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  » Appendix XVIII
Warren Commission Report: Page 297« Previous | Next »

(CHAPTER VI - Investigation of Possible Conspiracy)

active members of the John Birch Society, and that Grinnan eventually took charge of the project, expressed the opinion that the advertisement was the creation of the John Birch Society,472 though Schmidt and Grinnan have maintained that they were acting "solely as individuals." 473

A fictitious sponsoring organization was invented out of whole cloth.474 The name chosen for the supposed organization was The American Fact-Finding Committee.475 This was "Solely a name," Weissman testified; "* * * As a matter of fact, when I went to place the ad, I could not remember the name * * * I had to refer to a piece of paper for the name." 476 Weissman's own name was used on the ad in part to counter charges of anti-Semitism which had been leveled against conservative groups in Dallas.477 Weissman conceived the idea of using a black border,478 and testified he intended it to serve the function of stimulating reader attention.479 Before accepting the advertisement, the Dallas Morning News apparently submitted it to its attorneys for their opinion as to whether its publication might subject them to liability.480

Weissman testified that the advertisement drew 50 or 60 mailed responses.481 He took them from the post office box early on Sunday morning, November 24.482 He said that those postmarked before the attack on President Kennedy were "favorable" in tone;483 those of later postmark were violently unfavorable, nasty, and threatening; 484 and, according to a report from Schmidt, those postmarked some weeks later were again of favorable tone.485

The four promoters of the ad deny that they had any knowledge of or familiarity with Lee Harvey Oswald prior to November 22, or Jack Ruby prior to November 24.486 Each has provided a statement of his role in connection with the placement of the November 22 advertisement and other matters, and investigation has revealed no deception. The Commission has found no evidence that any of these persons was connected with Oswald or Ruby, or was linked to a conspiracy to assassinate President Kennedy.

The advertisement, however, did give rise to one allegation concerning Bernard Weissman which required additional investigation. On March 4, 1964, Mark Lane, a New York attorney, testified before the Commission that an undisclosed informant had told him that Weissman had met with Jack Ruby and Patrolman J. D. Tippit at Ruby's Carouse] Club on November 14, 1963. Lane declined to state the name of his informant but said that he would attempt to obtain his informant's permission to reveal his name.487 On July 2, 1964, after repeated requests by the Commission that he disclose the name of his informant, Lane testified a second time concerning this matter, but declined to reveal the information, stating as his reason that he had promised the individual that his name would not be revealed without his permission. 488 Lane also made this allegation during a radio appearance, whereupon Weissman twice demanded that Lane reveal the name of the informant. 489 As of the date of this report Lane has failed to reveal the name of his informant and has

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