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  » Appendix XVIII
Warren Commission Report: Page 443« Previous | Next »

(CHAPTER VIII - The Protection of the President)

Consequenty, there was no basis for Hosty to go to Secret Service and advise them of Oswald's presence. * * * 145

As reflected in this testimony, the officials of the FBI believed that there was no data in its files which gave warning that Oswald was a source of danger to President Kennedy. While he had expressed hostility at times toward the State Department, the Marine Corps, and the FBI as agents of the Government,146 so far as the FBI knew he had not shown any potential for violence. Prior to November 22, 1963, no law enforcement agency had any information to connect Oswald with the attempted shooting of General Walker. It was against this background and consistent with the criteria followed by the FBI prior to November 22 that agents of the FBI in Dallas did not consider Oswald's presence in the Texas School Book Depository Building overlooking the motorcade route as a source of danger to the President and did not inform the Secret Service of his employment in the Depository Building.

The Commission believes, however, that the FBI took an unduly restrictive view of its responsibilities in preventive intelligence work, prior to the assassination. The Commission appreciates the large volume of eases handled by the FBI (636,371 investigative matters during fiscal year 1963).147 There were no Secret Service criteria which specifically required the referral of Oswald's ease to the Secret Service; nor was there any requirement to report the names of defectors. However, there was much material in the hands of the FBI about Oswald: the knowledge of his defection, his arrogance and hostility to the United States, his pro-Castro tendencies, his lies when interrogated by the FBI, his trip to Mexico where he was in contact with Soviet authorities, his presence in the School Book Depository job and its location along the route of the motorcade. All this does seem to amount to enough to have induced an alert agency, such as the FBI, possessed of this information to list Oswald as a potential threat to the safety of the President. This conclusion may be tinged with hindsight, but it stated primarily to direct the thought of those responsible for the future safety of our Presidents to the need for a more imaginative and less narrow interpretation of their responsibilities.

It is the conclusion of the Commission that, even in the absence of Secret Service criteria which specifically required the referral of such a case as Oswald's to the Secret Service, a more alert and carefully considered treatment of the Oswald case by the Bureau might have brought about such a referral. Had such a review been undertaken by the FBI, there might conceivably have been additional investigation of the Oswald case between November 5 and November 22. Agent Hosty testified that several matters brought to his attention in late October and early November, including the visit to the Soviet Embassy in Mexico City, required further attention. Under proper procedures knowledge of the pending Presidential visit might have prompted Hosty to have made more vigorous efforts to locate

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