WARREN COMMISSION SET UP 50 YEARS AGO TODAY
The President's Commission on the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy was established 50 years ago today, November 29, 1963, just one week after the death of the 35th President of the United States.
The commission, appointed by President Lyndon B. Johnson, included the following members...
Chief Justice Earl Warren
John Sherman Cooper
Gerald R. Ford
John J. McCloy
The final report included 469 pages with 410 pages of appendices. It was presented to LBJ on September 24, 1964 and made public 3 days later.
The Warren Report included 26 volumes of supplementary documents.
94 witnesses testified before the Commission.
All were given the opportunity to be interviewed in open session but only one chose to do so.*
*395 witnesses were questioned under oath by legal staff of the Commission, 61 gave affidavits and 2 gave statements.
Witnesses were free to share their testimony with anyone outside the Commission hearings.
The Warren Commission concluded that the shots which killed President Kennedy and wounded Governor Connally were fired by Lee Harvey Oswald and added...
"On the basis of the evidence before the Commission, it is concluded that Oswald acted alone."
While more than 60% of American's surveyed do not agree with the basic conclusion of the Commission, Larry J. Sabato, director of the Center For Politics at the University of Virginia, says...
"Despite everything, a large part of the Commission's basic conclusion turns out to be true."
Sabato, however, does agree that...
"The investigation...was inadequate, rushed and manipulated..."
Warren Commission assistant counsel Arlen Specter, however, was quoted by Vincent Bugliosi** in his massive book, "Reclaiming History," as saying...
"I have never seen the resources devoted to the determination of the truth as were the resources of the United States of America devoted in this case..."
Mr. Bugliosi's view after extensive research is...
"After being exposed to the evidence, I have become satisfied beyond ALL doubt that Lee Harvey Oswald killed President Kennedy, and beyond ALL reasonable doubt that he acted alone."
**Vincent Bugliosi was born in Hibbing, Minnesota. He graduated from the University of Miami (FL) and UCLA School of Law.
He served as Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney and successfully prosecuted Charles Manson.
Bugliosi appeared with defense attorney Gerry Spence in a 1986 TV mock trial of Lee Harvey Oswald.
More than 98% of the Commission's records have been released and on October 26, 2017 the remainder will be made public.
As Larry Sabato writes...
"The right time came long ago for complete disclosure. Transparency cannot bring President Kennedy back but at long last it can help bring America to terms fully with November 22, 1963."
So 50 years later, we still haven't come "to terms with November 22, 1963."
The reason, according to Vincent Bugliosi, is not because of the Warren Commission's failure to convince us, it is because we want something to "balance the scale."
With the murder of the most powerful man in the free world on one side, and, in Jackie Kennedy's words, "a silly little Communist" on the other, "it just doesn't balance."
Bugliosi argues that we need something besides Oswald on that side of the scale to "make it balance," and "a conspiracy would do that beautifully."
"Is there more to JFK's assassination?," by Larry J. Sabato, November 21, 2013, CNN Opinion, www.cnn.com/