Never-before-seen personal documents and correspondence preserved for fifty years from my journal and collection of original Warren Commission documents. I have used these documents and my journal as a primary source in my book about the Warren Commission.

Warren Commission Documents: On Presidential Protection – Part 2

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Background: Warren Commission Communications with The Treasury Department on Presidential Protection

Chief Justice Warren considered the Warren Commissions evaluation of presidential protection – both past and forward looking – to be its most important assignment. This was not an easy task: the Department of the Treasury, which had responsibility for the Secret Service, did not wish to disclose to the Warren Commission its proposals for improving presidential protection in the future because of its concern that the commission might (deliberately or inadvertently) reveal this information to the public and thereby adversely affect the agency’s effectiveness.

 The extended negotiations regarding the commission’s investigation of presidential protection is evidenced by the Warren Commission Documents and began with an exchange of letters in December 1963. Shortly after I reported to work, the commission received from the Secret Service a report about the assassination.

The Next Steps: Warren Commission Staff Views on What Assurances Should Be Given to the Treasury Department

In the previous post on this subject, I posted Warren Commission Documents that showed the initial concerns and corresponding communication. This post will exhibit Warren Commission Documents that document the next phase in those communications.

Dillon and Warren met on February 4, 1964. The meeting was inconclusive and the commission staff was uncertain exactly how the chief justice wanted to respond to Secretary Dillon’s demands for assurances before confidential information was provided to the commission. As we worked on several draft responses to Secretary Dillon the staff became aware that the commission members had different views on the two most important issues in our dealings with Treasury: how much detained information the commission needed to make useful recommendations on presidential protection, and what advance assurances should be given to Treasury about the confidentiality of the material given to the commission.

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Howard Willens

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