News

Will the 2017 JFK documents tell us anything new?

Politico’s Bryan Bender follows up on WhoWhatWhy’s scoop about still-secret JFK records with a resounding “maybe.”

Asked whether there might be any significant revelations about Kennedy’s unsolved murder, Martha Murphy, head of the Archives’ Special Access Branch, told POLITICO last year, “I’ll be honest. I am hesitant to say you’re not going to find out anything about the assassination.”

Source: What the government is still hiding about the JFK assassination

The implications of latest Morley v. CIA ruling

The latest Morley decision greatly simplifies the test for determining whether a FOIA plaintiff is entitled to receive attorney fees.

Source: MEMORANDUM ON MORLEY CASE OPINION BY COURT OF APPEALS

Morley 3, CIA 0

A federal appellate court has again rejected the arguments of the Central Intelligence Agency in a long-running lawsuit over ancient but still-sensitive CIA files related to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

Jim Lesar

James Lesar, veteran FOIA litigator, prevailed over the CIA attorneys for a third time.

On Thursday, a three-judge panel in Washington D.C. unanimously denied the CIA’s claim that there is no “public benefit” to the disclosure of long-suppressed records of a deceased CIA officer involved in the events that led to the death of the liberal president on November 22, 1963.

“Where that subject is the Kennedy assassination, an event with few rivals in national trauma and in the array of passionately held conflicting explanationsshowing potential public value is relatively easy,” wrote Senior Circuit Judge Stephen Williams.

The records were forced into public view by a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit that I brought against the CIA in 2003. The records revealed for the first time that the officer received a Career Intelligence Medal in 1981, two years after stonewalling congressional investigators about what he knew of contacts in 1963 between accused assassin Lee Oswald and CIA-funded anti-Castro exiles in New Orleans.

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Jennifer Lawrence as ‘Marita’: the story behind the coming film

Lawerence is re-teaming with American Hustle screenwriter Eric Warren Singer .

I’m looking forward to this for two reasons: Read more

CIA and Nixon led ‘aggressive’ Cuba policy, according to FBI memo

Not long after the first anniversary of Fidel Castro coming to power,  Vice President Richard Nixon was “becoming very active and aggressive” about US. policy toward Cuba with the help of the CIA.

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The CIA’s Operation Midnight Climax funded an acid-tripping brothel in San Francisco 

And the guy who ran it, George Hunter White, was a federal narcotics agent and CIA consultant.

OPERATION MIDNIGHT CLIMAX – Weird and twisted tale from San Francisco Telegraph Hill | San Francisco Sentinel

Dr. Randolph Robertson examines filmed images of the JFK autopsy that have never been made public

In summary, after having reviewed the entirety of the autopsy photographs and x-rays, I believe that there are three major conclusions:

Source: Randolph Robertson Examines 120 Film of the JFK Autopsy 

(Reader advisory: contains graphic images of President Kennedy’s autopsy)

Natalie Portman is Jacqueline Kennedy in first ‘Jackie’ Image

Natatlie Portman as Jackie Kennedy

We’ve seen films tackle the story of John F. Kennedy from nearly every angle —

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Missing documents and reluctant witnesses

In my previous article, I discussed how the FBI withheld its informant and asset files from the ARRB, even though the JFK Records Act mandates that all “assassination-related files” be provided to the American public.   Here are some additional files that have been withheld by the FBI and other agencies.


Encoded files:
  I don’t think the “ten page encoded teletype” that Hosty mentions was sent from Dallas to Headquarters has ever been released to the public.  (Hosty, Assignment:  Oswald, p 36).

Many of the Cuban operational files in 1963 are heavily encoded. Although the FBI must have an unencoded version, it hasn’t been provided to the public.

Photo evidence:  If the “LILYRIC files” that still exist would be provided, we would know if Oswald actually ever entered the Soviet consulate or whether it is some kind of cover story.
Audio evidence:  Tapes from Mexico City  taken by the LIFEAT audio tap operation from 1963 have still not been provided.
Transcripts:   Also unprovided are most of the transcripts from the tapes made in Mexico City – we have small bits but not the entire transcripts by any means.
NSA files:  Sending encoded material from Mexico City to the NSA was very common.  Bill Harvey’s Staff D was the liaison to NSA during this era.   Most of the transmissions from the Mexico City station to the NSA during and after Oswald’s Mexico City visit are missing.
The CIA had full knowledge that a man calling himself Oswald was in Mexico City and had visited the consulates, yet there is no record of the NSA receiving copies of the transcripts or tapes recording Oswald’s visit.
NSA knows the 11/22 story – it lagged the friendship between terrorist Jean souetre and Dallas resident
Laurence Anderson when Jean Herve of French intelligence flagged it back in April 1963.  (For those with good memories the late-70s discovery that Souetre was in Dallas during 11/22/63 and communicating with Anderson caused a minor sensation in the research community.)

Military intelligence files:  Researcher Bill Kelly has prepared a formal request for numerous “119 (after-action) reports” regarding Oswald that were never provided to the ARRB. 

FBI radio log for 11/22.  A very important time clock, to my knowledge absent from the records.  We have the Dallas police log after much fussing, why not the FBI?
White House Communications Agency tapes:  These include not just the Air Force tapes that chronicle the return of JFK’s body to Washington, but the Secret Service tapes of 11/22 and much more.  All of this is missing, and without a good explanation known to me.
 

134 and 137 informant reports:  As mentioned in my previous article, the FBI refuses to turn these files over as a matter of policy.
For example, we don’t have the informant files for the Marina Oswald wiretap.

THE ARRB WARNED THAT THESE PROBLEMS HAD OCCURRED OR WOULD OCCUR

The ARRB wrote in its final report that it had problems obtaining various documents, as “the sunset enabled government agencies that were not inclined to cooperate to simply try to outlast the Board.”

The ARRB said NARA, the FBI, and the CIA should enter into a memorandum of understanding to ensure continued compliance with the JFK Act.  To my knowledge, such an MOU has never been created.

The ARRB said we would need a new ARRB:  “There likely will be problems in the future that best lend themselves to the extraordinary attention that a similarly empowered Review Board can focus.”   They also made a formal recommendation for future Review Boards to be set up when “extraordinary circumstances” exist, and that the JFK Act and the Review Board was a model for the future.

 

Move over, Adele—JFK is actually the fastest-selling artist ever

“This week, 52 years ago, John Fitzgerald Kennedy: A Memorial Album sold an astonishing 4 million copies in its first six days of availability, according to the Guinness Book of World Records. …It cost 99 cents a copy.”

Move Over, Adele—JFK’s Actually the Fastest-Selling Artist Ever – The Daily Beast

New Orleans mobster said Jack Ruby was a ‘goombah’

From The Advocatee — Baton Rouge, Louisiana, a fun obituary of an unrepentant crook with a delicious name, Frenchy Brouillete.

Marcello’s name cropped up in various JFK assassination theories, and a House Select Committee report in 1979 mentioned “credible associations relating both Lee Harvey Oswald and Jack Ruby to figures having a relationship, albeit tenuous, with Marcello’s crime family or organization.” In the Randazzo book published last year, Brouillette describes Ruby — who killed presumed Kennedy assassin Oswald — as “another Marcello family goombah.

What’s a goombah? Read more

Untold JFK story: the FBI’s pre-assassination hunt for Lee Harvey Oswald

On September 27 and 28, 1963, a man calling himself Lee Oswald visited the Cuban consulate and Soviet embassy in Mexico City. He was seeking visas to visit both countries.  As Oswald was a former defector to the Soviet Union who was planning on traveling with his Russian-born wife, he immediately attracted the interest of CIA officers and FBI agents in the Mexican capital.

And so the FBI began searching for Oswald–while President Kennedy was still alive, a story that was withheld from the Warren Commission and is ignored in virtually every book about JFK’s assassination.

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Gayle Jackson Nix sues for her grandfather’s JFK film

The granddaughter of a man who caught the JFK assassination on camera wants $10 million in exchange for the film she says the government has possessed for over 50 years. Read more

A campaign to digitize all the JFK records

There is a ten year strategy to digitize all of the 120 billion pages of government documents in the National Archives by 2024. The scan plan refers to it as “our moon shot“.

Ambitious, but possible. The Archivist, David Ferriero, has to set priorities, and he will listen to public opinion about how to do so.  As the most-used records in the Archives, the JFK records should get top priority. Read more

Is David Talbot right that the CIA killed JFK ?

In Salon, David Talbot writes that JFK was assassinated, 52 years ago today, at the behest of a clique of CIA officers led by a highly-praised operator named Bill Harvey.

Is Talbot right?

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