I arrived at the appointed time,
2:30 PM, at the House Whip's lavish offices but, Congressman
Bogs, was not there. His staff, scurrying around, offered
coffee but no explanation, as if it was not out of the
ordinary. Boggs, a Democrat from Louisiana, had been
elected to Congress at the age of 26 in 1946--the youngest
congressman in history. As a member of the powerful
House Ways and Means Committee, he had log-rolled much
of the benefits of the national highway program to fellow
Congressmen, and built up so much power that he was
now House Whip.
I had by now been able to obtain
enough of the house keeping records of the Commission
from the National archives to see that Boggs had attended
very few meetings. But I wanted his perspective on how
the Commission worked. I also hoped he could open other
avenues of access for me.
He arrived at 3:15 in a burst of
energy. Good-looking and smooth-talking, he answered
my questions without any trace of reticence~ or modesty.
Q. How did Commission originate?
A. I was its originator. I suggested
to a Washington correspondent there should be a blue
ribbon Commission. I suggested 3 Judiciary, 3 Congress,
4 from Public. The next day the President called me,
said he was creating Commission, and asked me to serve
Q. Was the Why as important as the
how of assassination?
A. They are "both equally important."
We spent a great deal of time on details, but we also
spent time on motivation.
Q. Do you agree with Ford's comment
on the separation between staff and Commission?
A. Yes. It was different from Congressional
Committee, but I'm not sure on difference it makes.
Q. Did you feel that the staff was
working too independently?
A. I didn't feel that way.
Q. Was there an incident where evidence
was held back by staff?
A. I don't remember it.
Q. Do you think there was difference
between FBI & Commission Report?
A. There was also a Secret Service
Report. We decided not too rely too much on either in
Q. The Reports were not sacrosanct,
A. No. we had our own investigation.
Q. What were changes?
A. I don't remember the details.
Q. On the CONNALLY BULLET. Did you
accept that both JFK and Connally were hit by the same
A It was never re-solved.
Q. The Commission never came to
A: No. There was a difference, of
Q. What was your opinion?
A. I doubted that one bullet would
be powerful enough to inflict the wound. Connally had
large wound on both his back and wrist, and in his thigh.
I doubted if this bullet had passed through the President
Q. So then you didn't want to state
in the Report that both men were hit by one bullet?
A. No. But I didn't believe it was
of great moment.
Q. You didn't think it was important?
A. No-Not of great importance.
Q. How did the staff feel?
A. They tried to prove it with paper
logic--but they offered no real evidence.
Q. How was it resolved?
A. It never was resolved.
Q. Was Connally bullet the only area
A. I can't think of any others.
Q. The Commission did a good deal
of independent work.
Q. Did you have any special area
q. Was there a possibility someone
A. We couldn't find any?
Q. Why was Report negatively written?
A. No answer.
Q. Ford suggested that there was
a secret meeting of the Commission to discuss an allegation
of a prior FBI connections to Oswald.
A. There was.
Q Was that the only such meeting?
A. I can't think of any others.
Q. How did you decide to terminate?
A. We wanted to end before the election.
Both parties thought it wouldn't look good to delay
until after the election. People would think something
Q. Is there any reason for continued
A. No. But if you say something
of the Commission, you should say something good.
Q. But were the Commissioners with
their other duties too busy?
A. I always say--if you need a job
done, pick a busy man.
Q. In New Orleans--was there any
connection to a Fair Play for Cuba Committee?
A. We couldn't find any.
Q. How did you evaluate Marina Oswald?
A. She certainly changed. I doubt
she knew anything beforehand.
The interview, which lasted only
about 30 minutes, was full of interruptions. But it
was clear to me that Boggs was not going to provide
any details, if he knew them. He was, if anything, proof
of McCloy's point about absentee commissioners.