Monday, January 11, 2010

LBJ, JFK & Gen. LeMay

 


In the background of this photo of the Warren Commission, the three photographs on the wall are of LBJ, JFK and General LeMay?

Why is General LeMay looking over the shoulder of the Warren Commission?

Can anyone tell me where this photo was taken?
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Thanks to Larry's tip I found two quick references to the Warren Commission meeting at the VFW Hall.

One is in the testimony of Lyndal Shaneyfelt when three of the Commissioners saw the Zapruder, Nix and Muchmore films and entered them into evidence.

The conversation was so interesting I've copied it here.

Then there's Arlen Specter's ancedotal story entered into the Congressional Record about Joe Ball, the California attorney and Warren Commission Senior Counsel, and the real origin of the single bullet theory. Specter mentions that the only identification they had was the pass to get into the VFW Hall, that they used to get into Bethesda to interview the autopsy doctors before questioning them on the record. This too is interesting because he tells how Frank Adams, also a Senior Counsel to the WC, got his job. - BK

VFW – WC

Warren Commission Meets at VFW Hall WC Volume V, Page 176 –

http://www.aarclibrary.org/publib/jfk/wc/wcvols/wh5/pdf/WH5_Shaneyfelt_2nd.pdf

http://www.jfk-assassination.de/warren/wch/vol5/page176.php

Lyndal L. Shaneyfelt

Testimony of Lyndal L Shaneyfelt Resumed

(Present were Mr. McCloy, Mr. Dulles, and Representative Ford.)

Mr. Specter.

May the record now show that the Commission has now reassembled on the first floor of the VFW Building where a motion picture projector and slide projector and screen have been set up for viewing of the films. Mr. Shaneyfelt, what are you going to show us first of all?

Mr. Shaneyfelt.
The first film will be of the color motion picture made through the rifle scope as the car drove down the assassination route at approximately 11 miles an hour. It wi11 give the view the rifleman had as he aimed the rifle from the sixth floor window of the Book Building.
(Film)
Mr. Dulles.
Is that going 11 miles per hour?
(Discussion off the record.)
Mr. Shaneyfelt.
This film will be the black and white photographs of the car in the fixed still positions in each of the frame numbers described in previous testimony.
In addition the final portion of the film is a run through of the car at 11 miles an hour on three separate runs filmed as the rifleman would have seen the car looking through the rifle.
On the first run of the car going down the assassination route I have stained frames in the vicinity of frame 222 which is after the first clear shot after the tree, I have stained the frame at the location of shot 313, which is the second pink flash you will see.
I found, in examining the film, that this is a shorter span of time than in the actual film. It is a span on the reenactment of about three and a half seconds between 222 and 313.
The second frame stained is 313 but since it is running at a faster speed I have also stained a spot that represents 5 seconds which is what the time lapse was between frame 222 and frame 313 in the actual assassination films. That will be after the car driving scene.
(Film)
Mr. Shaneyfelt.
This is the last clear shot and this is an adjusted last clear shot before going under the tree. This is the shot approximately 185. This is frame 186 which is the adjusted shots which would account for a 10-inch variance.
Shot of frame 207, and the adjusted frame which was 210. This is frame 222 and you can see the tree is still in the background.
This is 225 now. 231. At this point Governor Connally states he has been hit by now. This is 235. 240--249--255--and the shot to the head which is 313.
Mr. Specter.
What is this? Describe this, Mr. Shaneyfelt.
Mr. Shaneyfelt.
This is the run at 11 miles an hour containing the pink stain. This is another run at 11 miles an hour. It will give you some idea of the difficulty of tracking a car with a heavy camera mounted on the rifle.
Mr. Mccloy.
You have to sight that with a camera?
Mr. Shaneyfelt.
Sighting through a camera.
(Film)
Mr. Redlich.
Just as a final thing, Mr. McCloy, would you like to see the Zapruder film?
Mr. Mccloy.
I think we will take the original Zapruder again, I don't know whether we have anything that is more significant in the black and whites, I am talking about the particular movies of the frames, we have not seen those.
Mr. Shaneyfelt.
Yes.
Mr. Mccloy.
I think we have seen all we need to see with regard to that. What have you got left?
Mr. Shaneyfelt.
The original Zapruder film.
Mr. Mccloy.
We will see that.
Mr. Shaneyfelt.
We have the duplication of the Zapruder film reenactment. The first portion of the reel is the still shots and the last portion is the run through at 11 miles an hour.
Mr. Specter.
I think you would find that worth while to see.
Mr. Shaneyfelt.
Then we have Nix and Muchmore of the same run.
Mr. Mccloy.
Let's do those, too.
Representative Ford.
First is the original Zapruder.
Mr. Shaneyfelt.
Original Zapruder. This is not the original. This is the first copy.
(Film)
Mr. Specter.
Will you state for the record what film we just saw?
Mr. Shaneyfelt.
This film we just viewed is a copy made directly from the original Zapruder film of the actual assassination.
Mr. Specter.
Could you now show us the film which was taken at the reconstruction from the Zapruder position?
(Film)
Mr. Shaneyfelt.
These films we made in Dallas have been developed and left intact and have not been edited in any way so there are a lot of blank spaces where we run the leader off and turn the film. This is position 161. This side-to-side jiggle is a camera malfunction.
Mr. Mccloy.
This is 16 mm.?
Mr. Shaneyfelt.
No; 8 mm.
Representative Ford.
Is this from his camera?
Mr. Shaneyfelt.
Yes; taken with his camera. Frame 222, frame 225. This is frame 231.
Representative Ford.
He has a delayed reaction compared to what the President did.
Mr. Specter.
What frame is this, Mr. Shaneyfelt?
Mr. Shaneyfelt.
313, the head shot.
Mr. Mccloy.
The head shot.
Mr. Shaneyfelt.
This is the position which is not duplicated on the Zapruder film. This is running the film out to reload it.
During that run at 11 miles an hour we made no effort to duplicate the body position because it would have been most difficult to know just when to turn. The only other films we have are the ones we shot with the Nix and Muchmore cameras of this same run from their positions.
Mr. Mccloy.
Did Nix, Muchmore get a second shot of the head shot?
Mr. Shaneyfelt.
Mrs. Muchmore got the head shot and Mr. Nix got the head shot.
Mr. Mccloy.
They both got it.
Mr. Shaneyfelt.
We have both those films.
Mr. Mccloy.
We might take a look at it while we are here. I don't think I have ever seen those. Those are 8mm, too.
Mr. Shaneyfelt.
Yes.
(Film.)
Mr. Shaneyfelt.
This film is the film that was taken by Mr. Orville Nix of the assassination. This is along Houston street going toward Elm. There
Mr. Shaneyfelt.
was the head shot. We will roll it back and run it at slow motion. The head shot shows just a very faint pink.
Mr. Mccloy.
Very soon after this sequence begins. Just as the President is directly under the white abutment in the background. I will try to give you a clue about when it is going to happen, there.
The next film is the film that was exposed in Mr. Nix's camera standing in the position determined to be his camera position at the reenactment in Dallas, with the car traveling at approximately 11 miles an hour along Elm street.
These films were compared with each other and found to be consistent in the size of the car in the area of the picture and verified the position as being that of Mr. Nix.
(Film)
Mr. Specter.
Have you now shown us, Mr. Shaneyfelt, all of the movies that we saw, we took in Dallas?
Mr. Mccloy.
Mrs. Muchmore.
Mr. Specter.
Mrs. Muchmore.
(Film)
Mr. Shaneyfelt.
This is the motorcade coming down Main and turning into Houston street.
Mr. Mccloy.
She didn't know she took that.
Mr. Shaneyfelt.
No.
Mr. Specter.
Have we now seen all the films from Dallas? That concludes the films.
Mr. McCloy, for the record, I would like to have the films marked with Commission Exhibit No. 904 identifying the Zapruder copy. That is the copy of the original Zapruder film.
May I say here, parenthetically, that we do not intend to reproduce all of this in the published record of the Commission since we have extracted the key numbers on Exhibit 885 on the album which shows the frames of the Zapruder film after the President's automobile turns left off of Houston onto Elm, but for the permanent archives these films should be made a part of the permanent record.
I would like to have a copy of the original Nix film marked as Commission Exhibit No. 905. I would like to have the copy of the original Muchmore film marked as Commission Exhibit No. 906. I would like to have all of the movies which we took at Dallas marked in a group as Commission Exhibit No. 907.
Mr. Mccloy.
That is all the movies that were taken on May 24 in Dallas by the test team, so to speak.
Mr. Specter.
Right, Commissioner McCloy. They are marked as Commission Exhibit No. 907, and I would like to move formally for the admission into evidence of Commission Exhibits Nos. 904 through 907 at this time.
Mr. Mccloy.
They may be admitted.
(Commission Exhibits Nos. 904, 905, 906, and 907 were marked for identification, and received in evidence.)
(Whereupon, at 7:20 p.m., the President's Commission recessed.)

http://www.c-spanarchives.org/congress/?q=node/77531&id=8786314


Mr. SPECTER. The Times article details the specifics on the positions held by Mr. Ball in the lawyers associations, his professorial associations as a teacher, his experience as a criminal lawyer, and his experience, most pointedly, as one of the senior counsel to the Warren Commission, the President's commission which investigated the assassination of President Kennedy. It was on the Warren Commission staff that I came to know Joe Ball.

The original complexion of the Warren Commission on staffing was that there were six senior counsel who were appointed and six junior counsel. That distinction was replaced by putting all of the lawyers under the category of assistant counsel. But if there was a senior counsel, it was Joe Ball.

Then, in his early sixties, he was a tower of strength for the younger lawyers. When the commission began its work, I was 33. Most of the junior lawyers were about the same age. We looked to Joe Ball for his experience and for his guidance. He had a special relationship with Chief Justice Earl Warren, which was also helpful because Joe Ball could find out what Chief Justice Warren had in mind in his capacity as chairman and provide some valuable insights that some of the younger lawyers were
unable to attain.

Joe Ball worked on what was called area two, along with the very distinguished younger lawyer, David Belin from Des Moines, IA. Area two was the area which was structured to identify the assassin. Although the initial reports had identified Lee Harvey Oswald as the assassin, and on television, on November 24, America saw Jack Ruby walk into the Dallas police station, put a gun in Oswald's stomach and kill him, the Warren Commission started off its investigation without any presumptions but looking at the evidence to make that determination as to who the assassin was.

My area was area one, which involved the activities of the President on November 22, 1963. There was substantial interaction between the work that Joe Ball and Dave Belin did and the work which was assigned to me and Francis W.H. Adams, who was senior counsel on area one.

Frank Adams had been New York City police commissioner and had been asked to join the Warren Commission staff when Mayor Wagner sat next to Chief Justice Warren at the funeral of former Governor and former Senator, Herbert Lehman. Mayor Wagner told Chief Justice Warren that Frank Adams, the police commissioner, knew a lot about Presidential protection and had designed protection for motorcades in New York City, with dangers from tall buildings, which was an analogy to what happened to President
Kennedy.

There was question as to how we would coordinate our work, and it was sort of decided that Joe Ball and Dave Belin would investigate matters when the bullet left the rifle of the assassin in flight, which was no man's land, and when it struck the President. That came into area one, which was my area: the bullet wounds on President Kennedy, the bullet wounds on Governor Connally, what happened with the doctors at Parkland Hospital, what happened with the autopsy, all matters related to what had happened with President Kennedy.

We had scheduled the autopsy surgeons for a Monday in early March. They were Lieutenant Commander Boswell, Lieutenant Commander Humes and Lieutenant Colonel Pierre Finck. The autopsy was done at Bethesda, where President Kennedy was taken, because of the family's preference that he go to a naval installation because he was a Navy man, so to speak, who had served in the Navy.

The testimony was to be taken on this Monday in March. There was quite a debate going on with the Warren Commission staff as to whether we should talk to witnesses in advance. It seemed to many of us that we should talk to witnesses in advance so we would have an idea as to what they would testify to so we could have an orderly presentation, which is the way any lawyer talks to a witness whom he is about to call. The distinguished Presiding Officer has been a trial lawyer and knows very well to what I am referring. There was a segment on the Warren Commission staff which thought we should not talk to any witnesses in advance, lest there be some overtone of influencing their testimony. Finally, this debate had to come [Page: S9562] to a head, and it came to a head the week before the autopsy searchers were to testify.

And on Friday afternoon, Joe Ball and I went out to Bethesda to talk to the autopsy surgeons. It was a Friday afternoon, much like a Friday afternoon in the Senate. Nobody else was around. It was my area, but I was looking for some company, so I asked Joe Ball to accompany me--the autopsy surgeons falling in my area. We took the ride out to Bethesda and met the commanding admiral and introduced ourselves. We didn't have any credentials. The only thing we had to identify ourselves as working on the Warren Commission was a building pass for the VFW. My building pass had my name typed crooked on the line, obviously having been typed in after it was signed. They sign them all and then type them in. It didn't look very official at all.

So when Commander Humes and Commander Bozwell came down to be interviewed, Commander Humes was very leery about talking to anybody. He had gone through some travail with having burned his notes and having been subjected to a lot of comment and criticism about what happened at the autopsy, and there were FBI agents present when the autopsy was conducted. A report had come out that the bullet that had entered the base of the President's neck had been dislodged during the autopsy by massage. It
had fallen out backward as opposed to having gone through the President's body, which was what the medical evidence had shown.

That FBI report that the bullet had entered partially into the President's body and then been forced out had caused a lot of controversy before the whole facts were known. Later, it was determined that the first shot which hit the President--he was hit by two bullets--well, the second shot, which hit him in the base of the skull, was fatal, entering the base of the skull and exiting at the top at 13 centimeters, 5 inches--the fatal wound. The first bullet which hit the President passed between two large strap muscles, sliced the pleural cavity, hit nothing solid and came out, and Governor Connally was seated right in front of the President and the bullet would have to have hit either Governor Connally or someone in the limousine.

After extensive tests were conducted, it was concluded that the bullet hit Governor Connally. There has been a lot of controversy about the single bullet theory, but time has shown that it is correct. A lot of tests were conducted on the muzzle velocity of the Oswald rifle. It was identified as having been Oswald's, purchased from a Chicago mail order store. He came into the building with a large package which could have contained the rifle. He said they were curtain rods for an apartment which already had curtains. The muzzle velocity was about 2,200 feet per second, and the velocity after traveling about 275 feet was about 1,900 feet per second.

At any rate, as Joe Ball and I went through it with the autopsy surgeons, we found for the first time--because we had only seen the FBI reports--that the bullet did go through President Kennedy and decreased very little in velocity. It was at that moment when we talked to Dr. Humes and Dr. Finck that we came to hypothesize that that bullet might have gone through Governor Connally. We didn't come to a conclusion on that until we had reviewed very extensive additional notes, but it was on that occasion that Joe Ball and I had interviewed the autopsy surgeons. It was a marvel to watch Joe Ball work with his extensive experience as a lawyer and as a fact finder.

He lived to the ripe old age of 97. The New York Times obituary had very extensive compliments about a great deal of his work and focused on his contribution to the Warren Commission, where he had written an extensive portion of the Warren Report, as he was assigned to area two which compiled a fair amount of the report.

America has lost a great patriot in Joe Ball, a great citizen, a great lawyer, and a great contributor. I had the pleasure of knowing him and working with him on the Warren Commission staff and have had occasion to reminisce with him about his work. I noted that on his office wall in California is his elegantly framed building pass.

In the absence of any other Senator seeking recognition, I suggest the absence of a quorum.

2 comments:

hello said...

GREAT........................................

Bill Kelly said...

Larry Happanen makes note of the fact that the Warren Commission met at a local Washington DC VFW Hall, which may account for the photos, with the photo on the right being the local commander at the time. Makes sense to me. Thanks Larry, I wish all the questions could be answered so quickly. - BK