Would it make any difference if we knew who killed JFK?

Pablo asks a good question:

I would not say I am an expert on all things concerning the assassination of our president, but one question nags me to no end, what will happen, if and when, we find out the truth? I ask because I have brought up the question to colleagues of mine. Say we find out what really happened on November 22, 1963…what do we do then? What will the government tell us? Sorry?

“This happened but it was a different form of government back then and it will never happen again.”

Can the government really admit something to us that could potentially make us question our government, not that we do not already?


I’m not looking to the government to tell me the Truth.  I’m looking for the government to practice Full Disclosure.

To put it another way, the truth will set us free from the misconceptions of the past about November 22. Full disclosure will empower us to hold government accountable in the future.

CIA & JFKSo, while the truth of what happened in Dealey Plaza is important, I say let people make up their own minds based on the facts.

Was the liberal president ambushed by right-wing enemies in Dallas?  Before we can answer that question definitively, we need to see the evidence the government is hiding. Among other things, we need to see the 7 JFK files the CIA still keeps secret. The unredacted records will tell us something significant about CIA operations and Oswald in 1963.

The issue in 2016 is full disclosure. I’m not looking for the U.S. government to tell me “Who Done It?”  I’m looking for the U.S. government to say to the American people in October 2017  or before:

“The JFK assassination story is your history and you deserve it all, without redactions.”

That would be significant. That would be important. That would demonstrate that the CIA is willing to obey the law when it comes to the JFK assassination story, something that has not always been true.

It won’t be easy. Unfortunately and unsurprisingly, the CIA hates the idea of full JFK disclosure. The agency doesn’t respect the JFK Records Act or the will of Congress. The CIA, for example, retains 1,100 records related to JFK’s assassination (some 15,000-50,000 pages of material!).

The CIA plans to keep some of these secrets even past October 2017 when the law requires that they be made public.


The CIA insists that it is hiding nothing, even as the fact show otherwise. For example, in 2003, I sued the CIA for certain JFK records. Thirteen years later, the agency is still spending the taxpayer dollars to fight me in court. My FOIA lawsuit had no “public benefit,” said Justice Department attorneys in federal court last years.

Never mind that the New York TimesFox NewsPolitico, Boston Globe,  Associated PressDallas Morning NewsHuffington Post and Daily Mail ran stories about the lawsuit and what I uncovered: a CIA officer who got a medal for stonewalling Congress about what he knew of the events of 1963.

Naturally, the CIA sees no benefit in being forced to disclose such a disturbing story. The agency would prefer you and I didn’t know about such things. So the CIA argues that the law prevents them from disclosing what would embarrass them. It doesn’t. The law requires full disclosure.

In my new ebook, CIA and JFK: The Last Assassination Secrets, I give a comprehensive snapshot of what is known about a dozen CIA officers who handled pre-assassination intelligence on Oswald and/or participated in assassination operations in 1963. There’s no theory here, only facts.

The role of the next president

The role of the next president is important.  We can be sure that the CIA plans to keep some of if JFK secrets after October 2017 when the law requires that they be made public. But to do so, the agency has  to get the explicit permission of the president.

President Clinton or President Trump (or President Gary Johnson) will decide whether the CIA can evade the law or has to practice full JFK disclosure. That’s why

Full JFK disclosure is an issue in the 2016 presidential campaign.

Clinton and Trump have spoken on the JFK issues.

In 2008 candidate Clinton endorsed the idea of full JFK disclosure in principle but she left herself a big “national security” loophole, so her commitment cannot be called strong.

Donald Trump has offered a bogus JFK conspiracy theory but has no known position on full disclosure of JFK records.

Of course, the JFK story isn’t the only secrecy issue in 2016, just the oldest.  JFK secrecy is the precursor of–the granddaddy of 9/11 secrecy–as exemplified by the withholding of 28 pages from the 9/11 Commission’s report about Saudi Arabia’s role in the attacks.

The issue in both cases is the same: can the people force the government to come clean?

The next president will decide.





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