In the fourth public release this year, the National Archives today posted 13,213 records subject to the President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992 (JFK Act).
The majority of the documents released today were released previously in redacted form. The versions released today were prepared by agencies prior to October 26, 2017, and were posted to make the latest versions of the documents available as expeditiously as possible. Released records are available for download.
On October 26, 2017, President Donald J. Trump directed agencies to re-review each and every one of their redactions over the next 180 days. As part of that review process, agency heads were directed to be extremely circumspect in recommending any further postponement of information in the records. Agency heads must report to the Archivist of the United States by March 12, 2018, any specific information within particular records that meets the standard for continued postponement under section 5(g)(2)(D) of the JFK Act. The Archivist must then recommend to the President by March 26, 2018, whether this information warrants continued withholding after April 26, 2018. The records included in this public release have not yet been re-reviewed by the agencies as part of that process and have not been reviewed by the National Archives.
The National Archives established the John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection in November 1992, and it consists of approximately five million pages of records. The vast majority of the collection has been publicly available without any restrictions since the late 1990s.
In a great compliment to me, personally and professionally, that CIA historian David Robarge has attacked my new biography of James Angleton, THE GHOST.
Robarge’s review is a compliment because it shows how my account of Angleton’s career is disturbing the CIA’s preferred narrative of Angleton, and especially the agency’s enduring cover story that Angleton was not paying close attention to Lee Harvey Oswald in the summer of 1963. In fact, he was paying attention to Oswald, as I show in THE GHOST.
Robarge is discomfited by the JFK facts as I have presented them. He should be.
Robarge’s review does not up live up to the usual editorial standards of the CIA, which is why I suspect it was not published by Robarge’s employer but by Max Holland on his personal site Washington Decoded.
Let it be said that while Holland and Robarge harbor an animus against me, I do not return the favor. Robarge’s published views on Angleton are fair and judicious. Holland did pioneering work on the story of Deep Throat/Mark Felt. When it comes to THE GHOST, however, their professionalism falters.
This does not surprise me. When I started researching THE GHOST, I sought out Robarge’s expertise. In the summer of 2015, I requested an interview with him. On August 21, 2015, CIA Public Affairs Office informed me that the agency could not support the request.
Robarge now criticizes me for not sharing his views of Angleton, after passing up the opportunity to share his views with me. Gee, thanks.
Robarge says THE GHOST is “erratically organized.”
Readers will observe that the 50-plus chapters in THE GHOST are organized chronologically.
Robarge says that I have “insufficient discernment among sources.”
In THE GHOST I relied heavily on-the-record interviews with retired CIA officers, and others who knew and worked with Angleton including Bill Hood, Jane Roman, Peter Jessup, Ann Goodpasture, Bill Gowen, Peter Sichel, as well as State Department officials, Tom Hughes and Tom Pickering, and former Mossad chief Efraim Halevy.
I drew from on the private papers and records of retired CIA officers including Richard Helms, Roscoe HIllenkoetter, James McCarger, and John Hadden.
I also relied on CIA’s biographies of Richard Helms, John McCone and William Colby. David Robarge is quoted favorably on pp. 86 and 123.
Robarge taxes me for quoting an anonymous blogger.
I quoted one blogger who described Angleton’s reign at the CIA as a “Panopticon rendered in paper.” I thought that was a nice turn of phrase. Robarge says the blogger did not have any citations. I had the same problem with this blogger which is why I do not cite him as the source for a single fact in the book, only his quote.
Robarge says “Morley overstates Angleton’s part in the Italian election operation—he hardly was its “miracle worker.”
My account of Angleton’s role in the 1948 election is based on Cloak & Gown: Scholars in the Secret War, 1939-1961, by Robin Winks, p. 351-388. “It was in Italy that the ‘legendary Jim Angleton’ was born,” Winks wrote. He may not have been a “miracle worker” but he had that reputation, at least with his friend Winks.
Robarge says “no persuasive evidence shows that Angleton had a “supporting role” in the MK/ULTRAproject,”
My account is based primarily on the diary of Angleton’s friend, George Hunter White, which is held in the Stanford University Library. The diary records six meetings between Angleton and White in the summer and fall of 1952, including phone calls, meals, and office meetings.
The diary shows the two men met in 1952 with Sidney Gottlieb, the Technical Services Division scientist who later ran MKULTRA. White would go on to run two CIA safehouses where unwitting persons were dosed with LSD.
White’s diary is persuasive evidence of Angleton’s supporting role in the early days of MKULTRA.
An Israeli diplomat is alleged to have been “Angleton’s man in Havana.” But they met only a few times,
Baruch Nir was Angleton’s man in Havana. Late in life, he spoke in detail to Israeli journalists about how he helped Angleton with intelligence missions in Cuba. He described himself as Angleton’s man in Havana.
Robarge disagrees that the United States had “two divergent Cuba policies” in mid-1963 represented by the Joint Chiefs of Staff’s “engineered provocation” plan called NORTHWOODS and the White House’s “autonomous operations” using Cuban exiles, possibly in conjunction with the assassination of Castro.
Reasonable people can differ. But Robarge adds “NORTHWOODS was never carried out, and the CIA’s integrated covert action program codenamed AM/WORLD became the focus for the rest of Kennedy’s presidency. “
How do we know NORTHWOODS “was never carried out.”
I cited the proceedings of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on May 1, 1963. The JCS unanimously approved of NORTHWOODS approach for provoking war with Cuba. And that is where the declassified paper trail ends. There is nothing in the public record that states whether NORTHWOODS was executed or discontinued. If Robarge has evidence that NORTHWOODS was cancelled after May 1963, I hope he will share it.
Robarge says that Morley “asserts that Angleton stressed Lee Harvey Oswald’s Cuban ties so the White House would activate NORTHWOODS,“
I don’t know what passage in THE GHOST Robarge is referring to. All I can say is that I did not write, and I do not believe this claim as stated.
Angleton did not stress Oswald’s Cuban ties after JFK’s assassination. The CIA’s psychological warfare agents in Miami and New Orleans publicly stressed Oswald’s Cuba ties. Angleton himself did not.
I did not write, and I do not believe, that the White House “activated” NORTHWOODS. Robarge is drawing conspiratorial conclusions from the evidence. I do not draw this conclusion in THE GHOST.
Robarge accuses me of a “fundamental misunderstanding” of Angleton’s “Cuban Control and Action Capabilities”—an assessment of the Castro regime’s counterintelligence apparatus, issued in May 1963. THE GHOST I report that the memo was not sent to White House, the National Security Council, and Attorney General Robert Kennedy, the administration’s point man on Cuban affairs.
“The recipients on the paper’s distribution list were the USIB’s [United States
Intelligence Board] members and other US departments with equities in Cuban affairs,” he writes, all of which is true. Then he writes. “The White House, the NSC, and the attorney general would not have received it as a standard practice.”
But, of course, JFK’s Cuba policy in 1963 did not follow “standard practice.” Attorney Robert Kennedy, as the administration’s point man. on Cuba, did have equities in Cuba policy. So did the NSC. But they didn’t get the memo.
“Angleton did not leave them off as some devious tactic to influence policy behind the scenes or in a show of antagonism toward them,” Robarge writes.
No, Angleton left them off because he, like Dick Helms, disdained the amateurish AMWORLD approach favored by RFK and the White House. Angleton’s May 1963 memo shows that he trying to do something more serious: forge an inter-agency consensus around a more robust policy aimed at what we now call “regime change.”
Robarge accuses me of a “gross misrepresentation” when I say of the assassination of JFK, “an epic counterintelligence failure culminated on Angleton’s watch.”
We can agree that counterintelligence chief Angleton was responsible for detecting threats from U.S. enemies seeking penetrate the government’s intelligence agency and American institutions.
Robarge does not dispute that Angleton, and his aides Jane Roman and Betty Egerter, received multiple reports about the movements, politics and foreign contacts of Lee Harvey Oswald from November 1959 to Nove
Robarge does not dispute that in late 1963, Angleton’s staff was informed about Oswald’s contacts with KGB and DGI officers, one of whom had been identified as a possible KGB assassination specialist.
Robarge does not dispute that Angleton and his staff also knew about Oswald’s pro-Castro politics and his recent arrest in October 1963.
We agree that Angleton’s people did not take any action to heighten scrutiny of Oswald.
That’s why I describe their actions as a “failure” and I think the consequences were “epic.”
“By Morley’s logic, Angleton and the Counterintelligence Staff supposedly were, or should have been, preoccupied with one person—Oswald—to the exclusion of everyone else caught up in the sweep.”
I never say that Angleton should have been preoccupied with Oswald.
What I document in THE GHOST is that Angleton was interested in Lee Harvey Oswald from 1959 to 1963 and that he used Oswald for intelligence purposes–in his hunt for the mole and in watching the Cuban Consulate in Mexico City.
Robarge says “Morley unskeptically draws on CIA station chief Winston Scott’s memoir for details about what the Agency knew of Oswald’s doings in Mexico City without noting the errors in it that were pointed out in a publicly available CIA critique.”
I saw the CIA critique of Scott’s memoir, when I wrote Scott’s biograpy, Our Man In Mexico. The author who did not know Scott well, wrote six or seven years after Scott’s death. He claimed that Scott had “gone to seed” by the time he wrote the memoir in 1969-1970.
In fact, in those years, Scott received the CIA’s Distinguished Intelligence Medal and ran an international consulting business with former London station chief Al Ulmer. He had not “gone to seed,” according to his colleagues, friends and family. I did not cite the memo because it is not factual.
Robarge says my reporting reaches “a low point” when I quote Tom Hughes the head of the State Department’s Intelligence and Research division in the 1960s.
As a senior State Department official, Tom Hughes is a credible source. As I noted in the text, Hughes “speculated” about Angleton’s role in the events of June 1967.
Robarge says Morley “does not appear to have actually read Agency counterintelligence officer Tennent H. Bagley’s report arguing for Nosenko’s male fides although portions of it have long been declassified.”
Robarge does appear to have read my book. On p. 168 of THE GHOST I cite this document, summarize its contents, and note Bagley’s authorship.
I weighed Bagley’ memo for Nosenko’s mala fides against the case made by CIA officers John Hart, George Kisevalter, Cleveland Cram, and Benjamin Fischer. I concluded the latter had the much stronger case.
Robarge says MI-5 scientist Peter Wright is “routinely derided by critics as semi-paranoid.”
Robarge cites no names of these critics and disputes none of Wright’s facts, so it is hard to now what he is talking about.
I find Wright’s Spycatcher to a credible source because Wright collaborated professionally with Angleton for a decade. He shared his anti-communist politics, subscribed to his penetration theories, and admired him personally, at least up 1970. I relied on Wright precisely because he did not have an ideological animus against Angleton.
“According to Angleton’s former colleague John Hadden, Angleton was guilty of “either treason or incompetence” in his handling of a suspected Israeli theft of nuclear material from a US facility. No alternatives exist? “
Sure, there are alternative explanations of Angleton’s behavior. My point is that his colleague and deputy John Hadden did not think so.
I’m accused of “bad sourcing” because I “overuse” books by Joseph Trento, Michael Holzman and Tim Wiener.
In THE GHOST’s 824 footnotes, these three authors are cited a total of nine times. The articles and books of David Robarge are cited eleven times.
“Angleton ‘cooperated’ in quelling the outcry against Israel after it attacked the [Liberty] ship, but Morley does not say how or offer any proof that he did.”
I write on p. 183 that Angleton cooperated by endorsing the Israeli claim, later withdrawn, that the attackers mistook the Liberty for an Egyptian steamer. Angleton made this claim in the first CIA cable about the attack. My proof is the memo is reproduced in Foreign Relations of the United States, 1964-1968, Volume XIX, Arab-Israeli Crisis and War 1967, Document 284.
Robarge says Morley’s “information about Angleton and the MK/ULTRA program comes mostly from H. P. Albarelli’s A Terrible Mistake.
Actually, my account mostly comes from George White’s diary and the declassified MKULTRA papers at the National Security Archive at George Washington University, which corroborate Albarelli on key points.
by Dan L. Hardway © November 4, 2017
James Angleton set the strategy in 1964. “Jim would prefer to wait out the Commission,” as one CIA memo about Warren Commission inquiries put it. They are still doing that as well as running their propaganda campaign against anyone who questions the lone-nut theory, their “best truth” according to David Robarge.
I recently published an article about the delay in releasing records under the 1992 JFK Records Collections Act. In that article I explained the CIA’s play to discredit those who question their lone-nut theory best truth and suggested that their historian, David Robarge, has told us what to look for in the documents that are still being withheld. In that article I suggested we should look for information regarding covert operations against Cuba that would “circumstantially implicate CIA in conspiracy theories” – Mr. Robarge’s words. While I doubt the existence of a “smoking gun,” the circumstantial evidence we might look for in the delayed files could show a correlation between Lee Harvey Oswald’s activities in New Orleans and Mexico City in the late summer and fall of 1963 and CIA covert operations that were occurring at that time. I specifically suggest that we look to files on operations involving George Joannides, the Directorio Revolucionario Estudiantil (“DRE”) and David Phillips. These are files, or at least some of them, that are in the JFK records that were scheduled for release.
On October 26, 1992, the U.S. Congress passed S. 3006, with only one amendment and very little, if any, opposition. The Senate bill, introduced by Senator John Glenn of Ohio, was signed the same day by the President George H.W. Bush and became Public Law 102-526, (“JFK Records Act”). Among other things the JFK Records Act provided for the collection, preservation and eventual release of all records related to the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy with minimal exceptions. It mandates, in clear and unambiguous language, “[e]ach assassination record shall be publicly disclosed in full, and available in the Collection no later than the date that is 25 years after the date of enactment of this Act.” The Act allows an exemption to this explicit mandatory requirement only if the President “certifies” that the release of each withheld document “is made necessary by an identifiable harm to” either 1) military defense; 2) intelligence operations; 3) law enforcement; or 4) the conduct of foreign relations and “the identifiable harm is of such gravity that it outweighs the public interest in disclosure.”
NARA released some of the files that I have been waiting on yesterday, November 3, 2017. The Excel spreadsheet listing the released files include four files referenced to David Atlee Phillips and one file referenced to the DRE. Of the files referencing Phillips, three are of an unspecified nature and one is listed as his Office of Personnel (OP) file. The DRE file is listed as “CIA file on DRE AMSPELL operations.”
AMSPELL is a CIA cryptonym for DRE, the anti-Castro Cuban group that was run by George Joannides in 1963, that had the encounter with Oswald in New Orleans in 1963, and published the first conspiracy theory blaming Castro in their CIA financed newspaper in Miami on November 23, 1963. The file released yesterday, for such an active group, is a very thin 87 pages of which 61 are expurgated in full. Of the remaining 26 pages, many are largely expurgated. The Phillips files are even worse. The three files of unspecified type may be some of his operational files. These files are even more highly expurgated than the AMSPELL file.
Taking the 73 page long file RIF 104-10177-10135 as an example:
3 pages are a confidential notice that the file has been processed and retired which notice is reprinted in full;
3 pages are the file’s routing sheet that has been partially released with redaction of any significant information;
2 pages are a 1975 FOIA request from The Bay City Times, a newspaper in Bay City, Michigan, reproduced in full;
1 page is a Document Transfer and Cross Reference” form indicating that records of a project apparently named “Furioso C” have been removed from this file and sent to another section of the CIA with a redaction that not only removes the substantive entry but also the name of the space on the form where the entry was made;
2 pages are partially redacted memoranda;
3 pages are Security information forms for Project Furioso C with all substantive information redacted; 2 pages are a Project Financial Data form from 1952 with no substantive information that is not redacted;
6 pages are partially redacted routing sheets for documents, none of which have the routed document attached;
1 page is a partially redacted cable from 1952;
2 pages are copies, unredacted of logs of HSCA access to the file, showing that I saw the file in 1978.
The remaining 48 pages are redacted in full.
The file that is listed as David Atlee Phillips’s OP file is not as heavily redacted as the other three Phillips files although many of the documents, mainly personnel forms, it contains have been cleansed of any significant data. That, however, is not the end of the story on this file. The file starts with a few items of post-retirement correspondence to between him and the CIA in 1975 and then proceeds chronologically backwards from his retirement in 1975. I have not yet been able to go through the 358 page file to carefully study all the documents, but I have gone through it well enough to note that all his fitness reports between 1956 and 1965 are missing – not redacted, just simply not there. Indeed, so far as I have been able to find, there is no record whatsoever of a document in the file dated between 1961 and 1965 – not redacted, just simply not there.
There has been no explanation, let alone a presidential certification, that the massive redactions in these “released in full” documents meet any of the mandatory exemptions that allow withholding. No identifiable harm is specified. No rationale is given as to why the secrets protected outweigh the public interest in disclosure. These files are not in compliance with the law no matter what the main stream media says. They are an in-your-face flipped bird to the American public. They basically tell us that the CIA is saying that they don’t have to comply with the law of the land and that they will not tell us their secrets and that there is nothing we can do about it. I’ve been here before. It was in a small room in CIA Headquarters in late 1978. I had been fighting to see a file generated by the CIA debriefing of Johnny Roselli. Scott Breckinridge and George Joannides had just handed me a highly redacted file that violated the HSCA/CIA Memorandum of Understanding mandating unexpurgated access by HSCA to CIA files. They stood by, grinning, as they watched my reaction upon opening the file to find it largely expurgated. They were grinning so hard because they knew they had waited out the HSCA and there was nothing I could do about it. The Angleton strategy still worked. It is still working today.
This release not only demonstrates that the Angleton strategy is still being applied. It also illustrates the point I have been making about what they are covering up. There may well be nothing we can do about it. It appears our lawmakers are spineless in the face of the intelligence community. Joseph Burkholder Smith, a retired CIA officer, told me and Gaeton Fonzi in 1978, “You represent Congress. What the f*** is that to the CIA? You’ll be gone in two years and the CIA will still be there.” To paraphrase that to fit the situation in which we now find ourselves: “You are the people that Congress supposedly represents. What’s that to the CIA? You’ll forget about it in a few weeks or so.”
But I won’t. I wrote a letter to my Senator yesterday before I saw the travesty that was the day’s release of JFK documents by NARA. Probably a futile gesture, but one I had to take anyway. Here’s what I told him:
“Please allow me first to introduce myself a bit. While I am your constituent, I do not believe we have ever met. I was born and raised in Webster County, West Virginia, and still reside on the farm my grandfather purchased in the 1940’s outside of Cowen. I am a graduate of WVU – 1976 – and while there got to know some of the members of your family. I had the privilege of running your first cousin Tim Manchin’s campaign for a seat on the WVU student government Board in the mid-70’s. I am a 1980 graduate of Cornell Law School and a former law clerk for Justice Tom McHugh of the West Virginia Supreme Court. I took a year and a half leave of absence from law school to work as a researcher for the U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee on Assassinations in 1977-1978. My primary area of responsibility in the Committee’s work was to investigate the Central Intelligence Agency and Lee Harvey Oswald in Mexico City. Most of the work I produced for the Committee remains classified. I am presently registered to vote in Webster County with an Independent affiliation.
I am aware that the Republicans in this state are trying to mount a serious challenge to you in the upcoming election and I am presently considering whether to become involved in the campaign and, if I do, who I am going to support. In that regard, and in view of your position on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, your position on an issue that is very important to me will influence whether I decide to actively support you in the upcoming election. That issue is the release – or I should say, the failure to release – the records currently held in the JFK Records Collection by the National Archives and Records Administration. While the records, and access to them, is of great interest to me, the real issues raised by the failure to release them are much more fundamental than just access to the assassination records. It is these fundamental issues that I want to explain and upon which I wish to hear your opinion.
On October 26, 1992, the U.S. Congress passed S. 3006, with only one amendment and very little, if any, opposition. The Senate bill introduced by Senator John Glenn of Ohio was signed the same day by the President George H.W. Bush and became Public Law 102-526 which is codified at 44 U.S.C. § 2107 note (“JFK Records Act”). Among other things the JFK Records Act provided for the collection, preservation and eventual release of all records related to the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy with minimal exceptions. Among its other provision, the JFK Records Act, at § 5(g)(2)(D), mandates in clear and unambiguous language “[e]ach assassination record shall be publicly disclosed in full, and available in the Collection no later than the date that is 25 years after the date of enactment of this Act.” The Act allows an exemption to this explicit mandatory requirement only if the President “certifies” that the release of each withheld document “is made necessary by an identifiable harm to” either 1) military defense; 2) intelligence operations; 3) law enforcement; or 4) the conduct of foreign relations and “the identifiable harm is of such gravity that it outweighs the public interest in disclosure.” [Emphasis added.]
I note that this is a law duly enacted and adopted by the democratic processes of this country in 1992 – a country where we supposedly pride ourselves on being a nation of laws, a nation where the law applies to each and to all regardless of status or position. On October 26, 2017, as I am sure you are aware, President Donald Trump, at the request of the Central Intelligence Agency and other intelligence community members, disregarded the clear provisions of the law and postponed release of ninety percent of the remaining withheld documents in the JFK Records Collection for an additional six months. In doing this, the President made no findings, issued no orders and certified nothing, merely issuing a statement through the press office saying that all documents will be released “with redactions only in the rarest of circumstances” by April 26, 2018.
The President’s action was not only without authority in law, it was also taken in patent violation of the clear, unambiguous and mandatory terms of a law that your institution passed. In this situation, I would be tempted to file a suit against the President if it were not for the facts that: 1) the Courts have already held that the JFK Records Act does not provide a basis for any private cause of action for U.S. citizens, Assassination Archives and Research Center v. Dept. of Justice, 43 F.3d 1542, 1544 (D.C. Cir. 1995); 2) Federal Court litigation is too expensive to allow access to a normal citizen trying to hold his government accountable; and 3) it would take more than six months to get a case through to a decision in Federal Court so the action would represent no type of check or correction to the problem.
The real problem that this presents is that it is showing to the nation that the intelligence agencies of our nation are not subject to the laws of the nation. They are effectively above the law. At their request, or pressure, the President of the United States will violate the clear mandates of enacted legislation. And, to date, the reaction of our elected representatives in Congress seems to reinforce the fact that no one is willing to stand up to such blatant disregard of the clear provisions of the duly enacted laws of the nation. I understand that it is the executive branch that is charged with the enforcement of the laws your branch enacts and, in this case, it is the executive branch that is violating the law so there can be little realistic expectation of enforcement from them. But this is the heart of the problem and why it is incumbent upon the Congress to act. At a minimum, there should be oversight hearings. At a minimum, the Congress should not be seen to willingly acquiesce in executive contempt for the Legislative branch of government and the law of the land.
This action on the part of the intelligence community, the National Archives, and the Executive is only the latest in a long string of actions that disregard the provisions of the JFK Records Act that also subvert and cover up the information related to the assassination of our 35th president. Those other actions are beyond the present scope of this letter, but are things about which I would be glad to speak with you if you have any interest, so I will not go into them here.
To my knowledge there has been no coverage or explanation of why the intelligence community has requested this delay of the President. It was made in secret. What reason have they given for the delay? What kind of pressure have they brought to bear? How can they force a president to so blatantly disregard the law? If they can do this in regard to disclosure of fifty-year-old records, in what else can they exercise a like secret influence that corrupts the laws of the nation? What affect does the existence and use of such secret power have on our democracy? If these things – not just the documents but the method of influence – remain always secret, then how can a citizenry be sufficiently informed so as to exercise their franchise to any real purpose? How can we have faith in our democracy, let alone our government, if this kind of practice is allowed to continue unchallenged? These are the questions that I would like to have answered. But, to make it easier for you, I note you are in a unique position in regard to these issues due to your membership on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. Are you at least going to call and press for public hearings on any of these issues? Or are you going to join the vast majority of our representatives and once again cower before the intelligence agencies? Will you stand up for your constituents’ right to participate in their government on an informed basis? Will you stand for holding our government to a standard of open honesty before its citizens and against allowing the real affairs of state to be conducted in secret and in disregard of the laws enacted by the peoples’ representatives?
I anxiously await your answer.”
The questions I asked Joe Manchin in that letter are even more pressing today. I don’t know if he’ll even answer, let alone do anything. Maybe like Chuck Grassley, he’ll send out an apparently frustrated tweet. Or maybe, like the main stream press, he’ll tout the release of the documents, hoping no one will look to see what a travesty the “release” is because of the massive redactions. At this point all I can do is try to tell the truth about this whole state of affairs. I also encourage you to not take this insult to your intelligence and ability to govern yourselves without reaction. Do something. If nothing else, circulate this article to everyone you know. Refuse to accept the cancer of secrecy that destroys our liberty and ability to govern ourselves. Get involved. Get informed. Stay informed. Read and follow http://2017jfk.org/home/ and http://jfkfacts.org/. Join the AARC at https://aarclibrary.org/aarc-membership/. Join CAPA at http://capa-us.org/membership/. If those who exercise the power in this country have such blatant contempt for the law, then the time for serious peaceful civil disobedience may be upon us. Get the word out. Don’t be silent any longer. This is not an issue of the left or the right. Do something. Say something. And don’t stop until you are heard.
. Raymond Rocca to Richard Helms, Memo Re Response to Rankin, 5 Mar 1964, NARA Record No. 1993.06.24.14:59:13:840170, available at https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=98075#relPageId=1&tab=page
. David Robarge, “DCI John McCone and the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy,” Studies in Intelligence, (Vol. 57, No. 3, 09/2013), Approved for Release and declassified, 09/29/2014, at page 20. Available at http://nsarchive.gwu.edu/NSAEBB/NSAEBB493/docs/intell_ebb_026.PDF. Robarge wrote: “The DCI was complicit in keeping incendiary and diversionary issues off the commission’s agenda and focusing it on what the Agency believed at the time was the ‘best truth’: that Lee Harvey Oswald, for as yet undetermined motives, had acted alone in killing John Kennedy.” For my commentary on the CIA’s “best truth”, see Thank You, Phil Shenon available at https://realhillbillyviews.blogspot.com/2015/10/. Note that the “best truth” was conditioned by “at the time” leaving open the real possibility that alternative cover stories may have to be brought to play in the event that time undermined what the Agency considered to be the best truth for them.
. Dan Hardway, What Were They Hiding and What Should We Look For, 30 Oct 2017, available at https://realhillbillyviews.blogspot.com/2017/10/what-were-they-hiding-and-what-should_30.html
. Robarge, n. 2 above, at p. 9.
. This is addressed in more detail at JFKFacts, Exclusive: JFK investigator on how CIA stonewalled Congress, http://jfkfacts.org/hardway–declaration–cia–stonewalled–jfkinvestigation/; Declaration of Dan L. Hardway, Morley v. CIA, CA # 03-02545-RJL, D.C.D.C. 11 May 2016, Docket No. 156.
. 44 U.S.C. § 2107 note § 5(g)(2)(D). Emphasis added.
. https://www.archives.gov/research/jfk/2017-release, RIF Nos. 104-10176-10121, 104-10177-10135, 104-10177-10134, 104-10194-10026, and 104-10170-10121.
By VIC BRADSHAW Daily News-Record
HARRISONBURG — John M. Newman said Tuesday morning that he spent too much time talking to reporters in recent days to dive deeply into the recently released documents related to President John F. Kennedy’s assassination, with international television crews at his home and calls from print journalists around the globe.
But he’s had a chance to study between 400 and 500 of what he thinks are the key pages out of the thousands made available to the public Thursday night, and he’s intrigued by what he’s found and hasn’t found. “Having been around this case since the early 1990s, I know pretty much how to hit the high-value stuff,” said Newman, a James Madison University adjunct professor of political science and author of four books on JFK, his assassination, and Lee Harvey Oswald, whom history tells us was the assassin. “There were 50 that were never before released at all. I’ve been through those.”
The thing that’s captivated him most so far is the re-release of an April 1972 memo handwritten by a then-CIA agent.
In the document, which lists “Harvey Lee Oswald” as the subject, the agent writes that then-CIA Director Richard Helms indicated that “the agency was NOT, under any circumstances, to make inquiries or ask questions of any source or defector about Oswald.” What’s important about the memo is that the third page says Oswald was a source for the CIA, providing information about the Soviets. “That contradicts a 50-year lie that [CIA officials] never talked to him,” Newman said of Oswald. “The people involved — those the memo was to and from and the people who were shown the document — were all involved in counterintelligence.”
That’s significant enough as it is. But Newman’s curiosity is piqued because he has a copy of the three pages released in the early 1990s. The version released Thursday had only two pages, and it was given a different document number than the initial release.
“I was amazed,” the retired U.S. Army intelligence officer said, “to see one piece disappear and not be released with the other two pieces it belongs with. Obviously, that was an attempt to disconnect it from [the previously released] document.”
Newman, a Harrisonburg resident, will provide more of his impressions at 7 p.m. Thursday when he presents “KGB-CIA Spy Wars: Oswald’s intelligence files and the CIA’s Soviet Russia Division.” The event is scheduled for the Highlands Room at JMU’s Festival Conference and Student Center and is free and open to the public.
“Everybody was lying,” he said of the Soviet and American intelligence agencies. “Oswald was at the center of the chessboard.”
Newman already has published two of the five-book series he’s writing on the Kennedy assassination: “Where Angels Tread Lightly” and “Countdown to Darkness.” The presentation essentially will be the fifth chapter of Volume 3, which he’s working on now.
A consultant to director Oliver Stone for his 1991 film “JFK,” Newman said he isn’t focused on who shot Kennedy or how many shooters there were.
He personally thinks there probably was more than one shooter, but isn’t convinced of it, and he questions whether Oswald could have shot the president as he rode through Dealey Plaza on Nov. 22, 1963, and escaped the Texas School Book Depository so quickly as to encounter a Dallas police officer moments after the shooting.
His focus is on who is behind the slaying. Did the shooter or shooters act alone, or were they emissaries of some organization?
Based on his research, Newman has developed a hypothesis that President Lyndon Johnson used “a very complicated psychological warfare operation” to get Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren to head the President’s Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy.
The commission determined that both Oswald and Jack Ruby, who shot and killed Oswald two days after JFK’s slaying, acted alone. Conspiracy theorists have long doubted the panel’s findings.
Newman said he thinks Johnson “browbeat” Warren to head the commission and stay away from conspiracy theories by telling the chief justice that identifying the KGB or Cuban leaders as masterminds of the plot to kill Kennedy would prompt a nuclear holocaust that would leave 40 million Americans dead. Documents with false information, Newman claims, were put in Oswald’s file to persuade Warren that Oswald did the communists’ bidding, though neither the Soviets nor Cuban Prime Minister Fidel Castro had anything to do with it.
“Warren thinks it’s the truth,” Newman said. “He had to tamp down what he thought was the truth to save lives.”
As evidence of the duplicity, the professor notes that tapes made in the Oval Office include Johnson boasting about what he’d done to Warren Commission member Sen. Richard Russell and Warren relaying a similar version of the exchange on public television in the 1970s.
More To Come
The documents didn’t provide the trove of information historians and researchers expected as Thursday approached. Legislation passed by Congress and signed into law by President George H.W. Bush on Oct. 26, 1992, called for all assassination records to be released no more than 25 years from that date. But last-minute appeals by the FBI and CIA prompted President Donald Trump to withhold some documents for six months. Newman said only about 6,000 pages were released, about 12 percent of the total expected.
Newman called the development “very disappointing” and said he’s “angry” with both agencies for waiting 25 years to request redactions in the documents. April 26 is the new expected release date.
“There’s no reason anybody in the government now would be withholding documents. That would be bad for democracy,” he said. “A law was passed. It needs to be complied with. If not, this sore will fester.
“It’s critical to get the documents out there and let people make up their own minds.”
Visit Dr. Newman’s website HERE.