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Warren Commission Report: Page 444« Previous | Next »

(CHAPTER VIII - The Protection of the President)

Oswald's roominghouse address in Dallas and to interview him regarding these unresolved matters.


The formal FBI instructions to it's agents outlining the information to be referred to the Secret Service were too narrow at the time of the assassination. While the Secret Service bears the principal responsibility for this failure, the FBI instructions did not reflect fully the Secret Service's need for information regarding potential threats. The handbook referred thus to "the possibility of an attempt against the person or safety of the President." 148 It is clear from Hosty's testimony that this was construed, at least by him, as requiring evidence of a plan or conspiracy to injure the President.149 Efforts made by the Bureau since the assassination, on the other hand, reflect keen awareness of the necessity of communicating a much wider range of intelligence information to the Service.150


Most important, notwithstanding that both agencies have professed to the Commission that the liaison between them was close and fully sufficient,151 the Commission does not believe that the liaison between the FBI and the Secret Service prior to the assassination was as effective as it should have been. The FBI Manual of Instructions provided:

Liaison With Other Government Agencies

To insure adequate and effective liaison arrangements, each SAC should specifically designate an Agent (or Agents) to be responsible for developing and maintaining liaison with other Federal Agencies. This liaison should take into consideration FBI-agency community of interests, location of agency head quarters, and the responsiveness of agency representatives. In each instance, liaison contacts should be developed to include a close friendly relationship, mutual understanding of FBI and agency jurisdictions, and an indicated willingness by the agency representative to coordinate activities and to discuss problems of mutual interest. Each field office should determine those Federal agencies which are represented locally and with which liaison should be conducted.152


The testimony reveals that liaison responsibilities in connection with the President's visit were discussed twice officially by the special agent in charge of the FBI office in Dallas. As discussed in chapter II, some limited information was made available to the Secret Service.153 But there was no fully adequate liaison between the two agencies. Indeed, the Commission believes that the liaison between all Federal agencies responsible for Presidential protection should be improved.

Other Protective Measures and Aspects of Secret Service Performance

The President's trip to Dallas called into play many standard operating procedures of the Secret Service in addition to its preventive
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