Anti-Castro militant says he saw CIA officer with Lee Harvey Oswald

David Phillips
David A. Phillips oversaw CIA anti-Castro psychological warfare operations in 1963.

Writing in OpEdNews in 2013, attorney Jim Lesar posted the latest development in the evolving story of the role of the CIA in the events leading up to President Kennedy’s assassination in Dallas 50 years ago.

Antonio Veciana, a retired anti-Castro fighter, has confirmed that he saw an undercover CIA officer named David Phillips in the company pro-Castro activist Lee Oswald two months before Oswald is said to have shot and killed President Kennedy in Dallas on November 22, 1963.

Veciana’s account calls attention to continuing CIA secrecy in the JFK story. Lesar is a veteran FOIA litigator who represents me in my lawsuit against the CIA, for the records of one of Phillips’s colleagues.

Where is this story going?

The CIA retains four files on Phillips’s secret operations, containing 606 pages of material, that it has never made public.

The CIA says these files are “Not Believed Relevant” to JFK’s assassination. That claim has never been independently verified. 

These files could shed light on Veciana’s account and Phillips’s actions as they related to the surveillance Oswald in 1963.

Veciana is a credible witness. He worked with Phillips in 1963 when the CIA was assisting Cuban exiles in mounting attacks on the government of Fidel Castro in Cuba. Phillips retired as chief of the agency’s Western Hemisphere Division in 1975.

Phillips died in 1988. He denied published charges suggesting involvement in a JFK murder. He once said privately that he believed JFK had been killed by CIA personnel.

There’s a good biographical sketch of Phillips on Education Forum, which tells of his tangled involvement in the JFK assassination story.

How to search the CIA files yourself

You can confirm the existence of the secret Phillips files by searching the National Archives online data base.

Enter the terms “David Phillips” on the first line and “NBR” (for Not Believed Relevant) on the second.

Click “Display Search Results.”

You will see four “CIA Op Files on David Phillips.”

These are the secret files that might shed light on Phillips’s contact with Oswald in September 1963.

Their legal status is “Postponed,” according to National Archives. The CIA refused to review and release these records last year saying it lacked “time and resources.”

The Phillips files are not scheduled to be made public until October 2017.



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