Probably. A tape recording of man identifying himself as Oswald was probably destroyed in January 1986. This question, prompted by a comment from reader JSA, is a natural follow up to the question, “Did the CIA track Oswald before JFK was killed?”
Some thing the tape may still exist but I think the evidence suggests otherwise. What is certain is that contrary to the false claims of the CIA, the tape existed after November 22, 1963.
A Justice Department official denied in a federal court filing last month that undercover officer George Joannides received a CIA medal for deceptive actions related to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy 49 years ago but the claim cannot be verified.
Retired CIA officer George Joannides (left) received the Career Intelligence Medal from deputy CIA director Bobby Ray Inman on July 15, 1981. (Photo credit: CIA)
“The CIA has consistently challenged the notion that a career award could be seen as explicit or tacit approval of any one assignment in Joannides’s 30-year career,” asserted Ronald Machen, U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, in a brief filed on Nov. 21 in the D.C. Court of Appeals.
Machen’s brief is the government’s latest legal salvo in my decade-old (today) Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit over JFK assassination records. At issue are ancient but still-sensitive U.S. government documents related to the murder of President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963.
In recent years, the CIA has grudgingly acknowledged that Joannides served as the Miami-based handler of a Cuban exile group whose members who had a series of encounters with accused assassin Lee Harvey Oswald three months before JFK was killed.
The agency also acknowledges that Joannides served as the CIA’s principal coordinator with the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) in 1978 but did not disclose his role in the events of 1963 to investigators.
“That concealment has fueled suspicion that Mr. Joannides’s real assignment was to limit what the House committee could learn about C.I.A. activities,” wrote reporter Scott Shane of the New York Times in 2009. Read more
The scandal started quietly last week when Sen. Mark Udall wrote a letter to President Obama, alleging that the CIA had taken “unprecedented action” against investigators who wrote the Senate Intelligence Committee’s still-classified report on the U.S. torture program.
A faithful reader writes:
“A select congressional committee launched a vast investigation into issues of historic importance and constitutional scope. The committee necessarily relied on the CIA for crucial information. The committee published a massively documented report. The report is, in part, was critical of the performance of the agency. Subsequently, the committee learned that it had become the target of an intelligence operation by the agency during its investigation.”
“So the burgeoning scandal of the CIA’s operation against the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI )i is beginning to unfold.
“I now no longer believe anything the Agency [CIA] told the committee any further than I can obtain substantial corroboration for it from outside the Agency for its veracity…. “
— G. Robert Blakey, former Chief Counsel to the House Select Committee on Assassinations, in an addendum to the web page for the Frontline episode “Who Was Lee Harvey Oswald?”.
Judge Richard Leon, who yesterday challenged the constitutionality of the National Security Agency’s mass surveillance program, has been hearing my FOIA lawsuit, Morley v. CIA, for the last ten years.
The Times says Judge Leon has a record of wrestling with the government — but not so much when it comes to secrecy claims for ancient JFK assassination records held by the CIA.
Oswald was interrogated at 6 pm Saturday evening in the office of Captain Will Fritz of the Dallas Police Department: Oswald was shown a photograph seized earlier that day from his house.
He said the photographs had been faked, a claim repeated by some conspiracy theorists. Two subsequent examinations concluded the photographs had not been faked.
Earlier this week JFK Facts reported that the CIA admitted in a recent court filing that George Joannides, a deceased undercover officer who played a mysterious and still unexplained role in the JFK assassination story, had a residence in New Orleans in 1964.
Why is that significant?
“I said that Casasin was another problem. The man had worked for us abroad under non-official cover …. He had run an agent into the USSR, that man having met a Russian girl and eventually marrying her. Our assumption is that the interest in the man is that the agent was successful in getting his Russian wife out of the country, as Oswald was in getting Marina out … “
— CIA memo on meeting with staff of House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA).
“… his client, Dr. Burkley … had never been interviewed and … he has information in the Kennedy assassination indicating that others besides Oswald must have participated.”
In his best-selling book Killing Kennedy, Bill O’Reilly tells a brief tale of an intrepid reporter — himself — chasing the historical truth of JFK’s assassination in south Florida. But the story itself is a fiction, as O’Reilly reveals here in his own voice.
JFK reality check for Bill O’Reilly
In the annals of the JFK assassination story, rife with CIA and FBI malfeasance, O’Reilly’s fanciful anecdote might seem trivial. It is not the saddest feature of a book that manages to ignore all of the high-quality JFK assassination scholarship of the last two decades.
But as O’Reilly’s yarn is presented as fact in USA Today and the Fort-Worth Telegram; as his book dominates the best-seller charts; and as a credulous National Geographic embarks on making a documentary of Killing Kennedy, O’Reilly’s credibility matters.
A sad note from a JFK researcher informs us that Kevin Walsh, a former investigator for the House Select Committee on Assassinations, has died. Walsh’s simple suggestion to Oliver Stone led to the JFK Records Act and made a world of difference in expanding the historical record of the JFK assassination. Read more