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.)
David A. Phillips oversaw CIA anti-Castro psychological warfare operations in 1963.
Writing in OpEdNews in 2013, attorney Jim Lesar posted the latest development in the evolving story of the role of the CIA in the events leading up to President Kennedy’s assassination in Dallas 50 years ago.
Antonio Veciana, a retired anti-Castro fighter, has confirmed that he saw an undercover CIA officer named David Phillips in the company pro-Castro activist Lee Oswald two months before Oswald is said to have shot and killed President Kennedy in Dallas on November 22, 1963.
Veciana’s account calls attention to continuing CIA secrecy in the JFK story. Lesar is a veteran FOIA litigator who represents me in my lawsuit against the CIA, for the records of one of Phillips’s colleagues.
Richard Helms, retired CIA director, is one of the most important figures in the JFK assassination story. He was one of the senior CIA officials responsible for the intelligence failure that culminated in the breakdown of presidential security in Dealey Plaza. He should have lost his job after President Kennedy was killed because at least five of his subordinates knew all about the accused assassin Lee Oswald before November 22, 1963.
In this 1992 interview, Richard Schlesinger of CBS News aggressively questioned Helms about the role of the CIA in the events of November 22, 1963. Usually a masterful witness, Helms look defensive and unconvincing.
I don’t see anything demonstrably false in what CG Harvey said. I believe the story that JFK had invited Italian prostitutes into his bed two at a time but I can’t prove that it’s true. I agree that CG Harvey’s comments need more context.
“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 …”
Why would senior CIA officers circulate two inaccurate descriptions of Lee Harvey Oswald with various government agencies six weeks before he allegedly shot and killed President John F. Kennedy?
The answer to the question is elusive. The CIA has never formally offered an explanation, another reason why all of the government’s assassination-related documents need to be released. Presently, key documents about the death of the 35th president will not be released until October 2017 at the earliest. Other documents now found in the National Archives are riddled with redactions hiding key names, dates, words and phrases.
Where has this shameful secrecy taken us? To a place of confusion and suspicion.
“The Hollywood Reporter says James Franco will star as English teacher Jake Epping, who travels back in time to stop the assignation of President John F. Kennedy. The HULU miniseries, which will run a total of nine hours, is a joint project by [novelist Stephen] King and J.J. Abrams.”
King’s novel, 11/22/63, is based on the comforting but factually questionable notion that JFK was killed by one man alone for no reason. What King didn’t know when he wrote his book was how closely the CIA’s Counterintelligence Staff monitored Oswald in the four years before the tragedy of Dallas. Mistaking such facts for a conspiracy theory, King didn’t send Jack Epping, his time traveling hero, to Langley.
He might have intercepted Lee Harvey Oswald if he had. Declassified CIA records show clearly that Oswald, the future accused assassin, was well known to a host of senior CIA officers before JFK was gunned down in Dallas on November 22, 1963. (Even Times Magazine’s favorite JFK expert, the unemployed John McAdams, does not deny it.)
David Slawson, former Warren Commission staffer who told Politico Magazine he has changed his mind about the commission’s conclusion, writes to say his position has been slightly misinterpreted. He does not believe there was a conspiracy to kill the president but he does think Lee Harvey Oswald had accessories. Read more
In an important article published by the Inter Press Service news agency Robert F. Kennedy Jr., the nephew of President John F. Kennedy, highlights an important point about U.S.-Cuba relations that President Obama normalized last week: The CIA opposed President Kennedy’s efforts to do the same 51 years ago.
“JFK was involved in secret negotiations with Fidel Castro designed to outflank Foggy Bottom [Washington] and the agents at Langley [CIA], but the CIA knew of JFK’s back-channel contacts with Castro and endeavored to sabotage the peace efforts with cloak and dagger mischief,” Kennedy writes.
RFK Jr., an environmental attorney, is right that the CIA knew about JFK’s interest in normalizing relations, and opposed it.
The assassination of President Kennedy endures as a decisive moment for the American people, when national security agencies consolidated their secret power and the American people lost faith in their government.
JFK Facts is dedicated to answering the questions, "What happened on November 22, 1963?" and "What is the meaning of the JFK story today?"
Our mission is historical truth. Our method is accountability. To secure both, we are committed to forcing disclosure of thousands of still-secret JFK records by October 2017. Want to know more? Click here.)