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Richard Nixon answer: "You don't want to know."

Guest Robert Morrow

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Guest Robert Morrow

The source for this is Don Hewitt who got it from Howard Baker.

So Richard Nixon knew about the 1963 Coup d'Etat.

Oral History Interview with DON HEWITT

October 8, 2002, New York, NY, By Vicki Daitch

For the John F. Kennedy Library


. . .

And then, I’ll tell you on tape, I was sitting in Howard Baker’s office. . . .

He said to me--I think I told him that story. He said,

“You know, I once said to Richard Nixon, “What do you know about the Kennedy assassination?”

And he said to me, ‘You don’t want to know.’” That frosted me.

I think about that a lot.

I think about that, and I think about the fact that when the Warren Commission had its last meeting, Earl Warren said, publicly on the steps of the Congress where they were meeting--I’m pretty sure that’s where they were meeting. I don’t think it was the Supreme Court--he was coming out, and he said, “We may never know the truth in our lifetime.” And I keep thinking, what did he mean by that?


Right. After just spending all that time searching for….


That’s exactly right. I don’t…. I’m not a conspiracy buff. I’ve always believed that there was a rogue CIA operation somewhere in the Everglades who were going to get even for the fact that Jack Kennedy had denied their comrades air cover during the Bay of Pigs, and a lot of them were killed on those beaches. And I think a lot of those rogue CIA guys who were part of that were determined to get even.


Howard Baker: What do you know about the Kennedy assassination?

Richard Nixon: You don’t want to know.

Senator Baker related this conversation with Richard Nixon to renowned CBS news producer Don Hewitt. As Hewitt said after learning Nixon’s response, “That frosted me.” In an interview he gave to Vicki Daitch for the Kennedy Library, Hewitt went on to make the following statement:

“For reasons I never understood, none of those guys, Salinger, Bobby (Kennedy), Kenney O' Donnell, Dave Powers, Steve Smith would never, ever talk about the assassination. Did they know something?”



Don Hewitt (CBS) and the JFK Assassination

Date: Wed, 18 Jul 2001

From: "R.R."

To: John Judge

Something significant happened today which we must seize on.

This afternoon I watched an interview on MSNBS of Don Hewitt, long time CBS producer of 60 Minutes. It was a retrospective. It occurred to me as I sat there, "geez, ask Hewitt what he thinks of how the media covered the JFK assassination." Seconds later, the interviewer (I forget his name -- but NBC's top political analyst) asked Hewitt "What about the JFK assassination . . . any regrets or comments." I nearly fell over.

Here's some of the things Hewitt said, as best as I can remember:

I never believed Oswald did this alone

The more you look into it, the more there is something there . . . something not right with the Oswald conclusion

I believe Oswald and Ruby were somehow connected. I don't believe Ruby was some ordinary guy who just decided to walk into the DPD basement and shoot Oswald.

He ordered Dan Rather to go to Zapruder's house, knock him out, take the film, copy it and return the film, allowing CBS lawyers to handle the assault charge . . . he then called Rather and told him not to do it.

He claims he asked RFK if he believed in Oswald being the lone assassin, to which RFK replied "What difference does it make; it won't bring him back." Hewitt then commented that he believed RFK really felt and knew otherwise.

He said all the top JFK advisors - Sorenson, Kenny O'Donnell, Pierre Salinger etc, know or knew something that they did not want to talk about. (To this I add that in two conversations with Pierre Salinger, he was quite willing to talk about it with me over the phone - a total stranger - telling me he was convinced the mafia did it, and he was astonished at some of the medical evidence uncovered by the JFK Records Act. I am trying to reach Salinger by phone to alert him to Hewitt's comments.)

I plan to write to Hewitt and I suggest the rest of you do so. He is 78. He is retiring soon, apparently. This has to be something eating away at him, or at least something that he could retire on if prompted with the kinds of quick summaries you can produce regarding the medical evidence, New Orleans, Collins Radio, the recent COPA suit. Don't bury him with too much detail; tantalize him with nuggets.

Let's not blow this.



Date: Thu, 19 Jul 2001 13:32:39 -0400

To: R.R.

Subject: Re: CBS's Don Hewitt's interview today on MSNBC

Well R., it's interesting, but he's [Don Hewitt] had many years to do something about all this on 60 Minutes and not a peep. This information is apparently also in his new memoirs book. No cost in saying it as he retires -- it's a weak whistle-blowing then.

Jim Hougan told us a story about Hewitt at the Lost River conference last year. When Jim first came to work at 60 minutes, Hewitt, who was the gatekeeper deciding what stories would or would not run on 60 minutes, took Jim to lunch. Hewitt said he had heard Jim was a "conspiracy theorist" and Jim countered by saying that he worked on Watergate, which was a conspiracy, not a theory.

Hewitt said that one was known about, though, and asked for an example of a conspiracy that had been kept quiet for a long time. Jim pointed to the JFK assassination. Hewitt said "I know more about the JFK assassination than anyone here at CBS". Jim, astonished, asked why that was, and Hewitt revealed that CBS had gotten the Zapruder film and appointed staff, including himself, to study the assassination in depth. Jim, still astounded, asked what their conclusion had been, since he never saw it reported anywhere. Hewitt said they had concluded Oswald could not have killed Kennedy acting alone, there had to be another gunman involved. Jim asked why they didn't say that on CBS. Hewitt replied, "Oh, I know what you are thinking -- conspiracy! But we never found any evidence of a connection between Oswald and the other gunman." Thus, the paradigm is insured.

Also, beware such a "revelation" from the top. It may just be honest musings finally safe to vent, but it could also be a preface for Gus Russo's and Max Holland's thesis that the Kennedy boys had it coming, since they worked so hard to kill Diem and Castro, and stirred up a response from Cuba via Oswald. Ruby and McWillie had Cuban ties (delivering CIA financed weapons to Castro), and the whole Mexico City operation was to link Oswald to Castro.

I have information collected over the years that the original plan was to blame Castro and invade Cuba that day! Navy seals teams were on the ground ready to hit Castro, and troops were loaded onto transport planes for the invasion November 22. Then all was called off. My best guess is that because Oswald survived the police attack at the theatre, they had a talking head instead of a "Dead Red" Castro lover, and had to back off for fear he would blow the story. Ruby was sent to make sure he shut his mouth. He was already saying too much.


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