Q and A:
Q. "I have a question and I will speak up real loud, why has the Kennedy family been so non-committal, obstructionist, Ted, Bobby,... why are they so?
"Well, you know, I don't have an answer for that, that's one of the perennial questions that is asked over and over again. I know that you can't have half the story, I mean from the Kennedy family perspective, if we're going to turn on all the lights we are going to turn on the lights on Poppa Joe and all the stuff he did, all the Nazi stuff [Ambassador Joseph P. Kennedy was not critical of Hitler], and all the stuff, and John Kennedy did [stuff] too, I mean there's a lot of, a lot of dirt, and, ah, you know, he died a martyr. And I don't know, I just really don't know, but you know what, here's my response, it doesn't matter. Their opinion, is their opinion. And it doesn't weigh in the scales as much as the interests of the entire country which is to get the truth out, so whatever the reason it's not good enough.
Q. I just wanted to ask about the Mexican files, some of the Russian files have come out, what is the status of the Gobernacion? You mentioned Echevarria, before Sedia for about two or three decades who became president was the head of the FBI in Mexico-
John, "Everybody hear the question being asked, all the way in the back? We have had a lot of stuff come out on this case, we've even had KGB files come out, what about files down there from Mexico City? Did the Review Board look at this? Yes, they did. They were very interested in this issue. Do we have anything? Almost nothing. Why? For the very reason you said, it is an extremely sensitive subject.
"Let me give you some background on this. I was invited to the first 'Expert's conference.' I remember that. And we had there besides Mr. Blakey, Mr. Slawson of the Warren Commission, one of the lawyers, and the question was asked at the table, 'Did you listen to the Mexico City tapes?' Because I don't know whether many of you realize it or not actually Mr. Coleman, his partner, had told Tony Summers, sort of off the record, in his suite room one time, actually I don't know if I'm even supposed to be saying this, but anyway I had heard this 3rd or 4th hand that they had listened to them. And so the question was put to him at the table, and he said, just as cute as he could be, 'I'm sorry, I'm not at liberty to discuss that.' And the Board said, 'Excuse me, we have the authority now, the JFK Records Act was passed. We are the authority.' And he just sat there and repeated himself, 'I'm sorry, I'm not at liberty to discuss this.'
Q. - "By who's order?"
John, "You'll have to ask Mr. Slawson yourself. But, I think it illustrates extreme sensitivity of the tapes question. And I think it's very possible, and I can share this, this is okay we were sitting at the COPA conference way back at the Shoreham Hotel, I don't know if you had come on board then or not at that time, maybe, in any event I was sitting with Peter Dale Scott and Jeremy Gunn, the three of us, and Peter Scott looked right at Jeremy and said, 'Jeremy, do the Mexicans have any of those tapes?' And Jeremy just, ...nothing, there was nothing there. And so I think it's not just the tapes it's the whole relationship of the DFS, the Mexican intelligence, the FBI, the CIA, and how much control, and how much manipulation the United States has had in Mexican politics and one of the problems associated with getting documents down there is its going to turn on too much light, and it's going to be very embarrassing to senior officials, which was implied in the way you asked your question. And I think you are right. And it could damage U.S. relations with Mexico. Now, I don't know that that is what the Board thought, I am just speculating that this is a very big consideration. The Board took this question very seriously and decided if we blow U.S. Mexican relations it may harm, cause this happened early on, it may harm our ability to do our job and get all these records out. So I think they just said, 'Hmm, this is a little bit too hot to handle.' But, I don't know that for a fact.
Q. - Is there any evidence or indication what the military leaders were up to this whole week, and what was Curtis LeMay doing on the 24th?
"I don't know and it's something that should be looked into. I mean you can see how interesting it is. You go anywhere, whether it's the Dallas police building, or inside the CIA it's a terrifically interesting story and I think that we have an ability to do that, and I think that might be a little harder. But what I did do is I went to a place called flag plot, the Navy op center inside the Pentagon, I've got three or four, in fact, Zumwald (sp?) is in charge, he mentions that, and I've got the Navy memoranda, by the way there are three boxes from ONI, and there should be a lot more, you're right, but at least they are nice boxes, DIA only gave us like (indicating, a small amount) that, but hey talk, the first thing you can see in the Navy memoranda, they reference the 10/10 Teletype from CIA, it's like 'READ THIS CABLE' cause its to Navy, and the FBI, and the State Department, but I think that it's an area that you know it's possible to do research on, but I don't have any answers for you.
It is helpful in understanding this transcript of John Newman's presentation from Lancer 's November in Dallas Conference '99 to have read John's book, Oswald and the CIA, for in comparing the two I think you will find changes in John as a researcher because his conclusions have changed since writing Oswald and the CIA. I would also recommend reviewing my previous articles and transcripts of John's previous presentations located on Deannie Richard's gopher site which archives past issues of John Kelin's website, Fair Play. (Currently, there are some broken links and not everything is available but we're working on fixing that.) Of course, one should also be familiar with the Warren Commission and HSCA material on this, especially the newly released, though still somewhat redated Lopez Report. I would also recommend Peter Dale Scott's Deep Politics II.
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