Interview with Russell Oswald

So, if you could tell me about the observers recommending that Governor Rockefeller come to Attica.


Ah, the ob.. observers decided that they had to make an effort to get Governor Rockefeller to come to Attica. They, ah, had failed and so they wanted us to contact the Governor and get him to come. Ah, they asked Bobby Douglas who was his chief assistant to get in touch with him and see if he could get Gove--the Governor to come to Attica. Ah, we got him on the phone. First, Bob Douglas talked with him, for some time and then hung up. And he came back and told me that the Governor was, didn't feel he should come. And, I was to go back and tell the Observers Committee. But I said, "Bob, I would just as soon if you would tell them that." But, in any event, we both told them that. And, they then asked us to get in touch with him again. So, I talked with him at great length and, ah, ah, the General talked with him. And two or three other people, Senator Dunn talked with him. And he finally asked me, "Russell, what is your true feeling? Can I help by coming?" I said, "Well, I think that your public image would be improved if you came. But I, I am sincere in feeling that it's not going to change anything because they'll insist that you come into the yard to talk with them. They will not meet you anywhere else. I'm certain of that because they wouldn't meet any of us anytime anytime place else. I often offered them an opportunity for safe passage to a separate cell block to meet with me alone. They wouldn't do that." And so, he said, "Well, I really don't believe I can do any good." He said, ah, "I have heard" (and I had heard the same thing) that after they get me there, they're going to demand President Nixon coming as well." And he said, "Under those circumstances, I don't think I should come."