Memorandum to J. Lee Rankin
from David W. Belin
Author's note: This memorandum by staff lawyer Belin speaks for itself. A month later, on February 25,1964, Belin wrote in another memorandum, "At no time have we assumed that Lee Harvey Oswald was the assassin of President Kennedy." See chapter 2.
MEMORANDUM January 30, 1964 TO: J. Lee Rankin FROM: David W. Belin SUBJECT: Oswald's knowledge that Connally would be in the Presidential car and his intended target.
According to the Secret Service Report, Document No. 3, page 11, the route of the motorcade was released on the evening of November 18 and appeared in Dallas newspapers on November 19 as shown in Exhibits 6D and 6E (Document No. 3 is the December 18 Secret Service Report).
In examining these exhibits, although the general route of the motorcade is shown, there is nothing that shows that Governor Connally would be riding in the Presidential car.
In determining the accuracy of Oswald, we have three major possibilities: Oswald was shooting at Connally and missed two of the three shots, the two misses striking Kennedy; Oswald was shooting at both Kennedy and Connally and all three shots struck their intended targets; Oswald was shooting only at Kennedy and the second bullet missed its intended target and hit Connally instead.
If there was no mass media coverage that Connally would be riding in the Presidential car, it would tend to confirm the third alternative that Kennedy was the only intended target. This in turn bears on the motive of the assassination and also on the degree of markmanship [sic] required, which in turn affects the determination that Oswald was the assassin and that it was not too difficult to hit the intended target two out of the three times in this particular situation.
In any event, I believe it would be most helpful to have the FBI investigate all newspaper, television and radio reports from November 18 to November 22 in Dallas to ascertain whether or not in any of these reports there was a public announcement that Connally would be riding in the Presidential car. If such public announcement was made, we should know specifically over what media and when.
Of course, there is another element of timing: If Connally's position in the motorcade was not released until the afternoon of November 21, then when Oswald went home to get the weapon, he would not have necessarily intended Connally as the target.
Finally, we would like to know whether or not there was any release to the public news media that Connally would ride in any car in the motorcade, regardless of whether or not it was the Presidential car.
back to JFK | ratville times | rat haus | Index | Search