"So, now we have the Chief of Station, the Chief of Cuban operations, and a woman who worked for him who all say that Oswald's contacts with the Cuban embassy were in fact reported by cable to headquarters.
"But, it gets better. We now have, you know when Congress found out about the mail intercept program, the HT/LINGUAL program, the agency was reading our mail, they fired Angleton. He lost his job over that. And he was replaced by this guy, (George T.) Kalaris. Kalaris became the new head of counterintelligence in the Central Intelligence Agency and in 1975 he wrote this memo, and in the memo he says that there were several Mexico City cables in October, 1963 concerning Oswald's visits to both the Soviet and Cuban embassies.'
"He's only the head of counterintelligence at the CIA.
"But we're not done.
"Not to be outdone by the Chief of Station, or the chief of operations down there, and his employee, and the head of counterintelligence, we have here Mr. Dick Helms himself writing a memorandum to the Warren Commission saying, 'these intercepts,' and so on and so forth 'the information on Oswald was similar to ones we got in other cases. In Oswald's case it was the combination of visits to both the Soviet and Cuban embassies which caused them to report it in the first place.'
[See of Oswald and the CIA p. 514]
"So, in other words we have a quite substantial pile of, you know, not former disgruntled CIA people, you know we have the head of CIA, the head of counterintelligence, etc., etc.
"So I actually got an interview with Dick Helms and I asked him about this. I put the question to him and he admitted it. He said okay, we were just trying to cover our sources. I think it's a lot deeper than that but I told him I appreciated his candor.
[See Oswald and the CIA p. 417-418.]
"Now, we are in damage control mode here. The CIA is erecting a number of cover stories here to make it look like they didn't even know what was going on. Because if they know, then what's the question? Why didn't you guys do anything about any of this. Oswald? Kostikov? Cuban embassy?
"Well, the FBI has the same problem. This is on the 10th of December 1963, here's what the FBI wrote about its own performance. 'It is definitely felt Oswald should have been put on the security index,' this would mean that the Secret Service would have checked him out here before they would have let that limousine go by the Book Depository if he had been on the SI.
'This is based solely on information we had at the time on the assassination and does not take into consideration information subsequently developed.'
"Here's all the reasons, subject's defection to Russia, his statements on his return to the United States stated he was,' I'm sorry I'm missing stuff and I can't really read this. Anyway, it would take me a long time to read it. It's very interesting. It was just declassified this year. The AP ran some stories on this about 6 months ago. There is about ten reasons listed here, about all the things they screwed up. And I showed you all the punishments. I mean I've been showing you sort of piecemeal, they get to each guy who received each cable and so on. This is the long list of all the reasons why the FBI should have notified the Secret Service about Lee Harvey Oswald and it's a very impressive list.
"And it's getting late, and I don't remember, this is Hoover telling... They are just in basic damage control mode, basically the FBI people are trying to come up with excuses why they shouldn't have done this, and why it was okay not to have done that. And that's where they're at, sort of mentally here. You know, why I shouldn't be sent to the stolen motorcycle squad in Kansas City. You know, I was okay.
"And here's more. A list of transgressions.
"This is interesting. This is an FBI agent saying that all his stuff had to be rewritten after a couple of weeks and had to be sent back.
"William Sullivan, 'Hoover's main thought was to protect himself.'
"And at this point what I'd like to do is I've got some remaining overheads that are extraordinary. And we will go to the first one.
"So it's a couple days later. It's the 29th of November. This is LBJ talking to Senator Russell.
Senator Russell says, 'Now Mr. President, I don't have to tell you,' he had just been told by Johnson I am going to have you on my commission, 'I don't want to have to tell you of my devotion to you but I just can't serve on that commission, I'm highly honored you would think about me in connection with it but I couldn't serve on it with Chief Justice Warren. I don't like that man. I don't have any confidence in him at all so you just get John Stennis.'
LBJ, 'Dick, it has already been announced. And you can serve with anybody for the good of America. And this is a question that has that has had a good many more ramifications,' and he's had had a couple of scotches obviously, 'than on the surface. And we've have got to take this out of the arena where they are testifying that Kruschev and Castro did this, and did that. And kicking us into a war that could kill 40 million Americans in an hour. And you will put on your uniform in a minute. Now the reason I've asked Warren is because he's the Chief Justice of this country and we've got to have the highest judicial people we can have. The reason I asked you is because you have that same kind of temperament. And you can do anything for your country. And don't go to giving me that kind of stuff about you can't serve with anybody. You can do anything.'
"And then Russell tells him, 'I just don't have time. I'm too busy. I'm too busy.'
LBJ, 'Well, just make the time. That's not going to be anytime anyway to begin with. All your going to do is evaluate the Hoover report he's already made.
'I don't think they'll move that fast on it.'
'Okay, well then we don't have to move any faster than you want to move. The Secretary of State came over here this afternoon. He's deeply concerned Dick, about the idea they're spreading throughout the Communist world that Khruschev killed Kennedy. Now he didn't. He didn't have a damn thing to do with it.
(audience starts to laugh)
'I don't think,' now here's Russell, 'I don't think he did it directly. I know Kruschev didn't because he thought he'd get along better with Kennedy.'
'I wouldn't be surprised if Castro had.'
'All right then, okay. And that's what we want to know. And people have got confidence in you, and you can just be surprised or not be surprised.'
'You're taking advantage of me.'
'No, no, no, I'm going to take a hell of a lot of advantage of you my friend (big laughter) because you made me, and I know it, and I don't ever forget, and I am going to be taking advantage of you a good deal, but you are going to serve your country and do what is right.'
John states, "You have to understand who Senator Russell is, okay, and Hale Boggs. I mean LBJ is going to bring the top guys from the House and the Senate and the Supreme Court. We are going to take the entire system here in America and we are going to bless this animal, this lone nut thing. That's what we are going to do here. And we are going to whoop 'em with the Mexico City story and 40 million dead people till they all say, 'Okay.'
LBJ, 'Now that's right and I got to get the highest Justice I can get. He turned Bobby Kennedy down. Bobby and them, they talked to him and he just said he wouldn't serve under any circumstances.'
"It was actually, um, Watergate prosecutor, um, Leon Jaworski who went over with Bobby Kennedy this very morning, November 29th and Warren turned him down.
'I called him down here and spent an hour with him and I begged him as much as I'm begging you. I just said now here's the situation. I want to tell you.'
Russell, 'You've never begged me. You've always told me.'
'No, I haven't, no I haven't.'
'Mr. President please now.'
'No! It's already done. It's been announced.'
'You mean, you mean you've given that-'
'Yes sir, I've given the announcement. It's already in the papers, and you're on it, and you're going to be my man on it and just forget that.
LBJ continuing, 'Warren told me he wouldn't do it under any circumstances, didn't think a Supreme Court Justice ought to go on.
"He said a man Chris, something or other who had done something similar with the Nuremburg trials... 'And I said well let me read you one report, and I just picked up one report and read it to him. You want me to tell you the truth?'
"By the way, that's the McNamara report. He asked McNamara to write a report, the day after the assassination how many would die, and it was 40 million, that was McNamara.
'You want me to tell you the truth? You want to know what happened? Bobby and them went up to see him today and he turned them down cold, and said no! Two hours later I called him down, and I ordered him down here, and he didn't want to come. I insisted he come. He came down here and he told me no. Twice! And I just pulled out what Hoover told me about a little incident in Mexico City.
(reactions from audience, "Wow!" and laughter, etc.)
LBJ, 'Now I don't want Mr. Kruschev to be told tomorrow, and be testifying before a camera,' (Newman, incredulously; as in "what bullshit.") Can you imagine this? Khruschev testifying before a camera that he killed Kennedy? 'that he killed this fella,' that means Kennedy, 'or that Castro killed him? And all I want you to do is to look at the facts, and to bring in any other facts you want in here and determine who killed the president. And I think you put on your uniform in World War I, as fat as you are, and would do anything you could to save one American life.
(Huge laughter from the audience)
'And I'm surprised that you and the Chief Justice of the United States would turn me down.
"And Warren started crying. John, paraphrasing: 'I won't turn you down, I'll just do whatever you say.'
'But he turned the Attorney General down.'
[Conversation with Sen. Richard Russell (D-GA), Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, 11/29/63]
"Oh. I found this the other day. I've been looking for this forever. And I would give a body part to have the video of this.
'Johnson feared war after slaying of JFK,' says Earl Warren.
'Former Chief Justice Earl Warren said President Johnson expressed to him fear that the assassination of John Kennedy might lead to a nuclear war. It was Johnson's expressed apprehensions about a possible international conspiracy turning into a nuclear war, Earl Warren said that convinced him to heed the president's request to head the commission. In the days immediately following the assassination...Johnson indicated he was so concerned about the possible outcome of a war that he asked Defense Secretary Robert McNamara for an estimate on how many Americans would die,' and so on.
"We know that now.
"By the way, this was broadcast on WETS, (sp?) public broadcasting in Washington, D.C. I was wondering, that's one thing I did ask Jeremy, did you guys know about this, and could you guys try and get this as a JFK record it would be great to have this video of Earl Warren saying this before the cameras.
'But, Warren said he refused citing his belief that it would be a departure from the judicial process.'
"Can you imagine a Supreme Court Justice being a cop? You know, he's supposed to hear appeals, not do the investigations. Anyway, Johnson gives him the bamboozle stuff about Mexico City and what not. And Warren says, 'Well, Mr. President,' now this is Warren telling you what he said, 'if in your opinion if it is that bad, surely, my personal views don't count.'
"Now you see, that's really the crux of this, cause you can go to that military officer in the Bethesda Naval Medical Center, and you can say, 'Colonel, sign right on the dotted line, and let me tell you something, 40 million people are going to die if you don't do this.' And who in this room would be big enough to say, 'No, excuse me, I stand on principle here. Screw 40 million people I want to tell the truth.'
"It's a very powerful argument. It's a big weapon. Not just in the hands of LBJ but in the hands of anybody who would want an autopsy report burned, who would want to do anything, who would intimidate enlisted guys, techs, med-techs. What's happening here is we have a nasty story that comes out of Mexico City and in the first instance helps induce the suppression, actually it's not a suppression, that's not the right word, well it does, it suppresses the tapes and all that but really what it does is it gives them an inducement in order to accept a new script and that is a lone nut.
"So, I'm sorry that I took so long to do this, there's about 130 some odd documents here but I think that, you know, we're on the way to at least sort of peeling back a couple of layers of the onion here in understanding, at least at the policy level and maybe even at the operating level of the plotters how this thing was put together. And thank you very much for your attention.