“For some time I have been disturbed by the way the CIA has been diverted from its original assignment,” wrote former president Harry Truman in the Washington Post on December 22, 1963. It was exactly one month after the assassination of President Kennedy.
“It has become an operational and at times a policy-making arm of the Government. This has led to trouble and may have compounded our difficulties in several explosive areas,” Truman wrote.
The former president never explicitly linked JFK’s death to the clandestine service, but the timing and venue of his piece was suggestive.
Donald Trump isn’t the first.
While the front-running candidate’s fact-free claim that Ted Cruz’s father once associated with accused assassin Lee Oswald, has provoked criticism, at least five previous inhabitants of the Oval Office have expressed strong opinions related to the Kennedy assassination story. Read more
Bernie Sanders is in good company.
In 1945 Harry Truman initially rejected proposals for a peacetime secret intelligence agency saying he didn’t want to create “an American Gestapo.”
In 1961 John F. Kennedy famously described his desire to “splinter the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter it into the winds” after the disastrous Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba.
In 1963, a month after JFK was killed under suspicious circumstances–and the CIA’s cover-up of malfeasance in the wrongful death of the president was just beginning–Truman called for the abolition of the clandestine service. Read more
A small data dump from the Harry S Truman Library, courtesy of a regular reader. Read more
The Senate’s report on the CIA torture program remains off-limits to the public, as Politico reports that diverse Washington factions are negotiating what can–and cannot–be shared with the American people about the agency’s actions. What does one call this? “Contempt for democracy” says Sullivan.
“The CIA was set up by me for the sole purpose of getting all the available information to the President. It was not intended to operate as an international agency engaged in strange activities.” — Harry Truman in a letter to the editor of Look magazine, May 1964.
From the files of the Truman Library, courtesy of a reader.
Dealey Plaza on the eve of the 50th anniversary
The place where John F. Kennedy was shot and killed has both a gloomy and festive air on the eve of the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of a shocking crime that most Americans regard as unsolved.
The crime scene is being scrubbed.