Warren Commissioner says ‘history will prove us right.’

Howard Willens, a former senior staff attorney for the Warren Commission, has a new book coming out that insists the first investigation of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy was the best and most accurate.

The book is called “History Will Prove Us Right.” Read about it here on (on Amazon.com).

Willens’s confident title faintly echoes Fidel Castro’s famous words as he was put on trial in Cuba in 1953 for rebelling against a pro-American dictatorship: “History will absolve us,” he declared.

Willens thinks that history will absolve the much-abused legacy of the Warren Commission, which denied that Kennedy was killed by his enemies and insisted one man alone and unaided was responsible.

Willens is a distinguished man, but reasonable people disagree. Boston psychiatrist Martin Schotz wrote a whole book arguing the government’s JFK cover-up called: “History will not absolve us.”

And there you have the JFK impasse in a nutshell. Mr. Willens says, in effect, “you’re nuts if you don’t believe the official story.” Dr. Schotz says, “You’re nuts if you do.”

You decide who’s right.

Buy Willens’s book on Amazon.com.

(I’ll check to see if we can get an excerpt.)


  1. Dan says:

    Warren Commission counsel David Belin in 1988 wrote in his book “Final Disclosure” that CIA had engaged in “deceit, obstructionism, and cover-up” regarding assassination plots against Castro. Allen Dulles served on the Warren Commission and had supervised the CIA-Mafia plots, yet did not inform his fellow commissioners of their existence.

  2. Jonathan says:

    Willens’s perspective:

    Willens was a liaison officer to the FBI and CIA. His job was to investigate whether the USSR or Cuba had a hand in the assassination. I suspect he got the straight dope on these matters from the two agencies. So he’s perhaps just writing from his own experience and extrapolating to the rest of the Commission’s activities.

  3. Photon says:

    So a Child Psychiatrist with absolutely no background in forensics is a expert on assassination,conspiracies,the CIA and the inner thoughts of JFK’s closest advisors? I give kudos to anybody who was a Carlton math major (assuming Northfield), but he seems to have forgotten rational thought. JFK’s two closest advisors would lie to the Warren Commission and thereby allow his murderer(s) to escape justice? McGeorge Bundy would participate in a plan to kill JFK? Cheney allowing the planes to crash into the WTC? I suppose Dick forgot the plan when he ordered the the Air Force to shoot down the plane that eventually crashed in Penn.
    Well, it sure looks like he has that psychiatry paranoia thing down pat. On the other hand, how good a Psychiatrist could he be if he has so much time on his hands that he could become ” an expert” on the JFK assassination?

    • Jonathan says:

      Salandria drives the point home in a 1998 COPA speech.

      Bundy, on the afternoon of November 22, calls the plane carrying cabinet members over the Pacific and tells them Oswald did it and there’s no conspiracy.

      Salandria’s take: McGeorge Bundy was speaking for the killers.

    • Jonathan says:

      FWIW, I believe Bundy had a larger overall role, to which he subscribed readily: to get this country involved in Viet Nam.

      Bundy was remarkable. Number one in his class at Yale. Worked for Richard Bissell on the Marshall Plan. With only a bachelor’s degree, became the Dean of Arts & Sciences at Harvard. Transforms Harvard into a merit-based university.

      Bundy was the sort of man JFK wanted as an adviser. Too bad JFK wasn’t a great judge of character. Bundy, according to Halberstam, was perhaps the most intelligent person alive at the time. Unfortunately, he used his ability to get this country involved in a terrible war.

      • You left out that McGeorge Bundy also had perfect College board entrance examination scores.

        I used to think that Bundy was a part of the JFK assassination; I now think that he immediately figured out who in US intelligence murdered JFK and that he acceded to the coup instantaneously. So I would call Bundy an immediate accessory after the fact to the murder of JFK.

        As for Martin Schotz, I highly recommend his essay “The Waters of Knowledge versus The Waters of Uncertainty: Mass Denial in the Assassination of President Kennedy:”


        • Jonathan says:

          Thanks much for the link to Schotz’s speech; just finished reading it.

          I like his thesis; viz., the Warren Report is so obviously a pack of lies, we shouldn’t debate it — we should indict the obvious criminals like Arlen Specter (speech was given well before Specter’s death). His reference to Orwell’s “crimestop” way of not thinking about anything Big Brother would disapprove is right on the mark.

    • leslie sharp says:

      Bundy later became President of the Ford Foundation and was a member of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund’s Special Studies Panel. (Colby & Dennett)

  4. Jonathan says:

    Just ordered Schotz’s book from Amazon. Robert Morrow provides an excellent review of the book at the Amazon site. Other good reviews as well. “…very interesting” writes Pierre Salinger.

  5. Anything that Vincent Salandria and Martin Schotz wrote on the JFK assassination is some of the highest quality commentary out there. They both do a really good job of deconstructing the left’s surrender to a right wing coup and also the American public’s mass denial to something that is a “false mystery.”

    1) False Mystery: Essays on the Assassination of JFK by Vincent Salandria
    2) Correspondence with Vincent Salandria by Michael Morrissey
    3) History Will Not Absolve Us by E. Martin Schotz
    4) Praise From a Future Generation: The Assassination of John F. Kennedy and the First Generation Critics of the Warren Report by John Kelin
    5) Google “Vincent Salandria False Mystery Speech.”
    6) Google “Vincent Salandria Spartacus” for his bio
    7) Google “The Waters of Knowledge versus the Waters of Uncertainty: Mass Denial in the Assassination of President Kennedy” by E. Martin Schotz

  6. leslie sharp says:

    No discussion of the Warren Commission is worthwhile unless it includes John Jay McCloy. This truly is old territory and yet again, it takes this site back to square one and the endless loop. I hope we can move on.

    • Clint Murchison, Sr. was an inner circle LBJ supporter and the leader of the Texas oil men in Dallas.

      “That summer, McCloy relaxed more than he had for many years. He hunted whitewings with Clint Murchison on the Texas oil man’s Mexico farm.” [Kai Bird, "The Chairman," p. 542]

      LBJ said (after RFK was murdered) that RFK told him to put Allen Dulles & John J. McCloy on the Warren Commission.

      Clint Murchison, Sr. would be a much more likely candidate for giving that advice. Murchison was the leader of the business insider establishment in Texas; and McCloy was the “Chairman of the Board” of the establishment nationwide.

      • Jonathan says:


        Re: Martin Schotz

        In the essay (speech) to which you link, Schotz attributes the assassination to “military intelligence.”

        Understandable and forgivable.

        Military Intelligence is (was) a branch of the U.S. Army.

        It was distinct from ONI and CIA. Though there was overlap in Viet Nam.

        M.I., in my informed opinion, had no direct role in the JFK assassination.

        • leslie sharp says:

          Do you discount the suggestion that Jack Crichton of the 488th(?) Reserve Military Intel in Texas had any involvement? I know this is old ground, but I think it is significant. In addition, the uber-secret Pond organization was made up of Army Intelligence.

    • leslie sharp says:

      I must find that interview. Tks for the heads up.

      McCloy: President of the Ford Foundation with all the implications you can read into it including Defense Secretary Robert McNamara; Yale classmate and best friend of Brown Brothers Harriman’s Robert Lovett; former Chairman of Chase Bank and perpetual board member; Board of Directors of United Fruit and Westinghouse, high profile member of the Grolier Club along with Walter Pforzheimer, CIA historian whose Watergate apartment included a walk-in vault for his documents. McCloy was single most significant player in the reconstruction of post WWII Germany. I think of him as the “Michael Clayton” of the day with the exception that he was brazenly public concerning his influence.

      • leslie sharp says:

        Interestingly enough, at least from my research, the direct link between Bush Sr. and this particular group of individuals is Brown Brothers Harriman thru James Baker, the Lovett family of course, and thru Prescott Bush and Yale. I don’t know that Sr. actually engaged with McCloy and Lovett directly.

        Incidentally, Prescott was on the board of American Security & Trust in DC where I believe Felix Morley was director emeritus in the 1950′s. I am certainly open to correction on that fact.

    • Jonathan says:


      In reading the W.C. executive session transcripts and parts of the W.C. testimonies, I was struck by something about McCloy. It appeared to me that McCloy, unlike Dulles, Ford, and Warren, had an open mind and was willing to ask questions.

      I’ve never had any doubt, however, he could read the handwriting on the wall.

      • leslie sharp says:

        Another interesting pattern to follow is which witnesses he questioned and the tenor of those interviews.

        I’m aware that McCloy portrayed an unbiased view of the investigation, but I also believe that he was a seasoned actor given the environs he inhabited. That’s reading between the lines, but how else can one analyze the commission given its lack of transparency. Case in point: the allegation that Oswald held FBI credentials.

        • Jonathan says:


          McCloy interviews Robert Frazier, the senior FBI technical expert on guns.

          Mr. McCloy. When you examined the rifle the first time, you said that it showed signs of some corrosion and wear?

          Mr. Frazier. Yes, sir.

          Mr. McCloy.

          Was it what you would call pitted, were the lands in good shape?

          Mr. Frazier. No, sir; the lands and the grooves were worn, the corners were worn, and the interior of the surface was roughened from corrosion or wear.

          Mr. McCloy. Was there metal fouling in the barrel?
          Mr. Frazier.

          Lesie, and others, focus on this testimony.

          J.J. McCloy interrogating the op FBI firearm expert Robert Frazier.

          • leslie sharp says:

            Do you read this as McCloy having concerns with whether or not the rifle could have been fired as accurately as necessary to kill Kennedy and/or that perhaps it had not been fired at all?

            Do you think this line of questioning indicated that McCloy did not believe that Oswald shot Kennedy with that rifle?

          • Jonathan says:


            McCloy was was seeking the truth about the rifle from the FBI’s top firearm’s expert.

            Frazier answered honestly.

            McCloy thanked him for his answer.

          • leslie sharp says:

            I did a quick read of the entire Frazier testimony. While initially McCloy pursued the possibility of discrepancies regarding the rifle, the remainder of the questioning seems to have assumed that the rifle was indeed the one that caused Kennedy’s death. That seems odd to me. Why not insist on more clarification about the condition of the rifle before moving on?

            Given Robert Morrow’s indication that McCloy went bird hunting with Murchison, I understand now why McCloy was involved in the questioning of Frazier. He clearly had a keen interest in guns.

      • McCloy was also the one who insisted that the Warren Commission be given the power of subpeana; that makes me think McCloy was not involved in the planning of the JFK assassination. I think McCloy was merely a cover up guy.

        Allen Dulles is a strong candidate for participation.

        • leslie sharp says:

          I disagree. I believe that McCloy was as entrenched as anyone. He may have been provided plausible deniability, but he would have known about the assassination at the very least. If you look beyond the obvious, into the shadows, the silhouette is there. Study what was going on in South America and precisely where Cuba stood in that dynamic; study Ireland and the UK and the future of the EU and American interests; then follow events after the assassination.

          • leslie sharp says:

            Gerry, I agree, point well made. This was a turnkey operation.

          • leslie sharp says:

            If I could add: A turnkey operation known to a certain number of individuals. Others held only that portion of the operation that pertained to them. McCloy would not have taken the risk of sitting in on the actually planning, but he would have given ‘the nod.’

        • Jonathan says:

          Warren insisted the Commission not receive and hold “classified documents.” Warren was a criminal.

          • leslie sharp says:

            Of a very high, dare I say, Order.

          • Jonathan says:

            Warren was a politician. Graduate of U.C. Berkeley Law School. Governor of California. Republican. Confirmed Caryl Chessman’s death for alleged rape.

            Appointed to the Supreme Court by Eisenhower, for political reasons. Became an activist Justice. Used the 14th Amendment to rewrite Constitutional law.

          • leslie sharp says:

            This may reverberate among veteran researchers, and will most likely attract much ridicule and scorn, but Warren was also a 33rd degree Mason and former Grand Master of California. Interestingly enough, these grown men did not view their membership in secret societies with such ridicule and scorn.

          • JSA says:


            These organizations (Masonic Lodge, Ivy League Supper Clubs, Fraternities, etc.) are social networking organizations, and there is some secrecy involved, usually ritualistic and bonding in nature. That said, I put about as much stock in someone being a member of Skull & Bones or the Hasty Pudding Club, or the Royal Order of the Water Buffalo—as being a member of the Chamber of Commerce or YMCA. In other words, I don’t think big deals go down in these places. Friendships and career links get started perhaps? Sure. But the power deals where the Bay of Pigs operation or Alpha 66 get planned? I don’t think so. In fact, I’d wager that all secrecy aside in the goings on of these clubs, there’s not much of real substance. It’s the Alex Joneses who make speculation of this kind, and in my opinion they are overreaching. If I were planning a big coup or major operation, I sure as hell wouldn’t use my fraternal organization. I’d go with the professionals in an agency or in an ad hoc assembly of professionals, a la James Angleton or Tracy Barnes. The Fraternal Order of the Water Buffalo is just too bush league, and unprofessional.

          • JSA says:

            One more thing I forgot to add: Brown & Root, the oil corporate leaders—-these are NOT bush league, and I wouldn’t rule them out as being places where deals either went down or at least these people (the oilmen and other power brokers) got let’s say, invited to the table for major operations. Even the mafia I think was used very carefully, as E. Howard Hunt said, they were kept in the dark except what they needed to know to do in a specific sense or part of a job. But Brown & Root especially I think WAS a power center of major importance. LBJ courted these boys early on in his career, of course.

    • “Wasn’t it McCloy who once stated “The Constitution is nothing but a scrap of paper to me” ?- Probably

      George W. Bush said the same thing to some congressmen complaining about the Patriot Act. They were so enraged they told Doug Thompson of Capitol Hill Blue. GWB said the Constitution was “Just a Goddamned Piece of Paper.”


    • Paul May says:

      It does grow tiring Leslie. Well said. .

  7. leslie sharp says:

    I preempted your statement with a qualifying one. I’m suggesting that a number of these individuals, locked in that specific time in history, took quite seriously their oaths within these organizations. This is not Alex Jones speaking. I deplore his approach. I am speaking from first hand knowledge. And I did not suggest that decisions were made in those settings. I do however suggest that the rule of secrecy originates from certain pressures applied by those secret societies. Beyond that, I agree wholeheartedly that industry, military and corporate, was behind the assassination either by tacit approval and acceptance or through active planning. It is the keeping of the secret that interests me.

    • JSA says:


      Points taken. However, I would emphasize that, for such a high level domestic operation involving what I would term ‘ultra secret’ (as opposed to top secret status), if you were one of the planners, you would want specific individuals recruited on a ‘need to know’ basis, VERY compartmentalized, to keep secrets truly secret, and to protect individual participants in case they got hauled before an investigative body, i.e. they could justifiably say that they “didn’t know”. I like the turn key premise. That sounds about right.

      • leslie sharp says:

        JSA, yes, there would have been a ‘need to know’ level as well as a ‘don’t compromise their vaulted position of power’ level. The secrecy is what bound them together, and I believe that behind that secrecy lay an ideology.

  8. John Kirsch says:

    I told myself I wouldn’t make any more comments on this site and now here I am, making a comment. As a non-expert, the thing that amazes me about many, if not most, of the comments on this site is the utter certainty with which the writers state their views. It’s a FACT that President Kennedy was killed by a conspiracy. It’s a FACT that Oswald acted alone. I was 11 years old when the president was killed and my interest in the assassination has only emerged in the last few years. I’ve read a few books about the assassination and few of them were of much use. In fact, most were barely readable. If I were a book critic, I would compile a list of the worst-written books about 11/22. It would only grow over time. The only thing I can say with certainty is that President Kennedy was killed during a visit to Dallas. As far as I’m concerned, everything else is up in the air. In other words, I believe the president’s killing remains a mystery and I think that when you are trying to solve a mystery, it is more useful to ask honest, informed questions than it is to make blind assertions or cling to the notion that the decades-old investigation of the crime should be taken as the last word.

    • leslie sharp says:

      Speaking from a purely subjective perch, I started researching the assassination in 1994. I held your exact view for at least a decade, and to this day, I periodically take a breather from certainty and allow all of the questions – old and new – and all of the doubt to flood back in. I look around at the files and files around me, and I try to discount the key components of the argument supporting conspiracy. It is impossible. There are issues that cannot be explained except through the hypothesis of a highly planned and executed conspiracy followed by a sophisticated cover up. If you rely solely on books or other people’s research, you’ll remain in the netherworld of uncertainty. In my experience, this requires the long hard slog of independent research.

    • I suggest reading 2 books: “LBJ: The Mastermind of the JFK Assassination” by Phillip Nelson and “JFK and the Unspeakable” by James Douglass. Read those 2 and you will have a good understanding of the JFK assassination.

      Before that read: “The JFK Assassination: A False Mystery Concealing State Crimes” by Vincent J. Salandria


      • John Kirsch says:

        Robert, thanks for your suggestions. I did read the Douglass book and found that parts of it seemed to break new ground. But ultimately it left me unsatisfied. Maybe that’s because I still don’t quite buy the idea of JFK as liberal martyr.

        • JSA says:

          That was the problem I had with the Douglass book too, the “liberal martyr” cloak. I’ve read a lot about Kennedy, but also I just read a lot in general. If I’m in line or going anywhere it’s with a book. Anyway, my take on JFK is of a pragmatic person, raised to be competitive, not really having any ideology to cling to. His mother’s catholicism left him cold, his dad he looked up to, but when he grew older he found his father to be lacking in sophistication. When he ran for the presidency in 1960, it was the final push that his father had set in motion for him, and he felt uncomfortable with Eleanor Roosevelt’s bleeding heart brand of liberalism. In fact, in 1960 he called himself a “liberal with balls” as opposed to the Adlai Stevenson brand of liberalism that earnest liberal middle aged women seemed to have flocked to. But I think when he got into office and saw what the “brassholes”and the CIA did to him with the Bay of Pigs and then in Berlin, and he remembered his experiences in WW2, it brought out a cynical side, an understanding of how power was being played by a clique of (to put it in his words) ‘Charlie Uncle Nan Tares’ were trying to have their way to feed their paranoid anti-communist, anything the corporate special interests want attitude. I think Kennedy thought that he could change this and get our country on a better path, and leave this country better off. What really scared him (I think) was the Cuban Missile Crisis. We came VERY close to a nuclear exchange with the Soviet Union. I think Douglass got that part right. Still, even the day he spoke before the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce, at breakfast, on November 22, he was still talking about new weapons systems and alluding to Vietnam. He was being a politician. That’s how the game is played.

          I see some of JFK in Barack Obama. There are differences of course. But the pragmatic political “get things done” part I think they share. Obama doesn’t have the same culture to work with, it’s not 1963 anymore. People are far more cynical today. In some ways still naive however, regarding global warming, how scary it is and how it could wipe out life on our planet if we don’t act collectively and soon to stem its worst effects. Anyway, Kennedy tried to steer our country in a pragmatic, forward and progressive direction, but he lost the support of his military, I think some of his own cabinet, and he had Lyndon Johnson ready to kill to replace him, a man of ruthless ambition. I’ve read the Caro books and the book “LBJ: Mastermind” and I agree with Robert Morrow that Lyndon had to have been a primary driving force behind what I think was a massive power coup.

          • John Kirsch says:

            I could go on at length re: Obama but that’s outside the scope of this forum. Suffice it to say that I consider him a corporate Democrat, which is to say, no Democrat at all.

        • Next step, read Jim DiEugenio on JFK’s foreign policy. Kennedy at times was hawk in rhetoric, but when the rubber hit the road, JFK was quite unacceptable to the warhawks in CIA/military who considered him an appeaser, a traitor, a weakling and they had absolutely no respect for Robert Kennedy who was telling them what to do at CIA.

          I would check Education Forum for DiEugenio on JFK’s foreign policy; I put a little of it on my blog: http://lyndonjohnsonmurderedjfk.blogspot.com/2013/04/jim-dieugenio-on-jfks-foreign-policy.html

          JFK turned down a nuclear first strike (!!!) in 1961, turned down Operation Northwoods, did not send in the Navy at the Bay of Pigs, did not bomb/attack during Cuban Missile Crisis, turned downed many requests for Vietnam escalation (although JFK did sent 15,000 “advisors”), 1963 Nuclear Test Ban treaty opposed by JCS, not to mention his general much more friendly approach to the 3rd world.

          LeMay at the conclusion of the Cuban Missile Crisis: this is the greatest defeat ever suffered by our country. That view pervaded CIA/military in re: to the Kennedys.

        • JSA says:

          “I could go on at length re: Obama but that’s outside the scope of this forum. Suffice it to say that I consider him a corporate Democrat, which is to say, no Democrat at all.”

          That sounds a bit like what Eleanor Roosevelt said about John Kennedy in 1960! I’d wager that winning the presidency in 2008 is not the same as in 1960 or 1932 for that matter. We no longer have a strong middle class as we did 50 years ago, we no longer have strong labor unions, and we no longer manufacture the bulk of our goods here at home. As Al Gore has said in his recent book, “The Future” (which I highly recommend), we have become ‘Earth Inc.’ today. It’s a whole different environment that Obama is dealing with now. I probably should not have made that comparison.

  9. Photon: “JFK’s two closest advisors would lie to the Warren Commission and thereby allow his murderer(s) to escape justice?”

    Well, as a matter of fact, yes, JFK’s very close aide & appointments secretary Kenny O’Donnell perjured himself to the Warren Commission and lied about where he heard shots come from.

    It is all about caving to peer pressure.

    Mr. SPECTER. And what was your reaction as to the source of the shots, if you had one?
    Mr. O’DONNELL. My reaction in part is reconstruction—is that they came from the right rear. That would be my best judgment.

    FROM MAN OF THE HOUSE, by Tip O’Neill, Random House: 1987. page 178:


    I was never one of those people who had doubts or suspicions about the Warren Commission’s report on the President’s death. But five years after Jack died, I was having dinner with Kenny O’Donnell and a few other people at Jimmy’s Harborside Restaurant in Boston, and we got to talking about the assassination.
    I was surprised to hear O’Donnell say that he was sure he had heard two shots that came from behind the fence.
    “That’s not what you told the Warren Commission,” I said.
    “You’re right,” he replied. “I told the FBI what I had heard but they said it couldn’t have happened that way and that I must have been imagining things. So I testified the way they wanted me to. I just didn’t want to stir up any more pain and trouble for the family.” “I can’t believe it,” I said. “I wouldn’t have done that in a million years. I would have told the truth.”
    “Tip, you have to understand. The family—everybody wanted this thing behind them.”
    Dave Powers was with us at dinner that night, and his recollection of the shots was the same as O’Donnell’s.

    Dave Powers, sitting next to O’Donnell, also heard shots from the front: http://jfkassassination.net/russ/testimony/powers1.htm

    I wonder what Lyndon Johnson’s approval rating was in the spring of 1964? Google “LBJ & Public Opinion Polls.” It was over 70% through most of 1964.

  10. John Kirsch says:

    I think one of the main reasons why so many people still doubt the official story is because there was no trial. If Oswald had lived and gone on trial, the nation would have been able to see Oswald’s lawyer or lawyers defend him against the government lawyers. If the jury had found Oswald guilty, I think people would have largely accepted the verdict because they would have believed that the system had worked. After Nixon left office, many people said the system had worked because the drama of Watergate had an ending in the form of Nixon’s removal from office. The bad guy was identified and punished, though some would argue that he wasn’t punished enough. But the situation with 11/22 is different. The authorities identified a bad guy but he never had his day in court. So 50 years later, we are left with a lingering sense of dissatisfaction. Closure (to use an overused word) wasn’t achieved.

  11. Greg Burnham says:

    Here’s a YouTube link to my 2010 COPA Presentation regarding the DRAFT of NSAM 273, signed by McGeorge Bundy on November 21st, 1963…the day BEFORE the assassination:


    JFK had recently signed NSAM 263, which referenced the ONLY portion of the McNamara/Taylor Report that the president had approved. That section called for the withdrawal of 1,000 US troops from Vietnam by Christmas of that year and the withdrawal of all remaining US PERSONNEL by the end of 1965. However, on the day before JFK was killed, his Special Assistant for National Security, McGeorge Bundy, drafted and signed a document (NSAM 273) that began the reversal of JFK’s withdrawal policy. LBJ signed the final version the day after JFK’s funeral, November 26th. The war mongers wasted no time at all–began the escalation documentation BEFORE Kennedy was even dead–hoping that history would implicate JFK in the escalation of the only war America has ever lost. — Not on my watch.

    Also see my articles on both NSAM 263 and NSAM 273 for more detail:



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