Justice Integrity Project
The fifty-first anniversary of President John F. Kennedy's assassination on Nov. 22 underscored a threat that the murder has intimidated JFK successors in both parties.
New historical books and ongoing headlines on current affairs paint a grim portrait of an unpunished assassination by a cabal so powerful that its successors decisively influenced the Johnson, Nixon and Ford presidencies and, arguably, Washington policymaking as recent as this month.
Meanwhile, a complacent mainstream media and academic community glosses over key facts pointing to a CIA-implemented coup d'etat against JFK likely involving as CIA-orchestrated Cuban exiles, Mafia and selected other government personnel or assets, including Lee Harvey Oswald and Jack Ruby.
The cover-up's impact on current policy is illustrated by many news items, domestic and foreign. Among them are: the Nov. 21 House report denying irregularities in the 2012 Benghazi massacre; repeated threats to presidential security; the Obama administration's reluctance to release a Senate report on CIA misconduct; and a Nov. 15 report the U.S. states is planning to ramp up CIA paramilitary activities in Syria and Iraq.
Today's column explores the CIA's unaccountable power in these issues extending over decades. The topic comprises the twentieth installment of the Justice Integrity Project's "JFK Assassination Readers Guide," whose previous segments are listed below.
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.
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.
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.
Did the CIA try to thwart the nation’s last investigation of President Kennedy’s assassination?
“The CIA not only lied, it actively subverted the investigation,” says G. Robert Blakey, the former general counsel of the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA), which issued its report in 1979.
“It is time that either Congress or the Justice Department conducts a real investigation of the CIA,” Blakey said at a conference last month. “Indeed, in my opinion, it is long past time.”
Blakey, shown at left, urged the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) to comply promptly with a federal law unanimously passed by congress in 1992 requiring release of JFK records.
Archives leadership refuses to release the documents until 2017 without CIA or presidential approval. The CIA has said it lacks the personnel to process the documents sooner in ways that protect national security.
But at what point does refusal to cooperate with a murder investigation signify a broken system?
As part of our ongoing Justice Integrity Project Readers Guide to the JFK murder, today’s column examines Blakey’s allegations. They exemplify the intelligence community's ongoing resistance to congressional oversight. A future column here will examine evidence that accused assassin Lee Harvey Oswald had secret working relationships with the CIA and FBI.
Today, we focus on the late CIA officer George Joannides, at right, the agency's liaison to Blakey's congressional staff as they reexamined the validity of the 1964 Warren Commission report on JFK's murder.
Blakey’s written statement here attacked Joannides for obstructing the congressional probe under the pretense of help. Blakey announced his views Sept. 26, 2014 at a three-day conference in Bethesda, MD organized by the non-profit Assassination Archives and Research Center (AARC).
The AARC conference title was “The Warren Report and the JFK Assassination: Five Decades of Significant Disclosures.” Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren had led the seven-member commission, which included former CIA Director Allen Dulles among its membership of high-ranking federal officials and former officials.
The commission announced that Lee Harvey Oswald, 24, had acted alone in killing Kennedy with three shots from behind.
Blakey and two fellow congressional researchers, Edwin Lopez and Dan Hardway, said at the AARC conference they will seek missing CIA records about JFK later this fall — unless the Archives complies with their recent request.
The Justice Integrity Project announced a Readers Guide to illustrate the full range of books about President John F. Kennedy's assassination in 1963 without censorship.
The guide is being continuously updated, with special attention to the unique historical event of the 50th anniversary of the Warren Commission published in the fall of 1964.
The Assassination Archives and Research Center (AARC) convened a major conference on the Warren Commission anniversary from Sept. 26 to 28, 2014 at the Bethesda Hyatt Regency Hotel. This editor spoke at the conference during three segments, including opening comments on the continuing importance of the JFK murder in understanding current events. The talks drew on my book, Presidential Puppetry, which revealed that President Obama's advisors feared a "revolt" if he dared prosecute CIA officials for lawbreaking during the Bush administration.
A separate group, the JFK Historical Group, convened a conference also on the topic and on the same dates from Sept. 26 to 28, 2014 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Alexandria, VA.
More than two thousand books are estimated to have been published in whole or part on the Kennedy assassination, according to AARC President James H. Lesar, who co-founded the non-profit in 1984.
The most significant of those books as measured by such factors as sales and expert citations are listed below in an appendix, regardless of whether the authors' point of view criticizes or defends such conventional interpretations as the Warren Commission report. This format follows the original goal of this Readers Guide, which was to provide at the outset a catalog of relevant materials.
This installment below is not meant for casual reading. Instead, it is best regarded as a reference source for readers looking for something specific in terms of a book or major report. Other installments of the Readers Guide cover the most relevant films and other videos, researcher centers, and events. Other installments provide interpretative columns. The guide also contains a listing of major official reports on the death.
A former Cuban exile anti-Castro militant told a conference audience Sept. 26 in a blockbuster revelation that he saw accused presidential assassin Lee Harvey Oswald with their mutual CIA handler six weeks before the killing and there would have been no anti-Castro movement in Cuba without the CIA funding.
Antonio Veciana, the acknowledged leader of the Alpha 66 assassination squad of Cuban exiles in the early 1960s, made the statements in a dignified but emotion-laden manner at this year's major conference analyzing the Warren Commission report on murder of President John F. Kennedy Nov. 22, 1963 in Dallas. Alpha 66 is alleged to have tried to kill Cuban leader Fidel Castro on two occasions, but Veciana, a onetime certified public accountant for a wealthy Cuban in the years before the revolution, has never been been charged with an attempt.
Separately, the general counsel of the last major government investigation into the killing issued a statement saying the CIA had deceived him and the rest of the public during the late 1970s inquiry into the validity of the Warren report. Former House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) General Counsel G. Robert Blakey issued the statement during the conference Sept. 26-28 organized at the Bethesda Hyatt Regency Hotel in Bethesda, MD by the Assassination Archives and Research Center (AARC).
Veciana said he is convinced the CIA organized the president's murder and that he saw Oswald meeting with a CIA official in Dallas because Veciana arrived at his meeting fifteen minutes too early. Veciana said he believes Oswald was a CIA operative whom the agency decided to blame for a killing it organized in a complex plot.
Veciana said his CIA handler was the late David Atlee Phillips, shown in a file photo above at right. Phillips was a high-ranking CIA official who used the cover named "Maurice Bishop" during his many meetings with Veciana. Earlier this year, Veciana confirmed to researcher Marie Fonzi, widow of his friend the author Gaeton Fonzi, that "Bishop" was "Phillips." But Veciana has never previously answered questions in a public forum.
The CIA placed Phillips in charge of the CIA's Cuba operations after the newly created agency recruited him from newspaper work in 1950s. According to biographers, Phillips, a former actor born in Texas, used hundreds of aliases in his CIA work, which included a role in the CIA's covert overthrow in 1954 of the left-wing government of Guatemalan leader Jacobo Arbenz Guzman. After retirement from the CIA Phillips organized thousands of fellow intelligence officers into the politically influential Association of Former Intelligence Officers. The group quietly helped support the political career of former CIA Director George H.W. Bush and Bush allies, among other endeavors.
Veciana, 85, spoke through a translator and with a son by his side. He said he was trained as a CPA and admired "Bishop" and the CIA deeply for many years.
Now, however, he said he wanted to set the record straight because he has come to admire also Kennedy, whom and he and Phillips once regarded as a "traitor" for allowing communist Cuban leader Fidel Castro to remain in power.
Seventeen authors and film makers who have researched the 1963 murder of the President Kennedy are scheduled for meet-the-author book signings as part of a major conference on the 50th anniversary of the Warren Commission report.
The lead off author is Dr. John M. Newman, at right, a professor, former National Security Agency official, and one of the opening featured speakers opening on Friday “The Warren Report and the JFK Assassination: A Half Century of Significant Disclosures."
The Assassination Archives and Research Center (AARC) organized the event from Sept. 26 to 28 at the Bethesda Hyatt Regency Hotel, which is near the District of Columbia border at the Metro stop in Bethesda, MD. The public can attend the author signings in the Embassy Suite without paying the conference admission fee.
Newman, shown at right, has been an adjunct political science professor at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA since January 2013. The retired major in the U.S. Army holds a doctorate, worked in Army intelligence from 1974 to 1994, and served as Assistant to the Director at the NSA from 1988 to 1990. His books include “JFK and Vietnam: Deception, Intrigue, and the Struggle for Power” and “Oswald and the CIA.”
He plans to preview his next book, in which he alleges significant new information about official involvement in the president's murder and a cover-up.
Among the other authors signing books in a schedule listed below are best-selling investigative reporter Anthony Summers, shown at left.
Summers is a former senior BBC journalist based in Ireland and the author of nine major non-fiction books, including the just-republished Not In Your Lifetime that he will sign. His investigative work has ranged from the fate of the last Russian Tsar in 1918 to Britain’s Profumo sex/spy scandal, to the John F. Kennedy assassination, to the September 9/11 attacks.
Another long-distance traveler will be Dr. Ernst Titovets, at right, who journeys from his native Belarus. As a student, Titovets became the best friend in Minsk of accused JFK assassin Lee Harvey Oswald, who defected to the Soviet Union from 1959 until his return to the United States 1962. As a U.S. Marine, Oswald had learned fluent Russian and held a higher-than-normal security clearance. Some researchers believe Oswald participated in a false defector program. They say this pose enabled Oswald to penetrate the Iron Curtain during the Cold War albeit with a keen eye from the Soviets on his behavior, and then continue intelligence/law enforcement work back in the United States as a supposed pro-Castro advocate.
Titovets is a medical school professor who holds both doctoral research and medical doctor degrees. He will launch the 2014 updated edition of his 2010 memoir Oswald: Russian Episode. Tiitovets, whose medical specialty is neurology, argues that the Lee Harvey Oswald he knew was a friendly and relatively normal young man and not the angry, prospective killer widely portrayed by the Warren Commission and the commission's supporters.
Among U.S. best-selling authors are Russ Baker, author of Family of Secrets about the Bush Dynasty, and Dr. Joan Mellen, a Temple University professor who has authored 22 books.
The authors and film makers will sign copies of their work in the hotel's Embassy Suite, which is open to the public without admission charge.
Overall, some 45 expert speakers will reveal or discuss recent findings differing from the Warren Commission’s 1964 report ascribing President Kennedy’s murder to Oswald as a sole assassin firing from the rear. Other authors include Jim DiEugenio (whose collaborator Lisa Pease will also speak), Marie Fonzi (widow of noted JFK investigator Gaeton Fonzi), Robert Groden, Eric Hamburg, Dr. David Kaiser, Jonathan Morley, Andy Thibault, Dr. Donald Thomas, and Prof. Lamar Waldron, plus film maker Patrick Speer.
In another no-cost dimension of the conference, Los Angeles-based actor Brian Connors and a group of fellow actors will dramatize the long-secret Jan. 22, 1964 Warren Commission Executive Session where Allen Dulles told his fellow commissioners that the CIA and FBI would lie to them to protect their perceived self-interests.
A long-suppressed transcript of the meeting shows how the commissioners led by then-Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren dealt with the 1964 threat at the beginning of the commission's work that two newspaper reporters would reveal that Oswald had been paid $200 a week by the FBI before the killing.
Revelation of Oswald's FBI relationship threatened to thwart conventional wisdom promulgated by authorities immediately after JFK's murder Oswald, a former Marine, was a misfit, murderer and "lone nut" -- instead of the "patsy" Oswald claimed to be before he was murdered in police custody two days after his arrest.
The dramatization shows how Dulles, whom Kennedy had forced out of the agency in 1961 as part of shake-up the president intended, advised his fellow commissioners to deny any relationships that might have existed between the FBI, CIA and Oswald.
This no-cost reading is scheduled at 5:45 p.m. on Sept. 27, shortly before a separate banquet featuring a filmed message from the convention audience from director Oliver Stone and then remarks by his collaborator, Dr. Peter Kuznick of American University following a display of the JFK segment of their 2012 Showtime documentary, "The Untold Story of the United States."
Kuznick will comment on their work in his keynote remarks, and then sign books and video, beginning approximately 9:15 p.m. Stone, producer and director of the iconic film JFK, has been working in Germany on his next movie, "The Snowden Files." It portrays whistleblower and former NSA and CIA employee Edward Snowden.