Skip to comments.Sept. 27, 1964: Warren Commission released it's JFK assassination report
Posted on 09/27/2005 1:47:46 AM PDT by lunarbicep
The President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy, known unofficially as The Warren Commission, was established on November 29, 1963 by Lyndon B. Johnson to investigate the assassination of the U.S. President John F. Kennedy.
The Commission took its unofficial namethe Warren Commissionfrom its chairman, United States Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren.
After Lee Harvey Oswald was shot to death, the new president, Lyndon Johnson, consulted with various government officials, many of them by telephone, regarding having some form of investigation into the assassination. On November 26, 1963, The Washington Post published an editorial advocating the formation of an investigative commission.
After many consultations throughout the week, LBJ, by executive order on November 29, 1963 created an investigatory commission to be headed by Earl Warren. He also called on the following members and told them that they would be members of the commission:
Future Pennsylvania senator Arlen Specter worked as a staff attorney for the Commission.
During its investigation the commission heard testimony from 552 witnesses and the reports of 10 federal agencies, including the Secret Service, the FBI, the Department of State, the CIA, and military intelligence. The hearings were closed to the public unless the person giving testimony requested otherwise; only two witnesses made that request. Some of the witnesses gave sworn affidavits, two witnesses gave just written statements. In late September 1964, after a 10 month investigation (and about 5 weeks before the presidential election), the Warren Commission Report was published.
The report concluded (by only a 4 to 3 majority) that Lee Harvey Oswald was solely responsible for the assassination of Kennedy and that the commission could not find any persuasive evidence of a conspiracy, either domestic or foreign involving any other person(s), group(s), or country(ies). The theory that Oswald acted alone is also informally called the lone gunman theory.
The commission also concluded that only three bullets were fired during the assassination, and that Lee Harvey Oswald fired all three bullets from the Texas School Book Depository behind the motorcade. It noted that three empty shells were found in the sixth floor sniper's nest in the book depository, and the rifle was found (with one live bullet left in its chamber) on the sixth floor balanced unsupported on its bottom edges.
The commission's determination was that:
The Commission concluded that all of Connally's injuries were caused by a single bullet which entered his back, exited his chest, went through his right wrist, lodged in his left thigh, and later fell out onto his stretcher at the hospital in nearly pristine condition. It also offered as a likely explanation, based on what it termed "persuasive evidence from the experts", that the single bullet that exited Kennedy's throat was also the same bullet that caused all of Governor Connally's injuries. This theory has become known as the single bullet theory, and it is important because there was not enough time for one shooter to fire twice in the apparently very brief time between the injuries of the two men. Some ballistic evidence has suggested that such a bullet trajectory was possible, and there are some frames of the Zapruder film in which the position and reaction of the two men could be consistent with this scenario, but this particular point is a source of much contention and disagreement. The 1979 House Select Committee on Assassinations Report agreed with this theory, but differed on the time frame.
The Warren Commission, chapter 8, details flaws in the United States Secret Service security at the time of the assassination. Procedures in place and not in place combined with events of the day presented security lapses that enabled the assassination. These included:
These above specific findings prompted the Secret Service to make numerous modifications to their security procedures.
Upon its release in 1964, all files of the Warren Commission were sealed away from public view for 75 years (until 2039) by executive order of President Lyndon B. Johnson. According to the 1992 Assassinations Records Review Board laws, all assassination related documents that have not been destroyed are scheduled to be released to the public by 2017.
In the years following the release of its report and 26 investigatory evidence volumes in 1964, the Warren Commission has been frequently criticized for some of its methods, important omissions, and conclusions, in particular its lack of comment on the destruction of crucial evidence by law enforcement authorities and intelligence agencies. Comments were apparently made on this behind closed doors, but these did not reach the published report. Several individual pieces of the Commission's findings also have been called into question since its completion.
Three other U.S. government investigations have agreed with the Warren Commission's conclusion that two shots struck JFK from the rear: the 1968 panel set by Attorney General Ramsey Clark, the 1975 Rockefeller Commission, and the 1978-1979 House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) which reexamined the evidence with the help of the largest forensics panel. The HSCA involved Congressional hearings and ultimately concluded there was a conspiracy wherein four shots were fired. The HSCA concluded that Oswald fired shots number one, two, and four, and that an unknown assassin fired shot number three (but missed) from near the corner of a picket fence that was above and to President Kennedy's right front on the Dealey Plaza grassy knoll. However, this conclusion has also been criticized, especially for its reliance upon questionable audio evidence.
The Warren Commission's findings have not gained full acceptance from the general public in the USA, and many theories that conflict with its findings exist. Numerous polls indicate that most people agree Oswald did shoot at Kennedy, but most also think there was some kind of conspiracy. At this time, there is no single theory with which a large majority of people would mostly agree.
Hey, magic bullets exist. And there was no Able Danger.
Lee Oswald did it all by himself.