HSCA Coleman Interview Audio


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Willam Coleman was a staff member of the Warren Commission. Along with junior staff member David Slawson, he was involved in the investigation of foreign conspiracy allegations. Coleman and Slawson wrote a 100+ page report on these issues, and were the staff members whose area covered Oswald's trip to Mexico City. Along with Harold Willens, Coleman and Slawson took a trip to Mexico City in early April 1964, where they met with CIA Station Chief Winston Scott and other CIA officers.

In this interview with HSCA investigators, Coleman was unable to recall many of the details of his tenure with the Warren Commission, repeatedly telling his questioners that "it would be in the record," something which was not in fact the case in many areas. Questioning concerned the photographic and telephone tap coverage of the Cuban and Soviet Embassies, and how and when the Warren Commission became aware of these, and also touched upon Warren Commission knowledge of Sylvia Duran, Luisa Calderon, Gilberto Alvarado Ugarte, and Elena Garro de Paz. At times, Coleman reacted defensively to questions concerning the Warren Commission's knowledge in certain areas. When asked whether the Warren Commission ever got an explanation as to why the CIA did not have an actual tape recording of Oswald, Coleman fudged. "I haven't the faintest idea whether they did or didn't," he said, though he has since admitted that he and Slawson actually listened to these tapes during their April trip to Mexico City.

Reel 1, Side 146:44WMAMOVMP3 
Reel 1, Side 214:28WMAMOVMP3 
Reel 216:01WMAMOVMP3 


Excerpt 102:05WMAMOVMP3 
In this excerpt, Coleman bantered with HSCA investigators about what he knew about CIA photo surveillance of the embassies in Mexico City, and referred them to "the documents" because of his lack of memory.
Excerpt 200:55WMAMOVMP3 
Coleman disputed the HSCA's assertion that he had been dissatisfied with CIA responses to Warren Commission inquiries.
Excerpt 300:21WMAMOVMP3 
The relationship with the CIA was formal and done through written letters, according to Coleman, a recollection that is at odds with CIA officials such as Raymond Rocca who told the HSCA that the written record is incomplete because the Warren Commission was passed information informally in meetings.
Excerpt 401:58WMAMOVMP3 
Coleman again took issue with his questioners again regarding the completeness of "the record."
Excerpt 502:00WMAMOVMP3 
After the reading of a memo regarding why no photo had been taken of Oswald in Mexico City, Coleman was asked whether he had ever gotten an adequate explanation.
Excerpt 602:00WMAMOVMP3 
Coleman related how he learned the details of the telephone tap operation.
Excerpt 701:55WMAMOVMP3 
In this excerpt, Coleman told HSCA investigators how important the secrecy regarding telephone taps was, saying that even in his own memoranda it was important to hide the sources of some information, even from some Commission members.
Excerpt 803:15WMAMOVMP3 
The importance of secrecy regarding the telephone tap operation was again stressed by Coleman, including lack of disclosure to Warren Commission members.
Excerpt 901:08WMAMOVMP3 
The HSCA investigators were apparently unaware, at least at this date, of the fact that "Oswald" tapes indeed survived the assassination. Asked in passing whether he ever got an explanation from CIA as to why they did not have tapes of Oswald's voice, Coleman stammered a bit and said "I don't know whether they had or didn't have." Since this time, Coleman and Slawson have both stated that they actually listened to these tapes during their visit to Mexico City in April 1964.
Excerpt 1003:21WMAMOVMP3 
The HSCA's intense focus on the supposed foreknowledge of Luisa Calderon in exhibited in this excerpt from a more lengthy discussion of Calderon, to which Coleman had little to contribute.
Excerpt 1102:15WMAMOVMP3 
Coleman challenged the HSCA questioners regarding whether they were really coming up with anything of import.
Excerpt 1200:24WMAMOVMP3 
Coleman stated that his prime suspects in any conspiracy would be the Cubans, the Vietnamese, the right wing, and the Soviet Union.