CIA Impact on JFK Coverage

Kay Granger, 72, a Methodist former mayor of Fort Worth who represents a mostly white, suburban district adjoining Dallas. h Beware Of Wrong Conclusions From New CIA Disclosure On Oswald

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Virtually no one from the corporate media, aside from a brief report in the Boston Globe, reported on Veciana's first-hand and otherwise powerful, history-making statement. Veciana spoke in Spanish interpreted by a son to an audience convened by the AARC for its three-day conference on the 50th anniversary of the Warren Commission's report. The seven-member commission concluded that Oswald killed Kennedy and acted alone with no accomplices. The commissioners reached this conclusion even though a long-secret transcript has revealed that commissioners heard reports in a secret session as early as January 1964 that the media might break the story that Oswald had been an undercover federal operative while undertaking some of his supposedly pro-leftist activities in New Orleans and elsewhere.   

Lee Harvey Oswald Time Magazine Cover Oct. 2, 1964In 1964, all federal officials and major news organizations immediately agreed with the Warren Commission on the theme that Oswald acted alone to kill JFK and wound Texas Gov. John Connally with three shots from the rear. The corporate media have essentially maintained that theme ever since then albeit while occasionally mentioning in passing wild and confusing theories that deter the public from focusing on solid research. This is despite more than two thousand books on the topic and disclosures in more than three million pages of declassified documents. 

That evidence is summarized in the Justice Integrity Project's "JFK Assassination Readers Guide," which now has 29 parts that are hot-linked at the bottom of today's column.

Media Messaging

One topic worth excerpting here relates to the close overlap during that period between leading media and intelligence organizations.

The secret CIA Operation Mockingbird program, now revealed by declassified documents, enabled the CIA to obtain favorable coverage for its most important themes in virtually all the leading newspapers, magazines and broadcasting outlets. On a parallel track, the Pentagon's secret Operation Northwoods plan, which Kennedy rejected in 1962, would have authorized the U.S. military to undertake "false flag" hijackings and riots killing Americans under the guise of Communism and thus providing an excuse for the United States to invade Cuba.

A player especially relevant for assassination and Oswald coverage was retired General Charles Douglas "CD" Jackson, the publisher in the early 1960s of the nation's two most important magazines, the photo-oriented Life and the leading newsweekly, Time.

Only a few years previously, Jackson had been regarded as the nation's leading psychological warfare expert as he served President Dwight D. Eisenhower as White House liaison between the then-new CIA and the U.S. Department of Defense. Earlier, Jackson had rotated since 1930 between high-level positions at Henry Luce's Time-Life-Fortune magazine empire and sensitive positions in the military and intelligence, such as the CIA's forerunner, the Office of Strategic Services (OSS).


This background in propaganda was doubtless relevant to Jackson's initiative in acquiring exclusive rights to the assassination film shot by Abraham Zapruder in Dallas and the memoirs of Oswald's widow Marina, and then suppressing them from view for the most part. Additionally, the news coverage by high-circulation magazines Time and Life helped shape a national consensus, at least initially, that Oswald's guilt was unquestionable despite  many irregularities — including the a vast number of deaths of witnesses and destruction of key evidence, including the FBI tape recordings of "Oswald" in Mexico City and notes of Kennedy's autopsy.

Lee Harvey Oswald Life Magazine Cover Feb. 24, 1964We can cover just a small sample of such matters in today's column. But the Time cover portrait of Oswald in a 1964 issue at right is one place to start. He clearly looks little like heavier man photographed at the embassy.

Even more striking is the Life cover from the previous February. Photo experts at the magazine, if they had been independent journalists, surely would have suspected something amiss regarding the photos purporting to show Oswald with pro-Communist newspapers and the suspected murder rifle.

Independent experts have since identified many visual problems with the photo on Life's cover, most obviously a head too large for the body and "Oswald's" posture, which looks so unnatural that in real life he would surely toppled over or at least been uncomfortable. Try standing that way.

Historians and forensic experts have found other problems also, including serious suspicions over whether Oswald owned or fired the gun, a Mannlicher-Carcano regarded as slow and inaccurate. Upon his arrests, tests showed that Oswald had not fired a rifle that day. In the heavy news coverage Oswald immediately received upon arrest, nowhere was it mentioned that as a Marine he had held a high-level security clearance in Japan when he was a radar technician on the super-secret U-2 spy program for flights over China and the Soviet Union, or that he had unsuccessfully tried to call from his Dallas jail the North Carolina locale of the military's so-called "false defector" secret program to plant spies in the Soviet Union.

In being paraded before the press at the jail, Oswald begged for legal help and said he was just "a patsy." Authorities also stated they kept no notes of their 12 hours of interrogations before longtime mob figure Jack Ruby murdered Oswald Nov. 24 at a Dallas police station.

Jackson died in September 1964. But there is scant reason to think subsequent editors did not follow his lead to the present, just as they have for the most part other U.S. media. In 2013, Time-Life's extensive coverage of the 50th anniversary of Kennedy's death saluted its own original coverage, as we have shown in our Readers Guide series.

The powerful and still-ongoing struggle between the intelligence-defense sector (along with their allies in the mainstream media) and relatively feeble and poorly funded independent research community was exemplified by a smear campaign in the late 1960s against New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison, the nation's only known prosecutor bringing criminal charges against anyone aside form Oswald. 

Garrison's eloquent 27-minute denunciation of the government-assisted media campaign against his investigation is well worth watching both for his summary of evidence against the Warren Commission's accusations against Oswald and for his more timeless argument that a search for truth must remain paramount in a free society -- even if what he repeatedly called elite "press media" line up with government in a unified propaganda campaign, as in the Kennedy case.

On July 15, 1967, NBC allowed Garrison to respond via local studios at WDSU-TV under the then-operative Fairness Act to an NBC program that was highly critical of Garrison's pursuit of alleged Kennedy assassination conspirators in New Orleans.

Garrison later lost the case when his main witness, David Ferrie was among those who died before trial of murder conspiracy defendant Clay Shaw. Shaw, a prominent New Orleans businessman, denied (some say falsely) evidence that he had been a CIA asset for many years. Garrison also made some mistakes in his investigation. Yet his analysis has held up remarkably well through the years and certainly more so than the accounts provided by the federal government and the mainstream media, which doubtless do not want to expose to the public their subservience to official doctrine for so many years on such an important case. 

Fast forward to recent times. The remainder of this column addresses more current commentary after declassified government materials and expert independent analysis brings us closer to the truth about both the Kennedy assassination and similar tales.

We begin with a 2002 commentary by historian Rex Bradford regarding the story of Oswald in Mexico. Bradford directs the Massachusetts-based Mary Ferrell Foundation, named for a Dallas secretary of modest means who suspected something amiss with the official story about the assassination and so with her husband began collecting newspapers and documents. This has grown into the world's largest collection of relevant documents aside from those at government-controlled presidential libraries.

"It is difficult to overstate the importance of what is usually called the 'Oswald in Mexico City' affair," Bradford wrote in a 2002 history published online. "Certainly the topic was an important one to the CIA — probably a third of the roughly 45,000 pages in the Russ Holmes Work File collection of CIA documents are devoted to it." He continued:

The Mexico City story is important because it shows that there was a sophisticated operation which served to 'set up' Oswald prior to the assassination, something beyond the wherewithal of Mob figures or anti-Castro Cubans acting alone. It is also important because it finally provides an explanation for why men like Earl Warren, who certainly weren't part of any conspiracy and normally wouldn't engage in such a stark cover-up, were put in the position where they did so. Mexico City is indeed the Rosetta Stone of the JFK assassination."

National Security Archive, President's Daily Briefs from Kennedy and Johnson Finally Released (Eight Years After Archive, Professor Larry Berman Lawsuit), Blanton and Lauren Harper, Sept. 16, 2016. Today the CIA and the LBJ Library are releasing online a collection of 2,500 declassified President's Daily Briefs (PDBs) from the Kennedy and Johnson administrations. The PDBs are Top Secret documents containing the most current and significant intelligence information that the CIA believes that the President needs to know, and are records that CIA Director George Tenet once claimed could never be released for publication "no matter how old or historically significant it may be," and that White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer described as "the most highly sensitized classified document in the government."

The release of this collection of PDBs comes eight years after the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the National Security Archive and Professor Larry Berman, then a professor of political science at University of California Davis, now based at George State University, in his efforts to obtain the disclosure of two Presidential Daily Briefs written for President Lyndon B. Johnson in the 1960s. Professor Berman and the Archive were represented by Thomas R. Burke and Duffy Carolan of the law firm Davis Wright Tremaine LLP in San Francisco, CA. In its ruling, the Court noted -- without viewing the documents -- that their disclosure could "reveal protected intelligence sources and methods." The Court rejected, however, the CIA's "attempt to create a per se status exemption for PDBs."

Today the National Security Archive is proud to post a compilation of our ongoing work to shed light on these important documents. The collection is comprised of dozens of records and the Ninth Circuit Court ruling, which paved the way for today's disclosure.

JIP Editor's Note: Release of the CIA documents inevitably sparks controversial commentary, some of it generated by reporters on deadline and advocacy commentators. One such topic already focuses upon a Lee Harvey Oswald Head and ShouldersCIA PDB that asserts, “Press stories to the effect that Lee Harvey Oswald recently visited Mexico City are true, according to our information. Oswald (shown in a file photo) visited both the Cuban and the Soviet embassies on 28 September. He was trying, we are told, to arrange for visas so that he could travel to the USSR via Havana. He returned to the US on 3 October.” This and other newly released PDB materials may be accessed at the Mary Ferrell Foundation site, as well as via the National Security Archive, which is based at George Washington University.

As indicated below, the Washington Times has headlined the CIA's 1963 assertion in the PDB that Oswald was in Mexico City seeking access to Cuba. The conventional wisdom of the era generated by official bodies was that Oswald was a malcontent sympathetic to Communists. We excerpt the Times story but also link to more nuanced if not contrary research by former Washington Post reporter Jeff Morley, whose major career focus has been the JFK assassination, culminating in a book on the CIA’s station chief Winfield Scott n Mexico City during the JFK assassination. Morley quotes scholar John Newman as opining that Oswald never went to Mexico. Newman’s background includes 20 years as an Army intelligence officer, rising to become the top assistant to NSA's director. Newman has written three books about Oswald, JFK, and the CIA, and has taught history at the university level for more than 20 years.

Washington Times, CIA confirmed Oswald contacted Cubans, Soviets before assassination, memo shows, Kellan Howell, Sept. 16, 2016. Three days after John F. Kennedy was shot and killed in Dallas, U.S. intelligence officials told President Lyndon B. Johnson that they had confirmed that assassin Lee Harvey Oswald had recently traveled to Mexico City to visit both the Cuban and Soviet embassies, according to a half-century old briefing memo declassified on Wednesday. Oswald’s travel plans were revealed in an unprecedented declassification and release by the CIA of thousands of presidential daily briefings from the 1960s. Though the memos are decades old, about a fifth of their content was still redacted to protect sources and methods. According to the Nov. 25, 1963 briefing, Oswald — a former U.S. Marine who defected to the Soviet Union in 1959 — visited both the Cuban and Soviet embassies on Sept. 28, 1963.

JFK Facts.org, Did the CIA track Oswald before JFK was killed? Jefferson Morley, Feb. 4, 2014. Yes, closely and constantly. This is one of the biggest JFK revelations of the past 20 years, and one that we need talk up in social and news media on the 50th anniversary of JFK’s assassination. While the CIA assured Congress in the 1970s that its interest in Lee Harvey Oswald before JFK was killed was “routine,” the newest documents tell a very different story: Oswald was monitored closely and constantly by an super-secret office within the CIA’s Counterintelligence Staff from 1959 to 1963, known as the Special Investigations Group. The documents show that the CIA officers most knowledgeable about Oswald reported to two of the most powerful men in the agency: deputy director Richard Helms and counterintelligence chief James Angleton, both of whom thought JFK’s policy toward Cuba was weak and misguided.

The story was first documented in John Newman’s 1995 book Oswald and the CIA. Newman is a former intelligence officer turned academic historian. Newman, who taught at the University of Maryland, traced how the CIA intercepted Oswald’s correspondence when he was living in the Soviet Union 1959 to 1962. He showed how the CIA’s own records document growing interest in Oswald in the course of 1963, culminating in October 1963 when a group of senior CIA officials collaborated on a four-page cable assessing Oswald as a security risk. These officials assured colleagues in the CIA and the FBI that Oswald was “maturing” and thus becoming less of a threat. This happened just six weeks before JFK was killed. The many anomalies in the story convinced Newman and other JFK authors that Oswald had been impersonated while in Mexico City. In custody, Oswald denied going to Mexico City and some researchers believe that he never went at all.

Politico, 13 newly released CIA presidential briefs from the 1960s you'll want to read, Josh Gerstein, Sept. 16, 2015.The briefings detail the evolution of the war in Vietnam and responses to such events as the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Six-Day War in the Middle East. After decades of stiff resistance, the CIA on Wednesday released about 2,500 President’s Daily Briefs and similar reports delivered to Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson during a nearly eight-year span in the 1960s. The briefings detail the evolution of the war in Vietnam and responses to such events as the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Six-Day War in the Middle East. The mass release Wednesday came despite past vows from the CIA to fiercely defend the secrecy of PDBs. Then-CIA Director George Tenet declared in 2000 that no PDB should be released “no matter how old or historically significant it may be."

WND, Soviet-bloc defector sheds light on new JFK document, CIA releases presidential briefing on Oswald's visit to embassy, Jerome R. Corsi, Sept. 20, 2015. The CIA’s release Wednesday of a Presidential Daily Briefing given to President Lyndon B. Johnson four days after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy has renewed controversy over a trip Lee Harvey Oswald made to Mexico two months before the assassination. The key paragraph confirmed press stories reporting Oswald visited both the Cuban and Soviet embassies in Mexico City on Sept. 8, 1963, in an attempt to arrange a visa to travel to the Soviet Union by way of Havana, Cuba. The CIA has insisted since the assassination that Oswald visited the Soviet embassy in Mexico City in September 1963, but the agency has never been able to produce photographic evidence, even though the building was under photo surveillance at the time.

Feb. 24, 1964

JAMES FETZER

jfetzer@d.umn.edu


This information is apparently what prompted Lyndon Johnson to tell Senator Richard Russell:

…..we've got to be taking this out of the arena where they're testifying that Khrushchev and Castro did this and did that, and kicking us into a war that can kill 40 million Americans in an hour [Phone call between Lyndon Johnson and Richard Russell, 11-29-63, 8:55 PM]

Johnson, of course, had learned almost immediately that it wasn't really Oswald on the phone, and so this Department Thirteen connection was a phony one. But he presumably didn't tell that to Chief Justice Earl Warren when he arm-wrestled Warren onto his President's Commission, with "what Hoover told me about a little incident in Mexico City" [from 11-29-63 LBJ-Russell call].

Next Part: II. The Third Tape


More Mexico Mysteries

Rex Bradford
May 2002


Overview
I. Introduction - Mexico City: The Rosetta Stone
II. The Third Tape
III. Telephone Taps and Human Informants
IV. The Enigma of Pedro Gutierrez Valencia
V. Publishing the Mystery Man Photograph
VI. Conclusion
I. Introduction - Mexico City: The Rosetta Stone

It is difficult to overstate the importance of what is usually called the "Oswald in Mexico City" affair. Certainly the topic was an important one to the CIA — probably a third of the roughly 45,000 pages in the Russ Holmes Work File collection of CIA documents are devoted to it. The Mexico City story is important because it shows that there was a sophisticated operation which served to "set up" Oswald prior to the assassination, something beyond the wherewithal of Mob figures or anti-Castro Cubans acting alone. It is also important because it finally provides an explanation for why men like Earl Warren, who certainly weren't part of any conspiracy and normally wouldn't engage in such a stark cover-up, were put in the position where they did so. Mexico City is indeed the Rosetta Stone of the JFK assassination.

The most easily understood aspect of the Mexico City affair remains the tapes of an Oswald, who apparently was not Oswald, calling the Soviet Embassy in late September and early October of 1963. John Newman spoke in some detail about these at the 1999 November in Dallas conference, and discussed some of the evidence which shows that the FBI did indeed listen to these tapes in the early morning of November 23, 1963. They determined that it wasn't Oswald's voice on the tapes, an inconvenient

http://www.history-matters.com/essays/frameup/moremexicomysteries/MoreMexicoMysteries_1.htm


The last Mexico City story in this essay concerns the photographs taken of an unidentified person who has often been called the "Mystery Man." New releases contain some items of interest. The man's identity remains unestablished, though CIA files contain a fair amount of conjecture that he is Yuriy Moskalev, a Soviet scientist whose photograph shows a passing resemblance to the unidentified Mexico City man. [Documents theorizing that Moskalev is the mystery man include RIF

http://www.history-matters.com/essays/frameup/moremexicomysteries/MoreMexicoMysteries_5.htm


http://www.history-matters.com/archive/jfk/wc/wcvols/wh16/html/WH_Vol16_0331b.htm


http://www.history-matters.com/archive/jfk/cia/russholmes/104-10400/104-10400-10302/html/104-10400-10302_0002a.htm


Mexico City remains an enigma wrapped in a mystery inside a riddle, or however it goes. The 1976 Tarasoff interview is one of the keys to a deeper mystery not revealed for the most part in "the record," which increasingly smacks of coverup. But a coverup of what? Not a Cuban or Soviet conspiracy, in my view, but rather of a false Communist conspiracy, one which had more seemingly legitimate evidence supporting it than there now appears to be. And one which was somehow wrapped in a "legitimate" CIA operation, perhaps a staged provocation involving Oswald or "Oswald" at the Cuban Embassy, that was hijacked into an assassination plot. In such a scenario, the CIA's ability to untangle itself from the Kennedy assassination per se may have been an impossible task, necessitating an Agency coverup. Problematic for the CIA also is that some Agency insiders may very well have been in on the assassination plot.

http://www.history-matters.com/essays/frameup/moremexicomysteri

WMR, Is the Pope a conspiracy believer?  Wayne Madsen, Sept. 25, 2015 (Subscription required for full column). In his September 24 address to a joint session of the U.S. Congress, Pope Francis I named four "great Americans" who he believes had a significant impact upon the world: Abraham Lincoln; Martin Luther King, Jr.; social activist Dorothy Day; and Thomas Merton. Most people have heard of the first three. But who was Thomas Merton? Merton was a Trappist monk who advocated interfaith dialogue. However, it is Merton's coining of the phrase "The Unspeakable" that should have perked up the ears of those who do not believe the official theories about the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy, Reverend King -- who the Pope cited as one of his four greatest Americans -- and Robert F. Kennedy.

Merton believed that included among "the Unspeakable" crimes of the 1960s were the interwoven murders of the two Kennedys and King. In other words, Merton was a conspiracy realist at about the same time the Central Intelligence Agency came up with the pejorative term "conspiracy theorist" to describe those, including Merton, who questioned the official stories on political assassinations and the reasoning behind America's entry into the Vietnam War.

Father Thomas Merton: coiner of the term "The Unspeakable" to describe the deep state's crimes against popular leaders.

Merton wrote in his book that The Unspeakable "is the void that contradicts everything that is spoken even before the words are said, the void that gets into the language of public and official declarations at the very moment when they are pronounced, and makes them ring dead with the hollowness of the abyss."

Author Jim Douglass picked up on Merton's theme in his detailed work on the assassination of John F. Kennedy, titled JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters.

Pope Francis has taken on many powerful and secretive enemies since becoming pontiff. He has elected to live in a guest apartment in the Vatican and not the official papal quarters, the scene of many intrigues of the past, including the questionable 1978 death, some would call it an assassination, of Pope John Paul I on the 33rd day of his papacy. Was Francis sending us all a message in his praise of Merton? The Washington Post, in its coverage of Francis's speech and his reference to Merton, made no mention of Merton's strongly-held belief in wider conspiracies surrounding the assassinations of JFK, RFK, and MLK. This should come as no surprise since historically, the Post has been a major element in the cover-ups of the three state-sanctioned and -sponsored murders.

At the height of the Vietnam War, in 1968, Merton attended an interfaith meeting between leading Catholics and Buddhists near Bangkok. Merton had become quite an expert on Jainism, Sufism, Hinduism, and Taoism and, especially, the Buddhist religion. Merton established close contacts with the Dalai Lama and other leading Tibetan Buddhists.

On December 10, 1968, Merton is said to have been electrocuted by a faulty fan while stepping out of the shower of his guest house at the conference venue some 30 miles south of Bangkok. Merton's death at the age of 53 is clouded in mystery, with some accounts saying he was electrocuted and others claiming he died of a heart attack. When Merton's body was discovered, there were severe electrical burns across the torso. Witnesses reported voice coming from Merton's room shortly before his death. The Thai coroner's report stated the following about Merton's death: "death was caused as a result of fainting - due to acute cardiac failure."
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WND, Soviet-bloc defector sheds light on new JFK document, CIA releases presidential briefing on Oswald's visit to embassy, Jerome R. Corsi, Sept. 20, 2015. The CIA’s release Wednesday of a Presidential Daily Briefing given to President Lyndon B. Johnson four days after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy has renewed controversy over a trip Lee Harvey Oswald made to Mexico two months before the assassination. The key paragraph confirmed press stories reporting Oswald visited both the Cuban and Soviet embassies in Mexico City on Sept. 8, 1963, in an attempt to arrange a visa to travel to the Soviet Union by way of Havana, Cuba. The CIA has insisted since the assassination that Oswald visited the Soviet embassy in Mexico City in September 1963, but the agency has never been able to produce photographic evidence, even though the building was under photo surveillance at the time.

WND, Soviet-bloc defector sheds light on new JFK document, CIA releases presidential briefing on Oswald's visit to embassy, Jerome R. Corsi, Sept. 20, 2015. The CIA’s release Wednesday of a Presidential Daily Briefing given to President Lyndon B. Johnson four days after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy has renewed controversy over a trip Lee Harvey Oswald made to Mexico two months before the assassination. The key paragraph confirmed press stories reporting Oswald visited both the Cuban and Soviet embassies in Mexico City on Sept. 8, 1963, in an attempt to arrange a visa to travel to the Soviet Union by way of Havana, Cuba. The CIA has insisted since the assassination that Oswald visited the Soviet embassy in Mexico City in September 1963, but the agency has never been able to produce photographic evidence, even though the building was under photo surveillance at the time. 

Ion Mihai Pacepa, the highest-ranking defector from the former Eastern Bloc, told WND he believes the CIA briefing-book release provides further evidence the Soviet Union was responsible for killing Kennedy.

Pacepa, who was granted asylum in the United States by President Jimmy Carter in 1978, told WND in an email that the new CIA release confirms his theory that Oswald was a KGB-trained assassin who returned to the United States with the mission of killing JFK.

“The CIA has been periodically releasing documents on the JFK assassination over the years, but this particular information was already in the Warren report,” Pacepa explained.

He said his analysis remains the same and has been supported by other more recent reports, as he wrote in his newest book, “Disinformation,” published by WND Books.

In his 2007 book “Programmed to Kill: Lee Harvey Oswald, the Soviet KGB, and the Kennedy Assassination,” Pacepa argued that Moscow tried to deprogram Oswald from killing JFK but failed. Oswald proceeded with the original plan, convinced he was fulfilling his “historic task.”

WND, Soviet-bloc defector sheds light on new JFK document, CIA releases presidential briefing on Oswald's visit to embassy, Jerome R. Corsi, Sept. 20, 2015.
http://www.wnd.com/2015/09/soviet-bloc-defector-sheds-light-on-new-jfk-document/

The CIA’s release Wednesday of a Presidential Daily Briefing given to President Lyndon B. Johnson four days after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy has renewed controversy over a trip Lee Harvey Oswald made to Mexico two months before the assassination.

The key paragraph confirmed press stories reporting Oswald visited both the Cuban and Soviet embassies in Mexico City on Sept. 8, 1963, in an attempt to arrange a visa to travel to the Soviet Union by way of Havana, Cuba.

The CIA has insisted since the assassination that Oswald visited the Soviet embassy in Mexico City in September 1963, but the agency has never been able to produce photographic evidence, even though the building was under photo surveillance at the time.

image: http://www.wnd.com/files/2015/09/warren-commission-photo-oswald.jpg

Warren Commission Exhibit 237, Vol. XVI, page 638, CIA surveillance photo of “Lee Harvey Oswald” outside Soviet embassy in Mexico City, September 1963

Warren Commission exhibit
CIA surveillance photo of “Lee Harvey Oswald” outside Soviet embassy in Mexico City.

Jerome Corsi’s “Who Really Killed Kennedy?” presents stunning new revelations 50 years later.

The controversial photograph the Warren Commission published in Vol. XVI, labeled Commission Exhibit 237, identified a man the CIA photographed outside the embassy as Oswald, even though he bears no resemblance to the presumed assassin.

Soviet Russia responsible?

Ion Mihai Pacepa, the highest-ranking defector from the former Eastern Bloc, told WND he believes the CIA briefing-book release provides further evidence the Soviet Union was responsible for killing Kennedy.

Pacepa, who was granted asylum in the United States by President Jimmy Carter in 1978, told WND in an email that the new CIA release confirms his theory that Oswald was a KGB-trained assassin who returned to the United States with the mission of killing JFK.

“The CIA has been periodically releasing documents on the JFK assassination over the years, but this particular information was already in the Warren report,” Pacepa explained.

He said his analysis remains the same and has been supported by other more recent reports, as he wrote in his newest book, “Disinformation,” published by WND Books.

In his 2007 book “Programmed to Kill: Lee Harvey Oswald, the Soviet KGB, and the Kennedy Assassination,” Pacepa argued that Moscow tried to deprogram Oswald from killing JFK but failed. Oswald proceeded with the original plan, convinced he was fulfilling his “historic task.”

Pacepa believes Oswald traveled to Mexico to meet with the KGB in an effort to convince the Russians he was able to carry out the mission without adverse consequences to the Soviet Union.

Pacepa further points out that on an earlier trip to Mexico, in April 1963, Oswald met in the Russian embassy with Valery Kostikov, an officer of the KGB’s Thirteenth Department, responsible for foreign assassinations.

In his 2013 book “Disinformation,” on page 241-242, Pacepa argued that information that has become available since the publication of “Programmed to Kill” provided “irrefutable evidence” that after the JFK assassination, the KGB launched a disinformation offensive aimed at diverting public attention from Moscow as responsible for killing JFK. The goal, he said, was to frame the CIA as the behind-the-scenes perpetrator of President Kennedy’s assassination.

Pacepa points to the files smuggled out of the Soviet Union by Col. Vasili Mitrokhin, a KGB archivist, as discussed in the 1999 book “Mitrokhin Archive.” The highly classified KGB documents, Pacepa says, show “the so-called JFK assassination conspiracy” was “born in the KGB, and that some of it was financed by the KGB.”

JFK Facts.org, Evidence of CIA cover-up?

Jefferson Morley, a former Washington Post reporter and the author of the JFKFacts.org website, disagrees.

image: http://www.wnd.com/files/2012/03/oswald2.gif
Lee Harvey Oswald in custody after the assassination of President Kennedy.

Lee Harvey Oswald in custody after the assassination of President Kennedy.

Oswald’s September 1963 trip to Mexico is the subject of Morley’s 2008 book “Our Man in Mexico: Winston Scott and the Hidden History of the CIA.”

In an analysis titled “CIA disclosures bare the origins of the JFK cover-up,” published on JFKFacts.org, Morley argues that the paragraph on Oswald included in the CIA daily briefing was designed to mislead LBJ about what the CIA knew about Oswald.

It suggested the CIA had only learned about Oswald’s contacts with the Cubans and Soviets in the days and hours after JFK’s death.

“CIA records declassified in the 1990s show that a host of senior CIA operations officers had already learned — and conferred among themselves — about Oswald’s foreign contacts six weeks earlier, in early October 1963, when JFK was very much alive,” Morley wrote.

“What the CIA’s disclosure show, inadvertently I’m sure, is damning,” he continued. “The CIA didn’t tell LBJ that certain senior officers had known about Oswald’s actions in Mexico City almost as soon they occurred.”

Morley said that if that fact “had been shared with a shocked and grieving nation in late 1963, some senior CIA officers could have – and probably should have – lost their jobs.”

“That didn’t happen. The men and women of the CIA who knew about Oswald’s contacts with communist officials in Mexico City while JFK was alive ranked high in Langley,” he said.

Morley believes a CIA cover-up continues, with the agency still withholding as classified 1,100 documents relating to the JFK assassination that are not scheduled for public release until October 2017 at the earliest, according to the national archives.

What the new disclosure shows, Morley insists, is that within days of JFK’s assassination, senior CIA officials were concealing their knowledge of the accused assassin from their colleagues, the American people and the new president.

“In other words, the newest evidence shows that the JFK assassination cover-up originated in the CIA’s Directorate of Operations and Counterintelligence Staff,” Morley concluded in the analysis posted on his website.

WND asked Morley if CIA efforts to keep documents classified indicate to him that the CIA was complicit in the JFK assassination.

“I think it would be willfully naive to dismiss the possibility,” Morley responded to WND in an email.

“It is probably more likely that the CIA is merely hiding embarrassment or non-conspiratorial misconduct,” Morley said. “But given the amount of secrecy that still shrouds the files of certain undercover officers 50 years after the fact, reasonable people are going to draw negative conclusions.”

Morley said the CIA’s “record of misconduct during every JFK investigation and its continued flouting of the JFK Records Act encourages popular suspicions more than any conspiracy theorist.”

Warren Commission reported Oswald trip to Mexico

The news story in the CIA release Wednesday was that the CIA had informed President Johnson only four days after the assassination that Oswald had visited the Soviet and Cuban embassies in Mexico City seeking a visa to travel to Russia via Havana.

image: http://www.wnd.com/files/2015/09/warren-report.jpg
warren-report The Warren Commission final report on pages 299-311 provided a detailed discussion of Oswald’s trip to Mexico, even publishing photocopies of Oswald’s application to the Cuban embassy along with the reply of the Cuban government.

“The investigation of the Commission has thus produced no evidence that Oswald’s trip to Mexico was in any way connected with the assassination of President Kennedy, nor has it uncovered evidence that the Cuban Government had any involvement in the assassination,” the Warren Commission concluded on pages 308-309.

The House Select Committee on Assassinations commissioned an investigation that produced a report in 1978 titled “Oswald, the CIA, and Mexico City,” which became known as “The Lopez-Hardway Report,” after its authors Dan Hardway and Edwin Lopez-Soto.

In an introduction to the report published by the Mary Ferrell Foundation in 2006, Rex Bradford of the foundation noted the report “brims with puzzling anomalies, unanswered questions, and above all deep suspicion the Central Intelligence Agency actively worked to block its probe.”

 
 
 
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Justice Integrity Project, CIA Declassifies 2,500 Presidential Briefings From 1960s, Andrew Kreig, Sept. 26, 2015. The CIA this month released an unprecedented trove of 1960s top secret presidential briefings after years of litigation by the National Security Archive at George Washington University. Both the Archive and the CIA announced the disclosure with fanfare.

National Security Archive, President's Daily Briefs from Kennedy and Johnson Finally Released (Eight Years After Archive, Professor Larry Berman Lawsuit), Blanton and Lauren Harper, Sept. 16, 2016. Today the CIA LogoCIA and the LBJ Library are releasing online a collection of 2,500 declassified President's Daily Briefs (PDBs) from the Kennedy and Johnson administrations. The PDBs are Top Secret documents containing the most current and significant intelligence information that the CIA believes that the President needs to know, and are records that CIA Director George Tenet once claimed could never be released for publication "no matter how old or historically significant it may be," and that White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer described as "the most highly sensitized classified document in the government."

The release of this collection of PDBs comes eight years after the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the National Security Archive and Professor Larry Berman, then a professor of political science at University of California Davis, now based at George State University, in his efforts to obtain the disclosure of two Presidential Daily Briefs written for President Lyndon B. Johnson in the 1960s. Professor Berman and the Archive were represented by Thomas R. Burke and Duffy Carolan of the law firm Davis Wright Tremaine LLP in San Francisco, CA. In its ruling, the Court noted -- without viewing the documents -- that their disclosure could "reveal protected intelligence sources and methods." The Court rejected, however, the CIA's "attempt to create a per se status exemption for PDBs."

Today the National Security Archive is proud to post a compilation of our ongoing work to shed light on these important documents. The collection is comprised of dozens of records and the Ninth Circuit Court ruling, which paved the way for today's disclosure.

JIP Editor's Note: Release of the CIA documents inevitably sparks controversial commentary, some of it generated by reporters on deadline and advocacy commentators. One such topic already focuses upon a Lee Harvey Oswald Head and ShouldersCIA PDB that asserts, “Press stories to the effect that Lee Harvey Oswald recently visited Mexico City are true, according to our information. Oswald (shown in a file photo) visited both the Cuban and the Soviet embassies on 28 September. He was trying, we are told, to arrange for visas so that he could travel to the USSR via Havana. He returned to the US on 3 October.” This and other newly released PDB materials may be accessed at the Mary Ferrell Foundation site, as well as via the National Security Archive, which is based at George Washington University.

As indicated below, the Washington Times has headlined the CIA's 1963 assertion in the PDB that Oswald was in Mexico City seeking access to Cuba. The conventional wisdom of the era generated by official bodies was that Oswald was a malcontent sympathetic to Communists. We excerpt the Times story but also link to more nuanced if not contrary research by former Washington Post reporter Jeff Morley, whose major career focus has been the JFK assassination, culminating in a book on the CIA’s station chief Winfield Scott n Mexico City during the JFK assassination. Morley quotes scholar John Newman as opining that Oswald never went to Mexico. Newman’s background includes 20 years as an Army intelligence officer, rising to become the top assistant to NSA's director. Newman has written three books about Oswald, JFK, and the CIA, and has taught history at the university level for more than 20 years.

Washington Times, CIA confirmed Oswald contacted Cubans, Soviets before assassination, memo shows, Kellan Howell, Sept. 16, 2016. Three days after John F. Kennedy was shot and killed in Dallas, U.S. intelligence officials told President Lyndon B. Johnson that they had confirmed that assassin Lee Harvey Oswald had recently traveled to Mexico City to visit both the Cuban and Soviet embassies, according to a half-century old briefing memo declassified on Wednesday. Oswald’s travel plans were revealed in an unprecedented declassification and release by the CIA of thousands of presidential daily briefings from the 1960s. Though the memos are decades old, about a fifth of their content was still redacted to protect sources and methods. According to the Nov. 25, 1963 briefing, Oswald — a former U.S. Marine who defected to the Soviet Union in 1959 — visited both the Cuban and Soviet embassies on Sept. 28, 1963.

JFK Facts.org, Did the CIA track Oswald before JFK was killed? Jefferson Morley, Feb. 4, 2014. Yes, closely and constantly. This is one of the biggest JFK revelations of the past 20 years, and one that we need talk up in social and news media on the 50th anniversary of JFK’s assassination. While the CIA assured Congress in the 1970s that its interest in Lee Harvey Oswald before JFK was killed was “routine,” the newest documents tell a very different story: Oswald was monitored closely and constantly by an super-secret office within the CIA’s Counterintelligence Staff from 1959 to 1963, known as the Special Investigations Group. The documents show that the CIA officers most knowledgeable about Oswald reported to two of the most powerful men in the agency: deputy director Richard Helms and counterintelligence chief James Angleton, both of whom thought JFK’s policy toward Cuba was weak and misguided.

The story was first documented in John Newman’s 1995 book Oswald and the CIA. Newman is a former intelligence officer turned academic historian. Newman, who taught at the University of Maryland, traced how the CIA intercepted Oswald’s correspondence when he was living in the Soviet Union 1959 to 1962. He showed how the CIA’s own records document growing interest in Oswald in the course of 1963, culminating in October 1963 when a group of senior CIA officials collaborated on a four-page cable assessing Oswald as a security risk. These officials assured colleagues in the CIA and the FBI that Oswald was “maturing” and thus becoming less of a threat. This happened just six weeks before JFK was killed. The many anomalies in the story convinced Newman and other JFK authors that Oswald had been impersonated while in Mexico City. In custody, Oswald denied going to Mexico City and some researchers believe that he never went at all.

Politico, 13 newly released CIA presidential briefs from the 1960s you'll want to read, Josh Gerstein, Sept. 16, 2015.The briefings detail the evolution of the war in Vietnam and responses to such events as the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Six-Day War in the Middle East. After decades of stiff resistance, the CIA on Wednesday released about 2,500 President’s Daily Briefs and similar reports delivered to Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson during a nearly eight-year span in the 1960s. The briefings detail the evolution of the war in Vietnam and responses to such events as the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Six-Day War in the Middle East. The mass release Wednesday came despite past vows from the CIA to fiercely defend the secrecy of PDBs. Then-CIA Director George Tenet declared in 2000 that no PDB should be released “no matter how old or historically significant it may be."

WMR, Is the Pope a conspiracy believer?  Wayne Madsen, Sept. 25, 2015. In his September 24 address to a joint session of the U.S. Congress, Pope Francis I named four "great Americans" who he believes had Thomas Mertona significant impact upon the world: Abraham Lincoln; Martin Luther King, Jr.; social activist Dorothy Day; and Thomas Merton. Most people have heard of the first three. But who was Thomas Merton? Merton was a Trappist monk who advocated interfaith dialogue. Merton's 20th century writings on ecumenicalism and dialogue in a current era of sectarian violence have a special meaning for the Pope. Merton was also a leading peace activist who served as a mentor for anti- Vietnam war priests Philip and Daniel Berrigan. However, it is Merton's coining of the phrase "The Unspeakable" that should have perked up the ears of those who do not believe the official theories about the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy, Reverend King -- who the Pope cited as one of his four greatest Americans -- and Robert F. Kennedy. Merton's 1966 book, Raids on the Unspeakable delved into the plots that many Americans were afraid to mention in public.

WND, Soviet-bloc defector sheds light on new JFK document, CIA releases presidential briefing on Oswald's visit to embassy, Jerome R. Corsi, Sept. 20, 2015. The CIA’s release Wednesday of a Presidential Daily Briefing given to President Lyndon B. Johnson four days after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy has renewed controversy over a trip Lee Harvey Oswald made to Mexico two months before the assassination. The key paragraph confirmed press stories reporting Oswald visited both the Cuban and Soviet embassies in Mexico City on Sept. 8, 1963, in an attempt to arrange a visa to travel to the Soviet Union by way of Havana, Cuba. The CIA has insisted since the assassination that Oswald visited the Soviet embassy in Mexico City in September 1963, but the agency has never been able to produce photographic evidence, even though the building was under photo surveillance at the time.

Exposing Falsehoods and Revealing Truths, James Fetzer, Nov. 19, 2009. How "Patsies" are Framed--The Case of Lee Harvey Oswald. This is the kind of research that has fallen to private investigators who have assumed the responsibility of pursuing the truth in cases where the official investigations cover it up. Similar techniques of fabricating evidence and framing the innocent were employed in the Lockerbie bombing, Buenos Aires in 1992 and 1994, the 9/11, Madrid, and 7/7 "terrorist attacks." If we don't understand how and why these things are done, we are consigning ourselves to their repetition by powerful forces that act in their own self- interest. JFK was the epitome of "false flag" operations. We must learn from our past.

CIA LogoIt would be a mistake to think that the focus of this study is narrow and esoteric. The piece has great "content and breadth" when you consider that everyone in the world knows of Lee Harvey Oswald, but very few understand the mechanisms by means of which he was framed. Multiple experts on photographic fakery are presented and proof of the fakery in this case is demonstrated in the article itself! Jim Marrs and I are two of the leading experts on the death of JFK in the world today.

More than a half-dozen experts on JFK are cited in this article, none of whom agree with Hany Farid. Indeed, it is obvious that he did not know what he was doing, since the nose shadow -- which he claims to have studied -- remains constant across several different photographs with different poses taken at different times, which is a photographic impossibility. The face was pasted onto someone else's body, precisely as Oswald claimed at the time. There is no more familiar case of a false flag event in world history. Everyone can learn from this.

OpEdNews, The Dartmouth JFK-Photo Fiasco, Jim Fetzer and Jim Marrs, Nov. 20, 2009. Professor Hany Farid, a member of the computer science faculty at Dartmouth, in a recent article injected himself into a Lee Harvey Oswald Life Magazine Cover Feb. 24, 1964long-running dispute concerning the authenticity of photographs related to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. These photos reportedly of the accused assassin Lee Harvey Oswald are collectively known as “the backyard photographs.” Farid's analysis immediately raised the ire of many assassination researchers, who for years have claimed the photos are clever fakes. In an article published in the Huffington Post (November 5, 2009), he has claimed that it is “extremely unlikely” that backyard photographs of Oswald are fake, based upon his digital analysis of the shadows.

Apparently referring to the more famous of the backyard photos — the one published on the cover of Life on February 21, 1964 nearly eight months before the Warren Commission handpicked by Kennedy's successor, Lyndon B. Johnson, concluded that Oswald was the lone assassin — Farid says, “You can never really prove an image is real, but the evidence that people have pointed to that the photo is fake is incorrect. As an academic and a scientist, I don't like to say it's absolutely authentic ... but it's extremely unlikely to have been a fake.”

Farid, who has previously conducted research on how poorly the human visual system can be at correctly judging how shadows are cast, admitted, “[W]e are really bad at judging shadows. I'm bad at it and this is what I do for a living.” Despite this caveat, Farid jumped feet first into the controversy of the backyard photos, causing further tumult in the issue. While his announcement of no fakery, propelled by an unquestioning mass media, caused a sensation with some segments of the public, serious students of the photos expressed dismay and concern that Farid had further muddied the issue without seriously delving into the abundant literature on the issue, which remains quite important as the Life cover-photo was successfully used to convince the public of Oswald's guilt.

Most researchers into the backyard photos, which includes an official with the Canadian Defense Department and a retired British detective expert, consider the evidence of fakery to be simply overwhelming. But Farid appears to be unaware that other experts have studied them before him. To appreciate the magnitude of the issue, consider the words of Robert Blakey, now a professor of law at Notre Dame but who served as Chief Counsel to the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) during its reinvestigation of the deaths of JFK and of Martin Luther King, Jr., in 1977-78. Speaking to the committee about these very photographs, Blakey stated,

“If [the backyard photographs] are invalid, how they were produced poses far-reaching questions in the area of conspiracy, for they evince a degree of technical sophistication that would almost necessarily raise the possibility that [someone] conspired not only to kill the President, but to make Oswald a patsy.”

It might be recalled that Oswald himself used that same word — “patsy” — meaning a person set up to take the blame for a crime. In light of the major importance of the backyard photograph issue, Farid immediately drew critics, who claimed his research was superficial and not as definitive as he implied.

If Farid had only conducted a literature search, he would have known that the shadows were but one of multiple indications of fakery and that, even if he were right about the shadows, he would be wrong about the photos. Unfortunately, neither the news reporters nor the professor seems to have known enough to appreciate that his conclusion is contradicted by multiple lines of proof, including digital analyses, which are easily accessible — even by Google!

Such proofs include that the chin in the photos is not Oswald's chin; that there is an insert line between the chin and the lower lip; that the finger tips of one hand are missing; and that the figure in the image is too short to be Oswald.

Farid's involvement therefore raises serious questions about the integrity of his research and the abuse of his standing as a Dartmouth professor to make public pronouncements impressionable to a wide general audience.

According to the Manchester, NH, Union Leader (November 6-7, 2009), Farid created a 3-dimensional model of Oswald's head using a computer program called “Facegen” to determine if he could replicate the shadow beneath his nose by manipulating a source of light that simulated the sun. He said he had a difficult time until he realized that he had modeled the neck “too thin”.

Farid told the Union Leader that, given the technology available 46 years ago, “there is no way someone would have been able to get the internal and external elements of the photo just right in order to fabricate not only the one photo, but two others in the series.” But his own conclusions make it difficult to believe that he was even aware of, much less that he had studied, even two of them.

The professor could have learned much more had he only conducted a search of the literature. Even YouTube includes this documentary, FAKE: The Forged Photograph that Framed Lee Harvey Oswald. One of the most interesting has been posted by Judyth Vary Baker, whom we believe to be who she claims — a cancer researcher who became acquainted with Oswald in New Orleans.

In her study, she notes that digitizing a backyard photo creates a problem of trustworthiness, where the strongest conclusion he is justified in drawing is that the pixels in the copy of a copy of a copy he analyzed were not tampered with. He simply reconstructed portions of a backyard photo — we do not know which one he chose — but only seems to have reconstructed the head and neck, not a full figure corresponding to the image.

Nor does he appear to have used the sun as his light source, which means that his “conclusion” is based upon a flawed methodology. Since digital photography did not exist in 1963, it is also relatively effortless to state — with a high degree of confidence — that no digital tampering of the original photos took place.

Misleading JFK Studies

The manipulation of the scene and pre-positioning of the elements to achieve a desired effect is reminiscent of a recent Discovery Channel program, “Inside the Target Car”, in which a rifle anchored to scaffolding was fired into a carefully-designed wooden box representing Kennedy's limousine striking dummies with gelatin heads. The resultant splatter of matter was then studied in an attempt to prove the Warren Commission's theory of one bullet causing seven wounds to both Kennedy and Texas Gov. John Connally.

The program assured its audience that all the elements were exactly the same as in Dealey Plaza in 1963 — except that a modern telescopic sight was used for greater accuracy. Of course, Oswald did not have the advantage of a modern telescopic sight and no mention was made of the fact that, even according to the official version of the assassination, Oswald was firing at a target moving laterally and downhill away from him with tree branches obscuring the line of sight.

And this is far from the only time that “documentaries” and other studies that claim to have vindicated The Warren Report (1964) have appeared, many of which attempt to support the “magic bullet” theory, even though it has not only been proven to be false but is not even anatomically possible. If you have any doubt, Google “Reasoning about Assassinations”. And there are many more.

There appear to have been at least four photos — plus a negative and a missing color transparency — in the entire set. We suspect Farid thought there was only one. Oswald's face is tilted in different directions in different photos, yet the v-shaped shadow under the nose never varies, which is an obvious indication of fakery. Since he studied the nose shadow, he should have discovered this.

The most charitable interpretation of his work is that he naively assumed that the shadow beneath the figure's nose in the image that was published in Life was the basis for rejecting the photographs as fakes — and nothing else.

Had Farid simply entered the words, “backyard photographs, Oswald”, on Google, he would have found a study entitled, “EXAMPLES OF DIGITAL EVIDENCE ANALYSIS AND PRESENTATION // BACKYARD PHOTOS EVIDENCE OR FAKERY // PRESENTED BY RALPH THOMAS”. It should have captured his attention, since Farid was planning to do a digital analysis himself.

Thomas illustrates and explains not only that there is an apparent inconsistency in the shadow of the nose in relation to the shadow of the body but also that the body shadows in different photos indicates they were taken at different times. And, under the heading, “Close Ups Of The Two Faces”, he makes key points about two of the backyard photographs:

    For many years researchers have said these faces were faked. (1) A fine line runs through the chin. (2) The shadows appear to be the same under the nose. (3) The second head has merely been tilted to fit into the rest of the photo. (4) Although taken just seconds or minutes apart, the tilt of the head on the second photo also tilts the nose shadow.

McKnight Professor of Philosophy Emeritus, University of Minnesota Duluth; Founder, Scholars for 9/11 Truth; Editor, Assassination Science; Co-Editor, Assassin 
 
 
 
Contact the author Andrew Kreig
 
 

 

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