CIA Implicated In JFK Murder and Ongoing Cover-Up, Experts Allege On C-SPAN

The CIA was deeply implicated in the 1963 murder President Kennedy and ongoing cover-up, according to prominent experts speaking at unusual length last week on nationwide cable.

The CIA thwarted the last official probe of the murder said former congressional investigator Robert Tanenbaum, who described at length for the first time why he and his boss, Richard Sprague,  resigned in 1976 from the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA). Tanenbaum spoke during a recent Duquesne University conference cablecast by C-SPAN on its American History series.

In one of several long excerpts from the conference in Pittsburgh about the JFK murder, Tanenbaum said the special HSCA committee was too frightened to challenge the CIA about proof that six weeks before JFK's killing the CIA manufactured evidence later used to implicate Lee Harvey Oswald falsely before the Warren Commission. Tanenbaum said he and Sprague quietly resigned rather than participate in a whitewash by HSCA, the last major investigation of the murder and the Warren Commission's 1964 finding that Oswald acted alone in killing Kennedy.

I had attended the "Passing the Torch" conference Oct. 17 to 19 organized by longtime Duquesne medical school professor Cyril Wecht, and was struck by Tanenbaum's rare combination of experience, eloquence and passion in providing his insider's view of one of the nation's most notorious crimes.

C-SPAN's broadcast this week of Tanenbaum's views along with supporting comments by other ex-government, scientific and historical experts provides the substance of this ninth -- and most important -- segment of our "JFK Murder Readers Guide" published here by the Justice Integrity Project. Additionally, James Lesar, founder and chairman of the nation's largest private archive of poltical assassination materials, published a column on OpEdNews arguing that new information links the CIA to the killing. See

OpEd News, CIA Official Tied to JFK to JFK Assassination, Jim Lesar, Dec. 1, 2013. The Assassination Archives and Research Center (AARC) learned that Antonio Veciana, the leader of Alpha 66, a Cuban exile organization devoted to overthrowing Cuban Prime Minister Fidel Castro, has released a statement identifying "Maurice Bishop" as David Atlee Phillips, a longtime "dirty tricks" operative for the CIA who widely suspected of having played a role in a plot to assassinate President Kennedy. Marie Fonzi is the widow of Gaeton Fonzi, who investigated Kennedy's assassination for the Church Committee and the House Select Committee on Assassinations. He contended in his book, " The Last Investigation ," that Phillips was Bishop. His statement is at variance with his testimony before the HSCA, where he stated that a sketch of Maurice Bishop closely resembled Phillips but was not the same man. This new declaration raises even more questions regarding a possible role by the CIA in the assassination of President Kennedy. This Veciana's statement should lead the American people to demand (1) the immediate release of the thousands of pages of JFK Assassination-related records that the CIA is still withholding, and (2) demand that Congress hold oversight hearings into the CIA's subversion of the investigation conducted by the HSCA, which conducted the last official investigation of the assassination.

FireDogLake, NSA Sent Home Talking Points for Employees to Use in Conversations with Family & Friends During Holidays, Kevin Gosztola, Dec. 2, 2013. A sheet of talking points for employees of the National Security Agency and Central Security Services, was sent out ahead of Thanksgiving to help guide conversations with family and friends during the holiday season. Firedoglake obtained a copy of a two-page document that was sent out on November 22. It was clearly put together for rebutting statements about the NSA from news stories on documents disclosed by former NSA contractor and whistleblower Edward Snowden, and it encouraged employees to “share the following points with family members and close friends.” The “talking points” sheet suggests that employees make five key points: (1) NSA’s mission is of great value to the Nation”; (2) NSA performs its mission the right way—lawful, compliant and in a way that protects civil liberties and privacy; (3) NSA performs its mission exceptionally well. We strive to be the best that we can be, because that’s what America requires as part of its defense in a dangerous world; (4) The people who work for NSA are loyal Americans with expert skills who make sacrifices to help protect the freedoms we all cherish; (5) NSA is committed to increased transparency, public dialog and faithful implementation of any changes required by our overseers. (No emphasis added. Underlines appear in the document.)

Daily Beast, Dallas Lays Elaborate but Dignified Plans to Celebrate Assassination Anniversary, Helen Anders, Nov. 22, 2013. Still smarting from being tagged the ‘city of hate’ 50 years ago, Dallas plans to observe the anniversary of Kennedy’s assassination with as much dignity as possible.Thus, although it will take place just a few yards from the spot where John F. Kennedy was shot in the head and killed on Nov. 22, 1963, the city’s official memorial is likely to contain not a word about the assassination. Instead, Rawlings will speak about Kennedy’s presidency on Nov. 22 at Dealey Plaza to about 5,000 people—local officials, media, financial contributors to the event, and about 3,700 individuals who won tickets through a lottery and have been vetted by the Dallas Police Department. Historian David McCullough will read from Kennedy’s speeches, and the U.S. Naval Academy Men’s Glee Club will sing in what Rawlings characterizes as “a serious, respectful, less-is-more ceremony.” There will be prayers, a moment of silence, bagpipes and a military flyover.

DC Dave, Biggest Whistleblower in JFK Case Ignored, David Martin, June 8, 2012. The dwindling number of Americans who profess to believe the official story that Lee Harvey Oswald killed President John F. Kennedy and did it alone may be divided into two basic groups, those who know next to nothing about the facts of the case and those whose livelihoods depend upon believing it.   Actually, there is a considerable degree of overlap between the two groups.  Among the second group of assorted journalists, academics, politicians, government functionaries, etc., there are a considerable number who have decided that the course of ignorance is the safer one to take in such a sensitive matter as this.  There is also a good deal of interaction among the two groups.  The knowledgeable ones in the second group have had to work extra hard convincing the others that it is not even necessary that they know anything about the facts of the JFK assassination in order to have a firm opinion in favor of the official position.  For this they have had to draw heavily upon the “Seventeen Techniques for Truth Suppression.”
The most encompassing of the techniques is #11, what I call reasoning backward or using the deductive method exclusively.  In its baldest form, it begins with the premise that the government and major news media are completely trustworthy and all the messy contrary facts that we might encounter must be molded and shaped to fit that premise.  In the JFK case we see the technique in a microcosm when FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover proclaimed the guilt of Oswald the very next day, before there was any investigation at all, and the facts were then lined up to fit that conclusion.  Anything that goes against conclusions grounded in the essential probity of the government and our major opinion molders may be dismissed as “conspiracy theory.”  
While this supposed argument amounts to little more than the schoolyard name-calling of technique #5, it can wear some pseudo-intellectual trappings.  A favorite one is to invoke the observations of the famous philosopher, Sir Karl Popper, as we see Barack Obama’s “information czar,” Cass Sunstein doing here:
Karl Popper famously argued that conspiracy theories overlook the pervasive unintended consequences of political and social action; they assume that all consequences must have been intended by someone.
 Here Sunstein pulls in a bit of technique #4, setting up a ridiculous straw man who would argue that everything is secretly manipulated from behind the scenes, while suggesting that even the most obvious things aren’t.
 
A favorite blanket argument against the possibility of successful conspiracy, that is, of those who would substitute pure deduction for the examination of evidence, is that some participant in the conspiracy would inevitably spill the beans, we would then all find out about it through the workings of our wonderful free press, and then our vaunted justice system would spring into action and the perpetrators of the high-level crime would be duly punished.  
 
But we can do better than a mere lowly whistleblower or leaker.  What about a lead investigator of the case who has been thwarted and forced into resignation just as he was about to blow it wide open?  If there were any such person in the Kennedy assassination case we would surely know about it, wouldn’t we?
 
Ladies and gentleman, I give you Robert K. Tanenbaum as he writes in the introduction of Mark Lane’s 2011 book, Last Word: My Indictment of the CIA in the Murder of JFK:
 
In early 1977, I first met Mark Lane.  At the time, I was deputy chief counsel to the congressional committee investigation into the assassination of President Kennedy.  During the course of the investigation, I set aside an afternoon every week to listen to individuals who had information they wished to share with me and the committee.  On one such afternoon, Mark Lane came to see me.  Before that, I had never met or spoken to him.  When he entered the office, I stood to welcome him and asked him to be seated.  He refused.  Instead, he handed me a sealed envelope.  I asked him if he had any suggestions or thoughts about its contents.  He said, “When you read the contents, I believe you’ll know exactly what to do.”  Immediately, he left.  I never spoke to him again during the course of the investigation and for more than a decade thereafter.
The document in the envelope was a memo dated November 23, 1963, from FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover to all bureau supervisory personnel.  In substance, it stated that the FBI agents who had questioned Lee Harvey Oswald for approximately seventeen hours had listened to a tape of a conversation between an individual who identified himself as “Lee Oswald” and an individual in the Cuban embassy.  The conversation had taken place inside the Russian embassy in Mexico City by this faux alleged Oswald who telephoned the Cuban embassy.  The call was made on or about October 1, 1963, just about seven weeks before the assassination.  The Hoover memo noted that the agents categorically concluded that the voice on the tape was not that of Lee Harvey Oswald.  Based upon the evidence adduced during the investigation, I had reason to believe that David Phillips, the third-ranking member of the CIA in charge of Western Hemisphere operations, employed a nom de guerre, Maurice Bishop.  Bishop had significant involvement with anti-Castro Cubans and Lee Harvey Oswald.
I had Phillips subpoenaed to appear before our committee in executive session.  I asked him under oath where we could locate the tape of the so-called Oswald conversation of October 1, 1963, while inside the Russian embassy in Mexico City.  Phillips stated that it was CIA policy at the time to recycle the tapes every six or seven days and it was no longer in existence after the first week in October 1963.  I then handed him the Hoover memo which, according to the FBI director, clearly revealed that the tape was evidently available in Dallas on November 22 and 23, 1963.  Phillips read the memo, then folded it, placed it in his jacket pocket, arose, and walked out of the meeting.
I immediately urged the committee to recall Phillips and advise him to obtain legal counsel so that he be given an opportunity to purge potential criminal charges of contempt and perjury.  Also, there were many more questions that he needed to answer.  I further advised the committee of the urgency of the matter and gave them legal options.  They chose to do nothing.  Thereafter, our staff phones were denied long distance telephone access, “franking privileges” were withdrawn, and staffers’ pay was withheld.
Prior to my assignment with the Congressional Committee, I served as an assistant district attorney in the New York County District Attorney’s Office under legendary D.A. Frank Hogan.  While there, I tried hundreds of cases to verdict.  I was Bureau Chief of the criminal courts, ran the Homicide Bureau, and was in charge of the training programs for the legal staff.
From experience as a prosecutor, I knew well that there is no political way to investigate a case.  There is no liberal or conservative way to gather evidence and there is no Democratic or Republican way to evaluate it.  Unfortunately, the congressional committee played politics with our investigation and subverted it.  The members breached the trust reposed in them by the American people.  They assured me that whatever the facts revealed would be forthrightly presented to the public.  Regrettably, that was false.
Ironically, Mark Lane was a major moving force to have the committee organized and come to fruition.  He supplied compelling evidence that should have energized the congressional probe; instead, ultimately this evidence led to its demise in terms of credibility and integrity.  Recognizing that the committee was less than sincere in its search for the truth, Chief Counsel Richard Sprague and I tendered our resignations.
There you have it.  Just when the congressional investigation that began so promisingly in 1976 was beginning to get some results, it was gutted and turned into a sham by the congressional committee.  What was exposed was not the conspiracy behind the murder of our courageous national leader, rather, it was the true allegiance of the men and women who are supposed to represent the American people.  
That there was a conspiracy to murder JFK and that the CIA was in it up to its eyeballs is revealed by what Tanenbaum has told us.  The CIA had created the legend that Oswald had traveled to Mexico City, had sought to contact the Soviet agent there involved in dirty operations like assassinations, and through the good offices of the Soviet embassy was making arrangements to travel to Cuba, presumably after he had killed the American president.  This was the story that Lyndon Johnson and the CIA had privately foisted off on Judge Earl Warren to frighten him into putting the whole blame on Oswald acting alone, lest we run the risk of nuclear holocaust should the Soviet-Cuban involvement in the assassination be revealed.  (Even today, the University of Virginia’s prestigious Miller Center is embellishing the Cuban connection to Oswald by stating that he had actually traveled to that country.)
The FBI memo that Mark Lane had obtained revealed that the Mexico City “Oswald” was an impostor, and the House investigator, Tanenbaum, had caught the CIA’s Phillips lying about it.  Rather than Phillips being charged with perjury and contempt of Congress for walking out without being excused, Tanenbaum and Chief Counsel Sprague were undercut by their superiors.
Sprague was replaced by Justice Department official and former Notre Dame law professor G. Robert Blakey.
Unlike Sprague, who had insisted upon using the power of subpoena to obtain documents and testimony and who had assembled a group of talented and brilliant counsel, Blakey relied upon the judgment of the CIA and FBI, who placed their operatives on his staff and who provided only those documents what they wanted the Congress to see.  The congressional committee had been captured.
Blakey signed the [CIA] secrecy agreement [which Sprague and Tanenbaum would not sign] and required that all those who worked for him do the same.  He opposed the use of subpoenas he cleared the FBI and the CIA of complicity in the murder, and he refused to explore the CIA’s activities in Mexico City.  -  Lane, Last Word, p. 232
Worse yet, the person Blakey appointed to secure information from the intelligence agencies was “retired” CIA operative, George E. Joannides, whose close association with a militant anti-Castro group at the time of the assassination could well have made him a suspect himself.
Why Don’t We Know?
Readers will have to excuse me for recycling the section heading above from my previous article, “‘Jews’ Tried to Kill Truman in 1947.”   Unfortunately, it is all too appropriate, and the answer to the question is essentially the same.  We don’t know that the House committee on assassinations was taken over by the CIA and we don’t know about the resignations of Sprague and Tanenbaum and the reasons behind them because of the thorough use of the first of the Seventeen Techniques.  Our vaunted free press has dummied up.
There are many parallels that come to mind, but the closest, and perhaps even more egregious is that of the resignation of Kenneth Starr’s chief investigator/whistleblower, Miguel Rodriguez, in the Vincent Foster death case.  The press didn’t report it when he resigned and was trying his best to get the word out about the cover-up, and they failed to report it again when we discovered and published his resignation letter.    They also failed to report that an addendum that thoroughly undermines Starr’s conclusion of suicide had been appended to his report over his strenuous objections by the 3-judge panel that appointed him.
But in no area has the corruption of the U.S. news media been more obvious, from the Saturday Evening Post’s “view from the sniper’s window” to the suppression of the news of the bullet hole in the limousine windshield, than in their reporting on the case of the assassination of our 35th president.
David Martin
June 8, 2012


Below is the declaration Antonio Veciana transmitted to Marie Fonzi on November 11, 2013 along with a handwritten note authorizing her to publish it in whole or in part. On November 22 nd Veciana dropped the other shoe, confirming to Marie Fonzi that Maurice Bishop and David Atlee Phillips were the same person:  In the days leading up to [fiftieth anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy] G. Robert Blakey, chief counsel and staff director to the 1977 House Select Committee on Assassinations, has worked hard to discredit "The Last Investigation," a book written by the late Gaeton Fonzi, a longtime investigator for this same committee. In his book, Fonzi meticulously details the conspiracies and various motivations that led to that fateful day.

It is important to track the history that has led to this misguided effort by Blakey. A week after the assassination, L:yndon B. Johnson appointed a commission headed by Supreme Court Justice Earl Warren to look into the assassination. One of this committee's members was Allen W. Dulles, a former director of the CIA. In September 1964, the Warren Commission issued its report, concluding that Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone shooter and that there existed no conspiracy.

This conclusion, however, was reached erroneously. Dulles had consistentlyhidden from the Warren Commission the many CIA-sponsored plots to kill Cuba's Fidel Castro. These omissions were not an oversight. It proved convenient for Dulles to hide the fact that the CIA had used the services of Mafia dons John Roselli and Sam Giancana in its attempts to assassinate Castro. He also concealed that CIA operative Maurice Bishop used Antonio Veciana in October 1961 in another plot to kill the Cuban leader.

Had the Warren Commission been alerted to these activities, its investigators would surely have looked more closely at the CIA's dealings with the Mafia. If the connection between Bishop and Veciana had been probed, this, too, would have yielded the information that Bishop, a CIA field officer, was linked to Oswald. Veciana had seen Oswald together with Bishop days before the assassination.

 The CIA consistently and thoroughly opposed any efforts the investigators made to uncover the truth, not only during the Warren Commission's investigations butr also in the later years when the House Select Committee on Assassinations looked into Kennedy's murder. Richard Sprague, the first director oCIA's tactics of suppression and obfuscation frustrated him. At the end Sprague told reporter, "My problems started when I confronted the CIA."

A close examination of Blakey's behavior as the last head of the House Select Committee also raises many questions about his impartiality. Blakey refused to take important testimony from key witnesses, using deadlines as an excuse to say the investigation had concluded. This, of course, was upsetting to many of the committee's investigators, including Gaeton Fonzi, who had worked so diligently to expose the facts.

Blakey also asked Richard Billings, a former editor of Life magazine, to write the final report. Billings had not participated in any part of the investigation and was forced to limit himself to what Blakey instructed him to write.

As a result the final House Select Committee report is full of intentional ambiguities. While it concludes that President Kennedy probably was assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald, as a result of a conspiracy by unknown individuals, it points the finger at a segment that Blakey had zeroed in on to the detriment of other promising leads. The most damning statement in the report came from Blakey himself: "The Mafia killed the President." He conveniently left out what some of his top investigators had uncovered.

In his book Fonzi correctly described Blakey's actions as compliant with the CIA. The truth is that Blakey wanted to avoid any confrontation with this powerful agency because he was angling to be nominated to a high position within the Justice Department after finishing his work with the House Select Committee

The revelations, the most dramatic and important in my career, help show why the cover-up remains in force (including at a different conference at Southern Methodist University also covered by C-SPAN.

More significantly, the public can see vividly through these first-hand experiences why every president since Kennedy has implemented the agenda of not simply "the CIA," but more accurately of the powers that control the CIA, the three branches of government, and the top levels of the media. President Eisenhower called it "The Military Industrial Complex." Col. Fletcher Prouty, Eisenhower's top liaison between the CIA and the Defense Department, called it "The Secret Team" while arguing that it killed Kennedy and orchestrated the cover-up. Others have different names, such as "Wall Street." I provide a different name for this essentially similar group in my new book, Presidential Puppetry: Obama, Romney and Their Masters."  


DC Dave, Biggest Whistleblower in JFK Case Ignored, David Martin, June 8, 2012. The dwindling number of Americans who profess to believe the official story that Lee Harvey Oswald killed President John F. Kennedy and did it alone may be divided into two basic groups, those who know next to nothing about the facts of the case and those whose livelihoods depend upon believing it.   Actually, there is a considerable degree of overlap between the two groups.  Among the second group of assorted journalists, academics, politicians, government functionaries, etc., there are a considerable number who have decided that the course of ignorance is the safer one to take in such a sensitive matter as this.  There is also a good deal of interaction among the two groups.  The knowledgeable ones in the second group have had to work extra hard convincing the others that it is not even necessary that they know anything about the facts of the JFK assassination in order to have a firm opinion in favor of the official position.  For this they have had to draw heavily upon the “Seventeen Techniques for Truth Suppression.”
The most encompassing of the techniques is #11, what I call reasoning backward or using the deductive method exclusively.  In its baldest form, it begins with the premise that the government and major news media are completely trustworthy and all the messy contrary facts that we might encounter must be molded and shaped to fit that premise.  In the JFK case we see the technique in a microcosm when FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover proclaimed the guilt of Oswald the very next day, before there was any investigation at all, and the facts were then lined up to fit that conclusion.  Anything that goes against conclusions grounded in the essential probity of the government and our major opinion molders may be dismissed as “conspiracy theory.”  
While this supposed argument amounts to little more than the schoolyard name-calling of technique #5, it can wear some pseudo-intellectual trappings.  A favorite one is to invoke the observations of the famous philosopher, Sir Karl Popper, as we see Barack Obama’s “information czar,” Cass Sunstein doing here:
Karl Popper famously argued that conspiracy theories overlook the pervasive unintended consequences of political and social action; they assume that all consequences must have been intended by someone.
 
Here Sunstein pulls in a bit of technique #4, setting up a ridiculous straw man who would argue that everything is secretly manipulated from behind the scenes, while suggesting that even the most obvious things aren’t.
 
A favorite blanket argument against the possibility of successful conspiracy, that is, of those who would substitute pure deduction for the examination of evidence, is that some participant in the conspiracy would inevitably spill the beans, we would then all find out about it through the workings of our wonderful free press, and then our vaunted justice system would spring into action and the perpetrators of the high-level crime would be duly punished.  
 
But we can do better than a mere lowly whistleblower or leaker.  What about a lead investigator of the case who has been thwarted and forced into resignation just as he was about to blow it wide open?  If there were any such person in the Kennedy assassination case we would surely know about it, wouldn’t we?
 
Ladies and gentleman, I give you Robert K. Tanenbaum as he writes in the introduction of Mark Lane’s 2011 book, Last Word: My Indictment of the CIA in the Murder of JFK:
 
In early 1977, I first met Mark Lane.  At the time, I was deputy chief counsel to the congressional committee investigation into the assassination of President Kennedy.  During the course of the investigation, I set aside an afternoon every week to listen to individuals who had information they wished to share with me and the committee.  On one such afternoon, Mark Lane came to see me.  Before that, I had never met or spoken to him.  When he entered the office, I stood to welcome him and asked him to be seated.  He refused.  Instead, he handed me a sealed envelope.  I asked him if he had any suggestions or thoughts about its contents.  He said, “When you read the contents, I believe you’ll know exactly what to do.”  Immediately, he left.  I never spoke to him again during the course of the investigation and for more than a decade thereafter.
The document in the envelope was a memo dated November 23, 1963, from FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover to all bureau supervisory personnel.  In substance, it stated that the FBI agents who had questioned Lee Harvey Oswald for approximately seventeen hours had listened to a tape of a conversation between an individual who identified himself as “Lee Oswald” and an individual in the Cuban embassy.  The conversation had taken place inside the Russian embassy in Mexico City by this faux alleged Oswald who telephoned the Cuban embassy.  The call was made on or about October 1, 1963, just about seven weeks before the assassination.  The Hoover memo noted that the agents categorically concluded that the voice on the tape was not that of Lee Harvey Oswald.  Based upon the evidence adduced during the investigation, I had reason to believe that David Phillips, the third-ranking member of the CIA in charge of Western Hemisphere operations, employed a nom de guerre, Maurice Bishop.  Bishop had significant involvement with anti-Castro Cubans and Lee Harvey Oswald.
I had Phillips subpoenaed to appear before our committee in executive session.  I asked him under oath where we could locate the tape of the so-called Oswald conversation of October 1, 1963, while inside the Russian embassy in Mexico City.  Phillips stated that it was CIA policy at the time to recycle the tapes every six or seven days and it was no longer in existence after the first week in October 1963.  I then handed him the Hoover memo which, according to the FBI director, clearly revealed that the tape was evidently available in Dallas on November 22 and 23, 1963.  Phillips read the memo, then folded it, placed it in his jacket pocket, arose, and walked out of the meeting.
I immediately urged the committee to recall Phillips and advise him to obtain legal counsel so that he be given an opportunity to purge potential criminal charges of contempt and perjury.  Also, there were many more questions that he needed to answer.  I further advised the committee of the urgency of the matter and gave them legal options.  They chose to do nothing.  Thereafter, our staff phones were denied long distance telephone access, “franking privileges” were withdrawn, and staffers’ pay was withheld.
Prior to my assignment with the Congressional Committee, I served as an assistant district attorney in the New York County District Attorney’s Office under legendary D.A. Frank Hogan.  While there, I tried hundreds of cases to verdict.  I was Bureau Chief of the criminal courts, ran the Homicide Bureau, and was in charge of the training programs for the legal staff.
From experience as a prosecutor, I knew well that there is no political way to investigate a case.  There is no liberal or conservative way to gather evidence and there is no Democratic or Republican way to evaluate it.  Unfortunately, the congressional committee played politics with our investigation and subverted it.  The members breached the trust reposed in them by the American people.  They assured me that whatever the facts revealed would be forthrightly presented to the public.  Regrettably, that was false.
Ironically, Mark Lane was a major moving force to have the committee organized and come to fruition.  He supplied compelling evidence that should have energized the congressional probe; instead, ultimately this evidence led to its demise in terms of credibility and integrity.  Recognizing that the committee was less than sincere in its search for the truth, Chief Counsel Richard Sprague and I tendered our resignations.
There you have it.  Just when the congressional investigation that began so promisingly in 1976 was beginning to get some results, it was gutted and turned into a sham by the congressional committee.  What was exposed was not the conspiracy behind the murder of our courageous national leader, rather, it was the true allegiance of the men and women who are supposed to represent the American people.  
That there was a conspiracy to murder JFK and that the CIA was in it up to its eyeballs is revealed by what Tanenbaum has told us.  The CIA had created the legend that Oswald had traveled to Mexico City, had sought to contact the Soviet agent there involved in dirty operations like assassinations, and through the good offices of the Soviet embassy was making arrangements to travel to Cuba, presumably after he had killed the American president.  This was the story that Lyndon Johnson and the CIA had privately foisted off on Judge Earl Warren to frighten him into putting the whole blame on Oswald acting alone, lest we run the risk of nuclear holocaust should the Soviet-Cuban involvement in the assassination be revealed.  (Even today, the University of Virginia’s prestigious Miller Center is embellishing the Cuban connection to Oswald by stating that he had actually traveled to that country.)
The FBI memo that Mark Lane had obtained revealed that the Mexico City “Oswald” was an impostor, and the House investigator, Tanenbaum, had caught the CIA’s Phillips lying about it.  Rather than Phillips being charged with perjury and contempt of Congress for walking out without being excused, Tanenbaum and Chief Counsel Sprague were undercut by their superiors.
Sprague was replaced by Justice Department official and former Notre Dame law professor G. Robert Blakey.
Unlike Sprague, who had insisted upon using the power of subpoena to obtain documents and testimony and who had assembled a group of talented and brilliant counsel, Blakey relied upon the judgment of the CIA and FBI, who placed their operatives on his staff and who provided only those documents what they wanted the Congress to see.  The congressional committee had been captured.
Blakey signed the [CIA] secrecy agreement [which Sprague and Tanenbaum would not sign] and required that all those who worked for him do the same.  He opposed the use of subpoenas he cleared the FBI and the CIA of complicity in the murder, and he refused to explore the CIA’s activities in Mexico City.  -  Lane, Last Word, p. 232
Worse yet, the person Blakey appointed to secure information from the intelligence agencies was “retired” CIA operative, George E. Joannides, whose close association with a militant anti-Castro group at the time of the assassination could well have made him a suspect himself.
Why Don’t We Know?
Readers will have to excuse me for recycling the section heading above from my previous article, “‘Jews’ Tried to Kill Truman in 1947.”   Unfortunately, it is all too appropriate, and the answer to the question is essentially the same.  We don’t know that the House committee on assassinations was taken over by the CIA and we don’t know about the resignations of Sprague and Tanenbaum and the reasons behind them because of the thorough use of the first of the Seventeen Techniques.  Our vaunted free press has dummied up.
There are many parallels that come to mind, but the closest, and perhaps even more egregious is that of the resignation of Kenneth Starr’s chief investigator/whistleblower, Miguel Rodriguez, in the Vincent Foster death case.  The press didn’t report it when he resigned and was trying his best to get the word out about the cover-up, and they failed to report it again when we discovered and published his resignation letter.    They also failed to report that an addendum that thoroughly undermines Starr’s conclusion of suicide had been appended to his report over his strenuous objections by the 3-judge panel that appointed him.
But in no area has the corruption of the U.S. news media been more obvious, from the Saturday Evening Post’s “view from the sniper’s window” to the suppression of the news of the bullet hole in the limousine windshield, than in their reporting on the case of the assassination of our 35th president.
David Martin
June 8, 2012

 

Richard Sprague from Gaeton Fonzi's "The Last Investigation"

"...if he had it to do over again, he would begin his investigation of the Kennedy assassination
by probing "Oswald's ties to the Central Intelligence Agency."

Philadelphia's Richard Sprague as the Committee's chief counsel. Sprague had gotten national attention with his successful prosecution of United Mine Workers President Tony Boyle for the murder of UMW reformer Joseph Yablonski. In Philadelphia, where as First Assistant District Attorney he had run up a record of 69 homicide convictions out of 70 prosecutions, Sprague was known as tough, tenacious and independent. There was absolutely no doubt in my mind when I heard of Sprague's appointment that the Kennedy assassination would finally get what it needed: a no-holds-barred, honest investigation. Which just goes to show how ignorant of the ways of Washington both Sprague and I were.

When he took the job, Sprague had done so with the stipulation that he would have complete authority to hire his own staff and run the investigation as he saw fit. He proposed setting up two separate staffs, one for Kennedy and one foe King.

He insisted on handling both cases as if they were homicide investigations.

In the annals of the John F. Kennedy assassination, it was a novel approach. And, judging from the reaction of many Congressman, it was a far too radical approach.

The key factors that drove Richard Sprague to resign as Chief Counsel of the Assassinations Committee appeared, at the time, to be apparent and on the surface. His proposed use of certain investigative equipment, his demand for a expensive, unrestricted investigation, his refusal to pay politics with Chairman Gonzalez -- all were apparent grounds for the vociferous criticism which, in the long run, was debilitating to the Committee's efforts to get on with its job. However, after his resignation and a brief respite from the turmoil of Washington, Sprague was able to view his experience in a broader perspective.

Shortly after he returned from Acapulco, he was interviewed by Robert Sam Anson of New Times magazine. Sprague admitted that, with the barrages flying at him from all directions, he and the staff had little time to actually investigate. By his reckoning, he said, he spent "point zero one percent" of his time examining the actual evidence. Yet, he told Anson, if he had it to do over again, he would begin his investigation of the Kennedy assassination by probing "Oswald's ties to the Central Intelligence Agency." Recently, I asked Sprague why he had come to that conclusion. "Well," he said, "when I first thought about it I decided that the House leadership really hadn't intended for there to be an investigation. The Committee was set up to appease the Black Caucus in an election year. I still believe that was a factor. But when I looked back at what happened, it suddenly became very clear that the problems began only after I ran up against the CIA. That's when my troubles really started."

In the early months of the Committee's life, Sprague's critics both in Congress and in the press were not only keeping him busy dodging the shots, they were also demanding that the Committee produce some sensational new evidence to justify its continuance. Sprague, therefore, was forced to take some wild swings at what appeared to be a few obvious targets. One area that very apparently needed closer examination was the CIA's handling of the initial investigation of Lee Harvey Oswald's activities in Mexico City.

According to the information supplied to the Warren Commission by the CIA, a man who identified himself as Lee Harvey Oswald visited the Cuban consulate in Mexico City on September 27th, 1963. (That, by the way, the House Assassinations Committee would later conflictingly conclude, was possibly one of the dates Oswald appeared at Silvia Odio's door in Dallas.) The Agency told the Commission that Oswald had been in Mexico City from September 26th to October 3rd. During the time, said the Agency, Oswald made a number of visits to both the Cuban Embassy and the Russian Embassy attempting to get an in-transit visa to Russia by way of Cuba. The CIA also claimed that when Oswald visited the Russian Embassy he spoke with a Soviet consul who was really a KGB intelligence officer. It was later learned, however, that CIA headquarters in Washington was not informed of the incident until October 9th, and then told only that Oswald had contacted the Soviet Embassy on October 1st. The CIA station in Mexico City told headquarters that it had obtained a photograph of Oswald visited the Embassy and described the man in the photo as approximately 35 years old, six feet tall, with an athletic build, a balding top and receding hairline.

When the Warren Commission asked the CIA for photos of Oswald taken in Mexico City, the ones it produced depicted the man described in the original teletype -- obviously not Oswald. Notified of this discrepancy, the CIA said simply it had made a mistake and that there were no photographs of Oswald taken in Mexico City. It never identified the man in the photos. In fact, the CIA was able to produce very little hard evidence regarding Oswald's activities in Mexico City. "For example," Commission Counsel J. Lee Ranking complained, "they had no record of Oswald's daily movements while in Mexico City, nor could they confirm the date of his departure or his mode of travels."

Some Warren Commission critics would later interpret the incident as an attempt by certain CIA personnel to falsely link Oswald to Communist connections even before the Kennedy assassination. When Sprague first approached this area, he discovered that the CIA officer in charge of reporting such information from Mexico City at the time of Oswald's visit was former Bay of Pigs propaganda chief David Atlee Phillips.

In the biography, The Night Watch: 25 Years of Peculiar Service (published in 1977), David Phillips spends just a few pages on the Kennedy assassination and the Mexico City incident. He blames the cable discrepancy on a mistake by an underling. He explains the lack of an Oswald photography on the CIA's inability to maintain camera coverage of the Cuban and Russian embassies on an around-the-clock and weekend basis. A seemingly strange deficiency at a period so close to the Cuban missile crisis)

Sprague called David Phillips to testify before the Assassinations Committee in November, 1976. According to Sprague, Phillips said that the CIA had monitored and tape recorded Oswald's conversations with the Soviet Embassy. The tape was then transcribed by a CIA employee who then mistakenly coupled it with a photograph of a person who was not Oswald. Phillips said that the actual recording was routinely destroyed or re-used about a week after it was received.

Sprague subsequently discovered an FBI memorandum to the Secret Service dated November 23rd, 1963. It referred to the CIA notification of the man who visited the Russian Embassy. The memo noted that "Special Agents of this Bureau who have conversed with Oswald in Dallas, Tex., have observed photographs of the individual referred to above and have listened to a recording of his voice. These Special Agents are of the opinion that the above-referred-to individual was not Lee Harvey Oswald."

Sprague was intrigued: How could the FBI agents have listened to a tape recording in November when Phillips said it had been destroyed in October? Sprague decided to push the CIA for an answer. He wanted complete information about the CIA's operation in Mexico City and total access to all its employees who may have had anything to do with the photographs, tape recordings and transcripts. The Agency balked. Sprague pushed harder. Finally the Agency agreed that Sprague could have access to the information if he agreed to sign a CIA Secrecy Agreement. Sprague refused. He contended that would be in direct conflict with House Resolution 222 which established the Assassination Committee and authorized it investigate the agencies of the United States Government. "How," he asked, "can I possible sign an agreement with an agency I'm supposed to be investigating?" He indicated he would subpoena the CIA's records.

Shortly afterwards, the first attempt to get the Assassinations Committee reconstituted was blocked.sssss

  

as did his boss Experts at Powerful evidence against the CIA in the murder of President Kennedy surfaced this week in rare national programming aired by C-SPAN.

The network cablecast at unusual length a conference of approximately 30 assassination experts convened in Pittsburgh at Duquesne University October.  

Dankbaar, William. Files on JFK: Interviews with Confessed Assassin James E. Files, and More New Evidence of the Conspiracy that Killed JFK.TrineDay, 2008.

Ray Pamela J. and James E. Files. Interview with History: The JFK Assassination. Author House, 2007.

Richard Sprague from Gaeton Fonzi's "The Last Investigation"

"...if he had it to do over again, he would begin his investigation of the Kennedy assassination
by probing "Oswald's ties to the Central Intelligence Agency."

Philadelphia's Richard Sprague as the Committee's chief counsel. Sprague had gotten national attention with his successful prosecution of United Mine Workers President Tony Boyle for the murder of UMW reformer Joseph Yablonski. In Philadelphia, where as First Assistant District Attorney he had run up a record of 69 homicide convictions out of 70 prosecutions, Sprague was known as tough, tenacious and independent. There was absolutely no doubt in my mind when I heard of Sprague's appointment that the Kennedy assassination would finally get what it needed: a no-holds-barred, honest investigation. Which just goes to show how ignorant of the ways of Washington both Sprague and I were.

When he took the job, Sprague had done so with the stipulation that he would have complete authority to hire his own staff and run the investigation as he saw fit. He proposed setting up two separate staffs, one for Kennedy and one foe King.

He insisted on handling both cases as if they were homicide investigations.

In the annals of the John F. Kennedy assassination, it was a novel approach. And, judging from the reaction of many Congressman, it was a far too radical approach.

The key factors that drove Richard Sprague to resign as Chief Counsel of the Assassinations Committee appeared, at the time, to be apparent and on the surface. His proposed use of certain investigative equipment, his demand for a expensive, unrestricted investigation, his refusal to pay politics with Chairman Gonzalez -- all were apparent grounds for the vociferous criticism which, in the long run, was debilitating to the Committee's efforts to get on with its job. However, after his resignation and a brief respite from the turmoil of Washington, Sprague was able to view his experience in a broader perspective.

Shortly after he returned from Acapulco, he was interviewed by Robert Sam Anson of New Times magazine. Sprague admitted that, with the barrages flying at him from all directions, he and the staff had little time to actually investigate. By his reckoning, he said, he spent "point zero one percent" of his time examining the actual evidence. Yet, he told Anson, if he had it to do over again, he would begin his investigation of the Kennedy assassination by probing "Oswald's ties to the Central Intelligence Agency." Recently, I asked Sprague why he had come to that conclusion. "Well," he said, "when I first thought about it I decided that the House leadership really hadn't intended for there to be an investigation. The Committee was set up to appease the Black Caucus in an election year. I still believe that was a factor. But when I looked back at what happened, it suddenly became very clear that the problems began only after I ran up against the CIA. That's when my troubles really started."

In the early months of the Committee's life, Sprague's critics both in Congress and in the press were not only keeping him busy dodging the shots, they were also demanding that the Committee produce some sensational new evidence to justify its continuance. Sprague, therefore, was forced to take some wild swings at what appeared to be a few obvious targets. One area that very apparently needed closer examination was the CIA's handling of the initial investigation of Lee Harvey Oswald's activities in Mexico City.

According to the information supplied to the Warren Commission by the CIA, a man who identified himself as Lee Harvey Oswald visited the Cuban consulate in Mexico City on September 27th, 1963. (That, by the way, the House Assassinations Committee would later conflictingly conclude, was possibly one of the dates Oswald appeared at Silvia Odio's door in Dallas.) The Agency told the Commission that Oswald had been in Mexico City from September 26th to October 3rd. During the time, said the Agency, Oswald made a number of visits to both the Cuban Embassy and the Russian Embassy attempting to get an in-transit visa to Russia by way of Cuba. The CIA also claimed that when Oswald visited the Russian Embassy he spoke with a Soviet consul who was really a KGB intelligence officer. It was later learned, however, that CIA headquarters in Washington was not informed of the incident until October 9th, and then told only that Oswald had contacted the Soviet Embassy on October 1st. The CIA station in Mexico City told headquarters that it had obtained a photograph of Oswald visited the Embassy and described the man in the photo as approximately 35 years old, six feet tall, with an athletic build, a balding top and receding hairline.

When the Warren Commission asked the CIA for photos of Oswald taken in Mexico City, the ones it produced depicted the man described in the original teletype -- obviously not Oswald. Notified of this discrepancy, the CIA said simply it had made a mistake and that there were no photographs of Oswald taken in Mexico City. It never identified the man in the photos. In fact, the CIA was able to produce very little hard evidence regarding Oswald's activities in Mexico City. "For example," Commission Counsel J. Lee Ranking complained, "they had no record of Oswald's daily movements while in Mexico City, nor could they confirm the date of his departure or his mode of travels."

Some Warren Commission critics would later interpret the incident as an attempt by certain CIA personnel to falsely link Oswald to Communist connections even before the Kennedy assassination. When Sprague first approached this area, he discovered that the CIA officer in charge of reporting such information from Mexico City at the time of Oswald's visit was former Bay of Pigs propaganda chief David Atlee Phillips.

In the biography, The Night Watch: 25 Years of Peculiar Service (published in 1977), David Phillips spends just a few pages on the Kennedy assassination and the Mexico City incident. He blames the cable discrepancy on a mistake by an underling. He explains the lack of an Oswald photography on the CIA's inability to maintain camera coverage of the Cuban and Russian embassies on an around-the-clock and weekend basis. A seemingly strange deficiency at a period so close to the Cuban missile crisis)

Sprague called David Phillips to testify before the Assassinations Committee in November, 1976. According to Sprague, Phillips said that the CIA had monitored and tape recorded Oswald's conversations with the Soviet Embassy. The tape was then transcribed by a CIA employee who then mistakenly coupled it with a photograph of a person who was not Oswald. Phillips said that the actual recording was routinely destroyed or re-used about a week after it was received.

Sprague subsequently discovered an FBI memorandum to the Secret Service dated November 23rd, 1963. It referred to the CIA notification of the man who visited the Russian Embassy. The memo noted that "Special Agents of this Bureau who have conversed with Oswald in Dallas, Tex., have observed photographs of the individual referred to above and have listened to a recording of his voice. These Special Agents are of the opinion that the above-referred-to individual was not Lee Harvey Oswald."

Sprague was intrigued: How could the FBI agents have listened to a tape recording in November when Phillips said it had been destroyed in October? Sprague decided to push the CIA for an answer. He wanted complete information about the CIA's operation in Mexico City and total access to all its employees who may have had anything to do with the photographs, tape recordings and transcripts. The Agency balked. Sprague pushed harder. Finally the Agency agreed that Sprague could have access to the information if he agreed to sign a CIA Secrecy Agreement. Sprague refused. He contended that would be in direct conflict with House Resolution 222 which established the Assassination Committee and authorized it investigate the agencies of the United States Government. "How," he asked, "can I possible sign an agreement with an agency I'm supposed to be investigating?" He indicated he would subpoena the CIA's records.

Shortly afterwards, the first attempt to get the Assassinations Committee reconstituted was blocked.sssss

 
 
 
 
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