The intrepid young O’Reilly reports from the grassy knoll.
At Salon Joan Walsh asks if Bill O’Reilly’s JFK fib will “unravel” him? I doubt it. As Brian Stelter notes, O’Reilly’s ratings are up. Rachel Maddow is scornful but his friends are unfazed, and O’Reilly has moved on. His strategy is clear: Declare victory and get out.
Which leaves us where we were before David Corn first called attention to O’Reilly’s tall tales. Media Matters still wants to take him down because he’s a bad influence on American public discourse. CNN still has sound journalistic and commercial reasons for questioning his credibility
But from the narrower point of JFK Facts, I’m satisfied with O’Reilly’s response. The much-abused Fox News host does not contest the facts first reported in JFK Facts two years ago. That’s decent of him.
“Conspiracy theories,” writes author Annie Jacobsen in a New York Times forum, are ”the stories we tell ourselves to make sense of how we live.” A JFK conspiracy theory (or anti-conspiracy theory) is a story we tell ourselves in order to make sense of what happened on November 22, 1963.
David Talbot interviewed the late great editor Ben Bradlee for his book Brothers: The Hidden History of the Kennedy Years. He asked him a question many people have wondered over the years: Why didn’t he, of all people, investigation the murder of his pal Jack Kennedy?
John Simkin breaks down the mysteries of a key JFK story: Yuri Nosenko and the Warren Report.
Howard Willens, former staff attorney on the Warren Commission, remains one of its most vigorous public defenders 50 years later. As I reported yesterday, he agreed to answer questions from JFK Facts via email. Because all of the questions were submitted at once, there were no follow up questions. In any case, my intent was not to conduct a hostile interrogation but to elicit his thoughts and hopefully start a dialogue. (I found his journal from 1964, which he has posted on his website, to be a valuable document for understanding the limitations of the Commission’s approach to its investigation.)
Now let’s hear from him. Read more
Last week, Joseph Lazzaro of International Business Times followed up on a JFK Facts story with some historical perspective.
President Nixon and CIA Director Richard Helms.
The 42nd anniversary of the Watergate burglary reminded me of Richard Nixon’s obsession with the “whole of Bay of Pigs thing.”
H.R. Haldeman, White House chief of staff for Nixon, wrote in his memoirs that he had come to the conclusion that his boss used the phrase as a kind of coded reference to the assassination of President Kennedy.
A tape of a conversation between Nixon and CIA director Richard Helms in October 1971 lends credence to the notion. Listen to the tape, published online by Luke A. Nichter, a history professor at Texas A&M University.
Nixon, it is clear, was interested in what he called the ‘Who Shot John?’ angle.
Listen. Read more
Howard Willens, Warren Commission defender.
Howard Willens, a former Warren Commission staffer, acknowledged in a an email interview with JFK Facts that deputy CIA director Richard Helms was “not truthful” with the Commission and there is “no doubt” that counterintelligence chief James Angleton did not cooperate with the inquiry into JFK’s assassination.
While vigorously defending the Commission’s conclusions, Willens admitted he was naive about the CIA. Asked about a passage in his journal from March 1964 in which he wrote that senior CIA officials “did not have an axe to grind” in the commission’s investigation, Willens acknowledged “my comments about the CIA were naive to say the least.”
Lisa Howard, ABC News reporter
In response to Two secret memos on JFK and Cuba, John Simkin, the British historian wrote the following essay that gives valuable context to this neglected story.
“The secret negotiations that took place between the JFK administration and the Cuban government could be significant issue in the JFK assassination.
“A key figure in this was Lisa Howard.
One of the very best JFK document researchers recently called attention to two important JFK documents from 1963. They both concern President Kennedy’s exploration of normalizing relations with Fidel Castro’s government in Cuba.
Are the memos relevant to story of JFK’s assassination ? You be the judge.
Probably. A tape recording of man identifying himself as Oswald was probably destroyed in January 1986. This question, prompted by a comment from reader JSA, is a natural follow up to the question, “Did the CIA track Oswald before JFK was killed?”
Some thing the tape may still exist but I think the evidence suggests otherwise. What is certain is that contrary to the false claims of the CIA, the tape existed after November 22, 1963.
“As a former longtime employee of CIA, I can attest that this book conveys a true picture of the goings on within the agency.”
— From Martha Hanchulak’s review of “Our Man in Mexico: Winston Scott and the Hidden History of the CIA.” My first book describes in lucid detail how the CIA’s top man in Mexico viewed President Kennedy’s assassination in 1963: with deep suspicion.
It’s an epic non-fiction novel of American history.
Yes, closely and constantly.
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 on 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 super-secret office within the CIA’s Counterintelligence Staff from 1959 to 1963, known as the Special Investigations Group.
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
The retired CIA director appears on the defensive in this unusually tough interview with CBS News correspondent Richard Bernstein, around 1992 (H/T Mike Swanson).
Richard Helms, who died in 2002, had a few JFK secrets to keep and he kept them in this interview.