Tag Archive for Howard Willens

Coming soon: Blakey v. Willens JFK debate at the Sixth Floor Museum

On October 29:

“Don’t miss this rare opportunity to witness a riveting conversation between Howard P. Willens of the Warren Commission and G. Robert Blakey of the U.S. House Select Committee on Assassinations. For the first time ever, these key members will appear together to publicly discuss the context and findings of the two crucial government investigations into the death of President John F. Kennedy.”

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The Sixth Floor Museum to hold assassination debate on October 29

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In a welcome development, the Sixth Floor Museum is holding a debate about the causes of JFK’s assassination on October 29. Long reluctant to engage with critics of the official story, the Dallas museum is opening itself to new points of view.

I suspect curator Stephen Fagin is responsible. I did an oral history of my JFK journalism for the Museum, and I found him to be a perceptive questioner who was interested in different interpretations of November 22.

The two participants in the Oct 29 could not be more qualified to represent their views. Read more

The BBC talks to three Warren Commission investigators

Vincent Dowd speaks to three men who worked on the report, now in their 80s – Burt Griffin, Sam Stern and Howard P.Willens – who now openly consider its merits and whether it uncovered the truth.

Source: BBC World Service – The Documentary, The Commission Read more

What the American Scholar never learned about JFK

In responding to an article by Warren Commission staffers Howard Willens and Richard in The American Scholar, Gary Aguilar and Cyril Wecht make a point that defenders of the Warren Commission cannot refute–and therefore rarely address–because it is undeniably true.

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Is ‘The Truth About Dallas’ credible?

As the JFK critical literature continues to grow, we would like to lay out one last time how we arrived at our conclusions, and why we are as confident as ever about what happened during those fateful days in Texas.

With those words, former Warren Commission staffers Howard Willens and Richard Mosk restated the case for why Americans should believe the official theory of JFK’s death.

I invite readers to comment on the findings of Willens and Mosk (which appear in the summer issue of the American Scholar) and why young people should believe them or not.

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Howard Willens corrects my mistakes

Howard Willens writes via email to correct a couple of mistakes in my Nov. 12 post, “Howard Willens weighs in on RFK’s suspicions of conspiracy.”  Let me quote him in full.

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Howard Willens weighs in on RFK’s suspicions of conspiracy

Howard Willens, former Warren Commission staffer, has responded to Philip Shenon’s article in Politico about Attorney General Robert Kennedy being a “conspiracy theorist” and my post, “Why RFK refused to swear there was no conspiracy.”

In a new post at HowardWillens.com, Willens says the dispute should be broken down into three questions:

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Why RFK refused to swear there was no JFK conspiracy

Politico addresses a question too long ignored by the Washington press corps: Did Robert Kennedy refuse to provide the Warren Commission with a sworn statement about the causes of his brother’s murder?

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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. Read more

ICYMI: A conversation with Howard Willens, Warren Commission defender

In an exclusive interview with JFK Facts, Willens talks about his naivete about the CIA, what he thinks of Mark Lane, and how history will view the Warren Commission.

Top CIA officials were ‘not truthful’ with Warren Commission, former staffer says

Howard Willens

Howard Willens, Warren Commission defender.

Howard Willens, a former Warren Commission staffer, acknowledged in a an email interview with JFK Facts that deputy CIA director Richard Helms was “not truthful” with the Commission and there is “no doubt” that counterintelligence chief James Angleton did not cooperate with the inquiry into JFK’s assassination.

While vigorously defending the Commission’s conclusions, Willens admitted he was naive about the CIA. Asked about a passage in his journal from March 1964 in which he wrote that senior CIA officials “did not have an axe to grind” in the commission’s investigation, Willens acknowledged “my comments about the CIA were naive to say the least.”

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Support original, credible, fact-based JFK journalism

Nobody else does it like JFK Facts. We provide original, credible, fact-based reporting on the JFK assassination story, day in and day out. And we depend on readers to keep up the fight.

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Thoughts on the Willens defense of the Warren Commission

I want to  thank Howard Willens for his willingness to answer questions from JFK Facts. Like most Americans, I cannot share his certitude about the Commission’s findings, and I find my skepticism fortified by his admissions about the “untruthful” and “unresponsive” posture of Richard Helms and James Angleton.

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How Oliver Stone prompted Warren Commission staffers to favor full disclosure — 30 years later

via “Book Excerpt: the Hearing With Oliver Stone: A Heroic Moment for Our Protagonist” — HowardWillens.com.

“Stone’s movie, [David] Belin’s speech, and the likelihood of congressional action prompted several commission lawyers to discuss how we might best respond to the movie and support legislation making assassination records public ….”

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Warren Commission wanted to avoid transparency

H/T Pat Speer,

An interesting entry from the journals of Howard Willens, attorney for the Warren Commission, about how the Commission wanted to avoid transparency “for a year or two.”

Willens, a retired attorney turned historian,  is the author of the book, History Will Prove Us Right, which defends the Warren Commission’s work and conclusions. (For an excerpt of the book, read here.)

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