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Warren Commission Hearings: Vol. V - Page 485« Previous | Next »

(Testimony of James J. Rowley)

Mr. Dulles.
From the testimony, and from my own study, it would seem to me that it was likely that there would be parallel, somewhat parallel structures to develop the investigative capabilities with regard to possible suspects in the area of Presidential protection. And my question is as to whether, in order to avoid that undue expense, you think there would be any advantage in putting the responsibility of that within the FBI, who would then be responsible for advising you as to potential suspects and possibly following up on that, rather than putting that responsibility now to a certain extent on the Secret Service---whether there is not a division of responsibility in this field which is unfortunate and may possibly lead to greater expense, personnel doing somewhat duplicative work?
Mr. Rowley.
As it applies to this law now?
Mr. Dulles.
As it applies to the situation today, without the law which is recommended in your memorandum, and might apply also after that, because the investigation would be required in either case to turn up possible suspects.
My question is, where should that responsibility be primarily centered in order to avoid undue duplication and expense, and yet accomplish our objective?
Mr. Rowley.
Well, when you mention duplication, I do not think there has been much duplication in this case, when the President directed the FBI to conduct the investigation to determine whether or not there was a conspiracy.
Mr. Dulles.
I am not talking about now. I am talking about investigation prior to, say, the President's visit to city X in the United States.
Mr. Rowley.
I see.
Mr. Dulles.
Or abroad--where you have the problem of the Secret Service and the CIA.
Mr. Rowley.
Well, I think you want to keep the concept of Presidential protection by a small, closely knit group, because of the intimate relationship. But if you want to expand it and give it to another group, to take the long-range view, you do not know what may develop from something like that--whether a police organization could lead to a police state or a military state if you want to delegate it to some organization like that.
The Chairman.
I suppose also, Chief Rowley, that if your people were not doing the spadework on this thing, and keeping their minds steeped in this protection matter, but were obliged to rely on the written records of someone else presented to you, that they would not be in the proper state of mind, would they, to be alert to it?
Mr. Rowley.
That is right. There would be a tendency to relax and say John Jones is taking care of it. This is always the possibility that you might encounter something like that.
The Chairman.
And in law enforcement, you have to have the feel of the situation, do you not?
You have to do the spadework in order to be aware of every possibility that might develop?
Mr. Rowley.
That is true. Because you see in this, Mr. Dulles, on the Presidential detail, it is a unique detail. This is something that they think 24 hours a day. They do it 24 hours a day. They are not otherwise involved. For example, they have the principle of screening the President and being always ready to make a quick exit. They do not have to stop to investigate or identify any person, whoever the assailant might be. Their responsibility is only to protect the President at all times.
Mr. Dulles.
But they have to know against whom to protect him.
Mr. Rowley.
That is right. But they are ready for anything under the present close screening.
But if I understand your question, Mr. Dulles, you also want to know whether or not in the screening or the investigation of certain groups, like the Communist group, and so forth, since it is their responsibility and not ours, because they have the internal security of the United States, this is something that we have to develop.
Mr. Dulles.
Is "they" the FBI?
Mr. Rowley.
The FBI.
That is something that we have to have a formal arrangement about, because it enters the realm of internal security. We do not want to conflict with them, if
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