On July 15, 1967, Garrison was granted thirty minutes of national
television time to respond to an NBC documentary which was highly
critical of his investigation. Here is his complete address to the
nation in which he outlined his allegations:
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. Garrison.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 intensity.
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 to develop.
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
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
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
And here's something else--this case has more accidental fires, more
burning of paper than any murder case in history.
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 thermofaxed.
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 tohave 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
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 hada 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 on NBC.
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.
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 truth. 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 direction. And
they have to know well of the hundreds of documents which remain classified,
secret, and concealed from your view.
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 individuals.
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 people. 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 being burned?
What's the matter with you? Can't you take the word of these honorable
men, who have looked into it for you?
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 believe in.
Now this is the Warren Commission's own diagram of the route of the
bullet through Governor Connally.
point in his presentation, Garrison displayed a diagram (CE 689) that
presented the Warren Commission's version of the path of the "magic
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
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 wounds
section was in Grrison'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.]
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 governor's leg.
[Garrison had a display with a photo of the "magic bullet."]
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 the
[End of scripted, but unspoken portion of Garrison's presentation]
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 totally impossible.
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
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 implausible.
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
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
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
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 tales.
Time for the preceding program was made available to District Attorney
Jim 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.