David A. Phillips
While many JFK files remain secret, some of the new JFK files, released this week, do contain material that has never been seen before. For example, the administrative file of David Phillips. Phillips, a top CIA officer in 1963, later dissembled under oath about what he knew of Lee Harvey Oswald. A trusted CIA agent says he saw Phillips with Lee Harvey Oswald two months before JFK was killed.
Many pages about Phillips’s career that were once secret are now open.
There are some gems in the new JFK files, which I will report shortly. But first a tip of the hat to the social studies students at Weymouth High School (Mass.) who recreated an event that never happened: the criminal trial of Lee Oswald, JFK’s accused killer who protested his innocence. Read more
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.
A specter is haunting the JFK research: the specter of Valeriy Vladimirovich Kostikov (1933-2002). It has recently slipped through Jefferson Morley’s remarkable study on the secret life of CIA spymaster James Jesus Angleton (The Ghost, St. Martin’s Press, 2017): “Kostikov had been visited by a Cuban government official named Rolando Cubela” (page 150).
CIA paid close attention
The most important revelations in the new JFK files concern the CIA (and possibly NSA) surveillance of accused assassin Lee Harvey Oswald.
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.
Gina Haspel, document destroyer
As the April 26 deadline for release of the last of the JFK assassination files approaches. President Trump will be hearing from his new CIA director Gina Haspel on the issue of what can and cannot be made public.
What will Haspel say? Read more
Bill Simpich, a civil rights attorney in the Bay Area and the author of State Secret, proposes an answer to the riddle of “FLASH CANCELLED” Read more
Released in full. Not
I spent Friday at the Archives II in College Park Maryland in search of this Dec. 10, 1963 FBI report on the Bureua’s handling of the Lee Harvey Oswald file before JFK was killed.
At right is the version available on the Mary Ferrell site. The accompanying RIF sheet states the document is “released in full.”
I pulled the document at Archives II and it is not “released in full.” It remains heavily redacted. These black marks are a reminder that the Trump administration has yet to enforce the JFK Records Act. Read more
A less redacted FBI on Oswald
In response to my post, “FBI wide shut”, a faithful reader points out there is a “minimally redacted” version of a key FBI memo about accused assassin Lee Harvey Oswald. Read more
In testimony before the Warren Commission, created to investigate the assassination of JFK, Paine said he did not regard Oswald as someone likely to kill a president.
Source: Michael Paine, debated politics with JFK assassin Lee Harvey Oswald, dies at 89
“I am appreciating your insistence that Oswald was under surveillance, pursuant to LINGUAL, AMSPELL, and LIENVOY.”
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
Politico’s Thomas Maier mines the new JFK files to competently retell the oft-told but still-disturbing story of how respectable CIA officials and murderous Mafia dons tried and failed to assassinate Cuban leader Fidel Castro in the early 1960s.
Along the way, Maier drops this claim: