“If I interpret your March 5 post correctly, it seems that you have ultimately decided that Oswald did it, either alone or in concert with one or more people, and that the CIA, at worst, was guilty of gross negligence in preventing Oswald (alone or with others) from committing the assassination.”
Politico’s Thomas Maier mines the new JFK files to competently retell the oft-told but still-disturbing story of how respectable CIA officials and murderous Mafia dons tried and failed to assassinate Cuban leader Fidel Castro in the early 1960s.
Along the way, Maier drops this claim:
A faithful reader sends a timely reminder: Birch O’Neal, the CIA’s unknown Oswald expert, dissembled to an FBI agent within hours of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
I wrote about O’Neal yesterday. A career CIA counterintelligence officer who died in 1995, O’Neal is perhaps the most interesting new character to emerge from the tens of thousands of JFK assassination files released since last October.
His previously unknown saga sheds new light on a JFK secret the CIA and defenders of the Warren Commission still deny: the agency’s pre-assassination surveillance of accused assassin Lee Harvey Oswald. Read more
One of the most significant new JFK files concerns a CIA officer you probably never heard of.
Birch O’Neal is virtually unknown in the vast literature of JFK’s assassination. He is not mentioned in the reports of the Warren Commission or the House Select Committee on Assassinations. He figures in no conspiracy theories.
Yet O’Neal played a seminal role in the story of the CIA and accused assassin Lee Harvey Oswald. As a mole hunter for counterintelligence chief James Angleton, O’Neal controlled the agency’s Oswald file from November 1959 to November 1963.
O’Neal’s story is still sensitive, more than 20 years after his death in 1995. Last November the agency released a heavily redacted version of O’Neal’s personnel file. Of the 224 pages in the file, 177 contain redactions, and three are wholly secret.
But one important page was released. Read more
“Oswald was under counterintelligence surveillance from 1959 to 1963,” Morley said. “Everywhere he went he touched CIA collection operations, code-named secret intelligence operations, whose product was delivered to Angleton.”
The failure of the release of the latest documents to clarify the causes of JFK’s assassination is hardly surprising. Read more
With professional thoroughness, Cram plumbed the depths of a deep state archive and returned with a story of madness that the CIA prefers to keep hidden, even 40 years later.
In recently declassified testimony, veteran CIA officer Joseph Burkhalter Smith talked to congressional investigator Gaeton Fonzi.
“As far as the Kennedy assassination goes, said Smith, “the only thing I can say now and again I’m quoting Colby that there could’ve been operations at Angleton staff was running that he wouldn’t even tell the director.”
A report on what we will learn, if and when President Trump releases the last of the government’s JFK assassination files in April 2018.
“If Lee Harvey Oswald was, as cliche has it, a “lone nut,” he was the one and only isolated sociopath monitored by top CIA counterintelligence officers in the weeks and month before JFK was killed.”
Read the full story, with documentation, here.
In response to my post on Oswald under surveillance, a Twitter friend asked if surveillance was the reason why Oswald rented a room under a fake name (“O.H. Lee”) six weeks before the assassination of JFK.
I said no. Read more
While JFK researchers seek to come up with an accurate count of just how many JFK assassination files remain secret in advance of the April 2018 deadline for full disclosure ordered by President Trump, we can be sure the number is more than 1,000 and maybe higher than 3,000.
The precise number, however, matters less than what is still secret–and this we know with certainty.
One of the most important JFK stories in the unreleased files is the CIA’s surveillance of Lee Harvey Oswald from 1959 to 1963.
A Senate investigator’s memo, released in December 2017, gives the exact date that the surveillance of Oswald began: November 11, 1959.
This is one of the most important JFK records released in the Trump era, so its details are worth understanding.
Turner was controversial within the agency because he curbed covert operations and demanded the agency cut ties with known human rights abusers. This made him unpopular with operations officers but it was the right thing to do.
David Lifton, author of Best Evidence, writes:
“Jeff: I think you’ve framed the question too narrowly….. Read more
I’ve been debating the question with CIA historian David Robarge,
In Washington Decode, he asserts “that the US government did not have actionable information that Oswald was a clear threat to the President before 22 November 1963.”
That is true. He says, correctly, that historians “must fairly assess why people acted based on what they knew at the time.”