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The Death of Norman Redlich


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Norman Redlich died on Friday at his home in Manhattan. In 1963 J. Lee Rankin appointed Redlich as his special assistant on the Warren Commission in the investigation of the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Gerald Ford provided J. Edgar Hoover with information about the activities of staff members of the commission. Hoover ordered that Redlich's past should be investigated. 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 Redlich to be dismissed. However, Earl Warren and J. Lee Rankin both supported him and he retained his job. However, as the New York Times pointed out today:

In that job, he and several other staff lawyers, including Arlen Specter, the future Pennsylvania senator, devised the single-bullet theory — which explained how Gov. John B. Connally of Texas and President Kennedy could have been struck almost instantaneously at one point, without there having been a second gunman.

The widespread doubt cast on the theory in later years caused Mr. Redlich to tell a Congressional subcommittee reviewing the commission’s findings in 1977, “I think there are simply a great many people who cannot accept what I believe to be the simple truth, that one rather insignificant person was able to assassinate the president of the United States.”

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/JFKredlich.htm

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In his book, Who Was Jack Ruby? (1978), Seth Kantor had some interesting things to say about Relich's role in the cover-up:

The Belin Theory was that the city bus transfer in Oswald's shirt pocket might well have been his basic "passport" to Mexico. Oswald had been reported to have been in Mexico two months earlier and having gotten there by bus. Belin also was aware of the Warren Commission testimony given by Nelson Delgado, who had served in the Marine Corps with Oswald. Delgado had recalled Oswald once telling him that the best way to escape from authorities in the United States to Russia was by way of Mexico, where a plane could be caught to Havana, and then another plane to Moscow.

The Belin Theory was innovative and extremely logical but suffered a fatal axing within the Warren Commission when Belin figured out that Oswald probably was in the act of escaping to Mexico when encountered by officer Tippit on Tenth Street. That injected a foreign connection into the escape which blew the Warren Commission's mind. Mexico. Cuba. Russia. Belin had practically invented World War III.

It was Norman Redlich who put the ax to the Belin Theory. Redlich had a great deal of control over what would appear in the Warren Report. Redlich, remember, had survived the communist witch-hunt aimed at him on Capitol Hill three months earlier when the granting of his security clearance had been threatened. And now Redlich wanted to keep from stirring up any more problems for Earl Warren, so he argued that Belin had come up with nothing more than supposition, which had no place in the Warren Report. Belin argued in return that the Commission had a public obligation to disclose the existence of Oswald's possible escape plan, even if it were removed from chapter six of the Report and relegated to the 31-page section in the appendix of the Report, entitled "Speculations and Rumors." But Redlich instead saw to it that the Warren Report made no attempt to explain why Oswald, the fast-moving young man on the run, appeared to be heading directly toward Jack Ruby's apartment with a gun. Instead, the Warren Report simply said, "There is no evidence that Oswald knew where Ruby lived."

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Norman Redlich died on Friday at his home in Manhattan. In 1963 J. Lee Rankin appointed Redlich as his special assistant on the Warren Commission in the investigation of the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Gerald Ford provided J. Edgar Hoover with information about the activities of staff members of the commission. Hoover ordered that Redlich's past should be investigated. 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 Redlich to be dismissed. However, Earl Warren and J. Lee Rankin both supported him and he retained his job. However, as the New York Times pointed out today:

In that job, he and several other staff lawyers, including Arlen Specter, the future Pennsylvania senator, devised the single-bullet theory — which explained how Gov. John B. Connally of Texas and President Kennedy could have been struck almost instantaneously at one point, without there having been a second gunman.

The widespread doubt cast on the theory in later years caused Mr. Redlich to tell a Congressional subcommittee reviewing the commission’s findings in 1977, “I think there are simply a great many people who cannot accept what I believe to be the simple truth, that one rather insignificant person was able to assassinate the president of the United States.”

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/JFKredlich.htm

The above Redlich quote was part of this exchange:

Mr. KLEIN. One final question why has the Warren Commission in your opinion received so much criticism?

Mr. REDLICH. I think there are simply a great many people who cannot accept what I believe to be the simple truth, that one rather insignificant person was able to assassinate the President of the United States. I think there are others who for reasons that are less pure have consciously tried to deceive. I think that since there is a residue of public sentiment that finds it very hard to accept the conclusion, that becomes a further feeling, for those who have found it in their interest, to pursue the attacks on the Commission. I do not mean to imply that all of the critics of the Commission have bad motives. I think that there is in this country, fortunately, a healthy skepticism about Government.

I believe that was certainly true during the Watergate period. The assassination is a complex fact, as you will see when you investigate it. It was not an easy thing to investigate. Jack Ruby and Lee Harvey Oswald were two people with most unusual backgrounds. They did a variety of things. That they should meet in the basement of the Dallas police station and one shoot the other is something that does strain the imagination.

I think it is very unfortunate that the Warren Commission has been subject to the kinds of attack that it has. We did what we felt was a completely honest professional and thorough task.

I have done a lot of things in my public service in my life. I regard my service on the Warren Commission as an extremely important, perhaps the most important, thing that I have done, because I believe I was instrumental in putting before the American people all of the facts about the assassination of President Kennedy.

That significant numbers of Americans don't believe it remains to me a source of great disappointment. I hope that this committee can cure that.

___________________________________________________________

Here are some other answers Redlich gave to the HSCA. All bolds are added by me.

Mr. KLEIN. In your opinion were the operating procedures and organizational structure of the Warren Commission conducive to achieving the objectives of the Commission as you saw them?

Mr. REDLICH. I think they were, yes.

Mr. KLEIN. How were they conducive to achieving the objectives of the Commission?

Mr. REDLICH. We were all committed to the pursuit of all lines if inquiry. There were no restrictions that I can ever recall placed upon me in terms of questions which I could ask or lines of inquiry that I personally could pursue. The Commission, as you know, was organized into certain areas of inquiry. I was not part of any of those specific areas of inquiry. In each of those areas of inquiry there was a senior counsel and a younger counsel. The commission used as its principal investigatory arm the Federal Bureau of Investigation, to some extent the Secret Service. I believed then, and I believe now, that the method of inquiry that we conducted was an objective one. We came with no preconceived notion. Our only objective was to find all of the truth. At the conclusion of that inquiry I was of the opinion that we had had the full cooperation of the agencies of the U.S. Government.

________________________________________________

Mr. KLEIN. Were there any initial assumptions regarding the existence of a conspiracy, and as far as there were, what particular groups might have been involved?

Mr. REDLICH. There were no preconceived notions, preconceived conclusions about conspiracy, Early in the investigation several possibilities emerged as possible sources of conspiracy. It was obvious that one had to look at the possibility of a foreign conspiracy. Lee Harvey Oswald had been to the Soviet Union. He had made an effort to go to Mexico He apparently had tried to go to Cuba. So, one had to look at the possibility of a foreign conspiracy. One had to look at the possibility of a domestic conspiracy. There was a great deal of talk at the time about a conspiracy from the left, a conspiracy from the right. But there was no preconception about whether there was a conspiracy or if there were one, which one.

________________________________________________________

Mr. KLEIN. Did the Warren Commission in your opinion have any initial factual assumptions regarding the reliability, trustworthiness, and competency of the investigative agencies which were working for you?

Mr. REDLICH. As nearly as I can tell, I and my colleagues came with a professional lawyer's degree of skepticism. We made a decision early that in regard to any expert testimony, fingerprints, handwriting, ballistics, a whole separate set of experts were to be consulted. I think that we did not have any preconceived notion of either believing everything to disbelieving everything. I believe that we felt a responsibility to conduct our own inquiry which we were conducting in the manner I have described to you. But I would not characterize our position as being one of extreme belief or extreme disbelief. I would call it one of healthy skepticism.

_____________________________________

Mr. KLEIN. What exactly were your responsibilities, sir?

Mr. REDLICH. I was probably the second staff person hired. When I came to the Warren Commission, which was some time in mid-December, the only other staff person who was there as I recall was Mr. Willens. Initially, Mr. Rankin wanted me to work on special projects. One of the first things I did, for example, was to draft a rule of procedures for the Commission. Then I was given an assignment which tended to dominate the first 6 or 7 weeks of my work with the Commission. The Commission made a decision that the first witness to be questioned would be Marina Oswald.swald I was given the assignment of helping to prepare Mr. Rankin for the examination of Marina Oswald which was going to have to be very extensive. In the course of that I started to read all of the investigatory reports that had come to us from the FBI and the Secret Service with a view toward seeing how anything in those reports could bear upon any questions that we might ask Marina Oswald. Since she knew so much about Lee Harvey Oswald's background, not only in terms of what she herself was witness to but what he may have told her about his background, and since a great deal of that was in the investigatory reports, I had to go through all of those investigatory reports with a view toward working with Mr. Rankin and helping to prepare him for that questioning. When that was done--I may be exaggerating the kind of compartmentalization of my work but I will give it to you the best I can recall--when that was done I tended to spend a great deal of my time working with those lawyers who were working in the area of the investigation of the assassination, itself. That was Arlen Specter, David Belin, and Joseph Ball. Because Mr. Rankin was anxious for me to work with the lawyers in that area, see what approaches they were taking, the witnesses they were questioning, I tended to concentrate, not exclusively but I tended to concentrate, in those areas although the actual work of the investigation in the sense of questioning witnesses was done primarily by Mr. Ball, Mr. Belin, Mr. Specter, Mr. Eisenberg.

_______________________________________________

Mr. DEVINE. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Dean, without meaning to put words in your mouth do you think the Congress has assigned this select committee a kind of dead end task in that I take it from your remarks you feel that the Commission under which you served did a very complete, thorough, and honest job and the conclusions they reached were accurate and that will be the ultimate conclusion that this committee is going to have to reach? Or do you have other thoughts?

Mr. REDLICH. I have thought a lot about that, sir. I think that while I may have had reservations about the necessity of this committee, since I believe that the facts remain in my judgment, at least on the basis of everything I know, incontrovertible that Lee Harvey Oswald fired all the shots that killed President Kennedy and wounded Governor Canaille, and since I have not learned of anything as a private citizen that would cause me to question the Commission's conclusion that there was no credible evidence in support of a conspiracy, I would have had reservations about the necessity of this committee. However, I think this committee has been formed and I would not regard its work as a dead end cause, for whatever reason, doubts exist among the American people concerning the facts of the assassination. I may have my own judgment as to how those doubts arose but I think that is really irrelevant. The fact is that those doubts are there. With those doubts there I think that perhaps this committee has a useful, very useful, constructive role to play in terms of perhaps dealing with those doubts. Now I do not want to convey the impression to you that I am saying that you have only one conclusion that you can reach. Your conducting an investigation under your responsibility. My opinion is that you will reach the same conclusion that we reached. But if you do I do not think that that would mean that this committee did not perform an enormously important public function and I hope the committee would not feel that way. Mr. DEVINE. To put it another way then, assuming but not deciding, assuming that we did reach a conclusion that Lee Harvey Oswald was the sole assassin without a conspiracy, the committee could indeed perform a useful service by perhaps explaining away or coming to some conclusion on the rumors and unanswered questions that seem to exist in the public mind.

_______________________________________________

Mr. SAWYER. Did the Commission as far as you know get into the question of how Officer Tippit identified Lee Harvey Oswald when he was allegedly killed by Lee Harvey Oswald. Did you get into that at all?

Mr. REDLICH. No one really knows what happened when Officer Tippit drove up to Lee Harvey Oswald on that street in Dallas. We did look at the police report that went out on the radio to see whether someone listening to those reports in a police care would have had reason to pull over and stop a man looking like Lee Harvey Oswald. The report goes into that in considerable detail. The descriptions that went out on the police radio describing a man of Oswald's build, although they were not incidentally at that time describing Oswald themselves, the reports that went out on the radio were based upon eyewitness description at the assassination. Oswald himself was arrested not for the assassination of President Kennedy, he was arrested because of the killing of police officer Tippit and was found in the theater. So we don't really know whether there was any identification of Oswald by Tippit other than the fact that Tippit apparently moved up to Oswald in the car and then Oswald shot him.

_______________________________________________

Mr. SAWYER. Did you have any information with respect to the alleged destruction or concealment of information by the FBI that was your investigative arm, as I understand?

Mr. REDLICH. The only incident of that kind that I can recall coming to my attention related to an address book. In the course of sending us all of Lee Harvey Oswald's possessions the FBI sent to us the address book which was found either in Oswald's room or on his physical body at the time he was arrested, and they also sent over a written transcript of everything that was in that address book. Although I have not had prosecutorial experience, I am a lawyer and I sat down and decided to go through the address book page by page and compare it with the transcript of what was in it. In the course of doing that I found that there had been left out of the transcript certain data, and here I cannot be completely precise as to what was left out, but as I recall it was the name of Agent Hosty and possibly his license number or possibly phone number. It had something to do with Agent Hosty. That had been left out. Agent Hosty had been an FBI agent who had some contact with Oswald after he had come back to Dallas.

I was disturbed over that. I immediately reported it to Mr. Rankin. i am sure that Mr. Rankin immediately reported it to the Chief Justice because I believe the three of us talked about it. We then waited several days, it may have been a longer period but we waited to see

whether the FBI would furnish this additional data, and it didn't come. Then we wrote to the FBI a rather strong letter expressing our dismay about the fact that the transcript was not complete and asking an explanation for it. I believe, and I have no way of checking the specific dates, but my best recollection is that on the same day we sent the letter to the FBI there then came to us an explanation saying that the reason they had not sent it was that they were sending us only the material that would be addressed to leads and their own agent would not be a lead. I believe that would be the explanation although I am not sure. In any event the explanation still left me annoyed over the fact that it had been left out and I remain annoyed to this day.

_______________________________________________

Mr. SAWYER. Can you tell me why the decision was made that the people primarily concerned on the staff were not allowed to see the X-rays or the photos of the autopsy and who made the decision?

Mr. REDLICH. To the best of my recollection, sir, that decision was made by the Chief Justice, himself. I was not present at any meeting of the Commission, so I don't know that it was brought up at any Commission meeting. I believe the Chief Justice himself held that the publication of the autopsy film and the X-rays would be a great disservice to Mrs. Kennedy, the Kennedy family.

Mr. SAWYER. I am not talking about publication. I am talking about a member of the staff that had primary responsibility and, or the Chief Justice himself to look at these, not the public.

Mr. REDLICH. I can only surmise but I think the Chief Justice believed, based on all of the evidence that we had, including the testimony of the autopsy doctors, all of the physical evidence I think the Chief Justice, rightly or wrongly, concluded that he preferred for those firms not to be viewed.

Now I would say that I know, because I have been shown today a memorandum form Mr. Specter, Mr. Specter I know had strongly felt, that that was a wrong decision. I think that there may have been another factor, sir, although I don't recall discussing it with the Chief Justice. I think the Chief Justice really wanted everything that was going to be viewed by the Commission to be part of the record. I think the Chief Justice felt rather strongly that he did not want the American people to say that a fact should be assumed as true just because Chief Justice Warren or anyone else saw it. I think that he did not want those films to be viewed and form a basis for the conclusion of the Commission unless that could be part of the record. Now the Chief Justice is not here so I am just giving you may best recollection. Certainly, sir, by retrospect in light of all of the discussions about those films it might have been a wiser course of action to have allowed those films to have been viewed. But those films are of course there now. I think by retrospect it would have been the wiser course of action to have permitted those films to be viewed.

I remember Mr. specter's memorandum, and i would say it is a persuasive memorandum. I happen to agree that the films themselves, while they ere important sources of evidence, I think that the evidence that the Commission did have before it amply supported the conclusion. But by retrospect I think that some arrangement should have been worked out for those films to be seen.

_____________________________________________________

Mr. KLEIN. One area you testified you worked in was the facts of the assassination. Can you tell us how the single-bullet theory evolved?

Mr. REDLICH. I can't recall any specific moment in which someone said that this is the way it was. We were studying the film very carefully. By we I mean Mr. Specter, Mr. Belin, Mr. Eisenberg, myself, Special Agent Shaneyfelt, who was a photography expert for the Bureau. We were studying the films carefully to see the positions of President Kennedy and Governor Connally. We had the ballistic testimony which was that the bullet that was found on the stretcher and the fragments that were found in the care had been fired from the rifle on the sixth floor of the Texas School book Depository to the exclusion of all other weapons. We had the autopsy document. There was examination of clothing. There was no had evidence at all that any bullet had come from any other source. Now a question that was troublesome was that as one looked at Governor Connally's position in the care and realizing the time within which it took to fire bullets from the rifle, if Governor Connally was hit at a certain frame, and I forget the number, but a certain frame based upon his body position, and if president Kennedy was hit at a certain frame based upon our observation of the film, and if those frames were so close together that one person physically could not have squeezed off the two bullets, we would had a situation where all of the known facts that we had--remember, there were no facts that we had that the bullets had come from any place other than the sixth floor window--we would have had a situation where the facts simply would have presented an irreconcilable conflict.

New since Governor Connally was in front of President Kennedy one hypothesis which started to emerge, and I repeat I can't tell you when it emerged, but one hypothesis that started to emerge, and it would have been logical to have emerged with Arlen Specter, one hypothesis was that the same bullet struck both men.

Then the question became one of testing that hypothesis--that was done in several ways--the question of whether one bullet could have gone through President Kennedy's neck and emerged, going at such a speed as to have done the damage that it did. There was testimony from witnesses answering that question in the affirmative.

A critical question of course was whether the two men were so alined at the time that President Kennedy was shot in the neck that the bullet could have hit Governor Connally. that was one reason that the reenactment in Dallas was staged. The care was placed at the point where, based on the films and what we could see in the background, the car was at the time that we believed the President had been hit with the first bullet. I was in the School Book Depository at the time of reenactment.

Then we had a camera set up on the rifle, itself, through the sights to see whether at that particular moment the two bodies were in alignment. They were in alignment.

The single-bullet theory has somehow emerged in discussion as if it were unrelated to all the other facts. The point I am simply making is the fact that the bullet which went through President Kennedy's neck also was the same bullet that entered Governor Connally's back was completely consistent with all of the evidence that we had at that time.

________________________________________________________

Mr. KLEIN. What would your speculation be?

Mr. REDLICH. Do you want my speculation?

Mr. KLEIN. Yes.

Mr. REDLICH. My speculation might be that the FBI could conceivably have been--not the FBI but the Agent Hosty or someone in the Bureau might have felt that a letter in their possession threatening to blow up the Dallas headquarters of the Bureau would have been construed as, and put the Bureau on notice that Lee Harvey Oswald was a person who was dangerous and therefore they should have reported him to the Secret Service. In fact you will recall that the Warren Commission did criticize the FBI in its report for not reporting Oswald to the Secret Service. Now I think that a possible reason is that they may have felt that this would put the Bureau in a bad light. On the question of the assassination one can only speculate that they may have had reasons that they perceived to be national security in mind. They may have felt that if this were brought to the Commission it might have led to certain areas of investigation which they perceived to be matters of great national security. I can only guess about that and I really have no knowledge.

__________________________________________________________

Mr. KLEIN. In your opinion did the fact that prior to the formation of the Warren Commission the FBI had issued its December 9 report and January 13 report which concluded that Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone assassin, did that fact in any way affect the investigation of the Warren Commission?

Mr. REDLICH. No .we did not accept that conclusion. We started with a completely clean slate.

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Norman Redlich, Ex-Dean of N.Y.U. Law School, Dies at 85

By PAUL VITELLO

Published: June

Norman Redlich, 85, Ex-Dean of N.Y.U. Law School, Dies - NYTimes.com

Norman Redlich, a quiet luminary of the New York legal community who pioneered the pro bono defense of indigent death row inmates and who, as a staff member of the Warren Commission, helped develop the so-called single-bullet theory to explain how President John F. Kennedy was killed by a lone gunman, died Friday at his home in Manhattan. He was 85.

The cause was complications of Parkinson's disease, his family said.

Throughout his career, Mr. Redlich exerted an important but inconspicuous influence in many areas of public life, frequently serving as playmaker to other people's star.

He helped Jane Jacobs defeat Robert Moses' plan to build a four-lane highway through Washington Square Park in the late 1950s — brokering an unlikely alliance between Ms. Jacobs, the urban theorist, and Carmine De Sapio, the Tammany boss, that eventually saw not only Moses' plan killed, but all vehicular traffic banished from the park.

He negotiated the deal in which the City of New York bought and renovated Yankee Stadium in 1971, when the team's owners had threatened to leave and Mayor John V. Lindsay resolved to make them stay.

As dean of the New York University School of Law, when Mr. Redlich sought to deepen the school's commitment to the training of public interest lawyers, he recruited the most renowned capital defense lawyer in the country at the time, Anthony G. Amsterdam, whose appointment as head of the school's advocacy program in 1981 received more press than Mr. Redlich ever did as dean.

The low-profile work that would come to give Mr. Redlich his highest profile, however, was his appointment in 1963 as executive assistant to the Warren Commission's chief counsel, J. Lee Rankin. In that job, he and several other staff lawyers, including Arlen Specter, the future Pennsylvania senator, devised the single-bullet theory — which explained how Gov. John B. Connally of Texas and President Kennedy could have been struck almost instantaneously at one point, without there having been a second gunman.

The widespread doubt cast on the theory in later years caused Mr. Redlich to tell a Congressional subcommittee reviewing the commission's findings in 1977, "I think there are simply a great many people who cannot accept what I believe to be the simple truth, that one rather insignificant person was able to assassinate the president of the United States."

Norman Redlich was born Nov. 12, 1925, in the Bronx, the second of two children of Pauline and Milton Redlich, who owned a small company manufacturing plumbing supplies and gardening equipment. After service in World War II, he graduated from Williams College and Yale Law School, and worked in his family's business throughout most of the 1950s while taking master's-level law courses at N.Y.U.

While still working for his family, Mr. Redlich also began defending people blacklisted because of their refusal to answer questions before the House Un-American Activities Committee. His work for the National Emergency Civil Liberties Committee, which the F.B.I. considered subversive, later led to efforts to remove him from the Warren Commission; Chief Justice Earl Warren, the chairman, refused.

By 1960, when Mr. Redlich began teaching constitutional and tax law at N.Y.U., he had started to work without compensation on a series of appeals for death row inmates at Sing Sing. He would eventually enlist the help of a dozen fellow law professors and students in saving five men from the electric chair between 1960 and 1963.

He told Life magazine in a 1963 interview, a decade before various court decisions halted most executions, that his ultimate goal was to end capital punishment. But he added: "I can't wait for New York to abolish capital punishment. When I've saved a man from the chair, at least I've abolished capital punishment for him."

Mr. Redlich took a leave of absence in 1966 to join the Lindsay administration as executive assistant to Mr. Rankin, who was named corporation counsel. In 1972, when Mr. Rankin retired, Mr. Redlich was appointed his successor.

During his tenure as dean of the N.Y.U. law school, from 1974 to 1988, Mr. Redlich significantly upgraded the school's standing, said the current dean, Richard L. Revesz. He vastly expanded the library, introduced new programs, built dormitories and "brought extraordinary faculty to this law school," Mr. Revesz said. One of those faculty members, Professor Amsterdam, referring to Mr. Redlich's lifelong, outspoken opposition to the death penalty, said, "His style in this and in every one of the important fights he fought was selfless, steadfast, unsensational."

Mr. Redlich is survived by his wife of 61 years, Dr. Evelyn Grobow Redlich, a pediatrician; three children, Carrie Redlich of New Haven, Bonny Redlich of University Place, Wash., and Edward, of Los Angeles; and five grandchildren.

Edward Redlich said his father's self-effacing style was often tinged with a sense of humor. People would sometimes tell him how brave he was to defend people's civil liberties in the 1950s, during the time of the blacklist, when a mere hint of Communist sympathy could cost people their jobs.

"Brave?" he would reply. "I was working in the family business."

Edited by William Kelly
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There's plenty of evidence suggesting Redlich was a witting part of a cover-up.

From patspeer.com, chapter 3b:

April 27, 1964

MEMORANDUM

TO: J. Lee Rankin

FROM: Norman Redlich

The purpose of this memorandum is to explain the reasons why certain members of the staff feel that it is important to take certain on-site photographs in connection with the location of the approximate points at which the three bullets struck the occupants of the Presidential limousine.

Our report presumably will state that the President was hit by the first bullet, Governor Connally by the second, and the President by the third and fatal bullet. The report will also conclude that the bullets were fired by one person located in the sixth floor southeast corner window of the TSBD building.

As our investigation now stands, however, we have not shown that these events could possibly have occurred in the manner suggested above. All we have is a reasonable hypothesis which appears to be supported by the medical testimony but which has not been checked out against the physical facts at the scene of the assassination.

Our examination of the Zapruder films shows that the fatal third shot struck the President at a point which we can locate with reasonable accuracy on the ground. We can do this because we know the exact frame (no. 313) in the film at which the third shot hit the President and we know the location of the photographer. By lining up fixed objects in the movie frame where this shot occurs we feel that we have determined the approximate location of this shot. This can be verified by a photo of the same spot from the point where Zapruder was standing.

We have the testimony of Governor and Mrs. Connally that the Governor was hit with the second bullet at a point which we probably cannot fix with precision. We feel we have established, however, with the help of medical testimony, that the shot which hit the Governor did not come after frame 240 on the Zapruder film. The governor feels that it came around 230, which is certainly consistent with our observations of the film and with the doctor's testimony. Since the President was shot at frame 313, this would leave a time of at least 4 seconds between the two shots, certainly ample for even an inexperienced marksman.

Prior to our last viewing of the films with Governor Connally we had assumed that the President was hit while he was concealed behind the sign which occurs between frames 215-225. We have expert testimony to the effect that a skilled marksman would require a minimum 2 seconds between shots with this rifle. Since the camera operates at 18 1/3 frames per second, there would have to be a minimum of 40 frames between shots.

It is apparent, therefore, that if Governor Connally was hit even as late as frame 240, the President would have to have been hit no later than frame 190 and probably even earlier. We have not yet examined the assassination scene to determine whether the assassin in fact could have shot the President prior to frame 190. We could locate the position on the ground which corresponds to this frame and it would then be our intent to establish by photography that the assassin could have fired the first shot at the President prior to this point. Our intention is not to establish the point with complete accuracy, but merely to substantiate the hypothesis which underlies the conclusions that Oswald was the sole assassin.

From chapter 3c:

On 9-1-64, in an effort to tie up loose ends, the Commission calls upon FBI photo expert Lyndal Shaneyfelt. This is the the third time he's testified. He discusses the various photos of Oswald with his rifle, and how the newspapers and magazines showing these photos had tampered with them, and accidentally created the illusion the rifle was not the rifle recovered at the Book Depository. He then discusses photos of Oswald's shirt, which essentially prove nothing other than that Oswald had been wearing that shirt when arrested. He also discusses a photograph by Phil Willis. This photo was taken, per Willis' testimony, a split second after the first shot. Egged on by Norman Redlich, Shaneyfelt testifies "it is my opinion that photograph A of Shaneyfelt exhibit no. 25 was taken in the vicinity of the time that frame 210 of the Zapruder film was taken. This is not an accurate determination because the exact location of Mr. Willis is unknown. This would allow for some variation, but the time of the photograph A, as related to the Zapruder film, would be generally during the period that the President was behind the signboard in the Zapruder films, which covers a range from around frame 205 to frame 225." Redlich then interjects "Prior investigation has also revealed that when viewed from the southeast corner window of the sixth floor, the President emerges from the oak tree at approximately frame 210." Redlich then asks Shaneyfelt if it would be possible to fix Willis' exact location, and thus the exact time of his photograph as compared to the Zapruder film. Shaneyfelt replies "Yes, it would be possible having Mr. Willis' camera, to fix his location with some degree of accuracy..." When then nudged by Redlich "You are reasonably satisfied, however, that the technique that you have used to fix his location is a reasonably accurate one upon which you can base your conclusions which you have stated today?" Shaneyfelt responds "Yes, yes. I feel that the exact establishing of the position of Mr. Willis would not add a great detail of additional accuracy to my present conclusions."

Well, wait a minute. On June 4, Shaneyfelt testified in a curious manner that Kennedy appeared to be un-hit before he went behind the sign around frame 210 of the Zapruder film. Now he has testified that the Willis photo was taken around frame 210, the exact moment, as Norman Redlich was so kind to point out, that Kennedy was first visible to the sniper's nest after passing under the oak tree. A more accurate location for Willis might mean that Willis took his picture before Kennedy went behind the sign. It might be an indication that someone fired a shot when Kennedy was hidden from the sniper's nest. It might be an indication there was a second shooter. That Shaneyfelt refused to accurately plot Willis' location, and thus the timing of his photo, when added to the fact that he and Redlich went to such great lengths to assure everyone a more accurate assessment was unnecessary, when added to the fact that this testimony is being taken in the last weeks of the Commission, suggests the possibility that both men know the photo was taken when Oswald couldn't have fired the shot, and were trying to keep this off the record. (Sure enough, it was subsequently demonstrated that the photo was taken at frame 202 of the Zapruder film, before Kennedy went behind the sign. Equally intriguing, when deposed in a Freedom of Information act lawsuit brought by Harold Weisberg in 1977, and asked about his work on the Willis photo by Weisberg's lawyer Jim Lesar, Shaneyfelt testified "I may have" three times and "I don't recall" five times, and concluded smugly that "I am sure the record speaks for itself." Yes, it does--to those who listen.)

From chapter 3c:

After receiving a copy of chapter 4 of the report on 9-4-64 and rapidly devouring it, Warren Commission Counsel Wesley J. Liebeler had nearly had a heart attack. Sensing that critics would see this chapter, which lays out the Commission's reasons for believing Oswald was the assassin, as, in his own words, "a brief for the prosecution," he fired off a 26 page long memorandum to Warren Commission General Counsel J. Lee Rankin on 9-6. His comments on the Oswald's Rifle Capability section of chapter 4 follow... (with some of the key parts highlighted).

OSWALD'S RIFLE CAPABILITY

1. The purpose of this section is to determine Oswald's ability to fire a rifle. The third word at the top of page 50 of the galleys, which is apparently meant to describe Oswald, is "marksman." A marksman is one skilled at shooting at mark; one who shoots well. Not only do we beg the question a little, but the sentence is inexact in that the shot, which it describes, would be the same for a marksman as it would for one who was not a marksman. How about: the assassin's shots from the easternmost window of the south side of the Texas School Book Depository were at a slow-moving target proceeding on a downgrade virtually straight away from the assassin, at a range of 177 to 266 feet."

2. The last sentence in the first paragraph on galley page 50 should indicate that the slope of Elm Street is downward.

3. The section on the nature of the shots deals basically with the range and the effect of a telescopic sight. Several experts conclude that the shots were easy. There is, however, no consideration given here to the time allowed for the shots. I do not see how someone can conclude that a shot is easy or hard unless he knows something about how long the firer has to shoot, that is, how much time is allotted for the shots.

4. On nature of the shots--Frazier testified that one would have no difficulty in hitting a target with a telescopic sight, since all you have to do is put the crosshairs on the target. On page 51 of the galleys, however, he testified that shots fired by FBI agents with the assassination weapon were "a few inches high and to the right of the target * * * because of a defect in the scope." Apparently no one knows when that defect appeared, or if it was in the scope at the time of the assassination. If it was, and in the absence of any evidence to the contrary one may assume that it was, putting the crosshairs on the target would clearly have resulted in a miss, or it very likely would, in any event. I have raised this question before. There is a great deal of testimony in the record that a telescopic sight is a sensitive proposition. You can't leave a rifle and scope laying around in a garage underfoot for almost 3 months, just having brought it back from New Orleans in the back of a station wagon, and expect to hit anything with it, unless you take the trouble to fire it and sight the scope in. This would have been a problem that should have been dealt with in any event, and now that it turns out that there actually was a defect in the scope, it is perfectly clear that the question must be considered. The present draft leaves the Commission open to severe criticism. Furthermore, to the extent that it leaves testimony suggesting that the shots might not have been so easy out of the discussion, thereby giving only a part of the story, it is simply dishonest.

5. Why do we have a statement concerning the fact that Oswald's Marine records show that he was familiar with the Browning automatic rifle, .45-caliber pistol and 12-gage riot gun? That is completely irrelevant to the question of his ability to fire a rifle, unless there is evidence that the same skills are involved. It is, furthermore, prejudicial to some extent.

6. Under the heading "Oswald's Rifle Practice Outside the Marines" we have a statement concerning his hunting activities in Russia. It says that he joined a hunting club, obtained a license and went hunting about six times. It does not say what kind of a weapon he used. While I am not completely familiar with the record on this point, I do know for a fact that there is some indication that he used a shotgun. Under what theory do we include activities concerning a shotgun under a heading relating to rifle practice, and then presume not to advise the reader of the fact?

7. The statements concerning Oswald's practice with the assassination weapon are misleading. They tend to give the impression that he did more practicing than the record suggests that he did. My recollection is that there is only one specific time when he might have practiced. We should be more precise in this area, because the Commission is going to have its work in this area examined very closely.

8. On the top of galley page 51 we have that statement about Oswald sighting the telescopic sight at night on the porch in New Orleans. I think the support for that proposition is thin indeed. Marina Oswald first testified that she did not know what he was doing out there and then she was clearly led into the only answer that gives any support to this proposition.

9. I think the level of reaching that is going on in this whole discussion of rifle capability is merely shown by the fact that under the heading of rifle practice outside the Marine Corps appears the damning statement that "Oswald showed an interest in rifles by discussing that subject with others (in fact only one person as I remember it) and reading gun magazines."

10. I do not think the record will support the statement that Oswald did not leave his Beckley Avenue rooming house on one of the weekends that he was supposedly seen at the Sports Drome Rifle Range.

11. There is a misstatement in the third paragraph under rapid fire tests when it says "Four of the firers missed the second shot." The preceding paragraph states that there were only three firers.

12. There are no footnotes whatsoever in the fifth paragraph under rapid fire tests and some rather important statements are made which require some support from someplace.

13. A minor point as to the next paragraph--bullets are better said to strike rather than land.

14. As I read through the section on rifle capability it appears that 15 different sets of three shots were fired by supposedly expert riflemen of the FBI and other places. According to my calculations those 15 sets of shots took a total of 93.8 seconds to be fired. The average of all 15 is a little over 6.2 seconds. Assuming that time is calculated commencing with the firing of the first shot, that means the average time it took to fire the two remaining shots was about 6.2 seconds. That comes to about 3.1 seconds for each shot, not counting the time consumed by the actual firing, which would not be very much. I recall that chapter 3 said that the minimum time that had to elapse between shots was 2.25 seconds, which is pretty close to the one set of fast shots fired by Frazier of the FBI. The conclusion indicates that Oswald had the capability to fire three shots with two hits in from 4.8 to 5.6 seconds. Of the 15 sets of 3 shots described above, only 3 were fired within 4.8 seconds. A total of five sets, including the three just mentioned were fired within a total of 5.6 seconds. The conclusion at its most extreme states that Oswald could fire faster than the Commission experts fired in 12 of their 15 tries and that in any event he could fire faster than the experts did in 10 of their 15 tries. If we are going to set forth material such as this, I think we should set forth some information on how much training and how much shooting the experts had and did as a whole. The readers could then have something on which to base their judgments concerning the relative abilities of the apparently slow firing experts used by the Commission and the ability of Lee Harvey Oswald.

15. The problems raised by the above analyses should be met at some point in the text of the report. The figure of 2.25 as a minimum firing time for each shot used throughout chapter 3. The present discussion of rifle capability shows that expert riflemen could not fire the assassination weapon that fast. Only one of the experts managed to do so, and his shots, like those of the other FBI experts, were high and to the right of the target. The fact is that most of the experts were much more proficient with a rifle than Oswald could ever be expected to be, and the record indicates that fact, according to my recollection of the response of one of the experts to a question by Mr. McCloy asking for a comparison of an NRA master marksman to a Marine Corps sharpshooter.

16. The present section on rifle capability fails to set forth material in the record tending to indicate that Oswald was not a good shot and that he was not interested in his rifle while in the Marine Corps. It does not set forth material indicating that a telescopic sight must be tested and sighted in after a period of non-use before it can be expected to be accurate. That problem is emphasized by the fact that the FBI actually found that there was a defect in the scope which caused the rifle to fire high and to the right. In spite of the above the present section takes only part of the material in the record to show that Oswald was a good shot and that he was interested in rifles. I submit that the testimony of Delgado that Oswald was not interested in his rifle while in the Marines is at least as probative as Alba's testimony that Oswald came into his garage to read rifle--and hunting--magazines. To put it bluntly that sort of selection from the record could seriously affect the integrity and credibility of the entire report.

17. It seems to me that the most honest and the most sensible thing to do given the present state of the record on Oswald's rifle capability would be to write a very short section indicating that there is testimony on both sides of several issues. The Commission could then conclude that the best evidence that Oswald could fire his rifle as fast as he did and hit the target is the fact that he did so. It may have been pure luck. It probably was to a very great extent. But it happened. He would have had to have been lucky to hit as he did if he had only 4.8 seconds to fire the shots. Why don't we admit instead of reaching and using only part of the record to support the propositions presently set forth in the galleys. Those conclusions will never be accepted by critical persons anyway.

Note that Liebeler's complaints about this section of the report were largely ignored, as the problems he discussed went largely uncorrected. According to writer Edward Epstein, with whom Liebeler confided regarding this matter, General Counsel Rankin at first refused to read the memo, declaring "No more memorandums! The report has to be published!" Rankin then relented and allowed Liebeler to argue his points one by one with Norman Redlich, Rankin's top aide and the man responsible for reviewing and re-writing both the chapters on the shooting and those on Oswald's likely guilt. According to Epstein, Liebeler told him that "Redlich heatedly objected to all Liebeler's criticisms" and that Redlich said the chapter had been written exactly how the commissioners wanted it written, and had even admitted "The Commissioners judged it an easy shot, and I work for the Commission." Rankin then adjudicated the memo point by point, almost always siding with Redlich.

Let's think about this for a second. Liebeler, one of the Warren Commission's top lawyers, had told his superiors in the commission that there were deceptive, even dishonest, passages in their report. And they ignored him, by and large, telling him that this was what the commissioners wanted. This makes it clear that by September, if not earlier, they just didn't give a crap. They were there to sell the public what they wanted them to believe, not lay out all the evidence and let the public decide for itself.

Apparently they thought it best that someone else tackle that job...

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