President, Congress MIA In Fight For Hidden JFK Records

Did the CIA try to thwart the nation’s last investigation of President Kennedy’s assassination?

Robert Blakey“The CIA not only lied, it actively subverted the investigation,” says G. Robert Blakey, at left, 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 continued. “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.

CIA LogoBut the Archives refuses to release the documents until 2017 without CIA or presidential approval. Why? And 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 complaint and the persistent resistance of intelligence agencies to congressional oversight.

One recent controversy involves the late CIA officer George Joannides, whom Blakey relied upon for advice on location of CIA records and personnel relevant to the HSCA’s reexamination of the Warren Commission report.

Kennedy’s successor Lyndon Johnson appointed the Warren Committee, chaired by Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren, shown in an official photo. The commission announced 50 years ago this fall that Lee Harvey Oswald was a left-wing social misfit who acted alone to kill Kennedy with three shots fired from the rear of JFK’s Dallas motorcade.

Earl WarrenAll relevant official bodies and important news organizations immediately applauded the commission’s findings. Media reports at the time praised the commission as conducting the most thorough murder investigation in human history.

Independent researchers, however, have steadily chipped away at the commission’s credibility by citing suppressed documents and witnesses.

A long-secret transcript of a Warren Commission meeting Jan. 22, 1964 shows, for example, that it learned at the beginning of its investigation that Texas officials and news reporters were on a path to thwart the Oswald “misfit” smear by describing him as a paid FBI operative.

Commission member Allen Dulles, director of the CIA from 1951 to late 1961, took the lead in urging his colleagues to debunk the reports and hide any evidence that the commission had even discussed them. But a transcript survived, and shows that other commissioners shared the Dulles focus on spin and suppression, not truth.

Dulles, shown at right, was no mere bystander. Kennedy had forced Dulles and two top CIA aides to quit in 1961—because of the debacle at the Bay of Pigs during the CIA’s invasion of Cuba.

Allen DullesContrary to the Warren Commission’s theme that Oswald was a government-hating misfit, Oswald had been a Marine so trusted as to obtain a “crypto” security clearance higher than “top secret” while working in Japan at a base housing the super-secret U-2 spy plane, according to research by authors Harold Weisberg, Gerald McKnight and James Douglass.

Breach of Trust by McKnight and JFK and the Unspeakable by Douglass summarized their interpretations of the evidence so far: Oswald worked with the CIA and most likely with the FBI as he Lee Harvey Oswald militaryundertook such missions as becoming a false defector to the Soviet Union from 1959 to 1962, and then handing out pro-Castro literature Lee Harvey Oswald New Orleans mug shot 1963in New Orleans in 1963 upon his return. The material is summarized here in the online encyclopedia Spartacus Educational.

Oswald, who had just turned 24 at the time of his murder, is shown in a military photo (in which his specialty was airborne radar) and in New Orleans police photo. 

Oswald’s seemingly contradictory actions included working in secret with ultra-right, anti-Castro handlers on a need-to-know basis. At the same time, he made himself notorious by getting into a July 1963 street fight in New Orleans with anti-Castro activists from the DRE, the acronym in Spanish for the Student Revolutionary Directorate. He then generated newspaper publicity for himself by going on a radio station to debate a DRE leader he had fought.

In the end, the Warren Commission focused almost entirely on evidence suggesting that Oswald was a misfit and murderer, not a low-level government agent playing a complicated game under instructions. Also, the commission whitewashed Oswald killer Jack Ruby’s mob background, Cuban gun-running and close law enforcement ties.  

Fast Forward to Here and Now

Let’s fast forward to the present, while recognizing that many intriguing side-paths have prompted more than two thousands books on these topics. We address them elsewhere in this series, as in our recent “JFK Readers Guide.”

Blakey and two fellow HSCA researchers, Edwin Lopez and Dan Hardway, say they will seek missing CIA records about JFK under the federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) later this fall—unless the Archives complies with their recent request.

Blakey announced his views in an eight-page letter Sept. 26, 2014 at a three-day conference in Bethesda, MD organized by the non-profit Assassination Archive and Research Center (AARC). His letter is on the AARC website.  Hardway has provided extensive commentary also, now available also on the AARC site.

As HSCA researchers, Lopez and Hardway had explored anti-Castro intrigues by the CIA. They focused especially on supposed Oswald appearances in the fall of 1963 in Mexico City at the Cuban and Soviet embassies. The resulting 300-page “Lopez Report” is available here.

The AARC conference attracted over 200 attendees and presented some 45 speakers, including Lopez, Hardway, and this reporter. Its title was “The Warren Report and the JFK Assassination: Five Decades of Significant Disclosures.”

With every passing year, the CIA’s role in the murder has become more suspect because of new documents books, films and rediscovered witnesses.

The CIA had multiple motives for a cover-up and even for a killing, experts say: JFK sought conciliation with Cuba, North Vietnam, Indonesia, and the Soviet Union. Opponents believed he was “soft on communism.” Some in the Cuban exile community, CIA and elsewhere regarded JFK as a traitor, as former Cuban militant Antonio Veciana told the AARC gathering this fall.

In the early 1960s, the Hollywood movies “Seven Days in May” and “Dr. Strangelove” used drama and comedy to explore these themes.

Oliver Stone and Peter KuznickAs banquet speaker at the AARC conference, American University history professor Peter Kuznick shared the hour-long JFK segment of the 12-part “Untold History of the United States” series that he produced with Oliver Stone for Showtime. JFK’s powerful enemies come to life in the JFK segment.

Kuznick and Stone are among many experts who allege that long-hidden evidence of a plot involving the CIA is now so strong that the public should not be deprived any longer of the CIA’s remaining secrets about the killing simply on the CIA’s say-so.

Former career CIA analyst Ray McGovern, who helped provide daily briefings to two presidents, has argued that modern presidents rightfully fear the CIA’s power to kill.

Ray McGovernMcGovern, left, explored the current implications in his Consortium News column, “Are Presidents Afraid of the CIA?” McGovern noted that even President Truman, who authorized the CIA’s creation, argued after JFK’s death that the CIA’s power should be limited to its original purpose of advising presidents, not engaging in independent operations, which Truman mocked as “strange adventures.” My Cold War research parallels and supports McGovern’s.

That was the context in which Blakey obtained his HSCA post.

Congress effectively banished his predecessor, Richard Sprague and his top JFK investigator, Robert Tanenbaum, who had frightened the CIA and its congressional defenders by promising a full-blown investigation into JFK’s murder.

After that Blakey deferred to the CIA instead of aggressively pursuing evidence, according to Blakey field investigator Gaeton Fonzi, who described their experiences in The Last Investigation. “Unlike his predecessor Dick Sprague,” Fonzi wrote, “Blakey saw nothing wrong in seeking a ‘working arrangement’ with one of the subjects [i.e. the CIA] of his investigation....Yet, in the end, Blakey was suckered.”

In a now-classic description of how political pressures can turn investigative bodies into shams, Fonzi described also how penny-pinching by congress thwarted investigators at times even from making phone calls, much less undertaking the aggressive investigation needed to learn the truth about the JFK and Oswald murders.
In the end, the HSCA concluded in 1979 that Kennedy was the probable victim of a conspiracy, in contrast to the commission’s view of Oswald as a lone gunman.

The official HSCA report blamed no one specifically for conspiring.  

But, as measure of continuing complexities, Blakey later blamed organized crime, a theme he repeated at the AARC conference.

Also, Blakey said he still believes that Oswald killed JFK. Further, he did not implicate the CIA in the assassination itself.  

At the conference, Blakey fielded a question on whether he believed in the commission’s so-called “Single Bullet Theory” whereby one bullet caused seven wounds in JFK and Texas Gov.  John Connally -- and emerged in near-pristine condition on a hospital stretcher.

“Yes!” Blakey responded.

George JoannidesBlakey’s written statement, available here, focused on the longtime CIA covert action officer George Joannides, whom the CIA resurrected from retirement to serve as CIA liaison to the HSCA.

During the HSCA probe, Blakey relied on Joannides for advice on which records to access at the CIA. Blakey and his team asked Joannides for the name of the CIA case officer for the DRE. Joannides denied that a CIA case officer had existed.

Investigators were stunned when researcher Jefferson Morley and his attorney James Lesar obtained CIA records proving that the long-sought CIA case officer for the DRE was Joannides, who also led psychological warfare operations more generally among South Florida Cuban exiles. founder Jefferson Morley and his attorney, James Lesar, brought FOIA lawsuit Morley v. CIA seeking release of long-secret JFK records. Lesar is a longtime specialist in FOIA law who also leads the Assassination Archive and Records Center (AARC). Morley is a former Washington Post reporter who left the paper after it proved reluctant in his view to pursue leads in the JFK murder case.

"The decision," Morley wrote of Judge Leon's decision, "exemplifies the extraordinary deference that the CIA enjoys in the federal courts. Leon dismissed extensive newspaper coverage of the lawsuit and ignored the coverage of a key document it uncovered. He affirmed that the CIA’s conduct in keeping JFK assassination-related records secrets in 2014 was “reasonable.” Morley continued regarding Leon:  "His narrow decision studiously avoids grappling with the untold story of CIA operations around accused presidential assassin Lee Oswald in the summer of 1963 and the agency’s subsequent obstruction of a congressional investigation in 1978. The story of the late George Joannides [a CIA liaison to congressional investigators who failed to disclose that he had worked with Oswald prior to the assassination] is obviously relevant to the JFK."

In last month's conference, Blakey commented: “I can no longer say with confidence, as the HSCA Final Report did, that Oswald had no significant relationship with DRE.” Blakey said the CIA’s misconduct hurt also the Assassination Records Review Board (AARB), which congress created to administer the 1992 JFK Act following public outrage triggered by Oliver Stone’s movie, “JFK.”

At this point, what we know is that the CIA has hidden this information from every investigation into the facts and circumstances surrounding the assassination. Indeed, they have not just hidden the information, they have lied to, at least, both the HSCA and the ARRB.

“I believe,” Blakey continued, “that this rises to the level of probable violation of the law that prohibits impeding the due and proper inquiry of a committee of Congress....I no longer trust anything that the Agency [the CIA] has told us in regard to the assassination.”
The Cover-up Continues

John F. Kennedy

Official Washington mostly ignores these disputes, or treats them as trivia that will vanish in good time.

The Washington Post’s major treatment of the Warren Commission’s 50th anniversary suggested that the only “critics” worth hearing were those in official capacities such as President Johnson or commission members and staff, as I reported in “Washington Post Still Selling Warren Report 50 Years Later.” In “Framing the Warren Commission,” The Atlantic approvingly profiled a comic book team that teaches youngsters about the JFK murder with a book narrative driven by artists who portray Oswald as looking “like a perfect little twerp of a villain.”  

Richard LeonIn terms of official action, U.S. District Judge Richard Leon, right, refused this summer to award attorneys’ fees to Morley and Lesar for their successful FOIA litigation forcing the CIA tp discloses that Joannides traveled to New Orleans in 1963 at a time when both he and accused assassin Lee Harvey Oswald were active in the same anti-Castro circles before the killing. Joannides, who died in 1990, was the CIA's official liaison to congressional investigators.

The judge's denial of legal fees followed a pattern of his career, including three previous rulings again the plaintiffs overturned on appeal. The Harvard Law-trained judge made his political mark in Washington by serving on key oversight bodies where he could help Republicans, the Pentagon and CIA stifle political damage from the Iran-Contra and October Surprise scandals during the Reagan and Bush administrations.

The Archives claims that it plans to release with the CIA’s consent a hidden cache of 1,171 documents identified by Lesar’s team. The CIA has classified these as national security items that must be withheld until 2017.

“We are on track to release the remaining withheld information by 2017, as the JFK Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992 requires,” I was told by NARA Public Affairs and Communications Director Miriam Kleiman.

Kleiman directed me to a 2012 letter from NARA General Counsel Gary M. Stern to Lesar, which denied access to these records before 2017. She also cited 2012 remarks by Stern at a public forum of the National Declassification Center, available here via YouTube. Stern’s most relevant comment began at 95 minutes into the video and lasted for seven minutes.

Neither President Obama, nor congress, nor the media have paid much attention. An exception is Boston Globe reporter Bryan Bender, who attended the AARC conference and published a column Oct. 15, “Answers sought on CIA role in ‘78 JFK probe.”

To date, the CIA has not explained why it lied—and misled— Robert Blakey, especially in matters like Joannides. Even now, citizens cannot know what additional mysteries lie hidden in the withheld 1,171 documents.

More generally, what other national security issues in the next three years might escape review?

At present, the CIA acts in effect as custodian of its own secrets. The historical record from past investigations is that those secrets involve assassination, regime change and propaganda efforts abroad. The still-looming question, as many have warned, is how much those operations have expanded to domestic targets, including elected officials.

One can only wonder how much these events might disturb the nation’s founders.

Thomas Jefferson, as a member of Virginia’s colonial legislature in 1774, took the lead in an open letter to King George expressing the grievances of his American subjects. “The whole art of government consists in the art of being honest,” the protest read. ”Only aim to do your duty, and mankind will give you credit where you fail.” 

After the Revolution and new nation’s founding came George Washington’s Farewell Address in 1796. The nation’s first president praised Constitutional “checks and balances” and warned his successors against “foreign entanglements.“

Questions arise: Who elected the CIA or the National Archives to suppress documents?

Where is congressional concern? Where is President Obama? And, most important, where is the next legislator of Thomas Jefferson quality willing to use public office, no matter how modest, to speak out?  

Contact the author This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Justice Integrity Project Readers Guide To JFK Assassination

* Denotes major articles in this Readers Guide series

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

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


National Archives Self-Description

David FerrieroNational Archives and Record Administration (NARA), Washington, DC. National Archivist David S. Ferriero, shown at left, is the head of the agency, appointed by the President of the United States. The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is the nation's record keeper. Of all documents and materials created in the course of business conducted by the United States Federal government, only 1%-3% are so important for legal or historical reasons that they are kept forever. 

In 1992, Congress enacted the President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act. The Act mandated that all assassination-related material be housed in a single collection in the NARA. The collection consists of more than 5 million pages of assassination-related records, photographs, motion pictures, sound recordings and artifacts (approximately 2,000 cubic feet of records). Most of the records are open for research.

JFK researchers may search the NARA online database of recently declassified and still-classified records from the Kennedy assassination investigations. The site provides a Kennedy Assassination Collection Simple Search Form. Some names appear in various forms. For example, records pertaining to Clay Shaw are sometimes coded "CS" while others show up under the search term "Clay Shaw." 

C-SPAN, National Archives program about the JFK Assassination Records airs Sunday, Sept. 28, 2014 on C-SPAN3 (1 hour, 29 min.). Interview with U.S. National Archives official on why Archives plans not to release hidden JFK records until 2017.

Related News Coverage

Advocacy for Release of Hidden JFK Murder Records

Lyndon B. Johnson, John KennedyPresident John F. Kennedy is shown in a file photo with his vice president, Lyndon B. Johnson.

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

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

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

Tommy TuckerWWL AM/FM (New Orleans CBS-affiliate), Eric Holder's resignation as U.S. attorney general, morning host Tommy Tucker (right) interviewed on Sept. 26, 2014 author and Justice Integrity Project Director Andrew Kreig to review of Holder's performance during six years as the Obama administration's Attorney General. A particularly focus of the interview was the issue of transparency, including records the administration continues to hide regarding the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy despite the requirements of disclosure under the 1992 JFK Act unanimously passed by congress.

Jerome CorsiWND, JFK theorists gather, press for document release, 50th anniversary of controversial Warren Commission Report, Jerome R. Corsi (shown at left), Sept. 27, 2014. On this 50th anniversary of the publication of the Warren Commission Report, the Washington-based Assassinations Archive and Research Center, or AARC, opened a three-day conference Friday featuring an all-star cast of JFK assassination “conspiracy theorists.” AARC President James Lesar began the conference by urging attendees to lobby Congress in support of a Freedom of Information Act request his organization has filed with the National Archives and Records Administration, or NARA. AARC is protesting a NARA decision to withhold from the public until at least 2017 more than 1,000 classified government documents on the JFK assassination. Lesar and his organization argue the 1992 JFK Records Act mandated the public release of all JFK assassination files in the government’s archives.

Boston Globe, Government still withholding thousands of documents on JFK assassination, Bryan Bender, Nov. 24, 2013. There were the Pentagon’s top-secret reviews of Lee Harvey Oswald — before and after the assassination. The files about the CIA operative who surveilled the alleged assassin and whose knowledge was purposely hidden from congressional investigators. The sworn testimony of dozens of intelligence officials and organized crime figures dating back nearly four decades. And the government personnel files of multiple figures officially designated as relevant to the investigation. The documents are just some of the collections that the law stipulates are relevant but government archivists acknowledge have not been released to the public a half a century after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

Boston Globe, A dark corner of Camelot, Bryan Bender, Jan. 23, 2011. 50 years after President Kennedy asked his brother Robert to oust Castro, RFK’s files at the JFK Library remain in family control, largely out of view. Documents on Robert F. Kennedy’s service as attorney general could help fill gaps in the history of US covert operations against Cuba, relations with Fidel Castro, and the Cuban missile crisis, but many are secret. Documents on Robert F. Kennedy’s service as attorney general could help fill gaps in the history of US covert operations against Cuba, relations with Fidel Castro, and the Cuban missile crisis, but many are secret.  Stacked in a vault at the John Robert F. KennedyF. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Dorchester, individually sealed and labeled, are 54 crates of records so closely guarded that even the library director is prohibited from taking a peek. And yet, archivists contend, the trove contains some of the most important records of Cold War history: diaries, notes, phone logs, messages, trip files, and other documents from Robert F. Kennedy’s service as US attorney general, including details about his roles in the Cuban missile crisis and as coordinator of covert efforts to overthrow or assassinate Fidel Castro. A half-century after those critical events, a behind-the-scenes tussle continues over the Kennedy family’s refusal to grant permission for researchers to freely review them. The disagreement lingers even as the JFK Library this month celebrated the 50th anniversary of John Kennedy’s inauguration by providing “unprecedented’’ access to thousands of records of his presidency. “The RFK papers are among the most valuable, untapped archival resources of foreign policy and domestic history left to be excavated,’’ said Peter Kornbluh, a senior analyst at George Washington University’s National Security Archive, who has been rebuffed several times in his attempts to gain access to the papers. 

Jefferson MorleyJFK Facts, 1,100 JFK documents ignored in Obama’s push to open records, Jefferson Morley (shown at right), May 14, 2013. The Obama administration has declassified 175 batches of long-secret government records, the National Declassification Center announced last week, a milestone in a government-wide push to make public 404 million documents that have been deemed unnecessarily classified. Yet the NDC effort will not make public 1,100 long-suppressed CIA records related to the assassination of President Kennedy. Why not? The National Archives says the CIA lacks the “time and resources” to review the records, which were known to, but not reviewed by, the staff of the independent Assassination Records Review Board in the 1990s. In a public forum last summer, NDC and National Archives announced they would not challenge the CIA’s claim. The records will now be released in 2017 at the earliest, and maybe not even then. The CIA’s claim that it lacks the time and resources is curious. The agency has had the time and resources to review and release records related to the Katyn Forest massacre of 1942 in which Soviet army killed thousands of Polish military officers, a tragedy in which no Americans died. The NDC has boasted publicly about declassifying records about “How to build a flying saucer,” not exactly a matter of widespread public interest. Yet the NDC and CIA officials contend — with straight faces — that they lack the time and resources to review and release records related to the murder of a sitting American president. The CIA itself deemed the records to be related to JFK’s assassination in the 1970s. In 1976. Agency officials collected the files from agency archives as they prepared to respond to the first congressional investigation of JFK’s death. The records were not shared with the House Select Committee on Assassinations unless they specifically asked for them. The CIA now claims that the records are “Not Believed Relevant” to JFK’s assassination. That claim has never been confirmed by anyone outside of the agency and is probably factually incorrect. In two posts earlier this year:  JFK Facts has identified seven important JFK files among the 1,100 documents.

  •     E. Howard Hunt, former Watergate burglar, who made a video for his son late in life in which he insinuated that CIA officers had plotted against JFK’s life. The CIA retains six files on Hunt’s operations containing 332 pages of material.
  •     David Phillips, the chief of anti-Castro operations in 1963, who oversaw the surveillance of Lee Harvey Oswald in Mexico City six weeks before JFK’s assassination and who gave contradictory and evasive testimony to investigators. Phillips also organized a CIA-sponsored assassination conspiracy to kill a top general in Chile in 1970, according to the non-profit National Security Archive at George Washington University. The CIA retains four files containing 606 pages of material on Phillips.
  •     William K. Harvey, the one-time chief of the CIA’s assassination program who was known for his hatred of the Kennedys. Harvey’s biographer, a former CIA officer turned Newsweek correspondent, devoted a whole chapter of his book to examining allegations that Harvey was involved in JFK’s murder. The CIA retains one file on Harvey containing 123 pages of material.
  •     David Sanchez Morales, deputy chief of the CIA’s Miami station in 1963, who later boasted of being involved in JFK’s death, according to a friend. “We took care of that SOB,” he reportedly said. The CIA is keeping secret a 61-page administrative file on Morales.
  •     George Joannides, chief of psychological warfare operations in Miami in 1963, whose agents in the Cuban exile community took the lead in publicizing Lee Harvey Oswald’s pro-Castro activities before and after JFK was killed. In 1978 Joannides misled congressional investigators about his role in the events of 1963. In 1981 he received a CIA medal for his actions. The CIA is keeping 295 documents about Joannides secret in their entirety.

Warren Commission Report's 50th Anniversary

JFK Facts, Why the liberal press ignored the 50th anniversary of the Warren Commission, Jefferson Morley, Sept. 29, 2014. The 50th anniversary of the Warren Report is, among many things, a reminder that much of the country does not have faith in the efficacy and integrity of the federal government to provide an accurate account of JFK’s death. In other words, the 50th anniversary of the Warren Commission’s report was a reminder to the journalistic professionals that their perspective on this highly symbolic issue is not credible with most people. So superbly talented and exquisitely liberal-minded reporters and editors avoided the subject. While most Americans think it likely that someone in a position of power used assassination to advance their goals in 1963, a declining profession is clinging to the obsolete story that one man alone killed JFK for no reason (and then another killed the first guy–for no reason). It is an odd faith. Or is it a symptom of decline?

AARC adBoston Globe, 50 years later, doubts still raised on Warren Report, Cat Zakrzewski, Sept. 27, 2014. Fifty years after the Warren Commission concluded that a lone gunman killed President John F. Kennedy, a conference examining the assassination convened here, dominated by skeptics who mulled over conspiracy theories and cast doubt on official reports. One panelist, John Newman, who gave a presentation on CIA pseudonyms used by agents connected with the Kennedys, said the Warren Report “was not just wrong. The longer we have to study the case, the wronger its conclusions become.” his gathering, five decades after the Warren Commission published its report on Sept. 24, 1964, drew more than 200 people. It was sponsored by a private group, the Assassination Archives and Research Center, which says on its website that it is the world’s largest private archive “dedicated to acquiring, preserving, and disseminating information on political assassinations.” One of the speakers, Antonio Veciana, an 86-year-old involved in the anti-Castro movement, said through a translator that he had seen a CIA officer in Dallas with Lee Harvey Oswald before Kennedy’s assassination. Attendees had so many questions for Veciana that his talk went almost an hour over the allotted time. Editor's Note: The Boston Globe and C-SPAN provided rare exceptions in mainstream coverage of the AARC conference on the Warren Commission.

Mainstream Media Endorsements of Warren Report

Washington Post, Meet the respectable JFK conspiracy theorists, Philip Shenon, Sept. 21, 2014.
, July 30, 2014 (54 minutes). Philip Shenon, author of A Cruel and Shocking Act and a defender of the Warren Report, talked about the report, which was presented to President Lyndon Johnson on Sept. 24, 1964. The report outlined the findings of the nine-month investigation into President John Kennedy’s assassination.
Time Magazine Lee Harvey Oswald Cover Oct. 2, 1964Time, Behind the Scenes: The Complete Kennedy Assassination Story in 9 Pages, Lily Rothman, Sept. 24, 2014. Looking back on the Warren Commission Report, 50 years after its findings on the Kennedy assassination were released. In addition to recounting the events that surrounded the assassination, the Commission’s report debunked the major conspiracy theories that had emerged in the year after that day. Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. He and Jack Ruby had no connection. There was no foreign conspiracy, nor was there a domestic one. But what the report lacked in scandal it made up for in detail. “Its great value comes from the thoroughness with which the Commission carried out its investigation, from its laying to rest many malignant rumors and speculations, and from its fascinating wealth of detail by which future historians can abide,” noted Time’s story on the report. After the special issue was published, Loeb, who had first joined TIME in 1956, would end up spending 30 more years at Time Inc., retiring in 1994 from his job as managing editor of Fortune magazine. Following his retirement, he became editor of the Columbia Journalism Review. So it’s only fitting that, when he looks back on the Warren Commission Report piece, it’s with an editor’s eye that he sees the way those 36 hours of work have stood the test of 50 years. “I think it was a well-done job — one, to focus the material and, two, picking out which areas of the report to focus on. To this very day, if someone picks up the Warren Commission Report, which is like a big book, and picks up one of our stories about the report, it will look very good,” Loeb says. “There were no huge errors discovered afterward — I mean years afterward, when there was plenty of time to examine it.”
The Atlantic, Framing the Warren Commission, Noah Gordon, Sept. 16, 2014. Can a graphic novel really convey the complexities of America's most controversial assassination and the era that gave birth to it? In The Warren Commission Report: A Graphic Investigation Into The Kennedy Assassination, Dan Mishkin, Ernie Colon, and Jerzy Drozd conduct a visual investigation into the killing of a president and the plot behind it. A medium best known for the likes of Batman and Wonder Woman, the graphic novel seems like maybe a strange choice for someone looking to examine a somber day in American history. But this is a more serious study than some readers might expect. Editor's Note: The comic book team teaches youngsters about the case with a book narrative driven by the artists’ perception that Oswald looked “like a perfect little twerp of a villain.”

Irish Examiner, Warren of conspiracies: Kennedy’s assassination, Ryle Dwyer, Sept. 29, 2014. Ryle Dwyer examines the Warren Report into Kennedy’s assassination 50 years after publication and finds its failure to examine all the evidence undermined its conclusions.

Scientific Evidence

Jerome CorsiWND, Oswald dismissed as lone gunman in JFK killing, Forensic pathologist calls single-bullet theory 'pure nonsense,' Jerome R. Corsi (shown at left), Sept. 29, 2014. Forensic pathologist Cyril Wecht kicked off the second day of the Assassination Archive and Research Center, or AARC, conference on the John F. Kennedy slaying by insisting Lee Harvey Oswald could not have been the lone shooter. “I think the single-bullet theory is pure nonsense,” Dr. Cyril WechtWecht told an all-star cast of JFK assassination “conspiracy theorists” at the conference commemorating the 50th anniversary of the publication of the Warren Commission Report. Wecht, shown in a file photo at right, proceeded to explain the gyrations and changes in direction required for one bullet to have hit JFK, passing up through JFK’s body from the entrance wound in the back, to exit through JFK’s neck. “The explanations are ridiculous,” Wecht challenged. “Was JFK bending over tying his shoe when he got shot? Not if you look at the Zapruder film. JFK was sitting upright, and the entrance wound in his back was lower than the supposed exit wound in this throat. How is it possible that a bullet fired from the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository moved in an upward direction transiting through JFK’s body?”

WND, Did 3 shooters gun down JFK? Scientific studies conclude Oswald not 'lone assassin,' Jerome R. Corsi, Sept. 29, 2014. The authors of two studies of the JFK assassination presented scientific evidence they believe conclusively shows three shooters fired five shots at the president’s motorcade Nov. 22, 1963. The papers were presented at a conference in the nation’s capital over the weekend hosted by the Assassination Archives and Research Center to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the publication of the Warren Commission Report. The Warren Commission famously concluded in 1964 that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. Donald Byron Thomas, author of the 2010 book Hear No Evil: Social Constructivism & the Forensic Evidence in the Kennedy Assassination, presented evidence a Dictabelt audio recording made by Dallas Police Officer H.B. McLain that picked up what sounded like five separate shots is authentic. The Dictabelt recording persuaded the House Select Committee on Assassinations, HSCA, to conclude in 1978 that there was “a high probability that two gunmen fired at President John F. Kennedy,” meaning Kennedy was “probably assassinated as a result of a conspiracy,” rejecting the Warren Commission’s conclusion that Oswald was the lone assassin. In a phone interview with WND, Thomas engaged a point debated for decades now with critics of the Dictabelt evidence, including Dale Myers, that McLean was not in Dealey Plaza when the shots were fired. At the conference, Dr. Randolph Robertson, a board-certified radiologist, built on Thomas’ findings to correlate the gunshot acoustics heard on the Dallas Police Dictabelt with the Zapruder film video recording of the assassination to conclude five shots were fired by three shooters.

Commentaries Alleging Plots Continuing To Present

Peter Dale ScottWhoWhatWhy, The Hidden Government Group Linking JFK, Watergate, Iran-Contra and 9/11, Peter Dale Scott (shown in a file photo), Oct. 5, 2014. Author Peter Dale Scott, considered the father of Deep Politics, explains the influential role of the government’s highest-level emergency planning group in four of the biggest events in the last half-century of American history. Here’s how personnel from the “Doomsday Project,” as the Continuity of Government group is known, tie together JFK’s assassination, Watergate, Iran-Contra and 9/11. Editor's Note: Scott made the presentation at the Assassination Archives and Research Center conference Sept. 28 on the 50th anniversary of the Warren Commission report.

The New Civil Rights Movement, GOP Official Asks Military Why They Haven't Launched Coup Against 'Domestic Enemy' Obama, David Badash, Oct. 14, 2014. Republican Debbie Dunnegan Waters is the Jefferson County Recorder of Deeds, an elected official in the state of Missouri. On Facebook last week, she posted a question to her friends in the military. Acknowledging that "there has to be something that I am just not aware of," Waters writes, "I cannot and do not understand why no action is being taken against our domestic enemy. I know he is supposedly the commander in chief, but the constitution gives you the authority. What am I missing? Thank you for your bravery and may God keep you safe."

Citizens For Truth In the Kennedy Assassination (CTKA), The Conspiracy the Commission Couldn't Find, James DiEugenio, Sept. 24, 2014. In this final installment of a five-part series, we center on information that most certainly indicated a plot in the JFK case. Almost all the material discussed here was available back in 1964. The problem was that the agencies that the Commission relied upon were not forthcoming in forwarding the facts to the Commission. In other words, the Commission was more or less at the mercy of men like J. Edgar Hoover (shown at right) at the FBI, James Rowley and Elmer Moore at the Secret Service, and Richard Helms and James J. Edgard Hoover file via Creative CommonsAngleton at the CIA. Since those three agencies provided the overwhelming majority of information to the Commission, the investigation was doomed from the start. 63 Pieces of Evidence: Item No. 51 (out of 63): Within 72 hours of the assassination, David Ferrie was trying to deny his association with Oswald. And he broke the law to do so. After Jim Garrison turned Ferrie over to the FBI, Oswald's longtime friend and colleague lied his head off to the Bureau. He said he never owned a telescopic rifle, or used one, and he would not even know how to use one. Considering his activities as a CIA trainer for the Bay of Pigs and Operation Mongoose, these were clear deceptions. Further, it is a crime to perjure yourself to an FBI agent in an investigation.

OpEdNews, Symposium on the JFK Assassination: Day One, Josh Mitteldorf, Sept. 27, 2014. I came to the AARC conference in Bethesda this weekend hoping to get a broad sense of who was behind the plot, and how heirs to power in the wake of JFK continue to corrupt America to this day. In this, I was disappointed. Fifty years on, there is agreement only on the outline of a narrative: JFK was shot by several gunmen hiding on the ground in Dealey Plaza. Oswald had been pre-selected as scapegoat. CIA and LBJ were prime movers in the plot, but they could not have gotten away with what they did if JFK had not stood up to powerful military and financial interests and provoked their ire. In the day's high point, we heard a first-hand confirmation of CIA primacy in the plot. Antonio Veciana, now 86 years old and infirm, was a Cuban exile and anti-Castro activist, recruited by CIA personnel. Andrew Kreig, author of Presidential Puppetry and occasional OpEdNews contributor, makes a case that the JFK assassination fundamentally changed American politics. Presidents from LBJ through Obama have understood that they serve at the pleasure of the CIA, and demands placed on them have been increasingly audacious and destructive. Kreig goes further to assert that every recent presidential candidate (both parties) has been pre-vetted, trained and promoted by the CIA. This speaks to the importance of correcting the record, and of the timeliness of a new investigation to tell us who were the heirs to power in the wake of the Coup of 1963, and how they connect forward to the people leading our country today. Republished on

Antonio VecianaOpEdNews, Cuban Exile Militant Claims CIA Meeting With Oswald Before JFK Killing, Andrew Kreig, Oct. 1, 2014. A former CIA assassination team leader 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.

Diario de Las Americas via JFK Facts, Translation: Kennedy was killed by the CIA, says a former agent, Iliana Lavastida, Feb. 11, 2014. “The death of John F. Kennedy was a coup, an internal conspiracy," says Antonio Veciana, shown at left, with absolute conviction and willingness to reveal what he considers a historical truth. The Cuban exile and former agent of the CIA gave his testimony in an interview with the Diario de las Americas 50 years after the assassination in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963.


Upcoming Events

Coup In Camelot Documentary

Coup in Camelot, premiere Oct. 26, 2014 in Dallas. Directed and Produced by Stephen Goetsch. Trailer: Coup in Camelot. Written and produced by Art Van Kampen. Narrated by Peter Coyote. Featuring interviews with: Sherry Fiester, Douglas Horne, Dr. David Mantik, Vincent Palamara, Dick Russell, Barry Ernest, Jerry Dealey. Coup in Camelot  "is a powerful new documentary about the investigation of America's most infamous cold case -- the assassination of President John F. Kennedy." It shines a new light on the "forensic fingerprints" surrounding the tragic day in November 1963 that left the country without its 35th president.  From JFK's plans for peace, to the United States immersion in Vietnam after President Kennedy's death, this powerful examination of new research with exclusive interviews and analysis by the top medical, forensic and research experts in the country unfolds to tell the dramatic tale.