-- President Lyndon Johnson and FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover had all but decided what the report would say -- that Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone gunman with no conspiracy -- within 48 hours of the shooting.
-- The report was issued on a political timetable. LBJ wanted it out well before his election in November 1964.
-- The FBI was less interested in the full truth and more determined to avoid blame for misreading Oswald's violent character. Hoover later admitted: "We failed in carrying through some of the most salient aspects of the Oswald investigation. It ought to be a lesson to all."
-- Far worse was the behavior of the CIA, which coached some witnesses, hid others and withheld important information. The agency never told the commission it had been keeping tabs on Oswald or why. To this day, the CIA says it did not have a relationship with Oswald and that it is not withholding anything important about the assassination from the public.
-- Even more suspiciously, the CIA maintained its subterfuge and continued to lie to yet another official JFK investigation in the 1970s, this one run by the U.S. House of Representatives. It was a chance to come clean, with lesser consequences, and the CIA didn't take it. The director of that study, Robert Blakey, now denounces the CIA and says he doesn't believe anything the agency told him and his panel.
-- Both the CIA and the FBI failed to inform the commission about their various arrangements with the Mafia, another prime suspect in Kennedy's killing. They considerably underplayed Oswald killer Jack Ruby's organized crime ties. "The evidence does not establish a significant link," the commission asserted, but in fact, Ruby was in frequent contact with mobsters.
-- A surprising number of first-hand, close-in witnesses from Dealey Plaza on November 22 were never interviewed by the commission. These people had useful information to impart. I interviewed some of them, still living after the passage of five decades, and to this day they cannot understand why the commission was uninterested.
-- The commission dismissed or ignored some compelling testimony that contradicted its preferred findings.