I think David Slawson’s repudiation of the Warren Commission report in Politico magazine is important. Anthony Summers, best-selling biographer and JFK investigator, disagrees.
In an email from Ireland Summers writes that Slawson’s new interpretation of Kennedy’s assassination is: “interesting but no headline — and, especially given that it comes from a lawyer, contains an oddly unsafe quote.”
“I now know,” Slawson is quoted as saying, “that Oswald was almost certainly not a lone wolf.”
“Many suspect Oswald was not a lone actor in the assassination scenario. Surely no one, though, (unless they have knowledge so far unavailable to the public) knows it as a great likelihood.
“In a further quote, Slawson says he thinks it “very likely” that “people in Mexico encouraged” Oswald to commit the assassination. By “people”, this material indicates, Slawson is referring to “Cuban diplomats and Mexican civilians”.
I know of no compelling testimony or evidence to indicate that Oswald was encouraged by Cuban diplomats or Mexican civilians.–Anthony Summers
“I think I am one of the few reporters who trawled the witnesses in Mexico as early as the late 1970s — including some that the HSCA did not get to, and some not now available to Philip Shenon — and who also conducted interviews in Cuba. I later went back to Mexico to do further interviews. Unless there is something new and surprising in the paperback edition of the Shenon paperback — or unless, from his association with the Warren Commission, Slawson knows something the public does not — I know of no compelling testimony or evidence to indicate that Oswald was encouraged by Cuban diplomats or Mexican civilians.
“There are aspects of my own experience with David Slawson that shake my confidence. In the early 1990s, he told me twice, once on videotape — as his former colleague William Coleman and the former deputy to CIA station chief Win Scott did — that the three of them listened to audiotape surveillance tapes of Oswald in April 1964. On that subject, he has since wavered or been less forthcoming. Ido not know what that may signify, if anything.
“For me, the opinions of survivors of 1963 and the early investigation are today not really of much significance.
“What the case needs is evidence, significant items of which could yet surface in the form of solid documentation so far unseen. The rest is chaff, blowing on the wind of very vaporous history”
To which I would only add: I agree that Slawson flounders in trying to identify the causes of Kennedy’s death. But that doesn’t mean his recantation isn’t important. What matters is that one of the authors of the lone gunman theory no longer has confidence in it. This vindicates critics of the Warren Commission and legitimizes the continuing demands for full disclosure and decisive clarification.