House Report on Assassinations

House Report on Assassinations - 1 Report of the Select...

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1 Report of the Select Committee on Assassinations of the U.S. House of Representatives (1979) See the full report (on Kennedy assassination and MLK, Jr. assassination) here: Part C. Summary: The Committee believes, on the basis of the evidence available to it, that President John F. Kennedy was probably assassinated as a result of a conspiracy. The Committee is unable to identify the other gunman or the extent of the conspiracy. Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes once simply defined conspiracy as "a partnership in criminal purposes." (1) That definition is adequate. Nevertheless, it may be helpful to set out a more precise definition. If two or more individuals agreed to take action to kill President Kennedy, and at least one of them took action in furtherance of the plan, and it resulted in President Kennedy's death, the President would have been assassinated as a result of a conspiracy. The committee recognizes, of course, that while the work "conspiracy" technically denotes only a "partnership in criminal purposes," it also, in fact, connotes widely varying meanings to many people, and its use has vastly differing societal implications depending upon the sophistication, extent and ultimate purpose of the partnership. For example, a conspiracy to assassinate a President might be a complex plot orchestrated by foreign political powers; it might be the scheme of a group of American citizens dissatisfied with particular governmental policies; it also might be the plan of two largely isolated individuals with no readily discernible motive. Conspiracies may easily range, therefore, from those with important implications for social or governmental institutions to those with no major societal significance. As the evidence concerning the probability that President Kennedy was assassinated as a result of a "conspiracy" is analyzed, these various connotations of the word "conspiracy" and distinctions between them ought to be constantly borne in mind. Here, as elsewhere, words must be used carefully, lest people be misled. [Footnote 1: It might be suggested that because of the widely varying meanings attached to the word "conspiracy," it ought to be avoided. Such a suggestion, however, raises another objection-- the search for euphemistic variations can lead to a lack of candor. There is virtue in seeing something for what it is, even if the plain truth causes discomfort.] A conspiracy cannot be said to have existed in Dealey Plaza unless evidence exists from which, in Justice Holmes' words, a "partnership in criminal purposes" may be inferred. The Warren Commission's conclusion that Lee Harvey Oswald was not involved in a conspiracy to assassinate the President was, for example, largely based on its findings of the absence of evidence of significant association (2) between Oswald and other possible conspirators and no physical evidence of conspiracy.(3) The Commission reasoned, quite rightly, that
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This note was uploaded on 01/06/2010 for the course ENGL 463 taught by Professor Kelman during the Spring '09 term at CSU Fullerton.

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House Report on Assassinations - 1 Report of the Select...

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