2 November 2003. Add excerpt from U.S. News and World Report on Sassa, June 8, 1964, and testimony of Richard Russell.
27 October 2003
On September 19, 2003, Cryptome posted a request for help in identifying an alleged "Japanese journalist/photographer" shown in a photographic excerpt of video made on the day President John Kennedy was assassinated. The video -- Exhibit 2424 in the Warren Commission report-- was made of a press conference in Dallas Police Headquarters and also showed Jack Ruby.
Here are two slightly different versions of the video excerpts, with the "Japanese journalist/photographer" at upper left, Ruby at upper right.
Two responses came from a Japanese person who claimed to be working on a project about the assassination. The person said the photo showed a now-prominent Japanese, Atsuyuki Sassa, former Director General for Cabinet Security Affairs Office -- a top-level national security office in the Japanese Government.
The person also said Mr. Sassa at the time of the JFK assassination was a police/security officer in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs but did not explain why Mr. Sassa was in Dallas on the day of the assassination. A recent photo of Mr. Sassa was sent.
An enlarged clip of the 1963 video of the "journalist:"
Mr. Sassa's web site, along with other photos and biographical material:
The web site profile, in Japanese, translated to English, states:
|"During the 20 years of police successive service, Kennedy
assassination incident investigation."
1972 - 75 years (1972 - 50
1977 - 86 years (1977 - 61
On October 22, 2003, Cryptome e-mailed Mr. Sassa (email@example.com) with the two Exhibit 2424 photos asking for his assistance in identifying the Japanese person in the photos; he has not answered.
Cryptome welcomes information on identification of the person in the Exhibit 2424 photos; send to firstname.lastname@example.org
2 November 2003
Source: hardcopy U.S. News and World Report, June 8, 1964, p. 38 (p. 39 had been removed, apparently as part of an unrelated following article.)
U. S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT, June 8, 1964
More light on President Kennedy's assassination comes from a Japanese agent's report to his Government, published here for the first time. The agent was assigned to the FBI investigation of the Kennedy-Oswald murders because the Japanese feared a wave of assassinations in Japan. Glenn Troelstrup, in the Tokyo Bureau of "U.S. News and World Report," talked to the agent and sent this dispatch.
In January , the Japanese Government secretly assigned a special security agent from the Japanese national police to join quietly with the American FBI in its investigation of the assassination of President Kennedy.
The agent was 33-year-old Atsuyuki Sassa. I have just spent four hours with agent Sassa and Kuniyasu Tsuchida, director of the Tokyo metropolitan police guard division.
Only one man. It may take more than the Warren Commission report to convince many people that the assassination was not part of a larger conspiracy. The official report to the Japanese Government, however, holds that President Kennedy was shot by Lee Harvey Oswald and that it was the "impulsive act" of that one man.
Said agent Sassa: "President Kennedy was hit by a steel-jacketed high-powered bullet. It hit the back of the skull, pushing ahead a skull fragment the size of a quarter through the side of his brain.
"A sliver off the bullet came out of the lower left of the neck, giving rise to early speculation that it was from a shot made from in front of the car."
Sassa continued: "President Kennedy was dead before he arrived at the hospital. If he had not been a President, no doctor would have tried an operation."
Then why was it attempted? "There was one chance in a million he could be revived," Sassa said.
"There have been one or two examples of similar head injuries resulting from auto accidents in which the victims miraculously survived. So the operation was carried out for three reasons:
"A miracle chance to revive the President.
"To make use of time -- an hour or more -- to ensure the safety and departure from the area of Vice President Johnson.
"To permit last rites of the Catholic Church to be carried out before an official death was recorded."
In refutation. At this point, Sassa tore into what he called the "emotionally imaginative speculations" of American expatriate writer Thomas Buchanan, which are being widely circulated in Asia. Buchanan has theorized that Oswald and Jack Ruby were hirelings of wealthy U. S. right-wing interests who connived with the Dallas police to carry out the assassination.
Refuting Buchanan's theories, Sasso reported, are these facts:
"The bullet sliver wound on the President's neck left a scar so clean it was overlooked at first. Then it was thought it might be an entrance wound from a shot fired in front of the Presidents car. Later, however, the sliver was found on the car floor. Its route was traced in the autopsy. But even without that evidence, to make such a wound from the front the assassin would have had to be on the pavement ahead of the car. Also his shot would have had to penetrate the front windshield.
"No shot from a nearby bridge could have made such a hit.
"The accusers say that three shots cannot be fired from a telescopic-sight equipped, high-powered rifle in slightly over five seconds. Well, the FBI officially timed the shooting as taking over six seconds -- from 6.5 to 6.6 seconds. Also remember that you count after the first shot is squeezed. That means Buchanan contends two more shots couldn't be fired accurately in about 6 seconds. Do you see the psychological falsification or trap in the Buchanan argument? Any marksman can do what was done and hit the target. Any nonexpert can do it and come close. Remember the President's car was moving slowly away from the assassin. His telescopic sight cut the distance down to about one fourth of its actual length.
"The trick in firing successive shots with a telescopic sight is to let the rifle rock upwind and back into position for firing without ever taking your eye off the sight and the point where the sight cross hairs intersect. This fact is so well known among police officials that I'll tell you frankly that there is absolutely nothing we can do in Japan to prevent the assassination of some important person by some rifleman similar to Oswald."
Fear in Japan. Saasa then paused to explain that the Japanese have had a number of assassination attempts and that there was fear of a chain reaction from the President's assassination.
"You see," he said, "these things usually come in strings. We have have had a number of assassinatien attempts in Japan over the Past decade. We feared
[Following page not available from source.]
Thanks to J.
Testimony of Richard Russell
Hearing of 3/24/95 -- Boston, Massachusetts
Next, the board would like to hear from Dick Russell. Mr. Russell is the author of the 1992 book The Man Who Knew Too Much.
RUSSELL: As you said, I'm the author of The Man Who Knew Too Much, which is an 824-page book about the assassination.
CHAIRMAN TUNHEIM: Mr. Russell, did you ever attempt to gain information from any Japanese sources, Japanese government sources, in particular?
RUSSELL: I never went to Japan myself. I know that, during the course of the FRONTLINE investigation, a researcher whom I know did spend some time tracking down people in Japan and wasn't really able to come up with much.
I don't know if he looked in the right places. I mean Japan is very secretive about all this. You know, they sent an investigator of their own to this country, named Atsuyuki Sassa, I believe, immediately after the assassination, to try to find out what the American government was looking at, and I personally think that there may be some very interesting material in Japan. Exactly where you would look -- as I said, I know that the intelligence agency there, the CIA's counterpart, was called the Cabinet Research Office, and I think they should be requested to see what they have on Oswald.
He was stationed there, of course, for a long time. The Japanese police, I'm told, surveilled him, took pictures of him outside the Soviet Embassy in Tokyo on occasion when he walked in, and I definitely think it would be a fertile area for pursuit.