Tuesday, May 12, 2009

CIA collected open source information on Kennedy assassination conspiracies

The Central Intelligence Agency collected a number of articles from open sources that dealt with conspiracies to assassinate President John F. Kennedy in 1963. The CIA was particularly interested in articles that mentioned alleged CIA involvement in the assassination.

The articles, now declassified, were held in official files maintained by the CIA.

The CIA was interested in the investigation of New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison into Kennedy's assassination. The agency maintained a New Orleans Times-Picayune article from January 21, 1970, the headline of which was "CIA Killed JFK, Says Garrison."

A CIA analyst annotated with two check marks passages in the article by Robert Pack. One concerned Garrison's statement at a New Orleans dinner: "Speaking at a $100-a-plate testimonial dinner in the International Room at the Roosevelt Hotel, Garrison said that his statement that the Central Intelligence Agency was responsible for the former President's death was 'not speculation.'"

The other passage notated was: "'The Warren Commission Report,' Garrison declared, "told you what did not happen. The United States government was involved in the assassination.'"

Garrison's comments on the Warren Report mirror those that are today said about the 9/11 Commission Report -- that both reports were whitewashed designed to cover up monumental crimes of the state.

Garrison is also quoted as stating, "The CIA was the agency involved. The CIA killed John Kennedy. But they're not so smart that they can't kill the President of the United States without someone finding out."

Garrison also said that he was subjected to an Internal Revenue Service investigation that was drawn out in order to intimidate him away from his investigation of Kennedy's assassination. At the testimonial dinner, comedian Mort Sahl accused The New York Times, Time, Newsweek, Life, and Look of trying to unseat Garrison as District Attorney because of his probe into the JFK assassination. Sahl also said President Lyndon Johnson sealed in the National Archives for 75 years many documents concerning the JFK assassination.

Garrison was later charged with and cleared of charges that he was involved in taking bribes and being involved in protecting illegal pinball machine operations in New Orleans. Garrison eventually became a Louisiana Appeals Circuit Court judge.

Attending the testimonial dinner praising Garrison's work were Louisiana Lt. Governor C. C. "Taddy" Aycock, representing Governor John McKeithen who was to attend but could not due to his father's funeral; New Orleans Mayor Victor Schiro, Louisiana Attorney General P. F. Gremillion. and Mayor-nominee Moon Landrieu, the father of current Louisiana U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu.

The CIA files also contained a New York Times article dated January 17, 1970, in which former Dallas Police Chief Jesse E. Curry revealed in a book that "the physical evidence and eyewitness accounts do not clearly indicate what took place on the sixth floor of Texas School Book Depository at the time John F. Kennedy was assassinated."

Curry wrote that eyewitnesses reported seeing two men standing at the window from which the shots were fired. The eyewitnesses were turned over by the Dallas Police to the FBI for questioning. However, Curry notes the presence of the second man never appeared in the FBI report. Curry also revealed that a paraffin test taken of the side of Oswald's right face did not reveal nitrates from firing a rifle. Curry said Oswald only had a positive nitrate pattern on his hand consistent with the firing of the revolver that killed police officer J. D. Tippitt.

The CIA files also contain an article from the Lincoln (Nebraska) Star, dated September 30, 1972, that recounts the statements of Dean Morris, a former member of the Ku Klux Klan and Minutemen. Morris contended that the CIA and "far right groups" assassinated President Kennedy and Martin Luther King. Morris said the Minutemen taught its members how to make bombs and conduct assassinations.

Another article found in CIA files, one from the June 1970 issue of Ramparts, reported on an interview with Minuteman founder Robert Bolivar DePugh. DePugh is quoted as saying that renegade Minutemen were involved in President Kennedy's assassination. DePugh told the magazine that he had "some evidence that might explain unanswered questions about events in Dealey Plaza in Dallas." Again, a CIA analyst placed a check mark next to that particular paragraph.

Another article maintained by the CIA is one from the Sunday Boston Globe, dated October 24, 1971, about a seminar in Cambridge, Massachusetts where Vincent Salandria, an attorney from Philadelphia, said the CIA was largely responsible for the killing of Kennedy and that Kennedy's national security aide, McGeorge Bundy, was aware of the CIA's efforts to assassinate Kennedy. Salandria also said elements of the military, in addition to the CIA, were involved in the plot to kill Kennedy in order to "eliminate a thaw in the Cold War."

CIA files also contain a very brief item from the Washington Observer, dated May 1, 1971: "A retired high-ranking Federal official has confided to WO that during the Batista regime in Cuba, vast amounts of American small arms were smuggled to Fidel Castro. And while this anonymous official was investigating this flagrant violation of the Neutrality Act, CIA Director Allen Dulles, suddenly intervened and brought pressure to kill the investigation. All records and evidence adduced were ordered burned. Ironically, a man involved in the Castro arms smuggling conspiracy was in Dallas on the day that President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. Serving as a member of the Warren Commission, Allen Dulles averted a probe of this suspect's activities at that time. This is one of the biggest, unsolved mysteries of the Central Intelligence Agency.

George H. W. Bush has been long rumored to have been involved in CIA activities in the Caribbean during the 1950s, using his Zapata Off-shore Drilling Company as a CIA front. On November 22, 1963, Bush was checked into the Dallas Sheraton Hotel, although he maintains that he was in Tyler, Texas that day. In any event, Bush returned to Midland, Texas from Dallas on November 23, 1963.

The CIA was also interested in a story in the September 16, 1970, Los Angeles Times concerning remarks made by California Republican Senator George Murphy. Murphy said he believed the assassins of John and Robert Kennedy were acting "under orders." On Sirhan Sirhan, the convicted assassin of Robert Kennedy, Murphy declared, "I am not certain this young man did it by himself. Neither are you. Neither are the courts."

On the slayings of both Kennedys, Murphy said, "Somebody, I think, instigated them."

The CIA files also contain an editorial from the September 5, 1970, Grand Rapids Press. The editorial concerned anticipated speculation concerning the deaths of Abraham Zapruder, 65, the amateur photographer who filmed the assassination of Kennedy in Dallas and James Eric Decker, Sheriff of Dallas County for 22 years. Decker was supposed to have been given custody of Oswald on the day Oswald was shot. However, Decker was, instead, given custody of Jack Ruby, Oswald's assassin. The editorial warned against drawing any conspiratorial conclusions from the deaths, during the same weekend, of Zapruder and Decker.