CIA shutters the office that declassifies historical materials

“This move is a true loss to the public,” said Mark Zaid, a Washington lawyer who frequently litigates against the CIA. He said the CIA office that handles Freedom of Information Act requests “is the most obstructionist and unfriendly of those I have dealt with during the last two decades.”

via LA Times.com.

17 comments

  1. Dan says:

    The National Archives and CIA made it crystal clear at the 2012 public forum that secret JFK assassination records will not be speeded up for release, despite strong public demand. Their current release date is October 2017, however the President in office at that time can postpone release indefinitely.

    • Photon says:

      The problem has nothing to do with JFK, his assassination or a CIA plot. It has everything to do with protecting confidential sources and techniques that are still useful today . There are still intelligence gathering techniques developed in WW II that are being used and need to remain under wraps.
      People shouldn’t believe that the Agency has some ulterior motive to cover up anything ; they are merely trying to protect this country from some very bad people . Fortunately they have kept the many successes of protecting American citizens over the last 60 years under wraps- for if those successes had been common knowledge future successes would have been compromised.

      • Avinash says:

        Not many here are interested in putting their heads in the sand.

      • Dan says:

        For sake of accuracy, the OSS operational records from WWII are now open at the Archives and have been since the early 2000’s. CIA initially resisted these releases under pressure of the Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act, but reconsidered and agreed to open these files. The request of Jeff Morley, Jim Lesar, John Judge and others was that the Archives/CIA process the remaining secret JFK assassination files in time for the 50th anniversary, and this request was flatly rejected.

      • JSA says:

        Yeah, if CIA released these files, it might expose valuable techniques for assassination of domestic leaders. If these techniques were to leak out, how would they be able to bump off future American politicians whom the agency deemed inappropriate?

        I have come to the conclusion that Harry Truman was right: when he oversaw the creation of CIA, he never intended it to possess and use assassination hit teams overseas or actively work to overthrow governments (like Guatemala’s and Iran’s). He saw their role as intelligence gathering ONLY. He wrote this in an OP/ED in the Washington Post in late 1963.

        CIA will never let the remaining Kennedy assassination-related files be released, not in 50, 100 or 1000 years, if they can prevent them from being released. But since supposedly We the People own our government and not the other way around, perhaps the American public will “grow a pair” and force the CIA’s hand.

      • S.R. "Dusty" Rohde says:

        —“People shouldn’t believe that the Agency has some ulterior motive to cover up anything “—

        Would you prefer people believe in Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy and Jiminy Crickit? People have every reason to suspect the Agency of ulterior motives. I distinctly hear bones rattling in the Agencies closet. I suspect those skeletons are preparing their finest formal wear for their approaching debut.
        The Agencies antics after the assassination alone make them suspect, (lies, deception, etc). Evidence, direct and indirect indicate a high degree of probability of Agency involvement in the assassination, (at whatever level). I haven’t even started on Motive, Means and Opportunity yet.

  2. Darwin says:

    Because of budget? Right. They can’t even be bothered to come up with a decent lie.

  3. George Simmons says:

    This is a worrying development considering the fact that the CIA are still illegally witholding JFK assassination related documents, with the obvious example of George Joannides who oversaw the DRE in 1963 and was then made liasion to the HSCA but never told the committee of his earlier role.
    George Blakey, Chief counsel to the HSCA stated that “Joannides behaviour was criminal. He obstructed our investigation”
    John R Tunhem, chairman of the Assassination Records Review Board said, “This material should be released. If we would have known of his (Joannides) role in Miami in 1963 we would have pressed for his records”

    When it comes to JFK assassination related records, I do not believe that the CIA are trying to protect sources, techniques or national security.
    Senior CIA operatives sent a cable to the CIA station in Mexico City in Oct 1963 stating that Oswald was “maturing”, despite being notified of Oswalds arrest for fighting with Anti-Castro exiles in the summer of 1963.
    Whether or not you believe there was a conspiracy, this was complacent and negligent, and i feel this is what they want to hide from public view.

    • Dan says:

      For the sake of accuracy, the Oct. 10, 1963 CIA cable quotes the US Embassy Moscow as saying twenty months of life in the Soviet Union had clearly had a maturing effect on Oswald. This information seems to be dated to the time of Oswald’s request to return from the USSR. Twenty months after Oswald’s trip to the Soviet Union in October 1959 would be sometime in 1961.

    • Jean Davison says:

      All the info on Oswald in the CIA cable can be traced to documents it received from other agencies. The “maturing” statement mentioned here:

      http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?docId=1565&relPageId=4

      … was taken word-for-word from this July 1961 State Department message, written when Oswald was trying to return to the United States:

      http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?docId=1135&relPageId=153

      The 10/10/63 CIA cable to its Mexico station didn’t mention Oswald’s New Orleans activities, but by the time it was sent, Oswald had already left Mexico. What difference did it make that this was omitted? Even if he’d still been there, what difference would it have made? He’d contacted two foreign embassies trying to “re-defect.” Some maturity!

      • George Simmons says:

        Hi Jean.
        In my opinion you are asking the wrong question.
        The question should not be what difference does it make that this was omitted, but WHY was it omitted?

        Why were senior CIA operatives sending a cable to their colleagues which they must have known was untrue?
        Why was this information about LHO being witheld from their CIA colleagues in the weeks BEFORE the assassination?
        And, if Jane Roman is correct, why was this “indicative of a keen interest in Oswald held closely on a need to know basis?” In other words, why was somebody in the CIA covert operations division thinking carefully about Oswald before Kennedy was killed?

        Is it just negligence on the part of the CIA, or something more sinister?

        A lot of questions there! I guess when it comes to the JFK assassination we all have much to ponder and learn.

        • Jean Davison says:

          George,
          In my opinion, you and others who believe that the CIA deliberately withheld information in the cable to Mexico should answer those questions, not me. It’s not my theory.
          If you can’t think of a plausible reason for the omission or explain what difference it made, maybe you should re-examine your premises?

  4. Hans Trayne says:

    I was in the military during the Cold War & also last part of Viet Nam. Simply put,an active duty or ex-soldier just could not do what Lee Oswald did (defect to Soviet Union, denounce US citizenship & then ‘mature’, change mind and return to the US & obtain citizenship reinstatement) without the help of invisible, gloved hands. It was unthinkable. A person would be arrested at the 1st location US authorities could get handcuffs on him, possibly shot in the process. The government was more forgiving for flying the latest fighter over to the enemy, landing it & handing it over to the enemy. Both not good things to do for any reason during a Cold or active war.

    Lee Oswald hand invisible gloved hands moving him in and out of Russia that appear to be the same hands that led him to the street he handed out the pro-Castro leaflets & the Latin Listening Post radio interviews.

    The owner of the gloved hands is why the Agency is dragging its feet on obeying the law in locking horns with Jeff Morley & his attorney & those who support them both. If the gloves fit the public won’t acquit. Truman created a monster, a spoiled group that does what it wants, when it wants regardless what laws are broken & who got hurt.

    Coming clean takes the monkey off the back. It’s not easy to breathe carrying a monkey on one’s back for decades.

    • JSA says:

      Truman regretted what the CIA had become in later years. He said so publicly. But FDR had overseen the creation of the OSS, which was regarded as necessary during WW2, especially after the massive intelligence failure of Pearl Harbor, and because the US needed good intelligence during the war. I doubt Roosevelt would have dismantled the OSS had he lived beyond 1945 anyway. And in 1940 FDR not only kept J. Edgar Hoover on at FBI, he used that agency to spy on his political opponent, Wendall Wilkie! FDR loved intrigue, and could be two-faced about how he handled people. To get back to the JFK assassination, I do think that Oswald was part of a program to get ‘on the ground’ information in the USSR. John Newman has written quite persuasively about this. I’d be interested in finding out if CIA has any hidden files on others, who might have been in the wings to be used as patsy material, such as Richard Case Nagell, who said he got out of being used as a patsy in Dallas by going into a bank in El Paso and shooting the ceiling, then surrendering to the cops to be put in jail. I’d like to know about Arthur Vallee, in Chicago in late 1963 as well. I think Oswald was just the guy who got used, and perhaps there were others ready in case he ‘screwed up’ his assignment.

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