‘The [Warren] report … has collapsed like a house of cards …’

“I think that the report, to those who have studied it closely, has collapsed like a house of cards, and I think the people who read it in the long-run future will see that. I frankly believe that we have shown that the [investigation of the] John F. Kennedy assassination was snuffed out before it even began, and that the fatal mistake the Warren Commission made was not to use its own investigators, but instead to rely on the CIA and FBI personnel, which played directly into the hands of senior intelligence officials who directed the cover-up.”

Senator Richard Schweiker on “Face the Nation” in 1976

Republican Schweiker and Democrat Gary Hart headed the Church Committee subcommittee that produced the report titled “The Investigation of the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy: Performance of the Intelligence Agencies.”


  1. Philip T. says:

    Quotes like this are bedrock.

  2. John Kirsch says:

    The WC members were like blind men being led around by the CIA and FBI. The closest analogy would be the way a prosecutor manipulates a grand jury.

  3. John Kirsch says:

    Schweiker wasn’t some conspiracy “nut.” He was a U.S. senator who had studied the assassination and the performance of the intelligence agencies. I wonder if Hart has ever said how he feels about the WC.

  4. Andrew Everett says:

    I think one of the most treacherous devices of the post-WWII era has to be the Non-Disclosure Agreement…here is what the HSCA was forced to sign in 1977 by the CIA:



    This CIA weapon has several parts. First, it binds the signer, if a consultant, to never reveal that he is working for the committee (see paragraph 13). Second, it prevents the signer from ever revealing to anyone in perpetuity, any information he has learned about the committee’s work as a result of working for the committee (see paragraphs 2 and 12). Third, it gives the committee and the House, after the committee terminates, the power to take legal action against the signer, in a court named by the committee or the House, in case the committee believes the signer has violated the agreement. Fourth, the signer agrees to pay the court costs for such a suit in the event he loses the suit (see paragraphs 14 and 15).

    These four parts are enough to scare most researchers or staff members who signed it into silence forever about what they learned. The agreement is insidious in that the signer is, in effect, giving away his constitutional rights. Some lawyers who have seen the agreement, including Richard A. Sprague, have expressed the opinion it is an illegal agreement in violation of the Constitution and several Constitutional amendments. Whether it is illegal or not, most staff members and all consultants who signed it have remained silent, even after three and a half years beyond the life of the committee. There are only two exceptions, the author and Gaeton Fonzi, who published a lengthy article about the HSCA cover-up in the Washingtonian magazine in 1981.

    –from Chapter 17 of The Taking of America 1, 2, 3 by Richard Sprague



  5. George Simmons says:

    I feel it is clear that there was no real investigation of the CIA.

    The CIA decided what documents it would show the WC and HSCA.

    We now know that the CIA both lied to and misled the WC and the HSCA.

    The role of George Joannides as liason to the HSCA shows just how shocking this deception was.

  6. Nathaniel Heidenheimer says:

    This shows how much the media has changed. We were told the internet was freedom. That was pure lie. What matters is the media that reaches enough to matter. In exchange for the internet the critical mass media underwent a gigantic slim fast diet.

    That is what has produced America’s new corporate totalitarianism. It is a very different kind of totalitarianism from that of the 1930s. It is much more steeped in communications research.

    • leslie sharp says:

      The groundwork for this totalitarianism was formally established by the Social Science Research Council and its offspring. The media was and is the vehicle, whether 1930′s newsprint or 2014 internet. The only advantage WE The People have is our capacity to discern.

  7. Jonathan says:

    Senator Schweiker is more charitable than I. Yhe Warren Commission did not merely make a mistake in relying on the FBI and the CIA and in failing to carry out its own investigation.

    The record shows Earl Warren and Allen Dulles deceived other commissioners; Gerald Ford lied about the back wound; the commission ignored many key witnesses such as George Burkeley; staff attorneys Specter, Belin, and Ball had no use for the truth. And so on. No, the Warren Commission did not merely make a mistake. As a body, it acted in bad faith and deserves public scorn.

  8. TLR says:

    If I remember correctly, Schweiker suspected that Castro was behind the assassination.

    • Jonathan says:

      From reading the Face the Nation transcript it’s clear Schweiker leaned toward the idea Castro killed Kennedy as payback.

      Schweiker comes off as a mixed bag. He’s a Gerald Ford supporter. He’s critical of the way the FBI and CIA misled the Warren Commission but apparently feels the agencies are now (as of June 1976) on board with openness. He believes the Warren Report was a cover-up and says the American people need to know the truth of the assassination.

      At the end of his interview it’s clear he’s lit no fires under or inspired any curiosity in his interviewers. He provided no fireworks after speaking the words quoted above in this diary.

      • Mary says:

        “[Richard] Schweiker told me in his opinion the CIA was responsible for the assassination. That’s a heck of a statement to come from a United States Senator and one who had even been Ronald Reagan’s running mate in 1976.”
        –Robert Tanenbaum, former Deputy Counsel for the U.S. House Select Committee on Assassinations, “The Probe Interview: Bob Tanenbaum,” Probe, July-August 1996 (Vol. 3 No. 5)

    • Gerry Simone says:

      Schweiker also said that Oswald had fingerprints of intelligence.

  9. Tom says:

    The sequence of those transcripts … all messed up. Lots of missing pages, or am I wrong? Very difficult to read in continuity.

  10. anonymous says:

    ‘At the end of his interview it’s clear Richard Schweiker inspired any curiosity in his interviewers.’

    We’ve been subjected to ‘limited hangouts’ for 50 years – It’s just one technique, used by the CIA and their corporate media sock puppets to conceal facts of the assassination and other operations.

    ‘The WC was like blind men being led around by the CIA… The way a prosecutor manipulates a grand jury.’

    If LHO was not assassinated – he probably would have been indicted – A “good” prosecutor can get a grand jury to “indict a ham sandwich.”…Curiosity got Hoppy Heidelberg kicked off the OKC Federal Grand Jury: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ujiz5FSn8a0

    Dr. Sam Cohen, a physicists, worked on the Manhattan Project and co inventor of the neutron bomb, and Air Force General Benton Partin, concluded that it was impossible and against the laws of nature for a truck bomb to bring the building down: http://okcbombingtruth.com/

  11. Mariano says:

    The Warren Commission was focused on arriving at the single assassin conclusion. The CIA, and the FBI consistently submitted evidence unfaithfully. Justice and objective investigative rigour were not served. The national interest was not served. The coverup continues to this day. What are the obligations of Secret Service Agencies to the nation? Why are elected governments and constitution unable to free up evidence that has been locked for over 50 years?
    The Warren Commission failed to objectively investigate the Assassination of a President.
    The CIA and the FBI provide prolonged continuity to this national disgrace.

  12. The Warren Commission was doomed from the start.

    Because Earl Warren was blackmailed into taking the assignment. LBJ told him the fate of 40 million Americans was on the line. In other words, Warren did not want the job. Johnson called him in personally, and told him about Oswald in Mexico City at the Russian and Cuban consulates. The implication, as conveyed by LBJ, was if Warren did not take the job, it was WW 3. Warren left in tears.

    So, from the start, Warren was compromised. And the EIsenberg memo illustrates this. At the first staff meeting, Warren describes this meeting and then says the following–which Bugliosi censors from his book–”The President convinced him that this was an occasion on which actual conditions had to override general principles.” Warren did add some boilerplate about finding the truth later, but as I write in my book, when you spend 167 words talking about nuclear war, domestic LBJ plots, and squelching conspiracy thinking, and then add 14 words about a search for truth, don’t you think these Ivy League guys got the message? The cover up was on because the fate of the world was on the line.

    We know this was the case because Wesley Liebeler admitted it to Sylvia Odio. He told her that Warren had given them orders to ignore any evidence indicating a conspiracy. (Reclaiming Parkland, p. 254)

    To me, this is crucial to understanding what happened. What is also key is what Willens did when all the senior counsel started leaving. He began to hire recent law school graduates! That is young men who had never worked a case before. And they worked on important aspects like the bio of Ruby.

    What a disgrace. Willens was a key part of the cover up. He and his buddy Katzenbach.

  13. One would think that a website such as this would knock off the hamburger mentality of conspiracy theories. Factually, given the layout of Dealey Plaza, the movements of the Agents, Spectators, and others, including the location of James Tague, is EXACTLY what one would expect if suddenly a man opened fire on the President from the 6th floor window. I’d expect people to stop looking at a blow-up images where one has to ‘interpret’ the figure of a man (who couldn’t have possibly been there) etc. MOST IMPORTANTLY, the key to understanding just how the shooting occurred is in finding that spot to the exclusion of all blotches, dots, and blood smears of the HOLE IN KENNEDY’S BACK. Either Kennedy is shot closer/higher to the shoulder than the photos demonstrate OR both Kennedy’s jacket AND shirt had ‘pillowed’ (which I highly doubt). If we had that one simple understanding of where to begin to look at the actual shooting…just a single, definitive, location. We could go forward from there. The WC put that bullet up into JFK’s Trapezius area in drawings and, apparently, the exact location of the wound is not shown in photos taken of his back as JFK’s body was laying on the mortuary table. We have to look at the wound b/c it’s been lifted and turned (thereby altering the actual point of entry in reference to the physical body).

    In any case….One Shooter: LHO. One Location: 6th floor window. Key to Assassination: Where was Oswald going after he killed JFK. It surely wasn’t to the movies.

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