With the FBI’s report on Kennedy’s assassination, the Commission undertook to select staffers and figure out how to approach its work.
Chief Justice Warren complained about the leaks of the FBI report: “I have read that report two or three times and I have not seen anything in there that has not been in the press.”
The Commissioners then held a wide-ranging discussion of JFK’s assasination, including:
–the medical evidence. (John J. McCloy: “This bullet business leaves me confused”);
–Marina Oswald and whether she might flee to Mexico,
–the ease of Oswald getting a wife out of the Soviet Union and obtaining a passport in New Orleans,
Senator Richard Russell summed things up thusly: “There’s nothing absolutely normal about any phase of it.”
Toward the end of the meeting, former CIA Director Allen Dulles passed out a book on the history of presidential assassination and attempts in America, noting that only the attempt on Truman’s life was a plot.
“The Lincoln assassination was a plot”, McCloy countered. Dulles refused to concede the point.
The Commissioners saw a clear need to obtain reports and files from the Secret Service, Dallas Police, CIA, and other agencies. Dulles brought up getting materials on Oswald’s Soviet stay into the hands of the CIA “to explain the Russian parts.”
Senator Russell commented: “I think you’ve got more faith in them than I have. I think they’ll doctor anything they hand to us.”
The phrase “nothing absolutely normal about any phase of it” has stood the test of time.