Ford White House edited CIA assassination plots out of Rockefeller Commission report

The Gerald Ford White House significantly altered the final report of the supposedly independent 1975 Rockefeller Commission investigating CIA domestic activities, over the objections of senior Commission staff, according to internal White House and Commission documents posted today by the National Security Archive at The George Washington University

Source: Ford White House Altered Rockefeller Commission Report


37 thoughts on “Ford White House edited CIA assassination plots out of Rockefeller Commission report”

  1. The archive release kinda reminds me of the line from All the President’s Men – “For the first time, the break-in makes sense.”

    For the first time here, you can draw a line from Ford’s collusion with intel agencies in the WC, to Ford and Cheney working for Nixon, to Cheney and Iraq.

    Essentially, two guys beholden to the goals of the national security state over the will of the people.

    I’m not saying either had direct knowledge of JFK’s assassination, but there were part of the CIA-enabling team of top officials that allowed the agency to literally get away with murder – and no one can be certain where that ends. But I’m sure they justified it all “for the good of the country.”

    The most telling line from the story:

    Additional mandatory declassification review requests filed by Archive fellow John Prados returned identical versions of documents, indicating the CIA is not willing to permit the public to see any more of the assassinations story than we show here.

    Meaning to me? There are still ticking time bombs tucked away in US govt archives.

    1. One solution for hiding documents such as these, is to transfer them to a private party, or a private institution not covered by FOIA requests.

      When the LAPD was being investigated for involvement in COINTELPRO, rather than reveal the files on dissidents they had, they transferred the files to Congressman Larry MacDonald who had founded ‘the Western Goals Foundation’, an NGO closely aligned with US Intelligence.

      So your “ticking time bombs” may be ticking elsewhere than in US govt archives.

      You may recall that McDonald was allegedly killed in the “crash” of KAL 007 (Korean Airlines Flt 007) when it was allegedly “shot down” over Soviet airspace.

  2. “Ford…shouldn’t have covered up the assassination plots, which should never have happened in the first place.”~Jean Davison

    The most important assassination plot the Ford covered up was the one that killed Kennedy. Apparently this didn’t sink in for you. Ford’s collusion with the intelligence agencies is made very clear in the article.

  3. “The silence from the Lone Nutters here is deafening.”

    What do you expect us to say? I mostly comment on things I disagree with or think are incorrect. I don’t disagree and see nothing incorrect that I’m aware of in this information. IMO, Ford (and the Presidents before him) shouldn’t have covered up the assassination plots, which should never have happened in the first place.

    The Rockefeller Commission was formed by Ford to investigate domestic CIA activities and its report pointed out mail openings and other snooping in this country:

    The Church Committee investigation that soon followed discussed the assassination plotting:

    So the information did come out, and that’s a good thing.

    1. Jean,

      Is THE point, your point;

      So the information did come out, and that’s a good thing.

      ….or is it that a cover up/limited hang out actually took place, set up at the behest of President Ford, even as he was describing to the American people the appointment of Rockefeller to “head” a fact finding commission, as an executive action leading to accountability and reform.

      Does this not strike you as contemptible and hyper cynical, considering Ford spied on the WC for the FBI, was appointed rather than elected VPOTUS by a soon to be resigned in disgrace POTUS, who Ford then succeeded as POTUS and swiftly pardoned, and then appointed Rockefeller as VPOTUS, and the two embarked on the Rockefeller Commission “investigation,” actually shielding the CIA from disclosure and accountability?

      You have a similar non-reaction to the CIA’s Joannides deception, foisted on the HSCA, yet you assign substantial weight to the “findings” of the WC and HSCA. How do you know to agree with those findings, especially as resolutely and consistently as you indicate in your comments? I ask because you seemed to assign little or no weight/concern to the Rockefeller Commission cover up and its direction/deception, or to the Joannides deception. Are your reactions, indicated in your last comment to mean, “hey let’s make the best of it,” one step above “nothing to see here,” consistent with your opinions of WCR and HSCA reporting generally, or are they reasonable with regard to the intentional damage done by Ford from late 1963, and by the CIA? IOW, how can you trust much of anything Ford did or said as POTUS, or the CIA told the WC or the HSCA or form strong conclusions?

      1. “hey let’s make the best of it”

        A masterful tactic right up there with “‘the members of the WC were after all, only human”. to “eyewitnesses are credible unless of course their recollections don’t coincide with the official story”, to “we’ll just have to accept that there are some contradictions that can’t be resolved”, to “we’ll simply ignore specific questions about law enforcement participation in the botched investigation”, to “so what if an employee of America’s intelligence community deceived the government commission established to once and for all resolve the assassination investigation”, to “let’s find consensus for the sake of history – after all this ain’t no trial”, to this latest, “let’s make the best of a bad situation . . . ‘Yep, Gerald Ford messed up, but ‘aw shucks, what are ya gonna do about it now, America’? It’s water under the bridge.’

        1. No Leslie, not water under the bridge, but History we must all try to set straight, as possible. To help future generations in understanding and hopefully correcting our generations mistakes.

      2. No, you misunderstand me, Tom. There are many issues that I haven’t studied much and so I hesitate to give a personal opinion until I know more. I’ve always been in favor of releasing all the files, including specifically anything on Joannides, and I’ve said that for years. I look forward to learning more about what went on there.

        I don’t “assign substantial weight to the ‘findings’ of the WC and HSCA.” I agree with most of their findings (not all) only because I happened to arrive at the same conclusions after I’d studied the evidence. It certainly wasn’t because I trust people in government to always do the right thing or know what they’re talking about, since that’s obviously not true.

        I’ve never said or meant “nothing to see here.”

    1. Indeed…

      This article has now dropped to 7th place on the main page… I think they are waiting (and hoping) for it to drop off the bottom of the page and disappear…

  4. BTW, it seems not irrelevant to note that during the late 1930s, Nelson Rockefeller organized a spy network for FDR in Latin America. By the time of Pearl Harbor, he’d gained enough clout with the White House to be able to keep this network separate from Bill Donovan’s OSS, and make sure that the latter organization stayed out of Central and South America, and the Caribbean. My source for this is a book by Douglas Waller entitled “Wild Bill Donovan: The Spymaster Who Created the OSS and Modern American Espionage” which was published several years ago. So having Rockefeller chair this panel was not unlike appointing Allen Dulles to the Warren Commission.

    1. ‘[Office of the Co-ordinator of Inter-American Affairs Nelson Rockefeller] had one thing Donovan did not: friends in the Democratic party who were in the president’s inner circle . Those friends persuaded Roosevelt to get some more opinions. . . .

      [Assistant Secretary of State for Latin American Affairs] Adolf Berle was only too happy to give his. Berle believed , with some cause that Donovan was a usurper of power, including his own as founder of the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence. . . .

      Berle enlisted the FBI’s J. Edgar Hoover , who threw his formidable weight behind Nelson. At Berle’s suggestion, Roosevelt had given Hoover power to establish a “Special Intelligence Service” that would extend FBI activities throughout Latin America. . . .

      Donovan never really had a chance. Roosevelt acceded to the demands of vested interest, including Nelson’s domain over psychological warfare. “I continue to believe that the requirements of our program in the [Western] Hemisphere are quite different from those of our programs to Europe and the Far East . . . it should be handled exclusively by the Co-ordinator of Inter-American Affairs in cooperation with the Department of State.” — [President Roosevelt]

      Donovan did not talk to Roosevelt for years. . . .

      This was the last serious challenge to Nelson Rockefeller’s power over Latin American affairs during the war. . . .

      The OSS’s Latin American Division was restricted to passing on information on Axis sympathizers to the FBI and the CIAA for them to follow up in their counterintelligence and economic warfare programs or financially supporting CIAA’s propaganda efforts. . . .

      Throughout Latin America, the CIAA team was headed by efficient business executives. With their hands already on the levers of local power, such businessmen facilitated the CIAA’s transition to wartime operations. But Nelson paid a price for this readiness: He had already gained a reputation . . . too oriented toward American businesses and not enough toward the economic needs of the countries in which they functioned. . . . Most problems . . . were approached from a business point of view first. They reflected a viewpoint … that you mustn’t do anything to disturb business . . . ‘ Gerard Colby & Charlotte Dennett, “Thy Will Be Done”, Pg 112-113

  5. So…. Let me get this straight… This is a website dedicated to the assassination of JFK… There must be thousands upon thousands of pages of articles, possibly millions of comments, heated discussions and all kinds of banter about all aspects surrounding the assassination, from the most minute and trivial, to the most general and philosophical… Not to mention that there is periodic discussions and complaints about all the documents that the FBI and CIA refuse to release…

    Which is all great..

    Now, there is an article about the revelation of CIA assassination plots, and documents about it from the days of the Rockefeller Commission, and how Dick (excuse my french) Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, as members of the Ford Whitehouse, working for a president who was involved also in the Warren Report cover up, having censured key documents that would have certainly cast doubt on every single statement made by the CIA regarding not just JFK, but all other political murders before, during and after the decade of assassinations… And it is not even a recycled article… This document just came to light…

    As a result, I am compelled to ask: How come this thread is receiving no attention, next to zero comments, spurring no discussions, debates, questions, answers, links, etc.???????

    I am following all of the other threads where heated discussions are currently taking place. It certainly seems like the revelation that the white house, irrespective of its tenant, works to protect the CIA, covers up assassinations and actively stands in front of an investigation into the murder of a sitting president, does not seem to cast a shadow in any of the arguments being made on those other threads.. It is yet another groundhog day here at JFKFacts!!!

    I ask you Professor McAdams… I ask you, Photon, I ask you Jean, Mr. Clarke… Do any of you have anything to say about this? Did any of you pause, even if momentarily, to put some thought into the ramifications of such knowledge… Did it cause you to rethink anything you so vehemently propagate here day in, day out, for years and years? Did it cause even a hairline of a difference in your firm stance on any of the “JFK facts” you hold so dear to your hearts???

    And, if your answer is no, then please tell me why I, or any of us for that matter, should take anything you say about the assasination seriously?

    (My questions are NOT rhetorical…)

    1. Yes, where are McAdams, Photon, Jean Davison, and, Bill Clarke.?

      You might have thought they would love to argue with this article!

      Or you might have guessed they would avoid it like the plague.

      1. The purveyors who support the false narrative of the WC are not here to seek the truth of matters, they seek instead to drown out any voices of reason; any voices of doubt; any voices seeking a proper investigation of JFK.

        In order to understand why JFK’s assassination was not properly investigated, we must also investigate the evidence of what type of political structure allows a continued cover up of this crime for over fifty years and counting.

      2. That’s a great post David

        And this admission and the CIA cover up report last year and the 60s-70s was a period of great corruption in the secretly and military side of the govt

        There IMO is just no way to defend these incidents . It’s an issue for both sides in the JFK assassination . We are possibly still dealing with the blowback from these events . The good thing now is people are mad and sick of this behavior of our supposed leaders . Maybe things are now finally trying to change .

        I still think this is an incident both sides could rally around . It’s just sad

        1. Oh John McAdams and Photon:

          Let me help you:

          Washington, DC, February 29, 2016 – The Gerald Ford White House significantly altered the final report of the supposedly independent 1975 Rockefeller Commission investigating CIA domestic activities, over the objections of senior Commission staff, according to internal White House and Commission documents posted today by the National Security Archive at The George Washington University ( The changes included removal of an entire 86-page section on CIA assassination plots and numerous edits to the report by then-deputy White House Chief of Staff Richard Cheney.

          Today’s posting includes the entire suppressed section on assassination attempts, Cheney’s handwritten marginal notes, staff memos warning of the fallout of deleting the controversial section, and White House strategies for presenting the edited report to the public. The documents show that the leadership of the presidentially-appointed commission deliberately curtailed the investigation and ceded its independence to White House political operatives.

          Still think Ford was the “upright, decent ” man who saved us from the “national nightmare” known as Watergate?

          Gerald Ford was a SCUMBAG. Plain and simple. A LYING SCUMBAG.

          David is absolutely correct. You would think you two would be as disgusted, or more disgusted, than ANYONE about this. I am guessing you won’t be. I am guessing you will attack the author, or Ford was mis-quoted, or this relates to “national security.”

          What a bunch of crap.

          EVERYTHING Ford said or did for the Warren Commission should be removed from the permanent record. He needs a seat to RMN and LBJ in the “Liars Hall of Shame.”

          1. No civilian can be anything but disgusted with the recent disclosures about the CIA this year and last year.

            In the 60s and 70s we were basically a quasi militray state with leaders that misled its citizens . No need to call those two out when they didn’t instigate anything .

          2. In the 60s and 70s we were basically a quasi military state with leaders that misled its citizens.

            Ahhhh, the good old days, before domestic side scanning camera sweeps by LEO, surveillance cameras mounted seemingly everywhere, drone surveillance by LEO, paying a locator/surveillance subscription fee, i.e., smart phone/cell phone bill, key logging of your internet activity, email, telcon call and text content data, all stored indefinitely and shared with????? But, that is only a list of what we are aware of. Bernie is the only candidate not committed to prosecuting Snowden to the full extent of the DOJ’s imaginative, aggressive charging and prosecution array, but did mention putting him through a court process, and I doubt he meant a civil court.

            In the 60’s and 70’s the government was still not afraid of everyone, yet.

          3. Flashback. Carly Simon (Anticipation) “stay right here, cause these are the good old days”. The days of Johnson, Nixon, Vietnam and Cheny. Wait, were not eight years removed from Bush – Cheny. And not a lot has changed other than technology in some respects.

        2. “And this admission and the CIA cover up report last year and the 60s-70s was a period of great corruption in the secretly and military side of the govt – DB

          Thank you, DB.

          I fully agree with you. However, if I am understanding your comment accurately, I will have to take objection to the past tense you use. The relatively small and covert group of crooks and spooks of the 60s has, by now, fully taken over all (and I do mean all) branches of government by placing their own in key positions, investigative commissions, media, military, and yes, including the presidency.

          1. David I actually meant security rather than secretly.

            I also tend to agree with you regarding how powerful the security/military estates are but I do think things are changing. Information flows so quickly now, we have better whistleblower protections, and regular folk are just fed up, I just get the sense things seem to be changing and this years election might reflects that.

            The average citizen has had it with Govt deceit and legal corruption. I think that is what the so called political pundits are missing about the appeal for Trump and Sanders. They are the anybody but Govt option and nobody cares about their policies, they are so fed up and want to send a message, any message that things have changed. It possibly started with occupy WS or a similiar movement and has been intensifying ever since.

            Its only going to get worse, wait until the retirement crises happens when a small minority retire with plenty of funds and the vast majority have nothing.

  6. There’s precedent with Ford even back in 1964. He did, after all, alter the WC to reflect that Kennedy’s back wound was a neck wound. So it looks like he’s always been a go-to guy for altering documents to change the outcome. Looks like Cheney learned from a master.

  7. This is the same president Ford who admitted to French president Valery Giscard d’Estaing that JFK was murdered as the result of a conspiracy.

  8. Committee staff analyst Loch Johnson, who later authored a classic account of the “Year of Intelligence,” found many revelations almost unbelievable, in some cases “requiring a suspension of disbelief few serious novelists would ask of their readers.”

    Does anyone have any more specific info on the above or any other light the Church Comm had on JFK assassination?. Thanks

  9. Arnaldo M. Fernandez

    It´s not surprising, since Gerald Ford himself altered the final report of the WC, placing up an entry wound to allow an exit wound at the throat in order to justify the SBT.

  10. I am shocked, shocked I say, to see that there is gambling going on here! – Casablanca

    I think, after this revelation, Cheney might already be on a flight to a farm in Marfa, TX as we speak.

  11. Among the highlights of today’s posting:

    >White House officials of the Ford administration attempted to keep a presidential review panel—the Rockefeller Commission—from investigating reports of CIA planning for assassinations abroad.

    >Ford administration officials suppressed the Rockefeller Commission’s actual report on CIA assassination plots.

    >Richard Cheney, then the deputy assistant to the president, edited the report of the Rockefeller Commission from inside the Ford White House, stripping the report of its independent character.

    >The Rockefeller Commission remained silent on this manipulation.
    Rockefeller Commission lawyers and public relations officials warned of the damage that would be done to the credibility of the entire investigation by avoiding the subject of assassinations.

    >President Ford passed investigative materials concerning assassinations along to the Church Committee of the United States Senate and then attempted—but failed—to suppress the Church Committee’s report as well.

    >The White House markup of the Rockefeller Commission report used the secrecy of the CIA budget as an example of excesses and recommended Congress consider making agency spending public to some degree.
    . . . . . .

    “Meanwhile at the White House, Cheney led the way in “editing” the Rockefeller report—including suppressing the assassinations section. The final draft of the full report contained a brief passage noting that President Ford had asked the panel to investigate the assassination plots after its inquiry began, that the staff had not been able to complete the investigation, and that Ford had then asked that assassinations material be turned over to him. The Cheney edit inserted doubts by adding that it was unclear whether assassinations fell within the scope of the Commission’s mandate, thus resurrecting jurisdictional issues which had previously been resolved…”
    . . . . . .

    Cheney’s involvement in this scandal, of course, leads us right into the modern era, the 21st Century and the continuum of deceit.

    This is truly a critically important revelation.

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