Kevin Hall’s recent piece for McClatchy News is a good example of how to cover the new JFK files right. The piece provides new information and historical perspective, while avoiding the traps of conspiracy theories. Hall highlights a neglected subject: the importance of JFK assassination records still held by the Cuban government. Read more
Tag Archive for JFK files
Here’s a 40-year old JFK file that should, by law, be released by April 28, 2018.
On September 20, 1978 the CIA evaluated the work of George Joannides, then serving as the CIA’s liaison to the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA).
As HSCA investigator Dan Hardway (left) explains in this sworn affidavit, Joannides was stonewalling Congress’s JFK investigation at the time.
The release of this document would illuminate what the CIA thought of Joannides’ actions, which former HSCA counsel G. Robert Blakey has described as “obstruction of Congress.”
A report on what we will learn, if and when President Trump releases the last of the government’s JFK assassination files in April 2018.
“If Lee Harvey Oswald was, as cliche has it, a “lone nut,” he was the one and only isolated sociopath monitored by top CIA counterintelligence officers in the weeks and month before JFK was killed.”
Read the full story, with documentation, here.
While JFK researchers seek to come up with an accurate count of just how many JFK assassination files remain secret in advance of the April 2018 deadline for full disclosure ordered by President Trump, we can be sure the number is more than 1,000 and maybe higher than 3,000.
The precise number, however, matters less than what is still secret–and this we know with certainty.
One of the most important JFK stories in the unreleased files is the CIA’s surveillance of Lee Harvey Oswald from 1959 to 1963.
A Senate investigator’s memo, released in December 2017, gives the exact date that the surveillance of Oswald began: November 11, 1959.
This is one of the most important JFK records released in the Trump era, so its details are worth understanding.
John Greenewald, the man behind the Black Vault site of declassified government records, writes with some thoughts about the difficulty of figuring out which JFK files the Trump has NOT released. Read more
Robert responds to my recent post on JFK files.
Black Vault deserves a thanks for putting on line a pdf and excel file of the latest data provided by NARA, but if you take the Black Vault figures to mean that there are thousands of records still withheld in full, that is not correct.
I’m not certain that Robert is correct but I want to air his concerns so that we get an accurate number of still-secret JFK files. Read more
Now reading “The Ghost . . .”.On page 145, Jefferson Morley states, “In Columbus, Mississippi, high school students cheered the death of the liberal president . . . ”
Sandra wants to make an important point about the South and JFK’s assassination. Read more
Digging deeper, and with the help and verification of Jimmy Falls of the news agency WhoWhatWhy we came up with the same numbers, using two entirely different methods.It confirms there are 3,082 Documents, totaling 217,114 pages that are not yet released to the public.
A couple of caveats are in order.
On Monday morning March 19 my attorneys Jim Lesar and Dan Alcorn and I will appear at the Barrett Prettyman federal courthouse in Washington for oral arguments in my long-running lawsuit, Morley v. CIA.
The issue before the three-judge panel: has there been a “public benefit” from the lawsuit’s disclosure of long-secret documents about deceased CIA officer George Joannides? Read more
In November I published a piece on the top five JFK files that are still being hidden by the government. Since the one of them, the transcript of James Angleton’s testimony to the Church Committee in September 1975, has been released.
Four other key JFK documents have been released late last year–but with extensive redactions.
They are the files of four officers involved in the surveillance of Lee Harvey Oswald between 1959 and 1963. Read more
I’ve been debating the question with CIA historian David Robarge,
In Washington Decode, he asserts “that the US government did not have actionable information that Oswald was a clear threat to the President before 22 November 1963.”
That is true. He says, correctly, that historians “must fairly assess why people acted based on what they knew at the time.”
From my story in AlterNet
The latest batch of JFK assassination files, released December 15, illuminate a story that the CIA still denies: the surveillance of accused assassin Lee Harvey Oswald in the years before he shot and killed President John F. Kennedy.
The surveillance of Oswald led the CIA to use him in an operation against the Fair Play for Cuba Committee in the summer of 1963.
Tomorrow: Oswald and the Fair Play for Cuba Committee
In a November 2017 post for the Washington Decoded blog, the chief historian of the CIA, David Robarge, joined the discussion of the causes of the assassination with JFK researchers.
As I said in my first comment on Robarge’s review of The Ghost, I take his criticism as a compliment. Clearly, my book has struck a nerve with the CIA and those who defend the widely disbelieved theory that a lone gunman killed President Kennedy for reasons known only to himself.
That nerve is the still-unexplained role of Angleton, the legendary counterintelligence chief, in the events leading up to the gunfire in Dealey Plaza.
In his review, Robarge asks
if Angleton was using Oswald for the limited purpose of helping him conduct the molehunt, then why blame him for an ‘epic’ counterintelligence failure by not stopping Oswald?
Let me explain by responding to Robarge’s comments on four of the most important findings in The Ghost.
1) Angleton and JFK’s assassination
Robarge says that I claim “Angleton and the CI Staff supposedly were, or should have been, preoccupied with Oswald.” He says, “Morley denies that he ever wrote that, but then how can he declare that Angleton’s “pre-assassination interest in Oswald” “indicates his “culpability in the wrongful death of President Kennedy?”
Here’s how. Robarge and I agree that Angleton opened an Office of Security file on Oswald in November 1959, an unusual procedure intended to assist Angleton in the mole hunt. The CIA did not share Angleton’s pre-assassination interest in Oswald with the Warren Commission, the Rockefeller Commission, the Church Committee, or the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA).
Why this material evidence was withheld from investigators is not hard to guess. To admit that senior CIA officers had been following the suspected assassin for four years would have opened the agency up to legimitate questions and investigation. Angleton and others might well have have lost their jobs. So the CIA fed a lie to the Warren Commission–we didn’t know much about Oswald–and the story stayed buried for decades. When the truth could be denied not longer, it was downplayed.
In a 2013 article for a CIA journal, Robarge acknowledged that the CIA had not informed the Warren Commission about its plots to kill Cuban leader Fidel Castro and described this deception as a “benign cover-up.”
I’m not alone in wondering how any CIA coverup in the murder of a sitting president could qualify as “benign,” but I agree with Robarge that it was a cover-up.
The CIA’s failure to disclose Angleton’s pre-assassination interest in Oswald also qualifies a cover-up, which Robarge also seems to view as benign. I’m not so sanguine.
To summarize what I wrote in The Ghost:
Every piece of paper about Lee Harvey Oswald that came into the CIA between 1959 and 1963 was routed into a file controlled by Birch O’Neal, chief of the mole-hunting Special Investigations Group.
As the ex-Marine made his way from Moscow to Minsk to Fort Worth to New Orleans to Mexico City to Dallas, Angleton’s mole hunters in the SIG were informed at each step of the way. And, to repeat a point that Robarge does not care or dare to dispute, as of November 15, 1963, Angleton knew Oswald was in Dallas.
(See my recent Daily Beast piece “CIA Spyhunters Knew Oswald Was in Dallas.“)
And when Oswald was arrested for killing JFK a week later, the CIA concealed the nature of Angleton’s interest–the mole hunts–from the FBI and the Warren Commission.
I talk JFK Facts with Bob McKeown of the CBC’s “Fifth Estate.”