What is missing from most of the research and commentary on President Kennedy’s assassination is much attention to what happened afterwards at a national security level. That would exclude discussion of what happened in regard to Vietnam – which has received a great deal of attention. What I’m speaking of is what happened among the national security principals over the first 72 hours immediately after the assassination. It has always seemed to me that actions in the immediate aftermath of such a crisis could reveal a lot about what the most senior people believed – but would never say in public or put on the permanent record in any fashion. Of course that presents a serious challenge because if its not recorded, you have to look for much more subtle indications. In my JFK research I spent considerable time with Johnson’s telephone log, his meeting schedule, and as far as possible his personal meetings and contacts during the three days following Dallas. Someone should do the same sort of thing with the other major NSC principals. And that would include a through review of the biographies and articles done by their friends and acquaintances who might pass on personal remarks they heard relating to that period of time. Writing out a cross linked chronology of activities and comments for about half a dozen of the principals could prove quite interesting.
My own work led me to speculate in SWHT that certain conversations and meetings during the first 72 hours led to the official issuance of a classified Presidential directive (which remains unlisted and classified but legally binding) pertaining to the control of certain types of information and even evidence related to the assassination. More specifically I connect that to certain phone calls and a meeting related to evidence pertaining to Lee Oswald in Mexico City. With that premise, it then becomes quite interesting to lay down what happened with major items of evidence during the first week, including materials related to the Presidential autopsy, the limousine, material evidence taken out of Dallas , the two sets of Zapruder story boards prepared by NPIC and even the convoluted story of the various editions of LIFE magazine (hint – relate that to the phone call from Johnson to Henry Luce on Sunday evening). Also relate it to the remark by the CIA Director to a friend the following week that he had seen evidence of multiple shooters.
I would love to see serious researchers carry on that sort of study; I think it would prove far more convincing than a great deal of things that tend to drain off energy from some truly innovative research. Pursuing that line of study – testing the hypothesis/scenario that much of what we see post assassination is damage control related to a legally issued executive order – would be a worthwhile pursuit. In support of that idea you might start by pondering the following list of meetings and what might have gone on in each of them. My thanks to Michael Swanson for recovering this link for me; at this point I can remember a great many documents I have seen over the past 16 years – but putting my hands on them again is a lot more challenging.