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JFK's Assassination and Bertrand Russell

<Photo: British Philosopher Bertrand Russell (1872-1970), Cambridge, England>

While we're waiting for June 2023 to see the final 3,000 documents about the JFK Assassination that are still kept top secret by the US government, let's go back to 1964 -- the year of the Warren Commission -- to see what the eminent Bertrand Russell, had to say about the JFK Assassination.

It turns out that he had a lot to say. In June 1964, when he was 92 years old, Bertrand Russell organized the "Who Killed Kennedy Committee" in London, England. Then, in September 1964 he published his well-known 16 Questions about the proceedings of the Warren Commission (hereafter WC).

Bertrand Russell proposed that Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren had fumbled the ball from the start. Russell offered Warren 16 questions about the conduct of the hearings over the JFK assassination. Although he wrote before the publication of the Warren Report, the FBI's leaks to the press made its direction predictable.

Many have already guessed that J. Edgar Hoover himself was the source of these leaks. If so, then Hoover appeared anxious that the American public must believe his Lone Shooter theory. In any case, these leaks were the basis for Russell's 16 Questions. Let's summarize his questions now:

1: Why were all the members of the Warren Commission closely connected with the US Government, and closed to the Public?

2: If, as we are told, Oswald was the lone assassin, where is the issue of national security?

3: If the Government is so certain of its case, why has it conducted all of its inquiries in the strictest secrecy?

4: Why did the WC establish no panel to deal with the question: Who killed President Kennedy? Instead, the WC appointed six panels to answer the following:

i. What did Oswald do on November 22, 1963?

ii. What was Oswald’s background?

iii. What did Oswald do in the US Marine Corps and in the Soviet Union?

iv. How did Ruby kill Oswald?

v. What is Ruby’s background?

vi. What efforts were taken to protect the President on November 22?

Notice that the WC omitted the crucial question: "Who Killed President Kennedy?"

5: The WC said that it would not conduct its own investigation, but would instead rely on the FBI, Secret Service, and Dallas police. So, our confidence in the WC is really based on our confidence in the FBI, Secret Service and Dallas police. Why were Liberals in America so slow to closely examine those three sources?

6: Why did the FBI and SS follow many suspicious persons in Dallas and fail to observe Oswald’s entry into the book depository building while allegedly carrying a rifle?

7: Why was JFK’s route changed at the last minute to take him past Oswald’s place of work?

8: Why were the medical records on JFK’s death altered out of recognition?

9: Why did the SS remove all evidence from the interior and exterior of the JFK limo, so that nobody could ever examine it?

a. Many eye-witnesses, including 2 reporters from the Fort Worth Star Telegram, 4 from the Dallas Morning News, and 2 men standing in front of TSBD (director and vice–president of the TSBD), reported shots from the Triple Overpass!

b. The first bulletin to go out on Dallas police radios said that “the shots came from a triple overpass in front of the presidential automobile.” SS Agent in Charge Roy Kellerman was inside JFK's limo at the time, and he testified that he looked to the front when the shots fired burst out

c. Yet the WC concluded that JFK was shot only from behind. In this case, the JFK limo would provide crucial evidence. But all evidence was removed from the limo

10: Why did authorities seize Mary Moorman's Polaroid photographs that she took as she stood on the south side of the Grassy Knoll. She snapped JFK's limo as it rode down Elm Street during the same moments when shots were fired at JFK. Authorities would let nobody see them. Why?

11: LIFE magazine photos (Feb. 21) showed Oswald's rifle with a telescopic lens but The New York Times published an almost identical photo as LIFE, *without* the telescopic lens. In March 1964, NEWSWEEK published an entirely new rifle! In April 1964, the inner pages of the Latin American edition of LIFE published an even different type of rifle (Feb 21). What about all these photograph forgeries in the press?

b. Authorities interrogated Oswald for nearly 48 hours without a lawyer, and without recording any of it. ACLU lawyers in Dallas requested to see Oswald and were denied. But the FBI and Dallas Homicide Department knew that any evidence obtained from a man held in custody for 48 hours was inadmissible in a US court. Did they plan on no trial?

12: Why was the result of the paraffin test on Oswald's face at first reported as positive? Months passed before the correction was published.

13: Why was Helen Markham's description of Tippit’s killer (the only one given) deliberately omitted by the police from her affidavit -- the sole eye–witness?

14: Why did the sequence of events in Dallas Police press reports mismatch Dallas Police Radio records?

15: Why was Marina Oswald taken into custody immediately after the JFK assassination and sequestered for months, allowing nobody to visit? And why did she reverse her original claims of Oswald's innocence?

16: How does a District Attorney of Henry Wade’s great experience account for all the extraordinary changes in evidence and testimony which he himself announced during the Oswald case?

Of all the 16 Questions above, my favorite is #2. "If Oswald was the sole killer, when what is the issue with National Security?" This is the incisive logic for which Bertrand Russell was famous.

Two members of Bertrand Russell's, "Who Killed Kennedy Committee" wrote books on their discussions.

  1. Josiah Thompson wrote, "Seven Seconds in Dallas" (1965) to explain how a second shooter would fit in the scenario in Dealey Plaza.

  2. Richard Popkin, wrote "The Second Oswald" (1966) using only WC testimonies as evidence, to argue that only two or more Lee Harvey Oswalds could make sense of all the various WC testimonies!

In this historical context I will also raise the name of Harry Dean, my personal friend, who in 1965 -- on the Joe Pyne Show on syndicated radio -- explained to the public how General Edwin Walker worked with the right-wing Minutemen, coast to coast, to coordinate this mayhem.

Then everybody stopped to celebrate the first serious critique of the Warren Report, "Rush to Judgment" (1966) by Mark Lane, complete with film. (Eventually they broke with Mark Lane, however, because he became increasingly shrill and accusing).

So, here, in 2023, when we will all witness the 60th anniversary of the JFK assassination this November, we also recognize a few of the "first responders" who tried to hold the WC's feet to the fire.

Thank you,

--Paul Trejo

© Copyright 2023 by Trejo Academic Research. All Rights Reserved.



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