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
A 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.
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.
One of my favorite JFK Facts stories came from a woman named Monica Jimenez who pulled a gun on Watergate burglar Frank Sturgis when he tried to intimidate her mother, Maritz Lorentz, about her JFK assassination story. Jimenez. was fifteen years old at the time. The threat suggests Sturgis had something to hide when it came to JFK.
The investigative web site Muckrock has a great follow-up story. It turns out there’s a whole lot more to be learned about Sturgis: namely, an FBI file containing 75,000 documents.
Turner joined the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in 1951. He worked for the FBI for ten years but grew increasingly concerned with the way J. Edgar Hoover ran the organization. Turner became convinced that Hoover was placing too much emphasis on the dangers of the American Communist Party. Instead, he felt he should be using more resources to tackle organized crime. In 1961 Turner was dismissed from the FBI. He hired Edward Bennett Williamsand sued the FBI but lost. However he did manage to get anti-Hoover testimony by other agents into the record.
On September 27 and 28, 1963, a man calling himself Lee Oswald visited the Cuban consulate and Soviet embassy in Mexico City. He was seeking visas to visit both countries. As Oswald was a former defector to the Soviet Union who was planning on traveling with his Russian-born wife, he immediately attracted the interest of CIA officers and FBI agents in the Mexican capital.
And so the FBI began searching for Oswald–while President Kennedy was still alive, a story that was withheld from the Warren Commission and is ignored in virtually every book about JFK’s assassination.
JD recommends Episode 33 from Black Op Radio’s series “50 Reasons for 50 Years,” in which Professor Gerald D. McKnight discusses the Warren Commission’s reaction to the rumor that Oswald was an FBI informant.
Marina and Lee Oswald in 1962, with infant daughter June
Question: Why isn’t the FBI spying on Marina Oswald better known?
Answer: Because much governmental effort has gone into making sure that it is not better known.
Why? Maybe because Marina Oswald and her children–alive and living in Texas–have solid grounds for a lawsuit.
Before my research, I knew vaguely about a 1975 New York Times report on how the FBI admitted tapping and bugging Marina’s conversations. “Electronic surveillance,” the Times reported, was “based upon written approval of the Attorney General of the United States. The Government contended then that in national security cases, court approval was not required“. Read more
Lee Harvey Oswald was linked to the Mannlicher-Carcano rifle alleged to have been used to shoot President Kennedy by the hair and fiber analysis of FBI expert Paul Stombaugh. The Warren Commission’s final report drew conclusions from Stombaugh’s testimony that buttressed assertions about Oswald’s guilt, particularly the association between hair and fiber evidence allegedly tying Oswald to the rifle.
The Commission considered Stombaugh’s testimony of “probative value,” the report stated.
But a devastating recent study by the Justice Department and the FBI shows that close analysis of cases involving hair and fiber testing raises grave concerns about the role of similar scientific testimony by law enforcement experts in criminal convictions.
A faithful reader calls attention to this passage in Phil Shenon’s POLITICO Magazine article on the former Warren Commission staff David Slawson and his change of heart about the Commission’s conclusions:
“He [Slawson] was outraged, in particular, when I showed him an eye-popping June 1964 letter from FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover to the commission that described how Oswald, in an outburst at a Cuban diplomatic compound in Mexico City during his trip there, had reportedly been overheard threatening, ‘I’m going to kill Kennedy.’
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 CIA and JFK: The Secret Assassination Files, Jefferson Morley distills 20 years of original reporting into a concise fact-filled, theory-free Kindle ebook that recounts the CIA machinations leading up to November 22, 1962 and the cover-up that followed. With new information about the coming JFK disclosures in October 2017. CLICK ON THE COVER IMAGE ABOVE TO BUY THE BOOK NOW.
* Mary Ferrell.org, has the largest online collection of JFK assassination records and the most concise guides to the JFK debate.
* JFK Lancer holds an annual conference in Dallas highlighting the latest JFK research and revelations.
* 2017 JFK has a detailed guide to the massive JFK disclosures scheduled for October 2017.