REMINDER: The Ron Paul Institute and The Future of Freedom Foundation are co-hosting a conference on U.S. foreign policy in Charleston, SC, on Sunday, April 29, from 1-5 pm. Speakers: Ron Paul, Dan McAdams, Richard Ebeling, and Jacob Hornberger. Details here.
Mark April 26 on your calendar. That’s the new date that on which the CIA and other federal agencies are finally going to be required to disclose some of their remaining JFK-assassination-related records.
Mark also my prediction: It’s not going to happen. There is no way that the CIA is going to permit the release of those records.
Why? Because the CIA knows that the records will provide more pieces of circumstantial evidence that point in the direction of a U.S. regime-change operation on November 22, 1963. There is no way that the CIA is going to permit that to happen.
The upcoming April 26 controversy arises in the context of the JFK Assassination Records Collection Act, which Congress enacted in 1992. The reason the Act was enacted was because of Oliver Stone’s movie JFK, which came out in 1991. The movie posited that the JFK assassination was orchestrated by the U.S. national-security establishment, no different in principle from other U.S. regime-change operations in countries like Iran (1953), Guatemala (1954), Cuba (1960-present), Chile (1970-73), and others.
At the end of JFK, Stone included a short statement disclosing to audiences that official records relating to the assassination were being kept secret until the year 2029. That implication was clear: Officials in the Pentagon and the CIA were keeping their records secret because the records were incriminatory.
The statement produced an angry reaction from the American public. That’s what caused Congress to act. The JFK Records Act mandated the release of all official JFK-related records. Bill Clinton, who was running for president at the time, came out in favor of the law, which boxed in his opponent, incumbent President George H.W. Bush, who had served as CIA director, into signing the act into law.
The law called into existence the Assassination Records Review Board, whose responsibility was to enforce the law. The board succeeded in securing the release of thousands of records belonging to the Pentagon, the CIA, and other federal agencies.
Needless to say, the law met with resistance among federal agencies. One notable example was the U.S. Secret Service, whose officials knowingly, intentionally, and deliberately destroyed all their records relating to Secret Service protection provided to President Kennedy in the months preceding the November trip to Dallas. While the destruction incurred the ire of the ARRB, no Secret Service official was ever charged with obstruction of justice.
While proponents of the official version of the JFK assassination assert that the records that were released contained no “smoking guns,” nothing could be further from the truth, especially with respect to the military autopsy conducted on Kennedy’s body.
For example, the ARRB uncovered the testimony of Navy Petty Officer Saundra Spencer, who worked in the Navy’s photography lab in Washington, D.C. Spencer was asked to develop autopsy photographs on the weekend of the assassination, on a top-secret basis. Having fulfilled her promise to keep what she witnessed secret for 30 years, Spencer was asked, under oath, by the ARRB to identify the autopsy photographs that are in the official JFK record. She testified under oath directly and unequivocally that the photographs in the official record were not the ones she developed on the weekend of the assassination.
There is no way to avoid the implications of Spencer’s sworn testimony. No one has ever questioned the veracity and competence of this woman. Her testimony establishes beyond all reasonable doubt that the autopsy of President Kennedy was part of a cover-up in the JFK assassination. (See my best-selling book on Amazon, The Kennedy Autopsy).
Another “smoking gun” in the 1990s was the disclosure of a top-secret CIA document that had been created in 1953, as part of the CIA’s regime-change operation in Guatemala. It was a CIA assassination manual. It revealed that the CIA was specializing in the art of assassination and cover-up as early as 1953. The manual shows that the CIA was not only developing ways to assassinate people but also ways to keep people from figuring out that the assassination was a state-sponsored action.
As everyone knows, from the very beginning the official version of the JFK assassination aroused suspicion. As each year went by and more circumstantial evidence surfaced, matters became even more suspicious. Those suspicions finally caused Congress to reinvestigate the JFK assassination in the 1970s.
There was one particular CIA action during the congressional investigation in the 1970s that ended up arousing significant suspicions, especially for a former Washington Post reporter named Jefferson Morley, who today runs the excellent website jfkfacts.org. The action involved a CIA official named George Joannides.
What happened was House investigators suspected that the CIA was involved in the assassination of President Kennedy. Two young investigators, Dan Hardway and Ed Lopez, were sent to CIA headquarters to examine CIA records, including those relating to accused assassin Lee Harvey Oswald’s trip to Mexico City.
At first, the CIA feigned cooperation, but once CIA officials realized that Hardway and Lopez knew what they were doing and what they were looking for, CIA officials appointed Joannides to serves as a liaison, supposedly to facilitate the release of CIA records to Hardway and Joannides. As it turned out, however, Joannides’ job was to obstruct the release of CIA records to Hardway and Lopez. See this statement by Hardway that was filed in a long-running lawsuit by Morley against the CIA relating to the Joannides matter.
The fact that Joannides had been called out of retirement to serve in this capacity makes things look even more suspicious. Why not simply appoint a CIA official on active duty to serve in that capacity?
That’s not all. It turns out that Joannides had secretly served as the CIA supervisor of a group in New Orleans called the DRE, which had had close contact with Oswald during his time in New Orleans prior to the assassination. In fact, immediately after the assassination, the DRE immediately began advertising Oswald’s bona fides as a genuine communist.
One big problem: The CIA kept its relationship to the DRE secret from the Warren Commission, the House Select Committee in the 1970s, and the ARRB in the 1990s. The CIA also kept secret the fact that it was generously funding (and supervising) the DRE prior to the assassination.
As federal judge John Tunheim, who chaired the ARRB, stated to the New York Times in 2009 when asked about Joannides, “I think we were misled by the agency. This material should be released.” In the same article, Former House Select Committee staff director G. Robert Blakey, stated, “If I had known his role in 1963, I would have put Joannides under oath — he would have been a witness, not a facilitator. How do we know what he didn’t give us?”
Why was that secrecy regarding Joannides so problematic? Because as the circumstantial evidence surrounding the assassination began to be gradually disclosed over the decades, it pointed to a regime-change operation involving an official frame-up of Oswald, who had all of the characteristics of a CIA intelligence operative, one who had served in the U.S. Marine Corps, which is not exactly the bastion of genuine communists.
A frame-up would, of course, be consistent with that 1953 top-secret CIA assassination manual, which showed that the CIA was specializing not only in the art of assassination but also in the art of covering-up CIA involvement in state-sponsored assassination.
Of course, a press release from a secret CIA-sponsored organization establishing Oswald’s communist bona-fides would also be consistent with a frame-up, as would, needless to say, Oswald’s own post-arrest statement stating that he was “a patsy.”
Among the most fascinating events relating to the assassination was Oswald’s trip to Mexico City, which, even today — more than 50 years after the assassination — is still shrouded in mystery. After the assassination, CIA evidence surfaced indicating that a voice recording of what purported to be Oswald was actually the voice of someone else. A CIA photograph purporting to be Oswald turned out to be someone else who has never been identified. It turns out that the CIA camera equipment during Oswald’s visits to the Cuban and Soviet embassies was supposedly not working during the time that Oswald was supposedly there.
Perhaps most revealing, official investigations into the whole Mexico City episode were shut down almost immediately after the assassination, which would indicate that things went dreadfully wrong with that part of the operation. That might well have been the reason that the CIA called on trusted agent George Joannides, who had secretly performed well as CIA supervisor of the DRE, to serve as a block to congressional investigators who were getting fearfully close to finding out exactly what happened in Mexico City.
After all, let’s not forget that Oswald’s trip to Mexico City is also consistent with a frame-up, since it further helped to establish former Marine Oswald’s communist bona fides.
Overlaying all this is something else that reporter Jefferson Morley has uncovered: that top-echelon CIA officials were closely monitoring Oswald’s activities, on a top-secret basis, in the months leading up to the assassination, something else they kept secret from the Warren Commission, the House Select Committee, and the ARRB. Such secretive surveillance, of course, would also be consistent with a frame-up, to ensure that the person being framed had not figured out that he was being maneuvered and positioned into becoming “a patsy.”
That brings us to the upcoming April 26 deadline. Among the thousands of records that the CIA is still keeping secret are records relating to Oswald’s trip to Mexico City. There is no way that the CIA can afford to permit the release of those records because it knows that such evidence will inevitably fill in more of the mosaic that establishes a regime-change operation and frame-up in the JFK assassination. The CIA will do whatever it takes to keep the National Archives from releasing those records and many other records relating to the JFK assassination.
The CIA claims that releasing its JFK records will threaten “national security.” At the risk of belaboring the obvious, that is a palpably ridiculous assertion. Releasing records that are more than 50 years old will not cause the United States to fall into the ocean or fall to the Reds. The “national security” rationale is obviously nothing more than a euphemism for cover-up — a cover-up of a CIA regime-change operation on November 22, 1963, no different in principle from the CIA’s regime-change operations in Iran, Guatemala, Cuba, Chile, and many other countries.
When the JFK Records Act was enacted in 1992, someone slipped a provision into the law permitting federal agencies another 25 years to disclose their records, knowing full well that the enforcement agency, the ARRB, wouldn’t be in existence when those 25 years expired.
That 25-year deadline came due last October. At the time, I predicted that the records would not be released. The title of my two prediction articles were “Will Trump Make a Deal With the CIA on JFK Records?” and “I Predict Trump Will Continue the CIA’s JFK Assassination Cover-Up.”
My prediction turned out to be accurate.
What is fascinating is that in the week leading up to the deadline, President Trump made two public announcements that the records were finally going to be released. What was going on? The Art of the Deal! In my opinion, Trump was negotiating. He knew that the CIA desperately wanted to continue keeping its JFK records secret. If that was what was happening, Trump would have wanted something in return.
On the very day of the deadline, after declaring at least twice that he was going to release the records, Trump changed his mind and ordered that the National Archives grant another six-month extension of time for continued secrecy. Never mind that the JFK Records Act didn’t provide for such an extension. Realizing that discretion was the better part of valor, the National Archives decided to go along with Trump’s dictatorial decree rather than comply with the requirements of the law.
If Trump really was negotiating for something he wanted, what could the CIA have given him in return? One thing the CIA could have given him was a promise to drop any support for a congressional investigation into the Russia-meddling brouhaha. Whether the CIA secretly weighed into the matter on behalf of Trump will likely never be known. What we do know is that the congressional investigation into Russia brouhaha has just recently been brought to a close in Trump’s favor, before the upcoming April 26 deadline for releasing the CIA’s records on Oswald’s trip to Mexico City and its thousands of other JFK-related records.
Oh, one more thing is worth mentioning about all this: Even though the JFK Records Act required the CIA to deposit its JFK-related records into the National Archives, every indication is that it chose not to include its George Joannides files. As Morley’s laws suit reveals, the CIA continues to steadfastly keep its Joannides records top-secret.
Don’t hold your breath until April 26. Make no mistake about it: The half-century-old cover-up of the U.S. national-security establishment’s regime-change operation on November 22, 1963, will continue. The CIA cannot afford for its JFK records to be made public, not even more than 50 years after the assassination.
For more information, read:
The Kennedy Autopsy by Jacob Hornberger
JFK’s War with the National Security Establishment: Why Kennedy Was Assassinated by Douglas Horne (who served on the staff of the ARRB)
Regime Change: The JFK Assassination by Jacob G. Hornberger
The CIA, Terrorism, and the Cold War: The Evil of the National Security State by Jacob Hornberger
CIA & JFK: The Secret Assassination Files by Jefferson Morley.