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Howard Baker

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In his book, Assassination of JFK: Coincidence or Conspiracy, Bernard Fensterwald says this about Howard Baker.

"Senate Minority leader Howard Baker, the moderate Republican from Tennessee and former member of the Ervin Watergate Committee as well as the Church Intelligence Committee, has become a strong advocate of reopening the Kennedy assassination probe. Senator Baker is reported to.have long harbored various suspicions relating to the assassination, and conducted a lengthy investigation into various Cuban exile activities during the Ervin Committee probe - activities that many Warren Commission critics believe may, relate to the Kennedy assassination. In a CBS interview on May 23, 1976, Senator Baker voiced strong misgiving's over the extent of CIA and FBI information turned over to the Warren Commission."

Fensterwald quotes Baker as saying in the interview: "I don't think the Warren Commission was privy to all the facts, for instance, it did not know even of the 56 attempts by CIA on Fidel Castro's life and apparently did not know of Castro's threat in public, saying look, you're trying to kill me and I know it. If you don't stop, no American leader is going to be safe. I have no record evidence that the, Warren Commission ever considered that... I think that Gary Hart and Dick Schweiker did a great job, a monumental undertaking, and I think just as clearly that the new intelligence oversight committee ought to decide how to pursue the matter, it certainly should not be dropped. I:have no information that would indicate that the Warren Commission is wrong, or that Oswald was an agent, or did not act on his own. All I have is a basket of loose ends that Hart and I think they've got to be examined."

Is there any evidence that Baker continued to campaign for a reopening of the JFK investigating?

Baker was a member of Frank Church's Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations. The report, published in 1976, was highly critical of the CIA. However, Baker refused to go along with the majority of the committee and joined forces with John Tower and Barry Goldwater to defend the CIA. He also wrote a section on Watergate that included the following:

"At the close of this Committee's examination of the available record, I wish to state my belief that the sum total of the evidence does not substantiate a conclusion that the CIA per se was involved in the range of events and circumstances known as Watergate. However, there was considerable evidence that for much of the post-Watergate period the CIA itself was uncertain of the ramifications of the various involvements, witting or otherwise, between members of the Watergate burglary team and members of components of the Agency. Indeed, the CIA was apparently, at times as perplexed as Congressional investigators. It should be noted that the Agency undertook an extensive internal inquiry in an effort to resolve these uncertainties. The investigation of Watergate and the possible relationship of the Central Intelligence Agency thereto, produced a panoply of puzzlement. While the available information leaves nagging questions and contains bits and pieces of intriguing evidence, fairness dictates that an assessment be rendered on the basis of the present record. An impartial evaluation of that record compels the conclusion that the CIA, as an institution, was not involved in the Watergate break-in."

In this statement he ignores the fact that the CIA had attempted to mislead the Senate Committee over the case of Lee R. Pennington.

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Namebase entry for Howard Baker:


Ashman,C. The CIA-Mafia Link. 1975 (201-2)

Assn. Former Intelligence Officers. Periscope 1988-F (26)

Beaty,J. Gwynne,S.C. The Outlaw Bank. 1993 (83)

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Washington Times 1993-06-24 (A4)

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Wise,D. The American Police State. 1978 (235)

Yakovlev,N. Washington Silhouettes. 1985 (307-8)

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