(CNSNews.com) - In an interview with Tom Brokaw of NBC, Secretary of State John Kerry said he has “serious doubts” that Lee Harvey Oswald, who assassinated President John F. Kennedy, acted alone.
The Warren Commission, which investigated the assassination, came to the opposite conclusion. The commission did suggest, however, that Oswald’s motive for murdering Kennedy might have arisen from Oswald’s “avowed commitment to Marxism and communism.”
“Where do you come down on the conspiracy theories?” Brokaw asked Kerry in a clip from the interview that was broadcast on CNN’s “Situation Room” on Friday.
“To this day, I have serious doubts that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone,” said Kerry.
“Really,” said Brokaw.
“I certainly have doubts that he was, that he was motivated by himself,” said Kerry. “I'm not sure if anybody else was involved. I don't go down that road with respect to the grassy knoll theory and all of that. But I have serious questions about whether they got to the bottom of Lee Harvey Oswald's time and influence from Cuba and Russia.”
Brokaw followed up: “And what about the CIA? There are some who believe— ”
“I have never gone there,” said Kerry. “No. I don't believe that.”
Asked Brokaw: “But you think the Russians and the Cubans may have had something to do with it?”
“I think he was inspired somewhere by something and I don't know what or any, I can't pin anything down on that, Tom,” said Kerry. “And I never spent a lot of time--”
“More than a dotted line, do you think?” asked Brokaw.
“Beg your pardon?” said Kerry.
“Do you think it was more than a dotted line?” asked Brokaw.
“I'm not going to speculate now,” said Kerry. “I just say to you that's my belief. And I'm not even into trying to document it or anything else.”
After playing this clip, CNN correspondent Brian Todd told host Brianna Keilar: “Now you'll notice there he was a little bit contradictory saying he has doubts that Oswald acted alone but then saying he was not sure if anyone else was involved. We have tried but not been able to get any response from the State Department to Kerry's remarks, Brianna, not that they would have to respond. It's his opinion. No big deal. But it was kind of surprising.”
“It is amazing, though,” said Keilar. “And also you kind of get the sense that maybe he started talking about it, then realized whoa, I realized, I realized the road I'm going down here.”
“He clearly pulled back a little bit,” said Todd.
On Sunday, Kerry appeared on “Meet the Press,” the same network—NBC—for whom Brokaw did the Kerry interview.
"Meet the Press" host David Gregory asked Kerry about Kerry's statement to Brokaw that he had “serious doubts” that Oswald acted alone. “Would you care to elaborate,” Gregory asked.
“No. I just have a point of view,” said Kerry. “And I`m not going to get into that. It`s not something that I think needs to be commented on and certainly not at this time.”
“Do you think the conspiracy theory is his involvement with Russia a motivation from the Soviet Union or Cuba are valid at some level?” asked Gregory.
“David, I`m not going to go into it,” said Kerry. “It’s just inappropriate and I’m not going to do more than say that it’s a point of view that I have, but it`s not ripe or worthy or appropriate for me to comment further.”
“All right, Mr. Secretary,” said Gregory. “We thank you for your time very much.”
A week after President Kennedy was assassinated on Nov. 22, 1963, President Lyndon Johnson named a seven-member commission—“The President’s Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy”—to investigate his predecessor’s murder. The committee was headed by Chief Justice Earl Warren. It also included Democratic Sen. Richard Russell of Georgia, Republican Sen. John Sherman Cooper of Kentucky, Democratic Rep. Hale Boggs of Louisiana, Republican Rep. Gerald Ford of Michigan, former CIA Director Allan Dulles, and World Bank President John McCloy. One of its assistant counsels was future Sen. Arlen Specter.
The commission submitted its report on Sept. 24, 1964, saying that it had found no evidence of a conspiracy and concluding that Oswald had acted alone.
“In its entire investigation the Commission has found no evidence of conspiracy, subversion, or disloyalty to the U.S. Government by any Federal, State, or local official,” said the commission report.
“On the basis of the evidence before the Commission it concludes that Oswald acted alone,” said the report.
“Therefore, to determine the motives for the assassination of President Kennedy, one must look to the assassin himself,” said the report. “Clues to Oswald's motives can be found in his family history, his education or lack of it, his acts, his writings, and the recollections of those who had close contacts with him throughout his life.”
“The Commission could not make any definitive determination of Oswald's motives,” said the report. “It has endeavored to isolate factors which contributed to his character and which might have influenced his decision to assassinate President Kennedy.”
Among these, the report said, were: “His avowed commitment to Marxism and communism, as he understood the terms and developed his own interpretation of them; this was expressed by his antagonism toward the United States, by his defection to the Soviet Union, by his failure to be reconciled with life in the United States even after his disenchantment with the Soviet Union, and by his efforts, though frustrated, to go to Cuba."