I’d never heard of Tommy Carrigan, an enthusiastic podcaster with a taste for military and intelligence books, before he invited me on his show to talk about THE GHOST, my biography of James Angleton, chief of CIA counterintelligence.
We spoke on the day after the 57th anniversary of the assassination of the President John F. Kennedy, and naturally the JFK story came up.
(This article, titled “Under CIA Eyes,” first appeared in Counterpunch, Vol. 25 published in January 2020.).
“I was struck by the intimacy and the smallness of the whole surroundings,” said retired CIA officer Rolf Mowatt-Larssen after his first visit to Dealey Plaza in November 2019.
Dealey Plaza, a grassy Art Deco entry point to downtown Dallas, is where President John F. Kennedy was shot and killed on November 22, 1963. Hundreds of thousands of people still come from around the world to see the spot where the popular liberal president was ambushed. Many of them have the same reaction to the crime scene: the intimacy, the smallness.
The killing of Lee Harvey Oswald is another key to Rolf Mowatt-Larssen’s JFK analysis. He argues that one of the conspirators had to have had access to the Mafia bosses who could induce Jack Ruby to eliminate the accused assassin as a witness.
I’m re-upping this post from two years ago, because the point needs emphasizing and praise is due.
The Canadian Broadcasting Company–more than any U.S. media organization–recognized the single most important finding to come out in the very incomplete JFK document release in 2017-18.
The Fifth Estate show on CBC Newsunderstood a fact that leading historians resist: Accused assassin Lee Harvey Oswald was not a “lone nut.” He was the target of CIA surveillance for four years before Kennedy was killed.
Documents released recently by the U.S. National Archives on President John F. Kennedy’s assassination suggest the CIA was watching Lee Harvey Oswald much more closely than previously thought before the fatal shot was fired in Dallas, an author tells The Fifth Estate.Former Washington Post reporter and author Jefferson Morley told The Fifth Estate the official story was that Oswald came out of nowhere and shot the president on Nov. 22, 1963. “What the files show is that’s a cover story. It’s not true. High level CIA officials were paying attention to Oswald from 1959 to November 1963,” said Morley, author of several books on the assassination, the CIA and a JFK website.
The highest of those officials was counterintelligence chief James Angleton.
For the full story on the legendary Angleton, go here.
A recent Daily Mail article on JFK’s assassination highlighted James Johnson’s new book, Murder Inc.: The CIA Under President John F. Kennedy which argues Cuba government may have been involved.
There are many reasons to doubt this conspiracy theory, which I detailed in this 2012 article for Salon. Those reasons still apply. But Johnson is right about one thing: The central role of James Angleton, CIA counterintelligence chief in obstructing the JFK investigation is highly suspicious. Those suspicions, in fact, reached the highest levels of the CIA itself.
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.
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.
The late Charles Thomas belonged to an exclusive, unhappy and forgotten club: U.S. government officials whose efforts to honestly investigate the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963 cost them their jobs and reputations.
Jefferson's Morley compulsively readable, and deeply reported biography of CIA spymaster James Angleton is "the best book ever written about the strangest spy chief who ever lived," says Tim Weiner. From the OSS to the CIA to MKULTRA and JFK, Angleton was a ghost of American power. BUY THE GHOST NOW.
About The Deep State news blog
The Deep State is Jefferson Morley’s new blog about the influence of secret intelligence agencies worldwide. Launched in November 2018, Morley has already published his reporting about: