Continuing with the theme of “sound bytes” for the 50th, the following might do as an opener for the conversation – surely most folks would be surprised by it.

We’ve discussed Hoover’s focusing the Bureau totally on Oswald in less than 24 hours after the shooting in Dallas (only hours after informing President Johnson that Oswald had been impersonated in Mexico City) and the fact that Saturday morning Hoover had also stated that the evidence against Oswald was not very strong and that it would be very hard to get a conviction – of course the killing of Oswald on Sunday morning preempted that particular problem.

But even more dramatic is that fact that within 48 hours, at FBI headquarters, Alan Belmont submitted a memo to deputy FBI chief Clyde Tolsen. Belmont concluded that only Oswald had been involved in the assassination and suggested that the investigation had been completed – in something less than two full days.

Belmont described setting forth the items of evidence presenting Oswald as the lone participant, noting that such a report would be “difficult” but that it would be “settling the dust” – a term similar to that which Warren Commission member John McCloy would later use in regard to the Warren Commission report.

It’s doubtful that the average person will accept that even the FBI of 1963 could truly resolve any and all open questions about conspiracy in a presidential assassination within 48 hours.  But not only did they officially do that, Hoover began leaking the FBI reports conclusions to the media within days and the report itself was completed within some two weeks. Leaking of the FBI’s conclusion/position undeniably helped solidify the press position that Oswald had simply been a “lone nut.”

Of course there are a few basic issues with the report itself, such as  the fact that the FBI’s shooting scenario specifically conflicts with that later developed by the Warren Commission – a pretty fundamental problem. That conflict would certainly have been an embarrassment for the prosecution if the murder had actually gone to trial. …yes ladies and gentleman, Lee Oswald shot the President, we’re not exactly sure how but trust us, he did.

So, the case that was problematic on Saturday morning became dead certain (albeit difficult) by Sunday morning, just as the impersonation of Saturday morning vanished by Sunday.  I’m not sure this was a “rush to judgement” but it was certainly a rush, no doubt about that.




About Larry Hancock

Larry Hancock is a leading historian-researcher in the JFK assassination. Co-author with Connie Kritzberg of November Patriots and author of the 2003 research analysis publication titled also Someone Would Have Talked. In addition, Hancock has published several document collections addressing the 112th Army Intelligence Group, John Martino, and Richard Case Nagell. In 2000, Hancock received the prestigious Mary Ferrell New Frontier Award for the contribution of new evidence in the Kennedy assassination case. In 2001, he was also awarded the Mary Ferrell Legacy Award for his contributions of documents released under the JFK Act.

14 responses »

  1. Gerry Mantel says:

    Dude, it seems to me that I tried to point this out to you one time at the Lancer forum and basically got a “Huh?” in response.

    This whole idea that there were “two conspiracies” is quite silly, IMHO.

    The supposed “before” and “after” conspiracies blend together so well that one can simply conclude that the “two” become “one.”

    • Gerry, my view is that the two are not at all seamless and I go into obnoxious detail on that in SWHT, don’t know if you have read it or not but the events of the first 72 hours after the assassination contain example after example of very impromptu and high risk activities which were taken to suppress the investigation of a conspiracy. There is no sign that any of that was well planned and loose ends were left all over the place – many of them surfacing over the past years of research. Many of these recent blog posts detail exactly that sort of thing, raising the questions of why a “linear” conspiracy would be so sloppy. Beyond that, in SWHT I detail a bunch of “secondary” efforts to promote the conclusion (Castro did it) that the original conspiracy hoped to force – and might have done if the Dallas plan had not collapsed by the time Oswald reached Oak Cliff.

      Now having said that, I’m certainly not going to say that certain individuals that participated in the suppression and damage control didn’t have some degree of foreknowledge or that they didn’t quickly realize that there had been a conspiracy – I cover that in regard to both Johnson in SWHT and certain CIA figures in Nexus.

      The details are far too extensive to address in a blog but that’s the reason for the books – on the other hand I know there are lots of folks who see one, total, grand conspiracy. I gave up trying to change any ones mind on that sort of thing a good while back, so my position is live and let live.

      • Gerry Mantel says:

        OK, really do think I understand what you’re saying, BUT 🙂

        Just the fact the the “high risk activities” were undertaken at all is evidence that folks were indeed ready to “rock & roll” as soon as the smoke had literally cleared, and strongly suggests a Grand Conspiracy quite likely revolving around Allen Dulles and the C.I.A.

        Of course, they didn’t know in advance exactly what sorts of problems they might or would encounter, but were “ready & able” to try to deal with them any way they could.

        Obviously, if Oswald had been shot dead trying to “escape,” then things would have been much simpler.

        Furthermore, we have the “shady” behavior of the SS during the assassination itself (obviously pre-planned), the hijacking of JFK’s body from Parkland Hospital at gunpoint by the SS, the announcement on Air Force One that it was the work of a lone nut (even before the arrest of Oswald, I believe, as has been nicely outlined by Vince Salandria). And probably a number of other things going on that either slip my mind at the moment, or that I am unaware of.

        Then there’s the “criminal” autopsy of JFK, performed the very night of the assassination … that’s a heck of a lot going on in the first 24 hours, let alone 72.

        It’s obvious to me that as more info becomes available, it becomes more apparent that — yes indeed — this was a Grand Conspiracy. Greg Burham, for example, has given us Good Cause to believe that at least one person (and possibly) more was already addressing the aftermath of the then-upcoming assassination at the infamous Honolulu Conference (and a very interesting presentation it was, that Mr. Burham provided on-line).

      • Hi again Gerry, as I said, I won’t try to debate you out of a grand conspiracy, but I am curious as to whether you have read Someone Would Have Talked or Nexus? I address several of the points you introduce in both those works along with my reasoning as to why I see large disconnects in the conspiracy and the damage control/cover up occurring afterwards. It would be hard to discuss them here if you haven’t read either book.

        The books also go into considerable detail on the nature of the conspiracy and the tactical elements of the attack in Dallas, and identifies those individuals that could be seen as involved in both the before and after. In that regard its much more specific than the general grand conspiracy dialogs. But, being transparent, my position is far a rather “minimalist” conspiracy both before and afterwards, a conspiracy with some very fixed and focused objectives.

        Having said that, I know it really does not satisfy a lot of folks with much broader world views, which is why I don’t argue about it – I just offer my research and analysis in the books – if I can’t make the case in something like 600 pages I’m not likely to make it here…grin.

  2. Gerry Mantel says:


    Well, I suppose the “easiest” (or perhaps I should say, “fastest”) way to uncover a Grand Conspiracy would be to simply answer the question: “How did Allen Dulles and John McCloy end up on the Warren Commission?” Which, of course, naturally leads straight into the question of why they both worked so hard in pushing for Oswald’s guilt.

    Donald Gibson has done some great investigation in this regard and I believe that these are the mysteries he was and probably still is trying to solve.

    It appears that Dean Acheson was behind all of this and might I add to this, Larry—somewhat ironically—is a reference to the criticism pushed your way by Mr. DiEugenio with regards to your handling of this matter in your book, which as far as I know you never bothered to respond.

    I think someone wishing to be a “respected researcher” would take the time to do so, especially when that criticism comes from somebody so well respected in this realm.

    Anyway, getting back to Dr. Gibson, I urge everybody to read this 1994 tome titled “Battling Wall Street.” I won’t go into any further detail about it here except to say that Gibson makes it quite clear that “the world of inherited wealth and connections is small.”

    Thus, a closer look as such at the Big Picture has names like Dulles, McCloy, Helms, Bundy, Rostow, etc., popping up on the “first conspiracy” side of the “two conspiracy” argument—meaning those folks who likely had the most to gain by Kennedy’s murder (as in “Follow the Money”). And, as we all well know, these are also the names that also consistently pop up on the “second conspiracy” side.

    This addresses the question of “Why?” with regards to JFK’s assassination rather than focusing on the never-ending battle of untangling the logistics of a C.I.A. Black Op (which Vince Salandria predicted, accurately).

    And the question of “Why?” would certainly provide the most important revelations about this incident as it applies to today’s world, and I don’t think anybody can argue with that.

  3. Gerry, first off I will say that I did respond to Jim personally about his review of SWHT but Jim has made it clear that CTKA reviews of any book will not receive posted author responses on CTKA, therefore spending much time in that regard is pretty much wasted energy Jim and I agree on some things and disagree on others – when we agree he thinks I’m pretty smart, when we don’t – not so much. Which is pretty much true for everyone else as well and is no big problem for me since I wasn’t planning on starting a fan club anyway.

    In regard to your remark about how Dulles ended up on the WC, well the reason for Dulles is quite clear, he was there to forestall any inquiry into the Agencies’ relationship with Oswald, the same reason why Angleton was moved into the WC liaison position – given the recent confirmation of Phillips as Bishop I will be posting more on that subject shortly.

    The more important point is that the cover-up began within six hours and strictly involved LBJ himself, the calls to Texas are key there. And the full cover up occurred and was sealed within 72 hours – I name the people involved in it in SWHT. The FBI report sealed the cover up and the Warren Commission was very much window dressing, simply performed to certify the FBI’s conclusion, just as Johnson had directed within 48 hours.

    In any event, I have no interest in arguing you or anyone else away from a grand conspiracy however you are going to need something much more specific than just naming well known political figures to convince me. Heck, read Prados’ Secret Wars or his history of the NSC and you find many of the same individuals trotted out to deny or suppress investigation of every deniable action of the US government over some 40 years – and when Dulles or McCloy got too old they just run in somebody new like Kissinger.

    My tops down analysis is in Nexus, that’s the best I can do, if I ever see a stronger case to go further up, I’ll add it in…..but I’ll need to see more than just “motive”.


    • Gerry Mantel says:

      Larry, you can easily post responses to criticisms of your work on your own, you have this website as well as the JFK Lancer website in order to accomplish that.

      Any such controversies about the phone calls leading to the formation of the WC is quite worthy of this sort of action, don’t you think? The WC was an extremely important component the assassination’s aftermath, and I’d be willing to bet that (when it’s all said and done) we’ll discover that it was basically pre-arranged.

      Which leads in to my questioning of McCloy’s selection to the WC, which you didn’t offer any opinions or info about …

      As it concerns the start of the cover-up, what about the fact that it was announced on Air Force One that the assassination was the work of a lone nut, as has been outlined by Vince Salandria? That went on well within the six hours you specify above.

      • Gerry, I think I’m going to ask again if you have actually read either the hard cover or paperback edition (newer) of SWHT, if you have and we can discuss specific points in the book then we can continue – primarily because I do go into great detail on the timing of Johnson’s calls and all the various meetings and contacts relating to the formation of the WC (which was actually his third option in the process). In the third edition I also discuss Jim’s objection to my interpretation of the timing on one of the calls and the fact that after working with Gerry McKnight (whom he cites as the source of his objection), Gerry ended up agreeing with me.

        As to McCloy’s selection, amazingly enough I don’t actually have any specific opinion on that .. you can make it as conspiratorial as you would like, fine by me but I’d need to some some hard data on it beyond that fact that McCloy could always be depended on to toe the conservative, establishment line.

        As to Air Force 1, I cover that in the book as well plus I’d refer you to my Lancer presentations on the national security response which are on CD, they go into great detail on that. If you really dig into it you will see that the calls to AF1 were simply passing on information that was coming into Washington and what the Washington end was doing was watching television and reading the AP wire, and repeating the general information to the folks on AF1…..which included the Dallas announcement that a single shooter had been arrested and taken into custody.

        Bottom line, what I have to say about the evolution and nature of the cover up is in the book and in my various presentations, I’m happy to discuss things from the book but I really don’t have the time (or honestly the inclination) to repeat the material from scratch here. And since I’ve said repeatedly that I have no interest in arguing the point with you or convincing you beyond what you find in the book and related materials, that’s going to be pretty much it. I’m deep into the work on the covert warfare book I’ve mentioned here before and that is plenty to keep me occupied.

        — Larry

  4. Gerry Mantel says:

    OK Larry, I’ll pass since you apparently consider only your own book as a “trustworthy source.” And that you didn’t make any mistakes in the process.

    Seems pretty weird to me.

    And that’s exactly what I meant by “arrogant” when I made that post at the Lancer Forum.

    • Gerry, I do trust what in my work but I’ve always been open to people pointing out factual errors or even contradictory facts. Not only that but good researchers keep turning up new data all the time (which is the main reason there were three editions of SWHT, to incorporate not just corrections but my own and others ongoing research).

      The main purpose of this blog was to discuss new research and comment on new findings as well as to start pulling some positions and sound bytes together in preparation for the 50th. Surely you have seen the threads Mexico City, on the Red Bird incident and others, all focused on ongoing research or information. Same thing for the Phillips discussion going on now.

      Up to this point you haven’t even acknowledged you have read what’s in my published works – my position is simply that I’m not going to try and repeat 15 years plus research and analysis that went into them here – if you choose to consider that arrogant, that’s your call. Frankly I spent years participating in discussions and positions going all the way back to the early years of CompuServe, I’m just on to other things at this point and you won’t see much from me on forums either.

      If you make it to Dallas for the conference and we could talk in person perhaps we could get past this – there may be others who find me arrogant although generally I get chided for not being more assertive. Sorry we have a disconnect but I guess we will have to leave it at that.

      — Larry

  5. Little Ed says:

    Arrogance among JFK conspiracy theorists? No way. To say there has to be a conspiracy without real evidence is kinda arrogant isn’t? You all do include in the realm of possibilities, that there wasn’t a conspiracy right? It’s possible right? It would be like saying origins of Cahokia is Native American… bottom line right?

    • Of course there may not have been a conspiracy, as you say, it almost goes without saying that is an option. But it also almost goes without saying that conspiracy researchers would focus on indications, suggestions for evidence for a conspiracy. As to “real evidence”, certainly there is substantial evidence that could now be taken to a jury. But since that’s not going to happen, we put it into books, or research papers or monographs. And if you read them you get to accept or reject what we come up with….after almost 50 years we now know what was not investigated and what was not put before the Warren Commission or the HSCA….but all we can do is write about it for those willing to consider conspiracy as an option.

  6. Little Ed says:

    Unfortunately, there’s too many theorists who believe that unless you agree with their opinions, you’re totally wrong. Maybe this is because individually you wish to make a name for yourself as being the one who “figured it out”. As for some that I know personally, there’s a greater need to be the “authority” about something than to live a normal life and have a hobby. That said, you should have left my previous comment just long enough for my estranged family member to read it.

    • Actually I couldn’t agree with you more Ed, which is one reason I really try to avoid getting into the mode of convincing people or even arguing about matters. Once I put something into a monograph, book, whatever, I’m happy to discuss that but I figure I’ve done my bit and folks can either take it or leave it. I’m all for the normal life thing and going on to different subjects, this whole thing can get dangerously obsessive as I well know.

      I’m also sorry about the comment, I had intended to respond to one and must have deleted the other by mistake. If you want to put it
      back up on this thread I’ll leave it alone.

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