Friday, September 08, 2006

Connally's mood darkened as he talked about Dallas. When the bullet hit him, he said he felt like he had been kicked in the ribs and couldn't breathe. He spoke kindly of Jackie Kennedy and said he admired both her bravery and composure.

I had to ask. Did he think Lee Harvey Oswald fired the gun that killed Kennedy?

"Absolutely not," Connally said. "I do not, for one second, believe the conclusions of the Warren Commission."

So why not speak out?

"Because I love this country and we needed closure at the time. I will never speak out publicly about what I believe."

And he never did.

The summer after the assassination, Hoover was relaxing at the Del Charro resort in California, which was owned by his friend, right-wing Texas oil tycoon Clint Murchison. Another Texas oil crony of Hoover's, Billy Byars Sr. -- the only man Hoover had called on the afternoon of Nov. 22, 1963, besides Robert Kennedy and the head of the Secret Service -- also was there. At one point, according to Anthony Summers, the invaluable prober of the dark side of American power, Byars' teenage son, Billy Jr., got up his nerve to ask Hoover the question, "Do you think Lee Harvey Oswald did it?" According to Byars, Hoover "stopped and looked at me for quite a long time. Then he said, 'If I told you what I really know, it would be very dangerous to this country. Our whole political system could be disrupted.'"


Blogger Real History Lisa said...

Great excerpts, Gary. I hadn't seen that Connally quote before. Pretty clear, isn't it? He and Nellie are the death of the Single Bullet Theory, no matter how many computer simulations the CIA and its lackeys create.

And I'm sooooo looking forward to David Talbot's book. He did great research, with the help of Karen Croft, one of his editors at Salon who served as his researcher. He's a great writer, too, so it should be a clear and enjoyable read. Now we just have to see what he chooses to highlight. (His book is on what Bobby Kennedy was learning about his brother's death before Bobby himself was assassinated.)

9:41 PM  

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