Testing Bill Simmons' JFK Theory
A simple empirical way to determine who's right about the Dallas ambush
“I have followed a JFK assassination substack that has renewed my interest in the JFK” story, sportwriter Bill Simmons told Chuck Klosterman on his podcast last week. Although he didn’t know my name, Simmons was talking about my reporting on JFK Facts.
“This guy went through and he made a pretty compelling case [about JFK files] about which ones have been redacted and not released and they’re all related to the CIA. And I am more convinced than ever that the CIA killed JFK.”
I believe Simmons is referring to my piece, “Yes, There Is a Smoking Gun,” and to my Dec. 6, 2022 presentation at the National Press Club in Washington D.C. (Watch it here.)
I appreciate his interest (and his subscription) but I must disagree slightly.
I am not “more convinced than ever” that the CIA killed JFK. On the causes of November 22, I’m with Harry Truman, Jackie Kennedy, RFK, and Fidel Castro. I think the president was killed by his enemies in his own government who had the ability to make the crime look like something else. That’s not the same as saying there was a CIA plot. If there was a conspiracy, non-CIA personnel might have been involved or even in charge.
What’s The Proof?
What we need is a way to assess the validity of Simmons’ JFK theory. Fortunately, there is a simple empirical test of the claim “the CIA killed Kennedy.”
It is found in the personnel file of George Joannides, a deceased CIA offcer who served as the chief of psychological warfare operations in Miami at the time of JFK’s assassination. Joannides stonewalled JFK investigators in 1978 and won a medal for his trouble. He died in 1990 having never been questioned about the events of 1963.
Joannides’ heavily redacted file contains 44 documents with information about his “cover” and his “intelligence methods” that are relevant to the attack on November 22, 1963—and my implicate other military or intelligence components of the U.S. government.
Let me be the first to say, I could be wrong about this. After all, I don’t have a security clearance to look at these records. Thanks to the Freedom of Information Act, I do have access to the declassified portions of the Joannides file—but not to its classified contents from 1963-64. Thanks to interviews with living participants, I do know a lot about CIA secret operations at the time—but the Agency’s record of dissembling about accused assassin Lee Harvey Oswald is unparalleled and possibly felonious. So I may be misinformed.
Of course, if I am wrong, the CIA can declassify this ancient file and discredit me instantly. If there was no operational interest in Oswald while JFK was still alive, there will be no trace of it in the Joannides file. In short, the CIA can exonerate itself from my interpretation any time it wants. Yet, so far, they have chosen not to do so, which makes you wonder why.
Maybe Bill Simmons is on to something.
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Extremely well reasoned, well stated analysis as usual.
To say “the CIA killed JFK” is misleading at best. Yet the CIA now clearly believes they have reason to hide what they know about it which is damning in and of itself.
Okay, Gen. "Bombs Away" LeMay and other military people were undoubtedly involved too. It would be more accurate to say that the national security state killed JFK. I think that's what most people mean when they say the CIA did it.