Testimony of Kenneth Smith

Dallas, Texas -- November 18, 1994 Hearing

MR. SMITH: To follow-up here real quick, my name is Kenneth Smith, and I had the privilege of just stopping up in Washington in-between assignments and looking at Mr. Oswald's file which was very difficult to locate being it was in a boxcar running around in the Peoria, Illinois, area, and the essence of what I was told to check on with Oswald was the U-2.

You know, Gary Powers was shot down, and he was from Jenkins, Kentucky, which wasn't too far away from where I lived and where my father's brother lived, my father's sister lived. They wanted to be sure that Oswald wasn't going to Russia and divulging anything about this radar bubble, or what this gentleman has just went through on his job assignment. That is where I entered the picture historically with Mr. Oswald.

Now getting back to me personally, I collaborated with Mr. Schweiker under his Intelligence investigation committee. I transported documents, and liaisoned and discussed matters of the Kennedy assassination with him under Congressional privilege starting in 1972 up until the time that he ran for President with Mr. Reagan, at which time they felt, because of political considerations, it would be unfair for me to go ahead say anything with him.

In other words, that is when officially he lost his committee assignments as far as the people who felt I had the right to discuss matters with him.

Personally, I am involved -- personally I was misled to believe that I could publish on the Kennedy assassination, and I did a considerable amount of investigative work which has continued from the time that I looked at Mr. Oswald's file before I came out here to Albuquerque, New Mexico, to use training on crypto.

MK/Ultra is what you can look up in Crossfire, and the gentleman might be talking down here to ask about it, or Dick Russell's book that he has out on Oswald also. But I was more involved in electronic aspects of the equipment, radar equipment, than this gentleman here. His job was completely different than mine. I was interested in intelligence.

I had the privilege to talk with Mr. Kennedy when I was at Fort Mona Signal School. He confided in me that he was interested in running for the Presidency. He was campaigning in New Jersey at the time. I came out to New Mexico for a year, and then I went to Europe. But before I went to Europe I stopped by, and Kennedy was to have three speeches with Richard Nixon. These speeches were to be carried on television, which was a new media. Military intelligence was interested in anything that had that amount of national exposure.

I attended the Geneva Disarmament Conferences that was started at the end of the Nixon Administration. The gist of what happened on this follow-up was, there was an attempt on President Kennedy's life in Venice, Italy, which I don't want to go into at this time. However, because of that, and other personal knowledge I had concerning security, there was a bad problem for the CIA, military intelligence took over their own gathering of intelligence.

My job, to make it simple, was a nuclear football. I worked on NATO codes for nuclear weapons. Robert McNamara, the Secretary of Defense, insisted these codes be strengthened. I came into this job. Mostly warrant officers reported to me on intelligence. Because of this, I found the situation in Venice, Italy, which developed, and when I got out of the Service, I was asked by Military Headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany, when I came back to the States, when I came back to the States, to Fort Harrison, to divulge what I knew. This came down through the chain of military intelligence.

I did work for Naval Intelligence which other people have talked about here, and there was a possibility of a plot to kill Kennedy. I knew that Oswald was in Minsk, Russia. There is also something nobody wants to say anything about, there were five different Soviet spy schools in Minsk.

When I came out here, I was understanding that Oswald's file was going to be released, whether or not he had been working for an intelligence agency prior to the time of the Kennedy assassination. This goes back to what another gentleman said about the District Court here.

I had to call the District Court in Dallas, and I might be your phantom witness one of these days, about security precautions on the Kennedy assassination. I did a lot of work and tried very hard to convince Mr. Kennedy, through the chain of command, not personally, but it ended up at the White House, Jack Palance, you know, of the Film Guild did a follow-up with me in Jenkins, Kentucky, and we looked into all this one time, which I intend to publish on.

In 1982, I attempted to publish my book, no go. They didn't want me to publish it. All right. Now I have talked to Mr. Gates at CIA Headquarters after Mr. Bush signed his directive in 1992 saying that the CIA wanted all this brought out, and they would go along with anybody if they didn't get into national security on the matter.

So that is the reason I feel I have the right to come here now and tell you that I want to go ahead and publish my book as long as it doesn't jeopardize national security.

Now States Rights is where I am held in. I obtained a Federal authentification through Marshall University, and the Dean of the College at Marshall University, at the time and prior to the time Kennedy was killed. Now my Congressman was Ken Heckler, he is now West Virginia's Secretary of State. He advised me of the procedures that I was to go through with this so that later I could publish what I knew about this prior knowledge. National security estimates are looked at six months and two weeks. Now this was brought up on C-SPAN, by the way. I am not telling any tales out of school, by the way.

At the beginning of the William Gates confirmation hearings, there was an agent that went into how you go about, if you are an agent and you feel somebody's life is in jeopardy. I talked to him on the phone and explained my situation to him, but I didn't have no way to explain what happened. So this is already in the public domain now.

I went through the same procedures that an agent of the CIA would have went through, and I didn't work for the CIA, I worked for Military Intelligence, I worked for Navy Intelligence, I have made trips behind the Iron Curtain.

But the gist of it is, to make a long story short today, the FBI knew that there was a plot to kill Kennedy at Dallas, and I have been held in limbo under States Rights. I had to go to Charleston, West Virginia, which is my state capital, and appear at the beginning of the Warren Commission hearings for approximately a day-and-a-half in court altogether, I was there more than that, but my testimony would amount to a day-and-a-half, and I have never been able to publish on any of this follow-up investigation.

In 1969, Richard Nixon said, I want all this looked at again. Well, I got a job as a long-haul truck driver. I really didn't like the idea because I am a college graduate, but I went along with it, and I investigated up in the Chicago, and wherever the judges from Charleston felt it was appropriate for me to go to.

What I found and finally proved that I confided in Mr. Schweiker about, Secret Service procedures were defeated at Dallas, and that is the reason the President stopped down here before he got to the Book Depository. They were worrying about what was going to happen.

I called Washington from Marshall University. I had a monitor set up. They let me monitor this. I had a monitor set up, and they said the Secret Service has been notified and Kennedy is going ahead, and that is where the matter ended, and you know what happened then on the news releases.

But there was prior knowledge. I was with the military. The military said, after 30 years, we are not hiding nothing as long as it don't have to do with national security. Stuttgart, Germany, was my battalion headquarters. I was under the authority of the Provost Marshal, Heidelberg, Germany.

I gave testimony to all of this in Charleston, West Virginia, in February after Kennedy was assassination, and the attorney that represented the State was Mr. Opplinger. He was the head of the Public Service Commission, and at one time they kept the files on this. Now, if you can get State files, everybody will get to see them. If not, I am still going to try to publish.

CHAIRMAN TUNHEIM: Thank you, Mr. Smith.

Are there any questions?

[No response.]

CHAIRMAN TUNHEIM: Thank you very much.

MR. SMITH: Bob Smith of Huntington, West Virginia, WSAZ, showed your picture on TV and said he talked to you, that is where I approached the legal law clerk and started this procedure of obtaining this national security assessment.


MR. SMITH: You are welcome.

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