Those of us who comb through the CIA’s records about Lee Harvey Oswald’s time in Mexico City are frustrated that there is no easy way to find many of the key cables between Mexico City and Headquarters, or between JMWAVE in Miami and Headquarters.
What we have run into is the working equivalent of a CIA tutorial on how to avoid providing information mandated under the law.
The law requires that this problem be solved.
These chronological files don’t enable a researcher to put together together the heart of the Oswald story in Mexico City — which is between September 27-October 1. The events in Miami in the weeks prior to November 22 are crucial to understanding what JMWAVE was doing with the Cuban exiles and in Mexico City.
A similar problem exists for the dispatches between HQ and Mexico City – the communications that were not considered as urgent as the cables.
A number of the “missing files” that should be part of the chronos can be found at the Archives or at the Mary Ferrell Foundation website. These files are tucked away in various folders, such as the Mexico City station files on Cuban consul Eusebio Azcue in CIA microfilm, Reel 2 or the JMWAVE files in CIA box 33. A “date range” MFF search within the missing dates will result in many hits.
The CIA said that there was no “chronological package” of missing files for Mexico City between the dates of September 25 to September 30. By way of inference, the Agency gave the impression that numerous files no longer existed. Thus, no duty to look any further.
David S. Ferriero, the Archivist of the United States, has the duty to send a demand to the CIA for the missing files.
The JFK Records Act is in effect until “the Archivist certifies to the President and the Congress that all assassination-related records have been made available to the public in accordance with this Act.”
David S. Ferriero, the Archivist of the United States a/k/a AOTUS, encourages researchers to write him comments for posting. We should write Ferreiro’s blog and remind him of his duty.
The Review Board deemed these gaps to be significant because both CIA stations played roles in U.S. operations against Cuba.
The cable traffic that the Review Board reviewed in the CIA’s sequestered collection commences on October 1, 1963, and contains the earliest known communication—an October 8, 1963, cable—between the Mexico City Station and CIA Headquarters concerning Lee Harvey Oswald.
In general, cable traffic and dispatches are not available as a chronological collection and thus, for the period 26 through 30 September 1963 it is not possible to provide cables and dispatches in a chronological/package form.
During the periods in question, the Office of Communications (OC) only held cables long enough to ensure that they were successfully transmitted to the named recipient. On occasion…cables were sometimes held for longer periods but not with the intention of creating a long-term reference collection.
The Review Board was not able to locate cables or dispatches from the following periods:
Headquarters to Mexico City Station (September 26–30, 1963);
JMWAVE to Headquarters (September 26–November 21,1963);
Headquarters to JMWAVE (September 26–November 21, 1963);
and all traffic between the Mexico City Station and JMWAVE for the periods September 26–October 20, 1963 and November 22–December 30, 1963.
Had CIA offices strictly applied the ninety-day rule, there might have been copies of cable traffic commencing as early as August 22, 1963, rather than October 1, 1963, available to CIA on November 22, 1963.