Warren Commission Executive Session of 27 Jan 1964
Copy 2 of 9
PRESIDENT'S COMMISSION ON
THE ASSASSINATION OF PRESIDENT KENNEDY
Report of Proceedings
Monday, January 27, 1964
PAGES 127 — 212
(Stenotype Tape, Master Sheets, Carbon and Waste
turned over to Commission for destruction.)
WARD & PAUL
917 G STREET, N.W.
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20001
AREA CODE 202-628-4266
Assassination of President Kennedy
Earl Warren, Chairman
Richard B. Russell
John Sherman Cooper
Gerald R. Ford
John J. McCloy
Allen W. Dulles
J. Lee Rankin, General Counsel
ASSASSINATION OF PRESIDENT KENNEDY________
Monday, January 27, 1964.
The President's Commission met, pursuant to call, at 2:30 p.m., in the Hearing Room, Fourth Floor, 200 Maryland
Avenue, Northeast, Washington, D. C., Chief Justice Earl Warren presiding.
Chief Justice Earl Warren, Chairman
Senator Richard B. Russell, Member
Senator John Sherman Cooper, Member
Representative Hale Boggs, Member
John J. McCloy, Member
Allen W. Dulles, Member
- — -
J. Lee Rankin, General Counsel
The Chairman: Well, gentlemen, our meeting will come to order.
I am sorry that I was a little late, but no, Senator Russell, I wasn't out playing golf or anything.
Well, gentlemen, since we met last week, Mr. Rankin and I have explored this situation we discussed considerably. We talked to the Texas people, and we have given considerable thought to it since, and I am going to ask Mr. Rankin to start at the beginning and just tell you the story as we have got it.
Mr. Rankin. I received a call from Waggoner Carr, the Attorney General of Texas, and in that call he was quite excited. He was on his way to Texarkana from Austin.
Mr. Dulles. This is after our meeting the other night?
Mr. Rankin. This was before.
Mr. Dulles. Going back?
Mr. Rankin. Yes.
He said he thought he had some information that he thought should get to me immediately and it was to the effect that the F.B.I. had an undercover agent who was Oswald, and he said it came up this way that the matter was developed at a meeting in chambers with the judge, Brown, of the court, and it was in relation to the production of evidence where Ruby's attorney asked that part of the evidence that the F.B.I. developed be furnished to them, and during that time the District Attorney had responded or opposed the motion for the evidence by saying
that the various usual grounds and that the F.I.B.[sic] never did this before, and in addition to that he thought heknew[sic] the reason why they were willing to do it this time, and it was that Oswald was an undercover agent for the F.B.I.
Sen. Russell. Was this in open court, Mr. Rankin?
Mr. Rankin. That is what I understood.
Mr. Dulles. In chambers?
Mr. Rankin. In chambers.
That he also knew the number that was assigned by the F.B.I. to Oswald which was No. 179, and he knew that he was on the payroll or employed, I think that is the way he put it, employed by the F.B.I. at $200 per month from September of 1962 up to the time of the assassination.
That was all that he knew about it. He didn't get the information form District Attorney Wade, but he had gotten it from someone else and he didn't tell me who that was, but he said it was a person in whom he had complete faith and could rely upon.
I called the Chief Justice immediately and went over and saw him and told him the story, and he thought it was material of such importance to the Commission that the entire Commission should be called and advised with regard to it.
We had a meeting, then, and told the information, and it was the consensus of the meeting that we should try to get those people up here, including the District Attorney, Wade, the
Attorney General, Special Counsel with the Attorney General, Leon Jaworsky, and Bob Stacey[?], and Mr. Alexander, the Assistant District Attorney at Dallas.
We asked them to all come up, and they did on Friday. At that time they were -- they said that the rumors were constant there, that Oswald was an undercover agent, but they extended it also to the C.I.A. and gave that to him, and none of them had any original information of their own.
They said that the source of their information was a man by the name of Hudkins who was a reporter for the Houston Post, and that it had been circulated by a greater portion of all the reporters in the Dallas area who had been working on this matter in various forms.
Sen. Russell. Did he explain why it hadn't been published? This would have gone across the country like wild fire.
Mr. Rankin. Well, they said part of it had been published. The fact that it was claimed that Oswald was an undercover agent, and I noticed The Nation, although I hadn't seen it before, refers to an article in January, the first of January by Hudkins from which he referred to the undercover agent's story.
But he does not give the number or the $200 a month at that time.
We then asked if they asked Hudkins of where he had got his story and they said they had not. We asked if there was
any other place, and they don't know of any other place that they could assign.
In fact, when we asked them as first, they did not reveal the name of Hudkins to us. They said the reporters generally were giving the story or discussing the story, and it was only after we urged them that they gave us Hudkins' name..
We did discover, amongst the papers that we received from the Secret Service, a report which the Chief Justice obtained from Mr. Moore, I believe it was Mr. Moore which referred to a Mr. Sweatt who was the Deputy Sheriff in Dallas County in which he said that Oswald was an undercover agent and was being paid so much a month for some time back to September, and that it has a number which he gave and that report as No. 172. This report by the Secret Service agent was of a conference or inquiry that he made in the area to Sweatt back on December 17th. The report was dated January 3, and we didn't get it until January 23.
We wondered at the time when this matter first come to our attention, the Chief Justice asked Mr. Moore, Secret Service agent who was working here, if there was anything about this in their files that he would get it if there was and bring it to him directly personally, and this was the result.
We didn't know what to expect from this because that was 20 days after the date of that report, and we wondered whether the Secret Service was withholding something from us, since they had this in their hands clear back on January 3, the date
of the report.
The explanation since has been that they were trying to check it out. But there was no purpose to withhold it from us even though it seemed like kind of a long period since they hadn't gotten any further report from Mr. Sweatt at all.
Mr. Dulles. What was the origin, who was Sweatt?
Mr. Rankin. He was the Deputy Sheriff of Dallas County.
Mr. Dulles. He was the one who gave it to the Secret Service?
Mr. Rankin. Yes.
Mr. Dulles. He didn't say where he got it?
Mr. Rankin. No.
They have since then, the Secret Service, has investigated, we asked them to, and they have gone to Sweatt and Sweatt has said he got if from Hudkins. Back to the same source.
Mr. Dulles. Back to the same source?
Mr. Rankin. And there is nothing that we have received from any investigative agency checking out Hudkins in regard to this report.
You probably say the Ney York Times story, saying that the F.B.I., Sunday, that the F.B.I. denied that he was acting as an undercover --
Sen. Russell. That is from Mr. Hoover somewhere in this material I read in which he denied this report. It apparently was current at some earlier date, that he wrote a letter
specifically stating that Oswald was never connected with the F.B.I. in any capacity, secret or otherwise.
Mr. Rankin. We asked them whether they had ever checked with any official or anybody who was connected with the county government or -- we didn't reveal Sweatt's name to Wade, and the other Texas people, but we asked them in that form, whether they had ever checked out anything with anybody like Sweatt, and they said they hadn't.
We asked them if they had any jurisdiction of the county sheriff or deputy sheriff or anybody who is in office, in his office, and they said no, they didn't. That they were all elected officials and were quite independent.
But they had never made any effort togo[sic] to Swett[sic] and see what his story was, although apparently it was common talk there, too, because there are some references to a public official saying that Oswald was acting as an undercover agent, and there is also some statements in the press that some police officers made such statements after the assassination.
But there is nothing to show that there was any effort to try to check that out.
Those stories we generally discount as possibly an effort to blame the F.B.I. for some of the matters involved.
Sen. Russell. Has Hudkins claimed his journalistic immunity, have they gone back to him?
Mr. Rankin. They haven't even asked him, or at least
indicated they had ever taken his statement or anything like that.
Now, Mr. Wade, the District Attorney, was a former F.B.I. agent, and we thought possibly there was — he might have left under a cloud and there might be something of that kind and so we inquired into that.
He was an agent between 1939 and 1943, I think it was, and claimed that he had no difficulties with them, that when he was ready to leave the F.I.B.[sic] they gave him three weeks and told him to go to New York and have a good vacation, and they should like to have him come back to see if he wouldn't be willing to continue, and he did come back and said he wanted to go into the law practice and didn't want to stay with the F.B.I. But there
was no ill feeling between them. He said he was stationed in South America for a year, and the other part of the time within the Continent of the United States.
He said he got a Commission from the Navy, and when he was called up for that Commission the F.B.I. indicated that they thought he was qualified for their work and he should take the Commission and that he should come back to the F.B.I.
I think probably that would be automatic — it would come up that way anyway.
He said they did make that request and he was able to get around it and told them he didn't want to go to the F.B.I. , and wanted to go to the Navy, but he told about that to indicate there was no ill feeling, no reason why they should be unhappy with him or he with them, if they even wanted him again at that time.
He did say he has had considerable experience with the F.B.I., and their practices, that he handled as much as $2,000 a month during the war period in which he paid off informers, and undercover agents in South America, and he knew that it wasn't revealed on any records he ever handled who he was paying it to and he never got any receipts, and it wasn't the practice to get receipts; that he would have a list of numbers in his office, that was one of the most closely guarded records that he had, and hewould[sic] put down the amount he paid off, including such people as the head of the government in Ecuador, and he said that he was paying him more than his salary each month, so that they got better service than the local government did. And so he indicated that he knew how these things were handled at that time.
He was frank, however, about stating that he didn't know whether that practice continued, he didn't know how they were doing it, that was a long time ago and how the F.B.I. would handle any such transaction now.
He didn't know. He thought that the postal box was an ideal way to handle such transactions, and was a way that he had used at various times in the past, too.
He didn't indicate that he was sure that this was the case at
all. He just indicated that it was a possibility, and some of the things that had happened he thought were curious.
My impression of Wade was that he was a very canny, able prosecutor, that he would do a good job on this Ruby case, and that defense counsel had a man to deal with that knew his business.
Sen. Russell. He has that repurtation[sic] out there as being a very effective prosecutor.
Mr. Rankin. I was well impressed with him that way.
Sen. Russell. What steps, if any, have we taken to clear up this matter, Mr. Rankin, if it can be cleared up, to determine whether there is anything to this or not?
Mr. Rankin. Well, we have discussed various possibilities, that is the Chief Justice and myself have, and I want to tell you about them, and I think you will have to instruct us what you want us to do.
We thought, first, about approaching the Department with a request that the Attorney General inform us as to the situation, not only as to what he would say about whether Oswald was or was not an undercover agent, but also with the supporting data that the Commission could rely upon, and there is some difficulty about doing that. As the head of the Department, the F.B.I., of course, is under the Attorney General, but I think we must frankly recognize amongst ourselves that there is a daily relationship there involved in the handling of the problems of the
Department and the work of the F.B.I. for the Department, and that we wouldn't want to make that more difficult.
We were informed by Mr. Willens, the liaison with the Department, who has worked with us and has done very fine work here, that it is the feeling of the Department, not the Attorney General because he is not here, but Mr. Katzenbach, and Mr. Miller, Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Criminal Division, that such a request might be embarrassing, and at least would be difficult for the Attorney General, and might, if urged, while we would get the information we desired, make very much more difficult for him to carry on the work of the Department for the balance of his term.
Sen. Russell. If he would transmit to us what they told him, the F.B.I. has a very large measure of autonomy in their operations.
Mr. Rankin. In light of that, I suggested the possibility for the Commission to consider that I should go over and see Edgar Hoover myself, and tell him this problem and that he should have as much interest as the Commission in trying to put an end to any such speculations, not only by his statement, which I would be frank to tell him I would think would not be sufficient, but also if it was possible to demonstrate by whatever records and materials they have that it just couldn't be true, and see if we couldn't get his cooperation to present that with the understanding that the Commission, and stated understanding, at the
time, the Commission would have to feel free to make such other investigation and take testimony if it found it necessary, in order to satisfy the American people that this question of an undercover agent was out of the picture.
Rep. Boggs. What other alternatives are there?
Mr. Rankin. Well, the other alternative would be to examine Hudkins, the reporter, to examine Sweatt, who says now that he —
Mr. Dulles. Where is Hudkins now, do you know, down in Dallas?
Mr. Rankin. In Houston, yes, I assume.
Mr. Dulles. What paper is he with?
Mr. Rankin. The Houston Post.
Mr. Dulles. That would be the Hobby paper, isn't it?
Rep. Boggs. No, I think that is Scripps-Howard.
Mr. Rankin. To examine Hosty, the FBI Agent who was working in thatarea[sic], and to examine the Special Agent in Charge of the area, and to examine Mr. Hoover, under oath, right up the line.
I felt, however as I told the Chief Justice, that I thought this Commission was entitled to have the full cooperation of another Government Agency, and that we don't have what I would consider any substantial proof of this rumor.
We do have a dirty rumor that is very bad for the Commission, the problem and it is very damaging to the agencies that are involved in it and it must be wiped out insofar as it is possible to do so by this Commission.
So it seemed to me in light of that the way I would treat it if I were in their position would be to have someone approach me, tell me the problem and see what I frankly could do to clear my skirts if there was a way to do it and as long as the Commission didn't agree not to go further, if they felt that would not satisfy them, I don't see how the Commission would be prejudiced.
Rep. Boggs. Mr. Wade, what significance did Wade attach to this?
Mr. Rankin. I don't think he — you could say he believed. I don't think you could say he disbelieved it. He had just thought there was too much disregard but he just thought, he seemed to indicate, in his statements, that he couldn't believe that it would be possible.
But he didn't indicate by any statement that he didn't
believe it couldn't happen. He just couldn't believe that the FBI would ever let that happen to get to that position.
The Chairman. Well, Lee and I both agreed that we shouldn't leave this thing in this present posture, that we should go ahead and try to clear the matter up as best we can. We did argue a little about the approach, whether we should go first to the FBI and ask them for an explanation or whether we should first go and try to see if there is any substance to the claim by interrogating the newspaperman who claims that he has the knowledge of the situation, or whether we should first go to the Bureau.
Now, my own suggestion was to Lee that we find out first from these people as far as we can if there is any substance to it or whether it is just plain rumor.
We were told that Sweatt says he got his information from one fellow, Alexander claims he got it from Sweatt, and somebody else claims he got it from the newspaper man.
Now I thought that if it were necessary we could get those three people in one room at the same time, and find out if anybody claims or has claimed in the past to have had actual knowledge of it, and if they don't claim to have it, we will find out why they spread the rumor.
It may be that Houston will, or whatever his name is, Hudkins would claim privilege. If he did, I thought that after we tried to get him to see that it was in the interest of his country to state the facts that we might go to the publisher of his paper
and see if we couldn't get — enlist him to have this man tell us where he got his information.
I think it is one thing for a newspaper man to claim a privilege after he has written a story and published it, and it is another thing for him to claim a privilege when he is peddling gossip around the community.
Sen. Russell. I think you are right about that as a matter of law. If he hadn't published the story, I doubt if he can claim it.
The Chairman. I think so, too. In those circumstances, if he wants to deal fairly with the Government, he would tell, and if he didn't, I think his publisher ought to feel the responsibility of telling him.
I said to Lee that if I were in the position of the FBI, and I was asked to respond to a rumor, just a plain rumor of this kind, that I would be inclined to ask for what facts, what the facts were and what they were based on before I was obliged to make a statement.
I think that would — you don't like to talk into an empty barrel. You want to attach your writing to something substantial.
Lee, on the other hand, felt it would be the better of cooperation to go over and see Mr. Hoover and tell him frankly what the rumor was, state that is pure rumor, we haven't evaluated the facts, but ask him, first, if it is true, and secondly if he can supply us with information to establish that
these facts are not true, and they are inconsistent with what would be the way of operation of their Bureau.
Now I don't know, whatever you agree to would be all right with me. Lee thought that if he went down and asked those people to come up here and testify as the springboard for an article which would blow this thing out into the public domain, and that we might do a disservice in that way.
But I am not so sure of that. I rather dislike going to the FBI and just ask them to establish to us that a rumor can't be true until we have at least looked into it.
Sen. Russell. There are two reasons for that, Mr. Chairman. One would be if you went down there in the first instance to the FBI and got a statement and when you start pursuing it you would look like you are impeaching.
The Chairman. That is my point.
Rep. Boggs. Exactly.
Sen. Russell. I think the best way to handle it would be to try to exhaust it at the other hand before you go to the FBI. That would be my judgment.
Rep. Boggs. Well, the point you make is the thing that has been running through my mind all through this discussion. If you get a statement from responsible officials in that agency and then you say, "Well, we are not going to take this statement at face value, we are going to go behind it", this could become a
matter of grave embarrassment to everybody.
Mr. Dulles. Hasn't it gone maybe a little further in the press. Here is the New York Times of Sunday, January 26, that is yesterday. Here are 12 questions, this is an article from Dallas by Jack Langguth of the Times. Here are 12 questions sometimes asked and the most authoritative answers now available.
The first question, "Did Oswald serve at some period as a paid informer for the Federal Bureau of Investigation?
"A spokesman for that agency denied today that Oswald was at any time employed by the Bureau in any capacity.
"Newspapers and magazine articles have speculated that Oswald was in the service of the FBI infiltrating leftist organizations at its request.
"The Bureau's denial is categorical."
So we have —
Mr. McCloy. We don't know who the spokesman is.
Sen. Russell. If Oswald never had assassinated the President or at least been charged with assassinating the President and had been in the employ of the FBI and somebody had gone to the FBI they would have denied he was an agent.
Mr. Dulles. Oh, yes.
Sen. Russell. They would be the first to deny it. Your agents would have done exactly the same thing.
Mr. Dulles. Exactly.
Sen. Russell. Say I never heard about the man who may have
been on the payroll for five years.
Sen. Cooper. Yes.
Mr. Dulles. But it is out in the domain, it is in the public domain.
Sen. Cooper. If you know, if you have these people up and examine them, of course the FBI will know that.
Mr. Rankin. They already know about this, apparently.
Sen. Cooper. That these people came up?
Mr. Rankin. Yes.
Rep. Boggs. You mean the other people?
Mr. Rankin. Yes, that is right. I had thought that the probabilities are that when we get these people under oath that they will say that they have heard this rumor, that someone told them but they can't remember now, and that is about as far as we go with it.
I just don't they are going to come out and say they fabricated this, if it is a fabrication. It is too serious for that.
Rep. Boggs. Of course, we get ourselves into a real box. You have got to do everything on earth to establish the facts one way or the other. And without doing that, why everything concerned, including everyone of us is doing a very grave disservice.
Sen. Cooper. There is a point I want to raise. If it is possible the FBI knows now, we should have these people up here
Mr. Rankin. Yes.
Sen. Cooper. Of course, if we bring a reporter, they will know that, and they will know we are looking into matters that concern them.
I was thinking about another alternative and that is that you advise them about these rumors and that you have to look into them before you ask them, to prevent any evidence to the contrary.
But I think I would maintain a kind of relationship with them where they would not feel you were around investigating the FBI. Is that possible?
Mr. Rankin. Well, I think it is possible. I would think that if it is definitely untrue, if it were my agency, I would be all over saying, "let me prove it. Let me show you anything you can to satisfy you that it isn't true."
Sen. Cooper. We have a duty which is outside the FBI's position, which is if you believe there is something which should be looked into it, and we wouldn't believe that if we weren't talking about it.
My only point is whether or not it would be reasonable to inform the FBI that you have had these statements, therefore you have to ask these people where they got their information.
Before you asked Mr. Hoover you present us with all the proof to the contrary, because you say, if he presents all
this proof to the contrary, then the situation changes a little bit. It would appear to him that you are trying to impeach his testimony.
In the other way, it seems to me we are just telling him that it was brought to use and we ought to inquire into it.
Mr. McCloy. Do we have a statement from Mr. Hoover that this man was not an agent? Was that communicated in the record?
Mr. Rankin. Yes.
The Chairman. It was? A letter.
Sen. Russell. I know there was a letter, I don't know who it was written to, a very short letter.
The Chairman. It was in one of those letters we responded to last week, it was in that letter —
Rep. Boggs. I think that was a letter that had to do with a request directed to us on what degree of cooperation we should give the defense counsel in the Ruby trial, isn't that right?
Mr. Rankin. Yes.
The Chairman. That is right. It was one of those letters, there were three of them. It was in one of those letters, and I remember in the letter of counsel for Ruby, it was also stated that the accusation had been made but that in their opinion it was preposterous, and I wondered why at the time that the defense counsel for Ruby would put such a statement in the letter to us. It seemed as though it were dragged in by the heirs.
Rep. Boggs. Deliberately.
Sen. Cooper. That was in the letter to Tonahill.
The Chairman. Tonahill, yes.
Mr. McCloy. I would like to examine again this relationship between the Department of Justice and the FBI. Just why would it be embarrassing for the Attorney General of the United States to inquire of one of his agencies whether or not this man who was alleged to have killed the President of the United States, was an agent.
Does the embarrassment supersede the importance of getting the best evidence in such a situation as this?
Mr. Rankin. Well, I think it is a question of whether we have to put him into that position in order to get the job done, because there is, in my opinion, not any question but what there will be more friction, more difficulty with his carrying out his responsibilities, and I think we have a very real problem in this Commission in that if we have meetings all the time and they know what it is about that they know these people are up here, and they know this has come out in the paper now, it is in The Nation article, and we are meeting rather rapidly here in the last few days, and they can guess probably what it is about, certainly after the meeting with the Texas people.
Rep. Boggs. Who was The Nation, do you have it?
Mr. Rankin. The Nation article deals with it and tries to show all the various other materials that would contribute to this kind of conclusion that there is something to the rumor.
Rep. Boggs. That is exactly the kind of thing that you can anticipate being written.
Sen. Cooper. I would like to suggest something else. In view of all the rumors and statements that have been made not only here but abroad, I think to ask the President's brother, the dead President, to do this, it wouldn't have any backing in it. It would have no substance in his purpose but some crazy people would translate it from his official position to a personal position. It may sound far fetched but he would be implying as a person that something was wrong. You can't overlook any implications.
Mr. McCloy. I think that would perhaps be an element in the thing, but it still wouldn't divert me from asking this man who happens to be the Attorney General whose sworn duty it is to enforce justice, to ask him just what is within his knowledge in regard to such a serious thing as this. It is [an?] awkward affair. But as you said the other day, truth is our only client.
Rep. Boggs. Yes.
Mr. McCloy. I think we may have tomake[sic] this first step, that the Senator speaks about, but I don't think that we could recognize that any door that is closed to us, unless the President closes it to us, and in the search for the truth.
Mr. Rankin. I was asking the question and talking with the Chief Justice, and say we ran this out with Hudkins and these other people, and found that they would not give us the source
of their information, they wouldn't say it was a fabrication, but they wouldn't — so it isn't washed out, and then are we going to be able to leave it there or don't we always have to go back to our own Federal agency and try to establish the truth.
The Chairman. We do.
Mr. Rankin. I don't see how the country is ever going to be willing to accept it if we don't satisfy them on this particular issue, not only with them but the CIA and every other agency.
Rep. Boggs. Apparently this fellow Hudkins, according to this piece, has already published the information in the Houston Post.
Mr. Rankin. January 1st.
Rep. Boggs. January 1st. Hudkins of the Houston Post published the story under the headline, "Oswald rumored as informant for U. S.", and it goes on in detail what he said.
Mr. McCloy. I haven't read ityet[sic].
Rep. Boggs. It is just an article.
Mr. Dulles. It is quoted there. I haven't read that either.
Mr. McCloy. Mr. Chief Justice is there a privilege between the reporter and his source, isn't this something which is just alleged. But there is not a common law privilege. I just read rather recently there was a contempt case in Great Britain.
Mr. Dulles. They sent two people to jail.
Mr. McCloy. Sent them to jail because there was no privilege.
And I don't know. I know that doctor-patient.
Mr. Dulles. They have an Official Secrets Act which we haven't.
Mr. McCloy. It is not recognized in law generally, this privilege.
Mr. Dulles. You remember this one reporter for the Herald Tribune who went to jail rather than disclose her source up in New York. The court didn't recognize any privilege.
Mr. McCloy. This is a matter of tradition, perhaps of —
Mr. Dulles. But they don't generally prosecute.
Mr. McCloy. They don't generally prosecute but I don't think we can draw back from a non-legal privilege in the course of our inquiry, if it leads us to this relationship. I don't believe in any State that I know of that there is a statute which permits it.
Do you, Senator?
Sen. Russell. I am frank to say, I haven't studied it very closely. I was going by Congressional Committees. They generally recognize it.
Mr. McCloy. It is a sort of law, it is a sort of custom, but I don't think it is a legal privilege.
Sen. Russell. I never had a case in this area when I was practicing law and I never had occasion to brief it but over in the Congress, I have never seen it pursued any further, if a reporter claimed that it was a matterof[sic] privilege not to disclose it.
Mr. McCloy. I think we will have to press it.
The Chairman. I think there are some States that by statute.
Mr. McCloy. It is not in New York State, at least not to my knowledge.
Mr. Dulles. I don't know of any.
Mr. McCloy. I don't know in New York State. This law may have changed since I was more familiar with it.
The Chairman. Whether he has privilege or not. I think he should be made to claim it.
Sen. Russell. We can't afford not to ask him, whatever the law in Texas is we can't afford not to ask him a question.
The Chairman. That is right.
Mr. McCloy. You know in reading over this testimony again, this morass of testimony or evidence we have got here, I notice that Mrs. Oswald, the mother, said perhaps he was an agent, perhaps he might have been an agent, in trying to explain why he went to the Soviet Union.
The Chairman. She has made statements on that.
Mr. Rankin. I think the assertion is in that article in The Nation.
Mr. McCloy. To that effect.
Mr. Rankin. Yes.
Mr. Dulles. Since this has been so much out in the public,
what harm would there be in talking to Hoover without waiving any right to make any investigation in the public?
Mr. McCloy. This is going to build up. In New York I am already beginning to hear about it. I got a call from Time-Life about it. Maybe it is prompted by this letter with these 12 perplexing questions — no, it wasn't because it came before that. "What is there to this story?"
Mr. Dulles. There is a terribly hard thing to disprove, you know. How do you disprove a fellow was not your agent. How do you disprove it.
Rep. Boggs. You could disprove it, couldn't you?
Mr. Dulles. No.
Rep. Boggs. I know, ask questions about something —
Mr. Dulles. I never knew how to disprove it.
Rep. Boggs. So I will ask you. Did you have agents about whom you had no record whatsoever?
Mr. Dulles. The record might not be on paper. But on paper would have hieroglyphics that only two people knew what they meant, and nobody outside the agency else could say it meant another agent.
Rep. Boggs. Let's take a specific case, that fellow Powers was one of your men.
Mr. Dulles. Oh, yes, he was not an agent. He was an employee.
Rep. Boggs. There was no problem in proving he was employed by the CIA.
Mr. Dulles. No. We had a signed contract.
Rep. Boggs. Let's say Powers did not have a signed contract but he was recruited by someone in CIA. The man who recruited him would know, wouldn't he?
Mr. Dulles. Yes, but he wouldn't tell.
The Chairman. Wouldn't tell it under oath?
Mr. Dulles. I wouldn't think he would tell it under oath, no.
The Chairman. Why?
Mr. Dulles. He ought not tell it under oath. Maybe not tell it to his own government but he wouldn't tell it any other way.
Mr. McCloy. Wouldn't tell it to his own chief?
Mr. Dulles. He might or might not. If he was a bad one then he wouldn't.
Rep. Boggs. What you do is make out a problem if this be true, make our problem utterly impossible because you say this rumor can't be dissipated under any circumstances.
Mr. Dulles. I don't think it can unless you believe Mr. Hoover, and so forth and so on, which probably most of the people will.
Mr. McClou[sic]. Allen, suppose somebody when you were head of the CIA came to you, another government agency and said specifically, "If you will tell us", suppose the President of the United
States comes to you and says, "Will you tell me, Mr. Dulles?"
Mr. Dulles. I would tell the President of the United States anything, yes, I am under his control. He is my boss. I wouldn't necessarily tell anybody else, unless the President authorized me to do it. We had that come up at times.
Mr. McCloy. You wouldn't tell the Secretary of Defense?
Mr. Dulles. Well, it depends a little bit on the circumstances. If it was within the jurisdiction of the Secretary of Defense, but otherwise I would go to the President, and I do on some cases.
Mr. Rankin. If that is all that is necessary, I think we could get the President to direct anybody working for the government to answer this question. If we have to we would get that direction.
Mr. Dulles. What I was getting at, I think under any circumstances, I think Mr. Hoover would say certainly he didn't have anything to do with this fellow.
Mr. McCloy. Mr. Hoover didn’t have anything to do with him but his agent. Did you directly or indirectly employ him.
Mr. Dulles. But if he says no, I Ididn't[sic] have anything to do with it. You can't prove what the facts are. There are no external evidences. I would believe Mr. Hoover. Some people might not. I don't think there is any external evidence other than the person's word that he did or did not employ a particular man as a secret agent. No matter what.
Mr. McCloy. If we get a statement from the Department that the Attorney General and perhaps from Mr. Hoover or from Mr. Hoover which said, "I am telling you that this man was not in any way employed by the FBI", or in the case of John McCloy or the CIA, I think that probably stops us, unless we run into something —
Mr. Dulles. That would be all right with me. Whether it meets with the others —
Mr. McCloy. Now there is put in our hand a document that shows he was paid a certain amount of money. Maybe we would have to go further than that but I think it would be almost incumbent upon us to ask the head of the agencies whether or not this man was an employee.
Rep. Boggs. Just to examine a little further your statement, I would believe that could establish whether or not this fellow got $200 a month, almost certainly establish it?
Mr. Dulles. How could you? He is dead and you haven't got his bank account or anything of that kind.
Sen. Russell. The only trouble is these undercover agents they don't keep one like of writing, not one word anywhere.
Mr. Dulles. Sometimes you very often, in the Soviet, the did it all the time, they wanted to compromise a person and they would deliberately see that there was a record, they would keep it, and they would force money on people, and force money, people to give receipts, sometimes they would want to do that. But that
is when you are, I don't know whether too much of this should be on the record as far as the Soviet is concerned. If you want to incriminate someone and tie them to you, you would give them money and give them a receipt. But that doesn't by any means overlap. But on occasion,
Sen. Russell. Is that when you would want to blackmail him?
Mr. Dulles. That is correct. Klaus Fuchs, take Hiss with the rug, they wanted some evidence, he couldn't run away then, he was caught, he was trapped.
Sen. Cooper. I was reading some place that it has been said in the Soviet papers that this man was in the employ of the FBI.
Mr. Rankin. Yes, the Information Service has given us that.
Sen. Cooper. The fact that these officials have come here give us something official in the way that we did not have beford[sic], I would think.
Mr. Rankin. Allen, how would you feel about it, if you were head of the CIA now, and the same claim was made and this Commission was worried about the claim being believed by the public, and they would ask you, would you want the Commission to come to you directly?
Mr. Dulles. Oh, yes, certainly I would.
Mr. Rankin. Or would you want us to go out and examine witnesses first?
Mr. Dulles. I think I would want you to come so I could
give you leads as to how you could examine witnesses if you wanted to.
Mr. Rankin. If you had us out examining witnesses about whether you had the man in you employ, would you feel that we were not very fair to you?
Mr. Dulles. No, I don't think I would.
Mr. Rankin. That wouldn't bother you.
Mr. Dulles. No.
Mr. McCloy. Do you think it might be quite appropriate for us?
Mr. Dulles. It would depend whether there were international complications or foreign government involved, then I might say we would do it in this way or that way to keep from being in trouble with the foreign country.
But as far as the U. S. —
Mr. McCloy. But wouldn't we be putting your agency in great trouble if we went out finding out who your agents were and put out the report and make it public knowledge, wouldn't you think it strange if we didn't come to you with our problem?
Mr. Dulles. Yes, I think it would be.
Mr. McCloy. That is what I think.
Mr. Rankin. Then you would leave doubt you were out investigating around before you had any real leads.
Mr. McCloy. We might get a lead and then we have it and then we have to publish.
Sen. Russell. There is no man in the employ of the Federal Government who stands higher in the opinion of the American people than J. Edgar Hoover.
Mr. Dulles. That is right.
Sen. Russell. Of course, we can get an affidavit from Mr. Hoover and put it in this record and go on and act on that but if we didn't go any further than that, and we don't pursue it down to Hudkins or whoever it is, there still would be thousands of doubting Thomases who would believe this man was an FBI agent and you just didn't try to clear it up and you just took Hoover's word.
Personally, I would believe J. Edgar Hoover, I have a great deal of confidence in him.
Mr. Dulles. I do, too.
Sen. Russell. But the other people — I would believe, a simple statement as Holy Writ, this one statement without being under oath, but you can't try cases that way, and you can't have the conclusions of this Commission on that kind of material.
Sen. Cooper. I would like to have your idea bout[sic] what I suggested.
Mr. McCloy. State it again.
Sen. Cooper. We know these people have been here, so this speculation or rumor is just some official, we will not say approval, but they don't disapprove it.
Mr. McCloy. They have cognizance of it.
Sen. Cooper. That being true, since we are under a duty to see what Hudkins and Sweatt say about it, where you get that information, my suggestion was we do that, but apprise Mr. Hoover about the facts, where this information comes, we have to inquire into it, we will inquire into it, and then talk to him further about it, and it would be a matter of justice to him instead of having him disprove it from the beginning.
Mr. McCloy. What is your ojbection[sic], John, to going to it, I don't know whether it is Hoover or the Department of Justice and the CIA, John McCone, or under-Secretary of Defense, he has an intelligence unit too, this man, it has come up, we would like to know, can you give us any information which would prove or disprove this rumor.
Sen. Cooper. I haven't got objection to it but even it, if we are dealing with the FBI now, if Mr. Hoover makes his statement, I think still by reason of the fact you have heard these people and they have said that Hudkins does have some information about the truth of it, whether it is or not, you still are under a duty to examine them.
Mr. McCloy. I think it would be wrong forus[sic], this is off the top of my head, listening to this thing, I think it would be wrong for us to start an independent examination of who the agents of this, of the various law enforcement agencies of the country were without notifying the head of that agency that we
were doing it and why we were doing it.
Sen. Cooper. That is what I think.
Mr. McCloy. In other words, you would communicate with the head of the agency, whether it be the Attorney General or Mr. Hoover or John McCone, whoever it might be, at the same time you would be taking a look at Hudkins.
Sen. Cooper. Yes.
Mr. McCloy. The sources.
Sen. Cooper. I think if there was suspicion who ought to clear it up.
Mr. Dulles. They are on notice on it and they have not denied it. These are not official denials here but the other letter was.
Mr. McCloy. They are not on notice of these last developments in the Commission, the last information.
Sen. Cooper. The probably have notice that these people have been here, and therefore suspect already that we are looking into it because knowing exactly what we are doing.
Mr. McCloy. Have you talked to Catzenbach[sic], Lee?
Mr. Rankin. No.
Mr. McCloy. Willens has indicated that Katzenbach says they will be embarrassed.
Mr. Rankin. Greatly embarrassed.
Mr. McCloy. Greatly embarrassed.
Sen. Russell. If what?
Mr. Rankin. If the Attorney General were asked to check this out and then report to us.
The Chairman. But they seemed to think there would be no embarrassment for us to check it out ourselves. They think that is all right, they think it is all right for us to do that.
Now, my own thought is this: I am not going to be thin-skinned about what Mr. Hoover might think, but I am sure if we indicated to Mr. Hoover that we were investigating him he would be just as angry at us as he was or would be at the Attorney General for investigating him.
Now, I thought that the better way to do it would be to try to establish in our own minds whether or not there is any truth or whether it is — as to whether it is based on any one who assumes to have positive knowledge or whether it is just a rumor that has developed through a lot of gossip from the press rooms, or not, and if we decide that there isnothing[sic] to it except rumor, as far as we can find, I would still ask Mr. Hoover to report to us on it, tell him that this rumor has persisted, that Oswald was on the payroll of the FBI, and that the date of his employment was stated, his number was stated, his wages were stated, and that we would like anything he has in his records or through his investigation to disprove that thing.
Now, I don't see how a man in a public position whose own reputation is at stake in the thing, could object to such procedure I don't think that is unfriendly in any way, shape or form. But
I do believe, I am inclined to believe, if we just go and indicate to Mr. Hoover that we are now investigating his probity without having tried to determine whether it is fact or fiction that he might have reason to believe that we were doing it.
Sen. Russell. Back to the way I felt about it.
Mr. Dulles. We ought to go to him.
The Chairman. That is the difference between my approach and his approach. We must go into this thing from both ends, from the end of the rumormongers and from the end of the FBI, and if we come to a cul de sac why we are there but we can report on it.
Now that is the way it would appeal to me. These are things where people can reasonably disagree. Whatever you want to do I am willing to approach it in that manner.
Mr. Dulles. I agree with that, Mr. Chairman. May I point out, I don't think there is necessarily a question of probity. It might look so to the country. It is Mr. Hoover's job to watch the Fair Play for Cuba Committee and to try to penetrate it in any way he could. The reason I don't believe it is this fellow was so incompetent that he was not the kind of fellow that Hoover would hire. If this fellow was hired, I wouldn't discredit this might be a normal thing to do but he was so stupid. Hoover didn't hire this kind of a stupid fellow but for him to want to penetrate the Fair Play for Cuba Committee and find out what it is doing in this country is just as much of his duty as it is to penetrate
the Communist Party in this country and he has been doing that right along.
So I don't think really you have a question of probity.
Mr. McCloy. I wouldn't put much confidence in the intelligence of all the agents I have run into. I have run into some awfully stupid agents.
Mr. Dulles. Not this irresponsible.
Mr. McCloy. Well, I can't say that I have run into a fellow comparable to Oswald but I have run into some very limited mentalities both in the CIA and the FBI.
The Chairman. Under agents, the regular agents, I think that would be right, but they and all other agencies do employ undercover men who are of terrible character.
Mr. Dulles. Terribly bad characters.
Sen. Russell. Limited intelligence, even the city police departments do it.
The Chairman. It takes almost that kind of a man to do a lot of this undercover work.
Mr. Dulles. They ought to be fairly smart. They may not be of high moral character but they ought to be fairly smart.
Mr. McCloy. Most of them certainly are. But you couldn't base an argument on the fact that the man, because he is not intelligence[sic] hasn't been retained.
Mr. Rankin. Would it be acceptable to go to Mr. Hoover and
tell him about the situation and that we would like to go ahead and find out what we could about these —
Mr. McCloy. Hudkins' sources.
Mr. Rankin. Then if he reacts and says, "I want to show you that it couldn't be", or something like that, beforehand, what about that kind of an approach?
The Chairman. Well, Lee, I wouldn't be in favor of going to any agency and saying, "We would like to do this". I think we ought to know what we are going to do, and do it, and take our chances one way or the other. I don't believe we should apologize or make it look that we are in any way reticent about making any investigation that comes to the Commission.
But on the other hand, I don't want to be unfriendly or unfair to him.
My own judgment was that the most fair thing to do would be to try to find out if this is factor[sic] fiction.
Mr. Rankin. What I was fearful of was the mere process will cause him to think, in light of these people being here and all, and the meetings of the Commission, that we are really investigating him.
The Chairman. If you tell him we are going down there to do it, we are investigating him, aren't we?
Mr. Rankin. I think it is inherent.
The Chairman. If we are investigating him, we are investigating the
rumor against him, we are investigating him, that is true.
I don't want to belabor the thing at all.
Rep. Boggs. Does anyone have — I mean, Mr. Dulles, when you headed up the CIA, the notion that you would know the countless informers and people employed by the agencies was fantastic. You couldn't know about all of that.
Mr. Dulles. No, but after a thing like this happens and it is in the paper two or three times I would get hold of the proper person and say, "Have we hired anybody in that particular area?" By this time I would have known whether w did hire him or not because otherwise certainly not. I had to authorize. I had to trust that to the other agents.
Mr. McCloy. You would know in this case who, if there was anybody, who would have hired Oswald, who it would be.
Mr. Dulles. Certainly within an area, certainly no one had authority to do it. Now someone might have done it without authority. The CIA has no charter to hire anybody for this kind of work in the United States. It has abroad, that is the distinction.
But in the war time, in the early days when Wade was working for the CIA during the war, the CIA had jurisdiction over Latin America, so they did run agents in Latin America in his day.
Mr. McCloy. You mean FBI?
Mr. Dulles. FBI ran agents in Latin America during the war.
Mr. McCloy. I remember that.
Mr. Dulles. That jurisdiction was transferred to the CIA after CIA was organized in '47. But the CIA has not charter. I don't any it couldn't possibly have done it but it has no charter of authority to run this kind of agent in the United States; that would be other departments of government, particularly the FBI. We wouldn't investigate the Fair Play for Cuba Committee in the United States, in the CIA. But there is no reason why an inquiry shouldn't go. I think it should, if the charge has been made, in my opinion.
Mr. McCloy. This is going to loom up in all probability to be one of the major issues in our investigation, I think. That and whether there is a relationship between Ruby and Oswald. It explains a good bit, this starts off, The Nation article, starts off, "Well, why weren't the Secret Service notified that there was this defector in the building?"
if he was on the payroll of the FBI they would think he was all right, they would not think of his being a defector.
There are other things that you can put two and two together and make five out of but it is going to, I think, foment a good bit of comment, and we are going to have to have a very solid record on it.
The Chairman. Lee, what was that we were told today about, what was it today, about this FBI agent in Dallas who has gone to the police station shortly after the assassination and had
said he knew Oswald because, and then he made some statement about having, he having been connected up with two known subversives a short time before, do you remember that conversation? Will you tell is[sic], please.
Mr. Rankin. At the police station, just after the assassination, Hosty, the agent for the FBI in the Dallas area, said that he knew Oswald had been — had visited two known subversives.
Mr. Dulles. Said to whom?
Mr. Rankin. To the police, the Dallas police, two know subversives within two weeks of the day of the assassination.
Sen. Russell. He didn't relate who they were?
Mr. Rankin. No.
Sen. Cooper. Do they know the name of the FBI people?
Mr. Rankin. This was Hosty.
Mr. Dulles. Has Hosty been talked to later to get the names?
Mr. Rankin. Nobody has asked him.
The Chairman. They never talked to Hosty, he is an FBI agent and we asked, Hosty had been around there for, a year or two, something like that, and we asked — and was there on the day of the assassination — we asked the District Attorney, and his assistant if he had seen him around there since and he said no he had never seen him since.
Mr. Rankin. I checked on that and that is inaccurate. He is still in that area, although I don't know whether he is around
visiting the police.
The Chairman. They did tell me that.
Mr. Rankin. Yes.
Sen. Cooper. May I ask a question?
Mr. Dulles. Do we know who these two people are? It might be important.
Sen. Cooper. Now this man Hudkins published an article in January. But if he were brought before us and put under oath and testified then he could publish whatever he wanted to, about his testimony.
Mr. Rankin. That is correct.
Sen. Cooper. And be relieved in some way of the possibility of libel.
Mr. Rankin. Well, he would certainly be free to tell what he had testified to himself. If he lied about it here, I don't think his testimony before this Commission would protect him against his own lie.
Sen. Cooper. No, that would be perjury.
The Chairman. He can write the same thing now with whatever privilege he would have after testifying, I would think.
Mr. McCloy. I wonder whether — this brings up to my mind again, the desirability of our talking to the chief investigator of the FBI. We here, we don't know whether somebody checked up on Hosty again or whether he didn't. Why don’t' we get him in and just talk with him. I don't know whether we want to examine
him under oath but talk to him about the extent of the FBI investigation. We hear they are continuing to investigate. What have they done. There is this loophole about it, "What have you done about this? What have you done about that? What do you have in mind for future investigations?, and he will say, "We have in mind this". Have you thought about that avenue. I would think the time is almost overdue for us being as dependent as we are on FBI investigations, the time is almost overdue for us to have a better perspective of the FBI investigation than we now have.
Mr. Rankin. Well, the difficulty with doing that, we had hoped to do that about two and a half weeks ago and we were going to come back to them with a great many obvious questions, and holes in what we have been given. But then we got a supplemental report, and it filled in some of the holes but not all of them, two-thirds of them or more, that were not, and we didn't want to ask them questions that they would say, well haven't you read our supplemental report, it is all there. Our relations would breakdown[sic] very rapidly if we did business that way, so we had to go and analyze all this new material and, not only the supplemental report but all their additional raw materials they gave us at that time, and now we are in the process of trying to give them the demands.
There may be a thousand different requests for additional investigation that we will come up with in all this area.
Now the difficulty with trying to get the man in charge and asking him these questions is how much do you know about what he is giving. If we get him here before the Commission, I think you could ask him a good many things but he would probably say two-thirds or more of the time, "I told you this and I told you this and[sic] my reports", and so forth. So I don't think we have equipped you as Commissioners so that you could do that.
He would soon find you didn't know anything like what he did about the matter.
As far as we are concerned, the men are getting advised of the areas as rapidly as possible, and they are coming back with these further inquiries, but there are vast areas that are unanswered at the present time.
We have some differences between the Secret Service and the FBI, we have location of their cars and where the shots were and things where they differed as much as 17 feet, and we are trying to find out how they could have that much difference between them, and there is an explanation. It isn't as bad as that because some of it is part of calculations.
Mr. McCloy. Calculating their speed, I suppose.
Mr. Rankin. That is right. And whether or not the first shot occurred behind the sign or just as he came out from behind the sign and matters of that kind.
Mr. McCloy. I can see the difficulty with that. But on the
other hand, I have a feeling we are so dependent upon them for our facts that it might be a useful thing to have him before us, or maybe just you talk to him, to give us the scope of his investigation, and as of that date, some of the things that are still troubling us and we will be able to ask him, for example, to follow up on Hosty.
Mr. Rankin. Part of our difficulty in regard to it is that they have no problem. They have decided that it is Oswald who committed the assassination, they have decided that no one else was involved, they have decided —
Sen. Russell. They have tried the case and reached a verdict on every aspect.
Rep. Boggs. You have put your finger on it.
Mr. McCloy. They are a little less certain in the supplementals than they were in the first.
Mr. Rankin. Yes, but they are still there. They have decided the case, and we are going to have maybe a thousand further inquiries that we say the Commission has to know all these things before it can pass on this.
And I think their reaction probably would be, "Why do you want all that. It is clear."
Sen. Russell. "You have our statement, what else do you need?"
Mr. McCloy. Yes, "We know who killed cock robin". That is the point. It isn't just who killed cock robin. Under the terms
of reference we have to go beyond that.
Rep. Boggs. The most difficult aspect of this is the Ruby aspect.
Mr. Rankin. That is one very difficult area. Then you have some clear proof of some kind of a Cuban connection there, and there is a difference in regard to the testimony of what it is. You run into clear proof that his brother had some kind of a Cuban connection.
Mr. McCloy. Ruby's brother?
Mr. Rankin. yes, in Detroit but that sort of dries up when we try to get at the detail of what it is. But I don't see how you can pass on these questions without really knowing about those things as far as it is possible to know, because it might just blossom out and give you the answer to a good many things here.
The Chairman. Well, Lee, as I understand your approach would be this: You would go to Mr. Hoover and say, Now, Mr. Hoover, as you know, there are rumors that persist in and around Dallas and it is getting into the national press, to the effect that Oswald was an undercover FBI agent. The rumor has gone to the extent of stating the date on which he was employed, the number under which he was employed, and the amount of money that he received for his services, and that continued up until the time of the assassination.
"No we are going to have to try to run that rumor down to
see if anyone claims positive knowledge or whether it is plain rumor.
Can you, and will you, give us all the information that you have which will enable us to ferret that thing out, to the very limit"?
Mr. Rankin. That is what I would like to do. Reserving at the same time theright[sic] to go to those other people and take their testimony.
The Chairman. That would be implicit in it.
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Rep. Boggs. What about the point that Senator Russell makes. Assuming that you had these people who are involved here, that you had not talked to them, and you get a statement from the Justice Department, or from Mr. Hoover, or from whoever it may be which is categoric in its denial. Where does that place us where you decide to go talk to these other people?
Mr. Rankin. Well, I had in mind going to Mr. Hoover and asking him as the Chief Justice said, for more than his expression of the truth or falsity of it. Asking him for what he knows his organization presumably, what can he do to help us in regard to the proof of the facts in regard to this particular matter.
Now, it is like the questions you asked, Congressman, of Mr. Dulles, and if you would ask, I am sure Mr. Hoover knows many of those, he many not know about particular individuals, just like Mr. Dulles wouldn't, but he knows who to ask, and ring a button and say, to the record how could we establish this? I never had that kind of problem when I was in the Department of Justice. But I am sure within the F.B.I. Mr. Hoover knows where to find out who was hired on any particular date and the basis of it, and I thought if it was my situation, and I was being reflected on that I had had somebody like this under my employ, I would like to be approached, first, and I wouldn't feel that it was a reflection on me, or at least I should feel the reflection was already involved in those kinds of articles and claims, and I would rather you would come to me than to go to someone else and
ask him about the rumors, and let me see if I couldn't establish it. I don't think the country is going to be satisfied with the more statement from, not to use Mr. Hoover's name, but just examine about any intelligence agency that Oswald wasn't hired in light of this kind of an accusation, a rumor.
I think that the country is going to expect this Commission to try to find out the facts, as to how those things are handled to such an extent that this Commission can fairly say, "In our opinion, he was or was not an employee of any intelligence agency of the United States."
Sen. Russell. Did you ask Wade if he had taken any statements of these people?
Mr. Rankin. Yes, I did, and he had not.
Sen. Russell. He had not. Did he propose to?
Mr. Rankin. He didn't indicate he was going to.
The Chairman. He said it didn't make any difference in his Ruby case.
Mr. Dulles. Could I add one thing, on the suggestion that I would make, I would suggest that you ask Mr. Hoover for the right to see any reports that agents made who did contact — we know he was contacted at various times for various reasons. Now, normally, an agent makes a report to headquarters when he has a contact of that kind. There ought to be some reports.
Mr. Rankin. And we have those.
Mr. Dulles. You have those reports?
Mr. Rankin. But we don't have any assurance that those are the only reports, you see.
Mr. Dulles. I see.
Mr. Rankin. There could be a report for this purpose and there could be more reports and all that kind of thing.
Mr. Dulles. You should ask him that, if there are reports.
Mr. Rankin. He had a report from, in October, from Mrs. Payne and from Marina Oswald, if you remember, but he didn't go directly to Oswald himself. That is a curious factor in itself, that he made no approach —
Sen. Russell. That has always been a queer thing to me before this rumor came up. I couldn't understand why they went to Mrs. Payne and Mrs. Oswald, but didn't go to him.
Mr. Rankin. That is correct. W have the August conversation when he returned to this country and the first time they approached him, Marina Oswald, the wife, said that the two F.B.I. agents talked to him for two hours, and when he returned to the house from talking to him out in the car or out in the yard he was very much disturbed — that is here expression of it.
We don't have any report that would cover anything like the two hour conversation.
It is a relatively short report.
Now, what occupied the rest of the time — well, it could have
been something not related to this at all, but it seems to me if someone else is going to take this material after we get through and make a report on a thing like that? What happened to the rest of the time, and they will try to draw the inference.
Sen. Russell. It seems to me we have two alternatives. One is we can just accept the F.B.I.'s report and go on and write the report based on their findings and supported by the raw materials they have given us, or else we can go and try to run down some of these collateral rumors that have just not been dealt with directly in this raw material that we have.
Rep. Boggs. I think we must do the latter.
Sen. Russell. So do I.
The Chairman. I think there is no question about it.
Sen. Russell. Of course the other is much easier.
Mr. McCloy. We certainly would be doing the F.B.I. a service and doing the Commission a service.
Sen. Russell. The F.B.I. would like to see us very much do it.
Mr. Dulles. I think it is the question of the procedure, I don't think there is any difference among us as to what is to be done.
Mr. McCloy. You see, here is this sheet, this is designed to be an attack on the F.B.I.
Rep. Boggs. Sure.
Mr. McCloy. And there are a lot of people who would like to
attack the F.B.I., and we don't want to be in the position of attacking the F.B.I.
Rep. Boggs. Of course not.
Sen. Russell. I don't propose to attack the F.B.I. unless there is some startling revelation that they have evaded their responsibility.
Mr. McCloy. I think the F.B.I. is an agency which has the security of this country, and a very important agency, as is this Commission.
Rep. Boggs. What we have to do is tell our counsel what to do.
The Chairman. Yes.
What do the rest of you think of the approach of Mr. Rankin, the way we have just laid it out here in the last few minutes?
Mr. Dulles. Doesn't that combine your idea, too, Mr. Chairman? It seems to me it is a marriage of the two.
The Chairman. It is just a question of whether you have the cart of the horse first. We disagreed a little on which approach to take, but if you think his approach is reasonable, is a reasonable approach to it, it is perfectly all right with me. I would be glad to go along with it.
Mr. McCloy. I think it is fundamentally the same as yours. It may be a little — it is almost a collateral approach.
The Chairman. Yes, there isn't any great difference.
Sen. Russell. Do you propose to let Mr. Hoover send out some
F.B.I. agents to interview this fellow Hudkins to kind of find out where he got this information?
Mr. Rankin. No.
Sen. Russell. What are you going to do after telling him all this?
The Chairman. That is a good question.
Mr. Rankin. I thought from what I know about him that he would say, "We will do anything we can to help you. We will make anything available from our records", and then I would say, "You know your records and I don't. what will prove this rumor is false?"
And there may be some —
The Chairman. From his standpoint, he couldn't possibly have any proof other than his statement.
Mr. Rankin. Well, he may have a lot of proof.
The Chairman. You mean that he was not an F.B.I. agent, unde[sic] cover man?
Mr. Rankin. Well, he may be able to prove who were, that is that there were certain ways of checking that out.
Mr. Dulles. If you could get all the conversations of the agents with him and they were correct, then you might get some bearing on the situation. Because if they had five meetings and talked to him five times, or the number of times this was, and this was never mentioned, it didn't come up at all, he didn't volunteer, or they didn't ask him anything, that depends of course,
upon getting the conversations as they took place.
Sen. Russell. Do you have any contacts with any United States district attorneys in Texas in whom you could have confidence? Is any one of them that you think you could get to interview this man?
Mr. Rankin. Well, I had in mind that the Commission should go directly with some member of its staff to interview him and interview each of these people, but as we proceed with that I thought we would have Mr. Hoover understand we were doing that and that he recognized that we had to do it and that was —
Sen. Russell. I have no objection to that.
Of course I think he is going to offer to interview them, if he hasn't already done it.
Mr. Rankin. I think the Commission needs to have its own record on that, and I think it might be very desirable to have them here under oath for the Commission to see them and be present when they give their story.
This is, in my opinion, one of the major points that is constantly raised to try to explain this situation. If we can put it to rest in any way, it is of major importance.
Sen. Cooper. That is the point I have felt, we have to interview these people. But I thought, also, that you have to let the F.B.I. know that you are interviewing them because all the other, the great bulk of the testimony we have go we have received from them.
I think we would have to — they are apprising us of what they say theyare[sic] doing, I think we have a duty of apprising them of what we are doing, and in truth, in investigating the credibility of what they are doing, because if this should turn out that they knew it, and never reported it, it would be — a blow.
Mr. Dulles. Did these people point out that this all stems back to Hudkins?
Mr. Rankin. Yes, that is the only explanation, except I think where you have a statement of a secret service man by a deputy sheriff that you can't disregard it even though he tells someone again.
Mr. Dulles. Right.
Mr. Rankin. It seems to me you probably would want all of these people who participated in that and get it out on the paper.
Rep. Boggs. What role did this man Alexander play in this?
Mr. Rankin. Well, it appeared to have started earlier than — he was as active, but it is possible, I don't know —
The Chairman. I think he is the fellow who blew the whistle so far as this Commission is concerned. I think that is where Carr got his information, don't you think?
Rep. Boggs. From Alexander?
The Chairman. From Alexander, yes. And Alexander was up her[sic] and sat in that chair, and said that it wasn't exactly the way Carr had presented it, that there were two different things.
One, that was involved in Carr's story to Lee. One of them h[ad]
to do with hearing in chambers on some papers they wanted to from the defense, and then after that was over he went out into the corridor and then down to the pressroom and he said they were all talking about it then, he said all the press were, it is a matte[sic] of common knowledge among the press, this rumor, and he just shrugged the whole thing off, and Carr was sitting here where the Senator is and he didn't object to anything that Alexander said, although it varied radically from what he told you a day or so before.
Sen. Russell. Well, Mr. Chairman, I was not primarily responsible for Mr. Rankin's employment by this Commission but he is our counsel and if that is the way he wants todo[sic] it, I will make a motion that he proceed as he thinks best in respect to this matter.
The Chairman. Is there a second?
Mr. McCloy. I think that is all right.
Mr. Dulles. Along the lines he discussed here.
The Chairman. Those in favor say aye.
(Chorus of aye)
The Chairman. Contrary, no.
The Chairman. Unanimously adopted.
Mr. Rankin. We were going to outline our approach to the ideas about the whole procedure of the staff in trying to develop this material for you. But in light of the time, I do not know
how much time you yet have and whether you want to see the members of the staff, and it takes some time for me to try to tell you about each of those areas, our approach.
What is your pleasure?
Rep. Boggs. I think we had better do it as quickly as we can.
The Chairman. All right, go ahead.
Mr. McCloy. The appointment I have at the White House has been cancelled.
The Chairman. Go right ahead.
Mr. Rankin. The first area is the day of the assassination, and all of the various elements that are involved in that, and that includes the plans for the trip, the program at the Trade Mart, the checking out of that area to be sure that it was secure, all of the steps that were made by the Secret Service in that regard, the collaboration between the police, and the Secret Service, and any other agencies such as the county sheriff in connection with the parade and the route that was designated or planned.
The decision as to when that material would be released to the public, and the date of the release. The fact that the intention of the President to go to Dallas was not indicated in the press until in October, but the fact that he was going to Texas as distinguished from Dallas was indicated September 26. September 26 is the date that Oswald went down to Mexico City, and
the article about the President coming to Texas was in the paper on that day before he went to Mexico City as far as we can determine.
Now, we have difficulty determining the exact time that he went to Mexico City, because the exit record on the border is such that it extends from the period 8 in the morning until 7 at night, and he was shown to have passed through but the exact time is not shown by the materials we have yet.
However, we do have a record that he was supposed to have gone one way by car and one way by bus, and they haven't gotten the exact time on the bus for us, and they haven't got the story of what — who he went with in the car.
So that it is important to keep in mind in connection with that the that he could have known that the President was probably coming to Dallas, because we think that, and we have checked this our somewhat, that if the President was going to Dallas on what was a political trip, and this was a political as distinct from a governmental.
Mr. McCloy. You said Texas, not Dallas.
Mr. Rankin. Presumably, he would not go to Houston or San Antonio without going to the Dallas area. That it has been in the nature of politics that Presidents in going to Texas make it a point to try to get to the middle area as well as the Houston area if they are going to go there on political trips.
So we believe that it is reasonable to assume that the moment
it appeared in the papers on September 26th that the President decided to go to Texas, even though he didn't specify Dallas or Fort Worth, that it was probable that he was going to go there.
We also checked with the Secret Service people, and there was, as you may recall, another building that would have served well as the purpose of the meeting despite the Trade Mart and that was the Woman's building. It was located in a different area of the city. But the Secret Service people say that a President would be expected to go down Maine Street and having his parade, and so forth, and if either way it would be expected that he would go down Houston Street, which enters into Elm, one way if he was from the Woman's Building he could come down from the other section of the city and come to Houston which would be right by the window on the sixth floor of the Depository Building, where, as you recall the pictures, he would have an excellent shot right down Houston Street in order to go over to Main or if you go the other way around, in order to go the Trade Mart, Building he would come down Main, go down Houston and Elm like he did.
So that to anticipate that this particular location would be a prime location for anything like this depending upon either of the probable places where he would have such a banquet or a dinner is reasonable in light of our conversations with the Secret Service, and how they would expect a parade route to be laid out.
Mr. Dulles. If he was making a speech in the evening would he have gone there, I rather thought not from something I read, probably would go to a big banquet room in a hotel. That might be worth looking into.
Mr. Rankin. That might be difficult, we didn't canvass it except for the luncheon, as I recall he was going on downas[sic] soon as theplans[sic] were announced to another locality.
Mr. Dulles. As soon as the plans were announced, the plans were fixed. But at this stage I don't think they could tell whether it would be luncheon or dinner, whatever it would be, midday.
Mr. Rankin. That is right.
So it is possible he could have made as part of his plans from the time he left to go to Mexico City to try to locate in this building and go ahead with the assassination.
Now, that would assume that it is possible that he talked to people about such plans, and had collaborators concerning them in Mexico City. We do not have enough information about that to know what happened there except we do have information that the tried to get a visa at the Cuban Embassy, and he tried to get a visa at the Soviet Embassy, and we know the hotel he stayed at, and we have a very limited report from the hotel keeper about most of it to the effect that they knew nothing about him, didn't even know that he came or went, although there were seven days between the time he went down on the 26th, and the third when he came back.
It also indicated that he had a limited visa from the United States, and, therefore, he could not expect to get another one in connection with his travels down in Mexico.
Mr. Dulles. We don't give visas to Mexico.
Mr. Rankin. It was a border crossing.
Mr. Dulles. I thought those travel things in Mexico were limited.
The Chairman. A travel permit for two weeks.
Mr. Rankin. Fifteen days.
Mr. Dulles. I think that is Mexico and not the United States.
Sen. Cooper. Trying to get them to speed up their actions.
Mr. Rankin. Yes.
So that we have a wide range of inquiry yet in Mexico City as to the seven days and his activities there.
Sen. Russell. Who has been doing the investigating in Mexico?
Mr. Rankin. The C.I.A. has been working with us in regard to that area, and the F.B.I. has an attache there who has done some work but most of it has been by the C.I.A. and prior to that, and we need some instruction with regard to that.
Now, we are going to have a meeting with the agencies and see if it is acceptable to them in such a meeting to supply the
information themselves rather than having the Commission supply the information it has received from any of the agencies to these — the C.I.A. and other people that we will need help from.
Sen. Russell. Mr. Rankin, have you given any thoughts to the fact that Oswald was not familiar with Dallas. He had this road map to go around to inquire for jobs and yet you are assuming that he knew all about these routes and everything else, who he posted himself up there to shoot the President, if he did in fact shoot him, and of course the evidence seems overwhelming that he did. That has caused me to believe that he had to have someone somewhere to advise him about that.
Mr. Rankin. Well, that Nation article is very interesting, Senator, in regard to your question, because —
Sen. Russell. I haven't read that article, but that occurred to me at the outset. Everybody said he posted himself there and got this employment and all, but he was not familiar with Dallas. Apparently he hadn't lived there —
Mr. McCloy. It was published in the Dallas paper with an arrow showing what the direct line was to be two days before the President came, I mean the Dallas paper had a diagram showing him coming down the street and going —
Sen. Russell. But he has already been in Mexico City before that, some time before that.
Mr. McCloy. Yes, that is true.
Mr. Rankin. This article sets out in some detail there a
quotation of some of his letters when he was in Russia.
Rep. Boggs. Yes.
Mr. Rankin. And it is very difficult to understand how anyone could write the letters he did from Russia and write other letters that he wrote in regard to the Fair Play for Cuba.
Rep. Boggs. Right. The spelling has changed.
Mr. Rankin. It is a world of difference. It is hardly believable that anyone could have acquired such information during that period of time.
Rep. Boggs. One of the big gaps in the reports that I have read involves this shot, it was one shot, wasn't it, that he took at General Walker, with both motive and all sorts of things.
Mr. Rankin. Yes.
Well, his story about that, of course, as you recall, he left this memorandum which was found in the cookbook, and Marina Oswald, the wife, didn't ever give any explanation of that or mention until they found that and then she finally said that that was her cookbook and she remembered it, and he went there to the Walker affair around 9 o'clock, was the time it was reported that the shooting accurred[sic], and he said to her afterwards that he buried his rifle and then he dug it up at some vacant lot near there and he fired and he didn't know whether he had been successful or not.
Then he doesn't come home until midnight, according to the
story, her story, and that is three hours difference, and there isn't anything to explain that long period of time, and when he got home he was very much disturbed and excited, and at that point he turned on the radio later to find out what happened, and he told her that he had shot at General Walker. He didn't know yet whether he had killed him or not. In fact, he seemed to be thinking that he might have, and he later told her that a lot of people thought that in order to do anything like that they had to have a getaway car, and automobile or something like that, and he just used a bus, that was the most effective way, and apparently he had taken his gun on the bus, and then buried it, dug it up, and had it shot, buried the gun again, and from the reports that we have and the news accounts, it looks like if Walker had not backed away from the desk at the time he did, he might have gotten him.
Sen. Russell. The article I read Walker fortuitously moved just as the shot, otherwise it would have hit him in the head.
Mr. Rankin. He apparently turned out the light then so there was not an opportunity for another one.
She, on the other hand, threatened him if ever did — she asked him why he would do that, and he said he was such a terrible person because he was the head of the Fascists in this country and she said if he ever did that again she was going to report it to the police, and that was here explanation for the reason she kept this memorandum that she put away in the cookbook.
Now that could have been an accurate story. It is possible, it is believable, because it may explain some of his efforts to conceal some of his additional actions and later he proceeded to try to separate her and to keep her over at Mrs. Payne's although that was a rather fortuitous arrangement anyway because he didn't pay her anything to keep her there, and it didn't cost him anything, and then he lived in town at one time, as you recall, he lived under the assumed name, and she found a telephone number that he had not given her, but some of his papers and she called up and she tries to locate him, and they say he isn't there but it is somebody else, and he does come to the telephone and he is very angry with her for trying to track him down, and so it may be in explanation for some of the action that he took in the assassination of the President, and her failure to know about some of those things because of this threat that she made to him she was going to report anything that he did of this kind, if he ever did it again.
On the other hand, she claims in her testimony, all the way through that she doesn't know that he went to Mexico at all. She doesn't know anything about the fact that he was going to the Cuban Embassy about a visa, she doesn't know that he planned to go to Cuba. That whole episode is entirely unknown to her, and yet he has some note in this little notebook that he had in which he has a silver bracelet that has a name Marina on it that apparently is Mexican, characteristically Mexican bracelet, and he
went to, apparently, a bull fight and Jai alai and other things down there, according to his little notebook, and it is difficult to believe that he could be gone that long from her and come back and she would never ask him where he had been, and if he gave her this bracelet which she never says that she ever received, but we are going to have to ask her about all of that, how she could have not known something that was going on about that.
In addition to that there is this Spanish dictionary, and the books about Spanish where he was trying to learn Spanish although he had know some Spanish before he went to Russia, and we are trying to run that down to find out what he studied at the Monterey School of the Army in the way of languages because she used to make fun of him, according to some of their Russian friends, about his pronunciation of Spanish words, and he was very clumsy at it, and was embarrassed by her making jokes about that.
The Chairman. How would she know that, that he was mispronouncing Spanish words? She couldn't speak Spanish. She couldn't even speak English, she spoke Russian. How would she know that, I wonder.
Mr. Rankin. There is no explanation of her friends saying, and it is possible she got that from her other Russian friends, but there is no indication that they were Spanish-speaking, so far as anything we have.
The Chairman. Of course there are so many Spanish-speaking people down in Texas.
Mr. Rankin. In the area.
The Chairman. That she might have gotten it from someone else.
Mr. Rankin. Then there is the great range of material in regard to the wounds, and the autopsy and this point of exit or entrance of the bullet in the front of neck and that all has to be developed much more than we have at the present time.
We have an explanation there in the autopsy that probably a fragment came out the front of the neck, but with the elevation the shot must have come from, and the angle, it seems quite appare[nt] now, since we have the picture of where the bullet entered in the back, that the bullet entered below the shoulder blade to the right of the backbone, which is below the place where the picture shows the bullet came out in the neckband of the shirt in front, and the bullet, according to the autopsy didn't strike any bone at all, that particular bullet, and go through.
So that how it could turn and —
Rep. Boggs. I thought I read that bullet just went in a finger's length.
Mr. Rankin. That is what they first said. They reached in and they could feel where it came, it didn't go any further than that, about part of the finger or something, part of the autopsy, and then they proceeded to reconstruct where they thought
the bullet went, the path of it, and which is, we have to go into considerable items and try to find out how they could reconstruct that when they first said that they couldn't even feel the path beyond part of a finger.
And then how it could become elevated; even so it raised rath[er] than coming out at a sharp angle that it entered, all of that, we have to go into, too, and we are asking for help from the ballistics experts on that.
We will have to probably get help from the doctors about it, and find out, we have asked for the original notes of the autopsy on that question, too.
Now, the bullet fragments are now, part of them are now, with the Atomic Energy Commission, who are trying to determine by a new method, a process that they have, of whether they can relate them to various guns and the different parts, the fragment whether they are a part of one of the bullets that was broken and came out in part through the neck, and just what particular assem[bly] of bullets they were part of.
The have had it for the better part of two and a-half weeks and we ought to get an answer.
So the basic problem, what kind of a would it is in the fron[t] [the following line at the bottom of the page as well as the tail end of several of the lines on the bulk of the page above seems to have been cut off in a photocopy process. The upper tips of a whole line are barely visible. This is page 194 in the original numbering, page 70 according to the PDF enumeration — JSC]
Mr. Rankin. One, or something from a shot at the top of the head.
Mr. McCloy. It is possible that the third shot could have had a fragmentation.
Sen. Cooper. One doctor, as I remember, projected manual massage, to resuscitate him, that would cause the bullet to come out of the back. Do you remember that?
Sen. Russell. Have you collected these charges against the raw material in here?
Mr. Rankin. I haven't, we may.
Mr. McCloy. Are we going to have at the examination of Marina the exhibits, for example, the bracelet and the rifle itse[lf] because she has testified first that the rifle was not the rifle. Later she changed her testimony in that respect.
Mr. Rankin. Yes.
Mr. McCloy. Will we get the rifle and the bracelets so she will be confronted with them?
Mr. Rankin. Yes.
Her testimony about the rifle, you know she only admitted to that after pictures were found and she had destroyed the pictures that were in the photo album after the mother had suggest[ed] that to her, and they found this in one of his sacks that they found other material, other clothing.
They have better than 400 –different objects of physical evidence. Some of them are not related at all. They just happened
to find them.
We think that the wound in the neck has to be related to one of these others, but the problem is difficult to determine because we have a statement from the hospital that the bullet that was more whole than the other was found on the stretcher which they brought the President in to the hospital on, and then we have other testimony later that goes back over the same ground in which the person in charge of the stretcher and the attendant said that this bullet was found under the blanket on the stretcher Governor Connally was on, and it is a complete —
Sen. Russell. I thought it was found on the stretcher of the President.
Mr. Rankin. That was the first story. And that is what we have to deal with, a story of that kind to try to reconcile it with people who actually handled the stretcher that Governor Connally was on and picked up the bullet from under the blanket.
Now, the evidence is quite superior to the other man's but we have to check it out some more to determine that.
Sen. Russell. This isn't going to be something that would run you stark mad.
Mr. Rankin. I don't know what we will run into, but —
Let me ask you about it because I have never seen anything about it. Whatever happened with the fellow who bought the front page ad and called the President a Communist?
Mr. Rankin. We haven't anything on that at all.
The Chairman. We ought to find that out.
Rep. Boggs. We ought to find it out. A most mysterious thing
The Chairman. And I will tell you, we also ought to find out who published and circulated that little, not pamphlet but the little handbill that they put out about the President that morning. "Wanted for Treason".
Rep. Boggs. That is right.
The Chairman. That has got to be run down. There is no question about that.
Rep. Boggs. That is right.
Sen. Russell. You know the F.B.I. must have looked into that.
Mr. McCloy. Yes.
Mr. Rankin. We have considerable material and we are going to go into some extent and I wanted to get the Commission's instructions about this, in the atmosphere, this hate material that was very common in that area in many regards. It was in the newspapers, it was in circulars of various kinds, it was in letters to the editor in the newspaper. It was also involved in sermons from the pulpit in some of those, in at least one of the leading churches of the city was involved in financing various forms of hate literature in very large amounts from that particular area, and it may well be that it was a contributing factor in not just as was suggested by some as far as the extreme right is concerned but also in stirring up various elements of the community who were expressing themselves in very extreme forms against anybody in power from the President on down from time to time.
And it may very well be —
Sen. Russell. Who printed this now?
Mr. Rankin. Well, the newspapers had some of it, the pamphlets were commonly circulated there, and I presume you are familiar with some of the H. L. Hunt's financing of various —
Sen. Russell. Yes we get that about every two weeks, I don't read it but I get it.
Mr. Rankin. And all kinds of things coming from out there in substantial amounts and it apparently was not only exacerbating the community in a number of ways, not only of the extreme reight[sic] and the extreme left, but also the elements of the people more
moderately inclined who didn't assert themselves in regard to that, and from some of the information we have, it is really the communities can be like people, and if you let these forces work long enough it will have an effect upon their approach to many problems, and it may be something that the country should be well aware of.
Sen. Russell. Do you think there is evidence of any connections between Oswald and any of those groups? The F.B.I. is supposed to check that out pretty closely.
Mr. Rankin. We have no evidence that is clear that Oswald was connected with anybody but we also have very great problems —
Sen. Russell. We know he was connected with the Fair Play for Cuba Committee.
Mr. Rankin. Yes.
Rep. Boggs. They denied he was a member, didn't they?
Mr. Rankin. They denied he was a member, and also he wrote to them and tried to establish as one of his letter indicates, a new branch there in New Orleans, the Fair Play for Cuba.
Rep. Boggs. That letter has caused me a lot of trouble. It is a much more literate and polished communication than any of his other writings.
Mr. Rankin. That is right. And he also proceeded to set it up by himself without anybody else as a member or anything, and I don't know as he ever got a member.
Rep. Boggs. They tried to get a list, you know, of his membership. He never produced a single person.
Sen. Russell. He produced a card saying — he had one or two cards with his name. He had it printed and set up an office.
Rep. Boggs. That was a fictitious name that he used.
Sen. Cooper. I have one suggestion about what we have been talking about, I would think if we find out who but those advertisements in the paper and all that is very important. The other can come in as it is developed, but I think we might talk about this hate element too much because, I will tell you why, because people will begin to get the idea as some have already expressed of going away from evidence and trying to build up some situation which is apart from the evidence.
Mr. Rankin. Yes.
Rep. Boggs. I think these factors such as that add, and these circulars should certainly be looked into.
Mr. Rankin. Then in the period that they lived in Russia there are manifold problems about the fact that the way he lived, the additional income he received under the name of the Red Cross, you will remember, the question of when that income terminated. She said he had never been to Leningrad. He said he had, she went to Kharkov, and there is no explanation of any communications between the two of the during that period of time. There is a period when they were there that she indicated she was fearful of her marriage, and whether it was — it may not be maintained, ther[e] is no explanation of that in anything she has given in any of her
The fact that he was paid proportionally so much more than she was when he was a workman in the factory and she was at least a semi-skilled person with her pharmacy knowledge, and all, is another problem that isn't covered by any of their testimony.
The fact that they moved to another apartment during the period that they were trying to arrange to come to the United States, which according to what their testimony — what she testified to, was going to be of relatively short time, that she would get an answer and it doesn't seem like there was any good reason for them to move to another apartment.
That is unexplained, and the members of her family are a curious thing. She was apparently a child with a father unknown at the child she was born, and yet she acquired a name of a father in some of the registrations under the Soviet system. Well, according to information we have it is very rare that they would insert anything like that or would allow it, because their controls are so carefully made to try to identify people all their life and particularly where they were born so they can trace down through for the rest of the period, and that is an unexplained feature.
Then the fact of her uncle and what his status was apprently[sic] a part of the Interior government and not a part of the Intelligence, but nevertheless he had a telephone, and the style in which they lived, and the partment[sic] and all were very unusual comparatively.
Sen. Russell. You mean while they were in Russia?
Mr. Rankin. Yes, I mean not only Oswald but this uncle, too, and it would appear that he was much more than just a person of the Interior government like she had said, from what we have been able to get from the CIA and others about it.
Then the fact she was allowed to leave the country the way she was is not adequately explained by her testimony, her statements or anything.
Why they did it so relatively promptly when that is a very difficult operation with most people, and what he did in Moscow when he went there, and was there for better than a month, and was there, and there's no explanation of what he did there.
Mr. Dulles. The beginning of his trip, you mean?
Mr. Rankin. Yes.
Mr. Dulles. When he tried to commit suicide?
Mr. Rankin. Yes. And then this period that he belonged to the gun club, and there is no explanation by her of that or what he did in that. He might have had all kinds of training during that period that is entirely unexplained.
The fact that they went to, when they came back, they went to Amsterdam and were there for, I think, it was two days before they went to Rotterdam to take a boat, and it is unexplained why they happened to go there and stay, and got a place to live, some little apartment, and what they were doing in the interim, that entire period is just full of possibilities for training, for
working with the Soviet, and its agents, and unusual compared with the experience of most Americans.
Now, you recognize it is going to be very difficult to get all of that out of her no matter how well informed we are about her, what she has testified to, what she has given statements about, and she has given a good many of them, and what her written statement in Russian is, all of those things will be — we have, and we examined them in great detail and are prepared on them, but whenever she gets to these areas that might be enlightening for us she is unable —
Sen. Russell. "Don't understand what you are talking about"?
Mr. Rankin. That is correct. Give us anything on it and just seems to come up to a blank.
We are trying to get sufficient material to try to get to persuade her to try to explain how these things were possible, and it is difficult to anticipate what she will do except she may just say she can't understand or she doesn't know, and that will be all we can get out of her.
Mr. Dulles. Has the letter gone forward to the State Department for the Russians?
Mr. Rankin. It hasn't, it isn't going forward yet because we have to ask them about that, and the CIA is going to help us develop the questions, and they have been working.
Mr. Dulles. I think we ought to get thatoff[sic] as soon as we can.
Mr. Rankin. Yes.
Mr. Dulles. If she has any chance to tell the Russian ambassador I don't know whether she will do it or not, she might after this interview, she might ask, get in touch in some way with the Russian embassy, they would be very anxious to get in touch with her. I guess the guard is such that they couldn't do that.
Mr. Rankin. Well, the Secret Service has been with her constantly and all. I don't know how much longer after we would take her testimony you would want that to continue.
Sen. Russell. What interpreter have you arranged to have?
Mr. Rankin. We have asked the "State Department to furnish one and they have said the would do so. And we also are going to have a man from the secret service here who has been talking to her and translated everything so we could be sure about anything she said we wouldn't have to rely on just one person.
Sen. Russell. There is a fellow here named Reuben Efrom who is one of the best that I ever saw.
Sen. Russell. Do you know him, Mr. Dulles?
Mr. Dulles. I don't think I do.
The Chairman. Senator, is he with the State Department?
Sen. Russell. No, sir.
Mr. McCloy. There is another fellow named Akelovsky who is a star. He may be over in Geneva. It is awfully important that you get a bilingual man.
Mr. Rankin. We have a vast area about Ruby.
Mr. Dulles. This completes the other, the Oswald one?
Mr. Rankin. Just in a general way.
Sen. Russell. Has it every[sic] been determined whether he could drive an automobile or not? There has been a conflict in that in nearly everything I have read.
Mr. Rankin. They claim he never could drive an automobile. He didn't know how. That he took a lesson, I think about Mr. Paine's car and he got along all right but it was just a very preliminary.
Sen. Russell. Who drive him down to Mexico?
Mr. Rankin. That we haven't gotten.
Rep. Boggs. He went on a bus, didn't he?
Mr. Rankin. He went one way on a bus.
The Chairman. One way on a bus.
Sen. Russell. I thought he want[sic]down on bus and came back in a car.
Mr. Rankin. That is right.
Sen. Cooper. That would be very important, with whom he stayed down there. That is one of the curious things about it.
Rep. Boggs. I read that in some report.
Sen. Russell. That is right, I remember I did, too.
Sen. Cooper. What about the Paine's[sic], is anything developing about them?
Mr. Rankin. Well we asked for a full background report on the
Paine's[sic], andit[sic] is a very curious situation. She is a member of the Friends Society, and they are separated, and he is a member of an old New England family, and apparently quite well educated. She was teaching Russian in a school there were she lived, and she said that she was very much interested in having Marina stay with her so she could become more proficient in speaking Russian.
Mr. Dulles. Paine's father was a member of the Trotskyite Society, I think, 11 members.
Mr. Rankin. Yes, sir, and there was no indication —
Sen. Russell. Whose father?
Mr. Dulles. Paine's father, the man's father. And the grandmother is around and she is quite an extraordinary character, I understand, Mrs. Young, she might have a good idea on this family.
Mr. Rankin. She has said that she didn't ever receive anything from them for food or lodging or anything, and apparently that is true from Mrs. Oswald, from what she says, and she has had just to learn what she could about Russian.
Sen. Russell. Oswald said the same thing along that line, I read something along that line.
Mr. Rankin. She seemed to be fond of Oswald's little girl June, they wrote a number of letters in which she wrote back and wanted to send her love to the little girl. She went down to New Orleans and brought Marina back.
Sen. Russell. Is she living alone in this place?
Mr. Rankin. Yes.
Sen. Russell. That accounts for a good deal of the explanation.
Mr. Rankin. And she seemed to remember some of the things about the Oswalds and their difficulties and quarrels they had about him. She thought he was a disagreeable person, she said. But on the detail, when he went to Dallas, and whether he took the gun or whether the gun was in the garage, on that part, not muchhelp[sic] there, and yet it is difficult to believe that two women would have this gun in a blanket in the corner of a garage especially after that walker affair and never even peak[sic] in there to see if that gun was there or what kind of a gun it was or whether he took it out sometimes and brought it back, and, of course, there are a good many stories about his practicing with a gun, you know, around various rifle ranges and so forth.
We have checked those out, and none of them stand up at all. W have gone over all of that to try to find out where he could ever gain the proficiency that he apparently had in this shooting that was done.
The Chairman. He was a sharpshooter in the Marines.
Mr. McCloy. In the Marine Corps?
Mr. Rankin. Yes.
Mr. McCloy. That is above the ordinary.
Mr. Rankin. But that is quite aways[sic] below expert.
The Chairman. Marksman is average, but sharpshooter is above.
Sen. Russell. Pretty near all of them are sharpshooter if they work at it.
The Chairman. Thank you, Senator, for coming.
Lee, you probably couldn't get into the Ruby affair anyway tonight, could you?
Mr. Rankin. There is a tremendous amount of material on it.
Rep. Boggs. Could you give us just a quick synopsis of it?
Mr. Rankin. Apparently Ruby was born in Chicago, and after some hears he went to the West Coast, Los Angeles, and then he came back to Chicago, and he changed his name, and then he went to Dalls[sic], and then he came back from Dallas to Chicago, and then he goes back to Dalls[sic], that is a brief history about what he did.
He has apparently all kinds of connections with the underworld, and he had a number of petty arrests, but the convictions were very unimportant. There weren't any — I can't even remember one that amounted to anything.
Mr. Dulles. He never got to jail, did he?
Mr. Rankin. No, he paid a small fine on one or two. There are stories about his being a homosexual, and those don't pan out as far as any real proof, but it seems to be very current. There are also all kinds of stories about his girls and striptease girls and that they — he spent time with them all the time, and there are some stories that he is a bisexual.
There isn't any question but what he planned to go down to Cuba, and he did, and the story was that it was in regard to armaments —
Mr. Dulles. Cuba?
Mr. Rankin. Yes.
Rep. Boggs. This was after Castro?
Mr. Rankin. Yes.
Rep. Boggs. You are sure about that?
Mr. Rankin. No, I am not. I had better check on that. But my recollection is that it was one of the stories was that he was trying to sell guns and ammunition to Castro, that is the way —
The Chairman. And jeeps.
Mr. McCloy. Yes, and jeeps.
Mr. Rankin. That is all denied, and that he was going down there to make the money on other kinds of sales but not anything that was munitions or armaments. There is no explanation of where he was there, what he did, or who his connections were. He had all kinds of connections with the minor underworld, I think you would call it, in Dallas and Chicago, but I don't — it isn't apparent that any of the important people in the underworld would have given him consideration at all as far as being a part of it.
Now, it would seem that he might have — he might be the kind of person they might try to use. He was a habitue apparently of the Police Department, and was able to go to any part of it at any time, and they knew him. I was surprised at the conference we had with the District Attorney, that they said that when they had the lineup, he was in the same room. That is the first time I have
ever run across that, and he was in the back of the room, and then they had the screen where they lined up Oswald as several others for the lineups, to see if they could be recognized and the report said they couldn't take a decent picture through the screen, wouldn't they take Oswald to the side away from the screen so they could take some good pictures and so they did that, and they got him over to the side and they took the pictures and then Ruby came up, and he said, "Hello, Henry," and seemed to know Wade about as well as he knew all the police people, too, and he said, "Hello" to him.
And then they took Oswald out, and took him down the corridor, and then Ruby went out, and Wade talked to the press for two or three minutes, and then as he was going out, went out, started down the corridor, Ruby called to him from one of the inner offices of the police, and said that the TV station wanted to talk to him on the telephone.
Apparently he had called the TV station and told them that Wade was there, and they said call him to the telephone and we will get an interview with him.
So, apparently that is another thing that Wade thought was particularly important, you will be interested in it from the stand point of premeditated action on his part, because this was — this is a day and a half beforehand, and he was there, and shows no animosity at all at that time, but around — but Wade doesn't know whether he had his gun that day or not, but he had a considerable
opportunity, even if you consider the various possibilities at that time.
Mr. Dulles. That will be brought out at the trial, won't it?
Mr. Rankin. Yes.
Sen. Cooper. There hasn't anything been developed to show that they know each other.
Mr. Rankin. There is no showing of connection, there is no showing that Oswald was the kind of person that would hang around the joints that Ruby had, either. It is possible that he could have in earlier days before he ever went to Russia, and that he might have just with some young people stopped in but that would have been a long time before.
Rep. Boggs. Oswald apparently didn't to[sic] to night clubs.
Mr. Rankin. He didn't have the income to do it very often.
Mr. McCloy. He seemed to have gathered up a considerable amount of income from that article from time to time. He had $435. We know he had $150, plus $435. We know he had carfare to Mexico, which is not —
Rep. Boggs. I must go, too, Mr. Cheif[sic] Justice.
Mr. Dulles. When do you want another meeting, Mr. Chairman. Do you have any idea?
The Chairman. We haven't at the present time, Allen. This is all we have to present to you today. We will keep at it and we will let you know as soon as we pick up something that should challenge our attention.
Rep. Boggs. It is a very fine presentation.
Mr. McCloy. February 5th I go out of the country for a week. The plot thickens, doesn't it?
Mr. Rankin. Would you have time tomorrow?
Mr. Dulles. yes.
Mr. Rankin. About the meeting with the CIA and the FBI and the State Department, would you have time tomorrow if I can set that meeting up?
The Chairman. Yes, I will do it.
All right, gentlemen, thank you.
The meeting is adjourned.
(Whereupon, at 5:50 o'clock p.m., the President's Commission adjourned subject to call of the chair.)
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