Tag Archive for James Angleton

Was Yuri Nosenko a KGB mole?

A readeader asks:

Do you still believe Nosenko was a true defector, Jeff?

Have you read Tennent H. Bagley’s “Spy Wars,” or even his 35-page PDF “Ghosts of the Spy Wars”?

Yes, I did read Bagley’s Spy Wars. I also interviewed him. And yes, I do believe Nosenko was a true defector.

I think Bagley was wrong, for two reasons: lack of a plausible suspect and lack of damage to CIA operations.

Remember Angleton’s theory that Nosenko was a dispatched defector is inextricably bound up in the theory that Nosenko was dispatched to protect a mole already working inside the CIA as of January 1964.  So the  reader’s question is really two, was Nosenko a mole? And, if so, who was he protecting?

As I asked in THE GHOST

if there was a mole burrowed into the CIA in the 1950s and 1960s, as the Angletonians claimed, who the devil was it? And what damage did he do?

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‘Jim [Angleton] would prefer to wait out the Commission …’

The reason James Angleton’s still-secret testimony to the Church Committee matters in 2017 is found in this Warren Commission document.

“Jim would prefer to wait out the Commission on the matter covered by paragraph 2 …”

CIA’s Raymond Rocca, writing to Richard Helms regarding counterintelligence chief James Angleton’s desire to stonewall the Warren Commission on certain CIA materials passed to the Secret Service.
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Dec 24, 1963: Top CIA official seeking to investigate Oswald is ‘sandbagged’ by his bosses

The spy who sang

John Whitten is a rare hero of the JFK story. He was a senior CIA official who sought, behind the scenes, to conduct an honest investigation of what the agency knew about accused assassin Lee Harvey Oswald, before President Kennedy was killed.

But at a meeting on Christmas Eve 1963 deputy director CIA Richard Helms and counterintelligence chief Jim Angleton shut down Whitten’s efforts to investigate Oswald’s contacts among pro- and anti-Castro Cubans and relieved him of his responsibilities for investigating JFK’s assassination.

Whitten’s story, which I first reported in the Washington Monthly in 2003, illuminated the inner workings of the CIA in the days and weeks after JFK was killed. It is the story of a “good spy” whose pursuit of the truth about JFK’s death cost him his career. Read more

Birch O’Neal: the CIA’s unknown Oswald expert

Birch O'Neal

Birch O’Neal, counterintelligence officer who opened the CIA’s Oswald file in 1959

One of the most significant new JFK files concerns a CIA officer you probably never heard of.

Birch O’Neal is virtually unknown in the vast literature of JFK’s assassination. He is not mentioned in the reports of the Warren Commission or the House Select Committee on Assassinations. He figures in no conspiracy theories.

Yet O’Neal played a seminal role in the story of the CIA and accused assassin Lee Harvey Oswald. As a mole hunter for counterintelligence chief James Angleton, O’Neal controlled the agency’s Oswald file from November 1959 to November 1963.

O’Neal’s story is still sensitive, more than 20 years after his death in 1995. Last November the agency released a heavily redacted version of O’Neal’s personnel file. Of the 224 pages in the file, 177 contain redactions, and three are wholly secret.

But one important page was released. Read more

Sept. 27, 1963: Oswald arrives in Mexico City

On this day 55 years ago, a strange American visitor appeared at the Soviet and Cuban consulates in Mexico City. His name would soon be world famous: Lee Harvey Oswald. Within 24 hours, a joint US-Mexico intelligence gathering operation received wiretap reports on his unusual actions.

The story of what happened next is told in Bill Simpich’s groundbreaking new book, “State Secret: Wiretapping in Mexico City, Double Agents, and the Framing of Lee Oswald,” which is being serialized by MaryFerrell.org.

In a season of JFK sotries distinguished by ill-informed experts, bogus revelations, and a Fox News fibber, Simpich’s book qualifies as the most important piece of JFK scholarship to be published this year.

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Angleton today: Smoke, mirrors, and mass surveillance

James Angleton

James Angleton

In the current issue of the New York Review of Books Max Hastings, conservative British journalist and pundit, contextualizes James Angleton in the history of U.S. intelligence. Hastings writes:

“The Ghost, Jefferson Morley’s shrewd account of Angleton’s career as Langley’s counterintelligence chief from 1954 to 1975, shows the harm that can be done by an energetic spook who is permitted grossly excessive latitude. The Ghost focuses on two manifestations of this.

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Irish Examiner on The Ghost 

In The Ghost, Jefferson Morley, an experienced Washington Post journalist, writes fluently and engagingly about the elusive spymaster James Angleton.

Source: The Ghost by Jefferson Morley – corkucopia

Canadian TV on what we know now about Angleton and JFK

‘Oswald was known to a dozen senior CIA officials’

I make a strong claim about the CIA and Lee Harvey Oswald in this video. I think the new JFK files corroborate my observation. But I’d like to get independent verification, preferably from a reputable fact-checking service like Snopes.

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In latest JFK files,  Angleton and stuff that makes you go ‘huh?’ 

Glenn Garvin of the Miami Herald cuts to the chase in the JFK  files feeding frenzy: Read more

JFK researchers doubt Trump will free the files today

TrumpOf all the fascinating and weird things about the JFK assassination story, the veil of official secrecy that still surrounds the subject a half-century later is one of the most fascinating and weird. Read more

JFK documents illuminate the death of a diplomat who asked too many questions about Oswald

James Angleton

James Angleton oversaw the surveillance of Oswald

Phil Shenon has a long piece in The Guardian excavating the sad story of Charles Thomas, a U.S. diplomat who investigated Lee Harvey Oswald’s actions in Mexico in the 1960s.  Thomas was rebuffed by top CIA officials, including counterintelligence chief James Angleton. Thomas was denied an expected promotion and later committed suicide.

The story illuminates a central mystery of the JFK assassination story but not quite in the way than Shenon proposes.

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Is the CIA’s chief historian obstructing justice in the JFK case?

CIA lobbyPresident Trump will soon announce his decision on whether the last of the U.S. government’s JFK files will be fully released or not. April 26 will be a moment to assess what we know about JFK’s assassination that we didn’t know before, and specifically, what have we learned about the CIA’s role in the events of November 1963.

Among those vouching for the probity of the CIA in the JFK assassination story is the agency’s chief historian David Robarge. Read more

Moles, Defectors, and Deceptions: James Angleton and His Influence on US Counterintelligence

Spy vs. Spy: Soviet defector Yuri Nosenko confronted CIA accuser James Angleton

A new JFK assassination tape found among the new JFK files in the the National Archives yields the previously unknown coda of one of the most famous espionage controversies of the 20th century. Read more