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LEGISLATIVE AND ADMINISTRATIVE REFORM

HEARINGS

BEFORE THE

SELECT COMMITTEE ON ASSASSINATIONS

OF THE

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

NINETY-FIFTH CONGRESS

SECOND SESSION

DECEMBER 11, AND 12, 1978

VOLUME I

§

Printed for the use of the Select Committee on Assassinations

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SELECT COMMITTEE ON ASSASSINATIONS

LOUIS STOKES, Ohio, Chairman
RICHARDSON PREYER, North Carolina SAMUEL L. DEVINE, Ohio
WALTER E. FAUNTROY, District of Columbia STEWART B. MCKINNEY, Connecticut
YVONNE BRATHWAITE BURKE, California CHARLES THONE, Nebraska
CHRISTOPHER J. DODD, Connecticut

HAROLD S. SAWYER, Michigan
HAROLD E. FORD, Tennessee
FLOYD J. FITHIAN, Indiana
ROBERT W. EDGAR, Pennsylvania

79-601864

LEGISLATIVE AND ADMINISTRATIVE REFORM

MONDAY, DECEMBER 11, 1978

House OF REPRESENTATIVES, SELECT COMMITTEE on Assassinations, Washington, D.C. The committee met, pursuant to notice, at 9:10 a.m., in room 2172, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Louis Stokes (chairman of the committee) presiding. Present: Representatives Stokes, Preyer, McKinney, Fauntroy, Dodd, and Fithian. Chairman STOKES. The committee will come to order. The Chair would like to make some opening remarks.

OPENING REMARKS BY HON. LOUIS STOKES, CHAIRMAN OF FULL COMMITTEE

The time has come for the select committee to shift its attention away from the deaths of President Kennedy and Dr. King and to turn to the general subject of political assassination. Up until now in these public hearings, the committee has been looking back to the murders of John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr., to try to work out some meaning for those awful events. Today and tomorrow the committee will look to the present and the future, taking as its premise the grim reality that political assassinations—the murder of public officials or of private citizens who have become public figures—will inevitably occur again if the past is any guide to the future. For the future may be foretold in the stark statistics of the past. Nine American Presidents, nearly one in four, have been targets of assassin's bullets, and four of them have died as a consequence. Two U.S. Senators have been fatally assaulted, while four others have narrowly escaped. And with the recent murder of Leo Ryan, our colleague, four Members of the House have been assassinated, while seven others have been targets of unsuccessful attempts. Sadly, it is, therefore, an appropriate time for this concern. How terribly ironic it is that over the throne of the self-appointed messiah who ordered the murder of Congressman Ryan, there was a . that paraphrased the words of George Santayana, the philosopner: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Ten years ago, the National Commission on the Causes and Prevention of Violence did a comparative analysis of assassination in this country and elsewhere. It concluded that high rates of

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