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 this May 1964 conversation about the assassination of JFK, Drew Pearson, one of the nation’s leading syndicated columnists, failed to dispel the conspiratorial convictions of Nikita Khrushchev, the leader of the Soviet Union.
Three years later, Pearson’s fellow investigative reporter Jack Anderson would break a story that shattered Washington’s confidence in the official JFK story and lent credence to Khrushchev’s view.
I’ve been hearing from news reporters for major news organizations, who ask, “What’s in the new JFK files? Is there a smoking gun?”
The answer is no. There is no one piece of evidence in the 113,00 pages of JFK records scheduled to be released by October 26, 2017, that will change people’s minds about what happened long ago in Dallas.
But the new JFK files, if released in their entirety, will fill in the two key gaps in the JFK assassination story that have long been obscured by government misconduct, official secrecy, and lazy journalism.
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
Arnaldo Fernandez on the History Channel’s misguided, and now disappeared, JFK series.
After mixing Oswald with the anti-Castro and CIA-backed paramilitaries of Alpha 66 in a weird pot made of “special intent to kill President Kennedy soup”, Baer keeps on blighting a big-budget TV show by ignoring the body of the evidence, writes Arnaldo Fernandez. With an insert by Milicent Cranor on the History Channel’s version of the “jet effect”.
James Angleton’s real life is the most intriguing, moving, and at time shocking spy story in American history. In The Ghost, Jefferson Morley has capture the man in all of his brilliant and sometimes delusional eccentricity. A must read’ for anyone who wants to understand just how strange and secretive the CIA was at the height of the Cold War.
–David Ignatius, columnist for the Washington Post and author of The Director.
He’s called global warming a hoax, suggested that Barack Obama was not an American and linked autism to childhood vaccinations. And soon, President Donald Trump, America’s most powerful conspiracy theorist, will decide the fate of more than 113,000 pages of secret documents about the ultimate conspiracy theory: the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on Nov. 22, 1963.
The former is an investigator’s take, the latter a prosecutor’s brief. Dan looks to get beyond Veciana’s self-presentation. Parnell seeks to impeach his credibility. Dan sees Veciana’s story as “modified limited hangout,” Parnell sees it as a fantasy.
Some would credit Angleton with good counterintelligence instincts. Others might see a witch hunt or the workings of the so-called “deep state.” In any case, it was vintage Angleton, as Alex Cockburn explains.