Correcting some mistakes in the Weekly Standard

In response to Max Holland’s piece on the new JFK files in the Weekly Standard, I sent the following letter:

To the Editor:

In his piece on the new JFK files, “Much Ado About Nothing,” Max Holland accuses me of “repeating a falsehood until it achieves the veneer of truth.” He cites no such falsehood, which is prudent of him because there are none.

Holland describes me as a “conspiracy theorist” par excellence who “has injected my “Deep State culpability” theory into the New York TimesWashington Post (broken link to an AP story that was also published here), Newsweek, Politico, and the Daily Beast, either by writing for them directly or being relied upon as an expert.”

I thank Holland for citing these articles. They spare me the need to refute his false quotation and unfounded claims. Readers will observe that I do not offer a JFK conspiracy theory or use the phrase “the Deep State,” in any of these articles, (though I do quote Trump’s use of it in the Newsweek piece.)

To clarify my interpretation of November 22, 1963, I think certain CIA operations officer were culpable in the wrongful death of the president, among them counterintelligence chief James Angleton. As I show in The Ghost, my new biography of Angleton, his Special Investigations Group constantly monitored the leftist politics, Soviet contacts, and personal life of Lee Harvey Oswald for four years, from November 1959 to November 1963. Angleton’s office was even notified by the FBI in mid-November 1963 that Oswald was in Dallas.

After JFK’s murder, Angleton obstructed the assassination investigation and committed perjury to obfuscate his long-standing interest in  Oswald. I think that the best explanation for his illegal actions is that he was seeking to conceal legal culpability. For the record, I see no proof Angleton was part of an assassination conspiracy.


  1. Kennedy63 says:

    an addendum to the above: Oswald somehow found his way to Guy Bannister’s operation during his 1963 stay in New Orleans. Coincidence, or was Oswald acting as a “leftist dangle” to discredit the Fair Play for Cuba Committee, in the wake of the JFK assassination, which aligned with the Joint Chief’s “Operation Northwood” playbook? Assassinating heads of democratic
    nations was the business of the CIA. Operation Northwoods was the Joint Chief’s project to blame Cuba for state sponsored terrorism in the USA, in turn, providing the false pretext to invade CUBA. JFK’s assassination may have been grounded in Operation Northwoods. (

  2. David S says:

    I bought and read, “The Ghost,” and found it to be a good book. Angleton is probably one of the most powerful men in modern American history to get so little scrutiny. Discussions of him invariably describe him as “paranoid” (isn’t the CIA’s head of counter-intelligence supposed to be paranoid?), and then devolve into whether or not he found his supposed Mole.

    But your book, Mr. Morley, touches on Angleton’s follies, but more importantly pieces together some important data points about Oswald and his relation to the CIA. That’s the point I try to emphasize when discussing the JFK murder. 24-year old Oswald was new to the world (for 2 days, until Ruby killed him), but he was NOT new to the CIA or the FBI.

    Indeed, for more than 50 years, both agencies have been deflecting and obscuring Oswald’s relationship to them. He may have been a low-level unimportant informant, he may have been a contract agent, he may have been something else or neither. But, it’s clear (at least to me) that you have provided evidence of a connection there. In my judgment, this moves the ball forward to finding the truth.

  3. Bogman says:

    You must be getting real close to the truth, Jeff, cuz the CIA and its mouthpieces seem to be circling the wagons.

  4. Jack Navin says:

    Thanks Jefferson for expressing so well what you do believe and always supporting your position with sound reasoning and facts.

    Based on what I’ve read of the latest batch of released CIA documents, which they’ve withheld from the public for decades, it seems very strange that they chose those particular bits of information to keep secret. They are filled with mundane trivia.

    Finally, after denying access for over five decades in some cases, we can see perfectly innocuous communiques that contain nothing embarrassing or interesting. Could it be that as they engage in this trickle down exposure of top secret information, that what they still refuse to let us review is in fact damning to certain individuals they are protecting?

  5. robert e williamson jr says:

    I suspect you are younger than I by a few years at least. I was a freshman in sixth hour study hall when JFK was murdered. I got drafted in May of 1968 but them my luck changed and I sat out my tour in Berlin Germany. In plain clothes. I was a spook. It’s a long story. Ok. No combat no Vietnam. I’m not to this day sure how it works but I think since I was a member of an occupying force, I’d be closer to being a WWII vet than a Viet vet. Yes, I do still have a copy of my orders.

    Regardless I found some things out about what we were really doing in Berlin. I been hooked ever since. JFK was a bona fide war hero. We need to know for sure what happened. You are doing a great service for people like me. Thank you very much.

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