(This article, titled “Under CIA Eyes,” first appeared in Counterpunch, Vol. 25 published in January 2020.).
“I was struck by the intimacy and the smallness of the whole surroundings,” said retired CIA officer Rolf Mowatt-Larssen after his first visit to Dealey Plaza in November 2019.
Dealey Plaza, a grassy Art Deco entry point to downtown Dallas, is where President John F. Kennedy was shot and killed on November 22, 1963. Hundreds of thousands of people still come from around the world every day to see the spot where the popular liberal president was ambushed. Many of them have the same reaction to the crime scene: the intimacy, the smallness.
“Why am I doing this?” Rolf Mowatt-Larssen asked the audience at the Coalition Against Political Assassinations’ conference in Dallas. “As a CIA officer it’s a little controversial. What is my goal? My goal is to have an answer [about who killed JFK] for myself and my children.” That may sound overly ingenuous to some, but most people in the room, myself included, had the same agenda.
Mowatt-Larssen was nine years old when he heard the news from Dallas.
CIA veteran Rolf Mowatt-Larseen proposed a “thought experiment” to the November 2019 JFK conference in Dallas. He reverse-engineered the lone gunman scenario, posing a question both novel and incisive.
“How can you get away with a really elaborate but very simple plan of deception, to end up in a place where the president is dead and it is blamed on someone else, other than the people who perpetrated it?” he asked. “Not easy.”
The killing of Lee Harvey Oswald is another key to Rolf Mowatt-Larssen’s JFK analysis. He argues that one of the conspirators had to have had access to the Mafia bosses who could induce Jack Ruby to eliminate the accused assassin as a witness.
At the recent CAPA conference, Judge Tunheim spoke of his surprise at the extent of JFK secrecy 25 years ago. Today more than 3,500 JFK assassination records remain secret, some 110,000 pages of material.
We had three years to do the work with the possibility of one additional year if Congress approved. It sounded like a long time, it sounded like enough time to do the work. But we just did not anticipate just how many records that had not released concerning the Kennedy assassination.