Fearful that an honest investigation (several were being discussed) of his predecessor’s assassination, just a week before, would reveal his involvement, Lyndon Johnson, on November 29, 1963, created the Warren Commission. We now know that this commission was a fraudulent enterprise meant to cover up the truth, not expose it. The following excerpt from my book–JFK and the End of America–addresses the matter:
Of all the things the mainstream media overlooked in the wake of the assassination, one of the most blatant indicators of Lyndon Johnson trying to cover his tracks was his cunningly shrewd selection of Warren Commission members. Republicans were in the majority, and nary a liberal was to be found, unless we count Earl Warren. As its titular head, Warren imbued the panel with an integrity it did not deserve; he had a reputation for progressive values and was despised by the extreme right-wing. Johnson saw his appointment as a way to appease liberals and Kennedy loyalists. But Warren was a reluctant appointee, and he rarely showed up for any of the hearings. The meat of the commission work was performed by Kennedy haters.
Johnson appointed just two Democrats—Richard Russell and Hale Boggs—both southerners who had opposed JFK’s domestic agenda especially in the area of civil rights. This is a polite way of saying that even the Democrats on the Commission were not Kennedy admirers. It is easy to forget that the Democratic party in the early 1960s was evenly split between conservatives and liberals. Southern Democrats were nearly unanimously right-wing ideologues; much the same way that Republicans are today. Many of them, like John Connally and Strom Thurmond, switched their party affiliation from Democrat to Republican when the domestic strife of the ‘60s caused politicians to choose sides that more closely identified with their policies. Today southern Democrats are as rare as southern Republicans were in 1963. The point is, Johnson could rely on his Dixiecrat friends to avoid digging too deeply into the ugly truths of who really planned and executed the murder of a President for whom they bore no love. Still in all, despite their political opposition to JFK, Russell, Sherman Cooper (Republican) and Boggs had misgivings about the commission’s findings that a single bullet struck both Kennedy and Connally. Not until John McCloy came up with compromise language did the three dissenters acquiesce to the others’ magic-bullet charade. But Russell, according to author Gerald McKnight, never understood the full ramifications of conceding to McCloy. McKnight writes that, “Because of Russell’s chronic absenteeism he never fully comprehended that the final report’s no-conspiracy conclusion was inextricably tied to…the single-bullet theory.240 Cooper may have been similarly oblivious—he attended barely half the meetings. Boggs’ attendance was also sporadic, but his dissent appeared to disturb the commission’s hierarchy more than others. He was bugged and followed by the FBI for years, and he vehemently objected to J. Edgar Hoover’s Gestapo tactics. (Boggs’ post-Warren Commission troubles and his mysterious disappearance are addressed in a later chapter.)
Over the life of the commission, it was three of the Republicans who exerted the most influence on the eventual whitewash: Allen Dulles, Arlen Specter (Dulles’s intrepid and ambitious lawyer) and Congressman Gerald Ford. Specter expertly badgered and discredited hostile witnesses (read, witnesses who had knowledge of conspiratorial activity) and concocted the magic-bullet scenario which allowed the commission to frame the dead patsy for the crime. Because of the time constraints inherent in a frame count of the Zapruder film, Oswald had only six seconds to fire three shots, and two of them—the complete miss and the head shot—were already accounted for. That left just one bullet to do the rest of the damage. Specter’s strained contrivance took care of that problem for the plotters. One bullet, he said, despite all evidence to the contrary, entered the President’s back, exited his throat, entered Connally’s back, broke his wrist, tore through his ribs, landed in his leg, and came out on a Dallas stretcher in pristine condition. No one but Specter saw this as an even remotely logical occurrence; still it exists in the official record today, despite the fact that no bullet fired in the history of the world has ever duplicated this feat, and despite the fact that no Parkland medical personnel saw a rear entry wound on the President’s body. The Bethesda doctors did see a rear entry wound, but the wound was too low on the President’s back to have exited his throat. The only way that wound could have been made was by body alterationists in transit from Parkland to Bethesda. The body alterationists created a wound that couldn’t be easily accounted for. Specter tried, but he needed a big assist from Gerald Ford to complete the sham.