1,100 JFK documents ignored in Obama’s push to open records

The Obama administration has declassified 175 batches of long-secret government records, the National Declassification Center announced last week, a milestone in a government-wide push to make public 404 million documents that have been deemed unnecessarily classified.

Yet the NDC effort will not make public 1,100 long-suppressed CIA records related to the assassination of President Kennedy. Why not?

The existence of the secret records was revealed by the chief of the CIA’s Public Information Programs Division, Delores Nelson, in a sworn affidavit, filed in federal court in connection with my lawsuit seeking the files of deceased CIA officer George Joannides.

Excerpt from a sworn statement by CIA Information Cooridinator Delores Nelson on how many JFK assassination records the CIA is withholding from public view

The National Archives says the CIA lacks the “time and resources” to review the records, which were known to, but not reviewed by, the staff of the independent Assassination Records Review Board in the 1990s. In a public forum last summer, NDC and National Archvives announced they would not challenge the CIA’s claim. The records will now be released in 2017 at the earliest, and maybe not even then.

The CIA’s claim that it lacks the time and resources is curious. The agency has had the time and resources to review and release records related to the Katyn Forest massacre of 1942 in which Soviet army killed thousands of Polish military officers, a tragedy in which no Americans died. The NDC has boasted publicly about declassifying records about “How to build a flying saucer,” not exactly a matter of widespread public interest.

Yet the NDC and CIA officials contend — with straight faces — that they lack the time and resources to review and release records related to the murder of a sitting American president.

The CIA itself deemed the records to be related to JFK’s assassination in the 1970s. In 1976. Agency officials collected the files from agency archives as they prepared to respond to the first congressional investigation of JFK’s death. The records were not shared with the House Select Committee on Assassinations unless they specifically asked for them. The CIA now claims that the records are “Not Believed Relevant” to JFK’s assassination.

That claim has never been confirmed by anyone outside of the agency and is probably factually incorrect.

In two posts earlier this year:  JFK Facts has identified seven important JFK files among the 1,100 documents.

i“Top 5 JFK Files that Brennan should make public” and “Two more JFK files for Brennan’s review.”

These files concern the secret operations of

  • E. Howard Hunt, former Watergate burglar, who made a video for his son late in life in which he insinuated that CIA officers had plotted against JFK’s life. The CIA retains six files on Hunt’s operations containing 332 pages of material.
  • David Phillips, the chief of anti-Castro operations in 1963, who oversaw the surveillance of Lee Harvey Oswald in Mexico City six weeks before JFK’s assassination and who gave contradictory and evasive testimony to investigators. Phillips also organized a CIA-sponsored assassination conspiracy to kill a top general in Chile in 1970, according to the non-profit National Security Archive at George Washington University. The CIA retains four files containing 606 pages of material on Phillips.
  • William K. Harvey, the one-time chief of the CIA’s assassination program who was known for his hatred of the Kennedys. Harvey’s biographer, a former CIA officer turned Newsweek correspondent, devoted a whole chapter of his book to examining allegations that Harvey was involved in JFK’s murder. The CIA retains one file on Harvey containing 123 pages of material.
  • David Sanchez Morales, deputy chief of the CIA’s Miami station in 1963, who later boasted of being involved in JFK’s death, according to a friend. “We took care of that SOB,” he reportedly said. The CIA is keeping secret a 61-page administrative file on Morales.
  • George Joannides, chief of psychological warfare operations in Miami in 1963, whose agents in the Cuban exile community took the lead in publicizing Lee Harvey Oswald’s pro-Castro activities before and after JFK was killed. In 1978 Joannides misled congressional investigators about his role in the events of 1963. In 1981 he received a CIA medal for his actions. The CIA is keeping 295 documents about Joannides secret in their entirety.

The Obama administration fully supports the CIA’s concealment of these records. On the other hand, if you want to know how to build a flying saucer, you government has public the documents you want.

45 thoughts on “1,100 JFK documents ignored in Obama’s push to open records”

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  12. If the CIA lacks the time and resources to review these unreleased files, I’m sure there are many astute American citizens who will volunteer to review them for the People.

  13. Obama will never go against the CIA and be the one that released the files that will probably finger the CIA in the killing. They will simply wait out the 75 years and everyone associated with it will be dead and gone. I will be 80 years old (hopefully) and can’t wait for the files to finally implicate the CIA, unless by some great catastrophe the archives “accidentally” get destroyed in a fire one month before they are to be released.

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  15. John R. Turnheim (ARRB), in the cable TV special, “JFK: For The Record” 11/22/13, makes the best argument I’ve ever heard for the release of any and all documents from the CIA to personal records. Without these materials no further, meaningful research into the assassination can be done. We are entitled to, and must fight for these records. I am summarily disappointed in Obama’s lack of enthusiasm in this regard. I can’t believe it! Perhaps the question is: How to create another public outcry? The CIA is crucial, but I see the need for release of classified information across the board, wherever records can be found. Where is the ARRB now? Does Oliver Stone need to make another movie?? Or, what is the 2014 equivalent of that movie in practical terms? John R. Turnheim (Clinton appointee) evenhandedly speaks to the issues of the Warren Report, ballistics, conspiracy elements; he addresses the essential questions/facts, and wraps it all in a coherent, concise package. His job was to get the material/documents de-classified, leaving the researchers/journalists etc. to unveil elements essential to understanding what happened in Dealy Plaza, and the many questionable activities in the aftermath. We need more stuff! More CIA, and any other unreasonably classified materials to help answer questions – we’e never going to get it all – the American people can finally accept as a reasonable version of events. Meaningful movement toward the truth. This is Obama’s JOB. He should be spearheading this investigation, not sitting on the sidelines. I do not understand why he’s standing down. I really thought he was a stand-up guy. He already knows the sub-humans hate him, what can this hurt? But, it’s next case scenario, moving on – who is going to pry information out of the grubby hands of the CIA and their ilk? Are the heavy hitters, the Players in place? Please share. Thank you, anyone and all. Barbie

  16. Sad, hard truth: if the public en masse cares about an issue in America something gets done about it. It affects the profitable bottom line when the majority start to scream in unison. This applies to business or government. Half the population (not all) only care about shopping and trivial entertainment. The other half (not all) concern themselves with male pursuits. You have to frame the argument to suit these people or it will fall on deaf ears like it has since Nov 22, 1982. Yeah, it’s interesting, let’s do it, open up the files blah blah but really no one cares.

  17. no way oswald killed Kennedy.my parents quit voting after that.i wonder how many other americans were disenchanted and upset with the government after such a coverup.is it an odd by chance that after this coverup the streets were flooded with all kinds of drugs and marijuana?

  18. Winston Churchill

    The CIA lack the time and resources my a**. What they lack is the ability to tell the truth – for the last 50 years. If these files are not believed relevant, why not release them and show those crazy conspiracy theorists just how irrelevant they are? If you have nothing to hide….

    1. Exactly. This really is pretty simple. If they’re so irrelevant, then why are they still classified? I mean, there’s nothing interesting in them, right? Yet, we can’t see them. Uh huh.

      I don’t buy it for a minute, and I personally don’t believe that we’ll ever see these documents since the president apparently can simply decide that it’s not in our best interest, and not declassify these documents in 2017.

      As Kevin Costner says in JFK: What else did you expect from a pig but a grunt?

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  21. One more file should be included in the top ten, if not in the top three. That is the file of William George Gaudet. He was perhaps more closely connected to the JFK assassination (in proximity) than any other CIA related individual. A man who in his own words was “coincidentally” connected to LHO. If you want to make the CIA squirm, this is your man.

  22. Marcus Hanson

    Thank you Robert,but I am not sure how to interpret that.He MAY have paused before answering due to being tired of ad nauseam speculation. I do not believe there was a conspiracy,but I find Jefferson Morley’s opinion, that there was a cover-up of intelligence failures,reasonable and entirely plausible.It is also likely that this man THOUGHT he knew the truth,but did not.

    What,if anything,did the researcher do to press the man on his claims ? Curiosity would surely have driven him to ask for more , even if he felt he would get nowhere.



  23. Here is an email that I got today from a longtime JFK researcher who in the 1970’s was also writing on the RFK assassination and who even had personal contact with NYT’s Abe Rosenthal on this topic in the 1974-75 era.

    “Two more notes. One: a did some work on the first Obama campaign, writing memos on tactical considerations in early primary states. I’d been introduced to someone who was a friend of Obama’s and a major contributor. After several lengthy conversations, I asked him whether he thought Obama knew what had really happened in Dallas. After a long pause, he said, “We know what happened in Dallas, and we know what happened in Memphis and L.A., too.” Interesting, don’t you think?”

    1. Fascinating. Absolutely fascinating. Obama is rumored to be CIA.

      And regarding the while thester of asking for files– doesn’t anyone get by now that our nation is not what we are taught in high school, if it ever was. Regardless of which pivotal steps degraded it to a mere facade of a democracy, it is nonetheless not a game that can be played since the rules are not enforced, nor is there an external system of oversight or checks to an unlimited powerbase.

      The quest for truthbis honorable, but comes through but one path: revolution. This is a pragmatc truth that many don’t quite get yet, or are not ready to…

      Like Dorothy clicking her heels, we can go home to a restored government of the people whenever we choose to. But look at the divisions within JFK Research, let alone the nation at large, and you can see how unity in such common sense basics is hard to come by.

      The revolution need not be bloody, nor should the very word evoke negative connotations. Power has been taken, and must be restored. But the players, despite being tough and wise, have only one advantage: an illusion they weave that that they are fixed, permanent, official, etc…

      …when they are anything but. They are crimnals; and we, an army of 300 million strong.

      Victory is then found in defeating the illusion, and with an Aikido move, let the illegitimate naked emperor stand naked and dumbfounded in the streets.

      You who worry about what PR face the community has on the 50th: you foolishly act still as courtesans for the killers themselves. Will our most prestigeous and petsuasive scholar turn Rachel Maddow into a deep sympathy with truth and justice? Is this a victory or a fool’s errand?

      Yes, they know. They know the answers. Of course. JFK t me is but a symbol of the greater enemy, the most mythical way that the Universe manifests this manichean battke. But the rspons, the solution, the action — is to seize power.

      Everything else is just a parlor game; a jolt of righteous speculation to meet our daily JFK fix…

      And tomorrow we will jones for more… and the game goes on…

      Until we seize power.


      1. Why are geopolitics and cognition intimately connected?

        Geopolitics is the struggle for the earth’s resources of which the most important — even more important than oil, gold, fertile lands, and water — is human behavior, or more precisely ‘human agency’. Agency refers the capacity to initialize self-selected behavior. Without human agency none of the other resources would have any value. Since human agency is a topic of cognitive science, geopolitics and cognition are intimately connected.

        Who is at ultimo the beneficiary of your agency? Is that you and everything you love, feel associated with, and would like to support? Or will it be some anonymous group or influence who tricked you into participating in games that you neither fully oversee nor understand and that are, like a casino, set up to guarantee that you loose? So the question is will you thrive or whither?

        Actually it is up to you to decide whether you want to be exploited. If you decide to spend your life in a bubble of blissful ignorance and complacency, chances are that people will exploit your ignorance, gullibility, and complacency. This site argues you are exploited by the very influences that made you ignorant, gullible, and complacent in the first place. However in these times of economic and social upheavals, more and more people are realizing that blissful ignorance is a guaranteed loosing strategy.

        ~Tjeerd Andringa of the University of Groningen on cognition:


      2. Until people stop supporting the con and deception and wake up to reality the greedy horde will continue to steal their minds, spirits and wealth.

    2. Mr. Morrow, I would appreciate it if you would specify for us who was the JFK researcher who told you this? Thank you. Ronnie Dugger (ronniedugger@gmail.com).

  24. George Simmons

    It really is a disgrace that the CIA claim they do not have the time and resources to review the files on the assassination of a President.

    Surely, the Government should legally compel them to do so.

    The only way that an honest and open investigation of the assassination could have taken place would have been for an independent panel to have had the power to read ALL CIA files.

    The fact that some still have not been seen after 50 years is just beyond belief, and invites suspicion.

  25. “JFK files ignored in Obama’s push to open records”

    Bill Clinton, apparently, was at least curious.

    To get the files, to uncover the truth, Americans would have to do something radical: elect an outsider, like Ralph Nader, Ross Perot, or George Wallace.

  26. Well, that’s the rogues’ gallery for sure. Add some of the Operation 40 Cubans and you’ve got the team. Another name that might be worth a look: Carl Jenkins.

    The cover-up is a whole different matter.

    I doubt the files will ever be released. Too many overlapping and interlocking relationships; too many illegal activities; too many secret operations that they never want exposed.

  27. “Not Believed Relevant” to JFK’s assassination.

    The quoted language, in the passive voice, is language of deception. Who doesn’t have such a belief? Why doesn’t he or she have such a belief?

    I’d be satisfied with a simple: “The Director does not believe these files are relevant to the JFK assassination. The files concern operations, methods, and sources unconnected in every way from the assassination.”

    Instead, we get sleight of hand.

    1. I might accept that the CIA files are “Not Believed Relevant” to JFK’s assassination, if the CIA can give the general public an adequate explanation of why they had agents in Dealey Plaza during the assassination, and why after 50 years, they still try to keep the lid on that information.

  28. Does anybody have any information about these files?
    From: Footnote 25- Chapter 16 Farewell America

    25. More methodical and often more discreet than their CIA counterparts, Mr. Hoover’s agents were remarkably well-informed about what was going on in Florida, New Orleans, Texas, and California, and also (we shall see why later) about the CIA’s activities abroad.
    The FBI kept a file on every identified agent of the CIA, whether he be a temporary, a correspondent, or a contractual, and after the assassination it had little difficulty in determining whom to question. Its reports were so detailed, and were submitted to the Warren Commission so promptly, that even the professional investigators employed by the Commission were surprised. Some of these secret reports are now deposited in the National Archives. Others, more confidential, are still in the hands of the FBI.

  29. Sad. The public opinion polls that show fewer people believe in a conspiracy won’t help. The government released some stuff to satisfy the public when the movie JFK was released but short of such an outcry I expect nothing but delays perhaps indefinitely.


    2. Look forward to the day the America people are allowed access to these items. We do own them after all. Isn’t 50 years enough?

      1. I totally agree with you Tom Rossley and Tom G. Someone should go to prison and all of the files pertaining to the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy should all be released to the public now as they are and no be touched up or have any information or names of person or persons removed or marked through to protect their identities or nothing else be removed or blacked out. the CIA and any other government agencies should make all of their documents related to the Kennedy Assassination be made public right now and let the public figure out who really had assassinated President Kennedy and let that person or persons face the consequences of the outcome.

        50 years is far passed time of the records or documents of being released. RELEASE ALL OF THE JFK FILES, DOCUMENTS AND ANY OTHER ITEMS OR DOCUMENTS RELATED TO THE PUBLIC NOW, INSTEAD OF RELEASING A CERTAIN NUMBER OF THEM EVERY SO MANY YEARS! For heavens sake people. Give the American people and the public what they want and what has been long passed over due.

        1. the files were closed 75 yrs, think bout the average age of those involved would almost guarantee that by the time these docs got relaesed those involved would be long gone..

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