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Warren Commission Hearings: Vol. I - Page 376« Previous | Next »

(Testimony of Robert Edward Oswald Lee Resumed)

Mr. Oswald.
looked up to me, not only in that respect, but that eventually he wanted to follow in my footsteps.
I would say within the family relation that Lee and I were closer than Lee and mother or Lee and John during our entire lifetime. That if there was something that he was going to discuss with anybody, or say to anybody, within the family I would be the one that he would discuss it with.
I refer to his statement on the second page of the letter of November 26, 1959, "I will ask you a question, Robert, what do you support the American government for? What is the ideal you put forward. Do not say freedom because freedom is a word used by all people through all of time."
1 did refer to the word "freedom" and I recall stating to him that the word "freedom" to me was something that was earned and not handed down.
I refer to the third page of the letter of November 26, 1959, and the brief statement, "America is a dying country."
I replied to him that perhaps, and I believe some great man said this statement at one time or the other, I do not recall who, that we were a sleeping giant, and that we were coming awake. This was, of course, in reference to the Communist world.
Mr. Jenner.
This was something you said in your letter?
Mr. Oswald.
Yes, sir.
Mr. Jenner.
All right.
Mr. Dulles.
May I ask what is the date of this letter?
Mr. Jenner.
It is in response to the letter of November 26.
Mr. Dulles.
November 26, yes.
Mr. Oswald.
I refer to the bottom of the page of the letter of November 26, "So you speak of advantages. Do you think that is why I am here for personal material advantages, happiness is not based on oneself, it does not consist of a small home of taking and getting."
I recall my reply to this series of questions as being-as to having that right to seek for oneself his own personal desires to the extent that the material advantages were something of a secondary nature, and was something of a reward for his efforts.
Mr. Jenner.
While the witness is looking further, Mr. Chairman, this is a little tedious, but as counsel for the Commission, I suggest its importance and relevancy in that, if nothing else, it serves to demonstrate the response of the witness to the letter indicating the attitude of the Oswald family on these subjects and isolating these views to Lee Harvey Oswald.
Mr. Dulles.
I think this is important, and the more I hear of this letter the more I get the impression that there was some help given in writing this letter.
Mr. Jenner.
That is why I am spending so much time on it.
Mr. Dulles.
Mr. Jenner.
With apologies to you, Mr. McKenzie, that is the only way we can go at it because we don't have the actual response itself.
Mr. Mckenzie.
Mr. Jenner, I commend you on the way that you are conducting this interrogation.
Mr. Jenner.
Thank you.
Mr. Mckenzie.
Mr. Oswald, under no circumstances speculate on what you wrote in answer to these letters. State to the best of your recollection only what you did write, if you recall.
If you can't recall tell Mr. Jenner so.
Mr. Oswald.
Yes, sir, this is what I have been doing, sir.
Mr. Dulles.
In view of the importance of this letter of November 26 and certain other of these letters, as Chairman and in view of the absence of a number of my colleagues today for unavoidable reasons, I think it might be well to insert the entire letter in the record and possibly certain other letters on which you are going to interrogate the witness. You see no objection?
Mr. Mckenzie.
None whatsoever, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Dulles.
I have in mind that other members of the Commission may not be able to read all of the exhibits but I think they should read these letters on which we are interrogating the witness.
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