Tag Archive for FBI

The CIA is still protecting its spy who shadowed Martin Luther King

The CIA shadowed  Martin Luther King during his stay at a Miami hotel in July 1966 with the help of a spy whose identity still remains a secret a half century later.

The revelation is found in a 48-page file on King, portions of which were made public late last year, along with thousands of JFK assassination files.

President Trump has ordered all federal agencies to release the rest of their JFK-related files by April 26, a directive which covers the agency’s King file as well.

Trump’s order, issued last October, exempts from disclosure only “the names and addresses of any mentioned person who is still living.”  So if the CIA’s spy is deceased, his or her name is supposed to be made public this week.

MLK Surveillance

“Surveillance was a joint effort of IDEN A [the spy] and local ODENVY [CIA’s code name for the FBI],” according to a cable from the chief of the agency’s south Florida station. The surveillance took place in July 1966 when King and two associates stayed at a Miami airport hotel.

While the FBI’s surveillance of King is notorious, much less is known about the CIA’s interest in the civil right leader. Such eavesdropping violated the agency’s charter barring operations on U.S. soil.

The cable describes the spy as a “cleared and witting contact,” meaning he or she had a working relationship with the agency at the time. Approximately five lines of text that identify the spy have been blanked out in the document released to the National Archives in November 2017.

The spy listened in on King’s conversations from an adjacent hotel room for six hours.

“References were made to the Florida Gubernatorial Race, a trip to Bimini [an island in the Bahamas] and several miscellaneous sex experiences,” the cable reported.

After King and associates checked out the next day, the CIA’s spy searched their rooms, according to the cable. The informant found a phone message in a trash can asking King to call Harry Wachtel, a New York lawyer who served as King’s legal counsel.

The CIA’s spy claimed, inaccurately, that Wachtel was “an identified member of the Communist Party.” In fact, the FBI only had a report that Wachtel once had been active in the National Lawyer Guild, a leftist organization that some charged was a communist influenced.

The spy also found an envelope bearing the name of an unmarried woman who supposedly stay in the hotel room.

It seems likely that the CIA spying on King’s private life and is hiding the results. Nine of the next ten pages in the King file are completely classified, along with the spy’s name.

The memo supports the idea that the CIA worked with the FBI to obtain defamatory information about the civil rights leader less than two years before he was slain in Memphis on April 4, 1968.

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You can read the CIA’s partially declassified King file here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

What will Trump do about the JFK files this week?

Gerald Posner, author of Case Closed, is optimistic.  Read more

FLASH CANCELLED response: FBI wasn’t interested in Oswald

Jean Davison responds to Bill SImpich’s “Why was Oswald’s name taken off the FBI’s watch list?” Read more

Why was Oswald’s name taken off the FBI’s watch list?

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

FBI wide shut: One key JFK file that remains redacted

Redacted FBI Oswald doc

Released in full. Not

I spent Friday at the Archives II in College Park Maryland in search of this Dec. 10, 1963 FBI report on the Bureua’s handling of the Lee Harvey Oswald file before JFK was killed.

At right is the version available on the Mary Ferrell site. The accompanying RIF sheet states the document is “released in full.”

I pulled the document at Archives II and it is not “released in full.” It remains heavily redacted. These black marks are a reminder that the Trump administration has yet to enforce the JFK Records Act. Read more

FLASH CANCELLED: What one of the last JFK files will tell us about Oswald

FBI memo

A less redacted FBI on Oswald

In response to my post, “FBI wide shut”, a faithful reader points out there is a “minimally redacted” version of a key FBI memo about accused assassin Lee Harvey Oswald. Read more

If Trump is serious about the last of the JFK files, he will release this one

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

USA Today: CIA started to disavow knowledge of Lee Harvey Oswald within hours of killing

Some of the best reporting on the new JFK files is coming from USA Today.
In today’s story, the national daily notes an essential newsworthy fact revealed in the newly declassified records.

Within hours of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the CIA started to distance itself from any connection to suspected assassin Lee Harvey Oswald, recently released secret records from the National Archives show.

Read more

Where to find a JFK smoking gun: in the coming FBI files

Reporters ask me, “Is there a smoking gun in the new JFK files?”

I used to say “No.” But after reading the CIA’s latest releases, I have changed my mind.

Now I say, “Yes, there is at least one potential smoking gun in the new JFK files, and it may soon come into public view.”

As I explained to the Washington Post: Read more

About CIA and FBI intransigence on the JFK files

A friend asked Is the CIA and FBI intransigence around JFK records a lost opportunity for moving closer to closure on the Kennedy assassination story?

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Sessions pledges ‘virtually complete disclosure’ of FBI’s JFK files on Monday

The Attorney General spoke with Fox News on Saturday and made a big promise. If what he says is true, this is good news. Unfortunately,  some White House statements on the JFK files, have not been accurate so we’ll have to see what happens.

Here’s what Sessions said.

Read more

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

What Orest Pena knew

Orest Pena’s story is particularly compelling because he was trusted by the FBI agents in New Orleans. As a bar owner of Cuban descent, he saw and heard a lot of interest to law enforcement. Oswald had visited his bar in the summer of 1963 in the company of a man Pena described as Mexican. Pena also said he saw Oswald with FBI agent Warren DeBreuys on several occasions. DeBreuys denied this and denigrated Pena as unreliable.

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Secret JFK document #1: the Orest Pena interview

To launch the New Year, JFK Facts will highlighting key JFK documents that remain secret in part or in full. We will also be focusing on the effort to make sure that all these documents are made public by the legal deadline of October 26, 2017.

The first is a document that has always intrigued me. As described by Rex Bradford of Mary Ferrell Foundation, it is

A transcript of the HSCA interview with Orest Pena, the New Orleans bar owner who told them that he saw Oswald was palling around with FBI agents in New Orleans. There are actually 3 copies of this 1978 interview with different RIF numbers – all still withheld in full

Source: Mary Ferrell Foundation: Mark the Date

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JFK authors, investigators call for release of secret assassination files

jfk-2017-artA diverse group of JFK authors and investigators have called on the Obama and Trump administrations to order the CIA and other federal agencies to declassify all secret JFK files in their entirely by October 2017.

[Click Here for Open Letter on JFK Records]

The JFK records will pose an early test of the open government policies of Donald Trump. The president-elect has espoused the baseless and debunked conspiracy theory that the father of Senator Ted Cruz was somehow involved in JFK’s assassination.

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