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ROBERT K. TANENBAUM 2003 Wecht Conference

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ROBERT K. TANENBAUM - transcript of talk before the Wecht Conference in Pittsburgh. From CD Into Evidence - Truth, Lies and Unresolved Mysteries in the Murder of JFK. 2003 40th Anniversary Conference Cyril Wecht Institute of Forensic Pathology.

Transcribed from a presentation entitled: Limitations of the HSCA: Reflections of a Former Counsel

.....When I went to Washington it had been after years and years in my career, directly out of law school, in the Manhattan District Attorneys office. I was always somewhat suspect by many of those in the NYPD because I had spent seven years at Berkeley, and the cases that we handled were not as basically as had been alluded to by Sen. Sepector this morning, that is to say - When asked about the serious contradictions in your case, and your reply is ‘we had a strong case.’ But the evidence doesn’t hold. And the reply is ‘we had a strong case.’ It almost becomes pathological. How do you have a strong case when you don’t have any evidence?

It is the duty of the prosecutor - the District Attorney, to test, before you submit it to a jury, the trustworthy nature of what the evidence is. So that you cross examine your own witnesses, - you don’t wait for a Mark Lane to do it, or anybody else. And when cross examination takes place in the court room, you just get out more evidence and more evidence because the witnesses have been prepared. And that’s the way cases should be handled because the prosecution has a tremendous advantage. They move all the chess pieces, if you are competent and honest with honest cases, before the defense is ever called to the table. It’s all been tested. And it’s very troublesome to hear the Senator and the gentleman I mentioned this morning, now a judge from Ohio, as he said it ten years ago and it’s taken me ten years to recover, it will take me another ten years from this morning’s session, but to simply say ‘yes, we had a great case. Yes we knew that our investigators couldn’t be trusted, but we still went forward.’ ‘We weren’t preparing this case’ the Senator said, ‘we weren’t preparing this case,’ he said, ‘for trial.’ If he wasn’t preparing for a trial, what was he preparing the case for? What was the nature of this investigation of President Kennedy? This was a murder case. A homicide.

Now I will you tell you I have in my life, I have worked for the Congress of the United States, I have worked with some people in Hollywood and I have arrested and prosecuted members of organized crime, and without question, the only people whose word you can trust, regrettably, are people who are in organized crime.

And so the question arises, what is involved with this Congress in investigating a murder case? They are, I will tell you, the last organization or institution in America that should investigate a case - because there is no political way to gather evidence, there is no Republican way, Democratic way, liberal way, conservative way, to evaluate evidence.

And when you are in Congress there are 435 bosses, and they all have their staff people - administrative aides, and they all insist to know what is going on, and then they leak various pieces of information. I will tell you we had no political constituency. The liberals were afraid that the committee was going to somehow embarrass Dr. King and President Kennedy because of various activities that they were involved in. The conservatives were afraid we would somehow embarrass the executive intelligence agencies. And so we lost our constuenctency, and they held up the funding of the committee.

And I was asked by the Committee to go around and meet with the members of the House of Representatives with precisely these kinds of things that a) I had never contemplated because I was too naive, and B) if I did contemplate it I never would have gone to Washington. And I will tell you that after meeting with the 435 representatives, I would go home to my wife and ask the following question - How did these people get elected?

You sit on the House floor, as I did when the Committee was voted on, and they wave a piece of paper that is a Picayune Journal article as if it was Moses coming down with the tablets, as evidence.

What I’d like to do very briefly is to explain some of the reasons why, from a prosecutorial point of view, from what our investigation revealed, there was in my judgment, no case to ever convict Lee Harvey Oswald of murdering the President.......

Continued in full at:

JFKcountercoup: ROBERT K. TANENBAUM - Wecht Conference

Edited by William Kelly
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