Ron Capshaw, a writer in Midlothian, Virginia, notes that 50 years ago this month, Lee Oswald fired a rifle shot at Gen. Edwin Walker, who had been cashiered from the Army for proselytizing to his troops with his right-wing, white supremacist politics.
Capshaw, a contributor to National Review, The Washington Times, and The New York Post, argues this incident on April 10, 1963, points toward Oswald’s sole guilt as the assassin of President Kennedy seven months later. I disagree with Capshaw’s interpretation but agree the Walker incident is important.
The WashingtonPost‘s Ian Shapira had a fascinating piece over the weekend about a son pursuing his father’s journalistic legacy.
Jim Scott, 64, a retired Navy public relations officer who lives in Maryland, wants to know why the CIA wiretapped his father, Paul Scott, a syndicated columnist and investigative reporter in Washington in the 1960s. Scott was half of “The Allen-Scott Report,” a popular syndicated column that ran in some 300 papers nationwide.
One reason why Scott was bugged by the CIA: his JFK reporting.
William J. Hood, a senior CIA officer involved in the intelligence failure that culminated in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, died last month at age 92.
Hood was one of the highest ranking CIA officials who failed to anticipate that accused assassin Oswald might pose a threat to JFK. On October 10, 1963, he and five senior colleagues at CIA headquarters signed off on a misleading classified cable sent to the CIA station in Mexico City that omitted mention of Oswald’s recent arrest in an altercation with anti-Castro Cubans. Based on the cable’s favorable assessment, the FBI took Oswald’s name off of a list of people of interest to the Bureau. Six weeks later, Oswald was arrested for killing JFK in Dallas.
In a 2007 interview Hood conceded to me that “the information that is left out [of the cable] is pretty significant.” But he denied that there was anything “smelly” about the cable.
In fact, the Oct. 10, 1963, Oswald cable stands out as one of the most odoriferous JFK assassination documents to emerge from the CIA in the last 15 years. Not fully declassified until 2001, the cable has more than a whiff of intrigue because it details what the agency hid from the Warren Commission and what agency officials still attempt to deny: that a handful of senior CIA operatives discussed Oswald’s foreign travels, left-wing politics, and communist contacts just weeks before JFK was killed.
President John Fitzgerald Kennedy was brutally and very publicly ambushed 49 years ago on November 22, 1963, though you wouldn’t know it from reading Killing Kennedy: TheEnd of Camelot, by Bill O’Reilly. Once closely read, however, it becomes apparent that the title is apt. The Fox Television host aims to assassinate JFK’s character today, and especially to obfuscate the truth of his murder. Read more
Would Amazon censor a comment challenging the lone gunman theory posited in a celebrity penned bestseller? According to Atlanta-based author Barry Krusch, the online giant did just that.
In his very popular Killing Kennedy, Fox News commentator Bill O’Reilly paints a portrait of Lee Harvey Oswald as the only gunman involved in the JFK assassination. Krusch scrutinizes O’Reilly’s conclusions in this respectful and empirical video, which was submitted to Amazon’s comment section.
However, according to Krusch, the online bookseller censored the video.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s comments that his father did not believe that a “lone-gunman” killed his uncle, President John F. Kennedy, have now been covered by all four television networks (CBS, NBC,Fox, and ABC), and gone viral on the internet. The remarks marked the first time a Kennedy family member has publicly questioned the official theory that JFK was killed by a lone gunman.
Were RFK Jr.’s remarks factually accurate? Read more
In trying to answer the question of Soviet leaders Nikita Khrushchev, “What really happened,” we drilled down on the life of Lee Harvey Oswald in 1963, especially the U.S. government’s surveillance of the accused assassin that was not disclosed to the Warren Commission or to the House Select Committee on Assassinations.
This is one of the biggest JFK revelations of the past 20 years, and one that we need talk up in social and news media the 50th anniversary of JFK’s assassination.
While the CIA assured Congress in the 1970s that its interest in Lee Harvey Oswald before JFK was killed was “routine,” the newest documents tell a very different story: Oswald was monitored closely and constantly by an supersecret office within the CIA’s Counterintelligence Staff from 1959 to 1963, known as the Special Investigations Group.
On Monday January 7, 1963 Lee Harvey Oswald reported to his job at Jaggars-Chiles-Stovall, a graphic arts company in Dallas, where he had started working in October 1962. He would work there through April 1963.
Oswald’s time card
At the time Oswald was quarreling with his wife and corresponding with several leftist organizations. Various agencies of the U.S. government were also keeping track of him. When Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev wondered “What really happened?” in Dallas and doubted that U.S. security forces were so “inept,” he had a point: When it came to watching Lee Harvey Oswald, the U.S. government was not inept.
Historian David Kaiser makes the case in this C-SPAN video that organized crime bosses Carlos Marcello and Santos Trafficante were behind JFK’s assassination.
Personally I don’t agree with Kaiser’s interpretation but he is an excellent historian whose book The Road to Dallas: The Assassination of John F. Kennedy (published by Harvard University Press in 2009) contains much valuable original research. Of all the authors who have argued for the “Mafia did it” theory, he is the most capable.
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
The site is dedicated to improving media coverage and public understanding of JFK's assassination, educating the young, and demanding the release of records still held in secret by U.S. government agencies.
Jefferson Morley, author and former Washington Post reporter, is the moderator of JFK Facts.
Morley has written about the JFK story for national publications including the Post, New York Times, New York Review of Books, Slate, Salon, TheAtlantic.com, and the Washington Monthly. He won the 2009 PEN/Oakland Censorship Award for his JFK reporting. He is author of "Our Man in Mexico; Winston Scott and the Hidden History of the CIA" (University Press of Kansas, 2008).
Rex Bradford is the webmaster of JFK Facts, He is creator of MaryFerrell.org, the most comprehensive Web site of government records on the assassinations of JFK, Robert F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King.