David A. Phillips, chief of CIA anti-Castro covert operations in 1963
David Phillips was a failed actor turned expatriate newspaper publisher in Santiago, Chile when he was recruited into the CIA in the early 1950s. He made his mark fast. In 1955, he won a Distinguished Intelligence Medal, one of the agency’s highest honors, for mounting deceptive radio broadcasts in the CIA’s overthrow of the democratically elected government of Guatemala in 1954.
After that his CIA career took off. With Howard Hunt, Phillips served as propaganda chief in the CIA’s failed effort to invade Cuba at the Bay of Pigs In April 1961. When he was assigned to Mexico City in 1962, station chief Win Scott described him as “the finest covert action officer I have ever met.”
After JFK’s assassination, Scott was not so complimentary and I suspect the reason why was Oswald’s curious handling of Oswald. .(I tell the story in my biography of Scott, Our Man in Mexico. Buy it here.)
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.
In a new sworn declaration filed in federal court, former JFK investigator Dan Hardway tells the story of how the CIA stonewalled him and other investigators for the House Select Committee of Assassinations in 1978.
Hardway’s first-person story is the most vivid and powerful account of how the CIA obstructed Congress’s attempt to investigate JFK’s assassination in 1978 since Gaeton Fonzi’s book, The Last Investigation. Hardway adds new detail to the story Fonzi told by detailing the obstructionist tactics of George Joannides that he personally experienced.
Here’s a powerful piece of journalism by the late Gaeton Fonzi, rescued from the Memory Hole of American history by the Mary Ferrell Foundation. It is a twenty year old essay that couldn’t be more timely in 2016. As the United States and Cuba attempt to reconcile after fifty years of violent conflict, Fonzi’s reportage explains why the process is so difficult and so necessary.
We were trying to investigate like we would any other murder case,” Tannenbaum said, but added it was not possible to do so. He cited examples of evidence that disappeared, a CIA agent providing false testimony, and numerous other examples of improprieties which led him to believe that the “search for truth” in the case was going nowhere.
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 his book, which manages to ignore all of the high-quality JFK assassination scholarship of the last two decades.
On June 15, 1978,investigators from the House Select Committee on Assassinations interviewed James Angleton, retired CIA counterintelligence chief about his handling of the JFK assassination investigation in 1963 and 1964.
The interview, which sheds new light on Angleton’s conspiracy theories about a mole in the ranks of the CIA, was never transcribed or made public–until now.
The vertical arrow points to a bullet fragment not found in JFK’s autopsy
“According to investigative journalist Jim Marrs, a new study of JFK’s autopsy reveals falsification of X-ray evidence. Marrs, author of the best-selling book, “Crossfire,” claims that the famous bullet fragment depicted in the autopsy X-ray is an artifact superimposed on the X-ray after JFK’s autopsy.
“Initially, the CIA was cooperating — we had no reason to think that they weren’t… [It was] when we started pushing… on investigating the disinformation efforts after the assassination, and realizing that I could tie just about every single disinformation effort directly back to David Phillips, that George Joannides gets involved.”—Dan Hardway.
Phil Shenon and I agree on at least a few things. In any resolution of the mysteries surrounding the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, Mexico City will undoubtedly be important. The investigation into what happened there in 1963 was, for some reason, seriously curtailed by the U.S. government. The government has, since then, fought tooth and nail to keep the full story about what happened there secret.
While I have never met Shenon, I have spoken with him several times by telephone. I first heard from him when he called me around 2011. He introduced himself as a reporter for Newsweek Magazine. He said he was working well in advance on an article for that magazine for the 50th anniversary of JFK’s murder. He wondered whether I would be willing to talk about the HSCA’s investigation in Mexico City. I agreed to speak with him. Read more