The spy who sang
John Whitten is a rare hero of the JFK story. He was a senior CIA official who sought, behind the scenes, to conduct an honest investigation of what the agency knew about accused assassin Lee Harvey Oswald, before President Kennedy was killed.
But at a meeting on Christmas Eve 1963 deputy director CIA Richard Helms and counterintelligence chief Jim Angleton shut down Whitten’s efforts to investigate Oswald’s contacts among pro- and anti-Castro Cubans and relieved him of his responsibilities for investigating JFK’s assassination.
Whitten’s story, which I first reported in the Washington Monthly in 2003, illuminated the inner workings of the CIA in the days and weeks after JFK was killed. It is the story of a “good spy” whose pursuit of the truth about JFK’s death cost him his career. Read more
My ebook, CIA & JFK: The Secret Assassination Files is based on thousands of pages of newly-declassified records and scores of interviews with former CIA officers.
In telling the story of my JFK research over twenty years, I lay bare the role of CIA employees involved in the events of 1963.
These are the men and women whose secretive actions related to the breakdown of presidential security on Nov. 22, 1963 were never explained by the U.S. government.
James Franco to the rescue
“The Hollywood Reporter says James Franco will star as English teacher Jake Epping, who travels back in time to stop the assignation of President John F. Kennedy. The HULU miniseries, which will run a total of nine hours, is a joint project by [novelist Stephen] King and J.J. Abrams.”
King’s novel, 11/22/63, is based on the comforting but factually questionable notion that JFK was killed by one man alone for no reason. What King didn’t know when he wrote his book was how closely the CIA’s Counterintelligence Staff monitored Oswald in the four years before the tragedy of Dallas. Mistaking such facts for a conspiracy theory, King didn’t send Jack Epping, his time traveling hero, to Langley.
He might have intercepted Lee Harvey Oswald if he had. Declassified CIA records show clearly that Oswald, the future accused assassin, was well known to a host of senior CIA officers before JFK was gunned down in Dallas on November 22, 1963. (Even Times Magazine’s favorite JFK expert, the unemployed John McAdams, does not deny it.)
Probably. A tape recording of man identifying himself as Oswald was probably destroyed in January 1986. This question, prompted by a comment from reader JSA, is a natural follow up to the question, “Did the CIA track Oswald before JFK was killed?”
Some thing the tape may still exist but I think the evidence suggests otherwise. What is certain is that contrary to the false claims of the CIA, the tape existed after November 22, 1963.
Yes, closely and constantly.
This is one of the biggest JFK revelations of the past 20 years, and one that we need talk up in social and news media on the 50th anniversary of JFK’s assassination.
While the CIA assured Congress in the 1970s that its interest in Lee Harvey Oswald before JFK was killed was “routine,” the newest documents tell a very different story: Oswald was monitored closely and constantly by an super-secret office within the CIA’s Counterintelligence Staff from 1959 to 1963, known as the Special Investigations Group.
A handful of senior CIA officers were informed about the travels, contacts, and politics of Lee Harvey Oswald shortly before President Kennedy was killed and expressed no security concerns, according to a declassified CIA cable,
John Whitten, a top CIA official in 1963, had suspicions about a colleague.
One of the suspicious deaths of JFK assassination witnesses recounted in Richard Belzer’s best-seller “Hit List” is the murder of Sam Giancana, a Mafiia boss. Giancana was shot to death in his home in suburban Chicago on June 19, 1975, apparently by someone whom he admitted to his house. Giancana was scheduled to testify to the House Select Committee on Assassinations about his knowledge of events leading the death of President Kennedy.
Defenders of the official story deride Belzer’s thesis but suspicions that JFK witnesses faced retribution reached high into the CIA. In 1978, one veteran of the clandestine service testified under oath that he thought another CIA official might have been the killer of Giancana.