I’m pleased to be speaking at the JFK Lancer November In Dallas Conference on Friday, November 17 at 4 pm. I will talk about “James Angleton and the Assassination of JFK.” I will also be selling and signing my new book, THE GHOST: The Secret Life of CIA Spymaster James Jesus Angleton.
A bipartisan group of Congressman are urging President Trump to insist on “full public release” the government’s JFK assassination records by October 26 and to “reject any claims for the continued postponement of …. those records.”
In two “sense of Congress” resolutions introduced Wednesday on Capitol Hill, the legislators call for the CIA, FBI and other federal agencies to release all of their records related to the November 1963 murder of President John F. Kennedy.
JFK’s assassination on November 22, 1963 generated six official investigations and widespread belief that the liberal president was the victim of a conspiracy and not a lone gunman.
After the box office success of Oliver Stone’s conspiratorial epic “JFK, Congress unanimously approved the JFK Records Act on October 26, 1992, mandating release of all government records related to JFK’s death within 25 years.
Most of the JFK files have been made public but some 35,000 documents remained fully or partially redacted and have never been seen by the public, researchers or the media. By law, federal agencies must obtain the written permission of the president to keep these documents secret after this month.
“Transparency in government is critical not only to ensuring accountability; it’s also essential to understanding our nation’s history,” said Sen. Charles Grassley, (R-Iowa) in a written statement. “…Americans deserve a full picture of what happened that fateful day in November 1963. Shining a light on never-before-seen government records is essential to filling in these blank spaces in our history.”
The CIA and FBI have not yet revealed whether they will appeal to Trump for continuing secrecy.
“CIA continues to engage in the process to determine the appropriate next steps with respect to any previously unreleased CIA information,” said spokesperson Nicole de Haay told Alternet last month.
In an email, the FBI press office said, “We do not have a comment to provide and suggest you reach out to the White House.”
The White House did nor respond to request for comment.
According to the National Archives online database, the unreleased records include CIA files on two senior officers involved in assassinations and four Watergate burglars, as well as the closed-door testimony of numerous JFK witnesses, such CIA spymaster James Angleton.
The resolutions have attracted diverse support. The House measure, introduced by Jones, is co-sponsored by several members who served in Congress in 1992, and voted for the original JFK Records Act.
They include liberals Reps. John Conyers (D-Mich.), currently the longest serving member of Congress, Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio), the longest serving woman in the House, Louise Slaughter (D-NY) and Gerry Connolly (D-Va.)
The Senate resolution (S. Res 281) was introduced by Grassley (R-Ia), the conservative chairman of the Judiciary Committee, and co-sponsored by liberal Sen. Pat Leahy (D-Vermont), the ranking member of the committee.
“Chairman Grassley and I both believe that a government of, by, and for the people simply cannot be one that needlessly hides information from them,” Leahy said in a statement. “I look forward to continuing our efforts to make our democracy ever more transparent to the American people.”
Jones said he will send a letter to all members of Congress seeking their support for the non-binding resolutions.
Jones also said he plans to contact Roger Stone, a confidante of Trump and JFK conspiracy theorist. On Wednesday Stone joined anti-conspiratorial author Gerald Posner in a public statement calling for release of the JFK files.
“I will ask Mr. Stone to please use his influence with Donald Trump to encourage the president to join in this effort,” Jones added.
During the 2016 presidentail campaign Trump concocted a bogus JFK conspiracy theory to smear Republican rival Ted Cruz.
The first batch of the last JFK records, released by the National Archives in July, generated several revelations that shed new light on the JFK story.
One top CIA counterintelligence official came to doubt the lone gunman theory in the mid-1970s and suspected Cuba might have been involved, according to Politico.
Collectively, the latest revelations pour cold water on the theory that the Soviet intelligence service, the KGB, was involved in JFK’s murder, while raising questions about the “Castro did it” theory and the role of the CIA in the events leading to November 22, 1963
Whether any JFK records will remain secret after this month is up to President Trump. The conspiracy-theorist-in chief has three weeks to decide.
Are you a journalist, blogger, historian or researcher who would like to write/finish/perfect an important work of non-fiction?
The Logan Non-Fiction program at the Carey Institute in upstate New York could be the perfect place for you. It was for me. I wrote the first draft of my forthcoming book on James Angleton there Read more
The release of long-secret JFK assassination files by the National Archives has drawn the attention of news organizations nationwide.
Four revelations stand out so far.
1) WhoWhatWhy reported on documents showing that Earle Cabell, the mayor of Dallas at the time of JFK’s assassination, was a CIA asset in the 1950s. His brother, Charles Cabell, was a high-ranking CIA official until 1962.
I recently spoke with S.T. Patrick on the Midnight Writer News podcast, about the CIA during the Kennedy era, with particular emphasis on the role of James Angleton in the events leading up to the assassination. Read more
Exceptional reporting. Exceptional writing. Thank you for your dedication to seeking justice in this case. We have been waiting a long time to read what you wrote. The facts have led us here
In May 1964, top CIA officials stonewalled the official investigation of the murder of President John F. Kennedy by concealing or downplaying evidence about the Cuban contacts of the accused assassin, according to newly declassified documents.
The documents, released online last month by the National Archives, show how two CIA spymasters concocted a series of false and misleading statements that served to steer the Warren Commission investigation away from evidence that might point to a conspiracy.
The long-secret records, stamped with the words “Reproduction Prohibited,” shed new light on two key issues related to the death of JFK: 1) the agency’s plots to kill Cuban leader Fidel Castro at the time JFK was killed; and 2) the CIA’s pre-assassination knowledge of Lee Harvey Oswald, the 24-year-old ex-Marine, who was arrested for killing Kennedy.
The first nationally known analysts to weigh in on the new JFK files are Phil Shenon and Larry Sabato, former New York Times reporter and University of Virginia professor respectively. In a story for Politico Magazine, they purport to tell the story How the CIA Came to Doubt the Official Story of JFK’s Murder.
The tipoff to the story’s limitations is the headline, which sounds a bit odd: how the CIA came to doubt the official story…
The CIA was the source for key parts of the official JFK story–that a lone gunman killed President Kennedy out of “hatred for American society.” The CIA’s doubts only surfaced in the spring of 1975 when the official story was shredded by revelations about the agency’s pre-assassination knowledge of Oswald and plots to kill Castro.
In response to my recent post on a declassified April 1972 CIA memo ordering that “no defector or source” be asked about Lee Harvey Oswald, a faithful reader asks:
Where is April 1972 in the Nosenko chronology? Was there a time at which saner CIA people simply told Angleton to back off from his Nosenko-KGB theories?
The answer is that Angleton was motivated both by his interest in Nosenko and his desire to block CIA people from questioning the dubious official story of Oswald as a lone assassin about whom the agency knew little.
In fact, as Angleton knew better than anyone, the CIA had monitored Oswald’s movements, politics, personal life, and foreign contacts for four years before JFK was killed.
The other relevant question is, “Where is April 1972 in the Oswald chronology?” Read more
On April 5, 1972, CIA counterintelligence chief James Angleton, backed by director Richard Helms, issued a blanket order:
“the agency was not, under any circumstances , to make inquiries or ask any source or defector about Oswald”
The order, found in the massive batch of JFK files released online this week, came nine years after Kennedy was shot dead in Dallas on November 22, 1963, allegedly by Lee Harvey Oswald, a 24 year old ex-Marine. The order was issued after officials in the agency’s Soviet Bloc division asked a Russian defector about the accused assassin who lived in the Soviet Union from 1959 to 1962.
The CIA memo,
classified as a state secret for the past 35 years [Ed note: Paul Hoch tells me the memo was released with a name redacted in 1998] sheds light on how Angleton, a legendary spy chief known for his brilliance and paranoia, tightly controlled the JFK investigation for years after the crime. No one at the CIA was supposed to ask questions about Kennedy’s accused killer. Read more
The National Archives has begun the long-awaited release of JFK Assassination Records.
I will start writing about these records as soon as I have reviewed them. I welcome your thoughts and suggestions. You can download the documents now. Please send me anything you think is his historically significant or interesting, whether or not it directly relates to JFK’s assassination.
What’s in these documents? I summarize what is know in a recent article for Newsweek: “Donald Trump and the Kennedy Assassination: America’s Most Powerful Conspiracy Theorist Will Decide Fate of Secret JFK Trove.”
Peter Savodnik, writing about the Russians and the Trumps on the Vanity Fair web site, says yes.
In my upcoming Angleton biography, I review the case and come to the opposite conclusion: Pete Bagley (and Jim Angleton) were wrong: Nosenko was a bona fide defector.
On the 50th anniversary of the attack on the USS Liberty on June 8,1967, people wonder how could the United States let the deaths of 34 servicemen go unpunished.
“The next day, the CIA produced its first analysis, which exonerated the Israelis. The paper concluded, erroneously, that there was ‘little doubt that the Israelis failed to identify the Liberty as a U.S. ship before or during the attack.” The Liberty “could easily have been mistaken” for El Quesir,” the memo asserted, a claim that the U.S. Navy would soon repudiate. The report was ‘compiled from all available sources,’ probably by [James] Angleton, the Israeli desk officer.”