55 Years Ago Today: The Warren Commission is Announced
Fifty-five years ago today President Lyndon Johnson announces the formation of The Warren Commission. Many people believe the commission’s report constitutes one of the biggest cover-ups in history.
This video, purported to be from the same day (November 29, 1963), is an audio of Johnson talking with FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover. Johnson tells Hoover that there are people questioning the FBI’s conclusions that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. He further states there will be a flurry of investigations, if there’s not one big investigation. Johnson then proceeds to seek Hoover’s approval on the members of the commission.
President Johnson discussed “The Magic Bullet Theory” with Senator Richard Russell of Georgia. Russell was a member of the Warren Commission. He was so opposed to the single-bullet theory that he threatened not to support the commission’s findings. Eventually, his concerns were addressed by adding the phrase, “the possibility of others being involved with either Oswald or Ruby cannot be rejected categorically.”
Senator John Cooper of Kentucky and Representative Hale Boggs of Louisiana also disagreed with the lone gunman theory. Further, Governor John Connally had testified that President Kennedy and he could not have been struck by the same bullet.
Of course, as the famous movie JFK pointed out is cinematic detail, the Warren Commission’s case for a lone gunman - and hence no wider conspiracy - rests on the Magic Bullet.
In this video, LBJ discusses “The Magic Bullet Theory” with Senator Russell. This occurred in September 1964, shortly before the public release of Warren’s report.
In 1975, Walter Cronkite played a brief clip from a 1969 interview he did with Johnson. This was shortly after LBJ left office. This part of the interview was not aired on the original broadcast at Johnson’s request on grounds of “national security.”
In 2007, Rolling Stone Magazine released an interview with John Hunt, son of E. Howard Hunt. The senior hunt was a long-time CIA operative who would later rise to fame as a co-conspirator in the Watergate break-in.
Hunt recorded a “deathbed confession” for his son where he implicated himself as part of a team sent to Dallas on the orders of LBJ to kill President Kennedy.
We may never know exactly what happened on November 22, 1963 or who was involved in the obvious cover-up. What is clear is that the US government and the new President Johnson wanted to put this matter behind. Any conspiracy involving elements of the US government or foreign players created a messy situation.
Richard Nixon once joked in a 1970s interview with Dick Cavett about Johnson’s involvement.
Big-time journalistic careers were made that day including Dan Rather, Robert McNeil, and Peter Jennings. Many news organizations have tried numerous times to convince the American people there is, “nothing to see here.”
A future president (Gerald Ford) sat on the commission and defended its findings vigorously until his dying day.
Oswald was not talking. There was zero cost to anyone in laying this on his doorstep. Those involved in the proposed cover-up succeeded in the official history books. They failed, however, on a more important front. The American people have for two and a half generations expressed their lack of confidence in the Warren Commission’s findings. Poll after poll has shown that large majorities believe there was a cover-up. This event and the Vietnam war that quickly ensued damaged Americans’ faith in their government. That faith has never been regained.
On 40th anniversary of the assassination, Peter Jennings hosted an ABC News special titled, “Beyond Conspiracy.” In what can only be termed as a mainstream media attempt to debunk any conspiracy, the special purported to use modern computer modeling to explain away all conspiratorial theories.
Jennings ended the show, I’m paraphrasing, by saying that no matter how much upwards of 90 percent of Americans want to believe in this conspiracy, the computer modeling had proved us all wrong.
for 6 Sense Media