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Introduction to the Records of the Warren Commission

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« on: February 14, 2011, 02:11:30 am »

Introduction to the Records of the Warren Commission
http://www.archives.gov/research/jfk/warren-commission-report/intro.html

President Lyndon B. Johnson appointed the President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy, commonly called the Warren Commission, by Executive Order (E.O. 11130) on November 29, 1963. Its purpose was to investigate the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy on November 22, 1963, at Dallas, Texas. President Johnson directed the Commission to evaluate matters relating to the assassination and the subsequent killing of the alleged assassin, and to report its findings and conclusions to him.

The following members served on the Commission:

Earl Warren, Chief Justice of the United States, former Governor and attorney general of California, Chair;
Richard B. Russell, Democratic Senator from Georgia and chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, former Governor of Georgia, and county attorney in that State;
John Sherman Cooper, Republican Senator from Kentucky, former county and circuit judge in Kentucky, and United States Ambassador to India;
Hale Boggs, Democratic Representative from Louisiana and majority whip in the House of Representatives;
Gerald R. Ford, Republican Representative from Michigan and chairman of the House Republican Conference;
Allen W. Dulles, lawyer and former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency;
John J. McCloy, lawyer, former President of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and former United States High Commissioner for Germany.
 
On December 13, 1963, Congress passed Senate Joint Resolution 137 (Public Law 88-202) authorizing the Commission to subpoena witnesses and obtain evidence concerning any matter relating to the investigation. The resolution also gave the Commission the power to compel the testimony of witnesses by granting immunity from prosecution to witnesses testifying under compulsion. The Commission, however, did not grant immunity to any witness during the investigation.

The Commission acted promptly to obtain a staff to meet its needs. J. Lee Rankin, former Solicitor General of the United States, was sworn in as general counsel for the Commission on December 16, 1963. He was aided in his work by 14 assistant counsel who were divided into teams to deal with the various subject areas of the investigation. The Commission was also assisted by lawyers, Internal Revenue Service agents, a senior historian, an editor, and secretarial and administrative personnel who were assigned to the Commission by Federal agencies at its request. Officials and agencies of the state of Texas, as well as of the Federal Government, fully cooperated with the Commission on its work.

From the first, the Commission considered its mandate to conduct a thorough and independent investigation. The Commission reviewed reports by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Secret Service, Department of State, and the Attorney General of Texas, and then requested additional information from federal agencies, Congressional committees, and state and local experts. The Commission held hearings and took the testimony of 552 witnesses. On several occasions, the Commission went to Dallas to visit the scene of the assassination and other places.

The Commission presented its Report, in which each member concurred, to the President on September 24, 1964. The publication of the Report was soon followed by the publication of the 26 volumes of the Commission's Hearings. The Commission then transferred its records to the National Archives to be permanently preserved under the rules and regulations of the National Archives and applicable federal law.

In the National Archives, the records of the Warren Commission comprise Record Group 272: Records of the President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy. The record group contains about 363 cubic feet of records and related material. Approximately 99 percent of these records are currently open and available for research. The records consist of investigative reports submitted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Secret Service, and the Central Intelligence Agency; various kinds of documents such as income tax returns, passport files, military and selective service records, and school records relating to Lee Harvey Oswald and Jack Ruby; transcripts of testimony, depositions, and affidavits of witnesses, correspondence; manuals of procedures of federal agencies; administrative memorandums; records relating to personnel; fiscal records; agenda, proceedings, and minutes of Commission meetings and minutes of staff meetings; exhibits; tape records, newspaper and press clippings, and films; indexes; drafts and printer's proofs of the Report and Hearings of the Commission; a chronology of events in the lives of Oswald, Ruby, and others, 1959-1963; records relating to the interrogation and trial of Jack Ruby; and other records. Most of these records relate to the period of the investigation of President Kennedy's assassination, November 1963 to September 1964, but some records of earlier and a few later dates are included.

The Kennedy family donated the autopsy X-rays and photographs to the National Archives under an agreement dated October 29, 1966. The agreement limits access to these materials to persons authorized to act for a Committee of Congress, a Presidential commission, or any other official agency of the federal government having authority to investigate matters relating to the assassination of President Kennedy or recognized experts in the field of pathology or related areas of science and technology whose applications are approved by the designated Kennedy family representative. 

« Last Edit: February 14, 2011, 02:12:49 am by gerald309 » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2013, 12:49:37 am »

Commission records
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warren_Commission

In November 1964, two months after the publication of its 889-page report, the Commission published twenty-six volumes of supporting documents, including the testimony or depositions of 552 witnesses and more than 3,100 exhibits.[12]
All of the commission's records were then transferred on November 23 to the National Archives. The unpublished portion of those records was initially sealed for 75 years (to 2039) under a general National Archives policy that applied to all federal investigations by the executive branch of government,[13] a period "intended to serve as protection for innocent persons who could otherwise be damaged because of their relationship with participants in the case.”[14]
The 75-year rule no longer exists, supplanted by the Freedom of Information Act of 1966 and the JFK Records Act of 1992. By 1992, 98 percent of the Warren Commission records had been released to the public.[15] Six years later, at the conclusion of the Assassination Records Review Board's work, all Warren Commission records, except those records that contained tax return information, were available to the public with redactions.[16] The remaining Kennedy assassination related documents are scheduled to be released to the public by 2017, twenty-five years after the passage of the JFK Records Act.[17]

In 1992, the Assassination Records Review Board was created by the JFK Records Act to collect and preserve the documents relating to the assassination. It pointed out in its final report:

Doubts about the Warren Commission's findings were not restricted to ordinary Americans. Well before 1978, President Johnson, Robert Kennedy, and four of the seven members of the Warren Commission all articulated, if sometimes off the record, some level of skepticism about the Commission's basic findings.[18]
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« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2013, 04:19:13 pm »

Executive Order 11130  http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Executive_Order_11130

Executive Order 11130 of November 29, 1963

Appointing a Commission to Report Upon the
of President John F. Kennedy


Pursuant to the authority vested in me as President of the United States, I hereby appoint a Commission to ascertain, evaluate, and report upon the facts relating to the assassination of the late President John F. Kennedy and the subsequent violent death of the man charged with the assassination. The Commission shall consist of—

    The Chief Justice of the United States, Chairman;

    Senator Richard B. Russell;

    Senator John Sherman Cooper;

    Congressman Hale Boggs;

    Congressman Gerald R. Ford;

    The Honorable Alien W. Dulles;

    The Honorable John J. McCloy.


The purposes of the Commission are to examine the evidence developed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and any additional evidence that may hereafter come to light or be uncovered by Federal or State authorities; to make such further investigation as the Commission finds desirable; to evaluate all the facts and circumstances surrounding such assassination, including the subsequent violent death of the man charged with the assassination, and to report to me its findings and conclusions.


The Commission is empowered to prescribe its own procedures and to employ such assistants as it deems necessary.


Necessary expenses of the Commission may be paid from the “Emergency Fund for the President.”


All Executive departments and agencies are directed to furnish the Commission with such facilities, services, and cooperation as it may request from time to time.


Signature of Lyndon B. Johnson
Lyndon B. Johnson
The White House,
November 29, 1963.
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« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2013, 04:22:15 pm »

Report of the President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy
Appendix 3
http://www.archives.gov/research/jfk/warren-commission-report/appendix3.html 

[Senate Joint Resolution 137 (Public Law 88-202) ]

Public Law 88-202

88th Congress, S. J. Res. 137

December 13, 1963

Joint Resolution

Authorizing the Commission established to report upon the assassination of President John F. Kennedy to compel the attendance and testimony of witnesses and the production of evidence.

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That (a) for the purposes of this joint resolution, the term "Commission" means the Commission appointed by the President by Executive Order 11130, dated November 29, 1963.

(b) The Commission, or any member of the Commission when so authorized by the Commission, shall have power to issue subpoenas requiring the attendance and testimony of witnesses and the production of any evidence that relates to any matter under investigation by the Commission. The Commission, or any member of the Commission or any agent or agency designated by the Commission for such purpose, may administer oaths and affirmations, examine witnesses, and receive evidence. Such attendance of witnesses and the production of such evidence may be required from any place within the United States at any designated place of hearing.

(c) In case of contumacy or refusal to obey a subpoena issued to any person under subsection (b), any court of the United States within the jurisdiction of which the inquiry is carried on or within the jurisdiction of which said person guilty of contumacy or refusal to obey is found or resides or transacts business, upon application by the Commission shall have jurisdiction to issue to such person an order requiring such person to appear before the Commission, its member, agent, or agency, there to produce evidence if so ordered, or there to give testimony touching the matter under investigation or in question; and any failure to obey such order of the court may be punished by said court as a contempt thereof.

(d) Process and papers of the commission, its members, agent, or agency, may be served either upon the witness in person or by registered mail or by telegraph or by leaving a copy thereof at the residence or principal office or place of business of the person required to be served. The verified return by the individual so serving the same, setting forth the manner of such service, shall be proof of the same, and the return post office receipt or telegraph receipt therefore when registered and mailed or telegraphed as aforesaid shall be proof of service of the same. Witnesses summoned before the commission, its members, agent, or agency, shall be paid the same fees and mileage that are paid witnesses in the courts of the United States, and witnesses whose depositions are taken and the persons taking the same shall severally be entitled to the same fees ar are paid for like services in the courts of the United States.

(e) No person shall be excused from attending and testifying or from producing books, records, correspondence, documents, or other evidence in obedience to a subpoena, on the ground that the testimony or evidence required of him may tend to incriminate him or subject him to a penalty or forfeiture; but no individual shall be prosecuted or subjected to any penalty or forfeiture (except demotion or removal from office) for or on account of any transaction, matter or thing concerning which he is compelled, after having claimed his privilege against self-incrimination, to testify or produce evidence, except that such individual so testifying shall not be exempt from prosecution and punishment for perjury committed in so testifying.

(f) All process of any court to which application may be make under this Act may be served in the judicial district therein the person required to be served resides or may be found. 

Page 474

Pub. Law 88-202

December 13, 1963


Approved December 13, 1963.

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, Vol. 109 (1963):

Dec. 9: Passed Senate.

Dec. 10: Considered and passed House.

Bibliographic note: Web version based on Report of the President's Commission on the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy, Washington, DC: United States Government Printing Office, 1964. 1 volume, 888 pages. The formatting of this Web version may differ from the original.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2013, 04:25:21 pm by JFK-50-Year-Jubilee » Report Spam   Logged

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