2013 JFK Facts scoop #1: CIA retains 1,100 secret JFK documents

On May 14, I reported “1,100 JFK documents ignored in Obama’s push to open records,” a story that would be picked up by dozens of news sites around the world.

It was the most important of three scoops scored by JFK Facts in 2013. While much of the coverage of the 1,100 documents overlapped with the story of George Joannides, the CIA records received even wider coverage, especially after I summarized the most important missing records in another piece, “Top 7 JFK files the CIA still keeps secret.”

The catalyst was David Porter’s  Aug. 17 Associated Press story, which led with the secret Joannides files, but explained that the Agency retained approximately 1,100 assassination-related files as well. The AP story appeared in at least thirty news sites, and the story spread from there.

Joesph Lazzaro of the International Business Times followed up with a series of stories about the secret files, including “Four JFK FIles the CIA Must Make Public,” “The CIA and Lee Harvey Oswald–Questions Remain,” and “Just Who Was Lee Harvey Oswald.”

New Yorker writer Adam Gopnik mentioned these hidden records in his Nov. 4 piece, “Closer Than That.” So did his colleague John Cassidy in a Nov. 21 blog post, “A Word in Favor of J.F.K. Assassination Conspiracy Theories.” (although Cassidy misstated the number of documents withheld.) Author Anthony Summers cited the 1,100 documents in a Nov. 18 letter to the editor of the New Yorker.

Summers wrote:

Finally, thousands of relevant records, including 1,171 C.I.A. documents classified on the ground of national security, remain withheld. The law requires that all Kennedy-assassination-related records be released by 2017, unless the President rules otherwise. If Oswald was a leftist loner who killed the President, and if that was all there was to it, why continue to conceal documents?

The story reached the White House On November 17, a reporter for the McClatchy newspaper chain asked White House press secretary Jay Carney about the still-classified files. Carney had no comment.

The next day, CNN’s Thom Patterson reported on the still-wthheld files and elicited a comment from the CIA about the 1,100 records.

“CIA has followed the provisions of the JFK Assassination Records Collection Act, and the National Archives has all of the agency’s documents and files on the Kennedy assassination,” said CIA spokesman Edward Price. “The classified information contained in the files remains subject to the declassification provisions of the Act.”

U.S News asked me to write about the CIA files and responded with this piece on Nov. 19.

All of this coverage has put the world on notice that the 1,100 records are scheduled to be released in October 2017. Without JFK Facts, the story might have never gotten wide circulation.


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  1. Jonathan says:

    From Joseph Lazzaro’s article on the CIA and Oswald:

    “Here’s a classic example of that information/data gap: In the course of author and JFKFacts.org moderator Jefferson Morley’s lawsuit — Morley v CIA — which seeks the release of the classified records of CIA Undercover Officer George Joannides, who was chief of psychological warfare operations at the CIA’s Miami station, the CIA acknowledged in a sworn affidavit that the agency retains 1,100 records related to JFK’s assassination that have never been made public.

    Specifically, classified records of key CIA officers/personnel William Harvey, David Phillips, Birch D. O’Neal, E Howard Hunt, Anne Goodpasture, David Sanchez Morales and the aforementioned George Joannides — when made public — will help the nation determine what really happened in Dallas, who Lee Harvey Oswald was, and how the CIA treated and handled his file.

    According to the CIA, these files are “not believed relevant” to JFK’s death.”

    The CIA lies. That’s its job.

  2. Dan says:

    In addition to the 1,171 classified documents the CIA is withholding, there are extensive redactions in the released records at the JFK assassination collection of the National Archives. Also, there are extensive withholdings for classified information in the RFK files at the JFK Library, evidenced by pink sheets. Additionally, some researchers believe there are agency files that were never turned over to the Archives. All of these issues need to be addressed in order to approach full disclosure on the JFK assassination.

  3. JG says:

    If these files were released and showed no conspiracy the conspiracy crowd would still not be satisfied. Release them.

    • Bill Pierce says:

      JG writes:
      “If these files were released and showed no conspiracy the conspiracy crowd would still not be satisfied.”

      After destroying evidence, ignoring evidence, manipulating evidence and lying about evidence, is it any wonder that the government was never able to make a convincing case for the Lone Nut hypothesis? The HSCA’s limited hangout didn’t fool Americans either.

      While no one expects the CIA files to disclose a detailed blueprint of the assassination, maybe the files will help illuminate the activities of Oswald, Banister, Phillips, FPCC, CIA, FBI, et al, during the assassination timeframe. One thing is sure. For many of us, the CIA’s continued suppression of evidence is sinister and self-incriminating.

      This always bears repeating: rational Americans – the “conspiracy crowd” – are not responsible for the serious credibility issues with the Official Story. Those issues were created by government lying, stonewalling and secrecy. The CIA and Obama White House continue the tradition.

  4. Melvin Fromme says:

    If Hollywood is on its toes it has a great story in Jeff Morley’s struggle for transparency in the JFK records enslaved by the beast that created them (paid for by US citizens). This courageous endeavor is a modern day David vs. Goliath playing out in real time in front of everyone’s global eyes. David won’t back down & neither will Goliath.

    If one looks at the history, Hollywood has had a special gift for sensing what appeals to the public’s fickle interests & putting into relatable visuals. I put my faith in that direction anytime over politicians or appointed officials with no track record of possessing a backbone when it comes to doing the right thing for the American citizens they represent.

    In the past, individual complaints received by the slave master resulted in severe beatings & death. Things changed when the population as a whole could visualize the evil; a change Hollywood helped to make.

  5. George Simmons says:

    Reading the CNN piece, it was interesting to read Paul Perry say that a conspiracy theory involoving the CIA was the one conspiracy theory he could not debunk.

  6. JSA says:

    One of the leading arguments amongst lone nutters is that, in their opinion, a conspiracy involving many people cannot be kept a secret, therefore a JFK assassination conspiracy would have leaked out by now. Therefore, no conspiracy, they say.

    I think CIA is capable of keeping secrets, as these files have shown to have been guarded very carefully for fifty years. I would add that the atomic bomb project was kept a secret, so secrecy has some historical precedent. Finally, much of what contradicts the Warren Commission Report has leaked out, but has been craftily denied by many in the establishment, just as one third of Americans deny evolution and a large percentage deny global warming from our carbon emissions.

    In other words, both denial of uncomfortable facts, coupled with some extreme secrecy on the part of some of our governmental agencies seem to rip a big hole in the “they can’t keep a secret” argument of lone nutter believers.

    • Bill says:

      I think the death of JFK was planed by LBJ thru a west texas man by the name of Billie sol Estes. He and LBJ was very very good fixing things to their test. Billie was a really Bad person. I saw a lot of playing out of this in papers televison and papers during that time.

  7. http://www.HonorJFK.com links to a YouTube video, “Your Invitation to Honor JFK,” a strategy for achieving release of the records: “JFK said ‘One person can make a difference, and everyone should try.’ His words and this video are your invitation to join a Constitutional assembly on July 4th, 2014 at 12:30 p.m., on the public terraces of the Kennedy Center, petitioning by your presence for immediate release of all the still secret JFK records, starting with the “CIA SEVEN” most wanted files, and return of the CIA to its original, intelligence-only mandate. Honor John F. Kennedy. Free the files and find the truth. Restore America as a free and Constitutional Republic.

  8. mark colucci says:

    I have read everything. What Doug and friends need is a ton of money for a major Public Relations effort. The cover up has been confirmed, beyond a reasonable doubt, through the efforts of all the research people for the last fifty years. The ARRB and Horne’s conclusions are based upon rock solid evidence. The best metaphor is that we have seen the lightening, but its taking time for the thunder to reach the brainwashed public. We need a well developed PR effort. It can be done at this point for various reasons.
    Mark….B.A.; J.D.

  9. Manderson says:

    It makes no sense that the kennedy. Brothers were not aware of this plot in Dallas. Bobby was the attorney general. Was not the president suspicious of the motorcade and the odd behavior all around him. The weirdness of the insistence of the bubble being removed. The warnings? It is almost as if he wanted or said come and get me. It makes no sense. The kennedy silence -perhaps that was out of fear. Should bobby not be thinking I must be next? It is all very strange.

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