JFK Murder Part 11
Sat Jan 27, 2007 18:04

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 Governor Connally's wounds were fired from the sixth floor window of the Texas School Book Depository.

(4) The shots which killed President Kennedy and wounded Governor Connally were fired by Lee Harvey Oswald.

(5) Oswald killed Dallas Police Patrolman J. D. Tippit approximately 45 minutes after the assassination.

(6) Within 80 minutes of the assassination and 35 minutes of the Tippit killing Oswald resisted arrest at the theater by attempting to shoot another Dallas police officer.

(7) The Commission has found no evidence that either Lee Harvey Oswald or Jack Ruby was part of any conspiracy, domestic or foreign, to assassinate President Kennedy.

(8) In its entire investigation the Commission has found no evidence of conspiracy, subversion, or disloyalty to the US Government by any Federal, State, or local official.

(9) On the basis of the evidence before the Commission it concludes that, Oswald acted alone.

Boggs originally agreed that John F. Kennedy and J. D. Tippit had been killed by Lee Harvey Oswald and that Jack Ruby was not part of any conspiracy. However, later he began to have doubts claiming that "Hoover lied his eyes out on Oswald, on Ruby, on their friends, you name it."

Thomas Hale Boggs disappeared while on a campaign flight from Anchorage to Juneau, Alaska, on 16th October, 1972. No bodies were ever found and in 1973 his wife, Lindy Bloggs, was elected in her husband's place.

The Los Angeles Star, on November 22, 1973, reported that before his death Boggs claimed he had "startling revelations" on Watergate and the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

(1) 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.

(2) Bernard Fensterwald, Assassination of JFK: Coincidence or Conspiracy (1974)

"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 every one of us is doing a very grave disservice. Thus House Majority Leader Hale Boggs delivered an admonishment of sorts to his Warren Commission colleagues on January 27, 1964. Along with Senator Richard Russell, and to a lesser degree, Senator John Sherman Cooper, Congressman Boggs served as a beacon of skepticism and probity in trying to fend off the FBI and CIA's efforts to "shade" and indeed manipulate the findings of the Warren Commission.

Like Russell, Boggs was, very simply, a strong doubter. Several years after his death in 1972, a colleague of his wife Lindy (who was elected to fill her late husband's seat in the Congress) recalled Mrs. Boggs remarking, "Hale felt very, very torn during his work [on the Commission] ... he wished he had never been on it and wished he'd never signed it [the Warren Report]." A former aide to the late House Majority Leader has recently recalled, "Hale always returned to one thing: Hoover lied his eyes out to the Commission - on Oswald, on Ruby, on their friends, the bullets, the gun, you name it... "

Almost from the beginning, Congressman Boggs had been suspicious over the FBI and CIA's reluctance to provide hard information when the Commission's probe turned to certain areas, such as allegations that Oswald may have been an undercover operative of some sort. When the Commission sought to disprove the growing suspicion that Oswald had once worked for the FBI, Boggs was outraged that the only proof of denial that the FBI offered was a brief statement of disclaimer by J. Edgar Hoover. It was Hale Boggs who drew an admission from Allen Dulles that the CIA's record of employing someone like Oswald might be so heavily coded that the verification of his service would be almost impossible for outside investigators to establish...

Congressman Boggs had been the Commission's leading proponent for devoting more investigative resources to probing the connections of Jack Ruby. With an early recognition that "the most difficult aspect of this is the Ruby aspect," Boggs had wanted an increased effort made to investigate the accused assassin's murderer.

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