFF COUNSEL. How would you have done it differently?
GRIFFEN. Let me first of all preface it Hubert and I began to feel after a couple of months that perphaps there was not a great deal of interest in what we were doing, that they looked upon the Ruby activity, based upon information that they saw as being largely peripheral to the questions that they were concerned with. We did have a disagreement, pretty clear disagreement, on how to go about conducting the investigation and I think that again was another reason why perhaps I would say the operation was not as effective as I would have liked to have seen it (51)





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(49) The pay records of the Warren Commission staff indicate that several of the senior attorneys did not spend much time working on the investigation, and the testimony of staff members supported this fact. Arlen Specter stated:

I would prefer not to ascribe reasons but simply to say some of the senior counsel did not participate as extensively as some of the junior counsel. (52)

He added:

It is more accurate to say I ended up as the only counsel in my area.(53)

(50) When asked if the senior cousels devoted much time to the investigation, Slawson stated:

A few did not. The majority of them did--and I think contributed very valuably. They did not, with a couple of exceptions, spend as much time as the younger men did, especially as the investigation wore on. Some of them, I understand, were hired with the promise that turned out not to be the case.(54)

(51) Howard Willens stated, when asked about the accuracy of the chart describing the pay records:

I think in the roughest terms this gives a fair picture of the days spent during the period by members of the staff. I think that with reference to my earlier comment you should note that several of the senior counsel felt that their primary responsibility was to work in the investigative stages of the Commission's work.(55)

(52) The failure of the senior attorneys to participate fully is attributed to the impression they had that their role on the Commission did not require their working full time and that their participation would only be needed for 3 to 6 months. Griffen supplied another reason for at least one senior cousel's leaving early:

A third reason was, however, that Hubert was disenchanted with some of the things that were going on in that he didn't feel he was getting the kind of support that he wanted to get, and he expressed to me a certain amount of demoralization over what he felt was unresponsiveness that existed between himself and particulary Mr. Rankin.(56)

(53) Some of the staff members testified that the staff were qualified people and that there were a sufficient number of lawyers to conduct the investigation. The testimony also indicates, however, that there was some dissatisfaction and that the failure to work full time on the part of the senior counsels probably affected the investigation. When Redlich was asked if the staff, not participating full time affected the work, he stated:

Any time someone is not able to spend full time it had that effect. It means that that work which might have been done during the course of that full-time work gets picked up by



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others *** I don't think on balance any of that had a permanent harmful effect because I believe that the entire staff taken as a whole, managed to conduct what I consider to be a thorough inquiry. Obviously, as anyone who has conducted an investigation knows, you always would like to have everyone there all the time. That was not possible during a substanntial portion of the Warren investigation.(57)

(54) Slawson responded to the same question:

As I said before, I felt overworked and I think many of the staff members felt the same way. I think the main problem was one of the great underestimation of the size of the task at the time. As I said, we were told, we were telephoned and asked to come in; it would be 3 to 6 months. It is my recollection they said it would be only 3 to 6 months on the outside and of course we ended up taking about 8. There was a reluctance, once we were there, to admit--again this is a matter of once you have made a decision you don't like to admit you were wrong--but people did not like to admit that we probably needed more help and more time.(58)

(55) The pay records indicated that from the diddle of January to the end of September, Francis Adams, a Commission counsel, worked a total of 16 8-hour days and 5 additional hours. Adams held one of the single most important positions with the Commission, serving as senior attorney in the area of basic facts of the assassination. Arlen Specter, when asked if this affected his performance, stated:

I don't think it did although it would have been helpful if my senior counsel, Francis Adams, had an oppurtunity to participate more extensively.(59)

(56) J. Lee Rankin told the committee:

There is one member that you can see that did not attend hardly at all and I certainly should have gotten rid of him really.*** That was Francis Adams and he really didn't contribute anything.(60)

(57) Lieber also indicated he did not work closely with the senior attorney in his area, Albert Jenner. He stated:

My recollection is that during the early part of the Commission's work that Mr. Jenner was concerned, I believe he was interested in becoming president of the American Bar Association and I believe he spent some time on that issue.(61)

(58) While describing the organization of the work in his area, Liebeler stated:

It was difficult for Mr. Jenner and me to work out a general relationship on that question at that time. Since I was a so-called junior staff member at that time, Mr. Jenner was not, I was quite unsure when I started as to how to handle the problem. I finally just decided to do my own thing and basically went ahead and did most of that original work, myself. Mr. Jenner and I never actually worked very closely together. He worked on projects and I worked on projects.(62)



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INDEPENDENT INVESTIGATORS

(59) As stated earlier, the Warren Commission staff was primarily composed of attorneys, with a few assistants drawn from other agencies of the Government. It had no independent investigators, but relied primarily upon Government agencies to supply leads and perform a large majority of the field investigation.
(60) The Commission's former general counsel, J. Lee Rankin, told the committee that he believed it would have been difficult to assemble an independent investigative staff. Rankin recalled:

Well, I gave some thought to that and I finally conluded that I would lose more than I would gain, that the whole intelligence community in the Government would feel that the Commission was indicating a lack of confidence in them and that from then on I would not have any cooperation from them; they would universally be against the Commission and try to trip us up.(63)

(61) J. Lee Rankin told the committee that the decision not ot have the Commission employ its own investigators:

* * * was a decision of the Commission, although I recommended that kind of a procedure because I described various possibilities of getting outside investigators and that it might take a long period of time to accumulate them, find out what their expertise was, and whether they could qualify to handle sensitive information in the Government, and it might be a very long time before we could even get a staff going that could work on the matter, let alone have any progress on it.(64)

(62) Slawson stated:

We had special people assigned from CIA, FBI, and Secret Service who were with us more or less full time, especially the Secret Service who were investigators.(65)

(63) There was one indication that the Warren Commission used some independent experts for the examination of the physical evidence. Slawson stated:

I think that some of the areas of investigation such as that headed by Dave Belin, which was the immediate circumstances of the shooting in Dallas, employed private investigators at various points to cross-check and give an independent evaluation.(66)

(64) Redlich stated:

My recollection is that in ballistics I believe we used someone from the government of Illinois, either handwriting or fingerprinting. I am not sure it was not someone from the New York City Police Department.(67)

(65) There was also some indication that the staff would have preferred to have had independent investigators. Spector said:

If [in] organizational structure you include the personnel available, I think that everyone would have much preferred to


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have had a totally independent investigative arm to carry out the investigative functions of the Commission, but I believe the Commission concluded early on, and I was not privy to any such position from my position as assistant counsel, that it would be impractical to organize an entire investigative staff from the start so that use was made of existing Federal investigative facilities * * * there would be an observation [among the staff] from time to time how nice it would be if we had a totally independent staff.(68)

(66) When asked if any consideration was given to hiring independent investigators, Redlich replied:

I have no clear recollection of that. Certainly during the time of the investigation from time to time staff members talked to Mr. Rankin about what it might have been like if we had had a completely independent staff. I think that we reached the conclusion then, with which I still agree, that while using the existing investigatory arms of the United States had certain disadvantages, on balance it was still the right decision to make. There were certain tradeoffs *** I don't think there was any happy, completely happy solution to that dilemma.(69)

(67) John McCloy stated that he did not believe the Commission suffered from an insufficient investigative capacity:

* * * it is not true we didn't have our own investigative possibilities. There was a very distinguished group of litigating lawyers [on staff] that we called on *** We had a very impressive list and they did great work. So it is not true we relied entirely on the agencies of the Goverment.(70)

(68) Former President Ford told the committee that he believed the Commission's decision not to employ an investagative staff was correct:

It is my best judgment that the procedure and the policy the Warren Commission followed was the correct one and I would advocate any subsequent Commission to follow the same.
For the Warren Commission to have gathered together an experienced [investigative] staff, to get them qualified to handle classified information, to establish the organization that would be necessary for a sizable number of investigators, would have been time-consuming and in my opinion would not have answered what we were mandated to do.
It is my, it is my strong feelings that what we did was the right way. We were not captives of, but we utilized the information from the in-house agencies of the Federal Government * * *.(71)

(69) Ford also told the committee:

The FBI, and I use that as an example, undertook a very extensive investigation. I don't recall how many agents but they had a massive operation to investigate everything. The Commission with this group of 14 lawyers and some additional


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staff people, then drew upon all of this information which was available, and we, if my memory serves me accurately, insisted that the FBI give us everything they had. Now that is a comprehensive order from the Commission to the Director and to the FBI. I assume, and I think the Commission assumed, that athat order was so broad that if they had anything if they had anything it was their obligation to submit it. Now if they didn't, that is a failure on the part of the agencies, not on the part of the Commission. (72)

(70) In his testimony, Burt Griffin supplied anther explanation for the Commission's decision to rely upon the investigative agencies:

* * * there was a concern that this investigation not be conducted in such a way as to destroy any of the investigative agencies that then existed in the Government. There was a genuine fear expressed that this could be done. Second, it was important to keep the confidence of the existing investigative agencies, and that if we had a staff that was conducting its own investigation, that it would generate a paranoia in the FBI and the other investigative agencies which would not only perhaps be politically disadvantageous, it would be bad for the country because it might not be justified but it might also be counterproductive. I think there was a fear that we might be undermining *** My impression is that there was genuine discussion of this at a higher level than mine.(73)

COMMUNICATION AMONG THE STAFF

(71) The testimony of the staff members indicated that there generally was no problem of communication among the areas. Specter stated that the information was "funneled" by Rankin and he had no reason to believe the process was unsuccessful. (74) Willens described the procedures for facilitating the exchange of information:

One way of dealing with the separate areas within which the lawyers were dealing was to make certain that all the materials that came in the office were reviewed in one central place and that any material that bore even remotely or potentially on an area. It was frequently the case that materials in our possession were sent to three or four areas so that each of the groups of lawyers could look at the same material from that group's perspective and decide whether it had any relevance in the part of the investigation for which those lawyers were reponsible. I continued this function throughout the Commission and always erred on the side of multiple duplication so as to make certain that the members of the staff in a particular area did get the papers which I thought they needed. Another way of coordinating among the staff was by the circulation of summary memoranda, which happened on a regular basis throughout the Commission's work * * * The third way of coordinating among the staff was perhaps more informal and related primarily to the ease with which the members



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of the staff could get together to discuss a problem in which more than one area had particular interest.(75)

(72) Griffin also commented the communication between the staff members:

We had very few staff meetings of a formal nature. We did have two or three, maybe four or five. The bulk of the communication was on a person-to-person ad hoc basis. There were some memos, I believe, passed back and forth. (76)

He expressed some dissatisfaction with the communication he and Hubert had with Rankin:

I suppose that it would not be fair to say that we did not have direct access to Rankin. I cannot say at any point when we tried to see Rankin that we couldn't see him. I don't recall any situation where we were formally required to go through someone else to get there. There was no doorkeeper in a certain sense. All of those communications that were in writing that went to Rankin went through Howard Willens, but as a practical matter, and I am not sure entirely what the reasons are, Hubert and I did not have a lot of communication with Rankin. We really communicated with him personally infrequently. We had certain amount of communication at the beginning. I do remember at the outset Hubert and I had a meeting with Rankin in which we discussed the work of the mission that we had, but I would say that by the first of April we had relatively little communication with Rankin. That is, we might not speak to Rankin maybe more that once every 2 weeks. Mr. Rankin is a formal person. Hubert and I did not feel comfortable in our relationship with him. I point this out because I think our relationship with Rankin was different than some of the other staff members. I think a number of them would genuinely say, and I would believe from what I saw, that they certainly had much better communication than we did. Whether they would regard it as satisfactory I don't know.(77)

(73) The staff also indicated that they would communicate informally in the evenings. Specter stated:

There was a very informal atmosphere on the staff so that there was constant contact among all the lawyers both during the working day and those of us who were around the evenings. We would customarily have dinner together, the virtual sole topic of conversation was what each of us was doing. So there was a very extensive exchange albeit principally informal among members of the staff as to what each was doing. (78)

INTERACTION BETWEEN THE WARREN COMMISSION AND THE STAFF

(74) In his testimony, Howard Willens stated that the majority of the communication between the staffmembers and the Warren Commission members was through Rankin. Direct contact with members of the Warren Commission was minimal:


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Apart from those occasional meetings with the Chief Justice most of the staff's dealings with the members of the Commission occurred on a sporadic and limited basis.(79)

(75) Norman Redlich stated:

However, in terms of informal relationship between the staff and the Commission in the sense of the staff being present at the Commission meetings in a formal way, that did not exist. I was not present at any meeting of the commission. I was not privy to any formal meetings of the commission. Mr Rankin was the official line of communication between the Commission and the staff.(80)

(76) Burt Griffin stated:

I had almost a total lack on contact with the Commission members. I have some thoughts in retrospect now about some of the perceptions, total conjecture but based on other things that have happened, but at the time I did feel senator Russell was genuinely concerned about conducting the investigation. (81)

(77) Redlich also indicated that some of the staff were not satisfied with their relationship with the members of the Warren Commission:

I believe that perhaps some members of the staff would have preferred to have had a more direct ongoing formal relationship with the Commission. (82)

(78) Arlen Specter described the relationship with the members of the Warren Commission as "Cordial, somewhat limited." (83)
(79) There is at least one exception to this formal relationship between staff members and the Commission. W. David Slawson indicated he often met with Allen Dulles:

Allen Dulles and I became fairly close I think. He had aged quite a bit by the time he was on the Warren Commission and was also sick. I have forgotten, he had some kind of disease that made one of his legs and foot very painful. So he was not effective sometimes but when he was he was very smart and I liked him very much. Because of my particular assignment of course he spent a lot of time with me. We talked informally quite a bit. (84)

(80) In spite of this lack of contact between the staff and the Commission members, some of the staff members believed that the Commissioners were reasonably well informed and the interaction was satisfactory. Arlen Specter thought the Commissioner were generally well informed about the facts of the case. (85) When asked if the Commissioners were informed, Redlich responded:

I think some of them were tremendously well informed. the Chief Justice was extremely well informed. I believe that former President Ford was extremely well informed. Mr. Dulles attended a great many hearings. I believe that on the broad areas of the Commission's inquiry the Commission was informed. They were obviously not as informed of some


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of the specific enormous factual data in connection with the assassination as was the staff. I have never known a staff that thought that group that it worked for was as well informed as the staff was, and the Warren Commission was no exception. (86)

(81) Wesley Liebeler, discussing a statement he was alleged to have made regarding the Warren commission, stated:

What I had intended to convey to Mr. Epstein (the author of a book on the Commission) was the idea that in terms of developing the investigation, the direction in particular of the investigation, and in drafting the report, the Commissioners themselves were not directly involved, and they were not. (87)

(82) Despite Liebeler's statement that the commissioners were not involved in writing the report, the drafts of the report wee in fact circulated among the Commission members for their review, suggestions and approval. The Commissioners made comments and criticisms at this point and the drafts wee rewritten to conform with their desires. (88)
(83) The Warren Commission had no formal sessions from June 23, 1964 to September 18, 1964. This was the period during which the final report was written. Had the commissioners participated to a greater extent during the investigative stages and had they had more interaction with the staff members, there might have been additional discussion and comments about the content of the report might have been substantially different. Additional issues might have arisen. For example, in his testimony, Specter stated:

* * * the Commission made a decision as to what would be done which was not always in accordance with my own personal view as to what should be done, for example, the review of the X-rays and photographs of the assassination of President Kennedy. I thought that they should have been observed by the Commission and by me among others perhaps having responsibility for that area and I said so at the time. (89)

(84) John McCloy told the committee that he had also voiced objections over Chief Justice Warren's decision not to have the commission view and evaluate these materials during the investigation:

I think we were a little lax in the Commission in connection with the use of those X-rays. I was rather critical of Justice Warren at that time. I thought he was a little too sensitive of the sensibilities of the family. He didn't want to have put into the record some of the photographs and some of the X-rays there. (90)

(85) During the final stages of the Warren Commission, the Commissioners were almost evenly divided on the question of whether the single-bullet theory was valid. To resolve this conflict, the Commissioners had the report worded in such a way that was no conclusive answer. The report stated:




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Although it is not necessary to any essential findings of the Commission to determine just which shot hit Governor Connally, there is very persuasive evidence from the experts to indicate that the same bullet which pierced the President's throat also caused Governor Connally's wounds. However, Governor Connally's testimony and certain other factors have given rise to some difference of opinion as to this probability but there is no question in the mind of any member of the Commission that all the shots which caused the President's and Governer Connally's wound were fired from the sixth-floor window of the Texas School Book Depository. (91)

(86) Of the controversy over the single-bullet theory, John Sherman Cooper recalled:

We did have disagreements at times in the Commission and, I as I recall, I think the chief debate grew out of the fact or the question as to whether there were two shots or three shots or whether the same shot that entered President Kennedy's neck penetrated the body of Governor Connally.
I must say, to be very honest about it, that I held in my mind during the life of the Commission that there had been three shots and that a separate shot struck Governer Connally. (92)

(87) Had the Commissioners been close to the investigation and more aware of the questions and issues regarding the ballistics evidence, they might have agreed to examine the photographs and X-rays. Instead, probably because of the time problem, the issue was resolved by the use of agreeable adjectives, rather than by further investigation.

PRESSURES

(88) The Warren Commission was created on November 29, 1963. By the end of January 1964, the staff of the Warren Commission had been completely assembled. The hearings began on February 3, 1964, and were completed on June 17, 1964. The summer of 1964 was spent writing and editing the report. On September 24, 1964, the Warren report was submitted to President Johnson. The Warren Commission, therefore, lasted a total of 10 months, with approximately 3 to 4 months spent on the investigation itself and the remaining months, as previously stated, on writing the report and organizing the staff.
(89) Time and political pressures were much in evidence during the course of the Warren Commission and may have affected the work of the Commission. While some staff members testified that there was no time pressure others indicated that time was a concern and was inextricably combined with political pressures.
(90) There definitely was a desire to be prompt and the complete the investigation as soon as possible. Specter stated:

* * * The attitude with respect to time perhaps should be viewed in November of 1977 as being somewhat different from 1964 to the extent that the Commission was interested in a prompt conclusion of its work. It did not seek to sacrifice completeness for promptness. When the Commission started its job there was no conclusion date picked. My recollection



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is that it was discussed in terms of perhaps as little as 3 months, perhaps as much as 6 months. As we moved along in the investigation there were comments on attitudes that we should be moving along, we should get the investigation concluded, so that the scope of what we sought to do and the time in which we sought to do it had as its backdrop an obvious attitude by the Commission that it wanted to conclude the investigation at the earliest possible date.(93)

(91) Specter also stated:

It is hard to specify the people or Commissioners who were pushing for a prompt conclusion, but that was an unmistakable aspect of the atmosphere of the Commission's work.(94)

(92) When asked if there was enough time, Willens responded:

I think the time was sufficient to do the work of the Warren Commission. I cannot deny that the work could have gone on for another month or two or six. (95)

(93) In spite of the desire for promptness, Specter and Redlich also believed there was still enough time to complete their work. (96) At one point in his testimony, Slawson stated this:

* * * although at times I was afraid there wouldn't be. There was time pressure on all of us. I think that all members of the staff were bothered and somewhat resented the fact that we were pushed to work at such a rapid pace, but we resisted any attempts to make us finish before we felt we were ready to be finished. When the report came out neither I, and I don't think anybody else, felt that there was anything significant that we had not been able to do in the time.*** But the amount of paper that we had to go through to do our job well was tremendous *** I had so many documents to get through and try to understand and try to put together. They continued pouring in from the ongoing investigation after that. There weren't that many of us. So we had more than enough to do, I would say. (97)

(94) Later, when asked about some of the problems with the footnotes of the report. Slawson indicated one effect that time pressure had on the work of the Commission:

I took, and I think everyone else did, as much care as we could. But the time pressure was severe. With the mass of material that we had I am sure that errors of numbering, and perhaps what footnote A should have had, footnote B did, and vice versa, occurred. I don't think that the kind of crosschecking that normally goes into a good professional publication, for example, ever went into this (98)

(95) Griffin also indicated some concern about the amount of work that had to be done within the short period of time:

*** But Hubert and I, we had a completely, we had a scope of investigation that was as great as all the other people put together, because we were investigating a different



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murder. We had two people who were investigating a conspiracy from one man's point of view and we had a security question, how did he get into the basement, and so forth. (99)

(96) In his testimony before the committee, former general counsel J. Lee Rankin gave his perception of the time factor:

Well, we had pressures from the beginning of the time element because the country was anxious to know what had happened and whether there was any conspiracy involved. I was assured by the Chief Justice that it would only take me 2 or 3 months at the outside in this job and that is all the time I would be away from my law practice, and properly, but also to get back to my other work and, on the other hand, the first meeting we had with the staff, I told them that our only client was the truth and that was what we must search for and try to reveal, and I think we adhered to that, that we never departed from that standard, any of the Commission or myself or the staff. (100)

(97) Rankin recalled further:

I didn't think there was any pressure. There was an expression by some members of the Coommission that it would be better if the problem of the assassination and whether any conspiracy was involved and what had happened, who the assassin was, as the Commission found, all of those questions were not injected into the various political conventions, but there was no indication at any time that we should try to get it out for any such purpose and not adequately make a report or investigate whatever sources we were able to find.(101)

(98) In an interview with the committee, John McCloy stated that while he believed the Commission had been falsely accused of a "rush to judgment" in its investigation, he did in fact believe there had been "a rush to print." In his public appearance before the committee, McCloy stated:

We had no rush to judgment. We came to a judgment. There were some questions of style in regard to the preparation of the report that I would like to have had * * * another crack at to make it a little more clear * * *
*** I had a feeling at the end we were rushing a little bit the last few days to get to print rather than to arrive at any conclusions. We had already arrived at the conclusions. (102)

(99) Chief Justice Warren stated in his oral history that there was no deadline, as illustrated in the following exchange:

Q. You never did feel a deadline pressure so that you hurried your work?
A. No, sir, we did not.
Q. You were just going to get through whenever you finished.
A. Absolutely not [sic], there was no deadline of any kind for us, no deadline of any kind.(103)



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(100) When asked if the fact that it was an election year affected the Warren Commission, Warren replied:

WARREN. This wasn't an election year that we did this, was it? This was in 1963.
Q. No, it was November 30, after Kennedy was shot---
WARREN. Of 1962?
Q. Of 1963. And then Johnson had to run in 1964.
WARREN. My gosh, I guess that's right.
Q. It must not have been much of a factor.
WARREN. No, no, really it was no factor. It was no factor at all, no factor at all.(104)

(101) Chief Justice Warren also stated:

The White House never gave us an instruction, never, never even looked at out work until I took it up to the President. Never commented---
Q. The President never made suggestions?
WARREN. Never once in any way, shape, or form. In fact we didn't talk to him about it.(105)

(102) The staff members of the Warren Commission did not perceive the question of time exactly in the same way as Chief Justice Warren did. Slawson stated:

His [Warren's] main motivation in wanting the work done, and which he repeated several times to different members of the staff, was that he wanted the truth known and stated to the public before the Presidential election of 1964 because he didn't want the assassination in any way to affect the elections. I am not sure at all how he thought it would, but he didn't want any possibility of it. That was his principal reason for having it finished. (106)

(103) Griffin stated that initially the report was to be completed by the Democratic National Convention, which was in the summer of 1964:

It was also indicated at the outset that the hope was that the report would be completed prior to the Democratic National Convention, that essentially had been indicated by the White House, that it was the President's feeling.(107)

(104) Later in his testimony, Griffen stated:

Let me say it was never communicated to us that it was the Commission that wanted to curtail things. There were two communications that were made as to where this pressure was coming from. The most prominent one was the White House, that there was a general, unspecified reference to the fact that the White House wanted this report out before the convention. That was said to us many, many times. I think the convention was in June.(108)

Griffen also indicated another deadline developed during the course of the Warren Commission:

Second, just by way of human interest, color, perhaps another date began to be set because the Chief Justice had a


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trip scheduled to go to Europe and the hope was that it could be bompleted before he went on his trip to Europe.(109)

(105) Willens explained the concern about the election and the convention in the following way:

In part the concern was media concern. There were numerous conversations with media representatives who were apprehensive about being scooped by the report being published at a time when their facilities were being allocated to covering some other major political event. That obviously was not a decisive concern but it was something that was brought to the attention of the Commission and various other officials as the Commission's report seemed to be working toward its conclusion. The concern about the election may be difficult to understand now. At the time there were ugly rumors and apprehensions regarding the work of the Commission and the nature of the conspiracy that may have occured to have caused the assassination of President Kennedy. It was feared, perhaps without justification, that the report might become a campaign issue if it had not been published in advance of the election***. the other concern was that if it were postponed until after the election it would be assumed it had been repressed so as to avoid disclosures that might affect the candidacy of the President.(110)

(106) In this instance, it was clear that the concern for quashing rumors and speculation, discussed earlier in this report, affected the timing of the Warren Commission's work. It was a political concern in that President Johnson did not want the issues raised by the assassination to be raised at election time. The rumors, therefore, had to be quashed, and they had to be quashed prior to the election.
(107) In addition to the concern of completing the report either prior to the election or the convention, there were other political concerns that arose during the course of the Warren Commission. Griffin expressed some of these concerns of the Warren Commission.

I felt then, and I still feel, despite a lot of misgivings that I had, that the purpose was genuine purpose, to find the truth behind the assassination. I do think, however, that there were major political considerations that dictated how this work was conducted. The time frame that was set initially for the work was a political consideration. This investigation was carried on during a period when everyone was vividly aware of the results of the 1950's when Senator McCarthy held a prominent position. There was a great deal of concern that we not conduct an investigation that would have overtones of what people called McCarthyism. So that a lot of decisions that were made in terms of how we proceeded I think were made against that kind of background. (111)

(108) Another concern, which was discussed earlier in this report, was that of convincing the public that Oswald was the lone assassin. When asked if they were aware of the December 9, 1963, Katzenbach memorandum to the members of the Warren Commission requesting a press release stating that Oswald was the assassin, Redlich, Specter, and



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Griffin all replied they had never heard of it. (112) When asked if they were aware of Hoover's November 24, 1963, phone call to the White House in which Hoover discussed "convincing the public that Oswald was the real assassin," Leibeler and Slawson stated they were not aware of that conversation.(113) Only Howard Willens indicated that he was aware of these sentiments immediately after the assassination.(114) Four members of the staff who testified stated there was no preconceived belief among the staff members that Lee Harvey Oswald was the assassin or that the goal of the Warren Commission was to convince the public that Lee Harvey Oswald was the assassin. (115) Although Slawson testified that "Everybody was of course a possible suspect,"(116) he also stated that the concern to convince the public that Lee Harvey Oswald was the assassin may have played a role in his area of investigation, particularly with some of the obstacles he encountered dealing with foreign governments.(117)
(109) Cooper stated that he did not believe that external pressures or outside considerations played any part in the Commission's work, recalling:

We were not pressured in any way by any person or by any organization. We made our own decisions, as the President had asked us to do, and as we determined to do on the basis of what we thought was right and objective.(118)

(110) During an executive session meeting of the Commission on June 4, 1964, Gerald R. Ford had voiced strong concern over potential outside pressure that he believed may have been directed at the Commission. Nevertheless, at the time of his testimony, Ford said he did not believe that any such pressure had in fact affected the conclusion reached during the investigation:

I have no recollection of that particular June 4 meeting or any pressure that the Commission received for any definitive conclusion. As other members of the Commission, I think, will testify, we had a unanimous vote as to the fact that Lee Harvey Oswald committed the assassination and all other decisions of the Commission were also unanimous.
There was no pressure. We operated as a unit of seven members who fortunately all agreed. (119)

(111) Although it was clear that political concerns did exist, it was difficult to ascertain exactly how these pressures affected the Warren Commission. The pressure to maintain the respectability and legitimacy of the agencies, along with the pressure to complete the investigation prior to the election, probably interacted to cause the Warren Commission to rely almost entirely upon the investigative agencies. The political concern of completing the report prior to the election or the convention influenced the commission to define severely the time frame in which there job was to be completed. The time pressure may have caused the Warren Commission to brush over issues that were important, i.e., the Ruby investigation. Despite these possibilities, however, some staff members did not believe that the pressure affected their work.
(112) Redlich stated that his greatest regret was that the majority of the American public apparently believed that various pressures had







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in fact influenced the conclusions of the Warren Commission. (120) He indicated, however, that he believed there were other factors that have influenced the widespread nonacceptance by the public of the Commission's conclusions:

I think there are simply a great many people who cannot accept what I believe to be the simple truth, that one rather insignificant person was able to assassinate the President of the United States. I think there are others, who for reasons that there are less pure have consciously tried to deceive. I think that since there is a residue of public sentiment that finds it very hard to accept the conclusion, that becomes a further feeling, for those who have found it in their interest, to pursue the attacks on the Commission.
I do not mean to imply that all of the critics of the Commission have bad motives. I think that there is n this country, fortunately, a healthy skepticism about government.
I believe that that was certainly true during the Watergate period. The assassination is a complex fact, as you will see when you investigate it. It was not an easy thing to investigate. Jack Ruby and Lee Harvey Oswald were two people with most unusual backgrounds. They did a variety of things.
That they should meet in the basement of the Dallas Police station and one shoot the other is something that does strain the imagination.
I think it is very unfortunate that the Warren Commission has been subject to the kinds of attack that it has. We did what we felt was completely honest professional and thorough task.
I have done a lot of things in my public service in my life. I regard my service on the Warren Commission as an extremely important, perhaps the most important thing that I have done, because I believe I was instrumental in putting before the American people all of the facts about the assassination of President Kennedy.
That significant numbers of Americans don't believe it remains to me a source of great disappointment.(121)
Relationship Between the Warren Commission and the FBI and the CIA
Page 31
II. RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE WARREN COMMISSION AND THE FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION AND THE CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY

A. PERSPECTIVE OF THE WARREN COMMISSION

Attitude of the Commission members

(113) The initial attitude of the Warren Commission members toward the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) was one of trust and a willingness to rely on it. As the investigation progressed, however, the members expressed some dissatisfaction with and distrust of the Bureau. Nevertheless, nothing was ever done to redirect the investigation or improve the Commission's relationship with the Bureau.
(114) The Warren Commission initially avoided using the facilities of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), but eventually did so, though reluctantly. They did not ask them to do much beyond answer






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specific request for information. The members were generally satisfied with the performance of the CIA.
(115) There were 36 request for information from the Commission to the CIA on file at the National Archives. Of these, 10 dealt with publication of the Warren report, 7 with Lee Harvey Oswald's activities in the Soviet Union, 4 with Lee Harvey Oswald, and 2 with the Soviet Union. There was one request each for information on Jack Ruby and Cuba, the Oswald information allegation, the de Mohrenschildts, President protection, Yuri Nosenko, and the photograph shown to Mrs. Marguerite Oswald by FBI Special Agent Odum. Four of the requests were still classified.
(116) The manner in which the Warren Commission members perceived the investigative agencies and their relationship to those agencies is reflected in the transcripts of the executive sessions of the Commission.
(117) The Commission met for the first time on December 5, 1963. Chief Justice Earl Warren, who chaired the Commission, expressed his initial attitude toward the Commission's task and their relationship to the agencies:

Gentlemen, this is a very sad and solemn duty that we are undertaking, and I am sure that there is not one of us but what would rather be doing almost anything else that he can think of than to be on a commission of this kind. But it is a tremendously important one. *** Now, I think our job here is essentially one for the evaluation of evidence as distinguished from being one of gathering evidence, and I believe that at the outset at least we can rely upon the reports of the various agencies that have been engaged in investigation of the matter, the FBI, the Secret Service, and others that I may not know about at the present time.(122)

(118) Chief Justice Warren went on to say that he did not believe that the Commission needed independent investigators or the power of subpena.(123) He was overruled by the other Commission members on the question of obtaining subpena power.(124) Congress passed a joint resolution on December 13, 1963, granting the Commission that power.(125) The Commission never did hire its own staff of investigators.
(119) Even at this first meeting, some Commission members expressed concern about some actions by the FBI. There had been numerous stories leaked to the press attributed to FBI sources while the Commission was still awaiting the first FBI report. Senator Russell asked rhetorically:

How much of their findings does the FBI propose to release to the press before we present the findings of this Commission?(126)

(120) The Commission met again on December 6, 1963. At this meeting, the Commission members kept wondering what the FBI was doing and if the CIA knew anything about the assassination. Allen Dulles informed the Commission that he had been in touch







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with the CIA and dis tributed a pamphlet that the CIA had written on the reaction of the foreign press to the assassination.(127) Commissioner McCoy asked Warren if he had been in touch with the CIA, and the following exchange took place:

CHAIRMAN. No; I have not, for the simple reason that I have never been informed that the CIA had any knowledge about this.
Mr. McCLOY. They have.
CHAIRMAN. I'm sure they have, but I did not want to put the CIA into this thing unless they put themselves in.
Mr. McCLOY. Don't we have to ask them if we're on notice that they have?
CHAIRMAN. We have to do it with all of them. *** We have not done it with any of them yet because we have not been in that position *** I think we have to ask them.(128)

(121) The Commission received the FBI's report on the assassination on December 9, 1963. It met again on December 16,1963. At this meeting, the FBI was criticized for several things. The members were upset because there was nothing in the FBI report that had not already appeared in the press. (129) They were also upset because some parts of the report were "hard to decipher."(130) Representative Boggs thought the report left "a million questions."(131)
(122) It was at this meeting that the Commission members decided that they could not rely solely on the FBI report, but would have to do their own analysis of the raw data on which the report was based.(132) Chief Justice Warren admitted that he had been too optimistic at the first Commission meeting.(133) The members also considered that they may have been wrong in not hiring their own staff of investigators. General Counsel Rankin put it this way:

The Chief Justice and I finally came to the conclusion, after looking at this report, that we might have to come back to you and ask for some investigative help, too, examine special situations, because we might not get all we needed by just going back to the FBI and other agencies because the report has to look for in order to get the answers that it wants and it's entitled to. We thought we might need some investigative staff.(134)

(123) Rankin went on to say that the main reason they might need an independent staff of investigators was that there would be some areas that the Commission had to deal with that were "tender spots" for the FBI.(135) As will become apparent, the Commission did not go much beyond the agencies in investigating the anticipated "tender spots."
(124) The Commission had finally gotten in touch with the CIA. The Agency had told them, as reported by Warren, that it did not have a big report to make, but did have some "communications" to present to the Commission.(136) They would do this when Rankin let them know that the Commission was ready. Dulles said that the CIA had






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not seen the FBI report and that it would really help them in its work if it had access to it.(137) He also suggested that the CIA could be very helpful in certain areas, such as Oswald's sojourn in the Soviet Union, where it had expertise.(138) Essentially the Commission would have to evaluate the CIA's evidence on that matter and would have to get the FBI's information to the CIA. This problem led to a general discussion of the relationship between the various Government agencies. The following exchange occured:

Mr. DULLES. We can expedite the CIA report, I know, because I can give them, or the FBI can pass to them these exhibits about Oswald being in Russia. This is going to be a pretty key business, the analysis of those reports.
CHAIRMAN. Haven't the CIA any contact with the FBI?
MR. DULLES. I don't think they'll do it because the FBI has no authority to pass these reports to anyone else without this Commission's approval.
Mr. McCLOY. The CIA knows everything about it. I don't know how they know it but John McCone knows everything.
Mr. DULLES. He has not seen the reports because I've checked with people yesterday at great length. I have no authority to give it to them and he has not seen the exhibits that we now have, that describe Oswald while he was Russia.
CHAIRMAN. I see no reason why we should not give John McCone a copy of this report and let him see it. He can see mine if he wants to...
Mr. DULLES. I can make mine available. I wouldn't want to do it without approval of this Commission.
Senator RUSSELL. I have never been able to understand why it is that every agency acts like it's the sole agency in the Government. There is very little interchange of information between the departments in the United States Government. The entire view is that they are a separate closed department, and there is not interchange of information.(139)

(125) The problem of a lack of communication and cooperation between the parts of the Federal investigative bureaucracy bothered the Commission. At one point Chief Justice Warren suggested:

* * * perhaps we ought to have a thorough investigation * * * as to the relationship between the FBI and the Secret Service and the CIA in connection, not only with this matter, but in matters of this kind so that we can do something worthwhile in the future. (140)

(126) Such a thorough investigation was never done. The Commission eventually asked the various agencies for recommendations on how to improve communications among them so as to protecht the President better in the future.(141)
(127) The problem of trying to investigate areas that wee "tender spots" with the agencies was brought dramatically to the Commission's attention on January 22, 1964. On athat day, Chief Justice Warren had called a special meeting to advise the Commission that Texas Attorney General Waggoner Carr had information that Lee Harvey



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Oswald may have been an informant for the FBI. No more tenderer spot would ever come to the Commission's attention.
(128) General Counsel Rankin first explained the allegation to the Commission. They then speculated about what mission the FBI could have been using Oswald for. (142) The discussion then turned to the implications of the allegation. The discussion then turned to the implications of the allegation. The pressure that the Commission was under to come out in support of the FBI's conclusions, coupled with the implications of this allegation, stunned the Commission:

Mr. RANKIN. I thought first you should know about it. Second, there is this defector to that is somewhat an issue in this case, and I suppose you are all aware of it. That is that the FBI is very explicit that Oswald is the assassin or was the the assassin, and they are very explicit that there was no conspiracy, and they are also saying in the same place that they are continuing their investigation. Now in my experience of almost 9 years, in the first place it is hard to get them to say when you think you have got a case tight enough to convict somebody, that that is the person that committed the crime. In my experience with the FBI they don't do that. They claim that they don't do that. Second, they have not run out of all kinds of leads in Mexico or in Russia and so forth which they could probably *** they haven't run out all the leads on the information and they could probably say--that isn't our business. *** But they are concluding there can't be a conspiracy without those being run out. Now that is not (normal) from my experience with the FBI***. Why are they so eager to make both of those conclusions *** the original report and their experimental report, which is such a departure. Now that is just circumstantial evidence, and it doesn't prove anything about this, but it raises questions. We have to try to find out what they haven't said that would give any support to the story, and report it to you***.
When the Chief Justice and I wee just briefly reflecting on this we said if that was true and it ever came out and could be established, then you would have people think that there was a conspiracy to accomplish this assassination that nothing the Commission did or anybody could dissipate.
Representative BOGGS. You are so right.
Mr. DULLES. Oh, terrible.
Representative BOGGS. Its implications of this are fantastic, don't you think so?
CHAIRMAN. Terrific.
Mr. RANKIN. To have anybody admit to it, even if it was the fact, I am sure that there wouldn't at this point be anything to prove it.
Mr. DULLES. Lee, if this were true, why would it be particularly in their interest--I could see it would be in their interest to get rid of this man but why would it be in their interest to say he is clearly the only guilty one? I mean I don't see that argument that you raise particularly shows an interest***.






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Mr. RANKIN. They would like to have us fold up and quit.
Reprensentative BOGGS. This closes the case, you see. Don't you see?
Mr. DULLES. Yes, I see that.
Mr. RANKIN. They found the man. There is nothing more to do. The Commission supports their conclusions, and we can go on home and that is the end of it.
Mr. DULLES. But that puts the burden right on them. If he was not the killer, and they employed him, they are already it, you see. So your argument is correct if they are sure that this is going to close the case, but if it don't close the case, they are worse off than ever by doing this.
Representative BOGGS. Yes, I would think so. And of course, we are all even gaining in the realm of speculation I don't even like to see this being taken down.
Mr. DULLES. Yes. I think this record ought to be destroyed. Do you think we need a record of this?(143)

(129) On January 24, 1964, Texas Attorney General Waggoner Carr, Dallas County District Attorney Wade and Assistant District Attorney William Alexander flew to Washington, D.C., to meet with General Counsel Rankin and Chief Justice Warren.(144) At this meeting, the Texans set out the basis of the informant allegations.
(130) On January 27, 1964, the Commission met to decide how to deal with the rumor that Oswald had been an FBI informant. The first method discussed was asking the Attorney General to check into the rumor. Rankin reported that the officials at the Justice Department were reluctant to take that approach:

* * * it is the feeling of the department, not the Attorney General because he is not there, but Mr. Katzenbach, and Mr. Miller, the Assistant Attorney General in charge of the criminal division, that such a request might be embarrasing, and at least would be difficult for the Attorney General, and might, if urged while we would get the information we desired, make very much more difficult for him to carry on the work of the Department for the balance of his term.(145)

(131) Rankin next suggested that he talk to J. Edgar Hoover, Director of the FBI. He would explain that the Commission desired to put the rumor to rest. (146) He would inform the Director that a statement from him would not be sufficient and that the Commission desired "whatever records and materials they have that it just couldn't be true."(147) Rankin would also seek Hoover's permission to do an independent investigation should that prove necessary in putting the rumor to rest. (148) Rankin said:

We do have a dirty rumor that is very bad for the Commission, the problem and it is very damaging to the agencies that are involved in it and it is very damaging to the agencies that are involved in it and it must be wiped out insofar as it is possible to do so * * *.(149)

(132) Chief Justice Warren was not completely happy with this approach.(150) He saw that they had a choice between investigating the rumor and then approaching the Bureau, or just letting the


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Bureau handle it. He reported that he and Rankin had argued about the approach and that Rankin had thought it "the better part of cooperation" to ask the FBI first.(151) Warren said that he rather dislikes the idea of going to them without investigating the rumor first.(152) Senator Russell was worried that if a statement was elicited from the FBI before an investigation, then a subsequent investigation would appear to be an attempt to impeach the FBI.(153) Representative Boggs echoed Russell's concern when he said:

If you get a statement from responsible officials in that agency and then you say, "Well we are not going to take this statement on face value, we are going to go behind it," this could become a matter of grave embarrassment to everybody. (154)

(133) The discussion then turned to the problem of proving or disproving the rumor, as well as how to approach the problem:

Senator RUSSELL. If Oswald never had assassinated the President or at least been charged with assassinating the President and had been in the employ of the FBI and somebody had gone to the FBI they would have denied he was an agent.
Mr. DULLES. Oh, yes.
Senator RUSSELL. They would be the first to deny it. Your agents would have done the same thing.
Mr. DULLES. Exactly * * *.
Senator COOPER. If you have these people up (from Texas) and examine them the FBI will know that.
Mr. RANKIN. They already know about this apparently * * * I just don't think that they (Texas officials) are going to come out and say they fabricated this, if it is a fabrication. It is too serious for that.
Representative BOGGS. Of course, we get ourselves into a real box. You have got to do everything on Earth to establish the facts one way or the other. And without doing that, why everything concerned, including everyone of us is doing a very grave disservice * * *.
Senator COOPER. * * * before you asked Mr. Hoover you present us with all the proof to the contrary, because as you say, if he presents all this proof to the contrary, then the situation changes a little bit. It would appear to him that you are trying to impeach his testimony * * *.
Mr. McCLOY. Do we have a statement from Mr. Hoover that this man was not an agent? Was that communicated in the record?
Mr. RANKIN. Yes * * *.
Mr. McCLOY. I would like to examine again this relationship between the Department of Justice and the FBI. Just who would it be embarrassing for the Attorney General of the United States to inquire of one of his agencies whether or not this man who was alleged to have killed the President of the United States, was an agent. Does the embarrassment supersede the importance of getting the best evidence in a situation as this?


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Mr. RANKIN. Well, I think it is a question of whether we have to put him into that position in order to get the job done, because there is in my opinion, not any question but what there will be more friction, more difficulty with his carrying out his responsibilities, and I think we have a very real problem in this Commission in that if we have meetings all the time and they know what it is about *** and we are meeting rather rapidly here in the last few days, and they can guess probably what it is about, certainly after the meeting with the Texas people***.
Senator COOPER. *** In view of all the rumors and statements that have been made not only here but abroad, I think to ask the President's brother, the dead President, to do this, it wouldn't have any backing in it. It would have no substance in his purpose but some crazy people would translate it from his official postion to a personal position. It may sound farfetched but he would be implying as a person that something was wrong. You can't overlook any implications.
Mr. McCLOY. I think that would perhaps be an element in the thing, but it still wouldn't divert me from asking this man who happens to be the Attorney General whose sworn duty is to enforce justice, to ask him just what is within his knowledge in regard to such a serious thing as this. It is [an] awkward affair. But as you said the other day, truth is our only client *** I think we may have to make this first step, that the Senator speaks about, but I don't think that we could recognize that any door is closed to us, unless the President closes it to us, and in the search for truth***.
Mr. RANKIN. I don't see how the country is ever going to be willing to accept it if we don't satisfy them on this particular issue, not only with them but the CIA and every other agency***.
Mr. DULLES. Since this has been so much out in the public, what harm would be in talking to Hoover without waiving any right to make any investigation in the public***. There is a terribly hard thing to disprove, you know. How do you disprove a fellow who was not your agent? How do you disprove it?
Representative BOGGS. You could disprove it, couldn't you?
Mr. DULLES. No.
Representative BOGGS. I know, ask questions about something--
Mr. DULLES. I never knew how to disprove it.
Representative BOGGS. Did you have agents above whom you had no record whatsoever?
Mr. DULLES. The record might not be on paper. But on paper we would know and you could say this meant the agent and somebody else could say it meant another agent.
Representative BOGGS. Let's take a specific case; that fellow Powers was one of your men.








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Mr. DULLES. Oh, yes, he was not an agent. He was an employee.
Representative BOGGS. There was no problem in proving he was employed by the CIA.
Mr. DULLES. No. We had a signed contract.
Representative BOGGS. Let's say Powers did not have a signed contract but was recruited by someone in CIA. The man who recruited him would know, wouldn't he?
CHAIRMAN. Wouldn't tell it under oath?
Mr. DULLES. I wouldn't think he would tell it under oath, no. *** He ought not tell it under oath. Maybe no tell it to his own Government but wouldn't tell it any other way.
Mr. McCLOY. Wouldn't he tell it to his own chief?
Mr. DULLES. He might or might not. If he was a bad one then he wouldn't.
Representative BOGGS. What you do is you make out a problem if this be true, make our problem utterly impossible because you say this rumor can't be dissipated under any circumstances.
Mr. DULLES. I don't think it can unless you believe Mr. Hoover, and so forth and so on, which probably most of the people will.
Mr. McCLOY. Allen, suppose somebody when you were head of the CIA came to you, another Government agency and said specifically, "If you will tell us," suppose the President of the United States comes to you and says, "Will you tell me, Mr. Dulles?"
Mr. DULLES. I would tell the President of the United States anything, yes; I am under his control. He is my boss. I wouldn't necessarily tell anybody else, unless the President authorized me to do it. We had that come up at times***.
Mr. RANKIN. If that is all that is necessary, I think we could get the President to direct anybody working for the Government to answer this question....
Mr. DULLES. What I was getting at, I think Mr. Hoover would say certainly he didn't have anything to do with this fellow.(155)

(134) Warren said he thought the problem had to be approached from both sides, it would have to be checked out with Hoover and independently (156)
(135) Dulles said that he could not imagine Hoover hiring anyone as stupid as Oswald. The following exchange then occurred:

Mr. McCLOY. I wouldn't put much confidence in the intelligence of all the agents I have run into. I have run into some awfully stupid agents.
Mr. DULLES. Not this irresponsible.
Mr. McCLOY. Well, I can't say that I have run into a fellow comparable to Oswald but I have run into some very limited mentalities both in the CIA and the FBI. [Laughter.]




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CHAIRMAN. Under agents, the regular agents, I think that would be right, but they and all other agencies do employ undercover men who are of terrible character.
Mr. DULLES. Terribly bad characters.
Senator RUSSELL. Limited intelligence; even the city police departments do it.
CHAIRMAN. It takes almost that kind of a man to do a lot of this undercover work.(157)

(136) As well as worrying about putting the Oswald informant allegation to rest, the Commission worried about angering J. Edgar Hoover:

Mr. RANKIN. Would it be acceptable to go to Mr. Hoover and tell him about the situation and that we would like to go ahead and find out what we could * * *. Then if he reacts and says, "I want to show you that it couldn't be," or something like that, beforehand, what about that kind of approach?
CHAIRMAN. I don't believe we should apologize or make it look that we are in any way reticent about making any investigation that comes to the Commission. But on the other hand, I don't want to be unfriendly or unfair to him***.
Mr. RANKIN. What I was fearful of was the mere process will cause him to think that we are really investigating him.
CHAIRMAN. If you tell him we are going down there to do it, we are investigating him aren't we?
Mr. RANKIN. I think it is inherent.
CHAIRMAN. If we are investigating him, we are investigating the rumor against him, we are investigating him, that is true.(158).

(137) The reason the Commission had to worry about antagonizing Hoover was that the Commission was almost totally dependent on the FBI for a large part of its investigation. This became apparent later in the meeting when several members expressed their concern over that dependence. It came up in the context of the discussion of a problem related to the informant allegation and the way to deal with the FBI. The problem was the strange circumstances that seemed to surround FBI special agent James P. Hosty:

Mr. McCLOY. What have they done? * * * I would think the time is almost overdue for us being as dependent as we are on FBI investigations, the time is almost overdue for us to have a better perspective of the FBI investigation than we now have * * * We are so dependent upon them for our facts that it might be a useful thing to have [Allen Belmont, one of Hoover's assistants] before us, or maybe just you talk to him, for example, to follow up on Hosty.
Mr. RANKIN. Part of our difficulty in regard to it is that they have no problem. They have decided that it is Oswald who committed the assassination, they have decided that no one else is involved, they have decided that no one else is involved, they have decided * * *.
Senator RUSSELL. They have tried the case and reached a verdict on every aspect.



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Representative BOGGS. You have put your finger on it.(159)

(138) It was clear to the Commission at this point that they had two alternatives in light of the FBI's preconceptions and the Commission's dependence on the FBI. They could either, in Russell's words, "just accept the FBI's findings and go and write the report * * * or else we can go and try to run down some of these collateral rumors * * *."(160) There was general agreement within the Commission that they had to go beyond the FBI's word on the informant allegation. They finally voted to let Rankin approach Hoover in the manner he thought best.(161)
(139) On the same days as the above described meeting, January 27, 1964, the Warren Commission received a letter from Hoover. It said, in part:

Lee Harvey Oswald was never used by this Bureau in an informant capacity. He was never paid any money for furnishing information and he most certainly never was an informant of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. In the event you have any further questions concerning the activities of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in this case, we would appreciate being contacted directly.(162)

(140) Rankin discussed the rumor with Hoover the next day, January 28, 1964. Hoover assured him that all informants were known to FBI headquarters and that "Oswald had never been an informant of the FBI."(163)
(141) On February 6, 1964, Hoover submitted an affidavit to the Commission that stated that a search of FBI records showed that Oswald had never been an informant.(164) On February 13, 1964, Hoover sent over 10 additional affidavits from each FBI agent who had had contact with Oswald.(165) On February 27, 1964, special agent Robert Gemberling submitted an affidavit that explained the omission of special agent Hosty's name from the transcript of Oswald's notebook.(166) Assistant Director Alan Belmont testified before the Commission on May 6, 1964. J. Edgar Hoover on May 14, 1964.(167)
(142) Even though the Commission had decided that the informant allegation had to be approached from both ends, there is little indication that they pressed the investigation into the source of the allegations much beyond talking to the newspaperman who first reported them.(168) According to testimony before this committee, the Commission had the Internal Revenue Service do an audit of Oswald's income on the assumption that had he been an informant, the IRS would discover unaccounted income. (169) The Commission did not investigate Hoover or the FBI, and managed to avoid the appearance of doing so. It ended up doing what the members had agreed they could not do: Rely mainly on the FBI's denial of the allegations.
(143) The question of whether Hoover and John McCone should testify before the Commission was considered at a Commission meeting on April 30, 1964.(170) Senator Cooper insisted that it was proper to call the heads of the agencies to testify on the informant allegation. (171) It was decided to call them to testify although some Commission members were still reluctant to get involved in a confrontation with Hoover.(172) At this meeting, Rankin also expressed his satisfaction







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with the CIA's and FBI's handling of the Mexico City investigation: "I think that the CIA and FBI did a remarkably good job down there for us."(173)

Attitude of the Warren Commission staff
Predisposition regarding the Agencies

(144) The testimony of Warren Commission staff members before this committee indicated that, before working on the Commission, they were in general favorably disposed to the Federal investigative agencies. Some had had prior encounters with either the FBI or the CIA. With two exceptions, they had been favorably impressed with what they had seen.
(145) Wesley Liebeler testified that he had once been interviewed by an agent of the CIA:

Q. Had you prior to going to work for the Warren Commission had any prior experience with any of the Federal agencies, investigative agencies, FBI, CIA?
A. I was interviewed by a CIA agent once when I was younger.
Q. Did you form any impressions about them?
A. I was favorably impressed.(174)

Liebeler indicated that, other than this, he had had no other contacts with the agencies prior to working for the Commission and that he had no predisposition toward them.
(146) Arlen Specter testified that he had had no prior contact with the CIA and no preformed opinion about the agencies:

I had had no prior contact with the Secret Service that I can recollect, or the CIA. So I really had no predisposition. I had an open mind.(175)

(147) Specter had had experience with the FBI in his capacity as an assistant district attorney in Philadelphia, prior to joining the Warren Commission staff as a junior counsel:

With respect to their capabilities, speaking for myself, I had experience with the FBI and had found them to be able investigative personnel in my prior contacts.(176)

(148) W. David Slawson testified that he was, if anything, favorably disposed toward the CIA:

* * * I don't think I had any predisposition other than the general public awareness of these agencies. I suppose I had a little bit more than the average person's knowledge about the CIA, very slightly. My recollection is that the CIA when I was in college recruited people, I mean they came on, they sent down people who would talk to students just like any other prospective employer. I don't know if they still do that or not. I knew one or two people in the class ahead of me who by all accounts went to work for the CIA and it was something I briefly considered myself. I decided to go on to graduate school and physics and I never explored the CIA thing. But they had seemed to hire high caliber people out of my college. I was favorably disposed there(177)


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(149) Norman Redlich had a skeptical attitude toward the FBI when he joined the Warren Commission staff as an assistant to J. Lee Rankin:

As a professor of constitutional law I regarded myself as a civil libertarian. I had regarded the FBI and its activities during the 1950's in the cold war period as being one which had been repressive of free speech. So I did not come to Washington with the view that the Federal Bureau of Investigation was a model that I should choose to follow. I had had no direct experience with it * * * I had no particular feeling about the CIA. (178)

(150) Burt Griffin brought a very skeptical opinion of the abilities of the FBI to the Warren Commission staff:

I had worked with the FBI for 2 years when I was an assistant U.S. attorney. I didn't have a political view of them but I frankly didn't think they were very competent. I felt then, and I still feel, that they have a great myth about their ability but that they are not capable by their investigative means of ever uncovering a serious and well planned conspiracy. They would stumble upon it. I think their investigative means themselves may be self-defeating. I never found them very creative, very imaginative.
My attitude toward them was that I thought they were honest. I didn't think in a sticky situation that I would have great faith in them.(179)

(151) Griffin's skepticism did not extend to the CIA with whom he had had no prior contact: "I guess I for one trusted them, I think."(180)

Attitude of the staff toward the investigation

(152) Whether it was because of, or in spite of, their predispositions toward the Federal investigative agencies, the Warren Commission staff members who testified before this committee believed they brought a healthy skepticism to the investigation. Norman Redlich commented on the staff's orientation toward the agencies:

* * * I would not characterize our position as being one of extreme belief or extreme disbelief. I would call it one of healthy skepticism.(181)

(153) Arlen Specter testified that the staff had to take such an attitude because some of the agencies' actions were subjects of the Warren commission's investigation:

We were concerned about some of the agencies from the point of view that their own activities were subjects of investigation. So that was always a matter of concern.(182)

(154) W. David Slawson testified that, in spite of his predisposition toward the Central Intelligence Agency, he maintained an objective attitude toward them: "I understood immediately that part of my assignment would be to suspect everyone. So included in that would be the CIA and FBI.(183)


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(155) Burt Griffin testified that Norman Redlich's political view of the FBI gave Redlich a strong desire to prove them wrong:

I think that at that point my recollection of conversations, for example, with Norman Redlich, were that he took a political view of the FBI. He saw them as a conservative agency which was determined to pin this on someone who was of a different political persuasion. I think he started out with a strong motivation along that line, to prove that they were wrong.(184)

(156) Other testimony also indicates that the staff had a strong desire to find the truth regardless of the consequences and to state that the Federal agencies were wrong if the investigation showed that. Burt Griffin testified about the desire to prove the FBI wrong:

I think that it is fair to say, and certainly reflects my feeling, and it was certainly the feeling that I had of all of my colleagues, that we were determined, if we could, to prove that the FBI was wrong, to find a conspiracy if we possibly could.
I think we thought we would be national heroes in a sense if we could find something that showed that there had been something sinister beyond what appeared to have gone on.(185)

(157) W. David Slawson testified that the staff often speculated about the possibility of finding a high-level conspiracy. He said that, if they found one, they were determined to bring the truth out:

We would sometimes speculate as to what would happen if we got firm evidence that pointed to some very high official. * * * Of course that would present a kind of frightening prospect because if the President or anyone else that high up was indeed involved they clearly were not going to allow someone like us to bring out the truth if they could stop us.
The gist of it was that no one questioned the fact that we would still have to try to bring it out and would do our best to bring out just whatever the truth was. The only question in our mind was if we came upon such evidence that was at all credible how would we be able to protect it and bring it to proper authorities.(186)

(158) Slawson testified that this speculative suspicion included people in the investigative agencies or foreign governments. He indicated that the Warren Commission staff was determined to get the truth out even if it would lead to an international incident:

When I said higher-ups I would include the people high up in the organization, the FBI and CIA too. Everybody was of course a possible suspect.(187)

* * * * * * *

I don't think that the American Government would have ever or would today stand by and upon proven charges that their President had been killed at the order of some other


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government, would just allow it to go by. They would either insist that the people in that government be prosecuted or if they weren't I suppose we would invade. So we thought we might be triggering a war with Cuba. But again that was something that the chips would have to fall where they may.(188)

(159) At least one Warren Commission staff member had the impression that this attitude, at least as it applied to the investigative agencies, was not shared by the higher-level staff members or the Commission member. Burt Griffin testified that:

* * * there was also a concern that this investigation not be conducted in such a way as to destroy any of the investigative agencies that then existed in the Government. There was a genuine fear expressed that this could be done.
Second, that it was important to keep the confidence of the existing investigative agencies, and that if we had a staff that was conducting its own investigation, that it would generate a paranoia in the FBI and other investigative agencies which would not only perhaps be politically disadvantageous, it would be bad for the country because it might be justified but it might also be counterproductive.
I think that there was a fear that we might be undermining * * * my impression is that there was genuine discussion of this at a higher level than mine. (189)

Initial staff impressions of the Agencies

(160) The Warren Commission staff had its first contact with the FBI when it received the summary and investigative reports prepared for the Commission. In general, the initial impression of the staff was that the documents were not good. Two of the staff members who testified before this committee indicated that they got the impression that the FBI had already made up their mind about the results of the investigation. Burt Griffin said:

Q. Is it fair to say from your perceptions that the FBI and agencies of the Government at that period were convinced that Lee Harvey Oswald was a lone assassin?
A. Right.(190)

(161) W. David Slawson had much the same impression:

The FBI had prepared a thick file which to their mind disposed of the case, it seemed like. Although my own involvement was not nearly as much with the FBI as it was with the CIA, I nevertheless read the FBI file which was a good way of getting yourself introduced to the whole general case.
I think it appeared to me, as it did to many people on the staff to be a competent document. But it also was self-serving, and you could not read that and think that the FBI had ever made any mistakes or there was any serious possibility that they had.
So, we knew that particularly with the FBI, but I just assumed it was the case with anybody, it is human nature, that once having committed themselves on any statement


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about what happened, they would be defensive about it and not want to admit that they were wrong, and also that they all had a strong interest in not being blamed for not having adequately protected the President.(191)

(162) Norman Redlich was not very impressed by the initial FBI documents:

I thought the FBI report was a grossly inadequate document. In fairness to the Bureau they apparently decided to produce something very quickly, but based upon what I feel I know and remember about the facts of the assassination, I think it was a grossly inadequate document.(192)

Attitude of staff during the course of the investigation

(163) Generally, the attitudes that the staff members brought to the investigation remained unchanged during the course of their work. Arlen Specter testified that:

I thought they were good before they started. I thought they sent the very best in the course of the investigation. I thought they had some very good men. I did not deal with any of the note destroyers or allegations of that. I worked with the technicians. * * * I suspected the ones we saw on the Commission were not typical of the FBI, they were really good.(193)

(164) Burt Griffin's initial impression of the FBI also remained essentially the same:

I felt that it-the FBI-is a big bureaucracy and most of the people I felt within the FBI functioned like a clerk in any other big organization, and they try to do their job and they try to not get in hot water with the boss and get egg over their face, and sometimes they have a couple of bosses, we being one and somebody else being another.(194)

(165) Griffin's trust of the CIA may have been altered somewhat by the delayed response to his request for information on Jack Ruby.(195) He said "I was skeptical but I won't go so far as to say I distrusted them."(196)
(166) Norman Redlich testified that he was generally satisfied with the work of the Federal agencies:

Once the decision was made that the investigatory arms of the Federal Government were going to be used by the Commission my overall judgment of the way that those investigatory arms performed was extremely favorable.
I believe that they were completely responsive to the requests of the Commission for investigative work.(197)

He also commented:

We came with not preconceived notion. * * * At the conclusion of the inquiry I was of the opinion that we had had the full cooperation of the agencies of the United States Government.(198)


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(167) This conclusion somewhat belied Redlich's initial political view of the FBI. Realizing this, he explained:

I came with the feeling that maybe there were two FBI's. Maybe there is the FBI that works at a professional law enforcement level; that was the group I dealt with, that was the group for which I came away with a very healthy respect. Maybe there was another FBI which dealt with political matters which I had nothing to do with, and which undoubtedly accounted for my prior negative feelings about their work.
Time after time as I worked with their experts I found they were fair, cautious, and did not try to overstate the case. (199)

(168) Redlich's testimony indicated that there was at least one instance when he was dissatisfied with the FBI's response to the Commission:

I was disturbed over that [the omission of FBI Special Agent James P. Hosty's name from a transcription of the contents of Oswald's notebook provided to the Commission by the FBI]. I immediately reported it to Mr. Rankin * * * We wrote to the FBI a rather strong letter expressing our dismay about the fact that the transcript was not complete and asking an explanation for it * * * On the same day we sent the letter to the FBI there then came to us an explanation saying that the reason they had not sent it was that they were sending us only the material that would be addressed to leads and their own agency would not be a lead * * * In any event the explanation still left me annoyed over the fact that it had been left out and I remain annoyed to this day.
Q. Was it pursued further when you got a reply that they were only excepting that they felt would be a lead?
A. I think the decision was made at the time that, while we were really not very happy with the reply, we couldn't really disprove it. That was not, as I recall, pursued beyond that point.
Q. Is it fair to say that the matter was then dropped?
A. To the best of my recollection, yes, sir.(200)

(169) Other evidence indicated that the omission of Special Agent Hosty's name from the transcript of oswald's notebook affected the whole staff. Rankin called a staff meeting on February 11, 1964, to discuss the allegations that Oswald had been an FBI informant and the Hosty incident. A memorandum for the record prepared by Howard P. Willens on February 12, 1964, described the staff's reaction to the Hosty problem:

Some members of the staff thought that the significance of this omission was not particularly great and that no further action should be taken at this time. Most of the members of the staff, however, thought that the omission of the Hosty information was of considerable importance and could not be ignored by the Commission. There was discussion as to




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the possibility of the adverse effect on the relationship with the FBI if this matter were brought to its attention. The thought was expressed that pointing this omission out to the FBI might in fact produce more accurate reports by the FBI in the future. I suggested that the group consider the possibility of addressing a letter to the FBI which would request an explanation from the Bureau regarding this matter. The majority of the members of the staff present at the meeting did agree with the proposal that something of this sort be done in the near future.
At the end of the meeting Mr. Rankin suggested that the members of the staff consider all the facts of this problem more fully.(201)

(170) Burt Griffin testified about this incident before this committee:

GRIFFIN. I recall the Hosty incident * * *
Q. What effect, if any, did that have on the relationship between the staff and the Bureau?
A. I think it established in our minds that we had to be worried about them * * * I think we never forgot the incident. We were always alert, we were concerned about the problem * * * There was a staff meeting about it, as I recall. One of the few staff meetings I have a general recollection of at this point seems to me was one that Rankin called in which we were all brought in on this, and we were all told about the problem and once it had been discovered there was a discussion about whether our discovery should be revealed to the FBI and how should we proceed with it.
Q. Would it be fair to characterize the incident then as perhaps producing a more healthy skepticism on the part of the staff and less trust of the Bureau?
A. I think that is right * * *
Q. Would it be fair to say that the incident, far from adversely affecting the quality of your investigation, may have heightened it?
A. No, I don't think that is true.
Q. If it made you more skeptical and more probing would it help the investigation?
A. No, I don't think it did. The reason I say that is that I think it basically set the standard for the kind of judgment that was going to be made about how we were going to deal with these problems, and the decision made there was that there was not going to be confrontation, they were to be given an opportunity to explain it. So the decision was really, as I recall, to go back and give them an opportunity to clean up their act rather than to carry on a secret investigation that might be designed to lay a foundation for our further impeachment of them.(202)

(171) J. Lee Rankin, the former general counsel to the Warren Commission who headed the investigation, gave his perception of the Bureau's relationship with the Commission during his testimony before the committee:


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Q. How would you characterize the Commission's relations with the Federal Bureau of Investigation?:
A. Well, they were fairly good at first and then as we became more critical at times and the Hosty incident came up and the question about Oswald and the Director being required to swear personally about whether Oswald had any connection with the FBI and our asking the Secret Service from time to time to investigate things the FBI had already investigated and go back over their tracks, it didn't warm up much at least on a friendly basis.
Q. Did it at any time become an adversary relationship?
A. Well, I went to see Mr. Hoover before we finally put out our report and I had known him when I had been with the Department of Justice for 6 years and always had cordial relations but he was pretty feisty when I saw him, any friendship we had had in the past was not very apparent then.
Q. Did you think at that time that you were getting the full cooperation of the Bureau?
A. Well, I thought so to this extent. I thought they would never lie about anything and that if we had any difficulty it might be that they would not bore in as hard as we would like to have them but I thought we could tell that and insist on either following it up which we did a great many times by sending them back to do it again and to do it more thoroughly, or putting the Secret Service to do it, and they resented that so much that they were a little more careful after that about trying to be more thorough and so forth. But to have them just lie to us, I never anticipated that.
The things that have happened in the Bureau in the last few years have been revealed in the press and so forth. I never thought the Bureau was capable of that. When I was with the Department of Justice I never thought they were capable of it and I didn't think agents would do such things. So I was rather sanguine about that and I don't think the country believed the FBI would do such things.(203)

(172) Recalling the climate of government in 1963 and 1964, Rankin went on to state that he then firmly believed that any information that Director Hoover and the FBI provided to the Commission was completely accurate and truthful, a belief he no longer maintains. Rankin recalled:

It was a time then I am sure all the Commissioners and I certainly believed that Mr. Hoover would not do that unless it was the truth and all of the things that have come out in these later years about Mr. Hoover and the Bureau and various personnel had not been made known to me or the public or the Commissioners so it is quite different looking at it from this day than from then.(204)

(173) Recalling FBI Director Hoover's seemingly unchallengeable power in 1964, and occasional FBI actions that irritated the Warren Commission, J.Lee Rankin told the committee, "Who could protest against what Mr. Hoover did back in those days?"(205)






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(174) Rankin told of his feelings upon discovering several years ago that FBI personnel in Dallas had secretly destroyed a letter that Lee Oswald had sent to FBI Agent James Hosty shortly before the assassination, a destruction of evidence which occurred several hours after the accused assassin was shot to death by Jack RUBY. Recalling the disclosure of this incident and its coverup by FBI personnel, Rankin Stated:

I think there is considerable significance. In the first place, Hosty was doing quite a bit of work on the inquiries that the Commission made and if we had known that he had destroyed any kind of materials relating to the investigation or his activities we would not have allowed him to do anything more that we knew of in connection with work for the Commission. There is an implication from that note and its destruction that there might have been more to it and that the Bureau was unwilling to investigate whatever more there was and never would get the information to us. Now that is just a guess. There is, of course, not credible proof and so we really don't know how much more there was to the incident and especially what could have been found out about it if it had been examined closely upon the event.(206)

(175) Slawson's initial predisposition toward the CIA was reinforced by his experiences on the Warren Commission staff:

Q. After working with the CIA your initial impression remains substantially the same, you thought you could trust them and rely on them?
A. Yes. I came to know one man particularly well, Rayman Rocca, and I came to like him and trust him both * * * My impression overall was very favorable of him. I thought he was very intelligent and tried in every way to be honest and helpful with me.(207)

Slawson testified that, if anything, rocca was overzealous in trying to be helpful:

The only drawback I can think of--not really a drawback I suppose for someone in CIA--is that he was a little overly suspicious. He obviously disliked Castro immensely. He was very emotional on the subject.(208)

(176) On June 6, 1964, Slawson wrote a memo to Rankin regarding a telephone conversation that he had had with Rocca. The memorandum relates that Rocca had pointed out that a book had been published in England approximately 2 months before the assassination of President Kennedy.(209) It contained the allegation that rightwing groups in the United States were planning to kill President Kennedy. The memorandum goes on to relate:

He--Rocca--drew to my attention the fact that the publishing time of this particular book appears to have been almost exactly when Castro was supposed to have made his remark in the Cuban Embassy in Brazil * * * to the effect that "Two can play at this game."(210)




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(177) When asked about this memorandum, Slawson testified that:

My only recollection at this time is that Rocca was drawing my attention to the fact that Castro might well have been involved. Of course he had presumably drawn my attention to this before but he was just doing what he did with me a lot, trying to work with me to put two and two together.(211)

(178) Slawson also testified that Rocca had informed him of the CIA's involvement with anti-castro Cuban exiles:

My best recollection at this time is that I did in several conversations with Rocca discuss the CIA involvement in anti-Cuban activities. I was presumably told that they had been involved of course in the Bay of Pigs invasion. I remember discussing informally that involvement with a CIA operative in Mexico City. Also their involvement with anti-Castro Cuban groups in the United States.(212)

(179) Slawson said further that he considered it his job to suspect everyone, including the CIA and FBI.(213) He also testified that he was very suspicious of the anti-Castro Cuban exiles:

My theory was that perhaps, one, the anti-Castro Cubans we knew were very angry with Kennedy because they felt they had been betrayed with the Bay of Pigs. Oswald on the other hand was identified publicly with Castro, he was pro-Castro. So, we felt that if somehow the anti-Castro Cubans could have got Oswald to do it or done it themselves but framed Oswald, either way, somehow put the blame on Oswald that they would achieve two objectives that they presumably wanted. One was revenge on Kennedy and the second would be to trigger American public opinion strongly against Castro and possibly cause an invasion of Cuba and overthrow of Castro, and of course these people would be able to go back to their homes in cuba and not have to live under the Castro government. As I say, this made a lot of sense to me and I think it was a hypothesis held in mind for quite a while to see if the facts would fit it. Ultimately they didn't.(214)

(180) When asked whether he had ever questioned the reliability of the information he received from the CIA because of its involvement with the anti-Castro Cubans, or rocca's bias against Castro, slawson responded:

No. In a sense everything I tried to take into consideration, so everything was a cause for questioning. But in terms of coming to a conclusion in my own mind about the reliability of the information supplied us, no, I concluded that Rocca's strong anti-Castro feeling did not bias or did not prevent him from being an honest investigator. I think he was and I am still convinced that he was. On the other hand of course it affected his judgment.(215)

(181) When asked whether he had ever considered the possibility of CIA involvement as part of his anti-castro cuban theory, Slawson responded:


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No. I don't think that I entertained very long the possibility that Rocca or anybody else I had known in the CIA was involved in anyway in killing Kennedy * * *. The possibility that the anti-Castro Cubans contained people who were ruthless or desperate enough to kill Kennedy in order to serve their own end I felt was a very real one. Apparently from all I knew they contained a lot of desperate ruthless people. I did not have that feeling about the CIA. Now I tried to keep an open mind so that any place I came upon evidence that would point toward somebody I would investigate it and that included the CIA as a possible nest of assassins.
My judgment of their character and so forth was far different I think from the judgment I made of the anti-Castro Cuban conspiracy groups in the United States.(216)

(182) Slawson also testified before this committee that he was not aware of the CIA attempts to kill Castro(217) that the CIA had plotted with underworld figures to assassinate Castro from 1960 to 1963, with an official in the Cuban Government to assassinate Castro.

Dependence on the agencies: staff views

(183) Slawson testified that the Warren Commission was "inescapably dependent upon the CIA especially for some aspects of the investigation."(218) While this bothered him somewhat, there was nothing that could be done about it:

There is really no way I can imagine and certainly there is no way at the time I could imagine that anyone could carry on an investigation of foreign intelligence operations other than through the CIA. That simply is the body of expert opinion on that sort of thing and capability that exists in the United States. So, if a major suspect is the CIA itself * * * an investigation like the Warren commission would find it very, very difficult to ascertain that. That is just inevitable. This I think occurred to me at the time, too, but there wasn't much that could be done about it.(219)

(184) Slawson said that the staff tried to overcome this dependence as best it could:

We would talk about how we might escape from the dependency * * * . One was occasionally hiring an outside expert to give an independent evaluation or assessment or something * * * . Second was cross-checking the papers passed back and forth between jurisdictions. The third would be just keeping an eye and ear out for any odd bits of information that would come in not through the agencies. (220)

(185) Liebeler testified before this committee that he did not believe the Warren Commission was dependent on the agencies:

I never had the feeling that we relied on the Government agencies for our information. when we started with a bunch of FBI files, but we reviewed those so that we could conduct



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our own investigation. We did take the testimony of many, many witnesses. We had the reports of the examination of the physical evidence verified by outside sources, we did not rely on the FBI. So as to the basic facts of what happened in Dallas on that day not only did we not rely on the FBI work but the fact is that the Commission came to assume somewhat different conclusions that the FBI came to.
There was a preliminary FBI report that solved the problem as to what happened. Our conclusions were somewhat different from that. I don't think we relied on the FBI to the extent that people think we did.(221)

(186) Redlich testified that "The Commission used as its principal investigatory arm the Federal Bureau of Investigation."(222)
(187) James Malley, who served as the FBI's liaison to the Warren Commission, recalled that the amount of assistance being rendered to the Commission declined during the latter stage of the investigation:

The majority of reports that were being sent to the Warren Commission, after probably the middle of the summer, 1964, was rather innocuous reports of miscellaneous allegations and so on that were continuing to come in. (223)

B. ATTITUDE OF THE FBI AND THE CIA TOWARD THE WARREN COMMISSION

General attitude
The FBI

(188) Once the Warren Commission was created,* J. Edgar Hoover, the Director of the FBI, accepted his responsibility to respond to the Commission's requests for information or investigations. Hoover designated Inspector James J. Malley as liaison with the Commission. Hoover also informed Assistant Director Alan Belmont that he would be personally responsible for every piece of paper that went to the Warren Commission."(225) During the course of the Warren Commission's existence, Belmont briefed Hoover daily on the various aspects of the Commission's work.(226)
(190) The evidence indicates that Hoover viewed the Warren Commission more as an adversary than a partner in a search for the facts of their assassination. Hoover often expressed his belief that the Commission was "seeking to criticize the FBI."(227) According to a former assistant director of the FBI, Hoover was afraid that the Commission would discover gaps in the FBI's investigation:

Hoover did not want the Warren commission to conduct an exhaustive investigation for fear that it would discover important and relevant facts that we in the FBI had not discovered in our investigation, therefore, it would be greatly embarrassing to him and damaging to his career and the FBI as a whole.(228)
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(191) The committee's investigation indicated that Hoover's fears were not entirely unfounded. It had evidence suggesting that Hoover was receiving reports on the Commission's activities from one of the Commission members.

* * * Our President (Gerald R. Ford) was one of our (FBI) members of the Congressional stable when he was in Congress. It is to him and others we would go when we want favors handled, and, of course, we were always willing to reciprocate. All right, he became a member of the Warren Commission and he was "our man" on the Warren Commission and it was to him that we looked to protect our interest and keep us fully advised of any development that we would not like, that mitigated against us, and he did. All this I know.(229)

(192) Hoover's fears evidently led him to attempt to limit the Warren Commission's investigation:

(Hoover) did show marked interest in limiting the scope or circumventing the scope of (The Warren Commission investigation) and taking action that might result in neutralizing it.(230)

(194) According to Sullivan, Hoover's principal method in attempting to limit the Warren Commission's investigation was leaking information to the press:

The main action * * * was to leak to the press the FBI investigation believing that this would tend to satisfy everybody and perhaps the authorities would conclude that an investigation of great depth and scope would not be necessary.(231)

(195) Hoover also circumvented an independent investigation of a specific allegation by the Warren Commission by another means:

* * * this then is how the FBI reacts to this allegation before the Commission began investigating it. Hoover covered himself by starting an "investigation" of the reports that Oswald had been an FBI informant, attempting to discredit the sources, and he made it clear to the Commission that he would prefer, thank you, to be approached directly in the unlikely event that any question remained. (232)

(196) James Malley, the FBI official assigned by Director Hoover to serve as liaison to the Warren Commission, told the committee that he was not aware of any negative feelings Hoover had toward the Commission:

I could only give you my reaction when I was called into his office after I returned from Dallas and what he told me that time. There was certainly no criticism. I was told that the Warren Commission had been established. I was the liaison representative, and he wanted full and complete cooperation with them and no information whatsoever withheld from them. Give them everything.(233)


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(197) Malley described the FBI's relationship with the Warren Commission as:

Strictly a business relationship. No friendliness, no unfriendliness. Just strictly, you have your work to do, we have ours. If we want something from you, we will call you and ask for it. If we want further explanations, we will get them from you. There was never any animosity shown, that I am aware of. (234)

(198) Malley further stated that he had:

No knowledge of what Mr. Sullivan was talking about when he says the Director was opposed to the creation (of the Commission) and so on * * *. And I never personally heard him object to the Warren Commission in any way, shape, or form.(235)

(199) Malley further stated that he would not necessarily trust any statements that former assistant FBI director William Sullivan made about the assassination investigation and Director Hoover's role in it. (236) Speaking of Sullivan, the man in charge of the FBI's investigation into the question of a possible conspiracy, as well as Lee Oswald's background and association, Malley stated, "I would not trust him."(237) Malley told the committee that he believed that former Assistant Director Sullivan, who died in 1977, might lie about the Bureau's work on the assassination investigation, portraying it in a false light or negative fashion. (238) Malley suggested that Sullivan may have fabricated various recollections about the assassination investigation and Hoover's direction of it and further stated that he believed Sullivan was capable of committing perjury about these matter.(239) Malley stated that he would "not necessarily" believe any Sullivan statements made under oath.(240)
(200) Hoover's fear of criticism also lead, in at least one instance, to a divergence between the Bureau's public statements, including those to the Warren Commission, and the beliefs of their own officials:

The Bureau by letter to the Commission indicated that the facts did not warrant placing a stop on (Oswald's) passport as our investigation disclosed no evidence that Oswald was acting under the instructions or on behalf of any foreign government or instrumentality thereof. Inspector feels it was proper at that time to take this "public" position. However, it is felt that with Oswald's background we should have had a stop on his passport, particularly since we did not know definitely whether or not he had any intelligence assignments at that time.(241)

(201) Former Attorney General Katzenbach stated that FBI Director Hoover refused to send a Bureau official to the first meeting of the Warren Commission, despite Katzenbach's specific request that an official accompany him. Katzenbach testified that this placed him in a position where he could not competently brief the Commission on the continuing FBI investigation, since he was not familiar with its course: He testified:




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This is the kind of thing you get from Belmont to Tolson, Hoover, knowing Hoover's opposition to the Commission, not really wanting to have anything to do with it and also thinking it fairly funny having me sitting over there and not knowing what was going on.
The reason I wanted the Bureau there was I wanted somebody telling me what was going on. I did not know.(242)

(202) Katzenbach recalled that Director Hoover and his senior aides were then the only men in the Government who were truly familiar with the investigation of the President's death:

Nobody else knew. I did not know what was going on. nobody in the Government knew what was going on other than very short conclusionary statements which you got from liaison people, from the director himself.
I did not know who they were interviewing or why they were interviewing, what they uncovered.(243)

(203) Former Attorney General Katzenbach told the committee he believed the FBI would have been deeply troubled if it had come across evidence about the assassination that contradicted the Bureau's initial conclusions about Lee Harvey Oswald being a lone assassin:

I would have thought they would have no particular problems in running down a lot of alleys they had not run down if it did not develop any information that was flatly contrary to their conclusions.(244)

The former Attorney General stated, however, that had the FBI come across evidence that clearly contradicted its official conclusions about President Kennedy's murder, he would not be completely sure what would have happened to such evidence:

What would have happened if they came across that kind of information, God only knows. What the reverberations of that talking about minor embarrassment--in really uncovering something that would have changed some result they had reported, God only knows.
I think people's heads would have rolled and they would have swallowed hard and done it. I think my view at the time would have been that in a matter as important as the assassination of a President, I think the Bureau would have swallowed and taken it and found some graceful way out. Explaining why they had come to the wrong conclusion would have been a fairly high-powered neutron bomb in the Bureau, questioning any basic conclusion that they had come to.(245)

(204) Rankin similarly stated that he would be apprehensive about how Hoover and the FBI would have reacted had they found concrete evidence that disproved their earlier conclusions about the assassination:

* * * if they had found something like that, I am sure that if we had received it, it would be only after Mr. Hoover had examined it carefully himself and didn't dare withhold it





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from us. now that is looking from now rather than at the time that we didn't think he would deliberately lie.(246)

The CIA

(205) At one level, it appears that the CIA's relationship with the Warren
Commission was exemplary. At another, that relationship was questionable. Dulles suggested on december 11, 1963, that the CIA would be very useful to the Commission in areas in which the Agency had expertise, such as Oswald's sojourn in the Soviet Union.(247) The commission did use the CIA in this manner. Most of the Commission's requests for information from the CIA dealt with the Soviet union or Oswald's activities while he was outside the United states.(248)
(206) The CIA's initial investigation, which was completed in december 1963, was conducted by an officer from the CIA's Western Hemisphere Division.(249) When the Warren Commission requested information after that, James Angleton, Chief of the Counterintelligence staff, asked that his unit be given responsibility for further research and investigation.(250) Richard Helms, Deputy Director of Plans, granted Angleton's request.(251) Angleton designated one of his subordinates, Raymond Rocca, the "point of record" for coordinating research for the Commission.(252)
(207) Rocca and the three other CIA staff members who worked with him on this task were experts in Soviet affairs.(253) The Church committee, which reviewed this group's work, had concluded:

The CIA staff exhaustively analyzed the significance of Oswald's activities in the Soviet Union, but there was no corresponding CIA analysis of the significance of Oswald's contacts with pro-Castro and anti-Castro groups in the United States * * *. All of the evidence reviewed by this committee suggests that these investigators conducted a thorough, professional investigation and analysis of the information they had.(254)

(208) The evidence suggests that the internal structure of the CIA may have prevented, or at least impaired, its ability to be of the utmost help to the Warren Commission. The Commission staff's contact with the CIA was primarily through Richard Helms. It was also in contact with Thomas Karamessines, Helms' assistant, and with the "point of record" officer.
(209) In his appearance before the committee, Richard Helms stated that as a general rule the CIA waited to receive a specific inquiry from the Warren Commission before they would pass information on.(255) Helms recalled the Agency's relationship with the Commission in this way:

Mr. HELMS. At the time that the Warren Commission was formed, the agency did everything in its power to cooperate with the Warren Commission and with the FBI, the FBI having the lead in the investigation. It was the agency's feeling that since this tragedy had taken place in the United States, that the FBI and the Department of Justice would obviously have the leading edge in conducting the investigation, and





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that the agency would cooperate with them in every way it was possible, and the same applied to the Warren Commission.(256)

(210) Helms, though the main contact with the Commission, apparently did not inform it of the CIA plots to assassinate Castro because he did not think they were relevant to the commission's work and he was not asked about them. (257) There is also an indication that his testimony before the Commission was misleading.(258)
(211) Generally, the evidence seems to indicate that the CIA was reluctant or unable, due to internal structuring, to provide the Commission with certain information. There are also indications that the Commission did not ask the right questions. Further, most of the contact with the Agency, other than that through Helms, was through the "point of record" officer who, although he was aware of the CIA's involvement with anti-Castro Cubans, did not know about the CIA's assassination plots against castro. At the same time, people within the Agency who knew of the plots, such as members of the branch responsible for Cuban affairs, the Special Affairs staff, knew of the plots but were never in contact with the Warren Commission.(259)
(212) One example of the Warren Commission's not asking the right questions can be found in Helm's testimony before the Church committee.(260) Another is the fact that out of the 36 requests for information to the CIA on file at the National Archives, only one, the Ruby request, concerned Cuba directly.(261)
(213) In summary, the CIA acted in an exemplary manner in dealing with the Warren Commission regarding its narrow requests for information. In another area, that of Cuban involvement and operations, the CIA's actions might well be described as reluctant.
(214) In his testimony before the committee, Richard Helms stated that he believed the CIA had done as much as possible to assist the Commission:(262)

I thought we made a major effort to be as cooperative and prompt and helpful as possible. But in recent years I have been through enough to recognize that you can't make a flat statement against anything, so I don't know. Maybe there were some places where it wasn't as prompt as it should have been. but I am not in a position to identify them.(263)

(215) Later in his testimony, Helms again noted that he had * * * learned in recent years that one must never make a flat statement about anything, so there may have been certain cases in which they did not get information promptly. But I believe our effort was to give it to them as promptly as possible.(264)

Examples of attitudes and relationships
Introduction

(216) The evidence indicates that the Warren Commission was almost totally dependent on the Federal investigative agencies for the facts and heir primary analysis.(265) The evidence also indicated that the FBI viewed the Warren Commission as an adversary and the CIA dealt with the Commission with reservations. In instances where





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the agencies supplied the Warren Commission with information, followup investigation was often requested. In at least one instance, this followup investigation was not done to the satisfaction of the Commission staff. There are indications in at least two instances there may have been unreasonable delay on the part of the agencies in meeting the Warren Commission's requests. There is also an indication that a senior CIA official may have given misleading testimony.
(217)If the agencies did not supply the facts in the first instance, or if the facts did not come to the Warren Commission's attention independently, then no followup was possible. The evidence indicates that facts which may have been relevant to, and would have substantially affected, the Warren Commission's investigation were not provided by the agencies. Hence, the Warren Commission's findings may have been formulated without all of the relevant information.

Inadequate followup--Odio-All incident

(218) As the Warren Commission was nearing the end of its investigation, there were some areas which it believed had not been investigated to its satisfaction. One of these was the testimony of Mr. Sylvia Odio. She had stated before the Commission that a "Leon Oswald" had visited her on, or around, September 25, 1963, in Dallas. On August 28, 1964, Rankin wrote to Hoover requesting further investigation into Odio's story. The letter said, in part:

It is a matter of some importance to the Commission that Mrs. Odio's allegations either be proved of disproved. *** In view of our time schedule we would appreciate receiving a report as soon a possible.(266)

(219) On September 21, 1964, 3 days before the Warren report was delivered to President Lyndon B. Johnson, Hoover sent Rankin a reply to the August 28, 1964, letter. It reported that the FBI had located Loran Eugene Hall on September 16, 1964, at Johnsondale, Calif, and that Hall had said he visited Odio in September 1963, accompanied by a William Seymour and a Lawrence Howard. The letter went on to say.

Hall stated that William Seymour is similar in appearance to Lee Harvey Oswald and that Seymour speaks only a few words of Spanish. In connection with the revelations of Hall, you will note that the name Loran Hall bears some phonetic resemblance to the name Leon Oswald.(267)

The letter related that the FBI was continuing its investigation into this matter and hoped to obtain a photograph of Hall to show Odio. Hoover promised to report any other developments promptly.
(220) The Warren report, issued 3 days after it received the above-mentioned letter, said:

On September 16, 1964, the FBI located Loran Eugene Hall in Johnsondale, Calif. Hall had been identified as a participant in numerous anti-castro activities. He told the FBI that in September of 1963 he was in dallas, soliciting aid in connection with anti-Castro activities. He said he had visited Mrs. Odio. He was accompanied by Lawrence Howard, a Mexican-American from East Los Angeles, and one William




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Seymour from Arizona. He stated that Seymour is similar in appearance to Lee Harvey Oswald; he speaks only a few words of Spanish, as Mrs. Odio testified one of the men who visited her, did. While the FBI had not yet completed its investigation into this matter at the time the report went to press, the Commission has concluded that Lee Harvey Oswald was not at Mrs. Odio's apartment in September of 1963.(268)

(221) This committee found no evidence to indicate that the FBI continued its investigation of this incident after the Warren report was issued. This incident has remained controversial because of occurrences between September 16, when Hall was first interviewed by the FBI, and September 21, when Hoover reported the results to Rankin. on September 18, 1964, the FBI interviewed William Seymour. He denied having ever visited Odio. On September 20, 1964, the FBI interviewed Lawrence Howard, who also denied having ever visited Odio.
(222) On that day, a Sunday, Loran Hall was reinterviewed; he recanted his original story. Hall had first been interviewed on September 16, 1964, by FBI Special Agent Leon Brown. Brown was then stationed at the Bakerfield, Calif, resident agency of the FBI. He received his work assignments, and reported to, the Los Angeles FBI field office.(269) Brown testified before this committee that he had no specific recollection of the interviews of Loran Hall.(270) He also said that he had no specific memory of the events leading up to those interviews.(271) He assumed they would have been a matter of routine assignment:

I am guessing and I have to suppose that this is the way it must have happened, that I received a phone call from my Los Angeles office and probably from the supervisor who handled the case, this particular case, in the Los Angeles office at that time.(272)

Brown testified that he would have been given the background information for the interview during this phone call.(273)
(223) The interview report shows that the report was dictated on Thursday September 17, 1964. Brown testified that, even though he had no independent recollection of these events, he assumed he had dictated the report on that date and sent the dictabelt to the Los Angeles office for transcription. (274) The report was typed on September 23, 1964. This would be in line with what Brown testified were Bureau procedures: an interview report had to be typed within 5 working days after the date of the interview.(275)
(224) Brown reinterviewed Loran Hall on Sunday, September 2, 1964. He thought the reason for the second interview was to get a picture of Hall. (276) He testified that he had taken a picture of Hall on the 16th, but that it had not turned out. (277) He did not recall any instructions he received to perform the second interview, but he thought the reason was probably to obtain a photograph.(278) Brown also testified that he had no independent recollection that Hall told the two different stories at the two interviews:(297) He said:








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Had I not seen [the interview reports], I think that I would have been able to tell you that I drove to Kernville [Hall's residence' one day back in 1964 and interviewed somebody in connection with the assassination, and then again went back the next day or two to get a picture, which failed to come out; and that was it.(280)

(225) Brown's second interview of Loran Hall was on september 20, 1964. The report shows that it was dictated on september 21, 1964. Brown testified that he assumed that the dictabelt would have been sent to the Los Angeles office on that day (281) This report was also typed September 23, 1964. Brown could not explain why this report was expedited or why the first one was not typed until the same day or the second one:

The only thing that comes to my mind is that they may have been trying to get everything transcribed to complete an investigative report * * *. There may have been some urgency to get the report, investigative report, put together and in the mail.(282)

(226) This committee tried, but was unsuccessful, to determine the circumstances leading up to the interviews of Loran Eugene Hall and the transmittal of the results of those interviews to the Warren Commission by way of FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C.
(227) Liebeler was the Warren Commission staff attorney responsible for the investigation of Odio's allegations. He testified before this committee that there was only one area of the Commission's investigation that he was not satisfied with:

Q. The Sylvia Odio incident was never resolved to your satisfaction, was it?
A. No, not really.(283)

Unreasonable delays

(228) The Ruby information request. On February 24, 1964, Highboard and Griffin, two Warren Commission staff lawyers, wrote a memorandum entitled "Jack Ruby--Background, friends, and other Pertinent Information." This memorandum was directed to Richard Helms, Deputy Director for Plans, Central Intelligence Agency. A draft cover letter said, in part:

I would appreciate your forwarding to this Commission copies of all records in your files which contain information about Jack Ruby or the persons mentioned in part C of the enclosed memorandum.(284)

Some of the people included in part C of the memorandum were Eva Grant, Earl Ruby, Ralph Paul, George Senator, Barney Baker, H.L. Hunt, Lamar Hunt, Louis J. McWillie, and Barney Ross.
(229) The cover letter was not sent. The routing slip attached to the cover letter explains;

This letter and the memorandum prepared by Messrs. Highboard and Griffin was not sent. The Memorandum was delivered by hand to representative of CIA at a meeting on March 12, 1964.(285)



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(230) The routing slip was dated March 14, 1964, and was initialed by Howard P. Willens. Judge Griffin, in his testimony before this committee, said that he had no idea why there was a 3-week delay in transmitting the memorandum to the CIA.(286)
(231) A CIA internal memorandum for the record memorializes the March 12, 1964, meeting between the CIA and Warren Commission staff. It records the transmittal of the Highboard and Griffin memorandum on Ruby:

The Commission, Mr. Rankin said, would be interested in any information held by the CIA on Jack Ruby. Mr. Rankin said the Commission staff had prepared a roundup on Ruby, a copy of which he handed to Mr. Helms. He said he would appreciate any file reflections or comments that CIA analysts might make on this material. Mr. Rankin and members of his staff then discussed Ruby's confirmed trip to Havana in 1959. The Commission has received information from an unspecified source that Ruby was in Havana again in 1963 under a Czech passport. Mr. Rankin asked whether CIA could provide any assistance in verifying this story. Mr. Helms replied that CIA would be limited in its possibility of assisting, [deleted].(287)

(232) On March 19, 1964, Rankin sent a letter, drafted by Willens, to Helms. It reminded Helms of the memorandum on Ruby that had been handed to him on March 12, 1964. It went on to say:

At that time we requested that you review this memorandum and submit to the Commission any information contained in your files regarding matters covered in the memorandum, as well as any other analysis by your representatives which you believed might be useful to the Commission.
As you know, this Commission is nearing the end of its investigation. We would appreciate hearing from you as soon as possible whether you are in a position to comply with this request in the near future.(288)

(233) This committee's examination of the Warren Commission records in the National Archives reveals no further written communication on the subject until September 15, 1964. Then, 9 days before the Warren report was submitted to President Johnson, the Commission received a memorandum on the Ruby request. It was written by Helms' assistant, thomas H. Karamessines and referenced the May 19, 1964, letter from Rankin to Helms. Karamessines' memorandum said, in part:

This memorandum will confirm our earlier statement to the Commission to the effect that an examination of Central Intelligence Agency files has produced no information of Jack ruby or his activities. The Central Intelligence Agency has no indication that Ruby and Lee Harvey Oswald were associated, or might have been connected in any manner.
The records of this Agency were reviewed for information about the relatives, friends, and associates of Ruby named in your summary of his background. Our records do not reflect any information pertaining to these persons.(289)




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(234) There is some indication that the CIA notified the Warren Commission orally of this prior to the time of the above-quoted memorandum. An early draft of the Warren report chapter on conspiracy, which was written before September 1964, said: "The CIA has no information suggesting that Jack Ruby was involved in any type of Cuban or other foreign conspiracy."(290)

Judge Griffin concluded from this that:

* * * we had received oral communications from the CIA telling us that they had no information and that we ultimately insisted on their putting their oral communications to us in writing. That, I believe, is why the CIA letter came so late.(291)

(235) CIA item 250, dated March 5, 1964. On November 23, 1963, the CIA sent three reports and supporting documents to the Secret Service. (292) The Warren Commission first learned of these reports on January 8, 1964, a letter from Rankin to McCone, Director of Central intelligence, requested copies of the CIA materials in the possession of the Secret Service. A CIA internal memorandum dated March 3, 1964, which dealt with this request, said, in part:

We have a problem here for your determination. [Staff officer] does not desire to respond directly to paragraph 2 of that letter [of February 12, 1964] which made levy for our material which had gotten into the hands of the Secret Service since November 23 * * * Unless you feel otherwise [staff officer] would prefer to wait out the Commission on the matter covered by paragraph 2.(293)

(236) On March 9, 1964, Willens reported a discussion with Helms about the request for the Secret Service materials. (294) He reported that Helms had indicated that the CIA had "certain unspecified problems" in complying with the request. Helms maintained that some of the information in the Secret Service's possession had already been made available to the Commission and that the rest of it was irrelevant matters or things "that had not checked out." Helms said that he would not be acceptable, and they would discuss it at their next meeting.(295)
(237) Willens, Helms and other members of the CIA and Warren Commission staff met on March 12, 1964. At this meeting, a deal was struck whereby a Warren Commission staff member could review the CIA file on Oswald to insure that the summaries provided to the Commission adequately reflected the contents of the CIA file.(296) Such an inspection was performed by Warren Commission staff member Samuel Stern on March 27, 1964. In a memorandum dated March 27, 1964, to Rankin, Stern reported that "There was no item listed [in the CIA index] that we have not been given either in full text or paraphrased."(297) Three days prior to Stern's review of the CIA file on Oswald, the CIA had provided the Warren Commission with copies of the documents provided to the Secret Service on November 23, 1963. (298)






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Misleading testimony

(238) Richard Helms, the Deputy Director for Plans, CIA, testified before the Warren Commission along with John McCone, Director of Central Intelligence, on May 14, 1964. Helms said that the CIA could find no indication that anyone in the Agency even suggested a contact with Lee Harvey Oswald:

On Mr. McCone's behalf, I had all our records searched to see if there had been any contacts at any time prior to President Kennedy's assassination by anyone in the Central Intelligence Agency with Lee Harvey Oswald. We checked our card files and our personnel files and all our records.
Now, this check turned out to be negative. In addition I got in touch with those officers who were in positions of responsibility at the times in question to see if anybody had any recollection of any contact having even been suggested with this man. This also turned out to be negative, so there is no material in the Central Intelligence Agency, either in the records or in the minds of any of the individuals, that there was any contact had or even contemplated with him.(299)

(239) There is a CIA internal memorandum dated November 25, 1963, that seems to contradict Helm's testimony: CIA item 173A. The memorandum says, in part:

It makes little difference now, but [deleted] had at one time an [deleted] interest in Oswald. As soon as I had heard Oswald's name, I recalled that as [deleted] I had discussed--sometime in summer 1960--with [deleted], the laying on of interview[s] through [deleted] or other suitable channels. * * *
I was phasing into my next cover assignment [deleted] at the time. Thus, I would have left our country shortly after Oswald's arrival. I do not know what action developed thereafter. * * *
It was partly out of curiosity to learn if Oswald's wife would actually accompany him to our country, partly out of interest in the Harvey story.(300)

Withheld information

(240) CIA item 298, dated May 12, 1964.--A CIA internal memorandum for a "staff employee," dated May 12, 1964, deals with the Warren Commission's desire to take testimony from the Deputy Director of Plans Richard Helms:

The DDP wishes to have from you a short but comprehensive memorandum which highlights the basic issues or positions entered into by the Agency in its dealings with the Commission. For example, Rankin views as to how improvements might be made in protecting the President's life. Further, they will probably ask questions regarding the possibilities that a conspiracy existed. Such general questioning certainly


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necessitates that the DCI (Director of Central Intelligence, John McCone) be made aware of the positions taken during previous interviews. I raised with [staff employee] the nature of the recent information which you are processing which originated with the [deleted] source. I informed him that in your view this would raise a number of new factors with the Commission, that it should not go to the Commission prior to the Director's appearance unless he have first had some preliminary reaction or made sure that the Director if fully aware of its implications since it could well serve as the basis for detailed questioning. The DDP stated that he would review this carefully and make a decision as to the question of timing.(301)

(241) The Sourwine/Tarabochia incident.--In June 1963, a group of private citizens attempted a raid on Cuba. The purpose was, allegedly, to bring two Soviet missile technicians who wanted to defect out of Cuba. They would have then testified before the Senate Internal security Subcommittee that the Russian missiles were still in Cuba. The operations failed.
(242) James Sourwine, counsel to the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee, was involved in financing the operation which had come to be know as the Bayo-Pawley raid.
(243) The committee saw evidence that the CIA knew of Sourwine's involvement.
(244) Two Warren Commission internal memoranda indicate that Slawson was in contact with Sourwine and the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee. The subcommittee informed Slawson that it had access to an informant in the Cuban Embassy in Mexico City.(302) Sourwine informed Slawson that the source was known to Al Tarabochia, an anti-Castro Cuban associated with the subcommittee. Sourwine refused to divulge the identity of the informant to Slawson or to put him in direct contact.(303) He did agree to pass questions to their informant and relay the answers to the Commission.(304)
(245) Slawson testified before this committee that the Commission did not use the informant, even though it had considered using the person as an independent check on the information about Mexico City that the Commission was receiving from the CIA and FBI.(305)
Slawson testified:

Q. Whatever became of the possibility of using informants?
A. Nothing. * * * I talked to Mr. Sourwine * * * But he and Senator Eastland were not willing to give us access to the claimed contact they had and nothing came of the request that we have them for information from that. There was no further communication.
Q. What was your final opinion about this incident?
A. My final opinion, and to my recollection, it was also J. Lee Rankin's, was that Sourwine and Eastland were trying to use this alleged contact as a way of finding out inside information about the Warren investigation which they could use for their own political purposes.(306)





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(246) Slawson also testified that, although he did not have a specific recollection of it, he would have probably discussed this with both the FBI and CIA:

Q. What, if any, information did the CIA provide you concerning Tarabochia and Sourwine?
A. I am sure it was to the effect that they didn't know anything about the contacts. That was probably just the end of it.
Q. Do you recall whether or not the CIA provided you any information about Sourwine or Tarabochia concerning raids in Cuba?
A. I understand the question as whether the CIA supplied me with any information about raids in Cuba in connection with Sourwine and Tarabochia. My answer is no.(307)

(247) Electronic surveillance of Marina Oswald.--The FBI tapped Marina Oswald's telephone and bugged her living quarters from February 29, 1964, to March 12, 1964.(308) According to testimony before this committee, two reports were written from these sources. FBI Special Agent Robert Gemberling, a supervisor in the Dallas field office during this period, testified that he saw these reports, but that they contained nothing pertinent to the investigation of the assassination:

* * * the reports were written by another agent. I did have occasion to see them. There was no information gleaned from either of these unusual sources that had a bearing on the Assassination or a possible conspiracy and so forth.(309)

(248) Gemberling also testified that it was his understanding that this information was not transmitted to the Warren Commission.(310) Gemberling's understanding was borne out by the testimony of Warren Commission staff members before this Committee. Nevertheless, the committee learned that the results of the surveillance which was in fact requested by the Commission, were given to the Commission and senior staff members.
(249) CIA Plots to Assassinate Castro: Agency contacts with the Commission who knew of the CIA-Mafia plots.--On December 11, 1959, Dulles, then Director of Central Intelligence, approved four recommended actions against Cuba that were set forth in a memorandum submitted by J.C. King, chief of the Western Hemisphere division. One of the recommendations called for the elimination of Fidel Castro.(311)
(250) In September 1960, Richard Bissell, then Deputy Director of Plans for the CIA ordered Sheffield Edwards, then Chief of the CIA's Office of Security, to develop a plan to kill Castro.(312) Dulles was briefed about this plan, which included the use of underworld figures, in September 1960 by Bissell and Edwards.(313)
(251) On May 7, 1962, Attorney General Robert Kennedy was briefed on the CIA-Mafia plots by Sheffield Edwards and Lawrence Huston, the CIA general counsel.(314) He was told the plots had been terminated.(315)
(252) On May 9, 1962, Attorney General Kennedy informed Hoover of the CIA-Mafia plots.(316)






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(253) The evidence indicates that Richard Helms, the CIA Deputy Director for Plans and main contact with the Warren Commission, knew of these plots, at least as of May 14, 1962. On that date, he was briefed on the May 7, 1962, meeting with Kennedy. (317) At this time, Helms decided not to brief the Director of Central Intelligence, John McCone.(318)
(254) McCone learned of the plots on August 16, 1963, when he was briefed by Helms. (319) McCone was led to believe that the plots had been terminated in May 1962.(320)
(255) Agency contacts with the Commission who knew of the AMLASH plot.--Evidence developed by the Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations indicates that the CIA was plotting with an official in Castro's government to assassinate Castro in 1963. That official was code named AMLASH. The evidence also indicates that the only person who knew of these plots and was in contact with the Warren Commission was richard Helms.(321)
(256) Agency contacts with the Commission who did not know of the plots.--The evidence developed by the Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations indicates that Raymond Rocca, the CIA "point of record" officer, did not know of the assassination plots.(322) The CIA desk officer who supervised the initial CIA investigation into the assassination testified before the Senate Select Committee that he did not know about these plots until they became public knowledge in 1975.(323)
(257) Evidence that indicates that the Commission was not informed of the plots.--The evidence indicates that the Warren Commission was never informed of the CIA plots to assassinate Castro. It is, of course, now impossible to determine why Dulles, Robert Kennedy and Hoover did not inform the Commission. Helms testified before the Senate select committee that he did not do so because he was not asked about them and because he did not consider them relevant to the Commission's work.

Q. * * * you were charged with furnishing the Warren Commission information form the CIA, information that you thought was relevant?
A. No sir, I was instructed to reply to inquiries from the Warren Commission for information from the Agency. I was not asked to initiate any particular thing.
Q. * * * in other words if you weren't asked for it you didn't give it?
A. That's right, sir.(324)

(258) The testimony of the Warren Commission staff members before the Senate Select Committee indicates that they never learned of the CIA plots to assassinate Castro.(325) The testimony of members of the Warren Commission staff before this committee also indicate they never learned of these plots.(326)
(259) Relevancy of the information about the plots to the Commission's investigation.--The CIA's point of view was expressed by Richard Helms in testimony before the Senate select committee that he did not believe the information about the plots was relevant to the Warren Commission's investigation.(327) The AMLASH case officer testified to the same effect.(328)






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(260) Other CIA officials disagreed with this in their testimony before the Senate select committee. The disk officer who conducted the initial CIA investigation of the assassination, and who did not know of the plots, thought the plots would have been relevant to his inquiry:

Q. Did you know that on November 22, 1963, about the time Kennedy was assassinated, a CIA case officer was passing a poison pen, offering a poison pen to a high level cuban to use to assassinate Castro:
A. No, I did not.
Q. Would you have drawn a link in your mind between that and the Kennedy assassination?
A. I certainly think that that would have been--become an absolutely vital factor in analyzing the events surrounding the Kennedy assassination.(329)

(261) The chief of the counterintelligence branch of the CIA's Cuban task force, who know of the plots but was not in contact with the Warren Commission, also thought that the information would have been relevant to the Commission's investigation: "I think it would have been logical for them to consider that there could be a connection and to have explored it on their own."(330)
(262) The CIA analyst who acted as the "point of record" for the CIA research for the Warren Commission, in a memo he prepared for the record in 1975, expressed "concern about the Warren Commissions findings in light of this new information."(331)
(263) Helms testified that he had never informed the Warren Commission of the CIA-Mafia assassination conspiracies and did not then believe such information was relevant.(332) He stated that he believed the significance of the Agency's use of gangsters to try and assassinate President Castro has been considerably exaggerated and, further, that he has difficulty in the semantics of discussing assassination and other forms of violence.

Mr. HELMS. In retrospect, Mr. Dodd, I would have done a lot of thing very differently. I would like to point out something since we are so deeply into this. When one government is trying to upset another government and the operation is successful, people get killed. I don't know whether they are assassinated or whether they are killed in a coup. We had one recently in Afghanistan. The head of the Afghanistan Government was killed. Was he assassinated or killed in a coup? I don't know.
These semantics are all great. I want to say there is not a chief of state or chief of government in the world today who is not aware of the fact that his life is in jeopardy. He takes every possible protection to guard himself. The relevance of one plot or another plot and its effect of the course of events I would have a very hard time assessing, and I thing you would, too.
Suppose I had gone down and told them and said, yes; you know we tried to do this. How would it have altered the outcome of the Warren Commission proceeding?






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Mr. DODD. Wasn't that really for the Warren Commission to determine?
Mr. HELMS. I think that is absolutely correct, but they did not have that chance apparently.(333)

(264) Later in his testimony, Helms expressed considerable irritation over the committee's questioning about his actions in withholding such information from the Warren Commission. Helms finally remarked:

Mr. HELMS. I think it was a mistake, no doubt about it. I think we should have shoved the whole thing over. I would have backed up a truck and taken all the documents down and put them on the Warren Commission's desk.(334)

(265) With respect to the Warren Commission staff's point of view, those who testified before this committee all thought the CIA plots to kill Castro would have been relevant to the work. They disagreed on how it would have been relevant, but all agreed they should have been informed.
(266) Slawson, the staff member who investigated the possibility of foreign conspiracy, testified that he did not know of the plots. In a memorandum to Rankin on September 6, 1964, Slawson wrote:

Throughout our investigation the CIA has been sending us memorandums. The CIA made no attempt to withhold any information from the Commission that it believed was pertinent.(335)

(267) Slawson testified before this committee that the "it" in the above quote referred to the CIA.(336) He also testified that he did not know of the plots but believed that that knowledge would have been relevant to his investigation:

Q. * * * it was your impression as of September 6, 1964, near the end of the investigation, that the CIA had made no attempt to withhold any information form the Commission that the CIA believed was pertinent?
A. That is right.
Q. Did the CIA, or anyone, say, between the CIA and you, ever tell the Warren Commission members about the CIA assassination plots on Castro?
A. No; not to my knowledge.
Q. Do you believe that would have been pertinent to your work?
A. Yes.(337)

(268) Slawson testified that he did not think to would have made him do anything much differently than he had because he thought he had done everything he could have. (338) But he also testified that knowledge of the plots would have made him look harder at the possibility that Castro may have been involved.(339) He also said that, had he know at the time the information had been withheld, he might have been a little less likely to accept the CIA's determination of what was pertinent.(340)



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(269) Arlen Specter testified that information of the plots should have been made available to the Commission and that the determination as to its pertinency should have been up to the Commission:

I think that if there had been information known to the Commission about a possible assassination effort of Castro by the CIA, that the Commission would have looked into it. I would have followed those facts to see if there was any connection with the Kennedy assassination.(341)

(270) Redlich also thought the information would have affected the Commission's investigation. If nothing else, it would have led the Commission to look more closely into Oswald's Cuban connections:

I think that it would have affected it * * * How I am not completely sure * * * Although I am cognizant of the fact that the Warren Commission at least to the best of my recollection, did look into every Cuban connection that Oswald head, it is possible that this additional fact might have led to further inquiry.(342)

(271) Speaking of the CIA-Mafia assassination conspiracies against Fidel Castro, and other such information withheld from the Warren Commission, Rankin stated: Certainly if we had had that it would have bulked larger, the conspiracy area, the examination and the investigation and report, and we would have run out all the various leads and probably it is very possible that we could have come down with a good many signs of a lead down here to the underworld.(343)

(272) Former Attorney General Nicholas deB. Katzenbach told the Committee that he believed the CIA's and FBI's withholding of information regarding the existence of the CIA-Mafia plots from the Warren Commission constituted a serious failure to provide relevant evidence:

I think given that information, you would have pursued some lines of inquiry probably harder than you might have otherwise pursued them.
I have no reason to believe one way or the other it would have changed the result or turned it around or anything of that kind. I have no information on that. It is simply I believe if I had been a member of the Warren Commission, I would have believed that to be relevant information which would require investigation.(344)

(273) Katzenbach further stated that he particularly faulted former CIA Director Dulles for withholding knowledge of the Agency murder plots involving the underworld from his fellow Warren Commission members:

Perhaps naively but I thought that the appointment of Allen Dulles to the Commission would insure that the Commission had access to anything that the CIA had. I am




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astounded to this day that Mr. Dulles did not at least make that information available to the other commissioners.(345)

(274) After reviewing the published findings of the Senate Intelligence Committee regarding the CIA-Mafia assassination conspiracies of the early 1960's, Rankin testified that he believed the Agency is probably still concealing information about the plots from the Congress:

My impression of the materials that I have been furnished by you with regard to the report of the Senate committee in its investigation is that there is a considerable amount being withheld and there may be a lot of false testimony in some of the information furnished in connection with what they describe as the eight assassination attempts.
To me as a lawyer in my experience in life for a good many years, I have the impression that where they felt that you had some other information or the Senate Committee had some other information like an Inspector General's report, or other things that they could not avoid, you got something out of them, and there is a vast amount that they either are not telling or they are telling their own version of the way they want it to look, and I would not rely on any of it. I don't mean that you have not gotten some material but I don't think you have gotten all of it by any means.(346)

(275) Former Attorney General Katzenbach stated that he had been surprised to learn that the FBI had also known of the CIA-Mafia assassination plots and had also withheld the information from the Warren Commission. In discussing his view of the Bureau's role in concealing such information, Katzenbach stated:

We were unaware then of any Mafia plots. I would not really have gone through my head that that would have been a matter. It never would have occurred to me that the FBI would cover up anything. If you ask me the question, if the FBI failed to do something it should have done, would they have covered that up? My answer to you is, even then, would have been yes, they probably would; not covering up information that somebody else was guilty or something of this kind, but if the bureau made any mistake or anything for which the public could criticize the Bureau, the Bureau would do its best to conceal the information from anybody.(347)

(276) Wesley Liebeler did not think the information itself would have been particularly pertinent, but he did agree that it would have had an affect on the investigation:

I think that if I had known at the time that I would have been concerned to find out more directly whether the CIA had any information that might provide the Commission with leads on these other issues that we were looking at or issues that we never turned up. In my mind the fact, if it is a fact, that the CIA was trying to arrange the assassination of Mr. Castro at the time, the withholding of that fact by itself I




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don't think is particularly significant to anything the Commission did.
What I am saying is the fact that the CIA was attempting, if it was, to assassinate Castro, I don't understand what that has to do with Oswald or the Warren Commission investigation or anything of that sort. I think that the question of whether the CIA withheld evidence that would have provided leads to the Commission that might have connected Oswald to presumably Cuban contacts that we were not able to connect him with ourselves, that clearly would have been significant. The fact that the CIA was apparently attempting to assassinate Castro, might have provided a motive for them to withhold information if indeed they did, but the fact that they were trying to assassinate Castro had nothing to do with the issue.(348)

(277) Liebeler's doubts about the relevancy of the information itself were not shared by Griffin, the staff member who worked on the investigation of Jack Ruby. Judge Griffin testified that the Commission did not really investigate the possibility that organized crime had been involved in the assassination because there was no connection between organized crime and Oswald. Judge Griffin thought that the information about the CIA plots would have led the Commission to investigate more the Cuban/Mafia/CIA connections and, consequently, a possible connection between Ruby, organized crime, anti-Castro groups and Oswald:

Q. * * * you clearly raise questions about Ruby's possibly becoming involved in purchasing Jeeps for Castro, which is a political activity on which the CIA would have some information or they would be derelict in their duty?
A. Absolutely. * * *
Q. Would you have known the name Meyer Lansky in 1964?
A. Yes. That kind of information would not have significantly affected our decision unless we knew of two things, at least unless we knew that the Mafia, the underworld types, were being used by the CIA in connection with international Cuban activities. If we had known that the CIA in anyway was utilizing underworld people in connection with any kind of Cuban activity, that might have said more for us--most particularly if we had, of course, known that there was an effort on some part of the people in our Government to assassinate Castro. * * *
Oswald was the person who assassinated the President. There was no showing that Oswald had any connection with organized crime. Therefore, there was no reason to think that, simply because Ruby was involved in organized crime, that that would have been linked to the assassination of the President.
We needed to fill that in, in some way, but that is why the Cuban link is so important. If we had known that the CIA wanted to assassinate Castro, then all the Cuban motivations that we were exploring about this made much, much more







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sense. If we had further known that the CIA was involved with organized criminal figures in an assassination attempt in the Caribbean, then we would have had a completely different perspective on this thing.
But, because we did not have those links at this point, there was nothing to tie the underworld in with Cuba and thus nothing to tie them in with Oswald, nothing to tie them in with the assassination of the President.(349)

Submitted by:
G. ROBERT BLAKEY,
Chief Counsel and Staff Director;
GARY T. CORNWELL,
Deputy Chief Counsel;
KENNETH D. KLEIN,
Assistant Deputy Chief Counsel;
MICHAEL EWING,
DAN L. HARDWAY,
LESLIE H. WIZELMAN,
Researchers.



















Attachment A
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(278) Attachment A: The Warren Commission

































Attachment B
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(279) Attachment B: Monthly Progress of the Warren Commission Investigation

































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Attachment B: cont.

































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Attachment B: cont.
































Attachment C
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(280) Attachment C: Days worked by Warren Commission Staff

































Attachment D
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(281) Attachment D: Executive Session Testimony of Arlen Specter and Dean Norman Redlich

SUBCOMMITTEE HEARING

--------

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 1977

U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
SUBCOMMITTEE ON THE ASSASSINATION
OF JOHN F. KENNEDY OF THE SELECT
COMMITTEE OF ASSASSINATIONS,
Washington, D.C.

The subcommittee met at 10:25 a.m., pursuant to notice, in room 2237, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Richardson Preyer (chairman of the subcommittee) presiding.
Present: Representatives Preyer, Stokes, Fauntroy, Devine, McKinney, and Sawyer.
Staff members present: G. Robert Blakey, Marion Wills, Vivian McPherson, Dorothy Kuhn, Jacqueline Hess, Kenneth Klein, Elizabeth Berning, Gary Cornwell, James Wolf, Jeffrey Facter, Jan Schlichtman, Michael Goldsmith, Mitchell Mars, Robert Morrison, Larry Stickler, Clarence Day, and William Cross.
Mr. PREYER. The committee will come to order. The Chair recognizes Elizabeth Berning, the clerk of the committee, who will read for the record those members who are officially designated to be on the subcommittee today pursuant to committee rule 12.3.
Ms. BERNING. Mr. Chairman, besides yourself and Mr. Sawyer, Mr. Mckinney is substituting for Mr. Thone. Mr. Fauntroy is substituting for Mrs. Burke, and Mr. Devine will be substituting for Mr. Dodd.
Mr. PREYER. Thank you. I would like to entertain a motion at this time that today's hearing and 1 subsequent day of hearing be held in executive session, since on the basis of information obtained by the committee the committee believes the evidence or testimony may tend to defame or degrade people and consequently section 2(K) (5) of rule 11 of the rules of the House and committee rule 3.3(5), require such hearings be in executive session.
Is there a motion to that effect?
Mr. SAWYER. I so move.
Mr. PREYER. You have heard the motion. The clerk will call the role.
Ms. BERNING. Mr. Stokes.
[No response.]
Ms. BERNING. Mr. Devine.
[No response.]
Ms. BERNING. Mr. Preyer.

(79)


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Mr. PREYER. Aye.
Ms. BERNING. Mr. McKinney.
Mr. McKINNEY. Aye.
Ms. BERNING. Mr. Fauntroy.
Mr. FAUNTROY. Aye.
Ms. BERNING. Mr. Thone.
[No response]
Ms. BERNING. Mrs. Burke.
[No response]
Ms. BERNING. Mr. Sawyer.
Mr. SAWYER. Aye.
Ms. BERNING. Mr. Dodd.
[No response]
Ms. BERNING. From Ford.
[No response]
Ms. BERNING. Mr. Fithian.
[No response]
Ms. BERNING. Mr. Edgar.
[No response]
Ms. BERNING. There are four ayes.
Mr. PREYER. The motion is carried and at this time the committee will go into executive session.
Mr. Specter, it is a pleasure to have you with us.
Mr. SPECTER. Nice to be here, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. PREYER. Off the record.
[Discussion off the record.]
Mr. PREYER. On the record.
Under our procedures, Mr. Specter, I will ask that you stand and be sworn.
Do you solemnly swear that the testimony you will give the subcommittee in this matter will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God.
Mr. SPECTER. I do.
Mr. PREYER. Will the clerk give Mr. Specter a copy of our rules?
Let the record show that Mr. specter has received a copy of the rules of the committee.
House Resolution 222 mandates the committee "to conduct a full and complete investigation and study of the circumstances surrounding the assassination and death of President John F. Kennedy including determining whether the existing laws of the United States concerning the protection of the President and the investigating jurisdiction and capability of agencies and Departments are adequate in their provisions and enforcement, and whether there was full disclosure of evidence and information among agencies and departments of the U.S. Government and whether any evidence or information not in the possession of an Agency or Department would have been of assistance in investigating the assassination and why such information was not provided or checked by that Agency or Department and to make recommendations to the House if the select committee deems it appropriate for the amendment of existing legislation or the enactment of new legislation."
The Chair will recognize Mr. Klein at this time.


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STATEMENT OF ARLEN SPECTER

Mr. SPECTER. Mr. Chairman, before the questioning begins, may I note for the committee that in scheduling my appearance today I have a conflict to be in Reading and was very hopeful of being out by 11 or at least by 11:30. I realize that the time is not something that can be determined with absolute precision but I did want to call your attention to a problem.
My appearance was scheduled last week on rather short notice and I do want to cooperate and be available when the committee wanted me so I am here today but I wanted to note that circumstance. I am advised by counsel that I will have an opportunity to review my testimony for purposes of correcting some inaccuracy in transcription and that I am not limited in any way form commenting on what I say here today. I just want to be sure.
I have no had an opportunity to read the committee rules which are rather voluminous which I have received.
Mr. PREYER. The chair can assure you, mr. Specter, that there won't be any problem in that connection. You will be free to comment in any way you choose.
Mr. SPECTER. Thank you, sir. Mr. PREYER. We appreciate your problem. We will certainly do the best we can to accommodate you.
Mr. SPECTER. Thank you.
Mr. PREYER. Mr. Klein.
Mr. KLEIN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Specter, what was your position prior to taking a position with the Warren Commission?
Mr. SPECTER. I was assistant district attorney in Philadelphia, Pa.
Mr. KLEIN. How many years of investigative and prosecutorial experience did you have before working with the Warren commission?
Mr. SPECTER. I was assistant district attorney from October 1959 until January of 1964 when I became assistant counsel to the Commission. I served in the U.S. Air Force Office of Special Investigations form 1951-53. I practiced law in Philadelphia from the fall of 1956 until October of 1959 which might have some bearing on your question about investigative experience.
Mr. KLEIN. Prior to being hired by the Warren Commission what was said to you about the goals of the Warren Commission and about what your function would be as staff counsel?
Mr. SPECTER. The goals of the Warren commission, as I understood them, were to find out the facts and the truth relating to as assassination of President Kennedy. I was to function as one of the lawyers on that job.
Mr. KLEIN. After serving as staff counsel on the Warren Commission in your opinion what were the real objectives of the Warren Commission investigation?
Mr. SPECTER. To find the truth about all the facts relating to the assassination of President Kennedy?
Mr. KLEIN. I would like to suggest some other possible objectives and you can comment on them. Was it as objective of the Warren Commission to allay public fears?






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Mr. SPECTER. No, sir. At least not to the extent that they conflicted with the facts.
Mr. KLEIN. Was it an objective of the Warren Commission to try to prevent an international crisis?
Mr. SPECTER. no, sir.
Mr. KLEIN. Was it an objective of the Warren Commission to allow a smooth transition in national leadership?
Mr. SPECTER. No, sir. We were not unmindful of international concern about the fats relating to the assassination of President Kennedy but none of the considerations which you have just mentioned was in any way a consideration which would influence the activities of the Commission or my activities as assistant counsel for the Commission.
Mr. KLEIN. Are you saying that these factors could have been present but that they would not have caused you to deviate from what you saw as your primary objective, which was to find out what happened?
Mr SPECTER. That is correct, they would not cause us to deviate. When Chief Justice Warren addressed the staff in an early session, as I recall, though this goes back a long way, the Chief Justice commented about great international concern about the facts of the assassination. So that was a matter in our minds but we did not tailor our findings to accommodate any interest other than the truth.
Mr. KLEIN. To the extent that they were consistent with finding the truth, then they might have been part of the objectives of the Warren Commission?
Mr. SPECTER. I don't really think they they were part of the objectives of the Warren Commission. I believe that the Commission received its mandate from the President to find the facts on the assassination and that was it, pure and simple.
Mr. KLEIN. In your opinion were the operating procedures and organizational structure of the Warren Commission conductive to achieving the objectives of the Warren Commission as you have stated those objectives.
Mr. SPECTER. Yes; I think they were within the context that the Commission came together without having any prior organizational structure and not having any independent investigative staff.
There was a concern for promptness in our determination but subject to the general circumstances of the Commission's organization I would say that the procedures were conducive to finding the truth.
Mr. KLEIN. And also the organizational structure, was that conducive to finding the truth? by that I am not talking about the way it was divided up in different categories but the categories themselves?
Mr. SPECTER. Yes; I think the categories were adequate to finding the truth. If by organization structure you include the personnel available, I think that everyone would have much preferred to have had a totally independent investigative arm to carry out the investigative functions of the Commission but I believe the Commission concluded early on, and I was not privy to any such position from my position as assistant counsel, that it would be impractical to organize an entire investigative staff from the start so that use was made of existing Federal investigative facilities.
Mr. KLEIN. In the beginning of your last answer did you say there was some agreement that if it would have been practical they should have had their own investigators?







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Mr. SPECTER. No; there was no agreement that I know about. The most that I can say on that subject would be that speaking from my own perspective that when the lawyers would discuss the procedures from time to time, and that is why I include this comment within the scope of your question on procedures, there would be an observation from time to time how nice it would be if we had a totally independent staff. The consequence of that kind of observation or wish was that none was to be provided and the necessities to move forward with promptness led the Commission to conclude and this is only my inference, that it was going to function within existing Federal investigative agencies.
Mr. KLEIN. You had no input into that particular decision?
Mr. SPECTER. I did not.
Mr. KLEIN. looking at the type and mix of the personnel, were they conducive to achieving the objectives?
Mr. SPECTER. Yes; I think the Commission recruited qualified people to carry on the job with respect to those were designated as assistant counsel.
Mr. KLEIN. Is it true that some of the senior counsel, because of their busy schedules and their prior commitments, were not able to fully participate in the investigation?
Mr. SPECTER. I would prefer not to ascribe reasons but simply to say some of the senior counsel did not participate as extensively as some of the junior counsel.
Mr. KLEIN. Did that in any way affect achieving the objectives?
Mr. SPECTER. I don't think that it is although it would have been helpful if my senior counsel, Francis Adams, had had an opportunity to participate more extensively. I respond with respect to Mr. Adams because that is the are a I worked on and that is what I can comment about relatively and most directly.
Mr. KLEIN. In your opinion did the Warren Commission have any initial factual assumptions regarding the following areas: First, the identity of the assassin?
Mr. SPECTER. I think we did not have any initial assumptions. We read the newspapers like anyone else did before any of us became associated with the Commission but our job was to find the assassin. So we did not have any prejudgment on that question.
Mr. KLEIN. As to the reliability, trustworthiness, and competency of the investigative agencies which assisted the Commission?
Mr. SPECTER. We were concerned about some of the agencies from the point of view that their own activities were the subject of investigation. So that was always a matter of concern.
With respect to their capabilities, speaking for myself I had had experience with the FBI and had found them to be able investigative personnel in my prior contacts. I had never had prior experience with the Secret Service as I recollect it but I had no reason to doubt their competency, except the President was assassinated.
Mr. KLEIN. At the initial phases of the investigation you said you were aware of the agency's possible involvement. What are you referring to?









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Mr. SPECTER. The Secret Service had the responsibility to protect the President and they did not protect the President. So their procedures were obviously a subject of investigation. The FBI had certain responsibilities in the field of Presidential protection so that their activities were subject to scrutiny by the Commission.
Mr. KLEIN. With regard to any initial factual assumptions that the Warren Commission might have had, were there any regarding possible repercussions from the various conclusions that might have been reached?
Mr. SPECTER. No, sir. That is speaking of any knowledge that I had about the situation.
Mr. KLEIN. In your opinion what effect, if any, did the organization and procedures have on the end result?
Mr. SPECTER. I think that the organizations and procedures were reasonably calculated to produce reasonably accurate results, given the scope of the investigation, the general time frame that the Commission had established. I might say at the outset that in response to that question that my view is that the Commission's conclusions have withstood the test of time to this point. I believe the single bullet conclusion is sound, I believe Oswald was the assassin.
With respect to an issue as to whether there was a conspiracy, the most that the Commission could do was to survey all the evidence and based on the absence of any evidence shoeing a conspiracy to conclude that there was no evidence of a conspiracy. It is obviously impossible to prove a negative the same way that a positive is proved. I have been concerned about some of the disclosures with respect to the allegation about the FBI destroying a note from Oswald. I have been concerned about the issue of CIA involvement in assassination plots against Castro, and I have said publicly in the past, and I repeat today that I think those specific leads ought to be inquired into.
I was hopeful that the Senate committee that was in this field 2 years ago would have done that. I would be hopeful that this committee would do that. I did not have a direct role in the areas relating to the investigation on conspiracy but I have no reason to believe that there was a conspiracy. My own personal observation is that had there been a conspiracy that it would most probably have come to light prior to today given the institutions of our American democracy and the wide-ranging investigations which have been made in this field.
I think as long as there is any indication that official agencies of the Government like the FBI destroyed evidence or that the CIA was involved, at least allegedly involved in the assassination plot against Castro, had any effect on the assassination of President Kennedy, I think those are matters that ought to be inquired into, but my own personal thought is that it will not result in the change in the findings of the Commission. To come back to your question, my view is that the Commission did a good job and that the Commission's work has withstood the test of time and a great seal of scrutiny and an enormous number of questions and a prodigious number of debates.
I think the questioning is all very healthy in a democratic society and I don't think it is likely to put an end to any questions today, tomorrow, or in the future, considering the fact that the Lincoln assassination is still under investigation, and I have responded to questions










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over the years since the first questions were raised with Mr. Epstein's book and thereafter, and I am glad to respond to the questions and I think the Commission's work was good work.
Mr. KLEIN. Did you experience any restrictions on your investigation or on the writeup of your investigation due to the organization and work procedures that were used by the Warren Commission?
Mr. SPECTER. While I do not think it was the organizational procedures themselves which imposed any restrictions on my work, the Commission made decisions as to what would abe done which was not always in accordance with my own personal view as to what should be done, for example, the review of the X-rays and photographs of the assassination of President Kennedy. I thought that they should have been observed by the Commission and by me among other perhaps having responsibility for that are an I said so at the time.
I did not recollect the memorandum which you have made available to me today where I pressed to have that done. I have said that publicly before. There were some other areas where if I had been making the final decision for the Commission I would have pursued investigative matter somewhat differently.
Mr. KLEIN. What are the areas?
Mr. SPECTER. Well, the concerns that I had, I would have questioned President Johnson and Mrs. Johnson before the Commission and I prepared a long list of questions to that effect. You have made them available to me. I have not seen them since I worked with the Commission. I would have questioned Mrs. Kennedy much more extensively than the abbreviated questioning which took place of Mrs. Kennedy. Those items I would have done differently. I do not think they would have affected the conclusions of the Commission at all but I think in the interests of a full record and comprehensive examination of key witnesses at the scene that such inquiries would have been preferable to the abbreviated questioning of Mrs. Kennedy or the statements submitted by President Johnson and Mrs. Johnson.
Mr. KLEIN. In the case of the questions that were not submitted, why in your opinion weren't they submitted? Why weren't they asked?
Mr. SPECTER. As to Mrs. Kennedy, I believe that Attorney General Robert Kennedy was very protective of her evidence because of the fact that the questioning was held, as I recollect it, in her apartment and only the Chief Justice was present with Mr. Rankin and it was very brief.
With respect to why President Johnson wasn't questioned, I suppose it is because he was the President and didn't want to be questioned.
Mr. KLEIN. Were you ever told why he wasn't questioned?
Mr. SPECTER. No. I thought he should have been questioned and I submitted a long list of questions and I recommended that he be questioned. Since I was assistant counsel and he was the President I thought that was enough.
Mr. KLEIN. You never got anything back explaining why the decision was made not to question him?
Mr. SPECTER. I don't believe so.
Mr. KLEIN. What procedures existed, if any, to allow staff members to keep abreast of work being done by other staff members?








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Mr. SPECTER. As I recollect it, some of the written reports were circulated so that we could read the interim reports and the final reports of the members of the staff. There was a very formal atmosphere on the staff so that there was constant contact among all the lawyers both during the working day and those of us who were around the evenings, we would customarily have diner together, the virtual was a very extensive exchange albeit principally informal among members of the staff as to what each was doing.
Mr. KLEIN. What procedure existed to assure that staff members would receive all information relative to the areas they worked with respect both to internal documents or information from sources outside the Commission?
Mr. SPECTER. As I recollect it, the information was funneled to the individuals in the various areas through Mr. Rankin who served as the conduit in many directions, from the outside to the Commission, from the outside to the lawyers, from the lawyers to the Commission, from the Commission to the lawyers, so that when information would come in which would bear, for example, on area one, which was my area, I would customarily receive it from Mr. Rankin, perhaps through Mr. Eisenberg who was his executive assistant, and perhaps Mr. Willins who did a great deal of the liaison work.
Mr. KLEIN. Was this procedure successful in you opinion? Do you feel that you received all the information that should have gotten to you?
Mr. SPECTER. I have no reason to think that it was unsuccessful in any respect.
Mr. KLEIN. As a Warren Commission staff counsel what was your particular area of responsibility?
Mr. SPECTER. My area was area one which involved the activities of the President from the time he left the White House until he returned after his death to the White House, with a principal focus on examination of the medical evidence, the trajectory of the shots as they related to medical evidence. I would say that is a brief description to the area of responsibility for area one.
Mr. KLEIN. Were their any changes in your duties as the investigation proceeded?
Mr. SPECTER. I was asked to take on certain other responsibilities such as the questioning of witnesses, Oswald's capability as a marksman, I was asked to be the Commission representative at the polygraph examination of Jack Ruby as a result of my having been present at part of his testimony in Dallas. Without reviewing the voluminous record in detail I think that comprehends generally what my assignments were.
Mr. KLEIN. What was the relationship of the staff counsel with the Commission?
Mr. SPECTER. Cordial, somewhat limited.
Mr. KLEIN. Was there any exchange of ideas, free exchange of ideas between staff counsel and the Commission?
Mr. SPECTER. Yes. The Commissioners would come to headquarters from time to time. When they would there were occasional conversations, initiated principally by the Commissioners but in some










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instances by staff counsel. There were exchanges before and after sessions. There were exchanges on trips. I made a trip with Chief Justice Warren from Washington to Dallas and back to Washington where there were quite a number of exchanges.
President Ford, then Congressman Ford, was present on that trip. I recollect exchanges with him on that particular occasion. In terms of the setting which would enable you to talk there were exchanges.
Mr. KLEIN. In your opinion were the Commissioners well informed about the facts of this case?
Mr. SPECTER. I think generally, yes.
Mr. KLEIN. Will you tell us approximately how long you worked for the Warren Commission?
Mr. SPECTER. I recollect that I started sometime in early January 1964 and I worked through to early June when I submitted my report and I worked principally a 5-day week, occasionally less if I had some other responsibilities. I had some carryover cases as assistant district attorney. Then I helped out intermittently on the areas I identified, Oswald's capability as a marksman, taking some testimony and going to Dallas with the Ruby polygraph as I recollect in July 1964. I am sure there are records which list every day because we were paid on a daily basis.
Mr. KLEIN. From January to July did you consider this a full-time job?
Mr. SPECTER. Yes; subject to doing some other things but I considered it my principal occupation, my principal responsibility.
Mr. KLEIN. In your areas of investigation which you have told us about, were you able to reasonably explore and resolve all the viable questions?
Mr. SPECTER. I think that I was, and we were subject to the limitations that I have already articulated for you about the X-rays and photographs and perhaps the testimony from President and Mrs. Johnson and fuller testimony from Mrs. Kennedy.
Mr. KLEIN. Did you have enough time to investigate the areas you were responsible for?
Mr. SPECTER. I think that we did. The attitude with respect to time perhaps should be viewed in November of 1977 as being somewhat different from 1964 to the extent that the Commission was interested in a prompt conclusion of its work. It did not seek to sacrifice completeness for promptness, but it was very cognizant of the desirability of promptness. When the Commission started its job, there was no conclusion date picked.
My recollection is that it was discussed in terms of perhaps as little as 3 months, perhaps as much as 6 months. As we moved along in the investigation, there were comments or attitudes that we should be moving along, we should get the investigation concluded, so that the scope of what we sought to do and the time in which we sought to do it had as its backdrop an obvious attitude by the Commission that it wanted to conclude the investigation at the earliest possible date.
Mr. KLEIN. From whom in particular did these comments come, about moving along and getting the investigation done?
Mr. SPECTER. It is not possible some 13 years later to identify specific comments but that was an attitude from the Chief Justice Warren who











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was a fine administrator and an extraordinary person that I think did a superb job on the Commission. I do not mean to suggest that his interest in expediting the investigation in any way reflected an attitude on his part to have shortcuts, but we worked to get with it and we worked hard to get it done.
Mr. KLEIN. Did you feel that you were able to do everything that you wanted to do in the areas that you were investigating?
Mr. SPECTER. Yes; subject to the limitations that I have already described to you. There was a fair amount of independence exercised by some of us on the staff that exhibited itself in perhaps small ways. In questioning some of the witnesses in my area, I would ask questions which I recognized would be unlikely to draw very specific answers but which I thought were important for the record, questions such as:

To the best of your ability to recollect, what was the lapse of time within the first shot and second shot; to the best of your recollection, what was the elapse of time between the second shot and third shot? To the best of your ability to recollect, what was the distance traveled from the first shot to the second shot?

These questions, and I have not reviewed the transcript before coming here today because the parameters you and I discussed was to be on procedure and not on substance and there is not time to review the substantive work in the course of a few days between the time you asked me to appear here and the time I am here, but I make references to those portions of the questioning, as I recollect it, and there was an overriding feeling that many of those questions could not produce sufficiently specific answers to warrant the questions.
There was an attitude on my part, and I think on the part of other lawyers, we were going to ask the questions for the record.
If some of the Commissioners thought we went too slow, so be it. I recall the Chief Justice starting the questioning of Mrs. Connally after I questioned Governor Connally, saying that the questioning would be brief. I proceeded with the questioning in a way I thought was adequate, but I was mindful of the fact that the Chief Justice who would have conducted the questioning differently if he had been the questioner.
Mr. KLEIN. Were any political pressures applied to prevent you from thoroughly considering all the issues in your area of responsibility?
Mr. SPECTER. No.
Mr. KLEIN. In your opinion, did you have adequate support with respect to research and with respect to investigators in your area?
Mr. SPECTER. I think we did although I must say that as I watched CBS's seek major analysis of our work and they talked about various scientific devices that can be applied to the film, I watched those TV shows with the great and personal attention to see if they had found some procedures and techniques that were not present in 1964 or perhaps some procedure and techniques that were present in 1964 that I didn't know about or when we discussed the triangulation of photographs which you and I talked about in my office during a brief interview the week before last, I wondered if there were some techniques that might have been applied that we didn't apply. But within the scope of what my knowledge was at the time and what techniques were called to my attention, I believe that we had adequate backup facilities.








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Mr. KLEIN. Were you told that you could have free rein as far s techniques performed in your area of responsibility?
Mr. SPECTER. I don't believe anybody ever said, "You have free rein." But when a suggestion would be made it was always dealt with as if we had free rein to make whatever suggestion we chose. In the context of specific requests some tugs were pulled. There was some reluctance to having onsite tests in Dallas in late May 1964. A number of us on the staff were very insistent upon that. It was not too big a battle. We got the tests.
Mr. KLEIN. How did you come to the conclusion that a single bullet hit both President Kennedy and Governor Connally?
Mr. SPECTER. Is that a procedural question or substantive question?
Mr. KLEIN. You don't have to go into specific facts but tell us how you came to that conclusion.
Mr. SPECTER. That conclusion was reached because of the evidence which showed that the bullet entered the back of the President's neck and did not strike any solid subject in the President's body and exited from the front of his throat, creasing his tie where a tear was found in his tie, and from the lineup of the President's body and the position of Governor Connally and the position of the limousine, that a bullet existing from the President's throat with the velocity calculated would be ballistic evidence showing that the bullet found on the stretcher, believed to be Connally's , and the large fragments in the front seat of the limousine conclusively having come from the weapon identified as being Oswald's, which have us our basis for calculating velocity, that such a bullet would have had to have struck either someone else in the car or the car itself, and the evidence shoed that the car itself was not struck, and Governor Connally was seated immediately in front of President Kennedy, which led to the inference that the bullet most probably struck Governor Canaille. The wounds on Governor Canaille were consistent with the bullet which had a slight yaw on it and the tests performed on the anesthetized goats were consistent with a bullet losing substantial velocity in tumbling through Governor Connally's chest and consistent with passing through Governor Connally's wrist backward and then, velocity almost spent, lodging in Governor connally's left thigh. So the facts that we found were all consistent with the single bullet conclusion.
But the most persuasive evidence was the alinement of the President, the trajectory of the bullet and the necessity for the bullet to have hit either someone or someone in the car in the absence of having struck the car.
Mr. KLEIN. As you sit here today do you believe that President Kennedy and Governor Connally were hit by one bullet?
Mr. SPECTER. Yes, sir.
Mr. KLEIN. What experts ere consulted in determining this?
Mr. SPECTER. Mr. Klein, that is definitely substantive.
Mr. KLEIN. I am not asking for names. I am asking what types of experts were consulted?
Mr. SPECTER. Well, we consulted, we took testimony from doctors in Parkland Hospital who worked on the President and Governor and autopsy surgeons and from Colonel Finck who was an expert although










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not, as I recollect it, I am not sure as I say this, whether he was at the autopsy or not, I believe he was but I am not sure, and from some experts at Edgewood Arsenal.
I don't recall others but I have not reviewed the report with a view to being able to recite the experts who were consulted.
Mr. KLEIN. Do you recall Commission exhibit 399 which has been called the "pristine bullet"?
Mr. SPECTER. Yes; I do.
Mr. KLEIN. Are you fully satisfied that exhibit 399 is the bullet that went through the President and the Governor?
Mr. SPECTER. Yes; I am, the President's neck and the Governor.
Mr. KLEIN. In your opinion in Commission exhibit 399 had been discovered on the President's stretcher and not on Governor Connally's stretcher would the single bullet theory, have any validity?
Mr. SPECTER. Mr. KLEIN, you are going far beyond procedure, far beyond what we talked bout before.
Mr. KLEIN. I don't see this as calling for a particular---
Mr. SPECTER. It requires some recollection and some thought. You asked if the bullet was found on the President's stretcher? The thoughts that are running through my mind at the moment are what proximity Governor Connally had to the President's stretcher so that the bullet which ended up in his thigh, whether or not that could have been moved or ended up on the President's stretcher or what the personnel at Parkland might have done with the bullet as it came from the Governor's body or from his clothing, that is a question that would require a good bit or more thought than I would care to give it on the spur of the moment.
That was not a question that you and I discussed.
Mr. KLEIN. That is right. That particular question we did not discuss.
Mr. SPECTER. I believe the evidence is very persuasive that the bullet did not come from President Kennedy's stretcher. I say that only from recollection because I believe that all of the linens were taken from President Kennedy's stretcher after he died and the controversy as to which stretcher it came from, I think it in no way came form the President's stretcher as I recollect the evidence. It is a long time ago and it was involved.
Mr. KLEIN. In your opinion if the single bullet theory was not valid could there still have been only one shooter.
Mr. Specter. Yes.
Mr. KLEIN. Do you agree that the alleged murder weapon, the Mannlicher-Carcano rifle, has not been fired twice in less than 2.3 seconds?
Mr. SPECTER. My recollection is that the investigation showed that the shots he fired were within 2.3 seconds so that three shots would be fired in 4.6 seconds.
Mr. KLEIN. Do you think there was enough time from your viewing of the film and other evidence you saw, enough time so that the Governor and the President could have been hit by two bullets and that Oswald would have had enough time to fire his rifle in that space of time?
Mr. SPECTER. Yes; it is entirely possible that President Kennedy was struck in the neck by a bullet which was fired before President






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Kennedy went behind the tree and that Governor Connally was struck by a bullet while the President and the Governor were behind a sign, so that the single bullet conclusion in my judgment is not all dispensable to the single assassin theory. I don't think that is the way it happened.
I don't think the single bullet theory, that is to say I do not think that they were struck by separate bullets with respect to the President's neck wounds and the wounds on governor Connally but I think they could have been struck by separate bullets, all fired by Oswald.
Mr. KLEIN. Do you recall that Mr. Darrell C. Tomlinson was the man who found the bullet, exhibit 399 in Parkland Hospital?
Mr. SPECTER. Yes.
Mr. KLEIN. Do you recall at what point in the development of the bullet theory you first spoke to Mr. Tomlinson?
Mr. SPECTER. You mentioned his testimony yesterday, so I read the testimony on the train. The first and only time I talked with Mr. Tomlinson is when I took the deposition. I talked to him briefly before I took the deposition and when I took the deposition.
Mr. KLEIN. Do you recall at what point in time, in relation to then the one bullet theory was formulated, you decided that one bullet hit the President and the Governor?
Mr. Specter. That is another question which you didn't discuss with me before and that is a question which requires a fair amount of reconstruction.
Mr. KLEIN. I did mention this question to you yesterday.
Mr. SPECTER. You mentioned to me you were going to ask me about Tomlinson and when I first talked to him but not about when the single bullet theory was formulated.
The answer to the last question that you have asked as to when the single bullet theory evolved required a very careful reconstruction of the time sequence, principally starting with the interviews with Commander Humes and his testimony and the evidence which evolved, the Gregory testimony and the Gregory Humes report. That is not a question that can be answered on the spur of the moment. That will require a very careful reconstruction of the time sequence where that evidence was uncovered.
Mr KLEIN. Were you the Warren Commission's staff member most directly concerned with the autopsy findings?
Mr. SPECTER. I think so. I think others doubtless read the reports and were conversant with it but I say that I believe I was, based on the fact that I took the testimony of Boswell and Humes.
Mr. KLEIN. You testified that you spoke to the autopsy doctors?
Mr. SPECTER. Yes, sir, before I took their testimony.
Mr. KLEIN. Did you speak to any other forensic pathology experts?
Mr. SPECTER. On this case?
Mr. KLEIN. On this case.
MR. SPECTER. Prior to the time I did my work on the Warren Commission?
Mr. KLEIN. Yes; in relation to this.
Mr. SPECTER. There have been a lot of discussions about this case over the course of the past 13 years. But to deal with the question as






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to whether I talked to any other forensic pathologist prior to coming to the conclusions in writing my section of the draft report, I believe that I did not.
Mr. KLEIN. You also testified that you did not have an opportunity to review the photographs and the X-rays pertaining to the President's wounds?
Mr. SPECTER. I certainly have.
Mr. KLEIN. Could you explain the reasons given to you as to why you could not view those X-rays and photographs?
Mr. SPECTER. I do not know here again that anybody ever said what the reasons were. I do know that I wanted to see them and there is a memorandum, which I just looked at this morning, which I am very delighted to see in the files, about my pressing to see it.
Reconstructing the reasons as best I can at this point, I believe it was, and I have said this publicly before, an attitude on the part of the Kennedy family that it might be possible that the photographs and X-rays would get into the public domain and the photographs would defile the memory and image of President Kennedy as a vibrant young leader and it would be ghoulish to show him in the picture with half his head blown off. That was the reason why I was not permitted to see them, as a speculation or a feel for the situation.
Mr. KLEIN. Mr. Chairman, I would ask that these documents be marked as committee exhibits.
Mr. PREYER. Did you want the one dated April 30th marked exhibit 1---
Mr. SPECTER. Are those the papers you gave me today?
Mr. PREYER. Without objection the two exhibits will be marked was exhibits 11 and 12 and entered into the record at this point.
[The following exhibits 11 and 12 were received in evidence.]

JFK EXHIBIT No. 11

[MEMORANDUM]
APRIL 30, 1964.

To: Mr. J. Lee Rankin.
From: Arlen Specter.
Subject: Autopsy photographs and X-rays of President John F. Kennedy.

In my opinion it is indispensable that we obtain the photographs and X-rays of President Kennedy's autopsy for the following reasons:
1. The Commission should determine with certainty whether the shots came from the rear.--Someone from the Commission should review the films to corroborate the autopsy surgeons' testimony that the holes on the President's back and head had the characteristics of points of entry. None of the doctors at Parkland Hospital in Dallas observed the hole in the President's back or the small hole in the lower portion of his head. With all of the outstanding controversy about the direction of the shots, there must be independent viewings of the films to verify testimony which has come only from Government doctors.
2. The Commission should determine with certainty whether the shots came from above.--It isd essential for the Commission to know precisely the location of the bullet wound on the President's back so that the angle may be calculated. The artist's drawing prepared at Bethesda (Commission exhibit No. 385) shows a slight angle of declination. It is hard, if not impossible, to explain such a slight angle of decline unless the President was farther down Elm Street than we have heretofore believed. Before coming to any conclusion on this, the angles will have to be calculated at the scent; and for this, the exact point of entry should be known.
3. The Commission should determine with certainty that there are no major variations between the films and the artist's drawings.--Commission exhibits Nos.



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385, 386 and 388 were made from the recollections of the autopsy surgeons as told to the artist. Some day someone may compare the films with the artist's drawings and find a significant error which might substantially affect the essential testimony and the Commissions' conclusions. In any event, the Commission should not rely on hazy recollections, especially in view of the statement in the autopsy report (Commission exhibit No. 387) that:
"The complexity of these fractures and the fragments thus produced tax satisfactory verbal description and are better appreciated in photographs and roentgenograms which are prepared."
When Inspector Kelly talked to Attorney General Kennedy, he most probably did not fully understand all the reasons for viewing the films. According to Inspector Kelly, the Attorney general did not categroically decline to make them available, but only wanted to be satisfied that they were really necessary. I suggest that the Commission transmit to the Attorney General its reasons for wanting the films and the assurance that they will be viewed only by the absolute minimum number of people from the Commission for the sole purpose of corroborating (or correcting) the artist's drawings, with the films not to become a part of the Commission's records.

JFK EXHIBIT No. 12

[Memorandum]
MAY 12, 1964.


To: Mr. J. Lee Rankin.
From: Arlan Specter.
Subject: Examination of autopsy photographs and X-rays of President Kennedy.

When the autopsy photographs and X-rays are examined, we should be certain to determine the following:
1. The photographs and X-rays confirm the precise location of the entrance wound in the back of the head depicted in Commission exhibits 386 and 388.
2. The photographs and X-rays confirm the precise location of the wound of entrance of the upper back of the President as depicted in Commission exhibits 385 and 386.
3. The photographs and X-rays confirm the precise area of the President's skull which was disrupted by the bullet when it exited as depicted in Commission Exhibit 388.
4. The characterisitcs of the wounds on the President's back and on the back of his head should be examined closely in the photographs and X-rays to determine for certain whether they are characteristic of entrance wounds under the criteria advanced by Doctors Finck, Humes, Boswell, gregory, Shaw, Perry and Carrico.
The films and X-rays should be viewed in conjunction with Commission exhibit 389 (a photograph of the frame of the Zapruder film immediately before the frame showing the head wound) and Commission exhibit 390 (the frame of the Zapruder film showing the head wound) to determine for certain whether the angle of declination is accurately depicted in commission exhibit 388.
I suggest that we have a court reporter present so that we may examine Dr. Humes after the X-rays and photographs are reviewed to put on the record:
1. Any changes in his testimony or theories required by a review of the X-rays and films, and
2. Corroboration of the portions or all of his prior testimony which may be confirmed by viewing the photographs and X-rays.

Mr. KLEIN. Mr. Specter, you have before you a copy of the memorandum dated April 30, 1964, to Mr. Rankin from Arlen Specter and the memorandum dated May 12, 1964, to Mr. Rankin from Arlen Specter.
Mr. SPECTER. I have two such memoranda you gave me shortly before I testified today.
Mr. KLEIN. Have you had an opportunity to read those memoranda?
Mr. SPECTER. Yes; I did.
Mr. KLEIN. Do you recall writing them?



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Mr. SPECTER. Very vaguely. I have no doubt that I did write them. But in direct response to your question do I remember writing these memoranda, very vaguely.
Mr. KLEIN. Is it fair to say that the memorandum of April 30 expresses your opinion that in order for the Commission to determine with certainty that the shots came from the rear, that the shots came from above, and that there are no variations between the films and the artist's drawings that it would be necessary to obtain the autopsy X-rays and photographs?
Mr. SPECTER. As you phrase the question permit me to read the memorandum please. Your question was necessary, indispensable?
Mr. KLEIN. To the Commission in order to determine with certainty.
Mr. SPECTER. The thought running through my mind, why I wanted to read it, is whether it was indispensable or only desirable. Let me pause a moment and reread it.
I believe that it was necessary for the Commission to determine with certainty the direction of the shots, which is what is said here on No. 1, that "The Commission should determine with certainty whether the shots came from the rear" and No. 2, "The Commission should determine with certainty whether the shots came from above," and also 3, "The Commission should determine with certainty there are no major variations between the films and the artist's drawings."
I believe that it was highly desirable for the X-rays and photographs to be viewed to corroborate the testimony of the autopsy surgeons. I was overruled on the request that I made to see them in drafting my own portion of the report.
My own feel for the situation at this moment, with what has been publicly disclosed, that their have been independent viewings of the photos and X-rays, is that they do corroborate the testimony of the autopsy surgeons. I did not doubt the veracity of the autopsy surgeons when they testified because I believe they are truthful men. I also felt that they would not be motivated to lie because they didn't know whether the photos and X-rays were going to be viewed that should have been done.
I do not think that the X-rays and films were indispensable for the Commission to reach the conclusion because it had a final judgment to make on what evidence it would hear.
Mr. KLEIN. Do you now disagree with part of this memorandum--
Mr. SPECTER. No, sir, I don't disagree with any part of the memo.
Mr. KLEIN. "--in my opinion it is indispensable that we obtain the photographs and X-rays of President Kennedy's autopsy for the following reasons:" You say now it wasn't indispensable?
Mr. SPECTER. Well, I think from my own personal point of view that the investigation should not have been closed and the conclusion should not have been reached and I did not want to come to final conclusions without seeing the X-rays and photographs. So from my point of view, indispensable is not too strong a word. As I reread this memo from 13-plus years ago, I was pushing the Commission to let me see the photos and X-rays. But I cannot say that the Commission was








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derelict in its duty in coming to a conclusion as to what it wanted to see other than my own thoughts on the subject.
Mr. KLEIN. In your opinion as the staff member most directly concerned with the autopsy findings were you able to adequately investigate this aspect of the case without seeing those X-rays and photographs and having them evaluated by an independent forensic pathology expert?
Mr. SPECTER. I can only repeat what I have already said to you on that subject. I considered it something that I wanted to do. Having been overruled on an opportunity to look at the photos and X-rays, I then functioned with the evidence which I had.
Mr. KLEIN. I understand that, I understand you went along, the decision was made and you accepted that, but in your opinion could you adequately investigate that area without having the X-rays and photographs evaluated?
Mr. SPECTER. I think there was sufficient factual basis for me as an investigator to reach a conclusion on the evidence which I had which is what I did. I then came back to analyze some of the credibility of Boswell, Humes, and finck, and I believe that they were honest and I concluded that their testimony was a sufficient factual basis for the conclusions I wrote in my recommendation.
Mr. KLEIN. Is it fair to say that when you evaluated their credibility, you considered whether they were telling the truth as opposed to whether they were telling the truth as opposed to whether they could have made a technical error which you would not be able to know, not having seen any of the autopsy photographs?
Mr. SPECTER. I based it on their honesty and also on their ability to observe and upon the records which they had an opportunity to make. All those factors in my judgment justified my conclusion that their recounting of the facts was correct.
Mr. KLEIN. Are you aware that the doctors themselves had not seen the X-rays and photographs at the time they spoke to you?
Mr. SPECTER. I believe that is in the record. I believe that they testified to that effect, but I do not know that because I have not reviewed it.
Mr. KLEIN. Were you aware that the FBI report issued on December 9, 1963, and the supplementary FBI report issued on January 13, 1964, both stated that the first bullet that hit the President did not exit from his body?
Mr. SPECTER. You and I discussed that when we met the week before last, and I do believe that the FBI report so stated but I have no firm recollection of that at this time.
Mr. KLEIN. Do you have any recollection as to whether you were able to resolve this discrepancy, considering that the FBI reports came out after the doctor's autopsy report had been written? Do you have any recollection of that?
Mr. SPECTER. My recollection is that we investigated it and the conclusion we came to was that the FBI report was written based upon the comments made in the course of the autopsy before the autopsy surgeons knew there had been a bullet hole in front of the President's neck, so their early speculation was that the bullet penetrated the back of President Kennedy's neck, and they speculated, we believe, that the bullet was forced out under pressure by external heart massage. When








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they proceeded with the autopsy examination and found the path through the President's neck and talked to Dr. Perry, saw the bullet hole in the throat, that conditional speculation was rejected, but it found its way in the FBI report.
But that is largely reconstruction, largely speculation, on my part, I say that to this committee in an effort to shed what light I can on a possible explanation of it.
Mr. KLEIN. Do you recall whether you were satisfied with the explanation?
Mr. SPECTER. Yes; I was satisfied that the bullet which entered the back of the President's neck went all the way through and exited in front of his neck. It was not forced out by external heart massage.
Mr. KLEIN. As you sit here today, do you think it would be useful to form a panel composed of the top forensic pathologists in this country and to allow them to review the medical report and write a report telling of their findings?
Mr. SPECTER. Yes; I think this would be useful. There is enough public question about the whole subject so that considering all the other matters which were inquired into, that that would come very high on the list of priorities. I would certainly not only have no objection but would welcome that kind of review.
Mr. KLEIN. What predispositions, if any, did you have toward the intelligence agencies--I refer to the FBI, CIA, and the Secret Service--prior to working for the Warren Commission?
Mr. SPECTER. As I testified earlier, my experience with the FBI had been that they were competent investigators. I had had no prior contact with the Secret Service that I can recollect, or the CIA. So I really had no predisposition. I had an open mind.
Mr. KLEIN. As to the FIG with whom you did have some prior contacts, did your opinion of them change during the course of the investigation?
Mr. SPECTER. I thought that the people who worked with the Commission from the FBI were very able people. They sent us, I suspected, their very best. I suspected the ones we saw on the Commission were not typical of the FBI, they were really good. I am talking about the men on the investigation.
Mr. KLEIN. As to them your opinion didn't change?
Mr. SPECTER. I just stated the specifics. I thought they were good before they started. I thought they sent the very best in the course of the investigation. I thought they had some very good men. I did not deal with any of the note destroyers or allegations of that, I worked with the technician.
Mr. KLEIN. Will you describe the attitude of the Warren Commission toward each of the intelligence agencies; that is, how did the Warren Commission view them and how in your opinion did these agencies view the Warren Commission?
Mr. SPECTER. I have really no ideal how the agencies viewed the Warren Commission. I can tell you that I thought the Secret Service men were a good group and were trying to be helpful, the ones I questioned. I have already testified about the FBI people, and my contacts with the investigative agencies were limited to having technical assistance in those areas and questioning the Secret Service people at the scene.









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I did not get involved in areas on foreign travel, foreign contacts, or CIA at all.
Mr. KLEIN. Looking at the individual agencies you might have worked with, was there any kind of feeling for how higher-ups of these agencies viewed the Warren Commission?
Mr. SPECTER. I really have no basis to testify about how those agencies viewed the Warren Commission except from the contact I had with the specific agencies, and they were courteous and very cooperative on matters where I dealt with them.
Mr. KLEIN. Was there a general attitude that the Warren Commission had toward the intelligence agencies?
Mr. SPECTER. I really have no basis to testify on that.
Mr. KLEIN. No remarks, no memos, you might have seen that would reflect whether there was some kind of attitude "We can trust these people," "We can't trust these people," or anything like that?
Mr. SPECTER. I really was not privy to any such material during the course of my work for the Warren Commission. The one thought which comes to my mind is on Jack Ruby's polygraph examination. My suggestion was to have an independent agency do the polygraph. It ended up with the FBI, a very able fellow. Most of the time we figured the polygraph was never going to be taken. There were objections from Ruby's lawyers. That is the only item that comes to my mind as to the Commission's response to the other Federal agencies.
Mr. KLEIN. Do you know if the intelligence agencies intentionally withheld any information from the Warren Commission?
Mr. SPECTER. Nothing which came to my attention that information was withheld.
Mr. KLEIN. Were you aware that FBI agent Hosty's name was not initially given to the Warren Commission in the list of notebook entries, Oswald's notebook entries?
Mr. SPECTER. I have a vague recollection about that but I had no responsibility for that area and did not become involved in it.
Mr. KLEIN. You have no direct knowledge as a member of the Commission of any international withholding of information form the Warren Commission?
Mr. SPECTER. I have no direct knowledge and came into contact with no evidence of any withholding of information by any Federal Agency from the Warren Commission that I can recollect.
Mr. KLEIN. The only knowledge that you did have is from the newspapers? Is that what you're saying?
Mr. SPECTER. That is all.
Mr. KLEIN. To your knowledge, did any of these intelligence agencies ever intentionally delay providing the Warren Commission with any information?
Mr. SPECTER. Not to my knowledge.
Mr. KLEIN. To your knowledge, did any intelligence agency ever intentionally provide the Warren Commission with false or misleading information?
Mr. SPECTER. Not to my knowledge.






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Mr. KLEIN. do you recall what the procedures ere to obtain information from the intelligence agencies?
Mr. SPECTER. As I recollect it, a request would be made by assistant counsel and it would be funneled through Mr. Rankin He would make the request, he would get the information back and disseminate it to assistant counsel.
Mr. KLEIN. Are you aware of any problems that were experienced in obtaining information from intelligence agencies?
Mr. SPECTER. I do not recollect having any problem, myself. I would only have the haziest thought in mind that some of the other lawyers may have made requests which mr. Rankin or others may have raised some questions about but it could not specify any such instance and could rally only testify about my own activities. I recollect no instances where I asked for anything that I did not get from any intelligence agencies. I again point out that the area I worked on did not turn information from Federal agencies.
Mr. KLEIN. Did you testify to the fact that you read about CIA training troops in Cuba and that wasn't given to the Warren Commission?
Mr. SPECTER. I did not testify about reading CIA training in cuba. I testified there were press reports that CIA may have been involved in an attempt to assassinate Castro.
Mr. KLEIN. Excuse me. You testified that you read press reports that the CIA may have been involved in attempts to assassinate Fidel Castro. Have you ever read or heard that the CIA had been training troops to invade Cuba?
Mr. SPECTER. I don't recall whether I have ever heard about that. It might have in the newspapers at some time. Certainly I have no recollection of having heard about that prior to the time the Warren Commission work was concluded.
Mr. KLEIN. Do you have any knowledge or have you ever heard information to the effect that an FBI agent in Dallas destroyed a note given to the FBI by Lee Harvey Oswald a short time before the assassination?
Mr. SPECTER. Only what I read in the newspapers many months ago.
Mr. KLEIN. If that were true, in your opinion would knowledge of this information have affected the Warren Commission investigation in a significant way?
Mr. SPECTER. I think that the Warren Commission would have wanted to have known all about that. To that extent it would have been significant.
Mr. KLEIN. Would it have affected the investigation in terms of assignments, in terms of actual investigation that was done?
Mr. SPECTER. Speaking for myself, if I had known that an agent for the FBI had destroyed a note of Oswald's I would have wanted to know every aspect of that destruction, who did it, who authorized it, and those people would very definitely be suspect in my mind and I would not give them any responsibility for any investigation that I was part of. How far it went in the FBI I do not know. I give my personal view. What the Commission would have done I can only speculate









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about. I wouldn't do business with anybody who was a party to an incident of that kind.
Mr. KLEIN. Certain avenues might have been opened if this information had been turned over?
Mr. SPECTER. I can't answer that question more fully than I have.
Mr. KLEIN. Regarding the assertion that the CIA was involved in the attempt to assassinate Castro, if that information had been given to the Warren Commission would that have affected the investigation.
Mr. SPECTER. I started off volunteering as I did early on that the question about the assassination attempt on castro and the FBI destruction of the note are two questions which concerned me enormously as a citizen and events which the Commission would have known about and questions which I hope this committee will get to the bottom of.
Mr. KLEIN. What I am asking is not only looking at it from the point of view of the reliability of the agencies for not giving that information but looking at it from the point of view of the course of the investigation, would that have been affected? Do you have any opinion as to whether the course of the investigation would have been affected had this information been known?
Mr. SPECTER. I think that if there had been information known to the Commission about a possible assassination effort on Castro by the CIA, that the Commission would have looked into it. It would have followed those facts to see if there was any connection with the Kennedy assassination.
I say that. That is an obvious sort of conclusion. Neither of those two matters bears on the scope of the investigation which I was responsible for.
Mr. KLEIN. Do you have any opinion as to what motivated the intelligence agencies to withhold information from the Warren Commission.
Mr. SPECTER. Only the rankest speculation, a private citizen's speculation.
Mr. KLEIN. In your opinion did the fact that prior to the information of the Warren Commission the FBI had already issued a final report in which they concluded that Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone assassin affect the investigation in any way?
Mr. SPECTER. Mr Klein, you are going far from procedure which is what I came here to testify about. Let me try to deal with the question. I think that the Commission set out to make an independent determination as to who the assassin was. I cannot say that the identification of the news media of Oswald as the assassin, the identification by the FBI, did not have some imprint, however moderate, on my own thinking. I do know that the FBI report said that the first bullet hit the President's neck, the second bullet hit the Governor, the third bullet the President's back. I find the fact to the contrary.
Mr. KLEIN. In your opinion were the FBI agents you worked with, open to the proposition that the FBI report could have been wrong when it concluded that Oswald was the lone assassin?
Mr. SPECTER. I do not recall discussing the FBI report or having any interest in what the FBI had to say.
Mr. KLEIN. In the investigation that they were performing for you, did you ever have the feeling that in their minds the question was already resolved?










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Mr. SPECTER. I do not recollect being concerned with what was in their minds. I was focusing on what I thought the facts showed. I do recall asking some of their people questions relating to the probabilities of the one bullet theory and some of their agents agreed with them. So to the extent the FBI agents disagree with the early FBI report.
Mr. PREYER. I might ask one or two procedural questions Mr. Specter, for my own understanding. As I understand it, the organization was set up so that there were senior counsel. Were there four senior counsel?
Mr. SPECTER. There were six senior counsel, counting Mr. Rankin as one of the senior counsel.
Mr. PREYER. Each one had a junior counsel working with him?
Mr. SPECTER. Yes, sir.
Mr. PREYER. You were junior counsel to Mr. Adams?
Mr. SPECTER. Yes, sir.
Mr. PREYER. Mr. Adams is a very distinguished lawyer and obviously was a very busy one. Is it really fair to say you ended up as the only counsel in my area.
Mr. PREYER. Did Mr. Adams come to do anything?
Mr. SPECTER. Yes. Mr. Adams was with the Commission on a number of occasions. We did consult on some of the work of the Commission, but it was necessary for him to become inactive at a fairly early stage, but he did some things.
Mr. PREYER. He was present at interviewing some of the witnesses, hearing testimony?
Mr. SPECTER. I do not recollect his being present, interviewing witnesses. That was something we didn't do a great deal of. The record will show, I believe, he was present when the autopsy surgeons were questioned, but I have not reviewed the record.
Mr. PREYER. He was in on the early stages but was not able to do much after the first months, say?
Mr. SPECTER. I would say that he worked beyond the first month but precisely when he discontinued his activities I am not sure. I think that would be reflected on the Commission payroll because he was paid on a per diem basis. I would be sure he would not have put in for per diem if he was not active.
Mr. PREYER. On the question of testimony of witnesses I understand that the Commission and the staff, more accurately I should say the staff, took direct testimony of 94 witnesses and interviewed some 300 witnesses or 400. When you took the direct testimony of witnesses, were Commission members ever present or was this all done by the staff?
Mr. SPECTER. There were two procedures. One was when the testimony was before the Commission itself in which event at least one Commission member would have had to be present. There was a second procedure which we denominated for depositions where there was no Commissioner present, where verbatim testimony under oath was taken. There were other procedures, for example, where we took affidavits.
There were a number of way to acquire the evidence.








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Mr. PREYER. On the question of having enough time, I believe Mr. Rankin in May instructed the lawyers to complete their summary of the case by June 1. I believe you are the only one who had your work completed by that time?
Mr. SPECTER. I think that is right.
Mr. PREYER. Thank you. I want to say I think the memos in the file reflect very credibly on you and very favorably on your diligence and efforts to produce a complete investigation.
Mr. SPECTER. Thank you.
Mr. PREYER. Mr. Stokes.
Mr. STOKES. I have no questions, Mr. Chairman, at this time.
Mr. PREYER. Mr. Devine.
Mr. DEVINE. No questions, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. PREYER. Mr. Fauntroy.
Mr. FAUNTROY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Specter, in response to questions from counsel as to what the objectives of the Commission were as you recall, you gave rather categorical answers on your view that the objective was not to allay public fears, was not to prevent an international crisis, and was not to allow a smooth transition in national leadership You then stated that there was concern for promptness in your determination. What reasons were given for the promptness in your determination and by whom?
Mr. SPECTER. I is hard to specify the people or Commissioners who were pushing for a prompt conclusion, but that was an unmistakable aspect of the atmosphere of the Commission's work. As I noted a few moments ago, Mr. Rankin set a date of June 1 for completion of our draft reports. I do not recollect at this time that there had been an earlier date or not. As I testified earlier, it was originally thought that the investigation might terminate in as little as 3 months.
The Chief Justice was a very strong force on the Commission and was interested in receiving periodic reports or documents showing the progress of the Commission work. So that all of us knew that it was a goal to work with the staff but at the same time to do a thorough job. No one ever said sacrifice thoroughness for speed.
Mr. FAUNTROY. But promptness for promptness' sake, not for any other objective or reason that you recall?
Mr. SPECTER. When I say promptness, I mean that the Commission had been given a job by the President, it was an important job, but the most important aspect of our job was to find the truth and do a thorough investigation. If there had been any fact which had been uncovered which would have been inconsistent or which had promoted an international incident, I can tell you categorically I would not have stood by subvert any fact, and I don't think anybody else on the Commission would have. The Chief Justice was a man of tremendous stature and tremendous presence in the work of this Commission, as were Senator Russell, Senator Cooper and Congressman Ford, Congressman Bogs, Mr. McCloy, Mr. Dulles. But the Chief Justice was an overriding strong force and had a presence and a stature of tremendous integrity.
That was what we were doing. The Chief Justice told a story, which has been in the press. When the entire staff came together he told how





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President Johnson had finally persuaded him to take on the chairmanship of the Commission and how he had first been approached by two of the other members of the Justice Department and turned the matter down. The President said to the Chief Justice--and I presume you gentlemen have had access to this, as I recollect it, and it has been a long time ago--he said to Chief Justice Warren, "Would you put on your country's uniform in time of national emergency if your Commander in Chief asked you to do so?"
The Chief Justice said, "I would." President Johnson said, "Well, you Commander in Chief is asking you to do so." The Chief Justice said, "OK; I will do it."
He had been unwilling to do it earlier for Judge Roberts in the Pearl Harbor matter, but when President johnson told him that way, he said he would do it.
Chief Justice Warren had an international reputation. There were lots of rumors that we were all concerned about whether Oswald had anything to do with the Fair Play for Cuba Committee and whether Oswald's travels in Russia had anything to do with it. But the people who were there, from the youngest lawyer all the way up to the Chief Justice were dedicated to finding the truth. i can speak about that unequivocally so far as I am concerned.
I have that view of everybody who worked on the Commission.
Mr. FAUNTROY. I share your respect for Chief Justice Warren, although I still don['t get a feel for the desire for promptness in your determination. You don't recall any reasons for that?
Mr. SPECTER. The best I can tell you is that they were periodic comments in the media about when is the Commission going to finish its work? Everybody had things they wanted to return to. We were a temporary agency. Mr. Russell wanted to get on with the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which was very much current. Everybody had other things they wanted to do. We had a Presidential mandate to finish the report. When they gave me deadlines I really did not question too much about it. I went to work to meet the deadline.
Mr. FAUNTROY. I was very much impressed with the memos which you sent to your chief counsel and found the indispensable nature of the determination that you felt the Commission should make very reasonable. I would like for you to review with us again what reasons were given to you as a responsible person for this area of the investigation for not having access to the X-rays and the pictures? Are there any reasons beyond those which I heard you give in respect to the sensitivity of the family?
Mr. SPECTER. That was the only reason which was ever alluded to for not seeing X-rays and photographs.
Mr. FAUNTROY. The fear that you would not protect, you as the person responsible for determination with respect to the validity of the---
Mr. SPECTER. I would not say so much me personally. I don't think anybody thought I was going to take them to the Washington Post. But there was a feeling that if they got into the hands of the Commission staff members that there would be a material risk that they would get into the public domain. I do not understand to this day what role Burke Marshall has on the photograph and X-rays or what the status of them is at the present time.









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I was discussing with Mr. Klein, and I perhaps should not digress since I am so anxious to go, what the status was with respect to your seeing them, or your pathologist. It seems to me, and I have the greatest respect for the Kennedy family, but the Kennedy family always have had too much authority over X-rays and pictures as they relate to tangible pieces of evidence in this case. I feel strongly about that to this minute as I did back in 1964.
Mr. FAUNTROY. finally, Mr. Chairman, I do not want to prolong this, but you also experienced some frustrations apparently with respect to your desire to question both Mrs. kennedy and President Johnson and while you indicated you have some very specific questions you felt would have assisted you in the conduct of the investigation, your failure to be able to ask those questions did not in your judgment substantially affect the conclusions which you reached?
Mr. SPECTER. I think the conclusions would have been the same, but Mrs. Kennedy was the closest person to the victim, President Kennedy. I thought she should have been questioned. My view is that no witness is above the reach of the law to provide evidence. Every man's testimony is available to the court or to a proceeding here or in a court room or in any sort of judicial or congressional determination.
I don't think Mrs. Kennedy was above that one iota, nor President Johnson. I don't think President Johnson had anything to do with the assassination of President Kennedy but I do not think that would have been an inappropriate question to ask him notwithstanding the fact that he was the President.
I looked those over on the train this morning, whether he knew of any conversation or any event that in any way bore of the assassination of president Kennedy, I think those questions should all have been asked.
Mr. FAUNTROY. I take it you do have your notes of the questions that you would have asked had you had the opportunity?
Mr. SPECTER. As a result of Mr. Klein's efforts, I have been furnished copies of them. i did not retain any files of them when i left the Commission staff. I always wondered what happened to the questions I suggested asking President Johnson. I was glad to get a copy of them 10 days ago.
Mr. FAUNTROY. Thank you, mr. Chairman.
Mr. PREYER. Mr. McKinney.
Mr. McKINNEY. When we were arguing on the floor of the House as to whether or not this committee should be reestablished, Mrs. Boggs probably made the only speech that carried the day when she said that Hale, in particular, and Jerry Ford and a few others had a great deal of difficulty in drafting the final language of the Commission report to state that from the evidence the all had been shown or that had been put before them it was their conclusion. She alluded to the fact that Hale had a great many doubts as to the adequacy of the information that they were receiving.
Was it a pervasive sort of feeling on your part that you felt it was too fast and not thorough enough?
Mr. SPECTER. No, sir, I did not think it was too fast or there was not enough thoroughness. I thought that we functioned under a mandate of promptness but we had an opportunity to do a reasonably










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thorough job. I don't think Mrs. Boggs participated as much in the work of the Commission as some of the other Commissioners did but that is all a matter of record because the record notes with precision when each one came. I never heard any suggestion that Mrs. Boggs was in any way questioning any of the materials that were being furnished to the committee.
Mr. McKINNEY. I don't think it was questioning that materials as much as it was the adequacy of the information, the amount of information, the things they didn't know. One thing that disturbed me is that, right after the assassination the Attorney General wrote to the President and suggested very strongly that everything be done to make sure that the conspiracy theory be ruled out and that Lee Harvey Oswald was the only assassin. He also wrote on December 1963 to the Warren Commission recommending that they immediately issue a press release stating what the FBI conclusion of the case was, which was that there was no international conspiracy and that Oswald was a loner.
How much of a handicap was that? Here you have the Attorney General of the United States turning around and telling a Commission, which is supposed to investigate a murder, this is who did it and they didn't do it? Did that disturb you as an investigator?
Mr. SPECTER. I never knew the Attorney General did that. You are saying that Attorney General Kennedy in 1963 in December told the Warren Commission to issue some tentative finding?
Mr. McKINNEY. On December 9, 1963 he wrote each member of the Warren Commission recommending that the Commission issue a press release stating the FBI report clearly showed there was no international conspiracy and Oswald was a loner. That did not get down to your level?
Mr. SPECTER. I was not on the Commission at that time. I did not join them until january. I think it was inappropriate for the Attorney General to do that, if I might state a citizen's opinion. I am happy to note that the Commission didn't do it.
Mr. McKINNEY. I just wondered again how much of a pervasive force it was.
Mr. SPECTER. I don't know that anybody would have paid any attention to his having said that. The things that bothered me were his protection of his sister-in-law and whatever hand he had in keeping X-rays and photos from us. What he ad to say or what he wanted to push to do, I never heard of any involvement that Robert Kennedy had on trying to influence the Commission.
Mr. McKINNEY. you are back with Katzenbach?
Mr. SPECTER. Kennedy was Attorney General. He was Deputy Attorney general.
Mr. McKINNEY. Would you assume that the Deputy Attorney General would write a letter to some of the most powerful men in the Nation without the Attorney General knowing that?
Mr. SPECTER. Knowing Mr. Katzenbach I wouldn't doubt it.
Mr. McKINNEY. Thank you very much.
Mr. SPECTER. I don't think they would be influenced much by what Mr. Katzenbach would say.
Mr. McKINNEY. I have to go back. I was younger than and was easily impressed. Chief Justice Warren is one of my folk heroes. He was a







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very powerful individual. I find it very difficult to think that the Deputy Attorney General would write a letter of that type to a Presidential Commission. In fact I find it very difficult that the Attorney General would write one without even the President knowing it. Because what you are doing is writing to the Chief justice of the United States of America, the most powerful Senators and most powerful Representatives and a Commission set up to find the facts and you have the top legal entity in the United States of America writing a letter saying this is what the conclusion is and this is who did it and this is who didn't do it.
Mr. SPECTER. I had not known it was done. My own speculation would be that the Chief justice would have been offended by it.
Mr McKINNEY. If I were President, I would have fired the Attorney General within the next 10 minutes.
Mr. PREYER. Mr. Sawyer.
Mr. SAWYER. I have one question. When you were asked a question about your judgement or thinking as to why these investigative agencies may have withheld information form the Warren Commission you said you only had the wildest type of private citizen's speculation. I would like the advantage of what your speculation is as a private citizen, if you have one.
Mr. SPECTER. I think the FBI in destroying the Oswald not, if it did so--I only know it is an allegation--would have been offensive, and had it come to light would have raised a question as to whether had they acted on it they could have prevented the assassination. I have a grave concern as a private citizen about what goes on with the CIA and what happens with plea bargaining with Mr. Helms and what is going on in the CIA.
I have grave questions about the President of the United States engaging in plea bargaining with Mr. Park. I have grave concerns as a private citizen about those subjects and I think that considering the interest of national security that our public welfare would be promoted by having some hard answers to those questions.
Mr. SAWYER. Thank you. That is all I have, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. PREYER. Thank you. Do you have any further questions?
Mr. KLEIN. Yes, mr. Chairman. I have one more important area to go into and then I will conclude.
Mr. Specter, to your knowledge did the Chief Justice and any of the Commissioners or any of the Warren commission staff members have any knowledge prior to the release of the Warren report that the CIA had anything to do with attempts to assassinate Fidel Castro?
Mr. SPECTER. I have no knowledge of anyone's knowledge about that.
Mr. KLEIN. To your knowledge did the Chief Justice, any of the Commissioners, or any of the Warren staff members receive information of any nature prior to the release of the Warren Commission pertaining to the CIA involvement in attempts to assassinate Fidel Castro.
Mr. SPECTER. Not to my knowledge but I am having a hard time distinguishing the last question from the former question.
Mr. KLEIN. Simply if there were any documents that you have any knowledge of that might have pertained in some way to CIA involvement in a attempt to assassinate Castro Do you know of any?








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Mr. SPECTER. I don't know of any documents relating to what the CIA may have done with respect to Fidel Castro. Nor do I have any knowledge, myself, of anything about that or that anybody on the Commission knew anything about it. I again hasten to add that my area was far removed in terms of what I had direct contact with.
Mr. KLEIN. Again in that same area, to be specific, prior to the issuance of the Warren report were you ever present with the Chief justice or any of the Commissioners or any of the Warren Commission staff when the subject of an intent to assassinate Fidel Castro was discussed?
Mr. SPECTER. No.
Mr. KLEIN. To your knowledge did the Chief Justice, any of the Commissioners or any of the Warren Commission staff members receive information of any nature prior to the release of the Warren report pertaining to attempts to assassinate Fidel Castro?
Mr. SPECTER. No to my knowledge.
Mr KLEIN. Did you ever receive any indications from Chief Justice Warren, any of the Commissioners, any of the Warren Commission staff counsel or anyone else that there were areas of intelligence agency activities which the Warren Commission should avoid investigating?
Mr. SPECTER. Nothing of that sort were ever called to my attention.
Mr. KLEIN. I asked you whether you had ever received such indications. To your knowledge did anyone else connected with the Warren Commission investigation ever receive any indications from the Chief Justice, a Commissioner, a staff member or anyone else, that they were to avoid areas of intelligence activity?
Mr. SPECTER. No one ever told me to avoid any such areas of intelligence activities and I have no knowledge of any one telling anyone else to avoid any such area.
Mr. KLEIN. At the time the Warren report was released were you satisfied with the thoroughness of the investigation?
Mr. SPECTER. Subject to the limitations that I have testified about, yes.
Mr. KLEIN. Subject to the limitation?
Mr. SPECTER. Subject to the limitations I have testified about.
Mr. KLEIN. Are you satisfied, as you sit here today do you think it was successful?
Mr. SPECTER. Yes.
Mr KLEIN. Other than what you have told us is there anything else you think should have been done differently?
Mr. SPECTER. Not that I can think of. Focusing on the fact I first talked to you a seek ago Thursday, I got a call from you last week to come here today to talk about procedure. You called yesterday, you were going to ask me two specific questions, so that my review of this matter is limited to a great many other activities in the intervening several days.
Mr. KLEIN. Is it correct that I also told you that we would speak about the same things we spoke about during our 2-hour interview in your office; is that correct?
Mr. SPECTER. Yes. I think the scope of your questions has been substantially broader. A lot of it has gone into the question of substance






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but I am glad to cooperate to the extent that I can, again saying that my ability to respond is limited. We had some very bulky records which I had access to and familiarity with a long time ago.
Mr. KLEIN. Did you then or do you now disagree with any of the major conclusions reached by the Warren Commission?
Mr. SPECTER. No.
Mr. KLEIN. Will you describe was pressures, if any, existed to complete the investigation before the election? Was that specifically ever mentioned, the election?
Mr SPECTER. I think that there may have been some talk about it in the newspapers or some question about whether the deadlines were going to be extended beyond November but nobody ever said to me "We have to get this done before the election." i had my report in early June and the election was not a matter of concern to me. Nobody made it a matter to me, not that particular election.
Mr. KLEIN. Were there any pressures not to criticize the FBI or the Secret Service?
Mr. SPECTER. No, sir.
Mr. KLEIN. As you sit here today--
Mr. SPECTER. Not that I think about.
Mr. KLEIN. As you sit here today, do you think there is a need to reinvestigate the assassination of the President?
Mr. SPECTER. I think on the specific areas that I have discussed it would be useful I have no objection to a total reinvestigation of the assassination because I think it is a healthy thing in a democracy to investigate whenever there is any public concern. I think that it is unlikely that a reinvestigation would be fruitful except on the specific leads. I want to emphasize I have no objection to having all the working over, including all of my work.
Mr. KLEIN. In your opinion why is the Warren Commission subject to so much criticism?
Mr. SPECTER. Because it is the most fascinating subject in town, this town, any town. Because the question of the murder of a President, with all the power of the Presidency, is a question that is of overwhelming interest. The Lincoln assassination survives until today, as I said earlier.
The aura of intrigue, what goes on behind closed doors, even like this executive session, is of interest to people everywhere. So I think it is a natural thing. And it is fascinating to have been a part of it. Aside from the volume of letter I get all the way from high school student to media inquiries and the burden of refreshing my recollection, I think it is fun, it is interesting to have been part of it.
Mr. KLEIN. Other than what you have testified to, is there anything else you can think of that the Select Committee on Assassinations can contribute to this matter.
Mr. SPECTER. No. I would hope that the committee will go into two areas that are of concern to me and beyond that the committee doesn't need my views or suggestions as to what it should do. I would have only one other thing which wasn't asked of me that is tangentially relevant that that is that it may be that while I did not see the photographs and X-rays, others did. I was concerned about the question after the Commission concluded and once wrote to the Chief justice about that subject.






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Precisely when I couldn't tell you. I think he responded to me. We had some meetings about it afterward. I think he may have seen the X-rays. I did not. Nor would it have changed any testimony I have given about my interest in seeing the photos and X-rays.
Your questions have been phrased in terms of what I did and what I knew and what I saw and that is really all I can comment about.
Mr. KLEIN. Thank you very much. I have no further questions, mr. Chairman.
Mr. DEVINE. Mr. Chairman, I would like to ask a question if I may.
Mr. PREYER. Mr. Devine.
Mr. DEVINE. As an attorney you know that opinion evidence is admissible from an expert. I think you are fully qualified as an expert, having been so deeply involved in the Warren Commission investigation. For the purpose of the record I would ask you your opinion, if you have an opinion, no. 1, whether or not there may have been a conspiracy in the Kennedy assassination and, No. 2, whether in your opinion Lee Harvey Oswald was a sole operator?
Mr. SPECTER. In my opinion and judgment Lee Harvey Oswald was the sole assassin, the sold person to pull the trigger. I think the evidence is conclusive on his having pulled the trigger. I think the single bullet conclusion is correct. In my opinion I do not think that there was a conspiracy. I think that certain materials were withheld from the Warren Commission that we talked about here today.
My own best estimate of it is that they would not have been relevant to the issue of conspiracy and I think that had there been a conspiracy, given the milieu of life in America, that it would have come to light before this time. So my opinion is that there was no conspiracy.
Mr. Devine. Thank you very much.
Mr. PREYER. Thank you. Mr. Specter, under our rules, rule 3.6 of the committee, the witness is offered a chance to explain or amplify his testimony at this stage for 5 minutes. You have in effect been given that several times. If there is anything further you would like to say you are given the opportunity.
Mr. SPECTER. I only would like an opportunity to read the 1 hour 40 minutes of testimony which I have given uninterrupted, as the record will show, to be sure it is transcribed accurately and that I have no second thought about what I have said, responding as best I could to the questions.
Mr. PREYER. Yes. We will be happy to grant you that privilege or right. If there are areas in which you may not have anticipated being questioned and you would like to amplify on it more, of course we would welcome any further testimony or written statement.
Mr. SPECTER. Thank you.
Mr. PREYER. Thank you very much. The committee will recess until 2 o'clock today.
[Whereupon, at 12:20 p.m. the meeting was recessed, to convene at 2 p.m. the same day.]

AFTERNOON SESSION

Staff members present: G. Robert Blakey, g. Cornwell, M. Wills, E. Berning, K. Klein,, J. Hess, J. Facter, J. Schlichtmann, L. Wizelman, S. Brady, L. Matthews, W. Cross, R. Morrison, and D. Miller.






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Mr. PREYER. The committee will come to order. We will resume our hearings. Our witness this afternoon is Dean Norman Redlich. We welcome you to the committee, Dean Redlich. We appreciate your being here in this bad weather today. If you will first be sworn.
So you solemnly swear that the testimony you now are about to give will be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but their truth, so help you God.
Mr. REDLICH. I do.

TESTIMONY OF DEAN NORMAN REDLICH

Mr. PREYER. We appreciate your being here with us, Mr. Redlich. We will ask Mr. Klein if he will begin the questioning.
Mr. KLEIN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. PREYER. Excuse me. In accordance with our results the committee will ask Ms. Berning, our clerk, if she will deliver a copy of the rules of the committee to Dean Redlich.
Mr KLEIN. Sir, what was your position prior to taking your job with the Warren Commission?
Mr. REDLICH. I was a professor of law in the New York University School of Law.
Mr. KLEIN. What investigative and or prosecutional experience did you have prior to taking that position with the Warren Commission?
Mr. REDLICH. I had no investigative experience and no prosecutorial experience.
Mr KLEIN. Prior to being hired by the Warren Commission what was said to you about the goals of that Commission and about your function as a staff member?
Mr. REDLICH. Prior to the time I was hired?
Mr KLEIN. When whoever spoke to you about coming to work for the Warren Commission.
Mr. REDLICH. When Mr. Rankin first spoke to you about coming to work for the Warren Commission.
Mr REDLICH. When Mr. Rankin first spoke to me about working for the Commission he indicated that he wanted me to assist him, to work in certain special areas, and I believe he indicated that he wanted me to concentrate primarily on the factual aspects of the assassination, itself.
Mr. KLEIN. In your opinion what were the real objectives of the Warren Commission?
Mr. REDLICH. Perhaps I can best answer that by repeating what Mr. Rankin said when he convened the staff of the Warren Commission for the very first meeting of us a complete staff which, as I recall, occurred toward the middle or the end of January 1964. He said, "Gentlemen, your only client is the truth." those were his opening words of that talk. I think our objective was to find all of the facts which we could relating to the assassination of president Kennedy and the subsequent murder of Lee Harvey Oswald.
Mr. KLEIN. Was it an objective of the Warren commission to allay public fears?
Mr. REDLICH. I never considered that as an objective. That was not put to me other than in the context of the fact that there were a great many doubts about what happened, there was great concern bout what happened, and of course to the extent that we could find all of the truth about the assassination, we would be allaying public fears. I





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always felt that that was a byproduct of the principal objective which was to discover all the facts.
Mr KLEIN. Was it an objective of the Warren Commission to prevent international crisis?
Mr. REDLICH. I don't believe so. I believe it was the objective of the Warren Commission to learn all of the facts about the assassination, including any questions with regard to possible conspiracy. If the learning of all the facts resulted in the allaying of public fears and easing of international strains, that, as I indicated, would be a byproduct of what our central mission was. Our central mission was not to prevent a crisis or allay fears.
Mr. KLEIN. Was it an objective of the Warren commission to allow a smooth transition in national leadership?
Mr. REDLICH. I don't recall that ever being mentioned as an objective.
Mr. KLEIN. In your opinion were the operating procedures and organizational structure of the Warren Commission conducive to achieving the objectives of the Commission as you saw them?
Mr. REDLICH. I think they were, yes.
Mr. KLEIN. How were they conducive to achieving the objectives of the Commission?
Mr. REDLICH. We were all committed to the pursuit of all lines if inquiry. There were no restrictions that I can ever recall placed upon me in terms of questions which I could ask or lines of inquiry that I personally could pursue. The Commission, as you know, was organized into certain areas of inquiry. I was not part of any of those specific areas of inquiry. In each of those areas of inquiry there was a senior counsel and a younger counsel. The commission used as its principal investigatory arm the Federal Bureau of Investigation, to some extent the Secret Service.
I believed then, and I believe now, that the method of inquiry that we conducted was an objective one. We came with o preconceived notion. Our only objective was to find all of the truth. At the conclusion of that inquiry I was of the opinion that we had had the full cooperation of the agencies of the U.S. Government.
Mr KLEIN. You stated that the investigation was divided up into a number of areas of investigation. Were the particular areas that were chosen conducive to achieving the objective of solving this case and finding the truth?
Mr. REDLICH. I believe that they were. I believe that those seemed to be at the time a natural way to divide the work. Obviously there might be some overlap. One might possibly look at the subject by retrospect and conceive of different ways or organization. I don't believe that there is any single one method of organization that is the best one. That seemed to us at the time as a logical division and I believe that it worked reasonably well.
Mr. KLEIN. Was the type and mix of the personnel hired conducive to achieving the objective of the Warren Commission?
Mr. REDLICH. I think it was. I think the staff was an excellent one. I was proud to be a part of it. I remain that was today.
Mr. KLEIN. Certain senior lawyers were not able to denote a good deal of time to this investigation. Is that correct?
Mr. REDLICH. that is right.









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Mr. KLEIN. Do you think that affected the investigation?
Mr. REDLICH. Any time someone is not able to spend full time it had that effect. It means that that work which might have been done during the course of that full-time work gets picked up by others. In that sense even the fact that during the first several months I was teaching at New York university School of Law and was commuting back and forth, and it wasn't until May that my semester ended, that fact of course would have an effect. I don't think on balance any of that had a permanent harmful effect because I believe that that entire staff, taken as a whole, managed to conduct what I consider to be a thorough inquiry. obviously as anyone who has conducted an investigation knows, you always would like to have everyone there all the time.
That was not possible during a substantial portion of the Warren investigation.
Mr KLEIN. Despite the fact that some of these personnel did not play the part in the investigation that had been planned for them, do you think that the Warren Commission had a sufficient number of experienced lawyers to conduct the investigation?
Mr. REDLICH. Yes; I do.
Mr. KLEIN. Did the Warren Commission in your opinion have any initial factual assumptions in the following areas: first, as to the identity of the assassin?
Mr. REDLICH. We had no preconceived belief that Lee Harvey Oswald was guilty We started out, of course with a person, Lee Harvey Oswald, who had worked in the Texas School Book Depository and had been killed by Jack Ruby, and with regard to him there had already been considerable amount of investigation. But this was not the case where one started and looked at the entire world and said let us find out from the entire world population who is the assassin. Lee Harvey Oswald was a suspect, a dead suspect but a suspect. I think that we had no prior commitment at all to the concept that, one, he fired shots; two, that he fired all the shots; or three, that there was any lack of or presence of a conspiracy.
Mr. KLEIN. Were there any initial assumptions regarding the existence of a conspiracy, and as far as there were, what particular groups might have been involved?
Mr. REDLICH. There were no preconceived notions, preconceived conclusions about conspiracy, Early in the investigation several possibilities emerged as possible sources of conspiracy. It was obvious that one had to look at the possibility of a foreign conspiracy. Lee Harvey Oswald had been to the Soviet Union. He had made an effort to go to Mexico He apparently had tried to go to Cuba. So, one had to look at the possibility of a foreign conspiracy. One had to look at the possibility of a domestic conspiracy.
There was a great deal of talk at the time about a conspiracy from the left, a conspiracy form the right. But there was no preconception about whether there was a conspiracy or if there were one, which one.
Mr. KLEIN. You referred to preconceived conclusions. I am more interested in whether there were any assumptions that might not have reached the stage of being a conclusion but which were regarded as prime areas for the Warren Commission to follow in answering the question of whether there was a conspiracy?








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Mr. REDLICH. I don't think those assumptions were any more specific than the ones I just outlined. lee Harvey Oswald was a person who had been to the Soviet union. one thing that one had to look at was the question of a conspiracy from that source. He was a person who was making an effort to go to cuba and he had been involved in the Fair play for Cuba Committee in New Orleans. So one had to look at that possible source.
There was a great deal of talk in the press at that time about a rightwing conspiracy, allegations about oil people, the so-called feeling of hate in dallas. Then there was the fact that Oswald was killed in the basement of the Dallas jail by Jack Ruby. So, one had to look at the question of whether Ruby was somehow involved in this. I think all of that was at the threshold level of inquiry.
We did not have any fixed assumptions about which of these was more likely or not likely. I don't mean by my answer to limit the possible assumptions. There may have been others that I have left out in my answer.
Mr. KLEIN. Do you think that the organization of the Warren Commission into five investigative areas gave sufficient leeway for adequate investigation of all of these possible areas of conspiracy, some of which you mentioned?
Mr. REDLICH. I believe that it did; yes.
Mr. KLEIN. Did the Warren Commission in your opinion have any initial factual assumptions regarding the reliability, trustworthiness, and competency of the investigative agencies which were working for you?
Mr. REDLICH. As nearly as I can tell, I and my colleagues came with a professional lawyer's degree of skepticism. We made a decision early that in regard to any expert testimony, fingerprints, handwriting, ballistics, a whole separate set of experts were to be consulted. I think that we did not have any preconceived notion of either believing everything to disbelieving everything. I believe that we felt a responsibility to conduct our own inquiry which we were conducting in the manner I have described to you.
But I would not characterize our position as being one of extreme belief or extreme disbelief. I would call it one of healthy skepticism.
Mr. KLEIN. Dean Redlich, you were speaking about using different sets of experts. To your knowledge, were any experts in the ballistics or autopsy field or any field used other than experts employed by Federal agencies?
Mr. REDLICH. My recollection is that in ballistics I believe we used someone from the government of Illinois, either handwriting or fingerprinting. I am not sure it was not someone from the New York Police Department. I believe that in all cases we used experts from other governments.
I am not going back 13 1/2 years on recollection. I think perhaps we may have used the Post Office Department in connection with handwriting?
Mr. KLEIN. Were any initial factual assumptions that the Warren commission had regarding the possible repercussions of the various conclusions that might have been reached?
Mr. REDLICH. By repercussion, could you clarify that, please?









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Mr. KLEIN. If a particular conclusion was reached, for example that some foreign government had a part in the assassination, then there would be certain repercussions which might follow from that. Were there any assumptions that the Warren commission had regarding that kind of repercussion?
Mr. REDLICH. I would have to say at any level of the Commission activity that I am familiar with the answer is no. I think for the record I should indicate that you have been using the term 'Warren Commission." I assume you are talking about that which I knew as a staff member. I never was present at any meeting of the Commission, itself. All relationships between the staff and the Commission itself were through Mr. Rankin.
Mr. KLEIN. Did the organization procedures used have an effect on the end result, in your opinion?
Mr. REDLICH. The procedures and the organization were an important part in introducing the end result, which i\I thought was a professional and thorough investigation of the assassination.
Mr. KLEIN. Did you feel any restriction on the investigation or writeup due to the organization or procedural setup?
Mr. REDLICH. I recall no such restrictions.
Mr. KLEIN. What exactly were your responsibilities, sir?
Mr. REDLICH. I was probably the second staff person hired. When I came to the Warren Commission, which was some time in mid-December, the only other staff person who was there as I recall was Mr. Willens. Initially, Mr. Rankin wanted me to work on special projects. One of the first things I did, for example, was to draft a rule of procedures for the Commission. Then I was given an assignment which tended to dominate the first 6 or 7 weeks of my work with the Commission. The Commission made a decision that the first witness to be questioned would be Marina Oswald.
I was given the assignment of helping to prepare Mr. Rankin for the examination of Marina Oswald which was going to have to be very extensive. In the course of that I started to read all of the investigatory reports that had come to us from the FBI and the Secret Service with a view toward seeing how anything in those reports could bear upon any questions that we might ask Marina Oswald. Since she knew so much about Lee Harvey Oswald's background, not only in terms of what she herself was witness to but what he may have told her about his background, and since a great deal of that was in the investigatory reports, I had to go through all of those investigatory reports with a view toward working with Mr. Rankin and helping to prepare him for that questioning.
When that was done--I may be exaggerating the kind of compartmentalization of my work but I will give it to you the best I can recall--when that was done I tended to spend a great deal of my time working with those lawyers who were working in the area of the investigation of the assassination, itself. That was Arlen Specter, David Belin, and Joseph Ball. Because Mr. Rankin was anxious for me to work with the lawyers in that area, see what approaches they were taking, the witnesses they were questioning, I tended to concentrate, not exclusively but I tended to concentrate, in those areas although the actual work of the investigation in the sense of questioning witnesses










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was done primarily by Mr. Ball, Mr. Belin, Mr. Specter, Mr. Eisenberg.
Another assignment I had was that Mr. Rankin was most anxious for me to be present at as many Commission hearings as possible so that there would be someone working with him who had the opportunity to have as broad a range as possible of the testimony that was at least being presented in formal hearings before the Commission.
Then as the work of drafting took place as drafts were prepared which went to mr. Rankin and then to the Commission, I was involved in the normal staff work of reviewing drafts suggesting changes, editing work on the report. I stayed with the Commission right up until the Friday that the report was submitted to the President. I left at 1 a.m. that Friday to go teach a class at 9 a.m. in the morning.
Mr. KLEIN. In your opinion, what was the relationship of the staff counsel to the Warren commission?
Mr. REDLICH. That would vary from Commissioner to Commissioner. The staff counsel were there and available at all times if any member of the Commission wanted to ask questions. Some of them availed themselves of that. Former President Ford was present at a great many hearings. He would talk to the staff members before or after. The Chief Justice was an ever present person at the Commission, and I can't emphasize that too much. His role was heroic in my judgment. He was there at 8 a.m. We held hearings early in the morning so that he could go back and preside over court. He would come back when the Court recessed for the day. Those of us who were there had an opportunity to discuss matters with the Chief Justice. However, in terms of informal relationship between the staff and the Commission in the sense of the staff being present at the Commission meetings in a formal way, that did not exist. I was not present at any meeting of the Commission. I was not privy to an formal meetings of the Commission. Mr. Rankin was the official line of communication between the Commission and the staff.
We learned of Commission decisions particularly as they reworked various drafts of chapters toward the end but we did no sit down with the Commission in a formal way.
Mr. KLEIN. Was there ample opportunity for individual staff members to communicate ideas to the Commissioners as a group or as individuals?
Mr. REDLICH. I think perhaps individual staff members may have had different views on that. I felt from my point of view that any position I may have had was being communicated through Mr. Rankin to the Commission in such manner as he saw fit. I believe that perhaps some members of the staff would have preferred to have had a more direct ongoing formal relationship with the Commission. We did see the Commissioners as they would come and preside or be present at hearings, but I think some members of the staff would have preferred a closer working relationship.
Mr. KLEIN. In your opinion were the Commissioners well informed on the facts of this case?
Mr. REDLICH. That was a very complex case. I think some of them were tremendously well informed. The Chief Justice was extremely well informed. I believe that former President Ford was extremely well informed. Mr. Dulles attended a great many hearings.









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Senator Russell had very extensive Senate commitments, as you know. I believe that on the broad areas on the Commission's inquiry the commission was informed. They were obviously not as informed of some of the specific enormous factual dates in connection with this assassination as was the staff. I have never known a staff that thought that the group that it worked for was a well informed as the staff was, and the Warren Commission was no exception.
Mr. KLEIN. How long did you work for the Warren Commission.
Mr. REDLICH. I came in mid-December, somewhere between December, somewhere between the 19th and 20th of December, I believe, and I left about 1 a.m. on a Friday, I am not sure whether it was September 22, somewhere in there, of the Friday that the Commission went to the White House and presented the report to the President. I then, as I recall, made one trip back to Washington where I had an appointment to meet an archivist to go over the papers in my office. he walked into the office and I said to the archivist, "I will make a simple deal with you. If you can get it arranged you can have all of it." With that I turned my back and left with the same fountain pen that I came with.
Mr. KLEIN. Did you consider it a full-time job during the time you worked with the Warren Commission?
Mr. REDLICH. No. As I indicated earlier, from December until the end of January I was working as full-time as one could possibly, as I recall. I did not have classes at the time. That gave me an opportunity to get familiarized with the investigation. then once classes began--it was a 14-week semester--I would shuttle back and forth. I did work on weekends in New York but I was in this pattern of shuttling back and forth. When classes ended, which was early in May, i went back to spending the predominant portion of my time in Washington and considered that certainly a full-time job up until the time I left.
Mr. KLEIN. Mr. Chairman, I have no further questions on the objectives of organizational procedure.
Mr. PREYER. I might have a couple of questions I am sure the other members may have a few questions also.
You mentioned that the Chief justice was ever present and that he was very active and that you would hold meetings at 8 o'clock in the morning. Were these staff meetings or Commission meetings?
Mr. REDLICH. Commission meetings, sir. As I recall the court convened at 10. I believe that we started, I know that we had hearings prior to the time the court convened and my best recollection is that they started at 8.
Mr. PREYER. How often would these meetings be held? let me put it this way. Were these formal Commission meetings or meetings to hear the testimony of a witness?
Mr. REDLICH. They were meetings to hear the testimony of a witness.
Mr. PREYER. These were not full formal Commission executive sessions?
Mr. REDLICH. No, sir. If I conveyed that impression, that is wrong.
Mr. PREYER. I believe I have made a note that you said he was there every day. I assume you mean every day that there was a meeting that he was likely to be there, not that you met him.








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Mr. REDLICH. Certainly the impression I have, as I look back over that period with the perspective of 13 years, if that the Chief Justice was a constant presence. By every day I certainly did not include Saturdays and Sundays but I think in terms of working days he was a constant presence at the Commission. I would not say it was every single working day. I would just say he was a constant presence.
Mr. PREYER. Would there usually be two Commission members to hear testimony of witness? Did you have any rule about that?
Mr. REDLICH. Mr. Preyer, I don't recall the precise rule. There were generally one or two other Commissioners present at the time testimony was taken. In addition to the staff attorney who conducted the inquiry, in the beginning it was Mr. Rankin and then it moved to other staff attorneys, and then I tried to be present when I could.
Mr. PREYER. As Mr. Rankin's special assistant were you personally acquainted with him before this?
Mr. REDLICH. Yes, sir. I had met Mr. Rankin in the summer of 1961 when he had left the Solicitor General's office. He had been Solicitor General under President Eisenhower. He had left the Solicitor General's office in 1961 and had come to New York City. In the summer of 1961 a workshop for professors of constitutional law was held at New York University Law School and Mr. Rankin, former Solicitor General, was invited to participate in that workshop. That is where I met Mr. Rankin. I had previously met Chief Justice Warren on the occasion of his coming to our law school.
Mr. PREYER. I was going to ask if you had known the Chief Justice. Did you know President Johnson by any chance?
Mr. REDLICH. No; I had never met President Johnson. I never met him during the entire investigation.
Mr. PREYER. You mentioned that you attended the first staff meeting and that Mr. Rankin stressed very strongly the truth was the only client that you had, that you should not form any conclusion before you heard the evidence. I believe that meeting was on January 20, 1964. I understand that the Chief Justice attended that meeting or came in a little later on in the meeting. Do you recall anything that he may have said to the staff at that time?
Mr. REDLICH. As I recall, he used the "unturning of every stone" inference. He said that he wanted to leave no stone unturned in pursuing this inquiry. While those are the only specific words I recall, the tenor of his remarks was completely supported by Mr. Rankin. I very vividly recall the phraseology of Mr. Rankin.
Mr. PREYER. This was a period that I think you brought out in which there were conspiracy theories floating around in the air. You mentioned the rightwing conspiracy theory. Did he say anything about one objective being to preclude further speculation or quenching rumors?
Mr. REDLICH. I cannot say for sure whether he specifically mentioned that. I think that he indicated that we hoped that a full, complete, and thorough investigation by bringing all the facts before the American people would have the effect of putting to rest some of these fears and speculations many of which were completely self-contradictory, and I know that I had hoped that this national tragedy was one which hopefully would not poison the life of this country if the facts were such as to indicate that there were no conspiracy.
But it was solely in the context that the great service we could perform would be to bring out all the facts. If those facts were that of a








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a conspiracy and that conspiracy had international implications or domestic implications, that would be the price of learning the truth. The aim was to produce all the facts. That is my recollection of the Chief Justice's remarks.
May I add by the was of completeness, sir, it was either at that meeting or perhaps some other meeting in which the Chief Justice related President Johnson's urging him to take the chairmanship of the Commission. The Chief Justice was very reluctant to do it. Then I remember another quotation, the Chief Justice said he was confronted with a fact and not a theory and when confronted with that fact he had to say yes. I believe he quoted the President as saying "Your country requires you to put back on your uniform," and anyone who knows Earl Warren knows that he was in intensely patriotic man.
He said he ended up accepting an assignment which he initially had been disinclined to accept.
Mr. PREYER. thank you.
Mr. Devine.
Mr. DEVINE. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Dean, without meaning to put words in your mouth do you think the Congress has assigned this select committee a kind of dead end task in that I take it from your remarks you feel that the Commission under which you served did a very complete, thorough, and honest job and the conclusions they reached were accurate and that will be the ultimate conclusion that this committee is going to have to reach? Or do you have other thoughts?
Mr. REDLICH. I have thought a lot about that, sir. I think that while I may have had reservations about the necessity of this committee, since I believe that the facts remain in my judgment, at least on the basis of everything I know, incontrovertible that Lee Harvey Oswald fired all the shots that killed President Kennedy and wounded Governor Canaille, and since I have not learned of anything as a private citizen that would cause me to question the Commission's conclusion that there was no credible evidence in support of a conspiracy, I would have had reservations about the necessity of this committee.
However, I think this committee has been formed and I would not regard its work as a dead end cause, for whatever reason, doubts exist among the American people concerning the facts of the assassination. I may have my own judgment as to how those doubts arose but I think that is really irrelevant. The fact is that those doubts are there. With those doubts there I think that perhaps this committee has a useful, very useful, constructive role to play in terms of perhaps dealing with those doubts. Now I do not want to convey the impression to you that I am saying that you have only one conclusion that you can reach. Your conducting an investigation under your responsibility. My opinion is that you will reach the same conclusion that we reached. But if you do I do not think that that would mean that this committee did not perform an enormously important public function and I hope the committee would not feel that way.
Mr. DEVINE. To put it another way then, assuming but not deciding, assuming that we did reach a conclusion that Lee Harvey Oswald was the sole assassin without a conspiracy, the committee could indeed perform a useful service by perhaps explaining away or coming to










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some conclusion on the rumors and unanswered questions that seem to exist in the public mind?
Mr. REDLICH. I think that would be one very significant contribution. I think also that facts have apparently come to the surface concerning the response of different investigatory agencies to the Warren Commission, itself. I believe that this committee is looking into that, and should. I think the question of how the various agencies of the Government, including the Warren Commission, itself, performed the very important job that it had is clearly within the purview of this committee.
So that while I guess I would have preferred, as someone would spent 9 months of his life working on this Commission, that we did not find ourselves engaged in an activity which was perceived by the country to be a complete reinvestigation of the assassination, putting that view aside, I think the committee has a very important role to play for the reasons you have indicated.
Thank you very much.
Mr. PREYER. Mr. Stokes.
Mr. STOKES. I have no questions, Mr. Chairman. Thank you.
Mr. PREYER. Mr. Sawyer.
Mr. SAWYER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Dean, when you were serving on the staff of the Warren Commission did there art any time come to your attention, directly or indirectly, that there had been this alleged CIA involvement in an attempt to assassinate Castro?
Mr. REDLICH. I have no recollection of that, sir. To the best of my recollection the answer to your request is no. I just do not recall any discussion about any CIA attempts to assassinate Fidel Castro.
Mr. SAWYER. Was there any suggestion that the so-called anti-Castro wing of the Cuban group here might have had any involvement in connection with the assassination? Was that ever explored?
Mr. REDLICH. That part of the inquiry was really handled more by Mr. Jenner and Liebeler. I do recall a great many discussions about Oswald's possible Cuban connection. There were witnesses, as I recall, who claimed that Oswald was linked to anti-Castro Cuba. There was also the possibility that Oswald could have been linked to pro-Castro Cuba. While I was not involved in that aspect of the investigation, I believe the Commission and its staff attempted to track down everything that it could about Oswald's relationship with anybody that related either to the pro-Castro side or the anti-Castro side.
But we did not, to the best of my recollection, look specifically at the question of any link between a threat to assassinate or a plot to assassinate Premier Castro and the assassination of President Kennedy.
Mr. SAWYER. Was there any investigation made or did any information come to your attention with respect to Ruby's possible connection with organized crime?
Mr. REDLICH. I recall that there was some discussion about--I was no personally involved in the Ruby investigation. There were a great many allegations about Jack Ruby. He had a rather unusual background. Included among those, as I recall, were some allegations linking him to organized crime. But I have not clear recollection of the nature of that investigation.






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Mr. SAWYER. Was there information coming to the Commission about the alleged combination of the CIA and some of the Mafia in connection with some of these raids on Cuba?
Mr. REDLICH. I have no knowledge of that.
Mr. SAWYER. You have no recollection?
Mr. REDLICH. No; I do not. I am not saying it didn't happen.
Mr. SAWYER. The Commission as far as you know didn't get into that?
Mr. REDLICH. As far as I can recollect, no. But I was really not in that particular area of the investigation in a direct way.
Mr. SAWYER. Did the Commission as far as you know get into the question of how Officer Tippit identified Lee Harvey Oswald when he was allegedly killed by Lee Harvey Oswald. Did you get into that at all?
Mr. REDLICH. No one really knows what happened when Officer Tippit drove up to Lee Harvey Oswald on that street in dallas. We did look at the police report that went out on the radio to see whether someone listening to those reports in a police care would have had reason to pull over and stop a man looking like Lee Harvey Oswald. The report goes into that in considerable detail. The descriptions that went out on the police radio describing a man of Oswald's build, although they were not incidentally at that time describing Oswald themselves, the reports that went out on the radio were based upon eyewitness description at the assassination. f Oswald himself was arrested not for the assassination of President Kennedy, he was arrested because of the killing of police officer Tippit and was found in the theater.
So we don't really know whether there was any identification of Oswald by Tippit other than the fact that Tippit apparently moved up to Oswald in the car and then Oswald shot him.
Mr. SAWYER. Did you have any information with respect to the alleged destruction or concealment of information by the FBI that was your investigative arm, as I understand?
Mr. REDLICH. The only incident of that kind that I can recall coming to my attention related to an address book. In the course of sending us all of Lee Harvey Oswald's possessions the FBI sent to us the address book which was found either in Oswald's room or on his physical body at the time he was arrested, and they also sent over a written transcript of everything that was in that address book. Although I have not had prosecutorial experience, I am a lawyer and I sat down and decided to go through the address book page by page and compare it with the transcript of what was in it. In the course of doing that I found that there had been left out of the transcript certain data, and here I cannot be completely precise as to what was left out, but as I recall it was the name of Agent Hosty and possibly his license number or possibly phone number. It had something to do with Agent Hosty. That had been left out. Agent Hosty had been an FBI agent who had some contact with Oswald after he had come back to Dallas.
I was disturbed over that. I immediately reported it to Mr. Rankin. i am sure that Mr. Rankin immediately reported it to the Chief Justice because I believe the three of us talked about it. We then waited several days, it may have been a longer period but we waited to see







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whether the FBI would furnish this additional data, and it didn't come. Then we wrote to the FBI a rather strong letter expressing our dismay about the fact that the transcript was not complete and asking an explanation for it. I believe, and I have no way of checking the specific dates, but my best recollection is that on the same day we sent the letter to the FBI there then came to us an explanation saying that the reason they had not sent it was that they were sending us only the material that would be addressed to leads and their own agent would not be a lead. I believe that would be the explanation although I am not sure.
In any event the explanation still left me annoyed over the fact that it had been left out and I remain annoyed to this day.
Mr. SAWYER. Was it pursued further when you got a reply that they were only excerpting that that they felt would be a lead?
Mr. REDLICH. I think the decision was made at the time that, while we were really not very happy with the reply, we couldn't really disprove it. That was not, as I recall, pursued beyond that point.
Mr. SAWYER. Is it fair to say that the matter was then dropped?
Mr. REDLICH. To the best of my recollection, yes, sir.
Mr. SAWYER. Can you tell me why the decision was made that the people primarily concerned on the staff were not allowed to see the X-rays or the photos of the autopsy and who made the decision?
Mr. REDLICH. To the best of my recollection, sir, that decision was made by the Chief Justice, himself. I was not present at any meeting of the Commission, so I don't know that it was brought up at any Commission meeting. I believe the Chief Justice himself held that the publication of the autopsy film and the X-rays would be a great disservice to Mrs. Kennedy, the Kennedy family.
Mr. SAWYER. I am not talking about publication. I am talking about a member of the staff that had primary responsibility and, or the Chief Justice himself to look at these, not the public.
Mr. REDLICH. I can only surmise but I think the Chief Justice believed, based on all of the evidence that we had, including the testimony of the autopsy doctors, all of the physical evidence I think the Chief Justice, rightly or wrongly, concluded that he preferred for those firms not to be viewed.
Now I would say that I know, because I have been shown today a memorandum form mr. Specter, Mr. Specter I know had strongly felt, that that was a wrong decision. I think that there may have been another factor, sir, although I don't recall discussing it with the Chief Justice. I think the Chief Justice really wanted everything that was going to be viewed by the Commission to be part of the record. I think the Chief Justice felt rather strongly that he did not want the American people to say that a fact should be assumed as true just because Chief Justice Warren or anyone else saw it.
I think that he did not want those films to be viewed and form a basis for the conclusion of the Commission unless that could be part of the record. Now the Chief Justice is not here so I am just giving you may best recollection. Certainly, sir, by retrospect in light of all of the discussions about those films it might have been a wiser course of










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action to have allowed those films to have been viewed. But those films are of course there now. I think by retrospect it would have been the wiser course of action to have permitted those films to be viewed.
I remember Mr. specter's memorandum, and i would say it is a persuasive memorandum. I happen to agree that the films themselves, while they ere important sources of evidence, I think that the evidence that the Commission did have before it amply supported the conclusion. But by retrospect I think that some arrangement should have been worked out for those films to be seen.
Mr. SAWYER. Perhaps the most controversial aspects of this or one of the most controversial is the single bullet theory. Here was positive evidence or potential positive evidence tending to go to that part of the inquiry that you refused to look at it even in camera. That I don't understand. I don't understand what was the nucleus of that decision.
Mr. REDLICH. I can only respond to that by saying that what appears to you in retrospect, by the perspective of 1977, as being a crucial bit of evidence, did not appear that crucial at that time. While I agree with Mr. Specter that the film should have been viewed, I believe quite strongly that if one looks at all of the evidence that was there at the time, and there was a great deal of that--
Mr. SAWYER. Why not look at all the evidence? That is what you are saying?
Mr. REDLICH. I think the reasons for that were the reasons that the Chief Justice gave and I think they are linked. One was the question of publicity; and secondly, it was his feeling that what the commission was going to look at should be in the record. Now we may disagree with that. I am not saying that it was necessarily the correct decision.
I don't think those films are crucial to the single-bullet theory.
Mr. SAWYER. The single-bullet theory is not a newly cropped up argument. That was an argument that was raised within the staff. According to Mr. Specter, there was some debate and philosophical argument on how this could happen. If you have the evidence that can either make it or break it, let us say, to refuse to look at it--you know, no one would try a jury case without introducing the facts that are available. That is what I don't understand.
Mr. REDLICH. Mr. Sawyer, I don't believe those films would make or break the single-bullet theory.
Mr. SAWYER. You don't know because you didn't look.
Mr. REDLICH. I think that the commission would have been criticized for not looking at them, but I believe that looking at those films which would either confirm or not confirm what the doctors themselves said, who conducted the autopsy; I think we are forgetting the fact that we had the testimony of the three doctors who conducted the autopsy and who had themselves seen the firm.
Now, the single-bullet theory was a very complex formulation. If you have heard from Mr. Specter, you have heard it from a person who knows a great deal about it. I am not disagreeing with you that the films were an important bit of evidence. You have asked me why and I can only say to you, one, I did not make the decision; and secondly, I am giving you my best recollection why the decision was made.









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Mr. SAWYER. My recollection is that there is a dispute between the testimony of the autopsy diagrams and the diagrams of the location of the bullet that entered the President's neck or back and they seem to be disagreeing with their own diagram made at the time, as I recollect.
Mr. REDLICH. There is no doubt about their testimony that the bullet entered the President's back and another bullet entered the base of the head. They testified in detail about the track of the bullet. The pictorial diagram which they prepared I think was not consistent with their testimony.
Mr. SAWYER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I am sorry to have taken so much time.
Mr. PREYER. Mr. Fauntroy.
Mr. FAUNTROY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The question that I have may not bear directly on procedures and the structure of the staff and the Commission to undertake the investigation. Inasmuch as we are into investigation, I would simply like to ask if at any time you were able to read a transcript or hear a tape recording of the interviews held with Mr. Oswald after his arrest?
Mr REDLICH. I do not recall any tape recordings. We had as a witness before the Commission the Dallas police officer who questioned Lee Harvey Oswald. I believe that he did not use a tape recorder. That is my best recollection. He himself did not. So, were had his report of the interview with Oswald. We then had the FBI agents' and possibly Secret Service, I am not sure, reports of their interviews with Oswald. We then had the agents who had interviewed Oswald and they testified before the Commission.
I also believe that the Dallas police officer who questioned Oswald also was interviewed by an FBI agent, and we had the results of that interview.
Mr. FAUNTROY. but you recall at no time a verified account of what Mr. Oswald in fact said?
Mr. REDLICH. If you mean an actual transcript, sir--
Mr. FAUNTROY. A transcript of some sort.
Mr. REDLICH. I do not have any recollection of that.
Mr. FAUNTROY. You were comfortable with the procedural fact that your had FBI agents and police officers who outlined to you what they recalled from their interrogation of Mr. Oswald?
Mr. REDLICH. Yes. To the best of my recollection, everyone who questioned Oswald was questioned by the Commission or the staff, as I recall.
Mr. FAUNTROY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. DEVINE. May I ask one question, Mr. Chairman?
Mr. PREYER. Mr. Devine.
Mr. DEVINE. In connection with what Mr. Sawyer brought up, on the Hosty omission from the transcript, was that the only omission you found in your comparison analysis of the notebook and the transcript?
Mr. REDLICH. That is my recollection, sir.
Mr. DEVINE. That is the only one/
Mr. REDLICH. Yes. I would have to actually look at the letter that we wrote to the Bureau because that contains whatever else there was, but that is my recollection now.
Mr. DEVINE. The only deletion so far as you know?




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Mr. REDLICH. As far as I can remember it. If the letter to the Bureau goes beyond that, my recollection is faulty.
Mr. DEVINE. The Hosty thing stands out in your mind?
Mr. REDLICH. The Hosty thing clearly stands out in my mind. I am reluctant to say categorically that is all there was. I was asked the question about what was concealed at the time I was there. I have read in the papers about a letter that was given to agent Hosty that was supposed to have been destroyed, but we knew nothing about that at the time.
Mr. DEVINE. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. PREYER. Thank you.
Mr. Klein, we have covered your next area for you.
Mr. KLEIN. Yes; I think so, Mr. Chairman, but I will try to go around the area.
Mr. FAUNTROY. go right through them. Just go straight on through if you don't mind.
Mr. KLEIN. Dean Redlich, in the areas in which you participated in the investigation and you have told us what those areas were, do you believe that you were reasonably able to explore and resolve all the viable issues?
Mr. REDLICH. Yes, sir.
Mr. KLEIN. Did you have enough time to fully investigate those areas?
Mr REDLICH. I believe we did.
Mr. KLEIN. Did you experience any political pressures applies in any of those areas which prevented you from thoroughly considering all the issues?
Mr. REDLICH. No, sir.
Mr. KLEIN. In your opinion in each of the areas that you participated in the investigation, did you have adequate support with respect to research needs and investigators?
Mr. REDLICH. Yes. Once the decision was made that the investigatory arms of the Federal Government were going to be used by the Commission my overall judgment of the way that those investigatory arms performed was extremely favorable.
I believe that they were completely responsive to the requests of the Commission for investigative work.
Mr. KLEIN. Is it fair to say that in your opinion you had the time and the support, the facilities, to complete the full investigation in each of the areas in which you worked?
Mr. REDLICH. Yes, sir. When I left on that Friday morning, I was satisfied in my mind that we had done a complete and thorough job and that we were no under political pressure and that if I felt that we had not done a thorough job I would have been arguing vigorously to keep the investigation going. I did not so argue. I thought that we had done what we had set out to do the preceding December.
Mr. KLEIN. One area you testified you worked in was the facts of the assassination. Can you tell us how the single-bullet theory evolved?
Mr. REDLICH. I can't recall any specific moment in which someone said that this is the way it was. We were studying the film very carefully. By we I mean Mr. Specter, Mr. Belin, Mr. Eisenberg, myself, Special Agent Shaneyfelt, who was a photography expert for the






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Bureau. We were studying the films carefully to see the positions of President Kennedy and Governor Canaille. We had the ballistic testimony which was that the bullet that was found on the stretcher and the fragments that were found in the care had been fired from the rifle on the sixth floor of the Texas School book Depository to the exclusion of all other weapons. We had the autopsy document. There was examination of clothing. There was no had evidence at all that any bullet had come from any other source. Now a question that was troublesome was that as one looked at Governor Canaille's position in the care and realizing the time within which it took to fire bullets from the rifle, if Governor Connally was hit at a certain frame, and I forget the number, but a certain frame based upon his body position, and if president Kennedy was hit at a certain frame based upon our observation of the film, and if those frames were so close together that one person physically could not have squeezed off the two bullets, we would had a situation where all of the known facts that we had--remember, there were no facts that we had that the bullets had come from any place other than the sixth floor window--we would have had a situation where the facts simply would have presented an irreconcilable conflict.
New since Governor Connally was in front of President Kennedy one hypothesis which started to emerge, and I repeat I can't tell you when it emerged, but one hypothesis that started to emerge, and it would have been logical to have emerged with Arlen Specter, one hypothesis was that the same bullet struck both men.
Then the question became one of testing that hypothesis--that was done in several ways--the question of whether one bullet could have gone through President Kennedy's neck and emerged, going at such a speed as to have done the damage that it did. There was testimony from witnesses answering that question in the affirmative.
A critical question of course was whether the two men were so alined at the time that President Kennedy was shot in the neck that the bullet could have hit Governor Connally. that was one reason that the reenactment in Dallas was staged. The care was placed at the point where, based on the films and what we could see in the background, the car was at the time that we believed the President had been hit with the first bullet. I was in the School Book Depository at the time of reenactment.
Then we had a camera set up on the rifle, itself, through the sights to see whether at that particular moment the two bodies were in alinement. They were in alinement.
The single-bullet theory has somehow emerged in discussion as if it were unrelated to all the other facts. The point I am simply making is the fact that the bullet which went through President Kennedy's neck also was the same bullet that entered Governor Connally's back was completely consistent with all of the evidence that we had at that time.
Mr. KLEIN. You spoke about the time required to fire the alleged murder weapon twice and you spoke about the point at which hit appears the President was hi and the point at which hit appears the Governor was hi. With that in mind, in your opinion, if the single-bullet theory is not valid, that is if there were two separate bullets








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which hit the Governor and the President, could there still have been only on shooter?
Mr. REDLICH. The only way I can answer that question is to say to you that if the single-bullet theory is not valid we would had to have gone back and reevaluated all our other facts. I am not prepared to say that that means that there necessarily had to be two assassins. i can only say that all of the facts that we have were consistent with the single-bullet theory. If that turned out to be wrong, if somebody said that didn't happen that way, it was conclusive that it didn't happen, I cannot tell you what the results of a complete reevaluation of all the facts would have been.
Mr. KLEIN. Are you familiar with Commission exhibit No. 399, the so-called "pristine bullet"? Do you recall that? Again we are speaking about the single-bullet theory My question is are you completely satisfied as you sit here that Commission exhibit No. 399 is the bullet that went through both Kennedy and Canaille?
Mr. REDLICH. Assuming 399 is the bullet that was found on the stretcher at Parkland Hospital, the answer is yes.
Mr. KLEIN. I believe that the conclusion of the Warren Commission was that 399 was found on a particular stretcher. Are you in a agreement with that conclusion?
Mr. REDLICH. I am. I was simply being cautious, not having the report in front of me and not knowing what 399 was.
Mr. KLEIN. If I tell you that 3999 was the bullet that the Warren Commission concluded was found on Connally's stretcher, then you are completely satisfied that that bullet went through both Kennedy and Connally?
Mr. REDLICH. Yes, sir, I am.
Mr. KLEIN. Based on your knowledge of the single-bullet theory, I will pose a hypothetical. That is, if Commission exhibit No. 399 was not on Connally's stretcher but if it were on Kennedy's stretcher, in your opinion would the single-bullet theory have any validity? That is, if the Warren Commission was incorrect when the concluded that exhibit 399 had been on Connally's stretcher?
Mr. REDLICH. I am trying to understand the point As you know from the testimony of nurses, there was some question of where the bullet--as to the question of the stretcher, I can only reiterate I am completely persuaded that a bullet went through President Kennedy, the base of his neck, went through his body with a downward trajectory, emerged at the base of his tie. Then proceeded with a slight yaw and entered their right side of Governor Connally, hit his ribs, as I recall, emerged through his belly, did the damage to his wrist and then was lodged in his thigh and that one bullet did those things.
I am also convinced that a second bullet entered that back of President Kennedy's head and blew out the right side of his head, killing him. now the question of the bullet ending up on particular stretchers is something that I am not quite sure I understand the thrust of. I can tell you what my conclusion is as precisely as I just did. If somebody found that bullet on President Kennedy's stretcher I would have to start to look to see where it came from, what happened.
Obviously if that "pristine bullet' only went through President Kennedy, then it would be at variance with the conclusion that I










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just described to you. But that is because I believe that the two men were alined and based upon what that bullet had to go through, hit President Kennedy's back, the absence of bone tissue, the fact that it was probably emerging at almost the speed as when it entered, leads me to the conclusion that it had nowhere else to go other than to hit Governor Connally.
Mr. KLEIN. Moving on, the second area that you testified you were involved in was the investigation of Marina Oswald--is that correct?
Mr. REDLICH. Yes, sir.
Mr. KLEIN. Mr. Chairman, at this time I would ask that these two documents be marked as exhibits.
Mr. PREYER. The documents will be marked as JFK exhibit No. 13. Without objection it will be entered into the record at this time.
[JFK exhibition No. 13 was received; entered in the record, and follows:]


JFK EXHIBIT No. 13
























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Mr. KLEIN. [Handling this document, which is a memorandum dated February 28, 1964, to Dean Redlich.] Do you recognize that memorandum?
Mr. REDLICH. I do recall it; yes, sir.
Mr. KLEIN. Have you had an opportunity to review that memorandum earlier today in my office?
Mr. REDLICH. Yes, sir.
Mr. KLEIN. Do you recall writing that memorandum?
Mr. REDLICH. I believe I wrote that. I am not denying that I wrote it.
Mr. KLEIN. I would direct your attention to page 2 of the memorandum, the second paragraph, the second sentence. I quote:

We cannot ignore, however, that Marina Oswald has repeatedly lied to the Secret Service, the FBI, and this Commission on matters which are of vital concern to the people of this country and the world.

Will you explain what you were referring to in that sentence please?
Mr. REDLICH. I have been thinking about that, Mr. Klein. This memorandum was written in February 1964, shortly after Mr. Martin testified. As the committee will notice, the purpose of this memorandum was to explain to the Commission why I had pursued a line of inquiry with regard to Mr. Martin, a line of inquiry which presented Mrs. Oswald in a less than favorable light. My explanation was that we had an obligation to pursue all possible motives. One of the motives could have been that Mrs. Oswald, through the kind of person that she was, drove Lee Harvey Oswald to the assassination. I am not saying that was the motive. I am saying that was a possibility. Therefore, I took the position in this memorandum that Mrs. Oswald, that the nature of her character, the kind of person that she was, was relevant to the scope of the inquiry.
In the course of that, I wrote this sentence.
Now I have tried to recollect any specific matter that i may have had in mind, and I have to say that I do not recollect anything specific. It may have been, and one would have to go back into the investigatory report, it may have been at first she may not have told the truth in connection with the attempted killing of General Walker. It may have been. I am really just surmising she may have been asked if Oswald had ever engaged in violence, and she may have at first said "No" and then brought out the fact about the General Walker shooting.
I can only recall that I prepared a lengthy memorandum, and I hope it is in the files because if I had that I could answer your questions, that it was a lengthy memorandum that I prepared which was the basis for her questioning. As I say, I worked for about 5 or 6 weeks to develop a series of questions. Now I give to Mr. Rankin a lengthy document which had a proposed series of questions, and to each one of those questions I indicated the testimony that she had given at various times, because she had been interviewed many times.
I indicated the testimony that she had given, the instances where it was in conflict, and indicated the kind of questions that I thought should be asked when she came before the Commission. This, of course,







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refers to the Secret Service and to the FBI. I believe that most of what I was referring to in this sentence would have related to the answers that she would have given to those agencies.
If you can find that document, i will be happy, if you called it to my attention, to try to be specific on the answer. As of now I have no clear recollection of any particular event other than the possibility of the Walker one, and there was also the possibility that she may have original denied that there was any other act of violence or any threat of violence whereas he had in fact at one point told her that he was going to kill Mr. Nixon, which came out later.
Mr. KLEIN. Unfortunately, we have not been able to locate many documents which should be in the Archives. I do not have and have not read the document which you are referring, but let me ask you this. As you sit here today, is it your recollection of your investigation of Marina Oswald that this sentence is basically correct, or was there any kind of change in your attitude toward her credibility?
Mr. REDLICH. I would say that at the time I wrote this letter on February 28, this statement is correct. I would not have written it if I did not think it was correct. now I also say that at the time our investigation was over, I was satisfied that whatever light she could throw on the assassination that was relevant to our inquiry she had given us, and that there was no need to pursue any further questioning of her. She was questioned again, I believe; I believe in Dallas. It is possible that some of the areas might have been cleared up at that point or cleared up in subsequent interviews that we may have asked the FBI to conduct with her. So that this statement at the time I wrote it I must have believed was correct, and if I could find that document, it would give you the details of it.f
At the time we concluded our investigation, I did not feel that Marina Oswald could have cast any additional light on the critical questions that were before the Commission.
Can I just amend that answer slightly, Mr. Klein? Let me say that I felt that any additional questioning of Marina Oswald was not going to cast additional light. No one can really be sure whether someone possesses information. I think the only thing I felt reasonably sure of, and still do, was that any further questioning of her was not going to produce anything more than we knew.
Mr. KLEIN. I am just trying to understand your last statement. Is it your belief that with proper time and investigative resources that Marina Oswald could shed further light on the investigation?
Mr. REDLICH. I have no way of judging that. Fortunately, we live in a society where there are limits on the extent to which one tries to pry information from the mind of a human being. There may have been aspects about Mrs. Oswald's life, of what she perceived to be of a personal nature, which she would not have wanted to have discussed. Whether those could cast light on his motives one can only speculate.
As you know, the Warren Commission reached the conclusion that there was no evidence of a conspiracy. We tried to indicate several possible motives. Proving negatives is always a very difficult thing to do. Whether Mrs. Oswald has information in her mind that might be useful to this Commission I would doubt, but I would not










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categorically say that any person does not have information in one's mind except what I say about myself. I do not.
Mr. FAUNTROY. Will counsel yield, Mr. Chairman?
Mr. PREYER. Mr. Fauntroy.
Mr. FAUNTROY. I earlier indicated the fact that Mr. Oswald was dead dictated what structures and procedures you had to follow, and that, while the absence of any verbatim account of what he had to say did not disturb you unduly, obviously, from your statement here, you did have some specific things in mind which, of course, you obviously, after 13 years, can't recall specifically, and counsel has advised us that we don't have access to the memorandum or writing that might have refreshed your memory on those, I just wondered, inasmuch as Mrs. Oswald is still available to us, if it would job your memory to think a minute about what we might ask her, that you might have asked her had you had the affirmative response to your memo?
Mr. REDLICH. The reason I find it difficult to answer that is that you must understand that that sentence would have been completely consistent with Mrs. Oswald's having told certain things to the FBI on one occasion, and then saying, "I didn't tell you the truth that time, this is the truth." It would have been consistent with her having told the FBI something on one occasion and then coming before the Warren Commission, saying, "This is not the truth, that was not." So, at the time I wrote this sentence it should not be interpreted as meaning the I thought there were then a great many unanswered questions about her.
I did think there were some because I did state later in the memorandum that "We will be questioning Ruth and Michael Paine and possibly be reexamining Marina Oswald." To my best recollection I did feel that we should reexamine Marina Oswald and that happened I believe in July of the investigation. What I am not sure of at this moment is whether after her testimony before the Commission staff and whether after her subsequent questioning by agents of the FBI, if in fact we asked them to do it and I am not sure about it, whether after all of that, I still feel that I have doubts about what she told us. That is why I find it hard to answer your question in the affirmative.
She is obviously a very important person in understanding Lee harvey Oswald and possibly his motives. She was with him a great deal of the time. Her testimony is very relevant as to whom he knew, whom he spoke to. I simply am unable to tell you now whether I felt that we had anything less than the truth from her at the time we finished in December 1964.
I must have felt that we did at the time I wrote this memorandum in February 1964.
Mr. FAUNTROY. But it is accurate to say that at the conclusion of the Commission's work you were satisfied that your questions about the possible motives for Oswald having their origin in the character of Marina Oswald, his wife, were satisfied?
Mr. REDLICH. The Commission reached no conclusion on motive. my own personal opinion is that I could not reach a conclusion on motives.










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I think it is possible that the personal, and this is my own persona; judgment on this, sir, that the personal relationship between the two of them could have been a factor. I am a lawyer and not a psychiatrist and I don't know whether someone with psychiatric training would have a different view of this. The most I would say is that that could have been a factor. But there could have been other factors. It could have been a man who wanted to demonstrate that he was really an important person, quite apart from his wife. He could have been a man who had an intense dislike of authority.
He could have been a man who, based on his Marxist writings, had an intense dislike of anything in the capitalistic system. I could have been any one of a multiplicity of motives. I think that is something that people will speculate about for along time to come.
Mr. PREYER. Mr. Klein.
Mr. KLEIN. Dean Redlich, in the area of autopsy you have given extensive testimony already; are you aware that the FBI report issued on December 9, 1963, and the supplementary FBI report issued on January 13, 1964, both stated that the first bullet to hit the President did not exit from his body? Are your aware of that?
Mr. REDLICH. Yes, sir, I do recall that.
Mr. KLEIN. During the course of the investigation were you able to account for the discrepancy between the FBI report and the autopsy report, considering that the autopsy report was written before the FBI report was written?
Mr. REDLICH. I believe that we satisfied ourselves that what happened was that the FBI agents who were present at the autopsy were recalling their recollection of what was being said and the doctors were examining various hypotheses during the time of the autopsy, and that accounted for the FBI report saying one thing and the doctors saying another.
I thought the FBI report was a grossly inadequate document. In fairness to the Bureau they apparently decided to produce something very quickly, but based upon what I feel I know and remember about the facts of the assassination, I think it was a grossly inadequate document.
Mr. KLEIN. When you say it was a grossly inadequate document is that in all respects or are you just talking about the autopsy?
Mr. REDLICH. I think the way it handled the autopsy, I believe--let me put it to you this way, Mr. Klein. If all we had before us was the FBI report about the assassination, the unanswered questions about the assassination would have been legion and they would have come from very responsible sources, because the thing that we were talking about earlier, the single-bullet theory, the explanation of the totality of the facts of what happened, was simply not in the FBI report.
It took us a long time to work it up. I don't want to be critical in terms of the time they had available to them but I think that this Government owed much more to the American people than the FBI report that was presented to the Commission, and we certainly did not use that as any type of basis for our investigation.
Mr. DEVINE. If the gentleman will yield at that point, was not that FIB report a preliminary report? Had i been a complete report there would have been no need for an examination?







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Mr. REDLICH. What I was suggesting was that if that had been the final work, that FBI report had been the final word, I think perhaps long before 1977 there would have been a need for this committee, sir, because a great many questions that I believe we answered were left unanswered by the Bureau's report. That may have simply been a matter of--
Mr. DEVINE. Is it your understanding that was a final report from the FBI to a preliminary report?
Mr. REDLICH. I am not sure of that. That was a report that I believe may have been done for the President at the time and then given to us. Then I would have to look at the report. I think you have raised a very good question. I would have liked to look at the report again to see what they said about it. I would say that report, just standing on its four corners, was in my opinion not an adequate explanation of the assassination. In fairness to the Bureau, it may well never have been intended to be a definitive report of the assassination and if that is true, then my comments have to be judged in that light.
Mr. DEVINE. Then it was less than a month following the assassination, was it not?
Mr. REDLICH. I think so.
Mr. DEVINE. Thank you.
Mr. KLEIN. Mr. Redlich, what present predispositions did you have toward the intelligence agencies, such as the FBI and the CIA, prior to working for the Warren Commission?
Mr. REDLICH. As a professor of constitutional law I regarded myself as a civil libertarian. I had regarded the FBI and its activities during the 1950's in the cold war period as being one which had been repressive of free speech. So I did not come to Washington with the view that the Federal Bureau of Investigation was a model that I should choose to follow. I had had no direct experience with it. I had felt that the Bureau had been part of what I perceived to be a most unfortunate period in the history of civil liberties in the United States.
I had no particular feeling about the CIA or the Secret Service.
Mr. KLEIN. Will you describe the relationship of the Warren Commission to each of the intelligence agencies. How in your opinion did the Warren Commission view the agencies and how did the agencies view the Warren Commission? Mr. REDLICH. I can say very little about the CIA because I had virtually no contact with it, perhaps no contact with it. That was handled by Mr. William Coleman and David Slawson, to some extent Willens. Now as far as the FBI is concerned, I thought that we had a good relationship notwithstanding my extreme annoyance over the Hosty matter. As I look at the totality of the work the did over this 9 or 10 month period there is nothing that we asked them to do that they didn't do and do promptly.
While there were certain instances where I thought they made mistakes, that was our problem to evaluate their work. But as far as cooperation was concerned, while, as you know, the Bureau had fairly rigid rules about who wrote letters to whom, and the letter that came from the Bureau was signed by Mr. Hoover, the Bureau I found to be a very cooperative agency.
The Secret Service we did not ask to do that much. Whatever we asked them to do, mainly in connection with some work in connection









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with the reconstruction of the assassination in Dallas, I found them to be cooperative. I would say that notwithstanding my predisposition, which I already mentioned to you, before I came to Washington, I left Washington with the feeling which I incorporated in letters that I wrote to Mr. Hoover, with the feeling of respect for the FBI.
I came with a feeling that maybe there were two FBI's. Maybe there is the FBI that works as a professional law enforcement level; that was the group I dealt with, that was the group for which I came away with a very healthy respect. Maybe there was another FBI which dealt with political matters, which I had nothing to do with, and which undoubtedly accounted for my prior negative feelings about their work.
Time after time as I worked with their experts I found they were fair, cautious, and did not try to overstate the case. They were not trying to convict Lee Harvey Oswald ex post facto, they were a very professional organization.
Mr. KLEIN. You testified as to the Hosty notebook. Other than that to your knowledge did any of the intelligence agencies ever intentionally withhold any information from the Warren Commission?
Mr. REDLICH. To my knowledge as of September 1964 or my knowledge not?
Mr. KLEIN. As of September 1964.
Mr. REDLICH. As of September 1964 my best recollections that it was only the Hosty matter.
Mr. KLEIN. As you sit here today do you know of any such information?
Mr. REDLICH. As I sit here today I have read reports that Lee Harvey Oswald delivered a letter to Agent Hosty in Dallas which Agent Hosty destroyed. I think that is inexcusable. Now the question of what blame one attributes to the Bureau depends one what Agent Hosty did. Whoever to turnout that people in high positions of authority in the Bureau knew about that and didn't tell us, then I would be very chagrined about that and it would certainly lead me to qualify my statement that they had cooperated in every way.
If it was only Agent Hosty or some immediate superior I think that is a subject of condemnation but I would not condemn the entire Bureau.
Now the other aspect that I have read in the press is that the CIA and the FBI and Mr. Dulles are supposed to have known of a plot to assassinate Premier Castro. I think that should have been brought to the attention of the Commission.
Mr. KLEIN. The information that you just testified to relating to the note that was not received and the attempt to assassinate Premier Castro, in your opinion had this information been given to the Warren Commission would it have affected the investigation?
Mr. REDLICH. Let us take them one at a time.
The note to Hosty. How it would have affected the investigation would have depended--perhaps I don't understand your question. Do you man the existence of the note or the fact that Hosty destroyed it?
Mr. KLEIN. I mean if you had known that the note existed would the investigation have proceeded along different avenues than it ultimately went?









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Mr. REDLICH. That one I think would not have had too great affect on the inquiry for this reason. As I recall, at some point in the investigation, perhaps in the questioning of Ruth Paine, It was brought out that Lee Harvey Oswald had gone down to the Dallas Police Department [sic] and had threatened to blow the headquarters up or words to that effect. At least that is my recollection. To the extent that the letter would have confirmed that fact it would have been additional evidence.
But the relevant fact that Lee Harvey Oswald was capable of violence is something that the Bureau, if my recollection is correct about the Ruth Paine Testimony, would have known about, because she testified that Oswald had gone to the FBI headquarters in Dallas and threatened to blow it up. So that that would have only been relevant in evaluating the performance of the FBI in not turning over Oswald's name to the Secret Service.
If I am right that the Bureau had that information, then I think the fact that they would have had the information in the form of a letter would not have materially affected the investigation.
Mr. KLEIN. On that point your answer is based on the testimony that you read in the newspapers that was given by agent Hosty saying that the letter was a threat by Oswald to blow up the FBI building. is it fair to say that your answer is predicated on accepting agent Hosty's explanation of that was in the letter and that the Warren Commission might have been able to further investigate the letter and affirm whether or not that was in fact what the letter said? Was that an avenue of investigation that might have been open to the Warren Commission?
Mr. REDLICH. Yes; we would have had the letter. We would have been able to compare the letter with what I recall was Mrs. Paine's testimony. That would have been relevant to the question of Oswald's propensity to violence which would have been relevant in terms of the FBI failure to report it to the Secret Service because we had a lot of other evidence of Oswald's propensity to violence at that time the investigation was made.
Mr. KLEIN. When you say that the letter that was destroyed--would not have affected your investigation you are accepting Agent Hosty's 1976 testimony as to what the letter said. I am saying that had you known at the time of the investigation that a letter existed then do you think that that might have led to an investigation and who knows what would have been found as to what the letter actually said?
Mr. REDLICH. I am sorry, Mr. Klein, I did not understand your question. you are quite right . Not having the letter we don't know what the letter said. If the letter had said something different from what Agent Hosty said in 1977, then we might have had a different investigation.
Mr. KLEIN. Further along that line, had you known the letter existed in 1964 when you investigated this case, then there would have been a lot of avenues that you might have gone to, to try to find out what this relationship was. Again, not necessarily accepting what Agent Hosty said the letter said.
Mr. REDLICH. That would depend entirely on what the letter said. I can only speculate on that.










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Mr. KLEIN. To your knowledge, did any of the intelligence agencies ever intentionally delay providing the Warren Commission with any information?
Mr. REDLICH. If they did it was not something that I recall.
Mr. KLEIN. To your knowledge did any of intelligence agencies ever intentionally provide the Warren Commission with false or misleading information?
Mr. REDLICH. Again I would say that as of September 1964 I would answer to my knowledge no. If the alleged facts are true that there was a plot to assassinate Premier Castro, and Mr. Hoover and Mr. McCone said that they had given us all the information that was relevant to this assassination, then sitting here today I would say that those statements were not accurate.
Mr. KLEIN. As you sit here today do you have an opinion as to what might have motivated the intelligence agencies to either withhold information or provide false information?
Mr. REDLICH. You are asking a general question. The only information that I have any knowledge about, which his what I learned through the press, relates to the Hosty letter and the assassination plot in regard to Castro. I can only speculate about that.
Mr. KLEIN. What would your speculation be?
Mr. REDLICH. Do you want my speculation?
Mr. KLEIN. Yes.
Mr. REDLICH. My speculation might be that the FBI could conceivably have been--not the FBI but the Agent Hosty or someone in the Bureau might have felt that a letter in their possession threatening to blow up the Dallas headquarters of the Bureau would have been construed as, and put the Bureau on notice that Lee Harvey Oswald was a person who was dangerous and therefore they should have reported him to the Secret Service. In fact you will recall that the Warren Commission did criticize the FBI in its report for not reporting Oswald to the Secret Service.
Now I think that a possible reason is that they may have felt that this would put the Bureau in a bad light. On the question of the assassination one can only speculate that they may have had reasons that they perceived to be national security in mind. They may have felt that if this were brought to the Commission it might have led to certain areas of investigation which they perceived to be matters of great national security. I can only guess about that and I really have no knowledge.
Mr. KLEIN. In your opinion did the fact that prior to the formation of the Warren Commission the FBI had issued its December 9 report and January 13 report which concluded that Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone assassin, did that fact in any way affect the investigation of the Warren Commission?
Mr. REDLICH. No .we did not accept that conclusion. We started with a completely clean slate.
Mr. KLEIN. In your opinion while working for the Warren Commission, were the FBI agents who worked for you adverse to, or were they open to, the proposition that the Bureau might have been wrong when it concluded that Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone assassin.
Mr. REDLICH. I can't really analyze what was in the minds of the individual agents. It is rare for people in or out of Government to be







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happy with the thought that something they worked on was wrong. I think that the Bureau personnel was probably no exception to that. On the other hand I found that in my working with them on questions of film analysis, I didn't have a sense of working with a group of people who were resisting what the Commission was done. I had a sense of a group of people who were trying to help us with that we were doing.
Mr. KLEIN. Is it possible that the FBI, having already conducted its own investigation and reached a conclusion, wanted to tailor the Warren Commission investigation to conform to that conclusion?
Mr. REDLICH. I don't believe that is possible.
Mr. KLEIN. To your knowledge was any consideration given to hiring independent investigators?
Mr. REDLICH. I have clear recollection of that. Certainly during the time of the investigation from time to time staff members talked to Mr. Rankin about what it might have been like if we had had a completely independent staff. I think that we reached the conclusion then, with which I still agree, that while using the existing investigatory arms of the United states had certain disadvantages, that on balance it was still the right decision to make. There were certain tradeoffs.
We got the benefit of what I still believe to be a highly efficient, cooperative, vast investigative apparatus which cooperated. The tradeoff was that it could be said that we were using the very agencies of the United States who might have some stake in a preordained result. I don't think there was any happy, completely happy, solution to that dilemma.
I am satisfied that it was the right decision.
Mr. KLEIN. As you sit here today, if you had to make that decision at this time you would make the same decision? I am saying if this were 1963, knowing what you know, would you make the same decision to use FBI agents as investigators?
Mr. REDLICH. I still think I would make the same decision. The only qualification I would give to that would involve information that this committee may know that I don't know and that is what one has learned about the extent to which the FBI may have withheld information. Now based upon what I now know, which is limited to the Hosty matter, I am not prepared to conclude that that decision was erroneous.
Mr. KLEIN. Just one other question in this area which I had asked before but we did not actually get to it. If the Warren Commission had known about the CIA plot to assassinate Premier Castro would that have affected the investigation and, if so, how?
Mr. REDLICH. I think it would have affected it, Mr. Klein. How I am not completely sure. I think that an important fact like that might perhaps have led to additional inquiry as to whether the Cuban Government might have known about it, whether in some way the Cuban Government might have tried to retaliate. Although I am cognizant of the fact that the Warren Commission, at least to the best of my recollection, did look into every Cuban connection that Oswald had, it is possible that this additional fact might have led to further inquiry. I also think that it might have affected Oswald's motive or at least affected our conclusion with regard to Oswald's motive quite apart from conspiracy. For example if it could be shown that Oswald knew about








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the proposed plot to assassinate Castro, then the Commission could have concluded that this was an additional motive that Oswald might have had. I would doubt that the Commission would have concluded this was the sole motive, but this could have been an additional motive. From my investigatory experience with the Warren Commission, I think that we would have started an investigation.
Where that would have led I couldn't tell you.
Mr. KLEIN. Mr. Chairman, I have only a few more questions which are of a conclusory type, so I would now yield of anybody else has any questions in the areas we have covered.
Mr. PREYER. I think Mr. Blakey has a few questions.
Mr. BLAKEY. Dean Redlich, I would like to see if I could pin down for the record a couple of matters or at least one general matter that has been raised here by a number of questions. I wonder if you will bear with me if I ask you a couple of related questions.
Let me direct your attention to the period of time during which you worked on the Warren Commission and ask you to your knowledge did the Chief Justice have any information while he was serving with the Warren Commission concerning any involvement of any of the U.S. intelligence agencies in alleged plots or attempts against Cuba or to assassinate Fidel Castro?
Mr. REDLICH. To my knowledge, the Chief Justice had no such knowledge. I knew of no such knowledge that the Chief Justice may have possessed.
Mr. BLAKEY. To your knowledge, did any other Commissioner have any such information while he was serving on the Warren Commission?
Mr. REDLICH. To my direct knowledge, Mr. Blakey, no. I, of course, have read about Mr. Dulles, but I have no direct knowledge.
Mr. BLAKEY. at the time you were serving on the Commission?
Mr. REDLICH. While I was serving I had no such knowledge.
Mr. BLAKEY. To your knowledge, did any staff members have any such information while he was serving with the Warren Commission?
Mr. REDLICH. To my knowledge; no, sir.
Mr. BLAKEY. In retrospect was there any conduct on the part of the Chief Justice from which you could have or which you in fact did infer that he did have such knowledge?
Mr. REDLICH. No, sir.
Mr. BLAKEY. In retrospect was there any conduct on the part of any other Commissioner from which you could have or you did infer that he had such knowledge?
Mr. REDLICH. no, sir.
Mr. BLAKEY. In retrospect, was there any conduct on the part of the staff members from which you could have or did infer that he had such knowledge?
Mr. REDLICH. To the best of my knowledge, no, sir.
Mr. BLAKEY. Did you see any document while you were serving on the Commission from which you could have or did infer that the Chief Justice, any other Commissioner, or any staff member had such knowledge?
Mr. REDLICH. I recall no such document.





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Mr. BLAKEY. Were you ever present at any discussions from which you could have or did infer that the Chief Justice, any Commissioner, or any staff member had such knowledge?
Mr. REDLICH. I recall no such conversation.
Mr. BLAKEY. Were you ever instructed by anyone while you were serving on the Warren Commission not to pursue any line of inquiry?
Mr. REDLICH. No; except I think that the Chief Justice was unhappy about the questions I was asking Mr. Martin which led to that document which had nothing to do with Cuba.
Mr. BLAKEY. Is that the only instance where either the Chief Justice or a Commissioner or a staff member superior to you directed you or expressed disapproval of a line of inquiry that you were pursuing?
Mr. REDLICH. To the best of my recollection; yes, sir.
Mr. BLAKEY. Were you ever instructed by anyone, the Chief Justice, a Commissioner, or superior staff members or anyone else, not to pursue any line of inquiry because the inquiry might endanger national security?
Mr. REDLICH. No, sir.
Mr. BLAKEY. Did anyone ever suggest to you while you were serving with the Commission that such matters should not be explored?
Mr. REDLICH. No, sir, just to be completely on the record, and I know this is irrelevant but I assume in answering all your questions we are making an exception to my questioning of Mr. Martin. That related to some incident that occurred between Marina Oswald and somebody in Moscow before she met lee Harvey Oswald, which, as I recall, involved a diplomat, but it was a purely personal encounter. That was really a matter of taste and a feeling that this might cause embarrassment between the United States and that government relating to this personal encounter. But it was a purely private matter and quite unrelated.
The only reason I was pursuing the line of inquiry was for the reason I stated; namely, to find out what we could about Marina Oswald as a person.
Mr. BLAKEY. You have no knowledge that anyone associated with the Commission knew or had reason to know of the assassination plot?
Mr. REDLICH. That is correct. That is my testimony.
Mr. BLAKEY. To your knowledge the existence of those assassination plots was never used by any member associated or any person associated with the Commission to limit your investigation in any way?
Mr. REDLICH. Not to my knowledge.
Mr. BLAKEY. Thank you. I appreciate your testimony.
Mr. PREYER. Mr. Stokes.
Mr. STOKES. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Dean Redlich, I am quite concerned about the memorandum that you wrote to Mr. Rankin. It was obviously written to him as a result of some very strong feelings you had regarding the matters contained in the memorandum. Is that true?
Mr. REDLICH. With regard to that memorandum I felt that it was important to examine everything that we could about the kind of person Marina Oswald was. I did feel strongly that we should do that. That is why I wrote the memorandum in February of 1964, which was shortly after she testified.





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Mr. STOKES. Let me for a moment refer to this specific language in the memorandum. You say, "This Commission has undertaken not only to determine who fired the shots that killed President Kennedy but to study all evidence which might lead to an explanation for why the crime was committed." Now, to the best of your recollection when the final report was prepared, did you then feel that the report that was prepared and issued as a Warren Commission report had complied with that part of the mandate as you understood it?
Mr. REDLICH. Yes, sir, I do, understanding my answer does not mean that I ever felt in this memorandum that the mandate of the Commission report was to reach a single conclusion with regard to plot.
I was always possible to reach an alternative conclusion once we had negatived the evidence of conspiracy.
Mr. STOKES. As to that aspect of it in which you referred to studying all evidence and that which had prompted you to write this memorandum, did you feel that the final report then contained all evidence so that you could feel with sureness that the report did reflect those concerns you had?
Mr. REDLICH. Yes, sir.
Mr. STOKES. Has anything occurred or transpired in this interim period which would now make you feel any differently?
Mr. REDLICH. I would like to answer that question with a little bit of elaboration. There is nothing that I know of, sir, which leads to question the Warren Commission's conclusion that Lee Harvey Oswald fired all the shot that killed President Kennedy and wounded Governor Connally. Based upon anything I have read, ad I am not privy to anything other than that, it is still my best opinion that the conclusion of the Commission that there is no evidence Lee Harvey Oswald conspired with any group, either foreign or domestic, in the performance of those acts is still a valid conclusion. Based upon anything else that I know I believe that the conclusion of the Warren Commission that it could not ascribe a particular motive to the assassination is still one which I support.
Mr. STOKES. Obviously, Marina Oswald was your area, you spent a great deal of time preparing for her examination, and on this particular occasion it was your concern about the Commission having full and complete and incisive data relative to her so that they might come to a proper conclusion relative to her testimony. I am concerned then about that part of your memorandum where you say, "We cannot ignore, however, that Marina Oswald has repeatedly lied to the Secret Service, the FBI and this Commission on matters that are of vital concern to the people of this country." You told us earlier today that she testified before the Commission on many occasions.
You refer in here to some further reexamination of her. Is that correct and I did I quote you correctly?
Mr. REDLICH. She testified for I believe 4 or 5 days in february of 1964. Then she was questioned again by a staff member, I believe Mr. Liebeler. She was questioned both before February and after by FBI agents. This memorandum was written basically at the conclusion of her Commission testimony in February.










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Mr. STOKES. did she ever reappear before the Commission for further reexamination?
Mr. REDLICH. I don't believe that she did. I have no recollection of her appearing before the Commission. I do recall that Mr. Liebeler, I think it was, questioned her in Dallas. I believe that on other occasions we may have asked the FBI to interview her on specific matter as further leads came to light.
Mr. STOKES. In terms of the Commission's final report how would you characterize their reliance upon Marina Oswald's testimony? Would you say that they relied upon it not at all or slightly or they relied upon it heavily?
Mr. REDLICH. I think on balance when all of the evidence is--the testimony of Marina Oswald by itself was in my judgment not strongly submitted to the Commission's basic conclusions, because with regard to all of the physical evidence, the ownership of the rifle, the ownership of the revolver, that was developed quite apart from Marina Oswald's testimony. Marina Oswald knew of no contacts that Oswald might have had with other people.
She told us, for example, that the Fair Play For Cuba Committee was one person. We have no evidence at all that it was anything other than one person. Everything that one looked int, the event in New Orleans, confirms that. A great deal of Marina Oswald's life with Lee Harvey Oswald in Dallas was confirmed by Ruth hyde Paine with whom she lived. So that I think that on balance Marina Oswald's testimony was less significant by the time we were through than might have appeared at the time we started our investigation when she was of course a very important factor.
Now once one gets into the question of negatives, it is always possible that Oswald could have met someone and Marina might have known about it and Marina did not tell us. That is possible. But their has been no other evidence of any such contact.
I don't believe that the Commission really relied on Marina Oswald for its conclusion or for its two basic conclusions, the identity of the assassin and the nonexistence of evidence of a conspiracy. I do not believe that Marina Oswald was the basis for those conclusions.
Mr. STOKES. But you did feel, and you did feel very strongly, that knowledge of the real character of Marina Oswald was important to the Commission if they were to be able to properly understand and to construe the motives that possibly lay behind Lee Harvey Oswald's assassinating the President, did you not?
Mr. REDLICH. Yes, sir, and I still believe that.
Mr. STOKES. Let me ask you this. Knowing all that you know about Marina Oswald, from all that you studied and prepared and from all the testimony that she have all he agencies and to the Commission, would you believe her oath?
Mr. REDLICH. I would regard marina Oswald, based upon everything that I knew at the time we were finished with our investigation, i would find her a credible witness. Now whether I would believe everything she would testify about the intimacies of her personal relationship with her husband, I don't know how to answer that. I think that it is very hard for me to form my judgment about that, ask a woman about the relationship with her husband of a purely personal nature.










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I think that any commission, and this committee also, that relied entirely on the testimony of a person without corroborating testimony of other witnesses or other facts is running the risk that that person might not have been a credible witness. But I am not prepared to say on balance that Mrs. Oswald is not a credible witness.
Mr. STOKES. Thank you.
Mr. PREYER. Mr. Devine.
Mr. DEVINE. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I have one question that follows what our staff director and chief counsel asked you. Do you have any knowledge that the Kennedy family requested the Chief Justice not to go into the X-ray and photographic and other related medical evidence, that that was the reason that was not pursued avidly by the staff and by the Commission?
Mr. REDLICH. Mr. Devine, at this point it is hard for me to differentiate what effect that might have had or a variety of things that one has read in the past 14 years. I also notice that there is reference to the Kennedy family in the Specter memorandum which has been placed in the record. My impression, and I cannot be more precise than that, my impression was that the Kennedy family was concerned about the publicity, about a public display of the President's skull in those pictures.
The chief Justice was very sensitive to that. He felt that that family had undergone just tremendous trauma, and he was very sensitive to that, perhaps by retrospect overly sensitive. but he was very sensitive to it. Now, I don't believe that it would be fair to the Kennedys, at least on the basis of anything I know of, to conclude that it was because of their directly saying to the Chief Justice that we wanted it this way, that it was done this way. I have no information of that kind.
I believed that the Chief Justice shouldered the responsibility for it. I think one reason that he made the decision, perhaps a main reason, was his concern about their sensitivity. I believe it would not be fair to the Kennedy family to conclude that they were in any way directing him, telling him that this was the course of action.
Mr. DEVINE. You have no personal knowledge that such a request was made by the family to him, is hat correct?
Mr. REDLICH. I have no personal knowledge of it.
Mr. DEVINE. I want to thank you for your very candid testimony. It must be strange for a dean of a law school to be in such a position. I notice also from your biography we should wish you a happy birthday next Saturday.
Mr. REDLICH. Thank you very much. You must be good investigators.
Mr. PREYER. Mr. Sawyer.
Mr. SAWYER. I just have one question. It seems more from your curiosity than the search for relevant information, but in your memorandum you allude to the actions of Marina Oswald in Washington. I am not aware of what that was. Can you enlighten me at all?
Mr. SAWYER. I have the disability of not knowing that about which I am asking. I am not aware of it. Maybe counsel will enlighten me.






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Mr. REDLICH. I would like the record to show that I am prepared to answer the question.
[Counsel consults with Mr. Sawyer.]
Mr. SAWYER. I find out that it is nothing biologically unusual. I withdraw the question.
That is all I have, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. REDLICH. With regard to the transcript, do I understand that I will be given an opportunity to look at my testimony to see whether, with all due respect to the expert transcriber, he has recorded accurately what I have said?
Mr. PREYER. You may have that privilege.
May I ask you two unrelated questions, one following up Mr. Stokes. Have you read Marina Oswald's new book or the book about her?
Mr. REDLICH. No. I have managed to go on to do a lot of interesting things in my life since 1964 by avoiding those things.
Mr. PREYER. So you would not know whether it is consistent with what she might have testified before you.
Were you or any member of the staff that you know of aware of the letter which Deputy Attorney Katzenbach wrote to all the members of the Commission on December 9, I believe it was, urging them to issue a press release to the effect that Oswald was the lone assassin and showing that there was no international conspiracy involved? Did you know anything about that?
Mr. REDLICH. this is the first I have heard about that.
Mr. PREYER. You did not send a copy of that letter to any member of the staff?
Mr. REDLICH. No. At that time I don't think there was a staff.
Mr. PREYER. I guess that is right, December 9.
Mr. REDLICH. I think Mr. Rankin was just appointed that day.
Mr. DEVINE. You were not on board that day?
Mr. REDLICH. I was not on board. I was called by Mr. Rankin a day or two after his appointment was mentioned.
Mr. PREYER. On January 20, was Mr. Katzenbach present at that meeting?
Mr. REDLICH. no, sir.
Mr. PREYER. Think you.
Do you have a few conclusory questions?
Mr. KLEIN. Yes; it do, Mr. Chairman.
Dean Redlich, can you describe what pressures, if any, existed to complete this investigation before the election?
Mr. REDLICH. We didn't want to be there forever. I think there were the normal pressures to try to finish the job. But we did not sense any pressure in terms of the elections other than I do recall discussions to the effect that if the warren report was not done, the whole assassination could have become an election issue. I do want to be firm on one point, as I come to the end of my testimony, and I feel strongly that the committee should understand this.
It is my firm judgment that if at any time the members of the staff had come to Mr. Rankin or the Chief Justice and said, "We regard this investigation as incomplete. We need more time," I am firmly of the opinion that regardless of the elections, regardless of any other factors we would have had more time. I think the Chief justice was not interested in winding up this investigation without all the facts being disclosed.





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I think that you will undoubtedly find as you complete your work that there comes a point t which some of you reach the conclusion that you ought to get the job done and publish a report. In that sense there is an internal pressure that builds up to finish it.
It was not something that was imposed externally.
Mr. KLEIN. One final question why has the Warren Commission in your opinion received so much criticism?
Mr. REDLICH. I think there are simply a great many people who cannot accept what I believe to be the simple truth, that one rather insignificant person was able to assassinate the President of the United States. I think there are others who for reasons that are less pure have consciously tries to deceive. I think that since there is a residue of public sentiment that finds it very hard to accept the conclusion, that becomes a further feeling, for those who have found it in their interest, to pursue the attacks on the Commission.
I do not mean to imply that all of the critics of the Commission have bad motives. I think that the is in this country, fortunately, a healthy skepticism about Government.
I believe that was certainly true during the Watergate period. The assassination is a complex fact, as you will see when you investigate it. It was not an easy thing to investigate. Jack Ruby and Lee Harvey Oswald were two people with most unusual backgrounds. They did a variety of things.
That they should meet in the basement of the Dallas police station and one shoot the other is something that does strain the imagination.
I think it is very unfortunate that the Warren Commission has been subject to the kinds of attack that it has. We did what we felt was a completely honest professional and thorough task.
I have done a lot of things in my public service in my life. I regard my service on the Warren Commission as an extremely important, perhaps the most important, thing that I have done, because I believe I was instrumental in putting before the American people all of the facts about the assassination of president Kennedy.
That significant numbers of Americans don't believe it remains to me a source of great disappointment. I hope that this committee can cure that.
Mr. KLEIN. Thank you.
Mr. PREYER. Thank you very much, dean Redlich. actually pursuant to our rules, rule 3.6, we have to offer the witness 5 minutes for free-flying discussion or any statement he wishes to make at the end of his testimony. If you wish to take an additional 5 minutes we are delighted to offer it to you at this time.
Mr. REDLICH. I respectfully decline the offer.
Mr. PREYER. If you do wish to amplify your testimony or submit any further statement or evidence after you read over your testimony the committee of course will be happy to have you.
We appreciate very much your being down here. I hope you have better luck on the metroliner going back to New York tonight.
Mr. REDLICH. Thank you, sir.
Mr. PREYER. The committee stands adjourned until tomorrow morning at 10 o'clock.
[Whereupon, at 4:55 p.m. the committee adjourned, to reconvene at 10 a.m., Wednesday, november 9, 1977.]






Attachment E
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(282) Attachment E: Executive Session Testimony of W. David Slawson and Wesley Liebeler.

SUBCOMMITTEE HEARING

----------

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 15, 1977


HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
SUBCOMMITTEE ON THE ASSASSINATION
OF JOHN F. KENNEDY OF THE SELECT
COMMITTEE ON ASSASSINATIONS,
Washington, D.C.

The subcommittee met at 10 a.m., pursuant to notice, in room 2359, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Richardson Preyer (chairman of the subcommittee) president.
Present: Representatives Preyer, dodd, Devine, McKinney, and Fauntroy.
Staff members present: G. Cornwell, E. Berning, M. Wills, L. Wizelman, D. Hardway, M. Mars, R. Genzman, B. Lawson, J. Facter, K. Klein, J. Hess, W. Cross, and G. Robert Blakey.
Mr. PREYER. The committee will come to order. The Chair recognizes Ms. Berning, the clerk of the committee, to read for the record the names of those Members who officially are designated to be on the subcommittee today pursuant to committee rule 312.3.
Ms. BERNING. Mr. Chairman, you and Mr. Dodd are regular Members of the subcommittee. Mr. Stokes will be substituting for Mr. Sawyer. Mr. McKinney will be substituting for Mr. Thone. Mr. Fauntroy will be substituting for Mrs. Burke.
Mr. PREYER. Thank you.
Mr. McKINNEY. Mr. Chairman, i move that we go into executive session for today's hearing and one subsequent day of hearing be hold in executive session since on the basis of information obtained by the committee, the committee believes the evidence or testimony may tend to defame or degrade people, and consequently section 2(K) (5) of rule 11 of the Rules of the House and committee rule 3.3 (5), require such hearings be in executive session.
Mr. PREYER. You have heard the motion. i will ask the clerk to call the roll.
Ms. BERNING. Mr. Preyer.
Mr. PREYER. Aye.
Ms. BERNING. Mr. McKinney.
Mr. McKINNEY. Aye.
Ms. BERNING. Mr. Fauntroy.
Mr. FAUNTROY. Aye.
Ms. BERNING. Mr. Dodd.
[No response.]



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Ms. BERNING. Mr. Stokes.
[No response.]
Ms. BERNING. Three ayes.
Mr. PREYER. The motion having carried, this hearing will be in executive session for the remainder of the hearing.
Our first witness today is Mr. Slawson. I will ask Mr. Slawson if he will please come forward to the witness table, if you will be sworn.
Mr. Slawson, did you solemnly swear the evidence you are about to give before this subcommittee will be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
Mr. SLAWSON. Yes. Mr. PREYER. Thank you, Mr. Slawson. We appreciate very much your being here today.
I understand that a copy of the committee rules have been given to your prior to your appearance here today.
Mr. SLAWSON. Yes.
Mr. PREYER. Before beginning the questioning the Chair will make a brief statement concerning the subjects of the investigation.
House Resolution 222 mandates the committee "To conduct a full and complete investigation and study of the circumstances surrounding the assassination and death of President John F. Kennedy, including determining whether the existing laws of the United States concerning the protection of the President and the investigatory jurisdiction and capability of agencies and departments are adequate in their provisions and whether there was full disclosure of evidence and information among agencies and departments of the U.S. Government, and whether any evidence or information not in possession of an agency or department would have been of assistance in investigating the assassination, and why such information was not provided or collected by that agency or department and to make recommendations to the House if the select committee deems it appropriate for amendment of existing legislation or the enactment of new legislation."
Mr. Cornwell, you may now begin your questioning of the witness.

TESTIMONY OF W. DAVID SLAWSON, ASSISTANT COUNSEL, THE WARREN COMMISSION

Mr. CORNWELL. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Slawson, basically we would like to ask you questions today concerning your knowledge and perceptions of the workings of the Warren Commission, questions dealing with its organization, the state of mind of the Warren Commission staff attorneys, the nature of any problems which the Warren Commission faced in conducting its investigation and hopefully questions which will perhaps give us an insight into what, if anything, we can contribute to the problems which were faced by you and which have been debated over the years since then.
Simply as a matter of background will you first tell the committee prior to your being hired at the Warren Commission what was your professional experience?
Mr. SLAWSON. I was an attorney in private practice in Denver, Colo. That really was the sum of my professional experience at that point






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in 1964 when I received the telephone call. I graduated from law school in 1959. I had been in practice that entire time.
Mr. CORNWELL. What had been the nature of your practice?
Mr. SLAWSON. General corporation and business law with an emphasis on antitrust work.
Mr. CORNWELL. Who first contacted you with respect to possible employment at the Warren commission?
Mr. SLAWSON. I have really forgotten. I think that it was Howard Willens but I did not know him at the time. i was a stranger who telephoned me, to my recollection.
Mr. CORNWELL. If you recall what was the nature of that first conversation?
Mr. SLAWSON. He introduced himself as a staff member of the recently formed Warren Commission and said that I had ben recommended highly to him by Tom Ehrlish, a classmate of mine at Harvard. At the time I think I remember he was a special assistant to George Ball, subsequently went into law school teaching, became a dean at Stanford. In any event he asked me if I would be interested in coming back for 3 to 6 months, I think was the time estimate. I thought I was interested but of course I would have to check it with my employers at the law firm and call him back. I did check with them and they approved of my going. I called him back.
As I recollect I was on my way in about 2 days.
Mr. CORNWELL. When did you first begin work at the Commission?
Mr. SLAWSON. This was January. I don't remember the exact date.
Mr. CORNWELL. At the time you considered and ultimately did accept the offer for employment at the Warren Commission what, if anything, did you know about the nature of the investigation at the time?
Mr. SLAWSON. I think just about nothing. I can't remember whether the New York Times published a front page article on the general organization that the Warren Commission contemplated for its staff before i received the call or shortly afterwards. In any event I do remember reading the New York Times article before I got to Washington and thinking on the way which one of the five or six sections I would want to be employed in. as I turned out the first day they offered me was the one I thought I would be most interested in, so that was a very happy coincidence.
Mr. CORNWELL. Was there anything in the New York Times article which you can new recall other than a general description of the organization of the staff?
Mr. SLAWSON. No; not that I can recall.
Mr. CORNWELL. Then when you arrived on the job what discussions did you have at that time and with whom concerning the scope of what would be your responsibility?
Mr. SLAWSON. As I recollect, I showed up on the morning at the building that they had set aside for the Warren Commission, reported to J. Lee Rankin, and of course introduced myself to him. He just after a few brief words said that the area of interest that they thought about for me was the foreign area and would I be interested in that. That, as I said earlier, was the one I most wanted to get into and of course I said yes, and there was no further discussion on that.






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I can't remember when I learned that my senior lawyer working with me would be William Coleman. I would have been at that time or later. In any event I was assigned to the office, introduced to the other staff members who were there and began working.
Mr. CORNWELL. With respect to statements made to you concerning the fact that you would be working in the foreign area what did they describe to you would be the objective of your work?
Mr. SLAWSON. Two things. The possibility of foreign conspiracy, foreign involvement. I have reread part of my old memos and I notice I used the words "foreign involvement' because it was a broader term. I have forgotten whether that was the way it was first given to me. And second, a simple narrative of everything that Lee Harvey Oswald or anyone else connected with him, like Marina, did while they were abroad.
Mr. CORNWELL. Were there any statements made to you initially concerning the fact that the staff was in any way restricted or confined to anything narrower than the general assignment, that you were to investigate the possibility that the assassination had been related to a foreign conspiracy?
Mr. SLAWSON. No; I don't think so.
Mr. CORNWELL. What was your understanding at this point in time either from statements made to you during the hiring process or from any other source, if there was any, concerning the reasons that the Warren Commission had been formed?
Mr. SLAWSON. I can't remember any particular statements other than those I have just related to you. of course, the whole country knew that it was to investigate the assassination of the President and determine the facts as to what happened and who was responsible so far as we could.
Mr. CORNWELL. To ask the question in reverse, would it be accurate to state that you had been given no specific information and had no impressions concerning the question of why it was that a special Presidential Commission was formed, as possibly contrasted to other alternatives for investigating the same event?
Mr. SLAWSON. I had no special instructions or information on that.
Mr. CORNWELL. What, if anything, can you recall rom, say, the very early staff meetings concerning the objectives of the investigation?
Mr. SLAWSON. The only thing that I can remember other than what I have already told you which was that it was to be as deep and broad an investigation as we felt necessary to ascertain the truth, there was some talk at the beginning within the staff and I believe there were, I can't remember, outside comments--they may have been from newspapers or something, I don't know--to the effect that since Lee Harvey Oswald was obviously a prime suspect and since he was dead and therefore would not be subject to forma trial procedures, that perhaps we should appoint some portion of the staff, or perhaps even the Commission itself, as a defense, in other words, run a mock adversary proceeding at some point.
We talked about that possibility at some length and I think very seriously considered it and ultimately decided not to follow it. I can't remember all the reasons why. Part of it was practical, it just did not seem a feasible thing, in effect to have the prosecution and the defense









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working together within the same building and using the same investigatory agencies. It just did not seem to be something that would work very will.
Mr. CORNWELL. You mentioned in your answer just then that you had told us that the objective was to state the truth. I believe perhaps in our informal conversations you went into more detail on the subject matter than you have given the committee. What can you recall specifically of such conversations?
Mr. SLAWSON. I think it is hard to remember 13 years ago what the timing of all these things was but among the staff members themselves, like when I talked to Jim Liebeler and Dave Belin and Bert Griffin particularly we would sometimes speculate as to what would happen if we got firm evidence that pointed to some very high official. It sounds perhaps silly in retrospect to say it but there were even rumors at the time, of course, that President Johnson was involved. Of course that would present a kind of frightening prospect because if the President or anyone that high up was indeed involved that clearly were not going to allow someone like us to bring out the truth if they could stop us.
The gist of it was that no one questioned the fact that we would still have to bring it out and would do our best to bring out just whatever the truth was. The only question in our mind was if we came upon such evidence that was at all credible how would we be able to protect it and bring it to the proper authorities.
Mr. CORNWELL. Where did such conversations occur when you speculated about the possible repercussions of findings that you might ultimately come across?
Mr. SLAWSON. Mostly at dinner at night. We should typically work late, again I can't remember but I would say 9 or 9:30, and then break for dinner and go to some restaurant nearby together and have drinks and sometimes we would kind of relax at the end of the day there. That would be most of the time.
During the office hours, of course, that kind of speculating wasn't so common. We were each busy with our separate tasks.
Mr. CORNWELL. Were there conversations like that of the possible repercussions from the nature of your investigation which went to matters other than the possible uncovering of evidence that President Johnson could have been involved? Were there other types of things you considered?
Mr. SLAWSON. When I said higher-ups I would include the people high up in the organization, the FBI and CIA tool Everybody was of course a possible suspect. If it had been say, a CIA conspiracy or some group within the CIA, then everything I said about Johnson would apply to them too. Anybody who was ruthless and determined enough to carry out the assassination of their President obviously would not stop at killing somebody else to cover up their tracks.
Mr. CORNWELL. What about the question of whether there was any similar speculation in the field of the possible repercussions in international relations, particularly your field?
Mr. SLAWSON. Well, that reminds me that later on, I think this kind of thing probably came up in the spring of 1964, March, April, around there, my end of the investigation went into following up some possible








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leads. I have forgotten their nature but they were very speculative but we ere following them up as best as we could about the anti-Castro Cubans. My interest in that possibility I think was especially strong because it seemed to me on the motivation side to make sense.
My theory was that perhaps, one, the anti-Castro Cubans we knew were very angry with Kennedy because they felt they had been betrayed with the Bay of Pigs. Oswald on the other hand was identified publicly with Castro, he was pro-Castro. so, we felt that if somehow the anti-Castro Cubans could have got Oswald to do it or done it themselves but framed Oswald, either way, somehow put the blame on Oswald, that they would achieve two objectives that they presumably wanted. One was revenge on Kennedy and the second would be to trigger American public opinion strongly against Castro and possibly cause an invasion of Cuba and overthrow of Castro, and of course these people would be able to go back to their homes in Cuba and not have to live under the Castro government. As I say, this made a lot of sense to me and I think it was a hypothesis held in mankind for quite a while trying to see if the facts would fit it. Ultimately they didn't.
Mr. CORNWELL. You focused on that area of inquiry and considered the possible motives that would be connected with that group. Did you likewise consider the possible international repercussions of investigations directed in that area?
Mr. SLAWSON. Sure. What you meant by that of course there would be an international repercussion that the United States would invade Cuba bur if it turned out that our investigation showed that Castro was involved, which of course is another line of inquiry we followed through as thoroughly as we could, this would I think probably have triggered at the very least the downfall of the Cuban Government.
I don't think that the American Government would have ever or would today stand by and upon proven charges that their President had been killed at the order of some other government, would just allow it to go by. they would either insist that the people in that government be prosecuted or if they weren't I suppose we would invade. So we thought we might be triggering a war with Cuba. But again that was something that the chips would have to fall where they may.
Mr. CORNWELL. You told us initially in our conversations that possible repercussions of finding evidence of officials of the United States being involved were discussed during conversations among various members of your staff at your level including Redlich and Rankin.
Mr. SLAWSON. That is right.
Mr. CORNWELL. Would that also include the international repercussions you have just told us about?
Mr. SLAWSON. With Redlich, yes. With Rankin also yes but more briefly. Rankin, you remember, was the boss of the whole operation. Consequently I had far fewer informal discussions with him. He was my superior. Also he was married and had his family here and whereas most of the rest of us, I wasn't married at the time and those that were had left their families someplace else, so we spent alot more time together at meals and stuff than with Redlich and Rankin.









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Mr. CORNWELL. Did you discuss it with any members outside the staff?
Mr. SLAWSON. No.
Mr. CORNWELL. Did you discuss it with any members of the Warren Commission?
Mr. SLAWSON. That I can't remember. The only one I might have would have been Allen Dulles. Allen Dulles and I became fairly close, I think. He had aged quite a bit by the time he was on the Warren Commission and was also sick. I have forgotten, he had some kind of disease that made one of his legs and foot very painful. So he was not effective sometimes, but when he was he was very smart and I liked him very much. Because of my particular assignment, of course he spent a lot of time with me. We talked informally quite a bit. That may have included, probably did include, these kinds of conversations, but I really don't remember specifically.
Mr. CORNWELL. Prior to going to work for the Warren Commission, did you have any experience at all with Federal agencies, any of them?
Mr. SLAWSON. No. Well, if you don't count Army experience. I was in the Army before I went to law school. I spent about a third of my time at a scientific research center.
Mr. CORNWELL. Did you from that or any other source have any initial impressions about the Federal agencies, FBI, CIA, about what their predisposition might be toward this case, about their competency or anything else you can tell us about?
Mr. SLAWSON. No; I don't think I had any predisposition other than the general public awareness of these agencies. I suppose I had a little bit more than the average person's knowledge about the CIA, very slightly. My recollection is that the CIA when I was in college recruited people, I mean they came on, they sent down people who would talk to students just like any other prospective employer. I don't know if they still do that or not. I knew one or two people in the class ahead of me who by all accounts went to work for the CIA, and it was something I briefly considered myself.
I decided to go on to graduate school and physics, and I never explored the CIA thing. But they had seemed to hire high-caliber people out of my college. I was favorably disposed there. I understood immediately that part of may assignment would be to suspect everyone. So included in that would be the CIA and FBI.
Mr. CORNWELL. As soon as you began your work, what facts did you uncover which may have given you an indication of the extent to which the Warren Commission could rely on the Federal agencies?
Mr. SLAWSON. As soon as you began your work, what facts did you uncover which may have given you an indication of the extent to which the Warren Commission could rely on the Federal agencies?
Mr. SLAWSON. In general, I think the impression was a good one, the extent to which we could rely. I remember I was almost overwhelmed with the amount of information that every agency was pouring into us. That seemed to me a good sign that everyone was trying their best to give us all the information they could. I also, though, quickly became aware that some agencies, presumably all of them, were anxious not to appear in a bad light at all. Although I don't think that I thought that any of them were actually withholding information from us, I did think that some were trying to put the information they gave us in the best possible light, shading things in their own favor. The State Department and the Immigration and







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Naturalization Service, for example, had a whole host of every complicated, legally complicated dealings with Oswald and Marina. It was my job to go back through all that and see whether it had been done properly or whether there may have been some evidence of something improper.
Maybe they let Oswald come back in the country when they shouldn't or something like that. I think there was a lot of typical bureaucratic mixups. It is hard for these people to explain it later; they were embarrassed. I don't think any of it after reflection, I am sure none of it after reflection, showed conspiratorial involvement, but I think it did show a lot of bureaucratic mistakes.
Mr. CORNWELL. After working with the CIA, your impression remains substantially the same; you thought you could trust them and rely on them?
Mr. SLAWSON. Yes. I came to know one man particularly will, Raymond Rocca, and I came to like him and trust him both. The only drawback I can think of--not really a drawback, I suppose, for someone in the CIA--is that I thought he was a little overly suspicious. He obviously disliked Castro immensely. He was very emotional on the subject. As I said, I would be surprised if a member of the CIA specializing, as I think he had been in Cuban activities didn't feel that way.
My impression overall was very favorable of him. I thought he was very intelligent and tried in every way to be honest and helpful with me.
Mr. CORNWELL. I assume you relatively quickly after beginning work realized the basic findings, at least in the general sense, that the FBI had reached in a relative short period of time after the assassination. Would you have recognized the possibility then that there was perhaps an agency predisposition to attempt to bolster those findings?
Mr. SLAWSON. Yes; with the FBI especially, I think. The FBI had prepared a thick file which to their mind disposed of the case, it seemed like. Although my own involvement was not nearly as much with the FBI as it was with the CIA, I nevertheless read the FBI file, which was a good way of getting yourself introduced to the whole general case.
I think it appeared to me, as it did to many people on the staff, to be a competent document. But it was also self-serving, and you could not read that and think that the FBI had ever made any mistakes or there was any serious possibility that they had.
So, we knew that particularly with the FBI, but I just assumed it was the case with anybody, it is human nature, that once having committed themselves on any statement about what happened, they would be defensive about it and not want to admit that they were wrong, and also that they all had a strong interest in not being blamed for not having adequately protected the President. We spent a lot of time--although this was not my particular area--in trying to ascertain whether the Secret Service, the FBI, and CIA in particular but also the State Department and Immigration and Naturalization Service, had done what they should have to see that the President was protected against possible attack and, of course, Oswald in particular.
Mr. CORNWELL. I would like to show you what has been marked for identification as exhibit 22, if I might, Mr. Chairman.










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Do you recognize that document?
Mr. SLAWSON. Yes.
Mr. CORNWELL. have you had a chance to review it prior to coming here?
Mr. SLAWSON. Yes; although not very thoroughly. It turned out to be even longer in detail than I remembered it.
Mr. CORNWELL. For identification, it is a document which initially had a stamped "Top Secret" at the top, which has been crossed out. There is no date on it, and it reads at the top "Introduction." You prepared the document?
Mr. SLAWSON. Yes; I should add that I did the first draft and Bill Coleman then went over it with me. I don't remember what changes we made together, but we did make some. Then it went into the Commission, presumably through channels, which would be J. Lee Rankin.
Mr. CORNWELL. Would it be fair to state that the memo included the kind of problems you encountered in effecting an investigation of the foreign conspiracy?
Mr. SLAWSON. Yes.
Mr. CORNWELL. Might we introduce the document into the record and then ask the witness some questions about it?
Mr. PREYER. Without objection, exhibit 22 is admitted into the record.
[The document referred to, marked JFK exhibit No. 22 and received for the record, follows:]


JFK EXHIBIT No. 22

One of the basic purposes of the Commission's investigation of the assassination of President Kennedy is to determine whether it was due in whole or in part to a foreign conspiracy. The Investigation conducted by the section of the staff responsible for the foreign aspect of the Commission's work leads to the conclusion that there was no foreign involvement. Nevertheless, there is evidence which points toward a possible conclusion of foreign involvement which we think should be brought to the attention of the Commission for its independent evaluation.
The foreign countries most suspected in the public's mind are the Soviet Union and Cuba. The Chinese communists and even Madame Nhu's wing of Vietnam, however, might also be suggested.1 Likewise, the possible involvement of expatriated anti-Castro Cubans, whether resident in the United States or in one of the South or Central American nations, is worth considering.
Firm evidence of a foreign conspiracy is obviously very hard to come by, since there naturally is the greatest attempt by the country involved to prevent discovery. Investigations that are dependent upon information voluntarily furnished by the foreign government involved, such as have already been undertaken with the Soviet Union and Cuba, are obviously not very helpful in uncovering evidence of this type, because the foreign government will try to furnish only that evidence which it believes to be nonincriminating. Nevertheless, even this kind of evidence can be of some use in assessing whether a foreign conspiracy existed. This is because, first, the furnishing of the evidence, despite appearances, is not quite "voluntary." In a case of the magnitude of this one, and in which the widely known facts already disclose important links with the Soviet Union and Cuba, these governments are under considerable pressure to render reasonable cooperation to the Government of the United States. If they do not, they risk having public opinion swing strongly against them and conclude
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that they are afraid to cooperate because the evidence will indeed incriminate them. Second, once these governments conclude that they will furnish some evidence to the Commission, the difficulties of falsifying the evidence they give are considerable. They must realize that the Commission already possesses a great deal of data against which the new evidence will be tested, and that the CIA has additional facilities for this purpose which will be placed at the disposal of the Commission. Moreover, if even only a small part of the evidence furnished is found to have been fabricated, the entire body of new evidence will become suspect; and if this should happen, the adverse public opinion effects previously mentioned would again come into play. For these reasons, we have concluded that, on balance, it was worthwhile to ask the governments of the U.S.S.R. and Cuba to furnish the Commission with whatever evidence they could.
(It should also be pointed out that there is another reason why the Governments of Russia and Cuba have been asked to furnish evidence. The Commission is primarily interested in ascertaining the truth, not just in "pinning the rap" on someone, and therefore the two foreign governments mentioned must be regarded not only as objects of investigation, but also as parties who have a right to be heard. They therefore should be given basically the same opportunity to present evidence as has been accorded to the hundreds of other individuals and institutions which have come into contact with Lee Harvey Oswald in one way or another.)
Obviously, despite the fact that voluntarily obtained evidence is not completely useless even in judging whether a foreign conspiracy is involved, the most valuable evidence for this purpose is that obtained through informers, ordinary witnesses, electronic and mechanical spying devices and other means available to American intelligence and investigatory agencies which are not dependent upon the consent of the government being investigated. The bulk of this memorandum will deal with this kind of evidence.
We think this separate memorandum for the Commission and the General Counsel appropriate because the material covered in the final report to the public will necessarily be somewhat more restricted. A good deal of the information contained herein is Secret or Top Secret and therefore cannot be disclosed to the American public at this time. In most instances this is not because of the information itself but because of the necessity of protecting the method or source for obtaining it. In other words, in the final report we can set forth the facts, but we will not be able to demonstrate the reliability (or lack of reliability) of these facts by showing their source. Moreover, in some cases even the information itself must be withheld from the public. for example, the fact that a Russian MVD employee may secretly have tried to warn Oswald not to come to Russia, if disclosed, might result in the employee being severly punished or even executed. Similarly, even disclosing the information gained form certain wiretapping facilities would necessarily disclose the existence of the facilities, where the nature of the information is such that we could not have learned it except through these facilities.

I. Some General Considerations

A. "Foreign Involvement" defined

We have intentionally chosen the words, "foreign involvement," to describe the problems with which we are concerned in this memorandum. The words were chosen because they are extremely broad, covering everything from a comparatively innocent arrangement for propaganda purposes, such as, for example, an agreement whereby Oswald might have served the propaganda purposes of the Castro Government in New Orleans and Dallas in exchange for that government paying his printing expenses plus some small additional compensation, to the most serious kind of conspiratioial connection, as would be the case if a foreign power had ordered Lee Oswald to kill John F. Kennedy. By "foreign involvement," however, we do mean something more concrete than simply emotional or ideological influence. The Commission already possesses evidence, and indeed so does the general public, that Oswald considered himself a Marxist and that he sympathized wholeheartedly with the Castro regime: he openly spread pamphlets in its behalf on the streets of New Orleans and he took its side in radio and television debates. These facts have already been established, and they will be assumed, rather than discussed, in this memorandum. The question to be treated here is whether there was some reasonably close working relationship involving Oswald and a foreign power or at least a group of men based in a foreign country.



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Mr. CORNWELL. First, when was the document written?
Mr. SLAWSON. I can't remember exactly but my guess would be early June but that is just a guess.
Mr. CORNWELL. I might simply note that the document does have X's in it which apparently occurred in connection with declassification of the document. Would it be fair to state that as of June 1964 you had done a considerable amount of work in the area of determining whether there was foreign conspiracy?
On page 1 of the memo you describe the fact that firm evidence of a foreign conspiracy obviously very hard to come by, and go on to note that at least one of the principal investigative avenues would be information acquired from the various foreign countries that might be suspected of being involved and that such information would obviously not be very helpful because a foreign government will try to furnish only that evidence which it believes to be nonincriminating, at least that was a substantial possibility. Is that correct?
Mr. SLAWSON. That is correct although I think that the emphasis in the introduction you are quoting from was only explaining why





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that kind of evidence could not be relied upon as your primary evidence. We did have other kinds of evidence. I was trying to explain at this point in the memo that we would not be relying upon evidence furnished by the country itself insofar as we could possibly avoid doing so.
Mr. CORNWELL. You go in that vein to note further on page 2 that one way to test the accuracy of the information which would be provided by the foreign government would be through the CIA and its facilities. Is that correct?
Mr. SLAWSON. That is correct. Incidentally that reminds me that in response to an earlier question of yours, one way we had of checking the accuracy of information American organizations like the CIA or the FBI was to check them against each other. The jurisdictions of the various investigatory agencies at the time would have fairly firm limits. For example, the CIA would do mostly overseas things, the FBI would do mostly domestic criminal activities. The State Department and Immigration and Naturalization Service had their respective jurisdictions. So, when a person like Oswald or Marina would pass from one jurisdiction to another, come from a foreign country or vice versa, the agencies would pass information back and forth, notifications accompanied by documents. In our getting the records of these in every case possible I would match them up to make sure that the disclosure to the Warren Commission from a particular agency included everything it should, judged by what the other agencies had given us, having heard form that agency in times past.
Mr. McKINNEY. You spoke earlier of their defensiveness of the fact that they might be accused of not having done a good job. Was there any particular conversation or discussion on their defensiveness for not really having told the Secret Service or for just sort of letting the most amazing thing to me. They were tracking him and yet with the President coming into dallas, here is this guy.
Mr. SLAWSON. There was no discussion of that, or rather no aspect of this defensiveness that I could see in the documents that were passed prior to the assassination.
They were all official bureaucratic type documents, very impersonal.
Mr. CORNWELL. There was no suggestion in any of those documents, say from the CIA, when Oswald would come in from a foreign country, that the Secret Service perhaps should watch this guy or the FBI watch him?
Mr. SLAWSON. I can't really remember that, Mr. McKinney, whether there was or not. The usual notification would have no suggestion as to what the agency ought to do at all. I would simply be that "Notification is hereby given that such and such, Lee Harvey Oswald or somebody, had contacted the Cuban Embassy in Mexico City, et cetera, and presumably returned to the United States shortly thereafter." Then it would be left up to the FBI to do what they would with that.
Mr. McKINNEY. Thank you very much. Thank you, counsel.
Mr. CORNWELL. In your mind would there have been a particularly severe problem with your area of international conspiracy because of the fact that there was really only one agency, the CIA, that had any access to information which would reveal that?










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Mr. SLAWSON. Yes. There is really no way I can imagine and certainly there was no way at the time I could imagine that anyone could carry on an investigation of foreign intelligence operations other than through the CIA. That simply is the body of expert opinion on that sort of thing and capability that exists in the United States. So, if a major suspect is the CIA itself in some kind of foreign involvement, it might be, say, taken over or infiltrated by the Cuban or Russian Government, an investigation like the Warren Commission would find it very, very difficult to ascertain that. That is just inevitable.
This I think occurred to me at the time too but there wasn't much that could beckon about it.
Let me add there I think there are two major defenses there: One, I think and I still think that the likelihood of any large number of people in a major Government organization trying to kill their own President is very small. I think most people are loyal. The other is that anything that large would almost certainly spill over someplace in the public view. We had all sorts of people of course looking into this. I think the chances of its ever being successfully hidden for a long time were infinitesimally small.
Mr. CORNWELL. Nevertheless it was still your impression, I gather from your memo and your previous statements, that here were really only two primary sources of possible information in your field of responsibility, and that is, what a foreign government might supply, which obviously had its drawbacks and what the CIA provided you.
Mr. SLAWSON. That is right.
Mr. Cornwell, remember, I did talk and hear about the questionableness of any information supplied by a foreign government, about the possibility of its being involved, burt we did have information from foreign governments that might lead you to suspect either foreign governments were involved. there is no more reason why that would by suspect than any information generally. For example, we had a communication from the West German Government intelligence service, I remember, which we investigated. As I recollect, if it had worked out, it would have implicated the Soviet Union. There is no reason why we should suspect that.
Mr. CORNWELL. Mr. Chairman, may I have an exhibit marked for identification as No. 23. It is a memorandum dated September 6, 1964. I show it to the witness and ask you, mr. Slawson, if you recall that document?
Mr. SLAWSON. I read this last night when your staff supplied it to me. I in a very general way recollect it, that is all.
Mr. CORNWELL. I deals generally with the question of the type of information that had been supplied to the Warren Commission by the CIA. Is that correct?
Mr. SLAWSON. Yes.
Mr. CORNWELL. May we have this document entered into the record so that we may ask questions concerning it?
Mr. PREYER. Without objection exhibit 23 is entered into the record.
[The document referred to, marked to, marked JFK exhibit No. 23 and received for the record, follows:]








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JFK EXHIBIT No. 23




Mr. CORNWELL. The first two sentences in the memorandum read, "Throughout our investigation the CIA has been sending us memoranda. The CIA made no attempt to withhold any information form the Commission that it believed was pertinent." Not meaning to be facetious but just for clarification, the "it" that is referred to, in other words, "that it believes was pertinent," down that refer to the CIA or to the Commission?
Mr. SLAWSON. I suppose it meant the CIA. I am just trying to interpret my own writing the same as you are but I think that is what I would have meant.
Mr. CORNWELL. The way it reads then in substance is that it was your impression as of September 6, 1964, near the end of the investigation, that the CIA had made no attempt to withhold any information from the Commission that the CIA believed was pertinent?
Mr. SLAWSON. That is right.
Mr. CORNWELL. Did the CIA or anyone, say, between the CIA and you ever tell the Warren Commission members about the CIA assassination plots on Castro?
Mr. SLAWSON. No, not to my knowledge.
Mr. CORNWELL. do you believe that would have been pertinent to your work?
Mr. SLAWSON. Yes.
Mr. CORNWELL. What would you have done in respect your area if you had been proved that information?
Mr. SLAWSON. That is hard to recollect at this point. It certainly would have increased my suspicion of the possibility that the Cuban Government was involved, for obvious reasons. I cannot, however, think of anything that I would have done any differently. The reason for my conclusion is that I think I followed up every lead as thoroughly as I could in any event. I already had reasons of suspecting the Cuban Government as I had reasons for suspecting the anti-Castro Cubans. So I would have been, I think, doing the same things I did with perhaps a greater suspicion in my mind.
Nevertheless it was pertinent.












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Mr. CORNWELL. Would you have had with that information any cause to request records which you did not otherwise seek?
Mr. SLAWSON. No, not that I can think of. That is a difficult question for me to answer now because I can't remember in any kind of detail at all what my request for records was what records I got.
Mr. CORNWELL. Did you ever seek records concerning the general issue of assassination plots?
Mr. SLAWSON. By the CIA?
Mr. CORNWELL. Against Castro or anyone?
Mr. SLAWSON. No, I can't recollect that I did. Our requests for information form the CIA were rarely specific. The request was made initially that they give us all information in any way pertinent to the assassination investigation. Mr. CORNWELL. Leaving to their discretion the decision as to what was pertinent?
Mr. SLAWSON. Well, I suppose inevitably, yes, because there are mountains of information in the CIA and a request like that has to leave it to some extent to their discretion as to what is pertinent. Anything that came out I would talk to the CIA about it and if I had any specific requests those of course would be forwarded.
Mr. CORNWELL. Would it be fair to state that if you had received that information you at least might have altered your willingness to rely upon their judgments as to what was pertinent?
Mr. SLAWSON. I don't know how to answer that. You see, I never received a "no" from the CIA to any request for information. I mean a no in the sense of not a willingness. Lots of times of course they would say "We don't know anything about that" or "We can't find out for you." So I don't think my attitude would have been any different. I would have had a different set of considerations in mind. I probably almost certainly would have talked to them more thoroughly about, well, did castro know the\at you were trying to kill him?
And when did he know? Things like that, trying to work out some possible link between Lee Harvey Oswald and Cuba or anybody else who might have been implicated in the killing.
Mr. CORNWELL. May we have a memorandum dated June 4, 1964 form Mr. Slawson to Mr. Rankin marked for identification as exhibit No. 24, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. PREYER. All right.
Mr. CORNWELL. You have had a chance to review that prior to coming here?
Mr. SLAWSON. Yes.
Mr. CORNWELL. Do you recall that document?
Mr. SLAWSON. Again in a general way, yes.
Mr. CORNWELL. Basically the document concerns a telephone conservation between you and Mr. Rocca of the CIA and among other things discusses the general subject matter of assassination plots of page 2, is that correct?
Mr. CORNWELL. Yes.
Mr. CORNWELL. May we have that document entered into the record, Mr. Chairman, so that we may ask the witness specific questions?
Mr. PREYER. Without objection it is so ordered and will be entered into the record.




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[The document referred to, marked JFK exhibit No. 24 and received for the record, follows:]

JFK EXHIBIT No. 24
JUNE 4, 1964.
To: J. Lee Rankin, Howard P. Willens, Norman Redlich.
From: W. David Slawson.
Subject: Telephone conference with Mr. Rocca of Central Intelligence Agency.
About a week or two ago I telephoned Mr. Rocca and drew his attention to
the fact that my examination of the documents furnished to us by the Russian
Government, excluding the medical documents, which had not arrived at that
time, showed that a high percentage of the signatures other than the Oswalds’
was said to be illegible by the State Department translators. I asked Mr. Rocca
that the CIA examination of these documents specifically take this observation
into account and comment on it. I said that my opinion, as a layman, was that
the high percentage of illegible signatures might have been intentional, in
order to prevent the CIA from checking back on actual persons and places when
it sought to authenticate these documents. However, I also wondered whether
the alleged illegibility was in some cases simply a reflection of the translators’
reluctance to work too hard. Mr. Rocca said that he would bring this matter to
the attention of those who were analyzing the documents.
Commission document No. 1011, which is the CIA report on the Soviet docu-
ments, came to my desk today. It does not comment on the matter mentioned
above. I telephoned Mr. Rocca to ask him about this. His reply was that he had
interpreted my request as simply that the CIA translators do their best to read
and translate all signatures. I repeated that we were not so interested in that as
we were in the general analysis of what if any significance could be attributed
to the higher percentage of illegible signatures. I told him that since talking to him
the first time I had made a personal check and found that out of the 9 signatures
appearing on the non-medical documents 8 were illegible or at least stated to be
illegible by the translators. (Actually the percentage is even higher. Two of the
documents which contained illegible signatures contain two illegible signatures
each, so the ratio is actually 10 to 1 rather than 8 to 1.)
Rocca said that he now fully understood my concern and would bring it to
the attention of the "higher ups." I told him that we would be happy to make a
formal request if this was desirable, and he said that perhaps it would be, but
he did not think so. He said that he would ask for a formal request from us
later if he or others at CIA thought it was necessary. He told me that the CIA
translators had commented that the illegibility of the signatures was the usual
think in Russian documents. He said that he got the impression from talking to
them that this is a recurring problem. Apparently the average Russian official
has so many documents to sign that his signature soon becomes a scrawl. How-
ever, Rocca did not purport to be an expert on this, and he agreed with me
that a more formal analysis is called for.
(I note here for the record that the following documents contain at least one
illegible signature each: 1A, 3A(1), 3A(2), 5A(3), 6A, 7A, 9A, and 1B, 3A(1)
and 4A(3) contain two illegible signatures each. The following documents con-
tain no signatures at all other than Marina’s or Lee Oswald’s: 2A, 4A, 5A, 2B,
3B, 4B. The single legible signature other than an Oswald signature is con-
tained on document 8A. The foregoing includes only the non-medical documents.
There are so many signatures in the medical documents that I have not tried
to itemize them, but it can be seen by a glance through them that they also
contain a high percentage of illegible ones.)
While on the telephone with Rocca he brought up the New York Times article
on conspiracy theories contained in the Times of June 1, 1964. he made
specific reference to the book by a London newspaper man by the name of Den-
nis Eisenberg mentioned in the Austrian newspapers. This book was published
about 2 months before the assassination and contained an assertion that the
right wing elements in America were at that time planning the assassination
of Kennedy. He said that the CIA has already put procedures in motion to
get the book and to obtain further information about the author. The New York
Times, as you are probably already aware, describes this as a "striking coinci-
dence." Rocca believes that this may be correct but, of course, cannot be sure. He
drew to my attention the fact that the publishing time of this particular book
appears to have been almost exactly when Castro was supposed to have made



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JFK EXHIBIT No. 24 Continued

his remark in the Cuban Embassy in Brazil (or to the Brazilian Embassy in Cuba, I have forgotten at this point) to the effect that "Two can play at this game." According to the Miami newspaper which published this allegation, Castro was referring to the Bay of Pigs invasion and subsequent guerrilla activities financed by the CIA which had resulted in the deaths of many Cuban citizens.
Rocca said that either he or Mr. [deleted] could report to us on the results of the inquiry on Eisenberg, either formally or informally. He asked me whether we wanted to make a formal request for such a report. I replied that I did not think it was necessary in view of the fact that I now know that CIA was looking into the matter and would give us a report. I told him that I would make a memo of our conversation and might remind him of it at a later time if we had not yet heard from him or [deleted].
Mr. CORNWELL. On page 2 the last paragraph reflects that while on the telephone rocca brought up a New York Times article on conspiracy theories contained in the Times of June 1, and made specific reference to a book by a dennis Eisenberg published about 2 months before the assassination and containing an assertion that the right wing element in America were at that time planning the assassination of Kennedy.
The particular part of that paragraph I would like to ask you about is a couple of sentences further down. There it reads that Mr. Rocca drew your attention to the fact that the publishing time of this particular book appears to have been almost exactly when Castro was supposed to have made his remark in the Cuban Embassy in Brazil to the effect that, "two can play at this game." Would it be fair to say that simply on the face of that, one possible inference was that Rocca was deliberately suggesting to your that it was right wing plots to assassinate him that had perhaps come to his attention and prompted his statements about two being able to play at the game?
Mr. SLAWSON. I have no such remarks. My only recollection at this time is that Rocca was drawing my attention to the fact that Castro might well have been involved. Of course he had presumably drawn my attention to this before but he was just doing what he did with me a lot, trying to work with me to put two and two together.
Mr. CORNWELL. Specifically with respect to your notation that he draw attention to the coincidence of the dates between this book and Castro's statement, would it have been possible that he was attempting to mislead you and suggest that it was right wing plots as opposed to CIA plots that had prompted castro's statements?
Mr. SLAWSON. I don't know. That suspicion I don't think occurred to me at the time. It is hard for me to characterize that now.
Mr. CORNWELL. If you and Mr. Rocca had conversations such as this concerning assassination plots, Castro's statements, can you tell us, based upon your experience there at the time, any reason why the CIA would have withheld from you information concerning their intimate knowledge and association with these plots?
Mr. SLAWSON. Based on my experience at the time why the CIA might have withheld information from me of their involvement in plots against Castro?
Mr. CORNWELL. Yes.
Mr. SLAWSON. If your question is directed toward my putting myself back in 1964, my answer is that I had no inkling that the CIA was involved in those plots and therefore that speculation never entered my mind. If your question is directed toward my thinking now, the answer






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would be that, yes, they would have an interest in not disclosing it because they were ashamed of it. They must have felt that it was not a proper thing for them to have done. Otherwise, I don't see why they would not have disclosed it to the members of the Warren Commission.
Of course it would have been highly secret but they disclosed other information to us which they felt was also highly secret. For example, the Nosenko affair was highly secret information. To a limited extent I was given information about sources abroad by sources which were highly secret. I was permitted to follow out that information insofar as I felt I needed to in order to assess the credibility of information obtained. As I say, that was very secret stuff too.
I think the fact that they did not trust us would not have been a reason because they did trust us with highly confidential information.
Mr. CORNWELL. The very last sentence of the memo reads, "According to the Miami newspaper which published this allegation Castro was referring to the Bay of Pigs invasion and subsequent guerrilla activity financed by the CIA which resulted in the death of many Cuban citizens."
Mr. SLAWSON. Yes.
Mr. CORNWELL. Did you discuss in light of that report with Mr. Rocca whether or not the CIA had been involved? Did you ask him for more information?
Mr. SLAWSON. My best recollection at this time is that I did in several conversations with Rocca discuss the CIA involvement in anti-Cuban activities. I was presumably told that they had been involved of course in the bay of Pigs invasion. I remember discussing informally that the involvement with a CIA operative in Mexico City. Also their involvement with anti-Castro Cuban groups in the United States. I don't know how you exactly draw the line between that and an attempt to kill Castro personally. Anyway I never in my own mind crossed over that line and no one ever crossed over it voluntarily in talking to me.
Mr. CORNWELL. Were there any other areas that, since termination of your work, have now come to light which you would consider pertinent to the job you had and yet apparently at the time the CIA did not consider pertinent or otherwise withheld?
Mr. SLAWSON. No, I don't think so, except this one.
Mr. McKINNEY. Could I ask a question about the way you were thinking? If you had known then of the attempts by the CIA to encourage people to kill Castro and probably their actual involvement would it not have been a legitimate thought that that might have triggered the assassination of the President?
Mr. SLAWSON. Sure, that would have been the immediate suspicion.
Mr. McKINNEY. And probably the immediate suspicion of may of the other members, not that the CIA did it but they had triggered it by their involvement. So it would really have changed their thinking?
Mr. SLAWSON. Yes; I think I should have added that. that was involved in what I did say, they were ashamed of it and particularly they might have been very fearful that they would be blamed for the assassination of Kennedy even though they of course had not ordered it but they had triggered it in the sense that they instigated the Cuban Government to do it.








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Also, and I don't think I thought of this at the lime, but in retrospect an agency that sanctions an attempt to kill somebody else's head of state is not good position to be outraged when ours is killed.
Mr. MCKINNEY. I was going to go there but went there on your own.
Mr. CORNWELL. Do you recall the information that the CIA provided you concerning Kostikov, the man that, Oswald perhaps misdescribed in the Russian Embassy?
Mr. SLAWSON. Yes.
Mr. CORNWELL. An employee of the KGB in Mexico City?
Mr. SLAWSON. That is right.
Mr. CORNWELL. Did the possibility that Kostikov was a member of division 13, among other things apparently at least including nation, ever came to your attention?
Mr. SLAWSON. My recollection is that I was told that Kostikov was probably a very, certainly a very high ranking official in the KGB and perhaps the highest ranking such official in the Western Hemisphere. I don't remember whether he was placed in any particular division which would include assassinations or not. But my recollection is that his job would include that among other things. In other words, he was high enough up that he might not even have been within a particular division but had several divisions under his control insofar as they operated in the Western Hemisphere, the Western Hemisphere being the northern part of the Western Hemisphere including the Caribbean.
The CIA told me that Mexico City was a kind of spy headquarters so to speak for lots of countries, like Istanbul used to be in detective thrillers, the spies always met at Istanbul. Supposedly Mexico City was somewhat in truth like that in the early 1960's and late 1950's.
Mr. CORNWELL. What was your understanding based on what the CIA told you at the time concerning the nature of the contacts between Kostikov and Oswald?
Mr. SLAWSON. This was not a matter of the CIA telling me so much as it was a prime objective of our joint investigation. Obviously this was a crucial thing. I mean if we could be certain that we knew everything that went on between Kostikov and Oswald we could have disposed one way or another of the Russian involvement it seems to me, almost certainly. We had some highly reliable sources of information about what was said. The CIA had some background information on Kostikov, not a lot.
I mean they had what I just told you about him, and we had other bits of circumstantial information as to who was probably in the Russian Embassy on or about the same time as Oswald was. We tried to put it all together and I worked with the CIA on that. We came up basically with the conclusions that are in this report including parts of the report which are not here which I don't remember either but there are obviously many, many pages that are out of this, which presumably had things giving in more detail the background of my conclusions.
Mr. CORNWELL. As I understand, your best memory is that the CIA did not mention division 13 in connection with Kostikov?








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Mr. SLAWSON. Yes; that is my recollection. As I say I don't think it bears the significance of any withholding of information because they certainly made clear to me that Kostikov was a very important and that his importance was such that it probably would include assassinations if any were being carried on through the KGB in this part of the world and the CIA had taken great care m educating me in the general technique of the KGB in carrying out foreign assassinations. I spent a long time studying a file that the CIA gave me on a KGB foreign assassin who had defected in Western Europe in the 1950's. I have forgotten his name but the CIA had a big file on him which, as far as I know, I read everything they gave me, trying to educate myself on what kind of patterns of conduct to look for, how would the Russians carry on an assassination abroad, if they had done so here.
Mr. CORNWELL. Directing your attention back to exhibit 22, one of the things which you discuss in there as I understand it is the question of what type of relationship Oswald may have had with a foreign government. In other words, distinguishing between a relationship which might have involved the distribution of propaganda, on the other hand an active role as an assassin for them, that sort of thing. I take it from that that it would have been deemed relevant by you if you had received the information, it would have been a relevant fact of his control or work in division 13, in other words, his relationship to possible assassination work by the Russian Government. Is that correct?
Mr. SLAWSON. Yes.
Mr. CORWELL. I did not see this in the part of the memo, exhibit 22, but can you tell me whether there exists any indication that Kostikov
had responsibility for assassinations?
Mr. SLAWSON. No; in my reviewing it last night I did not come across anything of that nature either although I think that the parts the memo that are shown here do include my statement that he was a KGB official, KGB employee.
Mr. CORNWELL. We may not have all of your memos but will you tell us, to the best of your memory did the fact that Kostikov may
have worked with or had responsibility for assassinations appear anywhere in the Warren Commission report?
Mr. SLAWSON. I don't remember this either. I think the Warren Commission report does reflect that Kostikov was a KGB employee and I think, but I am not sure at this point, certainly not sure, that the Warren report also reflects the fact that of course the KGB had cartied out assassinations elsewhere in the world. In Western Europe I think we attributed one at least to them. So, to me that presumably was. sufficient.
Mr. CORNWELL. If the possibility that Kostikov was associated with, assassinations appears neither in your memos nor in the Warren Commission report is your memory still the same that the CIA nevertheless gave you that information?
Mr. SLAWSON. Yes; but I want to repeat myself for emphasis. My recollection or impression of Kostikov was that he was more important than that. He was high enough up so that he was the central director so to speak for KGB activities in the Caribbean area which as I say was a very important area because it was a kind of spy clearinghouse and presumably an assassination clearinghouse too.









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The principal objective of my work in Mexico was to find out what had gone on between Oswald and this very important KGB operative. Obviously it was a suspicious circumstance.
Mr. CORNWELL. Mr. Chairman, may we mark two memoranda, dated February 21 and March 27, 1964, for identification as exhibits 25 and 26.
Mr. PREYER. Those documents may be marked for identification.
Mr. SLAWSON. I should add that as far as I was able to ascertain with the help of the CIA the fact that Kostikoy was called down to see Oswald when Oswald showed up at the Russian Embassy was probably not as significant as one might think because apparently he would have been called down to see any out-of-the-ordinary person, anyone that might have intelligence significance, any secret significance to the Russians.
Mr. CORNWELL. If I could direct your attention to exhibits 25 and 26, you have had a chance to review prior to coming here, is that correct?
Mr. SLAWSON. Yes.
Mr. CORNWELL. Basically both memos refer to a similar subject matter and that is the possibility of obtaining some information concerning Oswald's contact in Mexico City through a man named Al Tarabochia.
Mr. SLAWSON. That is correct.
Mr. CORNWELL. May we enter both of those exhibits in the record so that we may ask the witness specific questions concerning them.
Mr. PREYER. Without objection exhibits 95 and 526 are admitted into the record.
[The documents referred to, marked JFK exhibits 25 and 26 and received for the record, follow:]


JFK EXHIBIT No. 25

[ Memorandum ]
FEBRUARY 21, 1964.

To: Howard Willens.
From: David Slawson.
Subject: The possibility of a new informant in Mexico City.

During the conference in your office on Thursday, February 20, we discussed [he use of sources of information in Mexico City other than the CIA and the FBI. We decided that rather than attempting piecemeal utilization of such other sources, we would first gather information as to the existence of such other sources and then try to use them in a coordinated manner, with full consultation among all the agencies concerned.
I therefore am bringing to your attention the existence of a possible informant for this purpose.
On pages 4-5 of Commission No. 351, which appears to be a portion of a memorandum of a telephone call from Alan Schwartz of the State Department to William McManus, of the Senate Internal Security Committee, it is stated that a man named "AI Tarabochia" claims to have a good contact who has connections at the Cuban Embassy in Mexico City. Mr. Tarabochia wants to know if the contact should inquire about Oswald's true purpose while at the Embassy there. The context indicates that this Tarabochia is an anti-Castro Cuban. Otherwise, I know nothing about him. If we want to explore the possibilities of using this informant, we should probably contact Mr. William McManus and get more detail from him.
I mentioned all this to you a few days ago, and you told me that you believed our files contained a letter from Senator Eastland or his staff on the general subject. The best efforts of Ruth Shirley have been unable to locate such a letter.



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JFK EXHIBIT No. 26

[Memorandum]

MARCH 27, 1964.
To: J. Lee Rankin,
From: W. David Slawson.
Subject: Senate Internal Security Subcommittee; Possible Use of Their Mexican Informant.

On Tuesday, March 17, 1964 I called Mr. J.G. Sourwine, counsel for the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee. I referred to a memorandum in a file which William McManus, formerly with Mr. Sourwine's staff, had sent to the Commission on January 28, 1964, in which there was a reference to an "Al Tarabochia," a man known to the subcommittee who, in turn, claims to know someone who has access to confidential information about the Cuban Embassy in Mexico City. I told Mr. Sourwine that the Commission would like to utilize this informant and that for this purpose we would like either to be told his name or given other means by which we could make contact with him. Mr. Sourwine asked me why we wanted to use the informant, This question struck me as strange, since the reasons must have been obvious, but my reply was that we of course had. knowledge that Oswald had been in Mexico not too long ago before the assassination and that he had made contacts with the Cuban Embassy, so we naturally wanted to find out as much as possible about these contacts. Mr. Sourwine said he would take the matter up with Senator Eastland.
That afternoon Mr. Sourwine called back and asked that I send him copies of the memorandum from Mr. McManus, since he could not find this memorandum in his files. He said he would like the memorandum if possible by the following morning because he was having a conference with Senator Eastland around noon time and could then present the whole problem to him for an early solution. I therefore sent Mr. Sourwine a letter dated March 18, enclosing a copy of the memorandum in question, and had it hand delivered to him on the morning of March 18.
I heard nothing further from Mr. Sourwine and therefore I telephoned his office on Thursday morning, March 26. He was not there. He returned my call that afternoon and the conversation went roughly as follows:
He apologized for the delay, saying that he had been unable to reach Senator Eastland about this matter because the Senator had been so busy and sometimes, out of town. However, he had just seen Senator Eastland and their decision was that although they wanted to cooperate in every way with the Commission, they did not feel that they could disclose their informant to us. He said that they would be happy to give us a letter to this effect, signed by the Senator. Mr. Sourwine added that they would be happy to convey to the informant any specific questions we had and convey back his answers to those questions. Mr. Sourwine also added that Mr. Tarabochia's reluctance to disclose the identity of his informant was "understandable." I agreed and said words to the effect, "Am I to understand then, that it is Mr. Tarabochia's reluctance to disclose the identity of the informant which is the basis for Senator Eastland's refusal to do so?" Mr. Sourwine replied, "No; the decision is the
Senator's, not Mr. Tarabochia's."
I said that I was not authorized to give a decision at the present time, that the decision on something of this importance would have to be made by Mr. Rankin or the Commission itself. I added that it was my opinion that if we did decide to forward questions through Mr. Sourwine that they would be of the most general nature, rather than specific. Mr. Sourwine replied that general questions might be hard to handle. I asked Mr. Sourwine whether his informant could handle a question such as, "Give us all the information you have on what the Cuban Embassy knows about Oswald, his visits to the Embassy, and anything else which might relate to the assassination of President Kennedy." Mr Sourwine's reply was that although such a question was very broad, it probably could be handled. He then repeated his willingness to give us a signed letter from Senator Eastland. We closed off the conversation by my saying that he should do nothing whatever on this matter until hearing further from me or Mr. Rakin. Mr. Sourwine agreed.
In view of the subcommittee's reluctance to give us direct access to their informant, I recommend that we convey to Mr. Sourwine the very general kind of questions that I mentioned during the telephone conversation and hope that we get as much information as possible from the informant. Forwarding specific



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questions to the informant would carry the strong disadvantage of disclosing the informant and to everyone who worked with him, the particular problems that were worrying us and the particular areas in which we felt we were deficient in our knowledge.
Mr. CORNWELL. First, would it be accurate to state that the sub-
stance of the two memos is that the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee contacted the Warren Commission with respect to offering information through an informant?
Mr. SLAWSON. I cannot remember whether they contacted us or whether I came upon the reference in a memorandum--well, it says here in exhibit 25, page 1, "A memo of a telephone call from Abba Schwartz to William McManus." You see, I had copies of every Government agency's memorandum and correspondence of every kind that had anything to do with the assassination. So, the State Department presumably would have sent us a copy of this. So, in going through that I may have noticed the statement and, of course, then wanted to get in touch with this contact, myself.
I don't remember how it first came to our attention.
Mr. CORNWELL. Whatever became of the possibility of using this informant?
Mr. SLAWSON. Nothing. The contacts to the best of my recollection were made as stated in these two memorandums. I talked to Mr. Sourwine. I think but I am not sure that I followed up a telephone call with a personal conference with him in his office. But he and Senator Eastland were not willing to give us access to the claimed contact they had, and nothing came of the request that we gave them for information from that.
There was no further communication.
Mr. CORNWELL. What was your final opinion about this incident?
Mr. SLAWSON. My final opinion and to my recollection, it was also J. Lee Rankin's, was that Sourwine and Eastland were trying to use this alleged contact as a way of finding out inside information about the Warren investigation which they could use for their own political purposes.
Mr. CORNWELL. Did you discuss the Tarabochia and Sourwine contacts with Rocca or anyone else in the CIA?
Mr. SLAWSON. I don't remember the occasion of doing so, but I certainly must have. I would probably have discussed this with both the CIA and the FBI.
Mr. CORNWELL. What, if any, information did the CIA provide you concerning Tarabochia and Sourwine?
Mr. SLAWSON. I am sure it was to the effect that they didn't know anything about the contacts. That was probably just the end of it. Their standard procedure would be not to make any comment on a Congressman or his motive. They would have said, "We don't how anything about this Tarabochia" and that would have been the end of it.
Mr. CORWELL. In the course of consideration of raids and that sort of thing in Cuba, did the subject matter of one raid, which I guess is popularly known as the Bavo-Pawley raid, come to your attention?
Mr. SLAWSON. That name does not mean anything to me; no. It does not mean anything to me now.








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Mr. CORNWELL. Do you recall whether or not the CIA provided you any information about Tarabochia or Sourwine concerning raids in Cuba?
Mr. SLAWSON. I understood the question as whether the CIA supplied me with any information about raids in Cuba in connection with Sourwine and Tarabochia. My answer is no.
Mr. CORNWELL. Directing your attention again to exhibit 22, on page 3 you discuss not only the problem that we asked you questions about earlier, and to what extent you could conduct an effective investigation, but on the bottom of page 3 you note that there are also problem with the fact that a good deal of the information cannot be disclosed to the American public and you note that there are two reasons for that. One, that much of what CIA might provide could come from particularly sensitive methods or sources which would be impossible to disclose; and second, that in fact in some cases the information itself could not even be disclosed, and you cite as an example on page 4 the fact that a Russian MVD employee may secretly have tried to warn Oswald not to Come to Russia, if disclosed, might result in employes being severely punished or executed. Will you provide to the Committee any examples where those types of considerations ultimately restricted your ability to tell the American public why reached certain findings or to provide it in the information you acquired?
Mr. SLAWSON. I can recollect several situations like that, but to this day some of them, so far as I know, are still sensitive. There was a highly placed source, a source highly placed in a particular foreign government, from which we got information indicating noninvolvement of that government. The information was in the nature of the surprise expressed by members of that government and apparently genuine shock at the news of Kennedy's assassination which would of course tend to show they were not involved. But even to state what that government was and any information in great detail would lead to possible identification of the course because there were only apparently so many people present when these things were observed.
So that would be one such situation. Other ones were, while other one I have in mind was similar, we were not able to use other information which again tended to exonerate the government involve because the information was spoken by certain foreign officials time and place where, if they knew we had it, they could tell pretty well how we got it. Then the comment I made right here in the memo on page 4 or someplace further on, about the Russian MVD employee there the reasons would be to avoid retaliation against an individual they might have harmed him and still might. One thing that has bothered me about the public disclosure of some of this information in that these people are presumably still alive in Russia.
Mr. CORNWELL. At least there were a number of examples where these kinds of concerns did result in exactly what you predicted, other words, failure to disclose the information to support your conclusion?
Mr. SLAWSON. That is right.











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Mr. CORNWELL. What about the Nosenko example? What were the reasons for ultimately not disclosing the information that Nosenko had provided?
Mr. SLAWSON. There were two basic ones. One, I never did understand thoroughly; but to get to the first one we did not disclose it because it seemed so very self-serving by the Russians, that to even appear to rely upon it in our conclusion that was basically exonerating the Russian involvement in the assassination we thought would be bad because we in fact were not relying upon it. As I said in the memo, the coincidence was too much, the first major defector in many years should come across after the assassination and have information that tended to show that the Russians were not at all involved. I am still suspicious of it. I still think that Nosenko was probably a plant, which does not go to say it was not true, but it means that you can't rely upon it.
The second reason was that the CIA told me and told Bill Coleman, it is my recollection, and other people on the Commission staff, that their procedures to test the authenticity of Nosenko would be compromised if the Russians were to how what Nosenko told us. They said that authenticating and evaluating Nosenko was of extreme importance to them.
He was the most important potential source of information they had obtained in years about the Russians. So, we didn't want to hurt their investigation.
Mr. CORNWELL. May we mark for identification a memorandum dated July 17, 1964, as exhibit 28, Mr. Chairman?
Mr. PREYER. We will mark that for identification.
Mr. CORNWELL. Do you recall that memo, Mr. Slawson?
Mr. SLAWSON. I recall it from reading the file last night. Except in very central way I assume it is the one I wrote. I don't recall any details.
Mr. CORNWELL. I am sorry that I don't have a copy of it here but
apparently there was a memo dated July 15, shortly before this one, from you to Mr. Rankin, explaining a list of your proposed references to what would be quoted as "A confidential Soviet Union source, the reliability of which has not been established." In the foreign conspiracy, in the Russian section of the report, in detailing about five areas which you had planned to discuss and following that memo I take it was the July memo 2 days later, would it be fair to state that at the point in time when this memo was written the Warren Commission was going through the process of determining whether or not they could disclose the information that Nosenko had provided?
Mr. SLAWSON. Yes, that would be my recollection.
Mr. CORNWELL. May we have this exhibit admitted as part of the record, Mr. Chairman?
Mr. PREYER. Without objection the exhibit is entered into the record.
[The document referred to, marked JFK exhibit 28 and received for the record, follows:]










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JFK EXHIBIT No. 28

[Memorandum]

JULY 17, 1964.

To: William T. COLEMAN.
From: W. David Slawson.

Attached is Howard Willens' re-draft of our Foreign Conspiracy draft. I have not had time to read it in detail yet, but with a few exceptions he seems to have accepted our arguments and our plan of organization. There are three major exceptions: First, all references to the "secret Soviet Union source" have been omitted. I attended a conference with the CIA on this and now agree that we should not question this source. Willens can fill you in on the reasons why. Indeed, the argument based upon Oswald's being permitted to marry Marina has been omitted because the CIA claims it has information of many cases in which spies were married to nonspies. Third, the argument based upon Oswald's general character and his way of life in the United States has been omitted here and will be reinserted at a point where it will apply to not only the foreign conspiracy, but also the [deleted] conspiracy and a tie-in with Ruby.
In case I do not get to talk to you on the telephone before I leave, I have read your Mexican draft. It is very good. If you get a chance, speak to Willens and see whether he wants a xerox copy now or whether he wants to wait for footnoting. I made a very few changes while I was reading it, but have not attempted as yet a real editing job. I am in full agreement with the substance and the conflicting evidence. These, so far as I am concerned, require change.

Mr. CORNWELL. Directing your attention to the memo, would it be fair to state that in the third sentence in the first paragraph we have a record of the fact that a decision as of July 17 had been made that all references to the secret Soviet Union source have been omitted, which then coincides with Mr. Willen's redraft of your foreign conspiracy draft? In other words is this the point in time when the Warren Commission made the decision not to---
Mr. SLAWSON. I am not sure. There were several levels, of course. This would be a reflection at this point, July 17, that Howard Willens, who of course is not the Commission itself, had made this decision tentatively that we were to take out references to a secret Soviet Union source. This was my reforming Coleman of it but this, like all decisions of importance, presumably would have gone up. In other words, Willens would have sent in his redraft of the foreign conspiracy portion of the report which I had written with his explanation of any changes. This would have to go to Lee Rankin and Lee Rankin would have made any comments or whatever that he might have had and that in turn might have gone to the full Warren Commission for decision.
Mr. CORNWELL. Then the answer is, ultimately, the initial decision, which at this point had been made by Mr. Willens, was finally adopted by the Commission?
Mr. SLAWSON. Yes.
Mr. CORNWELL. Now in addition to the problems we have already, discussed concerning the sheer difficulty of conducting an investigation in the foreign conspiracy field and the problems with writing a final report which could describe fully the results of your investigation, were there any other obstacles in connection with your assignment? For instance, start with the question of time. Was there enough time to adequately conduct the investigation?
Mr. SLAWSON. Yes, there was, although at times I was afraid that wouldn't be. There was time pressure on all of us. I think that all members of the staff were bothered and somewhat resented the fact that we were being pushed to work at such a rapid pace but we





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resisted any attempts to make us finish before we felt we were ready to be finished. When the report came out neither I, and I don't think anybody else, felt that there was anything significant that we had not been able to do in the time.
Mr. CORNWELL. When we discussed the same subject matters informally as I recall you made statements to the general effect that everyone had too much to do.
Mr. SLAWSON. That is right.
Mr. CONWELL. Would you explain the sense in which you made the statement?
Mr. SLAWSON. Well, I have since learned I think that this is the nature of any kind of special program. You probably feel overworked yourself in this. But the amount of paper that we had to go through to do our job well was tremendous. I spent I think about the first month simply absorbing information. I don't think I issued a single significant request the first month I was back there. I had so many documents to get through and try to understand and try to put them together. They continued pouring in from the ongoing investigation after that.
There weren't that many of us. So we had more than enough to do I would say.
Mr. CORNWELL. One reason I ask the question, if I could direct your attention again to exhibit 22, at page 7 you discuss the possibility of the Soviet Union having assassins abroad to carry out work for them. Near the bottom of the main paragraph on that page you note that once you accept this fact, the possibility that their network, if it exists, included Lee Harvey Oswald, must be fully explored, indicating that at least at that point you felt additional investigation was warranted. Is that correct?
Mr. SLAWSON. Not necessarily. My recollection is that I was stating here--well, the memo tends to confirm my recollection that I was here speaking of what on page 6 I call the "overall relevance of political motive" and giving the background to the readers of this memorandum which was the members of the Commission that when I said that must be fully explored I meant that I was going to explore them as fully as I could in this memo and that they as members of the Warren Commission should fully explore them in their own minds in order to come to a conclusion.
In addition, I would have meant that insofar as that exploration on my side was not complete, I was going to continue pursuing it. We did have portions of that kind of exploration which went up almost to the last minute before publication.
Mr. CORNWELL. At least the investigation had not anywhere near been completed at this point, is that correct?
Mr. SLAWSON. Not quite, no. I would say a great deal of it had been done. This was written in early June I think. I suppose some thing like two-thirds or three-fourths of this investigation had been completed by that time.
Mr. CORNWELL. The initial employment arrangement that you described contemplated 3 to 6 months, is that correct?
Mr. SLAWSON. That is right.
Mr. CORNWELL. Is it also true that you understood Earl Warren wanted a final draft of everything by June?









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Mr. SLAWSON. Yes. At one point I remember he was expecting us to be completed by the following Monday, whatever date that would be, some time in June or May. Lee Rankin was on his way home for the weekend and turned to Howard Willens and said, "you had better tell the chief it won't be done next Monday."
Mr. CORNWELL. Do you know what his reaction was?
Mr. SLAWSON. No, except he didn't like it. His main motivation in wanting the work done, and which he repeated several times to different members of the staff, was that he wanted the truth known and stated to the public before the Presidential election of 1964 because he didn't want the assassination in any way to affect the elections. I am not sure at all how he thought it would but he didn't want any possibility of it.
That was his principal reason for having it all finished.
Mr. CORNWELL. Whom did you get this information from?
Mr. SLAWSON. About Warren?
Mr. CORNWELL. Yes, sir.
Mr. SLAWSON. From my recollection right from the Chief Justice himself. He did not deal with us on an individual basis frequently but enough so that everybody I think who had a significant role on the staff had conferences with Earl Warren.
Mr. CORNWELL. Again with respect to the same memorandum, exhibit 22, the very last page of it concludes that, "The facts that we already know are certainly sufficient to warrant additional investigation," again in the same context, is that correct?
Mr. SLAWSON. Yes. Let me back up and see what this was in connection with. This is the anti-Castro Cuban movement I am commenting on, yes. We had done a good deal of investigation by this time but on that one we were still going forward insofar as we could.
Mr. CORNWELL. So, the investigation in fact as you suggested was not complete by June and in fact it continued throughout the summer, is that correct?
Mr. SLAWSON. That is right.
Mr. CORNWELL. Sylvia Odio, one of the more publicized issues in the last 15 years, was interviewed in July after you wrote this memo. Isn't that accurate?
Mr. SLAWSON. That is right.
Mr. CORNWELL. In fact, as I recall, you had some information about the investigation in your field, even going up to within 36 hours the publication date of the report, isn't that accurate?
Mr. SLAWSON. Thirty-six or 72 or something. It was a matter of fractions of a day. That is correct.
Mr. CORNWELL. Will you tell the committee what that incident related to?
Mr. SLAWSON. That is another one that I cannot get into detail but
we had--well, to go back to the beginning, as I said earlier, a major part of our investigation into the Mexico trip by Oswald was as to what transpired between him and Kostikov at the Russian Embassy and what transpired between him and the people he spoke to in the Cuban Embassy, I can't pronounce the name, Asque or somebody the Cuban Embassy that he apparently spoke to and also Sylvia. Turado de Duran.





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This information we had and were able to obtain by further investigation led us to the conclusion that if Oswald had done only what he apparently had done at the Cuban Embassy, which was to apply for an intransit visa to Cuba so that he could visit Cuba in transit to the Soviet Union, that certain kinds of documents would have been made out that would have borne certain people's signatures including Oswald's.
We did not have those documents. We thought if we could get them or copies of them and if we could authenticate them that would be good evidence that in fact Oswald's contact with the Cuban Embassy was indeed innocent as far as the assassination is concerned. It did concern these other things. So, some time in the spring of 1964 we put through a request to the Swiss Government which had diplomatic relations with Cuba for all the Cuban documents relating to Oswald although I don't think we named anyone in particular.
Eventually copies did come back but they did not get back to us until fairly late in the summer. My recollection is that the reason was that there was a lot of friction between Castro and us at that time. I think they turned off the water at Guantanamo Naval Base or something like that and they were not in the mood to cooperate.
Nevertheless, they finally got them through the Swiss. When they came in, although they appeared to be authentic I would like to have had some additional information as to whether certain peoples' signatures were really their signatures. I told this to the CIA, probably to Rocca, I can't remember who exactly. He said, "Well, we may be able to get that for you. We will try." They did finally get it within a fraction of a day or so before publication deadline.
I was able to say in the Warren report then that this particular bit of information had been reasonably well authenticated but without saying how it was.
Mr. CORNWELL. This particular routine was very important to you, was it not?
Mr. SLAWSON. The working out of what Oswald had done in Mexico and trying to authenticate as far as we could?
Mr. CORNWELL. Yes.
Mr. SLAWSON. Yes.
Mr. CORNWELL. In fact when you first were telling me earlier when you first focused on that issue there were conversations concerning whether or not you would be permitted to go forward with the investigation in that area, isn't that true?
Mr. SLAWSON. Yes. The request to the Castro government, request to the Cuban Government through the Swiss went up through channels to Earl Warren and his first response was no. The reason he gave was that he did not want to rely upon any information from a government which was itself one of the principal suspects.
The CIA and I nevertheless came to the conclusion that any information that we could get we ought to get. We would worry about trying to authenticate it after we got it. As I told you, I simply disobeyed orders and went ahead and made the request through the State Department--it had to come from Dean Rusk, I remember we got his signature--to the Swiss Government and we got the information. Then of course I had to tell the Chief Justice that we got it and I pretended









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that I had misunderstood his previous statement. I think that is the only time I disobeyed orders.
Mr. CORNWELL. It was not only his first impression, it was his only impression that you should not have pursued this particular information?
Mr. SLAWSON. Once we got the information he was angry and said something to the effect "I thought I told you we didn't want it." I said,
"I am sorry, I didn't understand it that way. But he accepted the fact that we had it. I would never have thought he wouldn't. He did not make any attempt to suppress it.
Mr. CORNWELL. Would it be fair to state then that this particular transaction was a matter that you felt strongly enough about to in fact, disobey Earl Warren's orders and pursued and finally the information came in within hours before the final publication on September 28 the report.
Mr. SLAWSON. Yes.
Mr. CORNWELL. Were there any other areas like this where maybe, you just didn't make the deadline, you wanted to very badly to investigate, and you were not able to get within hours of the final publication?
Mr. SLAWSON. No.
Mr. CORNWELL. With respect to the question of whether or not the investigation was adequate, would you tell us what the composition of the staff was, the Warren Commission staff, and whether or not there were enough lawyers whether or not they all produced?
Mr. SLAWSON. As I said before, I felt overworked and I think many of the staff members felt the same way. I think that the main problem was one of the great underestimations of the size of the task at the time. As I said, we were told, we were telephoned and asked to come in, it would be 3 to 6 months. It is my recollection they said it would be only 3 to 6 months on the outside and of course we ended up taking about 8.
There was a reluctance, once we were there, to admit--again this is a matter of once you have made a decision you don't like to admit you were wrong but people did not like to admit that we probably needed more help and more time.
The following incidents will illustrate this. When we first got there it turned out the secretarial help we had was mostly incompetent. Also
we had one fewer typewriter for our own use than there were staff members. That struck a lot of people as silly. In any event I made a complaint. We eventually got enough typewriters.
Several of us complained about the secretarial help. I was in Lee Rankin's office talking to him at the time. He had previously put through a call to McGeorge Bundy at the White House and Bundy's call back came while I was there. Bundy said "What do you want." Lee Rankin told him about the secretaries. Bundy said, "Just hold." Apparently picked up another phone and called the Defense Department and he got back on the line, "I just told the Defense Department to have--I have forgotten the number--but 20 of the best secretaries over there tomorrow morning," and they did. From that point on we had good secretaries. But it took, you know, pressure that high up to get us the resources we needed.
There were things all along the line we had to complain we want more of this or we want something done here and there.








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Mr. CORNWELL. With respect to the investigation of the basic number of people who did the investigation for the Warren Commission, was there anybody besides lawyers there to do the work. Did you have any investigative staff?
Mr. SLAWSON. We had special people assigned from CIA, FBI, and Secret Service who were with us more or less full time, especially the Secret Service who were investigators. I think that time of the areas of investigation such as that headed by Dave Belin, which was the immediate circumstances of the shooting in Dallas employed private investigators at various points to crosscheck and give an independent evaluation.
In other words, people who were not themselves FBI agents.
Mr. CORNWELL. Did Dave Belin employ those people?
Mr. SLAWSON. Not with his own money but he chose them. He and Bill Ball worked together had chosen them. In my area we did not because of the difficulties, as I told you earlier. There is no place in the world you can go and buy a spy investigator.
Mr. CORNWELL. Were there any problems with the selection of senior lawyers?
Mr. SLAWSON. I am not quite sure of the thrust of your question. I of course was not privy to the selection of staff counsel. I was one of those who was selected.
Mr. CORNWELL. I mean who did not do the work?
Mr. SLAWSON. A few did not. The majority of them did and I think contributed very valuably, they did not, with a couple of exceptions, spend as much time as the younger men did, especially as the investigation wore on. Some of them I understand were hired with the promise that only a few weeks work would be required of them. Of course that turned out not to be the case.
Bill Coleman, who was the one I worked most closely with, I have forgotten the exact amount but it was in the week was all that he was
told he had to contribute. He ended up contributing much, much more than that. Even then in the middle part of the investigation he was coming down only 1 day a week. But then toward the end he came down again and stayed for a long period of the. Of course in the beginning he stayed permanent time.
Mr. McKINNEY. May I ask a question here. As the investigation went on, at the dinners among senior counsel or anyone else did you ever discuss or feel uncomfortable about your tremendous dependence on existing governmental agencies? You were really sort of processing papers, did that bother you?
Mr. SLAWSON. Yes, it did. We would talk about how we might escape from the dependency. Apart from the things that I have already mentioned in three different categories, one was occasionally hiring an outside expert to give an independent evaluation or assessment something. I was not able to do it in my particular area but Dave Berlin, for example, did do it.
Second was cross-checking the papers passing back and forth between the jurisdictions.
The third would be just keeping an eye and ear out for any odd bit of information that would come m not through the agencies.
Mr. McKINNEY. The CIA had been somewhat discredited by the time this investigation started by a sort of bumbling with the Bay of








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Pigs. It seems to me there was a large question of their intelligence gathering capability after that particular diasaster. We also had the Cuban missile crisis and so forth. There was a very strong cry in Washington that perhaps our intelligence gathering forces were not as good as they should be.
I wonder if this disturbed you any?
Mr. SLAWSON. My recollection is that it did not. I did not view the Bay of Pigs as reflecting so badly upon the CIA's intelligence gathering operations as it did upon their judgment as to what kind of operation might be successful.
Mr. McKINNEY. That is a fine line you are drawing.
Mr. SLAWSON. It is. I will admit it is. To illustrate what I mean, not to tell you that I am right, I think there is no question but that had President Kennedy been willing to back up an invasion of Cuba, then
of course we were much stronger than Cuba, we could have toppled the Cuban Government. The bad judgment came in thinking that the United States would be willing to go that far overtly.
Mr. McKINNEY. One last question. We have since learned that an organization which I find hard to pin down, called Army Intelligence, had its muddy little fingers in a great many things from inside, actually spying on American citizens within the continental borders of this country as well as being involved in covert and overt activities outside. Has Army Intelligence ever been contacted by the Warren Commission?
Mr. SLAWSON. My recollection would be yes because we contacted every armed service and that would include specifically their intelligence operations.
Mr. McKINNEY. Did they ever admit to any Cuban activities that you know of?
Mr. SLAWSON. Not that I remember, no. My recollection of the Army Intelligence--I think it was called Army Security Agency in those days--was that we got information from them about Oswald's record and activities in the Marine Corps.
I take that back, it could not have been Army Security. It could have been Navy Security. In any event it was an Armed Forces security.
Mr. McKINNEY. But not on the subject matter of Cuba?
Mr. SLAWSON. Not to my recollection, no.
Mr. CORNWELL. I have a couple of additional areas but would the committee like to ask questions on what we have been over so far?
Mr. PREYER. I might ask one or two questions.
Incidentally, Mr. Slawson, I see among your qualifications that you are a summa cum laude from Amherst, magna cure laude from. Harvard Law School, which should impress a Yale man like Mr. Kinney here.
You mentioned that you spent a considerable amount of time with Mr. Dulles and that you worked with him. Of course he was one member of the Commission that had more expertise in this area.
What was the nature of your meetings with him? Did you have any of these informal late evening sessions after dinner and a few drinks and talk about the state of the world as you mentioned you had with the other lawyers?






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Mr. SLAWSON. No. The discussions were some of them informal but they all occurred right in my office at the Warren Coramission building and during the afternoon or morning. He, as I mentioned, was somewhat a sick person at the time. I don't recollect his ever being there past 6 or 7 o'clock in the evering, something like that. He would become too tired generally to stay on any longer.
Mr. PREYER. Do you happen to know whether he was able to attend most of the Warren Commission meetings or not? Did his illness prevent him from being active on the Commission?
Mr. SLAWSON. No, I think his illness did not prevent him. In fact, I think the record will show that he probably had the best attendance record of anyone. We had a rule that testimony that was to be presented to the Commission, as opposed to testimony just to a staff member, could only be given if at least one Commission member was present. Of course there had to be someone there. I think more of those sessions that member was Allen Dulles than anybody else.
Mr. PREYER. Did you talk over with him your theory or the hypothetical example of the anti-Castro Cuban involvement in the assassination?
Mr. SLAWSON. Presumably I did, yes. I don't remember the exact conversations but that would have been the kind of things I talked over with him.
Mr. PREYER. Did he ever at any time during those conversations mention anything about the assassination plots on Castro that the CIA was undertaking?
Mr. SLAWSON. No.
Mr. PREYER. He had been a Director of the CIA of course. Do you know when he was last Director of the CIA?
Mr. SLAWSON. No, I don't. I believe he was the immediate past Director at the time but I am not even sure of that.
Mr. PREYER. Perhaps you are going to get into this area, Mr. Cornwell. I want to get the witness' view about the possibility of Oswald being an FBI informant. Are you planning to go into that?
Mr. CORNWELL. You can go right ahead if you would like.
Mr. PREYER. Since you dealt with Oswald's actions in Russia I would just like to get your views on the possibility of his being an FBI informant. He did seem to be able, he and his wife, to move back and forth in Russia with a minimum of bureaucratic delay in getting passports and that sort of thing. I wondered if you looked into that or had any suspicions in that area or came to any conclusions in that area?
Mr. SLAWSON. I did look into the possibility that his moving into Russia, getting a passport to travel abroad and his coming back out of Russia with Marina when he decided to come back to the United States, had been suspiciously quick or anything else suspicious about how they were handled and ultimately concluded that they were not suspicious, that the obtaining of the passport in particular to go abroad was well within the normal time for obtaining a passport from the place he obtained it which I think was New Orleans. All these places are foggy in my mind now.
In any event, we got the statement of procedures from the particular Passport office concerned and also from Washington passport office. We followed up the timing. We did not just accept the State Department's






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word but we got a list of how long it had taken other people, just a random selection of citizens, about the same time for the same passport application, places to get their passports, and compared them, and his obtaining his, as I said, was just routine in terms of time.
Coming back, it was more difficult to assess whether there was anything improperly quick or otherwise improper about Oswald's return because there you are not dealing with a routine thing. Of course it is not routine for someone to defect and then come back from the Soviet Union.
Nevertheless, my recollection was that there had been something like 20 people that that had happened to, a surprising number at the time.
Insofar as I could, I studied all those other cases to make comparisons. The conclusion there was that there was nothing odd about the Oswald case. As I say, that is a soft conclusion because they were all unique cases in a sense. You could not make any statistical study out of the 20.
Mr. PREYER. I have just one other question. Do you know at this time whether or not Raymond Rocca knew of the assassination plot against Castro at the time you were dealing with him?
Mr. SLAWSON. I certainly did not know at the time because I did not know there were such plots. Even to this day I don't know whether he did know. I either read or had someone tell me, and I can't remember which, in the last couple of years that in their opinion, Rocca did not know it, that the CIA had deliberately chosen people to work with the Warren Commission staff who were not aware of these plots in order that they could pick people who could be sincerely ignorant of it.
Mr. PREYER. Thank you. I have no further questions.
Mr. Devine.
Mr. DEVINE. No questions, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. PREVER. Any further questions, Mr. McKinney?
Mr. McKINNEY. No, thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. PREYER. Mr. Cornwell, how much longer do you think you will need to question the witness? The question is whether we should recess for lunch at this time or try to finish?
Mr. CORNWELL. I would say at least 30 minutes, perhaps a little longer.
Mr. PREYER. Perhaps we had better break for lunch and resume at o'clock. Will that be all right, Mr. Slawson?
Mr. SLAWSON. Yes; that will be OK. I have plane reservations at 5:30.
Mr. CORNWELL. Which airport?
Mr. SLAWSON. Dulles.
Mr. PREYER. I don't anticipate there will be any problem making that plane.
Mr. CORNWELL. Not for Mr. Slawson. There are two witnesses from California today ,both of whom are trying to catch that same plane. For Mr. Slawson at least there is no problem.
Mr. PREYER. We will recess until 1:30 today.
[Whereupon, at 12:10 p.m., the subcommittee was recessed until 1:30 p.m.]






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AFTERNOON SESSION

Staff members present: G. Robert Blakey, G. Cornwell, W. Wizelman, D. Hardman, R. Genzman, E. Berning, M. Wills, W. Cross, J. Facter, J. Wolf, K. Klein, and L. Matthews.
Mr. PREYER. The Chair recognizes Mr. Cornwell.

TESTIMONY OF W. DAVID SLAWSON RESUMED

Mr. CORNWELL. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Slawson, we have discussed up to this point many of the papers that you wrote while you were a Warren Commission staff attorney and the problems that you faced which in large part are reflected on the face of these memoranda.
What happened to the fruits of your investigation and particularly the fruits as they were reflected in such memoranda at the time that the final Warren Commission report was written?
Mr. SLAWSON. To the best of my knowledge, I never destroyed anything and they were left either in my desk or in files at the Warren Commission building and were subsequently put in some kind of security classification and sent off to the Archives.
Mr. CORNWELL. What I really had in mind, although I appreciate the answer, was what transition occurred in putting the results of your investigation into a final report, the public report?
Mr. SLAWSON. My recollection of that, and the memos that I have refreshed my recollection on tend to confirm this, is that Bill Coleman and I handed in our reports to Howard Willens, not reports but our drafts for inclusion in the Warren report to Howard Willens, and Howard redrafted to some extent, made comments and would send us back a copy. We would either approve or state our objections. Then when we reached agreement, it would go from Howard to J. Lee Rankin and from him, usually with very little further change, to the Commission itself.
But this whole process took considerably more than a month toward the end and the Commission might frequently send things back for redrafting or shortening or more elaboration and so on. Of course it was their job to put the whole report together in a meaningful and clear fashion.
In other words, we might see something again or it might come down and somebody else would be given the task of putting it together with two or three other staff members' input.
Mr. CORNWELL. I would like to ask you some questions about what type of changes, if any, were made in the rewrite processes. Perhaps, again because there has been some period of time, we might proceed to do that by looking at your papers and, if you would, let us begin looking at exhibit 22 which is basically a large document.
For purposes of comparison, I will hand you a copy of the Warren Commission report so that we will know what page we are talking to. It is the official version as opposed to the McGraw-Hill publication. I believe the only changes are in page numbering between those two versions. As a reference we will refer to that one and those pages in the official report.




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With respect to pages 1 and 2 of your memo, page 1 is the concept that: "Firm evidence of foreign conspiracy is obviously very hard to come by", the kind of concepts you discussed earlier. The concept page 2 that one method which you could use was the CIA but in essence there weren't really too many additional sources for comparison of what you got from foreign governments other than the CIA.
I would like to ask you to compare those concepts with what appears in the Warren Commission report at page 243, which would be 225 in the McGraw-Hill publication. Near the top of that page we of course do find the statement in the first full--I am looking at the McGrawHill version, it is at the top of my page statement that "The Commission faced substantial difficulties in determininng whether anyone conspired with or assisted the person who committed the assassination."
However, on the following page the concept is somewhat different or at least I ask you whether or not it is.
Mr. SLAWSON. Which part?
Mr. CORNWELL. Pages 244 and 245 of the official version.
Mr. SLAWSON. At the very bottom of 244 "In considering the question of foreign involvement"?
Mr. CORNWELL. Yes, sir. The language:

In considering the question of foreign involvement, the Commission has received valuable assistance from the Department of State, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and other Federal agencies with special competence in the field of foreign investigation.

Mr. SLAWSON. Yes.
Mr. CORNWELL. Taking those passages, would it be fair to state that the nature of the difficulties that you faced in the foreign investigative field were substantially minimized by comparison in the Warren Commission report from the way you described them in your internal memos?
Mr. SLAWSON. No; I don't think they were minimized. I think the right words would be just simply "not discussed." The report, as read it, is giving a kind of "thank you" to these various agencies their help and then just saying we are not going to disclose anything that is from a confidential source of information, but aside from that, the Commission will disclose everything that it relied upon, and I think that needs to be emphasized, that Earl Warren in particular tried to be scrupulously honest that way.
He would not in his own mind and in the deliberations of the Commission that I heard about, rely on anything that he felt he could not disclose to the public, for example, the Nosenko stuff.
Mr. CORNWELL. Directing your attention to page 374 which is page 350 in the McGraw-Hill version, the concluding paragraph reads:
Based upon the investigation reviewed in this chapter, the Commission concluded that there is no credible evidence that Lee Harvey Oswald was part of a conspiracy to assassinate President Kennedy. Examination of the facts of the assassination itself revealed no indication that Oswald was aided in the planning or execution of his scheme. Review of Oswald's life and activities since 1959, although productive in illuminating the character of Lee Harvey Oswald (which is discussed in the next chapter), did not produce any meaningful evidence of a conspiracy. The Commission discovered no evidence that the Soviet Union or Cuba were involved in the assassination of President Kennedy. Nor did the Commission's investigation of Jack Ruby produce any grounds for believing that Ruby's killing of Oswald was part of the conspiracy.




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Would you agree with that?
Mr. SLAWSON. Yes.
Mr. CORNWELL, It states the conclusion with considerably less doubt than the view that you expressed in your memos.
Mr. SLAWSON. There is an emphasis gained in the official report by repetition. This goes on and on essentially saying everything in thefirst sentence and then repeating it in detail thereafter and that makes it sound more positive than it would otherwise literally be.
No; I think I agree that this is accurate in that I, too, concluded that there was no credible evidence. In other words, there is lots of evidence we count as evidence, as we had to in the processes of investigation, everything that came in that if true would point toward a conspiracy. But our investigation in no case has led to the conclusion that that evidence was accurate. So, I think the flat statement there was no credible evidence is absolutely accurate.
Mr. CORNWELL. The first statement then in your view, "no credible evidence" is accurate. What about the remaining repetitious concepts, "no indication"?
Mr. SLAWSON. Literally of course that is not true. There was some indication. I would read that as implicit in the word "credible," there is no credible indication.
Mr. CORNWELL. The next concept, "no evidence," in the concept of that, "nor any grounds, in the final statement, "no evidence" again. As repeated the sentence would be a slight overstatement?
Mr. SLAWSON. I would put it differently. If you interpret the word "evidence" as meaning something that points toward the involvement of these people, if you conclude that the thing is true, then of course these statements are flatly wrong. It all has to go back to the credibility of the weight of the evidence.
Mr. CORNWELL. Directing your attention to page 98 of the large document, exhibit 22, I would like you to compare the language at the top:

Unfortunately, however, although the means of investigation at our disposal in Mexico have in our opinion been stretched to the utmost, there still remain gaps in our knowledge of what Oswald did while he was there.

The paragraph concludes:

The final answer to the meaning of the Mexico trip therefore will probably never be given.

I would like you to compare that language, if you would, to the report at page 305, which is page 282 in the McGraw-Hill version.
Mr. SLAWSON. 305 in my version?
Mr. CORNWELL. 305. Particularly the language that---

The investigation of the Commission has produced considerable testimonial and documentary evidence establishing the precise time of Oswald's Journey, his means of transportation, the hotel at which he stayed in Mexico, and a restaurant at which he often ate. All known persons whom Oswald may have met while in Mexico, including passengers on the buses he rode, and the employees and guests of the hotel where he stayed, were interviewed. No credible witness has been located who saw Oswald with any unidentified person while in Mexico City.

There is perhaps no flat statement that there were no gaps, as you indicated in your memo and your knowledge of that trip, but there is no statement--
Mr. SLAWSON. There I would have to say, I would not have written the report that way, frankly. I think it would have been better to make



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frank recognition that we could not account for every hour of Oswald's time by any means in Mexico.
Mr. CORNWELL. On the same subject, if I could, I would like you to compare your perhaps more candid statement that "the final answer to the meaning of the Mexican trip will probably never be given", with the language in the final Warren Commission report which appeared on page 299 of the official version and 279 of the McGraw-Hill version, or 278 and 9 which reflects:

The Commission undertook an intensive investigation to determine Oswald's purpose and activities on his Journey, with specific reference to reports that Oswald was an agent of the Cuban or Soviet Governments. As a result of its investigation, the Commission believes it has been able to reconstruct and explain most of Oswald's actions during this time.

That again at least in tone is different from your concept of the evidence in that field, is that correct?
Mr. SLAWSON. Yes; in tone. I don't feel as strongly about this one as did the one before. The statement in the report "as a result of this investigation, the Commission believes that it has been able to reconstruct and explain most of Oswald's actions during the time," if you mean "most" in terms of most of the time that is wrong. If you mean most in terms of probable actions, I think we did. Although that is somewhat question begging because you never know what is significant unless you know what it is.
Mr. CORNWELL. With respect to page 83 of your original memo, there you discuss the meaning of Oswald's letter to the Russian Embassy. Your characterization of it near the bottom of page 83 is that "the letter undoubtedly constitutes a disturbing bit of evidence and will probably never be fully explained." Then you conclude by stating that "We think that the letter constitutes no more than a desperate, somewhat illiterate and deranged attempt to facilitate his family's return to the Soviet Russia."
I would like you to compare that with page 287 of the McGraw-Hill reprint or page 310 of the official version, particularly the last half of the paragraph concerning what Marina Oswald could add to that problem, which concludes by stating." * * * it becomes apparent that Oswald was intentionally beclouding the true state of affairs in order to make his trip to Mexico sound as mysterious and important as possible."
In other words, the language "It becomes apparent," or let me ask you, would that be different from your concept that the import of this letter probably never will be fully explained?
Mr. SLAWSON. Again, I would not have chosen the word "apparent." I would have nut in there "probable." I think that is in effect my conclusion but I wouldn't have stated it that strongly.
I think some place in my memo I make a statement to that effect. I think I used the word "obfuscate." Anyway it is the same thing.
Mr. CORNWELL. I would like to ask you to look at the concept at the bottom of page 3 and top of page 4 of your main memo, exhibit 22, and also perhaps in the same light, the memo of yours which we have had admitted as exhibit 28 which discusses in the first instance generally the problems with reporting everything you had learned in the final report and in the second instance. exhibit 28, if you could look at that, a particular application of that principle.





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Mr. SLAWSON. You mean references to the secret Soviet Union source having been omitted?
Mr. CORNWELL. Yes, sir. If you would, compare the problem which you have discussed facing, and the need in some instances to withhold information because the very information could perhaps give away sources and methods, with the language on page 945 of the official version of the Warren Commission report which appears at page 226 of the McGraw-Hill reprint. Does it not state there that "the Commission has concluded in this report all information furnished by these agencies which the Commission relied on in coming to its conclusions or which tended to contradict those conclusions." Then in fact clarifying that in the next sentence by stating, "Confidential sources of information as contrasted with the information, itself, have in relatively few instances been withheld.
Mr. SLAWSON. Yes; it conflicts in a way, but I think what the writer in the official report is trying to say is although in some instances there was information as opposed to just sources of information, but actual substantial information which was not disclosed, the Commission was able to come to its conclusions without relying upon that. My recollection is that Earl Warren tried very hard to do that.
There were very few things that couldn't be disclosed of a substantive nature. Nosenko's statement, the only one I can think of offhand and the "information from a highly placed source in a foreign government" that I referred to this morning in my testimony, for example, tended to support the conclusions, not to contradict them, the conclusions in the report. Therefore the Commission in the report is being truthful when it says that it has concluded all information furnished by those agencies which the Commission relied upon to make its conclusions or which tended to contradict those conclusions.
In other words, it did not have to include the information from highly placed source in the foreign government, for example, because it did not contradict the conclusions here.
Mr. CORNWELL. If I could direct your attention to page 98 of exhibit 22, between 98 and 102, you discuss information concerning the testimony by Mr. Pedro Guiterrez Valencia which in pertinent part concerns the possible payment of sums of money to Oswald in Mexico City which he says he observed. Is that correct?
Mr. SLAWSON. Yes.
Mr. CORNWELL. Would you compare your discussion of Mr. Guiterrez Valencia's observations as set forth in that memo with page 659 of the official version or page 588 of the McGraw-Hill reprint, particularly that page the discussion of what is labeled "Speculation"--"Oswald came back from Mexico City with $5,000" and the following statement, "Commission finding"--"No evidence has ever been supplied or obtained to support this allegation."
Would not the testimony of Guiterrez Valencia support that allegation?
Mr. SLAWSON. Yes, it would. Again the Commission report has to be read as meaning no evidence that they believe. Otherwise it is not true.
Mr. CORNWELL. Of course as you may recall back in volume 24 of the official version, there as a reprint of Mr. Guiterrez Valencia's testimony









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but it would appear on the face of what we have been able to determine from the main volume that this testimony does not exist.
Mr. SLAWSON. This should not have been written the way it was. But I could have been as much at fault as anybody in putting these things together. I didn't write this part of the report. On the other hand, I am sure it was shown to me, so I would say I am probably as much at fault as anyone.
Mr. CORNWELL. Again, with respect to exhibit 22 at pages 6 and 7 you discuss the possibility that Oswald might have been an agent for the Cuban or Soviet Government, and particularly on pag 6 you state "his circumstances and character do fit the criteria for an 'agitator,' propagandizer, or even assassin, for the Cuban Government. It follows therefore that bits of evidence pointing toward his being an agent for one of the latter purposes must be taken seriously."
Mr. SLAWSON. Yes.
Mr. CORNWELL. Is that an acknowledgement that there were both circumstances and character traits, and bits of evidence which pointed toward those possibilities?
Mr. SLAWSON. Yes, sure. Those presumably were those that I came to discuss later in the same memo.
Mr. CORNWELL. Would that then be a somewhat different picture than is painted at page 374 of the official version or 350 of the McGrawHill reprint which states that "there is no credible evidence that Oswald was part of a conspiracy * * * no indication that he was aided * * * no meaningful evidence of conspiracy * * * no evidence that the Soviet Union or Cuba were involved in the assassination"?
Mr. SLAWSON. I can only repeat what I said before, that page 374 is the Commission's conclusion as to what the credible evidence was. Whereas the stuff on page 6 of my memo is a statement of evidence at the point where we had not yet made up our mind what the credible evidence was.
As I said earlier this was somewhere between two-thirds and three quarters of our investigation had been done but the remainder remained to be done.
Let me put it another way. I would say the Commission report is like a jury verdict whereas the memo you are reading from is like an investigator's brief or report or even a prosecutor's report although not quite. I certainly was not giving only the evidence in favor of a conspiracy. but I had a more deliberative adoption of suspicion in the memo. I think it was proper at that point.
Mr. CORNWELL. The memo does indicate you do have evidence indicating those concepts?
Mr. SLAWSON. That is right.
Mr. CORNWELL. Where the Commission report said there was no evidence indicating those concepts; is that right?
Mr. SLAWSON. Yes.
Mr. CORNWELL. Directing your attention to exhibit 93, which is the memorandum that relates to the footnote supplied by the CIA. In the last two sentences in the first paragraph you note:

Generally speaking we will publish all information on which the Commission relied in coming to its conclusions and all the information which tends to counteract those conclusions. Sources of information will frequently be withheld, but the information supplied by those sources will in almost all cases be published.







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Would it be fair to state that your concepts of the fact that you could only make those statements in terms of "generally speaking" and "in almost all cases" do not appear in the Commission report when they describe the fact that all information furnished is published?
Mr. SLAWSON. That is right. It is not the same. I was quite aware at the time I wrote this memo presumably that I was speaking only in generalitics and probabilities. But I think that probably was my recognition that the decision was not mine to make.
Mr. CORNWELL. In fact, your preliminary view of this was in fact implemented, was it not? and what really happened in the end was just as you predicted, that all information was perhaps generally set forth and maybe even in all cases but not universally?
Mr. SLAWSON. It is hard to know because at the sessions at which the Commission made their final decision, staff members were not present. Those were executive sessions. So we on the staff--I never did find out exactly what the Commission relied on. All I knew is that we gave them all the information we had plus our own evaluation of the evidence and evaluation of what conclusions should be drawn from it.
Finally we read the report like any member of the public did. I forget the exact time I left Washington. I left 24 hours sooner than most staff members did because I broke down and got the flu at the last minute from exhaustion. My law firm also wanted me to get home.
In any event there was a week or week and a half as I remember between the time I left Washington and the time the final report was published. I did not get a copy until the public did.
Mr. CORNWELL. At least the examples you gave us today of the areas in which you decided the information could not be published, it was in fact not published?
Mr. SLAWSON. That is correct.
Mr. CORNWELL. The report is rather voluminous; is that correct?
Mr. SLAWSON. Yes.
Mr. CORNWELL. It was prepared under, I take it, rather severe pressure in the final moments of your work?
Mr. SLAWSON. Yes.
Mr. CORNWELL. Apart from the kind of thing we have just been
comparing which I suppose we might describe as a change, at least a change in tone from your view of the strength of the evidence and the severity of problems to the way the report reads, were there other problems in the preparation of the final report concerning the question of its accuracy?
Mr. SLAWSON. No, not that I can recollect.
Mr. CORNWELL. Let me show you one document and see if it will perhaps refresh your memory.
May we mark, Mr. Chairman, a memo dated, September 22, 1964 from Mr. Slawson to Mr Willens, subject "Pending Matters" for identification as exhibit 30?
Mr. PREYER. Yes.
Mr. CORNWELL. Would it be fair to state, Mr. Slawson, that the memo was prepared September 22, approximately 6 days prior to the Publication of the Warren Commission report, and dealt with the kinds of publication problems you were facing at that time?
Mr. SLAWSON. Yes.





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Mr. CORNWELL. May we have exhibit 30 admitted into evidence, Mr. Chairman, so that we may ask the witness specific questions on it?
Mr. PREYER. Without objection, exhibit 30 is admitted into evidence.
[The above referred to document, exhibit 30, was admitted into,
evidence.]
JFK EXHIBIT No. 30

SEPTEMBER 22, 1964.

To: Howard Willens.
From: W. David Slawson.
Subject: Pending matters.

1. Additional or substitute authority from FBI. Reference is made to footnote 563, page 307 of chapter VI. The FBI was simply unable to get to us in time a comprehensive list of the Hotel del Comercio guests who have been located and questioned. Consequently, in addition to the authority already cited, I have inserted a phantom CE number which can be filled in with something. I believe I have fudged the text sufficiently so that almost anything can be fitted in. (CE 3074)
2. The cite checkers tell me that CE 2123 and in particular, attachment 5 thereto, does not have a translation with it. This was translated but before leaving I was unable to locate the translation. It is not particularly important for substantive purposes but obviously the translation should be located.
3. CIA oral clearance has been given for the references to Oswald's staying at the hotels in Helsinki, CE 2676 (portions thereof) which is footnote 479 of appendix 13. This should be coming through soon.
4. Just before he left Bert Jenner said he cleared with Stu Pollak that we should check with State Department as to whether they had any information George de Mohrenschildt's walling trip in Central America in 1960. I asked Dick Frank for this information. The local State Department files contain nothing. He has cabled consulates in Central America to look in their files and will report when he gets their reports.
5. The material which Dean Rusk promised to send over in his testimony has not yet been formally made an exhibit as was agreed during the course of his testimony. This material is contained primarily in CD 1462, CD 1462-A, and CD 1462-B, and somewhat in CD 1135. Sally Hennigan has these documents and is familiar with the material.
6. Mrs. Henningan has tried to catch as many FBI documents as possible that have security classification and that I have made into exhibits. She has made a running list.
7. When I leave I will take with me all my personal materials I will of course take nothing that has anything dealing with Commission business. I think it would be a good idea to leave all by materials approximately where they are, throwing nothing away until enough time has elapsed that you are sure I will not have to be called back for anything. After that, of course, it is up to you what you do with all my stuff. I imagine it will be thrown away. In my own filing system I have made no distinction between classified and unclassified material so the only thing to do with my previous drafts in the black notebooks, for example, if the Commission wants to keep this sort of material, would be to put it in a classified file.

W.D.S.

Mr. CORNWELL. The very first paragraph reads:

Additional or substitute authority from FBI. References made to footnote 563, page 307 of chapter VI, the FBI was simply unable to get to us in time a comprehensive list of the Hotel del Comercio guests who have been located and questioned. Consequently in addition to the authority already cited, I have inserted a phantom CE number which can be filled in with something. I believe I have fudged the text sufficiently so that almost anything can be fitted in.

What was the phantom CE number?
Mr. SLAWSON. A phantom CE number was a number that had not yet been taken by anything, so that when the presumed report came in they could give us that number and then have the FBI report cluded in the final volume, assuming it came in in time.
This was apparently done by me because I had to leave before it could come in.



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Mr. CORNWELL. There have been public criticisms of the Warren Commission which concern the general subject matter of the accuracy of footnotes and the suggestion that the text did not always coincide with the footnotes. Does your experience, being there at the time this process was being undertaken, indicate that those criticisms were correct, and if so, to what extent?
Mr. SLAWSON. I took, and I think everyone else did, as much care as we could. But the time pressure was severe. With the mass of material that we have I am sure that errors of numbering, and perhaps what footnote A should have had, footnote B did, and vice versa, occurred. I don't think that the kind of crosschecking that normally goes into a good professional publication, for example, ever went into this.
Mr. CORNWELL. What is your impression as to why there were the kinds of changes in tone in the statements? Why did those occur?
Mr. SLAWSON. I think because Earl Warren was adamant almost that the Commission would make up its mind on what it thought was the truth and then they would state it as much without qualification as they could. He wanted to lay at rest doubts. He made no secret of this on the staff. It was consistent with his philosophy as a Judge.
The Brown v. Board of Education decision you remember was unanimous. I think he was at great pains to make sure it was.
At one point in the report it didn't have anything to do with foreign conspiracy so I only was tangentially involved in it--but the question of whether two shots out of the probable three that were fired hit Kennedy, the question was whether or not the first shot came before the first two or between these two or afterward. A great deal of time was spent on that, getting a unanimous opinion from all the Commissioners, I remember that one in particular, and all because Earl Warren felt it was best that they make up their mind as to what they thought the truth was and then try to settle it.
Mr. CORNWELL. Apart from, I guess what you basically are describing as a personality trait of Earl Warren and what you have previously told us concerning his desire not to have the question of the assassination become an issue in the national election and therefore keying his time schedule to accomplish that, was there any other motive that you perceived being in existence at the time coming perhaps from Earl Warren, or even from a higher level which would have caused the kind of changes in tones that
we are viewing here, particularly with respect to your area of expertise, the foreign area?
Mr. SLAWSON. No; I think that was it. You characterized it as a personality trait of Earl Warren. It was. I think it was almost a very consciously adopted philosophy of his. His idea was that the principal function of the Warren Commission was to allay doubt, if possible. You know, possible in the sense of being honest. lie thought that it was. I suppose he did not think that an official document like this ought to read at all tentatively, it should not be a source of public speculation if he could possibly avoid it.
On the other hand, he always assumed that we would publish the background information on which we drew our conclusions so that if anybody wanted to check our conclusions they could. Of course people have.










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Mr. CORNWELL. If I could ask you to look at exhibit 27. Mr. Chairman, may we have marked for identification exhibit 27 which is a document reading at the top "February 1964" and is a memorandum from Mr. Slawson to Mr. Willens styled "Letter to the Russian Government".
Mr. PREYER. We will mark that for identification.
Mr. CORNWELL. You have previously reviewed that memo overnight is that correct?
Mr. SLAWSON. Yes.
Mr. CORNWELL. Would it be fair to state that that memo concerns the subject matter of how to seek, and what extent information should be sought, from the Russian Government?
Mr. SLAWSON. Yes.
Mr. CORNWELL. May we have that document admitted as part of the record, Mr. Chairman?
Mr. PREYER. Without objection the exhibit is admitted in the record.
[The above referred to document, JFK exhibit No. 27, was received in the record.]

JFK EXHIBIT No. 27

[Memorandum]

To: Mr. Howard P. Willens. FEBRUARY 1964.
From: Mr. W. David Slawson.
Subject: Letter to the Russian Government.

BACKGROUND

Lee Oswald spent almost three years in Russia. Almost our sole sources of information on these years are his own writings and correspondence and Marina's testimony. We are therefore preparing a letter to be sent to the Russian Government asking for additional information.
On 21 January 1964 the CIA sent us a draft of such a letter. The State Department has commented that in its opinion the CIA draft would probably have serious adverse diplomatic effects. The State Department feels that the CIA draft carries an inference that we suspect that Oswald might have been an agent for the Soviet Government and that we are asking the Russian Government to document our suspicions. The State Department feels that the Russians will not answer a letter of this kind at least not truthfully, and that it will also do positive harm in that they will take offense at our sending it to them. The State Department proposes instead that we send a very short and simple request for whatever information the Russians may have.

RECOMMENDATIONS

My inclination at the present time is that the State Department's recommended approach is probably preferable to the CIA's. However, I would modify the State Department approach slightly by following the general request with a few-very few--specific questions. These questions would be restricted to areas that were both important to us and not such as to give material offense to the Russians. I think that including a few specific questions might even be beneficial in that, if we were careful in the choice of and drafting of these questions, we might successfully convey to the Russian Government the impression that at the present time at least we were inclined to regard Oswald as neurotically and personally motivated in killing the President rather than being motivated by anything connected with the Russian Government. In other words, properly chosen and drafted specific questions might serve to allay suspicion rather than arouse it.
With the foregoing general criteria in mind, I would propose including specific questions such as the following:
We would like to have:
1. Copies of all documents and records in connection with any hospitalizations and other medical examinations and treatments of Lee Harvey Oswald and of Mrs. Marina Oswald during her adult life, including:



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(1) His treatment in October 1959 in Moscow when, according to his own diary, he Was found unconscious in his hotel room by Intourist Grade Rima Shirokova after an attempted suicide.
(2) Any examinations or treatments made of Marina Oswald on or about October 1961 when, according to Lee Harvey Oswald's diary, Marina Oswald was treated for nervous exhaustion.
2. The results of any physical examinations, psychological tests or psychological examinations made at any time on Lee Harvey Oswald or Marina Oswald.
3. Copies of all communications to and from Lee Harvey Oswald with any organ or commission of the Russian Government in relation to his entering Russia and seeking permission to reside there and in relation to his seeking Russian citizenship during late 1959 and thereafter.
4. Copies of all correspondence to and from Lee Harvey Oswald with any organ or commission of the Russian Government in reference to Oswald's efforts to leave Russia and return to the United States.
5. Copies of all correspondence to and from Marina Oswald in reference to her attempts to leave Russia and accompany her husband to the United States.
6. Copies of the file on Lee Harvey Oswald kept by the Soviet Consulate in Mexico City.
7. Copies of any records showing drunkenness, violence, disorderly conduct or other abnormal behavior on the part of Oswald, whether or not criminal.
You will note that I have not asked in the foregoing questions (except for "No. 6 and No. 7) for co. pies of internal memoranda minutes, etc., as does the CIA draft.

The following questions might be asked, but I am inclined to think that they are not important enough to warrant probably offending the Soviet Government by including them:

1. In the file furnished to the United States Government by the Soviet Government covering the correspondence between the Russian Embassy in Washington, D.C., and Lee Harvey Oswald and Marina Oswald. there is a letter dated July 9, 1952 from N. Reznichenko, Chief of the Consular Section, to Marina Oswald and a letter dated August 15, 1962 to N. Raznichenko from Marina Oswald. Both letters refer to a "Form Card No. 118," and the letter dated August 15, 1962 states that the Form Card has been filled out and is enclosed. If possible, we request that a copy of this Form Card be furnished to us at this time.
2. A description of Oswald's job in the Minsk Radio and Television factory, plus copies of all employment records, union records and other job-related activities of Lee Harvey Oswald.
3. A statement as to why Lee Harvey Oswald was not granted Russian citizenship status by the Russian Government. Or, if Oswald was offered such citizenship and he refused, copies of all correspondence to and from Oswald on this subject.
The CIA draft includes certain inquiries on Oswald's ownership of weapons the Soviet Union. The CIA draft does not go on to ask about his membership in the Minsk gun club, which would seem logically to follow in this context. David Belin has told me that he no longer regards the issue of Oswald's marksmanship as of primary importance and that therefore, although he would welcome whatever additional evidence we might obtain from the Russian Government as to Oswald's skill with firearms, he does not feel that this is a high-priority item. In my opinion, the only other reason we might want to ask questions in regard to Oswald's firearms and/or hunting activities in the Soviet Union is to find out whether the gun club and these activities were some sort of cover-up for sabotage or espionage training. Certainly, if such was the case, the Russians will not admit it nor will they furnish us any evidence from which we can document such a conclusion on our part. Consequently, because trying to get information as to a "cover-up" is hopeless and because the marksmanship angle is not crucial, I recommend that we not question the Russian Government on the subject of Oswald's firearms and/or hunting activities in Russia.
Mr. CORNWELL. Let, me ask you, in connection with the preparation of this document, do you recall a roughly contemporaneous meeting between yourself and Mr. Dulles concerning the subject matter?



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Mr. SLAWSON. No, I don't. That doesn't mean I don't recollect it. That means I recollect there was not one.
Mr. CORNWELL. The subject matter, I suppose, in the memo concerns a balancing of your desire, and apparently the CIA's desire, to request specific information from the Russian Government, with the State Department's apprehension about the possibility of antagonizing them. Is that correct?
Mr. SLAWSON. No. I would state the balance slightly differently. The attempt on my part and the CIA's, I think, was simply to obtain information in a way that would be most likely to get true information and complete information. The State Department, I think, was also concerned with that, but in addition concerned with not giving great offense to the Russians. As I say on page 1 of the document, No. 27, "The State Department feels that the Russians will not answer a letter of this kind at least not truthfully, and it will also do positive harm in that they will take offense at our sending it to them."
I apparently read the State Department's response as saying, "You people are not going to help yourselves by this kind of letter as well as do some harm by creating a minor international incident."
Let me direct your attention to the very last page, page 5. That page seems to concern a very specific request which the CIA had suggested and that was with respect to Oswald's ownership of weapons in the Soviet Union.
Mr. SLAWSON. Yes.
Mr. CORNWELL. The request was dropped, is that accurate?
Mr. SLAWSON. My only recollection is what I read here but certainly that is what I seem to be saying in this memo.
Mr. CORNWELL. It was dropped in part because, I gather. David Belin had told you that he, no longer regarded the issue of Oswald's marksmanship as of prime importance, is that correct?
Mr. SLAWSON. That is correct.
Mr. CORNWELL. This memo was prepared in February 1964?
Mr. SLAWSON. That is correct. I know it was fairly early on and that is what it says, February 1964. So presumably that is right.
Mr. CORNWELL. You conclude based upon that information from
Mr. Belin that consequently, I recommend that we not question the Russian Government on the subject of Oswald's firearms and/or hunting activities in Russia". Is that correct?
Mr. SLAWSON. I think so, yes. That seems to come through here.
Mr. CORNWELL. Did David Belin speak to you or Mr. Dulles about the problems in this area?
Mr. SLAWSON. I don't know. I would guess that probably what happened here is that Dave Belin did not speak to Dulles directly, but Belin and I probably spoke, or Belin and Coleman or Joe Ball. who was also working with Dave Belin, and it was on the basis of those, conversations that this memo was written.
Mr. CORNWELL. I am sorry, I don't have it to show you, but our research reflects that there was another memo in the files reflecting the fact that you had a conversation with Mr. Dulles on or about January 31, shortly prior to the preparation of this memo concerning the subject, matter of the memo. But you don't recall the conversation?
Mr. SLAWSON. I don't recall the conversation. Presumably of course there was one.






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Mr. CORNWELL. Did Mr. Belin ever change his view as to the relevance or necessity of obtaining this type of information?
Mr. SLAWSON. Not to my recollection, no. There is possibly a misunderstanding between us on this point. My recollection of what I meant when I said Dave Belin is telling me he no longer regards the issue of Oswald's marksmanship as of primary importance is not whether Oswald's good or bad marksmanship is not important but he had apparently found other evidence indicating that Oswald could have become a sufficiently good marksman by what happened in this country or what had happened in the Marine Corps before he went to Russia, so that it was no longer of primary importance whether or not he had gun training in Russia.
Mr. CORNWELL. In other words, your understanding was that he was willing to forego any inferences that could be derived from getting Oswald's handling of guns in Russia?
Mr. SLAWSON. For his purposos, which is Oswald's marksmanship, yes.
Mr. CORNWELL. It is your memory that he never changed that view?
Mr. SLAWSON. I have no memory on it one way or another.
Mr. CORNWELL. Did you ever secure the information about the Minsk Gun Club?
Mr. SLAWSON. I don't remember. We of course did get a reply from Russia with quite a few documents in it. My recollection now is that they were mostly medical documents. We had a lot of stuff from the Botkinskaya Hospital and various communications between Oswald from Minsk and the Russian Government and the American--no, just the Russian Government in Moscow in connection with his seeking permission to leave and taking Marina with him and that was about all. My recollection is that there would have been nothing on this Minsk stuff, the gun club stuff.
Mr. CORNWELL. In the McGraw-Hill edition on page 180 there is a section styled "Oswald's Rifle Practice Outside the Marines". One of the sentences under that reads, "While in Russia Oswald obtained a hunting license, joined a hunting club and went hunting about six times, times, as discussed more fully in Chapter VI." On page 182 in the conclusion part of that chapter, there is a sentence that reads, "Oswald's Marine training in marksmanship, his other rifle experience, and his established familiarity with this particular weapon show he possessed ample capability to commit the assassination."
At pages 251 and 252 there are statements that "Oswald's membership in the hunting club while he was in the Soviet Union has been a matter of special interest to the Commission." It appears I assume from that that the Commission did draw inferences from the Minsk Gun Club routine in connection with the question of Oswald's marksmanship. Would that be correct?
Mr. SLAWSON. No, I don't think so. There was certainly nothing in his being in a gun club in Russia that would detract from his marksmanship. As I recollect it, Dave Belin felt that you didn't need to posit any special training by Oswald in Russia in order to account for the fact that he was probably a good enough marksman to have hit Kennedy from the position, et cetera.








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Mr. CORNWELL. Do you recall Mr, Liebeler earlier raising the issue near the publication date that in fact the Minsk Gun Club data in-dicated use of shotguns and not rifles at all?
Mr. SLAWSON. No, I don't recollect that. Now that you mentioned it that would seem to me probably, even at the time. I have hunted, myself, a little. I have always used a shotgun. I never have gone after deer. My recollection of the sort of hunting that he probably did in Russia was for birds.
Mr. CORNWELL. What inference do you think is appropriate to draw from this chain of events? The fact that the possible inference from the Minsk Gun Club event could relate to the issue of marksmanship, the fact that the information was not sought because of international relations considerations, and the fact that nevertheless the Warren Commission makes statements on the subject matter and draws the inference which was initially contemplated?
Mr. SLAWSON. I don't draw the chain of conclusions I think you are there. The first two parts of what you read me from the McGraw-Hill edition of the report I think were from the rumor section, weren't they?
Mr. CORNWELL. Let me hand you the McGraw-Hill volume and leg you look at the same pages. I read from page 180.
Mr. SLAWSON. Right, OK. While in Russia Oswald went hunting six times and discussed chapter 6.
Mr. CORNWELL. The next page I read from was 182.
Mr. SLAWSON. "OK Oswald's marine training in marksmanship, his other rifle experience and his established familiarity with this particular weapon show that he possessed ample capability to commit the assassination."
The first one I read obviously does refer to his hunting in Russia 182 doesn't.
Mr. CORNWELL. And the final one I read from was 251-252.
Mr. SLAWSON. Once he was accepted as a resident alien in the Soviet Union, Oswald was given considerable, benefits:' excuse me, "Oswald's membership in the hunting club while he was in the Soviet Union has been a matter of special interest to the Commission."
I don't know, what can I say? They did at one point, the first, of three things I read, include his experience, his presumed experience as
a hunter in Russia, as something that would help to explain his being an adequate marksman to kill the President, yes. I mean I don't think that that is being inconsistent even if you assume that the Commission at the time they wrote that had in mind my statements back in this memo which is, of course, a lot to assume.
This memo to Howard Willens about the letter to the Russian Government was a procedural matter to which the Commission members had access and probably saw but I doubt that they saw it when the final time came to write the report.
Mr. CORNWELL. One inference which might be drawn for purposes of discussion from the chain of events is that tile Warren Commission would, if necessary, have opted for the alternative of writing up its preconceived or initially conceived inference, which in this case would be David Belin's conclusions on the marksmanship issue, rather than take a chance on disrupting delicate foreign relations.
What I want to ask you is, is that a proper inference, as to something that you experienced more widely than this one instance or is it example of an abnormal situation as that time?







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Mr. SLAWSON. Let free try to reconstruct what I assume to be the Commission's thinking process going, into that.
We had pretty good evidence that Oswald had been a member of a hunting club at some time in Russia. The best evidence we had was simply Marina's statement he was. I think we had a statement from other people testifying before the Commission that when he came back at some point or other he might have mentioned to them he was in a gun club in Russia.
There wasn't really much doubt about that. Therefore, it seems to me it is perfectly fair to mention that when someone says, was this man good enough marksman, among other things you could mention is that he enjoyed hunting, he was familiar with guns. Even if it was only a shotgun, nevertheless there is some correlation, I assume, between how good you were with a shotgun and with a rifle on a moving target.
Now what we presumably would have gotten, what we hope we would get from the Russians on the gun club or hunting club was more than that. This is why finally we decided there is no way to get it. What we were most suspicious about or the worst possibility that might have happened was that this was some kind of coverup for training of assassins. I think that is why the State Department thought the Russians would take offense at it. If that is so, you can be certain the Russians would not have come back with a document of "Yes, here is the method of training assassins here." So' it would have been an exercise in futility to ask the Russians to come across with that kind of information.
Mr. CORNWELL. So, the short answer I guess is that you don't draw the inference that I suggest might be possible because you felt it was an explainable chain of events based upon what evidence was necessary, is that correct?
Mr. SLAWSON. Yes. For marksmanship purposes I think it was perfectly proper and honest for the Warren report to refer to the Minsk Gun Club. But at the beginning of the investigation I was interested in it not primarily for that reason but for the reason that it might have been a coverup for something more sinister.
Mr. CORNWELL. Are there any other examples where the possibility of wanting to avoid sensitive areas of international relations, diplomatic relationships, prevented you from securing the kind of evidence that you would have liked or that you felt was necessary?
Mr. SLAWSON. There was one other area that may have involved that among other things. Sylvia Turada de Duran, who was the clerk at the Cuban Embassy in Mexico City, was taken into custody by the Mexican police very soon after the assassination and questioned, my recollection is, for about 3 days. All this happened before the Warren Commission was formed. We got a report from the Russian police and that report is in this memo, No. 22.
We would have liked to questioned her further. When I say we, members of the staff, Coleman and myself and Howard Willens thought it would be a good idea too. But when I talked to the CIA about it and later when we went down to Mexico City I remember talking to officials. I believe we even talked to the Mexican officials at the time, one of them being Echevarria who later became President. He was Minister of Security when we went down there. The upshot of









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all those conversations was that she had suffered a nervous breakdown, possibly because of the arrest and questioning, and that she was in hiding and only her husband knew where she was and he would not let her speak to anyone in connection with this.
Nevertheless, the CIA told me that they might be able to persuade her husband to permit us to question her, even including possibly flying her back to Washington. But it would be very difficult---well, Earl Warren decided not to follow up on that if she was not willing to come willingly. He did not want to apply pressure on her. Insofar as I understood his reasons for that, they were partly feeling that we ought not to put pressure on her, the American Government did not want to involve itself further at that point.
But primarily he just felt he did not want to put severe pressure on an individual and I think he was ashamed that already interrogation had caused her to have a nervous breakdown. He did not want to get involved in anything remotely like torture.
Mr. CORNWELL. I am sorry I don't have a copy of it to show you. We have ordered it but not yet received it. But it has been reported to us by our research staff that in the L.B.J. Library in Austin there is a memo prepared by, or reflecting a conversation between, Mr. Hoover and the White House, Walter Jenkins. The conversation reflects that Hoover made the following statement: "The thing I am most concerned about, and Mr. Katzenbach, is having something issued so that they can convince the public that Oswald is the real assassin," the conversation occurring November 24, 1963, 2 days after the assassination. Furthermore, Mr. Hoover also stated: "Mr. Katzenbach thinks the President might appoint a Presidential Commission of three outstanding citizens to make a determination. I counterted with the suggestion that we make an investigative report to the Attorney General with pictures, laboratory work, et cetera. And then the Attorney General can make the report to the President and the President can decide whether to make it public."
The final sentence in the memo reads, the final statement by Mr. Hoover:"I felt that, in other words, the investigation by the FBI was better because there are several aspects which would complicate our foreign relations if we followed the Presidential Commission route."
First, let me ask you, would this concern, that apparently was discussed between the head of the FBI and the White House 2 days after the assassination, of convincing the public that "Oswald is the real assassin" and "avoiding complicating our foreign relations," would that, was that concept known to you at the time?
Mr. SLAWSON. No; not other than as it is reflected in memos like this number 27.
Mr. CORNWELL. Would that type of concern at those levels have been consistent with the obstacles you encountered in attempting to secure various types of evidence in the foreign conspiracy field?
Mr. SLAWSON. No; I suppose it would not be. There is an obvious conflict. You are following evidence wherever it leads logically. Occasionally you are going to ruffle people and that obviously includes foreign heads of state and diplomats and so on.
Mr. CORNWELL. I am not sure I phrased the question or you understood the way I meant it, but that concern, would it have been









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consistent with the obstacles you encountered, of Earl Warren's desire not to have Duran come back, not to go to the Swiss to get information from the Cubans; the other examples we discussed?
Mr. SLAWSON. Yes; that may have played a larger role in the consideration than I thought at the time.
Mr. CORNWELL. Finally, let me ask you, do you know specifically what was meant by the words "several aspects," in other words, the concept, "I felt this was better because there are several aspects [in other words] of potential investigation which would complicate our foreign relations- Specifically what areas were they concerned about?
Mr. SLAWSON. That was Hoover speaking, is that right?
I can only guess of course but presumably Hoover had information even at that early date that Oswald had been down to Mexico and spoken to the Cuban and Russian Embassies. Of course he knew that Oswald had been a defector to Russia and would return. I assume therefore that he was thinking of the Cuban and Russian Governments but probably in particular the Cuban Government. Obviously Cuba would have known about Oswald's Fair Play for Cuba activities. We have FBI reports on that. So I would guess we had in mind especially Cuba but also. Russia. He thought that probably this evidence indicated some possible involvement with those countries and that it would be bad public relations, bad international diplomatic relations, to arouse suspicion.
Mr. CORNWELL. To what extent, if any, do you believe it would have been possible if the CIA, and of course from the memo we can assume the FBI, were aware of these considerations--to what extent could they have tailored their report to you to be sure that even though the Presidential Commission was formed, that you did not "tip whatever boat" it was that they were worried about?
Mr. SLAWSON. Well, if the two agencies worked together on that, their ability would have been considerable. If they worked separately they still would have had some ability to do that. I testified this morning we were inescapably dependent upon the CIA especially for some aspects of the investigation. Looking back though, remember the CIA was on my side in getting that authenticating information from Russia. They wanted me to do it. My recollection is that I did not discuss with them the fact that Earl Warren had told me not to, but the CIA was also willing to help us persuade Mrs. Duran's husband to get her to come back. They were on the side, in other words of going ahead in spite of ruffling international relations.
Mr. CORNWELL. You testified earlier that you and Mr. Rocca had had conversations concerning CIA's involvement with anti-Castro groups, is that correct?
Mr. SLAWSON. Yes.
Mr. CORNWELL. I believe you told us that your understanding of his personality was that he was very much opposed to Castro?
Mr. SLAWSON. Yes.
Mr. CORNWELL. What inference do you draw or did you draw if you compared those facts with your considerations of the anti-Castro Cuban motive matter that you also told us about? In other words, you considered as part of your investigation that the anti-Castro Cubans would have had a motive for the assassination? You told us that Mr.








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Rocca admitted the CIA's close connection with the anti-Castro Cubans. You told us that Mr. Rocca himself had personally the same type of feeling the anti-Castro Cubans would have.
Mr. SLAWSON. Against Castro, right.
Mr. CORNWELL. Did that cause you to question the rehability of the information you were receiving from the CIA?
Mr. SLAWSON. No. In a sense everything I tried to take into consideration, so everything was a cause for questioning. But in terms of coming to a conclusion in my own mind about the rehability of the information supplied us, no, I concluded that Rocca's strong anti-Castro feeling did not bias or did not prevent him from being an honest investigator.
I think he was and I am still convinced that he was. On the other hand of course it affected his judgement. I think he would probably to this day think that maybe there is a substantial possibility at least that Castro had something to do with it.
Mr. CORNWELL. But you did not draw the inference that because of similiarity of motives that the CIA may have been wittingly or otherwise involved in the type of activity you hypnotized, the anti-Castro setup of Oswald, and therefore would be tailoring the information that he was providing to you on those subject matters?
Mr. SLAWSON. No. I don't think that I entertained very long the possibility that Rocca or anybody else I had known in the CIA was involved in any way in killing Kennedy.
Mr. CORNWELL. Perhaps I overphrased the question. I did not mean Rocca, as much as information coming from CIA on the subject matter which was funneled to you.
Mr. SLAWSON. I guess I am having trouble getting the crux of your question because the possibility that the anti-Castro Cubans contained people who were ruthless or desperate enough to kill Kennedy in order to serve their own end I felt was a very real one. Apparently from all I knew they contained a lot of desperate ruthless people. I did not have that feeling about the CIA. Now I tried to keep an open mind so that any place I came upon evidence that would point toward somebody I would investigate it and that included the CIA as a possible nest of assassins.
My judgment of their character and so on was far different, I think, from the judgment I made of the anti-Castro Cuban conspiracy groups in the United States.
Mr. CORNWELL. I have one final question. Do you have any knowledge of the use of any electronic surveillance after the assassination in order to acquire information concerning what caused it in the first instance?
Mr. SLAWSON. Wait. Use of electronic surveillance after the assassination in order to---
Mr. CORNWELL. Secure evidence of the manner in which the assassination may have been planned and carried out.
Mr. SLAWSON. Here or abroad?
Mr. CORNWELL Here.
Mr. SLAWSON. No.
Mr. CORNWELL. What about abroad? I take it by your answer you do not feel free to discuss that?






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Mr. SLAWSON. No; I don't. That is one of those areas that I was cautioned very strongly not to disclose and I have not been released from it.
Mr. CORNWELL. I have no further questions.
Mr. PREYER. Thank you. Are there any questions from the panel? Mr. Devine.
Mr. DEVINE. No questions, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. PREYER. Mr. Dodd.
Mr. DODD. No questions, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. McKINNEY. I have one brief question. It interests me as to how we got from what you did and what everyone else did to what you have sitting in front of you. Who dictated or put it together or typed it or what?
Mr. SLAWSON. It was obviously a group project but the principal authors I think were Howard Willens, Norman Redlich and Al Goldberg, all of them staff members. That is my recollection.
Mr. McKINNEY. If I were working with you and you and I were working with Coleman and we do our affidavit and we sent it off somewhere and you are back in Denver at that point, you don't even see the final result.
Mr. SLAWSON. That is right.
Mr. McKINNEY. From what I know of the Commission they met sporadically as a full group. From having tried to wade through what counsel has given us on these reports and the Warren Commission report itself, what I have taken as a very objective document historically from my point of view, has suddenly become a very. subjective document. Someone took Dave Slawson's stuff and rewrote it and said here it is. Is that a fair judgment on my part?
Mr. SLAWSON. I don't know how to assess how subjective. In matters of tone it obviously is. I still think an attempt was made to keep it objectively accurate. Yet, I did cut loose at a certain point and I have done all I can and I just hope that everything comes out the way it should, and come back to private life.
Mr. McKINNEY. Let me ask you a personal question. You practice law in Colorado and pick up and read this thing. You spent 16-hour days and were living from a hotel in Washington, I assume, and working for a greater cause. Did you read this with a sense of disappointment, satisfaction, questioning, or just what the hell can you expect?
Mr. SLAWSON. Generally one of satisfaction. First, it may sound odd to say so but to this day I have never read it from cover to cover.
Mr. McKINNEY. Fine. I don't think anyone really has. Some of our researchers here I think cut it up in sections.
Mr. SLAWSON. I read parts of it in the beginning. Then I turned parts which were my own particular expertise to see what happened to them. My recollection is that my first reaction was a sense of disappointment, I think mostly egotistical, they were shorter than they should have been. I thought my sections were more important. I did not see anything inaccurate in them. Mr. Cornwell pointed out this one thing about the $5,000, for example. That slipped by me until you pointed it out a few minutes ago. That is a minor inaccuracy but it is an inaccuracy. I just did not see it at the time. So my answer is generally I was quite satisfied.






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Mr. McKINNEY. I think it is a general historical opinion among 200 million Americans that this is something that was very objectively, done by a group of our most distinguished leaders. That is why I ask the question about what they had done to your work.
Mr. SLAWSON. This was a somewhat new experience to me too. I had been on a student law review and seen my work edited by someone else and not come out exactly the way I put it in but I never had been on thing approaching this with the number of people involved and the emotional and personal pressures that everyone felt. At first I was surprised at how little control all of us on the staff had over what was finally going in. Then I quickly realized this is the way it had to be, what we would expect, and to my knowledge nothing was falsified, but the general shape and tone of the document was going to be something, that others did.
Mr. McKINNEY. One last personal opinion since you have been kind. One of the reasons that I argued for this committee being established was that I felt that the Warren Commission was under extremely undue pressure No. 1, one of the most popular leaders assassinated. Because assassinations are extremely politically motivated Europe, historically they have been aimed at starting something doing something. There was good historical information that the Europeans were concerned we might be becoming a bit of a banana republic, all of those pressures plus the election and everything else. Do you feel we have a better chance of getting at the truth now than did under pressure?
Mr. SLAWSON. No. To be truthful, I think the historical moment. has passed. For good or bad history is not going ,to get much more than we have right there.
Mr. McKINNEY. Thank you very much.
Mr. PREYER. Mr. Slawson, we certainly appreciate your being here today and your very straightforward testimony. We will excuse you at this time. I hope you have ample time to avoid the rush hour traffic to, Dulles and will make your flight without any problem. Thank you again.
Mr. SLAWSON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I am glad to have been of help.
Mr. PREYER. Mr. Liebeler. if you are ready to proceed we will swear you at this time. Do you solemnly swear the testimony you are about to give will he the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth so help you God?
Mr. LIEBELER. I do.
Mr. PREYER. Thank you. Mr. Liebe]er. I understand that the committee rules have been given to you and a copy of those are before you.
Mr. LIEBELER. That is correct, yes.
Mr. PREYER. At this time I will make a brief statement concerning the subject of the investigation.
House resolution 222 mandates the committee "to conduct a full and complete investigation and study of the circumstances surrounding the assassination and death of President John F. Kennedy, including determining whether existing laws of the United States concerning the protection of the President and the investigatory jurisdiction and capability of agencies and departments are adequate in







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their provisions and enforcement, and whether there was full disclosure of evidence and information among agencies and departments of the U.S. Government, and whether any evidence or information not in the possession of an agency or department would have been of assistance in investigating the assassination, and why such information was not provided or collected by that agency or department, and to make recommendation to the House if the select committee deems appropriate for amendment of existing legislation or enactment of new legislation." Mr. Cornwell is recognized to begin the questioning of the witness at this time.

TESTIMONY OF WESLEY LIEBELER, ASSISTANT COUNSEL, WARREN COMMISSION

Mr. CORNWELL. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Leibeler, basically what we want to do is ask you some questions about the manner in which the Warren Commission's investigation was conducted, the state of mind you and your fellow staff attorneys may have had in pursuing your work and the nature of any problems which you encountered in the process.
Before I do that, as a matter of background will you tell the committee what your professional experience was prior to joining the Warren Commission?
Mr. LIEBELER. I graduated from the University of Chicago Law School in 1957 and went immediately thereafter to the New York firm of Kater, Ledger & Milburn where I worked primarily in corporate litigation until the time I joined the staff of the Warren Commission.
Mr. CORNWELL. Who first contacted you with respect to employment as staff counsel for the Warren Commission?
Mr. LIEBELER. You mean from the Commission?
Mr. CORNWELL. Yes, sir.
Mr. LIEBELER. My recollection is that it was either Mr. Rankin or Howard Willens. I am not sure which I think it was Willens who called me first.
Mr. CORNWELL. Had anyone contacted you prior to that?
Mr. LIEBELER. Yes.
Mr. CORNWELL. Who was that?
Mr. LIEBELER. Kenneth Damm of the University of Chicago law firm.
Mr. CORNWELL. What was the nature of the discussion with him?
Mr. LIEBELER. He told me I might expect a call from either Mr. Willens or Mr. Rankin and told me that Mr. Willens had called his colleague Mr. Oakes asking for a recommendation for someone for Commission staff and that Mr. Oakes and Mr. Damm, both of whom were classmates of mine, decided they should recommend that Mr. Willens contact me. I did receive a call from Mr. Rankin as they suggested I might.
Mr. CORNWELL. Will you describe for us in whatever sense you now recall it the nature of your first conversation with either Mr. Willens or Mr. Rankin, whoever it was that called you.
Mr. LIEBELER. I was simply asked if I would be interested in working on the staff of the Warren Commission. I said I would be. Mr. Rankin





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or Mr. Willens asked me if I would come to Washington the next day or the day after and talk to. them about it, and I agreed to do that and I did that.
Mr. CORNWELL. Upon arriving in Washington, whom did you speak to there?
Mr. LIEBELER. Mr. Willens and Mr. Rankin.
Mr. CORNWELL. What Conversation occurred at that time?
Mr. LIEBELER. After talking with me and meeting me and observing me, Mr. Rankin asked me if I would be willing to join the Commission staff. I told him I would think about it and let him know in a few days. I did that, and I agreed subsequently to join the start.
Mr. CORNWELL. Were you told anything at that time about the purposes of the investigation?
Mr. LIEBELER. I don't recall.
Mr. CORNWELL. Either through those conversations or through some other public or other source of information, what was your understanding as to the reason that a Presidential Commission had been formed as opposed to perhaps some other manner of dealing with the fact of the assassination?
Mr. LIEBELER. I don't have any recollection of my thoughts on that at that time except that my general notion was at that time and throughout the time I worked with the Commission that we were to ascertain the facts surrounding the assassination to the extent that was: possible and to report on them to the American people in the form of report of some kind.
Mr. CORNWELL. Do you recall any conversations on that subject matter with any particular persons in the very early stages of your work?
Mr. LIEBELER. No; not specifically on that subject.
Mr. CORNWELL. Do you recall any staff meetings at which the subject matter of the Commission's objectives were set forth and provided to you?
Mr. LIEBELER. I do not. I am under the impression there had been a staff meeting when that question was discussed but that occurred, as I recall, prior to the time I came to Washington.
Mr. CORNWELL. When approximately did you begin work?
Mr. LIEBELER. Some time near the end of January 1964.
Mr. CORNWELL. Had you prior to going to work for the Warren Commission had any experience with any of the Federal agencies: investigative agencies, FBI, CIA?
Mr. LIEBELER. I was interviewed by a CIA agent once when I was much younger.
Mr. CORNWELL. Did you form any impressions about them?
Mr. LIEBELER. I was impressed with them.
Mr. CORNWELL. Apart from that?
Mr. LIEBELER. No; no contact.
Mr. CORNWELL. When you first went with the Warren Commission to begin work, what was the nature of the assignment that was given to you as far as subject matter?
Mr. LIEBELER. I was assigned to work in the area of possible motivation that Lee Oswald might have had for having been involved in the assassination, and there was an outline of the work assignment that existed at the time that I came to work which I recall discussing with Mr. Willens at the time I received that assignment.




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Mr. CORNWELL. To what extent if any did your assignment involve questions of conspiracy or possible conspiracy?
Mr. LIEBELER. Well, it did involve both that question and the question of possible psychological condition of Oswald. My basic responsibility and that of Mr. Jenner, who was working also in this area, was to derermine to the extent we could anyone with whom Oswald had contact in any way in the United States prior to the time of the assassination. That did involve, of course, the question of whether or not he, had been involved with anyone in a possible conspiracy to assassinate the President.
The question of conspiracy which involved persons out of the country was outside of our area.
Mr. CORNWELL. Was there anyone else besides you and Mr. Jenner who were assigned responsibility with respect to investigating possible involvement of persons in a conspiracy within the United States?
Mr. LIEBELER. I think that the whole Ruby issue would be involved in that also. Mr. Griffin and Mr. Hubert were assigned to that area, the Ruby area. Of course, the question came up during their work as to whether there had been any prior contact between Oswald and Ruby or contact with either of them, between them either directly or indirectly. Mr. Slawson was also involved to some extent in this question of domestic conspiracy because the domestic contacts and at least the Cuban and possible Mexican contacts ran into each other in the sense that we were trying to run down the possible contacts that had been alleged between Oswald and the Cuban groups, both in New Orleans and in Dallas, and that related at some point in time to Oswald's trip to Mexico which Mr. Slawson was primarily responsible for because Slawson was involved to some extent but not primarily. Other than that, I don't recall anybody was specifically assigned to that question.
Mr. CORNWELL. What contribution did Mr. Jenner make with respect to the investigation of Oswald's background and His conspiratorial relationships?
Mr. LIEBELER. The record will show that Mr. Jenner conducted testimony before the Commission, itself. He took a large number of depositions in Dallas and New Orleans. And subsequently my recollection is that he worked on a draft of some material that related to the Oswald involvement with the so-called Russian community in Dallas. My impression was that he worked primarily on this in the drafting process.
Mr. CORNWELL. When did you leave the Warren Commission?
Mr. LIEBELER. After the work was finished, some time I believe in October 1964.
Mr. CORNWELL. When did Mr. Jenner leave?
Mr. LIEBELER. He stayed until the end also I believe, close to the end.
Mr. CORNWELL. Did you consider your assignment there a full-time job?
Mr. LIEBELER. Yes. sir.
Mr. CORNWELL. How many hours a week did you work?
Mr. LIEBELER. The pay records will show what I charged the Government for. Mr. Rankin sometimes didn't believe there were that,







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many hours worked. There were in fact many more. It was a 7-day-a-week job for large periods of time.
Mr. CORNWELL. Was that also true with respect to Jenner.
Mr. LIEBELER. In the latter part of the work of the Commission Mr. Jenner put in a lot of hours working on Commission matters. During the early stage of the investigation his participation was somewhat less.
Mr. CORNWELL. During what period of time was it somewhat less?
Mr. LIEBELER. My recollection is that when I started to work the first thing I had to do was read a very large number of basically FBI reports and trying to organize the material within my general area in such a way that I could decide what additional evidence had to be developed and whose depositions had to be taken. It was difficult for Mr. Jenner and I to work out a general relationship on that, question at the time. Since I was a so-called junior staff member at that time, Mr. Jenner was not, I was quite unsure when I started as to how to handle the problem. I finally just decided to do my own thing and basically went ahead and did most of that original work, myself. Mr. Jenner and I never actually worked very closely together. He worked on projects and I worked on projects.
Mr. CORNWELL. I don't think you actually ever answered the last question which was when was it that the changeover occurred between Mr. Jenner's part-time activity and his full-time.
Mr. LIEBELER. My recollection is that during the early part of the Commission's work that Mr. Jenner was concerned, I believe he was interested in becoming president of the American Bar Association and believe he spent some time on that issue. I suppose that the record will show when the Bar Association convention was held which is usually in the summer sometime. His interest rose sharply after the convention and he participated to a greater extent in the work of the Commission.
Mr. DODD. I presume he was not elected then?
Mr. LIEBELER. No.
Mr. CORNWELL. Mr. Chairman, may we mark for identification a memorandum dated August 27, 1964 from Mr. Liebeler to Mr. Willens and Mr. Redlich as exhibit 31?
Mr. PREYER. Exhibit 31 will be marked for identification.
Mr. CORNWELL. I show you that exhibit and ask you if you have had a chance to review that prior to coming here?
Mr. LIEBELER. Yes. I have. .
Mr. CORNWELL. Would it be fair to state that memorandum deals generally with the subject matter of the adequacy of the work in the field of conspiracy as of August 27, 1964?
Mr. LIEBELER. This memo was written following a particular conference between Mr. Willens and Mr. Redlich and myself in which some very specific questions were discussed. It talks in general terms about the conspiracy question. It was motivated or it was a function of really a couple of particular issues that had arisen at that time.
Mr. CORNWELL. Conspiracy and what else?
Mr. LIEBELER. Well, they were parts of the conspiracy question in the sense that they involved the way the FBI and the staff had handled the fact of at that time a large number of unidentified palm prints




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and fingerprints on the cartons found in the School Book Depository.
Mr. CORNWELL. With that statement, Mr. Chairman, may we admit exhibit 31 in evidence and may I ask specific questions?
Mr. PREYER. Without objection, exhibit 31 is admitted into the record.
[The. document referred to, marked JFK exhibit No. 31 and received for the record, follows:]


JFK EXHIBIT No. 31

[Memorandum ]
AUGUST 27, 1964.
To: Howard P. Willens. Norman Redlich.
From: Wesley J. Liebeler.
Subject: Conspiracy.

It has not been my practice to write memoranda for the record. I am constrained, however, by remarks made to me by both of you within the last two days concerning my responsibilities in respect of the investigation of a possible conspiracy, to state the following:
1. Both of you have recently made statements. in response to my criticism of the present state of affairs concerning conspiracy which indicate your belief that I am somehow responsible for same.
2. Those remarks are apparently based on the proposition that the question of a domestic conspiracy at least (ex-Ruby) was to be handled by those responsible for the so-called area III outlined in the "Tentative Outline of the Work of the president's Commission." While that has also been my general understanding for some time, examination of that outline indicates that the responsibility for the question of conspiracy is fragmented into several areas.
3. As I advised you both this morning, however, I personally cannot be held responsible for the present condition of the work on conspiracy Both of you, Mr. Jenner and I conferred in my office sometime late in June at which time it was agreed by all of us I would assume responsibility for the section on personal motive (Chapter 7) and that Mr. Jenner would devote himself to certain questions relating to the possible existence of a domestic conspiracy. I understand he has been working on that since our conference.
4. By the middle of July it was thought that Chapter 7 was in such condition that I could work on other things. I was sent to New Orleans and Dallas to take depositions which, together with preparation and editing, took more than two weeks of my time. Since then I have been revising Chapter 7 and working on footnotes for it. I also wrote the section in Chapter 4 relating to the Irving Sports story and footnoted it.
5. I am more than willing. if able, to accept my full share of responsibility for the work of this staff. I cannot, however, leave myself in the position implied by the above-described oral statements made by both of you which I hope you both will admit, upon reflection, are false and unfair.
6. You have asked me what I think should be done at the present time in reference to our work on conspiracy. I gave you some of those suggestions orally this morning. After conference with Mr. Griffin. Mr. Slawson and I spoke with Mr. Rankin about that subject this afternoon. Mr. Rankin has asked me to set up a conference with representatives of the FBI to discuss the fingerprints on the cartons and the palmprint problems. I will cover both subjects in memoranda to Mr. Rankin tomorrow. My comments on Marina Oswald will follow.

WESLEY J. LIEBELER.

Mr. CORNWELL. Paragraph 1 of the memo states that, "Both of you have recently made statements, in response to my criticism of the present state of affairs concerning conspiracy which indicate your belief that I am somehow responsible for same ;" In paragraph 3, "As I advised you both this morning, however, I personally cannot be held responsible for the present condition of the work on conspiracy."
What was the problem with the state of the work and the present condition of the work on conspiracy? What it was as of August 27, 1964?




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Mr. LIEBELER. My recollection of that is that no one, no one person, had taken the responsibility of drafting a chapter of the report or a portion of the report dealing with that question separately from the ways in which it was more tangentially treated in the other work in the report. Part of the reason for that was that I had spent a fair amount of time, as this memo indicates, drafting what eventually became chapter 7 of the report which; while it looked at the question of the contacts that Oswald had had in the United States and his part in the assassination, it was really more of a psychological profile of Oswald rather than the kind of work it became clear that we did have to do which became chapter 6 of the report and which as I recall at that time was lagging behind the other work.
It was not in the same condition of development as the other work was. Chapter 7 was done and it had been done for some time. What eventually became chapter 6 was not that far along. I don't recall what condition it was in but I know it was not as far advanced as the other work of the staff. May I add that that question, if it becomes really pertinent, could be dealt with to some extent by looking through the files and finding the draft and noting the development. of what became chapter 6.
Mr. CORNWELL. In a couple of places in the memo you phrase your criticism of the present state of affairs in terms of the work on conspiracy, both in paragraph 3 and again in paragraph 6. Does that reference refer only to the work in drafting the conspiracy chapter, or in fact were you dissatisfied on that. date with the general work in unscrambling the facts and determining whether there had been a conspiracy?
Mr. LIEBELER. I think the basic thrust of the memo was addressed to the problem of pulling the material together in a draft more suitable for inclusion in the report. There were, however, at that time still some open questions that had not been satisfactorily dealt with in my mind. There was some question at that point in time as to whether or not we were going to be able to get additional investigations conducted that would satisfy myself as to the problems that existed in my mind at that time. As I say, that, question was the question that was discussed at this meeting and that is what led to this, if I may characterize it, somewhat intemperate memo.
Mr. CORNWELL. Can you now recall any of the specifics of the types of investigative work found lacking as of August 27?
Mr. LIEBELER. The two specific questions that were discussed in the meeting with Mr. Willens and Mr. Redlich I believe, if I have the sequence straight in my mind, were the questions I referred to before, about the existence of unidentified fingerprints and palm prints on the boxes in the window in the School Book Depository and the question of the treatment of the palm print that had allegedly been lifted from the underside of the rifle barrel and identified as Oswald's. I have no independent recollection of the sequence of events but I know that it was about that time that this meeting occurred. By looking at some of the other memoranda I can refresh my recollection that it was almost exactly at that time, I believe it was that meeting I referred to in my memo of August 27.
During the course of the conversation I had argued to Mr. Redlich that the record could not be left in the condition it was in. There









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had been no serious attempt to identify these other prints, as to the prints on the carton, and there was a serious question as to the chain of evidence as regards the palm print on the rifle barrel which I thought should be resolved. Mr. Redlich did not want to conduct any investigation into those matters. That led to a vigorous exchange between us. Mr. Rankin was later informed of that exchange and he, after discussing the matter with me, agreed to bring the FBI people back and discuss with them the continuance of the investigation, and it was done.
Mr. CORNWELL. May we mark for identification, Mr. Chairman, memorandum dated September 4 from Mr. Liebeler to Mr. Rankin
Mr. PREYER. That may be marked for identification.
Mr. CORNWELL. Mr. Liebeler, have you had a chance to review that document prior to coming here today?
Mr. LIEBELER. Yes, I have.
Mr. CORNWELL. Would it be fair to state that that document relates generally to the subject matter of an attached first draft of a proposed conspiracy chapter and also certain recommendations concerning Marina Oswald?
Mr. LIEBELER. Yes. It appears that I attached to this memo a first draft of a proposed section for the conspiracy chapter dealing with certain specific questions.
Mr. CORNWELL. May we at this time admit that document in evidence, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. PREYER. Without objection it is admitted into evidence.
[The document referred to, marked JFK exhibit. No. 32 and received for the record, follows:]

JFK EXHIBIT No. 32

[ Memorandum ]
SEPTEMBER 4, 1964.

To: Mr. Rankin.
From: Mr. Liebeler.

I attach a first draft of a proposed section for the Conspiracy Chapter dealing with the testimony of Sylvia Odio, Evaristo Rodriguez. Dean Andrews and with the fact that one of the persons who helped Oswald distribute FPCC literature in New Orleans on August 16, 1963 has never been identified. Perhaps this draft can serve as a guide in questioning Marina Oswald, which I understand that you and Senators Cooper and Russell plan to do this coming weekend. While I have recommended that Marina Oswald be deposed at length concerning certain conflicts which have appeared in her testimony and other matters of interest to various members of the staff, in the absence of such an examination I recommend that Marina Oswald be questioned about the following:
1. All the circumstances surrounding her departure from New Orleans on September 23, 1963 with Mrs. Ruth Paine. As I have previously advised you, I spoke with Marina Oswald on the telephone on August 26, 1963 concerning, in part, that subject. Marina Oswald told me then that her husband had told her that he planned to leave New Orleans on the day immediately following the departure of Marina and Mrs. Paine. Oswald also told her, Marina said, that she should expect to receive an unemployment compensation check at Mrs. Paine's address. He said that cheek would be sent from Texas to his post office box in New Orleans and forwarded from there to Mrs. Paine's address. That would indicate that Oswald did not intend to remain in New Orleans until he received the cheek himself. It would also indicate that he had sufficient funds to go to Mexico City without waiting for the cheek.
All of this, of course, relates to Oswald's activities between September 23. 1963 and the time he crossed the border into Mexico sometime in the afternoon of September 26, 1963. I have previously discussed with you the apparent pattern of his movements in New Orleans which is indicated by the fact that he apparently traveled a total of approximately six miles through the city of New Orleans to



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cash his unemployment compensation check when he could have done so by traveling only ten blocks. The details of that situation are set forth in the attached draft. Marina Oswald should be questioned about all aspects of that situation.
2. In connection with the above Marina Oswald should be asked questions, designed to elicit any information or suspicions that she might have concerning the possibility that Oswald was in Dallas in late September, 1963 after he left New Orleans and before he went to Mexico. This subject, of course, involves the possibility that he may have made the acquaintance of some Mexicans or Cubans in New Orleans prior to the time Marina Oswald left that city. In that connection it should be noted that Sylvia Odio testified that the men that came to her apartment said they had just come from New Orleans and that they were on a trip.
3. Odio's testimony relates to some extent to that of Evaristo Rodriguez in that both persons described the unidentified person accompanying the person thought to be Oswald as having a bald spot on the forepart of his hairline. Rodriguez testified that Oswald [was] in the Habana Bar in New Orleans sometime during August 1963, near the time Oswald was involved with his fracas with Bringuier, i.e., August 9, 1963. Marina Oswald should be questioned closely as to how her husband used his time during that period. For example, he was kept in jail for the night of August 9-10, 1963. Was Marina surprised when he did not come home or did she know where he was? Did he stay out late on other occasions? Did she see any indications that he was associating with other people? Did she see any evidence that he was drinking at all during this period?
I think Marina Oswald should be told upon her deposition that we have evidence that Oswald was associating with Cubans and Mexican type individuals and that she should be pressed vigorously on these points.
4. Marina Oswald should be questioned concerning the unidentified individual who helped Oswald distribute FPCC literature on August 16, 1963. Oswald may have told her, for example, that he had paid one or more individuals to help him. distribute that literature. Marina may also have seen pictures of these other people helping him.
5. In connection with the testimony given by Dean Andrews. Marina should be questioned closely as to whether or not Oswald even consulted an attorney in New Orleans. She should be questioned what he told her about what he was doing to obtain a reconsideration of his undesirable discharge. She should be questioned what, if any, conversations they had about her becoming an American citizen. She should also be asked whether Oswald ever expressed any concerns over his own citizenship status. You might even ask her if she has ever heard of Clay Bertrand.
6. In short, I would like to have you question Marina Oswald, in detail, concerning any knowledge that she might have of any Cuban or Mexican contacts. that Oswald may have had in the United States prior to the time he left for Mexico City. In that connection Marina should be asked what she knows about Oswald's apparent attempt to infiltrate Bringuier's organization in New Orleans. She has already testified that a Cuban came to their apartment in August of 1963 seeking information about Oswald's FPCC activities. My recollection is that Oswald was suspicious of that person and thought him to be either an anti-Castro individual or a representative of some intelligence agency. Oswald may have told Marina about his contacts with Bringuier in connection with the visit of the above mentioned Cuban.
She should also be questioned about any contacts of that sort that Oswald may have had after his return from Mexico City as well as any conversations she might have had with Oswald concerning a possible renewal of his FPCC activities.
In connection with the possibility that Marina may be familiar with the person who helped Oswald distribute FPCC literature on August 1963. I attach Pizzo Exhibits 453A and 453B. The unidentified individual is marked with an inked arrow in Pizzo Exhibit 453A. He is located in the center of the picture and appears to have some leaflets in his hand. That individual is marked with an inked numeral 3 in Pizzo Exhibit 453B in which he appears in the far left hand corner of the picture. These photographs should be shown to Marina Oswald to see if she can identify any of the individuals depicted therein.

Mr. CORNWELL. Does the first sentence of that memo which reads:

I attach a first draft of a proposed section for the conspiracy chapter dealing with the testimony of Sylvia Odio, Evaristo Rodriguez, Dean Andrews and



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with the fact that one of the persons who helped Oswald distribute FPCC literature in New Orleans on August 16, 1963 has never been identified.
Does that indicate that it was your draft of the chapter which was attached?
Mr. LIEBELER.. Yes.
Mr. CORNWELL. That means that you ended up writing the conspiracy chapter which was at issue m the earlier memo now exhibit 31, that correct?
Mr. LIEBELER. No; it means that I prepared the first draft dealing with the questions that I described in that first sentence.
Mr. CORNWELL. The conspiracy work then that was at issue in exhibit 31 was broader than that or different than that?
Mr. LIEBELER. Yes; it was a broader issue than that but it included the problems that I discussed in the first sentence of exhibit 32. The discussion related to the question of drafting the entire chapter. I refer to the fact that on September 4 I produced a draft of part of the section, it was agreed that I should go ahead and draft some of that chapter, which I did.
Mr. CORNWELL. Why was it at this relatively late date--the report was finally published on September 28, is that correct?
Mr. LIEBELER. I don't remember.
Mr. CORNWELL. At any rate, Why was it at this late date you were ultimately given the assignment to write the chapter when it was not an issue in your field of responsibility.
Mr. LIEBELER. I think there are two reasons for that. One, I had finished the chapter that became chapter 7 and that I was the person in the best position to draft this section of the conspiracy report because I had taken the testimony of the people who were involved in these questions listed in the first sentence of exhibit. 30 and, of course, before taking that testimony had prepared myself to do so and was more familiar with that area. than probably anyone else on the staff.
Mr. CORNWELL. By this time at least, however, Mr. Jenner was free from his campaign and was able to work on drafting the conspiracy chapter too, is that correct?
Mr. LIEBELER. Yes; that is true.
Mr. CORNWELL. May we mark for identification, Mr. Chairman, one page out of a book marked "Inquest," as exhibit 33.
I show you what has been marked as exhibit 33, being a photocopy of one page of the book "Inquest." That publication purports to quote you in connection with the work of the Warren Commission. I might state that that particular segment of the book relates to the Commission members work as opposed to staff work. It states, "Wesley Liebeler, when asked what the Commission did re lied in one word 'nothing.'" Let me ask you two questions.
Does the book quote you accurately and if so what was the meaning of the statement?
Mr. LIEBELER. I have no recollection making the statement to Mr. Epstein but I don't deny that I made it.
Mr. CORNWELL. What was the nature of the Warren Commission's work as you perceived it and viewed it during your tenure as staff counsel?
Mr. LIEBELER. I think Mr. Willen's characterization on this same page is a more accurate characterization. What I had intended to








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convey to Mr. Epstein was the idea that in terms of developing the investigation, the direction in particular of the investigation, and in drafting the report, the Commissioners themselves were not directly involved, and they were not.
Mr. CORNWELL. So, your general view then would be that similar to what is reported in the document Mr. Willens said and that is that the Commissioners were not in touch with the investigation all times?
Mr. LIEBELER. As further explained in my previous testimony, yes.
Mr. CORNWELL. Mr. Chairman, with respect to that last exhibit. I think the testimony perhaps speaks better than the exhibit, so I will not offer it, myself, into evidence.
I would ask that we mark exhibit 34 for identification, which is an August 28, 1964 memorandum from Mr. Liebeler to Mr. Rankin.
Mr. PREYER. It may be so marked.
Mr. CORNWELL. Have you had a chance to review exhibit 34 prior to coming here, Mr. Liebeler?
Mr. LIEBELER. Yes, sir.
Mr. CORNWELL. Is it accurate to state that that is a memorandum written in connection with issues which were pending in August of 1964 concerning the palm print about which you have previously testified?
Mr. LIEBELER. Yes.
Mr. CORNWELL. May we admit exhibit 34 in the record, Mr. Chairman?
Mr. PREYER. Without objection, exhibit 34 is entered into the record.
[The document referred to, marked JFK exhibit No. 34 and received for the record, follows:]

JFK EXHIBIT No. 34

[Memorandum]

AUGUST 28, 1964.

To: J. Lee Rankin.
From: Wesley J. Liebeler.

Messrs. Griffin and Slawson and I raise questions covering the palmprint which Lt. Day of the Dallas Police Department testified he lifted from the underside of the barrel of the K-1 rifle on November 22, 1963. That story is set forth on pages 7-10 of the proposed final draft of Chapter IV of the Report, copies of which are attached.
We suggest that additional investigation be conducted to determine with greater certainty that the palmprint was actually lifted from the rifle as Lt. Day has testified. The only evidence we presently have on that print is the testimony of Lt. Day himself. He has stated that although he lifted the palmprint on November 22, 1963, he did not provide a copy of the lift to the FBI until November 26, 1963 (9 R 260-61). He also testified that after the lift he "could still see traces of the print under the barrel and was going to try to use photography to bring off or bring out a better print." Mr. Latona of the FBI testified with respect to the lift of the palmprint, that "evidently the lifting had been so complete that there was nothing left to show any marking on the gun itself as to the existence of such--even an attempt on the part of anyone else to process the rifle" (Id. at 24).
Additional problems are raised by the fact that:
(1) Mr. Latona testified that the poor finish of the K-1 rifle made it absorbent and not conducive to getting a good print;
(2) None of the other prints on the rifle could be identified because they were of such poor quality;
(3) The other prints on the rifle were protected by cellophane while the area where the palmprint had been lifted was not, even through Lt. Day testified that after the lift the "[palm] print on gun was their best bet, still remained on there," when he was asked why he had not released the lift to the FBI on November 22, 1963.



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We should review the above circumstances at our conference with Agent Latona and Inspector Malley. The configuration of the palmprint should be reviewed to determine, if possible, whether or not it was removed from a cylindrical surface. The possibility that the palmprint or evidence of the lift was destroyed while the rifle was in transit should be reviewed with them. The exact condition of the rifle at the time it was turned over to the FBI Dallas office should be ascertained. Agent Latona should be asked if he can think of any explanation for the apparent conflict in the above testimony.
We should also:
(1) Determine whether or not Lt, Day had assistance when he worked with the prints on the rifle. If he did, we should obtain statements from those who assisted him.
(2) Lt. Day should be asked why he preserved the fingerprints on the rifle, which were sufficiently Clear to make positive identification, and yet did not preserve the palmprint, which was clear enough for that purpose.
(3) Lt. Day should also be asked why he removed only the palmprint and should be requestioned covering his recollection that he saw the palmprint still on the rifle after he made the lift.
(4) Lt. Day should be asked if he took any photographs of the palmprint on the rifle after the lift. He may have done so, since he did photograph the less valuable fingerprints, and the palmprint on the rifle, according to his testimony, was still the best bet for identification. It is also significant that Lt. Day stated that he was going to attempt to get a better print through use of photography.
Mr. CORNWELL. This was a memorandum. is it correct, Mr. Liebeler, that you wrote in connection with the consideration by staff particularly Mr. Rankin, of whether additional investigation should be conducted on the palm print about which you previously provided some information?
Mr. LIEBELER. Yes, sir.
Mr. CORNWELL. Why was a memo like this written? What was the purpose of it?
Mr. LIEBELER. The purpose was to outline the kind of investigation that Mr. Griffin and Mr. Slawson and I thought should be conducted into this question. Mr. Rankin requested us to indicate to him, since we had pressed for an additional investigation, the kind of investigation that we thought should be conducted.
Mr. CORNWELL. So this. was in response to a specific request from Mr. Rankin for this memo?
Mr. LIEBELER. Yes. Mr. Rankin requested this memo but he requested the memo only after Mr. Griffin and Mr. Slawson and I had raised this question about the condition of the record as regards the palm print.
Mr. CORNWELL. That had become a rather heated subject matter, is that correct, at that point ?
Mr. LIEBELER. Yes, it certainly had.
Mr. CORNWELL. Were there generally problems of this nature encountered by the staff concerning matters which they felt required investigation and Mr. Rankin and Mr. Redlich did not?
Mr. LIEBELER. No.
Mr. CORNWELL. This is a very unusual event in your experience, is that correct?
Mr. LIEBELER. My recollection is that it was only these two items that this question ever came to a head on.
Mr. CORNWELL. The rest of the time such matters would be handled orally, is that correct?
Mr. LIEBELER. For the most part it wasn't a question. For the most part the individual staff members were free to take the deposition of




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anyone they wanted to take, subject to Mr. Rankin's approval, which was never withheld and there was never any question raised about it or to ask the FBI or other agencies to conduct additional investigation and that would be done by drafting a letter for Mr. Rankin's signature and forwarding it to Mr. Willens who would then presumably advise Mr. Rankin on the question.
I do not recall any case in which any previous recommendations that I had made in the form of requests to the FBI or other agencies were ever questioned or resisted and in fact since both in this case and in the palm print case I did eventually prevail on this issue I am able to state there is not a single case that any of my recommendations as to investigation were denied, that I can recall.
Mr. CORNWELL. Was that, to your understanding and within your ability to observe the workings of the Warren Commission, true with respect to other staff counsel?
Mr. LIEBELER. As a general proposition, yes. The only issue in which the question came up in another context, as I recall it, was when Griffin and Hubert were trying to establish how Ruby got in the basement of the police station, and there was also another issue involved with Griffin in which I believe he was advised to move on to other questions, only because, as I understand it, of the fact that there were other questions that had to be dealt with and it did not seem likely that these issues could be clearly resolved.
Mr. CORNWELL. In other words, your testimony as I understand it is basically that there was no atmosphere of restriction upon the investigation as the people who were actually doing the work saw it, in other words, people at your level were across the board given relatively free rein to follow the investigation where it led them in an attempt to secure the necessary evidence?
Mr. LIEBELER. Yes, sir.
Mr. CORNWELL. May we mark for identification, Mr. Chairman, memorandum dated September 2, 1964, from Mr. Liebeler to Mr. Willens as exhibit 35.
Mr. DODD. Mr. Chairman, may I interrupt at this point? Are we getting copies of these or should we have them?
Mr. CORNWELL. You should have copies of all of these.
Have you had a chance to review that memorandum prior to coming here?
Mr. LIEBELER. Yes, sir.
Mr. CORNWELL. Would it be fair to state that the subject matter of that memorandum is the discovery of property remaining in the possession of Marina Oswald as of August 26, 1964?
Mr. LIEBELER. Yes, sir.
Mr. CORNWELL. May we admit that. exhibit as part of the record, Mr. Chairman?
Mr. PREYER. Without objection, the exhibit is admitted into the record.
[The document. referred to, marked JFK exhibit No. 35 and received for the record, follows:]





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JFK EXHIBIT No. 35

[Memorandum]

SEPTEMBER 2, 1964.
To: Mr. Willens.
From: Mr. Liebeler.
Re: Relevant property remaining in possession of Marina Oswald as of August 26, 1964.

I forward a proposed letter to the FBI along lines which I suggested in a conference with you and Mr. Redlich on August 27, 1964 and generally in accord with conversations between Inspector MaHey, Mr. Rankin, Mr. Griffin and myself held on August 28, 1964.
I have previously expressed my opinion that it reflects adversely in the thoroughness of this investigation that Marina Oswald still had in her possession on August 26, 1964, material pertinent to our work, the existence of which material was not known to the FBI, this Commission, or any other investigative agency.
As indicated in the report of Special Agent Heitman dated August 27, 1964, at Dallas, Tex., Marina Oswald discovered the materials mentioned in that report on or about August 17 or 18, 1964. They had been in a small brown suitcase that had been in her possession at Ruth Paine's residence. Marina Oswald told Agent Heitman that she remembered that she had the materials in question when I asked her in a telephone conversation on August 26, 1964, about Oswald's plans following her departure for Irving, Tex., with Ruth Paine on September 23, 1963. The proposed letter seems indicated under the circumstances.

Mr. CORNWELL. The first sentence in the second paragraph reads:

I have previously expressed my opinion that it reflects adversely in the thoroughness of this investigation that Marina Oswald still had in her possession on August 26, 1964, material pertinent to our work, the existence of which material was not known to the FBI, this Commission, or any other investigative agency.

What type of material was that, or was at issue there?
Mr. LIEBELER. My recollection is that there was a map of Mexico City on which had been made marks and notations of various kinds, a stub of a bus ticket covering transportation, I believe from Mexico City to Dallas, Tex., and a television guide in Spanish relating to the broadcast of television stations in Mexico City during the period of time, as I recall, that Oswald was in Mexico City.
Mr. CORNWELL. Would it be fair to state that this material then would have had an obvious relevance to many of the issues that the Warren Commission was in the process of considering?
Mr. LIEBELER. I think so.
Mr. CORNWELL. It was not obtained by you, the FBI apparently or the Warren Commission until approximately 30 days prior to the date the Warren Commission's report became public?
Mr. LIEBELER. That is correct.
Mr. CORNWELL. Was this in your view, based on your knowledge of what transpired at the time and your ability to reflect back on those events, typical or atypical of the FBI's investigation of this matter? I am talking about the assassination.
Mr. LIEBELER. I don't think it was typical of the FBI's work as a general proposition. It certainly was not typical of the work that the FBI did in response to the request that we made that they conduct their own investigation. I have no direct knowledge of the quality of the Bureau's work prior to the time that the Commission began to operate although that is reflected to a considerable extent of course in the reports that we did receive from the Bureau.




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Obviously those reports cannot reflect sins of omission on the part of the Bureau.
Mr. CORNWELL. What explanation did you receive in connection with this discovery?
Mr. LIEBELER. From the FBI?
Mr. CORNWELL. Yes, sir.
Mr. LIEBELER. I did not ask the FBI for an explanation and they never offered me one.
Mr. CORNWELL. The reason I ask the question is I suppose there might be some chance that the evidence had been fabricated and did not even exist in November 1963. Is that corret? Did you even ask to see if they had checked this location earlier and found nothing?
Mr. LIEBELER. I don't recall making that request. I have a problem here to some extent because this memorandum says that I am forward ing a proposed letter to the FBI and I don't have that letter in front of me and I don't know what I said, I have no recollection of what it said. My recollection of my position at this time was that, I believe I had the feeling at that time that this whole question of the property inventory, if any, and the question of the way the Bureau handle the obtaining and forwarding of this property to the Commission should be looked at but it is not a strong recollection and I would like to see the letter if we have it.
Mr. CORNWELL. I apologize for the fact that we don't have it here today.
Mr. LIEBELER. If I may say, if this information or piece of paper had been in the possession of the Commission or the FBI prior to the time that they were obtained, it would have made the investigation into Oswald's trip to Mexico a great deal easier. But I don't believe there was anything in this information which was inconsistent with the conclusions that had been reached on that issue independent of the papers.
Mr. CORNWELL. I did not mean to suggest necessarily that the FBI had fabricated the evidence. I meant to ask you whether or not the possibility had occurred to you that Marina Oswald had fabricated the evidence and decided to give it to the, FBI at this late date?
Mr. LIEBELER. My recollection is that these papers had notes on them that were written in Lee Harvey Oswald's handwriting. I am not certain of that but I think that is the case and that would handle that question.
Mr. CORNWELL. Was there, in your view, enough time to adequately complete the investigation in your field of responsibility?
Mr. LIEBELER. I would have to answer yes to that question with one exception that I can think of. I did not have any other investigation or line of investigation that I wanted to pursue and I don't know that anyone else on the staff did either by the time we finished drafting our report except for the fact that the FBI was still trying to either corroborate or discredit, to determine the truth or falsity of some testimony that had been given by Sylvia Odio to the effect that Oswald had been in her apartment in Dallas some time in either September or October 1963.
Mr. CORNWELL. Was Sylvia Odio's testimony initially within your field of responsibility?









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Mr. LIEBELER. It is hard to answer that question. Her FBI reports were there and we all knew about them and they were the subject of continued discussion between Mr. Griffin and Mr. Slawson and myself because they related to work that all three of us were doing. It was really never decided who would take the primary responsibility for developing that problem until it finally fell on me because I happened to be in Dallas to take other testimony and so the three of us agreed that I would take her testimony.
Mr. CORNWELL. Essentially because you were there?
Mr. LIEBELER. Yes, and the fact that it was a question that was within this whole general area and one that I was familiar with and I had discussed with these other two gentlemen.
Mr. CORNWELL. The Sylvia Odio incident was never resolved to your satisfaction, was it?
Mr. LIEBELER. No, not really.
Mr. CORNWELL. Directing your attention again to exhibit 32, the memo written on September 4, which we have previously admitted into evidence, would it be fair to state that as of that late date there were still in your mind a long list of areas about which more information was needed for Marina Oswald?
Mr. LIEBELER. My recommendation in this letter was that she be asked about these questions, yes.
Mr. CORNWELL. In fact the staff has been rather concerned with what they thought was the superficial questioning of her from the very beginning, as far back as February, is that not true?
Mr. LIEBELER. Yes, that is true.
Mr. CORNWELL. In addition to the pressures I guess we would say complete the investigation and get the report out in the matters that at least you felt required further attention even in September 1964, was there any problem with the rewrite processes, the processes of preparing the final report as of that date?
Mr. LIEBELER. I certainly thought so for a number of reasons.
Mr. CORNWELL. Mr. Chairman, may I mark for identification exhibit 36, a memorandum dated September 6, 1964, by Mr. Liebeler reading "Memorandum Regarding Galley Proofs of Chapter IV of the Report."
Mr. PREYER. The exhibit may be marked for identification.
Mr. CORNWELL. Have you had a chance to review that document prior to coming here?
Mr. LIEBELER. Yes, sir.
Mr. CORNWELL. Would that in part at least, reflect your concern with the rewrite processes?
Mr. LIEBELER. Yes.
Mr. CORNWELL. May we admit that document into the record, Mr. Chairman?
Mr. PREYER. Without objection the exhibit is admitted into the record.
[The document referred to marked JFK exhibit No. 36 and received for the record, follows:]








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JFK EXHIBIT No. 36

[Memorandum re Galley Proofs of Chapter IV of the Report]

SEPTEMBER 6, 1964

From: Wesley J. Liebeler.
I set forth below comments on the galley proofs of chapter IV of the report, a copy of which I obtained from Mr. Redlich on September 4, 1964. Other comments and suggestions are set forth in the margin of the galley itself.

PURCHASE OF THE RIFLE BY OSWALD

1. On galley page 30, query if the name "Hidell" was stamped on the membership application blanks of the New Orleans branch, FPCC.
2. The text near the top of page 30 gives the impression that the name Hidell was stamped on all of the New Orleans Chapter's printed literature. It was not. Oswald stamped his own name on some of it.

OSWALD'S PALMPRINT ON THE RIFLE BARREL

1. Query if the palmprint provides additional evidence of ownership of the rifle as is stated. The most it does is show that Oswald had possession of the rifle at some time. It does not show that he owned it.
2. Second paragraph states that Lt. Day determined the wood, SR wooden stock was too rough to take prints "from visual examination." Day does not say that in his testimony. While it is a minor point, he just said that he noted it was too rough. For all I know he may have reached that conclusion by feeling the stock.
3. It may be noted here that the conclusion for the section on rifle ownership, that appears on galley page 32, states that the presence of the palmprint on the rifle shows that Oswald "had disassembled it." That conclusion is not warranted from the existence of the palmprint on the rifle. The conclusion that Oswald handled the rifle while it was disassembled is justified.
4. The palmprint section must be changed to reflect the latest findings of the FBI that the palmprint had to have been lifted from the barrel because of the marks that appear on the lift that correspond to those on the rifle barrel itself.

FIBERS ON THE RIFLE

1. I think this section is written a little too strongly considering the record. For example, there is no footnote after the statement that the Commission found no credible evidence that Oswald used the rifle between September 23 and the assassination. Furthermore, even if he did not "use" it, he might very well have handled it at some time during that period. Also, Stombaugh was not able to estimate the period of time within which the fibers were placed on the rifle, but much of the language in the section is designed to bring one to the conclusion that they were put there on the day of the assassination, even though that is not said.
2. In the last sentence of the section, it is not the Commission's conclusion that provides proof, it is the fact that the fibers most probably came from Oswald's shirt. Also, does that show that he "owned" the rifle, or just that he or someone that wore the shirt had handled the rifle at some time?

PHOTOGRAPH OF OSWALD WITH RIFLE

1. It is interesting to note that the conclusion to the ownership section, on page 32, states that "a photograph taken in the yard of Oswald's apartment showed him holding this rifle." That statement appears in the conclusion in spite of the fact that Shaneyfelt specifically testified that he could not make a positive identification of the rifle that Oswald was holding in the picture, and in spite of the fact that the Commission was not able to conclude, in the discussion of this subject on page 31, that Oswald was holding the assassination weapon in the picture.

RIFLE AMONG OSWALD'S POSSESSIONS

1. I do not believe there is any real authority for the proposition that Oswald sighted through the telescopic sight on the porch in New Orleans. Marina Oswald first said she did not know what he did with the rifle out on the porch, and then



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was led into a statement which might be thought to support the instant proposition. It is not very convincing.
2. On the top of page 32. it is stated that Ruth and Michael Paine "both noticed the rolled-up blanket in the garage throughout the time that Marina Oswald was living in their home. I am sure the record will not support that statement, a rather important one, too. I recall that there was a period of time before the assassination that neither of them saw the blanket. I have always had the opinion that there was a gap in the proof as to the rifle being continuously in the garage, one that probably could not be filled. It cannot be filled by ignoring it. The conclusion is even worse when it states that "the rifle was kept among Oswald's possessions from the time of its purchase until the day of the assassination." I do not think the record provides any real evidence to support that broad statement. The fact is that not one person alive today ever saw that rifle in the paine garage in such a way that it could be identified as that rifle.

THE CURTAIN ROD STORY

1. The report states that Frazier was surprised when Oswald asked for a ride on November 21, 1963. I am not able to find anything in the record to support that statement.
2. The last paragraph of this section is misleading when it attempts to show the falsity of the curtain rod story by stating that Oswald's room at 1026 North Beckley had curtains, and does not take account of the fact that Frazier specifically testified that Oswald said he wanted the curtain rods to put in an apartment. This takes on added significance when we remember that Oswald was talking about renting an apartment so that his family could live in Dallas with him. That aspect of the problem should be specifically treated if we are going to mention the fact that his roominghouse had curtains.

THE LONG AND BULKY PACKAGE

1. The last sentence states: "Frazier could easily have been mistaken when he stated that Oswald held the bottom of the bag cupped in his hand, or when he said that the upper end was tucked under the armpit." On the very next page of the galleys, in the discussion of the prints that appeared on the paper bag, it is stated that the palmprint was "found on the closed end of the bag. It was from Oswald's right hand in which he carried the long package as he walked from Frazier's car to the building."
I am advised that the palmprint is right on the end of the bag, just where it would be if Oswald had carried it cupped in his hand. If we say in the discussion of prints that that print was put on the bag when he carried it to the TSBD (which we don't quite do) and if the print is where it would be if he carried it cupped in his hand, then we must face up on the preceding page and admit that Frazier was right when he said that that is the way Oswald carried it. If the print story is right and the implication left there as to when the print was put on the bag is valid, Frazier could not have been mistaken when he said Oswald carried the bottom of the bag cupped in his hand.

SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE LINKING RIFLE AND OSWALD TO PAPER BAG

1. The section on fibers in the bag is very thin. The most that can be said is that there was a possibility that the fibers came from the blanket. The FBI expert would not even state that such was probable.

CONCLUSION

1. I am at a loss to know why the fact that Oswald apparently failed to turn out Ruth Paine's garage light is mentioned in the conclusion.

PALMPRINTS AND FINGERPRINTS ON CARTONS AND PAPER

1. The problem of all the unidentified prints has already been discussed. The FBI has been requested to conduct additional investigation to attempt to identify those prints. The results of that investigation must be incorporated in the report.
2. This section emphasized the freshness of one palmprint on one carton. That palmprint was the only one of 28 prints that could be developed by powder as opposed to a chemical process. As a result it was held to have been placed on the carton recently, within from 1 to 3 days prior to the time it was developed. "The



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inference may be drawn from the present language of this section that all of the other prints, which could be developed only through a chemical process because the cartons had already absorbed them, must have been older than the palmprint. Thus, it could be argued that Oswald's other prints had to have been placed on the cartons at least a day before they were developed and perhaps as much as 3 days before. While there may be some reason within the realm of fingerprint technology why that is not so, it does not appear in the report.
Under those circumstances, the presence of Oswald's other prints, which must be treated pari passu with the prints of others on the cartons, seems to have very little significance indeed. This relates to the prints on one of the Rolling Readers cartons near the window, the existence of which is emphasized by stating that they "take on added significance" because of the work being done on the sixth floor. The report also states that the Commission placed "great weight on the fingerprint and palmprint identifications." I don't think we should say that in any event. We certainly should not until we deal with the problem of the apparent age of Oswald's other prints and the presence of all those unidentified prints.
3. The report states that it is "significant that none of the prints on the cartons could be identified as the prints of a warehouse employee." It also states that those employees "like Oswald, might have handled the cartons"--presumably in the ordinary course of business. It is significant. But not necessarily to the point that the report tries to make. The fact that only Oswald's prints appeared on the cartons could show that he was the sole warehouse employee that handled them--in the ordinary course of business. The fact that Oswald was the only employee whose prints appeared on the cartons does not help to convince me that he moved them in connection with the assassination. It shows the opposite just as well.
4. It is also difficult to tell just what happened to all of the cartons or who developed what prints. While it appears that all four cartons were forwarded to the FBI, some confusion is created by the later statement that the right palmprint on the box on the floor next to the three near the window was also sent to the FBI. Why was that necessary if the carton had already been sent? The use of the passive voice in the second sentence of the second full paragraph on page 35 of the galleys leaves open the question of who developed the prints

EYEWITNESS IDENTIFICATION OF ASSASSIN

1. There is a duplication of a long quote from Brennan's testimony that also appears at page 15 of the galleys, the first page of chapter 3. It does not seem to be needed in both places. If left the way it is, the form as to omitted material should be standardized.
2. Following that quote it says that Brennan's description "most probably" led to the radio alert sent out to police in which the assassin was described. Can't this be more definite? One of the questions that has been raised is the speed with which the assassin was described, the implication being that Oswald had been picked out as a patsy before the event. The Dallas police must know what led to the radio alert and the description. If they do we should be able to find out. If they do not know, the circumstances of their not knowing should be discussed briefly.
3. On page 36 it says that at 1:29 p.m. the police radio reported that the description of the suspect in the Tippit shooting was similar to the description which had been given by Brennan in connection with the assassination. On page 46 it is stated that it was unlikely that any officer said anything like "Kill the President, will you?" The reason given is that the officers did not know "that Oswald was a suspect in the killing of the President." But they very likely had heard the police radio note that the description of the two were similar and they may have drawn their own conclusions. The statement on page 46 should be taken out or qualified.
4. There should be a picture of the inside of the Texas School Book Depository sixth floor showing the low window sills and a reference to that picture in connection with the discussion of Brennan's testimony that he saw the man standing.
5. Query if we need such a long paragraph on Euins testimony merely to conclude that it is inconclusive as to the identity of the man in the window.
6. In the last sentence of the second to the last paragraph in the section it says that Altgens picture was taken about 2 seconds "after the shot which entered the back of the President's neck." We should say after that shot was fired or heard or something. The sentence is not a good one as it now stands.



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1. I do not think the description of the Baker-Oswald sequence is sufficiently clear. I am confused as to how many entrance doors there are to the vestibule, even though after a close reading there appear to be only two, the one connecting to the second floor landing and the one connecting to the lunch room. It is also not clear whether Baker saw Oswald through the window in the vestibule/landing door, or whether that door was still open as is implied by Baker's testimony. Mention of the window previously, however, implies Baker saw Oswald through the window. It does not seem likely that Oswald would still have been visible through the window if the door had already closed, although that depends on how fast the door closes, which is something I would like to know. What kind of a stairway is it that someone coming up can see nothing at the top of the lanking? Truly may in fact have seen Oswald if the latter had just come down the stairs from the third floor as Truly was coming up from the second.
I think additional effort should be made with the writing and a picture of the view coming up to the second floor and a diagram or other pictures of the lanking and vestibule area would be a good idea.
2. The first sentence in the third from the last paragraph on galley page 38 leaves a false inference concerning Oswald's presence on the sixth floor. It should be rewritten along the following lines: "The fact that Oswald could not have come down in the elevators, the only other possible means of descent, is shown by thier movements after the time Baker and Truly tried to use them to go up in the building."
3. In the same paragraph, the statement that both elevators occupy the same shaft is not clear. It would be better to say: "both elevators, which operate adjacently in the same shaft,"
4. Last paragraph on page 38 (galley), the testimony of the employees as set forth in that paragraph is also consistent with Oswald having been in Ethiopia at the time of the assassination, or with his having used the elevators to get down from the sixth floor. Since those employees did not see either Oswald or Dougherty, their testimony says nothing on the point under discussion. The whole paragraph should be cut.
5. The next two paragraphs, the first two on galley page 39, are a complete mystery to me. When I left the bottom of page 38 I was looking for additional testimony showing that Oswald came down the stairs and not the elevator. After two paragraphs of excellent analysis I am convinced that Victoria Adams either came down the stairs before or after Oswald did and it is clear that that is so because we know that Oswald came down the stairs and not the elevator. I do not understand, however, how the fact that Victoria Adams came down the stairs before or after Oswald did shows that Oswald came down the stairs. If the idea is to show that Adams was not on the stairway when Oswald was I am not convinced by the analysis or speculation in these two paragraphs. Furthermore, if that is the idea it is not clearly set forth. How about a first sentence like: "Victoria Adams testified that she came down the stairway, within about 1 minute after the shots, from the fourth floor to the first floor where she encountered two depository employees--Bill Shelley and Billy Lovelady. If Miss Adams was on the stairway at that time, the question is raised as to why she did not see Oswald .... "
6. In the conclusion: I do not see how the commission can possibly state that "fingerprint and palmprint evidence establishes that Oswald arranged the cartons in the window." That evidence establishes that at some time Oswald handled one of the three cartons in the window, as suggested above, probably prior to the assassination by at least 1-3 days. That evidence establishes with equal validity that perhaps about 20 other persons "arranged the cartons in the window."

OSWALD'S MOVEMENTS AFTER LEAVING DEPOSITORY BUILDING

1. The description of Oswald's bus ride sequence is very confusing and wholly unable to stand by itself without a map. Even if we include a map, which I assume we will, the text should be clear enough to stand by itself. The basic problem is that there is no indication of the relationship of various intersections to each other. It should be simple enough to set forth the relationships between St. Paul and Elm, Field and Elm, and Poydras and Lamar.




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2. There also seems to be a mistake in description of direction. I don't see how Oswald could walk west on Elm and board a bus that was heading back in the direction of the depository and which was also travel west. Somebody had to have gone east (Oswald.)
3. The second to the last full paragraph on galley page 40 is not very clear as to what all those buses actually do and what they are supposed to do. I have set forth suggested clarifying changes in the margin of the galley.
4. On galley page 41 the terms "lineup" and "showup" are used interchangeably. It should be one or the other throughout. I have always thought it was lineup.
5. There are direct quotes in the first paragraph on galley page 42 for which there are no footnotes. It is my understanding that there are to be footnotes for each direct quote and that there is to be uniformity on this point throughout the report.

DESCRIPTION OF THE SHOOTING

1. References here to what the Dallas police radio ordered Tippit to do should be qualified to indicate that a transcript of a recording of the radio communications indicates the material being set forth. This should be done at least until we have cleared up the problems with the transcript and recordings, if we have not already done so.
2. There are no footnotes at all in the last paragraph of this section.

EYEWITNESSES

1. There is more confusion between lineups and showups at the top of galley page 43.
2. As to any attempt to explain Mrs. Markham's description (so-called) of Oswald as having bushy hair by showing the world a picture of Oswald "taken at the time of his arrest." I suggest that even the slowest of readers would imagine that their hair might be in an uncombed state--which is the suggested explanation of the bushy condition--after they had fought with a dozen policemen in an attempt to resist arrest. In fact Pizzo exhibit 453-C, the evidence for this proposition, shows Oswald with cuts and bruises on his face. I don't think Mrs. Markham's testimony needs much comment and neither does her statement to Lane. Any attempt such as is presently in the report will merely play into Lane's hands and make the Commission look naive.
3. Query statement that Markham's identification was mostly from his face. I think she was all over the lot on that one.

MURDER WEAPON

1. Why don't we take a sentence or two and explain why the bullets fired from the revolver were smaller than the barrel? There is no way to tell from this report now and an obvious question is raised as to why.
2. There is an unclear sentence in the middle of the third paragraph of this heading which states: "Also, the bullets were mutilated." Which ones?
3. The paragraph dealing with the number of shots fired and the manufacture of the cases and the slugs seems to me to be an exercise in pedantry, and possibly subject to error. Is it not possible that a Winchester-Western slug could have been fired from a Remington-Peters case? Even if not, why leave ourselves open to question when it does not really matter how many shots were fired, as between four or five.
4. The last paragraph of this heading needs some footnotes, either in or out.

OWNERSHIP OF THE REVOLVER

1. The first sentence refers to "this type of revolver." I think it would be better to say "the type of revolver that was used to kill Patrolman Tippit."

OSWALD'S JACKET

1. The second paragraph of this heading needs some footnotes.
2. There are inconsistencies in the description of Commission exhibit 162. The same problem occurred above, when an exhibit was described sometimes as "exhibit---" and at others as "Commission exhibit ---." A little thing, but why not do it right,




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3. This conclusion to this heading reaches the crushing result that "Oswald disposed of his jacket as he fled from the scene of the Tippit killing." I submit that that is really not the conclusion we worked toward. Why not : "Those facts strongly support the finding that it was Lee Harvey Oswald who killed Patrolman Tippit and then fled through the parking lot adjoining Jefferson Boulevard, disposing of his jacket as he did so."

OSWALD'S ARREST

At first I was surprised to learn that Johnny Calvin Brewer knew that a patrolman had been shot when Oswald walked by his place of business, less than eight blocks from the point of the Tippit killing which Oswald apparently left as fast as he could.
2. Then I was surprised to learn that the police radio did not send out information about the suspect being in the Texas Theater until 1:45 about 30 minutes after the police first learned of the Tippit killing from Benavides over Tippit's radio. What were Oswald and Brewer doing during this 30 minutes? Oswald was strangely inactive during this period, considering all that he had done the 45 minutes following the assassination.
3. While I know that I will be thought mad to suggest that some editing be done on this chapter, consider the following sentence that appears on galley page 46: "As Oswald, handcuffed, was led from the theatre, he was, according to McDonald, 'cursing a little bit and hollering police brutality.'" There are only 5 commas in that sentence. How about: "McDonald testified that Oswald was 'cursing a little bit and hollering police brutality' as he was led handcuffed from the theatre."
Here compare the note above concerning page 36 that the police radio had noted the similarity of the descriptions between the man wanted for the assassination and the man wanted for the Tippit killing, by the time Oswald was arrested at the theater. It could be, therefore, that some of the officers suspected that the man they were arresting was wanted in connection with the assassination.

STATEMENTS OF OSWALD DURING DETENTION

1. There are entirely too many subheadings under this general heading. None are really necessary. We reach the sublime when we have one whole heading for one short, four sentence paragraph. They should all be cut out and the whole discussion comprehended under the above general title.
2. In the paragraph on denial of rifle ownership appears the statement "small bore .22 rifle." That is redundant, since I presume we do not mean to distinguish from large bore .22 rifles. It should probably just read: ".22 caliber rifle."
3. The second to last sentence in that paragraph needs a footnote.

SHOOTING OF MAJ. GEN. EDWIN A. WALKER

1. There is no footnote after the sentence concerning the 15-year-old boy who saw two men leave the area.
Same after the statement that a friend of Walker gave information to the police about' the two men snooping around. Also that statement is not correct. Walker gave the information to the police.
3. No footnote after statement re results of private investigation.
4. No footnote after statement that the note was in the "Book of Useful Advice."
5. The second full paragraph on page 48 assumes a lot of knowledge about Oswald's movements and about the Paines that the reader had not gotten anywhere yet, except in the first chapter narrative. A few extra words as suggested in the margin of the galley might improve things considerably. Furthermore, the first sentence needs a footnote, as does the entire next paragraph, which has not one footnote to its name.
6. In the paragraph on photographs, a footnote is needed after the first sentence. The second sentence must be changed because at present it implies that Oswald told Marina about the notebook or rather showed it to her when he returned the night after the attack. She stated in her testimony in July that she did not see what was in the notebook until 3 days after the attack and there is nothing in her early testimony that I know about to support the PropoSition now in the report.
7. Statement that Oswald apparently destroyed the notebook should be changed in order to reflect fact that he did destroy it, and at the suggestion of his wife.



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8. Second to last sentence in photographs section must be changed to indicate that Oswald did not bury his rifle in some bushes, but rather that he may have hidden it there.
9. Query usage of "ballistics" in first paragraph of "Firearms Identification" section. Same as to last paragraph thereof.
10. Under "Corroboration by Marina Oswald" we learn for the first time about a postponement of the attempt to kill Walker. There is no mention of from when, what the circumstances of the postponement were, what happened to the rifle in the meantime, et cetera. It should be set forth, since there is no mention of it above, as I recall.

OSWALD'S RIFLE CAPABILITY

1. The purpose of this section is to determine Oswald's ability to fire a rifle. The third word at the top of page 50 of the galleys, which is apparently meant to describe Oswald, is "marksman." A marksman is one skilled at shooting at mark; one who shoots well. Not only do we beg the question a little, but the sentence is inexact in that the shot, which it describes, would be the same for marksman as it would for one who was not a marksman. How about: the assassin's shots from the easternmost window of the south side of the Texas School Book Depository were at a slow-moving target proceeding on a downgrade virtually straight away from the assassin, at a range of 177 to 266 feet."
2. The last sentence in the first paragraph on galley page 50 should indicate that the slope of Elm Street is downward.
3. The section on the nature of the shots deals basically with the range and the effect of a telescopic sight. Several experts conclude that the shots were easy. There is, however, no consideration given here to the time allowed for the shots. I do not see how someone can conclude that a shot is easy or hard unless he knows something about how long the firer has to shoot, that is, how much time allotted for the shots.
4. On nature of the shots--Frazier testified that one would have no difficulty in hitting a target with a telescopic sight, since all you have to do is put the crosshairs on the target. On page 51 of the galleys, however, he testified that shots fired by FBI agents with the assassination weapon were "a few inches high and to the right of the target * * * because of a defect in the scope." Apparently no one knows when that defect appeared, or if it was in the scope at the time of the assassination. If it was, and in the absence of any evidence to the contrary one may assume that it was, putting the crosshairs on the target would clearly have resulted in a miss, or it very likely would, in any event. I have raised this question before. There is a great deal of testimony in the record that a telescopic sight is a sensitive proposition. You can't leave a rifle and scope laying around in a garage underfoot for almost 3 months, just having brought it back from New Orleans in the back of a station wagon, and expect to hit anything with it, unless you take the trouble to fire it and sight the scope in. This would have been a problem that should have been dealt with in any event, and now that it turns out that there actually was a defect in the scope, it is perfectly clear that the question must be considered. The present draft leaves the Commission open to severe criticism. Furthermore, to the extent that it leaves testimony suggesting that the shots might not have been so easy out of the discussion, thereby giving only a part of the story, it is simply dishonest.
5. Why do we have a statement concerning the fact that Oswald's Marine records show that he was familiar with the Browning automatic rifle, .45-caliber pistol and 12-gage riot gun? That is completely irrelevant to the question of his abilility to fire a rifle, unless there is evidence that the same skills are involved. It is, furthermore, prejudicial to some extent.
6. Under the heading "Oswald's Rifle Practice Outside the Marines" we have a statement concerning his hunting activities in Russia. It says that he joined a hunting club, obtained a license and went hunting about six times. It does not say what kind of a weapon he used. While I am not completely familiar with the record on this point, I do know for a fact that there is some indication that he used a shotgun. Under what theory do we include activities concerning a shotgun under a heading relating to rifle practice, and then presume not to advise the reader of the fact?
7. The statements concerning Oswald's practice with the assassination weapon are misleading. They tend to give the impression that he did more practicing than the record suggests that he did. My recollection is that there is only one specific time when he might have practiced. We should be more precise in this



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area, because the Commission is going to have its work in this area examined aery closely.
8. On the top of galley page 51 we have that statement about Oswald sighting the telescopic sight at night on the porch in New Orleans. I think the support for that proposition is thin indeed. Marina Oswald first testified that she did not know what he was doing out there and then she was clearly led into the only answer that gives any support to this proposition.
9. I think the level of reaching that is going on in this whole discussion of rifle capability is merely shown by the fact that under the heading of rifle practice outside the Marine Corps appears the damning statement that "Oswald showed an interest in rifles by discussing that subject with others (in fact only one person as I remember it) and reading gun magazines."
10. I do not think the record will support the statement that Oswald did not leave his Beckley Avenue roominghouse on one of the weekends that he was supposedly seen at the Sports Drome Rifle Range.
11. There is a misstatement in the third paragraph under rapid fire tests when it says "Four of the firers missed the second shot." The preceding paragraph states that there were only three firers.
12. There are no footnotes whatsoever in the fifth paragraph under rapid fire tests and some rather important statements are made which require some support from someplace.
13. A minor point as to the next paragraph--bullets are better said to strike rather than land.
14. As I read through the section on rifle capability it appears that 15 different sets of three shots were fired by supposedly expert riflemen of the FBI and other places. According to my calculations those 15 sets of shots took a total of 93.8 seconds to be fired. The average of all 15 is a little over 6.2 seconds. Assuming that time is calculated commencing with the firing of the first shot, that means the average time it took to fire the two remaining shots was about 6.2 seconds. That comes to about 3.1 seconds for each shot, not counting the time consumed by the actual firing, which would not be very much. I recall that chapter 3 said that the minimum time that had to elapse between shots was 2.25 seconds, which is pretty close to the one set of fast shots fired by Frazier of the FBI.
The conclusion indicates that Oswald had the capability to fire three shots with two hits in from 4.8 to 5.6 seconds. Of the 15 sets of 3 shots described above. only 3 were fired within 4.8 seconds. A total of five sets, including the three just mentioned were fired within a total of 5.6 seconds. The conclusion at its most extreme states that Oswald could fire faster than the Commission experts fired in 12 of their 15 tries and that in any event he could fire faster than the experts did in 10 of their 15 tries. If we are going to set forth material such as this, I think we should set forth some information on how much training and how much shooting the experts had and did as a whole. The readers could then have something on which to base their judgments concerning the relative abilities of the apparently slow firing experts used by the Commission and the ability of Lee Harvey Oswald.
15. The problems raised by the above analyses should be met at some point in the text of the report. The figure of 2.25 as a minimum firing time for each shot used throughout chapter 3. The present discussion of rifle capability shows that expert riflemen could not fire the assassination weapon that fast. Only one of the experts managed to do so, and his shots, like those of the other FBI experts, were high and to the right of the target. The fact is that most of the experts were much more proficient with a rifle than Oswald could ever be expected to be, and the record indicates that fact, according to my recollection of the response of one of the experts to a question by Mr. McCloy asking for a comparison of an NRA master marksman to a Marine Corps sharpshooter.
16. The present section on rifle capability fails to set forth material in the record tending to indicate that Oswald was not a good shot and that he was not interested in his rifle while in the Marine Corps. It does not set forth material indicating that a telescopic sight must be tested and sighted in after a period of nonuse before it can be expected to be accurate. That problem is emphasized by the fact that the FBI actually found that there was a defect in the scene which caused the rifle to fire high and to the right. In spite of the above the present section takes only part of the material in the record to show that Oswald was a good shot and that he was interested in rifles. I submit that the testimony Delgado that Oswald was not interested in his rifle while in the Marines is at


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least as probative as Alba's testimony that Oswald came into his garage to read rifle--and hunting--magazines.
To put it bluntly that sort of selection from the record could seriously affect the integrity and credibility of the entire report.
17. It seems to me that the most honest and the most sensible thing to do the present state of the record on Oswald's rifle capability would be to write a very short section indicating that there is testimony on both sides of several issues. The Commission could then conclude that the best evidence that Oswald could fire his rifle as fast as he did and hit the target is the fact that he did so. It may have been pure luck. It probably was to a very great extent. But it happened. He would have had to have been lucky to hit as he did if he had only 4.8 seconds to fire the shots. Why don't we admit instead of reaching and using only part of the record to support the propositions presently set forth in the galleys. Those conclusions will never be accepted by critical persons anyway.

GENERAL COMMENT

1. The above was written without having the footnotes to the chapter, a considerable disadvantage when one would like to check the accuracy and precision of statements made in the text.
2. The placement of footnotes is not consistent within the chapter, nor with the general rule that there are to be footnotes after all direct quotes. Many times there are no footnotes where it appears to me that there should be.
3. Form as to omitted material should be checked. The form of citations to the appendix is not consistent with chapter 3 or internally.
4. I for not to mention that some question might be raised when the public discovers that there was only one person who saw Oswald kill him. All the rest only saw subsequent events. Mrs. Markham is nicely buried there, but I predict not for long.

Mr. CORNWELL. Who prepared chapter IV initially? Who first drafted that?
Mr. LIEBELER. Mr. Ball and Mr. Belin.
Mr. CORNWELL. Did you at the time work closely enough with Mr. Ball and Mr. Belin where you would have both become familiar with the facts within their area and also the quality of their work?
Mr. LIEBELER. That question has two parts. I was certainly familiar with the facts of their area because I had read most or all of the same FBI reports that they had read in outlining their area of investigation in my own efforts to prepare my own investigation.
I think I can say I had been able to form a judgment as to certain kinds of their work. But I was not in a position to judge the quality of their written work because I had never looked at it closely or examined it.
Mr. CORNWELL. Based on that last answer you would not be able to tell us whether or not their rough draft of this chapter in and of itself was a competent professional polished piece of work?
Mr. LEIBELER. No, I would not. I don't recall that I even ever read it.
Mr. CORNWELL. What basically, however, was the nature of the problems that you found with the galley proofs, the rewrite of chapter IV?
Mr. LIEBELER. Well, my memo September 6 speaks to that question. It involves problems ranging from matters of form and location, of footnotes to the problem that I thought was important at the time and that was that I thought that the text of that chapter was written in the sense that it made statements that could not really be supported by the nature of the underlying evidence.
Mr. CORNWELL. Let us simply very briefly go through that memo. I would like to ask you if you believe today your criticisms were



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accurate? For instance on page 3 you very cryptically note near the bottom that a gap in the proof cannot be filled by ignoring it with respect to certain portions of the galley proof. On page 21----
Mr. LIEBELER. Do you want to take these one by one or do you want to lump them?
Mr. CORNWELL. We can simply look at them in bulk if you would like, whichever way you prefer.
Mr. LIEBELER. The reference on page 3 as to the question of whether or not it could be definitively established that the rifle that Oswald had ordered and received and was used to assassinate the President had actually been in the Paine garage the entire period of time after the Oswald return from New Orleans until the time of the assassination. I took the position that that could not be directly proved and I think that that position was correct. I still think that it is correct.
Mr. CORNWELL. On page 21 you note at the top: "The present draft leaves the Commission open to severe criticism. Furthermore, to the extent that it leaves testimony suggesting that the shots might not have been so easy out of the discussion, thereby giving only a part of the story, it is simply dishonest?"
Was that your view of the report in its galley proof form
Mr. LIEBELER. Yes, that was my view of the galley proofs as they existed at that time on tiffs issue of the Oswald capability as a rifleman and the accuracy of the rifle.
Mr. CORNWELL. Also on page 21, bottom of paragraph 6, did you conclude that it was misleading to place information concerning the shotgun, possible use of the shotgun, under the heading of "Rifle practice" and then not advise the readers of the true facts of the distinction
Mr. LIEBELER. Yes, I did.
Mr. CORNWELL. You note on page 93 near the bottom of the page that there was insufficient material provided on which the readers could base their judgment. Was that also a criticism that you felt was justified with respect to that final report?
Mr. LIEBELER. On that specific issue, yes, from the speed and the way the rifle could be fired.
Mr. CORNWELL. In paragraph 16, on page 24, at the very bottom, did you feel that the process of selecting what facts and information to rely upon seriously affected the integrity and credibility of the entire report?
Mr. LIEBELER. I used the words that it could do that. I believed that then as to the galleys, and I think that was a problem that we had in writing it and difficulties we had about that. The problem became apparent to me when I went through my own chapter after I had drafted it and wrote the footnotes for it. After I drafted my chapter, it had been rewritten and gone through several drafts, other people had changed it and things had been changed around over a period of time. It is absolutely impossible for a process like that to occur without ending up with sentences and statements in the report that simply you cannot find support for in the footnotes, in the testimony and the underlying evidence. It was an extremely painful process to go through all that evidence and try to conform as closely as possible the statements in the text to the actual evidence that was in the record.
That was part of the problem. I think also part of the problem was, as I said before, a tendency, at least in the galleys of chapter IV, to






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try to downplay or not give equal emphasis to contrary evidence just simply admit and state openly that there is a conflict in the mony and the evidence about this question, but after reviewing the evidence the Commission could conclude whatever the Commission conclude. I thought that would have been a better way to do it.
Mr. CORWELL. What was done with all of your comments, the work product that you obviously spent a good deal of time preparing here
which we have now marked as exhibit 36?
Mr. LIEBELER. I typed this memo, myself, so it was not distributed throughout the Commission files in the ordinary form, with different colored copies going to different places. My recollection is that I put a copy of it on Mr. Redlich's desk when I came back from Vermont that weekend and gave Mr. Willens a copy and I believe gave Mr. Rankin a copy. There was really no response to it for a considerable period of time. Then after the chapter had come back in page proof I reviewed it again. Mr. Redlich had already returned to New York. I was dissatisfied with the condition of the chapter even at that point. I went into Mr. Rankings office and told Mr. Rankin that I thought there were problems. So Mr. Rankin said, I believe, get the memo and the proofs and the page proofs, and we sat down, the two of us, and started going through the chapter. Mr. Willens came in and observed what was going on and, it is my surmise, as a result of subsequent events he went out and called Mr. Redlich in New York and in the time it took Mr. Redlich to get from N.Y.U. to the airport and down to Washington, Mr. Redlich appeared in Mr. Rankin's office.
Mr. CORNWELL. It was Mr. Redlich's rewrite you were critizing, is that correct?
Mr. LIEBELER. Yes. So, Mr. Redlich and Mr. Rankin and Mr. Willens and I then spent the rest of that day and long into the night going over this memorandum and the page proofs and my recollection is that we considered and discussed all the issues that were raised here, and probably more as well.
Mr. CORNWELL. Apart from considering what action was taken.
Mr. LIEBELER. The record will show that. I don't recall. My general recollection, my general impression was that my performance against Mr. Redlich was like UCLA's football team usually is against USC. But it really was not quite that bad. I won some and some of the changes were made. And some were not. There is a difference between the page proofs and final report and galley proofs, there is no question about that.
Mr. CORNWELL. There is some difference?
Mr. LIEBELER. Some difference, yes.
Mr. CORNWELL. May we mark for identification, Mr. Chairman, as exhibits 37, 38, 39, 40, and 41, memos respectively dated September 14,
from Mr. Liebeler to Mr. Willens, concerning chapter Vl; memo dated September 15, Mr. Liebeler to Mr. Willens concerning suggestions set forth in a letter from David A. Rothstein: memo of September 15, from Liebeler to Willens regarding a letter from Dr. Rome; a memo of September regarding chapter VI, and a memo dated September 16 regarding chapter VI.
Mr. PREYER. All of these exhibits are marked for identification only.








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Mr. CORNWELL. Have you had a chance to review each of those exhibits prior to coming here today?
Mr. LIEBELER. Yes.
Mr. CORNWELL. Would it be fair to state that each of those exhibits relates also to your findings with respect to errors and overstatements, incorrect statements, which existed in the galley proofs and that you discovered during the rewrite process?
Mr. LEIBELER. No.
Mr. CORNWELL. Or suggested additions to the report?
Mr. LIEBELER. Yes, I think that is correct. but of course they will speak for themselves. But that is a generally correct characterization of them.
Mr. CORNWELL. May we then submit each of those exhibits into the record, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. PREYER. Without objection the exhibits are admitted into the record.
[The documents referred to, marked JFK exhibits No. 37, 38, 39, 40, and 41 and received for the record, follow:]

JFK EXHIBIT No. 37

[Memorandum]
SEPTEMBER 14, 1964.

To: Mr. Willens.
From: Mr. Liebeler.

The following are some general comments on that portion of chapter VI dealing with conspiracy beginning with "investigation of Other Activities" on galley 237.
1. We have not conducted sufficient investigation to state that there is no evidence that FPCC and ACLU were aware that they were authorized to receive mail at P.O. Box 6225, or that mail was ever addressed to them there.
2. Same as to statement re three post office boxes being used for surreptitious receipts of messages. I would delete the whole idea.
3. The sentence re investigation of aliases preceding footnote 714 in the galleys is much too broad.
4. Query statement at top of page 238 that Oswald "commonly" used Hidell as name of others--he also used that name to get the rifle and revolver.
5. What investigation has been conducted "with regard to persons using the name of 'Lee.'" I think the statement following note 727 is too broad.
6. The sentence relating to chapter VII at the close of the discussion of aliases should read "Oswald's creation of false names and fictitious personalties is also treated in the discussion of possible motives set forth in chapter VII."
7. Ownership of second rifle:
a. We cannot say that all of Oswald's transactions in connection with firearms were undertaken under an assumed name, only his known transactions.
b. I think the degree of doubt about the authenticity of the repair tag is overstated.
c. First sentence in first full paragraph on page 259 is too strong and should be changed along the lines indicated in my copy of the galley.
d. The third sentence should also be qualified. The underlying report is not that strong.
e. The last sentence in that paragraph is not supported by the TV films we got from CBS. It should be deleted.
f. The second full paragraph has only one footnote. Furthermore, the last statement is incorrect. Whitworth and Hunter do not now say Oswald drove down the street and only Mrs. Whitworth said so before.
g. The statement that neither Mrs. Hunter nor Mrs. Whitworth could identify a picture of Lee Harvey Oswald is not so. Mrs. Whitworth did do so at 11 H 272. My draft stated that they could not "identify Lee Harvey Oswald standing with a small group of other different looking people."
8. Rifle practise:



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a. Query if all the witnesses agree that the barrel had been shortened. (See note 775.)
b. Do we have evidence on the question of whether or not Oswald's rifle spouts fire. ( See note 777. )
c. What is our authority for the nonexistence of the Cedar Hills gunshop. (See note 781. )
d. At note 794 Oswald could have been at Paine's and still have gone to the rifle range. Add: "and did not leave there to go to the rifle range."
9. Automobile demonstration: I think it is Stemmons Freeway, not "Expressway."
10. Alleged activities with Cuban underground organizations:
a. The title is inappropriate because Andrews and Pena do not talk about underground activities.
b. The title and the introduction are inappropriate because they strongly suggest that Oswald was an anti-Castro. The implication runs through Odio's testimony that he was an infiltrator. It would be better to start with a neutral sentence like: "The Commission has also considered testimony of certain persons that claim to have seen Oswald in the company of unidentified persons of Cuban or Mexican background."
c. What is the authority for the statement that Mrs. Odio claims that both of her parents are political prisoners of the Castro regime?
To go back for a moment to the second rifle section: In the third full paragraph it states, "On November 24, Ryder and Greener discussed at length the possibility" that Oswald had been there, but "Ryder did not mention the tag to his employer." I know of no evidence that Ryder and Greener talked on the 24th.
If they did not, the next sentence must be changed or cut.
The next sentence is a good example of what happens in the "rewrite" process. It says incorrectly, that on November 25 Ryder told the FBI that Greener did not remember the tag, although he had not called the tag to Greener's attention. The original sentence said, correctly, that Greener "did not remember the transaction represented by the repairtag..."
The next sentence says the FBI was directed to Ryder by anonymous phone calls. Not so. They were directed to the Irving Sports Shop and would very likely have talked to Greener, but he could not be found by the agent on November 25, 1963, when he went to the shop.
Back to Odio:
d. Check correct name of JURE.
e. The paragraph on bus transportation starting "There is no firm evidence" should be completely rewritten. I do not think there is "convincing evidence" that Oswald was on the buses as stated. One sentence says he was apparently one of four passengers bound for a point beyond Texas. The next suggests that he bought a ticket in Houston for Laredo, which is in Texas. The McFarland testimony is given too much weight. I don't think Mexican immigration records show the time of day he crossed the border. Slawson told me he got the time of crossing from the scheduled arrival of the bus. Now we are using it to show that since he crossed at that time he had to be on the bus.
f. Since we have no direct evidence that Oswald boarded bus 5133 in Houston, the first sentence of the next paragraph ("Hence, the only time...,) should be changed. That also obviates the necessity that he had to go from New Orleans to Dallas and thence too Houston.
There really is almost no evidence at all that he left Houston on that bus-- and there is really no reason why we should suggest there is. The point can be made without saying that and to seem to rely on really weak evidence is to invite trouble.
g. Again---later in the same paragraph--more reliance on the McFarlands. Their affidavit is very weak--we should not fight it.
h. Then the single ticket from Houston to Laredo again--which probably could not have been Oswald if he were one of the four heading for points Laredo.
i. Also the assumption that the Twiford call was a local call. Why speculate--make the arguments--he probably would not have called at all if he were not in Houston or going to be in Houston.
j. The conclusion that the evidence is persuasive that Oswald was not Dallas on September 25 is too strong.



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k. The story of Father McGhann (sp.?) is overemphasized. We should state that Odio never told anyone else that Eugenio had been one of the men with Oswald. How can we conclude that McGhann would not have become confused when he was apparently in a rest home of some sort and we have never seen or spoken to him?
1. Since we have never taken testimony from Odio's other two friends on which people could base judgement as to their veracity, we should not rely too heavily on their statements, about which they have never been cross-examined.
m. The first two full paragraphs on galley 242 should come out. The "inconsistencies", if any, are minor. Furthermore, Sylvia's testimony is actually misrepresented when it is stated that she and her sister felt Oswald "looked familiar" when they saw his picture after the assassination. Sylvia testified that she was sure it was Oswald.
The paragraph about the psychiatrist is quite unfair. It states that Odio "came forward" with her story, whereas she did not come forward at all and was quite reluctant to get involved at all. Her story came to the attention of the FBI through a third person. The hearsay statements of "friends," concerning their personal opinion of a witness are thin stuff indeed. The whole paragraph is poor and should come out.
The Odio analyses should be based primarily on the apparent likelihood that LHO was elsewhere. These are problems. Odio may well be right. The Commission will look bad if it turns out that she is. There is no need to look foolish by grasping at straws to avoid admitting that there is a problem.
11. Oswald not U.S. agent:
a. Did CIA. note his FPCC activities in New Orleans?
b. Why mention fact that LHO's name was not given to Secret Service--leave --to chapter VIII.
c. Should not say Mrs. O. did not give any basis for her belief LHO was a U.S. agent--better to say any reasonable or credible basis. We should also add that the Commission has thoroughly considered all of her statements; that she was not foreclosed from giving any evidence she had and the Commission concluded that there was no real basis for her position.
d. Why do we mention the Ruby deal here--how does that relate to LHO's being a U.S. agent?
e. Have we really seen the full CIA file on Oswald? Do we need a footnote to the last sentence in the first full paragraph on galley 243?
f. Who is going to attest that they have reviewed the complete Bureau files dealing with the Oswald investigation?
12. Oswald's finances:
a. The second paragraph is a little expansive. It certainly needs more than one footnote in any event.
b. Last sentence in fourth paragraph is ungrammatical.
c. Please let's take out "cheap and shabbily furnished" and other stuff of that sort! See galley and my previous comments on the draft for my suggestions.
d. I think we should cut the description of Oswald's wardrobe to the statement that it was also very modest.
e. The first full paragraph on galley 244 should be rewritten and shortened. I think the discussion of finances is too long and detailed. It is also too apparently precise to be readily believable.
f. To be somewhat facetious: If we are going to explain the other assistant in the FPCC distribution as a hired hand, we had better provide for him in the third full paragraph on 244.
g. We fall back into the first name treatment for Marina Oswald again.
h. Where do we get the hotel expenses of $1.28 per day on the Mexican trip?
i. If Oswald did not cash his unemployment check at Hutch's Market, why do we mention it? I think it was cashed at an A&P store.
j. The whole discussion of Huchison's testimony should be limited to one paragraph in the rumors section.
k. Why do we fail to mention the Cuban or Mexican that one of the Western Union employees said was with the man Hambian thought was Oswald?
l. We should be more specific about the "other cities" in which WU has searched their records.



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JFK EXHIBIT No. 38

[Memorandum]

SEPTEMBER 15, 1964.

To: Mr. Willens.
From: Mr. Liebeler.

Pursuant to suggestions set forth in a letter dated September 13, 1964, from Dr. David A. Rothstein of the Medical Center for Federal Prisoners, I suggest the following following additions to chapter VII.
1. The second sentence in the second full paragraph on galley 67 should be omitted and the following should be substituted:
"Irving Sokolow, a Youth House psychologist, reported that:
"The Human Figure Drawings are empty, poor characterizations of persons approximately the same age as the subject. They reflect a considerable amount of impoverishment in the social and emotional areas. He appears to be a somewhat insecure youngster exhibiting much inclination for warm and satisfying relationships to others. There is some indication that he may relate to men more easily than to women in view of the more mature conceptualization. He appears slightly withdrawn and in view of the lack of detail within the drawings this, may assume a more significant characteristic. He exhibits some difficulty in relationship to the maternal figure suggesting more anxiety in this area than in any other."
The footnote remains the same except for the deletion of an indication that the quote appears at page 1. Since CE 1339 is a short document no page numbers need be indicated. The third sentence of the paragraph under discussion should then commence a new paragraph which otherwise would remain the same.
2. On galley 71 a new paragraph should be inserted immediately following the first full quoted paragraph at the top of that galley. Since the material that Dr. Rothstein recommends that we add continues right on from the present paragraph at the top of galley 71, no indication of omitted material is necessary. The material to be added is as follows:
"This should answer your question, and also give you a glimpse of my way of thinking.
"So you speak of advantages. Do you think that is why I am here? For personal, material advantage? Happiness is not based on oneself, it does not consist of a small home, of taking and getting. Happiness is taking part in the struggle, where there is no borderline between one's own personal world, and the world in general. I never believed I would find more material advantages at this stage of development in the Soviet Union than I might of had in the U.S."
The asterisks should then be left in as they are in the galley because there is omitted material following the above quote and the quote starting "I have been a pro-Communist .... "'the footnote remains the same.
3. Dr. Rothstein thinks we should indicate the approximate date of Marina's "liberation" by de Mohrenschildt. That could be done very simply by adding the words "sometime in early November 1963" following the word "apartment" in the sentence following footnote 250 in galley 74.
4. Dr. Rothstein thinks it is an overstatement to say that Oswald had never been able to obtain from his wife that respect. etc. He suggests, and I agree, that the second sentence in the paragraph following footnote 410 read: "Oswald had difficulty in obtaining from his wife .... "
5. The doctor thinks that the fourth sentence in the paragraph following foot-note 477 is too strongly worded. The sentence should be changed to read:
"He had not been able to establish lasting, meaningful relations...." While Dr. Rothstein has also made other worthwhile suggestions, I do not think they can be included at this point without seriously disrupting the present state of our galleys on chapter VII. I think the ones set forth above should be included however since they are worthwhile changes and can be readily made without disrupting the galley.



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JFK EXHIBIT No. 39

[Memorandum]
SEPTEMBER 15, 1964.

To: Howard 5. Willens.
From: Wesley J. Liebeler.
Subject: Letter of Dr. Howard P. Rome, dated September 13, 1964.

Dr. Rome has sent a 12-page analysis of Oswald's reading disability which I recommend be included in the report as a Commission exhibit.
I also recommend that reference to the disability be set forth in the text by inserting the following as a new paragraph following the second full paragraph on galley 68:
"This misspelling of names, apparently on a phonetic basis, is cited by a psychiatrist consulted by the Commission as an example of a reading-spelling disability from which Oswald appeared to suffer. Other evidence of the existence of such a disability is provided by the many other misspellings that appear in Oswald's writings, portions of which are quoted below. The psychiatrist has suggested the existence of this disability also stated his opinion that the frustration which may have resulted from it gave an added impetus to his (Oswald's) need to prove to the world that he was an unrecognized 'great man.'"
If the above is agreeable, it can be added by shifting only two footnote numbers.

JFK EXHIBIT No. 40

[Memorandum]

SEPTEMBER 15, 1964.

To: Howard P. Willens.
From: Wesley J. Liebeler.
Subject: Chapter VI.

I set forth below my comments on the first part of chapter VI:
1. I do not think we should speak of "Proving a negative conclusion" as we now do in the second full paragraph on galley 189 since that might be thought to imply a prejudgment of the issue. It would be better, I think, to speak of the difficulties in developing evidence of any well executed conspiracy.
2. The last sentence in the third paragraph says that all of Oswald's known writings or other possessions which might have been used for code or other espionage purposes have been examined either by the FBI or the National Security Agency of both. The sentence does not indicate the purpose for which those writings were examined by those agencies. Even though it may be clearer by implication that they were examined to discover any code messages that might be in them, if that is the case I think it should be so stated.
3. The last sentence in the fifth paragraph of galley 189 says that the Commission has also considered whether any connections existed between Oswald and "those groups which, shortly before the assassination, were responsible for the propagation of hostile criticism of President Kennedy." I would assume that reference to right-wing group is intended, but that is not entirely clear since there were certain other groups that propagated hostile criticism of President Kennedy both shortly before the assassination and at other times. The Militant, the Journal of the Socialist Workers Party. was extremely critical of the Kennedy administration. I think that if right wing groups are intended by the sentence, that should be specifically stated and there should be no inference that other groups such as the Socialist Workers Party did not propagate hostile criticism President Kennedy. While that inference is, I am sure, not intended, it might be drawn from present sentence.
4. The next paragraph, relating to the Ruby discussion, should indicate that the Commission has considered the possibility that Jack Ruby was part of a conspiracy to kill Lee Harvey Oswald. That is not mentioned in the present paragraph and is or at least should be a part of the discussion on Ruby.
5. It is a minor point, but we always refer to the window from which the shots were fired as the southeast corner window or a window in the southeast corner of the building. It would appear it would be more precise to say that the window the eastern most window on the south side of the building or at least indicate that clearly at the beginning and state that the window will thereafter be referred to simply as the southeast corner window.



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6. Another small point and perhaps one simply of taste, the stringing together long clauses separated by semi-colons does not seem to be good writing technique. Periods are generally preferable since they make the sentences shorter and actually make the material easier to read and follow.
7. The second paragraph under the heading "Selection of Motorcade Route refers to Dealy Plaza without any explanation of what it is. This has probably been done above. A short clause, however, describing it as the park area between. Ella and Commerce Street immediately east of the triple underpass might be a good idea.
8. The second sentence in the third paragraph under the heading "Oswald's. Presence in the Depository Building" is ungrammatical.
9. Another detail, but the word "company" following "Depository" in the fifth paragraph of this section is abbreviated "Co." It should be spelled out, I think, as should Texas and other such words as that.
10. The last paragraph in this section indicates that the Trade Mart was selected as the luncheon site on November 14, 1963. The newspapers did not indicate a final selection until November 16, 1963, if my recollection is correct. While these two things are not necessarily inconsistent we should be sure that the Trade Mart was actually first selected as the luncheon site on November 14.
11. In the last paragraph of the section entitled "Bringing Rifle into Building" it is stated that "neither women saw the paper bag or paper tape out of which the bag might have been constructed" it would be better to state, I think: "both women testified that they did not see the paper bag .... "
12. Under the caption "Accomplices at the Scene of the Assassination", I am still not able to understand, as set forth in paragraph 4, why the Commission considered probative in considering whether Oswald moved the cartons to the window, the fact that none of the warehouse employees who might have customarily handled the cartons left prints which could be identified. It may in fact be probative in considering that question, but if I am not yet able to understand why, after considering the question at some length, I have reason to believe that the public will have similar difficulties in understanding the reasons why. If it is in fact probative, it should be a relatively simple matter to set forth briefly the reasons why it is.
13. Query whether the prints were identified as those of an FBI "Agent". Inspector Malley told me that they were the prints of a clerk in a Dallas office who wrapped the boxes to be forwarded to Washington for fingerprint identification.
14. The next paragraph still bears the marks of a discussion that was appropriate before the fingerprints had been identified as those of an FBI agent or clerk and a member of a Dallas Police Department. I do not think the sentences set forth at footnotes 45-47 are really appropriate or necessary any longer, since the great bulk of the fingerprints have in fact been identified. The rest of that paragraph should also be rewritten to reflect more clearly the fact that most of the prints have been identified.
15. The discussion starting at the bottom of galley 191 and continuing through to the end of the section of accomplices at the scene is highly repetitive of material set forth in chapter IV. It would seem to me that the rather extensive treatment in chapter V could be substantially reduced by references back to chapter IV. Actually this makes about the third time that some of this stuff has been set forth. First to support the proposition that the shots came from the eastern most window, on the south side of the TSBD. Second, to deal with the identification and now the question of conspiracy. It should be shortened in chapter VI considerably. If the Rowland material is new, of course it should be retained.
16. Under the section captioned "Oswald's Escape," in the discussion of the testimony of Earlene Roberts concerning the police car, it is stated that "the Commission has established that there was no police vehicle in the area of 1026 North Beckley at about 1 p.m. on November 22." I do not think that statement is supported by the evidence we have and even if it appears to be so supported it is entirely too broad and leaves open too much possibility of error. It would be much better to say that investigation has produced no other evidence that there was any police car in the area of 1026 North Beckley, etc.
17. The last sentence on the section of Oswald's Escape is too broad when it states that investigation has produced no evidence that Oswald had pre-arranged plans for a means to leave Dallas after the assassination or that any other person was to provide him assistance. There is no footnote. I do not think we



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can make those broad statements concerning investigations that have been made without supporting them in detail.
18. The statement in this section "Background of Lee Harvey Oswald"' that study of the period from his birth ,"in 1939 to his military service from 1956 to 1959, has revealed no evidence which even plausibly suggests that Oswald was associated with any type of sinister or subversive organization during that period, is too broad and is inaccurate. There is testimony that Oswald wanted to join the Communist Party during the period that he lived in New Orleans from 1954 to 1956. That evidence does plausibly suggest that he might have been associated with a sinister or subversive organization.
There is also evidence that he wrote to the Socialist Party and while this may not be so strong a suggestion as the fact that he wanted to join the Communist party, it is worthy of note.
There is also testimony by Delgado, one of his Marine Corps associates, that he was greatly interested in Cuba, discussed going to Cuba and in fact contacted the Cuban consulate m Los Angeles during the time he was stationed at Santa Ana
The period covered by the above statement includes the time that Oswald was in Japan during which he might have contacted members of some communist organization there. If that ever happened, it would be highly unlikely that we would have any evidence about it. De Mohrenschildt said that Oswald had told him that he had met some communists in Japan and that they got him excited and interested and that is one of the reasons he went to the Soviet Union.
19. While it is probably of little consequence, I do not think it is necessary for the Commission to justify its investigation into the possible existence of a conspiracy involving the Soviet Union by stating that it does not suggest that the rulers of the Soviet Union believed that their political interest would be advanced by the assassination of President Kennedy. The facts in that regard speak for themselves.
20. At the top of galley 195 I do not understand the point about investigation concerning the possibility that Oswald was sent to Minsk unusually soon after he arrived. The statement appears without any warning and immediately raises the question whether or not he was sent to Minsk sooner than might be expected on the basis of information about other defectors. Perhaps the thought would be better expressed only in terms of investigation concerning the possibility that he was expected in the Soviet Union or had developed an undercover relationship without specific reference to the possibility that he had been accepted or sent to Minsk unusually soon.
21. The last sentence in the third full paragraph on galley 195, which states that the CIA has (which is, incidentally spelled out and is not abbreviated as is done in other places) contributed data on the normal practices and procedures of Soviet authorities in handling American defectors, would seem to require a footnote. That would be so if the CIA material is set forth in the record. If it is not, that fact should probably be indicated.
22. The sentence following footnote 151 is slightly ungrammatical in that the word "nor" following the first clause, should be "or." Furthermore, the last two sentences of that paragraph could be omitted and a sentence along the following lines substituted: "Oswald's arrogant and secretive character does not seem inconsistent with a suicide or reigned suicide attempt or with his failure to mention it to others."
23. The sentence which runs from the bottom of galley 195 and ends at the top of 196, dealing with the allegation that those who spoke with Oswald speculated that he may have received some instructions from the Soviet authorities, appears to need a footnote. In that connection, query whether there is any authority for the proposition set forth at footnote 169 that Oswald had read "communist literature without guidance while in the Marine Corps and before that time."
24. Reference is made in galley 196 to a 2 1/2 month period that Oswald had to wait for disposition of his application after he arrived in the Soviet Union. The beginning of the section at the top of page 195 says the period was "almost 3 months."
25. Back to footnote 110; the material set forth at footnote 209 indicates that Oswald used 2200 rubles to pay his hotel bill whereas the material at 110 says that he apparently did not pay his hotel bill at all after November 30, 1959.
The statement at 110 means that he did not pay his hotel bill by himself, but that it was paid for out of funds provided to him by the Russian Government.


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26. The material at footnote 225 should reflect the latest testimony of Marina Oswald concerning her knowledge of Oswald's job. It should probably also say that Marina Oswald has testified that Oswald told her he operated a lathe, etc. As the statement now reads it might appear that she had first hand knowledge of what he was actually doing, which in fact she did not.
27. In the sentence following footnote 245 seems to bega a question that should be discussed in this chapter. The sentence says that it seems unlikely that Soviet authorities would have permitted Oswald to marry and oviet authorities would have permitted Oswald to marry and take his wife to the United States if they were contemplating using him "alone as an agent." One of the questions at hand is whether they did contemplate using him as an agent, either alone or together with Marina Oswald. The sentence as it presently stands, without any discussion of the possibility that Marina Oswald was an agent, seems to be circular.
29. At footnote 257 it says that Oswald unexpectedly appeared in Moscow on July 8, 1961. The following sentence states that Marina Oswald flew to Moscow "also without Soviet sanction." There has been no indication that Oswald's trip to Moscow was without Soviet sanction. Since it was, I believe, that should be indicated. If it was not, the "also" should be taken out in connection with Marina's statement. The first sentence in the next paragraph, of course, indicates that Oswald's travel was apparently without permission, but that should probably be indicated in the preceding paragraph at some point.
30. I think the information set forth in the several extensive quotes from the CIA and State Department could be summarized in a much shorter form thus cutting the length of the chapter.
31. The sentence at footnote 270 uses Marina Oswald's first name only, something we have generally decided not to do and have not done in other places.
32. In the sentence following footnote 279, I believe the MVD colonel's name is misspelled. It should be Aksenov--A-k-s-e-n-o-v, or at least it was so spelled in Marina Oswald's latest testimony before the Commission.
33. At footnote 286 note should be taken of Mrs. Oswald's latest testimony. My recollection is that she testified that she was not aware of any interviews that Oswald had prior to his departure from the Soviet Union.
34. The last sentence on galley 199 which speaks of the Commission's awareness of "both interviews" and states that the way in which American authorities learned about those conferences affords additional evidence that they carried no subversive significance raises the question in my mind of how many other conferences Oswald and his wife may have had of which the Commission has no knowledge. That is a question that can never be satisfactorily dealt with. It is certainly raised, however, by the sentence just referred to which perhaps should be rewritten to avoid raising that question. Perhaps the Commission should face the proposition that it cannot really determine what the Oswalds did in the Soviet Union. Then, in the absence of any other evidence of a conspiracy involving the U.S.S.R. or Marina Oswald, the Commission has concluded that there were no such conferences and if there were they were not related in any way to the greatly subsequent event of the assassination.
35. The fourth sentence following the quote on top of galley 200 is very unclear and should be rewritten. Furthermore, the footnote with respect to that quote (No. 288) seems to be in the wrong place.
36. In the section on the Russian-speaking community, a little rewriting could be done. In addition the second sentence in the second paragraph which says that Oswald spent a "reasonably pleasant period during his grammar school years in Ft. Worth" should be changed simply to indicate that he went to gram-mar school in that city. It is questionable that there is authority to support the proposition that his stay there was "reasonably pleasant."
37. I do not understand the material set forth following the first sentence of the second paragraph, particularly the statement that there is no evidence that he had been in touch with any of his former "acquaintances" when he was in the Soviet Union. All that material could be stricken and the first sentence of the second paragraph could become the first sentence of the third paragraph. Another sentence could be added following that first sentence to indicate that Oswald's brother and mother lived in the Ft. Worth area. We could then go directly to the statement that upon his arrival Oswald did not know any memrbers of the Russian-speaking community.



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38. I do not believe it would be correct to state that it is not surprising that Oswald initiated contacts with the Russian group "in search of persons with whom his non-English speaking wife could converse." We have already seen in chapter VII that Oswald was not concerned about his wife's contacts with others. He apparently did not wish her to have them. He resented her Russian-speaking friends. There was testimony that he prevented her from learning English so that he could continue to practice his own Russian. The most likely reason for Oswald's contact with the Russian-speaking community was his desire to speak Russian himself. I do not think the statement here which seems to evidence a touching concern for his wife is consistent with the picture that has been painted of Oswald in chapter VII.
39. My recollection of the events by which Paul Gregory came to be tutored in Russia by Marina Oswald is different from that which is implied by the third paragraph. They were not consecutive. I believe that Gregory was out of town for some time during that summer and did not begin the Russian lessons until sometime after he returned in the fall of the year. The inference to be drawn, from the present structure of the sentence is that they begin almost at once, perhaps within a week after the conversation between Max Clark and Oswald. I'm perhaps within a week after the conversation between Max Clark and Oswald. I'm quite sure that that is not correct. That inference is supported by the next sentence which starts "sometime later in August" which clearly indicates that the Russian tutoring lessons occurred sometime in early August, which I do not believe to be the case.
40. I think we could do without the detailed descriptions of Bouhe and Meller, and simply say that the Oswalds went to a dinner party where they met George Bouhe and Mr. and Mrs. Meller, other members of the Russian community.
41. The sentence at footnote 324 is somewhat misleading in that it implies that Oswald was looking for work in Dallas all during the time that Marina Oswald stayed with Elena Hall. That is not correct, since Oswald began work at Jaggers-Chiles-Storall almost immediately after he moved to Dallas in about the middle of October whereas it appears that Marina Oswald stayed with Elena Hall until late October or early November, as it says in the next sentence.
42. Query if it can be stated that "a quarrel" led to the November separation of the Oswalds, in view of George De Mohrenschildt's testimony about how he went and took Marina away. It would be simpler to state that the Oswalds were separated again in early November, 1962 during which time Marina Oswald spent approximately 2 weeks with Anna Meller and Mrs. Ford.
43. I would not be prepared to state that the severing of the relationship between the Oswalds and members of the Russian-speaking community was caused primarily "by personal animosity engendered by Oswald." I think it can be just as clearly said that the animosity was "engendered" by George Bouhe and other people who tried to take Marina Oswald away from her husband and who thrust their "help" on Oswald when he had clearly indicated that he did' not want it. This subject is actually more appropriate for treatment in chapter VII where it has in fact been treated. It would be sufficient to say that relationships between the Oswalds and other members of the Russian-speaking community were terminated for personal reasons and let it go at that.
44. At the bottom of the paragraph that ends with footnote 327, Marina Oswald is referred to by her first name and Mrs. Ford's first name is incorrectly used, it is not "Kairina" but it is Katherine or "Kstya." Also the stars should be taken out of footnote 327 in accordance with policy not to use them in material quoted in the text itself. The next paragraph that ends with footnote 327 may be reduced to one sentence which would state that far all practical purposes there was no further contact between the Oswalds and the Russian community following Oswald's departure for New Orleans in the spring of 1963. The material that is now set forth is repetitive of material in chapter VII and greatly repetitive of material in the appendix. It is not necessary for the support of the conclusions of the conspiracy chapter.
45. The last full paragraph on galley 227 now starts to repeat materials that have been set forth in the first paragraph of that section. It has already been stated that Oswald came to Fort Worth on his return from Russia for reasons that had nothing to do with the presence of the Russian community in that city and there is no reason is repeat it now. Additionally, Marina Oswald is again retorted to by her first name as she is also at footnote 337.
46. The whole section of the Russian-speaking community could be tightened very much and should be severely edited and rewritten. The accuracy and precision of the statements set forth should also be improved considerably.




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47. Marina Oswald is again referred to by her first name only at footnote 341 and at several other places throughout the discussion that follows.
48. Query whether we have evidence to support the proposition that "particularly Marina" visited the de Mohrenschildts. I am not aware of the fact that Marina Oswald visited them on any great number of occasions without her husband being present.
49. After reading the remaining section on de Mohrenschildt I am constrained to remark that it really is essential that this material be substantially shortened and cleared up in every sense. It is very bad as it now stands and there is really no reason for all this to be in the text.
50. The first sentence in the second full paragraph states that the opening of the closet door "inadvertently" exposed Oswald's Mannlicher-Carcano rifle. Point 1: There is no footnote at the end of the sentence. Point 2: I do not know what evidence there is that the exposure of the rifle was inadvertent. Point 3: I do not know what evidence there is that that which was exposed, inadvertently or otherwise, was Oswald's Mannlicher-Carcano rifle.
51. The two paragraphs dealing with the rifle episode do not indicate the conflict in the testimony as to when the remark was made. My recollection is that someone testified that de Mohrenschildt made the remark as soon as he walked in the door. That does not appear in the discussion presently in the galley.
52. The paragraph which includes footnotes 391 and 392 is unnecessary. It is personally offensive to de Mohrenschildt. I do not think it is at all necessary to establishing the fact that de Mohrenschildt was not involved with the assassination, to describe him as "immature" and an "admirer of the opposite "eccentric" or anything else.
I think the discussion of de Mohrenschildt and also of Paine should be rewritten and substantially shortened if not altogether deleted from chapter VI. I am unable to understand why such extensive time and space is devoted to de Mohrenschildt and Paine when Marina Oswald herself the most obvious place to look for possible co-conspirator, is not discussed at all.
53. I'm not setting forth comments on the Paine material in the hope that will be substantially rewritten or deleted from chapter VI. I cannot resist; however, noting the paragraph which includes footnotes 431-433. I am particularly struck by the sentence that "Oswald obtained a room in Dallas, where he found employment, but spent weekends with his family at the Paine home." I will always have visions of Oswald and the other TSBD employees packing their books in that long, narrow room at 1926 North Beckley. More seriously, however, the last sentence of the paragraph includes the statement "by the time the agents again came to Mrs. Paine's home." That clearly implies that there was more than one agent present at both interviews. My recollection is that Hasty was by himself on one of the occasions.
54. So far I have not found anything in chapter VI concerning William Kirk Coleman's story of two men who drove out of the area behind Walter's house immediately after the shot was fired at the general.
55. I have given all of my galleys to Stuart Pollack together with copies of this and other memoranda which I have given to you on chapter VI.

JFK EXHIBIT No. 41

[Memorandum]

To: Howard P. Willens. SEPTEMBER 16, 1964.
From: Wesley J. Liebeler.
Subject: Chapter VI.

The following comments relate to the discussion of Oswald's political activities upon his return to the United States which starts at about the middle of galley 230.
1. In the first paragraph of the discussion of the Communist Party, ,et cetera, the T on the word "the" in The Worker should be capitalized.
2. The term "as a matter of course" at footnote 505 implies the existence of evidence beyond that which exists in the record. In order to support that we would have to have evidence as to what the ordinary course of action would



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be on the part of the Communist Party in response to a letter such as that sent Oswald. Since we do not have that evidence I do not see how we can say that their response was "as a matter of course".
3. The same point might be made about the statement in the next paragraph that the organization was not especially responsive. In order to state that we would have to know how responsive they generally were in other situations. Since we do not, I do not see how we can make the statement.
In the sentence following footnote 510 it would be better to say that Johnson testified that he did not receive the letter until after the assassination, instead of making the flat statement, since the only evidence we have on that question is Johnson's testimony. This same point was raised in a discussion concerning chapter VII with Mr. Rankin and Mr. Redlich and it was agreed by all that the qualified statement would be preferable.
5. The next sentence says that Oswald wrote the Communist Party and the Hall Davis Defense Committee enclosing samples of his photographic work. He did write the Hall Davis Defense Committee but I believe the other letter enclosing samples of his photographic work was to The Worker and not to the Communist Party, although my recollection is not precise on that point.
6. The first sentence in the last paragraph on galley 230 should be qualified by stating "Johnson testified that the files of the Communist Party * * *" Once again Johnson's testimony is the only evidence we have and the qualified statement would be preferable.
7. The sentence preceding the sentence covered by footnote 518 should have footnote. In any event the nature of the evidence indicating that the files of the Young Socialist Alliance contain no reference to Oswald should be indicated. If it is somebody's testimony we should state that so-and-so testified that the files contained no such reference.
8. The Militant should have an initial capital T on the article in its name.
9. The sentence following footnote 523 says that the Commission has questioned persons who knew Oswald during every phase of his adult life and that one of them gave any indication that Oswald maintained a surreptitious relationship with any organization. There is no footnote in support of that sentence and the next sentence goes on to an entirely different subject. Obviously a footnote is needed.
10. The last sentence in the discussion of Communist Party, et cetera, activities says that there is no reason to believe that any material has been withheld by any of the organizations under discussion. I would omit that last clause ending the last sentence as follows: "The material that has been disclosed is in all cases consistent with other data in the possession of the Commission." There is no reason for the Commission to go on and make a statement that could very well arouse political controversy, especially when it does not contribute in any material way to the discussion.
11. The first sentence in the discussion on Fair Play for Cuba Committee indicates that Oswald "purportedly" acted on behalf of the FPCC. I do not know that qualification should be stated. He obviously acted on behalf of FPCC in the sense that he was encouraged by the national organization in many of the activities in which he engaged.
12. The sentence preceding footnote 527 should be omitted since it simply does not seem to fit here.
13. The sentence preceding 529 is incorrect since Oswald did not ask the national organization for the circulars as described nor did he distribute them on at least three occasions. He had his "Hands off Cuba" materials printed in New Orleans at his own expense.
14. I would say that the FPCC chapter in New Orleans appeared to have been entirely fictitious.
15. The sentence following footnote 533 states when the national office learned of Oswald's unauthorized activities, it terminated its correspondence with him." Technically they terminated correspondence with him with their last letter, at which time they did not know of his "unauthorized activities." In any event the sentence implies a causal connection between the two events which cannot under any circumstances be justified by the testimony presently in the record. The most that can be said is that V.T. Lee later testified that he was disappointed with Oswald, even though there is really no reason I see why he should have been at that time and that Lee did not write any letters after a certain date. I know of no way in which a causal connection may be established between


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those propositions. In any event a footnote for the sentence or the thoughts expressed differently is necessary.
16. The reference to chapter VII in parentheses following footnote 534 should be moved up to the preceding sentence which should read "in fact these letters which are discussed in greater detail in chapter VII, contained * * *."
17. At the very bottom of galley 231 a footnote is needed for a reference to Mr. Steele's testimony that he never saw Oswald before and never saw him again after the distribution of FPCC leaflets on August 16, 1963.
18. I would add language at the top of galley 932 to indicate that a search had been made for the individual who helped Oswald and Steele distribute literature but that he has not yet been found. A parenthetical expression preceding the word "but" at the top of that page as follows would be appropriate: "in spite an extensive search for him,".
19. While the discussion of groups hostile to President Kennedy is generally, well written, it is too long and contains material that has not the slightest conceivable relevance to the possible existence of a conspiracy to assassinate the President or to any other possible issue in this investigation. In addition, I suggest that the quote from Oswald's undated letter of November 1963 to the Communist Party be omitted, as it is set forth in chapter VII. If it is left in the two quotes should be made identical in form, which they are not now.
20. Some footnotes are needed in the second paragraph following the quote.
Mr. CORNWELL. Again, Mr. Liebeler, what we have now admitted into the record is a rather voluminous quantity of additional comments concerning the galley proofs and the nature of the final report. What, if anything, was done with your comments in all of these memos?
Mr. LIEBELER. I am not able to answer that question from my own recollection. I have not gone through all of the memos to see which of the suggestions were adopted and which were not. But I have done that with respect to two of them. Exhibit 39 and exhibit 38, I find that for the most part the recommendations made in these memos are reflected in the final report.
Mr. CORNWELL. Which two memos again were those?
Mr. LIEBELER. Exhibits 38 and 39.
Mr. CORNWELL. Again did the implementation of your suggestions in those cases require lengthy discussions or were they inaccurate based on the memorandum itself?
Mr. LIEBELER. Since I don't have any recollection of them I assume they were adopted without any difficulty. I don't have any recollection that there was any difficulty with any of these suggestions
Mr. CORNWELL. You implied earlier by your analogy, to UCLA and USC that you lost more of those suggestions than were adopted, that correct?
Mr. LIEBELER. I only said that about that conference in Mr. Rankin's office with Mr. Redlich and Mr. Willens on chapter IV.
Mr. CORNWELL. Does that analogy apply to the rest of the memos?
Mr. LIEBELER. I don't think so. I have not had time to go through these other memos and see whether the changes were reflected in the report or not. I have no recollection whether they were or not, but that can easily be done if somebody wants to do it.
Mr. CORNWELL. Let me ask you this. What if any motive was there: for the general tone of the galley proofs that you found repeated fault, with in these memos? Why was it written the way it was? Was it simply inadvertence. Was it pressure in an attempt to get the report together under a too restrictive deadline, or was there some other reason, the kinds of problems you found?



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Mr. LIEBELER. I think there are different reasons in different cases. I have the impression from looking at these memos that the problem that I am addressing here in chapter VI and chapter VII are a little different than the problems I addressed in exhibit 36 which related to chapter IV. It appears to me that the kinds of problems raised in exhibits 37 through 41, I, believe are more of the kinds of problems that will just come up on reviewing a draft or a set of galleys that will just creep into the work for the most part, whereas chapter IV was a little different question. I did say I thought there was overwriting to a great extent.
Mr. CORNWELL. The overwriting concept, of overstating the degree proof, was one of the problems discussed with respect to chapter IV, is that correct?
Mr. LIEBELER. Yes.
Mr. CORNWELL. Let us look at the September 14 memo which I believe is exhibit 37. On page 9 do you not state that:

We cannot say that all of Oswald's transactions in connection with firearms were undertaken under an assumed name, only his known transactions.
b. I think the degree of doubt about the authenticity of the repair tag is overstated.
d. The third sentence should also be qualified. The underlying report is not that strong.
e. The last sentence in that paragraph is not supported by the TV films we got from CBS.

On the next page 3, under item 10, b., "The title and the introduction are inappropriate because they strongly suggest that Oswald was an anti-Castro."
On page 4 under "Odio," item e., "The paragraph on bus transportation starting 'There is no firm evidence' should be completely rewritten. I do not think there is 'convincing evidence.'"
On page 5, "The McFarland item is given too much weight."
Down there further, under paragraph f., "The point can be made without saying that and to seem to rely on really weak evidence is to invite trouble."
Item J. "The conclusion that the evidence is persuasive that Oswald was not in Dallas on September 95 is too strong."
Mr. LIEBELER. Yes; all these things are here, that is correct.
Mr. CORNWELL. The same kind of comments in chapter VI then that we found in chapter IV?
Mr. LIEBELER. There are some of them in here. This memo has many of them in here. My impression as I said before is I still have that impression that there was not the severe problem in these other chapters that there was in chapter IV. Obviously, that problem I thought was there in all of them, and I raised these questions about it.
Mr. CORNWELL. Did you receive any impression that the reason for writing the report, as you found it, overly strong, and of course in context that means I guess that the sole assassin in theory was stronger, the lack of a conspiracy may have been overstated? In that sense was it prompted by any consideration of the national or possible international repercussions of this report?
Mr. LIEBELER. I have no way of knowing that or answering that question. I think that the kind of thing that we observe here as much as anything else reflects a basic difference in judgment between some






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the other people on the staff who drafted these portions of the report about which I am commenting and myself. In some cases l think that the memos indicate that simply mistakes were made and that they should be corrected and I assumed that they were. I am almost certain that they were.
But that could be probed by looking at the report. I don't think there is any "explanation" for it other than the difference in attitude and approach between different people.
Mr. CORNWELL. May we mark for identification as exhibit 42, Mr. Chairman, a memo dated September 16 from Mr. Liebeler to Mr. Rankin, subject matter: "Quote from New Orleans Times-Picayune September 19, 1963 concerning Fidel Castro's speech."
Mr. PREYER. That may be marked for identification only.
Mr. CORNWELL. Have you had a chance to review that memo prior to coming here?
Mr. LIEBELER. Yes, sir.
Mr. CORNWELL. Would it be fair to state that that is one additional memo concerning the same general subject matter of what should and should not be included in the final report?
Mr. LIEBELER. Yes.
Mr. CORNWELL. May we admit that document into the record?
Mr. PREYER. Without objection, it is admitted into the record.
[The document referred to, marked JFK exhibit No. 42 and received for the record, follows:]

JFK EXHIBIT No. 42

[Memorandum]
SEPTEMBER 16, 1964.
To: Mr. Rankin.
From: Mr. Liebeler.
Re: Quote from New Orleans Times-Picayune of September 19, 1963, concerning Fidel Castro's speech.

We previously discussed the possible inclusion in chapter VII of the quote from the New Orleans Times-Picayune of September 19, 1963, concerning Fidel Castro to the effect that U.S. leaders would not be safe themselves if U.S. promoted attack on Cuba continued. You and Mr. Redrich took the position that we could not include the quote unless there was some evidence that Oswald had actually read that particular newspaper. I stated that the material was relevant and the possibility that Oswald had read it, should be discussed. I was not, however, at that time able to indicate any other situation in which materials had been discussed on the possibility that Oswald had read it, in the absence of any specific proof that he had.
I now note, however, in reviewing the galleys of chapter Vl that an extensive discussion of the "Welcome Mr. Kennedy" advertisement and the "Wanted for Treason" handbill are included. The following statement appears in connection: "There is no evidence that he [Oswald] became aware of either the 'Welcome Mr. Kennedy' advertisement or the 'Wanted for Treason' handbill, though neither possibility can be precluded."
Our discussion of the possible inclusion of the Castro quote had obvious political overtones. The discussion set forth in chapter Vl concerning the "Welcome Mr. Kennedy" advertisement and the "Wanted for Treason" handbill have similar overtones. One of the basic positions that you have taken throughout this investigation is that the groups on both ends of the political spectrum must treated fairly. I have agreed with that proposition in general, even though have disagreed at times on specific applications of it.
It appears clear to me, however, that if we are precluded from including the quote from the New Orleans newspaper concerning Castro's speech on the grounds that we have no evidence that Oswald actually read it, even though we do know


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he read a great deal, the same must be true of the "Welcome Mr. Kennedy" advertisement and the "Wanted four Treason" handbill. The discussion in chapteer Vl actually admits that the "Welcome Mr. Kennedy" advertisement in the November 22, 1963, Dallas Morning News probably did not come to Oswald's attention. Under those circumstances, it would seem to me that fairness indicates either the deletion of the discussion of the advertisement and the handbill that is now set forth in chapter VI or the inclusion of the Castro statement in chapter VII.
Mr. CORNWELL. Would it be fair to state, Mr. Liebeler, that on the first page of that document you outline to Mr. Rankin two different types of newspaper or articles, one of which would reflect a possible threat against the President by Mr. Castro, and another set of articles which would indicate possible threats by rightwing groups in the United States?
Mr. LIEBELER. Yes, sir.
Mr. CORNWELL. Would it be fair to state that on page 2 you go on to state that:

Our discussion of the possible inclusion of the Castro quote had obvious political overtones. The discussion set forth in chapter VI concerning the "Welcome Mr. Kennedy" advertisement and the "Wanted for Treason" handbill have similar overtones. One of the basic positions that you have taken throughout this investigation is that the groups on both sides of the political spectrum must be treated fairly. I have agreed with that proposition in general although we have disagreed at times on the specific application of it.

In other words, would it be fair to state that in substance you found an example where the report was to allow the inclusion of evidence if it reflected a possible right wing conspiracy, but it would be. more sensitive to the problem if you included evidence concerning possible Castro conspiracy?
Mr. LIEBELER. Yes; I think that is a correct statement, and I am prepared to offer, if you wish it, an explanation as to why that sort of thing occurred.
Mr. CORNWELL. Yes, sir.
Mr. LIEBELER. I have the very definite impression that the Chief Justice was extremely sensitive about some of the things people in Texas and in Dallas particularly had said about him. There was considerable discussion about putting anything in the report or conducting any kind of investigation into the newspaper ads that had been taken in Dallas prior to the time that President Kennedy went to Dallas and about some handbills that had been distributed down there.
I took the position that there was no conceivable relevance between that activity and President Kennedy's assassination. As this memo reflects, one of the legal formulations of that issue became a part of the question of whether there was any evidence to suggest that Oswald had ever seen these newspaper stories or knew about the handbill, and if he had not, of course, there would not be any foundation at all for saying anything about it. This memo is an attempt to quite frankly either get the rightwing stuff out or put the Castro stuff in but not put the rightwing stuff in and keep the Castro stuff out.
In fact, this particular article from the Tirnes-Picayune I do not believe was discussed in the report, but I may be wrong about that. I have not been able to find any reference to it. There is a considerable discussion, however, on pages 414 and 415 of the report about






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the possibility that Oswald was motivated by sympathy for the Castro regime and other Communist materials that he read and was familiar with, so that that question was discussed in the report even though the specific article was not. The other material about these rightwing people was also included in the report. Both of them went in although not the specific Castro thing as near as I can tell. The reference to the New Orleans article was not included in the report.
Mr. CORNWELL. I wonder if part of your last answer inferred a particularly close relationship between Mr. Redlich and Mr. Rankin on the one hand and Chief Justice Earl Warren on the other. In other words, you seem to be suggest that Earl Warren's feeling about the rightwing attitude in Texas may have had an effect upon the decision or at least the preliminary decision to include the rightwing articles and omit the Castro articles.
Mr. LIEBELER. I don't have the impression that it had anything to do with omitting the Castro article. I have the rather clear impression that the Chief Justice requested that the investigation into the rightwing activities be conducted. I know that for a fact because they asked me to do it. I didn't do it. I wouldn't do it.
Mr. CORNWELL. Do you believe based on your experiences there that this type of selection process, and the process by which many of the points of evidence were overstated, was the result of Rankin's and Redlich's views of what Earl Warren wanted? Did this last exhibit represent a typical occurrence or an isolated occurrence?
Mr. LIEBELER. It wasn't the only time the question came up. That is certainly true. It seems to me there are two questions here though. This business of overwriting, as I characterized it, I don't have any reason to believe that that had any relationship to the Chief Justice's views on any of the issues. I didn't have any reason to believe that. I have no knowledge that would lead me to believe that. Mr. Redlich and I have quite profoundly different views of the world on political questions, and that led to disagreements over this matter on several occasions.
Mr. CORNWELL. I am sorry I don't have it here to show you, but I would like to read for you what our research department says is the contents of a memorandum they have reviewed in the L.B.J. Library in Austin. Tex. The memo purports to reflect J. Edgar Hoover's statements to White House aide Walter Jenkins on November 24, 1963. It states Mr. Hoover's apparent thinking.
The thing I am most concerned about and so is Mr. Katzenbach, is having something issued so that we can convince the public that Oswald is the real assassin. Mr. Katzenbach thinks that the President might appoint a presidential Commission of three outstanding citizens to make a determination. I countered with the suggestion that we make an investigative report to the Attorney General with pictures, laboratory work, et cetera, and the Attorney General can make the report to the President and the President can decide whether to make it public. I felt this was better because there are several aspects which would complicate our foreign relations if we followed the Presidential Commission route.
Were you aware of any belief at the level of the FBI, the head of the FBI, the Justice Department, the White House, perhaps Earl Warren, during the operation of the Warren Commission that the public needed to be convinced that Oswald was the real assassin and








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that there were sensitive areas that had to be avoided in connection with foreign relations?
Mr. LIEBELER. No. I did not get that impression. I don't think anybody on the staff of the Commission thought it was their job to convince anybody that Oswald was the assassin. I think they felt their job was to find out who was the assassin. For better or worse we came to the conclusion, which I felt was correct, that Oswald was the assassin and that is what the report said. I don't have the feeling that there was ever any constraint placed on any investigation that I was involved in or anyone else that I know of on the Commission staff, either for reasons of the kind to which you now allude or for any other reason that didn't make sense in the context of the development of the work of the Commission.
I want to put that exception in because there were persons who felt that Griffin was spending too much time trying to find out how Jack Ruby got in the basement and things like that. On this other issue there was no such thing involved.
Mr. CORNWELL. In other words, your answer, as I understood it, is that you observed no restrictions upon your investigation or that of your fellow staff attorneys which you then or now would construe as being the product of this type of attitude?
Mr. LIEBELER. That is correct.
Mr. CORNWELL. Let me ask you, however, whether or not in your view it would have been possible for the facts to have been supplied to the Warren Commission by the investigative agencies in a manner to accomplish this type of constraint? Could they have tailored what they provided you in your view to accomplish that?
Mr. LIEBELER. In my view that could have been done by the Central Intelligence Agency. I do not believe that could have been done by the FBI.
Mr. CORNWELL. On what basis do you make the distinction?
Mr. LIEBELER. The FBI provided us with a piece of information and interview, the FBI reports. Those witnesses, those persons who were interviewed by the FBI were available to us. We took their depositions ourselves. The work the FBI did on the physical evidence, the ballistics work, the fingerprint work, the fair and fibers work, that sort of thing, in many, if not in all cases, were checked by independent criminal laboratories. We did not rely solely on the statement of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in that regard.
I do not believe because of those considerations that the Bureau could have essentially done that. It is true that apparently there were things that some people in the Bureau knew that they did not tell us but don't think that any of those things had anything to do with the basic facts of the assassination.
As to the CIA, however, it is much more difficult. It was much more difficult for us to verify statements received from them. So, I think as result of those factors it might have been possible in the case of the CIA. I want to emphasize, however, that I do not believe that was the case. But I think it might have been possible. I think the basic problem, the basic area where it could have been a possibility is that if the-- we were faced with a number of leads that led to various kinds of Cuban individuals and Cuban groups that Oswald was claimed to have








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associated with or been seen with. The Odio thing and a series of contacts in New Orleans, several in New Orleans.
In those cases it was very difficult or impossible to follow them down in the sense you could say absolutely with a high degree of certainty that there was nothing to them. It is possible I suppose that the CIA may have had information in its files reflecting its own activity and concerns with Cuba that, if provided to us, might have helped us keep up with some of these other things that we were pursuing on our own and with the help of the FBI. As I say, I have no reason to believe that is the case.
Mr. CORNWELL. Would that attitude, which would appear on the face of that one memorandum which I just read, have been consistent with what you observed to have happened during the rewrite process?
Mr. LIEBELER. Are we referring to exhibit 42?
Mr. CORNWELL. No. I am referring to the memorandum I read you a moment ago concerning what appears to have been Mr. Hoover's feeling that they needed to convince the American public that Oswald was the assassin and to avoid several aspects which might complicate foreign relations. Was that consistent with what was happening in the rewrite process?
Mr. LIEBELER. I don't know. Once you conclude on the basis of the evidence we had that Oswald was the assassin, for example, taking that issue first, then obviously it is in the interest of the Commission, and I presume everyone else, to express that conclusion in a straightforward and convincing way. Now the question, I think, that perhaps Mr. Redlich and I differed on from time to time was what was the most convincing way? Do you write the thing in a conclusionary sense or do you say: Well, here are the problems. And after looking at all this evidence and taking account of the conflicting evidence and differences, the Commission has concluded that this is the result.
If you were just going to publish the report ired get rid of all the other evidence obviously you can state it in any kind of conclusionary fashion you want. But If you know that people are going to be looking at this work for years and years to come, as it has turned out they are, then it seemed to me the most convincing way to do it was to lay everything right out there and say, "Here are the problems, you don't have to look for them, the Commission looked at them and after considering them this is the conclusion we came to."
Mr. CORNWELL. One final exhibit, Mr. Chairman. May I have marked for identification a document or a memorandum dated April 15, 1964, from Mr. Goldberg to Mr. Rankin as exhibit 43?
Mr. PREYER. It may be marked as exhibit 43 for identification purposes.
Mr. CORNWELL. Did you have a chance to review that document prior to coming here?
Mr. LIEBELER. Yes, sir.
Mr. CORNWELL. Is it fair to say that the subject of that memo concerns a possible request from all the members of the staff for a historical memorandum outlining the nature of their work, the major problems they encountered, and soliciting their evaluation of the work of the Commission from various standpoints?
Mr. LIEBELER. That is what it says.






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Mr. CORNWELL. May we admit that for the record, Mr. Chairman?
Mr. PREYER. Without objection, it is admitted into evidence.
[The document referred to, marked JFK exhibit No. 43 and received for the record, follows:]

JFK EXHIBIT No. 43
APRIL 15, 1964.
Memorandum for: Mr. J. Lee Rankin.
From: Mr. Alfred Goldberg.
Subject: Historical memoranda by staff members.

Pursuant to our conversation of yesterday, I suggest that the members of the Commission staff be asked to prepare, prior to their departure from here, an account of their experiences with the Commission. Attached is a suggested draft of a memorandum to the staff.

April 15, 1964.
Memorandum to: All members of the staff.
From: J. Lee Rankin, General Counsel.
Subject: Historical memoranda by staff members.

It is more than likely that this Commission will be the subject of future historical, legal, and political studies. We have an opportunity, and also an obligation, to help create as complete a record as possible of the work of the Commission. At some time, shortly before your departure from here, will you please prepare an account of your contribution to the work of the Commission. It would be helpful if you would also analyze and evaluate the work of the staff and the Commission in general. Please be as specific and comprehensive as possible. You may find the check list below of some assistance in preparing your memoranda.
1. How did you become associated with the Commission?
2. How were your functions and area of activity decided?
3. What actions did you take to carry out your assignment?
4. What were the major problems you encountered in carrying out your assignment?
5. What is your evaluation of the work of the Commission from the following standpoints?
a. Organization;
b. Administration;
c. Planning of work;
d. Policies;
e. Investigative support;
f. Hearings and depositions;
g. Organization and preparation of reports;
h. Validity of findings.

Mr. CORNWELL. Prior to the time that I showed you that document in anticipation of your testimony here had you seen it?
Mr. LIEBELER. Not to my recollection.
Mr. CORNWELL. Was it to your knowledge, circulated among the staff and were those requests ever made?
Mr. LIEBELER. I don't believe so. I don't believe they were ever made.
Mr. CORNWELL. Did you ever write any memorandum of that nature, in other words, a memorandum giving your views on those subject matters?
Mr. LIEBELER. Not directly.
Mr. CORNWELL. Do you have any information which could give us an insight into why that memorandum was never distributed among the staff, if it was not?
Mr. LIEBELER. Well, I think if I had been in Mr. Rankin's position I would probably not have sent it out either.
Mr. CORNWELL. I have no further questions.
Mr. PREYER. Are there questions by members? Mr. Fauntroy.



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Mr. FAUNTROY. Not at this time.
Mr. PREYER. Mr. Devine.
Mr. DEVINE. No questions.
Mr. PREYER. Mr. Dodd.
Mr. DODD. I have just two questions really. You stated in regard to the rifle, the palm print, and I think on the boxes as well you had a bit of disagreement over whether or not those prints ought to be--was it verified or checked out? I wasn't sure what you meant. They had actually been run already once. There was some question of the absorption because of the wood. Had there already been a test on them?
Mr. LIEBELER. If I may, I will explain exactly what happened in both of those cases, it won't take very long.
I think particularly the point on the rifle barrel may be worthwhile. The Dallas Police Department had gotten to the rifle. Very shortly thereafter they sent it to the FBI for fingerprint analysis. The FBI reported there were no prints on the rifle. Four days later the Dallas Police Department forwarded to the FBI a lift of a palm print that they said had been taken from the underside of the rifle barrel. When they were asked, as they were, why they had waited 4 days to send this lift to the FBI or had not told the FBI that they had made this lift from the rifle, their reply was that even though the print had been lifted, that that lift had not removed the latent print from the underside of the rifle barrel and it was still there.
Well, the problem was that the FBI never found it there. It occurred to us that it was possible that in fact the palm print never came from the rifle. We only had the say-so of the Dallas Police Department to that effect and we weren't satisfied with that. We wanted the FBI to establish, if they could, whether that palm print in fact came from that rifle or not. At the time this question was raised no attempt whatever had been made to deal with that problem. Now after the discussion that Mr. Willens and Redlich and I had that was referred to in the testimony Mr. Rankin invited to his office the chief FBI fingerprint expert, Inspector Mally of the FBI, who was liaison with the Commission and I think Mr. Slawson and Mr. Griffin and Mr. Willens and Mr. Redlich and Mr. Rankin met with them. I suggested to Mr. Latona, their fingerprint expert, that there might be some distortion in the lift because it had been taken from a cylindrical surface, sort of a Mercator projection is here, put your hand on a light bulb and take the lift and lay it flat, it might distort the lift from what it might have been on the surface.
Latona went back and looked at the lift. He found that there were indications in the lift itself of pits and scores and marks and rust spots that had been on the surface from which the print had been lifted, and happily they conformed precisely to a portion of the underside of the rifle barrel and the FBI so reported to us. As far as I was concerned that conclusively established the proposition that, that that had come from that rifle.
Mr. DODD. To your knowledge why would not the FBI have been able to detect it?
Mr. LIEBELER. I have no explanation of that.
Mr. DODD. There have been all sorts of allegations about the numbers of various weapons kicking around. I don't know, this has been one of








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the pieces of evidence they have used to corroborate the critics that allege---
Mr. LIEBELER. Not any more. There is nothing you can say about it. It clearly came from that rifle.
Mr. DODD. Why did Mr. Rankin object so strongly to going through that fairly simple process to make that determination? Did he ever give an explanation why?
Mr. LIEBELER. It wasn't clear that it was going to be that simple when we started out. That was an idea that sort of occurred to us as we went along. Our first approach was to think of how we could question the Dallas Police Department about what happened, why they had not forwarded the print with the rifle. This being late in the day, whenever it was, late August or September, Mr. Rankin was not terribly enthusiastic about having a couple of Commission lawyers go down to Dallas and start questioning the Dallas Police Department quite frankly cause it would have raised all kinds of questions at that time as to what in the hell was going on, what are we doing going down and taking depositions from the Dallas Police Department months after the report was supposed to be out?
I had some sympathy with that view and halfway thought we would have pushed that, we would have done that had it not been for the Bureu's ability to deal with that problem in another way and much more effective way.
Now on the cartons the problem there was that Oswald's prints had been identified on those cartons, they were cartons containing books that were in the corner of the window from which the shot had been fired and there were, I don't know, 20 or 25 or 28 other prints on the cartons that had never been identified. No serious attempt in my mind had ever been made to identify them. I first was troubled by the fact that at one point the draft of the report said that the Commission great weight on the fact that Oswald's prints were on those cartons. I had some difficulty with that proposition in view of the fact that we had not identified these other prints and really had not made any attempt to do so.
Mr. DODD. What eventually happened to that?
Mr. LIEBELER. What eventually happened was at that same conference--I was given the gift of tongues or something. As I walked out of the conference I heard someone say to Inspector Mally, "By the way, Inspector Mally, you might consider the possibility that those prints were put on those boxes by FBI agents." I looked around the room to see who had the temerity to suggest that and I found I said it myself. Unconsciously, I didn't realize I was saying that. Inspector Mally did consider that possibility and it turned out to be correct.
Mr. DODD. All those prints did come from the FBI people?
Mr. LIEBELER. They came from an FBI clerk in the Dallas office and from a detective in the Dallas Police Department except for one print that was never identified.
Mr. DODD. Also the palm prints on the gun that was FBI?
Mr. LIEBELER. That was Oswald's, yes.
Mr. DODD. I did want to ask you why you thought Gerald Ford was the best Commission member but I thought that was irrelevant.
Mr. McKINNEY. It is irrelevant now.






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Mr. PREYER. Mr. McKinney.
Mr. McKINNEY. Just a question I have asked everybody appearing before the committee. It concerns the lack of communication between the CIA and the FBI over Oswald, the fact Oswald was a known defector from the United States. The CIA's debacle of the Bay of Pigs which we discussed with Mr. Slawson, none of our agencies at that particular time were in very good repute. There was a question as to our intelligence gathering ability after the Bay of Pigs and after the Cuban missile crisis and one thing or another.
The FBI had problems. Do you feel as a junior counsel on this a little nervous about the fact that you had to depend, for all your information to essentially come from governmental agencies that had somewhat clearly goofed at least as far as keeping each other apprised of what Lee Harvey Oswald was at?
Mr. LIEBELER. I never had the feeling that we relied on Government agencies for our information. When we started we started with a bunch of FBI files, but we reviewed those so that we could conduct our own investigation. We did take the testimony of many, many witnesses. We had the reports of the examination of the physical evidence verified by outside sources, we did not rely on the FBI. So as to the basic facts of what happened in Dallas on that day not only did we not rely on the FBI work but the fact is that the Commission came to assume somewhat different conclusions than the FBI came to.
There was a preliminary FBI report that solved the problem as to what happened. Our conclusions were somewhat different from that. I don't think we relied on the FBI to the extent that people think we did.
Mr. McKINNEY. Do you feel there was not enough time?
Mr. LIEBELER. Yes, to write the report. What we had planned to do originally-Mr. Rankin spoke to me about this in June or July--was that after the report was drafted, put into the condition it was eventually released in, he wanted two or three people and I was quite flattered by the fact that he asked me to be one of them to stay on and rewrite the whole report and polish it up. We simply never had time to do that. I was unhappy about that.
In terms of the investigation with the one exception that I mentioned I did not think that time was a particular problem.
Mr. PREYER. I have a couple of questions. One of the most troubling incidents is the Sylvia Odio incident where apparently there was so much unanimous agreement that she is a credible witness. Yet, some of her testimony seems rather improbable, measured against some of the other known facts. Do you have any suggestion, calling on your gift of tongues, that would give us any thoughts on how we might corroborate her testimony or challenge it? I assume one thing, if we could find out whether Oswald
was in Dallas on that date it would be an important fact. But do you have any thoughts on how, if you had the time now and an opportunity--you mentioned you did not think you had gotten at the bottom of that--what would you do now to try to get to the bottom of it . What could we do?
Mr. LIEBELER. The first thing I would do is review the FBI on that question that I understand came into existence subsequent to the publication of the report and then I think I would want to find out, if I knew how to do it, whether the CIA has any information or had any information








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about any of the people who were involved in that sequence of events. I don't believe that the committee will be able to eliminate the possibility that Oswald was in Dallas at that time any better than we did. We tried to do that. We had his location pinpointed rather well.
The FBI conducted an extensive investigation quite late in the game to see if they could produce any additional information about his whereabouts in New Orleans before he went to Mexico, unsuccessfully. While it would have involved travel by automobile or by airplane I think he could have been in Dallas at that time. I personally do not believe he was but he could have been.
Mr. PREYER. Did you ever talk to Ms. Odio personally?
Mr. LIEBELER. Yes, sir, I took her testimony.
Mr. PREYER. What is your impression of her credibility after you subjected her to questioning?
Mr. LIEBELER. I think she believes that Oswald was there. I do not think she would lie about something like that. But I also have the impression both from my own observations of the woman and from some knowledge of her background obtained from the FBI, that I would not regard her as a reliable witness on this question. I will be happy to discuss that at greater length. The staff I am sure will follow up on that matter.
She was having certain psychologist and other problems at the time. I just don't think she accurately reported on what happened.
Mr. PREYER. I might ask one other question in another area. I understand that several of the Warren Commission members had a long day session with a number of psychiatrists and psychologists dealing in your area of what were the motives of Oswald and there has been some criticism that the Warren Commission report treated that day's findings in a somewhat selective manner. Do you have any comment about that? Were you at that all-day meeting?
Mr. LIEBELER. Yes, I was. My understanding and recollection of that was that that session was sort of a working session and a transcript was made of it and it was not published in the underlying hearings. I think it is available in the archives. I have seen a copy of it since then. I know it is available somewhere. I think that some people st the time thought we were getting a little too far into this business of trying to psychoanalyze a man who none of us had even seen. In the 13 years that have passed since that time I think that too now. I did not think it then but I do now.
Mr. PREYER. There was more question of the weight of the evidence to why you didn't come down very hard on that.
Mr. LIEBELER. That is right. Unlike some people we are not able to observe Members of the United States Senate st a distance and characterize the nature of their psychology.
Mr. FAUNTROY. I have two questions, Mr. Chairman. That is that there has recently been published a book called "The Making of an Assassin" by Ms. McMillan, referring to a 13-year-long writing of an account of the man through interviews with his wife Marina. I have not had an opportunity to read it, only reviews of the book. It suggests motives that may have emerged from that rather exclusive interviewing of Mrs. Oswald. Are you familiar st all with that work?
Mr. LIEBELER. No; I haven't seen it. I have not read the reviews of it or anything.







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Mr. FAUNTROY. My second question is, is it not your testimony that the reservations that you had about the character of the Commission report, the language, the writing, additional questions that have been raised since, new information has come to light since, all these things notwithstanding, you feel that the Warren Commission was accurate beyond question?
Mr. LIEBELER. I think that the Commission's conclusion as to the identity of the assassin and as to the facts that occurred in Dallas on that day, that is to say there was only one person killing the President and it was Oswald and he used that rifle and so on, are correct beyond any doubt, beyond any plausible doubt. It is not possible to reach the conclusion that Oswald did not have contacts with other people, the knowledge of which would be relevant to this matter, about which the Commission did not learn, and the Commission of course never stated that there was no conspiracy. It only stated that it had not been able to develop evidence that suggested the existence of a conspiracy.
I debated this issue with Mark Lane at UCLA and many other critics. I don't have any reason to doubt the basic conclusions in the report including the conspiracy question, and even this business of the FBI supposedly destroying a note that Oswald left at the office and that sort of thing does not cause me to have any questions about that. To me it is perfectly clear what was going on in the Bureau at that time.
It was clear to most of us st the time.
Mr. FAUNTROY. So that your view is that he acting alone killed Kennedy?
Mr. LIEBELER. Yes, sir.
Mr. FAUNTROY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. McKINNEY. Was it ever discussed by you or by others that there was a possibility that Lee Harvey Oswald could have been a CIA agent or informant or FBI informant?
Mr. LIEBELER. Yes, sir.
Mr. McKINNEY. Did you think it would have been possible for the CIA and the FBI to keep this information sway from the Commission?
Mr. LIEBELER. No.
Mr. McKINNEY. Why?
Mr. LIEBELER. I think that that is the kind of issue on which it is quite conceivable that the only persons who would have knowledge of it if that were true would be Oswald who is dead and a very few, presumably as many as only one, but very few people within these organizations and I think that it is quite conceivable that if they wanted to withhold that information they could do so and we would not have any direct way of finding out. One of the ways that the Commission did approach that question was to examine Oswald's financial history and do a financial audit of it which hopefully would have, if there had been unaccounted revenues that he had spent, that would have lent credibility to the proposition that he had been in the employ of these agencies on the assumption that he was not doing it for nothing. The Internal Revenue Service people that worked for the Commission were able to account for all of the expenditures out of the income that he received or was known to have received during this period of time.







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Mr. McKINNEY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. CORNWELL. Mr. Chairman, may I ask one additional question
Mr. PREYER. Yes.
Mr. CORNWELL. What is your view with respect to the question of whether or not the withholding by the CIA from the Commission of information concerning the assassination plots did or did not substantially affect the factfinding process?
Mr. LIEBELER. I don't understand the question.
Mr. CORNWELL. Do you think it was significant? Would there have been things that the Commission would have done had it possessed that information?
Mr. LIEBELER. What information?
Mr. CORNWELL. About the CIA assassination plots against Castro.
Mr. LIEBELER. Fidel Castro?
Mr. CORNWELL. Yes.
Mr. LIEBELER. I think that if I had known that at the time that would have been concerned to find out more directly whether the had any information that might provide the Commission with leads on these other issues that we were looking at or issues that we never turned up. In my mind the fact, if it is a fact, and I don't have direct knowledge of that but I take it to be a fact, that the CIA was trying to arrange the assassination of Mr. Castro at the time, the withholding of that fact by itself I don't think is particularly significant to anything that the Commission did.
What I am saying is the fact that the CIA was attempting, if it was, to assassinate Castro, I don't understand what that has to do with Oswald or the Warren Commission investigation or anything of that sort. I think that the question of whether the CIA withheld evidence that would have provided leads to the Commission that might have connected Oswald to presumably Cuban contacts that we were not able to connect him with ourselves, that clearly would have been significant. The fact that the CIA was apparently attempting to assassinate Castro, might have provided a motive for them to withhold information if indeed they did, but the fact they were trying to assassinate Castro had nothing to do with the issue.
It seems to me that relates to the motivation of the CIA in a separate matter.
Mr. FAUNTROY. Mr. Chairman, may I ask one more question? Throughout the course of your testimony you indicated there were some leads that you would like to have pursued had you had more time and that there were still some questions, albeit minor, apparently in your mind about those leads. I wonder if you could identify for me any outstanding question that you now have that you would like to have pursued although that pursuit would have led you, as you have conduded, to the same conclusion which the Commission reached, that Oswald, acting alone, without conspirators, killed Mr. Kennedy?
Mr. LIEBELER. I think the only question that would satisfy that description is the one that the chairman has a]ready referred to and that is the Odio incident, at least from the standpoint of what the Commission staff would have done.
Because on these other questions we did all we could think of to do, to try to connect these allegations up to Oswald, and were not able to.







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So in terms of the feeling that I had at the time that we didn't have time enough to follow these leads up that would only have been true with respect to the Odio incident. Now as far as what this committee might do or would want to do, I wouldn't think that would be confined simple to the Odio thing. I think if you obtain materials that we did not get, for example, if that could occur, that it could be that material in the files could relate to others than Ms. Odio.
Mr. FAUNTROY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. PREYER Thank you. We appreciate very much your testimony. You were just about the last man off the beach here, weren't you Were there three of you left that mostly did the final writing?
Mr. LIEBELER. I don't know. There were more than that. Mr. Griffin and Mr. Slawson but Redlich was there almost to the very end and did an enormous amount of work on the report.
Mr. PREYER. The senior members began to drop off before the end?
Mr. LIEBELER. Many of them did. Mr. Jenner stayed on until the end. Mr. Ball did a large amount of work. Mr. Hubert also. I understand the fact that many of those senior members had advised Mr. Rankin that they really couldn't work full time when they were asked to come to the Commission.
Mr. Adams was the most prominent amongst those.
Mr. PREYER. Your testimony has been very helpful. We appreciate very much your being here with us.
Mr. LIEBELER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. PREYER. Pursuant to our rules the witness is offered 5 minutes at the conclusion of the questioning to make any statement that he cares to make about the case or to amplify any of his remarks in any way. The Chair would like to offer you your 5 minutes.
Mr. LIEBELER. Unfortunately I am going to accept part of that time.
My testimony and I am sure the testimony of other staff members and the files of the Commission obviously show the existence of very strongly held views on various issues and vigorous. exchanges on those views. As I tried to indicate, however, all of the investigation that I wanted conducted was conducted. Much of the disagreement was about how the report should be written and, as I have said, my views on that issue prevailed sometimes and sometimes they did not and that is exactly what one would expect in that kind of situation.
As to the basic facts of the assassination relating to questions of the President's wounds, source of the shots and identity of the assassin, the physical evidence alone shows without doubt that Oswald was the assassin and that he fired from the sixth floor the school book depository. The Commission pursued to the extent that it could all plausible leads suggesting the involvement of persons other than Oswald and it could not establish any facts that would seriously suggest the existence of a conspiracy to assassinate the President.
The staff was highly motivated and competent with no inclination or motive not to pursue the issues to the truth. The work of the staff of the Commission was not perfect.








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When Compared to the criticisms that have been made of our work or corn. pared to the product of other human institutions and not to some ideal of perfection, we might ask ourselves, or you might ask yourselves whether you would have been likely to have done better at the time and when thought of in that way and when compared to those standards I think the Commission's work will pass muster very well.
As I have said, I have never doubted the nature of the conclusions of the report and I do not doubt them now. In spite of what has happened since the publication of the report I think that eventually it will stand the test of time. Thank you very much.
Mr. PREYER. Thank you. We appreciate your comments and testimony.
The committee will recess until 10 o'clock in the morning.
[Whereupon, at 5:20 p.m., the subcommittee adjourned, to reconvene at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, November 16, 1977.]


























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Attachment F
Page 263
(283) Attachment F: Executive session testimony of Judge Burt W. Griffin and Howard P. Willens.

SUBCOMMITTEE HEARING

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 1977

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
SUBCOMMITTEE ON THE ASSASSINATION
OF JOHN F. KENNEDY OF THE SELECT
COMMITTEE ON ASSASSINATIONS,
Washington, D.C.

The subcommittee met at 10:00 a.m., pursuant to recess, in room 2359, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Louis Stokes (chairman Of the Select Committee on Assassinations) presiding.
Present: Representative Stokes, Fauntroy, Dodd, and McKinney. Professional staff members present: G. Robert Blakey, chief counsel; J. Facter, J. Wolf, K. Klein, E. Berning, L. Wizelman, D. Hardaway, M. Mars, R. Genzman, A. Hausman, R. Morrison, D. Kuhn, and J. Hess.
Chairman STOKES. The meeting will come to order.
At this time the Chair will recognize Ms. Elizabeth Berning, clerk of the committee, to read for the record those members officially designated to be on the subcommittee today pursuant to committee rule 12.13
Ms. BERNING. Mr. Preyer and Mr. Dodd are regular members. Mr. Stokes will be substituting for Mr. Sawyer. Mr. McKinney will be substituting for Mr. Thone. Mr. Fauntroy will be substituting for lirs. Burke.
Chairman STOKES. At this time I will recognize Mr. Fauntroy as chairman of the subcommittee in the absence of the designated chairman, Mr. Preyer.
Prior to recognizing Mr. Fauntroy for that purpose, we should have a motion that the subcommittee go into executive session for today's hearing and one subsequent day of hearing since, on the basis of information obtained by the committee, the committee believes the evidence or testimony may tend to either defame or degrade people, and consequently section 2(k) (5) of rule 11 of the rules of the House and committee rule 3.3(5) require such hearings to be in executive session.
Mr. McKINNEY. I so move.
Chairman STOKES. It has been properly moved that the committee go into executive session. The clerk will call the roll.
Ms. BERNING. Mr. Stokes.
Chairman STOKES. Aye.

(263)





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Ms. BERNING. Mr. Sawyer. [No response.]
Ms. BERNING. Mr. McKinney.
Mr. McKINNEY. Aye.
Ms. BERNING. Mr. Fauntroy.
Mr. FAUNTROY. Aye.
Ms. BERNING. Mr. Dodd.
[no response.]
Ms. BERNING. Three "ayes," Mr. Chaiman.
Chairman STOKES. Then at this time the subcommittee is officially in executive session and members of the public are asked to remove themselves.
The Chair at this time will recognize Mr. Fauntroy for the purpose of acting as subcommittee chairman.
Mr. FAUNTROY [presiding]. The Chair welcomes as our first witness today Mr. Burt W. griffin. Mr. Griffin, if you will stand we will swear you at this time.
Do you solemnly swear that the testimony which you are about to give will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
Judge GRIFFIN. I do.

TESTIMONY OF BURT W. GRIFFIN

Mr. FAUNTROY. I understand, Mr. Griffin, that the committee rules have been given to you prior to your appearance today.
Judge GRIFFIN. That is correct.
Mr. FAUNTROY. Let me begin by saying that the House Resolution
222 mandates the committee "to conduct a full and complete investigation and study of the circumstances surrounding the assassination and death of President John F. Kennedy, including determining whether the existing laws of the United States concerning the protection of the President and the investigatory jurisdiction and capability of agencies and departments are adequate in their provisions and enforcement, and whether there was full disclosure of evidence and information among agencies and departments of the U.S. Government, and whether any evidence or information not in the possession of an agency or department would have been of assistance in investigating the assassination, and why such information was not provided or collected by that agency or department... and to make recommendations to the House... if the select committee deems it appropriate for the amendment of existing legislation or the enactment of new legislation."
To begin our questioning the Chair will yield now to our Chief Counsel, Mr. Blakey.
Mr. BLAKEY. Judge Griffin, I would like to extend my thanks to you for coming today and also the thanks of the staff. It is a pleasure to see you again. We appreciate your taking time from your very busy trial schedule to come here and share with us your thoughts and observations.
We would also like to thank you on the record for taking time to talk with Ms. Jacqueline Hess and myself on November 4 in Cleveland.







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The Chairman of the full committee, Mr. Stokes, whom I am sure you know quite well, also asked me to express to you his regrets. He apparently came a little earlier and had to leave because of a previous commitment.
Mr. Chairman, I thought it might be appropriate at this point to insert in the record and also for the benefit of the committee some of the background and biography material on Judge Griffin.
Judge, I wonder if you would let me read several things for you and indicate whether they are correct. You were born in Cleveland in 1932, received your B.A. degree with honors from Amherst College in 1954, your L.L.B. degree from Yale Law School in 1959 where you were the co-editor of the Law Journal.
In 1959 and 1960 you were a law clerk to Judge George T. Washington of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, and from 1960 through 1962 you were Assistant U.S. Attorney in the northern district of Ohio.
You joined the law firm in Cleveland of McDonald, Hopkins Hardy.
Is that all correct?
Judge GRIFFIN. That is correct.
Mr. BLAKEY. Then in 1964 you were Assistant Counsel to the Warren Commission. Is that correct?
Judge GRIFFIN. That is correct.
Mr. BLAKEY. After your term of duty with the Warren Commission ended you returned to be associated with the firm of McDonald, Hopkins & Hardy. Subsequently you served as the director of the Legal Aid Society in Cleveland and of the Office of Economic Opportunity legal service program, and finally, on January 3, 1975, you were appointed judge of the Court of Common Pleas for the County of Cuyahoga, Cleveland, Ohio.
Judge GRIFFIN. That is correct, except that I was elected.
Mr. BLAKEY. Turning then to your assignment with the Warren Commission in 1964, would you tell the committee how you were hired?
Judge GRIFFIN. I was first contacted by a man named David Filvaroff, a staff member of the Justice Department. I believe he worked, but I am not certain, in the Deputy Attorney General's office. He is a man I had known when I was practicing law in Cleveland, Ohio. He had been contacted by others in Washington to suggest names of people who might be appropriate to serve as counsel to the Commission. He contacted me and asked me if I would be interested in serving. I told him that I would be.
He suggested I send a resume to J. Lee Rankin with some kind of cover indicating that I talked with Mr. Vilaroff. I did that. My recollection is at that point I received a telegram back from Mr. Rankin.
I may have had a brief telephone conversation with him, but I can't be sure about that. My contacts were primarily with Mr. Filvaroff.
Mr. BLAKEY. What were you told about the goals of the Warren Commission?
Judge GRIFFIN. I was told that our goal was to attempt to determine what the facts were behind the assassination of president Kennedy.
Mr. BLAKEY. Did you have any conversations with Chief Justice Warren?






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Judge GRIFFIN. Prior to being hired 9.
Mr. BLAKEY. Yes.
Judge GRIFFIN. No.
Mr. BLAKEY. Did you have any conversation with Mr. Rankin?
Judge GRIFFIN. Prior to being hired?
Mr. BLAKEY. Yes.
Judge GRIFFIN. I can't recall whether I had a brief telephone conversation with him or not. If so, it wasn't a matter of any substance.
Mr. BLAKEY. Did you have any conversations with Mr. Willens?
Judge GRIFFIN. I never met Mr. Willens until I actually joined the staff.
Mr. BLAKEY. After you came on the staff, what were you told about the goals of the Warren Commission?
Judge GRIFFIN. I should correct this. I have no recollection of conversation with Mr. Willens. It is possible I did but I certainly don't remember at this point.
Mr. BLAKEY. After you came with the Commission what were you told about the goal of the Warren Commission?
Judge GRIFFIN. Essentially what I have just said. I was assigned a particular area to investigate.
Mr. BLAKEY. Who specifically talked with you? Do you recall any conversations with the Chief Justice?
Judge GRIFFIN. Not at the outset. I have really no distinct recollection of the particular individual I talked with. I have a general recollection at the time I arrived I simply met Rankin, and having had the bulk of my conversations with Howard Willens. I really can't be at all accurate about that.
Mr. BLAKEY. Did the Chief Justice actually express to you or the other members of the staff as far as you know what he wanted the Commission to do?
Judge GRIFFIN. We had a staff meeting at some point relatively early in our work. It wasn't in the sense of a formal opening session at which the Chief Justice appeared and said, "Here is your mission." My recollection is that we appeared and we, the staff members, began working at different times, and we were given instructions through Howard Willens and perhaps directly from Lee Rankin, I don't recall. We were into our work by the time we first met the Chief Justice. But we did at one point, it is my recollection, have a staff meeting at which the Chief Justice made an appearance. My most vivid recollection is occasions when I had lunch with the Chief Justice which was simply more of a social-working basis.
Mr. BLAKEY. Did he express at that time to you the hopes of the Commission?
Judge GRIFFIN. I don't recall these discussions as being much beyond the normal kind of chit-chat that would take place at lunch.
Mr. BLAKEY. When did you go to work here in Washington?
Judge GRIFFIN. When did I first begin? Your records would be more accurate than my recollection. We discussed this in Cleveland. I was under the impression that I began the 8th of December. That date sticks in my mind. Your record seems to indicate it was the latter part of January when I actually began working. I would defer to the






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Mr. BLAKEY. Mr. Chairman, I might note that the material prepared by the staff does indicate that Judge Griffin worked, based on the pay records, from February 1, 1964 through September 26, 1964, and that he worked 225 days out of a possible 308 which makes him, next to Mr. Rankin, probably the hardest working single attorney. The averge attorney, worked only 159 days. The chart on which those figures are based will be introduced in the record this afternoon.
Judge Griffin, I wonder if you would give us some idea of the scope of your assignment.
Judge GRIFFIN. I was assigned with Leon Hubert, who recently died, to investigate what I think we called at that point area 5, which had to do with Jack Ruby and the means and method and motivation for the killing of Lee Oswald, and the question of whether Jack Ruby was involved in any kind of conspiracy to assassinate the President.
Mr. Hubert had the title of Senior Counsel, and I had the title of Junior Counsel. I think the committee is probably familiar with the
organization format that was used.
Mr. BLAKEY. Can you give us some indication of how the Commission was organized?
Judge GRIFFIN. Well, on a staff basis Lee Rankin was the General Counsel of the Commission. Howard Willens was his Chief Administrative Assistsnt. There were 12 of us who were divided up in six areas. We had two lawyer teams consisting of what was conceived of as being a senior lawyer and a junior lawyer.
I might mention the one thing I do remember at the outset was a little bit about what was anticipated would be the length of time that we would serve. It was indicated to all of us that we would serve from 3 to 5 months. It was also indicated at the outset that the hope was that the report would be completed prior to the Democratic National Convention, and that was a target, it was my understanding, that essentially had been indicated by the White House, that it was the President's feeling. Obviously, I had no conversations with the President on this.
As time went on other staff people came on, but initially it was orgsnized in this format I just outlined. Various people came on, including Norman Redlick, and it may be true that Norman Redlick was already at work when I arrived, functioning in a kind of special capacity in which he was not responsible for any exclusive area but was involved in helping out on various aspects, particularly the Oswald investigation. He really played no role of any substance that I can recall in the Ruby end.
Mr. BLAKEY. Mr. Chairman, I might indicate for the record that the pay idea indicates that Mr. Hubert worked 115 days out of a possible 308.
What was your relationship with Mr. Hubert?
Judge GRIFFIN. Mr. Hubert and I had a very good relationship. The reason for the difference in the amount of time Mr. Hubert worked and the amount of time I worked had to do with three things: one was that he was given the expectation that he would not have to give up more than 5 months out of his private practice. I believe at the time he had both a private practice and he was on the faculty of Tulane Law School.








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There also developed a personal situation that it became important for many family reasons for him to go back early. A third reason was, however, that Hubert was disenchanted with some of the things that were going on in that he didn't feel he was getting the kind of support that he wanted to get, and he expressed to me a certain amount of demoralization over what he felt was unresponsiveness that existed between himself and particularly Mr. Rankin.
Of course the fourth factor was that Hubert basically felt that when he left that we had gone as far as we could go. He stayed through the period when the investigation was completed but the writing portion and the drawing together portion was really left in my hands after he left.
Mr. BLAKEY. You have given us some indication of what our responsibilities were. I wonder if you could outline in general terms what the responsibilities of the areas were.
Judge GRIFFIN. You want me to enumerate just the labels that were put on those areas as I recall them?
Mr. BLAKEY. Yes.
Judge GRIFFIN. My recollection is not going to be as good as the written record. My recollection is that Arlen Specter and Frank Adams were to be responsible for the rather narrow question of the shots that were fired at the President. But I think it was actually beled in a different way, that Joe Ball and Dave Bellin were responsible for tracing Oswald's conduct in the period immediately surrounding the assassination, athough I am not sure whether their work was separated from Specter's in such a way that Specter took the few hours leading up to the assassination and Belin and Ball took the period from the point of the assassination until Oswald was shot.
Jim Lebeler and Albert Jenner had responsibility for trying to determine what Oswald's motive was which involved them heavily in developing a live history of Oswald. Dave Slawson and Mr. Coleman were responsible for the question of whether or not Oswald was involved in a conspiracy, I believe the limited question of whether they were involved in a foreign conspiracy.
It may be that Belin and Ball were concerned with whether he was concerned in a domestic conspirscy. Again my recollection is not good on this.
Mr. Stern, Sam Stern, was responsible for the question of Presidential protection. I don't recall whether he had a senior lawyer working with him. My recollection is that he did not, he was the only one that did not.
Mr. BLAKEY. What was the relationship or interrelationship among the various areas? Were there staff meetings, interchange of memos?
Judge GRIFFIN. We had very few staff meetings of a formal nature. We did have two or three, maybe four or five. The bulk of the communication was on a person-to-person ad hoc basis. There were some memos, I believe, passed back and forth. Again, I think the records would be more accurate on that than my memory.
Mr. BLAKEY. What was your relationship with Mr. Willens and Mr. Rankin and the Commission? Did you have direct access, for example, to Mr. Rankin?
Judge GRIFFIN. I suppose that it would not be fair to say that we did not have direct access to Rankin. I cannot say at any point when we







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tried to see Rankin that we couldn't see him. I don't recall any situation where we were formally required to go through someone else to get there. There was no doorkeeper in a certain sense.
All of those communications that were in writing that went to Rankin went through Howard Willens but as a practical matter, and I am not sure entirely what the reasons are, Hubert and I did not have a lot of communication with Rankin. We really communicated with him personally very infrequently. We had a certain amount of communication at the beginning. I do remember at the outset Hubert and I had a meeting with Rankin in which we discussed the work of the mission that we had, but Iwould say that by the first of April we had relatively little communication with Rankin. That is, we might not speak to Rankin maybe more than once every 2 weeks.
Mr. Rankin is a formal person. Hubert and I did not feel comfortable in our relationship with him. I point this out because I think our relationship with Rankin was different than some of the other staff members. I think a number of them would genuinely say, and I would believe from what I saw, that they certainly had much better communication than we did. Whether they would regard it as satisfactory I don't know.
Mr. BLAKEY. What was your relationship to the Commission itself?
Judge GRIFFIN. I don't recall other than sitting in on the taking of testimony once in which Norman Redlick was involved. We never had any direct contact or formal appearance before the Commission.
Mr. BLAKEY. Looking back, would you say that the organizational structure of the Commission was effective to achieve its goals?
Judge GRIFFIN. Are you asking me a question about structure or are you asking me a question about operation?
Mr. BLAKEY. I would say how it actually operated.



















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Letter from J. Lee Rankin to Richard Helms
































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Judge GRIFFIN. As far as I was concerned, I did not feel that it operated in a way I felt comfortable.
Mr. BLAKEY. How would you have done it differently?
Judge GRIFFIN. Let me first of all preface it. Hubert and I began to feel after a couple of months that perhaps there was not a great deal of interest in what we were doing, that they looked upon the Ruby activity, based upon information that they saw as being largely peripheral to the questions that they were most concerned with.
We did have a disagreement, pretty clear disagreement, on how to go about conducting the investigation, and I think that again was other reason why perhaps I would say the operation was not as effective as I would have liked to have seen it.
Mr. BLAKEY. Mr. Chairman, that concludes my questions in the of his assignment and the organization. I do have some other questions but I thought it might be useful, if the committee wants to ask anything at this point, to yield.
Mr. FAUNTROY. Thank you.
Mr. Dodd, do you have a question?
Mr. DODD. I want to be careful I don't get into something you are going to go into.
Mr. BLAKEY. Basically his assignment and the organization.
Mr. DODD. There has always been some debate as to exactly what the purpose of the Warren Commission was, what was in the minds of the Chief Justice, the President, in regard to the various memos that went back and forth.
You stated earlier that you cannot recall having any meetings ahead of time with any people.
Judge GRIFFIN. Yes.
Mr. DODD. What was your feeling, to the best of your recollection, as to what the purpose of the Warren Commission was?
Judge GRIFFIN. I felt then, and I still feel, despite a lot of misgivings that I had, that the purpose was a genuine purpose, to find out the truth behind the assassination. I do think, however, that there were major political considerations that dictated how this work was conducted. The time frame that was set initially for the work was a political consideration. This investigation was carried on during a period when everyone was vividly aware of the results of the 1950"s when Senator McCarthy held a prominent position. There was a great deal of concern that we not conduct an investigation that would have overtones of what people called McCarthyism. So that a lot of the decisions that were made in terms of how we proceeded I think were made against that kind of background.
Mr. DODD. That was your impression from speaking to the various people who were in charge?
Judge GRIFFIN. I have no question about that.
Mr. DODD. I notice the Chief Justice's opening remarks to the Commission referred to their job as not one of collecting evidence but one evaluating evidence. That is a vast distinction in terms of a Commission that is investigating an assassination.
Judge GRIFFIN. I think that as a staff member we saw our role as collecting evidence, that is, that wherever there appeared to be gaps in






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information that had been provided to us by the investigative agencies we had an obligation to try to get beyond those gaps. And where there were contradictions, then to find further evidence that would resolve those contradictions.
However, we did not have an investigative staff. We had lawyers who were taking testimony and functioning as lawyers, but we did not have people on our own who were out conducting initial interviews with witnesses. That was done, and I think both Mr. Rankin and Mr. Willens could speak much more authoritatively on this than I can, but it was my understanding that that was done because there was also a concern that this investigation not be conducted in such a way as to destroy any of the investigative agencies that then existed in the Government. There was a genuine fear expressed that this could be done.
Second, that it was important to keep the confidence of the existing investigative agencies, and that if we had a staff that was conducting its own investigation that it would generate a paranoia in the FBI and the other investigative agencies which would not only perhaps be politically disadvantageous, it would be bad for the country because it might not be justified but it might also be counterproductive.
I think there was a fear that we might be undermining. Again, I think you should talk to Willens and Rankin about this. My impression is that there was genuine discussion of this at a higher level than mine.
I am trying to get a flavor for the atmosphere of the Commission as you walked in on February 2 in term of presumptions and perceptions.
Judge GRIFFIN. I think that it is fair to say, and certainly reflects, my feeling, and it was certainly the feeling that I had of all of my colleagues that we were determined, if we could, to prove that the FBI was wrong, to find a conspiracy if we possibly could.
I think we thought we would be national heroes in a sense if we could find something that showed that there had been something sinister beyond what appeared to have gone on. I think that everyone that worked on the staff level that I was working at, and I think Howard Willens, with whom I had enough communication, I think, to be able to pass a judgment on him, and the only reason I did not mention others is I did not have the communication.
Mr. DODD. Was that junior counsel concept because of your being the younger guys there? Did you sense there was a different attitude at the top? I appreciate your candor. I can get a sense of what you are saying. Did you believe that that feeling you had about going out to maybe uncover something far more sinister was in contradiction to what the senior counsel and the members of the Commission themselves felt?
Judge GRIFFIN. No; first of all, as far as the senior counsel, Hubert Ball, Jenner, I don't think there was any difference in perspective. I think that designation that was originally set forth vanished very quickly as working relationships developed among people, and it turned out who was doing the work, senior and junior did not mcan a tiring. In fact, they abolished the label. It does not show up in the report in the final listing of people, and they recognized that.
I think that a number of us, I have no doubt the people I had close communication with, who were essentially Belin, Slawson, to some









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extent Lebeler, Norman Redlich for a substantial period of time, were determined to prove that the FBI was wrong, and determined to root out---
Mr. DODD. Wrong in what way
By the way, if I am getting into something you will be inquiring into I will hold up.
Mr. BLAKEY. You are going into it very well. Don't let me stop you.
Mr. DODD. Is it fair to say from your perceptions that the FBI and agencies of Government at that period of time were convinced that Lee Harvey Oswald was a lone assassin?
Judge GRIFFIN. Right.
Mr. DODD. That was clearly coming from the FBI and the agencies?
Judge GRIFFIN. I think at that point my recollection of conversations, for example, with Norman Redlich were that he took a political view of the FBI. He ssw them as a conservative agency which was determined to pin this on someone who was of a different political Dersuasion. I think he started out with a strong motivation along that line to prove that they were wrong.
I had worked with the FBI for 2 years when I was an assistant U.S. attorney. I didn't have a political view of them but I frankly didn't think they were very competent. I felt then, and I still feel, that they have a great myth about their ability but that they are not capable by their investigative means of ever uncovering a serious and well-planned conspiracy. They would only stumble upon it. I think their investigative means themselves may be self-defeating. I never found them very creative, very imaginative.
My attitude toward them was that I thought they were honest. I didn't think in a sticky situation that I would have great faith in them.
Mr. DODD. I don't want to editorialize, but you have these feelings: Redlich is suspicious of them for political reasons; you are suspicious of them because of their inability to cope with a situation of this magnitude.
Judge GRIFFIN. Rankin did not trust the FBI, either.
Mr. DODD. Yet you are sitting here and you are evaluating, all you are really doing is evaluating the evidence that they are handing you, with all of your suspicions.
Judge GRIFFIN. We did have other agencies. We had a countercheck on them. We were getting to a certain extent parallel investigations from the Secret Service. We were also getting information back from the Dallas Police Department. A lot of people who were being interrogated by the FBI were being interrogated by other agencies, even the Post Office Department. So that in a lot of things there were ways of having checks.
I think in terms of the scientific information there was a definite effort not to rely on the FBI. As I recall, the Commission did utilize in the ballistics--I don't want to be held to what fields, but it may be in the fingerprint and ballistic areas that they did rely and deliberately went to find people independent of the Federal Government. I think there were some experts from Illinois, as I recall, involved.
Mr. DODD. I am trying to develop the relationship between what is listed as junior counsel and senior counsel in terms of perceptions as you go into this. Again I realize you did not have time to contact them







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on a day-to-day basis to draw concrete conclusions, but you may have. I may prejudice your response by my questions.
In terms of the Commission members themselves, the Chief Justice, President Ford and so forth, how did you relate their perceptions in starting out as opposed to what you told me the reactions were from Redlich, Rankin, yourself, and others?
Judge GRIFFIN. I had almost a total lack of contact with the Commission members. I have some thoughts in retrospect now about some of the perceptions, total conjecture but based on other things that have happened, but at the time I did feel that Senator Russell was genuinely concerned about conducting an investigation.
Mr. DODD. Concerned about what?
Judge GRIFFIN. Genuinely wanted to conduct an investigation. Senator Russell genuinely wanted to conduct an investigation as distinguished from simply an evaluation. I may be overstating that, and I say this because he hired a woman named Alfredda Scobey after a couple of months of Commission work to come in and actually do a countercheck on the staff.
It would be difficult for me to reconstruct exactly what was happening that motivated him to do that, but after a while there became within the staff some differences of opinion and some feeling that we were not going far enough. I do recall that at the time Scobey came on, there was expressed through her communications with others that Russell really wanted to make sure that there weren't going to be any stones unturned.
Mr. DODD. I am just talking about that initial period as you come into this position and your feeling and perceptions about what the Commission members actually felt, the Katzenbach memo.
Judge GRIFFIN. I am not familiar with the Katzenbach memo.
Mr. DODD. The memo that Deputy Attorney General Katzenbach sent to Lyndon Johnson on November 26, or so I think it was, some 4 or 5 days after the assassination, saying he thinks it is important that there be an investigation to determine that in fact Lee Harvey Oswald was--the clear implication of the memo was to set aside the uneasy feelings that everyone had and let us establish once and for all that Lee Harvey Oswald did this thing.
Mr. McKINNEY. He also sent a similar letter to each Commission member at a later date.
Mr. DODD. You have from the Justice Department a clear perception that the President seemed to agree with it.
Judge GRIFFIN. Maybe I can in part answer it in this way, in addition to saying I have no idea what was in their minds, but I think it is important to say that if they had a point of view about this difference from the one I expressed that was a staff point of view, it was never communicated to the staff. We had no knowledge that we were being restrained in any way from conducting the kind of investigation that we wanted to conduct.
If the investigation began to be limited in the method in which we proceeded beyond the start limitations that we had--that is, the areas we went into and how far we went--I think it may have reflected the point of view that I did hear attributed to the Chief Justice, that in his 20 years as district attorney in Alameda County. he never had seen








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a criminal homicide investigation that was as thorough as this; and if we had not found anything that would show any more than already seemed to be the conclusions, there was not anything there to be found.
I recall as pressures began to be put on to move away from investigation and into drafting the report, it was really based on this concept, that what we had going here was a classical investigation into murder, and we had gone far beyond what anybody who had ever had any experience would do, and we had not found anything.
Mr. DODD. I have taken more time than I should have.
I thank the chairman.
Mr. FAUNTROY. Mr. McKinney.
Mr. McKinney. You have covered most of my ground anyway.
Judge, I was interested and was going to follow through on the Commission item. No. 1, I would agree with you on Senator Russell because he expressed his outrage several times at the lack of communication between Federal agencies.
It seems to me that we have two fators here. I just want to get your interpretation on whether I am correct or not. In reading the transcript of the Commission's meetings, time, let's get it over with, Katzenbach letters, we have to put the Nation to rest, so on and so forth, your statement that this has been the most complete investigation, let us get it over with, we have to get the report out, then we have all of you coming in.
It seems to me that there is a great disparity between the Commission and the junior staff, but you did not actually feel that?
Judge GRIFFIN. Let me say it was never communicated to us that it was the Commission that wanted to curtail things. There were two communications that were made as to where this pressure was coming from. The most prominent one was the White House, that there was a general, unspecified reference to the fact that the White House wanted this report out before the convention. That was said to us many, many times. I think the convention was in June.
Second, just by way of human interest, color, perhaps, another date began to be set because the Chief Justice had a trip scheduled to go to Europe, and the hope was that it could be completed before he went on his trip to Europe.
Mr. McKINNEY. I may have to leave before you finish because I have a trip to Boston.
Judge GRIFFIN. Mr. McKinney, it is difficult for the general public to understand that these human factors play a major role in a lot of these decisions.
Mr. McKINNEY. Let me ask you a question I have asked each witness on the subject. When you arrived here, the CIA was not what you would call in the best of repute; it had fallen apart on the Bay of Pigs, it had fallen apart on the Cuban missile crisis, it had fallen apart on the Berlin Wall. The FBI was going through its personality problems in severe fashion at that time. When you got here, did you become appalled with the amount of work you had to do in the time you were given, and the fact that you were really going to review Agency material?
Judge GRIFFIN. Yes. I don't know whether I would say appalled, but we were very concerned about it, very anxious about it.






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Mr. Mc KINNEY. For instance, I am appalled that we have to do what we are supposed to do in 2 years. My question is probability or possibility after the slow start we had.
Judge GRIFFIN. Let me answer that, however, from the standpoint of what Hubert and I were doing. I don't know how the others felt. I think Arlen Specter, for example, may have felt comfortable with the time period. But Hubert and I, we had a completely, we had a scope of investigation that was as great as all the other people put together because we were investigating a different murder. We had two people who were investigating a conspiracy from one man's point of view, and we had a security question, how did he get into the basement, and so forth.
Hubert and I particularly felt that way. It may not have been valid for everybody else.
Mr. McKINNEY. I think Mr. Dodd has covered most of my material so I have no further questions.
Mr. FAUNTROY. Counsel may continue.
Mr. BLAKEY. I would like to continue with the relationship between the Warren Commission and both the CIA and FBI.
Mr. Griffin, you have given us some indication of what the relationship between the Commission and the Bureau was, and an indication of what the attitude was between the Commission staff and the Bureau. What did you perceive the attitude to be between the FBI and the Warren Commission?
Judge GRIFFIN. I didn't have any real factual basis for making any judgements about it. My perception just grew out of my past experiences. I felt that it is a big bureaucracy and most of the people I felt within the FBI functioned like a clerk in any other big organization, and they try to do their job and they try to not get in hot water with the boss and get egg over their face, and sometimes they have a couple of bosses, we being one and somebody else being another.
Mr. BLAKEY. Did you have any day-to-day contacts with field agents?
Judge GRIFFIN. Very limited. Day to day, I did not. I think, in fact I know that Norman Redlich worked closely with a couple of agents, but I did not.
Mr. BLAKEY. Did you have any day-to-day contact with seat of government agencies?
Judge GRIFFIN. What do you mean by seat of government?
Mr. BLAKEY. Here in Washington, as opposed to field agents Dallas or New Orleans.
Judge GRIFFIN. Did I personally?
Mr. BLAKEY. Yes.
Judge GRIFFIN. Everything basically went out from us by way of written memorandum.
Mr. BLAKEY. I would like to outline for you an incident that occurred that may be illustrative of the relationship between the Warren Commission and the Bureau, and ask you if you recall it and then comment on it.
Robert B. Gimberling, who was a special agent of the FBI, acted as coordinator of the FBI's investigation in Dallas. Gimberling's report dated December 23, 1963, which was submitted to the






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Warren Commission on January 13, 1964 and labeled as CD205, contained a transcription of Oswald's address book but omitted the name, address, telephone number, and car license number of Special Agent James B. Hosty. This is Gimberling's report dated February 11, 1964 submitted to the Warren Commission on February 24, 1964 and labeled CD385, which, however, contained the remaining contents of the address book including the Hosty entry.
Judge GRIFFIN. Right.
Mr. BLAKEY. Gimberling submitted the Commission an affidavit dated February 25, 1964, explaining the original omission. Special Agent John T. Hosty, who reviewed the similar transcript submitted a similar affidavit. Both affidavits explained that the omission reflected Gimberling's instructions to the effect that Kesler was to extract all names and telephone numbers the identity of which were unknown to her with any other lead information.
On this basis Special Agent Hosty's name was said to have been excluded because it was neither upknown nor lead information.
Do you recall that incident?
Judge GRIFFIN. I recall the Hosty incident. I don't recall that memorandum.
Mr. BLAKEY. What effect, if any, did that incident have on the relationship between the staff and the Bureau?
Judge GRIFFIN. I think it established in our minds that we always had to be worried about them.
Mr. BLAKEY. Do you think it led to any increased or decreased, or about the same, skepticism toward the investigation.
Judge GRIFFIN. I think it increased. I think we never forgot that incident. We were always alert, we were concerned about the problem.
Mr. BLAKEY. Was it discussed at the time among the staff attorneys?
Judge GRIFFIN. Yes, it was. There was a staff meeting about it, as I recall. One of the few staff meetings I have a general recollection of at this point seems to me was one that Rankin cal]ed in which we were all brought in on this, and we were all told about the problem and once it had been discovered there was a discussion about whether our discovery should be revealed to the FBI and how should we proceed with it.
Mr. BLAKEY. Would it be fair to characterize the incident then as perhaps producing a more healthy skepticism on the part of the staff and less trust of the Bureau?
Judge GRIFFIN. I think that is right.
Are you trying to contrast it to my earlier statement?
Mr. BLAKEY. Not necessarily. Would it be fair to say. that the incident far from adversely affecting the quality of your investigation may have heightened it.
Judge GRIFFIN. No, I don't think that is true.
Mr. BLAKEY. If it made you more skeptical and more probing would it help the investigation?
Judge GRIFFIN. No, I don't think it did. The reason I say that is that I think it basically set the standard for the kind of judgement that was going to be made about how we were going to deal with these problems, and the decision made there was that there was not going to be confrontation, they were going to be given an opportunity to explain






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it. So the decision was really, as I recall, to go back and give them opportunity to clean up their act other than to carry on a secret investigation that might be designed to lay a foundation for our further impeachment of them.
Mr. BLAKEY. Let me outline for you another incident and ask you to comment on it.
Sometime approximately 9 weeks before the assassination it is said that Lee Harvey Oswald left a note at the Dallas office of the FBI for Agent James B. Hosty. The receptionist who took the note has testified that its contents were as follow: "Let this be a warning I will blow up the FBI and the Dallas Police Department if you do not stop bothering my wife."
Agent Hosty acknowledges, or has acknowledged, in testimony receiving the note on the same day. He remembers it, however, as saying, "If you have anything you want to learn about me come talk to me directly. If you don't cease bothering my wife I will take appropriate action and report this to proper authorities."
Hosty put the note in his workbox and that on the evening of November 24, 1963, he was instructed by his superior, Gordon Shanklin, who was the SAC in Dallas, to destroy the note and the memorandum he wrote discussing the note and his contact with Lee Harvey Oswald. Hosty destroyed both of them.
When Hosty testified before the Warren Commission on May 5, 1964, at that time he made no mention of the note or its destruction because, he said he had been instructed by the FBI, the seat of government personnel, not to volunteer any information.
Were you aware of that incident in 1964?
Judge GRIFFIN. No.
Mr. BLAKEY. Had you known of it in 1964 do you think it would have made any difference in how you conducted the investigation?
Judge GRIFFIN. I don't know. I don't know how committed those who made policy were to the idea of avoiding confrontation.
Mr. BLAKEY. Let me ask you one further matter in this regard.
Judge GRIFFIN. Let me say this: I think that the dynamics of Commission, if there had been a second incident involving Hosty, the dynamics of the staff would have brought tremendous pressure out of the staff not to give Hosty a second chance and the Bureau a second chance on this. I don't know how it would have been resolved.
Mr. BLAKEY. Mr. Griffin, you have indicated that you had general jurisdiction over Oswald's death and therefore Jack Ruby.
Judge GRIFFIN. Don't put it that way. It makes me sound like a conspirator.
Mr. BLAKEY. Were you aware that the Bureau had administratively designated Ruby as a PCI--by PCI I mean a potential criminal informant--during the period March to October 1959?
Judge GRIFFIN. We were aware, it is my recollection at this point, and documents would be more accurate than my recollection--my recollection is that we were aware that Ruby had been contacted by the FBI and it had been hoped that he could provide them with information, that there were as many as six or seven contacts with him that produced any information.
I can't say I had any familiarity with the label PCI.






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Mr. BLAKEY. If you had known that administrative designation had been placed on Ruby would it have made any difference on how you handled your investigation of him and his activities?
Judge GRIFFIN. I don't know whether we would have then looked upon this as some--I don't know whether that would have given heightened importance to it or not. I don't know that labeling might have made a difference. It might or might not have.
Mr. BLAKEY. Let me turn now and ask you some questions about the relationship between the Warren Commission and the CIA. How would you characterize the general relationship between the Commission and the Agency? How would you characterize it?
Judge GRIFFIN. I don't know that I am in a position to say that. The only direct contact I ever remember with the CIA was at a meeting. It is my recollection that Helms and another person who was designated as the liaison person were at a meeting with us. They were introduced and the discussion took place about what the formal relationship ought to be or the nature of the relationship, how we communicated with the CIA.
After that I never spoke, to my recollection, with anyone from the CIA.
Mr. BLAKEY. You indicated what the attitude of the staff was toward the FBI. Would you characterize for us what the attitude of the staff was toward the CIA?
Judge GRIFFIN. You know, this is a very impressionistic thing I am going to say. If anybody on the staff has a different view their view is more accurate than mine, but my impression is that I for one trusted them. I guess I for one trusted them, I think.
Mr. BLAKEY. Did you have much contact with agency personnel other than this one meeting where you met with Mr. Helms and Mr. LaRocca?
Judge GRIFFIN. After their failure to respond to us in the inquiry that Hubert and I directed toward them, and after they finally did respond with basically an answer that they didn't have any information that we didn't have already, I was skeptical but I won't go so far as to say I distrusted them.
Mr. BLAKEY. Mr. Chairman, I wonder if we could have the Clerk mark four specific items, a note of March 14, 1964 with the initials HPW on it; a memo of February 24, 1964, Hubert and Griffin to Helms, re Ruby background; three, a letter from Rankin of May 19, 1964 to Helms, re Ruby, and a memo from Mr. Karamessines of September 15, 1964 to Mr. Rankin, re Ruby, as JFK exhibit No. Will the Clerk show the exhibit to the witness?
Mr. Griffin, are you familiar with these materials?
Judge GRIFFIN. Yes, I am.
Mr. BLAKEY. Mr. Chairman, I wonder if we can incorporate the material in the record at this point so I can ask some questions of the witness.
Mr. FAUNTROY. Without objection it is so ordered.
[The documents referred to, marked JFK exhibit No. 62 and received for the record, follow:]










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JFK EXHIBIT No. 62

































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[Memorandum]
FEBRUARY 24, 1964.

To: Richard Helms, Deputy Director for Plans, Central Intelligence Agency.
From: Leon D. Hubert and Burt W. Griffin, Staff Members, President's Commission on the assassination of President Kennedy.
Subject: Jack Ruby--Background, Friends and other pertinent Information.

A. BACKGROUND ON JACK RUBY

Jack Ruby was born on about March 25, 1911, in the United States, the fifth of eight living children of Joseph and Fannie Rubenstein. Three other children are: Hyman Rubenstein, born December 1911, in Poland; Ann Rubenstein Volport, born June 1904, Poland; Marion, a.k.a. Marlan, Rubenstein Carroll, born june 1906, in United States; Eva Rubenstein (Magid) Grant, born in United States, 1909; Sam Rubenstein) Ruby, born December 1912 in United States; Earl (Rubenstein) Ruby, born April 1916 in the United States; and Eileen Rubenstein Keminsky, born July 1917 in United States. Jack and his brothers, Sam and Earl, were known by the name Rubenstein until that name was legally changed by each of them in approximately 1947 or 1948.
Ruby's father, Joseph, was born in Sokolov, Sedlits Province, Poland on February 2, 1871. He served in the Russian Army Artillery from 1893 to 1898. He married Fannie (Turrell) Rutkowski in 1901. Fannie was born in 1875, one of seven children of a reportedly prosperous Polish physician.
At least two of Fannie's sisters together with her parents remained in Poland. One brother reportedly came to the United States. Joseph also had at least one brother who came to the United States. We have no evidence as to any other family members of either Joseph or Fannie who remained in Europe. Nor have we any information concerning family ties maintained with relatives or friends in Europe.
Jack Ruby spent his early life in Chicago, quitting school at approximately sixteen, and beginning to work thereafter as a ticket scalper and peddler of cheap merchandise. In 1933, he traveled to Los Angeles and remained there and in San Francisco until sometime in 1937. His sister, Eva, accompanied him to San Francisco and lived with him for most of the time that he was there. Both worked as sellers of subscriptions for daily newspapers in San Francisco. Jack also had employment selling a horse race "tip sheet" and linoleum. Jack was known both by his Chicago and West coast friends as "Sparky" Rubenstein.
Jack Ruby returned to Chicago sometime in 1937 and was employed for undetermined periods of time by the Stanley Oliver Co. and the Spartan Co. we have no further information concerning those companies. He also continued to engage in ticket scalping, the sale of cheap merchandise, and the sale of punch boards. The punch board operation involved traveling throughout New England and the Eastern Seaboard including Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.
Sometime between 1937 and mid-1940, Ruby was employed as an organizer and in other undisclosed capacities for the Waste and Material Handlers Federal Union in Chicago. Paul Dorman later became head of this union. At the time of Ruby's association with the union, the President was jack Martin, another principal figure was an attorney, Leon Cooke. Cooke was shot by Martin in an argument in December 1939, and died as a result thereof in January 1940. Shortly thereafter, Ruby left the union.
Jack Ruby served in the United States Army Air Force from May 1943 to February 1946. He was stationed the entire time in the United States, obtained the rank of Private First Class, and has Army Serial Number 36666107.
After leaving military service, he was employed for approximately one year with Earl Products Co., a Chicago based business jointly owned with his brothers, earl and Sam Ruby. His brothers became dissatisfied with him because he allegedly was not devoting full time to that business. As a result, they bought out his interest in 1947. We do not have precise information as to what Jack Ruby was doing while he was also employed with Earl Products; however, he is rumored to have frequented and been employed at various Chicago area night clubs in the capacity of a bouncer or other minor functionary.
In early 1947, he went to Dallas, Texas, to manage the Singaport Supper Club, a business in which his sister, Eva Grant, was engaged. He returned to Chicago sometime in the late summer or early fall of 1947. At about this same time, he became the subject of a narcotics investigation along with his brother, Hyman,



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and Paul Roland Jones Both Hyman and Jack disclaimed any knowledge of Jones' activity in narcotics and were not prosecuted. Jones was prosecuted and convicted by federal authorities.
Sometime in late 1947, after having been interrogated by Narcotics Agents Ruby returned to Dallas and established permanent residence. He continued to operate the Singapore Supper Club with Eva until sometime in 1948 when she moved to California and alone lot an undisclosed period thereafter. At some undisclosed point, Ruby changed the name of the Singapore Supper Club to the Silver Spur. He no longer operates that club. He eventually purchased the Vegas Club and operated it with Eva after early 1959. In 1960, he purchased the Sovereign Club, changed the name to the Carousel Club, and continued to operage it and the Vegas Club until his arrest on November 24, 1963. Both the Vegas Club and the Carousel Club have been put under management other than the Ruby family since Ruby's arrest.
Ruby is considered to be a highly emotional person. He speaks with a lisp, has been described as soft spoken, is generally well mannered and well dressed, but is given to sudden and extreme displays of temper and violence. He is known to have brutally beaten at least 25 different persons either as a result of a personal encounter or because they were causing disturbances in his club. The normal pattern is for Ruby to attack his victims without warning, and few of the beatings of which we have knowledge seem to be the result of prolonged arguments. After many of these assaults, Ruby is known to have apologized to the victim.
Ruby is known to have a strong affection for dogs and a great pride in physical fitness. He has owned as many as seven dogs at one time, and one person has stated that he cared more for his dogs then he cared for people. At various times during his life, he is known to have worked out regularly at the YMCA or other gymnasiums, and he is reported to have owned and kept in his apartment a set of barbells during recent years. He neither smokes, nor drinks, and curses rarely.
He is said to have effeminate mannerisms and is alleged by some to be homosexual. However, there is no direct evidence of any homosexual behavior. Although he has never been married, he is known to have dated and at one time was known as a "ladies man." In recent years, some of the women toward whom he has shown interest have indicated that he had perverted attitudes toward sex. One male witness describes an occasion when he masturbated one of his dogs and apparently derived great pleasure from it.
Ruby's friends and close associates are detailed more fully in a subsequent section. To generalize, it can be said that, while living in Dallas, Ruby has very carefully cultivated friendships with police officers and other public officials. At the same time, he was, peripherally, if not directly connected with members of the underworld. The narcotics episode mentioned above concerning Paul Roland. Jones is representative. Ruby is also rumored to have been the tip-off man between the Dallas police and the Dallas underworld, especially in regard to enforcement of the local liquor laws. Ruby is said to have been given advance notice of prospective police raids on his own club and other clubs. However, it must be emphasized that such allegations are in the rumor category. Ruby apparently did not permit prostitution to be carried on in his clubs; nonetheless, his associations with stripteasers and cheap entertainers brought him into constant contact with people of questionable reputation. Ruby operated his business on a cash basis, keeping no record whatsoever--a strong indication that Ruby himself was involved in illicit operations of some sort.
When it suited his own purposes, he did not hesitate to call on underworld characters for assistance. For example, shortly prior to the assassination of President Kennedy, Ruby was involved in a dispute with the American Guild of Variety Artists (AGVA) concerning the use of amateur stripteasers in Dallas. Ruby claimed that AGVA was permitting his competitor to pursue amateurs but denying him that privilege. When he was unable to Ruby called Barney Baker, a Chicago hoodlum who was reputedly a muscle man for Jimmy Hoffa and had been released from prison in June 1963, to ask Baker to give him assistance in his dispute with AGVA. For the same purpose, Ruby also called Frank Goldstein, a San Francisco gambler, who was a friend of his sister, Eva Grant.
Ruby is not known to have been politically active. He is reported to have been a Democrat and an admirer of President Kennedy and President Roosevelt, however, the evidence on this is not sufficiently reliable to warrant a firm conclusion.



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Prior to World War II, he was a member of a vigilante group which physically interfered with meetings of the German-American Bund in an area of Chicago known as White City. Ruby's group was known as the Dave Miller gang, but we have no evidence to indicate whether this group was simply made up of aggressive young men who were looking for trouble and were from the Jewish neighborhood in which Ruby lived or whether it was an organized group with a strong political basis. He is not known to have engaged in any political activities in Dallas. At the time of his arrest, Ruby was found in possession of various radio scripts issued by H.L. Hunt, a prominent American right wing extremist. There is insufficient evidence as to how these radio scripts came into Ruby's possession, their content and Ruby's reaction to them to be able to pass judgment on the relationship of ruby to any right wing groups.
In about 1959, Ruby became interested in the possibility of selling war materials to Cubans and in the possibility of opening a gambling casino in Havana. He was in contact at that time with a friend, Lewis J. McWillie. Insufficient evidence is available on that episode to evaluate Ruby's connection with any Cuban (anti-Castro or pro-Castro) groups. Ruby is also rumored to have met in Dallas with an American Army Colonel (LNU) and some Cubans concerning the sale of arms. A Government informant in Chicago connected with the sale of arms to anti-Castro Cubans has reported that such Cubans were behind the Kennedy assassination and was financed by Jewish interests.
Religiously, Ruby is Jewish. He was not a regular attender at the Synagogue, although he did attend the services on high holidays. We have no information as to whether or not Ruby observed any particular Jewish customs in his home or was active in Jewish lay organizations. Nonetheless, it is established that Ruby was very sensitive to anti-Semitism and to his position in Dallas as a Jew.
On balance it may be said that Ruby's primary interest in life was making money. He does not seem to have had any great scruples concerning the manner in which he might do so; however, he has usually been careful to avoid prosecution by law enforcement authorities. This care did not necessarily involve avoiding violations of the law although there is no evidence that he did commit any flagrant legal violations. His primary technique in avoiding prosecution was the maintenance of friendship with police officers, public officials, and other influential persons in the Dallas community. Ruby appears to be the kind of person who could be persuaded by another person whom he respected (either because of that person's friendship, influence, power, prestige or wealth) to become involved in any activity which was not obviously contrary to the interest of the United States. No one who knows Ruby has indicated that he was politically sophisticated, and some have commented that he was devoid of political ideas to the point of naivete. It is possible that Ruby could have been utilized by a politically motivated group either upon the promise of money or because of the influential character of the individual approaching Ruby. If he is a deviate, blackmail is also possible.

B. THE FOLLOWING GROUPS AND PLACES WERE SIGNIFICANT IN LOOKING FOR TIES
BETWEEN RUBY AND OTHERS WHO MIGHT HAVE BEEN INTERESTED IN THE
ASSASSINATION OF PRESIDENT KENNEDY

1. The Teamsters Union. Ruby's old union, the Waste Handlers in Chicago, is now a part of the Teamsters. Ruby had a contact with Barney Baker, reputed to be close to Hoffa. Ruby also frequented the Cabana Motel in Dallas, alleged to have been built with Teamster money.
2. The Las Vegas gambling community. Ruby was particularly close to Lewis J. McWillie of Las Vegas.
3. Persons involved in the promotion of fad items. Ruby himself was attempting to sell an item known as a "twist board." in the fall of 1963 and has often-been involved in the sale of gimmick-type items.
4. Persons connected with cheap nightclub entertainment.
5. The Dallas Police Department.
6. The Dallas news media, with particular emphasis on entertainment columnists and persons employed at radio station KLIF.
7. The following geographical areas:
a. Chicago
b. Denver
c. Milwaukee



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d. Minneapolis
e. New York
f. Los Angeles
g. San Francisco
h. New Orleans
i. Gulf Coast areas (Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida)
8. Places frequented by Ruby in Dallas:
a. Adelphus Hotel
b. Cabana Motel
c. Egyptian Lounge
d. Sol's Turf Bar.
e. Bull Pen Drive-in.
f. Vegas Club.
g. Carousel Club.

C. THE FOLLOWING PERSONS SEEM, AT THIS WRITING, TO BE THE MOST PROMISING SOURCES OF CONTACT BETWEEN RUBY AND POLITICALLY MOTIVATED GROUPS INTERESTED IN SECURING THE ASSASSINATION OF PRESIDENT KENNEDY

1. Family members

a. Eva Grant, born and reared in Chicago, 1909 to 1933. Lived in San Francisco 1933 to 1937 and 1948 to 1959. Known to be in Chicago August 1937 and January 1938. Lived in Dallas approximately 1942 to 1948 and 1959 to present. Married about 1930 to Hyman Magid, divorced about 1932. One son, Ronald Dennis Magid, born 1931. Married Frank Grant, aka Frank Granovsky, in San Francisco, 1936. Lived with him about six months, divorced about 1940. Friendships with Frank Goldstein, San Francisco gambler and Paul Roland Jones, convicted in Dallas about 1948 for narcotics violations. While living in Dallas, engaged in export and import of raw material and managed night clubs.
b. Earl Ruby, born, Chicago, about April 1916, lived in Chicago until 1961. U.S. Navy 1942 to 1944. Sold punch boards on East Coast with brother Jack in early 1940's. Owner and manager of Earl Products, 1944 to 1961. Nervous breakdown 1961. Moved to Detroit and opened Cobo Cleaners in 1961. Telephone records show telegram of undisclosed nature to Havana, Cuba, April 1, 1962, telephone call to Ansan Tool Manufacturing Company, 4750 North Ronald, Chicago, Illinois, owned by Anrei and Mario Umberto, and to Dominico Scorta, 102 West Grant, Chicago, Illinois. Also calls to Welsh Candy Company. Nature of telephone calls in all cases unknown, no further investigation of the call as yet has been initiated.
c. Anna Volpert, sister of Jack Ruby, born June 1904 in Poland. Remained in Chicago until early 1930's. Sometime after 1937 but before 1939 moved to Youngstown. Ohio. Resided in Youngstown, with husband until 1959. Husband was engaged in a company known as National Home Improvement Company.

2. Close friends

a. Andrew Armstrong, Ruby's Man Friday at the Carousel Club. Resident of Dallas, background unknown, Negro.
b. Ralph Paul. Resident of Arlington, Texas, born New York City. About 55 years old, came to Dallas about 1948. Owns Bull Pen Drive-in Restaurant in Fort Worth. Co-owner with Ruby of the Carousel Club.
c. George Senator, reommate of Jack Ruby. Background unknown.

3. Other associates and employees

a. Barney Baker, Chicago hoodlum. Reported muscle man for Jimmy Hoffa. Requested by Ruby in mid-November of 1963 to assist him in dispute with AGVA.
b. Karen Bennett Carlin, employed by Ruby as strip-teaser under name of Little Lyn. Borrowed $5 from Ruby on Saturday night, November 23, telephoned Ruby Sunday morning, November 24, and says she requested him to send her $25. Mrs. Marguerite Oswald (mother of Lee Oswald ) believes that she knew a Carol Bennett when she (Mrs. Oswald) was employed as a waitress in Dallas. Mrs. Oswald claims that Carol Bennett was the daughter of a Dallas hoodlum who was murdered in a gangland slaying. No information as to whether or not Karen Bennett Carlin and Carol Bennett are the same person or are related.
c. Bruce Carlin, husband of Karen Bennett Carlin.
d. Curtis Laverne Graford, aka Larry Craford. About 22 years old, itinerant laborer. Worked for Ruby at the Carousel Club from about October 31, 1963 to November 23, 1963. Became close confidant of Ruby. Fled Dallas area Saturday, November 23. Located in rural part of Michigan, November 28.



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e. Robert Cravens, age unknown. Resident of Los Angeles. Friend of Ruby's. Came to Dallas about October 1, 1963, to operate a show at the Dallas State Fair called How Hollywood Makes Movies. Called Ruby in November 1963 with respect to the sale of some lumber. No other information concerning Cravens.
f. Leopold Ramon Duces, life was threatened by a person suggesting that the same group that would kill Duces had been responsible for getting rid of Kennedy, Name "Leopoldo" had been mentioned by others who claim that Ruby was associated with an anti Castro group in the procurement of arms. Name "Leopoldo also mentioned by a woman in Dallas who claims she was introduced to a a "Leon Oswald," description fitting Lee Harvey Oswald, in October 1963 by anti-Castro Cuban leaders.
g. FranK Goldstein, age unknown. San Francisco gambler. Friend of Eva Grant. Requested by Ruby in November 1963 to assist him in his difficulties with AGVA.
h. Sam Gordon, west coast resident Friend of Ruby from childhood in Chicago. Reportedly purchased sixty-first home run ball from Mickey Mantle. General background and connections unknown.
i. Alex Gruber, resident of Los Angeles. Friend of Ruby. Visited him in Dallas in November 1963. Received telephone call from Ruby on Friday after the assassination of President Kennedy.
j. Thomas Hill, name found in Ruby's notebook. Official of John Birch Society. Resides in Massachusetts.
k. H. L. Hunt and Lamar Hunt, may be same person. Name Lamar Hunt found in notebook of Ruby. Ruby visited his office on November 21. Hunt denies knowing Ruby. Ruby gives innocent explanation. Ruby found with literature of H.L. Hunt after shooting Oswald.
l. Lewis J. McWillie, operates Las Vegas gambling casino. Formerly employed gambling casino in Havana. Ruby visited him in Havana. Ruby also purchased a gun for McWillie and had it mailed to McWillie in Las Vegas. Ruby and McWiLlie give innocent explanations of their relationship.
m. Barney Ross, former professional prize fighter. Former narcotics addict. Long time friend of Ruby from Chicago days. Ruby visited him at least once a year and telephones him two or three times a year.
n. Amesi and Mario Umberto, owners of Ansen Tool Manufacturing Company Chicago. In telephone communication with Earl Ruby.
o. Billy Joe Willis, musician employed by Ruby at Carousel Club. Lives in Irving, Texas, across the street from Mrs. Ruth Paine (Friend at whose home Marina Oswald resided).

MAY 15, 1964.

Mr. RICHARD HELMS,
Deputy Director for Plans,
Central Intelligence Agency,
Washington, D.C.

DEAR MR. HELMS: At a meeting on March 12, 1964, between representatives of your Agency and this Commission, a memorandum prepared by members of the Commission staff was handed to you which related to the background of Jack L. Ruby and alleged associates and/or activities in Cuba. At that time we requested that you review this memorandum and submit to the Commission any information contained in your files regarding the matters covered in the memorandum, as well as any other analysis by your representatives which you believed might be useful to the Commission.
As you know, this Commission is nearing the end of its investigation. We would appreciate hearing from you as soon as possible whether you are in a position to imply with this request in the near future.

Sincerely,

J. LEE RANKIN,
General Counsel.

Memorandum for: Mr. J. Lee Rankin, General Counsel, President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy.
Subject: Information Concerning Jack Ruby (aka Jack Rubenstein) and his Associates.

1. Reference is made to your memorandum of 19 May 1964, requesting that this Agency furnish any information in its files relative to Jack Ruby, his activities and his associates.



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2. This memorandum will confirm our earlier statement to the Commission to the effect that an examination of Central Intelligence Agency files has produced no information on Jack Ruby or his activities. The Central Intelligence Agency has no indication that Ruby and Lee Harvey Oswald ever knew each other, were associated, or might have been connected in any manner.
3. The records of this Agency were reviewed for information about the relatives, friends and associates of Ruby named in your summary of his background. Our records do not reflect any information pertaining to these persons.

THOMAS H. KARAMESSINES,
Acting Deputy Director For Plans.

Mr. BLAKEY. Judge Griffin, let me direct your attention to the date on the memorandum prepared by yourself and/or Hubert, February 24, 1964, and the date and the routing slip that has Mr. Willens' initials, March 12, 1964.
Do you know why there was a 16-day delay in Mr. Willens' communicating this material to the CIA?
Judge GRIFFIN. No, I don't.
Mr. BLAKEY. Was it usual or unusual for him to do something by direct communication as opposed to mail? The note ,of course, indicates that the proposed letter which accompanied the memorandum was not sent, rather that it was physically handed to the representative.
Judge GRIFFIN. I don't know what their procedure was or, indeed, whether they used couriers rather than mail. I really don't know how things went out.
Mr. BLAKEY. Let me direct your attention as well to the fourth item, the memo of Mr. Karamessines of September 15, 1964 to Mr. Rankin. I take it this is the answer to the oral request of Mr. Willens of March 12, 1964.
Do you know why it took from March to September, some 7 months, to answer the questions raised in your memorandum of November 24?
Judge GRIFFIN. I can only speculate.
Were you ever told why it took that long?
Judge GRIFFIN. Never.
Mr. BLAKEY. Was this kind of delay typical in getting a response from a Government agency?
Judge GRIFFIN. I don't believe we ever had a delay of this magnitude about anything else.
Mr. BLAKEY. Could it have been that kind of delay that would have been a factor contributing to your inability to make the deadlines that were being set for you by the Chief Justice and others in your investigation of Jack Ruby?
Judge GRIFFIN. No. You are really asking me the question that goes back to some other memos that aren't in the record at this point, and what happened to the investigations that Hubert and I had suggested be conducted, and why they weren't conducted.
Mr. BLAKEY. We will get to some of that later on. I am wondering now about the relationship between the Agency and your own concerns.
Judge GRIFFIN. The reason it took us so long to do the job was that it was a tremendous amount of work. That was the starting point. The other question about why we weren't allowed--I won't say we weren't allowed--why we got the reaction we did get with respect to certain of our suggested investigations, whatever underlies the delay



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in this memorandum may underlie--may, I am not certain--may underlie some of that.
I suspect that within the whole vast apparatus of investigation that was going on it went far beyond the Commission, but even within the commission different considerations may have affected different people who made decisions. What affected Howard Willens might be very different from what affected Lee Rankin or what affected the Chief Justice.
Mr. BLAKEY. Mr. Chairman, I would like to turn from the relationship between the Warren Commission and the Bureau and Agency and ask some specific questions about the character of the investigation itself.
Judge, you previously testified in response to questions by Congressman Dodd and Congressman McKinney that you were under certain political pressures, and I don't mean political pressure in a pejorative sense, a desire to allay public fears, perhaps to work at a smooth transition in national leadership.
Certainly this would be in the context of the political conventions. Let me ask you some specific questions in regard to a perhaps less attractive motivation, for limiting your investigation. I hope you will bear with me if I ask you a series of questions which may sound like strike force attorney asking hard questions of a witness.
To your knowledge did the Chief Justice have any information while he was serving with the Warren Commission concerning any volvement of U.S. intelligence agencies in plots against Cuba or to assassinate Fidel Castro?
Judge GRIFFIN. I have no direct knowledge on that.
Mr. BLAKEY. That he had knowledge.
Judge GRIFFIN. I have no direct information.
Mr. BLAKEY. Do you have any indirect information?
Judge GRIFFIN. Nothing that would be information. I only have my speculations.
Mr. BLAKEY. To your knowledge, did any other commissioner have such information while he was serving with the Warren Commission?
Judge GRIFFIN. I have no knowledge that anybody would have. All I have is speculations.
Mr. BLAKEY. The point of time that I am directing your attention to is while you were serving on the Warren Commission.
Judge GRIFFIN. Right.
Mr. BLAKEY. To your knowledge did any staff member have any such information while he was serving with the Warren Commission?
Judge GRIFFIN. Not to my knowledge.
Mr. BLAKEY. In retrospect was there any conduct on the part of the Chief Justice from which you could or did infer that he had such information?
Judge GRIFFIN. Tell me again what information you are asking me about.
Mr. BLAKEY. This goes to whether the Chief Justice or other people in leadership capacity were aware of any involvement of U.S. intelligence agencies in plots against Cuba or to assassinate Fidel Castro.
The question now is whether in retrospect there was any conduct on the part of the Chief Justice from which you could have or did infer that he had such information.






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Judge GRIFFIN. The only statement that he made in retrospect from which my inference--there are two statements from which one could make any kind of inference about what he knew about national security problems. One was his statement to us that we did not handle this in a responsible way, and I think my characterization has to be against the background of the fear of McCarthyism; that we didn't handle what we found in a responsible way, we could trigger a thermonuclear war.
I remember that phraseology thermonuclear war, being used. I don't know whether I heard the Chief Justice say that directly or was told it by Mr. Rankin he had said that.
Mr. BLAKEY. Did he ever explain to you or did anyone else explain to you what he meant by "handle in a responsible way"?
Judge GRIFFIN. I am certain this all came up in the context of protecting confidences, not leaking things to the press and maintaining the internal security of our own investigation. That is the area in which you have to review that.
The other thing was the statement that I was quoted in the press as making, that there might be materials that the Commission had which couldn't be revealed for some extended period of time. I don't remember whether it was 50 years or what the period of time was. Frankly, that statement also surprised me, even at the time, because there was nothing that I saw in my judgment that couldn't have been revealed the minute we concluded our report, with one exception, which I always understood, which had to do with the autopsy photographs, had nothing to do with national security but had to do with personal factors surrounding the Kennedy family. But I never saw any investigative information that in my view justified any secrecy whatsoever.
Mr. BLAKEY. In retrospect was there any conduct on the part of any other Commissioner, that is, other than Chief Justice Warren, from which you could have or did infer that that Commissioner had such information?
Judge GRIFFIN. Not at the time.
Mr. BLAKEY. In retrospect was there any conduct on the part of any staff member from which you could have or did infer that he had such information or she had such information?
Judge GRIFFIN. ,No, not at the time, nor is there any conduct that I can think of that would fall in that category.
Mr. BLAKEY. While you served with the Commission did you see any document from which you could have or did infer that the Chief Justice or any other Commissioner or any staff member had such information?
Judge GRIFFIN. Never.
Mr. BLAKEY. Were you ever present during a discussion from which you could have or did infer that the Chief Justice or any other Commissioner, or any staff member, had such information?
Judge GRIFFIN. No.
Mr. BLAKEY. Were you ever instructed by anyone, including the Chief Justice or any other Commissioner or any staff member, while you were serving on the Warren Commission, not to pursue any area of inquiry?
Judge GRIFFIN. I was never instructed not to pursue an area of inquiry. Some of the ways we went about opening up areas of inquiry,







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since we had limited. resources and were under time pressures, required permission, permission to subpena witnesses to travel, and we needed to clear all requests for information to an agency through the administrative hierarchy of the Commission.
I don't recall, I can't at this point remember if any specific inquiry that we ever sent to an agency was blocked within the Commission. But there were areas of investigation and methods of investigation we wanted to pursue that were turned down.
Mr. BLAKEY. Did anyone ever suggest to you that certain matters should not be explored as opposed to instructing you not to do it?
Judge GRIFFIN. In a substantive sense, no, that was never done. It all had to do with the method of investigation.
Mr. BLAKEY. Let me turn now from the general question of political pressure and talk to you a little bit about the time pressures that you were under at that time.
Mr. Chairman, I wonder if we could have the clerk mark the memo of Hubert and Griffin, dated May 14, 1964, re the adequacy of the Ruby investigation, as JFK exhibit No. 63.
Mr. FAUNTROY. Without objection.
Mr. BLAKEY. Would the clerk show the memo to the witness.
Judge GRIFFIN. I have a copy of it.
Mr. BLAKEY. Mr. Chairman, I wonder if we can have that memo incorporated in the record at this point in order that I can ask some questions based on it.
Mr. FAUNTROY. Without objection it is so ordered.
[The document referred to, marked JFK exhibit No. 63 and received for the record, follows:]


JFK EXHIBIT No. 63

[Memorandum]
MAY 14, 1964.

To: J. Lee Rankin.
From: Leon D. Hubert, Jr. Butt W. Griffin.
Subject: Adequacy of Ruby Investigation.

1. Past Recommendations.--In memoranda data February 19, February February 27, and March 11, we made various suggestions for extending the investigation initiated by the FBI in connection with the Oswald homicide. Shortly after March 11, 1964, we began preparation for the nearly 60 depositions taken in Dallas during the period March 21-April 2; after we returned from Dallas we took the deposition of C. L Crafard (two days) and George Senator (two days) worked on editing the depositions taken in Dallas and prepared for another series of 30 other depositions taken in Dallas during the period April 13-17. On our return from Dallas we continued the editing of the Dallas depositions, prepared the Dallas deposition exhibits for publication, and began working on a draft of the report in Area V. As a consequence of all of this activity during the period March 11-May 13, we did not press for the conferences and discussions referred to in the attached memoranda. The following represents our view at this time with respect to appropriate further investigation.
2. General Statement of Areas Not Adequately Investigated.--In reporting on the murder of Lee Oswald by Jack Ruby we must answer or at least advert to these questions:
(a) Why did Ruby kill Oswald;
(b) Was Ruby associated with the assassin of President Kennedy;
(c) Did Ruby have any confederates in the murder of Oswald?
It is our belief that although the evidence gathered so far does not show a conspiratorial link between Ruby and Oswald or between Ruby and others, nevertheless evidence should be secured, if possible, to affirmatively exclude that:



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(a) Ruby was indirectly linked through others to Oswald;
(b) Ruby killed Oswald, because of fear; or
(c) Ruby killed Oswald at the suggestion of others.
3. Summary of Evidence Suggesting Further investigation.--The following facts suggest the necessity of further investigation:
a. Ruby had time to engage in substantial-activities in addition to the management of his Clubs. Ruby's night club business usually occupied no more than five hours of a normal working day which began at about 10:00 a.m. and ended at 2:00 a.m. It was his practice to spend an average of only one hour a day at his Clubs between 10:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. Our depositions were confined primarily to persons familiar with Ruby's Club activities. The FBI has thoroughly investigated Ruby's night club operations but does not seem to have pinned down his other business or social activities. The basic materials do make reference to such other activities (see p. 27 of our report of February 18), but these are casual and collateral and were not explored to determine whether they involved any underlying sinister purposes. Nor were they probed in such a manner as to permit a determination as to how much of Ruby's time they occupied.
b. Ruby has always been a person who looked for money-making "sidelines." In the two months prior to november 22, Ruby supposedly spent considerable time promoting an exercise device known as a "twist board." the "twist board" was purportedly manufactured by Plastellite Engineering, a Fort Worth manufacturer of oil field equipment which has poor credit references and was the subject of an FBI investigation in 1952. We know of no sales of this item by Ruby; nor do we know if any "twist boards" were manufactured for sale. The posibility remains that the "twist board" was a front for some other illegal enterprise.
c. Ruby has long been close to persons pursuing illegal activities. Although Ruby had no known ideological or political interests (see p. 35 of our report of february 18), there is much evidence that he was interested in Cuban matters. In early 1959, Ruby inquired concerning the smuggling of persons out of Cuba. He has admitted that, at that time, he negotiated for the sale of jeeps ot Castro. In September 1959, Ruby visited Havana at the invitation of Las Vegas racketeer, Louis J.
McWillie, who paid Ruby's expenses for the trip and who was later expelled from Cuba by Castro. McWillie is described by Ralph Paul, Ruby's business partner, as one of Ruby's closest friends. Ruby mailed a gun to McWillie in early 1963. In 1961, it is reported that Ruby attended three meetings in Dallas in connection with the sale of arms to Cubans and the smuggling out of refugees. The informant identifies an Ed Brunner as Ruby's associate in this endeavor. Shortly after his arrest on November 24, Ruby named Fred Brenner as one of his expected attorneys. Brunner did not represent Ruby, however. Insufficient investigation has been conducted to confirm or deny the report about meetings in 1961. When Henry Wade announced to the Press on November 22, 1963 that Oswald was a member of the Free Cuba Committee, Ruby corrected Wade by stating "Not the Free Cuba Committee; the Fair Play for Cuba Committee. There is a difference." The Free Cuba Committee is an existing anti-Castro organization. Earl Ruby, brother of Jack Ruby, sent an unexplained telegram to Havana in April 1962. We believe that a reasonable possibility exists that Ruby has maintained a close interest in Cuban affairs to the extent necessary to participate in gun sales or smugggling.
d. Bits of evidence link Ruby to others who may have been interested in Cuban affairs. When Ruby's car was seized on November 24, it contained various right-wing radio scripts issued by H.L. Hunt and a copy of the Wall Street Journal bearing the mailing address of a man who has not yet been identified. In May 1963, Earl Ruby, operator of a dry cleaning business, is known to have telephoned the Welch Candy Company (owned by the founder of John Birch Society). The purpose of the call is unknown. Jack Ruby's personal notebook contained the Massachusetts telephone number and address of Thomas Hill, former Dallas resident, working at the Boston headquarters of the John Birch Society. Although it is most likely that all of those bits of circumstantial evidence have innocent explanations, none has yet been explained.
e. Although Ruby did not witness the motorcade through Dallas, he may have had a prior interest in the President's visit. A November 20 edition of the Fort Worth Telegram showing the President's proposed route through Fort Worth, and the November 20 edition of the Fort Worth Telegram showing the President's proposed route through Fort Worth, and the November 20 edition of the Dallas Morning News showing the President's route through Dallas, were found in Ruby's car on November 24.



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f. On November 16 Jack Ruby met at the Carousel Club with Bertha Cheek, sister of Mrs. Earlene Roberts, manager of Lee Oswald's rooming house. Mrs. Cheek said that she and Ruby discussed her lending Ruby money to open a new night club. Ruby was not questioned about this matter. On November 20, 1963, a woman who may be identical to Earlene Roberts, was reported to be in San Antonio at the time of President Kennedy's visit, The possible identification of Mrs. Roberts in San Antonio has not been checked out. In addition, the link formed by Mrs. Roberts between Oswald and Ruby is buttressed in some measure by the fact that one of Ruby's strippers dated a tenant of the Beckley Street rooming house during the tenancy of Lee Oswald. We have previously suggested the theory that Ruby and Mrs. Cheek could have been involved in Cuban arms sales of which Oswald gained knowledge through his efforts to infiltrate the anti-Castro Cubans. Our doubts concerning the real interest of Mrs. Cheek in Jack Ruby stem from the fact that one of her four husbands was a convicted felon and one of her friends was a police officer who married one of Ruby's strip-tease dancers. We have suggested that Ruby might have killed Oswald out of fear that Oswald might implicate Ruby and his friends falsely or not in effort to save his own life. We think that neither Oswald's Cuban interests in Dallas nor-Ruby's Cuban activities have been adequately explored.
g. Ruby made or attempted to make contacts on November 22 and 23 with persons, known and unknown, who could have been co-conspirators. Ruby was visited in Dallas from November 21 to November 24, 1963 by Lawrence Meyers of Chicago. Meyers had visited Ruby two weeks previously. Ruby also made a long distance call shortly after the President's death to Alex Gruber in Los Angeles. Gruber had visited Ruby about the same time as Meyers in early November. Both Gruber and Meyers give innocent explanations. Meyers claims he was in Dallas enjoying life with a "dumb but accommodating broad." Gruber claims Ruby called to say he would not mail a dog that day, as he had promised to do. Finally between 11:35 p.m. and 12 midnight, Saturday, November 23, Ruby made a series of brief long distance phone calls culminating with a call to entertainer Breck Wall at a friend's house in Galveston. Wall claims Ruby called to compliment him for calling off his (Wall's) act at the Adolphus Hotel in Dallas. Background checks have not been made on these persons.
h. In short, we believe that the possibility exists, based on evidence already available, that Ruby was involved in illegal dealings with Cuban elements who might have had contact with Oswald. The existence of such dealings can only be surmised since the present investigation has not focused on that area.
i. We suggest that these matters cannot be left "hanging in the air." They must either be explored further or a firm decision must be made not to do so supported by stated reasons for the decision. As a general matter, we think the investigation deficient in these respects:
(1) Substantial time-segments in Ruby's daily routine from September 26 to November 22 have not been accounted for.
(2) About 46 persons who saw Ruby from November 22 to November 24 have not been questioned by staff members, although there are FBI reports of interviews with all these people.
(3) Persons who have been interviewed because of known associations with Ruby generally have not been investigated themselves so that their truthfulness can be evaluated. The FBI reports specifically do not attempt evaluation. The exception has been that where the FBI has been given incriminating evidence against Ruby, it has made further investigation to determine whether others might also be implicated with Ruby. In every case where there was some evidence implicating others, those other persons were interviewed and denied the incriminating allegations. Further investigation has not been undertaken to resolve the conflicts.
(4) Much of our knowledge of Ruby comes from his friends Andrew Armstrong, Ralph Paul, George Senator, and Larry Crafard. Investigations have not been undertaken to corroborate their claims-

4. Specific Investigative Recommendations.

a. We should obtain photos of all property found on Ruby's person, in his car, or at his home or clubs, now in possession of the Dallas District Attorney. We already have photos of Ruby's address books, but no other items have been Photographed or delivered to the Commission. These items include the H. L Hunt literature and newspapers mentioned in paragraphs 3d and 3e.
b. We should conduct staff interviews or take depositions with respect to Ruby's Cuban activities of the following persons:



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i. Robert Ray McKeown.--Ruby contacted McKeown in 1959 in connection with the sale of jeeps to Cuba. The objective of an interview or deposition of McKeown would be to obtain information on possible contacts Ruby would have made after 1959 if his interest in armament sales continued.
ii. Nancy Perrin.--Perrin claims she met with Ruby three times in 1961 concerning refugee smuggling and arms sales. She says she can identify the house in Dallas where meetings took place. Perrin now lives in Boston. Ruby admits he was once interested in the sale of jeeps, at least, to Cuba.
c. We should obtain reports from the CIA concerning Ruby's associations. the CIA has been requested to provide a report based on a memorandum delivered to them March 12, 1964 covering Ruby's background including his possible Cuban activities, but a reply has not been received as yet.
d. We should obtain reports from the FBI based on requested investigation of allegations suggesting that Earlene Roberts was in San Antonio on November 21.
e. The Commission should take the testimony of the following persons the reasons stated:
i. Hyman Rubenstein, Eva Grant, Earl Ruby.
All are siblings of Jack Ruby. Hyman is the oldest child and presumably will be the best witness as to family history. He talked to Jack on November 22, reportedly visited Jack the week before the assassination, and participated in Ruby's twist board venture. Eva lived with Jack for 3 years in California prior to World War II, induced Jack to come to Dallas in 1947, and managed the Vegas Club for Jack in Dallas from 1959 to 1963. Earl was a travelling salesman with Jack from 1943.-1943, a business partner 1946-1947, and made phone calls before November 22, 1963 and afterwards which require explanations.
ii. Henry Wade.--This person can testify to the development of the testimony by Sgt. Dean and Det. Archer against Ruby and of seeing Ruby on November 22 in the Police Department building.
iii. Jack Ruby.
f. We should take the depositions of the following persons for the reasons stated:
i. Tom Howard.--This person is one of Ruby's original attorneys, and is reported to have been in the police basement a few minutes before Oswald was shot and to have inquired if Oswald had been moved. He filed a writ of habeas corpus for Ruby about one hour after the shooting of Oswald. He could explain these activities and possibly tell us about the Ruby trial. We should have these explanations.
ii. FBI Agent Hall.--This person interviewed Ruby for 2 1/2 hours on November 24 beginning at approximately 12 noon. His report is contradictory to Sgt. Dean's trial testimony. He also interviewed Ruby on December 21, 1963.
iii. Seth Kantor.--This person was interviewed twice by the FBI and persists in his claim that he saw Ruby at Parkland Hospital shortly before or after the President's death was announced- Ruby denies that he was ever at Parkland Hospital. We must decide who is telling the truth, for there would be considerable significance if it were concluded that Ruby is lying. Should we make an evaluation without seeing Kantor ourselves?
iv. Bill DeMar.--This person claims to have seen Oswald at the Carousel Club prior to November 22, and this rumor perhaps more than any other has been given wide circulation. Should we evaluate De Mar's credibility solely on the basis of FBI reports?
g. The FBI should re-interview the following persons for the purposes stated:
i. Alex Gruber.--To obtain personal history to establish original meeting and subsequent contacts with Ruby; to obtain details of visit to Dallas in November 1965, including where he stayed, how long, who saw him, etc. The FBI should also check its own files on Gruber.
ii. Lawrence Meyers. (Same as Gruber.)
iii. Ken Dowe.--(KLIF reporter). To ascertain how he happened to first contact Ruby on November 22 or 23; (Ruby provided information to KLIF concerning the location of Chief Curry), and whether KLIF gave any inducements to Ruby to work for it on the weekend of November 22-24.
iv. Rabbi Silverman.---To establish when Silverman saw Ruby at the Synagogue and obtain names of other persons who may have seen Ruby at the Synagogue on November 22 and 23. Silverman states that he saw Ruby at the 8 p.m. service on November 22 and at the 9 a.m. service on November 23; but



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both of these services lasted at least two hours and we do not know whether Ruby was present for the entire services. Silverman (and others) could "place" Ruby, or fail to do so, during crucial hours.
v. Mickey Ryan.--(Same as Gruber plus employment in Dallas.)
vi. Breck Wall.--This person was an entertainer at the Adolphus Hotel, Dallas, at the time of President Kennedy's assassination. Ruby called him in Galveston at 11:47 p.m. Saturday, November 23, 1963. He also visited Ruby at the County jail. A background check should be conducted as to this person.
vii. Andrew Armstrong, Bruce Carlin, Karen Bennett Carlin, Curtis LaVerne Crafard, Ralph Paul, George Senator.
These six persons were deposed at length because of their friendship with Ruby, familiarity with Ruby's personal and business life, and contacts with Ruby on November 22, 23, and 24. In general, each has presumed to have had no knowledge of Ruby's activities during those three days.
Andrew Armstrong was very active in the operation of the Carousel and worked closely with Ruby for 18 months. His deposition covers Ruby's activities and emotional state generally and particularly several hours on November 22 and 23. A background check should be conducted as to this person and selected parts of his testimony should be checked out to test his veracity.
Karen and Bruce Carlin were the recipients of a $25 money order bought by Ruby approximately 5 minutes before Ruby shot Oswald. Marguerite Oswald testified that she believed she knew Karen Carlin. Background checks should be conducted on the Carlins.
Crafard fled Dallas unexpectedly on Saturday morning November 23. Although we tend to believe his explanation, we believe a background check on him plus verification of some of his activities on November 23 are warranted.
Paul is Ruby's business partner. A background check should be conducted as to him and his telephone calls during November should be checked out. George Senator, Ruby's roommate, alleged by Crafard to be a homosexual, claims not to have seen Ruby except at their apartment Sunday morning and for a few hours early Saturday morning. Senator's background and own admitted activities on November 22, 23, and 24 should be verified.
5. Other areas of Ruby Investigation which are not complete.
a. Various rumors link Ruby and Oswald which do not appear to be true; however, the materials we have are not sufficient to discredit them satisfactorily. Such rumors include:
i. Communist associations of Ruby;
ii. Oswald's use of a Cadlilac believed to belong to Ruby;
iii. After the depositions of Nancy Parrin, Robert McKeown, and Sylvia Odio have been taken, further investigation may be necessary with respect to Ruby's Cuban associations.
b. Ruby's notebooks contain numerous names, addresses, and telephone numbers. Many of these persons have either not been located or deny knowing Ruby. We believe further investigation is appropriate in some instances; however, we have not yet evaluated the reports now on hand.
c. We have no expert evidence as to Ruby's mental condition; however, we will obtain transcripts of the psychiatric testimony at the Ruby trial.
6. Other Investigative Suggestions.--We have suggested in earlier memoranda that two sources of evidentiary material have been virtually ignored:
a. Radio, TV and Movie Recordings. Two Dallas radio stations tape recorded every minute of air time on November 22, 23, and 24. We have obtained these radio tapes for all except a portion of November 24, and the tapes include a number of interviews with key witnesses in the Oswald area. In addition, the tapes shed considerable light on the manner in which Dallas public officials and federal agents conducted the investigations and performed in public view. We believe that similar video tapes and movie films should be obtained from NBC, CBS, IBC, UPI, and Movietone News, and relevant portions should be reviewed by staff members. Wherever witnesses appear on these films who have been considered by the Commission in preparing its report, a copy of such witnesses' appearance should be made a part of the Commission records by introducing them in evidence. If one person were directed to superintend and organize this effort, we believe it could be done without unreasonable expenditures of Commission time and in money.
b. Hotel and motel registrations, airline passenger manifests, and Emigration and Immigration records.



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Copies of Dallas hotel and motel registrations and airline manifests to and from Dallas should be obtained for the period September 26 to December 1, 1963. Similarly, Emigration and Immigration records should be obtained for the period October 1, 1963 to January 1, 1964. We believe that these records may provide a useful tool as new evidence develops after the Commission staff at the present time. But, for example is is likely that in the future, persons will come forward who will claim to have been in Dallas during the critical period and who will claim to have important information. These records may serve to confirm or refute their claims.
Mr. BLAKEY. Mr. Griffin, do you recall the circumstances that led you and Mr. Hubert to prepare this memorandum?
Judge GRIFFIN. In a general sense I do; yes. I don't remember the specific catalytic event but I remember where we were.
Mr. BLAKEY. Were you asked sometime in May to finish your work by June 1?
Judge GRIFFIN. I don't remember the date but we were given a deadline which we felt we couldn't meet, whatever that date was.
Mr. BLAKEY. Was this memorandum prepared in response to a request?
Judge GRIFFIN. At the same time as that kind of pressure was coming, whether it was specifically in direct response to a request I don't know, but for practical purposes that is right.
Mr. BLAKEY. I wonder, Judge Griffin, if I could direct your attention to page 2 of the memorandum and ask you to focus on paragraph 3a. In general terms you indicate that there was a need for further investigation and you observe that the FBI has thoroughly investigated Mr. Ruby's night club operations but does not seem to have pinned down his other business or social activity. Is that correct?
Judge GRIFFIN. Yes.
Mr. BLAKEY. In the period of time after this memorandum was written that is between May and July and August when the investigation wound down, did the Bureau subsequently pin down these other activities?
Judge GRIFFIN. I don't think they did. The question in part is whether they did any more as a result. What was Mr. Rankin's response to this memo? I don't know whether we got a written response to this or not. I don't have any recollection of really pursuing this. I have a general recollection of a conversation, I don't remember who it was with, in which we were not told we could not do any of these things but we were told not to go off the deep end, and so forth, and we were in a sense given a light to go ahead but they still made clear to us that we had these deadlines. So I don't know what we did to follow that up.
Mr. BLAKEY. Let me direct your attention now to page 9 of the memorandum, to paragraph c, which then continues over on page 3 and also paragraph f, on page 3, which continues over on page 4.
Judge GRIFFIN. Right.
Mr. BLAKEY. In which you generalIy indicate that Mr. Ruby had been close to persons pursuing various legal activities. You note, for example, in September 1959, Mr. Ruby visited Havana at the invitation of a man named Louis J. McWillie, whom you characterized as a Las Vegas racketeer. You also indicate that Mr. Ralph Paul had indicated that Ruby considered Mr. McWillie one of his closest friends.
Judge GRIFFIN. Right.






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Mr. BLAKEY. You comment:

In addition we believe that a reasonable possibility exists that Ruby has maintained a close interest in Cuban affairs to the extent necessary to participate in gun sales or smuggling.

Now reading over page 4, paragraph f:

We think that neither Oswald's Cuban interests in Dallas nor Ruby's Cuban activities have been adequately explored.

This of course was written as of May 14. In the period of time after May 14 in your judgment did the Bureau subsequently adequately explore these Cuban matters?
Judge GRIFFIN. In fairness to the Bureau I don't think they had much of a request to explore them. There were some requests made to them for investigation. We did not pursue these matters in a manner I felt at the time, or ever have felt, was satisfactory.
Mr. BLAKEY. Let me direct your attention now to page 3 of the memorandum, specifically paragraph d, in which you generally indicate that there is some possible connection between Ruby and various rightwing groups. Particularly you mention H. L. Hunt, and raise the possibility of some connection between Mr. Ruby and the John Birch Society.
Judge GRIFFIN. Yes.
Mr. BLAKEY. In your judgment in the period of time following May did the Bureau adequately explore these possible rightwing connections?
Judge GRIFFIN. Again, I have to answer that in terms of what we requested them to do. At this point I don't recall what we requested with respect to H. L. Hunt. With respect to Earl Ruby, Hubert and I explored Earl Ruby's connection with Ruby to a very limited extent but we never requested any followup.
We took his deposition on May 14, 1964, and asked him some questions about the Welch Candy Co. We did push a request for information on Thomas Hill. My recollection on that is that the Bureau did everything we asked them to do. Whether they could have done more about it and didn't, that I don't know.
Mr. BLAKEY. I call your attention to page 4, specifically paragraph g, and note that you indicate that Mr. Ruby had a visit from one lawrence Meyers from Chicago, you comment on the relationship between Mr. Meyers and Mr. Alex Gruber of Los Angeles and conclude: "Background checks have not been made on these persons."
Subsequently did the Bureau do background checks to your knowledge of Mr. Meyers and Mr. Gruber?
Judge GRIFFIN. I don't know. Again I am not certain whether were requested that. I will say that I don't know whether there was anything put in writing, any written response to this memo. Your records I think would reveal that. It is quite possible that based on your conversations with those who received this memo that Hubert and I decided that we had to make--in fact, I know we did this--after we had talked about this we decided we had to make some choices about where we could go, because we had a lot of resistance to these things. We felt that we couldn't expose ourselves to too many dead ends things that looked like wild goose chases.





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I am fairly coriclent that although we may never have been told not to do certain things, that we made the decision probably ourselves that we should go for the things that we thought might have the best chance of a payoff and avoid any further hassle with others in the Commission over our view on how to conduct the investigation.
Mr. BLAKEY. Let me last direct your attention to page 4 and specifically to paragraph h, and quoting from the record:

In short, we believe that the possibility exists, based on evidence already available, that Ruby was involved in illegal dealings with Cuban elements who I might have had contact with Oswald. The existence of such dealings can only be surmised since the present investigation has not focused in that area?

In your judgment did the investigation in succeeding months adequately focus on that area?
Judge GRIFFIN. No.
Mr. BLAKEY. Judge Griffin, I wonder if I could direct your attention to the final report of the Commission, a copy of which is on the desk in front of you, to your right, and ask you to look at page 365 in the official report, and page 340 in the New York Times edition.
Looking now at page 365, the Commission discusses at page 365 in the official report and page 340 of the New York Times report, Ruby's background and associates and it says:

In addition to examining in detail Jack Ruby's activities from November 21 to November 24, and his possible acquaintanceship with Lee Harvey Oswald, the Commission has considered whether or not Ruby had ties with individuals or groups that might have obviated the need for any direct contact near the time of the assassination. Study of Jack Ruby's background, which is set out more fully in appendix XVI, leads to the final conclusion that he had no such ties.
Judge GRIFFIN. Let me understand what that first sentence is there. "The Commission has considered whether or not Ruby had ties with individuals or groups that might have obviated the need for any direct contact near the time of the assassination."
Ties to some intermediate group that might have wanted to assassinate the President?
Mr. BLAKEY. In the context of your memorandum of May were you raising the question whether Ruby had illegal dealings with Cuban elements who might have had contact with Oswald? Do you believe that the succeeding months of investigation from May through September adequately explored those dealings so that this conclusion "leads to the final conclusion that he had no such ties," could have been
Judge GRIFFIN. If this phrase individual or groups that might have obviated the need," if that is read to mean any Cuban groups or any people interested in dealing with Cuba, I would say no, I would not agree with that last sentence that you read.
I must say I don't know what the first sentence means.
Mr. McKINNEY. Does that not simply mean that there could have been contact between Ruby and Oswald without physical contact?
Judge GRIFFIN. I know it means that. The question is whether someone had in mind some group that we knew had contact with Oswald. If that is meant to say that we could reach a conclusion that someone that we knew had direct contact with Oswald also had direct contact with Ruby, then this sentence about the firm conclusion is probably




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correct, that we could conclude that based upon someone that we know at that time that had a direct contact, we could say yes, he didn't have any direct contact we knew about, but how about the people we don't know about?
Mr. BLAKEY. I would like to know your feeling in May that there might be a relationship between Oswald and Ruby through Cuban elements, and your suggestion in May that that possible connection should be adequately explored.
Judge GRIFFIN. Right.
Mr. BLAKEY. I am raising the question that I understand that you thought it was not adequately explored.
If it was not, I am wondering how the Commission could have concluded on page 365 in the official report and on page 340 in the New York Times report that there were no such ties.
Judge GRIFFIN. Because I think that this report throughout was really written from a very narrow perspective when general terms were used and they really meant someone we already knew a group we already knew had contact with Oswald. The question was could we find that Ruby had contact with any of those specific individuals or groups, groups not meaning every Cuban in the country but a specific known group that Oswald had made contact with.
Mr. BLAKEY. In the context of that answer, let me direct your attention to page 370 of the official report and the New York Times report on page 346. Reading now from page 340 of the official report and page 348 of the New York Times report, there is an indication of information on a relationship between Ruby and Louis J. McWillie, who you mentioned in your memorandum of May 5; and then in the next designated paragraph, paragraph designated "Possible Underworld Connections," let me direct your attention to the two concluding sentences:

Ruby has disclaimed that he was associated with organized crime activities, and law enforcement agencies have confirmed that denial.

Judge GRIFFIN. I suppose that statement on its face is true, that Ruby has said that he didn't have organized criminal activity and law enforcement agencies have said yes; he is not associated with organized criminal activities.
Mr. FAUNTROY. The law enforcement agencies said that?
Judge GRIFFIN. That is right. I think that is a true statement.
Mr. BLAKEY. On page 801 of the official report and page 707 of the New York Times edition, I quote now from the last paragraph, headed "Underworld Ties." This is from the appendix generally dealing with Mr. Ruby's background:

Based on its evaluation of the record, however, the Commission believes that the evidence does not establish a significant link between Ruby and organized crime. Both State and Federal officials have indicated that Ruby was not affiliated with organized criminal activities, and numerous persons have reported that Ruby was not connected with such activity.

Judge GRIFFIN. Right. I think the key words are "significant link" and that question was: Where did Ruby stand in the organized criminal hierarchy? Was he a big fish, little fish, or was he on the




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periphery? It is not an attempt to say that he did not have lots of friends and associates and couldn't perhaps get things done and that they might not call upon him.
Mr. DODD. Counsel, that is clearly what it says. I don't know how you can possibly reach any other conclusion from that statement that he was not associated or affiliated. To say that that statement indicates he was not significantly involved, I think, is not a fair appraisal of it.
Judge GRIFFIN. The question is what you mean by "significant."
Mr. BLAKEY. Do you think a normal person, an average American lay reader to whom this report was directed, in reading that, would have led to believe that Ruby was not associated in any way with organized crime?
Judge GRIFFIN. Let me say this: If anybody who reads the whole appendix there, which lays out all what his associations were--if you just read the last sentence, if you don't read all the other associations that are laid out but if you read one or two pages we have on this and you look at the footnotes, you will see it is actually one page, guess-it goes in his past history, so this entire appendix covers a good many pages of laying out what his specific associations were going all the way back to the 1930's and early 1940's in Chicago.
I don't think anybody who could read this and have all of this information that is in here would have any doubt that there were lots and lots of associations that he had with underworld types and one could fairly characterize him in a kind of way as a fringe person the underworld.
Unfortunately, for various reasons, this report is loaded with code words such as "the Commission found no evidence" and this one significant link." It is an attempt by the Commission to say to the lie that:"Yes; the average person would read this and, if you read it the newspapers, you would think there is a lot of stuff here, but we are exercising a professional evaluation and we don't think this is significant."
Mr. BLAKEY. In your professional judgment, did you explore the relationship between Ruby and McWillie, and possible connections with organized crime figures?
Judge GRIFFIN. If we were conducting an investigation that really was a no-time-limit, no-stops investigation into whether there could have been a conspiracy to assassinate the President that involved underworld, and if we had had one bit of information at that point that was significant that would show that the underworld might had a motive or might have been connected with someone else who a motive to assassinate the President, my answer would be that this was not adequate.
But at the point that we stopped this investigation, we didn't know anything about the so-called Mafia connections with the CIA, we knew nothing about the assassination attempts in the Caribbean. The thing we could see in the underworld types were that they were to make some money selling guns to Cuba, and that did not seem to justify the next conclusion, that they therefore wanted to the President.
Mr. BLAKEY. Did you know in 1964 that it was at least alleged that McWillie was manager of the Tropicana Casino?









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Judge GRIFFIN. I think that is all in the record.
Mr. DODD. Did you say earlier you were familiar with this memorandum from the Central Intelligence Agency dated, I think, September 17, 1964, in which the CIA states emphatically that they have no information on Jack Ruby or his activities?
Judge GRIFFIN. Including Louis McWillie, for example. His name was in a memo that they were responding to. Louis McWillie's name was given to them by us along with a lot of other people. Understand that we got that memo 8 or 9 days before the report was published. That report was already in galley proof, and the galleys--probably the page proofs--were being read at the time this report came back from the CIA.
Mr. DODD. In your memo of May 14, 2 or 3 months before that, clearly raise questions about Ruby's possibly becoming involved in purchasing jeeps for Castro, which is a political activity on which the CIA would have some information or they would be derelict in their duty?
Judge GRIFFIN. Absolutely.
Mr. BLAKEY. Were you also aware after May 1960 he took a job at the casino that was allegedly owned by Meyer Lansky?
Judge GRIFFIN. I don't know whether we knew that.
Mr. BLAKEY. Would you have known the name Meyer Lansky in 1964?
Judge GRIFFIN. Yes. That kind of information would not have significantly affected our decision unless we knew two things, at least unless we knew that the Mafia, the underworld types, were being used by the CIA in connection with international Cuban activities. If we had known that the CIA in any way was utilizing underworld people in connection with any kind of Cuban activity, that might have said more for us--most particularly if we had, of course, known there was an effort on some part of the people in our Government to assassinate Castro.
Mr. BLAKEY. You know it?
Judge GRIFFIN. We did not know it.
Mr. BLAKEY. You knew that Ruby had some connection with the underworld?
Judge GRIFFIN. That is all we knew.
Mr. BLAKEY. You knew he was trying to sell jeeps to Castro?
Judge GRIFFIN. In 1959--incidentally, we had rumors on that which we could never confirm from anyone.
Mr. BLAKEY. You were suspicious enough?
Judge GRIFFIN. We were suspicious.
Mr. BLAKEY. You knew the guy had underworld connections, you knew he had political activities in a foreign country?
Judge GRIFFIN. We took the depositions of all of the people who gave us that information. We requested further information from the CIA. We got their September 15 memo. We got nothing to start with from them. We were being told to write the report. We got no further information.
I can't tell you in any kind of detail what we requested of the FBI. I feel fairly certain that we were making requests to the FBI up to the point that we got nothing back. At that point we had nothing link it in with.






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Mr. BLAKEY. Would any of these other names be familiar with you: Jake Lansky? Would that name mean anything to you?
Judge GRIFFIN. Sure.
Mr. BLAKEY. Gerald Catens, Would that name mean anything to you in 1963?
Judge GRIFFIN. Yes; that would not have told us anything that we did not already believe about Lansky anyhow.
Mr. BLAKEY. Would the name David Cellini mean anything to you?
Judge GRIFFIN. No; it would not mean anything to us.
Mr. BLAKEY. Eddie Levinson, who was alleged to own the Riveria Casino?
Judge GRIFFIN. No.
Mr. BLAKER. Does the name Trafficante mean anything to you?
Judge GRIFFIN. No.
Mr. BLAKEY. Raoul Gonzales or Benny Fernandez?
Judge GRIFFIN. I think the answer would have to be no; it did not mean anything to us.
Mr. BLAKEY. The reason I raise this with you, Judge Griffin, to move off the question of a possible CIA or Mafia connection as a motive: Were you aware in the 1960's the Department of Justice, under Robert Kennedy, had what some people say was a vigorous organized crime drive?
Judge GRIFFIN. Yes.
Mr. BLAKEY. Would the death of the President have possible undermined Robert Kennedy's political support in the Government.
Judge GRIFFIN. You are asking me to speculate now on that? Or did we think about that question? I don't think we thought about it, didn't think about it.
Mr. BLAKEY. As a matter of fact, did Robert Kennedy remain in the Department of Justice after the President's assassination, under President Johnson?
Judge GRIFFIN. He was elected Senator from New York.
Mr. BLAKEY. In point of fact, he left the Department of Justice, did he not?
Judge GRIFFIN. I will say categorically that by Hubert and me that possibility was not seriously explored. I think what you are saying is the possibility that someone associated with the underworld would have wanted to assassinate the President; isn't that right?
Mr. BLAKEY. To undermine the organized crime program.
Judge GRIFFIN. You see, the difficulty with making that leap was that--I am satisfied everyone who investigates this will have the same conclusion--that Oswald was the person who assassinated the President. There was no showing that Oswald had any connection with organized crime. Therefore, there was no reason to think that simply because Ruby was involved in organized crime, that that would have been linked to the assassination of the President.
We needed to fill that in, in some way, but that is why the Cuban link is so important. If we had known that the CIA wanted to assassinate Castro, then all of the Cuban motivations that we were exploring about, this made much, much more sense. If we had further known that the CIA was involved with organized criminal figures in an assassination attempt in the Caribbean, then we would have had a completely different perspective on this thing.



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But, because we did not have those links at this point, there was nothing to tie the underworld in with Cuba and thus nothing to tie them in with Oswald, nothing to tie them in with the assassination of the President.
Mr. BLAKEY. Let me direct your attention back to what has been marked as JFK exhibit No. 63, your memorandum of May 14. Beginning on page 5 and following, there are the names of a number of people that you suggest either should be interviewed by the staff or from whom depositions should be taken or that the Bureau should reinterview in the field.
Judge GRIFFIN. Right.
Mr. BLAKEY. I don't find McWillie among those people. Is there any reason why he was omitted that you can recall now?
Judge GRIFFIN. It may be that we had pursued this is a request mostly for background information on these people. We identified McWillie very early as a somebody who might be a key link. It may be that at the time we wrote this memo, we had gotten everything we felt we could get out of the FBI, that we could not make a productive request to the FBI, so that we were now focusing on other people in an effort to see if they somehow linked back in. I think that is probably why McWillie was left out.
Mr. BLAKEY. If you knew then what you know today about the relationship between McWillie and such figures as Meyer and Jake Lansky and Trafficante and other organized crime figures who apparently were heavily involved in Cuban gambling and the fact that those Cuban gambling syndicates had a relationship with the CIA in an effort to overthrow Premier Castro, do you think you would have more vigorously pursued McWillie?
Judge GRIFFIN. It is not simply McWillie.
Mr. BLAKEY. And all organized crime, the Cuban connection?
Judge GRIFFIN. I frankly think that if anybody on the staff level that I dealt with had had this information, the memos that Hubert and I were generating--which I expressed my unhappiness about the response to---I don't think they would have been handled in that way.
Now, whether above the staff level that I was dealing with, other people had information which produced a much higher-up decision not to go forward in this area, I don't how.
I have said to Mr. Blakey in our private conversation in Cleveland that it frankly is not conceivable to me that Allen Dulles did not know about everything we are talking about here. I personally would not believe it if he came here and denied it to my face. I a]so don't believe the President didn't know about this.
Now, how much was then communicated on to the Chief Justice how specific the communications might have been, my own speculation, like any other citizen's, reflecting my own involvement in this, is that I think the Chief Justice had to be told something pretty convincing in order to get him to take this job.
I don't know how much detail they would have given him but he must have genuinely believed that there was a national security question involved here, not simply a McCarthyism kind of question.
From my own perspective at this point, I have a stron belief, without any more information than I have a]ready expressed, that at least








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Allen Dulles, if not one or two or her people somewhere in the Commission hierarchy had some information about the importance of the Cuban problem that wasn't communicated to us.
Mr. DODD. Given that fact, would it not be fair, then, to assume--given the fact you had a group of energetic, young attorneys who were anxious to uncover this thing and, by your own statement earlier, to prove the FBI wrong--that you would have to conclude that soma of the key staff people then would also have to be privy to that information?
Judge GRIFFIN. No; I don't know where the "key" goes.
Mr. DODD. What happened to this memo of yours? This is a damn good memo, May 14. Hell, these are exactly the kind of questions we are wrestling with. Had someone asked those questions, talked to people who are no longer with us at this point, we would not be sitting here possibly today. You had 2 to 3 weeks, less than that, before the Commission folded its tent?
Judge GRIFFIN. No; this was in May and the report came out in September.
Mr. DODD. Your last hearings were held in June?
Judge GRIFFIN. Right.
Mr. DODD. June 3 was the date. You had May 14 to June 3, less than 3 weeks?
Mr. FAUNTROY. They responded in September.
Judge GRIFFIN. You see, in order to understand their response, have to take into account what they were learning outside of the Oswald area--
Mr. DODD. You have touched on some pretty sensitive points in this memo by fluke or otherwise. I think you scared some people.
Judge GRIFFIN. I don't think they were by fluke. I am trying to be totally straightforward with you because I have strong feelings about this in terms of the possibilities that we had in this area. I didn't write this memo for flimsy reasons.
Mr. DODD. I know that.
Judge GRIFFIN. Nothing that has happened since I wrote this memo substantially changes my view about this. So I obviously feel that somewhere along the line somebody pulled the rug out from under us. But I am not willing to jump to the conclusion that it knowingly took place within the staff. Some of this relates to the field.
You see people on a day-to-day basis. It is hard for me to believe that Howard Willens and Dave Slawson and the other people whom I worked with on this thing knew anything significant that I didn't know. I am strongly inclined to believe at that level they didn't know any more than I did.
Mr. DODD. What happened to this memo? You asked the question. On page 4 you say: "We think neither Oswald's Cuban interests Dallas nor Ruby's Cuban activities have been adequately explored." I can see people at the CIA just flipping out, knowing now what they knew then.
Judge GRIFFIN. CIA never saw this memo, but they saw another one.
Mr. DODD. How do you know they didn't see it?
Judge GRIFFIN. That is true; they may have.






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Mr. DODD. What I am getting at is that these are some pretty good questions and, knowing what we know now, I can see where this could have caused some serious what happened to the memo? What happened to the response?
Judge GRIFFIN. I don't know whether we got a written response back. I can only answer that in a kind of general way. I am trying to recall 13 years ago. I made some notes on my memo, my copy of this, as to what I recall happening. In some cases we went ahead and took testimony. In other cases my notes reflect--at some point I will be happy to share my notes on all of these; these are my personal recollections I made on this--that I think we did what I indicated to Mr. McKinney we did.
We were told, in response to this memo, basically that we still had to start to write, that we had certain deadlines to meet, but we knew they kept getting put back, given the list of people that we wanted to depose and we could do it. "If you want to get some other stuff out to the FBI, okay, but remember they are getting pretty sick of this investigation at the FBI." It was this kind of quality of dialog that was taking place over this memo.
I believe that what happened was that, against that context of things, Hubert and I went back and we looked at this memo and we decided: What do we have in here that we could get something on in a reasonable period of time and let us try to get that, let us put our energies in that direction because we know we have to start producing copy for them at some point; we have to start writing. We made decisions based on that kind of thing.
Mr. DODD. I can see that.
Mr. BLAKEY. Mr. Chairman, I wonder if I could turn to a slightly different area and inquire of Judge Griffin whether there were pressures other than time, for example, resource pressures. I wonder if, in that context, I could ask the clerk to mark a Hubert-Griffin memo of April 4, 1964:, to Howard Willens as JFK exhibit No. 64.
I wonder if the clerk will show it to the witness. Are you familiar with that?
Judge GRIFFIN. Yes, I am.
Mr. BLAKEY. I wonder, Mr. Chairman, if I can have that document placed in the record so that we can ask some questions of the witness based on it.
Mr. FAUNTROY. Without objection, it is so ordered.
[The document referred to, marked JFK exhibit No. 64 and received for the record, follows:]

JFK EXHIBIT No. 64

[ Memorandum ]
APRIL 4, 1964.
To: Mr. Howard Willens.
From: Leon D. Hubert and Burr W. Griffin.

1. You will recall that after the staff meeting on Friday, we stayed on with Mr. Rankin to discuss the matter of giving us assistance in area V. Three subareas are involved:
a. A checkout of names, telephone numbers, addresses, et cetera found in Ruby's Papers. (See area "E")
b. A checkout of all rumors relative to possible associations between Ruby and Oswald; and between Ruby and the gangster element. (See area "F")



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c. An analysis of telephone calls by Jack, Eva, and Earl Ruby and by Paul.
2. Mr. Rankin told us to get Mr. Lenbrandt (Chief Justice Warren's guard) to do this work. Because of the press of time and because we did not really put our minds to it at the moment, we failed to say to Mr. Rankin that each subarea will require a man working full time for a month. There is no possibility that this work can be properly done so as to be useful in writing a report even if it had a deadline date of June 15.
3. In connection with the above and for the other reasons stated below, we do, not think the Ruby aspect of the case should be included in the Commission's report.
a. To do an acceptable job on Ruby, it would be necessary to make public statements concerning his character, his background, the possibility that he was lying about his entry into the basement, his motivation and state of mind, et cetera.
Ruby's conviction is refused and our report is in any way hostile to Ruby, the Commission could be justly criticized for issuing a report which impaired his right to a fair trial. On the other hand, if the report gave support to Ruby's already stated version, the prosecution would be justified in criticizing us.
e. Aside from this, is it proper for a Commission of the high rank and prestige of this Commission to comment extensively about a person whose case is on appeal and will surely get to the U.S. Supreme Court?
2. We think that the Commission's report could very properly state that conclusions relative to any aspect of Ruby or his activities are considered improper because of his pending appeal and that a report will be made later.
Mr. BLAKEY. Let me direct your attention to paragraph 2 and note that you are referring in that paragraph to a previous request for assistance in checking the names and telephone numbers and addresses found in Ruby's papers and your comment that--

* * * because of the press of time and because we did not really put our minds to it at the moment, we failed to say to Mr. Rankin that each subarea will require a man working full time for a month. There is no possibility that this work can be properly done so as to be useful in writing a report even if it had a deadline date of June 15.

I think that that was written in the context of April, where you were speaking of a May deadline. Is that an accurate reflection of your feeling at that time that you were on the staff?
Judge GRIFFIN. This is more than that. It was also a statement that this fellow Lenbrandt, who was the guard for the Chief Justice, did not strike us as the kind of person we needed for this job. Not only numbers; we didn't want somebody who had a regular job guarding the Chief Justice and part time would go out and gather information for us.
Mr. BLAKEY. Let me ask you, then, a general point. As you know, the conclusion of the Warren Commission was that Lee Harvey Oswald was the assassin of the President. Are you satisfied with that conclusion?
Judge GRIFFIN. Yes, I am. There is no doubt about that.
Mr. BLAKEY. The central conclusion from many people's point of view was that there was no evidence found of a conspiracy to assassinate the President. Are you satisfied with that conclusion?
Judge GRIFFIN. I am satisfied that that statement is true.
Mr. BLAKEY. Are you satisfied with the investigation that led to that conclusion?
Judge GRIFFIN. I am not.
Mr. BLAKEY. What would you have done differently in the are pursuing the conspiracy allegation or the conspiracy possibility And, in the context of asking you that question, I wonder, Mr. Chairman,



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if I could ask the clerk to mark a memo dated February 24, 1964, from Hubert and Griffin to Willens in connection with the suggested collection of phone data as JFK exhibit No. 65 and I wonder if the clerk will show it to the witness.
Are you familiar with that memo?
Judge GRIFFIN. Yes, I am.
Mr. BLAKEY. Mr. Chairman, I would ask that that memorandum be incorporated in the record at this point in order that I can ask some questions about it.
Mr. FAUNTROY. Without objection, it is so ordered.
[The document referred to, marked JFK exhibit No. 65 and received for the record, follows:]

JFK EXHIBIT No. 65

[Memorandum]
FEBRUARY 24, 1964
Mr. Howard P. Willens.
From: Mr. Leon D. Hubert and Mr. Butt W. Griffin.
Subject: Further Telephone Records to be Obtained for the Commission.

In furtherance of your conversation with Mr. Griffin on February 20 and our Joint memorandum of February 19, the following steps are suggested to be taken as soon as possible for obtaining and preserving telephone records which may be pertinent to the work of this commission.
Some of the suggestions may impose burdens upon private parties which are not justified by the possible results to be obtained. If so, they should be rejected and the reason for such rejection recorded in order to assure future critics that such efforts were carefully considered.
Paragraphs 1, 2, and 3 seek telephone numbers of phones "reasonably available" to Ruby plus records of calls placed from phones under Ruby's direct control.
Paragraph 4 seeks telephone numbers of all phones reasonably available to certain persons.
Paragraph 5 seeks only phones listed to or under the control of certain people. Paragraphs 6 to 10 are designed to lay a basis for further investigation.
1. The FBI should immediately obtain the telephone numbers, names of subscriber, location and type of service of all phones reasonably available to Jack Ruby. "Reasonably available" should include, but not be limited to, subscriber and pay telephones at the All Right Parking Garage, Adolphus Hotel, the Egyptian Lounge, Phil's Delicatessen, Cabana Motel, Sol's Turf Bar, Dallas City Hall and Jail, Dallas Morning News, Radio Station KLIF, together with any pay phones within reasonable walking distance of said places or any other places which Ruby frequented. Numbers and information concerning phones "reasonably available" to Ruby in Dallas may be obtained by personal contact with subscribers or the telephone company. Information as to phones available outside Dallas should not involve contact with nonresidents of Dallas.
2. The FBI should immediately obtain with respect to Jack Ruby, for the period August 1 to November 25, 1963, copies of all original telephone company records bearing upon the dates, time, length of call, calling number, billing number, person calling and number called with respect to all telephone calls (including local calls) utilizing any telephone listed to Jack Ruby or any of his Clubs, including pay phones on or near the premises. If the telephone company has no records which would provide information concerning local calls, the FBI should so state.
It is unnecessary at this point to obtain call records from all phones "reasonably available to Ruby" since analysis of calls from such phones would be impossible without further information. However, we contemplate that if we establish a list of suspected intermediaries between Ruby and Oswald, it would be valuable to check telephones "available" to Ruby against calls to the "intermediaries." In addition, it may be valuable to examine records of telephones listed to or used regularly by suspected intermediaries" for calls to phones "available" to Ruby.
3. With respect to all records requested in paragraph 2, the FBI should indicate in its report what telephone company personnel were questioned, the questions



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asked and the answers received, in all investigations which were conducted, so that it may be determined that the records obtained are complete and accurate. We believe that the method of searching for records must be detailed since telephone information forwarded so far has been spotty and inaccurate.
4. To the extent not already provided, the FBI should be requested to obtain for the Commission a list of all telephones (but not call records) reasonably available to the following persons since March 1, 1963:
Andrew Armstrong, 3821 Dickson Circle, Apartment C, Dallas, Tex.
Karen Bennett Carlin, aka Karen Bennett Karlin, aka "Little Lynn," 3609 Meadowbrook, Fort Worth, Tex.
Bruce Carlin, aka Brue Karlin, 3809 Meadowbrook, Fort Worth, Tex. Marion (aka Marian) Rubenstein Carroll, 1044 W. Loyola, Chicago, Ill. Eileen Rubenstein Kaminsky, 6724 N. Ta. Iman, Chicago, Ill.
Lewis J. McWillie, Las Vegas, Nev.
Hyman Rubenstein, 1044 W. Loyola, Chicago, Ill.
Sam (Rubenstein) Ruby, 11616 Jamestown Road, Dallas, Tex.
Earl (Rubenstein) Ruby, 29925 Woodland Drive, Southfield, Mich.
Eva Rubenstein (Magid) Grant, 3929 Rollins, Dallas, Tex.
Ralph Paul, Arlington, Tex. c/o Bert Bowman, Copeland Road, Arlington Road, Arlington, Tex. (home); Podnuh's Restaurant, Arlington, Tex. (access); John W. Jackson, 1602 Browning, Arlington, Tex. (access); Bull Pen Drive-in, 1936 East Abram, Arlington, Tex. ( business ).
Anna Rubenstein Volpert, 1044 W. Loyola, Chicago, Ill.
The date March 1 is chosen because it establishes a safe margin for inquiry prior to Oswald's trip to New Orleans. With respect to each of the above persons, the FBI should provide numbers, to the extent possible, not only of home telephones but nearby pay phones, telephones of any businesses in which the individual is employed, telephones of business partners or other similar close business associates, telephones of friends and relatives visited frequently, and telephones at restaurants and other businesses which the individual is known to frequent, For each telephone the FBI should indicate the type of service (pay phone, subscriber phone, limited service telephone), name of subscriber, location of phone, and reason for concluding the phone was accessible to the individual under investigation. This information should be obtained primarily by examining records which will not involve personal contact with persons outside of the telephone companies and without communicating the names of suspects to persons outside the FBI. We realize that such a means of investigation will not provide a complete answer to questions, but we believe other modes of inquiry would be unwise at this time. As to each individual under investigation, the FBI report should indicate what sources were checked and what other information as to possibly accessible phones might be available by direct contact with individuals.
5. The FBI should obtain from a telephone company records check the personal, family and business phones of the following persons during the period March 1, 1963 to present:
Barney Baker, 5900 Sheridan Road. Chicago. Ill. (home); Chicago Loop Auto Refinishing Co., Inc., 3216 South Shields Ave., Chicago, Ill. (business).
Curtis LaVerne Crafard, aka Larry Crafard (including phones available to him on his "flight from Dallas to Michigan").
Sam Gordon, 755 Crescent Drive. Palm Springs, Calif.
Alex Gruber, 5222 W. Olympic, Los Angeles, Calif. (WE. 5-1082).
Frank Goldstein, 640 Teresita Boulevard, San Francisco, Calif. (JU 7-7674) ( S U 1-7343).
Lawrence Meyers. 3950 N. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, Ill. (home); Ero Mfg. Co. 714 West Monroe, Chicago, Ill. (business).
Roy William Pike, aka Mickey Ryan, 2344 Connecticut Lane, Apt. C, Dallas, Tex.
Anesi Umberto, Chicago. Ill.
Mario Umberto, Chicago, Ill.
Abe Weinstein. 11028 Westmore Circle, Dallas. Tex.
6. The FBI should confer with the appropriate officials of telephone companies in Chicago, Dallas, Detroit. New York. San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New Orleans to determine what means, if any, are available for obtaining information as to incoming long distance telephone calls to any particular number if the name of the caller is unknown. It is conceivable, for example, that connecting or trunkline telephone carriers may have automatic recording devices which record the


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calling exchange and the dialed number with respect to calls which they transmit. Or, it may be that most telephone companies in large cities are now so fully automated that such information is contained on their IBM cards and these IBM cards could be run through a computer or other device for every telephone subscriber in the area so that such information could be derived mechanically without undue expense or personal effort. Information as to city or telephone company from which a long distance call originated could conceivably be meaningful in light of other data which we have.
7. The FBI should confer with telephone company officials of each company serving Jack Ruby and the persons listed in paragraph four and five to ascertain if that company has any means of providing information, concerning local calls to or from the phones of those persons. Even if no records are maintained by such companies in the ordinary course of business, it may be that certain electronic, mechanical or other entries are routinely made either by telephone transmitting equipment or in connection with business records ordinarily maintained by the telephone company so that by careful examination of such data information concerning local telephone activity on a particular telephone could be obtained. To whatever extent information can be obtained concerning local telephone activity, the Agent should report to the Commission the nature of the information which can be obtained and the means by which it would be obtained. This data should be secured without mentioning particular names or telephone numbers.
8. The FBI should obtain a list of all telephone companies and the chief executive officer serving the following areas:
Texas; Nevada; Los Angeles, Calif.; San Francisco, Calif.; Chicago, Ill.; Detroit, Mich.; and adjacent suburbs in the Detroit metropolitan area, including Southfield, Mich.; Boston, Mass., and adjacent suburbs, including Belmont, Mass.; New York metropolitan area, including suburban Long Island, Connecticut and New Jersey; Miami, Fla.; Washington, D.C. and adjacent suburbs; New Orleans,
9. Mr. Rankin should address a letter to the chief executive of each of the telephone companies mentioned in Datagraph eight requesting that such companies not destroy until June 1, 1964 any records they may have with respect to telephone service of all subscribers. The letter should request that the source of this policy not be disclosed.
Retention of records on a blanket basis would preserve security as to the thinking of the Commission and will afford the maximum assurance that telephone records will be preserved with respect to persons not yet suspect. We realize that blanket retention may be so burdensome or expensive as to make our request seem unreasonable. If there is any suggestion along these lines, a conference to work out a reasonable system should be suggested.
10. As soon as possible after the Ruby trial and after consultation with the Commission, the FBI should obtain copies of original telephone records uncovered as a result of the investigations requested in paragraphs four and five. These records should be analyzed to determine possible links to Ruby or Oswald. Thereafter, if deemed advisable, records of phones "reasonably available" to Ruby would be analyzed for possible calls to phones reasonably available to suspected intermediaries between Ruby and Oswald.
Mr. BLAKEY. Judge Griffin, as I look over this memorandum, basically what it suggests is that the Commission obtained telephone toll records of a number of phones to which Mr. Ruby had access and a number of people, including, for example, Barney Baker of Chicago, Lawrence Meyers of Chicago, with an effort., I take it, to see if there had been commnunication between these people.
Judge GRIFFIN. Right.
Mr. BLAKEY. I notice, for example, on page 2 of the memo we have Lewis J. McWillie of Las Vegas, Nev. You comment in the second paragraph of the memo that "Some of the suggestions may impose burdens upon private parties which are not justified by the possible results to be obtained. If so, they should be rejected and the reason for such rejection recorded in order to assure future critics that such efforts were carefully considered."




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Mr. FAUNTROY. Will counsel yield for a moment? I am looking exhibit No. 65 and its length. I wonder what your recommendations would be with respect to a break.
Mr. BLAKEY. I think I have only about three or four questions and I would suspect we can conclude in the next 10 minutes.
Mr. FAUNTROY. Fine.
Judge GRIFFIN. I don't have a pressing engagement; I can stay if there is any desire for that.
Mr. BLAKEY. There is a necessity for a lunch break. We have witness due at 2, Judge Griffin. If you will bear with us I think we can finish it.
Mr. FAUNTROY. Proceed.
Mr. BLAKEY. Do you recall what happened as a result of this memorandum?
Judge GRIFFIN. I generally recall. I made some notes on my copy. In the numbered paragraphs that follow from here with paragraph 1 which relates to simply obtaining telephone numbers and locations of telephones without the actual underlying calls that were made from it, a request was made for what with respect to Jack Ruby. I can tell you the extent to which we got returns on it. We got some of that information.
I also think, with respect to paragraph 2, we did get that. That was the original telephone company records for telephones that were listed to Jack Ruby or any of his clubs. We got that.
With respect to the request in paragraph 3, whether the FBI reported to us in the fashion that we requested I don't know or even if we made a followthrough on that request.
With respect to paragraph 4, my recollection is that much of that, that information on the specific telephones of the individuals named there, telephone listings to their names, I believe that was given to us.
We were suggesting here going beyond simply their names and getting numbers reasonably available, which required some thought and investigation. I don't believe that was done but I am not certain.
In paragraph 5, 212 am not certain in paragraph 5 whether we got those telephone company records.
In paragraph 6, I think this is the one requesting a freeze on telephone company records. I will have to read that again. My notes reflect, as I read it prior to coming here, that I concluded that that was not done, paragraph 6.
In paragraph 7, I don't recall--I do remember internal conversations with other staff members about whether that kind of thing was feasible--in other words, getting information on local calls as opposed to long-distance calls that might somehow be utilized by us. I know we never directly had a conversation with telephone company people: to find out whether there was anything that we might use that could trigger some information for us. With respect to No. 8, it is my recollection that that was not done, but I am not entirely positive on that.
With respect to No. 9, I would definitely state that that was not done; Although the records could prove me wrong, I am virtually certain no request to freeze records was made to telephone companies.
No. 10, my recollection is that it probably wasn't done but I am not certain about that.







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Mr. BLAKEY. You testified that you were not satisfied with the adequacy of the investigation of conspiracy. Would your failure to follow through this telephone toll call records request be an example of an area where you were not satisfied with the conduct of the investigation.
Judge GRIFFIN. That is right.
Mr. BLAKEY. Mr. Chairman, that concludes my questions. I would like to express my gratitude to Judge Griffin for coming and spending so much of his time with us, taking precious time away from his trial calendar, and my own personal thanks. I appreciate it, Judge. I have no more questions, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. FAUNTROY. I would like to add to your thanks that of myself and that of the committee for your kindness in giving us so much time, Mr. Griffin.
Are there any concluding questions, Mr. Dodd?
Mr. DODD. I really have found your testimony most interesting, Judge. I hope by some of my questions you did not glean anything more than my really trying to determine exactly the frame of mind in which you dealt with it at that particular time. I am sympathetic to outside influence, schedules, all kinds of things that came to bear on it at that time.
Judge GRIFFIN. May I also say to you, Mr. Dodd, and the committee, that I do not feel any sense of purpose in trying to defend what we did for the sake of defending it. To defend it against inaccuracies, yes. For approximately 2 years now I have been trying to conunumcate with various people in the Congress about my personal feelings which have gone back almost 2 years, that an investigation of the sort that your committee is conducting should be conducted.
I simply want to say to the committee that I am happy to cooperate and assist the committee in any way they think I can be useful.
Mr. DODD. I appreciate that. I am sure we will probably be in more contact with you than you care to hear from us on some of the information we have.
I have one question in my own mind and my ignorance is really responsible for the question. What was Ruby's motivation that came out of the trial for killing Oswald? I had heard he had great affection for the President and so forth. Was that carried through in the trial?
Judge GRIFFIN. That was his defense. Are you also asking me to comment on what I think his motive was?
Mr. DODD. You got to know this fellow pretty well after poring backover his life. I wondered if you had turned up any kind of evidence that he had a deep affection for Kennedy.
Judge GRIFFIN. I don't think his motivation had anything to do with that. Strangely enough, I do think it was tied in with his feelings about anti-Semitism.
Mr. DODD. Would you explain that?
Judge GRIFFIN. I only say this based on the assumption that we don't link him into some kind of a conspiracy. That is an open question as far as I am concerned. But based on the evidence that we have, that, I think, seems to be the most reliable; at the time that the President was assassinsted, he was already very much upset about the fact that someone had placed a black-bordered advertisement in the Dallas






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Morning News suggesting that the President was a traitor and it was signed by a man whose name-was listed as Bernard Weissman.
As we trace Ruby's activities from that point when he was in the Dallas Morning News office and learned that the President had been shot and the reactions of people there and following this on through, it did seem to me that there was a very consistent pattern that showed that Ruby was emotionally involved in the possibility that the assassination of the President was an attempt to discredit the Jews, that this ad which had a Jewish name on it was somehow linked in Ruby's mind to a group, unknown group, that might have wanted to assassinate the President and pin it on the Jews.
He tried to search for Weissman. He found there was no Weissman listed in the Dallas phone book. He checked with his rabbi and found that there was no Weissman in the small Jewish community by this name in Dallas.
He virtually did not sleep. He was on a drug, which was really a reducing pill but has a narcotic effect, called Preludin. Put this together with Ruby's personality end his penchant to be in the limelight and all these other things; Ruby was in a frame of mind by Sunday morning that in some way, as he said to an arresting officer immediately after the arrest, "I want to show the world a Jew had guts."
Now, that does not preclude that someone might not have utilized him in that frame of mind but to me that explains what happened to him.
I have left out a lot of details on this but I feel that was the basic thread, behind his emotional state at this time.
Mr. DODD. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. FAUNTROY. You have made reference, in response to questions from counsel, on instructions which were given you that the staff has to conduct the investigation in a responsible way and that the consequences of irresponsible investigating might be that a thermonuclear war might be precipitated.
Judge GRIFFIN. Right.
Mr. FAUNTROY. Do you recall what your reaction to that formulation was?
Judge GRIFFIN. My reaction basically was that if unsubstantiated or only suspicious but not really solid evidence were developed that this was motivated by a foreign government, whether it be the Russians or Cubans or anybody else, that then political forces would be set afoot in the United States, much as heard in Spanish-American War, that could have forced the country into some kind of retaliatory attack upon someone.
I did not understand this as a statement that we should not find then formation or that we should conceal the information if we found it. I always understood it, in the context that we should try to get what we could possibly find out. If it led to these kinds of consequences, then we had to be very careful about how it was handled within the Commission.
That was the reason that the Commission was structured the way it was, with important members from both Houses of Congress. The hope was that if this kind of information which could trigger a demagog such as we were concerned with, the kind of McCarthyism










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of the 1950's, that it could be handled in a responsible way within the political process. That is what I always felt it to mean. I still feel it was intended to mean that.
Mr. FAUNTROY. Mr. Griffin, pursuant to our rules, at the conclusion of the questioning, we offer the witness 5 minutes to explain or amplify his testimony. That offer is made to you at this time.
Judge GRIFFIN. I would like to decline the offer. I would like to have the privilege to reflect on what has happened here and perhaps send you something in writing in lieu of any kind of oral statement to you.
Mr. FAUNTROY. I would be very happy to accede to that request.
Judge GRIFFIN. I again want to compliment the committee for conducting this investigation. I have read your rules. I feel that if these rules are adhered to, that this will be a responsible investigation. Conceivably you could be in the same situation that we were in and you will have to wrestle with the same problems. I wish you good luck if you do.
Mr. DODD. We might find ourselves on that side of the table 10 years from now.
Mr. FAUNTROY. Thank you for that wish and for that compliment. The committee will recess until 2 o'clock.
[Whereupon, at 12:55 p.m., the subcommittee recessed, to reconvene at 2 p.m.]

AFTERNOON SESSION

[The subcommittee reconvened at 2:40 p.m., Hon. Walter E. Fauntroy presiding.]
Professional staff members present: Chief Counsel G. Robert Blakey, E. Berning, M Wills, R. Genzman, M. Mars, D. Hardway, L. Wizelman, J. Hess, K. Klein, W. Cross, J. Wolf, and A. Purdy.
Mr. FAUNTROY. The committee will come to order.
Pursuant to our meeting of this morning, the executive session will continue.
At this time I will swear our witness.
Do you solemnly swear that the testimony you are about to give will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you
Mr. WILLENS. I do.

TESTIMONY OF HOWARD P. WILLENS

Mr. FAUNTROY. Will the witness state his name and address for the record, please.
Mr. WILLENS. Howard P. Willens, W-i-l-l-e-n-s, 4242 Mathewson Drive NW., Washington, D.C. 20011.
Mr. FAUNTROY. Thank you. We are very pleased to have you before the committee. I do understand that you have the committee rules provided you, and you had them prior to your appearance today.
Mr. WILLENS. Yes, I have, Congressman.
Mr. FAUNTROY. The Chair would like to state for the record and for the witness that House Resolution 222 mandates the committee "to conduct a full and complete investigation and study the circumstances surrounding the assassination of John F. Kennedy, including determining whether the existing laws of the United States concerning protection of the President and the investigatory jurisdiction



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and capability of agencies and departments are adequate in their provisions and enforcement, and whether there was full disclosure of evidence and information among agencies and departments of the U.S. Government, and whether any evidence or information not in the possession of an agency or department would have been of assistance investigating the assassination and why such information was not provided or collected by that agency or department--and to make recommendations to the House--if the select committee deems it approprimate for the amendment of existing legislation or the enactment of new legislation."
The questioning of the witness may now proceed.
Mr. BLAKEY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. WILLENS, I would like to thank you on behalf of myself and the staff for taking time from your very busy practice to come and share with the committee your thoughts and observations about the work of the Warren Commission, and also to thank you for taking time on October 31 to sit and talk with me in your office for several hours about these issues.
Please be assured that the committee appreciates your time, which is obviously not chargeable to a client except perhaps the public interest.
Mr. Chairman, I thought it might be appropriate at this time to put some biographical data of the witness in the record.
I wonder, Mr. Willens, if I could read some of it and you could indicate whether it substantially is accurate. You were born in 1931;
you received a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Michigan, an LL.B. from the Yale Law School in 1956.
After a short tour in the Army, you became associated with Kirkland, Ellis, Hodson, Chaffetz & Masters in Washington, D.C., until 1961, when you went with the Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice as second assistant to the Assistant Attorney General.
Following your service with the Warren Commission, you have served as Executive Director of the President's Commission on Crime in Washington, D.C., and I understand that you are now a member of the firm of Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering, Washington, D.C. Is that substantially correct?
Mr. WILLENS. Yes, Mr. Blakey.
Mr. BLAKEY. Mr. Willens. I wonder if you would indicate to the committee how you came to be associated with the Warren Commission?
Mr. WILLENS. On December 17, 1963, the Deputy Attorney General of the United States, Mr. Katzenbach, inquired of the Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Criminal Division, Herbert J.Miller, Jr., whether I would be available to assist the Chief Justice and Mr. Rankin with respect to their Commission responsibility.
Mr. Miller reported that request to me and, after some discussion, we reached the only conclusion that seemed appropriate under the circumstances, which is that I would be available to assist in any way that the Chief Justice and Mr. Rankin desired.
Accordingly, I called Mr. Rankin and had an appointment with him on December 17 and, following that, a short meeting with the Chief Justice. After those conversations, it was decided that I would assist the Commission as liaison with the Department of Justice and in doing









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the other work that was necessary to begin the Commission's work; and on approximately December 20, 1963, I began to work, on a fulltime basis, to assist Mr. Rankin with the work of the Warren Commission. I remained in that capacity until late September 1964, when the report was completed.
Mr. BLAKEY. Mr. Willens, what were you told by those who asked you to come with the Commission what the goals of the Commission would be?
Mr. WILLENS. It was made very clear to me, in personal conversations with both, Mr. Rankin and the Chief Justice, that they saw the Commission's responsibility as being solely to obtain all the facts that were relevant to the assassination of President Kennedy and to report those facts fully to the President and to the people of the United States.
Mr. BLAKEY. Did you have any discussions with Mr. Katzenbach over what the Commission ought to do?
Mr. WILLENS. I talked with Mr. Katzenbach at the outset of this assignment and I had occasional conversations with him during the course of my duties with the Warren Commission. Mr. Katzenbach gave me no instructions except to perform to the best of my ability and to help the Commission to do the best possible job that it could.
There were, at the time the Commission was formed; as you know from the record, some differing views as to how to handle the report of the FBI investigation that had been produced in early December and was going to be transmitted to the Commission. This was one of the many issues that developed in December 1963; I was aware that Mr. Katzenbach had views as to whether the Warren Commission should or should not issue a press release summarizing the conclusions reached by the Federal Bureau of Investigation with respect to the assassination.
This is an issue which had been discussed within the Department of Justice to my knowledge before I went with the Warren Commission and was an issue that was addressed in the earl? days by the Commission itself.
Mr. BLAKEY. What did Mr. Katzenbach want done?
Mr. WILLENS. I believe it was the view of Mr. Katzenbach at the time that it would be in the public interest to make some sort of public statement summarizing the conclusions of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It is hard to recapture 14 years later the sense of bewilderment, and trauma that prevailed at the time; but there was a very substantial feeling held by very responsible people that there was an important public interest that could be served by making public at the earliest possible date some of the conclusions that had resulted from the investigation conducted to that point by the FBI.
The Commission, as you know from the public record reached a contrary conclusion and decided that its mission and the public interest did not warrant a premature press release with respect to the conclusions of the FBI.
The Commission decided that. it should conduct its own investigation, that it should review the underlying materials and that it should not make any public statement, regarding its findings until it was satisfied as to what the facts did disclose.







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Mr. Willens, let me shift our discussion somewhat from your assignment and the goals of the Commission to the organization of the Commission itself. To your knowledge, was the organizational chart of the Commission ever prepared by the Commission?
Mr. WILLENS. I do not recall any organizational chart being prepared of the kind you have made available to me.
Mr. BLAKEY. Mr. Chairman, I wonder if it would be possible to have the clerk mark as JFK exhibit No. 66 an organizational chart prepared by the staff.
Mr. FAUNTROY. Without objection.
Mr. BLAKEY. I wonder if the clerk could show JFK exhibit No. 66 to the witness.
Mr. Chairman, I wonder if we can incorporate that chart into record at this point in order that I may ask the witness some questions about it.
Mr. FAUNTROY. Without objection, is so ordered.
[The document referred to, marked JFK exhibit No. 66 and for the record, follows:]
























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JFK EXHIBIT No. 66
































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Mr. BLAKEY. Mr. Willens, I have in the past shown you a copy of this chart. I wonder if now you would look at it and indicate whether, in your judgment, it accurately reflects the organization of the Warren Commission.
Mr. WILLENS. There are several errors on this chart, none of which perhaps amounts to matters of substance. If it would be of assistance, will point out some of those errors.
Mr. BLAKEY. It will be of help.
Mr. WILLENS. First I think it is incorrect to have Messrs. Ely, Laulicht, and Pollak listed as junior counsel. They were employed by the Commission for limited periods of time and did have specialized assignments, some of which fell into the areas indicated.
Nonetheless, the title of "junior counsel" was reserved to those on the line above their names and they should properly be included under the category of "Others" assisting the Commission.
Second, the description of Arthur K. Marmor as a historian from the Air Force is incorrect. Mr. Marmor, as the report makes clear, was on loan from the State Department. It was Mr. Goldberg who was a historian from the Air Force and that characterization should be properly assigned to him.
The third name on this list, as on others, is misspelled. It must be Mosk. There are references in the materials to Overholser which would make clear what his anticipated function was to be. He was at that time associated with St. Elizabeths Hospital.
Mr. Shaffer, who was a former associate of mine, would probably take issue with the characterization of his duties as clerical and administrative.
Mr. BLAKEY. Where would you place him in the general organization chart?
Mr. WILLENS. Mr. Shaffer belongs where you put him; as a matter of fact, he did assist me with a wide variety of investigative and supervisory responsibilities.
Mr. Barson, who is described as a CPA, is from the IRS and was an agent from the Philadelphia office of the Internal Revenue Service who was made available to us on a loan basis in order to conduct the project of a reconciliation of Oswald's expenditures and income.
Under the column entitled "Liaisons," this is the first occasion I have ever heard of a Mr. Davis, but that is not to say that he didn't do the job that is mentioned here. The liaison with the State Department was the Legal Adviser's Office, as indicated further on the list.
The name of Yrmlisky is most certainly a misspelling and is probably incorrect. It may be a reference to Mr. Yrmalisky. Our principal liaison with the Department of Defense was Mr. Nederlander.
With respect to the CIA, I think it is more accurate to describe Richard Helms as the liaison with the Warren Commission. Mr. Rocca and Mr. Karamessines served as his deputies and assistants in that capacity. With respect to the Justice Department, show that Mr. Katzenbach designated Herbert J. Miller, Jr., to serve as liaison with the Commission and there is correspondence to that effect.
Apart from those comments, Mr. Blakey, I think that the chart is essentially correct.









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I should point out that technically Mr. Redlich, Mr. Goldberg, and myself did not exercise any line responsibility over other members of the staff. We were each serving as an assistant to Mr. Rankin and fulfilled those missions that Mr. Rankin assigned us. From an organizational chart standpoint, therefore, the three of us should be indicated as coming out sideways from Mr. Rankin so as to make clear that we did not have and do not claim to have had a supervisory responsibility over other members of the staff.
Mr. BLAKEY. The basic division of the work of the Warren Commission in the five substantive areas, and subsequently a sixth I take it, was as a result of a memorandum that you wrote. Is that correct?
Mr. WILLENS. One of the assignments I undertook in my first few weeks with the Commission was to make a recommendation to Mr. Rankin as to how the work of the Commission might be organized. I did write a memorandum in either late December or early January that proposed an organization very close to that reflected on this chart. That was reviewed by Mr. Rankin and presented subsequently to the Commission and did serve, with some amendment, as the organization through which the Commission staff performed its duties.
Mr. BLAKEY. I wonder if you could share with us at this time your rationale in dividing the basic work of the Commission into five areas as designated on this chart.
Mr. WILLENS. I keep thinking of six areas, as is reflected on the chart. I believe the rationale is readily stated. In order to begin and undertake a project of this dimension, there has to be some arbitrary allocation of responsibilities. There is no way to do it that eliminates overlap or possible confusion but this was an effort to try to organize the work in such a way that assignments would be reasonably clear overlaps could be readily identified and coordination would be accomplished among the various members of the staff.
It did seem to me and others who reviewed this chart that the various areas here did lend themselves to separate treatment, at least at the outset, when our principal task was to marshal the investigative materials that were made available to the Commission, try to identify those areas that needed additional investigation and to outline those questions that had to be addressed by the staff and the members of the Commission.
Area No. 1 with respect to the basic facts of the assassination seemed to carve out an analytical and descriptive area that related to the trip to Texas, the planning for that trip, the security precautions involved on that trip, the facts of the assassination in Dallas, and the subsequent treatment of the President at the hospital.
With respect to the identity of the assassin, it seemed that one of the principal undertakings of the Commission; of course, was to identify the assassin or assassins and to examine all the evidence that bore on that issue. It did seem to be an acceptable issue that would require separate staff attention.
Area No. 3 was to deal with Lee Harvey Oswald's background. There has been some question raised as to how the Commission could assign staff members to investigate Lee Harvey Oswald's background at a time when it had not yet decided who the assassin or assassins were and whether Lee Harvey Oswald was one of the assassins.









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I find that a fairly naive criticism of the work. We were not operating on a blank tablet. We did have in front of us not only a summary report of the FBI but very extensive evidence, including physical evidence indicating that Lee Harvey Oswald was, at the very least, a prime suspect in the matter. We did feel that some initial investigation into his background and into possible relationships of interest and relevance to the Commission's work was warranted.
The fourth area as reflected on this chart deals with the possible conspiracy. This was, of course, the second principal question that the Commission had to wrestle with just as your committee may have to wrestle with it.
Originally this area was defined more precisely as involving the foreign affiliations or possible involvement of foreign countries in the assassination. It was that area that Mr. Coleman and Mr. Slawson were primarily responsible for.
As we proceeded into the investigation toward the writing of the report we included in this area those findings that related to the possibility of domestic conspiracy involving Oswald, domestic conspiracy involving Ruby as well as the possibility involving foreign conspiracy.
Area No. 5 was to deal with the detention and death of Lee Harvey Oswald. That again seemed, at the outset, to be on the whole, a separate area that warranted immediate and thorough attention by staff members with that as a prime responsibility.
We did feel, in terms of the sixth area, of course, that the Presidential protection area was perhaps one of the Commission's most important undertakings because it was perhaps the only area where the Commission could make some contribution to the future so as to prevent future assassinations.
As the chart indicated, Mr. Stern was assigned to that area. It was contemplated that Mr. Rankin himself would serve the function of senior counsel in that area.
Mr. BLAKEY. I wonder if you could comment, Mr. Willens on the process of communication between these areas as they were broken up. How did it facilitate the sharing of information and ideas.
Mr. WILLENS. I mentioned that one of my responsibilities in the early weeks was to assist in organizing the work of the Commission. Another responsibility was to assist Mr. Rankin in the staffing of the Commission. A third responsibility bears directly on your question, Mr. Blakey. It was my responsibility to review the materials that had been received from the investigative agencies, particularly the and the CIA, and to request all further information that would be relevant to the Commission's inquiry from those two agencies plus a dozen or more other Federal agencies that might have some information of relevance to the investigation.
One way of dealing with the separate areas within which the lawyers were dealing was to make certain that all the materials that came in the office were reviewed in one central place and that any materials that bore even remotely or potentially on an area within the Commission's work were sent to that area.
It was frequently the case that materials in our possession were sent to three or four areas so that each of the groups of lawyers could look at the same material from that group's own perspective and decide










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whether it had any relevance in the part of the investigation for which those lawyers were responsible.
I continued that function throughout the Commission and always erred on the side of multiple duplication so as to make certain that the members of the staff in a particular area did get the papers which I thought they needed.
Another way of coordinating among the staff was by the circulation of summary memoranda, which happened on a regular basis throughout the Commission's work. One of the early work products that was requested of the members of the staff was a summary memorandum that attempted to assess the investigative materials in their area, to identify investigative leads that should be pursued, to identify any policy or other issues that should be addressed by Mr. Rankin or the commission and to make proposals for it he taking of testimony by the Commission or staff.
As those memoranda were produced in February and subsequently, they were circulated and available to the members of the staff so that the investigation could, in each area, take advantage of what the other lawyers had discovered and were proposing to do.
A third way of coordinating among the staff was perhaps more informal and related primarily to the ease with which the members of the staff could get together to discuss a problem in which more than one area had a particular interest. There was rarely a day that went by that we did not have lawyers from more than one area sitting down with respect to an investigative request, a list of proposed witnesses, or a proposed line of questioning, to decide what should be pursued in order to further the area's interest that each lawyer or lawyer group might have.
This was subsequently formalized, of course, when we did have witnesses appearing before the Commission when the members of the staff would be canvassed for their suggestions as to what questions should be addressed to the particular witness.
So those are several of the ways we developed to try to coordinate our work and to make as certain as we could that nothing of importance be swept between the cracks.
Mr. BLAKEY. What was the relationship between the junior and senior staffs?
Mr. WILLENS. The relationship was one of professional collegiality. The designations of senior and junior may seem overly formal and hierarchial. In most areas there quickly developed a close personal relationship between the senior counsel and junior counsel and they worked together as a team. That was obviously more successful in some areas than in others as you would anticipate.
Mr. BLAKEY. What was the relationship between the staff and the Commission?
Mr. WILLENS. By this time you have probably heard a fair amount on that subject and I am sure you have had your own personal experience here on tiffs committee that can serve as a benchmark.
No staff ever feels that the commission or committee for which it works is as knowledgeable as the staff. At the same time members of the Commission staff I think were sufficiently sophisticated and experienced to realize that the members of the Commission had multiple









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responsibilities and were men of considerable experience in public life and could bring to the work of the Commission a perspective that some of the members of the staff might not share.
The principal liaison between the Commission and the staff was through Mr. Rankin. Mr. Rankin was the General Counsel of the staff and was the person to whom the Commission looked with respect to the work of the staff. He was the principal staff member who attended all the sessions of the Commission although there were other members of the staff who did participate in the taking of the testimony before the Commission on a fairly regular basis.
Apart from those occasional meetings with the Chief Justice most of the staff's dealings with the members of the Commission occurred on a sporadic and limited basis. There were several members of the Commission, for example, Mr. McCloy and Mr. Dulles, who took a very active interest in the work of the Commission and frequently did have the opportunity to meet with individual members of the staff to discuss a particular problem or area in which the Commission member was interested. Otherwise the interaction was primarily through Mr. Rankin and by the flow of paper between the staff and the Commission.
The flow of paper is best demonstrated by the records that I am sure you have reviewed and I think will demonstrate the effort of the staff to keep the Commission fully informed of the progress of the investigation as it was being handled by the staff.
Mr. BLAKEY. Did Chief Justice Warren come around the office and discuss the investigation with the staff?
Mr. WILLENS. That happened on occasion, yes. The Chief Justice, thought was carrying an enormous burden with respect to full participation in the work of the Court at the same time that he was serving as Chairman of the Commission. Some members of the staff, including myself, did have occasional meetings with the Chief Justice and he did participate in some meetings with other agencies that were of particular interest to him and of importance to the Commission. I do not want to mislead you and suggest that he was constantly available for consultation by the staff because he certainly was not. He did deal on a very regular basis though, to my knowledge, with Mr. Rankin and Mr. Rankin was very conscientious in making certain that members of the staff knew precisely what the Chief Justice did want to have done.
Mr. BLAKEY. You have indicated that. Mr. Dulles was around the staff offices on some occasions?
Mr. WILLENS. Yes.
Mr. BLAKEY. Would you share with us what he indicated he thought the Commission ought to do in those conversations?
Mr. WILLENS. I don't remember any general conversations with Mr. Dulles that are responsive to that question. Mr. Dulles did have a particular interest in the possibility of a foreign involvement in the matter and was available for consultation with me or with other members of the staff who had some responsibility for pursuing the allegations and materials on that issue. As the record will reflect he did participate in some of the meetings and the Central Intelligence Agency in connection with that Agency's assistance to the Commission.
Mr. BLAKEY. Did he have any particular area of foreign involvement in which he showed particular interest ?









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Mr. WILLENS. No.
Mr. BLAKEY. Did he ever express any concern about posible Soviet involvement?
Mr. WILLENS. The question of Soviet involvement was, of course, one that was squarely before the Warren Commission. Certainly the fact that the assassin of President Kennedy was someone who had expatriated or tried to expatriate himself in the Soviet Union and spent several years there could only be a matter of the greatest suspicion and require the Commission's best attention. It is an area that is very difficult to investigate. Mr. Dulles and the other members of the Commission's work to Oswald's Soviet residence and his marriage to a citizen of the Soviet Union and they were very interested in all facets of the investigation bearing on this and exploring it as fully as possible.
Mr. BLAKEY. Did he ever express any concern about possible Cuban involvement?
Mr. WILLENS. There also was a similar interest in exploring that, articularly with the Mexico trip coming so shortly before the assassination. There were from the beginning of the Commission's investigation allegations before the Commission and staff that Oswald had been motivated in one way or another in the assassination by his dealings with respect to Cuba. Our record will indicate that several investigative leads were pursued with respect to Oswald's relationships with pro-Castro groups and anti-Castro groups and various theories were advanced as to what his motivation might have been. One of these theories was that he was prompted by the desire to retaliate against the United States for its attempted invasion of Castro's Cuba in 1961.
Mr. BLAKEY. Let me shift the focus of our concern, Mr. Willens, from the organization of the Warren Commission to the question of staff selection, itself. Did you participate in the selection of the other members of the staff?
Mr. WILLENS. I participated in the selection of several members of the staff to the extent that Mr. Rankin asked me to canvass the available applicants, to develop other applications for positions with the Commission and to make him a series of recommendations on the subject. I did do that during late December or early January.
Mr. BLAKEY. What criteria were employed in the selection of staff members?
Mr. WILLENS. It is particularly with respect to the senior staff that I have fairly limited knowledge. Some of the members of the senior staff were selected before I became associated with the Commission. I know that there was an interest to have among the senior staff men of considerable legal experience, some record of public service and demonstrated independence of judgment. The Commission was interested in having as senior counsel men who, although they might not be able to work on a full-time basis, nevertheless would bring to the work of the Commission a seniority, a wisdom and a demonstrated experience that would help to advise the Commission with respect to its mission and provide support in gaining public respect for the product of the Warren Commission.
I think that in many respects the senior been unfairly criticized over the years for not devoting themselves










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full time to the work of the Commission. If I could just make two points on that issue I will make the following:
First, several of the senior counsel did work very hard, specifically Messrs. Ball, Jenner, and Hubert. I know y. ou have some work records with respect to those. I want to state with respect to those three men that they did at various times during the work of the Commission work every bit as hard as the younger members of the staff.
Second, and perhaps more importantly is the fact that none of the senior counsel had been asked in my view to work on a full-time basis with the Commission. Each of them did have many responsibilities and I think in those cases with which I am familiar they made that fact known to Mr. Rankin and the Chief Justice. So it is I think somewhat unfair in retrospect to state that they should be falted for doing only what they were asked to do, namely make available as much time as they could to the work of the Commission. That may have been a mistake but it is not a mistake that I think can be fairly assigned to the senior lawyers themselves.
Mr. BLAKEY. What criteria were used in the selection of the junior counsel?
Mr. WILLENS. In respect to the junior counsel we were concerned with some diversity of experience in practice and in the criminal field in particular. We were interested in lawyers of some considerable intellectual attainment as could be measured by their academic achievements and by their early years in practice. We were also interested in some diversity of views and some geographical representation.
It seems clear from the hindsight of 14 years that we erred seriously in not having several women among the staff.
I think with those criteria in mind that we did find a group of lawyers who had the characteristics that I emphasized, independence of mind, some considerable experience, including some with extensive trial experience, diversity of views, and some modicum of geographical diversity.
Mr. BLAKEY. What accounts for the heavy predominance of Yale backgrounds? As a teacher at Cornell, I am compelled by my academic associations to ask that question.
Mr. DODD. As a Congressman from Connecticut, I may object to the question.
Mr. WILLENS. I am glad to find some support from members of the committee before I invoke any privileges on that point. They always told us when I was at law school that Yale produced more law professors than any other single law school. In this case several of the people to whom I turned for recommendations and to see whether they would be themselves available for work with the Commission were people I knew through the Yale Law School affiliation. I did turn in some instances to people who graduated from Harvard. At least in one case I recall he reciprocated by recommending someone from the Yale Law School.
I do concede that there is here a predominance of lawyers from Yale and Harvard in the hope that that won't be held against the Commission.
Mr. BLAKEY. At least not by those on the committee associated with Yale.









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You raised, Mr. Willens, the question of the time devoted to the work the Commission by the staff. I think it might be appropriate at this time to ask the Chairman if he will have the clerk mark as JFK exhibit No. 67 a chart prepared by the staff based on the pay record of the Commission. Mr. Chairman, would you ask the clerk to mark that as JFK exhibit No. 67?
Mr. FAUNTROY. Without objection, that may be done.
Mr. BLAKEY. I will ask that the clerk also show the chart to the witness.
Mr. Chairman, I wonder if it would not be appropriate at this time to incorporate the chart in the record in order that I may ask the witness some questions with reference to the chart.
Mr. FAUNTROY. Without objection, it is so ordered.
[The document referred to, JFK exhibit. ,No. 67 and received for the record, follows:]
























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JFK EXHIBIT No. 67
































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Mr. BLAKEY. I wonder, Mr. Willens, if you will indicate whether that chart in at least general outline reflects your own memory of the relative balance of work by the various lawyers who were on it on a per diem basis? I would not expect you, after some 13 years, to remember the number of days.
Mr. WILLENS. I find it difficult to relate these figures to my recollection of the performance of individual lawyers in terms of the amount of time they spent. It has been my experience, in private practice at least, that lawyers differ widely in their assessment of how much time they spend on matters and how valuable their time is. I think in the very roughest terms this gives a fair picture of the days spent during the period by members of the staff. I think that with reference to my earlier comment you should note that several of the senior counsel felt that their primary responsibility was to work in the investigative stages of the Commission's work. In their view the particular contribution they could make would be in the review of investigative materials, the decisionmaking process with respect to additional lines of investigation, the taking of te.stimony, either before the Commission or by deposition, and the presentation of the results of their investigative work in a first draft report to be reviewed within the Commission staff.
With that view in mind I think you will understand why some of the senior counsel put in substantially more time in the period from February through June 30 than in the following months of July, August, and September, when the principal work being done within the Commission staff was to write the report and to conduct those additional investigations that seemed to be required and were prompted by the ongoing process of depositions and testimony before the Commission.
Mr. BLAKEY. Mr. Chairman, I think it might be appropriate to note for the record at this point the chart covers the pay periods from February 1 through September 26, that it indicates a range of days devoted to Commission work from 308 by Mr. Rankin to 16 by Mr. Adams. It indicates that the average time devoted to the Commission was approximately 159 days and that of the senior counsel, only Mr. Jenner exceeded that average.
I think we ought also to note, in fairness to Mr. Willens, himself that the chart omits him and no one should construe that as an indication that he did not work for the Commission.
I am correct, am I not, Mr. Willens, in indicating that your salary during this time was paid by the Department of Justice and it probably true that you put in at least as much time as Mr. Rankin on the work of the Commission?
Mr. WILLENS. It is true that I was on the payroll of the Department of Justice st the time. During this period from December 20, 1963, to about September 22, 1964, I worked almost exclusively on the work of the Warren Commission. There were a few weeks when I had to send the majority of my time at the Department of Justice because the other deputy to the Assistant Attorney General was on military leave. With that principal exception and some occasional trips back to the Department, mine was nearly a full-time job. It may be that I would have worked on this measure somewhat less than Mr. Rankin hut it was in my view a full-time job.










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Mr. BLAKEY. You have indicated, Mr. Willens, that the original understanding among the senior counsel was that they would devote their time to the Commission approximately 3 to 6 months during the investigatory stage. Do you think their absence during the period of time during which the evidence was ultimately evaluated and reduced to the Commission report was an absence that was missed?
Mr. WILLENS. Let me declare I don't know what was the original understanding that each of the lawyers had with Mr. Rankin or the Chief Justice. It is my impression that they probably thought the duty would not be more than 6 months but they undoubtedly said they would give as much time as they could to the undertaking.
With respect to the emphasis on the investigative stage, it is my recollection that most of the senior counsel felt that was the area where they could make the most substantial contribution.
During the rewriting process, hot, ever, we did go back to the senior counsel with the revised drafts that related to the portions of the investigation with which they had the most familiarity. We did request their continuing comments on drafts of the report where they had interrogated the witness, or in which we knew they had a particular interest. That did precipitate as you would expect, during the months of August and September some considerable debate among all the members of the staff and presumably within the Commission as to how best to deal with the investigative materials and what kind of support existed for the various findings that were being tentatively proposed for the Commission's consideration.
I think, Mr. Blakey, they were available to be called upon in the latter stages of the Commission's work and the fact they were not there on a full-time basis did not serve to handicap the Commission's completion of its work.
Mr. BLAKEY. Mr. Chairman, 1 would like to turn at this time to raise with the witness some questions about pressures under which they obviously labored.
Mr. Willens, you indicated that the general goals, as stated to you by those who were ultimately responsible for the Warren Commission, was to find the truth. I wonder if you will indicate for the record whether there were also any additional political pressures on the Commission, and I don't use the word political in a pejorative sense. For example, were you told or was the impression conveyed to you that one role that the Commission might play would be to allay public fears or to make possible a smooth transition of national leadership or to allay international concerns or even indeed to so conduct the investigation that it might not have about it the character of a witch hunt? I suppose the answer would be either some of the above, none of the above, or one of the above?
Mr. WILLENS. I understand the thrust of the question. Mr. Blakey although I would object in a deposition to its being multiple or compound.
There undoubtedly were concerns that the Chief Justice and members of the Commission had with respect to the undertaking that, the President had asked them to assume. It is hard to recapture today the sense of public turmoil that existed at the time with respect to the assassination and the concerns that were being expressed as to what









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impact the assassination might have on the foreign relations of the United States. At no time did anyone tell me that the work of the Commission was to be less than complete because of some need to allay rumors or to make a transition more expeditious.
I was after all an employee of the Department of Justice.
I was personally responsible to the Deputy Attorney General and to the Attorney General of the United States. No one could seriously maintain that the Department of Justice headed by Attorney General Kennedy had any interest in this investigation other than the most thorough and honest canvassing of all the available facts.
Now having said that, it is certainly true that the Commission did not feel it had an endless period of time within which to complete its work. It was not a leisurely undertaking. We did not have a charter that permitted us or encouraged us to proceed at a leisurely pace. We were under an obligation to complete the work as quickly as we conscientiously could. There were certainly disputes within the staff and among the Commission as to how rapidly the work could be completed. As those differences developed, however, the staff repeatedly expressed its views strongly to Mr. Rankin and to the members of the Commission that the investigation could not be completed on any anticipated timetable and we repeatedly emphasized that when there was additional work to be done that additional time had to be afforded.
In every instance where the staff made clear that additional time was required the Commission acquiesed in that conclusion and agreed that the final product should be, only that kind of report that was satisfactory to the members of the staff and to the members of the Commission.
Mr. BLAKEY. Let me ask you some specific questions in order that the record might be clear, Mr. Willens.
Did Attorney General Kennedy ever express to you directly or indirectly any desire on his part that the investigation come out in any particular fashion?
Mr. WILLENS. No.
Mr. BLAKEY. Did Deputy Attorney General Katzenbach ever express to you directly or indirectly his desire that the investigation come out in any particular fashion?
Mr. WILLENS. No.
Mr. BLAKEY. Did the Chief Justice ever express such a desire to you.
Mr. WILLENS. No.
Mr. BLAKEY. Did Mr. Dulles ever express such a desire to you?
Mr. WILLENS. No.
Mr. BLAKEY. Did you ever learn directly or indirectly that President Johnson or any member of the White House staff desired that the investigation come out in any particular fashion?
Mr. WILLENS. No.
Mr. BLAKEY. You indicated that there was some concern or some thought expressed about allaying people's fears or smooth transitions or international considerations. Did the staff itself ever discuss these concerns?
Mr. WILLENS. I do not recall any discussions among the staff that focused on those particular concerns. The staff, as you have gathered from your interviews and testimony, was composed of a number of




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fairly articulate and forceful individuals. They were of the definite view that they had one assignment with respect to the Commission and that was to conduct a full investigation and report those findings that could be supported by the facts. There were obviously in the investigation of foreign possibilities discussions about the impact that a particular mode of investigation might have on a foreign government if it were discovered.
There was considerable attention given to the communications that were to be addressed to foreign governments. But I think that is to be expected and doesn't relate to any limitation on the staff that flowed from a concern about adverse impact on foreign relations.
Mr. BLAKEY. More particularly, was there ever any pressure put on the Commission to your knowledge or the Commission staff to have the Commission's conclusions agree with those that have already been reached by the Federal Bureau of Investigation?
Mr. WILLENS. No; there was no pressure emanating from the Commission or any other source on the staff to encourage the staff to reach conclusions that were identical or comparable to those of the FBI.
Mr. BLAKEY. Was there any pressure on the Commission or staff from outside the Commission or outside the staff to have the Commission reach a result consistent with that already reached by the Federal Bureau of Investigation?
Mr. WILLENS. I am not aware of any.
Mr. BLAKEY. We have already discussed in the record the letter of Attorney General Katzenbach sent on December 9, 1963, to the Warren Commission asking the Commission to issue a press release stating that the FBI report clearly show that there was no international conspiracy and that Oswald was a loner. How would you construe that letter?
Mr. WILLENS. I do not have the letter in front of me.
Mr. BLAKEY. I am talking about the general impact of that letter. Would it be fair to characterize that as pressure on the Commission or the Commission staff by releasing the FBI report at that early point in time, at least implicitly indicating agreement with its conclusions?
Mr. WILLENS. First of all, there was no Commission staff at the time that the letter was written. As I indicated earlier, the Commission concluded not to publish any press statement affirming the findings of the FBI. The Commission was of the view that it had a separate responsibility under the President's order to conduct its own investigation and make its own findings. Many of the members of the Commission were skeptical regarding the FBI investigation and wanted to review the raw materials and conduct additional investigation before they reached any conclusions that could be publicly stated with any degree of confidence by the members of the Commission themselves.
The Commission did include as you know, four Members of Congress and they were particularly sensitive to the public concern that was precipitated by the investigation and by the assassination of President Kennedy and they undoubtedly were under pressure from their constituents to make the findings public. But in each case they decided that the work of the Commission required more extensive work and consideration than the FBI had been able to give the matter in








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what after all had been a very limited period within which the Bureau could investigate the assassination.
What I have said is not to fault the Bureau for their initial product the Commission report does take exception to some major issues. The FBI report was prepared under enormous strain and was done so at the direction of the President and in my view in order to make certain that some of the facts with respect to this could be developed rapidly so that the President and the other leaders of the Government could decide what actions were appropriate.
Mr. BLAKEY. Mr. Willens, you have, as have some of the other witnesses appearing before the committee, mentioned the general problem of time and perhaps tune as a pressure. Let me st this point review with you some of the key dates in the time between November and September from the assassination to the release of the report. After have done that I would like to ask you some general questions on that.
The President was, of course, assassinated on the and of November, 1963. President Johnson created a Commission on November 29. The Commission's first meeting occurred on December 5. On December 5, the FBI submitted its four-volume summary report, just 17 days after the assassination. On December 16, Mr. Rankin was sworn in as General Counsel. On December 20, the FBI report from which the summary report was composed began arriving at the Commission offices. On January 10, the Commission's organization was completed. On January 13, the supplementary report was received by the Warren Commission. On January 20, the first staff meeting occurred.
February 3 marks the beginning of the hearings conducted by the Commission, March 14 the date of the Ruby trial. In March the beginning of field investigation by the Commission. The month of April is a month in which approximately half of the depositions were taken. In May Mr. Rankin informed the Commission staff members that they should have their investigation completed by June 1. On June 1 only Mr. Specter had finished his draft. On June 17 the Warren Commission announced that its hearings were completed.
On June 27, the Commission announced that its report would not be released until after the Republican National Convention on July 13. In July most of the senior lawyers left. Primarily Mr. Liebeler, Mr. Griffin, and Mr. Slawson remained. In August the report was written in part but the deadlines were extended to September and of course on September 24, the first galley proofs arrived. On September 24, the report was submitted to the President. On September 28, it was released.
A summary of these dates would indicate that the actual FBI investigation, at least initially, extended from November 22 to December 9, a period of 17 days. There were approximately 5 months between the organization of the Commission and the completion of some drafts, approximately 2 to 4 months were spent in writing and rewriting the Commission's report and approximately 3 1/2 months were spent by the Commission engaging in field investigations.
In retrospect do you believe that that time schedule as generally outlined was adequate to do the work?










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Mr. WILLENS. I think the time was sufficient to do the work of the Warren Commission. I cannot deny that the work could have gone on for another month or two or six. The question of how much time was one that had to be reassessed from month to month as we pursued the investigation and looked at those remaining lines of investigation that could be explored. There inevitably are going to be loose ends of one kind or another that are going to be left. undone at the end of any major criminal investigation. I think that the way you have described the timing, based on the records of the Commission, is substantially accurate.
The only question I would raise for your consideration is whether it is accurate to describe the FBI investigation as limited to the early portion, to the 17-day period you are talking about, and whether you have fairly taken into consideration the fact that as soon as the Commission staff began work in mid-January or thereabouts there begin to result a series of investigative requests to the FBI, CIA, and other investigative agencies which built on the investigation already conducted and was a very important component of the overall investigation.
I would also point out that the investigative work did continue through July and August and in some respects into September. You will find in the records of the Commission a substantial volume of important investigative requests that were sent to the FBI and other agencies during those months as it became clear from the testimony of witnesses or from other investigative reports that some leads should be further explored before any Commission findings were arrived at.
Those may be only caveats, Mr. Blakey, and are not directly responsive to your question but I do think it is important to recognize that essentially the Commission had from mid-January to mid-September to do its work and it is certainly true that during that 8 month period most of the investigation was done during the first 5 months of that period and most of the writing was done during the last 3 months of that period.
Obviously there was some writing and assembly of investigative materials during the early months. One of the principal assignments given the lawyers was to absorb what they had assigned to them in their area and to propose a factual narrative or analysis that would inform the members of the Commission what was known and what was unknown. There was a constant stream of summary memorandums that were produced by the staff and then the taking of depositions was a very major and important part of the Commission's factfinding and it was concentrated, as you say in the months from mid-March through May or thereabouts, with some significant number of depositions taken I believe in June and July.
Nonetheless the record is clear as to what time was available and the record is awfully clear what was done. It is up to you to assess whether what was done was fairly and efficiently done in light of the time available.
Mr. BLAKEY. MY. Chairman, that concludes my questions in the area of Mr. Willens' assignment, the organization of the Warren Commission, the selection of the staff, the staff's general performance,










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and possible pressures under which it operated. I have some additional questions in the area of procedures, the methods of investigation, relationship of the agency, and the writing of the report. But it might be appropriate now for the committee to ask questions at least in those first areas, if it so desires.
Mr. FAUNTROY. Mr. Dodd.
Mr. DODD. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Willens, I have become very impressed with the fact that the members of the Commission staff and otherwise were working in a relatively short time frame. I don't think I was fully aware of the fact that this really took only a few months from the very beginning until the first drafts were done, a little less than a year for the entire job. I guess I was under the impression it was a longer period of time. I don't know why. Chief Justice Warren started the investigation at the first meeting and I could quote him but I will just paraphrase his remarks, mentioned specifically that he perceived his job as Chairman of the Commission and the job of the Commission as one to evaluate evidence rather than conduct an investigation. Now it may just be semantic here but I thought it was rather significant at the outset that he seemed to make the distinction that the Commission was not to serve as an investigative body but really as an evaluator of accumulated evidence. I wonder if you might comment on that in terms of, one, did we see sort of evolutionary process that the Commission went through from that being the original ideas and then as the work developed it became more an investigative agency, not an agency but an investigative body, rather, or did it in fact maintain its original framework of an evaluator of evidence.
Mr. WILLENS. I think that is an interesting question, Congressman Dodd.
I think that there was no question that many members of the Commission and certainly all of the staff knew that there was a very substantial amount of investigative work to be done, that this was indeed an investigative Commission, with a Presidential charter that had a most important set of crimes to investigate and report. There was at the same time some reticence among some members of the Commission because of the fact that the Commission was an unusual kind of factfinding agency and was not a court with the responsibility for finding facts through the adversary processes. I think there certainly was some concern as to what kind of factfinding agency the Commission should be. I believe though that any reservation on that score was set aside as soon as it became clear to the members of the Commission as to the scope of the investigation that was necessary in order to resolve the many unanswered questions that were raised by the investigative materials that were turned over to the Commission.
I think the members of the Commission and the staff also became increasingly aware as the public rumor mill began to operate, of the sensitivity of their mission and the need to deal with these various rumors and allegstions in the public domain, and that in order to do so effectively it was necessary to check out those various allegations to see whether they had any factual foundation or whether they lacked any factual foundation.











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If there was any reservation, in short, to begin with, I think it was cured in the early months of the Commission's work and that the Commission members and staff like recognized that they were inevitably conducting a mammoth investigation, using the Federal agencies and using their independent staff in order to find out all the facts that were relevant to the assassination of President Kennedy and the murder of Oswald.
Mr. DODD. Within the 4 days after the assassination, and I don't recall your response to Mr. Blakey's question with regard to your awareness of the Katzenbach memo regarding the directive so to speak of the Commission, that is, to lay to rest the growing concern, both nationally and internationally, with the ramifications of the assassination, and to establish that once and for all that Lee Harvey Oswald was acting alone, you maintained your employee-employer relationship with the Justice Department throughout the entire investigation, is that correct?
Mr. WILLENS. Yes.
Mr. DODD. Your salary and everything came from the Justice Department? You never were paid at all by the Coramission itself as a salaried employee of the Commission?
Mr. WILLENS. That is correct.
Mr. DODD. Were you consciously aware at all, either as a result of direct or indirect communication from Mr. Katzenbach, that he had this feeling or was that a misstatement of his thinking with regard to the Commission's duties at the outset?
Mr. WILLENS. Before I became officially associated with the Commission I was aware of the fact of an FBI report and the issue whether or not some public statement should be made on the subject. As I recall there were some who felt that the entire FBI report should be made public. There were others who thought it should not be. but that some form of summary should be made public.
There was a third group who felt nothing should be made public until the Commission had been created and had undertaken its job. I sympathize with those who felt at the time that some public statement would have been a useful gesture if it could have allayed public concern and unrest. I think that was a well-motivated, understandable desire. If the national interest could have been furthered in such a way, I am sure most people considering the issue would have come out that way. In fact, they did not because they concluded no simple public statement could really resolve the uncertainties until all the facts had been developed, and everyone accepted the fact that the FBI could not possibly be asked to develop all the facts regarding the assassination within a week or even 3 weeks or a month.
Mr. DODD. I am not clear as to when you were assigned the liaison responsibilities. Do you recall the date of that?
Mr. WILLENS. I did go over to the Connnission on December 17, 1963. In the period between the assassination and December 17 I have some knowledge, very limited, regarding the FBI investigation and the issues that were being discussed within the executive branch regarding the appointment of the Commission and the making of a public statement with respect to the assassination.
Mr. DODD. The reason I ask that, I don't have any reason to believe you necessarily were aware of this or not, maybe you were, on November








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21, 1963, and again on December 2, 1963, Mr. McCone---that was when Lyndon Johnson was President discussed with him various questions surrounding Cuba. He met again on the second with Mr. Bundy. Mr. McCone met with both L.B.J. and Bundy and discussed Cuba again. In light of the fact that we now know that prior to 1963 the Central intelligence Agency, with certain members of organized crime along with the apparent knowledge of the President, were involved in an effort to assassinate or to do away with Mr. Castro, in some way bring about a change in that government down there, do you think it possible that the Attorney General, then Attorney General Robert Kennedy, being knowledgeable, assuming he was knowledgeable of those particular circumstances, would be somewhat reluctant to have the kind of full-blown investigation that could possibly surface certain pieces of evidence at that time that would have shed a poor light on his brother's administration and that therefore there might very well have been a degree of reluctance to have the kind of fullblown investigation that was contemplated and sought after by some?
His brother in fact was dead. Nothing that the Commission could do would bring him back. There was a lot of personal hurt there, and why open up Fandora's box, particularly when you are dealing with someone who is parading around as having connections with a Free Cuba or Fair Play for Cuba Committee or a lot of the issues that would surface as a result of that kind of full-blown investigation when there were some rather strong ties to Cuba?
Mr. WILLENS. I do not believe that is possible. I know from my conversations with the Attorney General and the Deputy Attorney General that no effort was ever made to influence me with respect to the scope or the thoroughness of the investigation. I was told nothing about what to do but to do my best work to assist the Commission in completing its investigative assignment and reporting its findings in a coherent and persuasive report.
Mr. DODD. You mentioned before that there were no political pressures in response to Mr. Blakey's question, to terminate the Commission's work. Yet a note I have someplace indicates that at a meeting that you had with the Chief Justice in June of 1964, at the time you informed him it was going to take a little longer than originally had been expected, the Chief Justice apparently lost his temper a little bit or became annoyed. I guess--I don't know what the proper description is of that meeting, but he became quite upset with the fact that you were not going to get the work done as planned. The Chief Justice had earlier stated:

Other than obviously wanting to get the job done, which is obviously something we are all interested in, I certainly would like to see this job done, but my primary concern is that it be done right.

I am curious as to whether or not the Chief Justice expressed at that time or prior to or thereafter, that while he would like to see it done he wanted the kind of thorough and complete job that should be done, given the significance of the event. I am concerned why there seemed to be this tremendous concern with the time element when you consider it was an assassination of a President.
Mr. WILLENS. I understand that question, Congressman. I think that one explanation that I have for this and in retrospect is that none of us,








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including the Commission or staff had any real comprehension at the beginning of the Commission's assignment as to exactly how long it would take.
Mr. DODD. Although the Chief Justice did set June 1 as the date from the very first meeting?
Mr. WILLENS. I think that is probably right. Yet I am sure he would concede it was an absolutely arbitrary date. It did not bear any necessary relationship to the scope of the mission or the number of people on board or the obstinancy of the investigative agencies whatever that might develop during the course of those 5 months that he thought it would take. I must say I probably thought at the outset when I went over to the Commission that although I did not know how long it would take I probably thought it would take 6 months. I knew it would take some time to get organized. I knew it would take some time to conduct investigations. I knew it would take substantial time to write a report.
I think in my own mind I underestimated the time it took to do all of those things. I think what came home to the Chief Justice and to other members of the Commission beginning in late May and June was that the job really was more complicated and more controversial than any of us had assumed. I think the Chief Justice was very discouraged by that report to him in June of 1963 that the deadlines he had hoped could be met were not any longer realistic ones because of the need to conduct additional investigation and because of the difficulty in putting together draft sections of the report that were coherent, and defensible and ready to be reviewed by the members of the Commission.
To some extent the Chief Justice undoubtedly felt like every chairman does of a commission or committee, that is, he felt that he was a prisoner of the staff or limited by the staff's willingness or ability to complete a particular assignment on the schedule that the Chairman had set. Staffs uniformly tried to do that. Then, when they were unable to do that, their obligation was to come forward and say why they were unable to meet the timetable and propose a different timetable.
I want to be certain that you do understand that as the deadline was constantly put off there were of course events during that year of a political nature that would undoubtedly bbe in the minds of the media and other persons who were concerned about when our report would come out. There were certainly times when it was discussed whether the report should come out after or before the Republican Convention. There was certainly concern about whether the report would come out in advance of the 1964 election.
Mr. DODD. I have heard everyone say that. I have tried to imagine. I am certain that at the time the President must have been extremely anxious as the investigation was proceeding that he be kept abreast of what was turning up. Having a somewhat passing familiarity with Johnson he never let anything happen that he did not keep apprised of it at all times. He must have been terribly nosey about what the Commission was coming up with. I say that with all due respect to the President of the United States. He had that reputation. Assuming nothing startling was coming up the original FBI report-seemed to be holding true as far as the investigation, why was it so important that it be done before a political convention or fall election if there was nothing startling in the report other than what we already assumed was true anyway?









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Mr. WILLENS. In part the concern was a media concern. There