Angleton

Birch O’Neal: the CIA’s unknown Oswald expert

Birch O'Neal

Birch O’Neal, counterintelligence officer who opened the CIA’s Oswald file in 1959

One of the most significant new JFK files concerns a CIA officer you probably never heard of.

Birch O’Neal is virtually unknown in the vast literature of JFK’s assassination. He is not mentioned in the reports of the Warren Commission or the House Select Committee on Assassinations. He figures in no conspiracy theories.

Yet O’Neal played a seminal role in the story of the CIA and accused assassin Lee Harvey Oswald. As a mole hunter for counterintelligence chief James Angleton, O’Neal controlled the agency’s Oswald file from November 1959 to November 1963.

O’Neal’s story is still sensitive, more than 20 years after his death in 1995. Last November the agency released a heavily redacted version of O’Neal’s personnel file. Of the 224 pages in the file, 177 contain redactions, and three are wholly secret.

But one important page was released. Read more

Angleton today: Smoke, mirrors, and mass surveillance

James Angleton

James Angleton

In the current issue of the New York Review of Books Max Hastings, conservative British journalist and pundit, contextualizes James Angleton in the history of U.S. intelligence. Hastings writes:

“The Ghost, Jefferson Morley’s shrewd account of Angleton’s career as Langley’s counterintelligence chief from 1954 to 1975, shows the harm that can be done by an energetic spook who is permitted grossly excessive latitude. The Ghost focuses on two manifestations of this.

Read more

My conversation with John Greenewald of the Black Vault

The Black Vault Radio with John Greenewald, Jr. – Episode 5 – Special Guest: Jefferson Morley

Irish Examiner on The Ghost 

In The Ghost, Jefferson Morley, an experienced Washington Post journalist, writes fluently and engagingly about the elusive spymaster James Angleton.

Source: The Ghost by Jefferson Morley – corkucopia

Canadian TV on what we know now about Angleton and JFK

‘Oswald was known to a dozen senior CIA officials’

I make a strong claim about the CIA and Lee Harvey Oswald in this video. I think the new JFK files corroborate my observation. But I’d like to get independent verification, preferably from a reputable fact-checking service like Snopes.

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In latest JFK files,  Angleton and stuff that makes you go ‘huh?’ 

Glenn Garvin of the Miami Herald cuts to the chase in the JFK  files feeding frenzy: Read more

Is the CIA’s chief historian obstructing justice in the JFK case?

CIA lobbyPresident Trump will soon announce his decision on whether the last of the U.S. government’s JFK files will be fully released or not. April 26 will be a moment to assess what we know about JFK’s assassination that we didn’t know before, and specifically, what have we learned about the CIA’s role in the events of November 1963.

Among those vouching for the probity of the CIA in the JFK assassination story is the agency’s chief historian David Robarge. Read more

Rigged triangulation: Oswald, Kostikov, and AMLASH

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).
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How CIA surveillance tracked Oswald on his way to Dallas

WaPo Oswald

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.

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Moles, Defectors, and Deceptions: James Angleton and His Influence on US Counterintelligence

The surveillants: more U.S. intelligence officers who watched Oswald

Oswald Under Surveillance

Bill writes:

“I am appreciating your insistence that Oswald was under surveillance, pursuant to LINGUAL, AMSPELL, and LIENVOY.”

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Crux of the JFK issue: conspiracy or gross negligence?

 Jacob writes:
“If I interpret your March 5 post correctly, it seems that you have ultimately decided that Oswald did it, either alone or in concert with one or more people, and that the CIA, at worst, was guilty of gross negligence in preventing Oswald (alone or with others) from committing the assassination.”

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What Politico doesn’t know about the JFK files

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:

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If Trump is serious about the last of the JFK files, he will release this one

A faithful reader sends a timely reminder: Birch O’Neal, the CIA’s unknown Oswald expert, dissembled to an FBI agent within hours of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

I wrote about O’Neal yesterday. A career CIA counterintelligence officer who died in 1995, O’Neal is perhaps the most interesting new character to emerge from the tens of thousands of JFK assassination files released since last October.

His previously unknown saga sheds new light on a JFK secret the CIA and defenders of the Warren Commission still deny: the agency’s  pre-assassination surveillance of accused assassin Lee Harvey Oswald. Read more