News

The CIA’s secret files on Jim Garrison, the prosecutor celebrated in the ‘JFK’ movie

Jim Garrison

Jim Garrison, New Orleans DA, and object of CIA attention. (Credit: LYNN PELHAM/TIMEPIX )

The CIA retains two secret files on New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison, the crusading prosecutor who inspired Oliver Stone’s hit movie “JFK.”

The files–whose existence is reported here for the first time– are among the 3,600 secret U.S. government records related to JFK’s assassination that are scheduled to be released in October 2017. Earlier this week,  Politico and NOLA,com reported on the existence of the 3,600 records, which was first disclosed on May 12 by JFK Facts.

The Garrison files contain 16 pages of undated and unclassified material, according to  the  National Archives’ online database of JFK assassination records

One file– labelled  “CIA File on Garrison, James”–contains ten pages of material. The other–described as “Illegible Document, Garrison Investigation”–has six pages.

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More on Russ Holmes, the CIA’s JFK assassination archivist

Comes a note from a well-informed source about the late Russ Holmes, the man in charge of the CIA’s JFK archives. Holmes was one of the best-informed people in the U.S. government about the JFK assassination records. From his record collection, there may yet emerge new revelations about the assassination of JFK in 2017.

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What would JFK and Jackie have said about the Cuban flag flying over Washington?

Cuban Embassy

Cuban Embassy on 16th St NW in Washington DC (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, Pool)

“Peter Kornbluh, who runs the Cuba Documentation Project at the National Security Archive, was carrying around a book he co-authored, “Back Channel to Cuba,” about the twisted secret history of outreach between the nations. “I wouldn’t miss this for the world,” he said. “It’s a flag flying in the winds of change.'”

Source: Cuban flag over the new embassy in Washington signals a victory shared by American advocates – The Washington Post.

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Russ Holmes, keeper of the CIA’s JFK secrets, dies

Russ Holmes, CIA's JFK archvist

Russ Holmes, CIA’s JFK archivist

The narrative of Libra, Don DeLillo’s lucid novel about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, is propelled by the ruminations of one Nicholas Branch,a mid-level CIA man in post-60s America. A civil servant, Branch is ordered by anonymous superiors to pull together everything the Agency has on “the six seconds that broke the back of the American century.”

As Branch takes on this Sisyphean task he marvels at the enormity and complexity and opacity of the CIA’s record related to the events that culminated with the murder of John Fitzgerald Kennedy in Dallas. As he sifts through the case officer reports, the fitness evaluations, the budgets, and the op plans, the story of Libra unspools.

Russ Holmes, whose death in December was recently announced, was a real-life Nicholas Branch.

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A truth commission could help pave the road to normal U.S.-Cuba relations

As the United States and Cuba prepare to open embassies in Havana and Washington on Monday, the The Washington Post reports:

The two governments have made clear that opening their embassies is only the first step on a long road to “normalization” and that they have many remaining differences on issues including the ongoing U.S. economic embargo, human rights and outstanding legal claims against each other.

One trait the two governments have in common is the practice of extraordinary official secrecy around records related to the assassination of President Kennedy in 1963 and the many U.S.-based assassination attempts against Cuban president Fidel Castro. Read more

The JFK question for 2016 candidates

Here’s a question for the presidential contenders of 2016:

Will you declare “unequivocally” your intention to release the remaining JFK assassinations records in 2017?

It is a basic test of the candidates’ commitment to open government and rule of law.

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Gary Mack dies; called attention to JFK acoustic evidence

Gary Mack, curator of The Sixth Floor Museum in Dallasand a nationally known authority on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, has died.

Mack made two important contributions to the JFK story.

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New records surface on General Lansdale and Cuba

The National Declassification Center announced yesterday the release of long-classified records on General Edward Lansdale and Cuba that may help complete the historical record of the end of the Kennedy administration.

The records include:

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JFK Primary Sources Web site amplifies the historical record

JFK Primary Sources is a new Web site that aggregates an impressive array of links about the assassination of President Kennedy and about U.S. history. The only problem?  Read more

What Mary La Fontaine wrought

Bill SImpich writes of the late Mary La Fontaine, co-author of Oswald Talked.

“She and her husband put together a description of Oswald who walked between the worlds of pro-Castro and anti-Castro that was multi-leveled, nuanced, and really helped me understand the anomalies in this case back in 1996.”

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JFK author Mary La Fontaine passes

Oswald TalkedComes the sad news that Mary La Fontaine has died. I first met Mary and her husband Ray in 1993 after reading a maunscript version of their book Oswald Talked. I was impressed with their writing for many reasons: its witty tone, its use of original sources,and  its granular depiction of a subject oddly ignored by JFK researchers: Cuban exiles in Dallas.

It was the LaFontaines who highlighted me to the role of the Cuban Student Directorate (DRE) in the JFK story, a hunch that was amply confirmed by my subsequent reporting. Without the LaFontaines, I might never have discovered the curious case of George Joannides.

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Bidding begins at $10,000 for intimate Kennedy family photos

Iconic, banal, poignant.
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What does the NSA have on JFK’s assassination?

I recently wrote,“NSA also has an unknown number of JFK documents.” Read more

Slate dodges the JFK bullet

Slate’s David Greenberg is one of those historians who prefers to discuss JFK theories rather than deal with JFK  facts. In his recent Slate piece, The plot to link JFK’s death and Watergate, (republished from 2003), Greenberg has this to say:

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The JFK question for the #2016election

Here’s a question for the presidential contenders of 2016: Will each candidate “declare, unequivocally, his or her intention to release the remaining JFK assassinations records in 2017.”

It is a basic test of the candidates’ commitment to open government and rule of law.

Read more