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Warren Commission Report: Page 406« Previous | Next »

(CHAPTER VII - Lee Harvey Oswald: Background and Possible Motives)

I asked him what for he was making all these entries in the book and he answered that he wanted to leave a complete record so that all the details would be in it.


I am guessing that perhaps he did it to appear to be a brave man in case he were arrested, but that is my supposition. * * * 311


The attempt on General Walker's life deserves close attention in any consideration of Oswald's possible motive for the assassination and the trail of evidence he left behind him on that occasion. While there are differences between the two events as far as Oswald's actions and planning are concerned, there are also similarities that should be considered. The items which Oswald left at home when he made his attack on Walker suggest a strong concern for his place in history. If the attack had succeeded and Oswald had been caught, the pictures showing him with his rifle and his Communist and Socialist Worker's Party newspapers would probably have appeared on the front pages of newspapers or magazines all over the country, as, in fact, one of them did appear after the assassination.312 The circumstances of the attack on Walker coupled with other indications that Oswald was concerned about his place in history 313 and with the circumstances surrounding the assassination, have led the Commission to believe that such concern is an important factor to consider in assessing possible motivation for the assassination.


In any event, the Walker incident indicates that in spite of the belief among those who knew him that he was apparently not dangerous,314 Oswald did not lack the determination and other traits required to carry out a carefully planned killing of another human being and was willing to consummate such a purpose if he thought there was sufficient reason to do so. Some idea of what he thought was sufficient reason for such an act may be found in the nature of the motive that he stated for his attack on General Walker. Marina Oswald indicated that her husband had compared General Walker to Adolph Hitler. She testified that Oswald said that General Walker "was a very bad man, that he was a fascist, that he was the leader of a fascist organization, and when I said that even though all of that might be true, just the same he had no right to take his life, he said if someone had killed Hitler in time it would have saved many lives." 315

Political Activities

Oswald's political activities after his return to the United States center around his interest in Cuba and in the Fair Play for Cuba Committee. Although, as indicated above, the Commission has been unable to find any credible evidence that he was involved in any conspiracy, his political activities do provide insight into certain aspects of Oswald's character and into his possible motivation for the assassination. While it appears that he may have distributed
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