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Angleton’s story: ‘Intriguing, moving, and at time shocking’

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.

Get it now: The Ghost: The Secret Life of CIA Spymaster James Jesus Angleton.

Who was Valery Kostikov?

Was he a KGB assassin? Did he have contact with Lee Harvey Oswald before the assassination of President Kennedy?

Some answers from my piece (co-authored by Rex Bradford)  in Newsweek:  “America’s most powerful conspiracy theorist will decide the fate of CIA trove.”

Think there’s nothing significant in these JFK records? Think again.

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On the deathbed contortions of Howard Hunt


This is an edited version of Howard Hunt’s much-touted “deathbed confession” about the assassination of JFK.

Hunt insinuates, without supporting evidence, that certain CIA officers and Lyndon Johnson were involved in the killing of President Kennedy.

On the one hand, Hunt, ringleader of the Watergate burglars, knew the underbelly of American power as well as anyone. What he says about November 22 is provocative, and not implausible.

On the other hand… Read more

The Conspiracy Theorist-in-Chief will decide the fate of secret JFK documents 

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.

Source: The Conspiracy Theorist-in-Chief Will Decide the Fate of Secret Documents on JFK’s Assassination | Alternet

Two different views of Antonio Veciana

After I published my review of Antonio Veciana’s book, Trained to Kill, for Newsweek, several people asked me about Dan Hardway’s review of the book AARC web site and W. Tracy Parnell’s blog, purporting to debunk Veciana’s story.

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.

Both are worth taking seriously.

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Deep State Chronicles: Angleton and the Wilson Plot

One of the stories I will tell in The Ghost: The Secret Life of CIA Spymaster James Jesus Angleton is how the British secret intelligence services pressured Harold Wilson, the leftist Labour leader, into retiring early.

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.

Source: “Ashes & Diamonds” by Alexander Cockburn” Read more

Pre-order now: ‘The Ghost: The Secret Life of CIA Spymaster James Jesus Angleton’

James Angleton

James Angleton, chief of the CIA’s Counterintelligence Staff.

At the Future of Freedom Foundation’s recent conference on “The National Security State and JFK,” I previewed one of the best stories from my forthcoming biography of James Angleton: How Lee Harvey Oswald became enmeshed in the Angleton’s legendary “mole hunt” in which he pursued a KGB spy in the ranks of the CIA.

If Oswald was a “lone nut,” as cliché would later have it, he was that rare isolated sociopath of interest to the CIA’s Counterintelligence Staff.

The Ghost: The Secret Life of CIA Spymaster James Jesus Angleton: Jefferson Morley: Amazon.com: Books

Max Holland vs. Oliver Stone: A debate about the CIA and JFK

In response to Max Holland’s recent JFK piece in the Daily Beast, Jim DiEugenio writes:

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What happened to ‘JFK Declassified?’

After two episodes the History Channel documentary series JFK Declassified: Tracking Oswald, seems to have ceased. The third installment of the six-part series, scheduled for release on Tuesday, has not appeared on the History Channel web site. I’ve asked History Channel for comment. If you have relevant information, drop me a note.
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CIA and JFK: Bob Baer talks with Jefferson Morley and Dan Hardway, Part 1

Listen as Baer, the decorated ex-CIA man, tells host Fernand Amandi his theory that “Castro Sorta Done It”

Morley, author of a forthcoming biography of CIA spymaster James Angleton, replies the History Channel series “JFK Declassified” lacks balance, at least so far.

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Daily Beast goes for an unfounded JFK theory

In a piece for the Daily Beast, How the KGB Duped Oliver Stone, Max Holland argues that an article published in an Italian newspaper in 1967 was a KGB disinformation operation that convinced the American people and Oliver Stone that JFK was killed by a CIA conspiracy.

There are many problems with this claim. I’ll just mention four. Read more

History Channel, CIA officer to examine ‘The Declassified Oswald;” The Internet will be fact-checking

JFK DeclassifiedThe History Channel’s upcoming documentary series, “JFK Declassified: Tracking Oswald” sounds enticing. A videogenic and decorated former CIA operations officer Robert Baer revisits the secret intelligence dimensions of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

Baer is not the worst choice for a guide to the JFK story. He is an incisive commentator on CIA affairs, and no apologist. He rejects torture and expresses skepticism on drones. He comes across as a thinking man’s intelligence officer. (The fact that George Clooney played Baer in the movie Syriana gives him a whiff of Cool Liberal cologne.) Read more

Dept. of Dubious Theories: Roger Stone still defends his claim about Ted Cruz’s father

Source: On Meet The Press Daily, Roger Stone Defends His Claim That Ted Cruz’s Father Was Involved In JFK’s Assassination

James Angleton and the art of leak

Similarly, the late James Angleton, America’s most famous counterspy, slipped me the history of a ridiculously expensive recovery vessel called the Glomar Explorer and a few years later laughed that it was an effort to upstage a New York Times investigative reporter he knew was chasing the story.

Source: The leaks I received during Watergate taught me they’re worth the risk – The Washington Post

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Trump family confidante served on the Warren Commission

Murray Laulicht

Murray Laulicht, former Warren Commission attorney

Bill Kelly has the story on the former Warren Commission lawyer who is close to Donald Trump and well-positioned to influence the decisions the Trump administration will have to make about JFK secrecy and disclosure in the next ten months:

Of all the surviving former Warren Commission lawyers, none will be more influential in the new administration than Murray Laulicht, a New Jersey attorney whose wife, Linda Kushner, is the sister of Charles Kushner, the father of Jared Kushner, Donald Trump’s son-in-law.

Source: JFKcountercoup: Warren Commission Lawyers Strike Back