TESTIMONY OF THE HON. DEAN RUSK, SECRETARY OF STATE beginning at 5H363...
The President's Commission reconvened at 3:30 p.m.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Secretary Dean Rusk, we wanted to ask you a few questions about this matter in any particular detail you wanted to answer. Mr. Rankin would you inform the Secretary the areas we intend to cover before we ask the questions.
Mr. RANKIN. Mr. Chief Justice, I think the particular area that we would be interested in with the Secretary is just as to whether, or his knowledge of whether there was any foreign political interest in the assassination of President Kennedy?
We have been getting the information in regard to other matters concerning the State Department from other of his associates and colleagues and employees of the Department, and we are going to complete that and it has been helpful to us and I think we can rather limit the inquiry to that area.
The CHAIRMAN. Yes; very well.
Mr. Secretary, would you rise and be sworn, please. Do you solemnly swear the testimony you are about to give before this Commission shall be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
Secretary RUSK. I do.
The CHAIRMAN. Will you be seated, please, and Mr. Rankin will ask you the questions, Mr. Secretary.
Secretary RUSK. Mr. Chief Justice, may I ask one question?
The CHAIRMAN. Yes, indeed.
Secretary RUSK. I would like to be just as helpful as possible to the Commission. I am not quite clear of testimony in terms of future publication. There may be certain points that arise where it might be helpful to the Commission for me to comment on certain points but there it would be a very grave difficulty about publication, so I wonder what the Commission's view on that is.
The CHAIRMAN. Well, Mr. Secretary, our purpose is to have available for the public all of the evidence that is given here. If there is any phase of it that you think might jeopardize the security of the Nation, have no hesitation in asking us to go off the record for a moment, and you can tell us what you wish.
Secretary RUSK. Thank you, sir, I am at your disposal.
Mr. DULLES. Mr. Chief Justice, could I make a suggestion in that connection?
The CHAIRMAN. Yes.
Mr. DULLES. Would it be feasible to have a discussion here of the points that are vital from the point of view of our record, and so forth, and maybe a little informal conversation afterward to cover the other points.
The CHAIRMAN. We will have a recess for a few moments then.
Mr. DULLES. I thought between the two wouldn't that be easier than put the two together.
(Discussion off the record.)
The CHAIRMAN. Back on the record.
Mr. RANKIN. Mr. Secretary, will you give us your name and address, please?
Secretary RUSK. Dean Rusk, 4980 Quebec Street, Washington, D.C.
Mr. RANKIN. And you are the Secretary of State for the United States?
Secretary RUSK. That is correct.
Mr. RANKIN. You have occupied that position for some time?
Secretary RUSK. Since January 22, 1961.
Mr. RANKIN. In that position you have become familiar with our foreign relations and the attitude and interest in some degree of other countries that we deal with?
Secretary RUSK. Yes; within the limitations of the possibilities, it is at least my task to be as familiar as possible with those things.
Mr. RANKIN. In your opinion, was there any substantial interest or interests of the Soviet Union which would have been advanced by the assassination of President Kennedy?
Secretary RUSK. I would first have to say on a question of that sort that it is
important to follow the evidence. It is very difficult to look into the minds of someone else, and know what is in someone else's mind.
I have seen no evidence that would indicate to me that the Soviet Union considered that it had an interest in the removal of President Kennedy or that it was in any way involved in the removal of President Kennedy. If I may elaborate just a moment.
Mr. RANKIN. If you will, please.
Secretary RUSK. As the Commission may remember, I was with several colleagues in a plane on the way to Japan at the time the assassination occurred. When we got the news we immediately turned back. After my mind was able to grasp the fact that this event had in fact occurred, which was the first necessity, and not an easy one, I then, on the plane, began to go over the dozens and dozens of implications and ramifications of this event as it affects our foreign relations all over the world.
I landed briefly in Hawaii on the way back to Washington, and gave some instructions to the Department about a number of these matters, and learned what the Department was already doing. But one of the great questions in my mind at that time was just that question, could some foreign government somehow be involved in such an episode.
I realized that were this so this would raise the gravest issues of war and peace, but that nevertheless it was important to try to get at the truth--to the answer to that question--wherever that truth might lead; and so when I got back to Washington I put myself immediately in touch with the processes of inquiry on that point, and as Secretary of State had the deepest possible interest in what the truthful answer to those questions would be, because it would be hard to think of anything more pregnant for our foreign relations than the correct answer to that question.
I have not seen or heard of any scrap of evidence indicating that the Soviet Union had any desire to eliminate President Kennedy nor in any way participated in any such event.
Now, standing back and trying to look at that question objectively despite the ideological differences between our two great systems, I can't see how it could be to the interest of the Soviet Union to make any such effort.
Since I have become Secretary of State I have seen no evidence of any policy of assassination of leaders of the free world on the part of the Soviets, and our intelligence community has not been able to furnish any evidence pointing in that direction.
I am sure that I would have known about such bits of evidence had they existed but I also made inquiry myself to see whether there was such evidence, and received a negative reply.
I do think that the Soviet Union, again objectively considered, has an interest in the correctness of state relations. This would be particularly true among the great powers, with which the major interests of the Soviet Union are directly engaged.
Mr. RANKIN. Could you expand on that a little bit so that others than those who deal in that area might understand fully what you mean?
Secretary RUSK. Yes; I think that although there are grave differences between the Communist world and the free world, between the Soviet Union and other major powers, that even from their point of view there needs to be some shape and form to international relations, that it is not in their interest to have this world structure dissolve into complete anarchy, that great states and particularly nuclear powers have to be in a position to deal with each other, to transact business with each other, to try to meet problems with each other, and that requires the maintenance of correct relations and access to the leadership on all sides.
I think also that although there had been grave differences between Chairman Khrushchev and President Kennedy, I think there were evidences of a certain mutual respect that had developed over some of the experiences, both good and bad, through which these two men had lived.
I think both of them were aware of the fact that any Chairman of the Soviet Union and any President of the United States necessarily bear somewhat special responsibility for the general peace of the world.
Indeed without exaggeration, one could almost say the existence of the Northern Hemisphere in this nuclear age.
So that it would be an act of rashness and madness for Soviet leaders to undertake such an action as an active policy. Because everything would have been put in jeopardy or at stake in connection with such an act.
It has not been our impression that madness has characterized the actions of the Soviet leadership in recent years.
I think also that it is relevant that people behind the Iron Curtain, including people in the Soviet Union and including officials in the Soviet Union, seemed to be deeply affected by the death of President Kennedy.
Their reactions were prompt, and I think genuine, of regret and sorrow. Mr. Khrushchev was the first to come to the Embassy to sign the book of condolences. There were tears in the streets of Moscow. Moscow Radio spent a great deal of attention to these matters.
Now they did come to premature conclusions, in my judgment, about what this event was and what it meant in terms of who might have been responsible for it--and ideological effect has crept into that.
But I had the impression that the regret was genuine and that the ordinary Soviet citizen joined with ordinary people in other parts of the world in feeling the loss of the President in a very genuine sense.
Mr. RANKIN. There has been some suggestion that possibly the leadership of the Soviet Union would not have been politically interested in the death of the President but possibly a distant wing of the Party might have been so involved. Can you give us any light on that, Mr. Secretary.
The CHAIRMAN. By suggestion you mean rumor?
Mr. RANKIN. In the newspapers, and things of that kind, rumor.
Secretary RUSK. I haven't been able to put a rational structure behind that possibility. If there are dissident elements their primary problem is within the Soviet Union.
If these dissident elements were aiming to change the present Government of the Soviet Union or its leadership or to return to an early range of policy by the elimination of present leadership or seizure of control, I don't quite see how the elimination of the President of the United States could contribute to that
I would also suppose that in their kind of system such elements would be under pretty close supervision and surveillance and they would have limited opportunities for the kind of action that would be organized in a way in this direction, although that is a matter of some speculation.
But, I would doubt very much that such dissident elements would have a motive or very much of an opportunity. Again, I have seen no evidence pointing in that direction.
Mr. RANKIN. How could you tell us in regard to Cuba in the same general way, your opinion and knowledge of any information or credible evidence?
Secretary RUSK. Well, I would again repeat that the overriding consideration is to make every possible effort to find evidence and follow the evidence to wherever it leads.
I think it is, at least for me, more difficult to try to enter into the minds of the present leadership in Cuba than, perhaps, even of the present leadership of the Soviet Union. We have had very few contacts, as the Commission knows, with the present Government of Cuba.
But again, I have seen no evidence that seems to point in that direction.
There were some exchanges, with which the Commission is familiar, that seemed to be---seemed to come to another conclusion. But I would think that objective considerations would mean that it would be even greater madness for Castro or his government to be involved in any such enterprise than almost for anyone else, because literally the issue of war and peace would mean the issue of the existence of his regime and perhaps of his country might have been involved in that question.
We were under the impression that there was very considerable concern in Cuba as to whether they would be held responsible and what the effect of that might be on their own position and their own safety.
But I have seen no evidence that points to involvement by them, and I don't
see objective facts which would seem to make it in their interests to remove Mr. Kennedy.
You see, this embarks upon, in any event it would embark upon, an unpredictable trail for them to go down this path, but I would think again the Commission would wish to examine the evidence as it has been doing with meticulous care and follow the evidence in these matters.
Mr. RANKIN. After the assassination, did you have direct communications with Ambassador Thomas Mann while he was still Ambassador at Mexico?
Secretary RUSK. Yes; we had a number of exchanges with Ambassador Mann connected with the presence in Mexico of Mr. Oswald.
I say those messages, and over a period of some days had daily consultations about them with our Deputy Under Secretary for Political Affairs, Mr. U. Alexis Johnson. Mr. Johnson is my principal representative in our dealings with the various intelligence and security agencies of the government and with the Pentagon, and he has an office very near mine on the seventh floor of the Department of State.
These exchanges raised questions of the most far-reaching character involving the possibility of the implications of another government, and so I had a very deep personal interest in that at the time.
Our principal concern was to be sure that the FBI and the CIA who were the principal agencies investigating this matter would have every possible facility at their disposal, and would--and that our Ambassador would be given the fullest support from us in facilitating the investigation at the Mexican end.
So I was for a period, until this particular trail ran its course, very much involved in those exchanges.
Mr. RANKIN. Do you have any commentary that you want to make about those exchanges other than what you have given us?
Secretary RUSK. I think not, sir. I think that the materials, the information developed in those exchanges are before the Commission, and I believe the Commission has had a chance to inquire into them both as I understand both here and in Mexico with the appropriate agencies and I would think that the Commission's conclusions on that would be more valuable than mine because I have not put together all the pieces to draw finished conclusions from them.
Mr. RANKIN. One of the Commissioners saw a newspaper story shortly after the assassination saying "The Voice of America beaming its message into Russia immediately blamed the reactionary rightwing movements after Kennedy's death."
Do you know anything about that matter or what the source of it might have been?
Secretary RUSK. No; I have not anticipated that question so that I could have a chance to investigate it, but I will, if I may, Mr. Chief Justice, file a report with the Commission on that point.
I can say now that there was never any policy guidance from the Department of State or from the leadership of the Voice of America suggesting that any broadcasters take that line.
It is possible, and this is purely speculative at the moment, that the Voice of America in repeating a great many news accounts, as it frequently does in its overseas broadcasts, may have repeated some news accounts from this country, among which might have been a story to that effect from one source or another, but I would like if I may, sir, an opportunity to investigate that point and make a report to the Commission.
The CHAIRMAN. You may do that, Mr. Secretary.
Representative FORD. May I ask a question? Have we received in the Commission all of the Voice of America broadcasts that were made over a period of 2 to 7 days involved in this incident?
Mr. RANKIN. I don't know of any.
Representative FORD. I think the Commission ought to have them for our own analysis as well as the analysis of the Secretary of State.
Mr. RANKIN. Is that under your jurisdiction?
Secretary RUSK. Yes; indeed I could provide that.
Mr. RANKIN. If you will, please.
Secretary RUSK. The Commission might also be interested in either digests or the fuller materials on world reactions to the President's assassination.
I have here, for example, a daily summary of the 26th of November 1963, on foreign radio and press reaction which gives some interesting treatment about this behind the Iron Curtain.
I would be happy to furnish the Commission with any material of that sort which you might wish.
Mr. RANKIN. We would appreciate having that.
The CHAIRMAN. Very well, thank you, Mr. Secretary.
Representative FORD. Would that include the Voice of Moscow or whatever they call it over there?
Secretary RUSK. Yes, sir.
Representative FORD. From the outset of the events that took place?
Secretary RUSK. Yes, sir; you might just wish to look at the first two or three paragraphs here to get a sample of the kind of summary that that involves.
Mr. DULLES. Was that prepared in the Department or by the Foreign Broadcast Information Service?
Secretary RUSK. This particular one is from the Foreign Broadcast Information Service. We also have another one. We also have another one from within the Department which is also, available in terms.
Representative FORD. I think it would be useful to have both for a period of about a week or so. I realize this is a summary covering several days. I think I saw that at the time.
Mr. RANKIN. There was another statement in the paper apparently purporting to be official that one of the Commissioners asked me to ask about and that was the Washington Post, Sunday, November 24, 1963, which was quoted by the Commissioner as, "Today in Washington State Department officials said they have no evidence indicating involvement of any foreign power in the assassination."
Do you know anything about that or can you give us any information?
Secretary RUSK. That was the view which we took at the time in consultation with the investigative agencies. We did not then have evidence of that sort nor do we now, and the implications of suggesting evidence in the absence of evidence would have been enormous.
Representative FORD. I don't understand that.
Secretary RUSK. Well, for us to leave the impression that we had evidence that we could not describe or discuss, when in fact we didn't have the evidence on a matter of such overriding importance could have created a very dangerous situation in terms of----
Representative FORD. Wouldn't it have been just as effective to say no comment?
Secretary RUSK. Well, unfortunately, under the practices of the press, no comment would have been taken to confirm that there was evidence. I mean, that would have been the interpretation that many would have put upon no comment.
But, Mr. Ford, I think the key thing is that at the time that statement was made we did not have such evidence. I mean, this was a factual statement at that time.
Representative FORD. But, at that time, this was 2 days after the assassination, you really didn't have much time to evaluate all of the evidence.
Secretary RUSK. Well, that is correct. But if the evidence or the known facts had changed certainly that type of statement would have changed.
In other words, such statements are based upon the situation as known at the time the statements are made.
Representative FORD. This statement then appeared in the Sunday morning, November 24 issue or edition of the Washington Post. That was a statement issued certainly on the 23d of November because it had to be in order to get in the Sunday edition of the Post. So, that is 24 hours after the assassination.
Secretary RUSK. That is correct, sir, and this statement was made on the basis of such information as was available to us in the first 24 hours.
Mr. RANKIN. I was also asked to inquire whether that was an official statement
if under your responsibility or if you could tell me who would be responsible for it?
Secretary RUSK. Well, I would have to check the actual source of the statement. But I would have no present doubt that it was an officer of the Department who was authorized to make that and for which I would be fully responsible.
Mr. RANKIN. That is all I have.
Mr. DULLES. Could I ask a question in connection with that?
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Dulles.
Mr. DULLES. There was some evidence presented here quite recently when the district attorney of Dallas was here with regard to a message from Washington, from the White House to the attorney general of Texas, who was also here the other day before the Commission, on this point: A rumor had reached Washington that in preparing the indictment there, they were going to put in some reference to an international conspiracy. As a matter of fact, when that was run down it was not a correct rumor. But when that reached Washington, the reaction was rather strong and I think entirely understandable, and word went back to Dallas from high quarters that that should not, hoped that that would not be included in the legal proceedings and papers that were filed in connection with the assassination of the President and charging----
Mr. RANKIN. Unless there was evidence to support it.
Mr. DULLES. Unless there was evidence to support it. And the district attorney, who was here, testified that he had never considered adding that into it, putting that in the proceedings because if you put it in you had to prove it, and it is not necessary at all. All you need to do is allege a murder with intent, and so forth, and so on. So that that was all pretty well cleared up.
Mr. DULLES. Did that ever reach your attention, did you know anything about that?
Secretary RUSK. I don't personally recall that particular message. I do recall--
Mr. DULLES. That took place, I think before you got back, because that took place on the evening of the 22d.
Secretary RUSK. I didn't arrive until----
Mr. DULLES. You didn't get back until the 23d?
Secretary RUSK. Until the early morning of the 23d.
Mr. DULLES. Yes.
Secretary RUSK. I do recall being concerned if several different authorities and agencies undertook investigations that would cut across each other's bow or make it difficult to elicit the cooperation of people outside the United States whose cooperation we might need in matters of that sort, I felt myself at that time there ought to be a complete and absolutely thorough investigation by the most responsible authorities and I was glad to see that brought into some order at the time but I don't remember the particular message you are talking about.
Representative FORD. Could you check to see if somebody in the Department of State made such a call or made such a contact?
Secretary RUSK. Yes; I will be be glad to.
Representative FORD. And if so so report it for the proceedings?
Secretary RUSK. Yes, indeed; I will be glad to.
Mr. CHAYES. I may be able to supply some information to the Commission on this point because during the night of the 22d when we were examining the data in my office, the files, I did receive a call from Mr. Katzenbach who said that they had heard at the Justice Department, that there was a possibility that this kind of an element would get into the indictment, and said that--I can't remember the exact words that he used--but he conveyed to me that he regarded this as not very good, in the absence of evidence to support it, and said that he was seeking to have Mr. Saunders, who is the U.S. attorney in Dallas, admitted to the councils of the State officials there so that they could discuss these matters as time went on. And that he would try to, I don't know exactly again what he said, but that he would try to see that in the absence of evidence no such allegation was made in the indictment.
I didn't in any sense authorize, and I certainly couldn't direct him to do
anything of this kind but my recollection of my reaction is that I acquiesced fully in what he was proposing to do, and raised no objection to it.
I think at sometime during that evening I reported this conversation to Mr. Ball. I am less clear about this part of the recollection, but I think I did report the conversation to Mr. Ball, much in the same way as I am reporting it to you, and he saw no objection either.
I think that is the entire State Department side of that particular transaction.
Representative FORD. Would you check, however, Mr. Secretary, to see if there is anything further in this regard?
Secretary RUSK. Yes; I will.
Representative FORD. Do I understand that you or somebody for you is to summarize the USIA Voice of America broadcast that went out for the first 3 or 4 days subsequent to the assassination and that would be submitted for the record?
Secretary RUSK. Yes, indeed. And we can, of course, have available to the Commission such tapes or transcripts as we have of all those broadcasts in full, but I think we can start with the summary and then you can have the other materials if you wish to follow up particular points.
Representative FORD. Would they be voluminous, the originals?
Secretary RUSK. I would think they would be fairly voluminous, but not unmanageably so.
Representative FORD. I would say for at least the first 24 hours it might be well to have the full text of the USIA Voice of America material that was sent out.
Secretary RUSK. Right.
Representative FORD. Do I also understand for the record that we are to have this or others like it showing what the press reaction was throughout the world?
Secretary RUSK. Yes, sir.
Now, the Foreign Broadcast Information Service material would be much more voluminous because there we are receiving broadcasts in the clear from most broadcasting countries. But we will be in touch with your staff to show them everything that we have, and they can have any part of it they wish or we will be glad to give any help in terms of digesting or summarizing.
Mr. RANKIN. We have been furnished some information, considerable information, about the attitude of the foreign press as it was recited and has come to the attention of the people from time to time, but I don't believe we have right close, the Voice of America we don't have right close to the date of the assassination.
The CHAIRMAN. I read a sizable file on that that came from the State Department and very early in the life of the Commission that seemed to encompass all of the statements that were made around the world at that time.
Secretary RUSK. Yes.
Representative FORD. This document which you handed me, Mr. Secretary, is for Tuesday, 26 November 1963. Are these done on a daily basis?
Secretary RUSK. I think that one was a summary of the first 2 or 3 days, but I would----
Mr. DULLES. Summaries are done from time to time and there are daily reports from Foreign Broadcasting Information Service covering the Soviet Union and the satellites and another volume covering China and southeast Asia, and so forth and so on.
Mr. RANKIN. Mr. Secretary, could you give us a brief description of that, we have been calling it this and these.
Secretary RUSK. Yes; this is a daily report or rather a supplement to the daily report put out by the Foreign Broadcast Information Service in what is called its world reaction series.
This apparently is a supplement to the foreign radio and press reaction to the death of President Kennedy, and the accession of President Johnson, prepared on 26 November 1963.
This is a daily report, the subject matter of which varies from day to day, but I will be glad to draw together not only such digests as we have, but also to see what we have retained in terms of the actual broadcasts from other countries
so that although it may be voluminous it might have some material of interest to the Commission or its staff.
Representative FORD. I think it would be particularly pertinent as far as the Soviet Union or any of the bloc countries or Cuba, anything in this area that could be pulled together and included in the record, which I think wound be very helpful.
Secretary RUSK. All right, sir.
Representative FORD. I have the recollection that some people have alleged that Castro either prior to or subsequent to the assassination, made some very inflammatory speech involving President Kennedy. Do you have any recollection of that?
Secretary RUSK. I don't have a recollection of a speech specially related to time. He has made more than his share of inflammatory speeches about this country and its leaders. But I will be glad to furnish the Commission a schedule of his speeches, and the character of these speeches and the texts if we have them during this period.
Representative FORD. There was one that I vaguely recall, either prior to or subsequent to the assassination that some people construed to be directed specifically at President Kennedy, and I think if there was such a speech that the Commission ought to have it and it ought to be analyzed by the staff and by the Commission.
Secretary RUSK. We will be very glad to look into that and furnish you with speeches made during this period or during a substantial part of the period on both sides of the November 22 date.
I gather the Commission has Mr. Danielle's interview with Mr. Castro on the subject. You have the published report of that.
Mr. DULLES. Was that the long interview with Castro?
Secretary RUSK. Yes; that was as close to any reflection of a thing that he might have said personally about this that went beyond the kind of broadcast speeches you referred to that I have seen, but----
Mr. DULLES. Do you have that available?
Secretary RUSK. We certainly can get it.
Mr. DULLES. It was in the press I guess at the time. Maybe you have a fuller copy than we have.
Secretary RUSK. Yes; it was a rather extensive interview.
Mr. CHAYES. I think the staff has it already.
Secretary RUSK. I see.
Mr. RANKIN. I think Commissioner Ford is referring to that speech of Mr. Castro which is sometimes called the slip-of-the-tongue speech that referred in a way that may have some implications in it. I think that might help you to identify it, Mr. Secretary.
Secretary RUSK. It might be well for me, just to complete the sense of the atmosphere, to accompany that with the timing and the nature of statements and speeches that were being made on our side as a part of this continuing rather acrimonious discourse with Cuban leadership. But I will provide full information on this.
Mr. RANKIN. We would appreciate it so it would give a complete picture.
Secretary RUSK. Yes.
Representative FORD. Do I understand now, Mr. Rankin, that what the Secretary provides will be put in the record as exhibits?
Mr. RANKIN. Mr. Chairman, I would like to offer to do that if that is satisfactory, as a part of this record.
The CHAIRMAN. Yes, sir; it might be admitted.
Representative FORD. There is one question that I think ought to be cleared up, you mentioned Mr. Mann who was our Ambassador at Mexico at that time. The way the record stands now it could be construed by somebody who wanted to so construe it that the country in which he served us was involved in what he was reporting. I think it ought to be made clear that is not the case.
Secretary RUSK. That is absolutely correct, sir. We never had the slightest view that Mexico was involved in this. The problem, the question arose because Mr. Oswald had been in Mexico, and was known to have been in touch with some
Cubans at the Cuban Embassy in Mexico. But the Mexican authorities gave us complete and the most helpful cooperation in full investigation of this matter.
The CHAIRMAN. Are there any further questions? Mr. Dulles.
Mr. DULLES. Had you finished?
Mr. RANKIN. Yes; I have.
(Discussion off the record.)
The CHAIRMAN. Are we ready to go back on the record?
All right, the Commission will be in order.
Mr. RANKIN. Mr. Chief Justice, I should like to offer in evidence at this point Commission Exhibit No. 984 being the communication from yourself as Chairman of the Commission to the Secretary of State, dated March 11, 1964, and the Note Verbale in regard to the inquiries of the Soviet Union.
And Commission Exhibit No. 985 being the responses of the Soviet Union, including all of the medical as well as all other responses together with the transmittal letters from the Soviet Union and from the State Department.
The CHAIRMAN. They may be admitted under those numbers.
(Commission Exhibits Nos. 984 and 985 were marked for identification and received in evidence.)
Mr. RANKIN. I would like to assign, Mr. Chief Justice, Commission Exhibit No. 986, if I may, to those prior communications from the files of the Soviet Embassy in Washington that were furnished to us by the State Department.
The CHAIRMAN. They may be admitted under that number.
(Commission Exhibit No. 986 was marked for identification and received in evidence.)
Mr. RANKIN. Commission Exhibit No. 986 will be the copies of the records from the Soviet Embassy in Washington that were supplied to the Commission earlier by the State Department as a part of the records that were furnished to us by the State Department.
The CHAIRMAN. Those were the ones that were voluntarily offered by the Russians before any request was made of them?
Mr. RANKIN. Yes, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. They may be admitted under that number.
Mr. RANKIN. Mr. Secretary, will you tell us whether you know of any credible evidence to show or establish or tending to show any conspiracy either domestic or foreign involved in the assassination of President Kennedy?
Secretary RUSK. No; I have no evidence that would point in that direction or to lead me to a conclusion that such a conspiracy existed.
Mr. RANKIN. That is all I have.
The CHAIRMAN. Are there any further questions, gentlemen? If not, thank you very much, Mr. Secretary.
Secretary RUSK. Thank you very much, Mr. Chief Justice and gentlemen.