News

Recycling the ‘Castro sorta done it’ theory

First JFK Conspiracy Theory

The first JFK conspiracy theory, published Nov 24, 1963, and paid for by CIA

In an interview with Time.comformer CIA officer Robert Baer, host of the History Channel docu-series “JFK Declassified,” endorses the “Castro sorta done it” theory.

The theory that Oswald and Castro were “the presumed assassins” was first promoted by CIA propaganda assets in Miami two days after JFK was killed. In 2012, it was revived, with additional evidence, by former CIA analyst, Brian Latell.

You can read my interview of Latell here where he makes his case.

Read more

CIA critics reviewed the JFK film ‘Executive Action’ even before it was released

Executive Action is perhaps the most famous conspiracy thriller about the John Kennedy assassination, with the exception of Oliver Stone’s JFK.  Recently released CIA records in the CREST database show that they were keeping an eye the production and how it was being received.  The articles even detail how the CIA may have threatened or tried to stop the production of the film.

Source: CIA Open Source Records on Executive Action | Spy Culture

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

Read more

‘We just did not anticipate how many [JFK] records … had not been released’

At the recent CAPA conference, Judge Tunheim spoke of his surprise at the extent of JFK secrecy 25 years ago. Today more than 3,500 JFK assassination records remain secret, some 110,000 pages of material.

We had three years to do the work with the possibility of one additional year if Congress approved. It sounded like a long time, it sounded like enough time to do the work. But we just did not anticipate just how many records that had not released concerning the Kennedy assassination.

Source: JFK Countercoup: Judge John Tunheim – CAPA Sunshine Week at NPC

Federal judge John Tunheim calls for full JFK disclosure in 2017

AARC-CAPA NPC part 1 from R Benson Film, llc on Vimeo.

Judge Tunheim: I saw Oswald’s KGB file and it was five feet tall

Lee Harvey Oswald,

Lee Harvey Oswald, Marine and defector

The Soviet intelligence service has a massive file on accused presidential assassin Lee Harvey Oswald that has never been public, said federal judge John Tunheim, former chairman of a government declassification panel

Tunheim said he reviewed the file in Moscow in 1994 on behalf of the Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB), which declassified millions of pages of JFK documents in the 1990s.

“The KGB file stood five feet tall when you stacked all the boxes up,” Tunheim told a Washington press conference on Thursday.

Read more

Judge Tunheim says JFK files were ‘probably unlawfully withheld’ by CIA

Judge Tunheim

Judge John Tunheim, former chair of the JFK Assassination Records Review Board.

At a Washington press conference Thursday, Judge John Tunheim called for the release of all the government’s files on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy later this year.

Kennedy was shot dead in Dallas on November 22, 1963. Incredibly enough, thousands of pages of government files related to his murder remain secret, 54 years later.

“It’s time to release them all,” Tunheim said. “There’s no real reason to protect this information.”

Some 3,500 JFK documents remain secret, according to the National Archives data base,

Read more

WikiLeaks password echoed JFK’s anti-CIA quote

The story “Wikileaks Vault 7 Password Is Nod to Anti-CIA JFK Quote,” from the Conservative Tribune, is making the rounds on social media.

Read more

Judge John Tunheim to speak on JFK assassination disclosures on March 16

John Tunheim

Federal judge John Tunheim, former chair of the Assassination Records Review Board.

Judge John Tunheim will speak about the 25th anniversary of the JFK Records Act at the National Press Club in Washington DC on March 16.

Tunheim, federal judge in Minneapolis, is the former chair of the independent civilian board that implemented the JFK Records Act and released some four million pages of assassination-related records since 1998.

These new JFK files have deepened and clarified the story of how the President John F. Kennedy was shot to death on November 22, 1963 and why no one was ever brought to justice for his wrongful death.  Read more

Returning to action: the JFK story in 2017

My vacation from the land of JFK is over. I haven’t written here in a couple of months and now I’m back. Please excuse my unauthorized absence. I’ve been busy.

I’m writing about the Trump administration for AlterNet, and that’s a yuge job.

I finished my next book, The Ghost: The Secret Life of CIA Spymaster James Jesus Angleton, and that was bigly too. (Look for this biographic thriller on Amazon/Powell’s and in bookstores in October.)

But I’d left some people high and dry. My friend Dwight said, Man, what’s up with the blog? Don’t stop now. So, with lots of JFK news coming, it is indeed time to start writing again.

You will be hearing from me on many things, including:

  • Judge John Tunheim’s March 16 appearance in Washington to talk about the JFK Records Act;
  • The latest from the National Archives on the JFK records in October 2017;
  • The implications of tensions between President Trump and the CIA for full JFK disclosure;
  • Why Natalie Portman was robbed at the Oscars.

I was talking with John Newman the other day–about Angleton, the JFK Records Act, and Cuba–and he said, “I truly think we are in new territory in terms of understanding the case.”

I think that’s right. The challenge of 2017 is to tell the new JFK story in a lucid dispassionate way.

Read more

“Jackie” the woman and the mythmaker

I went to see “Jackie” last night and I thought it was terrific.

JFK Facts movie critic Patrick McDonald has already reviewed this excellent cinematic experience. Here’s another provocative take by Youssef El-Gingihy of The Independent, a liberal newspaper in London.

She is a big part of the reason why a half century on we are still talking about JFK and why films are still being made about him

Released on the day of Trump’s inauguration in centenary year of JFK’s birth and in advance of the release of the CIA’s last JFK assassination files in October 2017, “Jackie” couldn’t be more topical .

Read more

Secret JFK document #3: the DRE/AMSPELL file

DREAmong the 1,100 secret CIA documents related to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy is an 86 page file of the anti-Castro group, Directorio Revolucionario Estudantil (DRE)

The group, commonly known as the Cuban Student Directorate, had a curious double role in the JFK assassination story–a role that the CIA chose to conceal from both the Warren Commission in 1964 and the House Selection Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) in the late 1970s.

The deception was not minor: CIA-funded DRE was the first organization to call public attention to accused assassin Lee Oswald–before JFK was killed.

Read more

The origins of the battle for the soul of the CIA

In a prequel of sorts to the emerging war between President-elect Trump and the CIA, the War on the Rocks blog, reviews the latest revelations from the declassified history of the CIA’s disastrous Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba in 1961.
Why is something that happened 55 years ago relevant to power politics in today’s Washington?
Because the the power struggle that followed the CIA’s first public defeat would shape and hone the interventionist mission of the secret agency. Now the CIA faces the wrath of a commander in chief who mistrusts its prerogatives and sympathizes with its adversaries in Moscow and, according to the CIA, was aided by them.

Read more

Literary (CIA) agents at work

In Literary Agents, Patrick Iber of the New Republic delves into the role of the CIA in the culture Cold War. He doesn’t specifically mention the role of Cord Meyer and James Angleton but they were probably the two CIA officials most responsible for CIA cultural funding between 1954 and 1967,

Iber captures what was most problematic about the CIA’s role, something I will touch on in my forthcoming Angleton biography.

Read more