Remember the last few weeks when everybody in the Pundit biz talked about what a yawner the revelation of the redacted files on JFK’s assassination would be?
First, there’s this:
This is a memo from the then-director of the CIA John McCone, to James Rowley, the chief of the Secret Service, on the subject of Lee Harvey Oswald. McCone confirms in the second highlighted passage that Oswald was a trained CIA analyst beginning in 1957. What McCone doesn’t tell Rowley (or all of the conspiracy activists who’ve followed the history of Oswald) is that Oswald was inducted into the US Marines and was serving on Atsugi Air Base in Japan. Atsugi was the home of the U2 surveillance flight program, which was top-secret until U2 Pilot Gary Powers was shot down over Soviet Airspace. Oswald defected to the USSR in October of 1959; Powers was shot down in May 1960. We could go down this rabbit hole for hours, but confirmation of Oswald’s CIA status throws all of this into a different light. Did Oswald divulge information to the Soviets that helped them shoot down Gary Powers? Powers opened that can of worms in his own memoir. If he was CIA under their orders, why would the CIA want to provoke an international incident with the Russians on the eve of the 1960 presidential election?
This is the other memo released that’s worth looking at:
This is a memo about a speech given by Oren Fenton Potito, an organizer in White Citizens groups. Note the highlighted text. Six witnesses had testified at various points that there was a bullet-hole in the front windshield of the car and the glass showed it was an ENTRY shot owing to the bowl-shaped pattern on the glass. Their testimony had been ignored. Remember that the whole premise of the Warren Commission is that Oswald had acted alone. But the broken glass plus the forensic evidence indicates a second shooter. you can read an enlarged version of the memo here. (Related question–the FBI was watching a speech given to 41 people in St. Petersburg? What made Potito important enough to put a detail on him?)
And why are we only hearing about these issues now? Because (according to another released memo), NBC news had promised only ‘FBI Friendly’ coverage in an Oswald ‘biography’ following the assassination. I would wonder what other ‘agreements’ were made with other ‘news’ organizations over the years.
In this light, a note posted by Author David Talbot, is especially interesting. Talbot is the author of the book The Devil’s Chessboard, which I’ve written about previously. But Talbot noted some of the documents the CIA refused to turn over. Among those:
1. The travel records of key CIA suspects in the the Kennedy assassination, including William Harvey, Howard Hunt and David Morales. Were they in Dallas shortly before or on Nov. 22, 1963, as evidence suggests?
2. Did Allen Dulles — the embittered former CIA director fired by JFK — go to the top-secret CIA facility in northern Virginia known as “The Farm on Nov. 22, 1963, as his own calendar indicates? Why was he there — despite having been pushed out of the CIA two years earlier? With whom did he meet and speak with on the phone?
3. A tape of the William Harvey interview conducted by the Church Committee behind closed doors on 4/10/75 — long withheld by the CIA. By the mid-’70s, Harvey — a Kennedy-hater who ran the CIA’s assassination program — suspected that he was being thrown to the wolves by the agency to which he’d devoted his life. He might very well have had some interesting things to say about his former colleagues.
4. A 338-page file on J. Walton Moore, the head of the CIA office in Dallas at the time of the assassination. Moore assigned George de Mohrenschildt — a Russian speaking, globe-trotting oilman and CIA asset — to babysit Lee Harvey Oswald in Dallas. This file is certain to add to the overwhelming evidence that “the fingerprints of U.S. intelligence were all over Oswald,” as Sen. Richard Schweiker of the Church Committee famously said.
5. An 18-page dossier on Gordon McClendon, a Dallas businessman who conferred with Jack Ruby just before he shot Oswald. McClendon was a CIA-connected media entrepreneur who ran a right-wing radio network in the Southwest. As Ruby was arrested, he shouted out for McClendon.
6. Withheld — or destroyed: Oswald’s “201” file compiled by the CIA’s Office of Security, presided over by the ghostly James Jesus Angleton. According to Judge John Tunheim, former head of the Assassination Records Review Board, “I have no doubt Angleton destroyed (JFK) files,” when he took control of the CIA’s internal investigation of the assassination.
As I stated in my previous blogpost about the known-knowns of the JFK’s assassination, an informed citizen always had enough information to conclude that the full truth was not covered in the Warren Commission report. What I’m thinking of right now is that I was home sick from school when JFK was shot, and I remember all the shock, anger and confusion about the assassination amongst my parents and grandparents and their friends. My parents were hardcore Republicans, but this shook them to their core. I’ve tried to imagine how they (and other adults in the country) would have dealt with the revelation that Oswald was CIA or that there was a bullethole in the windshield of the limousine indicating a second shooter. And what about people like me, who grew up in the post-assassination world? Are the people who were Kennedy’s Children (as playwright Robert Patrick called some of us) still angry enough to call this out?
As various agitators including Abbie Hoffman have said over the years (with variations) “If you aren’t angry, you’re not paying attention”.