On The Assassination
Minority of One, September 6, 1964, pp. 6-8.
official version of the assassination of President Kennedy has
been so riddled with contradictions that it is been abandoned
and rewritten no less than three times. Blatant fabrications
have received very widespread coverage by the mass media, but
denials of these same lies have gone unpublished. Photographs,
evidence and affidavits have been doctored out of recognition.
Some of the most important aspects of the case against Lee Harvey
Oswald have been completely blacked out. Meanwhile, the F.B.I.,
the police and the Secret Service have tried to silence key
witnesses or instruct them what evidence to give. Others involved
have disappeared or died in extraordinary circumstances.
is facts such as these that demand attention, and which the
Warren Commission should have regarded as vital. Although I
am writing before the publication of the Warren Commission’s
report, leaks to the press have made much of its contents predictable.
Because of the high office of its members and the fact of its
establishment by President Johnson, the Commission has been
widely regarded as a body of holy men appointed to pronounce
the truth. An impartial examination of the composition and conduct
of the Commission suggests quite otherwise.
Warren Commission has been utterly unrepresentative of the American
people. It consisted of two Democrats, Senator Russell of Georgia
and Congressman Boggs of Louisiana, both of whose racist views
have brought shame on the United States; two Republicans, Senator
Cooper of Kentucky and Congressman Gerald R. Ford of Michigan,
the latter of whom is a leader of his local Goldwater movement
and an associate of the F.B.I.; Allen Dulles, former director
of the Central Intelligence Agency, and Mr. McCloy, who has
been referred to as the spokesman for the business community.
Leadership of the filibuster in the Senate against the Civil
Rights Bill prevented Senator Russell from attending hearings
during the period. The Chief Justice of the United States Supreme
Court, Earl Warren, who rightly commands respect, was finally
persuaded, much against his will, to preside over the Commission,
and it was his involvement above all else that helped lend the
Commission an aura of legality and authority. Yet many of its
members were also members of those very groups which have done
so much to distort and suppress the facts about the assassination.
Because of their connection with the Government, not one member
would have been permitted under U.S. law to serve on a jury
had Oswald faced trial. It is small wonder that the Chief Justice
himself remarked that the release of some of the Commission’s
information “might not be in your lifetime” Here, then, is my
first question: Why were all the members of the Warren Commission
closely connected with the U.S. Government?
the composition of the Commission was suspect, its conduct confirmed
one’s worst fears. No counsel was permitted to act for Oswald,
so that cross-examination was barred. Later, under pressure,
the Commission appointed the President of the American Bar Association,
Walter Craig, one of the supporters of the Goldwater movement
in Arizona, to represent Oswald. To my knowledge, he did not
attend hearings, but satisfied himself with representation by
the name of national security, the Commission’s hearings were
held in secret, thereby continuing the policy which has marked
the entire course of the case. This prompts my second question:
If, as we are told, Oswald was the lone assassin, where is the
issue of national security? Indeed, precisely the same question
must be put here as was posed in France during the Dreyfus case:
If the Government is so certain of its case, why has it conducted
all its inquiries in the strictest secrecy?
the outset the Commission appointed six panels through which
it would conduct its enquiry. They considered: (1) What did
Oswald do on November 22, 1963? (2) What was Oswald’s background?
(3) What did Oswald do in the U.S. Marine Corps, and in the
Soviet Union? (4) How did Ruby kill Oswald? (5) What is Ruby’s
background? (6) What efforts were taken to protect the President
on November 22? This raises my fourth question: Why did the
Warren Commission not establish a panel to deal with the question
of who killed President Kennedy?
the evidence given to the Commission has been classified “Top
Secret,” including even a request that hearings be held in public.
Despite this the Commission itself leaked much of the evidence
to the press, though only if the evidence tended to prove Oswald
the lone assassin. Thus, Chief Justice Warren held a press conference
after Oswald’s wife, Marina, had testified. He said, that she
believed her husband was the assassin. Before Oswald’s brother
Robert testified, he gained the Commission’s agreement not to
comment on what he said. After he had testified for two days,
the newspapers were full of stories that “a member of the Commission”
had told the press that Robert Oswald had just testified that
he believed that his brother was an agent of the Soviet Union.
Robert Oswald was outraged by this, and he said that he could
not remain silent while lies were told about his testimony.
He had never said this and he had never believed it. All that
he had told the Commission was that he believed his brother
was innocent and was in no way involved in the assassination.
methods adopted by the Commission have indeed been deplorable,
but it is important to challenge the entire role of the Warren
Commission. It stated that it would not conduct its own investigation,
but rely instead on the existing governmental agencies—the F.B.I.,
the Secret Service and the Dallas police. Confidence in the
Warren Commission thus presupposes confidence in these three
institutions. Why have so many liberals abandoned their own
responsibility to a Commission whose circumstances they refuse
is known that the strictest and most elaborate security precautions
ever taken for a President of the United States were ordered
for November 22 in Dallas. The city had a reputation for violence
and was the home of some of the most extreme right-wing fanatics
in America. Mr. and Mrs. Lyndon Johnson had been assailed there
in 1960 when he was a candidate for the Vice-Presidency. Adlai
Stevenson had been physically attacked when he spoke in the
city only a month before Kennedy’s visit. On the morning of
November 22, the Dallas Morning News carried a full-page advertisement
associating the President with Communism. The city was covered
with posters showing the President’s picture and headed “Wanted
for Treason.” The Dallas list of subversives comprised 23 names,
of which Oswald’s was the first. All of them were followed that
day, except Oswald. Why did the authorities follow many persons
as potential assassins and fail to observe Oswald’s entry into
the book depository building while allegedly carrying a rifle
over three feet long?
President’s route for his drive through Dallas was widely known
and was printed in the Dallas Morning News on November 22. At
the last minute the Secret Service changed a small part of their
plans so that the President left Main Street and turned into
Houston and Elm Streets. This alteration took the President
past the book depository building from which it is alleged that
Oswald shot him. How Oswald is supposed to have known of this
change has never been explained. Why was the President’s route
changed at the last minute to take him past Oswald’s place of
the assassination and Oswald’s arrest, judgment was pronounced
swiftly: Oswald was the assassin, and he had acted alone. No
attempt was made to arrest others, no road blocks were set up
round the area, and every piece of evidence which tended to
incriminate Oswald was announced to the press by the Dallas
District Attorney, Mr. Wade. In such a way millions of people
were prejudiced against Oswald before there was any opportunity
for him to be brought to trial. The first theory announced by
the authorities was that the President’s car was in Houston
Street, approaching the book depository building, when Oswald
opened fire. When available photographs and eyewitnesses had
shown this to be quite untrue, the theory was abandoned and
a new one formulated which placed the vehicle in its correct
position. Meanwhile, however, D.A. Wade had announced that three
days after Oswald’s room in Dallas had been searched, a map
had been found there on which the book depository building had
been circled and dotted lines drawn from the building to a vehicle
on Houston Street, showing the alleged bullet trajectory had
been planned in advance. After the first theory was proved false,
the Associated Press put out the following story on November
27: “Dallas authorities announced today that there never was
second theory correctly placed the President’s car on Elm Street,
50 to 75 yards past the book depository, but had to contend
with the difficulty that the President was shot from the front,
in the throat. How did Oswald manage to shoot the President
in the front from behind? The F.B.I. held a series of background
briefing sessions for Life magazine, which in its issue of December
6 explained that the President had turned completely round just
at the time he was shot. This too, was soon shown to be entirely
false. It was denied by several witnesses and films, and the
previous issue of Life itself had shown the President looking
forward as he was hit. Theory number two was abandoned.
order to retain the basis of all official thinking, that Oswald
was the lone assassin, it now became necessary to construct
a third theory with the medical evidence altered to fit it.
For the first month no Secret Service agent had ever spoken
to the three doctors who had tried to save Kennedy’s life in
the Parkland Memorial Hospital. Now two agents spent three hours
with the doctors and persuaded them that they were all misinformed:
the entrance wound in the President’s throat had been an exit
wound, and the bullet had not ranged down towards the lungs.
Asked by the press how they could have been so mistaken, Dr.
McClelland advanced two reasons: they had not seen the autopsy
report—and they had not known that Oswald was behind the President!
The autopsy report, they had been told by the Secret Service,
showed that Kennedy had been shot from behind. The agents, however,
had refused to show the report to the doctors, who were entirely
dependent on the word of the Secret Service for this suggestion.
The doctors made it clear that they were not permitted to discuss
the case. The third theory, with the medical evidence rewritten,
remains the basis of the case against Oswald at this moment.
Why has the medical evidence concerning the President’s death
been altered out of recognition?
Oswald is alleged to have shot the President from behind, there
are many witnesses who are confident that the shots came from
the front. Among them are two reporters from the Forth Worth
Star Telegram, four from the Dallas Morning News, and two people
who were standing in front of the book depository building itself,
the director of the book depository and the vice-president of
the firm. It appears that only two people immediately entered
the building: the director, Mr. Roy S. Truly, and a Dallas police
officer, Seymour Weitzman. Both thought that the shots had come
from in front of the President’s vehicle. On first running in
that direction, Weitzman was informed by “someone” that he thought
the shots had come from the building, so he rushed back there.
Truly entered with him in order to assist with his knowledge
of the building. Mr. Jesse Curry, the Chief of Police in Dallas,
has stated that he was immediately convinced that the shots
came from the building. If anyone else believes this, he has
been reluctant to say so to date. It is also known that the
first bulletin to go out on Dallas police radios stated that
“the shots came from a triple overpass in front of the presidential
automobile.” In addition, there is the consideration that after
the first shot the vehicle was brought almost to a halt by the
trained Secret Service driver, an unlikely response if the shots
had indeed come from behind. Certainly Mr. Roy Kellerman, who
was in charge of the Secret Service operation in Dallas that
day, and travelled in the presidential car, looked to the front
as the shots were fired. The Secret Service has had all the
evidence removed from the car, so it is no longer possible to
examine it. What is the evidence to substantiate the allegation
that the President was shot from behind?
taken at the scene of the crime could be most helpful. One young
lady standing just to the left of the presidential car as the
shots were fired took photographs of the vehicle just before
and during the shooting, and was thus able to get into her picture
the entire front of the book depository building. Two F.B.I.
agents immediately took the film which she took. Why has the
F.B.I. refused to publish what could be the most reliable piece
of evidence in the whole case?
this connection it is noteworthy also that it is impossible
to obtain the originals of photographs bearing upon the case.
When Time magazine published a photograph of Oswald’s arrest—the
only one ever seen—the entire background was blacked out for
reasons which have never been explained. It is difficult to
recall an occasion for so much falsification of photographs
as has happened in the Oswald case.
affidavit by Police Office Weitzman, who entered the book depository
building, stated that he found the alleged murder rifle on the
sixth floor. (It was first announced that the rifle had been
found on the fifth floor, but this was soon altered.) It was
a German 7.65 mm. Mauser. Late the following day, the F.B.I.
issued its first proclamation. Oswald had purchased in March
1963 an Italian 6.5 mm. Mannlicher-Carcano. D.A. Wade immediately
altered the nationality and size of the weapon to conform to
the F.B.I. statement.
photographs have been published of the alleged murder weapon.
On February 21, Life magazine carried on its cover a picture
of “Lee Oswald with the weapons he used to kill President Kennedy
and Officer Tippitt [sic].” On page 80, Life explained that
the photograph was taken during March or April of 1963. According
to the F.B.I., Oswald purchased his pistol in September 1963.
The New York Times carried a picture of the alleged murder weapon
being taken by police into the Dallas police station. The rifle
is quite different. Experts have stated that no rifle resembling
the one in the Life picture has even been manufactured. The
New York Times also carried the same photograph as Life, but
left out the telescopic sights. On March 2, Newsweek used the
same photograph but painted in an entirely new rifle. Then on
April 13 the Latin American edition of Life carried the same
picture on its cover as the U.S. edition had on February 21,
but in the same issue on page 18 it had the same picture with
the rifle altered. How is it that millions of people have been
misled by complete forgeries in the press?
authorities interrogated Oswald for nearly 48 hours without
allowing him to contact a lawyer, despite his repeated requests
to do so. The director of the F.B.I. in Dallas was a man with
considerable experience. American Civil Liberties Union lawyers
were in Dallas requesting to see Oswald and were not allowed
to do so. By interrogating Oswald for 48 hours without access
to lawyers, the F.B.I. created conditions which made a trial
of Oswald more difficult. A confession or evidence obtained
from a man held 48 hours in custody is likely to be inadmissible
in a U.S. court of law. The F.B.I. director conducted his interrogation
in a manner which made the use of material secured in such a
fashion worthless to him. This raises the question of whether
he expected the trial to take place.
falsehood concerning the shooting was a story circulated by
the Associated Press on November 23 from Los Angeles. This reported
Oswald’s former superior officer in the Marine Corps as saying
that Oswald was a crack shot and a hot-head. The story was published
widely. Three hours later AP sent out a correction deleting
the entire story from Los Angeles. The officer had checked his
records and it had turned out that he was talking about another
man. He had never known Oswald. To my knowledge the correction
has yet to be published by a single major publication.
Dallas police took a paraffin test on Oswald’s face and hands
to try to establish that he had fired a weapon on November 22.
The Chief of the Dallas Police, Jesse Curry, announced on November
23 that the result of the test “proves Oswald is the assassin.”
The Director of the F.B.I. in the Dallas-Fort Worth area in
charge of the investigation stated: “I have seen the paraffin
test. The paraffin test proves that Oswald had nitrates and
gunpowder on his hands and face. It proves he fired a rifle
on November 22.” Not only does this unreliable test not prove
any such thing, it was later discovered that the test on Oswald’s
face was in fact negative, suggesting that it was unlikely he
fired a rifle that day. Why was the result of the paraffin test
altered before being announced by the authorities?
it will be recalled, was originally arrested and charged with
the murder of Patrolman Tippitt [sic]. Tippitt was killed at
1:06 p.m. on November 22 by a man who first engaged him in conversation,
then caused him to get out of the stationary police car in which
he was sitting and shot him with a pistol Miss Helen L. Markham,
who states that she is the sole eye-witness to this crime, gave
the Dallas police a description of the assailant. After signing
her affidavit, she was instructed by the F.B.I., the Secret
Service and many police officers that she was not permitted
to discuss the case with anyone. The affidavit’s only description
of the killer was that he was a “young white man.” Miss Markham
later revealed that the killer had run right up to her and past
her, brandishing the pistol, and she repeated the description
of the murderer which she had given to the police. He was, she
said, “short, a little heavy, and had somewhat bushy hair.”
(The police description of Oswald was that he was of average
height, or a little taller, was slim and had receding fair hair.)
Miss Markham’s affidavit is the entire case against Oswald for
the murder of Patrolman Tippitt, yet District Attorney Wade
asserted: “We have more evidence to prove Oswald killed Tippit
than we have to show he killed the President.” The case against
Oswald for the murder of Tippitt, he continued, was an absolutely
strong case. Why was the only description of Tippitt’s killer
deliberately omitted by the police from the affidavit of the
description was broadcast by the Dallas police only 12 minutes
after the President was shot. This raises one of the most extraordinary
questions ever posed in a murder case: Why was Oswald’s description
in connection with the murder of Patrolman Tippitt broadcast
over Dallas police radio at 12:43 p.m. on November 22, when
Tippitt was not shot until 1:06 p.m.?
to Mr. Bob Considine, writing in the New York Journal American,
there had been another person who had heard the shots that were
fired at Tippitt. Warren Reynolds had heard shooting in the
street from a nearby room and had rushed to the window to see
the murderer run off. Reynolds himself was later shot through
the head by a rifleman. A man was arrested for this crime but
produced an alibi. His girl-friend, Betty Mooney McDonald, told
the police she had been with him at the time Reynolds was shot,
according to Mr. Considine. The Dallas police immediately dropped
the charges, even before Reynolds had time to recover consciousness,
and attempt to identify his assailant. The man at once disappeared,
and two days later the police arrested Betty Mooney McDonald
on a minor charge and it was announced that she had hanged herself
in the police cell. She had been a striptease artist in Jack
Ruby’s nightclub, according to Mr. Considine.
witness to receive extraordinary treatment in the Oswald case
was his wife, Marina. She was taken to the jail while her husband
was still alive and shown a rifle by Chief of Police Jesse Curry.
Asked if it were Oswald’s, she replied that she believed Oswald
had a rifle but that it didn’t look like that. She and her mother-in-law
were in great danger following the assassination because of
the threat of public revenge on them. At this time they were
unable to obtain a single police officer to protect them. Immediately
after Oswald was killed, however, the Secret service illegally
held both women against their will. After three days they were
separated and Marina has never again been accessible to the
public. Held in custody for nine weeks and questioned almost
daily by the F.B.I. and Secret Service, she finally testified
to the Warren Commission and, according to Earl Warren, said
that she believed her husband was the assassin. The Chief Justice
added that the next day they intended to show Mrs. Oswald the
murder weapon and the Commission was fairly confident that she
would identify it as her husband’s. The following day it was
announced that this had indeed happened. Mrs. Oswald, we are
informed, is still in the custody of the Secret Service. To
isolate a witness for nine weeks and to subject her to repeated
questioning by the Secret Service in this manner is reminiscent
of police behavior in other countries, where it is called brainwashing.
The only witness produced to show that Oswald carried a rifle
before the assassination stated that he saw a brown paper parcel
about two feet long in the back seat of Oswald’s car. The rifle
which the police “produced” was almost 3½ feet long.
How was it possible for Earl Warren to forecast that Marina
Oswald’s evidence would be exactly the reverse of what she had
Ruby had killed Oswald, D.A. Wade made a statement about Oswald’s
movements following the assassination. He explained that Oswald
had taken a bus, but he described the point at which Oswald
had entered the vehicle as seven blocks away from the point
located by the bus driver in his affidavit. Oswald, Wade continued,
then took a taxi driven by a Daryll Click, who had signed an
affidavit. An inquiry at the City Transportation Company revealed
that no such taxi driver had ever existed in Dallas. Presented
with this evidence, Wade altered the driver’s name to William
Whaley. The driver’s log book showed that a man answering Oswald’s
description had been picked up at 12:30. The President was shot
at 12:31. D.A. Wade made no mention of this. Wade has been D.A.
in Dallas for 14 years and before that was an F.B.I. agent.
How does a District Attorney of Wade’s great experience account
for all the extraordinary changes in evidence and testimony
which he has announced during the Oswald case?
are only a few of the questions raised by the official versions
of the assassination and by the way in which the entire case
against Oswald has been conducted. Sixteen questions are no
substitute for a full examination of all the factors in this
case, but I hope that they indicate the importance of such an
investigation. I am indebted to Mr. Mark Lane, the New York
criminal lawyer who was appointed counsel for Oswald by his
mother, for much of the information in this article. Mr. Lane’s
enquiries, which are continuing, deserve widespread support.
A Citizen’s Committee of Inquiry has been established in New
York, at Room 422, 156 Fifth Avenue, New York. N.Y. (telephone
YU9-6850) for such a purpose, and comparable committees are
being set up in Europe.
Britain, I invited people eminent in the intellectual life of
the country to join a “Who Killed Kennedy Committee,” which
at the moment of writing consists of the following people: Mr.
John Arden, playwright; Mrs. Carolyn Wedgwood Benn, from Cincinnati,
wife of Anthony Wedgwood Benn, M.P.; Lord Boyd-Orr, former director-general
of the U.N. Food and Agricultural Organization and a Nobel Peace
Prize winner; Mr. John Calder, publisher; Professor William
Empsom, Professor of English Literature at Sheffield University;
Mr. Victor Golancz, publisher; Mr. Michael Foot, Member of Parliament;
Mr. Kingsley Martin, former editor of the New Statesman; Sir
Compton Mackenzie, writer; Mr. J.B. Priestley, playwright and
author; Sir Herbert Read, art critic; Mr. Tony Richardson, film
director; Dr. Mervyn Stockwood, Bishop of Southwark; Professor
Hugh Trevor-Roper, Regius Professor of Modern History at Oxford
University; Mr. Kenneth Tynan, Literary Manager of the National
Theatre; and myself.
view the problem with the utmost seriousness. U.S. Embassies
have long ago reported to Washington world-wide disbelief in
the official charges against Oswald, but this has scarcely been
reflected by the American press. No U.S. television program
or mass circulation newspaper has challenged the permanent basis
of all the allegations—that Oswald was the assassin, and that
he acted alone. It is a task which is left to the American people.
Stone's self-proclaimed "countermyth," JFK mocks
the doubtful veracity of the Warren Commission's
findings on the Kennedy assassination and summmarizes
some of the myriad theories that have been proposed
in its stead. Focusing on the investigation by New
Orleans district attorney Jim Garrison into the
activities of the FBI and other government agencies
as well as their attempted cover-ups, Stone weaves
fact and speculation into a compelling argument
for the reopening of the case files.
The Movie Trailer To Oliver Stone's "JFK"
Men Who Killed Kennedy
medical technician who was at the autopsy states categorically
that the body he saw was not the one shown in the
official photographs. The mortician who buried Lee
Harvey Oswald reveals a startling discovery made 18
years later. A highly decorated Army officer says
he was trained to eliminate key witnesses... Forty
years after JFK was shot in Dallas, controversy rages
around his assassination. The Men Who Killed Kennedy,
an authoritative six-part series drawing on exclusive
interviews with highly placed government sources and
independent investigators, is the most comprehensive
examination of the case ever filmed.
The Complete Story in 6 Parts:
The Coup d'Etat - A medical technician casts doubts
on the official autopsy photographs, and photo analysis
undermines the lone gunman theory.
The Forces of Darkness - See two shadowy figures on
the grassy knoll, and find out about the "lost"
home movie that contained key evidence.
The Cover-Up - An FBI agent confirms that evidence
has been suppressed, and a notorious criminal is confronted
about his possible role.
The Patsy - Witness Oswald's reaction when charged
with the shooting, and the mortician who buried the
alleged assassin reveals what he discovered 18 years
The Witnesses - The people who were there - but who
the government chose to ignore - tell their versions
of what happened at Dealey Plaza.The Truth Shall Set
You Free - See conclusive proof that the official
autopsy photos were faked, and hear from an Army Colonel
who says he was trained to eliminate witnesses to