The JFK Murder Cover-up Still Matters -- As Does C-SPAN's Coverage

 

Why does the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy remain important?

That was the question I posed to help open this year's major conference about the 50th anniversary of the murder investigation’s findings. C-SPAN's American History TV cablecast my talk this month, along with other event lectures linked below.

My answer to the question:

Our major institutions and their leaders, to their shame, still support the murder investigation's official findings in the Warren Commission report issued in the fall of 1964.

Yet that report stands discredited. Revelations by courageous witnesses and four million pages of once-secret documents are now summarized in two thousand books and many prominent documentaries and news columns. Inspired in part by the dramatized version in Oliver Stone's JFK, the general public has moved from acceptance of the official findings, to questions, and now to legitimate disbelief. Gallup Polls have shown well over 70 percent in the public do not believe the key Warren Commission findings about accused assassin Lee Harvey Oswald. One of most recent and through polls in late 2013 showed public disbelief by a 2:1 margin.  Andrew Kreig C-SPAN Warren Commission Conference Sept. 26, 2014

That result regarding the crime of the century taints our current government and watchdog institutions.

Congress, for example, has failed to enforce its own JFK Act of 1992, which required that all relevant documents be declassified. The CIA and National Archives are withholding documents, supposedly until 2017. But no guarantee exists that documents would be released even then.

Most news outlets have stubbornly failed to pursue logical follow-up investigations probing the suspects and their institutions.

These failures inspire cynicism, apathy, fear or greed in ways that undermine democracy and sound public policies. The economy, elections, law enforcement, war and taxes are each affected by the cover-up, as readily shown by serious researchers.

That was the gist of my remarks helping open a research conference about the 50th anniversary of the Warren Commission report. The commission led by Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren pinned the murder's blame exclusively on Oswald as a lone gunman who fired at the presidential motorcade from the rear.

Rare among mainstream news organizations, C-SPAN has covered recent developments in-depth. C-SPAN, for example, this month cablecast my remarks and those of more than a half-dozen other speakers at the conference organized by the Assassination Archives and Research Center (AARC), a non-partisan non-profit founded in 1984. A photo above shows the opening.

The C-SPAN videos are below, along with links to 18 previous segments in our Justice Integrity Project "Readers Guide to the JFK Assassination." Our guide lists the most significant research materials in books, videos, documents, reports, events and research archives. The catalogs display substantial work regardless of viewpoint, and thus includes that of the Warren Commission and such defenders as Vincent Bugliosi, Howard Willens, Philip Shenon, James Swanson, and Gerald Posner during recent years. Included also are works by such authors as Fletcher Prouty, James Douglass, Jerome Corsi and Roger Stone alleging murder cover-up conspiracy reaching the highest levels both parties and agencies.

Other columns by our Project offer interpretation and extensive sourcing. My own recent book, Presidential Puppetry: Obama, Romney and Their Masters, documents that high-level elected officials are often groomed by intelligence and law enforcement agencies before entering politics, and thus know and fear their power more than the average citizen.

In a similar serious manner, AARC organized its event around the theme: "The Warren Report and the JFK Assassination: A Half Century of Significant Disclosures.”

Nearly 50 speakers and more than 200 attendees convened at the Hyatt Regency in Bethesda, MD from Sept. 26-28, 2014. Following editing, C-SPAN has begun cablecasting highlights during recent Sundays, with materials archived for view on demand for free as part of the cable industry-funded network's ongoing public service.

Dealey Plaza Picket Fence (Andrew Kreig Photo)The speakers at the AARC conference drew on their expertise in such varied fields as military intelligence, national security, history, medicine, and acoustical engineering.

These experts, most with decades of research experience and advanced degrees, cited evidence that the Warren report could not have been correct in casting all blame on Oswald because, among many other reasons, Kennedy was killed by a shot from the front.

Speakers focused heavily on motives for killers and their oft-unwitting accomplices. As a result, major security lapses occurred at the crucial time and place in Dallas, with no Secret Service, city or county police deployed in the killing zone of downtown Dealey Plaza.

Kennedy's approximate location at his death is shown on Elm Street in Dealey Plaza with an "X" in my photo last fall. Oswald's alleged "sniper's nest" described by the Warren Commission was near the top of the Texas Book Depository at JFK's rear.

But the book building's sixth floor was nearly three times the distance from the "X" as the picket fence visible on the so-called Grassy Knoll. Most witnesses identified the knoll or fence area as a source of gunfire -- evidence the commission ignored or simply dismissed as "not credible" for the most part. 

The commission led by Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren ostensibly conducted a thorough and unbiased investigation. Revelations since then have indicated its major purpose from the outset was to blame Oswald with merely a superficial look at contrary evidence and additional suspects.

Neglected on purpose, we now know, were investigative leads linking Oswald to military intelligence, the CIA, the FBI, organized crime and Cuban exiles in web that potentially led to the highest levels of government involving both parties and important private sector supporters.

Space does not permit treatment right here of those allegations and their evidence. This column's main focus is to recap why our Project's ongoing investigations of current corruption in Washington leads directly back to the JFK killing and its aftermath as a turning point in the nation's history.

President Johnson Accepts Warren Commission Report in 1964

A focus on tainted law enforcement reveals the extreme reluctance of mainstream media to examine evidence arising about more current events for which full documentation and witnesses are not yet available.

C-SPAN and a very few other outlets (most notably the Boston Globe this year, in Answers sought on CIA role in ‘78 JFK probe) are rare exceptions that illustrate the remarkable longevity of the cover-up.

A 1964 photo shows the seven members of the Warren Commission and their general counsel presenting their findings to Kennedy's successor, President Lyndon B. Johnson, at center.

With enthusiasm and unanimity rarely seen in public life, the nation's news media, universities and power centers welcomed the commission's announcement that Oswald acted alone. FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover and other authorities had made their finding of Oswald's sole guilt less than a day after the 1963 shooting. They provided the conclusion in time for the next day's newspapers and broadcasts.

In the intervening years, however, much of the purported evidence has come under serious attack largely unanswered by Warren report defenders  except by circular or other dubious reasoning, such as selective evidence culled from the report itself.

For example, scholars now realize the Warren Commission did not cite the FBI's major report on the murder because the FBI's 830-page report insisted that Oswald hit JFK with three shots. In contrast, the Warren Commission felt it needed to argue that Oswald hit JFK with two shots because a third shot missed, and hit a curbstone. To keep the focus exclusively on Oswald, the commission needed to argue that one of the two bullets made seven different wounds in Kennedy and Texas Gov. John Connally involving multiple shifts in direction before the bullet emerged in near pristine condition, supposedly found on a hospital stretcher.

Furthermore, declassified tape recordings have since shown that Commission member Richard Russell, Johnson's mentor and a Democratic senate leader from Georgia, did not believe the "single bullet" theory. Russell, shown third from the left in the photo next to the taller, future president Gerald Ford, erroneously thought his dissent would be publicly announced. Johnson did not believe the single bullet theory either, according to the tape recording.

But a second shooter would have destroyed the commission's theory that Oswald acted alone. Neither Russell's dissent not Johnson's doubts appeared in the public report. Russell, who was busy in 1964 helping fellow segregationists fight the 1964 Civil Rights Act, apparently did not notice the oversight. 

The miscommunication illustrated how even such a major investigation was enormously flawed if not deliberately sabotaged by at least some participants. Documents reveal that Ford, then a Republican congressman from Michigan, acted as a secret spy on the commission for the FBI and evidence manipulator, thereby benefiting his political career. The many revelations of that nature in recent years ensure that both major parties and their minions at high levels of the media have no interest in reexamining the issues seriously, especially since much of it points to the existence of a bipartisan hidden government using an unaccountable CIA as a tool.   

Compelling, albeit not necessarily decisive evidence has arisen that Oswald was a low-level government agent playing a role. Oswald may not have even fired a shot while at least one other and maybe others undertook the shooting. Several men affiliated with either the CIA or mob have stated they participated in the killing.

Oswald insisted "I'm just a patsy" before Dallas nightclub owner and mob operative Jack Ruby silenced him at a Dallas police station two days after Kennedy's death. George de Mohrenschildt, a well-born oil engineer and CIA asset who became Oswald's close friend and likely CIA handler in Dallas, wrote an unpublished memoir before his death in 1977 claiming that Oswald was indeed a "patsy," or fall guy, in a much larger game.        

Those who do not work in Washington or the media may have difficulty appreciating why a supposedly free press cannot simply report on relevant documents, best-selling books, research conferences and other new materials on this topic.

I can attest from firsthand experience that many career-minded DC professionals decline any in-depth analysis -- even if they have never learned enough about the case to know the precise threat to their jobs, reputations and finances. Similarly, most people do not an electricians' license to avoid a third-rail.

The excuses are varied:

"It happened a long time ago."

"I'm too busy."

"It's boring."

"It's all 'conspiracy theory.'"

"We'll never know."

Each of those excuses may have some validity at times for an individual reporter busy on other deadlines. But the excuses cannot explain the wholesale abandonment of responsibility across wide sectors of the media and government. Such major figures as Bill Moyers (as a top Johnson aide handling media after the assassination) and newsmen Bob Schieffer and Dan Rather of CBS, and Jim Lehrer and Robert MacNeil of PBS were intimately involved in assassination news coverage in Dallas five decades ago.

Moyers was the White House liaison to the Justice Department in the days after the killing as the plan solidified to blame the killing entirely on Oswald and exclude the possibility that anyone else was involved. "The public must be satisfied that Oswald was the assassin;that he did not have confederates who are still at large; and that evidence was such that he would have been convicted at trial." the second-ranking Justice Department official wrote Moyers in a secret memo, dated Nov. 25, and now available. Moyers is shown with Johnson in 1963 before he obtained high-level newspaper and broadcasting post. Bill Moyers and Lyndon B. Johnson 1963 White House

Through the decades, the best-known reporters have followed the script for the most part and refrained from detailed analysis of new evidence in order to focus on the niche topics, such as what they themselves saw -- or broad treatments of the Kennedy presidency's legacy.

Our project's survey of news coverage of the 50th anniversary of the shooting showed that virtually all major news outlets stuck to their original reporting: Oswald did it alone, they insisted, and from the rear. One of our many examples was this year's column, Washington Post Still Selling Warren Report 50 Years Later.

An alternative and well-documented narrative explores the deft craftsmanship of the plotters to persuade decision-makers at major institutions to sustain the Warren Commission's account up to the present. Released documents on Operation Mockingbird, for example, show that media owners held secret understanding with the CIA that coverage on major issues would be influenced by supposed national security concerns. Thus, the familiar faces of broadcasters and columnists have lesser real-world control or even knowledge than the public might suspect.

More generally, Someone Would Have Talked  is the title of JFK researcher Larry Hancock's 2010 book. But Hancock meant his title to be ironic. In more than 500 pages, Hancock showed that many courageous witnesses and other experts already have talked about the evidence.

The real problem is not lack of evidence, but lack of media willing to report it. To be sure, best-selling writers and film maker Oliver Stone are among those who have persuaded most Americans for decades, according to polls, that the Warren Commission cannot be believed. 

But governmental and media power centers will not for the most part take obvious actions, such as reporting major new developments.

Therefore, I felt privileged to help open the conference with my topic, "Current Implications of the JFK Assassination Cover-Up."

My segment came after an introduction by moderator Alan Dale, AARC President James Lesar and Executive Director Jerry Policoff.

I arranged for C-SPAN to cover the event, including extensive coverage of other speakers.

The network's format is, of course, to cover alternative and mainstream views on this and other topics. That was in the spirit also of the conference. AARC invited four surviving staff members of the Warren Commission to speak, as well as the head of the National Archives and several relevant senators and members of congress. Regrettably, none of these officials chose to speak. That illustrates the standard posture of Warren report defenders through the decades as they avoid in-depth discussion whenever possible aside from controlled, friendly forums.

By now, however, the public has glimpsed on C-SPAN and a few other venues courageous fact-finders (as well as some unreliable players) who have spent decades unraveling the murder.

Dr. Cyril Wecht in labC-SPAN viewers can share in the expertise of such authorities as Dr. Gary Aguilar and forensic pathologist, author and medical school professor Cyril H. Wecht, M.D., J.D.

Dr. Gary AguilarOn Nov. 15, C-SPAN featured Aguilar, shown in a file photo at left, as he disputed Warren Commission medical evidence in a segment entitled, Medical Experts and the Kennedy Assassination.

Wecht also has been a passionate critic of the JFK autopsy and of the lone assassin findings of the Warren Commission. He is past president of both the American Academy of Forensic Science and the American College of Legal Medicine. He currently heads the board of trustees of the American Board of Legal Medicine. He served in Pittsburgh at various times as County Commissioner, Allegheny County Coroner and Medical Examiner, and has authored or co-authored more than 45 books. He is shown at right. 

Wecht -- who wrote the introduction to my Presidential Puppetry -- described for the conference and C-SPAN audiences how irregularities in the official version of President Kennedy's death are paralleled by serious forensic questions regarding the official version of the 1968 assassination of JFK's brother, Robert F. Kennedy, the former Attorney General and then-prominent 1968 Democratic Presidential candidate.

More broadly, lack of response to such serious attacks on the credibility of the Warren Report raise an ongoing danger to public life today:

Government officials both elected and appointed may fear being killed or otherwise ruined with no real accountability because too many others in law enforcement and other oversight remain timid or uninformed. That is my contention in book research showing, for example, that President-elect Barack Obama's advisors were so frightened at fear of retribution against his administration -- a "revolt" -- that they counseled him against any serious investigation of CIA torture.

These vital matters are not going to be resolved in this brief column, of course, or even in its appendix of lectures below.

But stay tuned. Research and more revelations are ongoing here and elsewhere.

Coming editions of this JFK Readers Guide series will help document this story. And the full tale will relevant to your interests if you care about contemporary public affairs.  

 

 

Contact the author Andrew Kreig
 
 

 

C-SPAN3 American History TV Coverage of AARC Conference

C-SPAN 3, AARC Warren Report 50th anniversary conference opening, "Conference Preview" by AARC President James H. Lesar and "Current Implications of the JFK Assassination Cover-Up" by historian and author Andrew Kreig, with introduction by moderator Alan Dale, Sept. 26, 2014, cablecast Nov. 2, 2014 (55 min.). Researchers talked about assassination related documents that have been declassified in the past 50 years. In September of 1964, the President’s Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy released its findings to the public in the “Warren Report” -- named after the commission’s chairman -- Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren. This video shows the opening of “The Warren Report and the JFK Assassination: A Half Century of Significant Disclosures,” a conference marking the 50th anniversary of the release of the Warren Report. People in this video: "JFK Conversations" Host Alan Dale, AARC President James Lesar and author/attorney Andrew Kreig.

John M. NewmanIn Oswald, the CIA, and Mexico City, Sept. 26, 2014 (90 min.), Dr. John M. Newman (shown in a file photo) discussed declassified documents and code-names related to the CIA, Cuba and the assassination. A longtime professor, Newman is the author of JFK and Vietnam and Oswald and the CIA. His background includes two decades in Army Intelligence and duty tour as executive assistant to the National Security Agency's director. A column on his talk is linked below.

In other episodes from the conference in the C-SPAN series:

  • In The HSCA and the CIA (1:24 hours), former HSCA researchers Edwin Lopez and Dan Hardway described their time in the late 1970s working for the U.S. House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA). Introduction by Alan Dale. 
  • In Medical Aspects of the Kennedy Assassinations (33:42 min.), famed medical school professor and forensic pathologist Cyril H. Wecht, M.D., J.D., talked about the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy and Robert Kennedy. Dr. Wecht has criticized the Warren Commission Report on the assassination of President Kennedy, and the official findings in the 1968 assassination of Robert Kennedy.
  • In U.S.-Cuba Back-channel Communications After the Bay of Pigs, Dr. Peter Kornbluh (46:47 min.), Director of the National Security Archive's Cuba Documentation Project and an author, talked about President Kennedy’s attempts to open up private channels of communication with Cuba. Introduction by Brenda Brody. Sept. 27, 2014. Details.
  • Dr. Donald ThomasIn Acoustic Analysis of the Kennedy Assassination (39:31 min.), author Donald Thomas, Ph.D., shown in a file photo, discussed the acoustic evidence related to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and the timeline of events.
  • In CIA and the HSCA: How CIA Controlled the HSCA and the Writing of Its Final Report (43:36 min.), Dr. Joan Mellen, an author and professor based at Temple University, discussed CIA relations with the HSCA.
  • In Medical Experts and the Kennedy Assassination, (56:22 min.), Gary Aguilar, M.D., talked about medical evidence related to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Using medical reports and diagrams of JFK’s wounds provided to the commission in 1964, he argued that based on eyewitnesses, autopsy photos and x-rays of the wounds, this evidence used by the Warren Commission was flawed. "Junk Science and the Death of JFK: What We Now Know that We Didn't Know Then" was part of a conference marking the 50th anniversary of the release of the Warren Report hosted by the Assassination Archives and Research Center.

Justice Integrity Project Readers Guide To JFK Assassination

* Denotes major articles in this Readers Guide series

Dealey Plaza Panorama (Andrew Kreig Photo)At right is a photo by this editor in Dallas showing Dealey Plaza. The Texas Book Depository Building where Oswald worked is behind the row of trees. The car in the center lane is near the location of President Kennedy's limo at the time of his fatal shooting.

  1. Project Launches JFK Assassination Readers' Guide, Oct. 16, 2013.
  2. Project Provides JFK Readers Guide To New Books, Videos , Oct. 26, 2013. This is a list of new books and films in 2013.
  3. Project Lists JFK Assassination Reports, Archives, Videos, Events, Nov. 2, 2013. Leading video, events and archives from the last 50 years. *
  4. Disputes Erupt Over NY Times, New Yorker, Washington Post Reviews of JFK Murder, Nov. 7, 2013. *
  5. Self-Censorship In JFK TV Treatments Duplicates Corporate Print Media's Apathy, Cowardice, Nov. 7, 2013.
  6. 'Puppetry' Hardback Launched Nov. 19 at DC Author Forum on ‘White House Mysteries & Media,'  Nov. 19, 2013.
  7. Major Media Stick With Oswald 'Lone Gunman' JFK Theory, Nov. 27, 2013. Self-censorship.
  8. JFK Murder Scene Trapped Its Victim In Kill Zone, Nov. 30, 2013.
  9. JFK Murder, The CIA, and 8 Things Every American Should Know, Dec. 9, 2013. The CIA implicated itself in the cover-up, according to experts who have spoken out. *
  10. JFK Murder Prompts Expert Reader Reactions, Dec. 19, 2013. Reactions to our Dec. 9 column. 
  11. Have Spy Agencies Co-Opted Presidents and the Press? Dec. 23, 2013. *
  12. Don't Be Fooled By 'Conspiracy Theory' Smears, May 26, 2014. *
  13. Experts To Reveal Secrets of JFK Murder, Cover-up at Sept. 26-28 DC Forum , Sept. 5, 2014. 
  14. Washington Post Still Selling Warren Report 50 Years Later, Sept. 22, 2014. *
  15. JFK Experts To Explode Myths, Sign Books In DC Sept. 26-28, Sept. 24, 2014.
  16. Former Cuban Militant Leader Claims CIA Meeting With Oswald Before JFK Killing, Sept. 27, 2014. *
  17. JFK Readers Guide: Assassination Books, Reports, Oct. 15, 2014. *
  18. Former House JFK Murder Prober Alleges CIA ‘Lied,’ Seeks Hidden Records, Oct. 18, 2014. *
  19. The JFK Murder 'Cover-up' Still Matters -- As Does C-SPAN's Coverage, Nov. 11, 2014. *
  20. JFK, Nov. 22 and the Continuing Cover-Up, Nov. 24, 2014. *
  21. JFK Assassination Readers Guide To 2013-14 Events, Nov. 28, 2014. *
  22. CIA, Empowered by JFK Murder Cover-up, Blocks Senate Torture Report, Dec. 1, 2014. *
  23. Nearly Too Late, Public Learns of Bill Moyers’ Conflicts Over PBS, LBJ, Jan. 2, 2014.
  24. Why Bill O'Reilly's Lie About JFK's Murder Might Matter To You, March 17, 2015.
  25. Free Videos Show Shocking Claims About CIA, JFK Murder Probes, June 29, 2015.
  26. Pioneering Black Secret Service JFK Guard Abraham Bolden Warns Of Current Lessons, July 22, 2015.
  27. Understanding Hollywood-Style Presidential Propaganda From JFK To Trump, Aug. 18, 2015.

 

Related News Coverage

James Lesar

OpEdNews, CIA and the National Archives Thwart The JFK Act and Obstruct Democratic Accountability, Jim Lesar (shown in file photo), Sept. 16, 2014. All records related to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy ("JFK") are already supposed to be public. That's what Congress intended when it unanimously passed the President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992 ("JFK Act"). It hasn't happened. The National Archives and the CIA are still withholding thousands of pages of JFK Act records in their entirety, even though it has been more than a half century since the Warren Commission issued its Report on the murder of the President. NARA's actions violate the law and its intent, and severely erode the principle of democratic accountability, on which America's government is based. This violation directly raises the issue of who writes the law, who rules in the United States: the elected representatives of the people in Congress or the intelligence agencies? Over 1,100 CIA files dealing with the John F. Kennedy assassination remain classified in apparent defiance of the JFK Records Act, which requires them to be speedily reviewed and made public.

CSPAN3 American History TV, Kennedy Assassination Records (29:30 min.), first cablecast Aug. 5, 2014, with rebroadcasts including Nov. 16, 2014. Martha Wagner Murphy, head of the Special Access and Freedom of Information Act staff at the National Archives at College Park, Maryland, discussed the Archives process for JFK records release. 

OpEdNews, The JFK Case: The Twelve Who Built the Oswald Legend; (Part 11: The Paines Carry the Weight), Bill Simpich, Dec. 21, 2014. The premise of this series is that Oswald had twelve people who built his legend. Many people still believe the legend about Oswald being "a loner." As this series shows, Oswald was many things, but a loner was not one of them. His ability to provoke people and work both sides of Ruth Painethe political spectrum had the intelligence agencies viewing him as an asset. Let's turn to a liberal couple that moved to the Dallas suburb of Irving in 1959 -- during the same week that Oswald came to visit his mother in Irving before he left for the USSR. When Oswald came back to the area in 1962, the Paines were still there. It was like they had been waiting for him. Michael Paine was legend maker #12 for Lee Oswald, while his wife Ruth Paine (shown in a file photo) focused on taking care of Marina Oswald and the children. Like most of the legend makers, I think the Paines were manipulated as much as the Oswalds were. We have seen two CIA officers as legend makers -- Richard Snyder and Anne Goodpasture -- who I think had a pretty good idea of how they were being used to massage the Oswald legend. The Paines appear to be confused right up to 11/22/63. Although the Paines appear to be government assets rather than agents, I suspect that they knew about the government's need to keep an eye on Oswald. They probably thought that they were helping out the CIA, the State Department, or Bob Odum at the local FBI office. I do not believe that they played any role in planning the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

Boston Globe, Answers sought on CIA role in ‘78 JFK probe; Investigators say files could prove interference, Bryan Bender, Oct. 15, 2014. It was nearly four decades ago that Eddie Lopez was hired by a congressional committee to re-investigate the 1963 murder of President John F. Kennedy, a role that had him digging through top secret documents at the CIA. In the end, the House Select Committee on Assassinations reported in 1978 that it believed the assassination was probably the result of a conspiracy, although it couldn’t prove that, and its conclusions are disputed by many researchers. But now Lopez is seeking answers to a lingering question: Could still-classified records reveal, as he and some of his fellow investigators have long alleged, that the CIA interfered with the congressional investigation and placed the committee staff under surveillance? “It was time to fight one last time to ascertain what happened to JFK and to our investigation into his assassination,” Lopez, who is now the chief counsel for a school district in Rochester, N.Y., said in an interview. He is joined in the effort by two other former investigators, researcher Dan Hardway and G. Robert Blakey, the panel’s staff director.

AlterNet, Dear Mr. President, It's Time to Obey the Law: Release the JFK Secret Service Records and End Other Needless Secrecy, Thom Hartmann and Lamar Waldron, Sept. 25, 2014. It's time for the Secret Service, CIA, and FBI to obey the law by releasing their 50-year old files, and to pardon the first Secret Service whistleblower. Last week's problems with the Secret Service and White House security also warrant your attention. Lamar WaldronSecrecy is especially ironic since this week marks the 50th anniversary of the release of the Warren Report, the book-length finding issued by the Warren Commission, appointed by President Lyndon Johnson and chaired by Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren. The Secret Service was one of several government agencies--along with the CIA, the FBI, and the Office of Naval Intelligence--that were found by later government committees to have withheld crucial information from the Warren Commission. Congress passed the 1992 JFK Records Act unanimously, to release all of the files related to the JFK assassination, including records about the covert US operations against Cuba in the early 1960s that surfaced in so many of the official JFK investigations. While more than 4 million pages were released, even today the National Archives refuses to say how many pages of files remain secret. Is it 50,000 pages, a figure put forth by some experts? 90,000 pages, a figure extrapolated from CIA fillings in a Freedom of Information lawsuit? Or the figure reported by NBC News in 1998 of "millions" of pages, which was confirmed by a report from OMB Watch, which quoted someone who worked with the National Archives as saying "well over a million CIA records"--not pages, but "records"-- remained unreleased.

David Belin and Howard Willens, Warren staffers, at TSBD in 1964Warren Commission staff attorneys David Belin, left, and Howard Willens are shown at the Texas State Book Depository during the commission's 1964 research.

JFK Facts, Q&A with Howard Willens, Warren Commission defender, Jefferson Morley, Sept. 7, 2014. Howard Willens, former staff attorney on the Warren Commission, remains one of its most vigorous public defenders 50 years later. As I reported yesterday, he agreed to answer questions from JFK Facts via email. Because all of the questions were submitted at once, there were no follow up questions. In any case, my intent was not to conduct a hostile interrogation but to elicit his thoughts and hopefully start a dialogue.

 

Justice Integrity Project Readers Guide To JFK Assassination

* Denotes major articles in this Readers Guide series

At right is a photo by this editor in Dallas showing Dealey Plaza. The Texas Book Depository Building where Oswald worked is behind the row of trees. The car in the center lane is near at the location of Kennedy's limo at the time of his fatal shooting.Dealey Plaza Panorama (Andrew Kreig Photo)

  1. Project Launches JFK Assassination Readers' Guide, Oct. 16, 2013.
  2. Project Provides JFK Readers Guide To New Books, Videos, Oct. 26, 2013. This is a list of new books and films in 2013.
  3. Project Lists JFK Assassination Reports, Archives, Videos, Events, Nov. 2, 2013. Leading video, events and archives from the last 50 years. *
  4. Disputes Erupt Over NY Times, New Yorker, Washington Post Reviews of JFK Murder, Nov. 7, 2013. *
  5. Self-Censorship In JFK TV Treatments Duplicates Corporate Print Media's Apathy, Cowardice, Nov. 7, 2013.
  6. 'Puppetry' Hardback Launched Nov. 19 at DC Author Forum on ‘White House Mysteries & Media,'  Nov. 19, 2013.
  7. Major Media Stick With Oswald 'Lone Gunman' JFK Theory, Nov. 27, 2013. Self-censorship.
  8. JFK Murder Scene Trapped Its Victim In Kill Zone, Nov. 30, 2013.
  9. JFK Murder, The CIA, and 8 Things Every American Should Know, Dec. 9, 2013. The CIA implicated itself in the cover-up, according to experts who have spoken out. *
  10. JFK Murder Prompts Expert Reader Reactions, Dec. 19, 2013. Reactions to our Dec. 9 column. *
  11. Have Spy Agencies Co-Opted Presidents and the Press? Dec. 23, 2013. *
  12. Don't Be Fooled By 'Conspiracy Theory' Smears, May 26, 2014. *
  13. Experts To Reveal Secrets of JFK Murder, Cover-up at Sept. 26-28 DC Forum, Sept. 5, 2014. 
  14. Washington Post Still Selling Warren Report 50 Years Later, Sept. 22, 2014. *
  15. JFK Experts To Explode Myths, Sign Books In DC Sept. 26-28, Sept. 24, 2014.
  16. Former Cuban Militant Leader Claims CIA Meeting With Oswald Before JFK Killing, Sept. 27, 2014. *
  17. JFK Readers Guide: Assassination Books, Reports, Oct. 15, 2014. *
  18. Former House JFK Murder Prober Alleges CIA ‘Lied,’ Seeks Hidden Records, Oct. 18, 2014. *
  19. Why the JFK Murder 'Cover-up' Still Matters -- As Does C-SPAN's Coverage, Nov. 11, 2014. *