You will recall that President Trump caved to CIA director Mike Pompeo and FBI director Christopher Wray in October 2017. The two agencies were allowed to drop a veil of bizarre and suspicious secrecy over the full record of JFK’s assassination.
The clock is ticking, notes Brendan Cole in Newsweek. Will President Biden do the right thing?
In a presidential memo, Trump said the move was “to protect against identifiable harm to national security, law enforcement, or foreign affairs.” According to the National Archives, some 15,834 of the files still contain redactions and 520 remain unreleased in full.In April 2018, it said that a decision about the material must be reviewed again before October 26, 2021 “to determine whether continued withholding from disclosure is necessary.” This means that their fate will fall within the purview of the incoming administration of President-elect Joe Biden.
This issue here is not “conspiracy.” The question is transparency, specifically, will the letter and the spirit of the JFK Records Act be enforced in time for President Trump’s April 28, 2018 full disclosure deadline?
“The National Archives’ commendable efforts to make the new records available online notwithstanding, overall the release process has been disappointing and disheartening,” Rex Bradford — president of the Mary Ferrell Foundation, which hosts one of the premiere sites for searchable, online JFK documents — told WhoWhatWhy.
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
On Monday morning March 19 my attorneys Jim Lesar and Dan Alcorn and I will appear at the Barrett Prettyman federal courthouse in Washington to make oral arguments in my long-running lawsuit, Morley v. CIA.Read more
Journalist David Talbot has brought a federal complaint to obtain records on the ex-CIA official at the center of congressional investigations into the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.Talbot says he asked the State Department and CIA for travel records and other documents about William “King” Harvey.
A faithful reader adds to what is known about Orest Pena, the New Orleans bar owner whose testimony to Congress in 1978 remains secret. The reader quotes from Anthony Summers’ useful reporting in his book, Not in Your Lifetime.
“There was the claim of Orest Pena, a New Orleans bar owner who in 1963 himself supplied occasional information to FBI agent Warren De Brueys. Pena was to say he had seen Oswald with Agent De Brueys on “numerous occasions” and that De Brueys threatened him physically before his Warren Commission appearance, warning him to keep quiet.
Orest Pena’s story is particularly compelling because he was trusted by the FBI agents in New Orleans. As a bar owner of Cuban descent, he saw and heard a lot of interest to law enforcement. Oswald had visited his bar in the summer of 1963 in the company of a man Pena described as Mexican. Pena also said he saw Oswald with FBI agent Warren DeBreuys on several occasions. DeBreuys denied this and denigrated Pena as unreliable.
To launch the New Year, JFK Facts will highlighting key JFK documents that remain secret in part or in full. We will also be focusing on the effort to make sure that all these documents are made public by the legal deadline of October 26, 2017.
The first is a document that has always intrigued me. As described by Rex Bradford of Mary Ferrell Foundation, it is
A transcript of the HSCA interview with Orest Pena, the New Orleans bar owner who told them that he saw Oswald was palling around with FBI agents in New Orleans. There are actually 3 copies of this 1978 interview with different RIF numbers – all still withheld in full
Viewed dispassionately, “conspiracy theories” are controversial political messages about secret power. They purport to tell us how the world really works, as opposed to official accounts of government and experts. At a time when the credibility of federal government and news organizations is low, conspiracy theories flourish at the expense of public authority.
Credible or not, conspiracy theories have shaped the course of the 2016 presidential campaign. Conservative strategists Jerome Corsi and Roger Stone claim that Hillary Clinton has organized a conspiracy to conceal her own dire medical condition. Liberals Ezra Klein and Cass Sunstein warn that conspiracy theories distort our political discourse and endanger the political process. Who’s right?
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: