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 readers of the widespread coverage of RFK Jr.’s comments?
It turns out RFK had it on good authority that two people were involved.
Howard Willens, former staff attorney on the Warren Commission, remains one of its most vigorous public defenders 50 years later. As I reported yesterday, he agreed to answer questions from JFK Facts via email. Because all of the questions were submitted at once, there were no follow up questions. In any case, my intent was not to conduct a hostile interrogation but to elicit his thoughts and hopefully start a dialogue. (I found his journal from 1964, which he has posted on his website, to be a valuable document for understanding the limitations of the Commission’s approach to its investigation.)
Now let’s hear from him. Read more
Howard Willens, Warren Commission defender.
Howard Willens, a former Warren Commission staffer, acknowledged in a an email interview with JFK Facts that deputy CIA director Richard Helms was “not truthful” with the Commission and there is “no doubt” that counterintelligence chief James Angleton did not cooperate with the inquiry into JFK’s assassination.
While vigorously defending the Commission’s conclusions, Willens admitted he was naive about the CIA. Asked about a passage in his journal from March 1964 in which he wrote that senior CIA officials “did not have an axe to grind” in the commission’s investigation, Willens acknowledged “my comments about the CIA were naive to say the least.”
Not sure anyone wants to hear from an “irresponsible fanatic” (I’ve been called worse things) — especially one who hardly followed the JFK controversy for 25 or so years after working for the House Select Committee on Assassinations in 1978, but I want to add to the point of a recent JFK Facts post: the CIA chose to wait out the Wareen Commisions
See: ‘Jim [Angleton] would prefer to wait out the Commission…’(See the June 7, 2014)
They did the same to us at the HSCA.
“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.
Watch this video, especially at the 1:19 mark. It is one reason why I no longer dismiss the idea that Abraham Zapruder’s film of JFK’s assassination was altered.
Thanks to Doug Horne’s interview with Dino Brugioni, the CIA’s leading photo analyst, I have had to revisit my previous skepticism. Brugioni viewed the Zapruder film not long after it was delivered to the CIA on November 23, 1963, and he recalls seeing imagery that does not appear in the film that is now in the National Archives.
Earlier this week JFK Facts reported that the CIA admitted in a recent court filing that George Joannides, a deceased undercover officer who played a mysterious and still unexplained role in the JFK assassination story, had a residence in New Orleans in 1964.
Why is that significant?
Last week, Joseph Lazzaro of International Business Times followed up on a JFK Facts story with some historical perspective.
The answer: certain employees of the U.S. government’s Central Intelligence Agency, otherwise known as the CIA.
“Now, they will have to find the assassin quickly, but very quickly, otherwise, you watch and see, I know them, they will try to put the blame on us for this thing.”
Fidel Castro to French journalist Jean Daniel on November 22, 1963. From “When Castro Heard the News,”in The New Republic, Dec. 7, 1963.
In comment on this post about the first meeting of the Warren Commission more than 50 years ago, a reader notes how former CIA director Allen Dulles reached his conclusion before the Commission’s investigation began.
In face of a persistent legal challenge from the National Security Archive, the CIA continues to resist releasing an internal history of the failed invasion at the Bay of Pigs more than a half century ago. The struggle for Volume 5, as the history is known, is an epic legal contest
Why the secrecy about something that happened so long ago?
That question was the subject of a recent historian’s roundtable: National Security Archive v. Central Intelligence Agency.
From Shane O’Sullivan, director of the excellent documentary, Killing Oswald,
In his July 23 decision that the CIA did not have to pay legal fees in my Freedom of Information Act lawsuit for the records of a deceased CIA officer, Judge Richard Leon stated, correctly that I had argued that “the news media has shown interest in covering the disclosed records but he fails to tie any of the coverage to any of the newly released documents rather than those that were already available to the public.” Read more
From Nextgov.com, an interesting and usefully details story about how the National Archives keeps secret JFK assassination records from reaching public view. Read more