The Assassination of John F. Kennedy
Chapter I - Recommendations
Prompted by the assassination of President Kennedy, the Secret
Service has initiated a. comprehensive and critical review of its total
operations. As a result of studies conducted during the past, several
months, and in cooperation with this Commission, the Secret Service
has prepared a planning document dated August 27, 1964, which
recommends various programs considered necessary by the Service
to improve its techniques and enlarge its resources. The Commission
is encouraged by the efforts taken by the Secret Service since the
assassination and suggests the following recommendations.
1. A committee of Cabinet members including the Secretary of the
Treasury and the Attorney General, or the National Security Council,
should be assigned the responsibility of reviewing and overseeing the
protective activities of the Secret Service and the other Federal
agencies that assist in safeguarding the President. Once given this
responsibility, such a committee would insure that the maximum
resources of the Federal Government are fully engaged in the task of
protecting the President, and would provide guidance in defining the
general nature of domestic and foreign dangers to Presidential
2. Suggestions have been advanced to the Commission for the
transfer of all or parts of the Presidential protective responsibilities
the Secret Service to some other department or agency. The
Commission believes that if there is to be any determination of
whether or not to relocate these responsibilities and functions, it
ought to be made by the Executive and the Congress, perhaps upon
recommendations based on studies by the previously suggested
3. Meanwhile, in order to improve daily supervision of the Secret
Service within the Department of the Treasury, the Commission
recommends that the Secretary of the Treasury appoint a special
assistant with the responsibility of supervising the Secret Service.
This special assistant should have sufficient stature and experience
law enforcement, intelligence, and allied fields to provide effective
continuing supervision, and to keep the Secretary fully informed
regarding the performance of the Secret. Service. One of the initial
assignments of this special assistant should be the supervision of the
current effort by the Secret Service to revise and modernize its basic
4. The Commission recommends that the Secret Service completely
overhaul its facilities devoted to the advance detection of potential
threats against the President. The Commission suggests the
(a.) The Secret Service should develop as quickly as possible more
useful and precise criteria defining those potential threats to the
President which should be brought to its attention by other agencies.
The criteria should, among other additions, provide for prompt notice
to the Secret Service of all returned defectors.
(b) The Secret Service should expedite its current plans to utilize
most efficient data-processing techniques.
(c) Once the Secret Service has formulated new criteria delineating
the information it desires, it should enter into agreements with each
Federal agency to insure its receipt of such information.
5. The Commission recommends that the Secret Service improve the
protective measures followed in the planning, and conducting of
Presidential motorcades. In particular the Secret Service should
continue its current efforts to increase the precautionary attention
given to buildings along the motorcade route.
6. The Commission recommends that the Secret Service continue its
recent efforts to improve and formalize its relationships with local
police departments in areas to be visited by the President.
7. The Commission believes that when the new criteria and
procedures are established, the Secret Service will not have sufficient
personnel or adequate facilities. The Commission recommends that
the Secret Service be provided with the personnel and resources
which the Service and the Department of the Treasury may be able to
demonstrate are needed to fulfill its important mission.
8. Even with an increase in Secret Service personnel, the protection
the President will continue to require the resources and cooperation
of many Federal agencies. The Commission recommends that these
agencies, specifically the FBI, continue the practice as it has
developed, particularly since the assassination, of assisting the Secret
Service upon request by providing personnel or other aid, and that
there be a closer association and liaison between the Secret Service
and all Federal agencies.
9. The Commission recommends that the President's physician
always accompany him during his travels and occupy a position near
the President where he can be immediately available in case of any
10. The Commission recommends to Congress that it adopt
legislation which would make the assassination of the President and
Vice President a Federal crime. A state of affairs where U.S.
authorities have no clearly defined jurisdiction to investigate the
assassination of a President is anomalous.
11. The Commission has examined the Department of State's
handling of the Oswald matters and finds that it followed the law
throughout. However, the Commission believes that the Department
in accordance with its own regulations should in all cases exercise
great care in the return to this country of defectors who have
evidenced disloyalty or hostility to this country or who have
expressed a desire to renounce their American citizenship and that
when such persons are so returned, procedures should be adopted for
the better dissemination of information concerning them to the
intelligence agencies of the Government.