The Curse of Cock Robin

                         Image from page 7 of "The Death and Burial of Cock Robin"

                         Image from page 7 of "The Death and Burial of Cock Robin"

The tale of Cock Robin emerges from within the history of European folklore. A nursery rhyme mourns a heroic figure felled by an unlikely lone sparrow. Some assert it regards the political demise of an English politician and his government. Others have claimed it was a modern version of the Norse tale of the god Baldur's death at the hands of a blind sibling, and some note a resemblance to a Celtic hero murdered by an improbable assassin. The moniker was quietly affixed to John F. Kennedy in a private meeting of the President's Commission. 

Commissioner John J. McCloy regarded the various evidentiary presumptions of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and remarked, "Yes, 'We (the FBI) know who killed Cock Robin'. That is the point." Commission Lead Counsel Rankin subsequently offers the Bureau has "...decided the case, and we are going to have maybe a thousand further inquiries that we say the Commission has to know all these things before it can pass on this. And I think their reaction probably would be, 'Why do you want all that. It is clear'..." Senator Russell mocks the FBI replying "You have our statement what else do you need?" Commissioner McCloy states, "It isn't only who killed cock robin (sic). Under the terms of reference we have to go beyond that."i   

Increasingly clear is J. Edgar Hoover's commitment to securing his preselected agendas surrounding the assassination. Hoover already had begun two reports blaming Oswald alone within seventy-two hours of the crime.ii His judgment occurred before the Commission existed. Hoover states "...the report on the assassination was practically completed." He alludes everything could be complete by the next week. Each unfortunate claim is highly improbable, and based on less than substantial evidence.iii J. Edgar Hoover began the investigative process by coming to a precipitous conclusion.

One can observe within Hoover's actions a consistent denial of the normal legal process. The FBI's intervention proceeds despite lacking jurisdiction,iv Hoover stance toward the President's Commission becomes adversarial.v After officials released the Commission Report, Hoover gathers derogatory information on every Commissioner.vi Hoover disregarded the legal process when it did not serve his purposes. From the moment of the Commission's establishment, the leader of its investigative force undermined it. Brazen investigative dysfunction mars the entire Commission investigation. 

J. Edgar Hoover fails to mention he canceled the security flash on Lee Harvey Oswald October 9, 1963.vii Yet he sends CIA Deputy Director of Plans Richard Helms files regarding Oswald for his information November 8, 1963.viii Senate investigators determined "Rather than addressing its investigation to all significant circumstances, including all the possibilities of conspiracy, the FBI investigation narrowly focused on Lee Harvey Oswald." "...The committee further concluded that the critical early period of the FBI's investigation was conducted in an atmosphere of considerable haste and pressure from Hoover to conclude the investigation in an unreasonably short period of time."ix In the rush of Hoover's forced investigation mistakes were predictable.
 
"The committee also noted that Hoover's personal predisposition that Oswald had been a lone assassin affected the course of the investigation, adding to the momentum to conclude the investigation after limited consideration of the possible conspiratorial areas. While Hoover continued to press conspiracy leads, his apparent attitude was reflected in a telephone conversation with President Johnson...Hoover said: The thing I am most concerned about...is having something issued so we can convince the public Oswald is the real assassin."x 
 
Hoover not only manipulated the investigation to fit a predetermined conclusion but additionally "...the FBI failed to cooperate fully with the Warren Commission. The Committee found the Bureau's relationship with the Commission to have been distinctly adversarial and that there were limited areas in which the FBI did not provide complete information to the Commission and in other areas in which the Bureau's information was misleading." The Senate Select Committee also notes the Bureau had suppressed and destroyed evidence.xi  

The Bureau investigation was obviously deficient and no reasonable investigation could adjudicate this matter before due legal process. Before the officially acknowledged investigation had begun, the Bureau's leader had already come to a judgment. He sought to supplant many of the President's Commission findings. Conflicts of interest doomed the investigation to failure at worst and incomplete findings at best. Neither serves as conclusive.
  
Was it merely Hoover's ego? Feasibly the Bureau suppressions did not merely serve to protect outside concerns but incompetence and disregarded foreknowledge of Oswald's activities. Within the murky agendas of J. Edgar Hoover, the line between legality and nefarious action is frequently crossed. A landscape of grey programs marked with veins of darker intention. Hoover's legacy is unanswered questions and deceptions offered to the public and eminent officials themselves.
Sincerely,
C. A. A. Savastano
TPAAK Facebook

References:
i. President's Commission Executive Session, January 27, 1964, pp. 33-34
ii. Federal Bureau of Investigation memo, J. Edgar Hoover regarding a Presidential Commission discussion with Nicholas Katzenbach, November 25, 1963, Harold Weisberg Archives, jfk.hood.edu
iii. FBI memo, J.E.H. regarding a Presidential Commission with N. Katzenbach
iv. FBI Memo, FBI HQ File 62-109060, Author William Manchester appointment and interview with J. Edgar Hoover, June 4, 1964
v. Senate Select Committee to Study Intelligence Activities, Book V: The Investigation of the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy, Performance of Intelligence Agencies, p. 5
vi. Ibid

vii. HSCA, Administration Folder Q-10, Oswald File Xerox, FBI Cable 327 925 D,  October 6, 1964
viii. HSCA, Segregated CIA file, Report on Lee Harvey Oswald about his arrest, affiliation with Fair Pla, Box 7, November 8, 1963  
ix. HSCA Report, Section 3, The FBI performed with varying degrees of competency..., p. 244
x. Ibid
xi. Ibid, pp. 244-245

Related articles and evidence:

A Flawed Investigation
Assign blame where it is verifiably due 
FBI loyalties in the CIA