Persistent passion is something to behold.
I wrote about Mitchell Warriner 10 years ago, when he was 16, and deeply concerned about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
It wasn’t a phase. He plans to go to law school and is writing a book, “The Consequence of Truth: A Study Into the Investigation of Jim Garrison and the Trial of Clay Shaw,” about an assassination investigation by a New Orleans district attorney.
“Jim Garrison was later portrayed in Oliver Stone’s film ‘JFK’ by Kevin Costner,” Warriner said. “I have never lost my interest into what occurred nearly 46 years ago, which I still maintain was a major pivotal turning point in our American history.”
He wasn’t even alive when us older folks watched television for four straight days after our president was murdered. Warriner continues to care because the assassination affected the whole world, he said.
“It all began when those shots ripped apart our president’s head, and then two days later his accused assassin is killed on national television,” said Warriner, who now lives in Beaverton, Ore. “I must ask what kind of a democracy this is when the government continues to conceal vital evidence regarding our president’s death under the guise of national security.”
His family moved from Everett, and Warriner graduated from high school in Astoria, Ore.
He joined the Army National Guard after high school and served for eight years including duty in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Warriner is engaged to Tiare Sider and is helping raise Kailea, 11, whose father died when she was 3 years old. Warriner and Sider have a daughter, Mikala, born in 2005.
Ten years ago, I wrote about his telephone chats with former President Gerald Ford.
They spoke on the phone twice, after Warriner sent Ford a letter about Ford’s work on the Warren Commission that investigated the 1963 assassination.
“I was the person who answered the phone,” said Kelley Hansen, Warriner’s mother. “I asked if he realized that he was asking for a child. He stated that yes, he was aware of Mitchell’s age. He went on to say that he was so impressed that a youngster would have such an interest in politics, that he felt it was his duty to continue to inspire young Mitchell.”
The pair had rather heated conversations, Warriner said. Warriner didn’t believe Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone shooter in Dallas, Texas. While researching the case, he requested top secret documents through the Freedom of Information Act. Word spread about his intense interest. The CIA, FBI and Office of Naval Intelligence called his Everett home.
When the agencies called, his mother ran interference.
The inquisitive boy was 10 years old.
“In elementary school, while the other kids were getting children’s books at the library, I was getting thick books about the presidents,” the young man said. “I asked ‘Who got assassinated?’ I got kind of interested.”
When he finishes law school, he may move to Washington D.C., Warriner said, to make a difference. He will continue the work of his life.
“We as Americans deserve to know the truth,” he said. “Don’t take the government’s verdict on everything.”
He is known to quote author Ella Wheeler Wilcox who said “To sin by silence while others doth protest makes cowards out of men.”
He does not sit idly.
“I speak loudly because I feel that we as Americans deserve to know the truth. Not just about the assassination of President Kennedy, but about Watergate, Iran-Contra, 9/11, Iraq, Afghanistan, everything.”
His mother said she isn’t surprised that her son is still passionate about the assassination.
“Mitchell firmly believes there was a conspiracy to kill JFK,” Hansen said. “He also believes that there are still many unanswered questions regarding the assassination.”
She said any book her son writes about the assassination will be worth reading.
It will be penned by a passionate researcher.
Kristi O’Harran: 425-339-3451, firstname.lastname@example.org.