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House Select Committee on Assassinations

The U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee on Assassinations was established in 1976 to investigate the John F. Kennedy assassination and the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr assassination. This was in part a followup to the Warren Commission, which had completed its report in 1964; this report had been criticized as not having adequately considered the possibility of a conspiracy to assassinate President Kennedy.

On the Kennedy assassination, the Committee concluded in its 1979 report that Kennedy was murdered by Lee Harvey Oswald, as a lone gunman, but that a second gunman probably fired at Kennedy (based on acoustical evidence) and that there was probably a conspiracy leading up to the assassination. The members of the conspiracy were not identified, but the committee noted that it believed that the conspiracy did not include the governments of the Soviet Union or Cuba, any organized crime group, any anti-Castro group, the FBI, the CIA, or the Secret Service. The Department of Justice, FBI, CIA, and the Warren Commission were all criticized for deficient job performance in their subsequent investigations, and the Secret Service was called deficient in their protection of the President.

On the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. assassination, the Committee concluded in its report that he was killed by one rifle shot from James Earl Ray, that "there is a likelihood" that this was the result of a conspiracy, and that no U.S. government agency was part of this conspiracy.

In particular, the various investigations performed by the U.S. government were faulted for insufficient consideration of the possibility of a conspiracy in each case. The Committee in its report also made recommendations for legislative and administrative improvements, including making some assassinations Federal crimes.

External Links

Report of the Select Committee on Assassinations of the U.S. House of Representatives