1,100 JFK documents ignored in Obama’s push to open records

The Obama administration has declassified 175 batches of long-secret government records, the National Declassification Center announced last week, a milestone in a government-wide push to make public 404 million documents that have been deemed unnecessarily classified.

Yet the NDC effort will not make public 1,100 long-suppressed CIA records related to the assassination of President Kennedy. Why not?

The National Archives says the CIA lacks the “time and resources” to review the records, which were known to, but not reviewed by, the staff of the independent Assassination Records Review Board in the 1990s. In a public forum last summer, NDC and National Archvives announced they would not challenge the CIA’s claim. The records will now be released in 2017 at the earliest, and maybe not even then.

The CIA’s claim that it lacks the time and resources is curious. The agency has had the time and resources to review and release records related to the Katyn Forest massacre of 1942 in which Soviet army killed thousands of Polish military officers, a tragedy in which no Americans died. The NDC has boasted publicly about declassifying records about “How to build a flying saucer,” not exactly a matter of widespread public interest.

Yet the NDC and CIA officials contend — with straight faces — that they lack the time and resources to review and release records related to the murder of a sitting American president.

The CIA itself deemed the records to be related to JFK’s assassination in the 1970s. In 1976. Agency officials collected the files from agency archives as they prepared to respond to the first congressional investigation of JFK’s death. The records were not shared with the House Select Committee on Assassinations unless they specifically asked for them. The CIA now claims that the records are “Not Believed Relevant” to JFK’s assassination.

That claim has never been confirmed by anyone outside of the agency and is probably factually incorrect.

In two posts earlier this year:  JFK Facts has identified seven important JFK files among the 1,100 documents.

i“Top 5 JFK Files that Brennan should make public” and “Two more JFK files for Brennan’s review.”

These files concern the secret operations of

  • E. Howard Hunt, former Watergate burglar, who made a video for his son late in life in which he insinuated that CIA officers had plotted against JFK’s life. The CIA retains six files on Hunt’s operations containing 332 pages of material.
  • David Phillips, the chief of anti-Castro operations in 1963, who oversaw the surveillance of Lee Harvey Oswald in Mexico City six weeks before JFK’s assassination and who gave contradictory and evasive testimony to investigators. Phillips also organized a CIA-sponsored assassination conspiracy to kill a top general in Chile in 1970, according to the non-profit National Security Archive at George Washington University. The CIA retains four files containing 606 pages of material on Phillips.
  • William K. Harvey, the one-time chief of the CIA’s assassination program who was known for his hatred of the Kennedys. Harvey’s biographer, a former CIA officer turned Newsweek correspondent, devoted a whole chapter of his book to examining allegations that Harvey was involved in JFK’s murder. The CIA retains one file on Harvey containing 123 pages of material.
  • David Sanchez Morales, deputy chief of the CIA’s Miami station in 1963, who later boasted of being involved in JFK’s death, according to a friend. “We took care of that SOB,” he reportedly said. The CIA is keeping secret a 61-page administrative file on Morales.
  • George Joannides, chief of psychological warfare operations in Miami in 1963, whose agents in the Cuban exile community took the lead in publicizing Lee Harvey Oswald’s pro-Castro activities before and after JFK was killed. In 1978 Joannides misled congressional investigators about his role in the events of 1963. In 1981 he received a CIA medal for his actions. The CIA is keeping 295 documents about Joannides secret in their entirety.

The Obama administration fully supports the CIA’s concealment of these records. On the other hand, if you want to know how to build a flying saucer, you government has public the documents you want.

 

 

25 comments

  1. Thomas says:

    Sad. The public opinion polls that show fewer people believe in a conspiracy won’t help. The government released some stuff to satisfy the public when the movie JFK was released but short of such an outcry I expect nothing but delays perhaps indefinitely.

    • tom rossley says:

      THOSE RECORDS WERE ORDERED RELEASED BY TWO PRESIDENTIAL ORDERS 1, JOHNSON’S ORDER 111130 AND, CLINTON’S ORDER 12958! THEY ARE BOTH BEING DISOBEYED BY FEDERAL EMPLOYEES SOMEONE SHOULD BE GOING TO PRISON ! ! !

  2. LMB says:

    Does anybody have any information about these files?
    From: Footnote 25- Chapter 16 Farewell America

    25. More methodical and often more discreet than their CIA counterparts, Mr. Hoover’s agents were remarkably well-informed about what was going on in Florida, New Orleans, Texas, and California, and also (we shall see why later) about the CIA’s activities abroad.
    The FBI kept a file on every identified agent of the CIA, whether he be a temporary, a correspondent, or a contractual, and after the assassination it had little difficulty in determining whom to question. Its reports were so detailed, and were submitted to the Warren Commission so promptly, that even the professional investigators employed by the Commission were surprised. Some of these secret reports are now deposited in the National Archives. Others, more confidential, are still in the hands of the FBI.

  3. Jonathan says:

    “Not Believed Relevant” to JFK’s assassination.

    The quoted language, in the passive voice, is language of deception. Who doesn’t have such a belief? Why doesn’t he or she have such a belief?

    I’d be satisfied with a simple: “The Director does not believe these files are relevant to the JFK assassination. The files concern operations, methods, and sources unconnected in every way from the assassination.”

    Instead, we get sleight of hand.

    • S.R.Rohde says:

      I might accept that the CIA files are “Not Believed Relevant” to JFK’s assassination, if the CIA can give the general public an adequate explanation of why they had agents in Dealey Plaza during the assassination, and why after 50 years, they still try to keep the lid on that information.

  4. Bill Pierce says:

    Well, that’s the rogues’ gallery for sure. Add some of the Operation 40 Cubans and you’ve got the team. Another name that might be worth a look: Carl Jenkins.

    The cover-up is a whole different matter.

    I doubt the files will ever be released. Too many overlapping and interlocking relationships; too many illegal activities; too many secret operations that they never want exposed.

  5. Jonathan says:

    “JFK files ignored in Obama’s push to open records”

    Bill Clinton, apparently, was at least curious.

    To get the files, to uncover the truth, Americans would have to do something radical: elect an outsider, like Ralph Nader, Ross Perot, or George Wallace.

  6. George Simmons says:

    It really is a disgrace that the CIA claim they do not have the time and resources to review the files on the assassination of a President.

    Surely, the Government should legally compel them to do so.

    The only way that an honest and open investigation of the assassination could have taken place would have been for an independent panel to have had the power to read ALL CIA files.

    The fact that some still have not been seen after 50 years is just beyond belief, and invites suspicion.

  7. Here is an email that I got today from a longtime JFK researcher who in the 1970′s was also writing on the RFK assassination and who even had personal contact with NYT’s Abe Rosenthal on this topic in the 1974-75 era.

    “Two more notes. One: a did some work on the first Obama campaign, writing memos on tactical considerations in early primary states. I’d been introduced to someone who was a friend of Obama’s and a major contributor. After several lengthy conversations, I asked him whether he thought Obama knew what had really happened in Dallas. After a long pause, he said, “We know what happened in Dallas, and we know what happened in Memphis and L.A., too.” Interesting, don’t you think?”

    • James says:

      Fascinating. Absolutely fascinating. Obama is rumored to be CIA.

      And regarding the while thester of asking for files– doesn’t anyone get by now that our nation is not what we are taught in high school, if it ever was. Regardless of which pivotal steps degraded it to a mere facade of a democracy, it is nonetheless not a game that can be played since the rules are not enforced, nor is there an external system of oversight or checks to an unlimited powerbase.

      The quest for truthbis honorable, but comes through but one path: revolution. This is a pragmatc truth that many don’t quite get yet, or are not ready to…

      Like Dorothy clicking her heels, we can go home to a restored government of the people whenever we choose to. But look at the divisions within JFK Research, let alone the nation at large, and you can see how unity in such common sense basics is hard to come by.

      The revolution need not be bloody, nor should the very word evoke negative connotations. Power has been taken, and must be restored. But the players, despite being tough and wise, have only one advantage: an illusion they weave that that they are fixed, permanent, official, etc…

      …when they are anything but. They are crimnals; and we, an army of 300 million strong.

      Victory is then found in defeating the illusion, and with an Aikido move, let the illegitimate naked emperor stand naked and dumbfounded in the streets.

      You who worry about what PR face the community has on the 50th: you foolishly act still as courtesans for the killers themselves. Will our most prestigeous and petsuasive scholar turn Rachel Maddow into a deep sympathy with truth and justice? Is this a victory or a fool’s errand?

      Yes, they know. They know the answers. Of course. JFK t me is but a symbol of the greater enemy, the most mythical way that the Universe manifests this manichean battke. But the rspons, the solution, the action — is to seize power.

      Everything else is just a parlor game; a jolt of righteous speculation to meet our daily JFK fix…

      And tomorrow we will jones for more… and the game goes on…

      Until we seize power.

      James

    • M. Gendron says:

      So, and your point is?

    • Ronnie Dugger says:

      Mr. Morrow, I would appreciate it if you would specify for us who was the JFK researcher who told you this? Thank you. Ronnie Dugger (ronniedugger@gmail.com).

  8. Marcus Hanson says:

    Thank you Robert,but I am not sure how to interpret that.He MAY have paused before answering due to being tired of ad nauseam speculation. I do not believe there was a conspiracy,but I find Jefferson Morley’s opinion, that there was a cover-up of intelligence failures,reasonable and entirely plausible.It is also likely that this man THOUGHT he knew the truth,but did not.

    What,if anything,did the researcher do to press the man on his claims ? Curiosity would surely have driven him to ask for more , even if he felt he would get nowhere.

    Rgds,

    Marcus

  9. S.R.Rohde says:

    One more file should be included in the top ten, if not in the top three. That is the file of William George Gaudet. He was perhaps more closely connected to the JFK assassination (in proximity) than any other CIA related individual. A man who in his own words was “coincidentally” connected to LHO. If you want to make the CIA squirm, this is your man.

  10. [...] Americans didn’t learn about Operation Northwoods until the 1990s, when the Assassination Records Review Board succeeded in prying open some of the military’s top-secret records relating to the Kennedy era. The ARRB had been formed in the wake of public outrage arising from Oliver Stone’s movie “JFK,” which posited that the U.S. national-security state assassinated Kennedy out as part of a national-security regime-change operation. Americans were outraged over the fact that the U.S. government was still keeping many of its records relating to the Kennedy assassination secret from the American people. Thus, the job of the ARRB was to require government agencies, including the Pentagon and the CIA, to open up their files and records, an effort that was only partially successful, given the fact that the CIA still refuses to comply with the open-records mandate. [...]

  11. [...] Americans didn’t learn about Operation Northwoods until the 1990s, when the Assassination Records Review Board succeeded in prying open some of the military’s top-secret records relating to the Kennedy era. The ARRB had been formed in the wake of public outrage arising from Oliver Stone’s movie “JFK,” which posited that the U.S. national-security state assassinated Kennedy out as part of a national-security regime-change operation. Americans were outraged over the fact that the U.S. government was still keeping many of its records relating to the Kennedy assassination secret from the American people. Thus, the job of the ARRB was to require government agencies, including the Pentagon and the CIA, to open up their files and records, an effort that was only partially successful, given the fact that the CIA still refuses to comply with the open-records mandate. [...]

  12. Winston Churchill says:

    The CIA lack the time and resources my a**. What they lack is the ability to tell the truth – for the last 50 years. If these files are not believed relevant, why not release them and show those crazy conspiracy theorists just how irrelevant they are? If you have nothing to hide….

    • Montgomery says:

      Exactly. This really is pretty simple. If they’re so irrelevant, then why are they still classified? I mean, there’s nothing interesting in them, right? Yet, we can’t see them. Uh huh.

      I don’t buy it for a minute, and I personally don’t believe that we’ll ever see these documents since the president apparently can simply decide that it’s not in our best interest, and not declassify these documents in 2017.

      As Kevin Costner says in JFK: What else did you expect from a pig but a grunt?

  13. no way oswald killed Kennedy.my parents quit voting after that.i wonder how many other americans were disenchanted and upset with the government after such a coverup.is it an odd by chance that after this coverup the streets were flooded with all kinds of drugs and marijuana?

  14. Morty Sneed says:

    Sad, hard truth: if the public en masse cares about an issue in America something gets done about it. It affects the profitable bottom line when the majority start to scream in unison. This applies to business or government. Half the population (not all) only care about shopping and trivial entertainment. The other half (not all) concern themselves with male pursuits. You have to frame the argument to suit these people or it will fall on deaf ears like it has since Nov 22, 1982. Yeah, it’s interesting, let’s do it, open up the files blah blah but really no one cares.

  15. Barbie says:

    John R. Turnheim (ARRB), in the cable TV special, “JFK: For The Record” 11/22/13, makes the best argument I’ve ever heard for the release of any and all documents from the CIA to personal records. Without these materials no further, meaningful research into the assassination can be done. We are entitled to, and must fight for these records. I am summarily disappointed in Obama’s lack of enthusiasm in this regard. I can’t believe it! Perhaps the question is: How to create another public outcry? The CIA is crucial, but I see the need for release of classified information across the board, wherever records can be found. Where is the ARRB now? Does Oliver Stone need to make another movie?? Or, what is the 2014 equivalent of that movie in practical terms? John R. Turnheim (Clinton appointee) evenhandedly speaks to the issues of the Warren Report, ballistics, conspiracy elements; he addresses the essential questions/facts, and wraps it all in a coherent, concise package. His job was to get the material/documents de-classified, leaving the researchers/journalists etc. to unveil elements essential to understanding what happened in Dealy Plaza, and the many questionable activities in the aftermath. We need more stuff! More CIA, and any other unreasonably classified materials to help answer questions – we’e never going to get it all – the American people can finally accept as a reasonable version of events. Meaningful movement toward the truth. This is Obama’s JOB. He should be spearheading this investigation, not sitting on the sidelines. I do not understand why he’s standing down. I really thought he was a stand-up guy. He already knows the sub-humans hate him, what can this hurt? But, it’s next case scenario, moving on – who is going to pry information out of the grubby hands of the CIA and their ilk? Are the heavy hitters, the Players in place? Please share. Thank you, anyone and all. Barbie

  16. Doyle says:

    Will the Snowden leaks shed any light on what files the CIA and other agencies are so assiduously guarding?

  17. [...] determine was “most probably” a conspiracy, one that has never been fully investigated. To this day, thousands of documents in the Kennedy files remain classified. Meanwhile, the CIA continued its efforts to rewrite the history of JFK’s attempts to end the [...]

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