Breach of Trust: How the Warren Commission Failed the Nation and Why

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9780700619399: Breach of Trust: How the Warren Commission Failed the Nation and Why
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The Warren Commission's major conclusion was that Lee Harvey Oswald was the "lone assassin" of President John F. Kennedy. Gerald McKnight rebuts that view in a meticulous and devastating dissection of the Commission's work.

The President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy was officially established by Executive Order to investigate and determine the facts surrounding JFK's murder. The Warren Commission, as it became known, produced 26 volumes of hearings and exhibits, more than 17,000 pages of testimony, and a 912-page report. Surely a definitive effort. Not at all, McKnight argues. The Warren Report itself, he contends, was little more than the capstone to a deceptive and shoddily improvised exercise in public relations designed to "prove" that Oswald had acted alone.

McKnight argues that the Commission's own documents and collected testimony—as well as thousands of other items it never saw, refused to see, or actively suppressed—reveal two conspiracies: the still very murky one surrounding the assassination itself and the official one that covered it up. The cover-up actually began, he reveals, within days of Kennedy's death, when President Johnson, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, and acting Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach all agreed that any official investigation must reach only one conclusion: Oswald was the assassin.

While McKnight does not uncover any "smoking gun" that identifies the real conspirators, he nevertheless provides the strongest case yet that the Commission was wrong—and knew it. Oswald might have knowingly or unwittingly been involved, but the Commission's own evidence proves he could not have acted alone.

Based on more than a quarter-million pages of government documents and, for the first time ever, the 50,000 file cards in the Dallas FBI's "Special Index," McKnight's book must now be the starting point for future debate on the assassination.

Among the revelations in Breach of Trust:

Both CIA and FBI photo analysis of the Zapruder film concluded that the first shot could not have been fired from the sixth floor

The Commission's evidence was never able to place Oswald at the "sniper's nest" on the sixth floor at the time of the shooting.

JFK's official death certificate, signed by his own White House physician and contradicting the Commission's account of Kennedy's wounds, was left out of the official record.

The dissenting views of the naval doctors who performed the autopsy and those of the government's best ballistic experts were kept out of the official report.

The Commission's tortuous "Single Bullet" or "Magic Bullet" theory is finally and convincingly dismantled.

Oswald was probably a low-level asset of the FBI or CIA or both.

Commission members Gerald Ford (for the FBI) and Allen Dulles (for the CIA) acted as informers regarding the Commission's proceedings.

The strong dissenting views of Commission member Senator Richard Russell (D-Georgia) were suppressed for years.

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From the Back Cover:

"Just when scholars deemed the John F. Kennedy assassination 'case closed,' along comes Gerald McKnight to shatter certain fundamental assumptions. Breach of Trust is a shrewd, well-researched, deeply provocative investigation into the gross delinquencies of the Warren Commission. Essential reading for anybody trying to solve the twentieth century's great murder mystery."--Douglas Brinkley, James H. Clark Professor of U.S. History and Director of the Theodore Roosevelt Center at Tulane University

"An extraordinary and exceptionally well-written work that convincingly proves that political reasons, not high investigative standards, formed the Warren Commission, guided its inquiry, and dictated its conclusions."-David R. Wrone, author of The Zapruder Film: Reframing JFK's Assassination

"It's impossible in brief to do full justice to McKnight's persuasive study, which adds immeasurably to our knowledge of the assassination and ensuing investigation."-Michael L. Kurtz, author of The Crime of the Century: The Kennedy Assassination from a Historian's Perspective

"Reopens old questions and poses new challenges to the 'official story.' No one interested in the Kennedy 'case' can afford not to read it."-Lloyd C. Gardner, author of The Case That Never Dies: The Lindbergh Kidnapping

About the Author:

Gerald D. McKnight is professor emeritus of history at Hood College in Frederick, Maryland, and the author of The Last Crusade: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the FBI, and the Poor People's Campaign.

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Book Description University Press of Kansas, United States, 2013. Paperback. Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. The Warren Commission Report on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy . . . was instantly implausible because the authors hid the secrets they knew (and ignored the ones they didn t). -David Ignatius, Washington Post Book WorldThat recent appraisal reflects a growing consensus that the Warren Commission largely failed in its duty to our nation. Echoing that sentiment, the Gallup organisation has reported that 75 percent of Americans polled do not believe the Commission s major conclusion that Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone assassin. Gerald McKnight now gives profound substance to that view in the most meticulous and devastating dissection of the Commission s work to date. The Warren Commission produced 26 volumes of hearings and exhibits, more than 17,000 pages of testimony, and a 912-page report. Surely a definitive effort. Not at all, McKnight argues. The Warren Report itself, he contends, was little more than the capstone to a deceptive and shoddily improvised exercise in public relations designed to prove that Oswald had acted alone. McKnight argues that the Commission s own documents and collected testimony-as well as thousands of other items it never saw, refused to see, or actively suppressed-reveal two conspiracies: the still very murky one surrounding the assassination itself and the official one that covered it up. The cover-up actually began, he reveals, within days of Kennedy s death, when President Johnson, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, and acting Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach all agreed that any official investigation must reach only one conclusion: Oswald was the assassin. While McKnight does not uncover any smoking gun that identifies the real conspirators, he nevertheless provides the strongest case yet that the Commission was wrong-and knew it. Oswald might have knowingly or unwittingly been involved, but the Commission s own evidence proves he could not have acted alone. Based on more than a quarter-million pages of government documents and, for the first time ever, the 50,000 file cards in the Dallas FBI s Special Index, McKnight s book must now be the starting point for future debate on the assassination. It should also inspire readers to echo the Journal of American History s praise for his previous book: McKnight s insistence upon remaining within the bounds of the evidence inspires confidence in his judgment. Seller Inventory # AAC9780700619399

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