Jim Garrison

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Earling Carothers "Jim" Garrison (November 20, 1921October 21, 1992), who changed his first name to Jim in the early 1960s, was the Democratic District Attorney of Orleans Parish, Louisiana from 1962 to 1973. He is best known for his investigations into the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

Garrison remains a controversial figure. Opinions differ as to whether he uncovered a conspiracy behind the John F. Kennedy assassination but was blocked from successful prosecution by federal government cover up, or that he had fallen prey to conspiracy theory.


  • Huey Long once said, 'Fascism will come to America in the name of anti-fascism.' I'm afraid, based on my own experience, that fascism will come to America in the name of national security.
  • This is not the first time I've charged a person before I've made the case." — Jim Garrison [James Phelan, Scandals, Scamps, and Scoundrels.
  • I was burned so many times that I stopped giving interviews. In other words, if my words ended up in print, they were twisted in an indescribable fashion.
    • [JFK Assassination -- The Jim Garrison Files]
  • Before we introduced the testimony of our witnesses, we made them undergo independent verifying tests, including polygraph examination, truth serum and hypnosis. We thought this would be hailed as an unprecedented step in jurisprudence; instead, the press turned around and hinted that we had drugged our witnesses or given them posthypnotic suggestions to testify falsely.
    • [Playboy interview, October 1967.]
  • ...Witnesses in this case do have a habit of dying at the most inconvenient times. I understand a London insurance firm has prepared an actuarial chart on the likelihood of 20 of the people involved in this case dying within three years of the assassination -- and found the odds 30 trillion to one. But I'm sure NBC will shortly discover that one of my investigators bribed the computer.
    • [Playboy interview, October 1967.]
  • To show you how cosmically irrelevant the Warren Report is for the most part … one of the exhibits is classified in the front as, 'A Study of the Teeth of Jack Ruby's Mother.' Even if Jack Ruby had intended to bite Oswald to death, that still would not have been relevant.
    • [Gil Jesus, The Garrison Investigation, video interview.]
  • One of the stated objectives [of the Warren Commission] was to calm the fears of the people about a conspiracy. But in our country, the government has no right to calm our fears, any more than it has, for example, the right to excite our fears about Red China, or about fluoridation, or about birth control, or about anything. There's no room in America for thought control of any kind, no matter how benevolent the objective. Personally, I don't want to be calm about the assassination of John F. Kennedy. I don't want to be calm about a president of my country being shot down in the streets.
    • [part of Garrison's response to a NBC News White Paper, 15 July 1967]
  • In retrospect, the reason for the assassination is hardly a mystery. It is now abundantly clear … why the C.I.A.'s covert operations element wanted John Kennedy out of the Oval Office and Lyndon Johnson in it. The new President elevated by rifle fire to control of our foreign policy had been one of the most enthusiastic American cold warriors.... Johnson had originally risen to power on the crest of the fulminating anti-communist crusade which marked American politics after World War II. Shortly after the end of that war, he declaimed that atomic power had become 'ours to use, either to Christianize the world or pulverize it' -- a Christian benediction if ever there was one. Johnson's demonstrated enthusiasm for American military intervention abroad … earned him the sobriquet 'the senator from the Pentagon....
    • [On the Trail of the Assassins (New York: Sheridan Square Press, 1988)]

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