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New Air Force One tapes give insight on Kennedy death

Washington, Wed, 01 Feb 2012 ANI

Washington, Feb.1 (ANI): The US National Archives has released long-lost recordings of the Air Force One flight back to Washington on the day of John F Kennedy's assassination.


The tapes contain 42 minutes of audio that was not included in the original public version.


It includes discussion about what to do with the slain president's body and a phone call to Rose Kennedy, his mother.


A rare documents dealer, who acquired it from the estate sale of a Kennedy aide, donated the material.


The tapes provide new insight into the grief and confusion that prevailed at the highest levels of the US government in the hours after Kennedy's shooting in Dallas, Texas, on Friday 22 November 1963.


Lyndon Johnson, who had just been sworn in as president, can be heard - barely audible through the crackle - consoling the dead president's mother.


"I wish to God there was something that I could do," says Mr. Johnson. "And I wanted to tell you that we are grieving with you."


Rose Kennedy can be heard responding: "Thank you very much. Thank you very much. I know you loved Jack. And he loved you."


There is also audio of the attempts to contact Secretary of State Dean Rusk and other cabinet members in an aircraft codenamed Wayside, which had been over the Pacific en route to Asia.


The tapes also shed light on the previously unknown whereabouts of former Air Force Chief of Staff Curtis LeMay, an adversary of Kennedy.


Experts say the comments are likely to stir debate among conspiracy theorists, who have long questioned why the audio was missing from the official recordings in the first place.


The National Archives has made the audio available to the public for the first time. (ANI)


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