Interview with Steven Dunkley

What happened after you called his name?


After I called his name and, ah, I said, "Muhammad Ali," he did not step forward. Then I said, "Cassius Clay," he did not step forward. Then, ah, Captain Hall and Lieutenant Hartman, ah, took him from the room to the, ah, an adjacent room and advised him of his rights. I went on and finished the rest of them because I was down to M's, Muhammad Ali, it was in alphabetical order. I finished that and then I swore in, ah, the other guys that were in the group. And then they were taken out to, ah, be held so that they could go on the bus to Fort Polk, Louisiana that night. Then we brought, ah, ah, Muhammad Ali back in the room and I went through the whole thing again and, ah, called his name and gave him a second chance. He did not step forward. Called Cassius Clay and he did not step forward. So then I knew he was serious. So then we counseled him that he was free to go and that a press room had been set up and that we had been telling the press what was going on through the whole time and we'd also been telling the Pentagon what was going on at the, all the time during this. And we asked him at that time, did he want to go to the press room and, and talk to the reporters and do whatever he wanted to do there or did he want to be let out by a back door of the Induction Center where he could leave without having problems. And he elected to go to the press room.


Let's cut.


I'm going to ask you this question again about how you felt that day--