Reporters Beware: CIA's Misleading Talking Points on JFK Files

Editor's Introduction: Guest columnist Jefferson Morley, right, writes a timely and important column about the serious difficulties journalists and their jefferson morley newaudiences must overcome to understand documents about the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy (JFK) mandated for release this month under a 1992 law.

Morley, who has litigated for some two decades to secure release, argues that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) provided misleading explanations to key reporters this month as it sought to minimize how much information it has successfully suppressed in the latest document release on Dec.15 via a Biden White House process coordinated via the National jefferson morley coverArchives and Records Administration (NARA).

Morley knows the process well. A former Washington Post reporter who covered the topic in depth three decades ago, he went on to write several well-received books on the topic. The first was Our Man in Mexico: Winston Scott and the Hidden History of the CIA (University of Kansas Press, 2008), which revealed the shadowy life of the CIA's spymaster chief in Mexico City during the period preceding and during the JFK assassination.

For years, Morley published on the website "JFK Facts" as a free information service for the public. Recently, he relaunched the site on Substack, with this column republished by permission. He is now also vice president of the Mary Ferrell Foundation, which under the direction of President Rex Bradford has digitized, indexed and otherwise archived the world's largest private collection of JFK-related and similar assassination digitized documents.

Appendices to this column provide links to archives plus sample news and commentaries from JFK Facts and other prominent sources regarding the Dec. 15 JFK document disclosures. Some articles, particularly from mainstream news organizations, are included to provide context but they are not necessarily endorsed by the Justice Integrity Project and other serious researchers for their overall themes and specifics. Most mainstream treatments, now as since the days following the assassination, adhere to the controversial view that former Marine Lee Harvey Oswald killed JFK, acting alone. That view, which has prompted generations of expert critics to document evidence discrediting the government's claim, has never been supported by a majority of the American public, according to opinion polls. 

Our Justice Integrity Project (JIP) has published scores of commentaries in a "JFK Assassination Readers Guide" and this editor this month rejoined the board of directors of Citizens Against Political Assassinations (CAPA) to help clarify the facts during the upcoming 60th anniversary year of the JFK assassination.

-- Andrew Kreig / Justice Integrity Project Editor


A worker cleans the Central Intelligence Agency logo at an entrance to its headquarters in Langley, Virginia (File photo).

A worker cleans the Central Intelligence Agency logo at an entrance to its headquarters in Langley, Virginia (Associated Press photo by J. Scott Applewhite).

Reporters Beware: CIA's Misleading Talking Points on JFK Files 

How the Agency steers journalists away from what it is hiding on Kennedy's assassination

By Jefferson Morley

Below are the CIA’s talking points on the December 15 release of JFK files. They were distributed to select Washington reporters in an effort to blunt the terrible press coverage that the Agency has been getting from mainstream news organizations because of its continuing failure to comply with the JFK Records Act.

Any news reporters, podcasters, tweeters, or commentators tempted to rely on the CIA’s statements about the JFK files should contact JFK Facts or the Mary Ferrell Foundation for comment and fact checking.

The CIA’s talking points are NOT reliable, as our notes show.


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