The following time period has been made available to
District Attorney Jim Garrison of New Orleans to reply to an
NBC news program broadcast on June 19.  In that
program NBC News examined some of the methods used by Mr.
Garrison in his investigation of what he charges was a
conspiracy to assassinate President Kennedy. Except for the
opening and closing announcements, this program has been
prepared under Mr. Garrison’s sole supervision. Mr.
not tell you that Lee Harvey Oswald’s
fingerprints were not found on the gun
which was supposed to have killed the
President. And they do not tell you that
nitrate tests exonerated Lee Oswald from
the actual shooting by showing that he
had not fired a rifle that day. And they
do not tell you that it was virtually
impossible for Oswald to have taken his
fingerprints off the gun, hidden the
gun, and gone down four flights of
stairs by the time he was seen on the
Tonight I am going to talk to you about truths and about
fairy tales; about justice and about injustice.
In the months to follow you are going to learn that many
of the things which some of the major news agencies have
been telling you are untrue.
You are going to learn that although you are citizens of
the United States, information concerning the cause of the
death of your President has been withheld from you.
In the months to come you will learn to your own
satisfaction that President Kennedy was not killed by a lone
assassin. You will learn that there has been and continues
to be a concerted effort to keep you from learning these
facts. And you will learn, I assure you, that what I have
been trying to tell you and what I am telling you tonight is
As children we become accustomed to hearing fairy tales.
They are always pleasant stories and they are comforting to
hear because good always triumphs over evil. At least this
is the way it is in fairy tales.
Fairy tales are not dangerous for our children and are
probably even good for them up to a point. However, in the
real world in which you and I must live, fairy tales are
dangerous. They are dangerous because they are untrue.
Anything which is untrue is dangerous.
And it is all the more dangerous when a fairy tale
becomes accepted as reality simply because it has an
official seal of approval, or because honorable men announce
that you must believe it or because powerful elements of the
press tell you that the fairy tale is true.
The conclusion of the Warren Report, that President
Kennedy was killed by a lone assassin, is a fairy tale. This
does not mean that the men on the
Warren Commission were aware at the time, that their
conclusion was totally untrue, nor does it mean necessarily
that these men had any sinister motives. It does mean that
the conclusion that no conspiracy existed, and that Lee
Oswald was the lone assassin is a fiction, and a myth, and
that it should be brought to an end.
The people of this country don’t have to be protected
from the truth. This country was not built on the idea that
a handful of nobles, whether located in our Federal agencies
in Washington D.C., or in the news agencies in New York
should decide what was good for the people to know, and what
they should not know. This is a totalitarian concept which
presumes that the leaders of our Federal government and the
men in control of the powerful press media constitute a
special elite which by virtue of their nobility and their
brilliance, empower them to think for the people.
Personally, I would rather put my confidence in the common
sense of the people of this country.
are telling you that black is white when
they tell you there is no evidence of a
conspiracy. They have to know well the
significance of the continued
concealment of X-rays and autopsy
pictures which if revealed to you would
show that the President was hit by rifle
fire from more than one direction. "
The Magic Bullet
Specter, The Worshipful Master of the
Laws of Physics. This is his Magic
Bullet, which can disregard the laws of
physics. Isn't that neat? Supposedly, it
struck two men, and exited intact.
is a bullet that strikes bone. It
ignored the Worshipful Master's almighty
command to strike multiple victims,
ignore the laws of physics, and then
magically emerge unscathed. This bullet
chose instead to obey the laws of
physics, striking the bone of but one
man, let alone two. This is the bullet
that killed Martin Luther King.
Garrison's 1967 Playboy Interview
"I want to make a proposition to
the president of NBC: If this charge is
true [that two star witnesses against
Clay Shaw failed lie detector tests],
then I will resign as district attorney
of New Orleans..."
Garrison. Although NBC refused to take
up Garrison's challenge, they did
succeed in undermining the Clay Shaw
PLAYBOY: You expressed your reaction to
the NBC show ["The J.F.K. Conspiracy:
The Case of Jim Garrison"] in concrete
terms on July seventh, when you formally
charged Walter Sheridan, the network's
special investigator for the broadcast,
with attempting to bribe your witness
Perry Russo. Do you really have a case
against Sheridan, or is this just a form
GARRISON: The reason we haven't lost a
major case in over five years in office
is that we do not charge a man unless we
can make it stick in court. And I'm not
in the business of harassing anybody.
Sheridan was charged because evidence
was brought to us indicating that he
attempted to bribe Perry Russo by
offering him free transportation to
California, free lodgings and a job once
there, payment of all legal fees in any
extradition proceedings and immunity
from my office. Mr. Russo has stated
that Sheridan asked his help "to wreck
the Garrison investigation" and "offered
to set me up in California, protect my
job and guarantee that Garrison would
never get me extradited." According to
Russo, Sheridan added that both
NBC and the CIA
were out to scuttle my case....
PLAYBOY: How could your probe damage the
prestige of the CIA and cause them to
take countermeasures against you?
GARRISON: For the simple reason that a
number of the men who killed the
President were former employees of the
CIA involved in its anti-Castro
underground activities in and around New
Orleans. The CIA knows their identity.
So do I --- and our investigation has
established this without the shadow of a
doubt. Let me stress one thing, however:
We have no evidence that any official of
the CIA was involved with the conspiracy
that led to the President's death.
PLAYBOY: Do you lend no credence, then,
to the charges of a former CIA agent, J.
Garrett Underhill, that there was a
conspiracy within the CIA to assassinate
GARRISON: I've become familiar with the
case of Gary Underhill, and I've been
able to ascertain that he was not the
type of man to make wild or
unsubstantiated charges. Underhill was
an intelligence agent in World War Two
and an expert on military affairs whom
the Pentagon considered one of the
country's top authorities on limited
warfare. He was on good personal terms
with the top brass in the Defense
Department and the ranking officials in
the CIA. He wasn't a full-time CIA
agent, but he occasionally performed
"special assignments" for the Agency.
Several days after the President's
assassination, Underhill appeared at the
home of friends in New Jersey,
apparently badly shaken, and charged
that Kennedy was killed by a small group
within the CIA. He told friends he
believed his own life was in danger. We
can't learn any more from Underhill, I'm
afraid, because shortly afterward, he
was found shot to death in his
Washington apartment. The coroner ruled
suicide, but he had been shot behind the
left ear and the pistol was found under
his left side --- and Underhill was
PLAYBOY: Do you believe Underhill was
murdered to silence him?
GARRISON: I don't believe it and I don't
disbelieve it. All I know is that
witnesses with vital evidence in this
case are certainly bad insurance risks.
In the absence of further and much more
conclusive evidence to the contrary,
however, we must assume that the
plotters were acting on their own rather
than on CIA orders when they killed the
President. As far as we have been able
to determine, they were not in the pay
of the CIA at the time of the
assassination --- and this is one of the
reasons the President was murdered: I'll
explain later what I mean by that. But
the CIA could not face up to the
American people and admit that its
former employees had conspired to
assassinate the President; so from the
moment Kennedy's heart stopped beating,
the Agency attempted to sweep the whole
conspiracy under the rug. The CIA has
spared neither time nor the taxpayers'
money in its efforts to hide the truth
about the assassination from the
American people. In this respect, it has
become an accessory after the fact in
The truth about the assassination of the President has
been concealed from you long enough. Those forces which are
fighting so hard today to tell you that they have examined
the Warren Report and that everything is fine, and that our
investigation has uncovered nothing, are not merely going to
lose this fight—they have already lost it.
Now let me tell you why President Kennedy was murdered,
and how he was murdered. I also want to give you a few
examples, which will show you how the conclusion reached by
the Warren Commission is totally impossible.
President Kennedy was assassinated by men who sought to
obtain a radical change in our foreign policy—particularly
with regard to Cuba. You recall that under President Kennedy
the Cold War began to thaw and there were new signs of an
effort on the part of the Soviet Union and ourselves to
understand each other.
On the map, this [Cuba] appears to be merely a large
island off the coast of Florida. But for many men it meant a
good deal more than this. In 1963 a great variety of
interests existed, which not only desired an American
supported invasion of Castro’s Cuba, but took it for granted
that it was inevitable.
In the minds of many men, this island represented a
tremendous emotional landmark, because they had steered
their courses toward it for so long, and with such
In the fall of 1962 the Cuban Missile Crisis occurred. It
was followed by a pronounced new attitude towards Cuba on
the part of the United States. Cuba, after this was no
longer regarded as an enemy and was no longer regarded as
fair game for those men who for one reason or another
focused their attention on this island. The new signs of
understanding between Russia and the United States continued
In June of 1963, President Kennedy, addressing students
at the American University in Washington told them, “we
breathe the same air” as the Russians. He said we should try
to live together in peace on this Earth. Well at this point
some individuals transferred their hostile attention from
Fidel Castro to John F. Kennedy. They planned the
President’s assassination, and they planned it well.
The evidence indicates that he [President Kennedy] was
shot at from two different directions in the rear and also
from the right front.
We know that shooting was coming from two separate
directions in the rear because the President and Governor
[John] Connally were hit in the back within a split second
of each other—and this necessarily had to happen with two
bullets coming from two different rifles.
We know that the President was being shot at from the
grassy knoll area on the right front because most of the
people in Dealey Plaza heard the shots coming from there—and
because at least one of the President’s wounds was an entry
wound from the front, and because men were seen running from
the grassy knoll area immediately afterwards.
That’s why the idea of Lee Harvey Oswald as the lone
assassin of the President is a fairy tale and should be
brought to an end. If you—the people of the United
States—will learn the truth; that the President was
assassinated by men who were once connected with the Central
Intelligence Agency, of course, this might reflect on the
dignity of the CIA.
But I happen to believe that our form of government is
strong enough to survive the truth. I believe that you are
entitled to the truth about how your President was shot down
in the streets and how it was done. Instead, some of the
most powerful news agencies we have in our country have
worked hard to convince you that everything is all right.
They do not tell you that Lee Harvey Oswald’s
fingerprints were not found on the gun which was supposed to
have killed the President. And they do not tell you that
nitrate tests exonerated Lee Oswald from the actual shooting
by showing that he had not fired a rifle that day. And they
do not tell you that it was virtually impossible for Oswald
to have taken his fingerprints off the gun, hidden the gun,
and gone down four flights of stairs by the time he was seen
on the second floor.
Above all, they do not tell you of the overwhelming
eyewitness testimony that shots were coming from behind the
stone wall on the grassy knoll. In a choice between official
dignity and the truth, dignity was given priority and so you
have not received the full truth.
This is why there continues to be hundreds of documents
still hidden from your eyes and classified as secret, and
some of them bear such titles as, “Lee Harvey Oswald’s
accessibility to information about the U-2”; the Central
Intelligence Agency’s dossier on Lee Harvey Oswald, and the
CIA file on Jack Ruby. You have not been told that Lee
Oswald was in the employ of United States intelligence
agencies. But this was the case, and so I am telling you.
Why this young uneducated man had learned to speak
Russian even before he left the Marines, and there’s only
one way he could have learned that. Oswald had a higher
security rating than his buddies in his Marine unit.
During 12 hours of questioning, to give you another
example--12 hours of questioning after the
assassination—there is no transcript of Oswald’s statements
available for you to look at.
Now, it doesn’t matter where you live, if somebody in
your town steals a 1928 Hupmobile, what he says is written
down when he is questioned. However, when the man who has
[supposed to have] just killed the President of the United
States is questioned for 12 hours, no transcript is
available. There’s nothing for you to look at.
And believe it or not, one of the explanations given is
that the room was too small to include a stenographer.
And here’s something else—this case has more accidental
fires, more burning of paper than any murder case in
For example, when Oswald was questioned by a federal
agent in August of 1963, the notes of the interview were
later burned. You cannot see the notes made by Commander
Humes concerning the President’s autopsy because he burned
them too. One of the questioners of Lee Harvey Oswald during
the 12-hour session burned his notes.
And similarly, when the Warren Commission contacted the
State Department and said, with regard to Exhibit 948, “We
notice that a one-page message from the CIA containing
secret information is supposed to be attached to this file
and it’s missing. Would you please furnish us with a copy of
this missing secret document?” The answer given to the
Warren Commission was that the secret message about Oswald
from the CIA was accidentally destroyed while being
This spontaneous combustion, incidentally, occurred the
day after the President’s assassination.
I am not even going to bother to dignify the foolishness
which Newsweek and NBC and some of the other news agencies
have tried to make you believe about my office. I’ve been
District Attorney of New Orleans for more than five years
and we have never had a single case reversed because of
improper methods on the part of our staff. Nor do we rush to
judgment on half-baked evidence. And the proof of that is
the fact that in more than five years not one defendant has
walked out of the courtroom in a murder case with an
acquittal. Nor have we lost a major case in five years.
Then what is their game? Their game is to fool you. These
people want the investigation stopped. They don’t want a
trial at all. Please believe me. They don’t think we’re
wrong in our investigation. Obviously, if our investigation
was as haywire as they would like to have you think, then
you would not see such a coordinated barrage coming from the
news centers in the east. Why are they so concerned? Why is
it that they cannot wait until the trial comes in order to
learn what the facts are? Why are they so anxious to have
their own trials?
They know very well that the witnesses they’re presenting
to you have not been testifying under oath; that they’re not
being cross-examined as they would be at a trial. And that
the opportunities for a timely rebuttal by the State of
Louisiana which would exist at a trial have not been
provided in their untrue presentations. They know this. In
my considered judgment there has been an effort to prejudice
in advance the potential jurors in the trial of this case.
As a matter of fact, the National Broadcasting Company has
already had the trial. The defendant was found innocent, and
the District Attorney was convicted.
They announced across the nation that my methods were
improper. But as their stories, one by one, turn out to be
false, they do not reveal this to you—but simply search
hopefully into new areas. For example, Newsweek magazine had
a feature article saying that my office attempted to bribe a
man named Beauboeuf. It later turned out that his story and
their article was totally untrue and the tapes which
Newsweek described had been altered.
The police investigators in my office were found innocent
of any wrongdoing in a serious investigation conducted by
the police department. However, Newsweek has made virtually
no mention of that.
Similarly, in its recent effort to make you think that my
methods are improper, NBC announced coast to coast that it
had located the real Clay Bertrand; that an NBC man had
talked to him. This made every newspaper in the country and
it inferred once again that in addition to using terrible
methods we were off on a wild goose chase. Now when it
turned out that this was a total fabrication, and the man
whom NBC identified as the real Clay Bertrand hotly denied
ever using the name, there was only coast to coast silence
NBC presented a professional burglar, whom my office had
just recently convicted, and allowed him to make a plainly
false presentation that we had tried to get him to climb
into the defendant’s apartment and plant evidence there. The
inference, of course, was that this particular defendant was
too lofty a character to participate in my nefarious
However, recently, when we called him before the New
Orleans Grand Jury so that he could tell all about our new
venture into the burglary business, he took the Fifth
Amendment when asked if his statement on NBC was true. Once
again, this was followed by a loud silence from coast to
coast on NBC.
As a matter of fact, the Warren Commission’s inquiry into
the assassination started off with a completely unacceptable
philosophy for a democracy like ours. One of its stated
objectives was to calm the fears of the people about a
conspiracy. But in our country, the government has no right
to calm our fears any more than it has, for example, the
right to excite our fears about Red China or about
fluoridation or about birth control, or about anything.
There is no room in America for thought control of any kind,
no matter how benevolent the objective.
absence of further and much more
conclusive evidence to the contrary,
however, we must assume that the
plotters were acting on their own rather
than on CIA orders when they killed the
President. As far as we have been able
to determine, they were not in the pay
of the CIA at the time of the
assassination --- and this is one of the
reasons the President was murdered."
Personally, I don’t want to be calm about the
assassination of John F. Kennedy. I don’t want to be calm
about a President of my country being shot down in the
streets. And I don’t want to be calm about the fact that for
reasons of public policy or national security or any other
phony reason, the true facts have been withheld from the
people of this country.
If the day has come when it is possible to shoot our
President down because some men disagree with his foreign
policy—and the day has come that the moment his heart stops
beating other considerations take over which conceal the
total truth from the citizens of the United States, then the
day has come when we have ceased to be a democracy.
I cannot believe that this is so, that the time has come
in America when the people no longer control their country.
Yet I must confess that I am appalled by the readiness
with which some of the major press media have accepted the
great fairy tale without hesitation— rousing from their
stupor only when they have learned that a District Attorney
was violating all the rules of etiquette and digging up the
They are telling you that black is white when they tell
you there is no evidence of a conspiracy. They have to know
well the significance of the continued concealment of X-rays
and autopsy pictures which if revealed to you would show
that the President was hit by rifle fire from more than one
And they have to know well of the hundreds of documents
which remain classified, secret, and concealed from your
must confess that I am appalled by the
readiness with which some of the major
press media have accepted the great
fairy tale without hesitation— rousing
from their stupor only when they have
learned that a District Attorney was
violating all the rules of etiquette and
digging up the truth. "
And they are making white black when they repeatedly
state that my office has used improper methods. They have to
know that no D.A.’s office in the United States would dream
of operating in the way they suggest. They have to know that
for years I have been a strong defender of the rights of
They have to know all of this, but they have lent
themselves to the all-out effort to convince you that the
matter has been looked into and anyone who raises a question
now is irresponsible or a troublemaker or an enemy of the
What’s that? You say that you are an American citizen and
you want to see the autopsy X-rays and you want to see these
hundreds of documents that have been withheld from your view
and you want to know why these vital notes always ended up
What’s the matter with you? Can’t you take the word of
these honorable men, who have looked into it for you?
Let me just give you one example that shows you how
impossible the single assassination theory is—which shows
you the enormity of the fairy tale which you are supposed to
Now this is the Warren Commission’s own diagram of the
route of the bullet through Governor Connally.
[At this point in his presentation, Garrison
displayed a diagram (CE 689) that presented the Warren
Commission’s version of the path of the “magic bullet.”]
The bullet had to take this route in order to cause the
injuries which he received. Now the important thing to keep
in mind is that the Warren Commission itself concedes that
if this same bullet was not the one which also went through
President Kennedy, then there had to be someone else firing.
And the reason for that, just to put it very simply, is that
the Zapruder film has shown that all the firing occurred in
six seconds, and yet there were a total of eight wounds.
Therefore this one bullet has to cause seven wounds, because
one missed and one was the fatal shot hitting the President.
So by the Warren Commission’s own admission, prior to
hitting the Governor, this bullet had to go through
President Kennedy who is sitting back here. Now you’ll
notice that the Warren Commission did not attempt to include
President Kennedy in the diagram— they could not because of
the total impossibility of this bullet having gone through
the President also would be too obvious. In other words, by
the evidence of the Warren Commission itself, it is obvious
that there was other shooting going on in Dealey Plaza.
Consequently, the Warren Commission has officially
concluded that before this bullet came down from the sky as
it had to, to hit Governor Connally in all those different
places, it entered President Kennedy’s body from the rear
and came out of his neck.
I might add that the Warren Commission did not try to
include the President’s picture because that would have
shown that the course of the magic bullet would have had to
have gone up in the air and come down again in order to end
up hitting the Governor.
It is by selecting these little portions of each incident
and by excluding other portions that the fairy tale is
presented to you. However, if they had to show in one
diagram the bullet entering the President and then
continuing through Governor Connally, you would be able to
see the total impossibility of this bullet causing seven
[This section was in Garrison’s script, but he
skipped over it and it was not broadcast. At the time,
Garrison handed out copies of his statement to the
press. This portion was included in Garrison’s handout,
but he did not state the words in the next two
paragraphs over the air, although he intended to.]
|"Personally, I don’t want to be calm
about the assassination of John F.
Kennedy. I don’t want to be calm about a
President of my country being shot down
in the streets. And I don’t want to be
calm about the fact that for reasons of
public policy or national security or
any other phony reason, the true facts
have been withheld from the people of
this country. "
And now, let’s take a look at the magic bullet itself:
[Exhibit 399]. This is the magic bullet which is supposed to
have caused these wounds, without having its shape altered
in any way or without even getting dirty. This bullet, which
was found at Parkland Hospital, lying on the floor, went
through President Kennedy’s back and out of his neck,
through Governor Connally’s back and out of his chest, into
the governor’s wrist and out of his wrist and into the
[Garrison had a display with a photo of the “magic
Don’t ask me to explain to you how it was possible for
this to have occurred. They can’t really explain it either.
But you have to believe it because if this untarnished
bullet did not accomplish all this by itself, then it means
that someone else had to be shooting at the President and,
of course, this would conflict with the official version of
[End of scripted, but unspoken portion of Garrison’s
Now, this is just one of many examples which show that
the Warren Commission’s conclusion is completely impossible.
Bullet 399 is another example, the fact that the cartridges
in the Tippit case do not match at all the bullets in
Tippit’s body—one after the other—if I had the total hour to
reply which NBC used to try and discredit my office I would
be able to go into more matters. But let’s sum it up by
saying that it is completely impossible to uphold the single
assassin theory, if you look at it seriously. Anyone who has
done their homework knows that the single assassin theory is
In the final analysis what has been done by the Warren
Commission in its investigation, is to take this series of
implausibilities and to attempt to prove to you that each
one of them is at least mathematically possible. Each one of
them is mathematically possible, but not probable. However,
it is not mathematically possible for all of these series of
implausibilities to have occurred, and this is what they ask
you to believe.
It’s very much like telling you that it is mathematically
possible, for example, for an elephant to hang from a cliff
with his tail tied to a daisy. Of course, this is
people of this country don’t have to be
protected from the truth. This country
was not built on the idea that a handful
of nobles, whether located in our
Federal agencies in Washington D.C., or
in the news agencies in New York should
decide what was good for the people to
know, and what they should not know.
This is a totalitarian concept which
presumes that the leaders of our Federal
government and the men in control of the
powerful press media constitute a
special elite which by virtue of their
nobility and their brilliance, empower
them to think for the people."
But what do they do? They produce an expert who says,
“Yes I have made a study of the situation, and this is not a
full-grown elephant, and this is a particularly tough kind
of daisy. And, therefore, it was mathematically possible.”
Now the official truth, as a result of such expert
testimony—as a result of the creation of a series of
mathematical possibilities is now no longer what actually
happened in Dallas, but what has been officially approved.
Well, I say that the matter is not closed—not in this
country. I say that the day has not yet arrived when the
only reality is power and the ideals on which our country
was built are merely words printed on paper.
I believe that those news agencies which have sought to
imply that I would use improper methods to gain some sort of
fictional political advantage have simply revealed their own
cynicism. I believe that in this conflict between truth and
power—and this is exactly what it is all about—that power
cannot possibly smash truth out of existence. The people in
this country will not let that happen.
If we still live in the same country in which we were
born, and I don’t think it’s changed that much; if this is
still the country in which, in the words of our Pledge of
Allegiance, there exists, “liberty and justice for all,”
then this attempt to conceal the full truth from you, in the
end, has to be a failure.
In this case I have learned more about the human race
than I really wanted to know. And I’ve learned more about
some of our government agencies than I really wanted to
know. And I’ve learned more about some of our press agencies
than I cared to know. But I am still naive enough to believe
that in America the people make the decisions, not a handful
of men in the Washington and New York areas.
And I believe that the people of America want to know the
entire truth about how their President was shot down in the
streets of Dallas.
And I want to assure you, that as long as I am alive, no
one is going to stop me from seeing that you obtain the full
truth, and nothing less than the full truth—and no fairy
Time for the preceding program was made available to
District Attorney Jim Garrison of New Orleans. The program
was prepared Garrison of New Orleans. The program was
prepared under his sole supervision. It constitutes his
reply to an earlier NBC News program examining some of the
methods Mr. Garrison has used in his investigation of the
assassination of President Kennedy. This program originated
in the studios of WDSU-TV in New Orleans.