Missing documents and reluctant witnesses

In my previous article, I discussed how the FBI withheld its informant and asset files from the ARRB, even though the JFK Records Act mandates that all “assassination-related files” be provided to the American public.   Here are some additional files that have been withheld by the FBI and other agencies.

Encoded files:
  I don’t think the “ten page encoded teletype” that Hosty mentions was sent from Dallas to Headquarters has ever been released to the public.  (Hosty, Assignment:  Oswald, p 36).

Many of the Cuban operational files in 1963 are heavily encoded. Although the FBI must have an unencoded version, it hasn’t been provided to the public.

Photo evidence:  If the “LILYRIC files” that still exist would be provided, we would know if Oswald actually ever entered the Soviet consulate or whether it is some kind of cover story.
Audio evidence:  Tapes from Mexico City  taken by the LIFEAT audio tap operation from 1963 have still not been provided.
Transcripts:   Also unprovided are most of the transcripts from the tapes made in Mexico City – we have small bits but not the entire transcripts by any means.
NSA files:  Sending encoded material from Mexico City to the NSA was very common.  Bill Harvey’s Staff D was the liaison to NSA during this era.   Most of the transmissions from the Mexico City station to the NSA during and after Oswald’s Mexico City visit are missing.
The CIA had full knowledge that a man calling himself Oswald was in Mexico City and had visited the consulates, yet there is no record of the NSA receiving copies of the transcripts or tapes recording Oswald’s visit.
NSA knows the 11/22 story – it lagged the friendship between terrorist Jean souetre and Dallas resident
Laurence Anderson when Jean Herve of French intelligence flagged it back in April 1963.  (For those with good memories the late-70s discovery that Souetre was in Dallas during 11/22/63 and communicating with Anderson caused a minor sensation in the research community.)

Military intelligence files:  Researcher Bill Kelly has prepared a formal request for numerous “119 (after-action) reports” regarding Oswald that were never provided to the ARRB. 

FBI radio log for 11/22.  A very important time clock, to my knowledge absent from the records.  We have the Dallas police log after much fussing, why not the FBI?
White House Communications Agency tapes:  These include not just the Air Force tapes that chronicle the return of JFK’s body to Washington, but the Secret Service tapes of 11/22 and much more.  All of this is missing, and without a good explanation known to me.

134 and 137 informant reports:  As mentioned in my previous article, the FBI refuses to turn these files over as a matter of policy.
For example, we don’t have the informant files for the Marina Oswald wiretap.


The ARRB wrote in its final report that it had problems obtaining various documents, as “the sunset enabled government agencies that were not inclined to cooperate to simply try to outlast the Board.”

The ARRB said NARA, the FBI, and the CIA should enter into a memorandum of understanding to ensure continued compliance with the JFK Act.  To my knowledge, such an MOU has never been created.

The ARRB said we would need a new ARRB:  “There likely will be problems in the future that best lend themselves to the extraordinary attention that a similarly empowered Review Board can focus.”   They also made a formal recommendation for future Review Boards to be set up when “extraordinary circumstances” exist, and that the JFK Act and the Review Board was a model for the future.


5 thoughts on “Missing documents and reluctant witnesses”

  1. The ONI 119 Reports were either composed or read by San Diego based Navy Commander Robert Steel, who wrote a letter on Nov 24 to his good friend Paul Bentley – the cigar chomping cop who took Oswald into custody that said: “ONI has an extensive file on Oswald.”

    I arranged for Steel to be interviewed on tape shortly before he died and he described the file contents including the 119 Reports that he either wrote or read that were the results of investigations of Oswald after his defection, reports that have not been released. The extensive assassination files of ONI Dirsctor Rufus Taylor also include reports from undercover ONI informants on the Carousrl Club before the assassination that associate Oswald and Ruby – that are missing, except for a few that were found in the files of other agencies.

    When ONI records officer Terri Pike tried to make an ONI Defector file a JFK Assassination Record subject to the JFK Act she was court martialed and forced out of the Navy and the file not released.

    Bill Kelly

  2. this is a great summary of the holes that need to be filled for an informed public and a law to be respected; with these files provided much could be determined and a lot of uncertainly removed; thx jeff for capsulizing what should have been released decades ago and needs to be in the public forum now; terry n

  3. That’s a good point that the K memo served as a green light for the Intel agencies to destroy and bury evidence with impunity. And they did.

  4. Two things to always remember:

    1. The minute the Krazy Commie Kid was pronounced dead, everything of evidentiary value was redacted, swept under the rug, hidden, and buried. Oswald’s murder was a complete game changer.

    2. The Katzenbach memo to Hoover pretty much proclaims what’s going to happen from then on, leading to evidence being suppressed – https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=62268#relPageId=29

    Ask yourself this – why in the world would a high government official suggest to the head of the nation’s leading investigatory agency to narrow the investigation to “satisfy the public?”

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