Crowdsourcing JFK: What did Gerald Ford say about the Warren Commission?

A faithful reader writes:
“I recall see former president and Warren Commission member Gerald Ford make an ‘unusual’ statement on TV in the mid 1990s. In reference to the Warren Commission, he said, ‘We told the truth, we just didn’t tell the whole truth.'”
“Aside from seeing / hearing him say that,” the reader went on. “I recently read a Jan. 1996 interview with James Hosty, Hosty mentions Ford’s remark verbatim and said he wished Ford had said that sooner because he (Hosty) would have used it in his new book at that time before it went into publication (Assignment: Oswald).
“Trying to find that 4-second remark on a YouTube video is like looking for the proverbial needle in a haystack. Do you have any idea how or where I can find the footage of Ford saying that?”
I’m not familiar with that Ford comment. Maybe readers can help. Anybody know anything about this?


  1. Dan says:

    There is a Preface by Gerald Ford to a book titled “A Presidential Legacy and the Warren Commission”, Flatsigned Press, Nashville, 2007. In that Preface, President Ford writes that the CIA hid evidence from the Warren Commission about the CIA/Mafia plots to kill Castro, but makes a distinction between being involved in the JFK assassination and covering it up to hide the CIA/Mafia plots. Ford writes, “Given the new facts, could there have been a conspiracy? Conceivably. But no verified evidence to date shows a link to, or any direct involvement by, any government agency, federal employees, or subversive group.” p. XXIII.

    • Gerry Simone says:

      That preface by Ford is very important. If it can’t be published on the internet, perhaps a review by someone who has read it (maybe it’s on Amazon?).

      If Ford indeed mentions a cover-up by the CIA of a CIA/Mafia plot to assassinate the President, then this could be the rationale for the withholding of the last 1,100 files.

  2. Shenon’s book shows that Ford was highly suspicious of a Communist conspiracy.

    Shenon also claims that the WC staff and Commission members never got the SOLO report about Castro saying that Oswald had threatened to kill Kennedy at the Mexican embassy.

    • Bogman says:

      I have to ask, John, if you believe the report that Oswald threatened Kennedy at the Cuban embassy? Because that’s quite an amazing coincidence that the same guy gets a front row seat on the motorcade route six weeks later.

      • I have to ask, John, if you believe the report that Oswald threatened Kennedy at the Cuban embassy?

        I think it’s possible, but if so, the Cubans blew it off as a meaningless rant from a mentally unstable guy.

        I think it’s also possible (and probably more likely) that in the aftermath of the assassination, the account of what Oswald said in the embassy got mangled and distorted.

        You should look at the things Hoover was telling top officials in DC. Information does not seamlessly move up through layers of bureaucracy.

  3. Bogman says:

    I read Ford’s preface and you don’t know whether to think he was clueless or completely disenguous.

    Two pages after telling everyone how bad people are who claim the WC is a fraud, the official report states JFK was first hit in the neck. Does anyone who’ve seen the entry wound in the autopsy photos and clothing believe that’s his “neck?” Are u frigging kidding me? Ask any four-year-old where the neck is and I guarantee you he won’t point to the mid- shoulder.

    But that is so typical of the crap our govt has been serving on this issue for 50 years. Amend an obvious fact to make your case rather than build your case on obvious facts. And then point fingers at everyone who calls you on it.

    That’s why the American people never bought the official story, not because of conspiracy theorists. If Oswald did it alone, then there’s no reason to amend a SINGLE fact.

    And btw, I believe it was Ford who had the wording changed to say JFK was first struck in the neck and not the shoulder.

    • The “Ford moved the wound” business is a factoid.

      • bogman says:

        OK, but what do you think of my main point? If the WC was an honest investigation looking for the truth, why would they lie about the position of the entrance wound? Not too mention never mention the backwards motion of Kennedy in the final shot from Z, etc., etc.

        Do you see how all this confusion about the case was NOT caused by conspiracy theorists?

        • What you are calling “lies” simply were not lies.

          The autopsy report says the wound was 14 cm. below the tip of the right mastoid process. The autopsy photos (which the HSCA had) show it 13.5 cm. below the tip of the right mastoid process.

          As for “back and to the left,” the WC should have dealt with that more explicitly, but it was almost certainly a neuromuscular spasm. Indeed, Shenon’s book makes it clear that WC staff knew that.

          So you need to be careful about labeling as “lies” things that are merely at odds with the standard conspiracist way of interpreting the evidence.

          • bogman says:

            First, I never used the word lies. i also think that most people would agree that anything below the collar line is below the neck which JFK’s wound obviously was. So more subterfuge.

            I’m glad you can dismiss the subterfuge about the Z film from the official report. Inexcusable to me and undernines any integrity they were hoping for.

          • bogman says:

            Also, none of this proves or even means WC conspiracy. It does show a willingness to cherry-pick and massage the facts to match a pre-drawn conclusion, the kind of stuff you call CTs on every day.

          • Ford read a draft that said “A bullet had entered his back at a point slightly above the shoulder to the right of the spine.”

            That’s inconsistent.

            It’s also the case that Ford had seen the Rydberg drawing, and almost certainly did not know what “14 cm. below the tip of the mastoid process” was.


            So he believed he was correcting the WCR.

            The final version of the WCR read:

            “A bullet had entered the base of the back of his neck and slightly to the right of his spine.”

            The actual entry was at T1, quite consistent with the SBT.

          • Gerry Simone says:

            The Rydberg sketch is clearly a lie and anything that follows it, especially when one considers the autopsy photo of Kennedy’s back wound or the photos of his jacket and shirt (warning – graphic):

   (photos at bottom of article)

   (third photo down)

            Staff wrote the bullet entered the back which was changed by Ford to ‘base of neck’. This is a big difference. Even if he didn’t have access to the autopsy photos (which I doubt), the FBI’s report described the lower location of the bullet holes in Kennedy’s clothing, which was more than enough to raise an eyebrow.

          • Larry says:

            when someone knowingly states that a wound is in a different place than it actually is that makes it a lie.

      • Brian H says:

        Sorry Mr McAdams but the pictures of the wounds and the Warren Report clearly say otherwise.

      • TLR says:

        Of course we can trust a man who lied under oath.

        During his confirmation hearings for Vice President in November 1973, Gerald Ford was asked about using excerpts from the top secret 1/27/1964 Warren Commission transcript in his book, Portrait of the Assassin. His reply was an utter falsehood.

        Chairman: Now, Mr. Ford, it has been stated that as a member of the Warren Commission you voluntarily accepted the constraints which all the members of the commission accepted, providing that you would not publish or release any of the proceedings of the Commission. You did, however, in association with another, publish a book and provide material for a Life magazine article on the proceedings of the Commission. Do you feel this was a violation of your agreement?

        Ford: To the best of my recollection, Mr. Chairman, there was no such agreement, but, even if there was, the book I published in conjunction with a member of my staff…we wrote the book, but we did not use in that book any material other than the material that was in the 26 volumes of testimony and exhibits that were subsequently made public…

        Later a member of a House committee suggested to Ford that he might have committed perjury during his Senate testimony; Ford said that he hadn’t understood the meaning of the chairman’s question.

  4. jeffmorley says:

    I remind readers that the point of this post is NOT to debate Gerald Ford’s credibility . The point is finding NEW INFORMATION. The reader is looking for video of Ford talking about the Warren Commission. If you have information that can help please send it in the form of a link or a citation.

  5. Andrew Everett says:

    The only similar remarks by Gerald Ford which I could find were on a History Channel documentary of the Warren Commission. Ford stated “It was wise to get it (the Warren Commission Report) to the public before the elections of 1964. We understood it was important to get the report out publicly as quickly as possible–and at the same time do a good job.”

    Obviously, this is far from openly stating the Warren Commission did not tell the whole truth–but it is worth noting that the final 15 minutes of the documentary does go on to question whether the commission was given ample time to find the whole truth. The final portion of the documentary also explains how a member of the Warren Commission, Sen. Richard Russell, saw his own skeptical views obfuscated in the Warren Report.

    So, is it possible that maybe your friend’s memory may be “blending” these final conclusions?

    Also possible is that youtube has stricken the video/remarks from being easily searched (or even taken down the posting). I recently went through my youtube history and was surprised to find quite a few of the videos I have watched are now DELETED. The videos which were deleted had no file name or any way of knowing exactly WHAT was deleted–just a blank box that said “this video has been removed.”

    Ford’s remarks are at 1 hour 16 min 23 seconds

  6. mark says:

    If the WC was to conduct a serious and thorough investigation, then why would the new president appoint Allen Dulles to be on the commission? All of the details of the assassination are very important, but the debate rages on endlessly. consider an alternative tact; looking at the big picture and using a little common sense. It’s clear that something occurred that day in Dallas other than what the WC report tells us. LBJ appoints Allen Dulles to be on the wc, the very same Allen Dulles that JFK just humiliated by firing him. Wouldn’t the president realize that this conflict of interest could sabotage the report either by mischief or perception? Dulles is the last man on earth that should have been chosen for the WC…………logic and common sense tells me that LBJ was more concerned with having ‘friendly’ WC members and a member with a grudge against Kennedy was better yet. If you don’t agree with that assessment, then you would have to conclude that LBJ was an idiot. He was a bad guy and a crook etc., but he wasn’t an idiot. LBJ puts Dulles on the committee to investigate the murder of a guy that dulles would like to get even with; I believe that wasn’t a blunder but a coverup………..

  7. Gerry Simone says:

    The comment in the link below says that the WC DID have access to the autopsy photos per Jan. 21st and 27th, 1964 executive session transcripts.

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