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I have been mulling over who was responsible for stripping the security for JFK's visit to Dallas on November 22, 1963. The more I look at it, the more blame seems to fall on Forest Sorrels of the Dallas office of the Secret Service. I haven't been able to figure out if this was because of hubris, or had a more malignant motive.

Current Section: Stevenson Ex 5053 - Copy of a report from Charles Batchelor, George L. Lumpkin, and M. W. Stevenson to Chief Jesse E. ...




At a meeting held on November 21, 1963:



Mr. BALL. On November 22, 1963, you had been told the President or before November 22, 1963, you had been told that the President was coming to Dallas?
Mr. FRITZ. Yes, sir.
Mr. BALL. And had you taken certain precautions for his safety?
Mr. FRITZ. Well, we had taken some precautions but those were changed. We were told in the beginning that we would be in the parade directly behind it, I don't know whether it was the second or third car, but the Vice President's car, that we would be directly behind that, and we did make preparation for that.
But at 10 o'clock the night before the parade, Chief Stevenson called me at home and told me that had been changed, and I was assigned with two of my officers to the speakers' stand at the Trade Mart.

I had read once that Fritz's preparations for this squad car included arming those detectives with sub-machine guns, but I can't put my finger on that source at the moment.

Sorrel's rejection of assistance extended to the 112th Military Intelligence Group as well.




(Updated version as of February 21, 1997)


Jeremy Gunn


David Marwell; Chris Barger; Doug Horne; Brian Rosen; Joan Zimmerman


Tim Wray


Army Intelligence in Dallas

Here’ s some of what we’ve learned so far about Army intelligence in Dallas.

Coyle recollected that Lieutenant Colonel Roy Pate, commander of the 112th’s Dallas Regional Office, attended monthly meetings with the heads of the various local law enforcement and military intelligence agencies within the Dallas community, and that upon his return from such meetings would commonly assemble the office’s personnel to pass on to them any important information he had picked up. Coyle recalled that, prior to the assassination, Pate (Coyle was not absolutely certain that it was Pate on this occasion, though he thought so) came back from such a meeting and advised them that security measures for the upcoming presidential visit had been discussed, but that the Secret Service and the Dallas Police Department said that they had everything under control and needed no additional help from other agencies. Coyle thought that Pate expressed some surprise at this, but thought there was nothing unusual or sinister about it.”




Prouty has alleged that the 112th was ordered to "stand down". I don't think think that it was a case of being ordered to stand down as much as being told that they were not needed.


In his book, Roger Craig said that County Sheriff, Bill Decker told the Deputies that they were not allowed to lend a hand during the motorcade. As with military intelligence, I think the Sheriff's Department was told that they weren't needed.

Why did the local Secret Service tell the Dallas Police, Military Intelligence and the County Sheriff's Department that they weren't needed? Was it hubris, or was it something more sinister?

Steve Thomas



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