The National Archives announced on Nov. 9 release of 13,213 additional records pertaining to the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas.
Most of the documents were previously released in redacted form as part of a long-term process to comply with a 1992 federal law. More than four million pages have been released previously in full or with parts blocked out. Released records are available for download here.
The announcement by the National Archives is excerpted below, as are several hard-hitting commentaries by experts analyzing three previous releases this year as the Archives and Trump administration seek compliance with law that required release of all such documents by Oct. 26 last month.
President Trump’s announcement that evening said the White House was postponing some releases –estimated by experts to be some 98 percent of the more than 30,000 documents still at issue — for up to six months to enable further review on “national security” grounds.
Our group Citizens Against Political Assassinations (CAPA) has been monitoring this process closely growing out of the decades-long experience of most of its leaders in documenting why the major 1964 Warren Commission findings on the assassination — that former Marine Lee Harvey Oswald (shown in a mug shot after an arrest in New Orleans) acted alone in killing JFK with three shots — were wrong, even though the vast majority of major news organizations have parroted the commission’s claims and ridiculed critics through current times as crazed “conspiracy theorists.”
To counter this dubious history, CAPA is co-sponsoring with the South Texas College of Law /Houston a unique mock trial, State of Texas v. Lee Harvey Oswald, from Nov. 16-17 at the law school that will used scientific forensics to educate the public.
The trial featuring top medical and legal experts is co-located with an evening dinner, lecture and book signing by acting star Alec Baldwin, who will be signing copies of his new memoir Nevertheless. Details of the program are here and below. CAPA members receive discounts, including on video streaming of the trial that can be watched at home.
Archives Releases On Nov. 9
Regarding the Archives releases, nearly all mainstream media have relied on so-called experts with long track records of advancing their journalism and academic careers by endorsing with slight modifications the official story first promoted by the Warren Commission led by Supreme Court Justice Earl Warren.
Most of the critics cited below, however, debunk that process and point to the overwhelming evidence against the official conclusion. Jacob Hornberger, a book publisher, attorney and head of the Libertarian-conservative think tank Future of Freedom Foundation, has been particularly harsh in segments cited below in attacking those claiming that lack of a “smoking gun” document proves that the document releases amount to little of importance.
Hornberger notes that assassinations anywhere in the world are not likely to be outlined by the perpetrators in written documents, much less in records that are preserved for disclosure. Instead, he argues, truth-seekers must look for the circumstantial evidence that is typically decisive in criminal cases involving non-political murders and other crimes.
Recent relevant announcements:
National Archives, Latest Group of JFK Assassination Records Available to the Public, Staff report, Nov. 9, 2017. In the fourth public release this year, the National Archives today posted 13,213 records subject to the President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992 (JFK Act). The majority of the documents released today were released previously in redacted form. The versions released today were prepared by agencies prior to October 26, 2017, and were posted to make the latest versions of the documents available as expeditiously as possible.
On October 26, 2017, President Donald J. Trump directed agencies to re-review each and every one of their redactions over the next 180 days. As part of that review process, agency heads were directed to be extremely circumspect in recommending any further postponement of information in the records. Agency heads must report to the Archivist of the United States by March 12, 2018, any specific information within particular records that meets the standard for continued postponement under section 5(g)(2)(D) of the JFK Act.
The Archivist must then recommend to the President by March 26, 2018, whether this information warrants continued withholding after April 26, 2018. The records included in this public release have not yet been re-reviewed by the agencies as part of that process and have not been reviewed by the National Archives.
The National Archives released 676 documents on Nov. 3, 2,891 documents on Oct. 26, and 3,810 records on July 24. The National Archives established the John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection in November 1992, and it consists of approximately five million pages of records. The vast majority of the collection has been publicly available without any restrictions since the late 1990s.
CAPA Mock Trial Nov. 16-17 in Houston
Again, details of the program are here. CAPA members receive discounts, including on the video streaming of the trial.
Regarding the mock trial in Houston, shown below is information on program and registration. The evidence examination builds on previously released evidence and is attracting nationally known experts, particularly in forensic science. During a special evening dinner on Nov. 16 requiring additional registration, the TV, stage and screen star Alec Baldwin will speak and sign copies of new autobiography, Nevertheless, as we reported here last June.
- CLE (10 credits) students $450 (includes lunch)
- General Public $150 (includes lunch)
- CAPA Members $100 (includes lunch)
- Combination Mock Trial and Alec Baldwin dinner/book signing
- (CAPA members only) $195
- Live streaming general public $75
- Live streaming CAPA members $50
(includes valet parking and cash bar)
- General Public $125
- CAPA members $95
To obtain promo codes for registration as CAPA member contact Glenda at visionsoffrance (at) cox.net.
To register with promo code enter the code on the registration page. The discounted price will show up at the bottom of the billing page.
Recent Relevant JFK Commentaries (Selected excerpts)
Future of Freedom Foundation, Martin Luther King and Lee Harvey Oswald, Jacob G. Hornberger, Nov 7, 2017. The mainstream media and the acolytes of the U.S. national-security establishment continue to emphasize that there are no “smoking guns” in the tiny (2 percent) of the 50-year-old JFK records that President Trump, the National Archives, and the CIA have recently permitted the American people to see.
Of course, these people define “smoking gun” as a videotaped confession or a memorandum summarizing how and why the CIA orchestrated the November 22, 1963 regime-change operation. If the released records don’t contain a confession or such a memorandum, then in the minds of the people that means the official narrative must stand: A lone-nut former U.S. Marine communist with no motive suddenly decided to kill the president.
The records that the National Archives just released included a secret FBI analysis on civil-rights leader Martin Luther King.
In a November 4, 2017, article entitled “In the Latest JFK Files: The FBI’s Ugly Analysis on Martin Luther King, Jr., Filled With Falsehoods,” the Washington Post writes: “The 20-page document, dated March 12, three weeks before King was assassinated in Memphis, is included in the latest trove of government files about President John F. Kennedy’s assassination, which the National Archives released Friday. It alleges that King’s political ideologies and the creation of his civil rights organization, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, were heavily influenced by communists, specifically the Communist Party USA.”
One possibility, of course, is that the FBI was just embarrassed about having published such a report.
A second possibility, however, is that the FBI orchestrated the assassination of King and decided that the analysis would constitute evidence of motive. After all, don’t forget, this was the era of the Cold War, when the CIA was targeting communists for assassination. Before anyone cries, “Conspiracy theory, Jacob!” let’s not forget that in a civil lawsuit brought by King’s family, after weighing all the evidence the jury found, in its official verdict, that government agencies conspired to kill King.
Does the FBI analysis on King have any bearing on the Kennedy assassination? Actually, yes. That’s where critical thinking, circumstantial evidence, inferential thinking, and common sense come into play.
JFK Facts.org, Where to find a JFK smoking gun: in the coming FBI files, Jefferson Morley, Nov. 6, 2017. (Jefferson Morley, Washington bureau chief of AlterNet and editor of JFKFacts.org, has authored two books on CIA executives relevant to the Kennedy Assassination, most recently on Oct. 24 The Ghost: The Secret Life of CIA Spymaster James Jesus Angleton.)
There is at least one potential smoking gun in the new JFK files, and it may soon come into public view. As I explained to the Washington Post: “one of the more interesting documents to emerge involves a CIA cable about Oswald’s contacts in Mexico City that had up until Friday been partially redacted. The Oct. 8, 1963 cable discussed Oswald’s interactions with a Soviet consular official named Valery Kostikov, the reputed head of the KGB’s assassinations operations. On Friday, the CIA cable’s slugline was finally declassified. The title: LCIMPROVE.”
If there is a “smoking gun” in the JFK files, it will be found in the FBI’s curious response to the October 8, 1963 cable. The next day, October 9, 1963, the FBI made a curious decision that has long puzzled JFK researchers and historians. Senior agents in Washington removed Oswald’s name from a list of persons of interest to FBI headquarters. Six weeks later, Oswald was arrested for shooting JFK.
In other words, the day after the CIA’s top counterintelligence official was informed that Oswald had met with possible KGB officer in Mexico City, the FBI decided that Oswald was no longer worthy of close scrutiny. The FBI files, scheduled for release, will likely shed light on this fateful decision. The FBI has previously released internal records about why the so-called “Flash” notice on Oswald was cancelled but they are filled with redactions. If and when those redactions are removed, we may learn who was shielding Oswald from law enforcement attention as he made his way to Dallas.
Assassination Archives and Research Center (AARC), The intelligence community flips off America, Dan Hardway, Nov. 4, 2017. The author (shown at left) is an attorney in private practice and a former investigator for the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA), created by the House in 1976 to re-investigate the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy and the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. The important and much longer version of this column is on the AARC website and is highly recommended.
James Angleton (shown below at right at a 1975 senate intelligence hearing in a New York Times photo by George Tames) set the [CIA’s JFK assassination HSCA] strategy in 1964: “Jim would prefer to wait out the Commission,” as one CIA memo about Warren Commission inquiries put it. They are still doing that as well as running their propaganda campaign against anyone who questions the lone-nut theory, their “best truth” according to [the CIA’s historian] David Robarge.
NARA released some of the files that I have been waiting on yesterday, November 3, 2017….There has been no explanation, let alone a presidential certification, that the massive redactions in these “released in full” documents meet any of the mandatory exemptions that allow withholding.
No identifiable harm is specified. No rationale is given as to why the secrets protected outweigh the public interest in disclosure. These files are not in compliance with the law no matter what the main stream media says. They are an in-your-face flipped bird to the American public. They basically tell us that the CIA is saying that they don’t have to comply with the law of the land and that they will not tell us their secrets and that there is nothing we can do about it.
I’ve been here before. It was in a small room in CIA Headquarters in late 1978. I had been fighting to see a file generated by the CIA debriefing of John “Handsome Johnny” Roselli [shown at left, an influential mobster for the Chicago Outfit who helped control Hollywood and the Las Vegas Strip. He worked with CIA officers on anti-Castro assassination plots and was found dismembered in 1976 before his rescheduled testimony to Congress].
Scott Breckinridge and George Joannides had just handed me a highly redacted file that violated the HSCA/CIA Memorandum of Understanding mandating unexpurgated access by HSCA to CIA files. [Joannides, shown in a file photo, was a CIA official heavily involved in anti-Castro activities in the 1960s that, among other things, help fan anti-Kennedy sentiment among Cuban exiles. CIA later named Joannides to help the HSCA in the late 1970s understand operations, even though HSCA staff have said they were never informed by agency that Joannides was himself the key type of 1960s operative they were seeking to find and interview.)
They stood by, grinning, as they watched my reaction upon opening the file to find it largely expurgated. They were grinning so hard because they knew they had waited out the HSCA and there was nothing I could do about it. The Angleton strategy still worked. It is still working today.
I’ve been here before. It was in a small room in CIA Headquarters in late 1978. I had been fighting to see a file generated by the CIA debriefing of Johnny Roselli.
Scott Breckinridge and George Joannides had just handed me a highly redacted file that violated the HSCA/CIA Memorandum of Understanding mandating unexpurgated access by HSCA to CIA files. They stood by, grinning, as they watched my reaction upon opening the file to find it largely expurgated. They were grinning so hard because they knew they had waited out the HSCA and there was nothing I could do about it. The Angleton strategy still worked. It is still working today.
It appears our lawmakers are spineless in the face of the intelligence community. Joseph Burkholder Smith (shown at left), a retired CIA officer, told me and Gaeton Fonzi in 1978, “You represent Congress. What the f*** is that to the CIA? You’ll be gone in two years and the CIA will still be there.” To paraphrase that to fit the situation in which we now find ourselves: “You are the people that Congress supposedly represents. What’s that to the CIA? You’ll forget about it in a few weeks or so.”
But I won’t. I wrote a letter to my Senator yesterday before I saw the travesty that was the day’s release of JFK documents by NARA. Probably a futile gesture, but one I had to take anyway.
To my knowledge there has been no coverage or explanation of why the intelligence community has requested this delay of the President. It was made in secret. What reason have they given for the delay?
What kind of pressure have they brought to bear? How can they force a president to so blatantly disregard the law? If they can do this in regard to disclosure of fifty-year-old records, in what else can they exercise a like secret influence that corrupts the laws of the nation?
What affect does the existence and use of such secret power have on our democracy? If these things – not just the documents but the method of influence – remain always secret, then how can a citizenry be sufficiently informed so as to exercise their franchise to any real purpose? How can we have faith in our democracy, let alone our government, if this kind of practice is allowed to continue unchallenged?
These are the questions that I would like to have answered.
Future of Freedom Foundation, The Cunningness of the CIA’s JFK Assassination Cover-Up, Jacob G. Hornberger (shown at right), Nov. 3, 2017. Whatever else might be said about the assassination of President Kennedy, one thing is for sure: The cover-up of this particular U.S. regime-change operation was one of the most ingenious and cunning plots ever designed. This shouldn’t surprise anyone, given that practically from its inception in 1947 the CIA was specializing in the arts of assassination, regime change, and cover-up.
As far back as 1953, the CIA published an assassination manual that the CIA succeeded in keeping secret from the American people for more than 40 years. It came to light in 1997 as a result of a Freedom of Information request. That was around the time that the Assassination Records Review Board, which was overseeing the mandatory release of JFK-related assassination records of the CIA and other federal agencies that had been kept secret from the American people since 1963.
Today, Americans can read the CIA’s assassination manual online. Titled “Study of Assassination,” the manual spells out various ways to assassinate people. Here is what the manual states in part regarding the use of firearms: “Firearms are often used in assassination, often very ineffectively…. Public figures or guarded officials may be killed with great reliability and some safety if a firing point can be established prior to an official occasion. The propaganda value of this system may be very high.”
The manual also makes it clear that the CIA was studying ways to assassinate people without being detected. Note the following excerpt: “For secret assassination, either simple or chase, the contrived accident is the most effective technique. When successfully executed, it causes little excitement and is only casually investigated.”
It would be safe to assume that the CIA continued developing and expanding on the assassination principles enunciated in that early assassination manual. That’s what we would expect from an agency whose specialties included assassination. We can also assume that the CIA continued to refine the ways to avoid detection when assassinating someone.
The CIA published that secret assassination manual as part of its preparations for a U.S. regime-change operation in Guatemala, one that was designed to violently remove the nation’s democratically elected socialist president, Jacobo Arbenz, from office and replace him with an unelected, right-wing, pro-U.S. military general.
As part of the Guatemala regime-change operation, the CIA prepared a list of Guatemalan officials to be assassinated. While the CIA has never revealed the names of the people it targeted for assassination, there is little doubt that Arbenz, the president, was at the top of the list. There is something important to note: Neither Arbenz nor any other Guatemalan official had ever attacked the United States or even threatened to do so.
Future of Freedom Foundation, Oliver Stone Was Right about the CIA, Jacob G. Hornberger (shown at right), Nov. 2, 2017. I can’t decide which is more amusing: the CIA’s use of “national security” to justify keeping secret its 50-year-old records in the JFK assassination or the mainstream media’s response to the continued secrecy.
On the one hand, the CIA’s use of “national security” to justify keeping 98 percent of the still-secret records is palpably laughable. However one defines that nebulous term “national security,” one thing is patently clear: Nothing — absolutely nothing — would have happened to the United States if the CIA had been forced to let the American people see its still-secret, 50-year-old JFK records on October 26, 2018, as the 1992 JFK Records Act mandated. The United States wouldn’t have fallen into the ocean. The federal government wouldn’t have turned Red.
After all, what happened to the United States when only 2 percent of the long-secret records were finally released last week? Nothing. The United States is still standing and the commies have not taken over the federal government. But don’t forget: For more than 50 years, the CIA has maintained, falsely as it turns out, that disclosing those 2 percent of its records would threaten “national security.”
JFK Investigation Follow-up
Mary Ferrell Foundation, Formerly withheld-in-full documents released on Oct. 26, 2017, Rex Bradford (shown in file photo), Oct. 30, 2017. These 52 documents, all formerly withheld in full, were released on October 26, 2017 (25 years after the passage of the JFK Records Act). They come from a variety of agencies. An additional 2839 formerly-redacted documents were also released on that day. See the 2017 Documents project page under the Resources menu for more information.
Sort by: Title NARA RIF Number Date Agency File Number
1. [No Title] RIF#: 124-10208-10333 (08/05/1964) FBI#: 105-98177-32
2. [No Title] RIF#: 124-10291-10043 (11/08/1976) FBI#: CR 109-12-223-6308
3. [No Title] RIF#: 124-10291-10044 (06/09/1976) FBI#: CR 109-12-223-6322
4. [No Title] RIF#: 124-90089-10094 (01/04/1961) FBI#: 2-1622-62, etc.
Consortium News, The Deep State’s JFK Triumph Over Trump, Ray McGovern (former CIA analyst, shown in a file photo), Oct. 30, 2017. Fifty-four years after President Kennedy’s assassination, the CIA and FBI demanded more time to decide what secrets to keep hiding – and a chastened President Trump bowed to their power.
It was summer 1963 when a senior official of CIA’s operations directorate treated our Junior Officer Trainee (JOT) class to an unbridled rant against President John F. Kennedy. He accused JFK, among other things, of rank cowardice in refusing to send U.S. armed forces to bail out Cuban rebels pinned down during the CIA-launched invasion at the Bay of Pigs, blowing the chance to drive Cuba’s Communist leader Fidel Castro from power.
It seemed beyond odd that a CIA official would voice such scathing criticism of a sitting President at a training course for those selected to be CIA’s future leaders. I remember thinking to myself, “This guy is unhinged; he would kill Kennedy, given the chance.”
JFK Countercoup, Adam Gopnik/New Yorker Annotated, Bill Kelly, Oct. 30, 2017. JIP Editor’s Note: Assassination research expert Bill Kelly, board member of Citizens Against Political Assassinations (CAPA), debunks the pro-Warren Commission, lone-nut-did-it propaganda of New Yorker columnist Adam Gopnik.
Gopnik authored The J.F.K. Files, Trump, and the Deep State, published on Oct. 29, in which he reviewed in superficial fashion documents released last week by the Trump administration in partial compliance with a law requiring release of JFK assassination documents by Oct. 26. Gopnik claimed that the documents reaffirm his 2013 analysis that accused assassin Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone and killed President Kennedy with three shots fired from the rear. Kelly (whose comments below are identified with “BK” contradicted Gopnik’s claims, beginning with those below:
So far, the newly released documents on John F. Kennedy’s assassination seem only to confirm the wisest conclusions about the President’s death.
BK – Yes, that he was not murdered by one man alone.
The release last Thursday of previously classified, or at least unseen, government files of all kinds relating to the assassination of John F. Kennedy is being heralded as Donald Trump’s decision—though it was simply his decision not to prevent their release, which had long been scheduled. In fact, at the last minute, Trump listened to requests from the intelligence services not to release some three hundred of the remaining three thousand files.
BK: You got your numbers wrong Gopnik – get it right please – this is important.