In May 1964, top CIA officials stonewalled the official investigation of the murder of President John F. Kennedy by concealing or downplaying evidence about the Cuban contacts of the accused assassin, according to newly declassified documents.
The documents, released online last month by the National Archives, show how two CIA spymasters concocted a series of false and misleading statements that served to steer the Warren Commission investigation away from evidence that might point to a conspiracy.
The long-secret records, stamped with the words “Reproduction Prohibited,” shed new light on two key issues related to the death of JFK: 1) the agency’s plots to kill Cuban leader Fidel Castro at the time JFK was killed; and 2) the CIA’s pre-assassination knowledge of Lee Harvey Oswald, the 24-year-old ex-Marine, who was arrested for killing Kennedy.
The new files show the JFK investigation was not “botched” as Politico and NPR have reported. Rather, the documents show hwo the probe was controlled by two top CIA officials.
In a staff-written piece, Politico’s Challenge to JFK Orthodoxy That Isn’t WhoWhatWhy alleges that Politico’s recent piece on the new JFK files is “disinformation.”
I agree with WhoWhatWhy that the Politico story is politically convenient and factually incomplete, but I reject the claim that it is “disinformation.”
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.
Drew Pearson, March 1948
To people interested in the new JFK releases, I can highly recommend item 3) on Bill Kelly’s Top Ten Newly Released Records.
3) Drew Pearson’s interview with Nikita Khrushchev.
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.
In response to my recent post on a declassified April 1972 CIA memo ordering that “no defector or source” be asked about Lee Harvey Oswald, a faithful reader asks:
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
We know we speak for an army of historians, political scientists, journalists and concerned citizens who have studied the JFK assassination when we say that it is time for the federal government to release everything in the custody of the Archives. This is the moment for full transparency about a seminal event that cost many Americans’ trust in their government.
Source: President Trump, give us the full story on the JFK assassination – The Washington Post
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
Tony Cuesta, anti-Castro fighter with a JFK story
The National Archives’ long-awaited release of JFK assassination files, which began on Monday, has some holes in it.
At least 12 CIA documents that were supposed to be released online Monday are still in the possession of the Agency, according to the Archives.
Among the missing documents are ten pages of notes on the FBI/Army Intelligence file of Tony Cuesta, an anti-Castro militant who implicated a Cuban exile marksman in the assassination of JFK.
The CIA also retains a 47-page file on Cuesta, which is supposed to be released this year, according to the National Archives online database.
The omission of the Cuesta file and 11 other documents from this week’s release was inadvertent, according to archivist James Mathis.
In an email to JFK Facts, Mathis wrote.
In a lawsuit filed Wednesday in Washington, D.C. federal court, Hardway, Lopez and Blakey say they filed a Freedom of Information Act request in May, requesting “201 files” or “soft files” on themselves.201s are a set of documents held by the U.S government on members of the government or military. The file usually contains information describing a person’s military and civilian education history, and can also include personal details like home records or records of awards the person has received.
Source: JFK Researchers Demand CIA Records on Themselves
The National Archives servers are crashing, making it very difficult to download the new JFK assassination files from the NARA site.
If you have succeeded in downloading any of the zipped files, please send a copy of the entire batch to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am getting calls from the national news organizations and would like to respond knowledgably.
The National Archives has begun the long-awaited release of JFK Assassination Records.
I will start writing about these records as soon as I have reviewed them. I welcome your thoughts and suggestions. You can download the documents now. Please send me anything you think is his historically significant or interesting, whether or not it directly relates to JFK’s assassination.
What’s in these documents? I summarize what is know in a recent article for Newsweek: “Donald Trump and the Kennedy Assassination: America’s Most Powerful Conspiracy Theorist Will Decide Fate of Secret JFK Trove.”
From the Fernand Amandi Show, WIOD radio, Miami, May 2, 2017.
Q: Bob Baer, do you think the CIA should release all of the CIA files on the JFK assassination as mandated by law later this year?
A.”Absolutely. There’s no sources and methods involved. Release them and let’s clear this up.”