Tag Archive for CIA

The CIA’s JFK assassination story is ‘evolving’

CIA: There Was a JFK Assassination Cover-Up | Maxim

Robarge’s account may give credence to some of the conspiracy theories that have long swirled around JFK’s death:

Let’s say we leave the conspiracy theories out of it for now and stick to the facts, ma’am.

CIA historian David Robarge now speaks of a “benign JFK cover-up” after JFK was killed. The CIA, in this account, wasn’t really sure that the communist Oswald killed the liberal president. They just decided that was the “best truth” they could find at the time. Not the whole truth, mind you, just the best truth.

With some artful spin, the Agency spokesmen are now conceding an important point first made by CIA critics: Read more

Oct. 10, 1963: Six top CIA officers discuss Lee Harvey Oswald among themselves

Fifty two years ago today, a man named Lee Harvey Oswald came to the attention of a group of senior CIA officers in Langley, Virginia. Oswald had recently visited the Cuban consulate and Soviet Embassy  in Mexico City. A CIA wiretap captured a man identifying himself as “Oswald.” The CIA officers conferred about his actions.

The story is well documented in CIA archives.

CIA Oswald Cable

Six CIA officers who knew about Oswald before JFK was killed

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The CIA’s modified limited hangout: Politico on the spy chief who lied about JFK

RFK and John McCone

“Did your guys do it?” RFK asked CIA director John McCone after JFK was killed. (photo credit: CIA)


Phil Shenon continues his intrepid reporting on the assassination of JFK with a report in POLITICO Magazine.on the findings of the CIA’s in-house historian that former director John McCone covered up key information from assassination investigators.

The CIA, it turns out, has confirmed that yet another senior agency official–McCone–withheld significant information from  the Warren Commission. The story is accompanied by the agency’s assurances–and Shenon’s–that the Warren Commission’s conclusions about who killed JFK were correct in every respect.

The weakness of this claim should be obvious. If the Warren Commission investigation was compromised from the top by CIA officers–and now even the agency belatedly agrees it was–then confidence in its findings must be reduced. Logically, one cannot impugn the investigation without impugning its findings.

But the CIA is willing to try.

The modified limited hangout

The CIA is now playing defense against the widespread and accurate public perception that it is not being forthcoming about JFK’s assassination. The agency, for example, retains 1,100 JFK assassination records that it may or may not release as mandated by law in October 2017.

Some of these files are potentially explosive. See “7 JFK files the CIA still conceals.”

The CIA’s cooperation with Shenon, along with its release last month of presidential daily briefings from the Kennedy era, are intended to show the public that the agency is being candid, willing to admit mistakes, and so on.

To be sure,the agency’s very limited disclosures are something of a contribution to the record of JFK’s assassination.

A  November 25, 1963, briefing for President Johnson, was revealing. It showed what the CIA wasn’t telling the White House. The agency didn’t care to share just how much senior officers knew about the obscure Lee H. Oswald before President Kennedy was killed.

The Politico story shows that McCone dutifully went along with another aspect of the CIA cover-up. He knew about–but did not tell the Warren Commision about–the CIA’s conspiracies to kill Castro, leader of the communist revolution in Cuba.

So we can now say, without fear of contradiction, that the top three officers of the CIA did not cooperate with the investigation of JFK’s murder.

Deputy director Richard Helms and counterintelligence chief James Angleton took the lead in the CIA cover-up and McCone followed.

The CIA is engaged in what one conspirator in the Watergate era called “the modified limited hangout.” This is the Washington art of disclosing lesser crimes and misdemeanors in service of hiding greater wrongdoing.

Now in 2015

This is a sorry episode in American history that invites–nay, demands–public suspicion.

The Politico story tells us that Director John McCone’s control of the CIA in 1963 was nominal. It confirms that senior CIA officials agreed they should not cooperate with law enforcement efforts to investigate President Kennedy’s murder. And it shows that CIA officials today–52 years later!–feel the need to manage the problem of secrecy around JFK’s assassination. Fifty two years later.

The good news is that when Washington officials with something to hide go into “modified limited hangout” mode, they are usually in trouble, and frequently subject to more embarrassing disclosures.

The bad news is that “perception management,” which is what the CIA is now engaged in, is often successful.

The JFK acid test will come in October 2017. That’s when the CIA is supposed to release those 1,100 documents. As Politico and JFK Facts have reported, those documents could be embarrassing for the agency.

Politico’s mistake

Shenon makes one significant mistake in his piece where he writes:

“Robert Kennedy’s friends and family acknowledged years later that he never stopped fearing that Castro was behind his brother’s death.”

This is not factually supported. From the moment his brother was attacked,  Bobby Kennedy suspected anti-Castro Cubans and/or organized crime figures were responsible.

With hours of the assassination, RFK met personally with McCone. He asked McCone if CIA people were behind his brother’s murder. McCone said no.

A few days later, Bobby and Jackie Kennedy told a friend, William Walton, that they believed JFK was the victim of a domestic, not foreign, conspiracy.

In fact, as David Talbot’s book Brothers, shows in detail Bobby’s conspiratorial suspicions rarely, if ever, settled on JFK’s enemies on the left. Bobby and Jackie asked William Walton to tell high-level contacts in Moscow that, despite Oswald’s leftist politics, they did not hold the Soviet Union responsible for events in Dallas.

In an email, Talbot wrote, “Phil Shenon continues to recycle the myth — long propagated in CIA circles — that Fidel Castro was behind the JFK assassination. He now adds another piece of disinformation, asserting that Robert Kennedy also fell for this CIA propaganda line. This is completely false. I interviewed over 150 close friends, colleagues and family members of Bobby Kennedy, including Kennedy administration officials and insiders, for my book. NONE of them indicated to me that Castro was among Bobby’s leading suspects in the assassination of his brother.”

“Instead, they said that RFK immediately focused on the CIA and its ANTI-Castro operation as the source of the plot against President Kennedy. My sources included close advisors of Bobby Kennedy like Adam Walinsky, Frank Mankiewicz, Ed Guthman, Richard Goodwin — as well as assassination researchers with whom Bobby Kennedy met during his secret search for the truth.”

Which only makes sense. If top CIA officials blocked a full investigation of the murder of a sitting president, they had something to hide. Bobby Kennedy knew that in the 1960s. And, now a half century later, we know that CIA officials still have something to hide: the 1,100 documents scheduled for release in 2017, especially the “7 JFK files the CIA still keeps secret.”











Project ARTICHOKE: how the CIA tried to hypnotize an unwitting assassin

A revealing document from UNREDACTED, the blog of the nonprofit National Security Archive illuminates how CIA officers pondered carrying out political assassinations. Read more

Allen Dulles plays ‘The Devil’s Chessboard’ in David Talbot’s new book

“Former Salon founding editor-in-chief Talbot shares his extensive knowledge and intense investigations of American politics with a frightening biography of power, manipulation, and outright treason.”

From a starred notice in Kirkus Review.

This excellent book, which I am now reading, takes a harder look at the American establishment in the postwar era, linking the rise of Allen Dulles and the CIA to the national security state we now have, and places the assassination of President Kennedy in a new and deeply informed context.

The book will be published this month. You can pre-order ‘The Devil’s Chessboard’ here.

What the CIA and Cuba are hiding in their JFK files?

Why should the U.S. and Cuba open their JFK assassination files now?

Because it would dispel the doubt and confusion that both Cubans and Americans still feel about this important moment in their common history.

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The CIA’s presidential briefings before November 22, 1963

Veteran JFK researcher Bill Kelly asks a good question about the CIA’s media blitz at the LBJ Library in Austin Texas last week. Read more

What did the CIA’s release of JFK and LBJ presidential briefings reveal?

The briefings, released last week, showed how the Agency sought to get information to the two presidents.The CIA had long resisted releasing the records on the grounds that any disclosure would harm national security, an argument the Agency has now abandoned.

One of first briefings in the wake of JFK’s assassination revealed something important: where the CIA’s JFK assassination cover-up originated: in the Directorate of Operations and the Counterintelligence Staff.

From a 5-Star Amazon review of Our Man in Mexico

A reader’s take on Our Man in Mexico:

“What a pleasure to read a fact-based, well researched, and completely documented book that covers, not only the JFK assassination, but the early soldiers of the WW II – OSS. Many of these same OSS people became the CIA’s senior management team by 1963. Unlike most books on these subjects, Mr. Morley allows the reader to draw their own conclusion(s). There are no wild-eyed, self-perpetuated, illogical theories here – only substantiated and referenced facts.”

“I strongly recommend Our Man in Mexico to any serious OSS/CIA/JFK historian or researcher …”

Tell me more about Our Man in Mexico. 

Our Man in Mexico: ‘Your book is factual, without subterfuge, without hyperbole’

Happy Labor Day. On your day off, you should support this site by buying a copy of my book. One reader of Our Man in Mexico said, ‘Your book is factual, without subterfuge, without hyperbole’

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Bloomberg asked Donald Trump the wrong JFK question 


I can understand why David Sirota and his retweeters are impatient about the attention to Trump. Among the issues facing the United States of America in the 2016 presidential election–the broken immigration system, extreme inequality, endless wars, out-of-control gun violence, and the assault on voting rights– the question of who perpetrated one homicide in Dallas 52 years ago may seems trivial, far-fetched, and perversely beside the point.

It isn’t.

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‘Jim [Angleton] would prefer to wait out the Commission …’

“Jim would prefer to wait out the Commission on the matter covered by paragraph 2 …”

CIA’s Raymond Rocca, writing to Richard Helms regarding counterintelligence chief James Angleton’s desire to stonewall the Warren Commission on certain CIA materials passed to the Secret Service.
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Former CIA employee endorses ‘Our Man in Mexico’

former employee called my book about Winston Scott, chief of the CIA’s Mexico City station from 1956 to 1969,  “a realistic picture” of the agency.

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CIA chief told RFK about two shooters in Dallas

RFK and John McCone

Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy and CIA Director John McCone (photo credit: CIA)

Why did Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy believe that his brother President John F. Kennedy was the victim of a conspiracy, as his son recently said?

Did RFK have any evidence for his belief, asked several readers who had seen the widespread coverage of RFK Jr.’s comments

It turns out RFK had it on good authority that two people were involved.

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‘Concerning the Facts and Consequences of the Tragic Death of President John F. Kennedy’

What Fidel Castro said on November 23, 1963: Read more