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ConcerningCriticismoftheWarrenReport
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RE:ConcerningCriticismoftheWarrenReport

1.OurConcern.FromthedayofPresidentKennedy'sassassinationon,therehasbeenspeculationabouttheresponsibilityforhismurder.
AlthoughthiswasstemmedforatimebytheWarrenCommissionreport,(whichappearedattheendofSeptember1964),variouswritershave
nowhadtimetoscantheCommission'spublishedreportanddocumentsfornewpretextsforquestioning,andtherehasbeenanewwaveof
booksandarticlescriticizingtheCommission'sfindings.Inmostcasesthecriticshavespeculatedastotheexistenceofsomekindof
conspiracy,andoftentheyhaveimpliedthattheCommissionitselfwasinvolved.Presumablyasaresultoftheincreasingchallengetothe
WarrenCommission'sreport,apublicopinionpollrecentlyindicatedthat46%oftheAmericanpublicdidnotthinkthatOswaldactedalone,while
morethanhalfofthosepolledthoughtthattheCommissionhadleftsomequestionsunresolved.Doubtlesspollsabroadwouldshowsimilar,or
possiblymoreadverseresults.

2.ThistrendofopinionisamatterofconcerntotheU.S.government,includingourorganization.ThemembersoftheWarrenCommissionwere
naturallychosenfortheirintegrity,experienceandprominence.Theyrepresentedbothmajorparties,andtheyandtheirstaffweredeliberately
drawnfromallsectionsofthecountry.JustbecauseofthestandingoftheCommissioners,effortstoimpugntheirrectitudeandwisdomtendto
castdoubtonthewholeleadershipofAmericansociety.Moreover,thereseemstobeanincreasingtendencytohintthatPresidentJohnson
himself,astheonepersonwhomightbesaidtohavebenefited,wasinsomewayresponsiblefortheassassination.

Innuendoofsuchseriousnessaffectsnotonlytheindividualconcerned,butalsothewholereputationoftheAmericangovernment.Our
organizationitselfisdirectlyinvolved:amongotherfacts,wecontributedinformationtotheinvestigation.Conspiracytheorieshavefrequently
thrownsuspiciononourorganization,forexamplebyfalselyallegingthatLeeHarveyOswaldworkedforus.Theaimofthisdispatchisto
providematerialcounteringanddiscreditingtheclaimsoftheconspiracytheorists,soastoinhibitthecirculationofsuchclaimsinother
countries.Backgroundinformationissuppliedinaclassifiedsectionandinanumberofunclassifiedattachments.

3.Action.Wedonotrecommendthatdiscussionoftheassassinationquestionbeinitiatedwhereitisnotalreadytakingplace.Wherediscussion
isactive[business]addressesarerequested:

a.Todiscussthepublicityproblemwith[?]andfriendlyelitecontacts(especiallypoliticiansandeditors),pointingoutthatthe
WarrenCommissionmadeasthoroughaninvestigationashumanlypossible,thatthechargesofthecriticsarewithoutserious
foundation,andthatfurtherspeculativediscussiononlyplaysintothehandsoftheopposition.Pointoutalsothatpartsofthe
conspiracytalkappeartobedeliberatelygeneratedbyCommunistpropagandists.Urgethemtousetheirinfluencetodiscourage
unfoundedandirresponsiblespeculation.

b.Toemploypropagandaassetsto[negate]andrefutetheattacksofthecritics.Bookreviewsandfeaturearticlesareparticularly
appropriateforthispurpose.Theunclassifiedattachmentstothisguidanceshouldprovideusefulbackgroundmaterialforpassing
toassets.Ourployshouldpointout,asapplicable,thatthecriticsare(I)weddedtotheoriesadoptedbeforetheevidencewasin,
(I)politicallyinterested,(III)financiallyinterested,(IV)hastyandinaccurateintheirresearch,or(V)infatuatedwiththeirown
theories.Inthecourseofdiscussionsofthewholephenomenonofcriticism,ausefulstrategymaybetosingleoutEpstein'stheory
forattack,usingtheattachedFletcher[?]articleandSpectatorpieceforbackground.(AlthoughMarkLane'sbookismuchless
convincingthatEpstein'sandcomesoffbadlywhereconfrontedbyknowledgeablecritics,itisalsomuchmoredifficulttoanswer
asawhole,asonebecomeslostinamorassofunrelateddetails.)

4.Inprivatetomediadiscussionsnotdirectedatanyparticularwriter,orinattackingpublicationswhichmaybeyetforthcoming,thefollowing
argumentsshouldbeuseful:

a.NosignificantnewevidencehasemergedwhichtheCommissiondidnotconsider.Theassassinationissometimescompared
(e.g.,byJoachimJoestenandBertrandRussell)withtheDreyfuscasehowever,unlikethatcase,theattackontheWarren
Commissionhaveproducednonewevidence,nonewculpritshavebeenconvincinglyidentified,andthereisnoagreementamong
thecritics.(Abetterparallel,thoughanimperfectone,mightbewiththeReichstagfireof1933,whichsomecompetenthistorians
(FritzTobias,AJ.P.Taylor,D.C.Watt)nowbelievewassetbyVanderLubbeonhisowninitiative,withoutactingforeitherNazisor
CommuniststheNazistriedtopintheblameontheCommunists,butthelatterhavebeenmoresuccessfulinconvincingtheworld
thattheNazisweretoblame.)

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b.Criticsusuallyovervalueparticularitemsandignoreothers.Theytendtoplacemoreemphasisontherecollectionsofindividual
witnesses(whicharelessreliableandmoredivergentandhenceoffermorehandholdsforcriticism)andlessonballistics,
autopsy,andphotographicevidence.AcloseexaminationoftheCommission'srecordswillusuallyshowthattheconflicting
eyewitnessaccountsarequotedoutofcontext,orwerediscardedbytheCommissionforgoodandsufficientreason.

c.ConspiracyonthelargescaleoftensuggestedwouldbeimpossibletoconcealintheUnitedStates,esp.sinceinformantscould
expecttoreceivelargeroyalties,etc.NotethatRobertKennedy,AttorneyGeneralatthetimeandJohnF.Kennedy'sbrother,
wouldbethelastmantooverlookorconcealanyconspiracy.Andasonereviewerpointedout,CongressmanGeraldR.Ford
wouldhardlyhaveheldhistongueforthesakeoftheDemocraticadministration,andSenatorRussellwouldhavehadevery
politicalinterestinexposinganymisdeedsonthepartofChiefJusticeWarren.Aconspiratormoreoverwouldhardlychoosea
locationforashootingwheresomuchdependedonconditionsbeyondhiscontrol:theroute,thespeedofthecars,themoving
target,theriskthattheassassinwouldbediscovered.Agroupofwealthyconspiratorscouldhavearrangedmuchmoresecure
conditions.

d.Criticshaveoftenbeenenticedbyaformofintellectualpride:theylightonsometheoryandfallinlovewithittheyalsoscoffat
theCommissionbecauseitdidnotalwaysanswereveryquestionwithaflatdecisiononewayortheother.Actually,themakeup
oftheCommissionanditsstaffwasanexcellentsafeguardagainstovercommitmenttoanyonetheory,oragainsttheillicit
transformationofprobabilitiesintocertainties.

e.Oswaldwouldnothavebeenanysensibleperson'schoiceforacoconspirator.Hewasa"loner,"mixedup,ofquestionable
reliabilityandanunknownquantitytoanyprofessionalintelligenceservice.

f.AstochargesthattheCommission'sreportwasarushjob,itemergedthreemonthsafterthedeadlineoriginallyset.Buttothe
degreethattheCommissiontriedtospeedupitsreporting,thiswaslargelyduetothepressureofirresponsiblespeculation
alreadyappearing,insomecasescomingfromthesamecriticswho,refusingtoadmittheirerrors,arenowputtingoutnew
criticisms.

g.Suchvagueaccusationsasthat"morethantenpeoplehavediedmysteriously"canalwaysbeexplainedinsomenaturalway
e.g.:theindividualsconcernedhaveforthemostpartdiedofnaturalcausestheCommissionstaffquestioned418witnesses(the
FBIinterviewedfarmorepeople,conduction25,000interviewsandreinterviews),andinsuchalargegroup,acertainnumberof
deathsaretobeexpected.(WhenPennJones,oneoftheoriginatorsofthe"tenmysteriousdeaths"line,appearedontelevision,it
emergedthattwoofthedeathsonhislistwerefromheartattacks,onefromcancer,onewasfromaheadoncollisiononabridge,
andoneoccurredwhenadriverdriftedintoabridgeabutment.)

5.Wherepossible,counterspeculationbyencouragingreferencetotheCommission'sReportitself.Openmindedforeignreadersshouldstillbe
impressedbythecare,thoroughness,objectivityandspeedwithwhichtheCommissionworked.Reviewersofotherbooksmightbeencouraged
toaddtotheiraccounttheideathat,checkingbackwiththereportitself,theyfounditfarsuperiortotheworkofitscritics.

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