Joseph Milteer ?
Mr. RUBY. There is an organization here, Chief Justice Warren, if it takes my life at this moment to say it, and Bill Decker said be a man and say it, there is a John Birch Society right now in activity, and Edwin Walker is one of the top men of this organization–take it for what it is worth, Chief Justice Warren.
Mr. RUBY. I am in a tough spot, and I don’t know what the solution can be to save me.
And I know our wonderful President, Lyndon Johnson, as soon as he was the President of his country, he appointed you as head of this group. But through certain falsehoods that have been said about me to other people, the John Birch Society, I am as good as guilty as the accused assassin of President Kennedy.
How can you remedy that, Mr. Warren? Do any of you men have any ways of remedying that?
Mr. Bill Decker said be a man and speak up. I am making a statement now that I may not live the next hour when I walk out of this room.
Now it is the most fantastic story you have ever heard in a lifetime. I did something out of the goodness of my heart. Unfortunately, Chief Earl Warren, had you been around 5 or 6 months ago, and I know your hands were tied, you couldn’t do it, and immediately the President would have gotten ahold of my true story, or whatever would have been said about me, a certain organization wouldn’t have so completely formed now, so powerfully, to use me because I am of the Jewish extraction, Jewish faith, to commit the most dastardly crime that has ever been committed.
Can you understand now in visualizing what happened, what powers, what momentum has been carried on to create this feeling of mass feeling against my people, against certain people that were against them prior to their power?
That goes over your head, doesn’t it?
Chief Justice WARREN. Well, I don’t quite get the full significance of it, Mr. Ruby. I know what you feel about the John Birch Society.
Mr. RUBY. Very powerful.
Chief Justice WARREN. I think it is powerful, yes I do. Of course, I don’t have all the information that you feel you have on that subject.
Mr. RUBY. Unfortunately, you don’t have, because it is too late. And I wish that our beloved President, Lyndon Johnson, would have delved deeper into the situation, hear me, not to accept just circumstantial facts about my guilt or innocence, and would have questioned to find out the truth about me before he relinquished certain powers to these certain people.
Chief Justice WARREN. Well, I am afraid I don’t know what power you believe he relinquished to them. I think that it is difficult to understand what you have to say.
Mr. RUBY. I want to say this to you. The Jewish people are being exterminated at this moment. Consequently, a whole new form of government is going to take over our country, and I know I won’t live to see you another time. Do I sound sort of screwy–in telling you these things?
Chief Justice WARREN. No; I think that is what you believe, or you wouldn’t tell it under your oath.
Mr. RUBY. But it is a very serious situation. I guess it is too late to stop it, isn’t it?
All right, I want to ask you this. All you men have been chosen by the President for this committee, is that correct?
Chief Justice WARREN. Representative Ford and I are the only members of the Commission that are here.
Mr. Rankin of the Commission is employed as our chief counsel.
Mr. Rankin employed Mr. Specter and Mr. Ball as members of the staff.
You know who the other gentlemen here are.
You know that Mr. Moore is a member of the Secret Service, and he has been a liaison officer with our staff since the Commission was formed.
Representative FORD. Are there any questions that ought to be asked to help clarify the situation that you described?
Mr. RUBY. There is only one thing. If you don’t take me back to Washington tonight to give me a chance to prove to the President that I am not guilty, then you will see the most tragic thing that will ever happen.
And if you don’t have the power to take me back, I won’t be around to be able to prove my innocence or guilt.
Now up to this moment, I have been talking with you for how long?
Chief Justice WARREN. I would say for the better part of 3 hours.
Mr. RUBY. All right, wouldn’t it be ridiculous for me to speak sensibly all this time and give you this climactic talk that I have?
Maybe something can be saved, something can be done.
What have you got to answer to that, Chief Justice Warren?
Chief Justice WARREN. Well, I don’t how what can be done, Mr. Ruby, because I don’t know what you anticipate we will encounter.
Representative FORD. Is there anything more you can tell us if you went back to Washington?
Mr. RUBY. Yes; are you sincere in wanting to take me back?
Representative FORD. We are most interested in all the information you have.
Mr. RUBY. All I know is maybe something can be saved. Because right now, I want to tell you this, I am used as a scapegoat, and there is no greater weapon that you can use to create some falsehood about some of the Jewish faith, especially at the terrible heinous crime such as the killing of President Kennedy.
Now maybe something can be saved. It may not be too late, whatever happens, if our President, Lyndon Johnson, knew the truth from me. But if I am eliminated, there won’t be any way of knowing.
Right now, when I leave your presence now, I am the only one that can bring out the truth to our President, who believes in righteousness and justice.
But he has been told, I am certain, that I was part of a plot to assassinate the President.
I know your hands are tied; you are helpless.
Chief Justice WARREN. Mr. Ruby, I think I can say this to you, that if he has been told any such thing, there is no indication of any kind that he believes it.
Mr. RUBY. I am sorry, Chief Justice Warren, I thought I would be very effective in telling you what I have said here. But in all fairness to everyone, maybe all I want to do is beg that if they found out I was telling the truth, maybe they can succeed in what their motives are, but maybe my people won’t be tortured and mutilated.
Chief Justice WARREN. Well, you may be sure that the President and his whole Commission will do anything that is necessary to see that your people are not tortured.
Mr. RUBY. No.
Chief Justice WARREN. You may be sure of that.
Mr. RUBY. No; the only way you can do it is if he knows the truth, that I am telling the truth, and why I was down in that basement Sunday morning, and maybe some sense of decency will come out and they can still fulfill their plan, as I stated before, without my people going through torture and mutilation.
Chief Justice WARREN. The President will know everything that you have said, everything that you have said.
Mr. RUBY. But I won’t be around, Chief Justice. I won’t be around to verify these things you are going to tell the President.
Mr. TONAHILL. Who do you think is going to eliminate you, Jack?
Mr. RUBY. I have been used for a purpose, and there will be a certain tragic occurrence happening if you don’t take my testimony and somehow vindicate me so my people don’t suffer because of what I have done.
Chief Justice WARREN. But we have taken your testimony. We have it here. It will be in permanent form for the President of the United States and for the Congress of the United States, and for the courts of the United States, and for the people of the entire world.
It is there. It will be recorded for all to see. That is the purpose of our coming here today. We feel that you are entitled to have your story told.
Mr. RUBY. You have lost me though. You have lost me, Chief Justice Warren.
Chief Justice WARREN. Lost you in what sense?
Mr. RUBY. I won’t be around for you to come and question me again.
Chief Justice WARREN. Well, it is very hard for me to believe that. I am sure that everybody would want to protect you to the very limit.
Mr. RUBY. All I want is a lie detector test, and you refuse to give it to me. Because as it stands now—and the truth serum, and any other–Pentothal–how do you pronounce it, whatever it is. And they will not give it to me, because I want to tell the truth.
And then I want to leave this world. But I don’t want my people to be blamed for something that is untrue, that they claim has happened.
Chief Justice WARREN. Mr. Ruby, I promise you that you will be able to take such a test.
Mr. RUBY. When?
Chief Justice WARREN. You will have to let me see when we can figure that out. But I assure you, it won’t be delayed, because our desire is to terminate the work of the Commission and make our report to the public just as soon as possible, so there won’t be any misunderstanding caused by all of these rumors or stories that have been put out that are not consistent with the evidence in the case.
But it will not be unnecessarily delayed, and we will do it on behalf of the Commission, I promise you.
Mr. RUBY. All I want, and I beg you–when are you going to see the President?
Chief Justice WARREN. Well, I have no date with the President. I don’t know just when. But as soon as I do see him, I will be glad to tell him what you have said.
Mr. RUBY. All I want is to take a polygraph to tell the truth. That is all I want to do.
Chief Justice WARREN. Yes.; that, I promise you you can do.
Mr. RUBY. Because my people are going to suffer about things that will be said about me.
Chief Justice WARREN. Yes; well, I promise.
Mr. RUBY. Hold on another minute.
Chief Justice WARREN. All right.
Mr. RUBY. How do you know if the facts I stated about everything I said, statements with reference to, are the truth or not?
Chief Justice WARREN. Well, if you want a test made to test those principal questions, we will work them out so they can be tested.
As I understand it, you can’t use the polygraph to say now this is the story.
Mr. RUBY. I know that.
Chief Justice WARREN. To say you have the story of Jack Ruby. You can’t do that.
Mr. RUBY. I know that. You can clarify by questioning me when I conceived the idea and what my answer would naturally be that Sunday morning.
Chief Justice WARREN. Maybe I can help the situation this way. Suppose you list for us, if you can, the questions that you would like to have asked of you on the polygraph to establish the truth of your testimony.
What things do you consider vital in it, and what would you like to have verified?
Mr. RUBY. Yes; but you are telling me to do these things–these things are going to be promised, but you see they aren’t going to let me do these things. Because when you leave here, I am finished. My family is finished.
Representative FORD. Isn’t it true, Mr. Chief Justice, that the same maximum protection and security Mr. Ruby has been given in the past will be continued?
Mr. RUBY. But now that I have divulged certain information because I want to be honest, all I want to take is a polygraph test and tell the truth about things and combat the lies that have been told about me.
Now maybe certain people don’t want to know the truth that may come out of me. Is that plausible?
Representative FORD. In other words, the Chief Justice has agreed, and I on the Commission wholeheartedly concur, that you will be given a polygraph test as expeditiously as possible.
And I am sure you can rely on what has been stated here by the Chairman.
Mr. RUBY. How are we going to communicate and so on?
Chief Justice WARREN. We will communicate directly with you.
Mr. RUBY. You have a lost cause, Earl Warren. You don’t stand a chance. They feel about you like they do about me, Chief Justice Warren. I shouldn’t hurt your feelings in telling you that.
Chief Justice WARREN. That won’t hurt my feelings, because I have had some evidence of the feeling that some people have concerning me.
Mr. RUBY. But you are the only one that can save me. I think you can.
Chief Justice WARREN. Yes?
Mr. RUBY. But by delaying minutes, you lose the chance. And all I want to do is tell the truth, and that is all.
There was no conspiracy. But by you telling them what you are going to do and how you are going to do it is too late as of this moment.
Chief Justice WARREN. You take my word for it and the word of Representative Ford, that we will do this thing at the earliest possible moment, and that it will be done in time. It will be done in time.
Mr. RUBY. Well, you won’t ever see me again, I tell you that. And I have lost my family.
Chief Justice WARREN. Yes?
Mr. RUBY. No, no; you don’t believe me, do you?
Chief Justice WARREN. To be frank with you, I believe that you are not stating now what is the fact.
I don’t say you don’t believe it, but I believe that I will be able to see you again and that we will be able to take this test that you are speaking of.
Well, I think we have tired Mr. Ruby. We have had him here for close to 4 hours now, and I am sure our reporter must be equally tired, but we appreciate your patience and your willingness to testify in this manner for us.
Mr. RUBY. All I want to do is tell the truth, and the only way you can know it is by the polygraph, as that is the only way you can know it.
Chief Justice WARREN. That we will do for you.