Jerry P. Shinley Archive:Brief Review of Walker FBI Files
Brief Review of General Edwin Walker FBI Files
The following is more or less the text of a letter I sent to the ARRB a while back:
After reviewing the currently available FBI FOIA documents relating to former Major General Edwin Anderson Walker, I would like to call to the Board's attention the following documents which I feel should be designated as assassination related documents:
1. FBI HQ File 157-401, captioned "Desegregation of University of Mississippi; Racial Matters, Obstruction of Justice, Assault on a Federal Officer, Conspiracy." This file contains considerable information about the activities and associates of Major General Edwin Anderson Walker. The current FOIA release is heavily redacted. Serial 1556 of this file, contains the report of an informant that followers of Walker were "gathering arms and ammunition" to resist an "imminent communist take-over of the United States." Joseph P. Grinnan, who was investigated by the Warren Commission for his role in placing the "Welcome Mr. Kennedy to Dallas" advertisement, is described in an FBI memorandum dated April 10, 1964, in HQ file 105-82555, as a "volunteer aide for former General Edwin A. Walker" who was reported "to keep arms in his automobile" at the time of the Ole Miss incident. There may be additional information concerning this group in files captioned "Unnamed Organization of Dallas, Texas Patriots, IS-X" and "Ashland Frederick Burchwell, Switchblade Knife Act."
2. FBI HQ File 62-107261, captioned "Minutemen." Serials 283, 592, 638, 680, and 753 are reports from the Dallas Field Office relating to the activities of the armed group associated with Walker. They are all heavily redacted in the FOIA release. A Warren Commission Memorandum dated April 16, 1964, is a summary of an interview of ATF agent Frank Ellsworth. This document states that "an organization known as the Minute Men is the Right- Wing group in Dallas most likely to have been associated with any effort to assassinate the President. ... The Minute Men are closely tied to General Walker and H. L. Hunt." My understanding is that the FBI did not supply the information in this file to the Warren Commission despite a request from J. Lee Rankin dated May 20, 1964.
3. FBI HQ File 105-127050, caption withheld. Serial 4 from this file states that the subject of this file is known to be sympathetic to Walker and may be "engaged in some type of gun smuggling ... to assist Cuban exiles in raids against ... Cuba." There is also mention of the plane used to fly Walker to Mississippi in 1962.
4. FBI HQ File 2-1693, captioned GERALD PATRICK HEMMING: LORENZO HALL. Serial 82 of this file concerns a meeting of Hemming, Hall, and General Walker in March, 1963. Hemming and Hall are well- known for their anti-Castro activities and figure in various allegations about Lee Harvey Oswald.
5. FBI HQ File 157-758, captioned "Council for Statehood; aka Congress of Freedom." This file relates to a right-wing group determined "to eliminate by force if necessary all Jewish people in government." (Serial 10) Joseph Adams Milteer, whose threat against JFK is discussed in the HSCA report, pages 232 to 233, told the FBI he had attended the Congress of Freedom convention in New Orleans in April 1963. The FBI reports are mostly withheld, but two associates of General Walker, Arch Roberts and Clyde Watts, are identified as members of the Congress of Freedom.
6. Information concerning Ned Touchstone, the Citizens' Council of Louisiana, and the Original Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. An FBI memorandum dated April 17, 1964, serial 3581 of HQ File 105-82555, mentions an article in the March 15, 1964, edition of "the Councilor," a newspaper published by the Citizens' Councils of Louisiana. The article claimed that "the Councilor" had been requested by the Dallas District Attorney to conduct an investigation in New Orleans of alleged links between Ruby and Oswald. Ned Touchstone, editor of "The Councilor," and an associate of General Walker, is identified as a member of the Original Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. An FBI report dated July 12, 1965, serial 35 of HQ File 105-44536, concerns a Citizens' Council Rally held July 4 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Speakers at this rally included Walker, Touchstone, and Judge John Rarick. The report states that "a resolution was proposed at the rally to petition the Government of Louisiana to put up $25,000 for a fund to investigate and attempt to determine if any accomplices of Lee Harvey Oswald are still in Louisiana." Judge John Rarick's court was in Clinton, Louisiana, and on November 21, 1963, two of the witnesses, who later testified at the Clay Shaw trial about Lee Harvey Oswald's alleged activities in Jackson and Clinton, were in attendance in Judge Rarick's court. The two were Henry Earl Palmer and Reeves Morgan. (New Orleans Times-Picayune; November 22, 1963; Section 3, page 13) The connections among Rarick, the Clinton witnesses, Touchstone, and Walker call for careful examination. An additional factor is that the Original Knights of the Ku Klux Klan was organized in Shreveport, Louisiana, by a Dallas man, R. E. Davis. (NOTP; February 10, 1961; s3, p21) Davis' name turned in the FBI investigation of Joseph Milteer. Given the above, all FBI documents relating to Davis, Touchstone, the Original Knights, the Citizens' Council of Louisiana, "The Councilor," and Judge Rarick should be designated as assassination related records.
In addition, any Dallas Police and Army Intelligence records relating to Walker should be located. Consideration should be given to releasing all of the FBI's Walker related files.
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