Hornberger's Blog

Hornberger's Blog is a daily libertarian blog written by Jacob G. Hornberger, founder and president of FFF.
Here's the RSS feed or subscribe to our FFF Email Update to receive Hornberger’s Blog daily.

April 26: The CIA Has Something to Hide


Referring to President Trump’s condemnation of the Justice Department’s violation of attorney-client privilege with its subpoena on Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen, the New York Times writes in an editorial today, “Anyway, one might ask, if … Mr. Trump has nothing illegal or untoward to hide, why does he care about the privilege in the first place?”

Of course, one has to ask why the Times doesn’t address the same question to the CIA with respect to the upcoming April 26 deadline for the release of official records relating to the JFK assassination:  If the CIA has nothing illegal or untoward to hide, why does it care whether the National Archives releases the records that the CIA has been keeping secret for more than 50 years? Why does it continue fighting the release of those long secret records?

Trump would probably respond to the Times by saying: The principle of the attorney-client privilege is such an important part of a free society that it is worth fighting to preserve even if someone has nothing to hide.

The CIA, on the other hand, can’t make the same type of argument. The best it can do is come up with the standard “national-security” justification for continued secrecy, which, as everyone knows, has been used to cover up all sorts of official crimes and other wrongdoing ever since the federal government was converted into a national-security state after World War II.

After all, let’s state the patently obvious: If the National Archives complies with the JFK Records Act and releases the CIA’s long-secret JFK assassination-related records, the United States is not going to fall into the ocean and the federal government is not going to fall to the communists.

In other words, no matter what definition is placed on that nebulous  term “national security,” the United States and the federal government will continue to exist.

After all, think of all the secret records that the JFK Records Act and the Assassination Records Review Board succeeded in getting disclosed back in the 1990s. The CIA, the Pentagon, the Secret Service, the FBI, and other federal agencies had succeeded in keeping those records secret for some 30 years, on grounds of “national security.” When they were released, nothing happened. The United States continued standing.

After the lapse of 50 years, even the old tried-and-true justification for secrecy — that somebody might retaliate against some CIA assassin — doesn’t hold muster. That’s because CIA assassins in the 1960s are either dead or sitting in some retirement home waiting to die.

There is only one conceivable reason for the CIA’s wish for continued secrecy in the JFK assassination: It does have something illegal and untoward to hide: that it conspired to effect a domestic regime-change operation against President Kennedy, the president that decided to go to war against the Pentagon, the CIA, and the rest of the U.S. national security establishment over the future direction of the United States. (See JFK’s War with the National Security Establishment: Why Kennedy Was Assassinated by Douglas Horne.)

That’s why “national security” and secrecy surrounded the JFK assassination from the get-go. Secrecy was absolutely essential to the success of the plot and the cover-up.

Think about the official story: A lone-nut assassin suddenly decides to kill the president. He in turn is killed two days later. End of story. The investigation is quickly shut down. Everything is shrouded in secrecy. Even the Warren Commission hearings are held in secret. “National security” is cited.

Does any of that make sense? If it’s just some lone nut that has killed the president, why any secrecy at all? How could “national security” apply to a random murder?

In fact, as one begins to critically analyze the evidence in the case, a mosaic begins forming: Everything is just too pat. As it would be in a frame-up and cover-up.

Indeed, as the circumstantial evidence in the case has slowly been released over the decades, especially in the 1990s, it has overwhelmingly pointed in the direction of a frame-up of Lee Harvey Oswald, the purported assassin.

For one thing, no motive. Proponents of the lone-nut theory have always maintained that Oswald killed Kennedy because Oswald was a little man who wanted to kill a big man. Really? Then why did he deny having committed the offense?

In fact, Oswald did more than deny it. He himself alleged that he was being framed. That’s what he meant when he called himself a “patsy.”

The circumstantial evidence overwhelmingly points to the fact that Oswald was working in some capacity for U.S. intelligence, either CIA, FBI, or Naval Intelligence. After all, he was a U.S. Marine. How many communist Marines have you ever heard of? Why would a genuine communist even join the Marines, especially in the 1950s when Marines could easily be sent back to Korea or to Vietnam to kill communists? It makes no sense.

But if you have an intelligence agent whose job it is to pose as a communist, then you have a perfect patsy to frame, especially because no one outside a very tight intelligence circle would know that Oswald was, in fact, an intelligence agent or informant.

As former Washington Post reporter Jefferson Morley has discovered from an investigation and close examination of long-secret CIA records, the CIA, contrary to what it has stated ever since the assassination, was closely monitoring Oswald ever since he left the Marines and moved to the Soviet Union. That tight surveillance continued all the way up to the weeks preceding the assassination.

There are two possible reasons for the surveillance.

One possibility is because they considered Oswald to be a threat to “national security.” But if that was the case, why not indict, harass, and abuse him, like they were doing to suspected communists like Martin Luther King? And why not advise the FBI and Dallas authorities prior to JFK’s visit to Dallas? And why keep the existence of that surveillance secret for decades?

The other possibility: They were monitoring their intelligence agent and then, later, setting him up as a patsy in the JFK assassination. A frame-up would have required keeping the patsy under close watch, not only to place him in a position to be framed but also to make sure that he didn’t figure out what they were doing to him.

There were two major things that pointed to Oswald’s supposed bona fides as a communist after the assassination: his activities in New Orleans and his trip to Mexico City, both of which, interestingly enough, have connections to the CIA.

In New Orleans, Oswald was pamphleteering for the Fair Play for Cuba Committee, which the CIA and the FBI were intent on destroying. While engaged in that activity, Oswald made contact with an organization named the DRE, which, as it turns out, was being secretly funded and supervised by the CIA.

That’s another thing that Morley uncovered: that a CIA agent named George Joannides was the CIA’s liaison with the DRE. The CIA knowingly and intentionally kept that fact secret from threee different official organizations that investigated the JFK assassination: the Warren Commission, the House Select Committee, and the ARRB.

Why the secrecy regarding Joannides? Because the DRE was the very first organization that began advertising Oswald’s communist bona fides immediately after the assassination, with the support of Joannides and the CIA. The CIA didn’t want anyone to know that they were behind the DRE’s post-assassination advertising campaign.

To this day, the CIA steadfastly refuses to release its files relating to Joannides. Such files are apparently not even part of the CIA records that are set to be released on April 26. The CIA never turned over its Joannides records at all to the National Archives, notwithstanding the fact that the JFK Records Act required it to do so.

What’s the CIA hiding and why?

Oswald’s trip to Mexico City was also intended to show that he was a genuine communist. Instead, however, the official investigation into that trip was quickly shut down and today it is still shrouded in mystery. Perhaps the reason is because everything that could go wrong with that part of the operation did.

The CIA’s records relating to Mexico City are part of the records that the National Archives is set to release on April 26. My prediction: Those records will never see the light of day. The American people will not — cannot — be permitted to view them. There can be only one reason for that — no, not “national security” — but rather because the records show that the CIA has something to hide — its participation in the assassination of president Kennedy and its cover-up involving the framing of a U.S. intelligence agent who had been trained to pose as a communist.

When the JFK Records Act was enacted, it was the last thing the U.S. national-security establishment wanted. As far as they were concerned, they wanted everything to remain secret forever. But they did get a 25-year extension for secrecy, which must have felt like an eternity to CIA officials back then.

That 25-year period expired last October. When it arrived, the CIA pleaded for President Trump for more time and more secrecy. Trump gave them 6 more months, which expires on April 26. My prediction: The CIA will plead for even more time and more secrecy. It really has no other choice. That’s because it really does have something to hide. My other prediction: that for some reason Trump will give them what they want, which will ensure that the JFK cover-up will continue.

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.

This post was written by:

Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. He was born and raised in Laredo, Texas, and received his B.A. in economics from Virginia Military Institute and his law degree from the University of Texas. He was a trial attorney for twelve years in Texas. He also was an adjunct professor at the University of Dallas, where he taught law and economics. In 1987, Mr. Hornberger left the practice of law to become director of programs at the Foundation for Economic Education. He has advanced freedom and free markets on talk-radio stations all across the country as well as on Fox News’ Neil Cavuto and Greta van Susteren shows and he appeared as a regular commentator on Judge Andrew Napolitano’s show Freedom Watch. View these interviews at LewRockwell.com and from Full Context. Send him email.