CIA paid close attention
The most important revelations in the new JFK files concern the CIA (and possibly NSA) surveillance of accused assassin Lee Harvey Oswald.
A Senate investigator’s memo, released in December 2017, gives the exact date that the surveillance of Oswald began: November 11, 1959.
This is one of the most important JFK records released in the Trump era, so its details are worth understanding.
Will President Trump enforce the law when it comes to JFK assassination files later this month?
That’s the question the Mary Ferrell Foundation put to National Archivists David Ferriero in a March 12 letter. Read more
Bill Simpich, a civil rights attorney in the Bay Area and the author of State Secret, proposes an answer to the riddle of “FLASH CANCELLED” Read more
(l. to r.) Reporter Ed Brackett, attorney James Lesar, and plaintiff Jefferson Morley
USA Today reporter Ed Brackett reported the story first. Read more
Home of Morley v. CIA.
When I sued the CIA for certain JFK assassination files in December 2003, I knew any litigation under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) was sure to take a long time.
It sure has. Read more
Ed asks: “What do you foresee as a result of Mike Pompeo being replaced by Gina Haspel as CIA Director?”
Washington DC courthouse where federal judges will hear oral arguments about the CIA’s JFK records.
On Monday March 19, a three-judge federal appellate court in Washington, D.C. will hear oral arguments about the “public benefit” of disclosure of CIA files related to the assassination of President Kennedy.
With the release of the last of the U.S. government’s JFK assassination files set for April 26, 2018, the judges have to pass judgement on a still-timely question: is there any public benefit from learning more about the events of November 1963? Read more
A reader writes perceptively about the “conspiracy v. gross negligence” question in the JFK story. In an email, he explains, perhaps better than I have, why I emphasize this issue.
Fidel Castro, tormenter of empire
On the perennial, perhaps boring, question of a JFK assassination conspiracy, the question may boil down to: who do you believe?
Fidel Castro, leader of Cuba in the 1960s, was a tireless Latin revolutionary. Charles de Gaulle, president of France, was a conservative continental statesman. They both came to the conclusion that President John F. Kennedy had been assassinated by right-wing enemies within his own government.
A faithful reader sends a timely reminder: Birch O’Neal, the CIA’s unknown Oswald expert, dissembled to an FBI agent within hours of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
I wrote about O’Neal yesterday. A career CIA counterintelligence officer who died in 1995, O’Neal is perhaps the most interesting new character to emerge from the tens of thousands of JFK assassination files released since last October.
His previously unknown saga sheds new light on a JFK secret the CIA and defenders of the Warren Commission still deny: the agency’s pre-assassination surveillance of accused assassin Lee Harvey Oswald. Read more
Birch O’Neal, counterintelligence officer who opened the CIA’s Oswald file in 1959
One of the most significant new JFK files concerns a CIA officer you probably never heard of.
Birch O’Neal is virtually unknown in the vast literature of JFK’s assassination. He is not mentioned in the reports of the Warren Commission or the House Select Committee on Assassinations. He figures in no conspiracy theories.
Yet O’Neal played a seminal role in the story of the CIA and accused assassin Lee Harvey Oswald. As a mole hunter for counterintelligence chief James Angleton, O’Neal controlled the agency’s Oswald file from November 1959 to November 1963.
O’Neal’s story is still sensitive, more than 20 years after his death in 1995. Last November the agency released a heavily redacted version of O’Neal’s personnel file. Of the 224 pages in the file, 177 contain redactions, and three are wholly secret.
But one important page was released. Read more