ASSASSINATION RECORDS REVIEW BOARD
Friday, November 18, 1994
The above-entitled proceedings commenced, pursuant to notice, at 10:00 a.m.,
John R. Tunheim, chairman, presiding.
PRESENT FOR ASSASSINATION RECORDS REVIEW BOARD:
JOHN R. TUNHEIM, Chairman
HENRY F. GRAFF, Member
KERMIT L. HALL, Member
WILLIAM L. JOYCE, Member
ANNA K. NELSON, Member
DAVID G. MARWELL, Executive Director
DAVID J. MURRAH
ADELE E.U. EDISEN
BEVERLY OLIVER MASSEGEE
GARY L. AGUILAR
P R O C E E D I N G S
CHAIRMAN TUNHEIM: Good morning everyone, and welcome everyone to this public hearing held today in Dallas by the Assassination Records Review Board.
The Review Board is an independent Federal agency that was established by Congress for a very important purpose, to identify and secure all the materials and documentation regarding the assassination of President John Kennedy and its aftermath.
The purpose is to provide to the American public a complete record of this national tragedy, a record that is fully accessible to anyone who wishes to go see it.
The members of the Review Board, which is a part-time citizen panel, were nominated by President Clinton and confirmed by the United States Senate. I am John Tunheim, Chair of the Board, I am also the Chief Deputy Attorney General from Minnesota. The members of the Board to my right Dr. Henry Graff, who is Professor Emeritus of History at Columbia University; Dr. Kermit Hall, who is Dean of the College of Humanities at the Ohio State University in Columbus. To my left, Dr. Anna Nelson, who is Professor of History at the American University in Washington, D.C.; and Dr. William Joyce who is Associate Librarian at Princeton University.
Then to my far left is the Executive Director for the Review Board, David Marwell. We have additional staff members here today that I would just like to mention their names briefly because they will be here helping us with the hearing today, Sheryl Walter and Tracy Shycoff, Jeremy Gunn, Tom Samoluk. Also with us today is our liaison from the National Archives, Mr. Steve Tilley.
A major responsibility of the Review Board is to review secret Federal government records and decide which records are to be made public immediately and which records will have postponed release dates, and we expect that review process to begin within three months.
Today, however, the Review Board is in Dallas for a different purpose. Our focus today is the search for additional assassination records. We are seeking input about materials that are related to the assassination, where such material may be located, and why the material is relevant. We are holding this hearing in Texas because we believe there are records in this area, in this State, that are essential to a complete record of this event.
I want to point out and ask you to remember that the Review Board has been charged with the responsibility of securing a complete record of the assassination and its aftermath. The Review Board is not reinvestigating the assassination of President Kennedy. Our purpose really is to lift the veil of secrecy that has surrounded the records of the assassination and the follow-up investigations and to be very open with the public about our activities because in the final analysis, it is really up to the American people to decide for themselves what happened nearly 31 years ago in Dallas.
The Congress has determined that it is time to make complete the public record of the assassination and the Review Board is here today to carry out that mandate, and we appreciate the help of all of our witnesses today toward that end.
Let me just review very briefly some ground rules for our hearing. We will recess today at 12:30 p.m., and reconvene at 2:00 p.m. We don't intend to go beyond the hour of 4:00 p.m. this afternoon, and we may finish earlier if the schedule allows us to do so.
We are asking each witness to provide testimony to us for no longer than ten minutes. At the close of each testimony, the Board may wish to ask questions, members of the Board may wish to ask questions of the witness. In order to keep moving and to allow all who wish to testify an opportunity to speak, I may ask some witnesses to cut their testimony short.
We will accept anyone's written testimony for the hearing record, which we will keep open for a short period of time to allow people to sent follow-up testimony in to us. We will publish a transcript of this hearing that will be available to the public.
I thank you all for your assistance and for your interest, and I will ask Mr. Marwell to introduce our first witness.