JFKFacts.org, Jefferson Morley (shown in photo), Jan. 27, 2017. Among the 1,100 secret CIA documents related to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy is an 86-page file of the anti-Castro group, Directorio Revolucionario Estudantil (DRE). The group, commonly known as the Cuban Student Directorate, had a curious double role in the JFK assassination story – a role that the CIA chose to conceal from both the Warren Commission in 1964 and the House Selection Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) in the late 1970s.
The deception was not minor: CIA-funded DRE was the first organization to call public attention to accused assassin Lee Oswald–before JFK was killed. What the CIA hid from JFK investigators was its secret financial relationship with the front group used to publicize Oswald’s pro-Castro activities. The DRE was an instrument of the CIA. Known inside the agency by the code name AMSPELL, the group’s leaders met regularly in 1963 with George Joannides, the chief of psychological warfare operations in Miami. According to other CIA records, Joannides gave the group $51,000 a month in 1963, the equivalent of $150,000 today.
Courthouse News via AARC, Center Seeks CIA Documents on Plots to Kill Hitler, Castro, Eva Fedderly, Jan. 27, 2017. A research foundation dedicated to unearthing information about political assassinations sued the Central Intelligence Agency for not providing documents related to plots to assassinate Adolph Hitler and Fidel Castro. The Assassination Archives and Research Center is a privately funded, Maryland-based organization founded in 1984 “to provide a permanent organization which would acquire, preserve, and disseminate information on political assassinations,” according to the center’s website.
Daniel Alcorn, the center’s attorney, told Courthouse News that the case stems from a joint chiefs of staff document that the organization acquired. Alcorn said the document contained an intriguing reference to the CIA basing a plot to kill Fidel Castro in 1963 on an earlier plot to kill Adolph Hitler crafted by the Office of Strategic Services during World War II. “This was new information to us when we saw it,” Alcorn said.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered the creation of the Office of Strategic Services during World War II after observing the success of the British Secret Intelligence Service, also known as MI6. The center filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the agency on Aug. 25, 2012, seeking documents related to the plot to assassinate Hitler, and also the CIA’s review of that plot as part of its effort to try to topple Castro. “Originally the CIA told us they had no records. Then they rescinded, saying they were wrong and they do have the documents,” Alcorn said. “But then they came back again and said they don’t have records.”
Frustrated, the center sued the agency in the federal court in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 25. It contends the CIA is obligated to provide it with the documents it requested, and by not doing so, it is violating the FOIA.