JFK Murder Part 10
Sat Jan 27, 2007 18:02

(6) Richard Russell, speech in the Senate on his opposition to the Civil Rights Act (18th June, 1964)

I am proud to have been a member of that small group of determined senators that since the 9th of March has given ... the last iota of physical strength in the effort to hold back the overwhelming combination of forces supporting this bill until its manifold evils could be laid bare before the people of the country.

The depth of our conviction is evidenced by the intensity of our opposition. There is little room for honorable men to compromise where the inalienable rights of future generations are at stake. . . .

Mr. President, the people of the South are citizens of this Republic. They are entitled to some consideration. It seems to me that fair men should recognize that the people of the South, too, have some rights which should be respected. And though, Mr. President, we have failed in this fight to protect them from a burgeoning bureaucracy that is already planning and organizing invasion after invasion of the South... our failure cannot be ascribed to lack of effort. Our ranks were too thin, our resources too scanty, but we did our best. I say to my comrades in arms in this long fight that there will never come a time when it will be necessary for any one of us to apologize for his conduct or his courage.

(7) Recorded telephone conversation between Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard Russell (18th September, 1964)

Richard Russell: That danged Warren Commission business, it whupped me down so. We got through today. You know what I did? I... got on the plane and came home. I didn't even have a toothbrush. I didn't bring a shirt.... Didn't even have my pills-antihistamine pills to take care of my em-fy-see-ma.

Lyndon B. Johnson: Why did you get in such a rush?

Richard Russell: I'm just worn out, fighting over that damned report.

Lyndon B. Johnson: Well, you ought to have taken another hour and gone get your clothes.

Richard Russell: No, no. They're trying to prove that the same bullet that hit Kennedy first was the one that hit Connally, went through him and through his hand, his bone, and into his leg... I couldn't hear all the evidence and cross examine all of them. But I did read the record.... I was the only fellow there that ... suggested any change whatever in what the staff got up.' This staff business always scares me. I like to put my own views down. But we got you a pretty good report.

Lyndon B. Johnson: Well, what difference does it make which bullet got Connally?

Richard Russell: Well, it don't make much difference. But they said that... the commission believes that the same bullet that hit Kennedy hit Connally. Well, I don't believe it.

Lyndon B. Johnson: I don't either.

Richard Russell: And so I couldn't sign it. And I said that Governor Connally testified directly to the contrary and I'm not gonna approve of that. So I finally made them say there was a difference in the commission, in that part of them believed that that wasn't so. And of course if a fellow was accurate enough to hit Kennedy right in the neck on one shot and knock his head off in the next one - and he's leaning up against his wife's head - and not even wound her - why, he didn't miss completely with that third shot. But according to their theory, he not only missed the whole automobile, but he missed the street! Well, a man that's a good enough shot to put two bullets right into Kennedy, he didn't miss that whole automobile... But anyhow, that's just a little thing.

Lyndon B. Johnson: What's the net of the whole thing? What's it say? Oswald did it? And he did it for any reason?

Richard Russell: Just that he was a general misanthropic fellow, that he had never been satisfied anywhere he was on earth - in Russia or here. And that he had a desire to get his name in history.... I don't think you'll be displeased with the report. It's too long.... Four volumes.

Lyndon B. Johnson: Unanimous?

Richard Russell: Yes, sir. I tried my best to get in a dissent, but they'd come round and trade me out of it by giving me a little old threat. "

Member John S. Cooper is under http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/USAcopperJS.htm,

" John Sherman Cooper was born in Somerset, Kentucky, on 23rd August, 1901. After graduating from Yale College in attended Harvard Law School. He was admitted to bar in 1928 and worked as a lawyer in Somerset, Kentucky.

A member of the Republican Party, Cooper was elected to the House of Representatives in Kentucky in 1928 and served as judge of Pulaski County (1930-38).

During the Second World War Cooper served in the United States Army where he he attained the rank of captain. In 1946 Cooper was elected to the Senate.

Cooper lived in Washington where he associated with a group of journalists, politicians and government officials that became known as the Georgetown Set. This included Frank Wisner, George Kennan, Dean Acheson, Richard Bissell, Desmond FitzGerald, Joseph Alsop, Stewart Alsop, Tracy Barnes, Thomas Braden, Philip Graham, David Bruce, Clark Clifford, Walt Rostow, Eugene Rostow, Chip Bohlen, Cord Meyer, James Angleton, William Averill Harriman, John McCloy, Felix Frankfurter, James Reston, Allen W. Dulles and Paul Nitze.

Most men brought their wives to these gatherings. Members of what was later called the Georgetown Ladies' Social Club included Katharine Graham, Mary Pinchot Meyer, Sally Reston, Polly Wisner, Joan Braden, Lorraine Cooper, Evangeline Bruce, Avis Bohlen, Janet Barnes, Tish Alsop, Cynthia Helms, Marietta FitzGerald, Phyllis Nitze and Annie Bissell.

After losing his seat in 1949 he returned to his legal practice. Later that year he was appointed delegate to the General Assembly of the United Nations and in as adviser to the Council of Ministers of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in 1950.

In 1952 Cooper was again elected to the Senate. A strong opponent of McCarthyism Copper was one of the first senators to attack the tactics of Joseph McCarthy. After losing his seat he was appointed Ambassador to India (1955-56).

Cooper was elected to the Senate for the third time in 1956. Cooper was a critic of U.S. involvement in Vietnam. In 1969, he joined with Senator Frank Church to sponsor an amendment prohibiting the use of ground troops in Laos and Thailand. The two men also joined forces in 1970 to limit the power of the president during a war.

After leaving Senate in 1973, Cooper was appointed Ambassador to the German Democratic Republic (1974-76). John Sherman Cooper died in Washington on 21st February, 1991.

(1) I. F. Stone, I. F. Stone's Weekly (15th March, 1954)

When Ralph Flanders of Vermont attacked McCarthy, the Senate was as silent as it was some weeks earlier when Ellender of Louisiana made a lone onslaught and Fulbright of Arkansas cast the sole vote against his appropriation. Only Lehman of New York and John Sherman Cooper (R.) of Kentucky rose to congratulate Flanders. Nobody defended McCarthy, but nobody joined in with those helpful interjections which usually mark a Senate speech. When the Democratic caucus met in closed session, the Stevenson speech was ignored. Lyndon Johnson of Texas, the Democratic floor leader, is frightened of McCarthy's Texas backers.

(2) C. David Heymann, The Georgetown Ladies' Social Club (2003)

The assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy on November 22, 1963, in Dallas, Texas, brought to an abrupt halt one of Georgetown's most fertile periods of social activity. "There were so many parties during the thousand days of Camelot," said Kennedy White House press secretary Pierre Salinger, who lived in Georgetown, "that they all blend into one. Camelot was one big, endless party." Referring to the encroachment of the Vietnam War, Ambassador Charles Whitehouse called Camelot "a beautiful sunset before an endlessly bitter night." Of JFK's many friends and admirers none was more anguished by his death than John Sherman Cooper. The Kentucky senator subsequently served on both the Warren Commission and on the committee selected by Jacqueline and Robert Kennedy to select a site and raise funds for the John F. Kennedy Library. Regarding his service on the Warren Commission, Senator Cooper publicly expressed dissatisfaction with the commission's findings, terming the group's 1964 report "premature and inconclusive." In no uncertain terms he informed Jack's surviving brothers, Robert and Teddy, that, having personally examined thousands of shreds of documentation, he felt strongly that Lee Harvey Oswald had not acted alone. When he expressed these same sentiments to Jackie, she responded: "What difference does it make? Knowing who killed him won't bring Jack back." "No, it won't," responded Cooper. "But it's important for this nation that we bring the true murderers to justice."

(3) 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. "

Member Thomas Hale Boggs under http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/JFKboggs.htm,

" Thomas Hale Boggs was born in Long Beach, Mississippi, on 15th February, 1914. He graduated from the law department of Tulane University in 1935 and soon afterwards started work as a lawyer in New Orleans.

A member of the Democratic Party he was elected to Congress and served from January 1941 to January 1943. He left politics in 1943 to enlist in the United States Naval Reserve and served in the Potomac River Naval Command during the rest of the Second World War.

After the war Boggs returned to politics and in January 1946 was once again elected to the Senate. He held several posts including majority whip, chairman of the Special Committee on Campaign Expenditures and majority leader.

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." Boggs was invited to join the commission under the chairmanship of Earl Warren. Other members of the commission included Richard B. Russell, Gerald Ford, Allen W. Dulles, John J. McCloy and John S. Cooper.

The Warren Commission reported to President Johnson ten months later. It reached the following conclusions:

(1) The shots which killed President Kennedy and wounded Governor Connally were fired from the sixth floor window at the southeast corner of the Texas School Book Depository.

(2) The weight of the evidence indicates that there were three shots fired.

(3) Although it is not necessary to any es

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