David Slawson, former Warren Commission staffer who told Politico Magazine he has changed his mind about the commission’s conclusion, writes to say his position has been slightly misinterpreted. He does not believe there was a conspiracy to kill the president but he does think Lee Harvey Oswald had accessories.
In an email to JFK Facts, Slawson, a retired law professor, explained the distinction like this:
“The word, “conspiracy,” was Phil Shenon’s, not mine. The word I used was “accessory.” There are “accessories before the fact” and “after the fact.” If you know or have good reason to suspect a person will commit a crime, and do not tell the proper authorities, you are one of the former, and you are subject to the same penalties the perpetrator is. Accessories after the fact usually have hidden evidence or helped the perpetrator escape, etc. But when Phil and I discussed this, I did not object to his use of “conspiracy,” because it is possible, of course, that Oswald agreed with one or more of the Mexican nationals that they would hide him if he could make it back to Mexico after he killed Kennedy – or something like that. But I didn’t use the word myself, because I thought, and still think, that this was very unlikely.
“And as the new Afterword makes clear, I still am convinced that there was no conspiracy in the meaningful sense of the word involving the Cuban or Russian governments or any other significant group of people, and I am also still convinced that Oswald was the only shooter.
“What I now know, however, and am very concerned about, is that the CIA and the FBI and others involved in the Warren Commission investigation withheld evidence from Bill Coleman, me, and other members of the staff and the Commission and lied to us, in particular about the Cuban investigation – and that this has continued long past 1975, when the plots to assassinate Castro were exposed. What are they still hiding? And why?”