Phil Shenon has a long piece in The Guardianexcavating the sad story of Charles Thomas, a U.S. diplomat who investigated Lee Harvey Oswald’s actions in Mexico in the 1960s. Thomas was rebuffed by top CIA officials, including counterintelligence chief James Angleton. Thomas was denied an expected promotion and later committed suicide.
The story illuminates a central mystery of the JFK assassination story but not quite in the way than Shenon proposes.
The release of long-secret JFK assassination files by the National Archives has drawn the attention of news organizations nationwide.
Four revelations stand out so far.
1) WhoWhatWhy reported on documents showing that Earle Cabell, the mayor of Dallas at the time of JFK’s assassination, was a CIA asset in the 1950s. His brother, Charles Cabell, was a high-ranking CIA official until 1962.
After more than fifty years and zero quantum of proof since the JFK assassination, Philip Shenon and Larry J. Sabato insist on the out-worn hypothesis “Castro sorta done it” while reporting how the CIA came to doubt the official story.
The first nationally known analysts to weigh in on the new JFK files are Phil Shenon and Larry Sabato, former New York Times reporter and University of Virginia professor respectively. In a story for Politico Magazine, they purport to tell the story How the CIA Came to Doubt the Official Story of JFK’s Murder.
The tipoff to the story’s limitations is the headline, which sounds a bit odd: how the CIA came to doubt the official story…
The CIA was the source for key parts of the official JFK story–that a lone gunman killed President Kennedy out of “hatred for American society.” The CIA’s doubts only surfaced in the spring of 1975 when the official story was shredded by revelations about the agency’s pre-assassination knowledge of Oswald and plots to kill Castro.
We know we speak for an army of historians, political scientists, journalists and concerned citizens who have studied the JFK assassination when we say that it is time for the federal government to release everything in the custody of the Archives. This is the moment for full transparency about a seminal event that cost many Americans’ trust in their government.
“The Ghostis the compulsively readable, often bizarre true-life story of American spymaster James Jesus Angleton – the CIA’s poetry-loving, orchid-gardening mole-hunter for almost 20 years. Capturing the extent of Angleton’s eccentricity, duplicity and alcohol-fueled paranoia would have challenged the writing skills of a Le Carre or Ludlum, and Jeff Morley has done it with flair. This important book depicts the trail of wreckage left behind by Angleton in a CIA career that involved him in virtually every major spy-versus-spy drama of the Cold War and drew him deeply into the mysteries of the Kennedy assassination and the murder of one of JFK’s mistresses.” —Philip Shenon, author of A Cruel and Shocking Act
Phil Shenon asks a good question in POLITICO Magazine but John Newman has the most authoritative answer in his new highly recommended book, Countdown to Darkness.JFK scholars are awaiting the release of documents about June Cobb, a little-known CIA operative working in Cuba and Mexico around the time of the president’s assassination.
Russ Baker and Milicent Cranor ask a good question in WhoWhatWhy but the implication of their headline that all books supporting the official theory of JFK’s death are “disinformation” does no service to the truth.
More important, however, is the evidence, everywhere, of a coverup — from hanky-panky in the autopsy room to a shockingly premature termination of any efforts to seriously investigate. Was the coverup itself not proof of more going on? Of course it was.
In a telling passage in his recent piece in Politico Magazine, “Warren Commission staffers remain convinced today that Oswald was the lone gunman in Dallas, a view shared by ballistics experts who have studied the evidence,” reporter Phil Shenon traffics in half-truths. Whatever the Warren Commission staffers think, Shenon’s claim is inaccurate and untrue. Read more
Shenon, author of “A Cruel and Shocking Act,” a history of the Warren investigation, notes “there are 15 places in the public version of the report where the CIA has deleted sensitive information – sometimes individual names, sometimes whole sentences. It is an acknowledgement, it seems, that there are still secrets about the Kennedy assassination hidden in the agency’s files.”