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Assassination of JFK: Photographs and Documents


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I thought it might be a good idea for researchers to post what they believe are significant documents and photographs that help explain the events surrounding the death of JFK. Here is my first submission:

Dwight Eisenhower's last speech as president (17th January, 1961)

Three days from now, after half a century in the service of our country, I shall lay down the responsibilities of office as, in traditional and solemn ceremony, the authority of the Presidency is vested in my successor.

This evening I come to you with a message of leave-taking and farewell, and to share a few final thoughts with you, my countrymen...

Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But now we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense; we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security more than the net income of all United States corporations.

This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence - economic, political, even spiritual - is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.

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John,

For me, it's the Commencement address JFK gave at American University on June 10, 1963, part of which is excerpted below:

http://www.ratical.org/co-globalize/JFK061063.html

Today, should total war ever break out again -- no matter how -- our two countries would become the primary targets. It is an ironic but accurate fact that the two strongest powers are the two in the most danger of devastation. All we have built, all we have worked for, would be destroyed in the first twenty-four hours. And even in the cold war, which brings burdens and dangers to so many countries, including this nation's closest allies -- our two countries bear the heaviest burdens. For we are both devoting to weapons massive sums of money that could be better devoted to combating ignorance, poverty and disease. We are both caught up in a vicious and dangerous cycle in which suspicion on one side breeds suspicion on the other, and new weapons beget counterweapons.

In short, both the United States and its allies, and the Soviet Union and its allies, have a mutually deep interest in a just and genuine peace and in halting the arms race. Agreements to this end are in the interests of the Soviet Union as well as ours -- and even the most hostile nations can be relied upon to accept and keep those treaty obligations, and only those treaty obligations, which are in their own interest.

So, let us not be blind to our differences -- but let us also direct attention to our common interests and to the means by which those differences can be resolved. And if we cannot end now our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity. For, in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children's future. And we are all mortal.

He was advocating an accomodation with the Soviet Union, and there were definitely people in 1963 who looked on that as tatamount to treason.

Steve Thomas

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Telephone conversation between Lyndon B. Johnson and J. Edgar Hoover (23rd November, 1963)

J. Edgar Hoover: I just want to let you know of a development which I think is very important in connection with this case. This man in Dallas (Lee Harvey Oswald). We, of course, charged him with the murder of the President. The evidence that they have at the present time is not very strong.... We have the gun and we have the bullet. There was only one and that was found on the stretcher that the President was on...

Lyndon B. Johnson: Have you established any more about the visit to the Soviet Embassy in Mexico in September?

J. Edgar Hoover: No, that's one angle that is very confusing. We have up here the tape and this photograph of the man who was at this Soviet Embassy, using Oswald's name. That picture and the tape do not correspond to this man's voice, nor to his appearance. In other words, it appears that there is a second person who was at the Soviet Embassy down there.

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  • 2 years later...
I thought it might be a good idea for researchers to post what they believe are significant documents and photographs that help explain the events surrounding the death of JFK. Here is my first submission:

Dwight Eisenhower's last speech as president (17th January, 1961)

Three days from now, after half a century in the service of our country, I shall lay down the responsibilities of office as, in traditional and solemn ceremony, the authority of the Presidency is vested in my successor.

This evening I come to you with a message of leave-taking and farewell, and to share a few final thoughts with you, my countrymen...

Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But now we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense; we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security more than the net income of all United States corporations.

This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence - economic, political, even spiritual - is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.

For me, it's the photo of the motorcade heading into the ambush. Notice the people watching from the fire escape. The Presidential Limousine seems to be unguarded and notice how close the follow up car is, which had eight Secret Service Agents on board.

Edited by Peter McGuire
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Telephone conversation between Lyndon B. Johnson and J. Edgar Hoover (23rd November, 1963)
[p][/p]

E-mail received Dec. 13th from Rex Bradford - The Mary Ferrell Foundation:

"Trygve, regarding the erased magnetic belt, there are several interesting aspects beyond the Mexico City part I focused on:

1. Yes the 2 and 1/2 page conversation does seem like it would take well under 14

minutes. I spoke it out once and came up with about 7 or 8 minutes I think.

You should know that the original magnetic belts were of 15 minute duration, so

if the conversation lasted 9 or 10 minutes Johnson's secretary might well have

decided to change belts in preparation for the next recording. If so, then why

are there blips every 7 seconds for the entire 14 minutes, which the Cutting

Crop. engineer thought to be unerased portions of the conversations? But I'm

not sure those blips are voices - wouldn't these guys have paused to catch

their breaths at least once? (the blips occur regularly without break

throughout).

2. It is certainly possible that the transcript itself is not authentic, but

given the explosive information on it I can hardly believe it would have been

made up.

3. However, if you look at pages 2 and 3 you will notice that Hoover mentions

Oswald's pistol on 2 occasions. In both of those occasions, there is blank

space before the word "revolver" (first time) or "arm revolver" second time.

It leads to the suspicion that possibly: Hoover named the type of revolver, this

was transcribed, and then it turned out that the pistol was later switched for

a different type and the transcript was retyped or whited-out to erase this

mis-identification. This seems like a long shot but the pair of places where

extra space occurs is pretty odd."

Here is the transcript:

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/...oc.do?docId=807

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Here's my contribution:

www.law.uga.edu/academics/profiles/dwilkes_more/jfk_11alone.html - 11k

JFK KILLER NOT ALONE, UGA PROFESSOR SAYS

Published in The Athens Observer, p. 1A (December 8, 1994).

A recording released earlier this year by the Lyndon Johnson Presidential Library has brought to light some important new facts concerning the Warren Commission's investigation of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. As a result of disclosure of the recording it is now evident, more than three decades after the assassination, that President Lyndon B. Johnson and three members of the Warren Commission (Sen. Richard B. Russell, Sen. John Sherman Cooper, and Rep. Hale Boggs) rejected the so-called single bullet theory, an essential part of the Commission's single-assassin thesis.

Thirty years ago, on Friday, Sept. 18, 1964, at 7:54 p.m. Sen. Richard B. Russell placed a long distance telephone call from his Georgia home to President Lyndon B. Johnson at the White House. Russell's purpose was to tell Johnson about what had happened earlier that day at the final official meeting of what Russell called "that dang Warren Commission," of which he was a reluctant member.

The recording of that conversation was not released to the public until Apr. 15, 1994. The recording confirms a well-established fact: Sen. Russell vehemently disagreed with the so-called single bullet theory, a key aspect of the Warren Commission's 1964 Report on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. The recording also discloses an amazing fact previously unknown: LBJ agreed with Russell that the single bullet theory was unworthy of belief.

The single bullet theory is the theory that a nonfatal bullet fired from behind the presidential limousine pierced JFK's back, exited his throat without hitting any bones, struck Texas Gov. Connally in the back, exited his chest after shattering ribs and puncturing a lung, smashed through his right wrist, and then came to rest, virtually intact, in Connally's left thigh.

The proposed final draft of the Warren Report unconditionally accepted the single bullet theory as conclusively proved by the evidence. However, due to objections by Russell and other Commission members at that final meeting on Sept. 18, 1964, the official version of the report endorsed the single bullet theory but refused to rule out other possibilities. Denying that the single bullet theory was essential to its overall conclusion that Oswald was the lone gunman in the sixth floor window, the report found "there is very persuasive evidence" to support the single bullet theory and that the theory is "most probably" correct, yet also (in deference to Russell's objections) acknowledged that certain "factors have given rise to some difference of opinion as to this probability."

In his Sept. 18 telephone call to President Johnson, Russell, after an opening exchange of pleasantries, immediately complained "that dang Warren Commission business has whupped me down ... I was just worn down fighting over that damn report."

A cause of the difficulties at the Warren Commission's final session, Russell made plain, was the single bullet theory. "[T]hey was trying to prove that the same bullet that hit Kennedy first, was the one that hit Connally and went through him and went through his hand and his bone and into his leg and everything else ..." When LBJ asked, "Well, what difference does it make which bullet got Connally?," Russell answered: "Well, it don't make much difference!" Then he added: "But they said that ... the Commission believe that the same bullet that hit Kennedy hit Connally. Well, I don't believe it!"

LBJ quickly responded: "Well, I don't either!"

Russell then gave LBJ two reasons for rejecting the theory: It contradicted Connally's testimony that he was hit by a different bullet, and it required the further finding-a finding accepted by the Warren Report-that one of Oswald's three shots missed the limousine entirely, which seems highly unlikely given the assassin's deadly shooting abilities.

On Sept. 16, 1964, two days before the call to LBJ, Russell had dictated a dissenting statement detailing his many doubts about the single bullet theory and about the Warren Commission's conclusion that Lee Harvey Oswald, acting alone, had murdered President Kennedy. This dissenting statement was not included in the Warren Report but is in the senator's papers at the UGA's Russell Library. Shortly after the Warren Report was released, Russell first made public his doubts about the Report when he told The Atlanta Constitution for Sept. 29, 1964 that it was still not known whether Oswald had acted "with the encouragement or knowledge of anyone else." Russell attacked both the single bullet theory and the lone assassin notion in an interview published in The Atlanta Constitution, Nov. 20, 1966. In an interview with WSB-TV in February 1970, less than a year before his death, Sen. Russell again voiced doubts about parts of the Warren Report.

Sen. Russell's objections to important findings of the Warren Report received further publicity when the senator's views were mentioned in various JFK assassination books, including notably Edward Epstein's Inquest (1966), Harold Weisberg's Whitewash IV (1974), Bernard Fensterwald's Coincidence or Conspiracy? (1977), and Henry Hurt's Reasonable Doubt (1985).

(For more information on the rejection of various findings of the Warren Report, including the single bullet theory, by Russell and other members of the Warren Commission, see Wilkes, Russell Disagreed with JFK Death Report, in The Athens Observer, Nov. 9, 1989, p. 1.)

While Russell's disbelief in the single bullet theory has been well known for decades, LBJ's disagreement with the theory is a surprising new discovery.

It has been known for years that LBJ believed, notwithstanding the Warren Report, that President Kennedy was assassinated by a conspiracy. As a U. S. Senate report published in 1976 reveals, a close aide to LBJ told a high-ranking FBI official in 1967 that Johnson "is convinced there was a plot in connection with Kennedy's assassination." In a 1971 interview with another former aide--an interview published in Atlantic magazine seven months after his January 1973 death--LBJ reiterated his belief that the JFK assassination had been part of a conspiracy. In the interview Johnson said that when he became president he had learned that America was "operating a Murder, Inc. in the Caribbean." It appears LBJ thought the JFK assassination a retaliation for CIA-Mafia plots in the early 1960's aimed at killing Cuba's Fidel Castro.

When the Warren Commission, with knowledge of the distances and locations in Dealey Plaza, examined the famous Zapruder film, it concluded that less than 2 seconds elapsed between the earliest point in time at which JFK could have been shot in the back, and the latest point in time when Connally could have been shot in the back.

However, it had also been established that it took at least 2.3 seconds to fire the "Oswald rifle" twice (without aiming). If, therefore, there was only one assassin then both JFK and Connally must have been struck in the back by the same rifle bullet--the single bullet. As Burt Griffin, a member of the Warren Commission staff, bluntly phrased it: "To say that [JFK and Connally] were hit by separate bullets is synonymous with saying that there were two assassins."

The Warren Commission was totally committed to the single assassin thesis--that Oswald, acting alone, fired all the shots with a Mannlicher-Carcano 6.5 mm bolt-action rifle, that a total of three shots were fired, and that the shots came from a window on the sixth floor of the school book depository. The Commission's slavish devotion to the single assassin notion, no matter what facts or leads the investigation turned up, is widely recognized as one of the reasons the Warren Report is deficient.

Although the Warren Commission denied it, the truth is that without the single bullet theory the Commission would have been forced to abandon its fundamental premise that Oswald was the sole assassin. It was not the inconclusive firearms tests, but the Commission's fixation with proving that Oswald had acted alone, that induced the Commission to favor the single bullet theory.

Three decades after publication of the Warren Report, Americans are finally in a position to understand the terrible truth: in 1964, when the Warren Commission announced its findings, the American people were being asked to believe a lone assassin scenario underpinned by a ballistics theory which, unknown to them, the President of the United States and nearly half of the members of the Warren Commission deemed not worthy of belief.

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The Arthur Krock article, Oct 3, '63 warning of the CIA overthrow the gov't:

"Among the views attributed to United States officials on the scene, including one described as a "very high American official who has spent much of his life in the service of democracy" are the following:

The C. I. A.'s growth was "likened to a malignancy" which the "very high Official was not sure even the White House could control "any longer." "If the United States ever experiences [an attempt at a coup to overthrow the Government] it will come from the C. I. A. and not the Pentagon."The agency"represents a tremendous power and total unaccountability to anyone."

http://www.jfklancer.com/Krock.html

Edited by Myra Bronstein
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The Arthur Krock article, Oct 3, '63 warning of the CIA overthrow the gov't:

"Among the views attributed to United States officials on the scene, including one described as a "very high American official who has spent much of his life in the service of democracy" are the following:

The C. I. A.'s growth was "likened to a malignancy" which the "very high Official was not sure even the White House could control "any longer." "If the United States ever experiences [an attempt at a coup to overthrow the Government] it will come from the C. I. A. and not the Pentagon."The agency"represents a tremendous power and total unaccountability to anyone."

http://www.jfklancer.com/Krock.html

Myra,

If you re-visit Krock’s piece, you’ll quickly discover it’s a defence of the CIA, and an attack on Kennedy for permitting public criticism of that fine band of thugs and murderers. The despatch upon which Krock hung his Agency hat, however, is the real McCloy. Here it is:

The Washington Daily News, Wednesday, October 2, 1963, p.3

'SPOOKS' MAKE LIFE MISERABLE FOR AMBASSADOR LODGE

'Arrogant' CIA Disobeys Orders in Viet Nam

By Richard Starnes

SAIGON, Oct.2 - The story of the Central Intelligence Agency's role in South Viet Nam is a dismal chronicle of bureaucratic arrogance, obstinate disregard of orders, and unrestrained thirst for power.

Twice the CIA flatly refused to carry out instructions from Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge, according to a high United States source here.

In one of these instances the CIA frustrated a plan of action Mr. Lodge brought with him from Washington because the agency disagreed with it.

This led to a dramatic confrontation between Mr. Lodge and John Richardson, chief of the huge CIA apparatus here. Mr. Lodge failed to move Mr. Richardson, and the dispute was bucked back to Washington. Secretary of State Dean Rusk and CIA Chief John A. McCone were unable to resolve the conflict, and the matter is now reported to be awaiting settlement by President Kennedy.

It is one of the developments expected to be covered in Defense Secretary Robert McNamara's report to Mr. Kennedy.

Others Critical, Too

Other American agencies here are incredibly bitter about the CIA.

"If the United States ever experiences a 'Seven Days in May' it will come from the CIA, and not from the Pentagon," one U.S. official commented caustically.

("Seven Days in May" is a fictional account of an attempted military coup to take over the U.S. Government.)

CIA "spooks" (a universal term for secret agents here) have penetrated every branch of the American community in Saigon, until non-spook Americans here almost seem to be suffering a CIA psychosis.

An American field officer with a distinguished combat career speaks angrily about "that man at headquarters in Saigon wearing a colonel's uniform." He means the man is a CIA agent, and he can't understand what he is doing at U.S. military headquarters here, unless it is spying on other Americans.

Another American officer, talking about the CIA, acidly commented: "You'd think they'd have learned something from Cuba but apparently they didn't."

Few Know CIA Strength

Few people other than Mr. Richardson and his close aides know the actual CIA strength here, but a widely used figure is 600. Many are clandestine agents known only to a few of their fellow spooks.

Even Mr. Richardson is a man about whom it is difficult to learn much in Saigon. He is said to be a former OSS officer, and to have served with distinction in the CIA in the Philippines.

A surprising number of the spooks are known to be involved in their ghostly trade and some make no secret of it.

"There are a number of spooks in the U.S. Information Service, in the U.S. Operations mission, in every aspect of American official and commercial life here, " one official - presumably a non-spook - said.

"They represent a tremendous power and total unaccountability to anyone," he added.

Coupled with the ubiquitous secret police of Ngo Dinh Nhu, a surfeit of spooks has given Saigon an oppressive police state atmosphere.

The Nhu-Richardson relationship is a subject of lively speculation. The CIA continues to pay the special forces which conducted brutal raids on Buddhist temples last Aug. 21, altho in fairness it should be pointed out that the CIA is paying these goons for the war against communist guerillas, not Buddhist bonzes (priests).

Hand Over Millions

Nevertheless, on the first of every month, the CIA dutifully hands over a quarter million American dollars to pay these special forces.

Whatever else it buys, it doesn't buy any solid information on what the special forces are up to. The Aug. 21 raids caught top U.S. officials here and in Washington flat-footed.

Nhu ordered the special forces to crush the Buddhist priests, but the CIA wasn't let in on the secret. (Some CIA button men now say they warned their superiors what was coming up, but in any event the warning of harsh repression was never passed to top officials here or in Washington.)

Consequently, Washington reacted unsurely to the crisis. Top officials here and at home were outraged at the news the CIA was paying the temple raiders, but the CIA continued the payments.

It may not be a direct subsidy for a religious war against the country's Buddhist majority, but it comes close to that.

And for every State Department aide here who will tell you, "Dammit, the CIA is supposed to gather information, not make policy, but policy-making is what they're doing here," there are military officers who scream over the way the spooks dabble in military operations.

A Typical Example

For example, highly trained trail watchers are an important part of the effort to end Viet Cong infiltration from across the Laos and Cambodia borders. But if the trailer watchers spot incoming Viet Congs, they report it to the CIA in Saigon, and in the fullness of time, the spooks may tell the military.

One very high American official here, a man who has spent much of his life in the service of democracy, likened the CIA's growth to a malignancy, and added he was not sure even the White House could control it any longer.

Unquestionably Mr. McNamara and Gen. Maxwell Taylor both got an earful from people who are beginning to fear the CIA is becoming a Third Force co-equal with President Diem's regime and the U.S. Government - and answerable to neither.

There is naturally the highest interest here as to whether Mr. McNamara will persuade Mr. Kennedy something ought to be done about it.

As it’s Christmas, put this in your stocking with it:
The New York World-Telegram & Sun, Tuesday, December 24, 1963, p.13

Truman and the CIA

By Richard Starnes

The murmuring chorus of Americans who are deeply concerned with the growing power and headlong wilfulness of the Central Intelligence Agency has been joined by former President Truman.

Mr. Truman must be accounted an expert witness in this matter, because it was under his administration that the CIA came into being. In a copyrighted article he wrote recently that the CIA had strayed wide of the purposes for which he had organized it.

"It has," he wrote, "become an operational and at times a policy-making arm of the government. This has led to trouble and may have compounded our difficulties in several explosive areas."

For writing substantially the same thing from South Viet Nam last fall, this reporter was (and still is) subjected to a calculated behind-the-scenes campaign of opprobrium at the hands of the CIA. So, indeed, has the United States' ambassador to Saigon been subjected to the same sort of behind-the-hand attack, on the theory that he was the source of my account of the CIA's heedless bureaucratic arrogance in Saigon.

Mr. Lodge, it is now charged by CIA apologists, destroyed the effectiveness of one of the CIA's most skilful agents. It is also charged that this reporter violated a gentleman's agreement in naming the agent.

Both charges are false, meaching and disingenuous.

The name of the agent, hurriedly summoned home from Saigon within 24 hours of my account of his stewardship of the huge spook operations, was John Richardson. In my several conversations with Ambassador Lodge, Richardson's name never passed between us.

It was, indeed, not necessary for any wayfaring journals to go to any such exalted figures to descry the activities of the CIA's station chief in Saigon. Richardson, a frequent visitor at the presidential palace and a close adviser to the devious and powerful Ngo Dinh Nhu, was widely known in the Vietnamese capital. Until Mr. Lodge replaced Frederick Nolting as ambassador, most knowledgeable Americans and sophisticated Vietnamese regarded Richardson as the most powerful foreigner in Viet Nam.

It is nonsense to say that Lodge destroyed Richardson's value as a CIA agent. In Saigon, Richardson was as clandestine as a calliope with a full head of steam. It is, moreover, a libel to allege (as high CIA officials have alleged) that this reporter violated an agreement to shield Richardson's identity. In all my assiduous inquiries about the man, never once was it suggested that there was an agreement to keep his identity secret. If there had been any such agreement, I would, of course, have respected it even though it would have been plainly absurd in view of Richardson's notoriety.

This is, unfortunately, more than a parochial dispute between a reporter and a writhing, unlovely bureaucracy. The President of the United States himself has been misled by the CIA mythology regarding just how and by whom Richardson's utility as chief resident spook was destroyed. Neither Lodge nor any journalist cast Richardson in his role in Saigon. If CIA chief John McCone really believes that his man in Saigon was compromised by my dispatches (and presumably he does believe this or he would not have planted and cultivated the tale as thoroughly as he has) then he does not know what is going on in the huge, bumbling apparatus he nominally leads.

Mr. Truman knows whereof he speaks. Wise in the ways of malignant bureaucracy, he knows that unfettered and unaccountable power such as is vested in the CIA is bound to feed upon itself until it poses a threat to the very free institutions it was founded to safeguard. No man alive knows the enormous power that is now vested in the CIA, nor the wealth it dispenses, nor the policy it makes. Most people in government would be appalled if they knew that already the CIA has overflowed its huge new headquarters building in McLean, Va., but it is fact that it has done.

There is far, far too much about the CIA that is unknown to far too many Americans. We will, occasionally and from time to time, twang this same sackbut. It is not a pretty tune it plays, but it is an important one.

Paul

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