Editor’s Choice: This Month’s News & Views
This archive of assassination-related news and commentary for the calendar year 2017 from July through December is a joint project between CAPA and the Justice Integrity Project. The material below consists of selected excerpts from significant news stories or commentaries regarding alleged political assassinations or attempts. The materials are arranged in reverse chronological order and focus primarily upon news arising from the 1960s murders of President John F. Kennedy (shown in a file photo), his brother Robert Kennedy, and the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. Included also are several reports regarding other alleged political murders of prominent international leaders, or attempts.
CAPA welcomes your submission of additional items or any comments (including corrections) of items listed below. It is requested that new items be submitted in the format below: Publication name, headline with hotlink to URL, author, date, and brief excerpt. Correspondence should be sent to this site’s editor, Andrew Kreig, via email.
JFK Countercoup, List of JFK Assassination Records Missing from the Archives, Bill Kelly, Sept. 28, 2017. What is missing from the extant history is more significant than what is in the documentary record. As researcher Malcolm Blunt has said, “It’s amazing we have anything left. It’s sickening, just sickening, and a disgrace, an absolute disgrace. The ARRB should have pressured these people into doing a proper search.”
At the CAPA Press Conference at the National Press Club in March former ARRB chairman Judge John Tunheim (shown at right) asked me to send him a list of missing JFK assassination records that should be in the JFK Collection at Archives II and open to the public. This is my list, so far. Send me along any serious additions that I may have missed.
People Magazine, Inside the Unsolved Murder of JFK’s Mistress Who Some Say ‘Had to Die Because She Knew Too Much,’ Liz McNeil and Tierney McAfee, Sept. 25, 2017. Nearly fifty three years later, her murder remains unsolved. Was it a random act of violence or did someone want her dead?
“She was shot in the head,” says author Nina Burleigh, who wrote about artist and socialite Pinchot Meyer in the 1999 biography A Very Private Woman. “Passersby heard screams and a witness looked over the wall and saw a man standing near her body. The police came and shortly arrested a black male [Ray Crump Jr.] soaking wet who said he fell into the Potomac while fishing. … No gun was ever found.”
The Fifth Estate (Indonesia), Andrew Kreig: Wecht, CAPA Challenge Warren Report Defenders Sabato, Shenon, Andrew Kreig, Edited by Robert Finnegan, Sept. 24, 2017. Tenacious Kennedy assassination investigators continue probe.
Disclosures this summer about President John F. Kennedy’s 1963 assassination are prompting a blistering dispute on whether new “scientific evidence” proves that Lee Harvey Oswald killed JFK as a lone gunman — or whether the claim against Oswald is part of an ongoing media cover-up of the truth.
Alternet, Two Top Republicans to Call for Full JFK Disclosure, Jefferson Morley (shown at left), Sept. 22, 2017. “The American people are sick and tired of not being given the truth.” Two senior Capitol Hill Republicans plan to introduce a congressional resolution calling for full disclosure of U.S. government records related to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963. Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C) and Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa, shown below left) will introduce their JFK resolution before the end of the month, according to Jones.
“I want to make sure that the information that is owed the American people is made available,” the veteran North Carolina conservative (shown at right) said in an exclusive interview with AlterNet. “The American people are sick and tired of not being given the truth. “
The JFK Records Act of 1992 mandated full disclosure of all government records related to the assassination within 25 years. Some four million pages of records were released in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Another 100,000 pages of assassination-related material from a dozen government agencies must be made public by the statutory deadline of Oct. 26, 2017.
“We going to take a very positive approach and thank the agencies that have the information and are making it public,” Jones said. “At the same time we want to put some pressure on the agencies to release all the information they have.”
The CIA declined to say if it plans to seek postponement of the release of the Agency’s remaining JFK records.
The unreleased records include CIA files on two senior officers involved in assassinations and four Watergate burglars, as well as the secret congressional testimony of numerous JFK witnesses.
“I hope they will not request any postponement,” Jones said. “We’re talking about something that happened 54 years ago.”
While JFK scholars and journalists have called on Trump to “give us the full story of the JFK assassination,” Jones and Grassley are the first elected officials to lend their clout to the cause. You can access the JFK records at the National Archives. At the Black Vault, a superior interface makes the new documents easy to search. The most complete online source for JFK files and information is found at the Mary Ferrell Foundation.
Global Research, CIA Files on Lee Harvey Oswald, Set to be Released in October, Has ‘Gone Missing,’ Jack Burns, Sept. 19, 2017. Volume 5 of the CIA’s Lee Harvey Oswald 7-volume collection, may never be turned over, even though the law requires it to take place by October 26th of this year. Countless concerned individuals are still searching for answers surrounding the mysterious death of the 35th president of the United States, John F. Kennedy. The official narrative, that a lone former Marine named Harvey Oswald assassinated him, is widely disputed.
All available documents from all government entities are required by the Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992 to be released on October 26th of 2017. But if history repeats itself, the Central Intelligence Agency may not release an entire volume of documents on Oswald, known as “volume 5.”
So far, 2017 has been a year of anticipation for JFK conspiracy theorists as they await the release of all files surrounding the assassination of one of the country’s most beloved presidents. One group, known as the Citizens Against Political Assassinations, is chomping at the bits to get to volume 5 and others. They believe the official government narrative is full of holes and needs to be investigated.
Many of its members are lawyers, and as TFTP has reported, have desired to clear Oswald’s name of any wrongdoing if possible.
But it is attorney Lawrence Schnapf, Chair of the Environmental Law Section of the New York Bar Association, whose comments concerning the current president and his relationship with the Deep State (implied but not referred to as such) have the media ablaze with talk of yet another political assassination.
Schnapf (shown at right) is the co-chair of the CAPA legal committee. After a brief discussion of why JFK’s assassination is relevant today, Schnapf compared the early 1960s with 2017. He said the Warren Commission was the “original fake news” organization whose conclusions later became the official government narrative. Although the commission refused to pursue “exculpatory” information, which is now hidden behind “government secrecy,” he says he hopes will come out this year, in compliance with the JFK Assassination Records Act.
Turning attention again to the case of JFK, the group plans to use the shell casings found on the scene and 21st-century ballistics analyses to conclusively determine whether or not Oswald actually killed JFK.
He said they’re first going to conduct a mock trial in November, and later an official legal proceeding called a “Court of Inquiry,” an official court proceeding to definitely prove “Lee Oswald was not the shooter…that’s what we hope to prove.”
Future of Freedom Foundation, Did the CIA Assassinate Letelier and Moffitt? Jacob G. Hornberger, Sept. 19, 2017. Ever since the assassination of former Chilean official Orlando Letelier in 1976, the official position, promoted by both the mainstream press and the Washington establishment, was that former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, who the U.S. helped install into power, ordered the hit on Letelier.
Yet, as I pointed out in my 3-part article “The Assassination of Orlando Letelier and Ronni Moffitt,” which was published in the January, February, and March 2017 issues of FFF’s monthly journal, Future of Freedom, that position is problematic.
Newsweek: Vietnam War: New Ken Burns Documentary Dismisses the Origins of the Futile, Disastrous Conflict, Jeff Stein, Sept. 17, 2017. Burns strives to give everyone’s strongly held, divergent views equal weight, but before long, he’s waist deep in a historical big muddy, wandering among competing theories that obscure the root cause of a war.
While the TV critics have been agog with praise and wonder over the series’s cinematic mastery, depth of research (some 80 interviews of participants on all sides) historical sweep and emotional punch, some veterans and longtime students of the war are already taking critical aim at the series’s fuzzy treatment of the war’s central question: Why did we get involved in the first place? Who thought that was a good idea?
Burns strives to give everyone’s strongly held, divergent views equal weight, but before long, he’s waist deep in a historical big muddy, wandering among competing theories that obscure the root cause of a war that killed an estimated minimum of 429,000 U.S. and allied soldiers and 533,000 communist troops and civilians between 1954 and 1975. Many estimates soar far above those. Millions more were wounded.
“Many veterans fear that this new documentary will misrepresent what really happened and why, substituting [the] ‘many truths’ which Burns says he will present,” Chuck Searcy, an Army Intelligence veteran of the war, said in an email to friends this week from Vietnam, where he has spent the past several years helping to rid the countryside of buried U.S. munitions that are still killing people. “It may permit us Americans, once again, to evade the harsh reckoning that is long overdue, and allow us to remain in denial about what we did in Viet Nam, and why.”
At an early screening of the film’s highlights in Washington, D.C.this spring, Burns said that, “for us, the war begins in 1945,” not 1965, when President Lyndon Johnson dispatched the first U.S. ground combat unit to South Vietnam. Good start. But in episode one, he stakes the proper context for the starting point in France’s mid-19th century conquest and colonization of territories that would eventually become Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. For the next 80 years France plundered the region for its rubber, tin and other resources, impoverishing its workers while creating a servile class of French-speaking native bureaucrats to carry out its orders, all largely financed by the opium trade. By the early 20th century, Vietnamese patriots began organizing a resistance. One of them was Ho Chi Minh.
Washington Post, The brutal deaths of anti-corruption activists in India, Vidhi Doshi, Sept. 16, 2017 (print edition). At least 60 right-to-information advocates have been killed since 2005. Bhupendra Vira slumped in his chair. The 62-year-old had known that his anti-corruption work was dangerous. That is why he kept evidence neatly stacked in folders under his bed. That is why he had asked police for protection.
According to data collected by the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, Vira’s killing was one of 60 similar cases in India since 2005, when the Right to Information Act was introduced. The legislation is similar to the United States’ Freedom of Information Act and allows citizens to request the release of information from government officials. But in India, those who invoke the law risk provoking violent retribution.
Washington Post, China used to harvest organs from prisoners. Under pressure, that practice is finally ending, Simon Denyer, Sept. 16, 2017 (print edition). A 10-year campaign has created a system that relies on voluntary donors. China’s organ-transplant system was once a cause of international scorn and outrage, as doctors harvested organs from prisoners condemned to death by criminal courts and transplanted them into patients who often paid dearly for the privilege.
After years of denials, China now acknowledges that history and has declared that the practice no longer occurs — largely thanks to the perseverance of a health official who, with the quiet backing of an American transplant surgeon, turned the system around over the span of a decade.
That official, Huang Jiefu, built a register of voluntary donors, overcoming both entrenched interests that profited from the old ways and a traditional Chinese aversion to dismemberment after death. In true modern Chinese fashion, donors can sign up through a link and app available through the ubiquitous Alipay online payment system. More than 230,000 people have done so, and a computerized database matches donors with compatible potential recipients, alerting doctors by text message as soon as organs become available. Leading transplant experts outside China, including once-severe critics, have slowly been won over.
Future of Freedom Foundation, Libertarian Analysis: Why No Indictment for Conspiring to Murder Castro? Jacob G. Hornberger (shown below, left), Sept. 15, 2017. During the Church Committee hearings in the 1970s, Congress and the American people learned that the CIA, in partnership with the Mafia, conspired to assassinate Cuban leader Fidel Castro (shown at left in a file photo).
Ever since then, the U.S. mainstream media has poked fun at the various ways the CIA and the Mafia intended to kill Castro — e.g., via an exploding cigar or an infected scuba suit. In the process, however, the media has failed to ask a deadly serious question: Why weren’t the CIA and the Mafia ever indicted for conspiring to assassinate Castro?
Under U.S. law, assassination is considered murder. People can be convicted of conspiracy to murder even though they don’t actually commit the murder. The CIA and the Mafia justified their attempts to assassinate Castro by saying that he was a communist and, therefore, a threat to “national security.” But if we closely examine the Constitution, we find that the power to assassinate communists or other people who threaten “national security” is not among the enumerated powers that are delegated to the federal government, including the CIA and its partners.
So, why weren’t the CIA and the Mafia ever indicted for conspiring to murder Fidel Castro? The answer is simple: The CIA is much too powerful. That’s what makes it and its partners immune from criminal liability for murdering and conspiring to murder Fidel Castro or anyone else.
Stephen Pollak, who served during the Lyndon Johnson administration from 1965 to 1969, highlighted one of the most notable achievements of the Civil Rights Division: the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Unlike the present, the president and leaders of both parties in Congress worked together, he said. “It’s beyond disheartening to contrast this history with the voting wars of the day,” Pollak said. “Prior unity of purpose has collapsed.”
New York Times, South Korea Plans ‘Decapitation Unit’ to Try to Scare North’s Leaders, Choe Sang-Hun, Sept. 12, 2017. The last time South Korea is known to have plotted to assassinate the North Korean leadership, nothing went as planned. In the late 1960s, after North Korean commandoes tried to ransack the presidential palace in Seoul, South Korea secretly trained misfits plucked from prison or off the streets to sneak into North Korea and slit the throat of its leader, Kim Il-sung. When the mission was aborted, the men mutinied.
Now, as Mr. Kim’s grandson, Kim Jong-un, accelerates his nuclear missile program, South Korea is again targeting the North’s leadership. A day after North Korea conducted its sixth — and by far most powerful — nuclear test this month, the South Korean defense minister, Song Young-moo, told lawmakers in Seoul that a special forces brigade defense officials described as a “decapitation unit” would be established by the end of the year.
Defense officials said the unit could conduct cross-border raids with retooled helicopters and transport planes that could penetrate North Korea at night.
Rarely does a government announce a strategy to assassinate a head of state, but South Korea wants to keep the North on edge and nervous about the consequences of further developing its nuclear arsenal.
WhoWhatWhy, The Murder of John Kennedy’s Mistress, Part 1, Peter Janney, Sept. 12, 2017. On October 12, 1964, Mary Pinchot Meyer, a Washington socialite (shown with President Kennedy at the White House), went for her usual jog along the Potomac River in a fairly deserted section of Washington DC and, for no apparent reason, she was shot twice at close range. She was neither raped nor robbed.
A witness, who heard screaming and shots ran to an embankment overlooking the scene, arrived in time to see a black man standing over Meyer’s body. He said the man stared at the woman for a bit, then put a dark object in his pocket, presumably a gun, and calmly walked away. The witness, Henry Wiggins Jr., saw the gunman from a distance of 128.6 feet, and described him as a “negro” who was 5 feet 8 to 5 feet 10 inches tall, weighing about 185 pounds.
JFK Facts.org, Top 4 revelations from the new JFK files, Jefferson Morley (shown in a file photo), Sept. 10, 2017. The release of long-secret JFK assassination files by the National Archives has drawn the attention of news organizations nationwide. Four revelations stand out so far.
1) WhoWhatWhy reported on documents showing that Earle Cabell, the mayor of Dallas at the time of JFK’s assassination, was a CIA asset in the 1950s. His brother, Charles Cabell, was a high-ranking CIA official until 1962.
2) Ian Shapira of the Washington Post plumbed the new records to recount the secret interrogation of Yuri Nosenko, a KGB intelligence officer who defected to the United States in 1964. Nosenko was detained without charges for four years in what would now be called a CIA black site.
3) Writing for Politico, professor Larry Sabato and journalist Philip Shenon reported that one new CIA file showed that in the mid-1970s, one of Angleton’s top lieutenants came to doubt the Warren Commission’s finding that JFK was killed by Oswald, alone and unaided. Sabato and Shenon argue that the JFK investigation was “botched” and the possibility of a Cuban government involvement was ignored.
4) On AlterNet, I quoted extensively from the same records to show that the JFK investigation was not so much botched as “controlled’ by top CIA officials, including Angleton. The CIA made at least four false statements to investigators. The effect of these statements was to conceal what top CIA officers, including Angleton, knew of Oswald while JFK was still alive.
Collectively, the new JFK files pour more cold water on the “KGB did it” conspiracy theory, while encouraging questions about the “Castro done it’ theory. Mostly, the new files illuminate how the CIA resisted investigation of Oswald after JFK was killed, and why the public, and CIA officials themselves, came to reject the official theory of a lone gunman.
Officials of the National Archives have told AlterNet they will release thousands of pages of additional secret JFK records before October 26.
A prominent structural engineering expert who has been studying the technical mysteries about the collapse of World Trade Center Building 7 during the 9/11 attacks delivered on Sept. 6 a free webinar on his preliminary findings contradicting official versions of how the building collapsed.
Updated column: Critics of official U.S. government investigations have questioned how the three World Trade Center (WTC) buildings collapsed even though they were steel-framed high-rises that supposedly could resist both fire and a jetliner crash.
Among the three towers was WTC 7, which was not hit by an airplane and fell at nearly free-fall speeds more than seven hours after the other two buildings. A widely viewed video shows the 47-story building collapsing in just over seven seconds and in symmetrical fashion.
Dr. Leroy Hulsey (shown at right), chairman of the department of engineering and mines at the University of Alaska at Fairbanks, presented his team’s findings so far during a lecture on Sept. 6 at the university that was live-streamed and available for interested members of the public. Other details are here;
Hulsey, shown in a graphic about his lecture, also announced his preliminary written report. The full report of his team’s two-year study is expected later this fall, followed by a six-week public comment period. The final report is scheduled for release in early 2018.
(Editor’s Note: Although the 9/11 attacks are typically reported as terrorism they were also acts of political assassination under either official or alternative accounts because the goal of the killing was to achieve political goals.)
University of Alaska at Fairbanks, Free Webinar on 9/11: Presentation to examine 9/11 Building 7 collapse, Dr. Leroy Hulsey, 4 p.m. (Alaska Daylight Savings Time, four hours ahead of EDT), Sept. 6, 2017. The University of Alaska at Fairbanks will host a public presentation on an ongoing study into the collapse of World Trade Center Building 7 at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 6, in Schaible Auditorium in Fairbanks. Dr. Leroy Hulsey, chairman of the university’s department of engineering and mines, is leading the study. Shown above, he will present the findings outlined in his team’s September 2017 progress report, which will be released the same day.
JFK Facts, Missing from the new JFK files: a batch of CIA records on Lee Harvey Oswald, Aug. 31, 2017. All of the U.S. government’s files on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy are supposed to be released by October 26. But one batch of the CIA records on suspected assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, has gone missing. (Oswald is shown at center with sunglasses in a photo from his stay in the former Soviet Union, where the ex-Marine worked at a factory before returning to the United States under mysterious circumstances that have intrigued investigators for decades.)
The records were part of 7-volume file on Oswald, held by the agency’s Office of Security (OS), which is responsible for protecting CIA property and vetting agency personnel. Declassified CIA records show that volume 5 of the file records existed in 1978. The contents of the missing file are not known.
The disappearance of the records, discovered by JFK researcher Malcolm Blunt, is significant because the Office of Security was the first component of the CIA to open a file on Oswald, an ex-Marine who (reportedly) defected to the Soviet Union in October 1959.
Assassination Archives and Research Center (AARC), JFK Assassination Records: Shell Games, Malcolm Blunt (shown below at left), Aug. 29, 2017. Both the Church Committee and the House Select Committee on Assassinations gained access to the CIA Office of Security files of Lee Harvey Oswald. In 1993, despite a directive from CIA Director Robert Gates seeking an all-encompassing search of ALL CIA components for ANY material/records relevant to the assassination of President Kennedy, the Oswald “OS” files remained hidden.
This huge search by CIA did not surface Oswald’s security files and the Assassination Records Review Board remained uninformed about their existence. In response to official requests from the US Government and despite specific directives from CIA Directors Gates and [George] Tenet, which were acted upon by HRG Chief John Pereira in 1993 and J. Barry Harrelson in 1997, the Oswald Security [“OS”] files seem to have been turned inside out and outside in.
This beggars the question; for what possible reason? The intact files were previously given to both the [Senate] SSCIA and the HSCA, so why did the CIA “not find them” until a direct, specific request from the ARRB [Assassination Records Review Board] in 1997?
And then, why turn them over minus volume 5? How were the files missed during the Gates search of 1993 and the Tenet search of 1997? The two DCI orders were to search ALL CIA components.
Dr. Cyril H. Wecht Letter to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (“P-G”) Editor about its editorial printed below on the life and legacy of Dick Gregory, Aug. 26, 2017. CAPA Chairman Cyril Wecht, shown at right in a file photo taken in his Pittsburgh lab, is a consultant, medical professor, attorney, prolific author and leader of numerous professional societies. Dr. Wecht’s letter to the editor is reprinted below:
I was delighted to read the editorial (His pointed humor: Dick Gregory’s biting comedy was serious at core) regarding Dick Gregory. Several years ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Gregory and participating with him on some programs dealing with the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Indeed, he was a very serious advocate and outspoken supporter of matters pertaining to civil rights and social justice. His great talent as a comedian enabled him to educate his audiences and stimulate their active interest in various important sociopolitical issues.
Regrettably, your statement “On the darker side Mr. Gregory was a sucker for conspiracy theories from the Kennedy assassination to…..” was quite insulting, dismissive, and invalid as a matter of accurate historical reflection.
Every national poll conducted since the JFK assassination on November 23, 1963, has indicated that a significant majority of Americans (ranging from 65 to as high as 82%) do not accept the conclusions of the Warren Commission Report (“WCR,” Fall, 1964), namely, that Lee Harvey Oswald was a lone gunman and nobody else had any involvement with JFK’s brutal murder. Despite all the efforts of the major news media establishment to support the WCR, and rebuff or simply ignore, all the forensic scientific and other physical investigative evidence to the contrary, two thirds to three fourths of US citizens have continued to reject that absurd, forensic scientifically invalid conclusion.
Pray tell, do all these people live “on the darker side”? Is the rejection of the WCR some kind of personal “idiosyncrasy” shared by millions of people?
Some day, the P-G may deign to write an obituary about me. Obviously, you will state whatever you wish. I have only one small request. Please refer to me as having been a long time, loud-mouthed leader of the idiosyncratic dark-sided population that believes the WCR is one of the greatest hoaxes ever perpetrated by our government.
Very truly yours,
Cyril H. Wecht, M.D., J.D.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, His pointed humor: Dick Gregory’s biting comedy was serious at core, Editorial Board, Aug. 25, 2017. In the parlance of the 1960s, it would be safe to say that the comedian and activist Dick Gregory was “out there.” Known for his biting comedy, activism and penchant for conspiracy theories in recent decades, Mr. Gregory died Saturday at age 84.
Mr. Gregory (shown in a file photo) rose to fame as a comedian whose stage act owed more to astute observations about being black in America than it did to expounding on the foibles of the human condition, the territory of most successful comics. That’s not to say Mr. Gregory wasn’t funny. He was a very funny man whose humor bit down hard on whatever subject caught his fancy, but race in America fascinated him more than anything else.
Mr. Gregory’s humor was rooted in a political sensibility that boldly questioned the Establishment. He was part of the comedy revolution that emerged in the late 1950s and included such rebels as Mort Sahl and Lenny Bruce. He came of age at a time when being a comedian included the possibility of being arrested.
For his part, Mr. Gregory was arrested dozens of times over the years, usually supporting civil rights and equal rights for women and denouncing the Vietnam War and nuclear weapons.
Though he was later eclipsed by younger comedians such as Bill Cosby and Richard Pryor, Mr. Gregory held on to a devoted following. He was especially revered by comedy aficionados on both coasts and his fellow comedians who appreciated the way he told stories. The civil rights movement had given Mr. Gregory the kind of exposure and goodwill that paid dividends for decades.
At the height of his fame and notoriety, Mr. Gregory ran for mayor of Chicago and for president of the United States on top of the Peace and Freedom Party ticket. He got a lot of write-in votes in both cases and was one of the first entertainers to demonstrate the power of celebrity in the political realm. While his runs for political office were obvious stunts, Mr. Gregory was serious about the issues.
Mr. Gregory was also obsessed with health. He incorporated regular fasting into his regimen along with running and other exercises. He wanted America to face the fact that it had a problem with obesity and deal with it. In fact, he stopped performing in nightclubs in the 1970s because smoking and drinking were allowed — putting his values above earning potential.
On the darker side, Mr. Gregory was a sucker for conspiracy theories from the Kennedy assassination to 9/11. It was an idiosyncrasy that often colored his humor, but didn’t dominate it. Mr. Gregory was an American original who never lost his love of comedy or politics. He was always striving to be the kind of comedian all Americans could laugh with, regardless of their background. He succeeded masterfully.
CAPA announces discounted hotel rate in Houston for Oswald mock trial in November, Aug. 25, 2017. CAPA has arranged a $179 per night discounted hotel rate from Nov. 15 though 17, 2017 for the planned Lee Harvey Oswald Mock Trial. The rate is being offered by the Houston Marriott Medical Center/Museum District at 6580 Fannin Street, about six miles from the mock trial venue at the South Texas College of Law-Houston. The rate does not include taxes. Hotel details are here.
Regarding the event, the two-day mock trial State of Texas v. Lee Harvey Oswald will be held on November 16th and 17th at the South Texas College of Law-Houston
Building on what has been learned from the Innocence Project and the 2009 National Academy of Sciences report on forensic evidence, the CAPA mock trial will apply 21st Century techniques to examine the physical evidence used by the Warren Commission and the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) to identify Lee Harvey Oswald as the alleged sole assassin of President John F. Kennedy on Nov. 22, 1963.
The HSCA concluded that a shot from the grassy knoll by an unknown person missed Kennedy. Oswald is shown in a New Orleans police mug shot taken in August, 1963 during a street disturbance and separately below in a file photo. More details are here: CAPA, Save The Date: CAPA Mock Trial On Oswald Nov. 16-17 In Houston.
Consortium News, A Distant Echo on Race and Police, James DiEugenio (shown below at left), Aug. 24, 2017. “Detroit” is a new movie that reminds Americans that the issues of racism and police brutality are nothing new, blights on the nation that have never been properly addressed.
The new film Detroit by director Katherine Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal is about an event that took place in 1967. But with what has happened in America over the past couple of years, it could not be more timely, particularly the fatal police shootings of male African-Americans, such as Michael Brown in Ferguson, Alton Sterling in Ba
The chaos led President Johnson to appoint the Kerner Commission to investigate the underlying causes of the violence. The commission famously concluded, “Our nation is moving toward two societies, one black, one white—separate and unequal.”
The Algiers Motel incident – the focus of the new movie – represented something of a microcosm of those divisions and how they sometimes had deadly consequences. The incident gained notoriety at the time mostly due to the work of author John Hersey, who is best known for his reporting on eyewitness accounts of the U.S. nuclear bombing of Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945.
Regarding the Detroit riot, Hersey investigated the Algiers Motel case, how and why three black youths were killed. Hersey published The Algiers Motel Incident in late 1968, deliberately releasing the book before all of the legal proceedings surrounding the incident were concluded.
He felt the sooner the public was aware of what happened there, the better America could understand and deal with the killings, which were committed, as the legal phrase puts it, “under the color of authority.” Or, as the author phrased it, “the law taking the law into its own hands.” (Hersey, p. 31)
When the occupation of the Algiers Motel was finally over, three African-American youths had been killed: 17-year-old Carl Cooper, 18-year-old Fred Temple, and 19-year-old Aubrey Pollard. No sniper weapons of any kind were recovered. As presented in the film, the youths had been playing around with a starter’s pistol.
Cox Media Group via Fox 23 (Tulsa, OK), Document release planned in JFK assassination, but some want them kept secret, Aug. 21, 2017. Those alive on Nov. 22, 1963 know exactly where they were when John F. Kennedy died. Even those born in the decades after saw the images and learned about the tragic day.
More than 50 years after the president’s assassination, more than 3,000 documents remain classified “top secret,” locked away in the National Archives. By law, all documents related to the investigation must be unsealed and public by October. Recently, several new documents were released, but the final, still secret batch remains a mystery.
FOX23’s Justin Gray asked Shenon why government officials might want these old documents classified. Shenon said there are many theories. “I think it may show just much more bungling there had been by the government before the assassination, and how Kennedy’s life should have been saved,” Shenon said. “Many people who might arguably be involved in what might be thought of as a cover up are still quite prominent in America.”
Others say the assassination is more than just a 20th century mystery to be debated by history buffs. “Why in 2017 should people care about this” said Andrew Kreig at the Justice Integrity Project. “Because it’s the Rosetta Stone to current affairs.”
The files, Kreig said, offer a look into how the FBI, CIA and other agencies investigate present-day, high-profile cases, which is why seeing those documents remains important. “Whatever one’s view is, go to the evidence,” Kreig said.
Born Oct. 12, 1932, in St. Louis, Gregory (shown in a file photo) grew up in an impoverished community in that city. He helped to support his family from an early age. In high school he excelled in track and field, earning a scholarship to Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. He set school records in the 1/2-mile and 1-mile races. His college career was interrupted when the U.S. Army drafted him in 1954.
Gregory began to venture into comedy while in the Army, performing various routines in military shows. After briefly returning to Southern Illinois after being discharged in 1956, he moved to Chicago to join the national comedy circuit, without finishing his degree. He performed mostly in small, primarily black nightclubs while working at the U.S. Postal Service during the day. It was at one of those nightclubs that he met Lillian, the woman who became his wife in 1959. She and Gregory would have 10 children.
His big break came in 1961, when a one-night show at the Chicago Playboy Club turned into a two-month engagement. Time magazine profiled him, and he landed an appearance on The Jack Paar Show. Gregory was a new phenomenon: a black comedian performing for white audiences. He was also part of a new generation of black comedians, including Nipsey Russell, Bill Cosby and Godfrey Cambridge, who shunned the stereotypical comedic minstrel show. In his routines, Gregory tackled issues of the day — especially racism and civil rights — head on.
During this time, Gregory became very active in the civil rights movement. He spoke before the voter-registration drive known as Freedom Day on Oct. 7, 1963, and made appearances at a number of other rallies, marches and benefits. In 1963 he was jailed in Birmingham, Ala. He was also an outspoken opponent of the Vietnam War.
In 1964 Gregory released his autobiography Nigger, about his experiences with America’s color line, starting in boyhood; it has since sold more than 7 million copies. In response to his mother’s objection over the incendiary title, he wrote in the foreword, “Whenever you hear the word ‘nigger,’ you’ll know they’re advertising my book.”
Gregory’s political activism led him to run, unsuccessfully, for mayor of Chicago in 1966 and for the presidency as a write-in candidate of the Freedom and Peace Party in 1968. Throughout his life, Gregory remained outspoken on many issues, including world hunger, capital punishment, women’s rights (he marched for ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment in 1978), health care and drug abuse.
In 2005, at a celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, he called the U.S. “the most dishonest, ungodly, unspiritual nation that ever existed in the history of the planet. As we talk now, America is 5 percent of the world’s population and consumes 96 percent of the world’s hard drugs.” As a protester, Gregory never stopped putting himself on the front lines: In 2004, at the age of 73, he was arrested while protesting against genocide outside the Sudanese Embassy in Washington, D.C.
In the 1970s, after moving to Massachusetts, Gregory became very interested in vegetarianism, nutrition and overall fitness, eventually advocating a diet of raw fruits and vegetables (this from a man who once weighed 350 pounds, drank heavily and smoked several packs of cigarettes a day). He was particularly opposed to the typical soul food diet, attributing to it much of African Americans’ disproportionate health challenges.
JFK Facts.org, How Shenon and Sabato came to Fake News in JFK’s Murder, Jefferson Morley (shown in a file photo), Aug. 15, 2017. After more than fifty years and zero quantum of proof since the JFK assassination, Philip Shenon and Larry J. Sabato insist on the out-worn hypothesis “Castro sorta done it” while reporting how the CIA came to doubt the official story. From a batch of documents recently released on line by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), they have cherry-picked an unauthored 1975-CIA memo that specifically:
- “Noted the failure of the CIA, FBI and the Warren Commission to interview a key witness in Mexico City — Silvia Duran, the Mexican woman who worked in the Cuban consulate and was reported to have had the affair with Oswald.”
- “Offered a detailed theory [about] how Oswald (…) may have been inspired to assassinate the president if, as seemed probable, he read an article on Monday, September 9, in the local newspaper, that suggested Castro was targeted for murder by the United States.”
Cox Media Washington, DC Bureau via KIRO-TV, Thousands of secret documents on JFK assassination could be made public, Justin Gray, Aug. 14, 2017. Thousands of top secret documents that could hold never-before-revealed details about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy are scheduled to be made public this fall.
But some intelligence agencies are pushing to keep the secret files classified. President Trump will make the final decision about whether to declassify the documents. If you were alive on Nov. 22,1963, you likely remember where you were.
Even if you were born in the decades after, you’ve still seen the images and heard about what happened on that tragic day. Now, nearly 55 years later, more than 3,000 documents from the investigation remain locked up inside the national archives.
“Do you think there could be things in this evidence that dispute the official Warren account?” Gray asked.
“Oh yes,” said Andrew Kreig, with the Justice Integrity Project [and also CAPA]. By law, all the documents related to the investigation must be unsealed and made public by October.
Just weeks ago, thousands of pages of new documents were released, but it’s unknown what’s in the final, still secret, batch.
JFK Facts, 4 CIA lies: New JFK files show how assassination investigation was controlled, not ‘botched,’ Jefferson Morley, Aug. 14, 2017. The JFK story is back in the news. Under a law passed by Congress in 1992, all of the government’s JFK files had to be released within 25 years, by 2017. The July 24 release was the first in a series of document dumps that National Archives says will take place before October 24, the statutory deadline for full disclosure.
Politico claims the first batch of new files show “How the CIA Came to Doubt the Official Story of JFK’s Murder.” In the article, reporter Philip Shenon and professor Larry Sabato revive the theory that Fidel Castro might have been behind the crime.
The “Castro done it” theory, it is worth noting, was first floated within hours of JFK’s murder — by CIA propaganda assets. The Cuban Student Directorate, a Miami-based organization funded by the agency, published a broadsheet less than 48 hours after JFK’s death, declaring that Oswald and Castro were the “presumed assassins.” The group was funded under a covert program with the code name AMSPELL. A declassified CIA memo shows the group was receiving $51,000 a month (the equivalent of $350,000 today) from the agency at the time of its conspiracy mongering.
The “botched” investigation of the Warren Commission failed to pick up on the possible Oswald-Castro connection in 1964, Shenon and Sabato say. Only in 1975, they claim, did CIA officials realize that “no one had properly followed up on clues about an especially mysterious chapter in Oswald’s life — a six-day, apparently self-financed trip to Mexico City.” As result of these lapses, they say, Oswald’s ties to Cuban intelligence were never properly investigated.
This is a charitable reading of the new files, as WhoWhatWhy has noted. A more thorough reading of the new records tells a different story: The JFK investigation was not “botched” or “bungled” — it was controlled by two top CIA officials. The new records, available on the National Archives website and searchable in more accessible form at BlackVault.com, document how the CIA misled JFK investigators on four key issues:
1. The agency’s conspiracy in November 1963 to assassinate Fidel Castro.
2. The date CIA personnel first opened a file on Lee Harvey Oswald.
3. What CIA operations officers knew about Oswald’s contacts with an agency-funded anti-Castro group in New Orleans in the summer of 1963.
4. What top officials knew about Oswald’s visit to the Cuban consulate six weeks before the assassination.
JFKCountercoup2, Continuing email scrutiny by Dr. Cyril Wecht to Prof. Larry Sabato’s JFK “forensic science” analysis, Edited by Bill Kelly, Aug. 9, 2017.
In the article you wrote with Philip Shenon (“How the CIA Came to Doubt the Official Story of JFK Murder” – Politico, August 3), there is the following statement –“21st century forensic science demonstrates that Oswald was almost certainly the lone gunman in Dallas”.
Would you be so kind as to send me your information regarding this reference.
Very truly yours,
Cyril H. Wecht, M.D., J.D. (Shown above right in a file photo in his forensics lab)
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Thank you for the note. Prof. Sabato discusses this subject at some length in his book, “The Kennedy Half-Century.”
I have not read Mr. Shenon’s book but I would imagine he addresses the issue in his book ( “A Cruel and Shocking Act” ) as well.
Managing Editor, Sabato’s Crystal Ball
University of Virginia Center for Politics
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Thank you for your prompt response to my recent inquiry.
I have checked the reference you gave me to Professor Sabato’s book.
The only “scientific” discussion I note therein deals with the acoustics analysis that the HSCA relied upon.
I would like to receive a more specific response to my question re: “21st century forensic science demonstrates that Oswald was almost certainly the lone gunman in Dallas.”
I am certain you can appreciate the fact that as a forensic scientist deeply involved and interested in the JFK assassination for more than 50 years, such an important reference has great significance to me.
I have had no hesitation or problem in relating to major WCR defender – proponents over the years. Indeed, I developed good relationships with Specter, Bugliosi, and Posner.
I am not seeking to engage in a personal dispute with Professor Sabato. However, I cannot ignore the statement made by him and Mr. Shenon in a widely disseminated article that will be given much weight by thousands of readers.
Their comment is quite specific. Accordingly, the basis for that comment must be quite specific, also.
Just exactly what are the 21st century forensic scientific studies that buttress and validate the WCR’s conclusion re: Oswald as a lone gunman?
I believe this is a fair and logical question to be addressed to a high level academic entity.
I look forward to your response.
Cyril H. Wecht, M.D., J.D.
WhoWhatWhy, Politico’s Challenge to JFK Orthodoxy That Isn’t, Staff report, Aug. 8, 2017. Politico Magazine featured an article that appeared to question the official narrative of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy — that he was killed by a lone-nut — but in the end only supported it. Why does mainstream media refuse to recognize any evidence to the contrary?
For a fascinating example of disinformation, mainstream-media style, consider this story in Politico Magazine, How the CIA Came to Doubt the Official Story of JFK’s Murder by Philip Shenon and Larry J. Sabato.
Those familiar with the circumstances surrounding the assassination of President John F. Kennedy are aware that the official story pronounced by the Warren Commission — the first official government investigation into Kennedy’s murder — was that lone-wolf Lee Harvey Oswald, a 24-year old ex-Marine with a curious past, shot the president from the 6th floor window of the Texas Schoolbook Depository building in Dealey Plaza on November 22, 1963.
Although in the 1970s a second government investigation — the House Select Committee on Assassinations — concluded that the murder was the result of a probable conspiracy, the official line out of Washington, D.C., and nearly every mainstream news organization since that day in November, has been to parrot the Warren Commission. Oswald acted alone — although the idea of involvement of Castro and Russia is often hinted at.
Future of Freedom Foundation, Figuring Out the Kennedy Assassination, Part 2, Jacob G. Hornberger (shown below), Aug. 8, 2017. (Part I here.) The official story of the Kennedy assassination is that he was killed by a former U.S. Marine, lone-nut, communist assassin named Lee Harvey Oswald (shown in a passport photo below right). The big problem, however, is that the official story has never comported with much of the circumstantial evidence in the case nor with common sense, reason, and logic. That’s why no one has ever been able to come up with a credible motive for Oswald to kill Kennedy.
As I pointed out in Part 1, by the time he was assassinated Kennedy was ending the Cold War against the communist world and had announced his intention for America to live in peace, friendship, and mutual coexistence with the Soviet Union, especially Russia, Cuba, and the rest of the communist world. If Oswald had, in fact, been an genuine communist, that would have made him ecstatic. Why kill Kennedy knowing that he would be replaced by Johnson, who vehemently disagreed with JFK’s change of direction and, instead, was on the same page as the Pentagon and the CIA?
The obvious question arises: Why would a genuine communist want to joint to join an organization — the U.S. Marine Corps — that had just killed and injured millions of communists in Korea? Indeed, it wasn’t communists who hated Kennedy for what he was doing. It was instead the U.S. national-security establishment, which believed that Kennedy’s actions constituted a grave threat to national security.
There is an easy explanation — one, however, that is not consistent with the official story. In the 1950s, there was a famous television series called I Led Three Lives, which is based on a book of the same name by a man named Herbert Philbrick. The series revolved around an American man who posed as a communist but who was actually a FBI agent. The man’s job was to infiltrate communist cells that were supposedly operating here in the United States and secretly report their activities to the FBI.
It’s worth watching a couple of episodes of I Led Three Lives just to get a sense of what life was like here in the United States during the Cold War and the anti-communist crusade. You can access them on YouTube by searching for “I Led Three Lives.” The commies were supposedly everywhere — the State Department, the Army, Hollywood, the public schools, and other walks of life. The Russians were coming! They were coming to get us, take over the federal government, and turn America entirely Red.
As a PBS documentary entitled Who Was Lee Harvey Oswald? pointed out, I Led Three Lives was Lee Harvey Oswald’s favorite TV Show as a teenager. Now things makes sense.
Future of Freedom Foundation, Figuring Out the Kennedy Assassination, Part I, Jacob G. Hornberger (shown below), Aug. 7, 2017. (Part 2, Aug. 8, 2017.) By the time he was assassinated, Kennedy was ending the Cold War against the communist world and had announced his intention for America to live in peace, friendship, and mutual coexistence with the Soviet Union, especially Russia, Cuba, and the rest of the communist world.
JFK Facts.org, The new JFK files: What Politico missed about the CIA role, Jefferson Morley (shown at right), Aug. 7, 2017. The first JFK writers to weigh in on the new JFK files are Phil Shenon and Larry Sabato, former New York Times reporter and University of Virginia professor respectively. In a story for Politico Magazine, they purport to tell the story How the CIA Came to Doubt the Official Story of JFK’s Murder.
The tipoff to the story’s limitations is the headline, which sounds a bit odd: how the CIA came to doubt the official story….If the CIA did not doubt the official story — that a lone gunman killed Kennedy out of “hatred for American society” — it was because the agency, on several key points, was the source of that story. The Warren Commission relied on the CIA’s information in telling the American public about Oswald’s defection to the Soviet Union in October 1959, his return in June 1962, and his curious visit to Mexico City in October 1963.
As Shenon and Sabato note, perhaps too casually, senior CIA officials lied to the Warren Commission on each and everyone of these points. Any reasonable person would say that the initial lies call in to question the sincerity of the later doubts. In fact Oswald had been monitored closely by the CIA’s Counterintelligence Staff from 1959 to 1963.
The new JFK files do not, in my view, support Shenon and Sabato’s “Castro Done It” theory, which predictably points the figure of culpability at the Cuban government in Havana. Rather these files, in their totality, tell a more disturbing story, which points to culpability in the U.S. government in Washington, and the CIA in Langley.
Sputnik via Information Clearing House, JFK Killing: Lies & Russophobia, Finian Cunningham, Aug. 7, 2017. The assassination of President John F Kennedy in 1963 was a seminal event in modern American history. Yet 54 years on, the official US state continues covering up the shocking truth about the killing of one of its most popular leaders.
A recent release of secret memos from the Central Intelligence Agency is a classic case of disinformation put out to further contaminate public knowledge about how and why the president was murdered in Dallas, Texas, on November 22, 1963. What the newest release of CIA documents appear to “disclose” is that the agency was involved in a “benign cover-up” by influencing the 1964 Warren Commission to conclude that Oswald acted alone in killing the president. What this amounts to is disinformation planted in the National Archives by the CIA, which upon eventual release gives the impression that a significant revelation is being unearthed. Notice how the supposed “disclosures” end up reinforcing the official narrative – namely, that the American president was killed by a lone malcontent.
Conveniently, this latest spin feeds into the current climate of Russophobia being whipped up by large sections of the US media, which blames Russia for meddling in the presidential elections last years and colluding with the campaign team for Donald Trump. In other words, the latest CIA disclosures are designed at burnishing the credibility of the official US account of how and why JFK was murdered, while also resonating with the Deep State effort to oust Trump from the White House. The trouble is the official version of JFK’s killing has already been exposed as a preposterous fraud by numerous independent researchers and writers.
Perhaps the best account on the event is provided by James W Douglass in his book, JFK and the Unspeakable. There are several others, but Douglass’ book is a compendious study. There seems little doubt that Kennedy was “taken out” by executive action, a term used by the CIA and its Deep States operatives, including the numerous hit men that triangulated the ambush on JFK’s motorcade on that fateful day in Dealey Plaza, Dallas.
Kennedys and King, The Larry and Phil Show, James DiEugenio, Aug. 5, 2017. Jim DiEugenio (shown in a file photo) excoriates two articles concerning the July NARA document release which appeared in the Washington Post and Politico. As most of us know, the National Archives began a premature release of JFK assassination documents on July 25th. The legal target date had previously been late October. For whatever reason, NARA decided to begin early. As I noted in my “Open Letter to Martha Murphy and John Mathis,” the first week was marked by many problems. Most of which, in my opinion, could have been avoided.
Anyone familiar with the JFK case understands that these documents are the leftover residue from the work of the Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB). Formed to declassify all the records in the JFK case, that citizens’ panel ceased operations in 1998. But they specified that, by law, certain documents could be exempted from their declassification efforts. They also stated, however, that 2017 would be the termination date for those documents.
There were many valuable documents that the ARRB declassified, dealing both with the Kennedy presidency, and Kennedy’s assassination. Concerning the former, the ARRB declassified the records of the SecDef conference of May 1963, which cinched the case that President Kennedy had assigned Robert McNamara to implement his withdrawal plan from Vietnam. (James DiEugenio, Destiny Betrayed, Second Edition, p. 366) Concerning the latter, the ARRB declassified the Lopez Report, which raises the most profound questions about Oswald’s alleged trip to Mexico seven weeks before the assassination. Chief Counsel of the ARRB, Jeremy Gunn, conducted a long inquiry into the medical evidence in the Kennedy assassination. The highlight of this was the testimony of official photographer John Stringer. Under oath, Stringer told Gunn that he did not take the photos of Kennedy’s brain at NARA. (James DiEugenio, Reclaiming Parkland, p. 164).
Unfortunately for the public, there was little fanfare attended to both the process and the discoveries of the ARRB. There were some sporadic stories, for instance, about the Vietnam withdrawal plans and Operation Northwoods, but generally speaking, the MSM did not explain the task of the ARRB, nor did it inform the public about the gold in the treasure trove of documents — over two million pages — that finally saw the light of day after over 30 years of secrecy.
Last week’s early batch of releases also featured some bracing documents. For instance, there was a document revealing the CIA status of Dallas Mayor Earle Cabell (shown at left). Another one showed that, by the seventies, Collins Radio was quite close to the CIA. Collins Radio relates to the assassination through both George De Mohrenschildt and Carl Mather. And this is only from a first glance through several thousands of pages of newly declassified documents.
Which brings us to the Larry and Phil Show. I refer here to the commentary on this NARA release by authors Larry Sabato and Phil Shenon. These two men penned two largely irrelevant books at the time of the fiftieth anniversary of Kennedy’s assassination: respectively, The Kennedy Half Century, and A Cruel and Shocking Act, told us very little that was new about either the Kennedy presidency or the facts of his assassination.
What is exceptional about that fact is this: Both men wrote their books over a decade past the closing down of the ARRB. Yet one would be hard pressed to show how those millions of documents, or Gunn’s extensive medical inquiry, figured into those two books, both of which, unsurprisingly, came to the conclusion that none of the documents mattered. Neither did Jeremy Gunn’s inquiry. The Warren Commission was right all along. Lee Oswald killed JFK; the Magic Bullet lived.
Black Op Radio via Kennedys and King, Jim Marrs passes away (August 2) at age 73, Participants include John Armstrong, Jim DiEugenio, Robert Groden, Larry Hancock, Debra Conway, Mark DeValk, John Barbour, Lisa Pease, Oliver Stone and Malcolm Blunt, Aug. 4, 2017.
Politico, How the CIA Came to Doubt the Official Story of JFK’s Murder, Philip Shenon and Larry J. Sabato (shown below at left), Aug. 3, 2017. Newly released documents from long-secret Kennedy assassination files raise startling questions about what top agency officials knew and when they knew it.
After the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in November 1963, the CIA appeared eager, even desperate, to embrace the version of events being offered by the FBI, the Secret Service and other parts of the government.
The official story: that a delusional misfit and self-proclaimed Marxist named Lee Harvey Oswald killed the president in Dallas with his $21 mail-order rifle and there was no evidence of a conspiracy, foreign or domestic. Certainly, the CIA’s leaders told the Warren Commission, the independent panel that investigated the murder, there was no evidence of a conspiracy that the spy agency could have foiled.
But thousands of pages of long-secret, assassination-related documents released by the National Archives last week show that, within a few years of Kennedy’s murder, some in the CIA began to worry internally that the official story was wrong — an alarm the agency never sounded publicly.
JFKCountercoup, The Annotated Shenon and Sabato on the New JFK Records, Bill Kelly (shown at right), Aug. 3, 2017. Phil Shenon and Larry Sabato are at it again. After their piece in the Washington Post [President Trump, give us the full story on the JFK assassination], that the AARC [Assassination Archives and Research Center] responded to [AARC Board responds to Sabato and Shenon] they are picking up where Gus Russo, Brien Latell and Bob Baer left off – and are stuck parroting the same old, sorry story that is just not true.
Phil Shenon is a former New York Times reporter who says he is not interested in any other aspect of the assassination of President Kennedy other than that which indicates Castro was behind the dirty deed. In his book A Cruel and Shocking Act, he tries to make the claim that Oswald met Cuban embassy officials at a private Twist Party where they encouraged him to kill JFK. There was a party at which Oswald was encouraged to kill General Walker, but Shenon isn’t interested in that. See my reviews: JFKcountercoup: A Cruel and Shocking Twist.
Sabato is associated with the University of Virginia Center for Politics and together they represent a Punch and Judy show that we will have to get used to. We will have to respond and correct each of their articles, especially as they try to promote the original cover story: the false black propaganda and disinformation campaign to promote the idea that Castro was behind the assassination of JFK.
Dr. John M. Newman, shown at left above, author of Countdown to Darkness, JFK and Vietnam, Oswald and the CIA, Where Angels Tread Lightly and more. Photo credits: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform and Skyhorse Publishing, with collage by WhoWhatWhy
WhoWhatWhy, 2017 JFK Document Release Shows Former Intelligence Analyst Got It Right, Alan Dale, Aug. 3, 2017. For decades, those investigating the assassination of President John F. Kennedy have been eagerly anticipating the release of previously withheld documents scheduled for later this year, October 26. One major question that remains is whether President Donald Trump will use his authority to further keep these documents from the public eye.
Fifty-four years is long enough. The potential for discovery represented by the recent and upcoming release of remaining government files on the Kennedy assassination was realized this week with the startling revelation that beginning in 1956, Earle Cabell (shown at left), brother of Deputy Director of Central Intelligence Charles P. Cabell and Mayor of Dallas at the time JFK was assassinated, was a CIA asset.
We are now able to review his 10/17/56 CIA Secrecy Agreement, his CIA 201 file cover sheet, his 5/13/57 CIA Personality 201 File Request, and a cover sheet indicating that the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) reviewed his 201 file. The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) master listing of files scheduled for release indicates that the Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB) classified these records as “Not Believed Relevant” (NBR).
ARRB Director Judge John Tunheim, speaking at the National Press Club during a CAPA-sponsored event this past March, said that he now believes that many of the NBR-designated documents are indeed relevant. With the benefit of hindsight, that may have been an understatement.
The passage of many days, months, or years may be necessary for information to be placed in the correct context and understood as being significant.
The example of George Joannides (shown at right), who was brought out of retirement to act as liaison between the Agency and the HSCA, is a case in point. Joannides’ role as the CIA case officer for the DRE (Revolutionary Student Directorate), an anti-Castro group with which Lee Harvey Oswald had interacted in the summer of 1963 in New Orleans, was withheld by the agency throughout the term of the HSCA which was investigating CIA connections to the group.
When asked directly if Joannides could assist the HSCA by identifying the officer who had handled the DRE during the summer of 1963, he responded by saying, “I’ll look into that.” Perhaps the CIA did not feel that revealing Joannides’ true identity to the Committee investigators was “assassination-related.”
Kennedys and King, An Open Letter to Martha Murphy and John Mathis at NARA: Re: Last Releases of the JFK Act, James DiEugenio (shown in a file photo), Aug. 2, 2017. As both of you know, when the Assassination Records and Review Board closed its doors way back in 1998, they specified that after four years of operation, there were still many documents related to the JFK assassination that had yet to be declassified. That body had been set up as a direct result of the firestorm of controversy that swept the country as a result of the release of Oliver Stone’s film JFK. At the end of that film, a title card appeared which said that the files of the House Select Committee on Assassinations were classified until the year 2039. Stone’s film raised many questions about the circumstances of President Kennedy’s assassination. The most direct one was: Did Lee Oswald shoot the president? For about ten months in 1991-1992 the country was involved in a debate about this question which encompassed all forms of media.
Finally, due to this furor, the JFK Act was passed in 1992 and the Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB) was later established by President Clinton. After some initial delay, it got up and rolling in 1994 and lasted until 1998. In retrospect, the ARRB did not last long enough and it was also underfunded. I say this because it has become apparent that many of the documents now being released should not have been withheld in the first place. But the main point is, everyone involved in the field knew that the 2017 date for final release was coming.
The original date for final release was late October of 2017. NARA had announced previously that, for whatever reason, it would be releasing withheld documents prior to that date. And beginning on July 25th, with little advance fanfare, this is what you did. According to a previous announcement by Ms. Murphy, there was a team of four archivists and three technicians working on this project many months in advance. One would therefore have expected that you would only begin the advance release if you were ready to do so. You must have realized that there were many people interested in the subject and that these people were eager to begin going through the remainder of the documents. Why begin the process early if everything was not in place?
After one week of sorting through the initial release of last week, that is a question that hangs pregnant in the air. To put it frankly, this early release has been the equivalent of “jumping the gun.” There have been many complaints by many researchers. But to name just some of the more popular ones:
— Some of the documents are so poorly copied they are, quite literally, illegible.
— Some of the documents are related to the MLK case, not the JFK case.
— Some of the documents are being released with a withheld notice on them. That is, they are not declassified at all.
— Some documents have not been released but should be there, since the document was already known about.
— Some of the documents still contain redactions.
— Many of the documents in the index do not have titles.
As I noted above, many people in the JFK community, and some in the media, were eagerly awaiting the final release of the ARRB documents. The creation of the ARRB, as you know, was a very unusual act of Congress. In fact, I can think of no other body quite like it. Many, many important and revealing documents were finally declassified by that citizens’ panel. These documents had a profound impact on the information that informed people now have about the career and assassination of President Kennedy. Whole books have been written on the JFK case that have been largely based on those documents. It would not be an overstatement to say that those documents changed the calculus on that crucial historical episode. In retrospect, as beneficial as the ARRB was to the information database on the JFK case, it is clear that many of the documents released during the last week should not have been withheld either from them or by them. In my opinion, that is a matter for them to explain, not you.
But concerning the six points listed above, these are all matters that were up to NARA. The assassination of President Kennedy was perhaps the single most tragic event of the second half of the 20th century. According to polls conducted by author Larry Sabato for his book The Kennedy Half Century, that event had a profound impact on the course of history. Many people interviewed for that book said that the nation has not been the same since.
This is one of the reasons that this case still haunts America. You should have been aware of this fact. In my opinion, and the opinion of many others, there should have been no redactions or no withholdings upon the July 25th release. And given that there are, there should have been no early release. That matter should have been resolved in advance. You also should have furnished a complete and thorough index to the documents prior to their release. That way there would have been no dispute about what was there and what was not. There should have been an explanation of why there are MLK documents in the JFK collection. And finally, you should have demanded from the originating agency that every document be readily legible.
Future of Freedom Foundation, Will Trump Continue the CIA’s Cover-Up in the JFK Assassination? Jacob G. Hornberger (shown at right), Aug. 1, 2017. Last week, the National Archives suddenly released a batch of long-secret official records relating to the JFK assassination. This was surprising because the official release date for all the JFK-assassination records, as mandated by law, is coming this October. The still-secret records amount to tens of thousands of pages of documents, many of which are records of the CIA, the super-secret federal agency that has specialized in the art of assassination, cover-up of assassination, and regime change practically since its inception in 1947.
The gig is finally up. With one possible exception: The CIA can request President Trump to continue the secrecy on grounds of “national security.” If the president grants the request, the secrecy continues. If it doesn’t, the secrecy finally comes to an end, at least with respect to the CIA’s records that have been in the custody of the National Archives for the past 25 years.
Will the CIA seek another secrecy extension? Will the agency tell President Trump that “national security” will be threatened if the American people are permitted to see its 54-year-old records? I don’t have any doubts about it, and I’ve been saying that for several months now.
Just as I and others have been predicting for several months. Of course, there will be those who will cry “National security, Jacob!” or simply chalk it up to the CIA’s customary penchant for secrecy.
Do the still-secret records contain a videotaped confession by CIA officials stating that they orchestrated the assassination of President Kennedy to protect “national security,” just as they orchestrated regime-change operations in Cuba, Iran, Guatemala, Indonesia, Brazil, Congo, Chile, and elsewhere to protect “national security”? Of course not.
But the CIA knows that the still-secret records will provide further bits of circumstantial evidence that further fill in the overall mosaic of what happened. That’s why they’re going to ask Trump to continue the secrecy — to prevent assassination researchers from getting their hands on those additional pieces of circumstantial evidence.
Washington Post, An anti-apartheid activist died in police custody in 1971. New testimony points to murder, Kyle Swenson, Aug. 1, 2017. Ernest Matthis spied the falling body but heard no scream. It was late afternoon, October 1971. The South African prosecutor was in the middle of a witness interview, part of an ongoing insurance investigation. “I was standing some distance from the window and I saw a person fall,” Matthis recounted last week in a courtroom in Pretoria.
Below, Ahmed Timol wrestled with his last breaths. A Muslim schoolteacher and political activist, the 29-year-old had been arrested six days earlier. Above, on the Vorster Square’s 10th floor, were the offices of the South African Police’s Special Branch, the much-feared ideological shock troopers tasked with uprooting dissent — and the unit that had grabbed Timol and a friend from a checkpoint.
Boston Globe, What we know about the newly released JFK assassination records — and those yet to come, Nik DeCosta-Klipa, July 31, 2017. Last week, the National Archives released thousands of documents related to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, hundreds of which had never before been publicly disclosed. Those who’ve studied the assassination say the new records expand on what was known about the government’s surveillance of Lee Harvey Oswald, as well as a mysterious trip he made to Mexico City two months before the assassination.
But the latest records release is also just the tip of the iceberg of what’s expected to come. “This all goes back to Oliver Stone’s movie JFK back in the early 1990s,” says Philip Shenon, a former New York Times reporter and author of the Kennedy assassination book A Cruel and Shocking Act.
“Whatever you think of it as a film, it created such an uproar and it got so many conspiracy theories whirling that Congress felt it was forced to act,” Shenon said.
More than 4 million pages of documents on the assassination were released in December 1992. Some agencies like the CIA and FBI withheld some documents at the time, arguing their release could endanger government spies or informants.
The newly disclosed documents are believed to amount to only about 1 percent of the remaining unreleased records, according to Larry Sabato, the director of the University of Virginia Center for Politics and author of the book The Kennedy Half-Century.
Assassination Archives and Research Center (AARC), AARC Board responds to Sabato and Shenon, Editorial Board, July 31, 2017. On July 25, 2017, the Washington post published an opinion piece, President Trump, give us the full story on the JFK assassination, by Larry Sabato and Phil Shenon. The following three responses to that article are contributed by AARC Board members Dr. Don Thomas, Malcolm Blunt, and Dr. Gary Aguilar.
Dr. Donald Byron Thomas (author of Hear No Evil in 2013): In an otherwise persuasively reasoned op-ed in the Washington Post arguing for unfettered release of JFK assassination documents (as required by law), Philip Shenon and Larry Sabato indulged in uninformed and unsupported overstatement by claiming that “… 21st-century forensic science demonstrates that Oswald was almost certainly the lone gunman in Dallas…”
A novice reading that statement would likely conclude that there have been recent (since 2000) scientific studies that incriminate Lee Harvey Oswald (shown on a Time Magazine cover) in the JFK murder case. But there are none. Not one. There is not even one that claims to be.
There have been excellent (and otherwise) forensic studies on the JFK evidence in recent years, but none of them inculpate anyone. In short it is a Trumpism – made up – fake news. Shenon and Sabato’s bald claim about the forensics is an alternative fact, the very sort of invention the Washington Post should be striving hard to avoid.
JFKCountercoup, The Argot of Dealey Plaza: How to define and talk about what happened at Dealey Plaza, Bill Kelly (shown in a file photo), July 31, 2017. It now should be established and accepted as a fact that the modus operandi of the assassination of President Kennedy was not that of a deranged loner, but rather that of a covert intelligence operation.
The largest CIA station in the world at the time — at the University of Miami, went by the cover of Zenith Technological Enterprises, as US Army Ranger Bradley Ayers describes in his books The War that Never Was and The Zenith Secret.
As Ayers describes it, they set it up just like the Big Con artists set up a Big Store as a fake gambling joint or broker’s office. “Monday morning we met the station chief, Ted Shackley,” Ayers wrote. “As we sat in his outer office, waiting a little nervously, I saw they had missed no detail in setting up the false front of Zenith Technological Enterprises.” “There were phony sales and production charts on the walls and business licenses from the state and federal governments. A notice to salesman, pinned near the door, advised them of the calling hours for various departments. The crowning touch was a certificate of award from the United Givers’ Fund to Zenith for outstanding participation in the annual fund drive.”
As Malcolm Blunt recently noted: “Better we should look at the documents being released and work on what I’m sure to most is irrelevant minutiae. Although most of these releases are going to be absolutely meaningless to [Washington] Post and [New York] Times reporters, really we being given missing pages from an incomplete dictionary. Agency cryptonyms, pseudonyms, internal systems and management. Very valuable.”
JFKFacts.org, Beyond the smoking gun: The new JFK files fill in two holes in the assassination story, Jefferson Morley (shown in a file photo), July 31, 2017. There is no one piece of evidence in the 113,000 pages of JFK records scheduled to be released by October 26, 2017, that will change people’s minds about what happened long ago in Dallas.
But the new JFK files, if released in their entirety, will fill in the two key gaps in the JFK assassination story that have long been obscured by government misconduct, official secrecy, and lazy journalism.
Think of the JFK assassination story as an incomplete mosaic. The new files help complete the picture in two ways. The new files shed light on the CIA’s use of Lee Oswald for intelligence purposes before November 22, 1963. They also illuminate the illegal actions of government officials to conceal the CIA’s manipulation of Oswald and its plot to kill Fidel Castro in late 1963.
Once all of these files are in the public record, then — and only then — can we assess what they tell us about the conspiracy question. So I advise news reporters (and everyone else) to put aside fantasies of a “smoking gun,” and focus on what the new facts tell us.
The new files strengthen the claim —long denied by the CIA and mainstream news organizations — that the agency used accused assassin Lee Oswald (shown in a Dallas mug shot) for intelligence purposes. More of the story is coming in the testimony of Orest Pena, a New Orleans bar owner who said he saw Oswald in the company of a senior FBI agents in the summer of 1963. The Pena testimony was not included in the first batch of National Archives releases last week.
The newly-declassified financial records of the CIA front group, the Cuban Revolutionary Council, are also relevant. In his turn as a public supporter of Castro in the summer of 1963, Oswald had repeated contacts with people associated with the CRC.
Meanwhile, intelligence historian John Newman has already begun to use the new files to develop the granular knowledge of CIA covert operations and cryptonyms necessary to tell this story.
JFKFacts.org, #NewJFKfiles: In 1964 Nikita Khrushchev schooled Drew Pearson on the JFK conspiracy question, Jefferson Morley, July 31, 2017. To people interested in the new JFK releases, I can highly recommend item 3) on Bill Kelly’s Top Ten Newly Released Records: Drew Pearson’s interview with Nikita Khrushchev. In this May 1964 conversation about the assassination of JFK, Drew Pearson, one of the nation’s leading syndicated columnists, failed to dispel the conspiratorial convictions of Nikita Khrushchev, the leader of the Soviet Union.
Khrushchev disbelieved the Warren Report and criticized American intelligence agencies, Pearson reported. Three years later, Pearson’s fellow investigative reporter Jack Anderson would break a story that shattered Washington’s confidence in the official JFK story and lent credence to Khrushchev’s view.
The New JFK Show Blog; New JFK Assassination Research, Earle Cabell was CIA, Larry, July 29, 2017. We all know that General Charles Cabell was fired by JFK, along with Richard Bissell, and Allen Dulles, over the Bay of Pigs fiasco in April 1961, an operation that JFK had inherited from the Eisenhower administration. On November 22, 1963, the mayor of Dallas was one Earle Cabell, the brother of Charles Cabell (shown at left). Some conspiracy theorists believe this was quite convenient for those who set up JFK for the hit in Dealey Plaza. It goes much deeper than this. This newly released file proves that Earle Cabell had been CIA since 1956!
JFKCountercoup, Kelly’s Top Ten Newly Released Records, Bill Kelly (shown in a file photo), July 29, 2017. The National Archives and Records Administration is releasing documents previously withheld in accordance with the JFK Assassination Records Collection Act. The vast majority of the Collection (88%) has been open in full and released to the public since the late 1990s. The records at issue are documents previously identified as assassination records, but withheld in full or withheld in part.
This first batch of releases consists of 3,810 documents, including 441 formerly withheld-in-full documents and 3,369 documents formerly released with portions redacted. The documents originate from FBI and CIA series identified by the Assassination Records Review Board as assassination records. More releases will follow. Except for the Collins Radio file, most of these records are among the first batch previously released with redactions.
JFK Facts, In 1972, CIA chiefs ordered no more questions about accused assassin Oswald, Jefferson Morley, July 27, 2017. On April 5, 1972, CIA counterintelligence chief James Angleton, backed by director Richard Helms, issued a blanket order: “the agency was not, under any circumstances, to make inquiries or ask any source or defector about Oswald.”
The order, found in the massive batch of JFK files released online this week, came nine years after Kennedy was shot dead in Dallas on November 22, 1963, allegedly by Lee Harvey Oswald, a 24-year-old ex-Marine. The order was issued after officials in the agency’s Soviet Bloc division asked a Russian defector about the accused assassin who lived in the Soviet Union from 1959 to 1962.
The CIA memo, classified as a state secret for the past 35 years [JFK Facts Editor’s note: Paul Hoch tells me the memo was released with a name redacted in 1998] sheds light on how Angleton, a legendary spy chief known for his brilliance and paranoia, tightly controlled the JFK investigation for years after the crime. No one at the CIA was supposed to ask questions about Kennedy’s accused killer.
Angleton’s espionage exploits have inspired a small library of spy novels and several Hollywood films since his death in 1987, including Norman Mailer’s novel Harlot’s Ghost and Robert DeNiro’s CIA film The Good Shepherd.
But the true story of Angleton’s sinister role in the events leading up to JFK’s assassination–and the cover-up that followed– is only beginning to come to light. The April 1972 memo and other newly-declassified records leave little doubt that Angleton (shown at right in a file photo) was the mastermind of the CIA coverup that followed JFK’s assassination.
The memo is just one of the CIA records among the 113,000 pages of JFK records scheduled to be released by the National Archives by October 26.
Why Angleton felt so strongly that the defector, a KGB officer named Oleg Lyalin, is a complex story that I will recount in a future post. Angleton, a conspiracy theorist par excellence, has inspired many conspiracy theories himself. From my study of the declassified CIA records and extensive interviews, the new JFK files should be read with three factual points in mind.
Angleton suspected a KGB conspiracy behind Kennedy’s murder. He publicly testified to that effect at least four times. Angleton knew more about Lee Harvey Oswald before Kennedy was killed than anyone in the CIA or the U.S. government. Angleton’s aides, in a secret office known as the Special Investigations Group, monitored Oswald’s movements and correspondence from October 1959 through November 1963. After JFK was killed, Angleton gained control of the CIA’s investigation of Oswald and did not relinquish until he was fired by in December 1974.
The CIA wanted to control questions about Lee Harvey Oswald in 1972 because Angleton had a conspiracy theory he wanted to investigate. Angleton also had lot to hide about CIA operations involving the accused assassin before JFK was killed.
Kennedys and King, Oswald’s Intelligence Connections: How Richard Schweiker clashes with Fake History, Paul Bleau, July 29, 2017. Paul Bleau offers an exhaustive review of sixty-four individuals with whom Oswald came in contact, and who had either plausible, probable, or definite intelligence links –– something that Bob Baer seems almost entirely to have missed in the “Tracking Oswald” series.
“We do know Oswald had intelligence connections. Everywhere you look with him, there are fingerprints of intelligence.”
~~ Senator Richard Schweiker, The Village Voice, 1975
There are many statements from official sources that contradict Warren Commission findings and most history books’ description of the JFK assassination. They are on the record in the numerous reports following other governmental investigations of the JFK assassination or they were captured in interviews and writings of many of those directly involved in them, but Schweiker’s was perhaps the most damning. Not only because of what he said, but also because of who he was.
Schweiker was a well-respected Republican politician who served under President Reagan from 1981 to 1983 as Secretary of Health and Human Services. He served over 20 years as a Pennsylvania U.S. Representative (1961–1969) and U.S. Senator (1969–1981). In 1976, he had an unsuccessful run to become Vice President in Reagan’s losing presidential campaign.
Most crucial for the purposes of this essay, from 1975 to 1976, Schweiker was a member of the United States Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities. Which, in deference to its chair Senator Frank Church, was commonly known as the Church Committee. This famous investigative body issued fourteen reports after interviewing hundreds of witnesses and studying thousands of files from the FBI, CIA and other agencies.
Thanks to its work, this is when most Americans were first told about the infamous U.S. assassination plots against foreign leaders, which were a key component of CIA regime control or “change operations”. Targets included the Congo’s Patrice Lumumba, Fidel Castro of Cuba, the Diem brothers in Vietnam, General Schneider of Chile and President Trujillo of the Dominican Republic. Ex CIA director Allen Dulles’ pact with the mob to assassinate Castro was also part of their findings. This information, which could have had an impact on the Warren Commission investigation, was kept secret by Dulles while he served on the Commission –– something CIA historians now refer to as a benign cover-up.
Under senators Gary Hart and Richard Schweiker, the Church Committee also conducted a focused investigation (Book 5) of the Kennedy assassination, concentrating on how the FBI and CIA supported the Warren Commission. Its report was very critical of these agencies:
“… developed evidence which impeaches the process by which the intelligence agencies arrived at their own conclusions about the assassination, and by which they provided information to the Warren Commission. This evidence indicates that the investigation of the assassination was deficient.”
To say the least, Schweiker was quite vocal in his views. Consider the following instances:
In 1976 he told CBS News that the CIA and FBI lied to the Warren Commission and that the case could be solved if they followed hot new leads. He also claimed that the White House was part of the cover up.
In a BBC documentary, , he made the following blistering statement about the Warren Commission investigation: “The Warren Commission has in fact collapsed like a house of cards and I believe it was set up at the time to feed pabulum to the American people for reasons not yet known, and one of the biggest cover-ups in the history of our country occurred at that time.”
In this revealing documentary, he goes on to say that the highest levels of government were behind him and his committee being mislead. They were continuing the cover-up, and also that Oswald was clearly involved with pro-Castro and anti-Castro groups, which smacked of an intelligence role as a double agent, and that these relationships were not investigated.
In his Kennedys and King article, JFK and the Unforgivable, this author chronicled some thirty examples of other investigation insiders who contradict the Warren Commission’s conclusions about Oswald being a Lone Nut assassin, which is still the basis of what we can find in most of today’s history textbooks.
Black Vault, Released JFK Documents, Admin, July 26, 2017. The National Archives and Records Administration is releasing documents previously withheld in accordance with the JFK Assassination Records Collection Act. The vast majority of the Collection (88%) has been open in full and released to the public since the late 1990s. The records at issue are documents previously identified as assassination records, but withheld in full or withheld in part.
The first release consists of 3,810 documents, including 441 formerly withheld-in-full documents and 3,369 documents formerly released with portions redacted. The Black Vault has archived them all below, and has created a much easier index to use.
The documents originated from FBI and CIA series identified by the Assassination Records Review Board as assassination records. More releases will follow. Four selected columns from the official Archives lists (maybe not all of them) are visible here, starting at “The Document Index – With Hyperlinks.”
Washington Post, President Trump, give us the full story on the JFK assassination, Larry J. Sabato and Philip Shenon, July 25, 2017. Later this year — unless President Trump intervenes — the American people will get access to the last of thousands of secret government files about a turning point in the nation’s history: the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
Larry J. Sabato (shown at left) is director of the University of Virginia Center for Politics and author of “The Kennedy Half-Century.” Philip Shenon, a former Washington correspondent for the New York Times, is the author of “A Cruel and Shocking Act: The Secret History of the Kennedy Assassination.”
National Archives, National Archives Begins Online Release of JFK Assassination Records, Staff report, July 24, 2017. Today at 8 a.m., the National Archives released a group of documents (the first of several expected releases), along with 17 audio files, previously withheld in accordance with the JFK Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992. The materials released today are available online only. Access to the original paper records will occur at a future date.
On July 24, 2017 at 8 a.m., the National Archives released a group of documents (the first of several expected releases), along with 17 audio files, previously withheld in accordance with the JFK Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992.
The National Archives (NARA) announcement of the release follows below:
The materials released today are available online only. Access to the original paper records will occur at a future date.
Download the files online here. Highlights of this release include 17 audio files of interviews of Yuri Nosenko, a KGB officer (shown in a file photo) who defected to the United States in January 1964. Nosenko claimed to have been the officer in charge of the KGB file on Lee Harvey Oswald during Oswald’s time in the Soviet Union. The interviews were conducted in January, February, and July of 1964.
This set of 3,810 documents is the first to be processed for release, and includes FBI and CIA records — 441 documents previously withheld in full and 3,369 documents previously released with portions redacted. In some cases, only the previously redacted pages of documents will be released. The previously released portions of the file can be requested and viewed in person at the National Archives at College Park (these records are not online).
Background: The re-review of these documents was undertaken in accordance with the John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992, which states: “Each 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, unless the President certifies, as required by this Act, that continued postponement is made necessary” by specific identifiable harm.
The act mandated that all assassination-related material be housed in a single collection in the National Archives and defined five categories of information that could be withheld from release. The act also established the Assassination Records Review Board to weigh agency decisions to postpone the release of records.
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 (88 percent) has been open in full and released to the public since the late 1990s. The records at issue are documents previously identified as assassination records but withheld in part or in full. Federal agencies have been re-reviewing their previously withheld records for release, and will appeal to the President if they determine that records require further postponement.
• JFK Assassination Records Processing Project—background and FAQs
• Final Report of the Assassination Records Review Board
• JFK Assassination Records FAQs
• Warren Commission Report
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CAPA (Citizens Against Political Assassinations) this spring helped prepare the research community for NARA’s forthcoming release of documents this year by presenting a major forum on March 16 at the National Press Club presenting experts on the topic.
The featured speaker was former Assassination Records Review Board Chairman John R. Tunheim, who had led the five-member commission appointed by Congress to supervise release of documents related to Kennedy’s 1963 assassination.
CAPA Chairman Cyril H. Wecht, the noted forensic pathologist, consultant, author and medical school professor, is shown at left introducing Tunheim, who is now chief U.S. District Court judge for Minnesota. (Photo courtesy of Noel St. John.) CAPA reported and filmed the forum, which details available in ARRB’s Former Chief Tunheim Keynotes CAPA March 16 National Press Club Forum Previewing Historic 2017 JFK Records Release.
“CAPA seeks release of the remaining JFK records with a minimum of redactions, which can obscure vital information,” commented Wecht, a prominent expert in forensic pathology for five decades. “We shall also file Freedom of Information Act requests and similar legal actions to enforce the law and undertake public education efforts to show the importance of disclosure to new generations.”
Heavy.com, Martin Luther King Jr. Files Among New JFK Documents Just Released (With List), Stephanie Dube Dwilson, July 24, 2017. Hidden among the JFK documents just released by the National Archives are a series of documents about Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination. The National Archives’ servers appear slammed and the documents are very large (with some compressed files being 2 GB or more), but lists of the contents for each file are quickly viewable.
Here is a list of some of the MLK files that are included among the JFK files just released. Because these documents must be downloaded before they can be viewed, and the servers are running slow, it’s not yet known what these documents contain, and there may be more MLK-related documents than found in this list.
- CABLE: Subject had amazing resemblance — April 10, 1968
- CABLE: Has not yet ruled out possibility — April 19, 1968
- FBI has positively identified accused assassin — April 19, 1968
- Dispatch: Transmittal of photographs of alias Eric Starvo Galt — April 22, 1968
- Dispatch: James Early Ray, AKA Eric Starvo Galt, Harvey Lowmyer, John — April 22, 1968
- CABLE: FBI advises that matching OG fingerprints proves — April 23, 1968
- CABLE: Three photos James Earl Ray appeared “El Diario” — April 23, 1968
- MF: James Earl Ray — April 23, 1968
- CABLE: All pertinent information James Earl Ray passed — April 26, 1968
- Official Routing Slip: Our files on Martin Luther King Reveal — October 22, 1975
- Official Routing Slip: There is no indication in the files on James Earl Ray — October 23, 1975
- Attorney General Ramsey Clark announced today that Eric Starvo Galt — January 1, 1968
- MFR: Unknown Subject, possibly identifiable with Eric Starvo Galt — April 19, 1968
- Routing and Record sheet: RE King Assassination — May 1, 1968
- MF: Investigation in of report on suspicion actions of subject originally described as resembling suspected assassin of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. — May 16, 1968
- Cable: Initial details of Ray’s arrest — June 8, 1968
- Cable: Tracing has produced no evidence that… — April 19, 1968
- Cable: Has had to prepare two summaries — April 12, 1968
- Cable: American involvement in Anti-Vietnam War — April 13, 1968 (Not known if this is related to MLK, but he spoke out against the Vietnam War about a year before he died)
- Investigation of death of Martin Luther King. Junior — April 18, 1968 & April 25, 1968
- Dispatch: Reports that the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King … — April 29, 1968
- Report: Meeting of Dr. Martin Luther King — Sept. 28, 1964
- Dispatch: Meeting of Dr. Martin Luther King — October 20, 1964
- Dispatch: Publication of articles by Dr. Martin Luther King — Nov. 17, 1964
- MEMO: Martin Luther King — Nov. 30, 1964
- REPORT: King, Martin Luther — November 5, 1967
- REPORT: Views on black militant situation in Chicago — October 5, 1967
- REPORT: Views on domestic racial situation and the new politics convention — October 5, 1967
- DISPATCH: Communist comments on the death of Martin Luther King/Reference to “Black Power” concept — April 10, 1968
- King/Ray FOIA — January 1, 2000
JFKCountercoup, NARA New Releases, Bill Kelly, July 24, 2017. Bill Kelly, shown in a file photo, is a member of CAPA’s board of directors and is the editor of JFK Countercoup. I was notified by a National Archives Media Advisory at 8 a.m this morning that they have begun to release some of the previously with held government records under the JFK Act that mandates all government records related to the assassination of President Kennedy by October 26, 2017.
Rather than release all the remaining records all at once the NARA staff has been working hard to release what they can before the sunset date, provided agencies don’t request their continued postponement in an official request to the National Security Agency and President Trump’s acquesence, something he is not expected to do.
The hard copy of these new records are not available at the Archives II yet and are only available on line, via a very compressed zip filing system, a computerized system that crashed after a few hours, so only the first few users could download the records before the system went down.
I only got a chance to review the spread sheet subject matter of some of the zip files and was sent one downloaded CIA file on Collins Radio that I was interested in, that I review at JFKCountercoup2.blogspot.com.
Thats just one of more than 3,000 such records, so you can see that we will be busy reading for a long time, if they get the system up and running again.
The Education Forum, National Archives release first batch of 2017 JFK documents, Anthony Thorne, July 24, 2017. The National Archives have just released the first batch of long awaited 2017 JFK documents, with more to follow. 3810 documents have been released, 441 of those were previously withheld in full, the rest present unredacted versions of previously censored documents. The first batch comes to many gigabytes of material.
JFKCountercoup, New Collins Radio Document Released, Bill Kelly, July 24, 2017. Of the thousands of new documents being released under the JFK Act, these are significant because they were with held for reasons of National Security, and are among the last to be released, as the JFK Act requires, before October 26, 2017.
As the file with the subject COLLINS RADIO dates from 1977, it was probably created for the Church Intelligence Committee, and because the Assassination Records Review Board requested all of the documents reviewed by the Church and HSCA Congressional Committees, they received many documents not related to the assassination of President Kennedy.
As Judge John Tunheim explained in his March Sunshine Week National Press Club CAPA press conference, because the ARRB was limited by law to only JFK assassination records, they labeled NBR — Not Believed Relevant — many records segregated for the Congressional committees but not related to the assassination of JFK.
The ARRB considered this file NBR even though Collins Radio supplied the radios for Air Force One and some of its employees were implicated in the assassination.
The Records Identification Form lists it as CIA – Doc. 104-10107-10191, a 21 page record that is listed as four documents but is actually nine searate documents, mainly letters and memos seeking a legal opinion on various matters.
The first few are letters from Collins and LTV, inquiring if their employees bachelor quarters at a secret Joint Australia-USA SIGNET base near Alice Springs, Australia, are taxable. Because the base is 1,000 miles from the nearest city and operates 24-7, the assigned quarters are not taxable.
On anorther subject – the CIA General Counsel looked into the legality of using profits from operation Tominerva to fund Project SPACE, a propriety of Toshield for $222,500.00.
Another legal opinion was sought regarding the acquisition of technical communications information in the Middle East by a Collins employee that “we plan to use this foreign intelligence to penetrate select communications abroad.”
It was determined to be “foreign intelligence,” as defined by Section 5(a)5 of Executive Order 11905 and considered under the “Silver Platter” doctrine because it was not solicited or paid for, but could not be distributed to other agencies.
In a final document TOTINGER – a European manufacturer of cipher equipment “the NSA finds defiant of analysis” was negotiating a contract with Collins to supply micro processors that would be approved by the Office of Munitions Control. TOTINGER was attached to the stable of TOARIEL.
The bottom line is these documents have nothing to do with the assassination directly, but provide details and deep background into the defense contractors connected to the assassination – D. H. Byrd, owner of the Texas School Book Depository was one of the owners of LTV in 1963.
This is a brief, quick review and analysis of one of the thousands of records with held and released today under the JFK Act – a review process that will take many months and years of work.
OpEdNews, “I have a lingering desire to see justice”: Dr. William F. Pepper on the Murder of Three 20th-Century Heroes, Marta Steele, July 21, 2017. Dr. William F. Pepper (shown in a photo by Marta Steele) believes that the best way to move forward is to learn from the past. He is working on a new book that traces assassinations of high-powered rulers from ancient Sumeria through to the present.
Next year will mark the fiftieth anniversary of the assassinations of Robert F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr., Pepper told attendees of a press conference he held July 20 at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. His focus was what moderator Andrew Kreig called “an exceptional slice of history”: the assassinations of two of the prolific author’s close friends, Robert F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr.
The real story hasn’t been told, he said. The public doesn’t know it. But the immediate purpose this morning was to announce his 200-page petition to the Organization of American States (OAS) human rights body “to obtain under treaty rights a new trial for Sirhan Sirhan or the kind of evidentiary hearing that California and other U.S. authorities have denied him.”
Since 2007, Pepper has been working to have RFK’s alleged assassin, Sirhan Sirhan (shown in a California prison mug shot), exonerated. He has collected reams of evidence to prove that Sirhan’s shots did not kill Kennedy. The lethal shot was to the back of his head, by another culprit still not brought to justice, he said.
Similarly, the JFK assassination has been proved to have been carried out by others in addition to Lee Harvey Oswald. The “Camelot” president had, in his brief tenure, antagonized a host of powerful entities because of “radical” policies like wanting to vacate U.S. troops from Vietnam, overthrow Fidel Castro in Cuba without using U.S. troops, force the resignation of war-mongering CIA and Pentagon leaders, promote desegregation, prosecute Mafia leaders, and review the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 and oil depletion allowance.
He said to expect many books on the subject next year, which will contain but “a small hint of what happened.”
Hausfrauleaks, Sirhan Sirhan: A “Reel Bad” Arab? J. Michael Springmann, July 21, 2017. (Michael Springmann, shown in a portrait, is an author (“Visas for Al Qaeda” and this year’s “Chaos In Europe”), attorney and former U.S. State Department diplomat.)
On July 20, 2017, William F. Pepper, Ed.D., J.D., spoke at the National Press Club about his previous day’s filing of a 200-page petition regarding Sirhan Sirhan. Sirhan, jailed since 1968, is the alleged killer of Robert F. Kennedy, the late New York U.S. senator and Democratic presidential candidate. Organized by Andrew Kreig, J.D., editor of the Justice Integrity Project [and a CAPA board member and PR committee chair], the well-attended conference enabled Dr. Pepper to discuss his long-sought evidentiary hearing on behalf of Sirhan.
As Sirhan’s lawyer for many years, Pepper conceded that the legal remedies for his client in the United States have been exhausted at both the State and federal levels. California, where Kennedy had been murdered in a Los Angeles hotel kitchen, did not assure a fair trial. Essentially, ineffective assistance of counsel got the accused wrongly convicted. Grant Cooper, his attorney, under threat of a sealed felony indictment, did almost nothing to defend Sirhan. He failed to investigate the matter, obtain the autopsy report, or examine ballistics tests. He spent most of the court proceedings arguing that Sirhan was guilty and, that because of diminished capacity, should not be given the death penalty.
Despite Andrew Kreig’s extensive and most vigorous efforts, only a few members of the press turned up at the conference: an intern from the Washington Times, a representative from Al-Mayadeen TV of Beirut, along with a knowledgeable White House correspondent for an alternative news site. This appeared to validate Pepper’s view of the heavily-managed American media. And it bodes ill for what seems to be the attorney’s goal in filing with the OAS: to generate enough adverse publicity to force the United States to re-examine the questionable trial of Sirhan Sirhan. Indeed, a casual search of the Internet turns up a number of references about “conspiracies” revolving around the problematically convicted Sirhan.
Courthouse News, JFK Researchers Demand CIA Records on Themselves, Brandi Buchman, July 20, 2017. Investigators once tasked with examining the assassination of President John F. Kennedy claim in court that the CIA won’t respond to requests for records it might have on covert surveillance of them.
In a lawsuit filed Wednesday in Washington, D.C. federal court, Dan Hardway, Edwin Lopez and G. Robert Blakey say they filed a Freedom of Information Act request in May, requesting “201 files” or “soft files” on themselves. Hardway, Lopez and Blakey also requested the CIA turn over any “p files,” or surveillance records, maintained at the Office of Security.
[Blakey, shown at left, was general counsel of the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) created by Congress to re-investigate the 1963 Kennedy assassination and the 1968 assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Hardway and Lopez were staff members who worked in part on especially sensitive matters related to claims involving accused JFK assassin Lee Harvey Oswald’s purported activities in Mexico.]
Specifically, the plaintiffs want records about surveillance on themselves conducted in Mexico, Cuba and the U.S., including any surveillance of interactions between them and “members or representatives of the Cuban Interest Section, or other representatives of the Cuban government,” according to the lawsuit.
In addition to records about surveillance on themselves, they also want CIA surveillance records on Gateon Fonzi. Asking for electronic, telephonic, mechanical, digital, video or any other physical observation, Hardway, Lopez and Blakey say their request is limited to files generated between 1976 and 1979. The request seeks “operational and non-operational files, records, information and materials including but not limited to counterintelligence and autonomous operations, regarding operations aimed at, targeting or related to the [HSCA],” according to the complaint, including “search slips, search instructions, routing slip and forms, memoranda, letters, telephone messages, email” and any other form of written communication about them.
Hardway (shown in a file photo), Lopez and Blakey – joined by the Assassination Archives and Research Center in Maryland that Hardway leads – claim the CIA has not responded to their May FOIA request. The plaintiffs want an inventory list describing all of the information and materials the CIA finds. They also seek a court order that any records deemed to be exempt from disclosure be preserved by the CIA until the court authorizes their destruction or release. They are represented by attorney James Lesar of Silver Spring, Md.
The CIA declined to comment on the lawsuit Thursday.
The 5th Estate (published in Jakarta and edited by Robert Finnegan), RFK assassination expert to speak at National Press Club July 19 and 20, Dr. Cyril Wecht (shown in a file photo), July 19, 2017. ” I strongly endorse and support the petition that Attorney William Pepper is submitting to the Organization of American States seeking a new trial for Sirhan Sirhan, who was convicted for the 1968 killing of Senator Robert F. Kennedy.
As an official consultant in forensic pathology to Dr. Thomas Noguchi, the Los Angeles Chief Medical Examiner who performed the autopsy on Senator Kennedy, I had the opportunity to visit the shooting scene at the Ambassador Hotel and subsequently review and analyze all the relevant forensic scientific evidence and investigative findings in this matter. Based upon all the objective, indisputable physical and forensic evidence, there can be no doubt that Sirhan did not fire the bullet that caused Senator Kennedy’s death.”
Justice Integrity Project, Andrew Kreig, July 16, 2017. Dr. William F. Pepper, the noted human rights lawyer, author, and attorney who has defended the convicted killers of his friends Sen. Robert F. Kennedy and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., will speak July 19 at the National Press Club about the central responsibility of news organizations to report the news fairly and without self-censorship.
Pepper, shown with King in a 1967 photo conferring at a conference, will describe how the media have repeatedly failed to inform the public of the ongoing injustice in the Sirhan case, among others. Without a free, independent press, Pepper says, “the rule of law and an informed public cannot function” in a democratic society.
Pepper is filing a 200-page petition this week to the Organization of American States (OAS) accusing the California and U.S. governments of violating the due process rights of accused Kennedy killer Sirhan Sirhan, shown in a prison system photo after being held without parole since the killing on June 5, 1968.
Pepper is delivering a 7 p.m. lecture to the Sarah McClendon speaker society, which has been located at the club for more than a quarter of a century. The society is named after the pioneering and blunt-speaking White House correspondent from Texas, Sarah McClendon, who died in 2003.
Pepper’s lecture and a book signing are open to the press and public, and is preceded by an optional no-host, Dutch-treat dinner beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the club, which is located at 529 14th St., NW near the corner of F Street in downtown Washington, DC.
Pepper is an American lawyer and English barrister. A 1960’s friend of Kennedy and King, he believes that their accused killers were wrongly accused for political reasons.
New York Times, Do Spy Agencies Hold Answer to Dag Hammarskjold’s Death? U.N. Wants to Know, Alan Cowell and Rick Gladstone, July 15, 2017. Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold in 1953. Mr. Hammarskjold (shown at right) and 15 others died in a plane crash in Ndola, Northern Rhodesia. After 56 years and many investigations, there is new hope that secrets lurking in Western intelligence archives could solve the biggest whodunit in United Nations history: the mysterious death of Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold.
Whether the keepers of those archives will allow access remains an open question. Mr. Hammarskjold, an iconic Swedish diplomat who was the second secretary general of the world body, died with 15 others when their plane, a chartered DC-6, crashed just after midnight on Sept. 18, 1961, minutes from its destination: an airfield in Ndola, in what was then the British protectorate of Northern Rhodesia and is now Zambia.
The three official inquiries that immediately followed suggested pilot error was the cause, but the third of the reports, by the United Nations Commission of Investigation in 1962, said sabotage could not be ruled out. That possibility helped feed suspicions and conspiracy theories that Mr. Hammarskjold, 56 at the time of his death, had been assassinated.
Since then, independent investigators and academics have spent years collecting and scrutinizing evidence that had been dismissed or suppressed, bolstering the theory of foul play. In her 2011 book “Who Killed Hammarskjold?,” Susan Williams, a University of London scholar of African decolonization, concluded that “whatever the details, his death was almost certainly the result of a sinister intervention.”
Black Op Radio, 2017 Research Conferences, Host Len Osanic interviewed reporter, author and CAPA Director Andrew Kreig on July 14, 2017. The topic was recent and upcoming conferences featuring research on the assassinations of President John Kennedy and his brother Robert Kennedy. Other recent and upcoming Black Op shows, each featured for a week after launch at 6 p.m. Thursdays (Pacific Time), are:
845 Mark de Valk JFK Research July 28
844 Oliver Stone The Putin Interviews July 21
843 Andrew Kreig 2017 Research Events July 14
842 Jim DiEugenio JFK Research July 6
841 Scott Enyart / Randy Benson RFK / “The Searchers” film July 13
WhoWhatWhy, The FBI’s Increasingly Odd Silence on Boston Bombing, James Henry, July 10, 2017. As another mega-budget Hollywood movie about the Boston Marathon bombing nears release, the mainstream media are finally addressing the many unanswered questions concerning the mastermind of the bombing, Tamerlan Tsarnaev. And yet — four years after the bombing and two years after Tamerlan’s younger brother Dzhokhar was sentenced to death for his role — the feds still aren’t talking.
WhoWhatWhy readers will be familiar with most of these open questions:
How was Tamerlan able to travel back and forth to the country from which he sought asylum in 2012, despite being on multiple terror watchlists? Why was he not questioned about the 2011 murder of three of his friends? Was Tamerlan working for or manipulated by the feds for some purpose? Was the FBI or some other federal agency using Tamerlan’s desire to become a US citizen as leverage?
As we highlighted in April, ABC News investigative reporter Michele McPhee published a damning exposé which documents the suspicion in Boston’s local law enforcement that the FBI is covering up its interactions with Tamerlan Tsarnaev prior to the bombing. McPhee’s investigation led her to conclude that there is indeed an FBI cover-up afoot.
CAPA, Save The Date: CAPA Mock Trial On Oswald Nov. 16-17 In Houston, Lawrence Schnapf, July 6, 2017. A two-day mock trial State of Texas v. Lee Harvey Oswald will be held on November 16th and 17th at the South Texas College of Law-Houston, Citizens Against Political Assassinations (CAPA) announced today.
Building on what has been learned from the Innocence Project and the 2009 National Academy of Sciences report on forensic evidence, the CAPA mock trial will apply 21st Century techniques to examine the physical evidence used by the Warren Commission and the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) to identify Lee Harvey Oswald as the alleged sole assassin of President John F. Kennedy on Nov. 22, 1963.
The HSCA concluded that a shot from the grassy knoll by an unknown person missed Kennedy. Oswald is shown in a New Orleans police mug shot taken in August, 1963 during a street disturbance and separately below in a file photo.
A senior judge from the Harris County Criminal Court will preside over the event with the jury selected from the Harris County jury pool.
Alec Baldwin (shown in a photo from a Cannes Film Festival) will be the keynote speaker for the Nov. 16th dinner following the first day of the mock trial. He will also participate in a book signing for registrants prior to dinner for his new book Nevertheless: A Memoir.
The mock trial will offer 7.5 hours of Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credits including 1.5 of CLE Ethics credits.
Future of Freedom Foundation, Murder with Impunity in Russia … and the U.S., Jacob G. Hornberger (shown at right), July 3, 2017. Last Friday, the Washington Post published an excellent editorial about murder and the rule of law. The editorial described how Russian prosecutors secured convictions of five men for murdering Boris Nemtsov (below right), a popular critic of Russian leader Vladimir Putin, but criticized Russian officials for failing to pursue the people who ordered the killings.
The editorial, entitled “No Justice After the Cold Blooded Murder of a Russian Opposition Leader,” suggested that the assassination may have been orchestrated by Russian officials and criticized the judge presiding over the case for his lack of “curiosity” about who ordered the killing.
Even though the Post might not realize it, its editorial, however, says much more about the United States than it says about Russia. After all, if Russian officials did in fact orchestrate Nemtsov’s assassination, I don’t think many people would be surprised. That’s what oftentimes happens in countries ruled by authoritarian or totalitarian regimes.
What should be disconcerting to the Post and every American citizen is that state-sponsored assassinations with impunity have been made a permanent feature of the U.S. government ever since the conversion of the federal government to a national-security state in the latter part of the 1940s.
Here in the United States, U.S. officials engage in state-sponsored assassinations and other felonies with the same impunity that Russian officials presumably engage in. Nothing ever happens to U.S. officials who engage in such crimes. They’re certainly not prosecuted. If victims or victims’ families sue for damages, the federal courts summarily dismiss their cases, holding that U.S. officials have the power to assassinate anyone they want, so long as it relates to “national security.”