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Printed for the use of the Select Committee on Assassinations
U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
WASHINGTON : 1979
For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office
Washington, D.C. 20402
SELECT COMMITTEE ON ASSASSINATIONS
LOUIS STOKES, Ohio, Chairman
HAROLD S. SAWYER, Michigan
December 11, 1978:
Opening remarks by Hon. Louis Stokes, Chairman of Full Committee
Civil Liberties Union
LEGISLATIVE AND ADMINISTRATIVE REFORM
MONDAY, DECEMBER 11, 1978
he deate for the COMMIT
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
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 sign that paraphrased the words of George Santayana, the philosopher:
"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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