Reporters ask me, “Is there a smoking gun in the new JFK files?”
I used to say “No.” But after reading the CIA’s latest releases, I have changed my mind.
Now I say, “Yes, there is at least one potential smoking gun in the new JFK files, and it may soon come into public view.”
As I explained to the Washington Post:
one of the more interesting documents to emerge involves a CIA cable about Oswald’s contacts in Mexico City that had up until Friday been partially redacted. The Oct. 8, 1963 cable discussed Oswald’s interactions with a Soviet consular official named Valery Kostikov, the reputed head of the KGB’s assassinations operations. On Friday, the CIA cable’s slugline was finally declassified. The title: LCIMPROVE.
LCIMPROVE was the agency’s code name for counterespionage against the KGB worldwide, providing further evidence that CIA counterintelligence chief James Angleton was paying attention to Oswald’s antics while JFK was alive.
If there is a “smoking gun” in the JFK files, it will be found in the FBI’s curious response to the October 8, 1963, cable.
The next day, October 9, 1963, the FBI made a curious decision that has long puzzled JFK researchers and historians. Senior agents in Washington removed Oswald’s name from a list of persons of interest to FBI headquarters. Six weeks later, Oswald was arrested for shooting JFK.
In other words, the day after the CIA’s top counterintelligence official was informed that Oswald had met with a possible KGB officer in Mexico City, the FBI decided that Oswald was no longer worthy of close scrutiny.
The FBI files, scheduled for release, will likely shed light on this fateful decision. The FBI has previously released internal records about why the so-called “Flash” notice on Oswald was cancelled, but they are filled with redactions.
If and when those redactions are removed, we may learn who was shielding Oswald from law enforcement attention as he made his way to Dallas.
That may not constitute proof conspiracy, but it might be smoking gun proof of negligence in the case of the murdered president.
Last week the FBI told Politico “that the files would now be released by the National Archives on a rolling basis in the coming weeks.”