Episode 7

For my account of President Johnson’s telephone conversations with J. Edgar Hoover and Dick Russell, I have drawn on Max Holland’s excellent book The Kennedy Assassination Tapes, which also includes transcripts of all the phone calls.

Johnson’s “inside the tent pissing out” remark seems to have quoted first by David Halberstam in this New York Times article

The book History Will Prove us Right, written by the former Warren Commission staffer Howard Willens, provides an excellent first-hand account of the Commission’s fraught relationship with the FBI. David Belin’s book Final Disclosure touches on the same topic intermittently. For an excellent overview of the Commission’s work, and its relations with the FBI, see Philip Shenon’s book A Cruel and Shocking Act

Hoover’s “Do it fast!” directive is quoted in Anthony Summers’s book The Secret Life of J. Edgar Hoover, p. 378. Hoover’s memo of November 24 (“the thing I am concerned about …”) is quoted on the same page of the same book.

The story of Jesse Curry’s press conference remark about the FBI, and his subsequent retraction, is told in Vincent Bugliosi’s Four Days in November, p. 336.

On Agent Hosty’s admission of November 22 (“we knew he was capable of murdering the president”) see Howard Willens, History Will Prove Us Right, p. 147.

For the story of Oswald’s note to Hosty and its destruction, see Bugliosi, Four Days in November, p. 197, Summers, The Secret Life of J. Edgar Hoover, p. 382, and Willens, History Will Prove us Right, pp. 156-157.

Quotes from the Warren Commission’s first executive session (December 5, 1963) come from the official minutes, which can be read here

Nicholas Katzenbach’s later remarks on the FBI’s leaking (“the Bureau constantly 
leaked things of this kind”) come from his 1978 deposition to the HSCA. The text can be read here.  Katzenbach’s remarks are on pp. 729-730. 

The quotes from the Warren Commission’s executive session of December 16 come from the official minutes, which can be read here

Hoover’s “I want all reports, whether of substantial nature or so-called ‘nut’ reports …” directive is quoted in Shenon’s A Cruel and Shocking Act.

Mark Lane’s “as a defence lawyer” quote comes from the PBS documentary film Oswald’s Ghost.

The quote from the NY Assembly’s ethics committee comes from “The Case Against Mark Lane”, by Steven Brill, Esquire, Feb 13, 1979, p. 25.

The detail about the 143-1 vote, and Governor Rockefeller’s “ruthlessly misleading” quote, come from “Mark Lane: The Left’s Leading Hearse Chaser”, Mother Jones, Aug 1, 1979, p.25.

Details of Lane’s covering letter to the Warren Commission, and quotes from the Commission’s blow-off reply, come from Praise from a Future Generation, John Kelin’s very useful book about early Kennedy conspiracism.

The text of Lane’s “Oswald Innocent?” can be read here

Cass Sunstein’s concept of the “conspiracy entrepreneur” is discussed in his book Conspiracy Theories and Other Dangerous Ideas.

Norman Mailer’s “non-entity” quote comes from his book Oswald’s Tale.

I. F. Stone’s remarks about the left and Kennedy conspiracism come from I. F. Stone’s Weekly, October 5, 1964.

For the details of Harold Weisberg and Sylvia Meagher’s harassment during the Red Scares, see John Kelin’s Praise from a Future Generation. Shirley Martin’s quote about Mark Lane comes from the same source.

For the story of Alfred Goldberg and the “Darryl Click” tape, see Shenon’s A Cruel and Shocking Act.