<Photo: Typed letter from the resigned General Edwin Walker to US Senator Frank Church, dated June 23, 1975, proving that he perjured himself to the Warren Commission when he testified that he’d never even heard the name of Lee Harvey Oswald until 11/22/1963.>
The photo above – which I discovered in Walker’s personal papers at UT Austin – is an important letter in US history, because it is indisputable proof that General Edwin Walker perjured himself in his Warren Commission (WC) testimony in July 1964. Here’s what General Walker testified to the WC (advised by his attorney Clyde Watts) in 1964:
Mr. LIEBELER: You never even heard of Oswald?
General WALKER: ...I have no information of Oswald’s name ever being mentioned in my house, and I had never heard of the name with regard to the individual we are referring to at any time since I have been in Dallas or any other time.
Mr. LIEBELER: You have never heard of any connection until the assassination?
General WALKER: Until his activities of November 22...
General Walker told the WC that never even heard the name of “Oswald” until November 22, 1963. Are we to believe that Walker, the professional anticommunist, along with his friends said nothing and did nothing when a US Marine defected to the USSR in October 1959 and then changed his mind and returned to Fort Worth (next door to Dallas) with a Russian bride and child in June 1962?
No, because in 2012, at the Briscoe Center for the Study of History at the University of Texas at Austin. I discovered this letter from the 90 boxes of Walker’s personal papers stored there. This letter, displayed above, is Walker’s letter to Senator Frank Church dated June 1975. It is indisputable proof because it comes from Walker’s typewriter, signed by him, and it flatly contradicts his own WC testimony.
The first time that somebody published the notion that LHO had been Walker’s April 10th shooter was one week after the JFK Assassination, in a German newspaper. The paper, Deutsche Nationalzeitung, published an interview given by General Walker about 18 hours after the JFK Assassination.
This interview inspired the article headline which revealed that LHO was Walker’s shooter in April and that RFK had failed to punish LHO for that crime, so LHO was then free to kill JFK.
Walker gave that interview to this German newspaper at around 7 a.m. on November 23, 1963. That interview given only HOURS after the JFK assassination, reveled in the knowledge that LHO had been his April shooter. Yet even the FBI and Secret Service didn't know that fact until Marina told them TWO WEEKS LATER!
Officially, the FBI didn’t know anything about that until December 3, 1963, when Marina told them. So, Walker had known almost as long as Marina had known. We rightly ask how this could have been possible. Before we explore that, let’s review the topic from 40,000 feet in the air.
STATUS OF DALLAS IN 1963
Most if not all ‘CIA-did-it’ researchers in the past 57 years have considered General Walker to be ‘just an old kook.’ Just as JFK and RFK underestimated Walker, so did Mark Lane, Harold Weisberg, Sylvia Meagher, Jim Garrison, and their many followers. So do virtually all CIA-did-it researchers today. But the resigned General Edwin Walker was anything but ‘just an old kook.’
Besides having been a US Army General who graduated from West Point and served as a leader in World War Two and the Korean War, this General was also well-trained in covert warfare. Walker was also well-connected in Dallas, starting with his political campaign backer, H.L. Hunt, the richest man in Texas.
Hunt was a right-wing superstar in Dallas. Hunt had the loyalty of all Dallas city leaders, the Dallas Secret Service, the Dallas FBI, and the Dallas John Birch Society (JBS). As a personal friend of Hunt, our General Walker had borrowed access to all of this influence in Dallas. H.L. Hunt had his own Dallas chapter of the JBS. So did General Walker. So did Mary Surrey, wife of Walker’s business partner, Robert.
Dallas JBS members tended to favor the Presidential campaign of Alabama Governor George Wallace, who wasn’t ashamed to use the “N” word in his speeches. Their militant wing, the Minutemen, would follow nobody less than a former US General – like the resigned General Walker.
They regarded the JBS slogan, “Impeach Earl Warren,” to mean only one thing: “Overturn the US Supreme Court’s 1954 Brown Decision” which US Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren had decided. We say that:
· Dallas had all the ingredients necessary to assassinate JFK, all by themselves. Dallas had the motive (like many groups) and the means (like many groups) and the opportunity (which no other groups had in 1963).
· CIA headquarters had no clue about the assassination, although at least two CIA rogues did play some role. CIA agents Howard Hunt and David Morales admitted to family and friends that they participated in a JFK conspiracy; Hunt was a “bagman” and Morales was likely in Mexico when LHO was there.
· US Secret Service headquarters had no clue about the assassination, although at least one Secret Service rouge in Dallas (i.e., Forrest Sorrels) we say, deliberately deceived Secret Service headquarters about the safety of Dallas in general, and Dealey Plaza in particular.
· FBI headquarters had no clue about the assassination, although at least one FBI rogue in Dallas (i.e., James Hosty) who had been tracking LHO all year, deliberately deceived FBI headquarters about the dangers of Dallas, by downplaying the Dallas radical right.
STATE OF THE ART TODAY
The single JFK researcher who comes to mind as having carefully researched Walker’s role in the assassination of JFK is Dr. Jeffrey Caufield with his book, “General Walker and the Murder of President Kennedy” (2015, 900 pages). It was the most thoroughly researched book on this topic until Jason and I launched this website. No book after Caufield’s came close.
Among his thousands of points, my only difference of opinion is that Caufield’s guessed that General Walker and LHO both worked closely together in 1963. His logic was that both Walker and LHO worked closely with Guy Banister. It's a reasonable guess, although I respectfully differ. I say that LHO tried to defect to the USSR in 1959, while General Walker would rather die. Walker automatically despised everything communist – and perhaps especially US military defectors to the USSR.
Walker, I feel certain, wouldn’t have allowed LHO in the same room with him. And when he learned “within days” that LHO was one of the snipers who tried to shoot him from the alley behind his house, Walker would want few things more in this world than to see LHO as dead as a doornail.
In my view, when LHO moved from the USSR to Fort Worth (so close to General Walker), Walker had already placed LHO on his ‘doomed list.’ Then, when Walker found out only four days after his April shooting that LHO was indeed the sniper, Walker gave LHO priority for execution. Walker never met LHO personally, I say, but through his vast rightwing connections, Walker could make deals with Guy Banister, David Ferrie, and Clay Shaw, to manipulate LHO.
WALKER’S STRANGE BEHAVIOR IN 1961
To better understand General Walker’s behavior in 1963, we should begin with Walker’s utterly bizarre decision in 1961 to forfeit his US Army pension after 30 years of military service. Why did he resign when he could just as easily have retired with a full Army pension? General Walker’s family wasn’t rich. He scrapped his Army pension and so he had no visible means of support.
This makes no sense at all – until we analyze his connections and his behavior immediately after he resigned from the Army in November 1961.
First, Walker moved to Dallas (not his hometown) to live in the same neighborhood as the relatives of oil baron H.L. Hunt. Next, Walker got free office space in an oil company to begin writing and copyrighting political speeches. Next, H.L. Hunt began his plan for Walker to run in the Texas gubernatorial race of 1962 – a governor Hunt could control. Hunt gifted Walker $10,000 (in today’s money) just to register in Austin – and $350,000 (in today’s money) to conduct his political campaign.
H.L. Hunt and General Walker disagreed on only one point. Like Senators Strom Thurmond, John Tower, and John Stennis, Hunt wanted Walker to register as a Republican. But Walker chose to keep his Dixiecrat connections and so he registered as a Democrat, arguing that he could split the Democratic Party.
At the same time, Senators Thurmond, Tower, and Stennis began organizing a Senate Subcommittee to convene in April 1962, which would absolve Walker of any charges that had led to his early 1961 removal from his Army command in Augsburg, Germany. Walker would double down on his myth that JFK and the communists in Washington DC had fired him because they were afraid of him.
If this strategy worked, it would harm JFK in future elections, and it would help Walker win the 1962 race for Texas governor. If Walker won, then after only one term, he’d be qualified to run for US president – heavily indebted to oil baron H.L. Hunt.
In December 1961, Walker delivered his first speech by addressing the National Indignation Convention at the Dallas Memorial Auditorium. It was a roaring success and observers lost count of the standing ovations. With each subsequent speech in Dallas, New Orleans, Miami, and the Southeast, there were countless standing ovations. These speeches would form a groundswell of grassroots support for Walker’s campaign for Texas governor.
Things were looking up for General Walker as 1962 began.
A GREAT REVERSAL
Sadly, in April 1962, the Senate hearings went poorly for Walker. Although Walker could inspire his enthusiastic fans, Walker couldn’t tolerate cross-examination. He fumbled, he flustered, he lost his temper. He even punched a smart-aleck reporter in the eye when leaving the chamber. His testimony quickly collapsed into petty accusations against the US Army newspaper – the Overseas Weekly. It was a big disappointment for the Subcommittee.
Walker suffered another setback when he lost the race for Texas governor. John Connally won handsomely in a field of multiple candidates as Walker finished in last place. Well, Walker hadn’t campaigned much. When a reporter asked Walker for his campaign platform, Walker replied, “Read the Texas Constitution.” When reporters asked H.L. Hunt what went wrong, Hunt told them, “Walker wouldn’t listen to me.”
By June 1962, when it came to mainstream politics, General Walker was strictly outside looking in. He was alert to spot his next political move. Yet the worst was yet to come. Starting in September 1962, General Walker and JFK would cross paths in violent ways.
FIRST CLASH AT OLE MISS UNIVERSITY
The first clash occurred in Mississippi when the US Supreme Court decided in favor of James Meredith, an African American veteran of the US Air Force who insisted on enrolling at Ole Miss; an all-white University in Mississippi, despite stiff resistance. Meredith had been trying to enroll since 1961 and he encountered blockades at every turn.
Mississippi governor Ross Barnett promised many cheering crowds that he would never break the all-white tradition at Ole Miss. It became a national scandal as JFK told reporters that he would uphold the Supreme Court’s decision, even if that required using federal troops (as President Eisenhower had used them in Little Rock in 1957).
It became a crisis during the week of Ole Miss registration. Protesters had already begun to march at Ole Miss, chanting to keep their student body all-white. Police arrested those who snuck firearms onto campus.
JFK federalized local troops to protect Meredith. In reply, General Walker used radio and TV nationwide to invite even more protesters from all over the US, calling for, “ten thousand strong,” to come to Oxford, MS, to protest the federal troops.
Thousands of Walker’s protesters did arrive at Oxford from all over the US. Thousands of federal troops also arrived at Oxford to protect James Meredith and defend his rights. With thousands on both sides, many armed, and with the Mississippi governor speechless, any decision toward action now went to Walker’s protesters.
Van Savell was a young, casually-dressed reporter for the Associated Press who mingled among the mob and stayed close to General Walker. Starting at around 9 p.m. on September 30, he wrote, Walker spent the next four hours boldly directing the protesters about ways to clash with federal troops. Protesters hurled bricks and rocks at the federal troops. They hijacked campus vehicles like a fire truck and a bulldozer to wreak havoc. They smashed cars and set fire to campus property before the FBI and US Army arrived to relieve the federal troops at around 1 a.m.
More important than all this damage to University property, however, were the casualties. Hundreds suffered injuries and two lost their lives in this long riot. Public media received only a few minutes of film of the event. Here on YouTube is the main film distributed by Washington DC:
That film explains that there was more footage of the riot – but authorities destroyed most of it. So, this was the first personal clash between the resigned General Walker and JFK.
SECOND CLASH AFTER OLE MISS
The second clash between General Walker and JFK occurred the next morning after breakfast. At about 10 a.m. on October 1, 1962, when his driver stopped at the first police roadblock out of town, military police arrested General Walker for inciting the riot. They delivered him to federal marshals inside the Ole Miss campus, and then, on orders from Washington DC, they flew Walker to an Army hospital in Missouri for a 90-day psychiatric observation.
A national protest broke out over this harsh treatment of Walker! Surely, JFK and RFK had over-reacted! Even the ACLU and the liberal psychiatrist Thomas Szasz joined conservatives nationwide to protest against sending political rivals to insane asylums! (Isn’t that what commies did?) In a couple of days, Walker was free. He returned to Dallas and met a cheering crowd. Then he started preparing his defense for the Grand Jury which would convene in a few weeks.
Despite this brief benefit from public outrage, all astute observers knew that this spelled the end for Walker’s mainstream political ambitions. From now on, only groups on the extreme right-wing would engage Walker for speeches. Mainstream radio and TV talk shows would no longer invite him.
To prepare for the Oxford Grand Jury in early December 1962, Walker took his usual attorney, Clyde Watts, and he added a specialist attorney, Robert Morris. Their strategy was to ignore the Ole Miss riots and concentrate as far as possible on the “insane asylum” angle. Morris subpoenaed all psychiatrists involved, as well as psychiatrists of his choosing. The hearings were tedious and heavy on the medical language.
In January 1963, finding no insanity in General Walker, the Mississippi Grand Jury acquitted General Walker of all charges related to the Ole Miss riots.
A POSSIBLE COMEBACK?
In late January 1963, Walker was again free, so he immediately planned a political comeback. He would design a six-week, coast-to-coast speaking tour in the South from Miami to Los Angeles. He invited segregationist preacher, Billy James Hargis, to this crusade to uphold the old US tradition of racial segregation and to insult and condemn JFK’s administration in every way conceivable.
Hargis agreed, and they named the tour, “The Midnight Ride,” to evoke patriotic images. If this worked, they could become rich! They started touring from Miami in mid-February 1963 and they returned to Dallas from Los Angeles about six weeks later; in early April.
Upon returning to Dallas, they counted their money and they hadn’t made as much as Hargis had expected. The comeback fizzled as Walker’s attraction had faded severely. They’d never repeat the tour.
THIRD CLASH IN DALLAS
Only two nights after Walker came home from his Midnight Ride, he sat in his home doing his taxes at 9 p.m. on April 10, 1963, when suddenly death came within one inch of his head. At least one sniper used a rifle from the back alley to try to kill Walker at home and nearly got him – but missed. The police came, and it was instant local news for the week.
Walker immediately thought of JFK and RFK – they must have sent that sniper that night, to finally punish Walker for the deadly riots at Old Miss. (Documents from Walker’s personal papers make his worry quite clear).
So, from the late Autumn of 1962 to the early Spring of 1963, General Walker and JFK violently clashed three times. This bit of US history gives us a new perspective on Walker’s letter to Senator Frank Church in 1975. Before we draw any conclusions, however, we must first question whether Walker was even able to learn “within days” of the shooting that LHO had been his sniper. That is, if he knew, then how did he know?
To summarize the current blog post, we say the letter to Senator Church claiming he knew that LHO was his shooter “within days” of the shooting is Walker’s true confession that he had perjured himself to the WC when he testified that he never heard the name of LHO until the JFK murder.
In our next blog post, we’ll explore further WC testimony to attain a clearer portrait of these issues.
© Copyright 2022 by Paul Edward Trejo. All Rights Reserved.
WC Testimony of the resigned General Edwin Walker
General Edwin Walker’s 90 boxes (c. 2012) of personal papers are stored at the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History at the University of Texas at Austin. Access to this collection is available by appointment only.