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The Framing of Lee Harvey Oswald -- Part IV

Gil Jesus

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The Sins of the Warren Commission
by Gil Jesus ( 2021)

As if the FBI and Secret Service's coercion of witnesses, altering their statements, forging documents and lying under oath wasn't enough, witnesses were subjected to pre-testimony interviews by the Commission's lawyers.
These pre-testimony interviews would be legal under an adversary system where the defendant would have counsel and the defense would have the right to cross-examination.

A prosecutor could legally interview his witnesses in advance to determine what they knew and to ask questions the defense might ask at trial. This would avoid any "surprises" that might damage the prosecutor's case during cross-examination.
But in this case, there was no adversary, no defense. This wasn't a trial and Oswald's family would not be allowed to have their counsel cross-examine the witnesses.

Therefore, the purpose of these interviews could only be for counsel to ask questions in order to probe what the witnesses saw or heard and then coach them as to what questions were going to be asked and how to answer them for the public record.

"Lawyers generally may not ask leading questions of their own witnesses. Leading questions are questions that suggest the answers desired, in effect prompting the witness."


Evidence of the leading of witnesses comes from the testimony of witnesses Mary Bledsoe and Helen Markham.
Mrs. Bledsoe had "taken notes" the week before her appearance "because I forget what I have to say." ( 6 H 407-408 ) She did so "at the suggestion" of Secret Service agent Forrest Sorrels who had visited her previously. ( ibid. pg. 408 )

Mrs. Markham's exchange with counsel Joseph Ball regarding her identification of Oswald from a police lineup is legendary. He asked her six times if she recognized anyone in the lineup and six times she said no. Finally, he leads her to the answer he's looking for when he asks her if there was a number 2 man in the lineup. ( 3 H 310 )

In a four man lineup, there should be a number two man.

What counsel was doing was leading the witness to the man she picked. But given her testimony that she never saw any of the men in the lineup before, the man she picked was not the man she saw kill Tippit.

Not only were witnesses coached and led, when the FBI's test results did not indicate Oswald's guilt, the Commission simply went outside the bureau to find an "expert" who would supply it with the conclusions it required.

Nowhere is this more evident than in the examination of the bullets removed from Officer Tippit. The FBI expert, Cortlandt Cunningham, testified that " it was not possible...to determine whether or not...these bullets...were fired from Oswald's revolver." ( 3 H 475 )
The problem was that the individual marks left on the bullets from the revolver's barrel were not the same, even on consecutively fired bullets. ( ibid. ) This was caused by the slightly smaller diameter .38 special bullets being fired through the larger diameter .38 barrel.

Not satisfied with that conclusion, the Commission went outside the bureau to Joseph Nicol, the Superintendent of the Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation for the state of Illinois. He examined the bullets and concluded that one of the bullets, CE 603, had been fired from the Oswald handgun to the exclusion of all other weapons. ( 3 H 512 )

Finally, as a last resort, when the Commission could not obtain the results it wanted, it flat out lied in its report.

Evidence of this is in how it handled the misfiring of the handgun in the Texas Theater. from its report on the struggle inside the Texas Theater. In its report of the struggle in the Texas Theater, it repeated Officer M.N. McDonald's report that "the primer of one round was dented on misfire". ( Report, pg. 560 )


But its own expert, FBI agent Cortlandt Cunningham, testified that the FBI found "no evidence that the handgun's firing pin had struck any of the unfired rounds" removed from it. ( 3 H 463 )

Cunningham was more specific about the "nick" on the cartridge case: "there was NO indication, from an examination, that that nick was so caused by a firing pin.... ...a microscopic examination of that nick gave no indication that it was made from a firing pin." ( 3 H 460 )
Lastly, in a memo from Conrad to Jevons ( FBI # 62-109060 Sec. 12, pg. 29 ) the FBI official reports to the Commission liason that with regard to the four unfired cartridges removed from Oswald's handgun, "none of the cartridges received from Dallas bore firing pin indentations".

To say that the Commission misrepresented the evidence is putting it mildly. They flat out lied. They suppressed the fact that the marks on the cartridge were NOT from a firing pin and the possibility that they had been man-made.

The Dallas Police framed Oswald while he was alive. Once he was dead, President Johnson in effect, delegated that responsibility to the FBI. The Commission took it one step further by publishing opinions based on similarities and possibilites, rather than on the truth.

Evidence that pointed to Oswald's innocence was ignored or suppressed.

NEXT WEEK: The Conclusion

Edited by Gil Jesus
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