Famed forensic pathologist Cyril H. Wecht, M.D., J.D., a longtime coroner and medical school professor, describes the physical impossibility of the Warren Commission’s 1964 report that President John F. Kennedy’s accused assassin fatally shot the president acting alone.
Dr. Wecht, chairman of the group Citizens Against Political Assassinations (CAPA), was speaking at a March 2017 “Sunshine Week” conference organized by CAPA to show the vital civic need for the White House to comply with the President John F. Kennedy Records Collection Act of 1992, which required public release of all assassination records. President Trump later that year cited “national security” to postpone the release of many records, a delay replicated last month by President Biden just before the required release date this year of Oct. 26. An estimated 16,000 JFK assassination records remain classified in whole or part despite the provisions of the law, which had been unanimously passed by Congress in 1992 and signed into law by then President George H.W. Bush (Photo by Noel St. John).
The Biden Administration’s recent delay in releasing the final trove of classified documents pertaining to the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy tees up three annual research conferences scheduled this month during the anniversary of JFK’s slaying in downtown Dallas.
The conferences and postponed document releases build on millions of pages of previously declassified documents and many hundreds of books through the decades fanning widespread public doubts about official accounts. Those official accounts, most notably the 1964 Warren Commission report, assigned guilt for the president’s death solely to ex-Marine Lee Harvey Oswald. Flaws in the report largely ignored by government, academic and mainstream media foster lingering fears that watchdog institutions fail to probe and prevent civic tragedies and cover-ups, including in current times.
Today’s column will survey this fall’s major developments. These include the records release delay, the three conferences and Oliver Stone’s sequel, JFK Revisited, to his blockbuster film JFK three decades ago. The new documentary launches in the United States on Showtime on Nov. 22, the anniversary of JFK’s death. Stone is shown at right with a poster from JFK.
This editor has worked closely with leaders in records release advocacy and also is scheduled as a speaker in two of the three November conferences scheduled this year.
One is organized by Citizens Against Political Assassinations (CAPA), to be shown via Zoom with details here, on the weekend days of Nov. 20 and 21, with a free all-day session on Friday, Nov. 19 for students. The other is the JFK Assassination Conference, which can be seen both via Zoom and in person at the Magnolia Hotel in downtown Dallas, extends for four days, beginning Thursday Nov. 18.
A third conference, organized since 1996 by the JFK Lancer event and publishing company, will be its November in Dallas annual event, this year via remote viewing from Nov. 19 through 21, with heavily discounted admission for students. Our project promotes all three conferences each year with the view that there is much to discuss, with many valuable perspectives deserving an audience.
An appendix below contains more details on these events, as well as excerpts from a number of news stories and commentaries this fall regarding the records release process and its implications, plus analysis of several recent assassination witness revelations.
This column is also the 57th segment of the Justice Integrity Project’s JFK Assassination Readers Guide, which lists major books, films, archives and interpretative articles, with an index and links in the appendix.
Shown also below is a preview of the forthcoming issue of Garrison, a 192-page webzine published last week. This edition’s focus is on original commentaries about the 1960s assassinations of Kennedy (JFK), his brother, Sen. Robert F. Kennedy (RFK), and the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. (MLK).
JFK Records Chronology
A rare feature this fall regarding these inquiries was the deadline on Oct. 26 for federal authorities to release to the public all remaining documents pertaining to the JFK assassination.
On Oct. 22, the White House issued an executive order postponing the release until Dec. 15 for an unknown number of documents. The order set the same date next year, Dec. 15, 2022, to release remaining documents. The only exception under the terms of the 1992 JFK Records Act is for the Executive Branch to provide specific “national security” reasons for any documents withheld.
In ordering this latest postponement, the White House cited as an excuse the pandemic’s impact on federal staff, particularly at the National Archives and Records Administration.
The Justice Integrity Project has been working closely with active researchers, several of whom issued blunt criticisms of the delay and overall process. One of them, researcher Lawrence Schnapf, a New York City-based lawyer, promptly filed a federal Freedom of Information suit seeking prompt release of relevant documents and specific reasons (as required under the Records Act) regarding any documents that are withheld.
Researchers also criticized many in the major news media for their failure to cover the delay more prominently and for a longstanding pattern of fostering a false narrative that no remaining significant questions exist about the assassination and conventional accounts. The 1964 Warren report blamed the assassination solely on Oswald.
U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren chaired the commission, which included several other top government leaders all chosen by Kennedy’s successor, President Lyndon B. Johnson. The seven commissioners and two top staff counsel are shown at left, including former CIA Director Allen Dulles, who is shown also at right.
The New York Times, Washington Post and nearly all other major newspapers and broadcast outlets consistently state that Oswald is “the assassin” of Kennedy without attributing the claim and without for the most part informing audiences of strong evidence disputing that claim that has been offered through the decades by well-credentialed experts.
Instead, the major news organizations and most widely quoted academics on the topic use the smear term “conspiracy theory” to demean those researchers who question commission’s report and other highly irregular proceedings after the killing. The controversies continue to provoke worldwide interest in JFK’s death.
Our appendix to this column contains a large amount of relevant material and provides a roadmap for further in-depth research.
As an introduction to this material, we first provide this project’s goals and selection criteria for research sources.
In 2010, I co-founded the Justice Integrity Project as a non-partisan news and civil rights advocacy site to investigate important legal and political issues, particularly those so complex as to discourage adequate news coverage elsewhere. In 2013, the 50th anniversary of JFK’s death, we began to research and publish a comprehensive JFK Assassination Readers Guide.
The more than 50 previous segments focused initially on lists of hundreds of the major books, films, other videos, major libraries, websites, events and other information sources. Inclusion in these catalogs of materials has not depended for the most part on whether the researcher or organization dispute or concurs with official findings regarding the cause of the assassination, although materials that seem deranged or unprofessional are omitted.
A primary purpose of the Readers Guides (as in similar guides we published on the RFK and MLK assassinations) is to help readers readily locate a diverse array of research materials, although we do not include material poorly researched and presented or materials from long ago superseded by later research. James Lesar, a longtime litigator of Freedom of Information issues involving the assassination, estimates publication of than more than two thousand books about the assassination in whole or in part.
Over time, our guides have grown to include more analytical and opinion commentary, including by this author, with the view that any historian should try to reach judgments, not simply catalog materials.
In that same spirit, we played a role in the recent republication in a new edition of Oswald: Russian Episode, the 500-page memoir of Ernst Titovets, M.D., Ph.D., a close friend of accused assassin Lee Harvey Oswald when they both lived in Belarus in the early 1960s before Oswald returned to the United States in 1962.
Titovets, right, argues that Oswald (shown on the book cover at left joking at center with his colleagues at a Minsk radio factory) was an intellectually curious young man within the range of normal personalities and never would have killed anyone. That is despite official pronouncements to the contrary, most notably from the presidentially appointed Warren Commission in its 1964 report on the assassination.
My organization’s research focus has been on what seem like obvious cover-ups and their implications for ongoing institutions such as government (including courts, Congress and the executive branch) and such related institutions as the media and academia.
We focus heavily also on the implications for current events, including the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol intended by some to prevent a duly elected president from taking office.
Via study of and dialog with JFK assassination experts long at the forefront of studying the case, in some cases since the 1960s, my conclusion is that Oswald, if he fired any shots (which he probably did not) surely did not act alone.
Further, Oswald clearly had significant military and intelligence contacts through much of his adult life that the Warren Commission sought to suppress from public understanding, as evident by many sources, including research by national security scholar, John M. Newman, Ph.D., a former assistant to the director of the National Security Agency and author of Oswald and the CIA among other relevant books (shown at left with his photo).
Relevant also is that Oswald before his supposed “defection” to the Soviet Union in 1959 (never completed) had been a U.S. Marine who held higher than top secret clearance when he worked on U-2 spy plane operations at a base in Japan among his other sensitive assignments.
Upon Oswald’s return from the Soviet Union in 1962, he worked for six months as a photo trainee at Jaggars-Chiles-Stovall, a graphics arts company that handled contracts for the U.S. Army Mapping Service. Part of this involved classified U.S. air photos of U-2 flights over Cuba, according to authors James DiEugenio and Henry Hurt. This was an unusual position for what the Warren Report and other mainstream sources otherwise describe as a supposed radical left loner who was returning from a three-year sojourn in the Soviet Union at the height of the Cold War and Cuban Missile Crisis.
A similar anomaly existed at two of Oswald’s other post-Soviet jobs, his 1963 work in New Orleans for the Reilly Coffee Company, which was owned by fierce anti-Communists, and his later job in Dallas at the Texas School Book Depository in a building owned by D. Harold Byrd, a right-wing oilman. Byrd was a close friend of future president Lyndon B. Johnson and a major investor in the Johnson-aided defense contractor Ling-TEMCO-Vaught (LTV). Byrd had also founded the nationwide Civil Air Patrol (where Oswald had been a cadet in New Orleans) and employed Oswald’s best friend in Texas, the CIA-linked oil geologist and global entrepreneur George de Mohrenschildt.
“This Could All Be Coincidence’
De Morhenschildt, descended from one of the world’s most important oil-production families during the last years of the Russian empire, had connections to the highest levels of the Texas oil business. These included H.L. Hunt, Sid Murchison and future President George H.W. Bush, according to research by author Russ Baker. Byrd himself was a close friend of leading Texas oilmen and political figures and an “avid Kennedy-hater,” according to Baker, who wrote that the Texas School Book Depository was run by Jack Cason, the head of a Dallas American Legion post that was “a leading forum for hard-line military views” that coincided with the book depository’s business of providing books for schools.
Baker, in his best-seller Family of Secrets, notes elite interconnections in advance of the JFK assassination and suggests, “This all could be coincidence, but surely it is the type of coincidence that invites a few more questions.”
In 1976, de Mohrenschildt (shown in an undated photo at right) wrote I Am A Patsy! I Am A Patsy!, an unpublished book manuscript defending his friend Oswald. He privately wrote George H.W. Bush, then head of the CIA, drawing on mutual family and professional connections to seek help that year against feared enemies.
De Mohrenschildt was later found shot to death at a friend’s home in Palm Beach, Florida on March 27, 1977. This was on a day he was being interviewed by a Readers Digest reporter and on the day he was supposed to meet also an investigator from the House Select Committee on Assassinations. The death was ruled a suicide. But his ex-wife Jeanne claimed he had been the subject of mind-control experiments involving frequent drug injections during a three-month stay at a mental hospital, and that his death was likely triggered by a telephone command.
Furthermore, it seems clear that Jack Ruby, the Dallas nightclub owner who fatally shot Oswald in a Dallas police station on Nov. 24, 1963, two days after JFK’s shooting, had significant mob ties.
Ruby is linked directly to the nation’s oldest Mafia gang, that run by Carlos Marcello in New Orleans, with turf that extended to Dallas. Ruby also had roots in the Sam Giacana’s Mafia fiefdom in Chicago, Ruby’s birthplace. Chicago was Ruby’s first place of employment, including as a numbers runner for “The Outfit,” the name for the mob run by Al Capone’s successor Frank Nitti and later by Giancana.
The Warren Commission’s report specifically denied any such organized crime links by Ruby. Why? We can readily imagine that if such ties had been reported new questions would arise about Ruby’s motives in killing Oswald despite the certainty of his arrest for a murder in front of cameras in a police station. More importantly, such a disclosure would have prompted questions also about then-hidden relationships between mobsters and the intelligence community on such shared projects as planned regime change in Cuba.
Such serious flaws in the Warren Report have resulted in public opinion polling that has consistently shown for some five decades that 60 percent or more of the American people do not believe the central conclusions of the Warren Report, thus severely damaging faith in government and the private institutions that are supposed to monitor government operations. It is not a far stretch to suggest that such doubts contribute to current fears of government machinations, whether real or imagined.
Finally, to conclude this overview, our Readers Guide generally does not try to identity suspected killers and masterminds.
It is not necessary to unravel all those mysteries to question the broad conclusions of the Warren Report, which continue to be repeated by leading news organizations and official bodies.
U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Stephen Breyer, left, for example, has described himself as the fact-checker on the Warren Commission staff in 1964. He continues to claim in selected circles that the report is factual. But he Breyer has never undergone to this editor’s knowledge any questioning on that point by reporters who cover the Supreme Court or law professors who write constantly about the court’s members, their goals and their impact.
At the upcoming research conferences, I plan to share the story of my unsuccessful efforts this fall to generate interest from the Washington Post, the New York Times, several law professors and President Biden’s current commission studying the Supreme Court in Breyer’s unusual role with the Warren Commission. This comes at a time when, ironically, Breyer has been seeking to enhance the high court’s credibility by publishing a book this year and going on a book speaking tour during the late summer to counter criticism of the court and public clamor for him to resign because of his age.
Without getting into the more exotic mysteries of alleged JFK murder masterminds and hitmen, the public can rely on numerous accounts discrediting the Warren Report and its apologists like Breyer by experts with solid professional credentials in medicine, law enforcement and other relevant fields. These include Dr. Cyril Wecht, Dr. Robert McClellan, attorney and author Robert Tanenbaum and others. Many had significant roles in the events surrounding JFK’s death and the investigation. Those still alive are often willing to share their insights in credible fashion in books, films and lectures at research conferences.
Some self-confessed conspirators have stepped forward also claiming to be hitmen, planners or functionaries who assisted the crimes, wittingly or unwittingly (that is without knowing the endgame of assassination). But the credibility of many of these confession accounts is open to question. Some motivations could be genuine confession but could also be to make money (although there’s scant money in books of that nature) and / or to advance misleading theories to protect guilty people and institutions, whereby any payoff would be covert, not book receipts.
Self Portrait of a Scoundrel
As an example of a recent news story identifying a supposed conspirator and the difficult questions that arise, the Miami Herald on Oct. 25 published a long story headlined: Cuban exile told sons he trained Oswald, JFK’s accused assassin, at a secret CIA camp by reporter Nora Gámez Torres, excerpted below. The story was promptly re-reported elsewhere. But critics also attacked it as weak because it relied heavily on the second-hand revelations of a dead man.
Somewhat similarly, the late Chauncey Holt, below left, a career criminal with interludes of respectable employment as a CPA and executive with a human rights organization, published a memoir entitled Self-Portrait of a Scoundrel in which he described in detail (including with documents) his purported involvement with right-wing operatives, Mafia leaders and CIA executives in a variety of schemes, several of which involved key junctures in 1963 before the JFK assassination.
It’s worth taking a wider look from Holt’s tale to describe what many researchers regard as the important role of New Orleans in the assassination saga. Aside from serving as a commercial and political gateway from the United States to regions south, it was heavily influenced (as was the Dallas area) by Mafia boss Carlos Marcello and was home to extreme anti-communists, including Cuban exiles.
New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison, shown at right, undertook a far-reaching investigation in the mid-1960s to connect dots on the Kennedy assassination. But that prompted extreme push-back from federal authorities, including their allies in the national news media.
Garrison was prosecuting Clay Shaw (shown below left), leader of the International Trade Mart in the city, for what Garrison alleged was a conspiracy to murder Kennedy. Shaw, who had been an OSS liaison to high-ranking British officials during World War II, founded the trade mart shortly after the war and worked with highly influential business, government and civic leaders in the United States and abroad.
Garrison alleged that Shaw also met with rightist opponents of JFK to plan the death. In the years since then, some researchers have alleged that the Trade Mart and Shaw were involved with far more powerful and sinister individuals in North American and overseas who were leaders in industry, finance, government and organized crime. Their agendas are alleged to have included complicity in the 1962 assassination attempt against French President Charles De Gaulle, his nation’s World War II leader in resistance to fascist powers. Those research strands are beyond the scope of this column.
Minutes of a CIA meeting in 1967 indicated fear at the agency that Garrison would win a conviction against Shaw.
A four-page CIA memo, known as “CIA Dispatch 1035-960,” now declassified, instructed agents to contact their media contacts and disparage those, like Garrison, criticizing the Warren Commission findings that Lee Harvey Oswald killed JFK and acted alone. The Mary Ferrell Foundation site shows the 1967 CIA document here in the original along with 49 more pages of supportive materials collected by the CIA that were released to the public via researchers’ requests. Dispatch 1035-960 is here in reformatted text for easier reading, without handwritten notations.
NBC News was especially strident in seeking to portray Garrison as not simply misguided in his investigation but allegedly corrupt. Nearly all other mainstream news organizations, including major newspapers, also heavily slanted their coverage to support the Warren Report and smear Garrison and any supporters.
But a federal right of response existed during that period for broadcast media. Therefore, NBC was obligated to provide Garrison a chance to respond in a nationwide address.
That response, available on You Tube:
That broadcast on July 15, 1967 (27:05 min.) remains as a powerful presentation of Garrison’s case legal and scientific case. Garrison made an eloquent argument in favor of evidence and against mere name-calling.
But Shaw was acquitted, in part because he denied involvement with the CIA. Declassified documents have since undercut that Shaw’s denial.
Following Shaw’s acquittal, unique among major cases in Garrison’s otherwise highly successful career, the district attorney was himself indicted on bribery charges, based in significant part on the testimony of a staffer. Garrison successfully defended himself at trial and the former staffer later admitted that he had concocted false testimony against Garrison. Garrison lost reelection as district attorney but soon won election as a state judge, with repeated re-elections until his death in 1992. The Oliver Stone film JFK was largely based on Garrison’s memoir, On the Trail of the Assassins, and a follow up by former newspaper reporter Jim Marrs, Crossfire: The Plot To Kill Kennedy (1989).
Consultants to the film included Cyril Wecht and former Air Force Col. Fletcher Prouty, left, the former top liaison at the U.S. Department of Defense for Joint Chiefs of Staff to the CIA during the Kennedy Administration and latter part of the Eisenhower presidency.
Those who dismiss critics of Warren Report as fools or dreamers have no real response to the expertise of those like Wecht (now age 90 and author or co-author of nearly 60 books) or Prouty, who died in 2001 but left behind two substantial books, including The Secret Team (1973) and substantial interviews.
As for Chauncey Holt, he confessed his complicity in several notable events leading up to the assassination. He wrote, for example, that he is the individual on the far right in the adjoining photo of Oswald (shown with a tie at center left). This was as Oswald and his confederates were distributing pro-Castro propaganda in August 1963 outside the New Orleans International Trade Mart led at the time by Shaw.
Holt also wrote that he insisted at the time to his colleagues that it was a big mistake for the conservative-run TV station WDSU-TV to film the propagandists (as shown in the still at right taken from broadcast film) because, according to Holt, several of those in the photo were working under deep cover with authorities from the CIA and elsewhere, as was Holt, he said, supported by documents in his book.
Further, Holt claimed to be an expert forger who manufactured phony Secret Service badges and delivered them with guns to accomplices in Dallas just before the JFK assassination and was himself temporarily arrested and released (a claim disputed by others). But, he said, he did not know the ultimate purposes of the badges and guns.
All of this makes for quite a tale but suffers from obvious credibility problems.
Among them: Holt (whose used John Moon also among many aliases) confesses that he was a “scoundrel” involved in a career of forgery and other deception, including gun-running and major securities frauds in cooperation with sinister figures, including mob leader Meyer Lansky. The documents he republished in his memoir purportedly from covert colleagues in the CIA seem to support his story, but they are also derived from someone who admits to working as an expert forger.
In the JFK assassination research “community,” tales like Holt’s generate both support and harsh criticism, including in-between evaluations suggesting some truth and some embellishment to his claims. But even such first-person accounts are not the foundation of criticism of the Warren Report and its supporters. Instead, the core challenge for Warren supporters remains medical and other scientific evidence showing the near impossibility that Oswald could have been a sole assassin.
The evidence is worth exploring given the high stakes of solving the murder of a president, hence our efforts. But all perpetrators are long dead and what is most important now is a larger understanding of history and its relevance to current and future times.
In that spirit, we present Fall 2021 news and commentaries as this 56th installment of our Project’s “Readers Guide to the JFK Assassination.”
Contact the author Andrew Kreig with questions, comments or any perceived corrections necessary.
- Justice Integrity Project Readers Guide To JFK Assassination
- The New Oliver Stone Movie ‘JFK Revisited’
- Upcoming Events
CAPA Conference (via Zoom)
JFK Assassination Conference (In Person and via remote viewing)
JFK Lancer “November In Dallas” Conference (via remote viewing)
- Related 2021 JFK News Coverage and Commentary
Justice Integrity Project Readers Guide To JFK Assassination
To help researchers of President John F. Kennedy’s 1963 assassination and its current implications, the Justice Integrity Project began publishing a Reader’s Guide in 2013 to coincide with the shooting’s 50th anniversary.
Some columns, particularly No. 17 below, catalog significant books that argue all widely known viewpoints. Other columns provide analysis.
Included are columns best-selling author Peter Dale Scott and San Francisco attorney Bill Simpich. Each is affiliated with the start-up research group CAPA (Citizens Against Political Assassinations), as is this editor.
Research inputs are welcome, including suggested additions. Similar initiatives are planned to help illuminate other major assassinations and attempted assassinations of great controversy and historical importance.
The specifics of President Kennedy’s life, death and legacy hold a rare fascination for the public as a guide to today’s current events and official reports.
The JFK assassination has generated more than two thousand books in whole or part. More than three million pages of relevant government have been declassified thanks to countless researchers. Public opinion polls for decades have revealed a rare if not unique disconnect whereby between 60 and more than 75 percent of those polled typically say they do not believe the 1964 report by the blue-ribbon Warren Commission.
Above right is a Justice Integrity Project photo showing Dealey Plaza, where Kennedy was killed on Nov. 22, 1963. The Texas Book Depository Building where accused assassin Lee Harvey Oswald worked is behind the row of trees. The car in the center lane is near the location of the president’s limo at the time of the fatal shot.
Dozens of witnesses, mostly ignored by authorities, reported hearing shooting from the so-called “Grassy Knoll” at the photo’s left. Not visible is a tall, opaque picket fence obscured by the road sign at the far left.
Many researchers — but not the Warren Commission — have argued that at least one shooter hid behind the picket fence and escaped via the near-empty railroad yard behind the fence.
The “X” painted on the highway marks the approximate spot where Kennedy was hit by the fatal shot. JFK researcher, author and photo expert Robert J. Groden repeatedly repaints the spot, to the dismay of Dallas authorities, as a reminder of continuing citizen concern. Groden had been hired as a photo technician to work after the assassination on the then-suppressed amateur video that photographer Abraham Zapruder shot of the killing from a site on the Grassy Knoll. Groden played a key role in delivering a pirated copy to ABC-TV for its first public showing in 1975, helping ramp up questions by many observers.
The materials below derive from the efforts of countless other concerned citizens and whistleblowers. They compiled records and, in some cases, challenged conventional wisdom, often at risk to their reputations and careers and with scant possibility of any reward except in hope of helping solve an enduring civic
In the Readers Guide below, an asterisk (*) denotes major articles in the series. Other articles are more routine or duplicative treatments, which sometimes covering specific news events.
The “X” mark has been repeatedly painted on the street by author and photographic expert Robert Groden as reminder of the horrific crime that Dallas authorities seek to expunge by removing the X and otherwise.
- Project Launches JFK Assassination Readers’ Guide, Oct. 16, 2013.
- Project Provides JFK Readers Guide To New Books, Videos, Oct. 26, 2013. This is a list of new books and films in 2013.
- Disputes Erupt Over NY Times, New Yorker, Washington Post Reviews of JFK Murder, Nov. 7, 2013. *
- Self-Censorship In JFK TV Treatments Duplicates Corporate Print Media’s Apathy, Cowardice, Nov. 7, 2013.
- ‘Puppetry’ Hardback Launched Nov. 19 at DC Author Forum on ‘White House Mysteries & Media,’ Nov. 19, 2013.
- Major Media Stick With Oswald ‘Lone Gunman’ JFK Theory, Nov. 27, 2013.
- JFK Murder Scene Trapped Its Victim In Kill Zone, Nov. 30, 2013.
- Project Lists JFK Assassination Reports, Archives, Videos, Events, Nov. 2, 2013. *
- JFK Murder, The CIA, and 8 Things Every American Should Know, Dec. 9, 2013. *
- JFK Murder Prompts Expert Reader Reactions, Dec. 19, 2013. Reactions to our Dec. 9 column.
- Have Spy Agencies Co-Opted Presidents and the Press? Dec. 23, 2013. *
- Don’t Be Fooled By ‘Conspiracy Theory’ Smears, May 26, 2014. *
- Experts To Reveal Secrets of JFK Murder, Cover-up at Sept. 26-28 DC Forum , Sept. 5, 2014.
- Washington Post Still Selling Warren Report 50 Years Later, Sept. 22, 2014. *
- JFK Experts To Explode Myths, Sign Books In DC Sept. 26-28, Sept. 24, 2014.
- Former Cuban Militant Leader Claims CIA Meeting With Oswald Before JFK Killing, Sept. 27, 2014. *
- JFK Readers Guide: Assassination Books, Reports, Oct. 15, 2014. *
- Former House JFK Murder Prober Alleges CIA ‘Lied,’ Seeks Hidden Records, Oct. 18, 2014. *
- The JFK Murder ‘Cover-up’ Still Matters — As Does C-SPAN’s Coverage, Nov. 11, 2014. *
- JFK, Nov. 22 and the Continuing Cover-Up, Nov. 24, 2014. *
- JFK Assassination Readers Guide To 2013-14 Events, Nov. 28, 2014. *
- CIA, Empowered by JFK Murder Cover-up, Blocks Senate Torture Report, Dec. 1, 2014. *
- Nearly Too Late, Public Learns of Bill Moyers’ Conflicts Over PBS, LBJ, Jan. 2, 2014.
- Why Bill O’Reilly’s Lie About JFK’s Murder Might Matter To You, March 17, 2015.
- Free Videos Show Shocking Claims About CIA, JFK Murder Probes, June 29, 2015.
- Pioneering Black Secret Service JFK Guard Abraham Bolden Warns Of Current Lessons, July 22, 2015.
- Understanding Hollywood-Style Presidential Propaganda From JFK To Trump, Aug. 18, 2015.
- Beware Of Wrong Conclusions From New CIA Disclosure On Oswald, Sept. 28, 2015.
- The JFK Murder Cover-Up: Your Rosetta Stone To Today’s News, Nov. 29, 2015.
- Austin Kiplinger, David Skorton: Two Civic Giants Going And Coming, Dec. 15, 2015.
- Trump Alleges Rafael Cruz Tie To JFK Murder Suspect Oswald, May 3, 2016.
- Revelations Confirm Proof Of JFK, RFK Murder Cover-ups, Nov. 25, 2016.
- Top Experts To Assess JFK Murder Records, Revelations March 16, March 8, 2017.
- Speaker Program For March 16 Forum On Secret JFK Records, March 8, 2017.
- JFK Experts Advocate Compliance With Records Deadline, March 8, 2017.
- At CAPA Forum, JFK Experts See Need, Momentum For Assassination Records Release, March 23, 2017.
- Time Magazine, History Channel Ramp Up Oswald-JFK Fake News, April 26, 2017.
- JFK Birthday Prompts Inspiration, Art, Advocacy, Snark, June 2, 2017.
- Deep State Killed JFK For His Cuba Policy, Peace Advocacy, Experts Say, June 13, 2017.
- Newly Released JFK Murder Files Prompt Disputes, ‘Jigsaw’ Solutions, Aug. 4, 2017.
- CAPA Challenges Warren Report Defenders Sabato, Shenon, Sept. 22, 2017.
- Trump Plans Release Of Suppressed JFK Records, Oct. 21, 2017.
- Trump Backs Off Promise To Release All Suppressed JFK Documents Today; Permits Partial Release, Oct. 26, 2017.
- More JFK Murder Records Released On Nov. 9, Nov. 10, 2017.
- TV Star John Barbour Premieres New JFK Documentary In DC With Free Screenings, Lectures, Nov. 13, 2017.
- Two Major Annual JFK Research Conferences Launch Friday In Dallas, Nov. 15, 2017.
- DC, Dallas Nov. 22 Events Mark JFK Murder, Official Cover-up, Nov. 22, 2017
- Assessing Newly Released JFK Records, Alec Baldwin’s Slam of NBC Cover-up, Dec. 19, 2017.
- DC ‘Big Event’ Boosts Pressure To Disclose Suppressed JFK Records, March 16, 2018.
- Trump Postpones Some JFK Documents At Deadline For Three Years, Releases Others, April 26, 2018.
- Trump Suppresses JFK Murder Records, Violates Pledge, Bows To CIA, Deep State, May 1, 2018.
- Rights Pioneer’s Obit Prompts Disputes Over JFK Murder Half-Truths, May 29, 2018.
- Poppy’s Seed and Bitter Harvest: Half-Truths History (four-part series on life, legacy of George H. W. Bush), published from Dec. 9 through Dec. 14, 2018, with link to first installment).
- Kennedy and King Family Members and Advisors Call for Congress to Reopen Assassination Probes, Jan. 20, 2019.
- 3 JFK Research Conferences In Dallas From Nov. 21-24, Andrew Kreig, Nov. 17, 2019.
- JFK Murder Documents, Deadlines, Disclosures, Disputes, Andrew Kreig, Nov. 2, 2021.
Andrew Kreig, the author of the series excerpted above, is a non-profit executive, investigative reporter, author and attorney based in Washington, DC.
Following careers in journalism, law and business, he became a founding director of both the Justice Integrity Project and of CAPA, among other leadership positions in civic organizations. He began his career as a newspaper reporter. After earning degrees from Yale Law School and the University of Chicago School of Law, he became an attorney in Washington, DC and then president and CEO of a global high-tech trade association from 1996 to 2008. He has written two books, one on the news media and the other on presidential politics, and has been a frequent speaker on news, political and business topics.
The New Oliver Stone Movie ‘JFK Revisited’
Filmmaker Oliver Stone poses with a display showing his iconic 1991 film JFK. A sequel, “JFK Revisited,” was previewed last summer at the Cannes Film Festival and is being released this month in the United States via Showtime on Nov. 22 (Photo via The Newseum).
Collider, Oliver Stone’s ‘JFK Revisited: Through the Looking Glass’ Doc Lands on Showtime This Month, David McGuire, Nov. 4, 2021. ‘JFK Revisited’ premiered at Cannes earlier this year.
For the last 58 years, the assassination of former President John F. Kennedy has been the subject of debate and has become enveloped by conspiracy theories. Countless books, TV shows, and movies have been made about that fateful day, none more prolific and swimming in controversy than Oliver Stone’s 1991 film JFK. 30 years later, Stone is back with a new documentary film, to be released on Showtime, entitled JFK Revisited: Through The Looking Glass.
JFK Revisited premiered at Cannes Film Festival earlier this year and presents a fresh look at the recently declassified archive of material that has been re-examined and placed into the public record. The documentary is poised to inform the latest generation and the generation that lived through it that this unsolved murder was not only shocking but, perhaps, calculated.
The film will be narrated by Whoopi Goldberg (The Stand) and Donald Sutherland (Moonfall) and will feature new interviews with historians, witnesses, and other experts on the subject.
The 1991 film made a very similar promise as it focused on the events leading up to the assassination and the alleged cover-up as told through the eyes of New Orleans district attorney Jim Garrison (Kevin Costner).
Based on the book The Plot That Killed Kennedy, by Jim Marrs, the film was immediately embroiled in controversy as it made implications that Kennedy’s successor, Lyndon B. Johnson, was part of the coup d’état to assassinate the sitting president. Stone was said to have described the film as a “counter myth” to the Warren Commission’s “fictional myth.” The film boasted an incredible cast with Kevin Bacon, Tommy Lee Jones, Laurie Metcalf, Gary Oldman, Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau, and even the real Jim Garrison as Earl Warren.
JFK Revisited: Through The Looking Glass is an Ingenious Media production. Written by James DiEugenio, the film is produced by Rob Wilson for Ixtlan and executive produced by Andrea Scarso, Amit Pandya, Peter Touche, Fernando Sulichin, and Angela Ceccio.
JFK Revisited: Through The Looking Glass will make its linear debut on Showtime on November 22 at 7 p.m. ET/PT, the anniversary of JFK’s death.
[The film is scheduled to be released in the U.K. and Ireland by the U.K.'s Altitude Film Distribution in late 2021.]
- Fox News, Gregg Jarrett on the secret JFK assassination files: What is the government hiding? Laura Carrione, Aug. 9, 2021.
- Variety, ‘JFK Revisited: Through the Looking Glass’ Review: Oliver Stone Doubles Down on the Mother of All Conspiracy Theories, Owen Gleiberman, July 12, 2021.
- Associated Press, “Oliver Stone revisits JFK assassination in new documentary,” Jake Coyle, July 12, 2021.
- CAPA, chaired and co-founded by the iconic forensic pathologist Cyril Wecht, M.D., J.D., is planning a two-day conference via Zoom this year from Nov. 20 to 21. It was long scheduled as an in-person conference but emergence of the Delta variant of the coronavirus forced a switch. Program and registration details are here.
- JFK Lancer Productions, led currently and through the years by book publisher and conference producer Debra Conway, plans again to host its annual “November in Dallas Conference,” first held in 1996, focusing on the JFK assassination and related themes. The conference from Nov. 19-21 will be via remote viewing. Program and registration details are here.
- The “9th Annual JFK Assassination Conference,” hosted by author and conference organizer Judyth Vary Baker, right, who has described in books and lectures a close relationship with Oswald when they worked together in New Orleans in mid-1963, will make her last in-person appearance at her conferences this year, due to vision problems. Her book Me & Lee, updated as Lee Harvey Oswald and Me, will make its debut at the Conference. An elite panel of lawyers will be challenged to assess the value of the evidence that was used by the Warren Commission to declare Oswald as Kennedy’s assassin. The conference will be held at the historic Pegasus Room at the Magnolia Hotel at 1401 Commerce St. in Dallas from Nov. 19 to 21. The Conference is also hosting the annual JFK Remembrance Ceremony and Moment of Silence at Dealey Plaza on Monday, Nov. 22, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. with the public welcome. Details for both events are here.
What follows is additional information about the conferences, which tend to be far more productive in recent years than press conferences in disseminating useful information about assassinations, in part because they draw heavily on authors and filmmakers who can point to their works, not simply press releases. This editor, like CAPA Chairman Cyril Wecht, has speaking roles this year at the two conferences run by CAPA and Judyth Very Baker.
CAPA Conference via Zoom
CAPA Conference via Zoom
CAPA’s Chairman, Dr. Cyril Wecht, is a widely published author and high-energy, Pittsburgh-based pathologist and medical society leader, who still performs hundreds of autopsies a year. This year his reflections on his long study of law enforcement shortcomings and cover-ups of major assassinations will be augmented by the publication last year of his memoir, The Life and Deaths of Cyril Wecht, one of nearly 60 books he has authored or co-authored.
In JFK lectures, his specialty is educating audiences on irrefutable scientific facts drawn from his career as a medical examiner and medical school professor, as well as a training program for forensic specialists via the Wecht Institute at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh.
As CAPA’s keynote speaker, he will doubtless describe once again the physical impossibility of matching alleged bullet paths to medical evidence in a way that justifies Warren Report claims that Oswald was a lone gunman. That report asserted that a gunman, allegedly Oswald but perhaps not, fired three times, with one bullet making multiple wounds on JFK and Texas Gov. John Connolly, who was sitting in front of JFK in an open-air limo driving past a scattered crowd at Dealey Plaza at the end of their parade route in Dallas.
Another pioneering researcher, Josiah “Tink” Thompson will speak about his recent book, Last Second in Dallas.” James Wagenvoord will speak about his experiences working at Life Magazine in 1963. The magazine, then under the direction of retired Gen. Charles C.D. Jackson, a top expert in psychological warfare, acquired the famous Zapruder film and then suppressed showing of it, using only selected stills in the magazine. A pirated copy of the video was first shown publicly in 1975 on ABC-TV, thus destroying conventional wisdom propounded by Time-Life magazines and others that the film showed JFK’s head moving forward from a shot in the back of his head. JFK’s head clearly moved backward, suggesting a fatal shot from somewhere towards the front.
Among the panelists is Jacob Hornberger, left, a book, publisher and prolific commentator of the Libertarian website of the Future of Freedom Foundation that he founded decades ago. His books, both by him and authors he has published, have focused heavily on expert analysis of JFK assassination topics, including irregularities in the autopsy. Several of his recent columns on JFK records release are excerpted below extensively as particularly insightful. Records release will be one of his topics at the conference.
University of Arkansas criminology professor David Montague, right, an attorney and senior researcher on the Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB) during the 1990s, will speak also on progress and prospects for that process launched under the 1992 JFK Records Act to take the first steps to declassify JFK records. The presidentially appointed ARRB closed down in 1998, with its functions largely assumed by the National Archives albeit without the ARRB’s perceived powers to overcome declassification objections from intelligence agencies and other Executive Branch sectors.
In a panel discussion including Montague, other panelists include this editor and Hornberger, publisher of a five-volume set by former ARRB staffer Douglas Horne about medical and scientific evidence.
Another scheduled speaker is Stephen Jaffe, the last living investigator on the staff of New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison in the 1960s. Jaffe was also one of the producers of the feature film “Executive Action” in 1973. Jaffe for the first time will show a new documentary that he produced with his late partner, author and attorney, Mark Lane. It is entitled, A Rush to Judgment, after Lane’s best-selling book and includes some rare interviews with witnesses Lane interviewed in 1966. Jaffe will also show a brief, almost-never-seen documentary film about the making of “Executive Action” with interviews of the stars (Burt Lancaster, Robert Ryan and Will Geer, as well as with the executive producer Edward Lewis). Jaffe will take questions via Zoom.
Like last year, I will moderate a panel on media coverage – or more precisely inaccurate and misleading coverage – of the assassinations. Among the panelists will be WhoWhatWhy founding publisher Russ Baker, left, the best-selling author of “Family of Secrets” and a former staff writer at the Columbia Journalism Review and columnist contributing to many major newspapers. Others will include the Future of Freedom Foundation President Jacob Hornberger, author of two JFK books and publisher of more than a half dozen others.
As an example of recent and relevant challenges facing the assassination research community, virtually every major news outlet published obituaries of Marina Oswald’s biographer Priscilla Johnson McMillan, author of Marina and Lee in 1977. But virtually all mainstream media failed to mention her background as an intelligence asset. Her background has been well documented by declassified documents and shared within our community. That background throws much of her work into doubt, especially since Oswald’s widow recanted in the early 1990s her original comments incriminating her late husband as being spoken under pressure and wrong, according to a thorough account by Dick Russell in his On the Trail of the JFK Assassins.
The registration cost for the conference is $50, which includes a year’s membership in CAPA. Schedule and registration details are here: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_HGeYWwiUR3qROcHOcnqlBA.
JFK Assassination Conference In Person and via Zoom
Regarding “The JFK Assassination Conference,” organizer Judyth Baker’s innovative program will include a new face for the community, longtime Texas litigator Mark Mueller, right, of Austin. In meeting with him during his visits to Washington, DC during recent months, I have learned that he plans cutting-edge presentations debunking the integrity of several prominent attorneys who represented defendants in major crime cases and who allowed their clients to become patsies for prosecutors. This segment is aimed in part at the Texas legal community and a younger generation of researchers.
Mueller is drawing in part from the revelations of another Texas attorney, John Curington, a longtime counsel for the late billionaire, media mogul and right-wing extremist H.L. Hunt. Curington’s 2018 memoir is entitled Motive & Opportunity: The means by which H.L. Hunt influenced the assassination of JFK, King, Bobby & Hoffa. It describes, for example, Curington’s description of his delivery of $125,000 in cash to the late Percy Foreman, the Houston-based counsel to accused King slayer James Earl Ray. The delivery was shortly before Ray and his attorney decided not to contest murder charges – a decision that Ray soon regretted and fought unsuccessfully to overturn for the rest of his life.
Curington’s account, in which he refers to his client respectfully as “Mr. Hunt” throughout, was written in cooperation with freelancer Michael Whittington and carries an introduction by Cyril Wecht, who presented Curington at a major conference in 2018. The conference at the Wecht Institute at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh featured also Dr. William Pepper, a close friend of the late Rev. King whom the King family hired decades ago to find the real killer because of their belief that the killer was not Ray. Mueller has followed Pepper’s sleuthing powerful findings of his own, albeit based on individual research that lacks the subpoena power that only authorities can wield.
The conference’s longtime partner, TrineDay publisher Robert “Kris” Millegan, son of a CIA officer, is expected to be honored for his courageous work in publishing more than 120 books. Many of them are cutting-edge, first-person accounts by brave assassination witnesses or citizen researchers whose work is shunned by most commercial publishers.
The books (I own more than forty of them) include the three memoirs by Judyth Baker, including her Me and Lee (whose revised and updated edition Lee Harvey Oswald and Me will be launched at the conference. TrineDay’s top-selling title, Dr. Mary’s Monkey by Edward T. Haslam (2007), coincides with (and in Haslam’s view strongly supports) Baker’s account of experiences in 1960s New Orleans. Haslam, son of respected physician in New Orleans, explains how the ostensibly unsolved 1964 death of nationally renowned cancer researcher Dr. Mary Sherman in the city was linked to clandestine work by Oswald assisting Sherman’s purported off-the-books work helping the intelligence community experiment secretly on monkeys.
Among other titles is Betrayal: A member of the Kennedy Honor Guard Speaks by the late Hubert Clark, with William Matson Law. Clark is the African-American at center in the Kennedy Honor guard. He went on to become a New York City police homicide detective who died this year after being a fixture at her conferences describing how he and his colleagues, including some from the JFK autopsy team, never realized until recent years that deceptive methods were used in 1963 to make honor guard and autopsy team unwitting accomplices in fooling the public about post-assassination ceremonies and forensic timelines.
Another TrineDay title is “From an Office Building with a High-Powered Rifle: A report to the public from an FBI agent involved in the official JFK assassination investigation by the late FBI agent Don Adams. Adams, who became the police chief in an Ohio town following his retirement from the FBI, described how he passed on to FBI headquarters in the fall of 1963 before the JFK assassination a right-wing tipster’s prediction that the president would be killed on his Dallas trip via a high-powered rifle, fired from an office building.
The Adams memoir further describes how puzzled he was that his tip to FBI headquarters apparently never was conveyed to the Secret Service or other relevant personnel in advance of JFK’s and was never seriously followed up, including during the post-assassination period when Adams was assigned to the FBI’s Dallas office and occupied with largely routine duties. The Adams home and all of his research materials were destroyed by a fire of unknown origin soon after his book was published in 2012.
Other major TrineDay titles include an authoritative series about the U.S. Secret Service by freelancer Vincent Michael Palamara. His titles include the indispensable Survivor’s Guilt, a 493-page 2013 book that charted the activities, background, and motives – and potential complicity — of virtually every Secret Service agent relevant to the JFK protective detail.
Millegan will receive The Lifetime Achievement Award from The JFK Historical Group at the JFK Assassination Conference in Dallas, by the Group’s president, longtime researcher and college professor David Denton. Last year’s recipient was the author, poet and retired diplomat and professor Peter Dale Scott, whose work includes popularizing the term “Deep Politics” to apply to events like the Kennedy assassination as perpetrated by those unaccountable to the public via normal processes.
The current roster of speakers is: Judyth Vary Baker, Randolph Benson, Doug Caddy, Ole Dammegard, David Denton, Gordon Ferrie, Edward T. Haslam, Barbara Honegger, Clay Jenkins, Ryan Jones, Andrew Kreig, Barr McClellan, Dan Storper, Patrick McLain, Robert ‘Kris’ Millegan, Charles Moffatt, Mark R. Mueller, Barbara Radofsky, Kent Schaffer, Robert Tanenbaum, Mary Van Osdell, Dr. Cyril Wecht, John Delane Williams.
Robert Tanenbaum, a top New York prosecutor during the 1960s, went on to become deputy staff counsel for the House Select Committee on Assassinations in the 1970s, and then a best-selling novelist and two-time mayor of Beverly Hills, California. His denunciations of officials willing to suffer obstacles to an honest investigation of the JFK assassination (as exemplified during his American History presentation shown on C-SPAN at right) are among the most expert and powerful on record.
Schedule and registration via Zoom is $40 via this site: https://www.JFKDallasConference.com.
JFK Lancer “November In Dallas” Conference (via remote viewing)
JFK Lancer, whose program details for this year’s video-only conference were not available at our press time, also has brought forth many courageous and insightful speakers in its history since 1996, when the company was co-founded by Debra Conway. “Lancer” was the Secret Service code name for JFK.
Scheduled presenters at this time include Jim DiEugenio (shown at left, and author of Destiny Betrayed among other titles), David Boylan, Bill Simpich, Donald Jeffries with Chuck Ochelli, Larry Schnapf, Mike Chesser, Andrew Kiel, Debra Conway (shown at right), Larry Hancock, Stuart Wexler, Malcolm Blunt with Bart Kamp, Bill Kelly, Russ Baker, Gill Jesus, Robert Groden, Joan Mellen and Brent Holland.
The conference will again be “virtual” with presentations streamed during the conference dates and with a dedicated Facebook page for registered attendees to ask questions and participate in dialogs with presenters. The fee will be $64.99 for conference viewing only and $119.99 for conference viewing plus digital download. Visit here for registration and further details.
As background, Professor George Michael Evica of the University of Hartford, host of the WWUH-FM radio show “Assassination Journal” for many years and author of important books, served as the first speaker chair and conference host, helping to attract quality presenters because of his stature. “The conference has always given a priority to new research and encouraged newcomers as well as the better known names in the field, according to an overview provided to me this summer by author Larry Hancock (who wrote Nexus, among other titles), a longtime member of the conference organizing team along with fellow author Stuart Wexler and researcher/podcast host Alan Dale, among others.
Among previous speakers have been Beverly Oliver, the long-mysterious “Babushka Lady” who had been seen in photos just twenty feet from JFK when he was fatally shot. Her identity had been unknown for years. Upon discovery, it turns that the Russian-sounding misdirection “Babushka” was simply a headscarf.
More importantly, Oliver says she had been a 17-year-old singer performing at Jack Ruby’s nightclub in those days, as described in her as-told-to-memoir Nightmare in Dallas. It asserted that a home-movie she shot of the scene, including of the picket fence on “The Grassy Knoll,” was seized by men claiming to be federal agents, with the film’s contents and fate still unknown.
Other JFK Lancer speakers have included Dennis David (Navy Chief of the Day in charge of off-loading the JFK casket or caskets at Bethesda Navy Hospital before an autopsy), Madeleine Brown (an intimate friend of Lyndon Johnson), former FBI Special Agent James Hosty, former Secret Service special agent Abraham Bolden (shown at right on the cover of his powerful memoir The Echo from Dealey Plaza), JFK autopsy aide James Jenkins and Buell Wesley Frazier (a co-worker of Oswald who resisted pressures from authorities to provide what he regarded as false witness testimony).
Additionally, the conference (and others) has hosted Dr. Robert McClelland, Dr. Kenneth Slayer, Dr. Joe Goldstrich, and Dr. Peter Loeb from the Parkland Hospital, where JFK was taken after the shooting. Physicians expert in gunshot wounds who examined Kennedy in the futile attempt to save his life have through the years provided powerful statements that tend to undercut findings by the official autopsy team, which was conducted by inexperienced personnel under tight military command at Bethesda Naval Hospital in Maryland, with many autopsy records intentionally destroyed and personnel warned not to discuss arrangements except in limited official proceedings.
The Secret Service agent Bolden’s memoir (shown above with photos of him as a respected young law enforcer and later in life) describes how when he was an Illinois State Trooper JFK personally recruited him to integrate the Secret Service as the first African-American assigned to presidential security. His book describes also how he was framed and imprisoned on a bogus attempted extortion charge soon after he told colleagues he planned to try to talk to the Warren Commission about suspicious occurrences before the assassination. I have studied Bolden’s account, met him and corresponded with him through the years, and am convinced that he was an obvious frame-up victim. The chief witness against him, for example, was a convicted counterfeiter who immediately after Bolden’s conviction recanted his trial claims against Bolden and asserted that he had falsely incriminated Bolden because of pressure from prosecutors to lie. Nonetheless, the trial judge refused to grant Bolden relief. Bolden’s legal records were supposedly lost for mysterious reasons, thereby thwarting his appeal of his long prison sentence.
JFK Lancer has also published a number of important books, including those by those involved in its management: Enemy of the Truth: Myths, Forensics and the Kennedy Assassination by the late Sherry Fiester, Debra Conway’s sister and a trained forensics investigator.
Another is Someone Would Have Talked by Larry Hancock, whose book title is an ironic twist on the common fallacy that someone would have been a whistleblower if there had been anything wrong with the Warren Report and other official commentaries. Sadly, many courageous witnesses have talked — but all too few in official circles listen and act upon the information provided.
The registration fee is $65 for conference viewing only and $120 for conference viewing plus digital download. Schedule and registration are via this site: https://jfklancerpublications.com/?fbclid=IwAR0MYMd_B2oq_oRZRd0mLlXFa7txmrDJblVzitni8uEgyw4RCP4N0XYHlV0
Related News Coverage
News and Commentaries
(Shown In Reverse Chronological Order)
Selected Recent JFK-Related News Reports
(Shown in reverse chronological order)
Garrison: The Journal of History and Deep Politics, Political Assassinations of the 1960s (Issue 008), Columns about JFK, MLK, RFK and Malcolm X are by various authors, including Justice Integrity Project editor Andrew Kreig, Nov. 4, 2021. The quarterly journal published by S.T. Patrick of Midnight Writer News Publications challenges the historical, media, and academic establishment with the most current evidence on our most consequential historical events. Issues and can be purchased here in print it as a PDF ebook.
Garrison, The Research ‘Community’: United We Do not Stand; Divided We Fail is an essay contributed by Justice Integrity Project editor Andrew Kreig. It surveys the current state of JFK assassination research and argues that serious researchers need to spend more effort analyzing each others’ work in mutually productive fashion and otherwise cooperating to advance shared goals.
WhoWhatWhy, Claim: JFK Assassin Oswald Was CIA-Trained — And Bad at Shooting, Chris Roberts, Nov. 3, 2021. What’s hidden in the government records related to the John F. Kennedy assassination that President Joe Biden (and Donald Trump before him) promised to release — in Biden’s case as recently as last month — and then didn’t?
Only the CIA, FBI, and archivists know, and only they can say for certain, what knowledge survived the 1960s and 1970s and what vital clues ended up in the shredder. Maybe something is in there that could vet the most recent claim that Lee Harvey Oswald — whom the Warren Commission fingered as the lone shooter and whom the House Select Committee on Assassinations (and almost everyone else alive) believe was probably part of some conspiracy — was a CIA asset who received CIA training before November 22, 1963, and who, according to his purported trainer, was a terrible shot.
+Maybe there’s nothing in the archives that could verify that one. Either way, it might be nice to know!
Over the Halloween weekend, the Miami Herald picked up a story, initially dropped via Spanish-language radio, that a notorious anti-Castro Cuban exile and sniper trainer who had verifiably worked with the CIA recognized Oswald as one of his trainees in a secret CIA sniper camp, or so he told his sons decades later.
Additionally — according to the tale related on Miami-based Actualidad 1040 AM by one of the sons of Ricardo “Monkey” Morales (shown above at left) and later repeated to the Herald — Morales and some associates were sent to Dallas on the order of his CIA handler two days before the assassination for an unspecified “clean-up” mission. They were then recalled to Miami after the shooting, without receiving further orders.
Possible? Sure. Plausible? Those records certainly would be handy!
According to 58-year-old Ricardo Morales Jr., about a year before the elder Morales was shot in the back of the head during a December 1982 fracas in a Miami bar — a killing his attorney said was a setup — the ex-spy had become paranoid and fearful about his safety.
Future of Freedom Foundation, Opinion: The Silence of CIA Media Assets on the JFK Cover-Up, Jacob G. Hornberger, Nov. 1, 2021. One of the funniest aspects of President Biden’s decision to continue the CIA’s cover-up of the national-security establishment’s regime-change operation on November 22, 1963, has been the silent reaction of the mainstream media. Ordinarily, the CIA’s journalistic assets would have gone into action by now, publishing editorials and op-eds supporting Biden’s decision to grant the CIA’s demand for continued secrecy on grounds of “national security.”
What’s the reason for the silence? I suspect that despite their extreme loyalty to the CIA, they’re all too embarrassed to make such a ludicrous argument. Better to remain silent and hope the whole controversy just goes away.
By the time of Oliver Stone’s movie JFK in 1991, the CIA and the rest of the U.S. national-security establishment had kept their assassination-related records secret for some 30 years. They said that “national security” required such secrecy, notwithstanding their claim that a lone-nut communist former U.S. Marine had killed President Kennedy.
People didn’t buy it. Stone’s movie induced a massive public outcry against continued secrecy. In one of those rare instances in which Congress is forced by public pressure to act against the wishes of the Pentagon and the CIA, Congress enacted the JFK Records Act of 1992, which forced the national-security establishment to disclose their long-secret assassination-related records.
To enforce the law, Congress called the Assassination Records Review Board into existence. From 1993 to 1998, the ARRB forced the release of thousands of long-secret records, oftentimes over the vehement objections of the Pentagon and the CIA.
As a result of those disclosures in the 1990s, the United States did not fall into the ocean. The communists did not take control over the United States. Cuba did not invade Miami. The dominoes did not fall in Southeast Asia.
What did happen, however, is that the ARRB lifted the shroud of secrecy that the national-security establishment had placed over the autopsy that it had conducted on the body of President Kennedy a few hours after the assassination. The records revealed one reason why the military and the CIA had wanted to keep their assassination-related records secret forever: The autopsy they conducted was fraudulent to the core.
As I have repeatedly emphasized, there is no innocent explanation for a fraudulent autopsy, especially given that the scheme was launched at Parkland Hospital immediately after Kennedy was declared dead. See my two books The Kennedy Autopsy and The Kennedy Autopsy 2. Also see Douglas Horne’s excellent video presentation at our conference last spring on the Kennedy assassination as well as his watershed five-volume book Inside the Assassination Records Review Board.
Unfortunately, however, there was a flaw in the law. The law gave the national-security establishment another 25 years of secrecy if the release of certain records posed “an identifiable harm to the military defense, intelligence operations, law enforcement, or the conduct of foreign relations that is of such gravity that it outweighs the public interest in disclosure.”
The ARRB went out of existence in 1998 and, therefore, it wasn’t around to enforce the law when that 25-year deadline materialized in 2017 during the Trump administration. Trump surrendered to the CIA’s demand for continued secrecy and pushed the secrecy deadline into 2021.
Not surprisingly, Biden has also now surrendered to the CIA’s demand for continued secrecy. Like Trump, he says that the release of the records will threaten “national security” by posing “an identifiable harm to the military defense, intelligence operations, law enforcement, or the conduct of foreign relations that is of such gravity that it outweighs the public interest in disclosure.”
Will the remaining records contain a “smoking gun” confession of the national-security establishment’s regime change on November 22, 1963. Of course not. No one would be so stupid as to put such a confession in writing and then turn it over to the National Archives.
But the records undoubtedly contain incriminating pieces of the puzzle that will further fill out the regime-change mosaic, just as the ARRB’s forced disclosure of the medical evidence in the 1990s established the existence of a fraudulent autopsy.
Let me give you another example of this phenomenon. In 2017, a few of the secret records that were released under Trump disclosed a secret memorandum from FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover (shown at right in 1967) that was dated November 24, 1963, the day that Jack Ruby assassinated Lee Harvey Oswald. The memo stated: “The thing I am concerned about, and so is Mr. Katzenbach, is having something issued so we can convince the public that Oswald is the real assassin.”
Oswald was referring to U.S. Deputy Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach, who himself issued a memorandum to presidential aide Bill Moyers on November 25, 1963, stating, “The public must be satisfied that Oswald was the assassin; that he did not have confederates who are still at large; and that the evidence was such that he would have been convicted at trial.”
Three questions naturally arise:
1. How in the world could two of the nation’s top law-enforcement officers be certain that Oswald assassinated the president within just two or three days of the assassination, especially given that Oswald was not only proclaiming his innocence but also claiming he was being framed for the crime?
2. Even if Oswald was involved in the crime, how in the world could anyone be certain that he didn’t have confederates without weeks or even months of investigation, especially since the Dallas treating physicians had said that Kennedy’s throat wound was an entry wound, which necessarily meant a shot having been fired from the president’s front?
3. How would the release of Hoover’s memo back in the 1990s possibly have threatened “national security” or possibly posed “an identifiable harm to the military defense, intelligence operations, law enforcement, or the conduct of foreign relations that is of such gravity that it outweighs the public interest in disclosure”?
It couldn’t have, which meant that the national-security establishment lied to the ARRB when they used that excuse to keep the Hoover memo secret.
Obviously, the Hoover memo isn’t a confession of criminal wrongdoing. But it’s another piece of the assassination puzzle that shows how U.S. national-security state officials were committed to shutting down the investigation into the president’s assassination immediately.
Another funny part of Biden’s decision to extend the cover-up has been the reaction of people who continue to adhere to the lone-nut theory of the assassination. What has been their reaction? It’s been the same as that of the CIA’s assets in the mainstream press. Silence!
Wouldn’t you expect the lone-nut theorists to be screaming to the CIA: “Release the records so that everyone will know that you’re innocent and that you’re not covering up your own criminal wrongdoing! Don’t leave us lone-nut theorists in a lurch!”
Of course, there is another possible reason for silence among the CIA’s media assets and its lone-nut theorist supporters: They’re nervous about what those long-secret records will reveal. And they’re silently hoping the records never see the light of day.
Ricardo Morales, known as “Monkey,” second left, and his “cleanup” crew posing with CIA-provided sniper rifles. The date and the location of the photo are not known.
Miami Herald, Cuban exile told sons he trained Oswald, JFK’s accused assassin, at a secret CIA camp, Nora Gámez Torres, Updated Oct. 29, 2021. Almost 40 years after his death following a bar brawl in Key Biscayne, Ricardo Morales, known as “Monkey” — contract CIA worker, anti-Castro militant, counter-intelligence chief for Venezuela, FBI informant and drug dealer — returned to the spotlight Thursday morning when one of his sons made a startling claim on Spanish-language radio:
Morales, a sniper instructor in the early 1960s in secret camps where Cuban exiles and others trained to invade Cuba, realized in the hours after President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas in 1963 that the accused killer, Lee Harvey Oswald, had been one of his sniper trainees.
Morales also told his two sons that two days before the assassination, his CIA handler told him and his “clean-up” team to go to Dallas for a mission. But after the tragic events, they were ordered to go back to Miami without learning what the mission was about.
The claims made by Ricardo Morales Jr. during a show on Miami’s Actualidad Radio 1040 AM, add to one of the long-held theories about the JFK assassination — that Cuban exiles working for the CIA had been involved.
But the claims also point the finger at the CIA, which some observers believe could help explain why President Joe Biden backed off last week on declassifying the remaining documents in the case.
Morales’ son, 58, said the last time his father took him and his brother to shooting practice in the Everglades, a year before dying in 1982, he told them he felt his end was near because he had revealed too much information of his work for the CIA to a Venezuelan journalist and he was writing a memoir.
So he encouraged his sons to ask him questions about his life.
“My brother asked ‘Who killed John F. Kennedy?’ and his answer was, ‘I didn’t do it but I was in Dallas two days before waiting for orders. We were the cleaning crew just in case something bad had to be done.’ After the assassination, they did not have to do anything and returned to Miami,” his son said on the radio show.
Future of Freedom Foundation, Opinion: The Evil Rot at the Center of the Empire, Jacob G. Hornberger, Oct. 27, 2021. Given President Biden’s decision to succumb to the CIA’s demand for continued secrecy of the CIA’s 60-year-old Kennedy assassination-related records, this would be a good time to remind ourselves of how President Kennedy felt about this type of secrecy:
The very word “secrecy” is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths and to secret proceedings. We decided long ago that the dangers of excessive and unwarranted concealment of pertinent facts far outweighed the dangers which are cited to justify it.
Kennedy’s attitude toward the evil of governmental secrecy was just another reason why the U.S. national-security establishment hated him so deeply and considered him a grave threat to national security, in addition to, of course, Kennedy’s determination to end the Cold War racket and establish friendly and peaceful relations with the Soviet Union, Cuba, and the rest of the communist world.
In his 1985 book People of the Lie, the noted psychiatrist M. Scott Peck noted that there definitely is evil in the world.
The Central Intelligence Agency epitomizes the evil to which Peck was referring. That’s not to say, of course, that everyone who works for the CIA is evil. It’s to say that everyone who works for the CIA is either wittingly or unwittingly working for an evil institution, one that should never have been grafted onto America’s federal governmental system and that now forms the core of the rot that afflicts the American empire.
The problem, of course, is that all too many Americans do not wish to confront, much less acknowledge, the existence of this evil. Succumbing to CIA propaganda and wishing to defer to the power of the national-security establishment, they have convinced themselves that the CIA is a force for good in the world and that it is necessary to their safety and well-being.
Thus, such Americans have turned a blind eye to the evil actions in which the CIA has engaged practically since its inception in 1947.
How many times are we reminded of the evil of the Nazi regime that the U.S. defeated in World War II? Hardly a week goes by without someone bringing it up in the mainstream press.
Yet, here we have an an entity within the federal government that secretly hired Nazi officials after World War II ended. How can that possibly be reconciled with moral or religious principles? When an entity knowingly cavorts and partners with evil, doesn’t that say something about the evil nature of that entity?
Let’s not forget the drug experiments that the CIA conducted on unsuspecting Americans. I don’t know if the CIA’s secret Nazi employees assisted with those drug experiments, but I do know that the mindset that went into those experiments was the same type of mindset that motivated the Nazis to conduct medical experiments on people.
That CIA partnership with Nazis isn’t the only partnership with evil that the CIA has engaged in. There is also its partnership with the Mafia, one of history’s most evil criminal organizations, one that engages in murder as one of its regular activities. Yet, all too many Americans ignore that CIA-Mafia partnership. They would rather just look the other way.
What was the purpose of that secret CIA-Mafia partnership? Assassination, which is really just a fancy word for murder. The purpose of the secret CIA-Mafia partnership was to murder Cuba’s president Fidel Castro, left.
Why Castro? Because he was a communist. More important, he was also a communist who established peaceful and friendly relations with the Soviet Union and rest of the communist world.
That’s it. That’s what the CIA says justified its assassination partnership with the Mafia to assassinate Castro and its repeated attempts to assassinate Castro.
One of the fascinating aspects of the CIA-Mafia partnership to assassinate Castro has been the reaction of many Americans who just have taken it all in stride. That blasé reaction to unjustified state-sponsored murder is a perfect example of what CIA propaganda and indoctrination has done to warp, pervert, and stultify the consciences of many Americans.
The fact is that not only was the CIA partnership with the Mafia evil, so were its repeated assassination attempts on Castro. The CIA never had the moral, religious, or legal authority to murder anyone, including Castro, just because he happened to be a communist or a socialist or just because he favored establishing peaceful and friendly relations with the Soviet Union and the communist world.
And yet, all too many Americans, especially the mainstream press, have been so nonchalant about those repeated CIA murder attempts on Castro.
At the risk of belaboring the obvious, there has also been a steadfast willingness among many Americans to turn a blind eye to the overwhelming evidence establishing that the November 22, 1963, assassination of President Kennedy was a regime-change operation on the part of the CIA and the national-security establishment, no different in principle from the CIA’s repeated assassination attempts on Castro.
But let’s set aside the Kennedy assassination. Let’s just talk about the CIA’s assassination of Patrice Lumumba, shown at right in 1960, three years before Kennedy was murdered. Or how about the CIA’s kidnapping/murder of Gen. Rene Schneider in Chile seven years after Kennedy was assassinated? How can those two assassinations be labeled anything but evil? What did Lumumba and Schneider do to warrant having their lives snuffed out by the CIA? They did nothing to warrant their assassinations.
Or how about the CIA’s regime-change operation in Iran ten years before Kennedy was assassinated? It was accompanied by the deaths of many innocent Iranian people. Then came 26 years of U.S.-supported horrific tyranny and oppression under a brutal U.S.-installed dictator. That led to the Iranian revolution and more decades of horrific tyranny and oppression. That led to brutal U.S. economic sanctions that have killed and impoverished countless innocent citizens of Iran. How can all that not be labeled evil?
Or how about the CIA’s regime-change operation in Guatemala nine years before the Kennedy assassination? The CIA had a secret assassination list for that operation which listed the people who were to be murdered as part of the operation.
What did Guatemalans do to deserve such evil being inflicted on them? They had the audacity to elect a socialist named Jacobo Arbenz, who declared a willingness to establish peaceful and friendly relations with the Soviet Union and the communist world.
He wasn’t the only one. Ten years after Kennedy was assassinated, the Chilean people elected a socialist named Salvador Allende, who, like Arbenz, established peaceful and friendly relations with the Soviet Union and the communist world. The CIA said that that made him a threat to U.S. “national security.” The CIA and the Pentagon convinced the Chilean national-security establishment that it had a moral duty to violently oust their country’s president from office. How can the CIA/Pentagon-instigated Chilean coup, which left Allende dead and tens of thousands of Chilean citizens raped, tortured, executed, or disappeared by the brutal U.S.-supported military dictator who replaced him, not be labeled evil?
In fact, that’s why the CIA’s goons kidnapped and murdered General Schneider. Schneider opposed the CIA’s violent regime-change operation and instead favored supporting and defending the Chilean constitution, which provided only two ways to remove a president from office: impeachment and election.
With the exception of the Kennedy assassination, Americans have come to accept all of these CIA regime changes as part of America’s legacy as a national-security state. Unfortunately, however, owing to a stultification of conscience that came with the unconstitutional conversion of the federal government to a national-security state, all too many Americans have not yet come to the moral realization that every one of those regime-change operations, including the Kennedy assassination, was evil to the core.
Future of Freedom Foundation, What the CIA Is Hiding in the JFK Assassination, Jacob G. Hornberger, right, Oct. 26, 2021. With President Biden succumbing to the CIA’s demand to continue keeping the CIA’s records relating to the Kennedy assassination secret, the question naturally arises: What is the CIA still hiding? (See my blog post of yesterday entitled “Surprise! Biden Continues the CIA’s JFK Assassination Cover-Up.”)
To understand what they are still hiding and why they are still hiding it, it’s necessary to go back to the 1990s during the era of the Assassination Records Review Board — and even further back than that to November 22, 1963 — the day that Kennedy was assassinated.
People often say that if the CIA and the Pentagon had orchestrated the assassination of President Kennedy, someone would have talked by now.
That’s just not true. When it comes to murder, people don’t talk. They know that if they do talk, they run the risk of themselves being murdered, maybe their families too. People who participate in murder schemes know that they had better keep their mouths shut or else.
One example is Mafia figure Jimmy Hoffa. We still don’t know who killed Hoffa. That’s because no one talked. Another example is Johnny Roselli, the liaison in the CIA-Mafia partnership to assassinate Cuban leader Fidel Castro. We still don’t know who murdered Roselli. No one has ever talked.
People who talk also run the risk of being prosecuted because there is no statute of limitations for murder. A good recent example is real-estate heir Robert Durst, right. He was recently convicted of murdering a person twenty-one years ago.
So, it was always a safe bet that the CIA and the Pentagon would be able to keep their regime-change operation in Dallas sealed in secrecy.
However, not so with respect to the fraudulent autopsy that the Pentagon carried out on President Kennedy’s body on the evening of the assassination. When the ARRB released people who had participated in the autopsy during the 1990s, they talked.
As I detailed in my books The Kennedy Autopsy and The Kennedy Autopsy 2 and in my online presentation in our Zoom conference last spring, a fraudulent autopsy was an essential part of the cover-up in the assassination.
The problem that the plotters had, however, is that in order to carry out this part of the cover-up, they had to enlist the assistance of many people within the vast national-security establishment who played no role in the assassination. Since all those people were innocent and mostly unwitting participants to the cover-up, they didn’t have the same incentive to stay quiet as the people who knowingly participated in the assassination itself.
The military did its best to keep everyone quiet by telling the autopsy participants that what they were doing was classified. Everyone in the military knows what that means — people are expected to take classified secrets to the grave with them. Participants to the autopsy were required to sign written secrecy oaths. They were also threatened with court martial or criminal prosecution if they ever revealed what they had done or seen.
As I pointed out in The Kennedy Autopsy, the scheme for a fraudulent autopsy was actually set into motion at Parkland Hospital in Dallas. Immediately after Kennedy was declared dead, the Dallas County Medical Examiner, Dr. Earl Rose, announced his intent to conduct an autopsy on the president’s body, as Texas law required. That was when a team of armed Secret Service agents, brandishing guns, told Rose in no uncertain terms that they would not permit him to do the autopsy. Forcing their way out of Parkland Hospital, they took the body to Dallas’s Love Field, where new President Lyndon Johnson was waiting for it. Johnson then took the body back with him to Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland, where he delivered it into the hands of the military.
Although the mainstream media always treated all this as normal, given the dominant role that the national-security establishment was playing in Cold War America, it was actually quite bizarre and aberrant. The military never had any jurisdiction or legal authority to conduct the autopsy. At that time, killing a president was not a federal crime. The United States was not at war with any nation state. Kennedy was not killed on the field of battle. His killing was a straight murder case under Texas state law. Any criminal prosecution for the assassination would take place in Dallas. A genuinely honest autopsy would be a critically important part of that criminal prosecution, especially since a sharp team of criminal-defense lawyers would inevitably be defending the accused.
The military was mostly, but not entirely, able to keep its fraudulent autopsy secret for some 30 years, until the ARRB began releasing people who had participated in the autopsy from their vows of secrecy. As the ARRB began forcing the military to release its records relating to the autopsy, the dam of secrecy surrounding the autopsy broke wide open. That’s when the fraud became apparent. That’s why the JFK Records Act was such a nightmare for the Pentagon and the CIA. If it hadn’t been for that law, there is no doubt that the military’s fraudulent autopsy would still be shrouded in secrecy today.
What the Pentagon and the CIA learned from the era of the ARRB is that the community of assassination researchers is composed of some very smart people. By analyzing the evidence that the ARRB was succeeding in getting released, assassination researchers were able to put together the pieces of the puzzle that established a fraudulent autopsy, along with lots of other pieces of circumstantial evidence establishing that what occurred on November 22, 1963, was a highly sophisticated national-security state regime-change operation.
The leading figure in this endeavor was Douglas Horne, left, who served on the ARRB staff. Anyone who reads Horne’s five-volume book Inside the Assassination Records Review Board will inevitably conclude that the autopsy that the military conducted on the Kennedy’s body a few hours after the assassination was fraudulent to the core.
At the risk of belaboring the obvious, there is no innocent explanation for a fraudulent autopsy being conducted on President Kennedy’s body, especially given that the scheme for a fraudulent autopsy was launched at the moment Kennedy was declared dead.
It stands to reason that if a government agency is being forced to reveal records relating to a regime-change operation, that agency is going to keep the most incriminating evidence secret for as long as possible. We still don’t know what the CIA is still hiding, but we can safely assume that there is a good reason why the CIA does not want to let those super-smart assassination researchers get a hold of it.
That’s why the national-security establishment will fight tooth and nail for permanent secrecy on their remaining JFK assassination-related records. Oh, the Pentagon and the CIA will most likely authorize Biden and the National Archives to release some innocuous records for appearance’s sake. But make no mistake about it: They will make certain that Biden, the National Archives, and all future presidents comply with their demand for permanent secrecy on what they need to hide on a permanent basis.
Future of Freedom Foundation, Opinion: Surprise! Biden Continues the CIA’s JFK Assassination Cover-Up, Jacob G. Hornberger, right, Oct. 25, 2021. Before I address President Biden’s decision last Friday to continue the national-security establishment’s cover-up of its November 22, 1963, regime-change operation in Dallas, I wish to make one thing perfectly clear: I am not Nostradamus.
Yes, I fully realize that I repeatedly predicted that Biden would never order the release of those 60-year-old assassination-related records that the CIA has steadfastly been keeping secret from the American people. (See here and here.) But that prediction doesn’t make me Nostradamus.
In fact, any reasonable person who has studied the Kennedy assassination could have easily made the same prediction. There has got to be a good reason why the CIA does not want people to see those 60-year-old secret records. That’s why they didn’t disclose them during the era of the Assassination Records Review Board in the 1990s. That’s why they demanded that President Trump continue keeping them secret in 2017. That’s why they demanded that Biden extend the secrecy.
After all, think about it: If Donald Trump, who the national-security establishment loathed, buckled and surrendered to the CIA’s demand for continued secrecy, it’s a no-brainer that Biden, who is owned lock, stock, and barrel by the national-security establishment, would do the same.
It’s probably worth recalling the candid words of U.S. Senator Charles Schumer: “Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you.” Undoubtedly, Trump, Biden, and the National Archives were all fully aware of the truthfulness of Schumer’s decision in granting the CIA its demand for continued secrecy.
At the risk of belaboring the obvious, those 60-year-old secret records obviously contain incriminating evidence — evidence that consists of more pieces to the puzzle pointing to a regime-change operation in Dallas.
After all, as I have repeatedly pointed out, the notion that the release of 60-year old records could constitute a grave threat to “national security” is nonsensical on its face.
There can be no doubt that the release of those long-secret records would constitute a grave threat to the CIA, the Pentagon, and the rest of the national-security establishment. But that’s different from constituting a threat to “national security,” whatever meaning one places on that nebulous, meaningless term.
But that’s what Biden stated in his decision last Friday. Biden cited that time-honored term that has become the most important term in the political lexicon of the American people in our time: “national security.”
That’s not all he said. He said that the COVID-19 pandemic had interfered with the National Archives’s ability to coordinate with the CIA, the Pentagon, and other national-security agencies to ascertain whether those records really do constitute a threat to “national security.”
That’s just plain silly. It reminds me of the kid who claimed that his dog ate his homework.
In the 1990s, the CIA and the Pentagon had to set forth the reasons why they wanted another 25 years of secrecy for those records. In 2017, they again had to set forth the specific reasons to Trump as why they were demanding that Trump grant them another five years of secrecy.
Nothing has changed. There are no new reasons for continued secrecy. All that the National Archives needed to do is make a copy of those previously cited reasons and send them to Biden. How in the world could the COVID-19 pandemic have impeded doing that? It couldn’t have. It just another ruse to continue the coverup — and a ridiculous one at that.
Now, let me make something else very clear. I’m not suggesting that those records contain a CIA or Pentagon confession of wrongdoing. From the very start of the CIA, when it began specializing in the dark arts of state-sponsored assassinations and cover-ups, its policy was to never put any of its assassination plots into writing.
What I am saying though is that the records undoubtedly contain incriminating circumstantial evidence that further fills out this particular regime-change mosaic. If I had to predict what that would be, I would say it most likely relates to the operation in Mexico City, where accused assassin Lee Harvey Oswald was supposed to have met with Soviet and Cuban officials.
That part of the regime-change operation clearly went awry, including, for example, producing a photograph of a man (at left) who was supposed to be Oswald in Mexico City but who clearly was someone else. Or a tape-recording of a man who was supposed to be Oswald talking to one of those embassies and clearly was the voice of someone else.
In the 1970s, when two young lawyers, Dan Hardway and Ed Lopez, were investigating the Kennedy assassination for the U.S. House Select Committee on Assassinations, they were pressing the CIA for its records relating to Mexico City. In response, the CIA called out of retirement a loyal CIA agent named George Joannides (below right). His job? To block Hardway and Lopez from getting to those records.
That’s not the only place that Joannides pops up in the JFK assassination. Immediately after the assassination, a group called the DRE published a press release advertising Oswald’s communist bona-fides arising out of his time in New Orleans shortly before his trip to Mexico City.
More than 30 years later, it would be discovered that the DRE was a secret CIA front organization that the CIA was secretly funding with very generous amounts of U.S. taxpayer money . And take a wild guess who the CIA agent was who was monitoring and controlling the DRE. That would be the same George Joannides who was called out of retirement in the 1970s to block Hardway and Lopez from accessing those secret Mexico City records. For more on Joannides see [the Future of Freedom Foundation's] book Morley v. CIA: My Unfinished JFK Investigation by former Washington Post reporter Jefferson Morley.
Biden extended the time for continued secrecy for those long-secret CIA assassination-related records to December 2022. I strongly advise everyone not to hold your breath. I make the following prediction: When that date rolls around, Biden will decree more secrecy, perhaps because his dog has eaten all the records.
Who What Why, Analysis: Biden Further Delays Release of Kennedy Assassination Papers, Mark Adamczyk and Brian Baccus, Oct. 25, 2021. The full release of the JFK assassination files has been postponed once again, this time until December 15, 2022. Announcing his decision, President Biden cited COVID-19-related delays in reviewing redacted documents.
The national archivist had told the president “making these decisions is a matter that requires a professional, scholarly, and orderly process; not decisions or releases made in haste” — even though the “final” review of redactions has been going on since 2018.
While advocating transparency and ordering an intensive review over the next year, Biden did give the archivist a potential out from complying with the 2022 deadline: if the redaction is deemed “necessary to protect against an identifiable harm to the military defense, intelligence operations, law enforcement, or the conduct of foreign relations.”
There was one potentially significant step forward, however. Biden directed that the full collection of records related to the JFK assassination be digitized for ease of public access. Currently, researchers need to travel to the national archives in Maryland.
October 2, 2021: President Biden faces many well-publicized deadlines. But there is one that has flown under most everyone’s radar. Biden has less than a month to make a decision about still-withheld records on one of the most consequential murders of the 20th century.
Nearly 30 years ago, Congress unanimously passed the President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act, a landmark moment in the fight against government secrecy. In the ensuing years, many documents were handed over to the National Archives, surprising and thrilling skeptics of big government.
But the euphoria soon died down. Some of the more sensitive documents were either produced with countless redactions or withheld completely, and in the years following the 1998 disbandment of the Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB) — the entity tasked by Congress to facilitate the collection of the actual records — the flow of assassination material slowed to a trickle.
With Congressional oversight lacking, there was little incentive for any of these agencies, the CIA and FBI in particular, to finish their legally required review, and several thousand files were still classified to some degree as a 2017 deadline approached.
While many of these files were handed over to the National Archives, some of them quite interesting, thousands still contained redactions, or were held back in full. And then they were delayed even further, until a new deadline was set: October 26, 2021.
According to the National Archives website, nearly 16,000 documents remain partially redacted, most created by the CIA and FBI. With nearly six decades having passed since Kennedy was gunned down in Dallas, this continued secrecy runs contrary to the expressed intent of the JFK Records Act.
JFK’s murder and the Warren Commission’s tawdry investigation of it are frequently cited as the origin of the downward spiral of Americans’ trust in their institutions, along with the Pentagon Papers and Watergate.
If Biden wants to help restore the American people’s faith in government and its institutions in general, it is hard to imagine a better opportunity than the one he has this October. He can start building a legacy for his administration as one that promotes governmental openness at a time when the very idea of objective truth faces an uncertain future.
In a recent letter to the White House, a number of lawyers pressured him to do the right thing. These attorneys, including noted Washington whistleblower representative Mark Zaid, point out that none other than Biden himself said in an early press release: “My administration has no greater task than restoring faith in American government.”
Below, we are republishing a succinct summary of the JFK Records Act (along with some annotations) and its “deadlines” that have come and gone because of stonewalling by federal agencies that are supposed to be subject to its enforcement. It was written by Mark E. Adamczyk, an attorney who for the past 20 years has been studying the JFK assassination and related history.
Adamczyk highlights the looming deadline for the release of the JFK records by the National Archives, outlines Biden’s responsibilities as defined by the JFK Assassination Records Collection Act and urges readers to join him in writing a letter to the president asking him to follow the requirements of the law.
The following article by Mark Adamczyk originally appeared in late September on Kennedys and King, a website dedicated to political murders.
The JFK Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992 (the “JFK Act”) mandated the final release of all assassination records by October 26, 2017. In October of 2017, President Trump publicly committed to authorizing the release of all records.
However, on the eve of the October 26, 2017, deadline, Trump changed course and issued an executive memorandum authorizing an additional delay of six months.
[Brian Baccus: When Trump first postponed to April 2018, he relied on the advice of White House legal counsel Curtis Gannon, who gained some notoriety months earlier as the author of another dubious and controversial memo, the one that authorized the so-called “Travel Ban.”]
We can only assume that agencies protecting these records (namely the CIA and FBI) pressured Trump at the eleventh hour for more time.
[BB: Mike Pompeo, in his capacity as CIA director at the time, reportedly urged Trump to back down from his initial pronouncements about transparency, and a National Security Council official revealed to The Washington Post that a number of federal agencies were actively imploring Trump to withhold release of some of the files.]
We will never know exactly what happened. What we do know is that Trump’s executive memorandum was a violation of the JFK Act. At the very least, Trump was supposed to issue a document that certified the specific reasons for postponement as required by the JFK Act.
[BB: Any remaining requests for continued classification were supposed to be subject to presidential approval on a record-by-record basis. Andrew Iler, one of the attorneys most involved with the research done for the Biden letter and its attached legal memorandum, stated in an interview with WhoWhatWhy that despite the explicit language of the Act requiring presidential approval of each remaining record sought for continued classification, “It’s not clear that President Trump looked at even one record.”]
After the six month “extension,” agencies were supposed to provide their final reasons for postponement to the president and the archivist. Compliance with the JFK Act was to be finally accomplished by April 26, 2018. Inexplicably, President Trump then issued another executive memorandum granting agencies an additional three years to “complete” their review of assassination records.
This was on the heels of a 25-year mandatory review obligation imposed by the JFK Act and then an additional six-month period to complete that review.
This effort is not about proving a conspiracy or validating the previous findings of the Warren Commission or House Select Committee on Assassinations. It is about following the law, which was passed by Congress in 1992.
In that same memorandum of April 26, 2018, the president required final action from agencies by April 26, 2021. By that date, the president required that all information on declassification of JFK Records be delivered to the archivist. That would, according to the executive memorandum, put the archivist in the position of making final recommendations to the president by September 26, 2021.
After receiving recommendations from the archivist, the president would then be in an informed position to authorize a final release by October 26, 2021. That was the plan, at least designed by President Trump in 2018 with legal advice from the Office of Legal Counsel.
What happened instead? We do not know of any action taken by agencies in the three-year period between April 2018 and April 2021. We saw no press releases from the archivist and the president in April 2021 indicating that agencies (protecting these records) did their jobs. We saw no press releases from the archivist and the president this summer indicating that they were making serious progress, in anticipation of the artificial “deadlines” authorized by Trump in 2018.
[BB: Over the summer David Ferriero, official archivist of the United States since 2009, and some of his colleagues at the National Archives and Records Administration, have been meeting with officials from the various federal entities subject to the Records Act, with the goal of expediting their declassification process. Ferriero issued a recommendation on September 26 to the president regarding the remaining records, but it is not publicly available at this time. Biden will now have a month to consider the recommendation.]
The archivist is not to blame here. The archivist wants to see these records released. These records are based on an event that happened in 1963. The problem is that the archivist is a custodian of records and does not have the authority under the JFK Act to compel the release of assassination records. Only the Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB) had that power under the JFK Act, but unfortunately the ARRB only had authority and funding through 1998.
Congressional oversight committees had authority to ensure compliance with the JFK Act after the winding-down of the ARRB. Those committees have done nothing that we know of, despite receiving correspondence from lawyers and researchers interested in compliance with the JFK Act. At this stage, Biden has the authority to ensure compliance.
In order to do his job under the JFK Act, a federal statute, Biden needs legitimate and transparent reasons from agencies for continued postponement. If the president receives that information, he can then make an executive decision on continued postponement. If the president authorizes postponement of more records, it must be accompanied by a written and unclassified certification of the reason(s). That is what the JFK Act requires. Vague explanations based on “national security” do not come close to meeting the standards of the JFK Act.
Congress declared that continued classification of records would be warranted in only “the rarest of circumstances.” That was in 1992, almost 30 years after the assassination. We are now almost 30 years after the passage of the JFK Act, and almost 60 years after the assassination itself.
I recently signed a letter and legal memorandum to Biden expressing the importance of this issue. That document can be viewed here. I strongly encourage you to contact the White House with a simple request. Follow the law. Stop the delays based on unfounded (and undisclosed) arguments from agencies that wish to continue hiding these records.
[BB: Accompanying the letter sent to Biden is a diverse and accomplished list of signatories voicing their support for the overdue enforcement of the Act. The list includes political scientists, prominent attorneys, professional historians, actor Alec Baldwin, several journalists, former Congressional investigators, and the man whose 1991 film JFK was the genesis for the legislation, Oliver Stone. The filmmaker and Vietnam veteran recently produced another film about the assassination, this time a documentary, JFK Revisited: Through the Looking Glass, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in July.
One of the more compelling and even surprising aspects of the push for governmental transparency on this issue is that it is not confined to any particular point of view regarding the circumstances of Kennedy’s death. In addition to the names of individuals like Stone, the list also includes some of the more ardent supporters of the Warren Commission’s conclusion that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone: journalists Gerald Posner, Max Holland, and Dale K. Myers.
Another important signatory is G. Robert Blakey, former chief counsel for the House Select Committee on Assassinations, which officially concluded in 1979 that Kennedy was “probably assassinated as a result of conspiracy.” Blakey also played a significant role in drafting the JFK Records Collection Act.]
This effort is not about proving a conspiracy or validating the previous findings of the Warren Commission or House Select Committee on Assassinations. It is about following the law, which was passed by Congress in 1992. It is worth noting that Joe Biden was the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee when the JFK Act was passed by Congress in 1992.
The executive branch recently authorized the release of 9/11 records and it has the same chance to earn trust from the American public by authorizing the release of the JFK records. It should not be a difficult decision. It is what the law requires.
KNX-AM/FM (Los Angeles), Biden administration moves to block release of JFK top-secret assassination materials–as a group sues to force publication, Mark Zaid and Larry Schnapf, Oct. 25, 2021. There are estimated to be several hundred thousands pages and materials relating to the official government investigation into the 1963 assassination for President John F. Kennedy–they’ve been under lock and key for decades, with successive presidents ordering that the assassination materials stay classified.
President Joe Biden is the latest to do this–his administration late Friday night ordered a temporary postponement of the release of JFK investigation documents. A lot of these materials are from the House Select Committee on Assassinations in 1978, which investigated both the murders of President Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
The documents were supposed to be released in 2017, but that was delayed by former President Trump. Larry Schnapf is an environmental attorney out of New York who has led years-long efforts to secure the release of secret JFK assassination files –and– Mark Zaid is a national security & free speech attorney; he’s representing Larry Schnapf in the Freedom of Information lawsuit seeking the release of the JFK assassination materials See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Politico, What Biden is keeping secret in the JFK files, Bryan Bender, Oct. 24, 2021. The censored files may offer insights into Cold War covert ops, but don’t expect a smoking gun about the assassination.
President Joe Biden has once again delayed the public release of thousands of government secrets that might shed light on the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
“Temporary continued postponement is necessary to protect against identifiable harm to the military defense, intelligence operations, law enforcement, or the conduct of foreign relations that is of such gravity that it outweighs the public interest in immediate disclosure,” Biden wrote in a presidential memorandum late Friday.
He also said that the National Archives and Records Administration, the custodian of the records, needs more time to conduct a declassification review due to delays caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
The decision, which follows a delay ordered by President Donald Trump in 2017, means scholars and the public will have to wait even longer to see what remains buried in government archives about one of the greatest political mysteries of the 20th century. And the review process for the remaining documents means Biden can hold the release further if the CIA or other agencies can convince him they reveal sensitive sources or methods.
Public opinion polls have long indicated most Americans do not believe the official conclusion by the Warren Commission that the assassination was the work of a single gunman, Lee Harvey Oswald, a former Marine who once defected to the Soviet Union and who was shot to death by a nightclub owner Jack Ruby while in police custody.
A special House committee in 1978 concluded “on the basis of the evidence available to it, that President John F. Kennedy was probably assassinated as a result of a conspiracy.”
But longtime researchers almost uniformly agree that what is still being shielded from public view won’t blow open the case.
“Do I believe the CIA has a file that shows former CIA Director Allen Dulles presided over the assassination? No. But I’m afraid there are people who will believe things like that no matter what is in the files,” said David Kaiser, a former history professor at the Naval War College and author of “The Road to Dallas.”
His book argued that Kennedy’s murder cannot be fully understood without also studying two major U.S. intelligence and law enforcement campaigns of the era: Attorney General Robert Kennedy’s war on organized crime and the CIA’s failed efforts to kill communist dictator Fidel Castro in Cuba (with the Mafia’s help).
Still, Kaiser and other experts believe national security agencies are still hiding information that shows how officials actively stonewalled a full accounting by Congress and the courts and might illuminate shadowy spy world figures who could have been involved in a plot to kill the president.
What’s still hidden?
Portions of more than 15,000 records that have been released remain blacked out, in some cases a single word but in others nearly the entire document, according to the National Archives.
The records were collected by the Assassination Records Review Board, which was established by Congress in the 1992 JFK Records Act.
The independent body, which folded in 1998, was headed by a federal judge and empowered to collect classified information from across the government that might have bearing on Kennedy’s murder and make public as much as possible after consulting with the agencies where the intelligence originated. It also had legal authority to overrule recalcitrant agencies.
A large portion of the JFK collection came from the probe by the House Select Committee on Assassinations in 1978, which investigated the murders of President Kennedy and the 1968 assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. The panel also delved into a series of U.S. intelligence and law enforcement activities in the early decades of the Cold War as part of its probe.
The creation of the review board ultimately led to the release of thousands of files. But the board also postponed the release of other documents until 2017, when Trump used his authority to further delay full public disclosure.
Much of what has yet to be released involves intelligence activities during the height of the Cold War that likely had no direct bearing on the plot to kill Kennedy but could shed light on covert operations.
One heavily censored file involves a CIA plot to kill Castro. Another is a 1963 Pentagon plan for an “engineered provocation” that could be blamed on Castro as a pretext for toppling him. Then there’s a history of the CIA’s Miami office, which organized a propaganda campaign against Castro’s Cuba.
Other redacted files are believed to contain new CIA information about the 1972 break-in at the Democratic National Committee in Washington’s Watergate Hotel by former CIA operatives that led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon.
But some could reveal more about the events leading up to the assassination itself.
Researchers are keenly interested in the personnel file of the late George Joannides, a career CIA intelligence operative who staffers on the House investigation in the late 1970s believe lied to Congress about what he knew about a CIA-backed exile group that had ties to Oswald.
A federal appeals court in 2018 upheld the CIA’s rejection of a lawsuit by researcher Jefferson Morley to obtain the file.
Lee Harvey Oswald denies shooting President Kennedy.
Paraded before newsmen after his arrest, Lee Harvey Oswald on Nov. 23, 1963, tells reporters that he did not shoot President John F. Kennedy. | AP Photo
Another partially released file contains information about how the CIA may have monitored Oswald on a trip he purportedly took to Mexico City ahead of the assassination.
The files could reveal more of “what the CIA was doing in New Orleans, some more info about Mexico City and likely even some revelations about the CIA role in Watergate,” said Larry Schnapf, a lawyer and assassination researcher.
Morley, who has filed multiple lawsuits to force disclosure, believes the CIA is covering up for individuals who may have had a role in Kennedy’s death or knew who was responsible and wanted it hidden from the public to protect the agency.
He says the CIA’s refusal to comply “can only be interpreted as evidence of bad faith, malicious intent, and obstruction of Congress.”
A spokesperson for the CIA, which accounts for the majority of the withheld records, declined to address the charge, saying only that the agency will comply with the law and the president’s directive.
When will the secret files be revealed?
Biden did set in motion the release of some of the remaining records.
“Any information currently withheld from public disclosure that agencies have not proposed for continued postponement shall be reviewed by NARA before December 15, 2021, and shall be publicly released on that date,” the memo states.
He also directed that the National Archives conduct an “intensive review” over the next year “of each remaining redaction to ensure that the United States Government maximizes transparency, disclosing all information in records concerning the assassination, except when the strongest possible reasons counsel.”
But that means the CIA and other agencies can still convince Biden to further delay the release of some documents.
A coalition of legal experts and academics asserts that Trump and now Biden have been flouting the 1992 law that set up the disclosure process.
They contend in a legal memo the legislation laid out a “stringent process and legal standard for postponing the release of a record” that requires the president to certify why any single file is being withheld.
“Congress established a short-list of specific reasons that federal agencies could cite as a basis for requesting postponement of public disclosure of assassination records,” they advised Biden last month. “A government office seeking postponement was required to specify, for each record sought to be postponed, the applicable grounds for postponement.”
Schnapf plans to file a lawsuit on Monday seeking copies of the underlying communications that have led to the decision by successive presidents to postpone the release of so many documents.
The Public Interest Declassification Board, a bipartisan advisory panel appointed by the president and leaders of Congress, appealed to Biden last month to limit further postponement to the “absolute minimum,” noting that “we understand that agencies are asking you to extend the postponement of public disclosure for parts of many records subject to the JFK Act.”
The board said it believes disclosure after all these years would “bolster the American people’s confidence and trust in their government.”
The board’s chair, Ezra Cohen, the former acting undersecretary of defense for intelligence, called the Biden memo “a step in the right direction” but “we will know more regarding agency and Archives implementation come December.”
“In the short term,” he added, “the Archivist will need to work hard to keep agencies on track with the President’s guidance.”
Schnapf said Congress may have to step in if military and intelligence agencies keep delaying full disclosure.
He pointed out that with the expiration of the JFK records review board, there is no authority other than Biden who can overcome the “kind of stalling, delaying and excessive secrecy that led to the enactment of the JFK Act in the first place.”
“Trump gave the agencies three and a half years … and yet full disclosure has not been obtained,” he added. “This is not about conspiracy but about compliance with the law. There is widespread bipartisan support to have the rest of the records released. These records will reveal important secrets about our country’s history. When President Biden agreed to release the 9/11 records, he said 20 years is long enough. How about 58 years?”
Washington Examiner, Biden delays release of secret JFK assassination files, Daniel Chaitin and Misty Severi, Oct. 22, 2021. President Joe Biden ordered yet another delay in the release of secret files related to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy yet to see the light of day more than 50 years after his death.
A White House memo, signed by Biden, said “[t]emporary continued postponement is necessary to protect against identifiable harm to the military defense, intelligence operations, law enforcement, or the conduct of foreign relations that is of such gravity that it outweighs the public interest in immediate disclosure.”
The order comes in response to the archivist of the United States recommending the president “temporarily certify the continued withholding of all of the information certified in 2018” and “direct two public releases of the information that has” ultimately “been determined to be appropriate for release to the public,” with one interim release on Dec. 15 and one more comprehensive release in late 2022, according to the memo.
Former President Donald Trump ordered in 2018 that documentation still under wraps stay redacted for national security reasons, with a deadline of Oct. 26, 2021. His administration said the decision was made at the behest of the intelligence community.
This time around, delays associated with the coronavirus pandemic were to blame for the recommendation to put off the release.
David Ferriero, the archivist of the United States, reported “unfortunately, the pandemic has had a significant impact on the agencies” and National Archives and Records Administration, the White House memo said.
NARA “require[s] additional time to engage with the agencies and to conduct research within the larger collection to maximize the amount of information released,” added the memo, which also said the archivist noted that “making these decisions is a matter that requires a professional, scholarly, and orderly process; not decisions or releases made in haste.”
Kennedy was assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald on Nov. 22, 1963, in Dallas. [Editor's noted: This is heavily disputed by critics of the official investigation, who dispute also the disparaging term of "conspiracy theory" popularized by the CIA via is longstanding media relationships to smear researchers.]
Oswald, left, was arrested and charged with the killings of Kennedy and Dallas police officer J.D. Tippit. The 24-year-old denied shooting Kennedy, claiming he was a “patsy,” before he was shot dead soon after on national television by nightclub owner Jack Ruby.
According to the President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992, which was signed into law by former President George H.W. Bush in an attempt to minimize conspiracy theories about Kennedy’s death, the Congress declared, “all Government records concerning the assassination of President John F. Kennedy … should be eventually disclosed to enable the public to become fully informed about the history surrounding the assassination.”
Congress also found at the time that “most of the records related to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy are almost 30 years old, and only in the rarest cases is there any legitimate need for continued protection of such records.”
Tens of thousands of the JFK assassination documents, with varying levels of redactions, have already been released .
Among the information that has not been made public are highly sensitive details about U.S. operations against Cuba in 1963, according to the Intercept. There are also unseen passages about surveillance techniques that detected Oswald’s visits to the Soviet and Cuban embassies in Mexico City weeks before Kennedy’s assassination.
“Since the 1990s, more than 250,000 records concerning President Kennedy’s assassination — more than 90 percent of NARA’s collection — have been released in full to the public. Only a small fraction of the records contains any remaining redactions,” the memo said.
A lot of the information that has been made available to the public is not accessible online. Under the order Friday, Biden instructed the archivist to issue a plan for the digitization of the records by Dec. 15.
The Intercept, Commentary: Biden Faces Deadline For Release of More JFK Assassination Papers, Jefferson Morley, right, and Rex Bradford, Oct. 20, 2021. John F. Kennedy was assassinated 58 years ago, but the U.S. government has balked at the full release of some secret CIA documents.
Will Biden follow the law? The JFK Records Act, passed unanimously by Congress in 1992, called for “expeditious public transmission” of all JFK files into the public record. Twenty-nine years later, the intent of Congress has been effectively nullified by the demands of federal agencies, particularly the CIA, which is responsible for 70 percent of the withheld records. The National Archives website says 15,834 JFK files that have been released remain redacted, though some redactions involve only a single word.
Federal Judge John Tunheim, chair of the civilian review board which declassified more than 300,000 JFK documents in the 1990s, called on Biden to release the JFK files without exception. “Why keep on holding back stuff?” Tunheim told The Intercept. “I don’t think there is any reason to protect any of it.”
What’s in the files?
The most sensitive JFK secrets involve U.S. operations against Cuba in 1963. Oswald was a public supporter of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee, or FPCC, a popular campus group which defended Fidel Castro’s government from aggressive U.S. policies. Records declassified in the 1990s revealed that the CIA targeted the FPCC for disruption in September 1963. Within the records that have been partially released, propaganda sources, deception methods, and surveillance techniques are often redacted.
One passage in a file on Operation Northwoods, a top-secret Pentagon operation that aimed to provoke a U.S. invasion of Cuba, is still off-limits to the public. Two paragraphs of the 200-page document remain classified in 2021.
There are scores of similar erasures in the JFK files that illuminate how the letter and spirit of the JFK Records Act is being flouted by extreme claims of secrecy. The information withheld hardly seems earthshaking, but the full significance of the last of the JFK files can only be assessed after full disclosure. Biden’s decision is expected on October 26.
Related articles on the JFK Facts site written and curated by Jefferson Morley:
- Why Did the CIA Reclassify Parts of Some JFK Files in 2018?
- JFK Redacted: The CIA’s Collaborators in the Miami News Media
- From the Secret JFK Files, Praise for a CIA Officer Who Monitored Oswald
- Former DA says CIA hides JFK details but are they related to the assassination?
- The JFK Records Act: Will There Be a Final Chapter?
- Final Deadline Loom on JFK Records: Will Biden Follow the Law?
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