It's important to understand that from the very beginning, officials of our government did not want a true investigation and made every attempt to "make the public satisfied that Oswald was the assassin."

There may be no other document that makes it more clear that there was no interest in a true investigation by the highest federal authorities and it was issued 2 just days after the assassination. A memo prepared by Walter Jenkins reflects his conversation with J. Edgar Hoover where Hoover makes this telling 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."

This conversation occurred on November 24, 1963, one day prior to Katzenbach's memo below. Meanwhile, Hoover himself wrote a glaring similar memo on the same day that reads:

"The thing I am most concerned about, and SO IS Mr. Katzenbach, is having something issued so that WE can convince the pubic that Oswald is the real assassin." (HSCA, Volume 3, pp 471-473. This memo was apparently prepared by Hoover at 4 pm.)




A third memo written by the FBI's Courtney Evans on November 26th mentions that Hoover himself drafted the Katzenbach memo. (North, "Act of Treason")

Memo from Nicholas deB. Katzenbach, Deputy Attorney General

November 25, 1963


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; and that the evidence was such that he would have been convicted at trial.

2. Speculation about Oswald's motivation ought to be cut off, and we should have some basis for rebutting thought that this was a Communist conspiracy or (as the Iron Curtain press is saying) a right-wing conspiracy to blame it on the Communists. Unfortunately the facts on Oswald seem about too pat-- too obvious (Marxist, Cuba , Russian wife, etc.). The Dallas police have put out statements on the Communist conspiracy theory, and it was they who were in charge when he was shot and thus silenced.

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 by making public as soon as possible a complete and thorough FBI report on Oswald and the assassination. This may run into the difficulty of pointing to in- consistencies between this report and statements by Dallas police officials. 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 conclusions. This has both advantages and disadvantages. It think it can await publication of the FBI report and public reaction to it here and abroad.

I think, however, that a statement that all the facts will be made public property in an orderly and responsible way should be made now. We need something to head off public speculation or Congressional hearings of the wrong sort.


Nicholas deB. Katzenbach

Deputy Attorney General  





In 1967 it was Illegal for the CIA to operate within U S Territorial Boundries.

Below is what they issued to the News Media on April 1. 1967.


DISPATCH                           CLASSIFICATION            PROCESSING ACTION

                                     TOP SECRET            MARKED FOR INDEXING

TO       Chiefs, Certain Stations and Bases             X  NO INDEXING REQUIRED

INFO                                                       ONLY QUALIFIED DESK

                                                           CAN JUDGE INDEXING

FROM     The Director of Central Intelligence              MICROFILM

SUBJECT  Countering Criticism of the Warren Report





     1. Our Concern.   From the day of President Kennedy's assassination on,

there has been speculation about the responsibility for his murder.  Although

this was stemmed for a time by the Warren Commission report (which appeared at

the end of September 1964), various writers have now had time to scan the

Commission's published report and documents for new pretexts for questioning,

and there has been a new wave of books and articles criticizing the Commission's

findings.  In most cases the critics have speculated as to the existence of some

kind of conspiracy, and often they have implied that the Commission itself was

involved.  Presumably as a result of the increasing challenge to the Warren

Commission's Report, a public opinion poll recently indicated that 46% of the

American public did not think that Oswald acted alone, while more than half of

those polled thought that the Commission had left some questions unresolved.

Doubtless polls abroad would show similar, or possibly more adverse, results.


     2.  This trend of opinion is a matter of concern to the U.S. government,

including our organization.  The members of the Warren Commission were naturally

chosen for their integrity, experience, and prominence.  They represented both

major parties, and they and their staff were deliberately drawn from all sections

of the country.  Just because of the standing of the Commissioners, efforts to

impugn their rectitude and wisdom tend to cast doubt on the whole leadership of

American society.  Moreover, there seems to be an increasing tendency to hint

that President Johnson himself, as the one person who might be said to have

benefited, was in some way responsible for the assassination.  Innuendo of

such seriousness affects not only the individual concerned, but also the whole

reputation of the American government.  Our organization itself is directly

involved:  among other facts, we contributed information to the investigation.

Conspiracy theories have frequently thrown suspicion on our organization, for

example by falsely alleging that Lee Harvey Oswald worked for us.  The aim of

this dispatch is to provide material for countering and discrediting the claims

of the conspiracy theorists, so as to inhibit the circulation of such claims in

other countries.  Background information is supplied in a classified section and

in a number of unclassified attachments.


     3.  Action.  We do not recommend that discussion of the assassination ques-

tion be initiated where it is not already taking place.  Where discussion is

active, however, addressees are requested:


                         DISPATCH SYMBOL AND NUMBER   DATE

9 attachments h/w                                         4/1/67

1 - classified secret              CLASSIFICATION     HQS FILE NUMBER

8 - Unclassified                     TOP SECRET           DESTROY WHEN NO LONGER 



DISPATCH                             TOP SECRET


a.  To discuss the publicity problem with liaison and friendly elite contacts

(especially politicians and editors), pointing out that the Warren Commission

made as thorough an investigation as humanly possible, that the charges of the

critics are without serious foundation, and that further speculative discussion

only plays into the hands of the opposition.  Point out also that parts of the

conspiracy talk appear to be deliberately generated by Communist propagandists.

Urge them to use their influence to discourage unfounded and irresponsible



b.  To employ propaganda assets to answer and refute the attacks of the

critics.  Book reviews and feature articles are particularly appropriate for

this purpose.  The unclassified attachments to this guidance should provide

useful background material for passage to assets.  Our play should point out,

as applicable, that the critics are (i) wedded to theories adopted before the

evidence was in, (ii) politically interested, (iii) financially interested, (iv)

hasty and inaccurate in their research, or (v) infatuated with their own theories.

In the course of discussions of the whole phenomenon of criticism, a useful

strategy may be to single out Epstein's theory for attack, using the attached

Fletcher Knebel article and Spectator piece for background.  (Although Mark

Lane's book is much less convincing than Epstein's and comes off badly where

contested by knowledgeable critics, it is also much more difficult to answer

as a whole, as one becomes lost in a morass of unrelated details.)


4.  In private to media discussions not directed at any particular writer, or

in attacking publications which may be yet forthcoming, the following arguments

should be useful:


a.  No significant new evidence has emerged which the Commission did not

consider.  The assassination is sometimes compared (e.g., by Joachim Joesten

and Bertrand Russell) with the Dreyfus case; however, unlike that case, the

attacks on the Warren Commission have produced no new evidence, no new culprits

have been convincingly identified, and there is no agreement among the critics.

(A better parallel, though an imperfect one, might be with the Reichstag fire

of 1933, which some competent historians (Fritz Tobias, A.J.P. Taylor , D.C. Watt)

now believe was set by Van der Lubbe on his own initiative, without acting for

either Nazis or Communists; the Nazis tried to pin the blame on the Communists,

but the latter have been more successful in convincing the world that the

Nazis were to blame.)


b.  Critics usually overvalue particular items and ignore others.  They tend

to place more emphasis on the recollections of individual eyewitnesses (which

are less reliable and more divergent -- and hence offer more hand-holds for

criticism) and less on ballistic, autopsy, and photographic evidence.  A close

examination of the Commission's records will usually show that the conflicting

eyewitness accounts are quoted out of context, or were discarded by the Commis-

sion for good and sufficient reason.


c.  Conspiracy on the large scale often suggested would be impossible to con-

ceal in the United States , esp. since informants could expect to receive large

royalties, etc.  Note that Robert Kennedy, Attorney General at the time and

John F. Kennedy's brother, would be the last man to overlook or conceal any

conspiracy.  And as one reviewer pointed out, Congressman Gerald R. Ford would

hardly have held his tongue for the sake of the Democratic administration, and

Senator Russell would have had every political interest in exposing any misdeeds

on the part of Chief Justice Warren.  A conspirator moreover would hardly choose

a location for a shooting where so much depended on conditions beyond his con-

trol:  the route, the speed of the cars, the moving target, the risk that the

assassin would be discovered.  A group of wealthy conspirators could have

arranged much more secure conditions.


d.  Critics have often been enticed by a form of intellectual pride:  they

light on some theory and fall in love with it; they also scoff at the Commis-

sion because it did not always answer every question with a flat decision one

way or the other.  Actually, the make-up of the Commission and its staff was

an excellent safeguard against over-commitment to any one theory, or against

the illicit transformation of probabilities into certainties.




                                   CLASSIFICATION                       PAGE NO.

FORM                                 TOP SECRET                           TWO

8-64 53a USE PREVIOUS EDITION.                          X   CONTINUED



DISPATCH                             TOP SECRET


e.  Oswald would not have been any sensible person's choice for a co-

conspirator.  He was a "loner," mixed up, of questionable reliability

and an unknown quantity to any professional intelligence service.


f.  As to charges that the Commission's report was a rush job, it emerged

three months after the deadline originally set.  But to the degree that

the Commission tried to speed up its reporting, this was largely due to

the pressure of irresponsible speculation already appearing, in some cases

coming from the same critics who, refusing to admit their errors, are now

putting out new criticism.


g.  Such vague accusations as that "more than ten people have died mysteri-

ously" can always be explained in some more natural way:  e.g., the indi-

viduals concerned have for the most part died of natural causes; the Com-

mission staff questioned 418  witnesses (the FBI interviewed far more

people, conducting 25,000 interviews and reinterviews), and in such a

large group, a certain number of deaths are to be expected.  (When Penn

Jones, one of the originators of the "ten mysterious deaths" line, ap-

peared on television, it emerged that two of the deaths on his list were

from heart attacks, one from cancer, one was from a head-on collision on

a bridge, and one occurred when a driver drifted into a bridge abutment.)


5.  Where possible, counter speculation by encouraging reference to the

Commission's Report itself.  Open-minded foreign readers should still be

impressed by the care, thoroughness, objectivity and speed with which the Com-

mission worked.  Reviewers of other books might be encouraged to add to their

account the idea that, checking back with the report itself, they found it far

superior to the work of its critics.




                                   CLASSIFICATION                       PAGE NO.

FORM                                 TOP SECRET                           THREE

8-64 53a USE PREVIOUS EDITION.                              CONTINUED






Document Number 1035-960

for FOIA Review on SEP 1976

On 11/22/63 Hoover told the Dallas FBI office to NOT look for other suspects.




Contact Information  tomnln@cox.net

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