For the first time ever, the Central Intelligence Agency is releasing en masse declassified copies of the President’s Daily Brief and its predecessor publications—some 2,500 documents from the Kennedy and Johnson administrations. This is just the beginning—some 2,000 additional declassified PDB documents from the Nixon and Ford administrations will be released next year,
How unexpected. How unusual. How odd. How welcome. The CIA is yearning to declassify long-secret records in the public interest. Do you wonder why? Read more
As confirmation hearings for John Brennan as the new director of the CIA get underway this week, the Senate and the public face basic issues of trust and transparency. How does the director of a necessarily secretive multi-billion-dollar agency retain public trust and maintain accountability within the democratically elected government?
One way is to come clean on the JFK story, especially the role of top CIA officials in the JFK story. The assassination of President John F. Kennedy is an important symbolic test of the CIA’s credibility. A poll taken in 2003 found 34 percent of respondents held the agency responsible for JFK’s death.
There’s no “smoking gun” proof of a JFK conspiracy, but there is a pattern of suspicious activity on the part of some senior CIA operatives that has never been clarified. As Robert F. Kennedy Jr, recently said in Dallas, even his father Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy privately feared “rogue CIA” operatives were involved in his brother’s assassination.
Unless the next director of the Central Intelligence Agency changes course, the CIA is going to face a season of cynicism and suspicion next November when the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy approaches and the public learns that the agency is withholding from public view more than 1,100 documents related to JFK’s assassination.
What will John Brennan do? That’s a fair question for President Obama’s nominee for CIA director at his upcoming confirmation hearings where issues of transparency and accountability are likely to dominate. Read more