Best New JFK File: CIA Meets the Warren Commission
How the assassination investigation was compromised by the clandestine service
The declassification of the latest JFK files continues to produce revelatory information. I’m referring to thousands of records released under President Biden’s memo of December 15, 2022, most recently on May 12.
Among the records unearthed in the past six months are:
The Heath Memo, a 1977 missive from a CIA insider that shows the Agency’s Miami station conducted an investigation of JFK’s assassination in south Florida in 1964. The results were never shared with investigators, Congress, or the public. (See JFK Facts, “Declassified Memo Reveals CIA Investigated Cuban Exiles for JFK’s Assassination.”)
A newly released defector debriefing shows the CIA’s unusual handling of Lee Harvey Oswald, the returning defector who was later accused of (and denied) killing JFK. (See JFK Facts, “Tale of Two Defectors.”)
And now we have a third new JFK record with significant new details, namely “CIA Personnel Involved in the Warren Commission Investigation.” (h/t to @12Ball for calling this eye-popping piece of paper to my attention.)
This 1976 CIA memo matters because it identifies no less than 39 CIA employees who had contact with the Warren Commission.
The document also identifies nine officials who had daily contact with the Commission as it investigated JFK’s murder in 1964. While many of these names have been made public before, those who say “there’s nothing new here,” don’t know what these CIA officials named in the document said privately about the events of November 1963.
The news is two-fold. First, this document shows the CIA was well-positioned to fraudulently influence and shape the assassination investigation. The Commission relied on the good faith of the Agency and did not get it. Second, CIA officers later admitted the Commission was duped on several key points, including what certain officers knew about Oswald while JFK was still alive.
The significance? The document illuminates the CIA cover-up that followed the murder of the liberal president in unprecedented and personal detail.
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