Tag Archive for CIA

JFK Most Wanted: Dave Phillips’ CIA operations files

David Phillips

David A. Phillips, chief of CIA anti-Castro covert operations in 1963

David Phillips was a failed actor turned expatriate newspaper publisher in Santiago, Chile when he was recruited into the CIA in the early 1950s. He made his mark fast. In 1955, he won a Distinguished Intelligence Medal, one of the agency’s highest honors, for mounting deceptive radio broadcasts in the CIA’s overthrow of the democratically elected government of Guatemala in 1954.

After that his CIA career took off. With Howard Hunt, Phillips served as propaganda chief in the CIA’s failed effort to invade Cuba at the Bay of Pigs In April 1961. When he was assigned to Mexico City in 1962, station chief Win Scott described him as “the finest covert action officer I have ever met.”

After JFK’s assassination, Scott was not so complimentary and I suspect the reason why was Oswald’s curious handling of Oswald. .(I tell the story in my biography of Scott, Our Man in Mexico. Buy it here.)

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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

Intel Today blog on Antonio Veciana

Source: INTEL TODAY DIARY — MAY 29 2017 | Intel Today

Anthony Summers reflects on covering the JFK story

Summers was amazed when doing his documentary for BBC’s “Panorama” in the late 1970s that many of his interview subjects had never been spoken to before. “All of the media of that time, not least the New York Times, had completely failed to really quarry into the story.  They simply had not done it,” he said. “They concentrated on the great tapestry of the assassination and the Kennedy era.”

Source: On the trail of the assassin(s) — Irish Echo

The CIA’s secrets about JFK, Che, and Castro revealed in new Book by former operative

In the early 1960s, Antonio Veciana was the CIA’s man in Havana.

So begins my review in Newsweek: The CIA’s Secrets About JFK, Che, and Castro Revealed in New Book By Former Operative.

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

James Angleton testifies

James Angleton, spymaster

Be the first among your friends to pre- order this book and you will not be sorry. Read more

If Oswald were living today and went to Syria to meet with ISIS

A reader, Richard, notes the most interesting observation made by CIA man Robert Baer in the otherwise disappointing  “JFK Declassified.”

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Prelude to a cover-up: CIA ponders ‘appropriate next steps’ on missing JFK files 

Will Trump Release the Missing JFK Files? asks Phil Shenon in Politico. I now think the answer is, probably not.

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JFK Facts Podcast: What will the History Channel say about JFK and CIA?

Alan and I talked about the upcoming History Channel’s JFK Declassified: Tracking Oswald, a six-part docu-series on Kennedy assassination story, which begins Tuesday, April 25th. Based on what I know, I have mixed feelings about the show.

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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

What was Antonio Veciana’s connection with the CIA?

Tracy writes with a good question: “In your [JFK Facts] podcast you make the following statement:” 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

Angleton and the CIA’s illicit mail surveillance program

Although this account does not mention James Angleton, the CIA Counterintelligence Chief (1954-74) was the man who expanded and oversaw the opening of the mail of U.S. citizens for nearly 20 years. In 1977, the Justice Department decided not to indict him.

Source: The Justice Department refused to prosecute CIA for illegal surveillance

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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