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University Press of Kansas
Breach of Trust: How the Warren Commission Failed the Nation and Why / Edition 1

Breach of Trust: How the Warren Commission Failed the Nation and Why / Edition 1

by Gerald D. McKnight


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Breach of Trust: How the Warren Commission Failed the Nation and Why / Edition 1

The Warren Commission's major conclusion was that Lee Harvey Oswald was the "lone assassin" of President John F. Kennedy. Gerald McKnight rebuts that view in a meticulous and devastating dissection of the Commission's work.

The President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy was officially established by Executive Order to investigate and determine the facts surrounding JFK's murder. The Warren Commission, as it became known, produced 26 volumes of hearings and exhibits, more than 17,000 pages of testimony, and a 912-page report. Surely a definitive effort. Not at all, McKnight argues. The Warren Report itself, he contends, was little more than the capstone to a deceptive and shoddily improvised exercise in public relations designed to "prove" that Oswald had acted alone.

McKnight argues that the Commission's own documents and collected testimony—as well as thousands of other items it never saw, refused to see, or actively suppressed—reveal two conspiracies: the still very murky one surrounding the assassination itself and the official one that covered it up. The cover-up actually began, he reveals, within days of Kennedy's death, when President Johnson, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, and acting Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach all agreed that any official investigation must reach only one conclusion: Oswald was the assassin.

While McKnight does not uncover any "smoking gun" that identifies the real conspirators, he nevertheless provides the strongest case yet that the Commission was wrong—and knew it. Oswald might have knowingly or unwittingly been involved, but the Commission's own evidence proves he could not have acted alone.

Based on more than a quarter-million pages of government documents and, for the first time ever, the 50,000 file cards in the Dallas FBI's "Special Index," McKnight's book must now be the starting point for future debate on the assassination.

Among the revelations in Breach of Trust:

Both CIA and FBI photo analysis of the Zapruder film concluded that the first shot could not have been fired from the sixth floor

The Commission's evidence was never able to place Oswald at the "sniper's nest" on the sixth floor at the time of the shooting.

JFK's official death certificate, signed by his own White House physician and contradicting the Commission's account of Kennedy's wounds, was left out of the official record.

The dissenting views of the naval doctors who performed the autopsy and those of the government's best ballistic experts were kept out of the official report.

The Commission's tortuous "Single Bullet" or "Magic Bullet" theory is finally and convincingly dismantled.

Oswald was probably a low-level asset of the FBI or CIA or both.

Commission members Gerald Ford (for the FBI) and Allen Dulles (for the CIA) acted as informers regarding the Commission's proceedings.

The strong dissenting views of Commission member Senator Richard Russell (D-Georgia) were suppressed for years.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780700613908
Publisher: University Press of Kansas
Publication date: 10/04/2005
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 488
Product dimensions: 6.56(w) x 9.34(h) x 1.60(d)

About the Author

Gerald D. McKnight is professor emeritus of history at Hood College in Frederick, Maryland, and the author of The Last Crusade: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the FBI, and the Poor People's Campaign.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments Introduction 1. Assembling the "Official Truth" of Dallas 2. Creating the Warren Commission 3. Oswald in Mexico—Seven Days That Shook the Government 4. The Warren Commission Behind Closed Doors 5. The Warren Commission Confronts the Evidence 6. The Warren Commissions's "Smoking Guns" 7. The JFK Autopsy 8. Birth of the SIngle Bullet Fabrication 9. Politics of the "Single-Bullet" Fabrication 10. FBI Blunders and Cover-Ups in the JFK Assassination 11. Senator Russell Dissents 12. Was Oswald a Government "Agent"? 13. JFK, Cuba, and the "Castro Problem" Conclusion Appendix A. FBI Damage Control Tickler Appendix B. J. Lee Rankin Memorandum Appendix C. A Brief Chronology and Summary of the Commission's Case against Oswald Notes Selected Bibliography

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