JFK Assassination: The CIA And Lee Harvey Oswald - Questions Remain

Analysis

 @JosephLazzaro on November 15 2013 2:04 PM
CIA Langley Virginia
CIA headquarters, Langley, Virginia. Reuters

When analyzing the assassination of President John F. Kennedy -- a murder that changed the trajectory of U.S. public policy, both foreign and domestic -- it is reasonable to ask questions because a mystery remains at the center of this case.

In other words, the American people most likely did not get the truth -- or at least the full truth -- from the woefully deficient and inadequate Warren Commission, the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) or the Assassinations Records Review Board (ARRB).

The reason? At the top of the list has been the obstruction and deception exhibited by the Central Intelligence Agency -- which hindered investigators on each panel, failed to tell the full truth, did not disclose key allegiances, and/or engaged in other acts that prevented each board from undertaking a comprehensive investigation.

For proof of that obstruction and deception, one need not go any further than G. Robert Blakey, staff director and chief counsel for the House Select Committee on Assassinations, 1977-1979.

In 2003, Blakey said it best regarding the Central Intelligence Agency’s conduct and policies during the HSCA’s investigation into the Nov. 22, 1963, assassination of President John F. Kennedy: 

“... I no longer believe that we were able to conduct an appropriate investigation of the [Central Intelligence] Agency and its relationship to Oswald ... We now know that the Agency withheld from the Warren Commission the CIA-Mafia plots to kill Castro. Had the commission known of the plots, it would have followed a different path in its investigation. The Agency unilaterally deprived the commission of a chance to obtain the full truth, which will now never be known. Significantly, the Warren Commission's conclusion that the agencies of the government co-operated with it is, in retrospect, not the truth. We also now know that the Agency set up a process that could only have been designed to frustrate the ability of the committee in 1976-79 to obtain any information that might adversely affect the Agency. Many have told me that the culture of the Agency is one of prevarication and dissimulation and that you cannot trust it or its people. Period. End of story. I am now in that camp.”

But Don’t Jump To A Conclusion

At the same time, one should not jump to the conclusion that President Kennedy was murdered in a plot/conspiracy coordinated by the CIA, perhaps with the help of organized crime and anti-Castro Cuban rebels, as many have suggested. First, at the present time, there simply isn’t enough hard evidence to incontrovertibly prove a CIA-led plot.

Second, and equally significant, there are a series of scenarios -- gross incompetence, obstruction of justice or criminal negligence -- that may ultimately turn out to be closer to what really happened in Dealey Plaza in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963 -- once still-classified JFK assassination files are made public by the CIA.

Specifically, those scenarios are:

a) Classified, non-public information that, if released, would reflect adversely on the CIA.

b) Information that indicates CIA agents, contractors, assets or informers made enormous and unconscionable mistakes in monitoring accused assassin Lee Harvey Oswald’s file following his return from Russia (then the Soviet Union), including the failure to properly monitor his presence in Dallas and alert all law enforcement authorities of the threat he posed to public officials.

c) The failure to discipline and remove from intelligence work Agency extremists in the CIA who went rogue and then planned and implemented their own assassination operation, with or without Oswald.

In other words, as your fifth-grade elementary school teacher taught you, “Don’t jump to a conclusion without enough evidence”  -- of a plot/conspiracy.

Reasonable To Doubt Lone-Gunman Theory

At the same time, it is not unreasonable to doubt the Warren Commission’s conclusion that Oswald, acting alone, fired three shots from the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository building in Dealey Plaza in Dallas and assassinated President Kennedy, while also wounding Texas Gov. John Connally and one bystander. Many assassination researchers reject the Warren Commission’s conclusion, arguing that through omission and/or commission, the committee’s investigation was deeply flawed.

The problem is, as noted, there’s still not enough hard evidence to determine what really happened in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963, and it is that gap -- including the failure to make public all classified U.S. government documents related to the case -- that has led to a condition in which it’s both difficult to accept the Warren Commission’s conclusion and report -- its incompleteness is one reason it is implausible -- or construct a better one.

And, again, the incompleteness of the Warren Commission’s investigation -- and the HSCA’s and ARRB’s for that matter -- speaks to the need to make public all still-classified JFK assassination files held by the CIA.

What’s more, not only do the American people not have the truth -- or at least the full truth -- regarding the attack in Dealey Plaza, the American people don’t even have the full truth on Lee Harvey Oswald, or on Oswald’s interactions with the CIA, or on how the CIA treated and handled Oswald’s file. 

Here’s a classic example of that information/data gap: In the course of author and JFKFacts.org moderator Jefferson Morley’s lawsuit -- Morley v CIA -- which seeks the release of the classified records of CIA Undercover Officer George Joannides, who was chief of psychological warfare operations at the CIA’s Miami station, the CIA acknowledged in a sworn affidavit that the agency retains 1,100 records related to JFK’s assassination that have never been made public.

Specifically, classified records of key CIA officers/personnel William Harvey, David Phillips, Birch D. O’Neal, E Howard Hunt, Anne Goodpasture, David Sanchez Morales and the aforementioned George Joannides --  when made public -- will help the nation determine what really happened in Dallas, who Lee Harvey Oswald was, and how the CIA treated and handled his file.

According to the CIA, these files are “not believed relevant” to JFK’s death.

In an affidavit filed in federal court, the CIA asserted that the 1,100 documents must remain secret until at least October 2017, due to “national security.”

The 1964 Conclusion May Be Correct

Further, of course, if you’re someone who supports the Warren Commission’s conclusion, than as far as you're concerned, there's really no need to make public the CIA’s JFK assassination files: From that standpoint, the issue of who committed the most devastating murder in modern American history has been resolved. Moreover, it is entirely possible that Oswald murdered President Kennedy while acting alone -- and that he alone is responsible.

However, the reasoning forwarded here argues that the sheer weight of the anomalies, including the Warren Commission’s grossly slipshod collection of evidence -- failing to collect 100 percent of the evidence and failing to analyze evidence -- and numerous other violations of protocols for criminal investigations involving ballistic, forensic and autopsy evidence, plus the failure to obtain witness testimony and other serious violations -- combined with the analyses of other researchers, makes that scenario unlikely.

In Dealey Plaza, It Is Always Nov. 22, 1963

Since the assassination of President Kennedy, there has never been a poll in which a majority of Americans believed Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone and fired three rifle shots from the Texas School Book Depository building. Are the American people thinking incorrectly, even irrationally? Do the American people have it wrong? Travel to Dealey Plaza in Dallas, and instead of visiting the TSBD’s Sixth Floor, stand on the sidewalk on the north side of Elm Street where the presidential motorcade approached the grassy knoll.

Stand there for 10, 20, 30 minutes. Soak in the environment and location. Look at the grassy knoll, turn east to the Dal-Tex Building, then west toward the triple overpass above the Stemmons Freeway, and then back again toward the grassy knoll. If you’re like many Americans, your inner sense, your intuition, that resonance to the depth of your being, is correct. You’re correct in concluding that the American people have not received the truth -- or at least the full truth -- regarding Nov. 22, 1963.

But what that full truth is will not be known until the CIA makes public all JFK files.

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See Also: 

Analysis: 4 JFK Assassination Files The CIA Must Make Public

In Dealey Plaza, It Is Always November 22, 1963

 

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