January 31, 1968
This particular program came around in a peculiar set of circumstances. Ever since the Warren Commission Report came out years ago, we’ve had no guest on who’ll discuss the theories or the assassination itself, because of several reasons. I felt personally as an individual that enough theorists, including Mark Lane, Buchanan, and many many others, Weisberg, had reported enough theories, and the American public was confused enough. And then about a year ago, the District Attorney of New Orleans, Mr. Jim Garrison, came up with something that kind of astounded the world when he’d announced that he’d solved the Kennedy assassination. Mr. Mort Sahl, our guest last week, in the course of the conversation I asked him what he was doing, he said he was now an investigator for Mr. Garrison’s office in New Orleans. And before we knew it, we were talking about some of the theories and so forth. I think I mentioned at that time that I was getting a little weary of listening to theories, and he mentioned that Mr. Garrison had new and vital information. From that point, I said on the air that night, I haven’t all this exact wind, but in sense I said, if Mr. Garrison had new and vital information that would in any way change the evidence — the credible evidence in the case — we would be delighted to have him on the show.
We heard from Mr. Garrison via wire, accepting our invitation, saying that he did have, in fact, new evidence that would cast a different light. And for that reason, we invited him on the show tonight. I hope not to add more confusion. I hope in some way to illuminate what has been going on. Would you welcome please, Mr. Jim Garrison.
Mr. Garrison, I thank you for coming, accepting the invitation, and I hope I did not misstate a moment ago what I tried to state to you in the telegram.
Oh thank you for inviting me, Johnnie. It’s an honor to be here, and I think your curiosity and your fairness are in the interests of the American people.
Carson: Well, as you know, I’m not legally trained, or law oriented, and at one time NBC suggested it might be of some value to have legal council out here. And I did not want to do that for the main reason, I thought it might look like we were ganging up on you; like this was going to become another showdown or something. And I thought as a layman and an interested citizen of the country, it might be a little more casual atmosphere if we just talked in this way. And I hope that’s alright.
Garrison: It’s fine. I wish you’d also ask me any questions, or any kind that occur to you, as long as they don’t touch on Mr. Shaw. I haven’t made a comment about Mr. Shaw since the day we arrested him, and I don’t intend to talk about him.
Carson: Mr. Shaw is under indictment, as is public record, and the trial is to come up sometime in February we believe.
Garrison: We hope.
Carson: We hope. Alright. Is it alright with you if I, first of all, maybe give a little chronology of some of your statements concerning him, at least?
Garrison: By all means. By all means.
Carson: Umm, a year ago I believe it was, in February, you announced that you had solved — now this is not all of the statement of the particular day, but parts of it applies — you announced that you had solved the Kennedy assassination, “I have no reason to believe that Lee Harvey Oswald killed anyone in Dallas on November 22nd, 1963rd” — that was a news conference a year ago. Then in an AP interview in May, you said, “The President was killed by a bullet that was fired from the front [illegible] pairs that met in the front, that he had at least one man in the back who was shooting at another man, engaged in a row in Dealey Plaza in order to aid those who had guns.” That was AP interview in May. From a television interview in May – these are your quotes by the way – “There were five of them: three behind the stonewall and two behind the grassy knoll, and they’re not quite out of sight, and they’ve been located in photographs by the process of bringing them out, although they’re not distinct enough you can make identification from their faces.” On the NBC show of July, you said “The evidence indicates that he was shot at from two different directions in the rear, and also from the right front.” And then from the Playboy interview you said, “Our officers developed evidence that the President was assassinated by a precision beret team of at least seven men.” December news conference, you said, “It was very large and very well organized.” In talking about the conspiracy you said, “an infinitely larger number of participants than you would dream.” Press release in December, you say “One man may have fired from the sewer in Dealey Plaza, but the development of the likely use of portions of the drainage system does not conflict with the picture of the other major shooting points.” Now, in relation to the people involved, you said in the interview in May, “There was a mixture of individuals, but the point is they were all anti-Castro oriented and had been engaged in anti-Castro training.” On NBC in July you said, “The assassins were men who sought to attain a radical change in our foreign policy, particularly with regard to Cuba, individuals who were once associated with the CIA, the Central Intelligence Agency.” In a UPI release, September, you said, “It was a Nazi operation whose sponsors included some of the oil rich millionaires in Texas, and elements of the Dallas Police are clearly involved.” January press release, “The involvement of high-officials of the United States government in the affair becomes more and more apparent.” [pause ….]
Isn’t that terribly confusing? And don’t you seem to be riding off in all directions?
Garrison: It seems like it doesn’t it?
Carson: Yes, it certainly does.
Garrison: Right. Let me ask you first, how many hours do I have to answer this list you’ve just run over?
Carson: Well I know that we have the rest of the program this evening. I understand that we can’t sit here and completely recreate or theorize on what happened, but I just wanted to get the chronology of the statements.
Garrison: Well let me see if I can just put this in focus. If I were to say for example that an elephant has a tail, and he’s gray, and he has four legs, it would be possible for somebody to point out, “Just a minute – you just finished saying an elephant has a tail, now you say he has four legs, and now you say he’s gray?” The point I’m making is that each of these factors is a characteristic of one being, and in a complex situation like this it’s possible to be standing at a different point of view and be describing different aspects. For example, we find that in the group which killed John Kennedy, there are indeed Latins as well as Americans. It is also true..
Carson: You say “we find” – excuse me if I do interrupt so we don’t get..
Garrison: We have identified.
Carson: You say you have identified – and have proof – as a fact?
Garrison: Secondly, we have found that the Central Intelligence Agency, without any question, had individuals who were connected with it, involved.
Carson: You have absolute facts and proof of that?
Garrison: Without any question.
Garrison: I wouldn’t say so otherwise.
Third, we have found that a number of these individuals are, in their particular political orientation, reactionary. Now that doesn’t mean that there was any single conservative group involved, because there was not. If I’m talking at one press conference and I’m asked “What is the political caste of the individuals involved?”, I may say, well as far as the spectrum is concerned, we found a number who were reactionary. Later on, a month or so later, I might be asked, “Have you found any Latins involved?” I answer yes. So it seems like each one has a different answer, but essentially it’s the same. In other words, there hasn’t been a great deal of change in the matter as we see it in the last nine or ten months. Certainly there have been refinements. My god, an investigation is a developmental thing. If we didn’t know more about it now than we knew thirty days ago we wouldn’t be doing much.
Carson: When you say these things Mr. Garrison, as we have found, and it comes out in print, people accept this as an established fact. And you say it’s an established fact, but it has not been proved in any court of law, has it? I mean, this is – what you are theorizing or saying, but in fact it has not been proved: is that true?
Garrison: It’s totally true except that I’m not theorizing. I’m telling what we know to be fact, as far as court of law.
Carson: But nobody else seems to.
Garrison: Seems to what?
Carson: Seems to know that as a fact.
Garrison: But nobody else has looked into it. This has never been investigated before. It wasn’t investigated by the federal government. That was no attempt to investigate. That was just an operation to conceal the evidence, to conceal what happened. This is the first investigation they’ve ever had in this case.
Carson: What would you call the Warren Commission?
Garrison: I would say that the function of the Warren Commission was to make the American people feel that the matter had been looked into, so that there would be no further inquiries; so that the American people would not find out the involvement of elements of the Central Intelligence Agency, and so that they would think the matter was closed.
Carson: For what possible reason would they wish to do that?
Garrison: First of all I have to identify my answer now as speculation because you’re asking me to go inside of their minds. I think that they could answer this better than I. But if you want to know my opinion, I will say it was probably presented to them as a matter of national security. I’m sure they rationalized it in that way, because these aren’t evil men – these were essentially good men. But the fact remains that their conclusion was totally untrue, patently untrue, and they had to know it. In my judgment..
Carson: That’s your opinion.
Garrison: I think that there is not one person in the United States, Johnny, who has gone through the 26 volumes of the Warren Commission inquiry, who does not recognize that the conclusion of the Warren Commission was totally false – totally.
Carson: You say you don’t believe there’s one?
Garrison: I don’t think there’s one who’s gone through 26 volumes – no.
Carson: Well …I could give you a list of ’em.
Garrison: Go ahead.
Carson: [reading from prepared script]:
“Here are the people who came to the conclusion that no evidence of conspiracy existed, was reached independently by the following persons: Dean Rusk Secretary of State, Robert S. McNamara Secretary of Defense, Douglas Dillon Secretary of the Treasurer, J. Edgar Hoover Director of the F.B.I., John McCone Director of the C.I.A., James Rowley Chief of the Secret Service.”
I’m afraid Jimmy, at that time Robert Kennedy – “The investigation was under the supervision of the Commission, was conducted by approximately 30 attorneys selected from 12 states, and included professors of law, prosecutors, the federal and state law enforcement agencies, and a former police commissioner from the state of New York. In addition, a number of us FBI and Secret Service agents, conducted various phases of the investigation and submitted over 25,000 reports.”
Now, when I read what you say, are you asking the American public to believe that all of these men are of such low intelligence, or could be so easily duped – and not know the facts?
Garrison: I can tell you that none of them have read the Warren Commission or they wouldn’t be taking that position.
Now I don’t pretend to know what motivates these distinguished men, but I can tell you that I’m no longer impressed by the title of a man, and the fact that he’s important in Washington doesn’t mean a thing to me, because I’ve seen what the members of the Warren Commission did. For example, they concluded that Lee Oswald was the lone assassin, and the evidence is clear that Oswald never fired a shot – never fired a shot.
So the fact is that you could give me a list of 1000 honorable men, and that wouldn’t change the fact, that doesn’t make it so.
Carson: Didn’t the Warren Commission say in so far as we were able to determine, Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone, and if there were other assassins we were unable to find them? There is a difference in there, I mean, categorically saying one thing.
Garrison: The difference is kind of marginal. I’d say there is a saving clause when they add those words, but I think it’s much more significant when you consider that the major question by the summer of 1964 was, from how many directions was John Kennedy hit?, and which shot was the fatal shot?, and where was he hit? Now 18 colored pictures were taken of the autopsy and 122 black and white – and not a single member of the Warren Commission looked at it. Not one of them looked at it. And surely the reason for that must be that they knew what they would see. Not a single member looked at it. So consequently, right now, today, these men have not looked at the evidence that shows that the President of the United States was killed by a shot from the front.
On the other hand, there is evidence available to the people of this country, if we can just get it presented to them, that shows that the President was killed from the front, and that is the Zapruder film. The Zapruder film was taken on the 22nd and shows the assassination, and it shows that John Kennedy was hit from the front with such force that he was nearly blasted out of the back of the car. Yet it’s four years since the assassination, and no-one here has seen the Zapruder film, nobody in the country listening to us has seen it, and they probably never will. And the reason they probably never will is because if you look at the Zapruder film you know without any question that the President was hit from the front.
The question is: if all these honorable men are telling the truth, and if they really have looked into it, why is it that NBC for example — I know NBC would love to show it — why can’t NBC show the Zapruder film? What difference does it matter, Johnnie, how many honorable men are involved, when the critical evidence is continually being concealed from the American people? When they can’t see the evidence..
Carson: That’s a big statement isn’t it..
Garrison: No it isn’t.
Carson: ..to say the evidence is being concealed from the American public?
Garrison: No it isn’t. No. No. Let me show you some of the..
Carson: Do we have to interrupt for a second? We’ll come back. I just have to interrupt for a commercial…
Carson: Before you go on to this, I have to say as a layman, I find your statement that all of these people whose names I have mentioned, plus high government officials are trying to hide knowledge of a conspiracy in the death of the President. I don’t see for what possible reason. Secrets in this country have not been notoriously well-kept. Things have a way of getting out any time more than two or three people know it. I just can’t understand how you think that these men think they could get away with this, and for what reason they would do it? If they want to reassure the American public, I hardly think that they would be involved in any kind of complicity, would they, in trying to hide information?
That just doesn’t make sense to me.
Garrison: Well I agree with you. As a matter of fact I have not been exactly famous for rocking the boat: I was a true believer until I stumbled into this thing. But let me answer your question by first of all giving you a list of dozens and dozens of files which are secret until the year 2039. I have an 8 year old boy. The former 8 year old boy can look at these files, some of them having titles like “Lee Harvey Oswald’s Accessibility to the U2”, “The CIA File on Lee Harvey Oswald”, “The CIA File on Jack Ruby” — before my boy can look at these he will be over 70 years old. Now all I can say is there are 4 long pages here, and they are secrets. If there’s nothing wrong, then certainly they can open them up. But I can’t look into their brains, Johnnie, and tell you why they didn’t.
Carson: Does this mean, Jim, that you feel that at any time anyone comes up – say another District Attorney in a few weeks, or another citizen comes up and says, “How do we know only five – three shots were fired. I think there were five” – and now do you expect somebody to be galvanized into action and to make the commission defend itself, when these findings were accepted by all parties concerned, and also accepted by the then Attorney General of the United States, Robert Kennedy? I find it hard to believe that a conspiracy could exist or if anything could be hidden in the Warren Report, the commissions’ findings. They could find no link to Oswald with the CIA, to Oswald with the Secret Service, to Oswald with the FBI.
Why do you insist on the face of that evidence that there was?
Garrison: Of what evidence?
Carson: From their investigation.
Garrison: There was never an investigation. I know you won’t mind my being candid, and say that — actually, you changed the subject and you’ve asked me several questions, one involving the Warren Commission, and the other involving Senator Kennedy. First of all, let’s take the Warren Commission:
I’m not at all impressed with the fact that they could find no evidence of conspiracy. After going through their inquiry I doubt if they could find a streetcar if they had a transfer in their hand to point it out to them. [laughter]
I think that they knew at the beginning what they were going to do, and what they were going to do was to reach a conclusion that Oswald was the lone assassin because he was dead, and because the Central Intelligence Agency was deeply involved in the assassination.
Were their actions fraudulent? Yes
Is it unusual for people of such stature? Yes.
But the fact remains that they did it.
Now, with regard..
Carson: Now you say, wait a minute, you say “the fact remains” again, as if it is a fact. You keep saying “we know” and “the fact is.” What makes it a fact? Because you say so?
Garrison: No. Not because I say so, but because the evidence indicates that Lee Harvey Oswald did not fire a shot. Will you concede that the Warren Commission reached the conclusion that Lee Oswald shot at the President from the depository?
Carson: I will.
Garrison: Alright. Now let’s look at the facts:
The facts are that they couldn’t find a single witness out of all the hundreds and hundreds of people in the plaza to say that Oswald was at that window until Lee Oswald’s death. And finally one man, who initially had said that he was not Oswald at the window — a man named Brennan — finally agreed that it was. No-one else out of a hundred saw him there. Actually, ..
Carson: I’ll have to take issue with you..
Garrison: What’s the name of..
Carson: Other people did see people in the window – a man in the window – and identified him, his characteristics, his height, his clothing.
Garrison: No, that’s not correct. You’re talking about Arnold Rowland. He said that the man in the window had on a yellow shirt and there was another man, a very dark man, with him. The first part of his statement does not point to Oswald, because he had a dark maroon shirt on, and further it points away from the lone assassin. No-one else other than Brennan indicated that he saw Oswald in the window. And Brennan himself said it was not Lee Oswald at first.
Carson: No, he described the man, and a broadcast was put out for a man of that description.
Garrison: And when he was shown Oswald’s picture he said that it was not Lee Oswald.
That was his first position.
Carson: That was his first position. Yeah.
Garrison: Can you name anybody else who saw Oswald in the window?
Carson: I would have to take out the report. Yes, there were other people who saw a man up there and gave a description of him, and that is why Oswald was picked up.
Garrison: If you take the afternoon paper in Dallas on November 22nd, and read the statement of for example made by Ochus V. Campbell, who was Vice-President of the Book Depository, you will read that after the assassination he went inside the Book Depository and he saw Lee Oswald on the first floor. If you read the statements of officer Marion Baker and Roy Truly, you will read that they came running in shortly after Campbell went in, and in running up toward the roof they saw Oswald on the second floor. If you look at the fingerprint results for the rifle, you will find that Oswald’s fingerprints were not on the rifle.
Carson: Just a palm print.
Garrison: The palm print was not confirmed for the federal government [?21:51], that was an announcement from the Dallas Police. You’ll also find that no test was ever made to see whether the rifle was fired. You will also find that a young lady named Vicky Adams, if you look in Vol. XII, was on her way down from the 4th floor during the time during which Oswald was supposed to have descended, and no-one passed her at all.
Carson: Jim, isn’t what you’re doing — and I’m not saying all of these things are factual — aren’t you taking inconsistencies in testimony during the emotion of the time, even self-contradictory testimony, from even sometimes the most truthful of witnesses, and using that as tainting everything else that is very well explained?
Can we follow that up when we come back in a moment?
Carson: We’re back with Mr. Garrison as a kinda -see if [?] where we were…….I wouldn’t have agreed with you. But you point the way ahead, and make this point first.
Garrison: Yes, let me answer your last question. In effect you said, aren’t you taking advantage of the fact that many witnesses were excited in the moment and confused and so forth. Let me reply that I can’t change the fact that it was an unusual moment and there were many people who were emotionally effected by what happened. However, we have located, with no trouble many many people who heard shots coming from the area of the grassy knoll. Practically none of these people were called by the Warren Commission. On the other hand, the Warren Commission merely presented one person, Mr Brennan, who initially insisted that he couldn’t identify Oswald. I’m simply saying that whether they were emotionally effected or not, they should have called in some of the others so that they could have found out what happened.
For example, among the many many people who heard shots coming from the area to the west of the Book Depository are Dorothy N. Garner, Otis Williams, Otis Campbell, Mrs. Avery Davis, Mr. and Mrs. Newman, Mrs. Delores Kounas, Steven Wilson, Danny Arce, Jim Hicks, and many many others. Practically all of these people were ignored by the Warren Commission. My point is they didn’t look into it because they didn’t talk to anybody who heard the shots coming from anywhere else. In other words, they didn’t want to hear a thing that did not incriminate Lee Oswald.
Carson: Isn’t it a fact that many people, depending on where they were standing that day, heard shots coming in relation to where they were standing, as in the unique arrangement of the buildings there? And even in discussion with witnesses they said they really couldn’t tell – it could have been a reverberation, it could have been an echo? But that even again does not change the overwhelming evidence, does it, in any way? I mean, somebody who is not sure where shots come from? How does that in any way change the overwhelming major revelations of the case?
Garrison: First of all, there is no overwhelming evidence that Oswald shot from the Book Depository. The only evidence available indicates that he did not. Furthermore, of all the major conclusions reached by the Warren Commission, the only one that’s true is the conclusion that Jack Ruby shot Lee Oswald. And they had to say that because everyone in the country saw it.
Carson: In your opinion that’s the only conclusion they reached that’s true. [laughter] Hardly the major conclusion that many reasonable people have accepted. Now you cannot say that that’s the only conclusion they came to. They came to many conclusions – or what presumably, or what possibly did happen with all credible evidence available.
Garrison: I haven’t gone through the 26 volumes, Johnnie. I can say that it is not possible for a reasonable man to conclude that the Warren Commission was right.
Carson: Well then you are accusing – if you say there is a conspiracy involved in this, doesn’t this have to be one amazing conspiracy Mr. Garrison? I mean, if you say this is a conspiracy, doesn’t this have to involve the CIA, elements of the Dallas police force, the doctors at Parkland, the doctors at Bethesda, the members of the Warren Commission themselves, the District Attorney – doesn’t it have to involve all of these people?
Garrison: No. Now let me answer this and get this clear once and for all:
The doctors at Parkland found — concluded — that the shots came from the front, to the last man: Dr. Perry, Dr. McLelland – Dr. Mclelland said..
Carson: Why did they come to that conclusion?
Garrison: Because they looked at the body of the President. Now let me finish this point..
Carson: But they didn’t turn it over, did they?
Garrison: John, if there were shots from the front, what difference does it make if there were shots from the back too? Oswald was behind the President. He can’t produce shots at the front.
Carson: Well Mr. Garrison, you are saying that they all agree there were shots from the front. In the confusion of the autopsy, all the doctors involved, and after speculation, including Dr. Perry, admitted that they did not at the time — there were the use, ah, “penetrating wounds” used — some people have changed that to “entrance wounds” — they were involved in saving the President’s lives. But all of the doctors agree that Bethesda, and the final autopsy, the shots came unequivocally from above and behind the President.
Garrison: This is not the conclusion of all of the doctors. For example, if you will look at Commission exhibit 392 you will see the cause of death written down at 4:45 on the afternoon of November the 22nd by Dr. McLelland, and he says the cause of death was a gunshot wound of the left temple. Everybody who has a Warren Commission in their Library can go look at commission exhibit 392 and they will see “gunshot wound to the left temple.” Can I get a drink of water?
Carson: Was that the doctor at Parkland?
Carson: But that wasn’t the final autopsy, and that was not the final autopsy after you had a chance to do it correctly. That was done very quickly under great strain, with trying to remove the President’s body from Da-
-I think Jim, and I’m sorry, I don’t want to throw something at you and then then cop-out on it, but I think we’re starting to rehash things that have been rehashed so much.
Garrison: We can go on to something else.
Carson: Why don’t we go on to this new evidence that you, eh..
Garrison: Fine. But I must say that when you talk about an autopsy being performed correctly, I take it you’re talking about Commander Hume’s autopsy?
Carson: We’re talking about the doctors at Bethesda who all agree..
Garrison: Bethesda. Yes. This is certainly the first autopsy in history in which the doctor performing it found it necessary to burn his notes afterwards. Now I don’t know what he did that caused him to burn his notes, but I can’t do that as a correct autopsy.
Carson: Is that a fact?
Garrison: Of course it is. It’s admitted in the Warren Report.
Now let me go to something else. Let me show you with a few examples, the technique that the federal government used to distort and conceal evidence. For example, one of the..
Carson: Now again, when you say, “Let me show you a method,” — and I hate to interrupt — but when you make a statement “But let me show you methods that the federal government used to distort,” that is not a fact, is it? Is this what your opinion is, or the way you think it happened?
Garrison: Now you understand that I’m a human being, and it’s very difficult for any human being, including a scientist, to speak with total objectivity. So when I say “let me show you some examples of how distortion was accomplished,” obviously these are examples of how I think it was accomplished. You may or may not agree. Okay?
Carson: Alright. That’s what I wanted to make clear.
Garrison: Alright. Now if you look in the Warren Commission Report, special end exhibits, you will see Julie Ann Mercer’s statement is an affidavit sworn to, and a footnote on the stationery indicates the Sheriff’s Department, County of Dallas. And the fact as its described in the Warren Commission indicates that Julie Anne Mercer an hour or so before the assassination was proceeding by the grassy knoll when she was stopped by traffic. And she happened to be next to a truck. A young man was getting out of it with a rifle. And she was stopped where she had to look inside and see the driver. Now the Warren Commission exhibits indicates to you that she could not see the driver clearly, and that this truck had “air conditioning” written on the side.
Actually, in spite of the fact that this young lady saw a man getting out on the grassy knoll with a rifle, she was never called by the Warren Commission. They didn’t call anybody who had evidence that conflicted with Oswald as the lone assassin. Now,..
Carson: May I interrupt again?
Garrison: Okay, in her affidavit she says, “On the drivers side of the truck there were printed letters in black, oval shaped, which said ‘air conditioning.'” She said, “I could not see the driver too clearly.” And then it has her signature here, and then there’s “certified to by a Notary Public”. When I showed this to Julie Anne Mercer, she stated this: “The signatures on this affidavit are not mine but are very good imitations, except that the capital A is not close.” Incidentally, this is published in the Warren Commission, Decker Exhibit #5323. “I did not sign anything of this kind, and furthermore, there was no woman present at any time while I was questioned. It is not true that the truck had “Air Conditioning” printed on the side. I repeatedly stated that there was no printing on the side. I did not say that I could not see the driver too clearly. The fact is that I looked right in his face, and he looked at me twice. This is why I was able to recognize him when I later saw him shoot Oswald on television. In other words, she was stating immediately that she recognized the driver of the truck from which the man got out with a rifle, as Jack Ruby. As a matter of fact, she stated, and her signature’s right here, that within 24 hours after the assassination the Federal Bureau of Investigation was showing her pictures which included Jack Ruby. And they omitted this from her printed statement. Here’s the FBI statement:
On the driver’s door the words “Air conditioning” were printed in black letters. And then it goes on to state that she saw the driver, but it doesn’t give his name. In a separate FBI report it says she could not identify Jack Ruby’s picture. Her answer is this:
“Four pictures were selected by me as the driver of the truck. One of them was Jack Ruby. I remember seeing his name on the back of the picture when they turned it over. I again recognized Jack Ruby when I saw him shoot Oswald, and I said to my family who were watching TV with me, that was the man I saw in the truck.” And she also wrote here, “It was November 23rd, the day before Ruby shot Oswald, when I picked out the picture of Jack Ruby.”
In other words, she was shown Jack Ruby’s picture, with his name on the back, within 24hrs after the assassination, more than 24hrs before Oswald was shot, and there’s not a hint of this in the 26 volumes. This is a..
Carson: Is that Mrs. Mercer’s statement?
Carson: But it is not..
Garrison: The writing is her true statement. The printing is a false statement.
Carson: Are you saying by that, that somebody changed that testimony?
Garrison: Well, of course. As a matter of fact..
Carson: For what possible reason would they change it?
Garrison: Well I think you’d have to talk to the Sheriff’s Office, Johnnie, and also to the FBI.
The young lady told me, and I have her signature here, that she never said this. I think..
Carson: [Isn’t that..sh[??] at that time.]
This is the same Mercer, I assume, that Mark Lane also interrogated to put his gunmen on the grassy knoll?
Carson: It’s not?
Garrison: No. I don’t think anybody talked to Julie Mercer, because she was threatened and left very early.
Carson: Well, in the..
Garrison: I think you’re thinking of someone else. I think you..
Carson: No. Didn’t Mark Lane talk to Mrs. Mercer about an air conditioning truck, in which you said at first her statement, was, she took a toolbox out, and then later it became a gun case? And according to her testimony, that I have read, the Warren Commission later checked and found that the air-conditioning truck belonged to a friend that was laying air-con in a building nearby?
Garrison: Julie Mercer never said at any time that there was “Air Conditioning” on the side of the truck. It was put in. Because later on it was not her statement. She has said here within the last several weeks, and signed her name, that this is not true; it’s a false affidavit; her name was forged; and it was Jack Ruby driving the truck.
Carson: Isn’t also Mrs. Mercer’s statement one of sixty odd also statements, depositions taken by the FBI by other people who saw at one time or another there, people carrying guns, riding various cars, that were also taken by the FBI?
Garrison: I don’t know about all that. Look, let’s not get away from the point..
Carson: No, but let’s put it in context.
Garrison: No. Put it in any context. The point is this lady saw Jack Ruby driving a truck..
Carson: She says she did.
Garrison: She says she did.
Carson: That doesn’t make it a fact, does it. What time does this take place? I don’t mean to sound like an interrogator, I’m only asking questions if I don’t understand. What time was this supposed to have taken place?
Garrison: About an hour before the assassination, but look..
Carson: Well at that time Jack Ruby was in the office of the Dallas Times.
Garrison: How do you know? How long was he there?
Carson: Well he was there between 11 and 11:30 placing an ad for a Master of Ceremonies for his club.
Garrison: Aren’t you aware that there was a space gap between the two newspapers when he went from one to the another – a twenty minute space gap – and they don’t know where he was?
Carson: But you’re going to put him in a truck
Garrison: No. I’m not going to put him anywhere. The point is, she was there, she was there..
Carson: Does that not implicate the Dallas Police?
Garrison: I think you would like pictures better.
Carson: No, but doesn’t that implicate the Dallas Police?
Garrison: They’re implicated.
How do you think they did it?
How do you think they did it?
Carson: I don’t know? Have you taken anybody to court? How can you accuse the Dallas Police of being involved..?
Garrison: Alright. Just one question at a time. You gave me three this time.
Carson: I didn’t mean to.
Garrison: An advertisement, again?
Carson: I’m not an attorney.
Carson: We’ve got to have some money to keep this thing going.
Carson: Alright Jim, we’re back now.
Garrison: Let me just make this one point. You said that you, the pieces aren’t coming up.
Let me answer by saying in the land of the blind the one-eyed man is king. Nobody else has charged anybody. We’ve made three charges. One man’s been convicted. We’re trying to get the other man to trial. He postponed the case for 6 months, and..
Carson: They were convicted of treason, were they?
Garrison: We’ll win the case. And a third man is fighting extradition. We’re going as fast as we can, John, with five men. Remember, it took 6000 men to do nothing.
We’re moving with 5.
If it’s a little bit slow I apologize.
Carson: You mentioned at the end of your Playboy article in relation to that, “If it takes me 30 years I’m going to bring these men to justice.” That doesn’t sound like you’ve got a very strong case. Can this go on forever? When is somebody going to get this into court and either prove it or not prove it?
Garrison: Let me answer by saying that we took a case to trial last fall and the defendant moved for a six months continuance. I think you could get your answer better by contacting the defense lawyers. We’re trying to get it to trial.
Carson: Oh I’m glad.
Garrison: Now let me read to you an affidavit, which will indicate to you the technique that the federal government used in this investigation. This is an affidavit sworn to by Mark Lane, who is not only a distinguished author, but is working for me as an investigator, for nothing, and helping me. Mark Lane has sworn before a notary that in January 1968 he interviewed William S. Walter in New Orleans, Louisiana.” Mr. Walter informed me and Analise Lane that he has been employed by the FBI during 1963. He said that he was a security clerk and was assigned to the New Orleans office of the FBI. Walter says that during the morning of november 17th 1963 he received a TWX message directed to all southern regional offices of the FBI. The message advised that an an attempt to assassinate President Kennedy would be made in Dallas on Nov 22nd 1963. Walter stated that as he was alone on duty on the midnight to 8am shift, he immediately called a special agent in charge of the New Orleans office, Mr. Maynard, and informed him of the contents of the message. He was then advised – informed – to call a number of FBI agents in New Orleans who maintained contacts with various informants. Walter also told me that an FBI directive ordered the New Orleans office to direct to various agents who had conducted interviews regarding the assassination of president Kennedy, to examine those interview reports to make sure that there were no conflicts contained within them. The agents were ordered to resolve the conflicts, prepare new reports, and to destroy the old ones.” Another example,..
Carson: But what does all of that mean?
Garrison: It means whatever you choose to have it mean. Again, if you ask me..
Carson: But if somebody’s saying something, did that actually happen, or…?
Garrison: [stunned silence]
Carson: I mean you say that Mark Lane said that a man told him. But did it actually happen?
Garrison: If you fly down to New Orleans I can show you these people talking, but you just invited one person up here. I’m telling you what they said. Each time I tell you, you say, “Is that a fact?”..
Garrison: All I can say is that it appears to me to be a fact. If you want to reject it you can.
But let me show you some pictures, and if you want to reject these, go ahead.
In the 26 volumes…
Carson: You’re not on trial, Jim. I’m just asking – really I..
Garrison: Yes, but I’m afraid another advertisement may be coming up.
Carson: You’re right about that, too.
Garrison: In the 26 volumes there is no reference to any serious sort of arrests. There are a couple of references to short dialogues, and then the indication is that the man wasn’t of any value, or of any importance at all. Actually, at Dealey Plaza there were 10 men arrested, and this has been kept secret for more than four years. Here are the pictures of 5 of them being arrested, and they’ve never been shown before.
Carson: No, I don’t know any of those men.
Garrison: Several of these men arrested have been connected by our office with the Central Intelligence Agency of the United States government. The probability is that this is why Officer Tippit was killed. Is this speculation? Positively, and I want to identify it as that. But the probability appears to be that the killing of Tippit was a diversion that allowed them to turn loose these tin men. Here are some more. [photo] And here’s ..
Carson: No, really, it won’t show Jim.
Garrison: But why aren’t they mentioned? Why aren’t they mentioned?
Carson: No, but you say speculation and a probability.
Who’s suppressing all this information, on whose order?
Garrison: I’ll tell you who’s suppressing it. The federal government is suppressing it.
Carson: Who in the federal government?
Garrison: The administration. The administration of your government is suppressing it because they know that the Central Intelligence Agency..
Carson: On whose orders?
Garrison: On the order of the President of the United States.
Who do you think issued – let me finish now – before the advertisement – the executive order, which forbids every person in this audience and every person listening to this program, which forbids him to look at this evidence until September in the year 2039, was issued by the President of the United States. Does that answer your question? He’s the President.
Carson: For what possible reason?
Garrison: Why don’t you ask him, John?
[laughter and applause]
Carson: I [inaudible] what you say.
I think he would say, because first of all Mr. Garrison has come up with no credible evidence to support any of his theories.
Garrison: Well let me reply to that, that I am not allowed, as an attorney, to come with evidence until the case comes. Why don’t they just let me fall on my face?
Carson: Are you willing to say tonight, when your trial comes up, that you will secure a conviction without a shadow of a doubt?
Garrison: I cannot make a statement which would reflect on Mr. Shaw. Since the day, I, we charged him and arrested him, I have not made statement which infers that he’s guilty, and I cannot infer that now. But I am trying to tell you that there is no question as a result of our investigation that an element of the Central Intelligence Agency of our country killed John Kennedy, and that the present administration is concealing the facts. There is no question about it at all.
Carson: That’s is your opinion.
Garrison: No. It is not. I know it, and if you will just wait you will see that history will support this as fact.
Carson: Jim, I really don’t know where to go on this. We could pursue this for hours and hours. We’ve been on here almost an hour tonight. And I have to say as a layman I am still quite confused. I don’t understand – as you say, this will come to trial eventually, but it could be years, could it not?
Garrison: Not as far as we’re concerned. We’re pushing for trial now. There won’t be any continuances asked for by my office.
Carson: Could I ask you one other question? One? With the evidence against the commission, which you had nothing to do with, and refute I guess, almost, until [?] outside that Ruby killed Oswald. But in lieu of that evidence, which you say, I think you said was a fairytale, if I’m quoting you right..
Garrison: That’s a conservative description.
Carson: Alright. You are asking us, and the American public to believe that a team of seven gunmen carried this out with precision firing from various points that day in Dallas, which is a remarkable feat in itself, disappeared into thin air — with no witnesses who saw any other gunmen or getaway vehicles — and a gigantic conspiracy in which nobody seems to get proved anything. You ask us to believe that. I find that a much larger fairytale than to accept the findings of the Warren Report.
Garrison: Let me reply to you by saying first of all that these men did not disappear into thin air. A number of them were arrested, and I just showed you pictures of them being arrested. I presume you accept that as a fact. You can see them in the picture.
Carson: No sir, I don’t accept that as a fact.
Carson: I don’t know who those men are, and I don’t know why they were arrested. And how can you say that the assassins were arrested and then returned loose? Is that what you’re saying?
Garrison: That some of them were arrested, yes. Now let me go on..
Carson: And then were subsequently returned loose?
Garrison: They were turned loose later in the afternoon. Now, yes, let me go to the second point. The second point is
..to point out again the fact that you see no evidence and the matter doesn’t seem to come to trial. We are pushing for trial and there’s nothing more we can do than try to get the case to trial. Let me sum it up by saying, “Am I asking the people of America to believe this?” I’m doing more than that. I’m trying to tell the people of America that the honor of this country is at stake, and if we don’t do something about this fraud we will not survive. And there is no way to survive if we don’t bring out the truth about how our president was killed four years ago — and the investigation by the Warren Commission wasn’t even close.