The public must be satisfied that Oswald was the assassin; that he did not have confederates who are still at large; and that the evidence was such that he would have been convicted at trial.Katzenbach explained the memo, and the general thinking among top administration officials in his testimony before the House Select Committee on Assassinations. Rather than calling for a coverup, the memo called for a full disclosure of the facts of the case. This is made clear in a passage the conspiracy books seldom quote:
It is important that all of the facts surrounding President Kennedy's Assassination be made public in a way which will satisfy people in the United States and abroad all that the facts have been told and a statement to this effect be made now.. . . and further:
I think this objective may be satisfied by making public as soon as possible a complete and thorough FBI report on Oswald and the assassination.. . . and finally:
I think, however, that a statement that all the facts will be made public property in an orderly and responsible way should be made now.If one assumes, as conspiracists do, that there was clear evidence of a conspiracy, and that Katzenbach knew there was such evidence, then the memo is the recipe for a coverup. The reality, however, is that Katzenbach like most of official Washington was convinced that Oswald had done it alone, but also convinced that theorizing about a conspiracy (especially a Communist conspiracy) harmed the national interest.
Listen and decide: is this conspiracy, or the workings of a pluralist democracy?
Absent a confession, and denied CIA information that shed light on Oswald's motives, the Commission staff decided that it could not ascribe to Oswald "any one motive or group of motives." The Report gave ample details about Oswald's political activities but in a detached, clinical manner. In the end, he was left to become Manchester's wretched waif, a callow non-entity trying to elbow his way into history by striking out at a President who had it all: looks, youth, and power. Not untrue perhaps, but it was a hollow explanation given Oswald's extreme politicization. As staff member (now Ohio state judge) Burt Griffin later remarked, "The fact that we could not come up with a motive for Oswald was a great weakness in the report."