This photo, taken about 30 seconds after the assassination of JFK, shows a Dallas policeman running toward the so-called “grassy knoll” where two young black people were having lunch.
A half-century ago, two young black people in Dallas found themselves eyewitnesses to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy — yet their voices have never been heard. Indeed, a half century later, even their names are unknown.
This young man and woman were sitting on the spot famously dubbed “the grassy knoll” on November 22, 1963. They had a front row seat for a key moment in 20th century U.S. history: the murder of a popular liberal president.
“I think that the report, to those who have studied it closely, has collapsed like a house of cards, and I think the people who read it in the long-run future will see that. I frankly believe that we have shown that the [investigation of the] John F. Kennedy assassination was snuffed out before it even began, and that the fatal mistake the Warren Commission made was not to use its own investigators, but instead to rely on the CIA and FBI personnel, which played directly into the hands of senior intelligence officials who directed the cover-up.”
Howard Willens, former staff attorney on the Warren Commission, remains one of its most vigorous public defenders 50 years later. As I reported yesterday, he agreed to answer questions from JFK Facts via email. Because all of the questions were submitted at once, there were no follow up questions. In any case, my intent was not to conduct a hostile interrogation but to elicit his thoughts and hopefully start a dialogue. (I found his journal from 1964, which he has posted on his website, to be a valuable document for understanding the limitations of the Commission’s approach to its investigation.)
Howard Willens, a former Warren Commission staffer, acknowledged in a an email interview with JFK Facts that deputy CIA director Richard Helms was “not truthful” with the Commission and there is “no doubt” that counterintelligence chief James Angleton did not cooperate with the inquiry into JFK’s assassination.
While vigorously defending the Commission’s conclusions, Willens admitted he was naive about the CIA. Asked about a passage in his journal from March 1964 in which he wrote that senior CIA officials “did not have an axe to grind” in the commission’s investigation, Willens acknowledged “my comments about the CIA were naive to say the least.”
Not sure anyone wants to hear from an “irresponsible fanatic” (I’ve been called worse things) — especially one who hardly followed the JFK controversy for 25 or so years after working for the House Select Committee on Assassinations in 1978, but I want to add to the point of a recent JFK Facts post: the CIA chose to wait out the Wareen Commisions
Hollywood’s cinema of assssination, as inspired by the death of JFK, takes two different forms: conspiratorial and sociopathic. Both will be on display at a multiplex near you later this year if and when Tom Hanks’s “Parkland” and Leonardo di Caprio’s “Legacy of Secrecy” open. Hanks’s hospital drama will depict JFK as the victim of a lone sociopath while DiCaprio’s mob flick will likely finger Carlos Marcello and other organized crime bosses.
From Shane O’Sullivan, director of the excellent documentary, “Killing Oswald,” and editor of Doug Horne’s fascinating interview with CIA photo analyst Dino Brugioni, comes another revelation: tapes of George de Mohrenschildt talking about his friend Lee Oswald.
One dissenter from the Warren Commission was Winston Scott, the powerful chief of the CIA’s Mexico City station in 1963.
Our Man in Mexico tells his story. There is no theory in Jefferson Morley’s critically-acclaimed biography, just the compelling life story of a decorated CIA spymaster who knew that a key claim in the Warren Commission report was false--and dared to say so.