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Rockefeller Commission Files


Now available for viewing and searching are highlights from the files of the President's Commission on CIA Activities Within the United States, usually called the "Rockefeller Commission" after its chairman, Nelson Rockefeller. Rockefeller was Vice-President in the administration of Gerald Ford, and the Commission was established in early 1975 in the wake of allegations that the CIA had been spying on Americans and abusing its authority in other ways.

The Rockefeller Commission, which was soon superseded by the Church Committee, is viewed by many as a "limited hangout." As an example of this, the files reveal that the Commission became aware of many of the details of the CIA plots to assassinate Fidel Castro, but did not publish them in its Report. The files even include internal discussion of the wisdom of withholding this information from the public.

The files are primarily devoted to the Rockefeller Commission's partial investigation of the JFK medical evidence, the Casto plots, and the allegation that Howard Hunt and Frank Sturgis were two of the three "tramps" arrested in Dealey Plaza. Of particular note is the testimony of Dr. Cyril Wecht and Dr. John Lattimer, interviews with Gen. Edward Lansdale, Fletcher Prouty, Sheffield Edwards, James O'Connell, the NPIC analysis of the Zapruder film, the transcript of a meeting of medical consultants, and a paper entitled The Withholding by the CIA of Evidence from the Warren Commission. The documents available on this site represent roughly 10% of the declassified Commission records available at the National Archives.

Also in the Rockefeller Commission collection are letters from private individuals including activist Ralph Shoenman.

Related to these are selected documents from the papers of Richard Cheney and the Pike Committee.

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