Q&A with Howard Willens, Warren Commission defender

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.)

Now let’s hear from him.

David Belin and Howard Willens

Howard Willens, right, and fellow Warren Commissioner investigator David Belin at the Texas School Book Depository in March 1964.

JFKFacts: As you have gone around the country, promoting “History Will Prove Us  Right” what, if anything, have you learned about public understanding of JFK’s assassination?

HW: My public presentations have, for the most part, been well attended – usually with 100-200 participants. There does seem to be a genuine interest in hearing a reasoned presentation of what the Warren Commission did and how it reached its conclusions that Oswald was the person who fired the two shots and that there was no credible evidence that he was part of some conspiracy. These audiences – to speak in general terms – appeared not to be well informed about the several investigations over the past decades that have reexamined – and confirmed – the conclusions of the Warren Commission.

JFKFacts: You said that Mark Lane’s appearance before the Commission was “dramatic but empty.” Fifty years later, you guys are still going at it. What two adjectives would you use to describe Mark Lane in 2013?

HW: I am not engaged in any debate with Mark Lane. As I described in the last chapter of my book, two of my former colleagues debated with Lane in either 1966 or 1967. One of them, Professor Liebeler of the UCLA Law School, accused Lane of traveling around the country “telling lies for money” or something to that effect. When Lane threatened a lawsuit, Professor Liebeler said, in effect, “bring it on.”  Lane never served any papers or was prepared to defend his allegations in court. I concurred then, and now, with the assessment of my deceased former colleague.

JFKFacts: You wrote on in your journal on March 12, 1964, “I consider the CIA representatives to be among the more competent people in government who I have ever dealt with. They articulate, they are specialists and they seem to have a broad view of government. This may be, of course, because they do not have a special axes to grind in the Commission’s investigation.”

With the benefit of hindsight, is it accurate to say that the CIA did not have an axe to grind in the Commission’s investigation?

Richard Helms,

Richard Helms: ‘not truthful.’

HW:  I agree that my journal comments about the CIA were naïve, to say the least. As you probably know, the CIA officials who were designated to work closely with the Warren Commission later testified that they personally did not know about the assassination plots being considered by the agency during the 1960-63 period. Deputy Director for Plans Richard Helms, of course, did know about the plots and did not tell the truth to the Warren Commission when he testified. It is clear that the CIA “did have an axe to grind” during our investigation.

JFKFacts: For example, the Commission did not know that in the month before JFK was killed deputy CIA director Richard Helms had dispatched officers Desmond Fitzgerald and Nestor Sanchez to meet with Rolando Cubela, a former Castro ally who indicated a willingness to assassinate Castro.

In retrospect, how would you describe Dick Helms’s testimony to the Commission? 

HW: Helms’s testimony before the Commission was not truthful and did not comply with President Johnson’s mandate in the executive order creating the Warren Commission that all federal agencies should cooperate fully with the Commission.

JFKFacts: Former CIA analyst Brian Latell argues that Cubela was a double agent reporting back to Castro and that Oswald made his intention to kill JFK known to Cuban intelligence officers. Lattell ratifies the Commission’s findings about the crime scene but is a revisionist on Oswald’s motivation raising the possibility of Cuban material support.

 If you know of Latell’s argument, what’s your assessment of it?

HW: I do not know whether Cubela or any other Cuban official was a double agent, although I think the evidence does indicate that Castro was aware generally of the CIA’s interest in ending his regime and, indeed, his life. I do not think there is any credible evidence that Oswald, after being turned down at the Cuban Consulate in Mexico City, threatened that he would kill President Kennedy. Neither the consulate officer in charge at the time nor Sylvia Duran so stated to the Mexican officials who interviewed them or in later investigations of Oswald’s visit to Mexico City.

Castro made this allegation in a speech shortly after the assassination, during which among other things he offered his theory that Oswald could not have fired the three shots and that US officials should be looking for his associates who were involved in the assassination.

I do not think that Castro was involved in providing any kind of support to Oswald’s plan to kill President Kennedy. Such a course of action by Castro, if known, would have certainly resulted in his downfall. In addition to the implausibility of anyone engaging Oswald to engage in such an effort, there are the important facts that (a) he was not employed at the Depository at the time of his visit to Mexico City; (b) the route for the motorcade was not publicized until November 19, and (c) Oswald wrote a threatening note to the FBI Office in Dallas about two weeks [Editor's note: actually it was one week] before the assassination – an unlikely move by a committed assassin.

JFKFacts: The CIA’s Office of Security opened a file on Oswald in December 1959. In December 1960, the Special Investigations Group (SIG) of the agency’s Counterintelligence Staff opened a 201 file on Oswald in December 1960, which incorporated the OS file. By November 1963, SIG had received 5 FBI reports, a half dozen  State Department cables, and a CIA cable on Oswald.

Did you know of the SIG’s interest in Oswald during your investigation? 

James Angleton

James Angleton: ‘not responsive.’

HW: Yes, we were aware of this CIA interest. Actually, it seems perfectly appropriate for the CIA to open a file on a defector to the Soviet Union in 1959 and then seek to follow Oswald’s activities upon his return to the US in 1962. A member of the Commission staff reviewed the CIA files on Oswald during our investigation. The House Select Committee on Assassinations, which had information about the CIA (including its assassination plots) that we did not have, conducted a thorough investigation of the agency’s relationship with Oswald and concluded there was no evidence that the CIA was involved in any conspiracy to assassinate President Kennedy.

JFKFacts: Do you think that the Commission should have taken the testimony of James Angleton, the chief of the Counterintelligence Staff ?

HW: I see no reason why the Commission should have asked Angleton to testify before it.  Deputy Director Helms was the responsible official at the CIA and there is little doubt that Angleton, if called, would have been as non-responsive as Helms.

JFKFacts: True or False or matter of opinion? Kennedy’s assassination was the culmination of a counterintelligence failure for which Angleton and Helms should have lost their jobs.

HW: False. As indicated above, I do not believe that Castro or his government was involved in the assassination of President Kennedy.

JFKFacts: Edward Butler, the executive director of the Information Council of the Americas, was not called as a witness by the Warren Commission. It was Butler who made a tape of Oswald’s August 1963 radio appearance, and it was Butler who gave the tape to news reporters on the afternoon of November 22 enabling radio and television to disseminate indisputable proof that the suspected assassin was a Marxist and a supporter of Castro. 

Do you recall why the Commission didn’t call Butler?

HW: I have no idea why he was not called. Of course, there was a public record of this program and that might have influenced the judgment of the lawyers working in this area. Nonetheless, he certainly would have been a good candidate for a deposition by one of our lawyers and some effort might have been made in his direction. I simply do not have an answer to this question.

Warren Commission

Presentation of the Warren Commission report to President Johnson, September 1964.

JFKFacts:  A quote from your journal shows your awareness of the role of the Warren Commission report in shaping historical consciousness.

“Mr. Rankin also told me that he had raised with the Commission the problem of Archives handling of Commission materials. There is apparently a feeling among the members of the Commission that it would be desirable if all the material of the Commission were not available to the public for a year or two after the report comes out. They suggest that the organization and the screening of these materials will take this long, but of course the principal interest here is making sure that sufficient time elapses before any real critics can get access to material [emphasis added] other than those which the Commission desires to publish simultaneous with its report. Apparently the Chief Justice intends to talk with the National Archivist on this subject.

To me the italicized observation indicates that you wanted to make sure that the Commission’s report was the dominant narrative of JFK’s assassination without competition from possibly less-qualified critics who analyzed the evidence differently. This is not criticism. The Commission found the truth as nearly as it could be discerned by the most qualified people in Washington, and you believed the American people needed that truth more than anything else.

Yet within a couple of years, the critics of the Commission got access to the Commission’s material and almost immediately had gained the upper hand, at least in terms of public opinion.

HW: I believe that this journal entry does a disservice to the Warren Commission. I think the Commission’s intentions regarding the publication of its material should be assessed by what it did, rather than what some members might have been thinking at an earlier time. Less than two months after issuance of its report in late September 1964, the Commission published 26 volumes of investigatory material – including the testimony, affidavits, and statements of 552 witnesses; more than 3,000 exhibits; all expert reports considered by the Commission; and some of the most important agency reports submitted to the Commission. So, the critics who were eagerly awaiting the materials allegedly supporting the Commission’s findings had to wait less than two months to get access to these 26 volumes.

In addition, Chief Justice Warren learned early in 1965 that the National Archives was not processing all the other Commission materials delivered to that institution with a view of making them available to the public. Warren asked President Johnson to instruct the National Archives to override its customary policies in this regard and process the Warren Commission materials for release to the public that were not classified. By the time of the JFK Act in 1992, about 98% of the Warren Commission’s papers were available for inspection at the National Archives.

I think that this commitment by the Commission to public disclosure is not generally acknowledged.

JFKFacts: With the benefit of hindsight, is there anything you think the Commission should have done to make its findings more credible?

I have no useful thoughts about what more the Commission could have done “to make its findings more credible.” The fact is – and all the evidence so indicates – these findings were well supported at the time and no contrary evidence has emerged after 50 years to undercut them.

JM: Now 50 years later, every poll shows that a majority of Americans reject the Commission’s findings. When it comes to JFK, are Americans, in your view,  a) irrational; b)  misinformed; c) credulous d) all of the above e) none of the above.

HW: I think that with the passage of time the findings of the Warren Commission will become more acceptable. As with the Lincoln assassination, there will always be conspiracy theories urged by those unwilling to accept the Commission’s findings. As Vincent Bugliosi has written, challenging the Commission’s conclusions has the characteristics of a religious endeavor – like seeking the Holy Grail – and persons who have committed their lives to such an effort will never be persuaded that it is not a worthy and necessary venture.

 

 

76 comments

  1. Shane McBryde says:

    HW: “I think that with the passage of time the findings of the Warren Commission will become more acceptable.”

    This is, has been and will likely remain demonstrably false.

    On another subject, today is the anniversary of RFK’s assassination, which I believed is linked with JFK’s. That having been said, Jeff, here’s a link to a piece I wrote some years ago on the then 42nd anniversary of RFK’s death. I’d love to have your thoughts on what I wrote, if of course you have the time. http://voices.yahoo.com/42-years-since-murder-robert-6167832.html

  2. Alan Dale says:

    For an informed alternate assessment of the Warren Commission’s methods and practices, my interview with Professor Gerald D. McKnight may be heard here:

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

    Professor McKnight is the author of Breach of Trust: How The Warren Commission Failed The Nation And Why (updated 2013 paperback edition).

    • Shane McBryde says:

      Alan,

      Just to let you know I have listened to your interview of McKnight maybe 10 times or more. I love it, it’s a great interview with lots of very interesting nuggets., hence the reason I listen to it so frequently. Also, McKnight strikes me as not the easiest person the world to interview and you did a great job with him!

      Thanks,

      Shane.

  3. Jonathan says:

    Just one question for Howard Willens. How did the barrel of the alleged murder rifle become so rusted in fewer than 24 hours?

    FBI’s Robert Frazier said one round fired through the barrel would have cleaned out all the corrosion. On the morning of November 23 Frazier inspected the rifle and did not bother testing to see whether it had been fired recently, the barrel was so corroded.

    If you don’t have a satisfactory answer to the question, please explain why the Warren Report conclusions make sense.

    Silence, of course.

  4. Ronny Wayne says:

    Excellent book. The outer cover slip on the original hard copy is intriguing. The commissioners around a conference table setting up straight or leaning slightly forward, some with hands on the table and stoic looks on their faces. All but Dulles. He’s leaning back with an arm hooked over the back of the chair and what looks like a faint grin or smirk on his face. Like the cat that ate the canary.

  5. George Simmons says:

    HW : “The HSCA…conducted a thorough investigation of the Agency’s relationship with Oswald…”

    I feel it is somewhat disingenuous of Mr Willens to state this considering what we now know about the HSCA investigation.
    The HSCA did not know that the DRE were CIA assets.
    The HSCA did not know the role of George Joannides in 1963.

    George Blakey, Chief Counsel for the HSCA : “..I no longer believe that we were able to conduct an appropriate investigation of the Agency and its relationship to Oswald”

  6. Marcus Hanson says:

    Jeff,did he get your point?

    Re:

    “JFKFacts: True or False or matter of opinion? Kennedy’s assassination was the culmination of a counterintelligence failure for which Angleton and Helms should have lost their jobs.

    HW: False. As indicated above, I do not believe that Castro or his government was involved in the assassination of President Kennedy.”

    I’m not sure that he did: it seems he’s assumed,wrongly but not unreasonably,that you imply a Cuban plot which the CIA failed to uncover -or failed to address.

    The “cointel failure” speculation still holds , however ,if -as you believe – pre-assassination knowledge of Oswald’s activities was not passed to the FBI/SS/DPD.

    I don’t believe there was a conspiracy to murder President Kennedy.
    But I believe that various agencies withheld what they knew from the WC to protect reputations.
    Why are they still keen to withhold information today?
    The “sources and methods” argument is valid,but I think there are other reasons for their reticence.

    We all know that Helms lied – nothing new here.
    Still,nice going in getting a Commission lawyer to go on record about his belief that Helms was not truthful.

    • Gerry Simone says:

      Did Willens elaborate on this quote of his?

      But I believe that various agencies withheld what they knew from the WC to protect reputations.

      What is it that they are protecting or covering their ass about?

      The complete answer to this question could be key to mitigating Oswald’s ostensible guilt.

  7. Ronnie Wayne says:

    Dear Mr. Willens. The Warren omission is full of more holes than a sieve. History has already proven you wrong. Further naivety about it will not benefit any of us. Just a naive citizen’s thought.

  8. Michael Flower says:

    Great article Jeff ! At least this guy admitted that the CIA had duped the Warren Commission after the fact. I think many in America HAVE TO BELIEVE in the Warren Commission even though FOIA documents pretty much clarify that there was a concerted effort to get along to go along to cover up potential conspirator collaboration. The reason some will still cling to the Warren Commission is they dont want to go to the conclusion that elements of their own government were murderous . They want to watch tv and have warm fuzzies ..

  9. John Kirsch says:

    “True or False or matter of opinion? Kennedy’s assassination was the culmination of a counterintelligence failure for which Angleton and Helms should have lost their jobs.”
    Helms and Angleton passed away long ago and suggesting that they bear some or most or all of the blame for 11/22 seems eerily reminiscent of the Warren Commission, which laid the blame for the assassination on a man who was murdered before he could defend himself in court.
    It isn’t that I think Helms and Angleton were white knights. On the contrary I suspect they were quite devious and then some.
    It’s just that trying to put some, most or all of the blame for 11/22 on two men who are not here to defend themselves strikes me as a little … convenient.

    • Jerry McComb says:

      like the WC put the blame on Oswald, who was murdered 2 days after the murder of Jfk, without being able to defend himself, as you say “convenient”

  10. M. Ellis says:

    I find these parts astonishing.

    “HW: Helms’s testimony before the Commission was not truthful and did not comply with President Johnson’s mandate in the executive order creating the Warren Commission that all federal agencies should cooperate fully with the Commission.”

    “HW: I see no reason why the Commission should have asked Angleton to testify before it. Deputy Director Helms was the responsible official at the CIA and there is little doubt that Angleton, if called, would have been as non-responsive as Helms.”

    The Deputy lied. But there was no need to call his boss to testify, because he would have lied also.

    And yet…

    HW: “I have no useful thoughts about what more the Commission could have done “to make its findings more credible.” The fact is – and all the evidence so indicates – these findings were well supported at the time and no contrary evidence has emerged after 50 years to undercut them.”

    It’s odd that Mr. W. does not consider the CIA’s lack of truthfulness “evidence to the contrary”.
    He’s a lawyer. He knows what happens when a witness is caught lying.

    • Gerry Simone says:

      Well said. Even the FBI has to be regarded as biased, although they were not as tightly controlled as the CIA.

      BTW, the following quote by W sounds more like the usual ‘sound bite’.

      no contrary evidence has emerged after 50 years to undercut them.

  11. John McAdams says:

    It’s odd that Mr. W. does not consider the CIA’s lack of truthfulness “evidence to the contrary”.

    So the only embarrassing, or incompetent, or morally questionable thing the CIA might have ever done is assassinating Kennedy?

    When we find bureaucrats covering things up, we might reasonably infer there are things that would embarrass them. And in a typical bureaucracy, there are a lot of potentially embarrassing things.

    And this is aside from the fact that bureaucrats might fear being scapegoated for something that isn’t misconduct.

    • Gerry Simone says:

      How can Willens say that there is no contrary evidence to undercut them, yet admit that the CIA lied and withheld information?

      Sir, it is more than just an embarrassing aspect that is being hidden. It is probably criminal negligence if not vicarious complicity.

      After all these years, anybody who can be scapegoated ‘for something that isn’t misconduct’ is probably dead. If not, to hell with the bureaucrats and let the facts be divulged to speak for themselves.

      • John McAdams says:

        How can Willens say that there is no contrary evidence to undercut them, yet admit that the CIA lied and withheld information?

        Because we know a lot about what the CIA lied and covered up, thanks to later investigations (official and journalistic).

        For example: the CIA, at the behest of JFK, was trying to kill Castro. Something they covered up, but no evidence of a conspiracy to murder JFK.

        Willens could only know that anything was “covered up” because it has subsequently come out. A lot has come out. But none of it implicates the CIA in the murder of Kennedy.

        • david thurman says:

          “no evidence of a conspiracy to murder JFK,” Really? What do you call David Phillips telling Tennabaum during HSCA that the supposed audio tapes of Oswald in Mexico City had been destroyed automatically after two weeks (from late sept./early oct.), then being presented w/FBI report from 23 Nov., where 6 FBI agents in Dallas have listened to the supposed tapes of oswald on the weekend of the murder (almost 2 months since their recording) all concluding it’s not oswald. As you no doubt know, Phillips put the report in his pocket got up and walked out.

          If their was no conspiracy what was the cia doing in late sept. making it appear oswald was meeting w/a KGB agent in Mexico City? How could they have known that information would come in handy a couple months later? If oswald had been killed rather than taken in to custody no one would have tried to verify the voice; would they?

          • John McAdams says:

            Really? What do you call David Phillips telling Tennabaum during HSCA that the supposed audio tapes of Oswald in Mexico City had been destroyed automatically after two weeks (from late sept./early oct.), then being presented w/FBI report from 23 Nov., where 6 FBI agents in Dallas have listened to the supposed tapes of oswald on the weekend of the murder (almost 2 months since their recording) all concluding it’s not oswald.

            You need to check this out:

            http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/clueless3.htm

            Alan Belmont talked to Shanklin early Saturday morning, and apparently misunderstood what Shanklin told him.

            Nobody in Dallas said anything about hearing tapes and indeed, when questioned by the HSCA, they all denied it.

            This was quickly corrected.

            You particularly want to look at these two documents:

            http://history-matters.com/archive/jfk/fbi/105-3702/124-10230-10430/html/124-10230-10430_0002a.htm

            This is the one Rudd actually brought from Mexico City to Dallas.

            And an even earlier memo, that says to expect photos and transcripts. No mention of tapes.

            http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/images/Shanklin112263.pdf

            Tannenbaum was acting like an asshole by calling Phillips a liar.

        • Larry Schnapf says:

          I have to agree with John McAdams that to the extent that a CIA coverup might have been so prevent disclosure of embarrassing info and not necessarily evidence of complicity in the assassination.

          If one of the exile groups who were supposed to be autonomous but were still funded by CIA had assassinated the president, there is no way the CIA would have allowed this to get out. Moreover, our government was trying to assassinate Castro and CIA field staff were still hatching up schemes to undermine Castro despite the administration’s efforts to put a halt to these operations. Any of this coming out would have been career ender for all involved.

    • M. Ellis says:

      Mr. McAdams,

      Regardless of what the CIA was hiding, it was hiding something. Helms – by HW’s own admission – was not a credible witness. That is evidence in itself. And HW’s conclusion that there was no point in calling Helms’ boss, because he probably would have lied too – discredits an entire federal agency and whatever role it played in the WC conclusions.

      I don’t know what the CIA was hiding. But it’s reasonable to consider its lack of credibility to be ‘contrary evidence that has emerged in the last fifty years.

      • John McAdams says:

        Are you admitting that you have no evidence that the CIA had anything to do with the JFK assassination?

        Your argument is simply “the CIA lies, therefore I am free to believe anything I want about them, even if I have no evidence.”

        So I don’t actually need any evidence other than my belief that that “the government lies?”

        • M. Ellis says:

          Don’t forget the orginal question. Has any contrary evidence occurred in the last fifty years?

          Yes. Contrary evidence has occurred in the last fifty years. That evidence is the lack of truthfulness in the CIA’s WC testimony.

          Either it is contrary evidence or it is not. Since the credibility of a witness is always evidence itself, why would you argue no contrary evidence has occurred in the last fifty years?

          • John McAdams says:

            That evidence is the lack of truthfulness in the CIA’s WC testimony.

            Is “lack of truthfulness” intentionally vague?

            I’m not aware of any case where the CIA lied to the Warren Commission. They certainly withheld information, in some cases because it was embarrassing (plots against Castro) and in some cases because it compromised sources and methods (“waiting out” the Warren Commission on photos of the “mystery man” in Mexico City).

            So if you think the CIA lied to the WC, post your evidence.

            But more importantly, it’s never been an issue of what the CIA said.

            The real evidence is secret CIA memos and documents, testimony of witnesses not connected with the CIA (Silvia Duran’s testimony, for example), documents from other sources, etc.

            For example, Castro’s government gave the WC a copy of Oswald’s visa application, and then gave the HSCA another copy.

            The FBI intercepted a letter that Oswald wrote to the Soviet Embassy in DC, complaining about the treatment he had gotten in Mexico City.

            It really doesn’t matter how much you dislike the CIA. You have zero evidence they plotted to kill Kennedy.

  12. Gerry Simone says:

    HW: I think that with the passage of time the findings of the Warren Commission will become more acceptable. As with the Lincoln assassination, there will always be conspiracy theories urged by those unwilling to accept the Commission’s findings. As Vincent Bugliosi has written, challenging the Commission’s conclusions has the characteristics of a religious endeavor – like seeking the Holy Grail – and persons who have committed their lives to such an effort will never be persuaded that it is not a worthy and necessary venture.

    Huh?

    Isn’t it a fact that the Lincoln assassination involved a conspiracy?

    Warren Commission critics did not start as religiously conspiratorial. Their doubts directly stem from calling the WC’s conclusions into question after reviewing the facts.

  13. Willens’ comment about his alleged knowledge of the CIA interest in Oswald puzzles me.

    If they were aware of this, and if they were privy to the CIA files which revealed this, and they sent a guy to read the file, then where is any of this in the Warren Report? Or even the 26 volumes. If any of this information is there, I would like to see it.

    Or has it been declassified? I would like to see that also.

    As John Newman points out in his milestone book on the case, Oswald and the CIA, there are all kinds of interesting, even compelling things in the CIA file on Oswald. Like why was not a 201 file opened up on him when he went to Russia? Why was that delayed for a year? In fact, it seems it was only opened when Otepka sent his query to Bissell.

    Was that not an important point to the Commission about Oswald? Should that not have provoked some follow up questions? If so, what were the responses?

    This whole part of Willens’ story in a bit puzzling.

    • Bill Clarke says:

      James DiEugenio June 9, 2014 at 2:55 pm

      If this John Newman book is no more factual than his, “JFK and Vietnam” I would be suspect of anything it says.

      • Ronnie Wayne says:

        Bait? Jim can deal with that or ignore it as he wishes.
        If JFK and Vietnam is anywhere close to Oswald and the CIA it is excellent and quite relevant. I’ve read the latter but not the former. It was from a library so I don’t have it at hand to quote from but I thought I remembered it as having being well documented.
        Amazon readers disagree with you.
        http://www.amazon.com/JFK-Vietnam-Deception-Intrigue-Struggle/product-reviews/0446516783/ref=dpx_acr_txt?showViewpoints=1

        • Bill Clarke says:

          Ronnie Wayne June 9, 2014 at 11:05 pm

          No bait. It seems that Mr. DiEugenio can’t speak of John Newman without calling his books “masterful” (JFK and Vietnam) and “milestone” (Oswald and the CIA). I think it important for readers to know that not everyone has such a high opinion of Newman’s books. I certainly do not stand along here.

          “JFK and Vietnam” was also well referenced until it came crunch time. When the main thesis was stated the references disappear. The reason being is that Newman speculates.

          Amazon is in the business of selling books, not accurate history. And the review you reference is worthless because Mr. Finn doesn’t know what he is talking about. Here are some easy examples;

          Finn; “Kennedy’s efforts to withdraw resulted of course in the often discussed and debated NSAM 263 which stipulated a withdrawal of 1,000 American troops in December of 1963. As the author makes clear this plan included withdrawing the rest of the American “advisers” at the rate of 1,000 a month so that all Americans would be gone by 1965.”

          Clarke; NSAM 263 is on the net and easy to find. If you can show me this “at the rate of 1,000 a month” I’ll have no more to say about Newman or Finn. That was never mentioned in NSAM 263 or any other place else except someone’s vivid imagination.

          Finn; “Johnson issues NSAM 273 which amplifies American commitment to the war effort and in fact Kennedy’s withdrawal plan is reduced to a meaningless paper exercise as it is morphed into a mere rotation of forces”.

          Clarke; This is complete junk. JFK and McNamara had agreed to make this first withdrawal by “normal rotation”. Another example of the groupies blaming Johnson for something Kennedy had done.
          ____________________________________________________________________________________.
          http://tapes.millercenter.virginia.edu/clips/1963_1005_vietnam/index.htm

          President Kennedy: Otherwise we ought to just do it by rotation of.. [unclear].

          McNamara: Or we can do it just through normal attrition…[unclear: normal rotation]

          JFK: Yeah.

          McNamara: Normal rotation.

          • Clarke likes to recycle things that have already been dealt with.

            NSAM 263 was part of the McNamara-Taylor report. That report was not written by either man. It was written b Krulak under Kennedy’s supervision.

            It was the report that said the troops would eventually all be withdrawn, and this was announced in October by McNamara and Salinger in a press release. When McNamara went out to tell the press this, Kennedy peered out the window and said, “Tell them that means the helicopters too.”

            As noted the overall plan was well publicized at the time and I named several sources, including the front page of the Ny Times. But somehow that is not good enough for Clarke.

            As for Newmans’ milestone book, every major tenet is annotated. This means the origins of the withdrawal plan, with Galbraith, the implementation of the plan, with McNamara, the resistance of each attempt to place troops in Nam by Kennedy, and the final installation of the plan in May of 1963.

            WHen Clarke shows me something in that list that is not noted, I will take him seriously.

            I am waiting.

          • Gerry Simone says:

            Amazon is in the business of selling books, not accurate history.

            This statement by you is unresponsive and irrelevant.

            Ronnie is just referring to other readers who disagree with your lone view.

            And as Jim DiEugenio said, we’ve gone through this before.

            NSAM 263 refers to the October 2nd, 1963 memo to the President from the Secretary of Defense wherein it states:

            2. A program be established to train Vietnamese so that essential functions now performed by U.S. military personnel can be carried out by Vietnamese by the end of 1965. It should be possible to withdraw the bulk of U.S. personnel by that time.

            This is what students of history should know. Not the spin by WC apologists.

          • Bill Clarke says:

            Jim DiEugenio June 11, 2014 at 12:39 am

            DiEugino. Clarke likes to recycle things that have already been dealt with.

            You didn’t deal with it. You left the discussion when I asked you for notation of 3 of Newman’s statements. I guess that is dealing with it. Sort of.

            DiEugino. NSAM 263 was part of the McNamara-Taylor report. That report was not written by either man. It was written b Krulak under Kennedy’s supervision.

            No, certain PARTS of the McNamara-Taylor report was incorporated into NSAM 263, making these parts of the M\T report a part of NSAM 263. The M\T report was of course written by both men, it reflected the earlier report of General Krulak. You have no evidence that JFK “supervised” Krulak while writing his report.

            DiEugino. It was the report that said the troops would eventually all be withdrawn, and this was announced in October by McNamara and Salinger in a press release. When McNamara went out to tell the press this, Kennedy peered out the window and said, “Tell them that means the helicopters too.”

            No, NSAM 263 does not say “ALL” troops. Have you ever read NSAM 263? You really shouldn’t lecture on NSAM 263 until you know something about it and from your statements here it is clear that you do not.

            DiEugino. As noted the overall plan was well publicized at the time and I named several sources, including the front page of the Ny Times. But somehow that is not good enough for Clarke.

            That is good enough for me.

            DiEugino. As for Newmans’ milestone book, every major tenet is annotated. This means the origins of the withdrawal plan, with Galbraith, the implementation of the plan, with McNamara, the resistance of each attempt to place troops in Nam by Kennedy, and the final installation of the plan in May of 1963.

            DiEugino. WHen Clarke shows me something in that list that is not noted, I will take him seriously.

            DiEugino. I am waiting.

            So you can stop waiting now. Here is the major tenet of his withdrawal plans according to Newman. And this is pretty funny. Page 322, JFK and Vietnam; “Kennedy decided to use Taylor’s and Harkin’s reports of battlefield success to justify the beginning of the withdrawal he was planning”. Italics Newman’s.

            Newman didn’t note this whopper of course. Perhaps you can help him. No Kenney O’Donnell, no Dave Powers, no senators or anyone else saying, “Jack told them this in secrecy”. No newly declassified document, no missing tape. Nothing. Newman just pulled this from you know where.

          • Bill Clarke says:

            Gerry Simone June 11, 2014 at 11:48 am

            Amazon is in the business of selling books, not accurate history.

            Gerry. This statement by you is unresponsive and irrelevant.

            It wasn’t meant to be. But if you think you can judge the accuracy of a history book by reading one review at Amazon you are very wrong. In fact, the reviewer didn’t know what he was talking about as I pointed out in my post on the 10th.

            Gerry. Ronnie is just referring to other readers who disagree with your lone view.

            It is hardly a lone view. At a seminar at the LBJ Library where Newman was pushing his book his theory was roundly rejected by a collection of well-known historians in the field. Usually it is the Camelot crowd that supports Newman and their need to apologize for Kennedy is overwhelming.

            Gerry. And as Jim DiEugenio said, we’ve gone through this before.

            Then why are we still saying NSAM 263 was Kennedy’s plan to bring ALL the troops home, as DiEugenio still claims today. As you can see in your cut and paste it doesn’t say ALL, it says the bulk of. But it is my guess that you and Mr. DiEugenio will go right on claiming that NSAM 263 was an order to withdraw ALL of our troops. Am I right?

            Gerry. NSAM 263 refers to the October 2nd, 1963 memo to the President from the Secretary of Defense wherein it states:
            2. A program be established to train Vietnamese so that essential functions now performed by U.S. military personnel can be carried out by Vietnamese by the end of 1965. It should be possible to withdraw the bulk of U.S. personnel by that time.

            Gerry. This is what students of history should know. Not the spin by WC apologists.

            I agree. They should know it says “bulk” and not “ALL” as we so often hear from the uninformed. Don’t you agree?

            And if you are calling me a WC apologist you would be wrong again. You’ve never read anything I’ve written that supports the WC.

    • Dave says:

      The WC members and their staff lawyers knew which sensitive and emerging areas of inquiry to best leave alone (CIA and Oswald) in the interests of “national security”, thus it was simply willful blindness and the beginning of the official coverup on the part of Willens and his colleagues. His answers here are also at variance with what he has said in the past, so what else is he still withholding 50 years later?

      • mike says:

        Be sure to view ‘Warren Commission Findings’ on CSPAN 3.
        It aired in Sept. 2014. I watched it online. Willens is the first to speak, and soon one realizes he is the MAIN architect of the Warren Commission. I studied this ‘discussion’ with a fine tooth comb. I had to backtrack on almost every sentence, and write it down, due to the constant run-around sentences, and half-sentences being spoken. The smell of disingenuousness continues to reek here. Interesting that Willens’ father was next-door-neighbor to Tony Accardo beginning in 1957. Just sayin’.

        • Pat Speer says:

          I exchanged a number of emails with Howard last year and he is nothing if not a true believer. When I finally got up the nerve to ask him the million dollar question–why, when he made repeated references to Arlen Specer’s book Passion for Truth, did he fail to mention the most revealing part of the book–that Specter had seen an autopsy photo showing the wound to be on the back before submitting a chapter to the Warren Report in which this wound was presented, over and over again, as residing on the back of the neck. His response was simple: he considered it UNIMPORTANT, and completely beside the point. That’s right, since the people he chooses to believe still subscribe to the single-bullet theory, he considers it mean-spirited and a waste of time to examine the 100% clear evidence his friends Arlen and Earl (and God knows who else) lied about the location of the back wound.

    • John McAdams says:

      Like why was not a 201 file opened up on him when he went to Russia? Why was that delayed for a year?

      Newman appears to have ignored the HSCA on this:

      To determine whether such a delayed opening was unusual, the committee reviewed the files of 13 of the 14 persons on the CIA’s November 21 1960, response to the State Department and of 16 other defectors (from an original list of 380) who were American-born, had defected during the years 1958-63, and who had returned to the United States during that same time period. Of 29 individuals whose-files were reviewed, 8 had been the subject of 201files prior to the time of their defection. In only 4 of the remaining cases were 201 files opened at the time of defection. The files on the 17 other defectors were opened from 4 months to several years after the defection. (43) At the very least, the committee’s review indicated that during 1958-63, the opening of a file years after a defection was not uncommon. In many cases, the opening was triggered by some event, independent of the defection, that had
      drawn attention to the individual involved.

  14. Which is why I don’t listen to you.

    Richard Helms admitted this to the HSCA, and he then said he was amazed this was the case.

    If you did not know that then you are not qualified to comment on Newman’s excellent book.

    But, you will anyway won’t you?

  15. Bob Truitt says:

    John McAdams, I wish you would speak at a conference in the WashDC-NYC area. You’re a wealth of knowledge and all knowing. There isn’t anything or any area of the JFK murder that you are not an expert on. I’ve never known anyone who knew so much about something but wasted his/her time trying to set the record straight. Maybe you could even get a position at the 6th Floor Museum.

  16. mike says:

    Lincoln’s assassination WAS a conspiracy, duh. 4 people hanged.

    And,no, the American People’s concern for the FULL, absolute truth in this matter is NOT “like seeking the Holy Grail.” It is like seeking the UN-holy scumbags who murdered OUR President. At least Mr. Willens
    admitted that some of his ‘journal entries’ did a disservice to the WC, and, I suggest, to the American People.

  17. Larry Schnapf says:

    Bill Clarke,

    Bill- Can you outline what you dont have high opinion of Newman’s CIA and Oswald. Curious to read your view.

  18. Larry Schnapf says:

    @John Mcadams,

    LIke Bill Clinton, you are technically correct when you say “I’m not aware of any case where the CIA lied to the Warren Commission. They certainly withheld information…”. :)

    Beyond engaging in Clintonian parsing, the trust of the poster’s statement was that CIA was untruthful when it was asked for information and withheld it. But then again, the Commission was put on notice by Dulles at one of the first meetings about the attitude of CIA personnel.

    • John McAdams says:

      Beyond engaging in Clintonian parsing, the trust of the poster’s statement was that CIA was untruthful when it was asked for information and withheld it.

      It’s not Clintonian parsing to say the CIA did not lie. That is different from withholding information. A lot of buffs have the attitude “the CIA is evil so we can say any evil thing we want about them.”

      Bill Clinton said “I never had sex with that woman,” when in one legal proceeding sex was explicitly defined to include oral sex. So it wasn’t parsing. It was a lie.

      But worse is the buff tendency to huff and puff about things that have nothing to do with any conspiracy. So the CIA did not admit they were trying to kill Castro. Unless you think Castro really had Kennedy killed in revenge, that did not affect the final conclusion.

      • Paulf says:

        Stunning lack of self awareness, John.

        First of all, again with the partisan politics. Stop. Just stop. It serves no purpose here except to discredit yourself.

        Second, the CIA withholding evidence and lying about other matters does not impinge upon its credibility in the JFK murder? Seriously?

        You spend untold hours writing comments on this site doing things such as calling into question the credibility of any witness that says anything remotely pro-conspiracy. If any of those individuals were to produce an incomplete account, or has a history of lying about anything else, no matter how irrelevant, you use that as fodder to discredit them. Words cannot express how inconsistent your standards are, to put it mildly.

        The CIA’s role in all this is not fully known, to be sure. But to,give it unquestioning allegiance is folly given all that we know about the animus it’s leaders had toward JFK and it’s history of fomenting assassinations elsewhere during that period in history.

        • John McAdams says:

          First of all, again with the partisan politics. Stop. Just stop. It serves no purpose here except to discredit yourself.

          I’ve shown that you are the partisan one. You are happy with rhetoric about how government lies and covers things up.

          But when somebody mentions the Obama Administration doing that, you get mad.

          You should just stop. Admit that the Obama Administration (like pretty much all others) has done these things. Else you look rabidly partisan.

          Second, the CIA withholding evidence and lying about other matters does not impinge upon its credibility in the JFK murder?

          Explain “lying.” They did withhold evidence, but I can’t think of a lie.

          As for the CIA’s credibility: you are assuming that the word of the CIA is the only evidence we have in this case.

          That’s absurd. As for Mexico City: we have Duran’s testimony from the Mexican security police (and the HSCA), we have Oswald’s visa application from the Cuban Government, we have Oswald’s letter to the Soviet Embassy intercepted by the FBI, Oswald’s handwriting at the Hotel Commercio collected by the FBI, and on and on.

          This in addition to secret (now declassified) CIA documents.

          So you can’t substitute your hatred for the CIA for real evidence. That rhetoric may get cheers in buff circles, but it isn’t evidence.

          • Paulf says:

            John:

            I’m partisan because I think modern partisan politics are an inappropriate topic on this forum?

            Where did in ever say that the CIA was the only word on anything involving evidence?

            I hate the CIA?

            I’m a buff? Maybe an exercise buff, but JFK buff?

            I shake my head. Words fail.

          • John McAdams says:

            Where did in ever say that the CIA was the only word on anything involving evidence?

            You (or someone here) was claiming that the CIA was not truthful, and that this is actual evidence of conspiracy.

            But it’s not.

            If you are believe that you can’t prove (or even support) conspiracy theories by attacking the CIA, admit that. That would be good.

          • Larry Schnapf says:

            @John-

            I agree with you that there is an sizable part of the conspiracy community that has animus towards the CIA and that this biases their views. But there are others of us who dont have such hatred of the CIA nor love of JFK but simply want to put an end to government lying by shining sunlight on the past so that it is not repeated.

          • John McAdams says:

            But there are others of us who don’t have such hatred of the CIA nor love of JFK but simply want to put an end to government lying by shining sunlight on the past so that it is not repeated.

            I have no problem with people who have that attitude.

            What I object to is people who will never accept the evidence, no matter how much “sunlight” is shown.

            You must have noticed people who used to complain that the Zapruder film was withheld from the public, and now that it’s freely available say it was faked.

            You have probably noticed that, now that the Three Tramps have been identified, some claim (as Weberman and Canfield do) that their identification is a bogus CIA disinformation operation.

            And if you have been following the threads about the supposed “tapes of a voice not Oswald’s in Dallas” you have noticed how buffs will say that all those FBI agents were lying and all those documents were forged.

            So I think “sunlight” is overrated. No doubt a lot (and maybe most) of what government keeps secret could be released with no harm whatsoever to the nation’s welfare.

            But on the other hand, more releases won’t change anything.

        • Photon says:

          There is absolutely no evidence that any senior leaders of the CIA harbored any animosity toward President Kennedy, nor any evidence whatsoever that any leader or employee of the Agency planned, participated in or had advanced knowledge of his assassination.
          The CIA wasn’t very good at assassinations. Look at the Church committee records to see how bad the Agency was at this activity.
          Unsubstantiated conjecture is not evidence.

          • JSA says:

            “There is absolutely no evidence that any senior leaders of the CIA harbored any animosity toward President Kennedy…”

            Yes folks, Alan Dulles LOVED John F. Kennedy and he RELISHED being fired by his “good friend” in 1961. And earlier that year, when JFK called off the Bay of Pigs invasion, word in D.C.’s CIA Mall buildings (where they still had staff then) was all loving and positive toward the President. Heck, Bissell even sent Jack a dozen roses in May of 1961, and Cord Meyer, upon hearing about his former wife’s dalliances with the President, was reported to have said “Well, rip me a new one–what that wonderful man, JFK, has done for not only the country, but for Mary! God Love that man!”

          • Steve Rosen says:

            That is false. David Sanchez Morales, top dog blacks op guy at the Agency for 25 years, admitted as much. He had a reputation for ferocity and honesty.

            Your ipse dixit statements otherwise must deal with his confession. Do your due diligence and ask your buddies about him.

            As well, David Atlee Phillips made statements to several people that his assessment was rogue intelligence people were involved. His statements should be taken seriously.

          • Larry Schnapf says:

            Photon in the dark again or ignoring statements made by many about the attitude of senior CIA management towards JFK after Bay of Pigs.

            However , I agree with you that there is no evidence that this animus towards JFK was transformed into planning his assassination. Its possible that they and Hoover might have turn a blind eye if they learned of rumors that the so-called “autonomous” exile groups were planning on taking action agst JFK. Or perhaps just dropped the ball and had to cover their tracks.

          • Bill Clarke says:

            JSA September 10, 2014 at 6:11 pm

            Er…but JFK didn’t call off the Bay of Pigs invasion. That is where all the trouble started. He should have.

          • Paul Turner says:

            Photon, are you implying that Allen Dulles had no animosity towards JFK??? I think Al would have something to say to you about that.

      • Jonathan says:

        John McAdams writes: “So the CIA did not admit they were trying to kill Castro. Unless you think Castro really had Kennedy killed in revenge, that did not affect the final conclusion.”

        Wrong.

        If anti-Castro Cubans possibly had a hand in the assassination, it was necessary for the Warren Commission to know of the CIA’s role in training and financing them.

      • Mike says:

        McAdams: “So the CIA did not admit they were trying to kill Castro. Unless you think Castro really had Kennedy killed in revenge, that did not affect the final conclusion.”

        That is, unless one of the members of the Castro hit team, David Sanchez Morales, told his friends of JFK: “we took care of that SOB, didn’t we?”

        Unless the director of the hit team, Bill Harvey, continued to have meetings with mobster Johnny Roselli long after he was moved out of that position, because of a run-in with RFK.

        Unless a member of that group, David Atlee Phillips, aka Maurice Bishop, the master of propaganda and psychops, was seen in Dallas with a young man by the name of Lee Harvey Oswald, by Antonio Veciana, the head of Alpha 66.

  19. Allen Lowe says:

    Mcadams makes no sense; by HIS numbers, almost half (12 of 29) of the defectors had files opened either prior to or at the time of defection; the other 17 either 4 months or longer – but he doesn’t tell us how maany of the 17 were opened when. So 1) we know that about 40 percent were opened early, and can assume that Oswald, a Marine with intelligence knowledge, would have been one of this near-majority. He was no garden-variety loss; and 2) for all we know (because McAdams is clearly too nervous to give real numbers), maybe another 8 had it done in the first few months – which would tell us that about 75 percent were done quickly and early; or who knows? The HSCA was snowed by the CIA, so they are an uncertain source anyway. My point is that McAdams just keeps tossing off factoids and hopes we won’t look too closely and realize they do not prove his points.

    • John McAdams says:

      He was no garden-variety loss;

      Actually, he only had “confidential” security clearance.

      for all we know (because McAdams is clearly too nervous to give real numbers), maybe another 8 had it done in the first few months

      Oh, I see. You feel free to just speculate and treat your speculation as fact.

      I posted the best information available on this. If you don’t like it, go to the Archives and get the records of all the defectors and try to prove that there was something suspicious about the time the CIA opened the file.

      As it is, you have no evidence there was.

  20. Allen Lowe says:

    no, you distorted the best information on this, because you forgot to mention that almost half that we know of had 201s; and that it was likely, in the big picture, a majority had these.

    and yes, I know, he had only lower-level clearance, which is routinely given to Marxist Marines who speak Russian and handle radar secrets.

    • John McAdams says:

      and yes, I know, he had only lower-level clearance, which is routinely given to Marxist Marines who speak Russian and handle radar secrets.

      He wasn’t spouting Marxism and speaking Russian when he got the clearance.

      It was never withdrawn, but why should the Marine Corps bother? In his latter months in the Corps he was relegated to menial duties. Kerry Thornley told the Warren Commission that Oswald had lost his clearance. Thornley was wrong about that, but Oswald’s duties led Thornley to believe that.

  21. Bill Callahan says:

    This photo was taken at 12:30 pm, on Elm Street, just as the presidential car passed by the photographer, Mr. Croft. It corresponds to only two incredibly important frames from the Zapruder Film. Frames z-160 and z-161. (If it doesn’t post check out Croft Photo of JFK shooting).

    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_6kYzhJGqq2M/RyxiSHwgMZI/AAAAAAAAAD0/w3b1lrO3KIE/s1600-h/15c.%2BCroft%2BPhoto%2BShowing%2BJFK%27s%2BCar%2BOn%2BElm

    MOST INTERESTINGLY, it shows the occupant’s of the car as it was on Elm Street as the assassination began. How so? It is interesting because it shows Mrs. Kennedy looking behind/backwards toward the photographer AND it shows Governor Connolly looking off to his left (slightly). In all of the Zapruder Film he is in this position ONLY 1 TIME with Mr. Kennedy.

    This moment of film also is important because it is captured on the Tina Tower Film as well (and can be noted in the placement of JFK’s right hand as he completes the first set of waving motions in the Zapruder Film. This is also easily demonstrated to be at z-160-161.

    This also happens to be the moment Connolly said he heard a high-powered rifle shot. His actions, as described by him, are a quick turn to the left where he was unable to see JFK. JFK, as you may see in the film, IS NOT HIT at this point and, in fact, continues to wave shortly thereafter.

    Interesting coincidence here: Ending with frame 313 and beginning with frame 160 it takes 8.3 seconds. Also interesting is using a stopwatch w/lap counter. It all adds up Whether you use the actual Z film, or this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dbbIjki-HLo

    Shot one: z160-161. Connolly testimony/turn. Shot is taken as vehicle enters ‘tree zone’ and is deflected (explaining the ‘missed shot’.

    Shot two: z224. Connolly reacts as JFK reacts. 64 frames and 3.4 seconds after first shot. Hit both occupants.

    Shot three: z313. Kennedy Killed. 89 Frames and 4.8 seconds after second shot. Total time is approximately 8.3 seconds.

    Don’t yell and scream…just get a stop-watch and read the testimony of Connolly. Peace.

    One shooter…Ozzie or not.

    • Bill Callahan says:

      Sorry…Connolly said he turned to his right….where the direction of the shot came from. (it’s his only turn folks). Just like he said he did..and the film shows he did. This explains why the first shot missed (tree deflection)…and provides 8.3 seconds of shooting time.

      • Bill Callahan says:

        And what was exciting about the entire sequence is that in doing the math first, you could predict exactly when the shot’s would occur…right down to the 10th of a second. So, you have testimony, film/photo, and when all put together….it goes together perfectly. IMO.

        • jeffc says:

          It doesn’t go together at all. An early first shot at around frame 160 is something of a late invention, which relies on an interpretation of Connally’s recollections (heard shot, turn to right) with no corresponding testimony to buttress the assertion. Multiple witnesses place the first shot about 30 frames later, and Connally himself always discussed the first and second shot as occurring somewhere (plus or minus) around the time the limousine disappears and reappears from the sign in the Z-film.

          • Bill Callahan says:

            But Jeff…it is EXACTLY what Connolly said, long BEFORE he even had any clue about the Zapruder Film. There is corresponding testimony as such: The little girl seen running along the curb ‘said’ she stopped at the sound of the first shot. I’m pretty sure I heard her speak on this before. I thought she may be the daughter of Mr. Willis, who took many photos that day. She is literally at frame 160 and starts to hit the breaks just as she said. Mr. Croft said he snapped his photo in reaction to the first shot. http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_6kYzhJGqq2M/RyxiSHwgMZI/AAAAAAAAAD0/w3b1lrO3KIE/s1600-h/15c.%2BCroft%2BPhoto%2BShowing%2BJFK%27s%2BCar%2BOn%2BElm

            Jackie Kennedy thought the sound was that of a Motorcycle. Mrs Connolly stated that she thought it was a motorcycle backfire as well. Yet, the MOST important witness, John Connolly, stated from his bed, that he immediately recognized the shot as being from a high-powered rifle and began his turn to the right.

            The ONLY turn to the right that Connolly makes at all on the Zapruder film begins at farm 162 etc.

            My main point is this: The camera was working at 18.3 frames per second, according to the FBI. Well…by using the reaction of Connolly (by his own words BEFORE the emergence of a Zapruder Films existence at all), we can start the clock because HE WAS AWARE OF THE FIRST SHOT.

            First shot at 160-162…The last time Kennedy, Connolly, and Mrs Kennedy are in the position they are before events unfold. According to Connolly, an avid hunter, he knew it was a rifle shot.

            Count off EXACTLY 64 frames (or 3.39 seconds) and Connolly actually can be seen to flinch and close his eyes after he is shot between 223 and 224. This link is incredibly clear and you can see him close his eyes. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ydYBin_6pvk (note…it’s in super slo-mo so don’t use a stop watch).

            That FACT that Governor Connolly did exactly what he said. He said he heard shot from behind his right shoulder and he recognized it as a shot, and he also mentioned he knew he was not hit by the FIRST SHOT. Please recall that Connolly also mentions that he heard only two shots (the first shot…which he did not know had missed and was seen trying to react to…and the one he said he knew, felt, heard, hit kennedy). His rationale was that you don’t feel the shot that hits you. The one that hits him is the second. Pretty logical.

            At the moment he was hit Kennedy and Connolly are in the perfect position, as illustrated by Myers and by Posner (who aren’t even aware, as far as I know, of this photo by Croft. In fact, it shows how much lower Connolly was better an any animation.

            Then the Limo moves another 89 frames, up to Z 318 over the next 4.8 seconds, and the last shot hits. Connolly was also very graphically aware of the results of this shot as well.

            I believe it just adds up perfectly. In fact, The position of Kennedy(s) and Connolly are also depicted in Tina Towers film as well just as it ends.

            There is another important thing revealed in the film(s). Elsie Dorman’s film, taken from the Depository, shows the little girl rounding the corner and chasing the limo. What is so important about it IS THE AMOUNT OF TREE BLOCKING THE VIEW from the TSBD.

            In any event, IF you do use the words of Governor Connolly and ‘Zero’ out the sequence of shots (3), you will literally be able to use basic math and see the effect of those shots in a mathematical and predictable formula.

            In this video, which represents a computer animation of the view from the 6th floor, and by using the first shot as a miss…the results are startling.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dbbIjki-HLo

            I’d suggest using a stop watch and just tapping the lap counter at the crack of each shot/frame. One can ONLY align the shots and actions of the victims IF using frame 160 as the starting point…Which was…as Connolly said when he tried to look over his right shoulder.

            I don’t place as much emphasis on what the Governor said later because, he describes this process where he states words to the effect that he began to turn the other way (after turning right) and had gotten back to the middle when he was struck. This is an action that just did not happen. Here is an interview: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r7UZlseF-KY

            His comments at the 4:2- to 4:30 mark are important.

            Anyway…It’s just a matter of number.

          • jeffc says:

            So the purported assassin waits until the limousine is obscured by a tree before firing his first shot, a shot which is only recognized as such by John Connally and a little girl. (Both Croft and the little girl are often cited as hearing a shot circa Z160, but their actual statements are never produced – is this not a “factoid”?). Can a bullet “deflect” from a tree branch – travelling at 1900fps – and not send branches or leaves to the street below? (maybe it was “tumbling”, right?)

            I offered this link on another thread: Pat Speer makes a solid case for the HSCA photo panel’s determination of a first shot circa Z-190.
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SXkouTolX8U&list=UUOpje8kixcV-skbCZOOiNIw

          • John McAdams says:

            So the purported assassin waits until the limousine is obscured by a tree before firing his first shot,

            No, the first shot was fired circa Z155-z160.

            If you are going to try to debunk the Single Bullet Theory, you need to address what people who believe the Single Bullet Theory believe, not set up a straw man.

          • jeffc says:

            So did the alleged shot hit the tree or hit the curb? Where did the bullet go? Why was no indication of a bullet strike discovered either on the pavement or the tree? Why does no one in the Secret Service vehicle react? Connally was certain he heard a rifle shot, why does no one else hear it? Why do multiple people react and testify to hearing a shot circa Z190? Is it some kind of mass delayed reaction? Theorizing shots at Z160 / Z224/ and Z313 flies completely in the face of what most people heard: one shot, a delay and then two shots close together.

            The SBT never featured an early shot at Z160, this is a later invention. The SBT hardly needs debunking because it debunks itself. It was a ridiculous premise which was rejected by nearly everyone the WC ran it by. Members of the Commission itself rejected it, and their objections were removed from the public record by way of deceit. Specter himself knew it was BS.

          • John McAdams says:

            Why does no one in the Secret Service vehicle react?

            You won’t admit they were slow to react?

            Connally was certain he heard a rifle shot, why does no one else hear it?

            You don’t know that nobody else heard it.

            Why do multiple people react and testify to hearing a shot circa Z190? Is it some kind of mass delayed reaction?

            Nobody testified to hearing a shot at Z-190. You can spin their testimony that way if you try hard, but no testimony was nearly so precise.

          • jeffc says:

            “they were slow to react”

            No, they do not react at all. The first indications of any reaction by the secret Service occurs only after a shot (or shots) fired closer to the Stemmons sign.

            The purported shot at Z160 is a late invention – maybe it was Posner’s – which is supported by very little evidence and features several glaring inconsistencies. In comparison, I have shared the work of another researcher who, working from the findings of the HSCA photographic panel, has carefully stitched together testimony from multiple witnesses -backed by photographic evidence – to show that a hypothesis of a first shot at circa Z190 is supported by interlocking evidence from numerous independent sources.

          • John McAdams says:

            The purported shot at Z160 is a late invention – maybe it was Posner’s –

            Actually, the HSCA. They were influenced by the jiggle analysis, the movements of Connally in the Z-160s range, and the reaction of Rosemary Willis (although they did not know her name).

            I have shared the work of another researcher who, working from the findings of the HSCA photographic panel, has carefully stitched together testimony from multiple witnesses -backed by photographic evidence –

            Then you might post some of the evidence. I’m not aware that you have — certainly not on this thread.

          • Jean Davison says:

            jeffc,

            I can understand arguing for a shot at Z190, but I think the Z film shows that it couldn’t possibly have been the *first* shot.

            The one thing Mrs. Kennedy seemed clear about in her testimony was that when the shooting started she’d been looking to her left and that after hearing a noise she turned around, to her right. Connally also said he turned to his right. Frame 190 shows they’ve already reacted to the first shot just as they said they did:

            http://www.assassinationresearch.com/zfilm/?

            The WC never ruled out an early miss, which is why its version of “Oswald’s feat” has always been three shots fired in a time period ranging from c. 4.8 “to in excess of 7 seconds.”

            https://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?absPageId=73541

            This 40-second Secret Service reenactment film taken from the sniper’s window shows that the tree wasn’t a major problem:

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lpAjEPOxjmc

          • Pat Speer says:

            The key, people, is and always has been that the vast majority of witnesses watching Kennedy at the moment of the first shot saw him react to this shot, and assumed he’d been hit by this shot. I go through these witnesses, one by one, on my website, and it’s irrefutable. The first shot at Z-160 argument is, and always has been, at odds with the evidence, outside some people’s skewed interpretations of Connally’s statements. Connally himself? Well, it’s right there in the WC’s records. After studying the Zapruder film he concluded that Kennedy was hit by a separate shot circa…Z-190.

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