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Pat Speer

Katzenbach to Moyers Part II?

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While much has been made of the so-called Moyers memo, in which it was as much as admitted that the Warren Commission was a whitewash, little has been made of a similar document discussed in Warren Commission Attorney (and Katzenbach assistant) Howard Willens' 2013 book History Will Prove Us Right.

Willens has, to his enormous credit, published his Warren Commission journal on his website, here:

http://howardwillens.com/

Here is the quote in question. It comes from an entry in Willens' journal from August 21, 1964.

Mr. Rankin also told me that he had raised with the

Commission the problem of Archives handling of Commission

materials. There is apparently a feeling among the members of

the Commission that it would be desirable if all the material of

the Commission were not available to the public for a year or two

after the report comes out. They suggest that the organization

and the screening of these materials will take this long, but of

course the principal interest here is making sure that sufficient time

elapses before any real critics can get access to material other than

those which the Commission desires to publish simultaneous with its

report. Apparently the Chief Justice intends to talk with the National

Archivist on this subject.

To me, this is quite significant. I don't believe there is any other document in which the Warren Commission's desire to hide stuff from the critics until the media can sell their conclusions is made clear.

Your thoughts appreciated...

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A real investigation would have nothing to fear from "real critics." His statement sounds like that of someone who knows he's not involved in a real investigation.

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Pat, that's a great find, totally unknown to me. Certainly it does seem to substantiate that some staff including Warren understood that they were on a mission

rather than doing an investigation.

What jumped into my mind though was who is he talking about that the Commission expects to publish simultaneously, what material were they given

in advance and in confidence and since he uses the word "critics", who was being spoon fed to appear as a critic when apparently they were actually

being anything but...

-- Larry

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Pat, that's a great find, totally unknown to me. Certainly it does seem to substantiate that some staff including Warren understood that they were on a mission

rather than doing an investigation.

What jumped into my mind though was who is he talking about that the Commission expects to publish simultaneously, what material were they given

in advance and in confidence and since he uses the word "critics", who was being spoon fed to appear as a critic when apparently they were actually

being anything but...

-- Larry

When one reads through Willens' journal and the inter-WC memos published on Willens' website, it becomes clear that the commission was not just concerned with getting at the truth, but with the selling of this "truth" to the public. There were a number of meetings with the media, if I recall, in which the proper release of the commission's findings was co-ordinated. There is also much discussion of how to best deal with Thomas Buchanan and Mark Lane, and how to best interview Jackie and get a statement of some sort from RFK. They were particularly concerned with Jackie's loose tongue and were afraid she'd say negative things about others while on the record. (It doesn't specify who these others were but we have good reason to suspect they were the Connallys, the Johnsons, and perhaps Bill Greer.)

There's a also a memo from Rankin to the commissioners (or at least Warren) which apparently accompanied the first drafts of four chapters of the report. Here is an excerpt: "3. The Assassination: President Kennedy's Agenda and Activities from Planning Dallas Trip to Autopsy. This draft, prepared by Mr. Specter, is complete except for a description of on-site tests in Dallas which are to be integrated with would ballistics experiments."

Now note the date of this memo: May 29. The re-enactment was performed on May 24. The testimony regarding the re-enactment was taken on June 4. From this it becomes clear that Specter was so committed to the single-bullet theory that he completed his chapter on the shooting before any testimony on the re-enactment could be taken, and probably even before the re-enactment was performed. (This memo accompanied chapter 3 when it was forwarded beyond Rankin. Other memos and Willens' book make clear that before anything was sent to Rankin, it would first have to get past Redlich and Willens.) Epstein's book, if I recall, held that Specter turned in his chapter in early June. This memo suggests it was well before that.

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While much has been made of the so-called Moyers memo, in which it was as much as admitted that the Warren Commission was a whitewash, little has been made of a similar document discussed in Warren Commission Attorney (and Katzenbach assistant) Howard Willens' 2013 book History Will Prove Us Right.

Willens has, to his enormous credit, published his Warren Commission journal on his website, here:

http://howardwillens.com/

Here is the quote in question. It comes from an entry in Willens' journal from August 21, 1964.

Mr. Rankin also told me that he had raised with the

Commission the problem of Archives handling of Commission

materials. There is apparently a feeling among the members of

the Commission that it would be desirable if all the material of

the Commission were not available to the public for a year or two

after the report comes out. They suggest that the organization

and the screening of these materials will take this long, but of

course the principal interest here is making sure that sufficient time

elapses before any real critics can get access to material other than

those which the Commission desires to publish simultaneous with its

report. Apparently the Chief Justice intends to talk with the National

Archivist on this subject.

To me, this is quite significant. I don't believe there is any other document in which the Warren Commission's desire to hide stuff from the critics until the media can sell their conclusions is made clear.

Your thoughts appreciated...

Regarding Willens' report about Rankin's statement: "the principal interest here is making sure that sufficient time

elapses before any real critics can get access to material other than

those which the Commission desires to publish simultaneous with its

report."

This is an outrageous statement, which--according to Willens--came directly from General Counsel J. Lee Rankin himself.

I have always maintained that--for the most part--that the Warren Commission staff was not involved in any kind of conspiracy. (And I still believe that). However, this sort of statement, on the part of Rankin, really makes me wonder. It suggests (to me, anyway) that the "senior management" of the Warren Commission staff did not have clean hands, and --very possibly--were involved in a deliberate cover-up.

Whoever heard of a supposed "public servant" talking this way about a report which --supposedly --was supposed to deliver the truth to the American public, and the world. This is the kind of thinking that comes from a public relations manager, or a propaganda expert--not a truth-seeker.

You have to wonder--or at least I do--just how many others on the staff were cut in on this dirty little "secret agenda" (my quotes) of the Warren Commission.

I remain persuaded that most of them actually bought into the lone-assassin nonsense, but this sort of quote sure is an eye-opener.

One other thing: Rankin would not be talking this way, unless Warren himself also shared these views--which, of course, is exactly what Willens is saying.

DSL

4/17/14; 7:20 PM PDT

Los Angeles, California

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