It is not a theory that the CIA is still keeping secrets about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963.
It is a documented fact.
Here is what is known about seven key JFK files — containing more than 3,000 pages of material — that the CIA is keeping out of public view on the 50th anniversary of JFK’s death.
1) Files on the interrogation of Yuri Nosenko
Yuri Nosenko was an officer in the Soviet KGB who defected to the United States in April 1964, shortly after the assassination of JFK. Nosenko said that he had seen the files that the KGB compiled on accused assassin Lee Harvey Oswald in his two and a half year residence in the Soviet Union between 1959 and 1962. The Soviet intelligence service had not recruited or used him as an agent, Nosenko said.
Deputy CIA Director Richard Helms told Chief Justice Earl Warren that he could not vouch for the accuracy of Nosenko’s claims exculpating the KGB. This left open the possibility that Nosenko was a false defector sent by the Soviet Union to obscure its role in JFK’s assassination.
According to the CIA’ s website, Helm said, “It did strike me at the time that it would be a great mistake for the Warren Commission to shape its findings on the basis of a statement made by a man whose bona fides we could not establish.”
Yet what the CIA learned from its interrogation of Nosenko remains secret 50 years later.
According to the National Archives’ online JFK data base, the CIA has 36 files on the interrogation of Nosenko, amounting to 2,224 pages of material. None of these records have ever been made public.
Was Nosenko telling the truth? Or lying? The CIA doesn’t want you to know.
2) The files of William King Harvey,
Bill Harvey was one of the most highly regarded CIA officers of his generation. One colleague described him as “a man without sentiment, considerable stamina, great determination [and] high-skilled” and “a gun nut.” His contempt for President John F. Kennedy and Attorney General Robert Kennedy was not disguised.
When the CIA wanted to create an organization capable of carrying out assassinations in 1960, they gave it the code name of ZR-RIFLE and put Harvey in charge.
When Harvey’s CIA colleague John Whitten was asked by investigators why Harvey might have told his wife to destroy his papers after his death, Whitten replied, “He was too young to have assassinated McKinley and Lincoln. It could have been anything.”
According to the National Archives online JFK data base, the CIA retains a 123-page file on Harvey’s operations.
3) David Atlee Phillips’s operational files.
David Phillips was a trust fund kid from Fort Worth, Texas, who was recruited into the CIA in the 1950s and won a medal for his clever work in the CIA’s overthrow of the government of Guatemala in 1954. With Howard Hunt, Phillips went on to play a leading role in the CIA’s failed effort to invade Cuba at the Bay of Pigs In April 1961.
Phillips had an interesting role in the JFK story. Working undercover in Mexico City in 1963, Phillips was involved in the pre-assassination surveillance of Oswald. There is also a credible but uncorroborated report from a Cuban who worked with the CIA in 1963 who said he saw Phillips in the company of Oswald in Dallas in September 1963.
Phillips went on to become the chief of CIA operations in Latin America. Upon his retirement in 1975, he established himself as one of the most prominent public defenders of the CIA. To defend the agency’s reputation, he founded an organization, the Association of Foreign Intelligence Officers, which still exists today.
When Congress re-opened the JFK investigation in 1976, Phillips’s inconsistent, inaccurate, and evasive answers to questions about Oswald prompted JFK investigator Gaeton Fonzi to allege that Phillips was guilty of perjury in the case of the murdered president.
Phillips denied it but he did say late in life that he thought JFK was killed by unnamed “rogue” CIA officers.
Phillips, who died in 1987, also knew how to arrange an assassination. In 1998, the non-profit National Security Archive obtained and posted CIA documents showing that Phillips, at the direction of CIA director Richard Helms and President Nixon, had worked with ultra-right-wing Chilean military officers responsible for an assassination in October 1970.
A search of the online JFK database of the National Archives shows that the CIA retains four files containing 606 pages of material on Phillips,
4) The files of Anne Goodpasture
Anne Goodpasture was a career CIA officer who served in 1963 as the top aide to Winston Scott, the longtime chief of the agency’s station in Mexico City. She also worked closely with David Phillips.
When the CIA’s photo and audio surveillance monitors picked up on the curious actions of a man identifying himself as “Lee Oswald” in September and October 1963, the reports were sent to Goodpasture. Thus Goodpasture became acquainted with Oswald’s political views, personal history and contacts seven weeks before JFK was killed.
When first questioned by JFK investigators in the 1970s, Goodpasture denied that the Mexico City station had tapes of Oswald’s phone calls. She later changed her story and admitted, under oath, her role in disseminating the tapes after the assassination.
According to the National Archives online JFK data base, the CIA has a 286-page file of Goodpasture’s operational activities that has never been made public.
5) Howard Hunt’s operational files.
E. Howard Hunt was a career CIA officer known for his prolific prose and conservative politics. In 1961, he was a leader of the CIA’s failed effort to invade Cuba at the Bay of Pigs. Embittered by what he regarded as JFK’s failure to support the invasion, Hunt wrote a book “Give Us This Day,” which castigated JFK’s Cuba policy as “shame-faced.”
In 1963 he worked at CIA headquarters in Washington. He was close to David Phillips.
Hunt became famous in 1972 when he was arrested for running a burglary team breaking into the offices of the Democratic Party in the Watergate office complex in Washington. Hunt and the burglars were paid and apparently directed by President Richard Nixon and his aides. In the resulting scandal, Hunt all but blackmailed the CIA by threatening to talk in court about what he described as “numerous highly Illegal conspiracies” in which he had participated.
Later in life Hunt made cryptic remarks about a possible CIA plot to kill JFK in 1963 that he called “the Big Event.” Hunt’s comments can be seen and heard on YouTube, Hunt was convicted burglar and a scoundrel so his testimony has to be handled with care.
Was Hunt involved in a JFK conspiracy?
The question cannot be answered definitively because the CIA retains six files containing 332 pages of material on Hunt, according to the National Archives’ online JFK data base,
6) The files of David Sanchez Morales
David Morales was a career CIA officer who served as the chief of operations at the CIA’s Miami station in 1963 where he worked with David Phillips and Howard Hunt. He later served in Laos and Vietnam where he gained a reputation as a skillful and deadly soldier.
In retirement, Morales did not often speak of his CIA exploits but when a friend referred to Kennedy’s assassination, he reportedly said, “We took care of that son of a bitch, didn’t we?”
According to the National Archives’ online JFK data base, the CIA has a 61-page file on Morales that has never been made public.
7) The files of George Joannidess.
In 1963, Joannides, an undercover officer, worked for David Phillips and he worked with David Morales. His job title was chief of psychological warfare operations at the CIA’s Miami station; his job was running agents.
Joannides handled the CIA’s contacts with the Cuban Student Directorate, an anti-Castro exile group whose members tangled with Oswald in New Orleans in the summer of 1963. The group, responsive to CIA discipline, publicized Oswald’s pro-Castro ways before and after JFK was killed.
Yet, as the New York Times reported in 2009, the CIA did not tell the Warren Commission that the CIA, via Joannides, had a financial relationship with Oswald’s anti-Castro antagonists.
When Congress reopened the JFK investigation in 1978, the CIA called Joannides out of retirement to serve as liaison to investigators. He revealed nothing about what he knew of contacts between Oswald and his agents, which HSCA general counsel G. Robert Blakey said constituted obstruction of Congress. In 1981 Joannides received the Agency’s Career Intelligence Medal. He died in 1990.
In the course of my lawsuit seeking Joannides’s records, the CIA acknowledged that it retains more than 50 documents about Joannides’s actions in 1963 and 1978 that it will not make public — for reasons of “national security.”
“1,100 JFK files ignored in Obama push to open records,” (JFK Facts, May 14, 2013)