JFK Murder Part 13
Sat Jan 27, 2007 18:06

After setting forth a room by room analysis of the offices and businesses located on the same floor as the Committee, the report went on:

"A discreet inquiry was made with (DELETION) of this building showing no government interest concerning the Committee To Investigate Assassinations. This source stated that on a daily basis that traffic coming and going from this office is very busy. This source stated that on a daily basis the office is operated by two individuals one of whose name is Jim."

Former Warren Commission member Hale Boggs would no doubt have been pleased that these activities of the FBI and CIA were finally brought to light. As his son has pointed out, Boggs' denunciation of J. Edgar Hoover in April of 1971 was based in part on his knowledge of the FBI's murky surveillance of Warren Commission critics. Whether Boggs believed the FBI's surveillance of him was based on the fact that he himself had privately become a fierce critic of Commission's conclusions is not known.

On October 16, 1972, Hale Boggs vanished during a flight in Alaska from Anchorage to Juneau. Despite a thirty-nine-day search by the Air Force, Navy, and Coast Guard, no trace of the twin-engine plane on which Boggs was traveling has ever been found.

Had he been alive today, Boggs would probably have become Speaker of the House, having held the number two leadership post in the Congress at the time of his disappearance. There is no doubt Boggs would have been a singularly important figure in any re-opening of the Kennedy case.

(4) Ronald Kessler, Washington Post (21st January, 1975)

The son of the late House Majority Leader Boggs has told The Post that the FBI leaked to his father damaging material on the personal lives of critics of its investigation into John F. Kennedy's assassination. Thomas Hale Boggs, Jr. said his father, who was a member of the Warren Commission, which investigated the assassination and its handling by the FBI, was given the material in an apparent attempt to discredit the critics (of the Warren Commission).

The material, which Thomas Boggs made available, includes photographs of sexual activity and reports on alleged communist affiliations of some authors of articles and books on the assassination.

Boggs, a Washington lawyer, said the experience played a large role in his father's decision to publicly charge the FBI with Gestapo tactics in a 1971 speech alleging the Bureau had wiretapped his telephone and that of other Congressmen.

(5) Gerald D. McKnight, Breach of Trust: How the Warren Commission Failed the Nation and Why (2005)

In May 1964, about the midway point in the Warren Commission's investigation, Director J. Edgar Hoover appeared before the commissioners to provide them with his special insights into the Kennedy assassination and the benefit of his forty years as head of the nation's most prestigious and revered law enforcement agency. Hoover was probably America's most renowned and best-recognized public figure, and the Commission wanted to trade on his eclat.

Hoover was scheduled to give his testimony when the Commission was still working under Warren and Rankin's initial time frame and expected to finish up its work by the end of June. Ford and Dulles did most of the early questioning. What they wanted from America's iconic hero was his assurance that the assassination had been the act of a lone nut. Hoover was quick to oblige, assuring the commissioners that there was not "a scintilla of evidence showing any foreign conspiracy or domestic conspiracy that culminated in the assassination of President Kennedy." Hoover told the commissioners they could expect to be second-guessed and violently disagreed with, whatever their ultimate findings were. He pointed out that the FBI was already inundated with crank letters and calls from kooks, weirdos, crazies, and self-anointed psychics, all alleging a monstrous conspiracy behind Kennedy's violent death. Whether orchestrated or not, his testimony before the Commission provided the director an opportunity to launch a preemptive strike against future dissenters and critics of the Warren Commission and, by extension, Hoover's FBI, the Commission's investigative arm.

Whatever the merits, if any, of Hoover's profiling of future Commission dissenters and critics, its first test was a hands-down failure. The Commission's first dissenter was Senator Richard Brevard Russell, Jr., one of the most conservative as well as respected and admired members of the U.S. Senate. Russell wielded great power in the upper chamber and had earned the title "dean of the Senate." During 1963-1964, when the Warren Commission was conducting its business, no U.S. legislator was at the White House as frequently as the senior senator from Georgia.

On September 18, 1964, a Friday evening, President Johnson phoned Russell, his old political mentor and longtime friend, to find out what was in the Commission's report scheduled for release within the week. Johnson was surprised that Russell had suddenly bolted from Washington for a weekend retreat to his Winder, Georgia, home. Russell was quick to clear up the mystery as to why he needed to get out of the nation's capital. For the past nine months the Georgia lawmaker had been trying to balance his heavy senatorial duties with his responsibilities as a member of the Warren Commission, a perfect drudgery that Johnson had imposed upon him despite Russell's strenuous objections. No longer a young man and suffering from debilitating emphysema, Russell was simply played out. But it was the Warren Commission's last piece of business that had prompted his sudden Friday decision to escape Washington.

That Friday, September 18, Russell forced a special executive session of the Commission. It was not a placid meeting. In brief, Russell intended to use this session to explain to his Commission colleagues why he could not sign a report stating that the same bullet had struck both President Kennedy and Governor Connally. Russell was convinced that the missile that had struck Connally was a separate bullet. Senator Cooper was in strong agreement with Russell, and Boggs, to a lesser extent, had his own serious reservations about the single-bullet explanation. The Commission's findings were already in page proofs and ready for printing when Russell balked at signing the report. Commissioners Ford, Dulles, and McCloy were satisfied that the one-bullet scenario was the most reasonable explanation because it was essential to the report's single-assassin conclusion. With the Commission divided almost down the middle, Chairman Warren insisted on nothing less than a unanimous report. The stalemate was resolved, superficially at least, when Commissioner McCloy fashioned some compromise language that satisfied both camps.'

The tension-ridden Friday-morning executive session had worn Russell out. He told Johnson that the "damn Commission business whupped me down." Russell was in such haste to get away that he had forgotten to pack his toothbrush, extra shirts, and the medicine he used to ease his respiratory illness. Although Russell had support from Cooper and Boggs, he was the only one who actively dug in his heels against Rankin and the staff's contention that Kennedy and Connally had been hit by the same nonfatal bullet. Because of Russell's chronic Commission absenteeism he never fully comprehended that the final report's no-conspiracy conclusion was inextricably tied to the validity of what would later be referred to as the "single-bullet" theory. But he had read most of the testimony and was convinced that the staff's contention that the same missile had hit Kennedy and Connally was, at best, "credible" but not persuasive. "I don't believe it," he frankly told the president. Johnson's response -whether patronizing or genuine remains guesswork - was "I don't either." In summing up their Friday-night exchange, Russell and Johnson agreed that the question of the Connally bullet did not jeopardize the credibility of the report. Neither questioned the official version that Oswald had shot President Kennedy.

Russell enjoyed a deserved reputation for devotion to his senatorial responsibilities and mastery of the legislative details of the business that came before the Senate. Consequently, he was sensitive and apologetic about the fact that time constraints had limited him to being only a part-time member of the Commission. As he told Johnson, "This staff business always scares me. I like to put my own views down." When he left Friday afternoon for his Georgia home, he was not at ease in his own mind about McCloy's compromise language. He told Johnson, "I tried my best to get in a dissent. But they came around and traded me out of it by giving me a little ole thread of it." Russell was referring to his less-than-enthusiastic acceptance of McCloy's compromise language. What Russell was not aware of at the time was that wholesale perfidy, not mere pressure for consensus, would stigmatize the Commission's September 18 executive session as one of the most disgraceful episodes in the history of the Kennedy assassination investigation. Rankin suppressed the entire record of the divisions among the commissioners over the single-bullet construction to leave the false impression that the commissioners were in universal agreement on this crucial point. The unreported record revealed that Russell, and by extension the American people, were misled by Rankin's unprecedented deception, whose sole purpose was to hide the fact that unanimous Commission support for the single-bullet "solution" was a fraud.

Russell was more outspoken than any of his colleagues in his displeasure about both the quality of the FBI investigation and the information the FBI and CIA fed to the Commission. He suspected that both agencies were not giving the Commission everything they knew about the assassination. For instance, during the January 27, 1964, executive session the commissioners were wrestling with how to approach FBI director Hoover to help them disprove the rumors and allegations that Oswald had been an FBI source or informant. They discussed the unlikeliness of any possibility that the FBI or CIA, investigating themselves, could be counted upon to be forthcoming with whatever information they had, especially if the allegations were true. Russell was certain that the FBI "would have denied that he was an agent." The Georgia senator was certain the CIA would take the same tack. When he turned to Allen Dulles, the former CIA director agreed with him. Russell, expressing the hopelessness of their quandary, remarked to Dulles, "They (CIA) would be the first to deny it. Your agents would have done exactly the same thing." "

More on Gerald Ford under http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/USAfordG.htm,

" Leslie King was born in Omaha, Nebraska, on 14th July, 1913. His parents divorced when he was an infant and his mother remarried a paint salesman in Michigan. Leslie's name was changed to that of his stepfather, Gerald Rudolph Ford.

An outstanding sportsman he won a football scholarship to the University of Michigan, before studying law at Yale University. Ford graduated in 1941 and after being admitted to the bar began work in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

During the Second World War Ford served in the United States Navy and saw action in Okinawa, Wake Island, Taiwan, the Philippines and the Gilbert Islands. By the time he was discharged in 1946 had reached the rank as lieutenant commander.

A member of the Republican Party, Ford was elected to the House of Representatives in 1946. He was re-elected to the next eleven Congresses. He soon developed a reputation as a right-wing politician. As Harold Jackson pointed out: "He built up an impressive record of flat-earth conservatism. He voted against federal aid for education and housing, repeatedly resisted increases in the minimum wage, tried to block the introduction of medical care for the elderly, and consistently fought any measures to combat pollution. At the same time he supported virtually all increases in defence spending."

On the death of John F. Kennedy in 1963 his deputy, Lyndon B. Johnson, was appointed president. He immediately set up a commission to "ascertain, evaluate and report upon the facts relating to the assassination of the late President John F. Kennedy." Gerald Ford was invited to join the commission under the chairmanship of Earl Warren. Other members of the commission included Richard B. Russell, Thomas Hale Boggs, Allen W. Dulles, John J. McCloy and John S. Cooper.

One possible reason Johnson selected Ford was that he was under the control of J. Edgar Hoover. According to Bobby Baker (Wheeling and Dealing), who was himself under investigation for his corrupt relationship with politicians, businessmen and call-girls, Ford had been secretly taped by the FBI when he had attended meetings with Fred Black at the Sheraton-Carlton Hotel in Washington.

J. Lee Rankin became chief counsel for the Warren Commission. He then appointed Norman Redlich as his special assistant. Redlich began investigating the relationship between Lee Harvey Oswald and Jack Ruby. He was especially interested in why Oswald appeared to be heading towards Ruby's apartment after the assassination.

According to William C. Sullivan (The Bureau: My Thirty Years in Hoover's FBI) Gerald Ford provided J. Edgar Hoover with information about the activities of staff members of the commission. "Hoover was delighted when Gerald Ford was named to the Warren Commission. The director wrote in one of his internal memos that the bureau could expect Ford to 'look after FBI interests,' and he did, keeping us fully advised of what was going on behind closed doors. He was our man, our informant, on the Warren Commission."

Hoover ordered that the FBI should carry out an investigation of Norman Redlich. He discovered that Redlich was on the Emergency Civil Liberties Committee, an organization considered by Hoover to have been set-up to "defend the cases of Communist lawbreakers". Redlich had also been critical of the activities of the House Committee on Un-American Activities.

This information was leaked to a group of right-wing politicians. On 5th May, 1964, Ralph F. Beermann, a Republican Party congressman, made a speech claiming that Redlich was associated with the Fair Play for Cuba Committee. Beermann called for Redlich to be removed as a staff member of the Warren Commission. He was supported by Karl E. Mundt who said: "We want a report from the Commission which Americans will accept as factual, which will put to rest all the ugly rumors now in circulation and which the world will believe. Who but the most gullible would believe any report if it were written in part by persons with Communist connections?"

Gerald Ford joined in the attack and at one closed-door session of the Warren Commission he called for Norman Redlich to be dismissed. However, Rankin and Earl Warren both supported him and he retained his job. However, after this, Redlich posed no threat to the theory that Oswald was the lone gunman.

The original first draft of the Warren Commission Report stated that a bullet had entered Kennedy's "back at a point slightly above the shoulder and to the right of the spine." Ford realized that this provided a serious problem for the single bullet theory. As Michael L. Kurtz has pointed out (The JFK Assassination Debates): "If a bullet fired from the sixth-floor window of the Depository building nearly sixty feet higher than the limousine entered the president's back, with the president sitting in an upright position, it could hardly have exited from his throat at a point just above the Adam's apple, then abruptly change course and drive downward into Governor Connally's back."

In 1997 the Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB) released a document that revealed that Ford had altered the first draft of the report to read: "A bullet had entered the base of the back of his neck slightly to the right of the spine." Ford had elevated the location of the wound from its true location in the back to the neck to

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