At a time when we are trying to figure out what we hear from Washington is true or not, it’s nice to get a chance to consider what’s true about something that happened before most of you were born. Thanks to a 1992 law, we are finally going to see documents that have been hidden from us about the assassination of John F. Kennedy, in 1963. That is, of course, if Donald J. Trump doesn’t keep them from us.
Politico has an article about the documents that have been released so far. The rest should be unveiled by October of this year. This is the headline: “How the CIA Came to Doubt the Official Story of JFK’s Murder.”
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. . .
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.
Why was the CIA so concerned? Because they think the assassination may have been the agency’s fault—that the CIA’s plots to kill Castro may have boomeranged.
If that proved true, it would have raised a terrible question for the CIA: Was it possible that JFK’s assassination was, directly or indirectly, blowback for the spy agency’s plots to kill Castro? It would eventually be acknowledged the CIA had, in fact, repeatedly tried to assassinate Castro, sometimes in collusion with the Mafia, throughout Kennedy’s presidency. The CIA’s arsenal of weapons against Castro included a fungus-infected scuba suit, a poison-filled hypodermic needle hidden in a pen—and even an exploding cigar.
Seriously: an exploding cigar.
There’s no “smoking gun” (please excuse the horrible pun), except that the CIA had strong suspicions, and it is their job to inform the government of their strong suspicions.
None of the files released last week undermines the Warren Commission’s finding that Oswald killed Kennedy with shots fired from his perch on the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository in Dallas’ Dealey Plaza—a conclusion supported by 21st century forensic analysis—and that there was no credible evidence of a second gunman.
But the new documents do revive the question of why the CIA, so skeptical internally of many of the commission’s other findings by the 1970s, never acknowledged those suspicions to later government investigators—or to the public.
Documents released decades ago show that CIA and FBI officials repeatedly misled—and often lied outright—to Chief Justice Warren and his commission, probably to hide evidence. . . that might reveal the agency’s assassination plots against Castro and other foreign leaders.
In an echo of today’s “alternate facts,” the CIA sought to limit the investigation to the “best truth.” “Alternate facts” and “best truth” are stories that have “truthiness”—that is, they sound as if they could be true, and help to further a goal.
In 2013, the CIA’s in-house historian concluded that the spy agency had conducted a “benign cover-up”. . . A top-secret June 1964 FBI report. . .suggests that Oswald was overheard threatening to kill Kennedy during his visits to the Cuban diplomatic compound in Mexico. . .
Although there is no credible evidence of Soviet involvement in the assassination, Oswald’s other contacts in Mexico included—shockingly enough—a KGB assassinations expert who doubled as an accredited Soviet diplomat.
Meanwhile, Newser says one of the few witnesses to events surrounding the assassination is still alive, focusing on a Mexican woman with whom Lee Harvey Oswald is said to have had a sexual relationship.
A 27-page memo written in 1975 pointed out that the “sole live witness on the record regarding Oswald’s activities”—a Mexican woman named Silvia Duran who worked in the Cuban consulate and tried to help Oswald obtain a Cuban visa—was interviewed only by the Mexican government.
Meanwhile, Sputnik International (an official Russian government publication) almost brags about Russian involvement.
According to a statement posted on the National Archives’ official website, one the highlights of this release are 17 audio files containing interviews of KGB defector Yuri Nosenko who fled to the US in 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 statement said.
Yuri Nosenko was the son of Ivan Nosenko, a former Soviet minister of shipbuilding. After graduating from Moscow State Institute of International Relations, in 1953 Nosenko became a KGB agent, and in 1964 he defected to the US.
It should be noted that none of the documents so far substantiates Donald Trump’s suggestion, during the presidential campaign, that Ted Cruz’ father was involved in the JFK assassination. . .