Allen Dulles: ‘I think this record ought to be destroyed.’

“I think this record ought to be destroyed.”

— Warren Commissioner Allen Dulles, during a January 22, 1964, executive session at which the allegation that Lee Harvey Oswald was a paid informant for the FBI was discussed.

The transcript was indeed destroyed, but an original court reporter’s tape was later recovered and the transcript re-made from it after a long legal battle brought by Harold Weisberg, a former Capitol Hill staffer and JFK researcher.


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38 thoughts on “Allen Dulles: ‘I think this record ought to be destroyed.’”

  1. “The very word “secrecy” is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths and secret proceedings. We decided long ago that the dangers of excessive and unwarranted concealment of pertinent facts far outweighed the dangers which are cited to justify it. Even today, there is little value in opposing the threat of a closed society by imitating its arbitrary restrictions. Even today, there is little value in insuring the survival of our nation if our traditions do not survive with it. And there is very grave danger that an announced need for increased security will be seized upon those anxious to expand its meaning to the very limits of official censorship and concealment. That I do not intend to permit to the extent that it is in my control. And no official of my Administration, whether his rank is high or low, civilian or military, should interpret my words here tonight as an excuse to censor the news, to stifle dissent, to cover up our mistakes or to withhold from the press and the public the facts they deserve to know.”
    “For we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy that relies on covert means for expanding its sphere of influence–on infiltration instead of invasion, on subversion instead of elections, on intimidation instead of free choice, on guerrillas by night instead of armies by day. It is a system which has conscripted vast human and material resources into the building of a tightly knit, highly efficient machine that combines military, diplomatic, intelligence, economic, scientific and political operations. Its preparations are concealed, not published. Its mistakes are buried not headlined. Its dissenters are silenced, not praised. No expenditure is questioned, no rumor is printed, [and] no secret is revealed.”
    “No President should fear public scrutiny of his program. For from that scrutiny comes understanding; and from that understanding comes support or opposition. And both are necessary. I am not asking your newspapers to support the Administration, but I am asking your help in the tremendous task of informing and alerting the American people. For I have complete confidence in the response and dedication of our citizens whenever they are fully informed.” –JFK, April 27, 1961

    JFK was speaking to the Press about the secrecy of closed societies (not necessarily Countries); it seems an amazingly, thinly veiled description of the covert actions of the CIA, under Allen Dulles.

  2. Those 13 pages are interesting. Dulles seems surprisingly unaware. I wonder if he could be faking it. He was Presbyterian you know!

  3. I read ‘fear of Hoover’ & ‘fear of LBJ’ all over Allen Dulles’ words. Perplexing to me is if Dulles knew Oswald to be CIA then he already knew Oswald wasn’t FBI. It also opens the door to the possibility Dulles was clueless about who Oswald may have belonged to (Intel wise). It’s obvious the public was not going to be told the truth about Oswald by this marvelous fact-finding Presidential commission willing to destroy its own internal records.

  4. And exactly why would LBJ appoint someone, to the committee that was investigating JFK’s murder, that was fired by JFK? The best history can say at this time was “questionable appointment”, why wasn’t their an outcry back then?

    Think of the circumstances that led to Ford, a very unimpressive candidate as described even by his most ardent supporters, becoming President of The United States! If that scenario doesn’t seem like an invisible helping hand, I don’t know what is.

    Agnew resigns giving Ford the Vice Presidency, Nixon resigns giving Ford the Presidency! Could that situation be the result of a sort of look the other way pay off?

    1. Not only did Johnson pick a guy JFK fired, but the guy he picked also had a sister working in the State department for 25 years or so, and when JFK fired Dulles, he had Dean Rusk inform the Dulles sister that she was unwelcome anymore in the administration.
      Earlier a poster had suggested there was a lovefest between the Kennedys and Dulles, but the truth seems much closer to a deep distrust.My guess is that LBJ knew exactly what Dulles would do and make sure, as McCpy said, that the “dust was settled” as far as one shooter was concerned.

    2. And exactly why would LBJ appoint someone, to the committee that was investigating JFK’s murder, that was fired by JFK?

      Bobby asked for Allan Dulles to be appointed.

      My RA is close to having a web essay on this. The evidence is quite clear.

      1. “Bobby asked for Allan Dulles to be appointed.”

        Sure he did. Because the Kennedy brothers so admired the Dulles brothers’ approach to foreign policy. Because Bobby had a Dulles sister fired from the State Department after the Bay of Pigs disaster. Because Bobby immediately suspected CIA agents had a hand in the assassination.

        Maybe he did after all. Doesn’t matter.

      2. Where is the evidence that RFK was responsible for Dulles’ appt? If it was Dale Myers, this sounds like typical disinformation

  5. More incriminating evidence for a cover-up and possible government involvement in the crime itself.

    But while I lean toward conspiracy, I do have a sticking point that Chris Matthews often brings up: How did the conspirators get nice Unitarian Ruth Paine to get Oswald a job overlooking the motorcade route?

    I’ve never seen a good explanation of that trick.

    1. That does propose a problem for the pro conspiracy camp. My only answer is that there are some pieces of data that do make me suspicious of the Paines – if and only if they are accurate.

      First, her sister seems to have worked for the CIA – even if it was in some minor or nonoperational capacity. Her father and maybe uncle both worked for AID, which covered for uncountable CIA operatives. Secondly, I believe policeman Buddy Walters said while searching the Paine’s home for LHO’s belongings, he saw several metal filing cabinets containing index cards with the names of pro-Castro sympathizers. If true, that is unexpected of this Quaker couple as well. Thirdly, this phone call Michael Paine made to Ruth saying something to the effect of he was sure LHO did it, but we both know who is responsible. If true, that right there is enough reason to suspect them, a conspiracy, the whole nine yards. Lastly, Jim DiEugenio writes in his new edition of ‘Destiny Betrayed’ of some suspicious behavior on her part in regards to the evidence produced against LHO.

      I would add that, if you take the evidence that there were intelligence assets involved in this assassination seriously, you should be reminded of the two words that are constantly used to describe Jim Angleton’s methods: Byzantine Plots.

    2. The link in that chain would be Roy Truly, the Manager of the depository operation who appears to be a purely benign observer, given the tone of his testimony before the WC, and yet he served as a major conduit of information regarding of the events on November 22, 1963. Truly is also the single most important voice in directing all attention to Lee Harvey Oswald in the immediate aftermath of the assassination. Had he not immediately identified that Oswald was missing, authorities might have combed the area around the building far more aggressively (and who might they have discovered?); had he not named Oswald and provided Oswald’s address, would Officer Tippitt have been dispatched to the area; had he not hired Oswald in the first place, would any of us be talking about this?

      With all due respects to Mr. Truly’s family, how can we avoid the possibility that he was duped along with dozens of others during that period, each with their role to play, however ignorant of their actions. Add to all of this the very strange episode involving a tenant of the depository, Warren Caster and Caster’s purchase of a rifle at Sears the week of the assassination, a rifle he brought back to his office and showed to Truly, during which time Oswald joined the exchange. This proves nothing; it is however an incident worthy of reconsideration.

      1. Is it true that Roy Truly got Officer Baker to bypass the 6th floor of TSBD in the first few minutes after the assassination? I read somewhere that rather than take the stairs, they took the elevator from the fifth floor to the top floor.

      2. Truly didn’t tell Fritz Oswald was missing until around 1:15. Fritz didn’t give the order to go to Oswald’s address (the Paine house) until about an hour later. After Oswald had already been arrested.
        I don’t see a Truly connection.

    3. Well, it’s well-known that a lot of anti-Stalinist leftists worked in concert with the CIA during the early period of the Cold War. There are at least a few books that deal extensively with that subject. So the “nice Unitarian” designation means nothing.

      1. This where a lot of the conspiracy crowd loses its credibility. To impugn Ruth Paine with zero evidence of any wrongdoing is ridiculous and plain wrong.

        Now, if you had said that the rogue CIA plotters manipulated the people involved in getting Oswald a job in the TSD just as they did with DRE and Oswald’s FPFC post-assassination publicity blitz with full plausible deniability, then I’d say you might be getting closer to the truth.

  6. You know, it’s facts like this that make me appreciate this blog all the more. Funny, but McAdams’ site doesn’t seem to have this information on it. At least I couldn’t find it there.

  7. He retired form the FBI in 1954 per the bio on Spartacus. The way it reads Chicago was his last assignment but it does not mention when he started there.
    BTW, Dulles at some point during the WC said something to the effect of people don’t read or no one will read this. So why did anything need to be off the record????

  8. Guy Bannister, who was one of Hoover’s favorite FBI agents and who was previously the FBI’s Special Agent in Charge of Chicago, had this to say to Delphine Roberts (a secretary and Bannister mistress) when she expressed concern about Oswald passing out pro-Cuba fliers on the streets of New Orleans:


    [Anthony Summers, Conspiracy, 1991 ed., p. 295]

      1. Banister had left the FBI, and gone to New Orleans to clean up corruption in the NO police department.

        His erratic behavior got him tossed out of that job. For example, at one point he pulled a gun on a waiter.

        He set up his own private detective agency, but he didn’t have a lot of success, since he could not pay his rent at the Newman Building and has to close up shop in early 1964.

        According to a CIA document the Agency:

        considered contacting him for use as a foreign intelligence source and for possible use of his firm for cover purposes. However, security investigation revealed derogatory information about his professional conduct, and he was not contacted.

    1. Do you know the dates that Banister served as agent in charge of the Chicago office?

      James Hosty joined the FBI in Chicago in 1952. He had worked as security officer for the First National Bank of Chicago.

        1. I think it’s exceedingly unlikely that Jack Ruby worked for Nixon, even indirectly. There is a document showing what was most likely another Jack Ruby informing for HUAC or something to that effect.

  9. “On January 1, [1964] Lonnies Hudkins of the Houston Post, published a story under the headline: “Oswald Rumored as Informant for U.S.” Hudkins found that Oswald did know agent Hosty.”

    Remember in New Orleans, Oswald after he was arrested for passing out fliers or “disturbing the peace” – he requested that a New Orleans Special Agent come visit him in jail. And the FBI man did.

    Read this article by Harold Feldman from January, 1964:

    1. Shane McBryde

      Incredible! See, this is why I am still a neophyte. I had not read, or even been aware of such an article. But, this sort of article is what I consider near primary source material because it was developed so close to the time of the actual event. The information is stil fairly raw and had not been contaminated by years of disinformation and misinformation that followed over the years.

      Good stuff, Robert!

    2. On page 5 of the 13-page document, Allen Dulles refers to conversation(s) he had with “Story” which would be Robert G. Storey, Chairman of the board of Lakewood State Bank in Dallas, former assistant AG of Texas, founder of Southwest Legal Foundation, dean of the law school at Southern Methodist University 1947-1959 and executive trial counsel to Justice Robert H. Jackson in the Nuremberg trials 1945-1946. It is odd that Dulles says that Storey was “not in the hierarchy.” As a matter of fact, it appears that Storey was playing a significant role in this particular episode.

      Another source which expands on this: “Dallas and the Jack Ruby Trial: Memoir of Judge Joe B. Brown Sr.” (Google “Holloway (the editor) Dallas Ruby Trial Judge Joe Brown Storey” for page 63)

      According to this, the Warren Commission immediately summoned Wade, Alexander, Carr, Jaworski and Storey to D.C. where an informal meeting with Warren and Rankin took place on January 23, 1964.

      By then, apparently Wade was diminishing the credibility of the claim based on his belief that the source, Assistant D.A. William Alexander held animosity toward the FBI and the Attorney General.

      For the record, Houston attorney Leon Jaworski was counsel for Schlumberger Ltd. which has been linked by some researchers to Guy Bannister.

    1. Nathaniel Heidenheimer

      Shane I would very strongly recommend the book Breach of Trust by Gerald D. McKnight. It confines itself to the WC . It is essential.

  10. Shane McBryde

    OK, so I’ve read all 13 pages of the report from that particular session. The hairs on the back of my neck will be standing on end all day now! I’m dumbstruck! Unbelievable!

  11. Shane McBryde

    Man, that is mind blowing! How it is that this type of thing can be right out there in the public domain, and it not be knowledge as common as the rifle LHO allegedly used is absolutely beyond me!

    TX A.G. Waggoner Carr reporting to the WC that Oswald was an “FBI Undercover Agent.” Badge # 179, and earning $200.00 a month!

    Rankin says even the press, at the time, had that information. Was that ever actually published at the time?

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