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Rex Bradford: Whispers From A Silent Generation

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Whispers from the Silent Generation

by Rex Bradford
May 2013

This talk was delivered at the 2008 November in Dallas conference.


Many of you are familiar I’m sure with Larry Hancock’s book Someone Would Have Talked, which grapples with the question of why someone didn’t “spill the beans” in the JFK assassination. Larry looked at what some interesting people did say, both before and after the assassination, and used that as an approach to connecting the dots between likely players in the murder of President Kennedy.

I want to talk today about a whole other set of people - the political elite class in the country, from Lyndon Johnson and Robert Kennedy to their aides and other highly placed people. What you’ll see is that many of these people also “talked,” though they often did so only many years later, sometimes in private and sometimes on the record. We’ll find that in many ways this group shared with the rest of us disbelief in the lone disgruntled gunman story. What we don’t find for the most part are strong indications that they really knew the answer to “Who killed JFK?” beyond intelligent hunches.

But some of their statements offer interesting clues and point the way toward information they had which has since gone missing. Perhaps as importantly, looking at their statements can help us understand how it is, 45 years later, that the American public still doesn’t know how its 35th president was felled.


As many of you already know, three of the seven Warren Commissioners expressed disbelief in their own conclusions, particularly the single-bullet theory though not limited to it. Richard Russell told Harold Weisberg:

Warren Commissioner
Richard Russell

“We have not been told the truth about Oswald.” [ 1 ]

Hale Boggs turned against FBI Director-for-life J. Edgar Hoover shortly before his plane disappeared over Alaska, and an aide of Boggs’ said that Boggs told him:

Warren Commissioner
Hale Boggs

“Hoover lied his eyes out to the Commission – on Oswald, on Ruby, on their friends, the bullets the guns, you name it…” [ 2 ]

John Sherman Cooper was part of the group that attempted to get a dissent into the Warren Report until talked out of it in the Warren Commission session that was never transcribed. David Wrone found a draft of the Report in J. Lee Rankin’s papers on which Cooper had written this:

Warren Commissioner
John Sherman Cooper

“On what basis is it claimed that two shots caused all the wounds?.....It seemed to me that Governor Connally’s statement negates such a conclusion. I could not agree with this statemen

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