Final Discussion

Of the Assassination Records Review Board -- 4/2/97
8 We have one item of housekeeping that we have

9 to take care of at this public meeting. We have

10 minutes from a meeting we held on October 16, 1996,

11 that have been distributed to all board members.

12 MR. JOYCE: Motion.


14 MS. NELSON: Second.

15 JUDGE TUNHEIM: Moved and seconded that the

16 minutes be approved. All in favor?

17 (Chorus of ayes.)

18 JUDGE TUNHEIM: Opposed?

19 (No response.)

20 JUDGE TUNHEIM: It is carried on a unanimous

21 vote.

22 MR. MARWELL: One other housekeeping matter,


1 the vote to close portions of the next meeting on April

2 23 and 24 --

3 JUDGE TUNHEIM: For purposes of reviewing

4 classified material?

5 MR. JOYCE: So moved.


7 MR. HALL: Second.

8 JUDGE TUNHEIM: All those opposed?

9 (No response.)

10 JUDGE TUNHEIM: That motion is carried.

11 Further, we heard from Mr. Gunn earlier that

12 there are aspects of this decision that are before the

13 board relative to the camera-original film that can be

14 debated in public, and aspects of it that cannot. Now

15 is the appropriate time for additional discussion or

16 debate, or course of action that people would like to

17 pursue. Comment?

18 MS. NELSON: I am somewhat mystified by the

19 interpretation of the Nixon Papers Act that compensated

20 him. I was sitting here trying to remember that, but I

21 seem to recall -- in fact, there is Steve Tilley.

22 Maybe he can help us out. I seem to remember there was


1 no compensation, and instead, the seperation of the

2 public and the private papers. Perhaps we can ask

3 Mr.--

4 JUDGE TUNHEIM: Steve, there is a question

5 that has arisen. You may or may not have the answer.

6 MS. NELSON: A law professor from GW raised

7 the issue of compensation -- we were talking about

8 anything comparable to what we are trying to decide now

9 with the Zapruder film and he raised the question of

10 the Nixon Act, that in fact there was -- the part of it

11 that gave compensation to Nixon. I can't remember

12 that. We didn't finally compensate him?

13 MR. TILLEY: Yes, the Court of Appeals ruled

14 that there was compensation required under the PRMPA.

15 Whether the compensation has taken place or not, I

16 don't know.

17 MS. NELSON: I have never seen that, in fact,

18 he was compensated. The big debate has been over the

19 issue of what were his personal papers and what were

20 the public papers and I have never seen --

21 MR. TILLEY: The ultimate decision was that

22 for his personal papers, he was to be a compensated.


1 That was a taking of private papers for public use.

2 There was compensation to him and the court found that

3 the Act permitted that compensation.

4 There is another example in this particular

5 area where Congress passed a law in 1965 to provide

6 compensation for certain parts of the assassination

7 evidence that had been collected, to provide

8 compensation to, for example, Marina Oswald for the

9 articles that had been seized by the Congress.

10 Congress has enacted specific laws that would address

11 this. In the Nixon papers, I believe, it was found by

12 the Court that the Act effected the taking of private

13 property for public use.

14 MS. NELSON: Then the decision had to be made

15 as to what is private property, what on the tapes were

16 private, and what was public. So maybe the decision

17 has been deferred.

18 MR. GRAFF: Has the sum of money been decided

19 upon and paid and made public?

20 MR. TILLEY: I don't believe the actual

21 compensation has taken place.

22 MR. GRAFF: Even though the taking occurred


1 several years ago.

2 MR. TILLEY: The compensation case was one of

4 certainly the Nixon materials, and there was a ruling

5 that said there must be compensation but I don't

6 believe there has been a completion of that suit yet.

7 Our legal counsel would actually be the best people

8 that the board could address that question to.

9 JUDGE TUNHEIM: Further comments? We

10 unfortunately don't have a lot of time this afternoon

11 due to travel schedules to engage in a lengthy debate.

12 Mr. Hall?

13 MR. HALL: I want to compliment David Marwell

14 and Jeremy and in essence the entire staff. I think

15 this has turned out to be one of our most productive

16 and enlightening public hearings. I think the scope of

17 the range and the sophistication that people were

18 willing to bring to the issues that were presented will

19 in fact be quite helpful to us. It certainly

20 reinforces in my mind the importance again of making

21 sure that the historical field of play is in fact one

22 that is level and balanced and that all subjects to


1 come will have the same opportunity as those who have

2 come before.

3 I think we as a group ought to be pretty

4 close to being able to reach a decision on this matter

5 and at some point I will hopefully make a motion to my

6 fellow board members, if my fellow board members felt

7 it appropriate to come up with an answer to the

8 question that is before us at our next meeting.

9 JUDGE TUNHEIM: I think we certainly can --

10 we certainly will have the information available to us

11 by then, the information from today's hearing, from the

12 public record being kept open for the next several

13 weeks for additional testimony to come in. So I would

14 think that is an appropriate motion to make.

15 MR. HALL: Let me then make the motion, and

16 the motion would be that the board as a matter of

17 practice on this issue will search -- reach or take a

18 decision at its next meeting with regard to the issue

19 of the Zapruder film as it has been presented to us.

20 MR. JOYCE: Second.

21 JUDGE TUNHEIM: Moved and seconded that the

22 motion be -- that the decision be made at the next


1 regularly scheduled meeting of the board. Is there

2 further discussion on that matter?

3 Hearing none, all in favor of the motion say

4 aye.

5 (No response.)


7 (No response.)

8 JUDGE TUNHEIM: It is carried on a unanimous

9 vote. Anything further that we should be reviewing

10 this afternoon, Dr. Marwell?

11 MR. MARWELL: Should I take it from that

12 motion that we should schedule an open meeting at the

13 next --

14 JUDGE TUNHEIM: We should assume there is

15 time before the 23rd or the 24th?

16 MR. HALL: I think today has certainly

17 demonstrated the great value of bringing, as our

18 general counsel has so ably presented to us, the light

19 of public interest to bear on an issue of such

20 significance. And in making that decision, I think we

21 all recognize and understand the importantance of

22 publicly stating our positions.


1 MR. MARWELL: Is there anything we can do to

2 help you along the way, additional testimony or

3 evidence from the public?

4 MR. JOYCE: What will be the process with

5 regard to the additional testimony that comes in

6 between now and then?

7 MR. MARWELL: We will collect it and

8 distribute it as it arrives. I think that is the best

9 way, to collect a --

10 JUDGE TUNHEIM: Will the transcript of this

11 hearing be available?

12 MR. MARWELL: Yes. We will distribute that

13 as well.

14 MS. NELSON: I would suggest that we might

15 ask someone in the legal section of the Archives, like

16 Miriam Nisbet, about the Nixon case. I keep raising

17 this because I am not sure it is a very good example

18 for us. I don't know that it is comparable.

19 MR. MARWELL: I think his point is that where

20 the taking power was explicitly stated in the Act.

21 MR. GUNN: We can get the information from

22 the Archives about that.


1 MR. GRAFF: I suppose that this company knows

2 that C-Span was recording, that this was of particular

3 interest nationally, and one of the important reasons

4 why Judge Tunheim offered the address at the end was

5 that people everywhere in the country will, whatever

6 hour of the day or night, will hear the invitation. I

7 know it will please Ms. Conway too, in light of the

8 intensity with which she spoke.

9 JUDGE TUNHEIM: We didn't give them your

10 e-mail address.

11 MR. GRAFF: Thank you.

12 JUDGE TUNHEIM: Anything further to come

13 before the board today?

14 Mr. Gunn, anything further you have for us?

15 Is there a motion for us to adjourn?

16 MS. NELSON: So moved.


18 MR. JOYCE: Second.

19 (Whereupon, at 3:55 p.m., the hearing was

20 adjourned.)

21 - - -


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