A faithful reader writes with questions about my post on the UNLV conference celebrating New Orleans DA Jim Garrison for his efforts to prosecute a JFK assassination conspiracy
The reader says he is “not aware of evidence that the [CIA's] Counterintelligence staff was ‘secretly trying to subvert his investigation,’” as I wrote in my post.
Howard Willens, Warren Commission defender.
Howard Willens, a former Warren Commission staffer, acknowledged in a an email interview with JFK Facts that deputy CIA director Richard Helms was “not truthful” with the Commission and there is “no doubt” that counterintelligence chief James Angleton did not cooperate with the inquiry into JFK’s assassination.
While vigorously defending the Commission’s conclusions, Willens admitted he was naive about the CIA. Asked about a passage in his journal from March 1964 in which he wrote that senior CIA officials “did not have an axe to grind” in the commission’s investigation, Willens acknowledged “my comments about the CIA were naive to say the least.”
Since the premiere of the Cuban-Brazilian TV documentary, ZR Rifle, on November 27, 1993, the former head and current historian of Cuban State Security General Fabian Escalante has said that Cuban exiles Herminio Diaz and Eladio del Valle, along with three American mobsters: Richard Gaines [Cain], Lenny Patrick, and Dave Yara were the shooters at Dealey Plaza.
What’s the basis for Escalante’s story? Read more
In a finely reported piece for Esquire last November Chris Jones recreated the scene on Air Force One on the afternoon of November 22, 1963.
Here’s the first meeting of now former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy and Lady Bird Johnson, now the wife of the President of the United States.
“I don’t know what to say,” Lady Bird says. “What wounds me most of all is that this should happen in my beloved state of Texas.”
In response to the “Does the NSA target JFK websites?” post we had many compelling comments.
Anthony Martin writes: Read more
JFK Facts is the only website that defends the free speech rights of people interested in JFK’s assassination by asking the necessary questions about possible interference by the online covert operations of the NSA.
We can only do this work with your help. Donate now to JFK Facts.
JFK researcher Walt Brown talks to Len Osanic about the Warren Commission’s curious and selective use of witnesses, including:
Regarding yesterday’s post on the 1971 FBI break-in that was kept quiet for decades, Paul F. wrote:
Regarding the post on the Pentagon burning the Osama bin Laden death photos, Andrew Everett writes:
Recently, I read a 1967 Washington Post column by Art Buchwald in which he estimated that it cost $323,000 to kill one enemy combatant in Vietnam. Mr. Buchwald then questioned whether the U.S. would be better off to offer Viet Cong defectors “a $25,000 house, a color TV, free education for their children and a paid-up country club membership.” Funny — haha. A $25,000 house!!!
Rare video from Vince Palamara, via JFK Lancer:
Peter Dale Scott’s straightforward interview with Jesse Curry, chief of the Dallas Police Department who was riding at the front of presidential motorcade on November 22, 1963. Curry talks about his observations at the scene of the crime.
Who was Jesse Curry? Spartacus Educational has a good summary.
Rep. Otis Pike
Otis Pike, the former Long Island congressman who chaired the House Select Committee on Intelligence inquiry into CIA skullduggery in 1975, died Monday in Florida.
Pike’s committee was a parallel effort to the one led by Frank Church in the Senate. It investigated the CIA’s role in sponsoring coups in Chile and other countries, and if the agency spied on US citizens. Pike called for more Congressional oversight of intelligence operations in order to rein in abuses.
Though the full US House of Representatives voted to keep the Pike Report secret, the Village Voice ended up printing it after CBS’ Daniel Schorr revealed its existence.
Pike was no fan of intelligence agencies. According to the New York Times: “Mr. Pike maintained that the security agencies were inept bureaucracies that left the country vulnerable. ‘If an attack were to be launched on America in the very near future,’ he said in late 1975, ‘it is my belief that America would not know that the attack was about to be launched.’”
The spy who sang
John Whitten is a rare hero of the JFK story. He was a senior CIA official who sought, behind the scenes, to conduct an honest investigation of what the agency knew about accused assassin Lee Harvey Oswald, before President Kennedy was killed.
But at a meeting on Christmas Eve 1963 deputy director CIA Richard Helms and counterintelligence chief Jim Angleton shut down Whitten’s efforts to investigate Oswald’s contacts among pro- and anti-Castro Cubans and relieved him of his responsibilities for investigating JFK’s assassination.
Whitten’s story, which I first reported in the Washington Monthly in 2003, illuminated the inner workings of the CIA in the days and weeks after JFK was killed. It is the story of a “good spy” whose pursuit of the truth about JFK’s death cost him his career. Read more
“For some time I have been disturbed by the way the CIA has been diverted from its original assignment,” wrote former President Harry Truman on the one-month anniversary of President Kennedy’s assassination
“It has become an operational and at times a policy-making arm of the Government. This has led to trouble and may have compounded our difficulties in several explosive areas.”
Truman never linked JFK’s death to the clandestine service but the timing of his piece, published in the Washington Post, was suggestive. Already Soviet bloc news outlets were speculating Kennedy’s murder–and the murder of the only suspect while in police custody–pointed to U.S. government involvement in the assassination.
“This quiet intelligence arm of the President has been so removed from its intended role that it is being interpreted as a symbol of sinister and mysterious foreign intrigue–and subject for cold war enemy propaganda,” Truman wrote. Read more
In comment on today’s post about the first meeting of the Warren Commission 50 years ago, a reader notes how former CIA director Allen Dulles reached his conclusion before the Commission’s investigation began.
With the FBI’s report on Kennedy’s assassination, the Commission undertook to select staffers and figure out how to approach its work.
Chief Justice Warren complained about the leaks of the FBI report: ”I have read that report two or three times and I have not seen anything in there that has not been in the press.”
The Commissioners then held a wide-ranging discussion of JFK’s assasination, including: