Vincent Dowd speaks to three men who worked on the report, now in their 80s – Burt Griffin, Sam Stern and Howard P.Willens – who now openly consider its merits and whether it uncovered the truth.
A specter is haunting the JFK research: the specter of Valeriy Vladimirovich Kostikov (1933-2002). It has recently slipped through Jefferson Morley’s remarkable study on the secret life of CIA spymaster James Jesus Angleton (The Ghost, St. Martin’s Press, 2017): “Kostikov had been visited by a Cuban government official named Rolando Cubela” (page 150).
“For some time I have been disturbed by the way the CIA has been diverted from its original assignment,” wrote former president Harry Truman in the Washington Post on December 22, 1963. It was exactly one month after the assassination of President Kennedy.
“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 wrote.
The former president never explicitly linked JFK’s death to the clandestine service, but the timing and venue of his piece was suggestive.
In this archive footage, famed CNN personality Larry King talks about how he was an aspiring radio announcer in Miami in the late 60s when he interviewed New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison, then in the midst of his investigation into JFK’s assassination. Read more
The national media, much less diverse and fragmented in 1963 than today, joined the campaign to assuage doubts and dispel “rumors” about JFK’s assassination. Pollsters were already finding that a majority of Americans suspected conspiracy. Life Magazine’s Dec. 6 issue was devoted primarily to photo coverage of the Kennedy funeral, but also included a piece by Paul Mandel entitled “End to Nagging Rumors: The Six Critical Seconds.”
The article began with a quote from Dallas DA Henry Wade: “I would say without any doubt that he is the killer”, and referred to Oswald as “the assassin.”
Life Magazine had earlier purchased rights to Abraham Zapruder’s famous home movie of the murder in Dealey Plaza, and in a November 29 issue had shown frames from that film in black-and-white. Now the Mandel article tried to reconcile the film with Oswald’s guilt.
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.”
“There is a wealth of useful information about the Kennedy assassination available online,” writes Salon’s founding editor, David Talbot. Talbot’s book about CIA director Allen Dulles will be published in next month.
“But before a beginner wades into these thickets, it’s best to start with some of the best books on the subject,” he adds.
Here’s Talbot’s top seven JFK books. Am I biased because Talbot is a friend and he includes my book? Yes, I am.
Len Osanic’s comprehensive look at the JFK assassination story, available from Black Op Radio, presents a remarkable range of interviews, documents, and visuals. For students of the JFK story who are looking to dig deeper,”50 Reasons for 50 Years” is a good place to start.
The Warren Commission didn’t get scared if Fidel Castro because of Lyndon B. Johnson’s chilling warning to Chief Justice Earl Warren about rumors that “if not quenched, could conceivably lead the country into a war which could cost 40 million lives.” Read more
JFK researcher Walt Brown talks to Len Osanic about the Warren Commission’s curious and selective use of witnesses, including:
In comment on this post about the first meeting of the Warren Commission more than 50 years ago, a reader notes how former CIA director Allen Dulles reached his conclusion before the Commission’s investigation began.
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.”
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.
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