POLITICO has picked up on a story that I first reported on JFK Facts in May 2013.
In a Magazine story headlined, “Was RFK a JFK Conspiracy Theorist?” (Spoiler alert: Yes), former New York Times reporter Phil Shenon writes:“The National Archives has confirmed that more than 1,000 documents related to the president’s murder are still being withheld from public view, most of them at the request of the CIA.”
Shenon is right about the withheld CIA documents, although he understates the exact number. In fact, the agency is withholding approximately 1,100 JFK documents until October 2017, and you don’t need the National Archives to confirm it. Just read.
As I reported in May 2013, CIA Information Coordinator Delores Nelson revealed the existence of this previously unknown trove of JFK records on page 20 of a sworn affidavit (download or see above) filed in federal court in September 2010. Nelson’s affidavit was submitted in response to my lawsuit, Morley v. CIA, seeking the records of a deceased CIA officer involved in the events of 1963.
POLITICO is not the first major news organization to pick up on the story of the 1,100 withheld CIA documents. Last year, David Porter of the Associated Press, James Rosen of Fox News, and Bryan Bender of the Boston Globe reported on this still-unseen trove of assassination-related records. The other news organizations had the decency to credit me.
These still-secret records include the operational files of well-known intelligence officers such as Howard Hunt, the Watergate burglar; David Phillips, CIA officer allegedly seen with Lee Oswald and later founder of the Association of Foreign Intelligence Officers (AFIO), and Yuri Nosenko, a KGB defector who was familiar with accused assassin Lee Oswald’s stay in the Soviet Union.
All told, the POLITICO story is a positive development. When Shenon published a piece two weeks ago in the Washington Post about Charles Schaffer, a former Warren Commission staffer who has come to doubt the “lone gunman” explanation of JFK’s assassination, I discerned a “fading taboo” against critics of the official story. John Cassidy’s piece in the New Yorker last year was an early example of this trend.
Shenon’s story in POLITICO is the latest sign that U.S. media outlets are — without admitting it — becoming more open to reporting on alternative interpretations of JFK’s wrongful death 51 years go.
Some will say “Too little, too late.”
Many will say “About time.”
And some (like me) will say, “Better late than never.”