Anxious anticipation melted into futile frustration after thousands of newly declassified government documents about the JFK assassination were released by the National Archives this year, 54 years after the president’s bloody murder.
The declassification of the files was mandated by a 1992 law that set Oct. 26, 2017 as the deadline. Although the federal government had 25 years to prepare for it, the document dump was marred by President Donald Trump’s last-minute decision to hold certain files back for six months while the CIA and FBI plead with him to keep them locked up tight.
There had been some 3,600 documents held back. About 400 of them were released early, in July. On top of that, an estimated 30,000 other documents that had been partially released in earlier years are supposedly scheduled to be released in full.
Journalists such as myself who have been studying the president’s 1963 murder for decades don’t expect any smoking guns, but we had been hoping for the government to come clean on its pre-assassination knowledge of both accused assassin Lee Harvey Oswald as well as his killer, Dallas nightclub operator Jack Ruby.
Former Washington Post investigative reporter Jeff Morley was pleased to see that the new records released in July clearly show how the Central Intelligence Agency misled JFK investigators on four key points:
“These misrepresentations ensured that the Warren Commission never knew about, much less investigated, the CIA’s role in the events leading to the tragedy of Dallas,” Morley said. “Pre-assassination communications about the unimportant Lee Oswald went straight to the top of the agency, that is to [the CIA’s chief of CIA Counterintelligence] James Angleton.”
Morley’s new biography of Angleton, “The Ghost,” was published just last month.
I’m personally hoping for travel records of CIA officer William King Harvey and details about his friendship with Las Vegas mob boss Johnny Roselli. I’d like to see confirmation that CIA officer David Atlee Phillips used the pseudonym Maurice Bishop, and introduced anti-Castro Cuban Tony Veciana to Lee Oswald in September 1963 in Dallas.
Morley and I are both hoping for revelations about CIA agent George Joannides, the man the CIA pulled out of retirement in 1977 to serve as liaison to the House Select Committee on Assassinations, a man who had, in 1963, been in charge of a Cuban exile group called the DRE. It was the DRE that was in contact with Oswald that summer in New Orleans.
I hope for information about Jack Ruby’s federally sanctioned status as an international arms dealer as well as his trips to Cuba and Las Vegas. I hope to learn more about the CIA’s connections to Dallas Police Department and Mayor Earle Cabell.
One of these days, full disclosure may actually become a reality, but for now we’re all still waiting.
It’s a marriage made in heaven. “Hammered Dulcimer Wizard” Dan Duggan and his wife, “First Lady of Adirondack Music” Peggy Lynn, will perform a free concert at 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 19, at Liverpool Public Library.
With their traditional folk roots and original songs, Peggy and Dan offer a rare blend of humor, history, unique arrangements and striking vocal harmonies.
National Hammered Dulcimer Champion Dan Duggan is known from Maine to California for his wizardry on the hammered dulcimer, flat-picking guitar and keyboards. Peggy often writes songs about the women and natural beauty of the North Country.
The crooning couple, who live in Red Creek, have collaborated on at least a half-dozen discs including “Esperance,” “Keeping Christmas,” “Be the Light” and “Grandsongs,” which showcases tunes such as “I Like Pie” and “Waltzing with Bears.”
“Energy begets energy.” – Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
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