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Posts Tagged ‘Church Committee’

JFK: What The CIA Hides | Zero Hedge

Posted by M. C. on November 23, 2019

https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/jfk-what-cia-hides

Authored by Jefferson Morley via Counterpunch.org,

When I launched JFK Facts, a blog about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, in 2012, I was often asked by strangers, “So who killed JFK?”  “I don’t know,” I shrugged. “It’s too early to tell.” Given that the handsome liberal president had been shot dead a half-century before, my answer was a lame joke based on an apocryphal story. Henry Kissinger once said that when he asked Zhou Enlai, “What was the effect of the French Revolution on world history?” the Chinese statesmen replied, “It’s too early to tell.”

True to Kissingerian form, the story turns out to be not exactly true. Zhou was actually responding to a question about France’s political convulsions in 1968, not 1789.

But Kissinger’s spin on the anecdote struck me as perceptive.

The meaning of a great historical event might take a long time–a very long time–to become apparent. I didn’t want to jump to conclusions about the causes of JFK’s murder in downtown Dallas on November 22, 1963.

It’s still too early to tell. Fifty six years after the fact, historians and JFK researchers do not have access to all of the CIA’s files on the subject The 1964 Warren Commission report exonerated the agency with its conclusion that Kennedy was killed by one man alone.  But the agency was subsequently the subject of five official JFK investigations, which cast doubt on its findings.

The Senate’s Church Committee investigation showed that the Warren Commission knew nothing of CIA assassination operations in 1963. JFK records released in the last 20 years show the Commission’s attorneys had no real understanding the extensive counterintelligence monitoring of Lee Harvey Oswald before JFK was killed. We now know that senior operations officers, including counterintelligence chief James Angleton, paid far closer attention to the obscure Oswald as he made his way to Dallas than the investigators were ever told.

To be sure, there is no proof of CIA complicity in JFK’s death. And  conspiracy theories spouted by the likes of the Alex Jones and James Fetzer deserve no attention. The fact remains some of the most astute power players of 1963–including Lyndon Johnson, Charles DeGaulle, Fidel Castro, and Jackie and Robert Kennedy–concluded that JFK was killed by his enemies, and not by one man alone.  Did these statesmen get it wrong, and the under-informed Warren Commission get it right?

The new documentary, Truth is the Only Client, says yes. The film, shown last month in the auditorium of the U.S. Capitol, features interviews with numerous former Warren Commission staffers. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, who served as a fact checker for the Commission in 1964, defends the lone gunman conclusion, saying, “You have to look at the new evidence and when you do, I come to the same conclusion.”

Justice Breyer, oddly, passes judgment on evidence he has not seen. The record of the CIA’s role in the events leading JFK’s assassination is far from complete. In 2013 I reported on JFK Facts that Delores Nelson CIA’s information coordinator had stated in a sworn affidavit filed in federal court, that the agency retained 1,100 assassination-related records that had never been made public.

A small portion of this material was released in 2017, including new details about the opening of the CIA’s first Oswald file in October 1959.

Yet thousands of JFK files remain secret.  According to the latest figures from the National Archives, a total of 15,834 JFK files remain fully or partially classified, most of them held by the CIA and FBI. Thanks to an October 2017 order from President Trump, these documents will not be made public until October 2021, at the earliest.

The assumption of Justice Breyer and many others is that any and all unseen CIA material must exonerate the agency. It’s an odd conclusion. If the CIA has nothing to hide, why is it hiding so much? While 95 percent of the still-secret files probably are trivial, the remaining 5 percent—thousands of pages of material–are historically pregnant.  If made public, they could clarify key questions in the long-running controversy about JFK’s death.

These questions have been raised most concisely by Rolf Mowatt-Larssen, a career CIA officer who served in senior positions. Now a senior fellow at Harvard’s Belfer Center, Mowatt-Larssen has implicated his former employer in the Dallas ambush. In a presentation at Harvard last December, Mowatt-Larssen hypothesized that a plot to kill JFK emanated from the CIA’s station in Miami where disgruntled Cuban exiles and undercover officers loathed JFK for his failure to overthrow Castro’s government in Cuba.

Mowatt-Larssen has yet to publish his presentation and documentation, so I can’t say if he’s right or wrong. But he asks the right question: “How can intelligence operational and analytical modus operandi help unlock a conspiracy that has remained unsolved for 55 years?” And he focuses on the right place to dig deeper: the CIA’s Miami office, known as WAVE station.

My own JFK questions involve George Joannides, a decorated undercover officer who served as branch chief in the Miami station in 1963. He ran psychological warfare operations against Cuba. In 2003, I sued the CIA for Joannides’ files. The lawsuit ended 15 years later in July 2018, when Judge Brett Kavanaugh, in his last opinion before ascending to the Supreme Court, tossed my case. Kavanaugh declared the agency deserved “deference upon deference” in its handling of Freedom of Information Act requests about JFK files.

Nonetheless, my lawsuit illuminated the extraordinary sensitivity of the psy-ops Joannides ran out of WAVE station. As reported in the New York Times, Fox News, Associated Press, and PoliticoMorley v. CIA forced disclosure of the fact Joannides had received the CIA’s Career Intelligence Medal  in 1981. The honor came two years after he stonewalled the House Select Committee on Assassination about what he knew of Oswald’s contacts with pro-and anti-Castro Cubans in the summer and fall of 1963.

I believe Joannides was honored because he concealed the existence of an authorized covert operation involving Oswald that has never been publicly acknowledged. In CIA lingo, Joannides protected the agency’s “sources and methods” concerning Oswald.  And he might have done more. His actions may have also shielded other officers who knew of a scheme to kill the liberal president and lay the blame on Cuba.

Never been seen by JFK investigators, they contain details about his Joannides’ undercover work in Miami in 1963, when he funded Oswald’s antagonists among the anti-Castro Cuban exiles. They also detail his work in 1978, when he duped chief investigator Robert Blakey and the House Select Committee on Assassination. These records, the agency says, cannot be released in 2019 without risk of “irreversible harm” to national security.

It’s a bizarre claim, at odds with the law. These ancient documents, all of them more than 40 years old, meet the statutory definition of “assassination-related,” according to federal judge John Tunheim. He chaired the Assassination Records Review Board which oversaw the declassification of 4 million pages of JFK files between 1994 and 2017.  In an interview, Tunheim told me that, under the terms of the 1992 JFK Records Act, the Joannides files are subject to mandatory review and release. “It’s a no-brainer,” he said.

Yet the files remain off-limits to the public. Thanks to the legal consensus, articulated by Justices Kavanaugh and Breyer, the CIA enjoys “deference upon deference” when it comes to the JFK assassination story. As a result, the JFK Records Act has been flouted. The public’s interest in full disclosure has been thwarted.

Yet legitimate questions persist: Did a plot to kill JFK originate in the agency’s Miami station as Mowatt-Larssen suggests? The fact that the CIA won’t share the evidence that could answer the CIA man’s question is telling.

So these days, when people ask me who killed JFK, I say the Kennedy was probably victimized by enemies in his own government, possibly including CIA officers involved in anti-Castro and counterintelligence operations. I have no smoking gun, no theory. Just look at the suspicious fact pattern, still shrouded in official secrecy, and it’s easy to believe that JFK was, as Mowatt-Larssen puts it, “marked for assassination.”

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JFK-CIA

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Inconvenient Truths – Alarming things we have learned under Trump, but not always about him.

Posted by M. C. on November 8, 2019

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2019/11/stephen-f-cohen/inconvenient-truths/

By

The Nation

Almost daily for three years, Democrats and their media have told us very bad things about Donald Trump’s life, character, and presidency. Some of them are true. But in the process, we have also learned some lamentable, even alarming, things about the Democratic Party establishment, including self-professed liberals. Consider the following:

The Democratic establishment is deeply and widely imbued with rancid Russophobic attitudes. Most telling was (and remains) a core “Russiagate” allegation that “Russia attacked American democracy during the 2016 presidential election” on Trump’s behalf—an “attack” so nefarious it has often been equated with Pearl Harbor. But there was no “attack” in 2016, only, as I have previously explained, ritualistic “meddling” of the kind that both Russia and America have undertaken in the other’s elections for decades. Little can be more phobic than the allegation or belief that one has been “attacked by a hostile” entity. And yet this myth and its false narrative persist in the Democratic Party’s discourse, campaigning, and fund-raising.

We have also learned that the heads of America’s intelligence agencies under President Obama, especially John Brennan of the CIA and James Clapper, director of National Intelligence, felt themselves entitled to try to undermine an American presidential candidacy and subsequent presidency, that of Donald Trump. Early on, I termed this operation “Intelgate,” and it has since been well documented by other writers, including Lee Smith in his new book. Intel officials did so in tacit alliance with certain leading, and equally Russophobic, members of the Democratic Party, which had once opposed such transgressions. This may be the most alarming revelation of the Trump years: Trump will leave power, but these self-aggrandizing intelligence agencies will remain.

§ We also learned that, contrary to Democratic dogma, the mainstream “free press” cannot be fully trusted to readily expose such abuses of power. Indeed, what the mainstream media—leading national newspapers and two cable news networks, in particular—chose to cover and report, and chose not to cover and report, made the abuses and consequences of Russiagate allegations possible. Even now, exceedingly influential publications such as The New York Times seem eager to delegitimize the investigation by Attorney General William Barr and his appointed special investigator John Durham into the origins of Russiagate. Barr’s critics accuse him of fabricating a “conspiracy theory” on behalf of Trump. But the real, or grandest, conspiracy theory was the Russiagate allegation of “collusion” between Trump and the Kremlin, an accusation that was—or should have been—discredited by the Robert Mueller report.

§ And we have learned, or should have learned, that for all the talk by Democrats about Trump as a danger to US national security, it is their Russiagate allegations that truly endanger it. Consider two examples. Russia’s new “hyper-sonic” missiles, which can elude US missile-defense systems, make new nuclear arms negotiations with Moscow imperative and urgent. If only for the sake of his legacy, Trump is likely to want to do so.But even if he is able to, will Trump be entrusted enough to conduct negotiations as successfully as did his predecessors in the White House, given the “Putin puppet” and “Kremlin stooge” accusations still being directed at him? Similarly, as I have asked repeatedly, if confronted with a US-Russian Cuban missile–like crisis—anywhere Washington and Moscow are currently eyeball-to-eyeball militarily, from the Baltic region and Ukraine to Syria—will Trump be as free politically as was President John F. Kennedy to resolve it without war? Here too there is an inconvenient truth: To the extent that Democrats any longer seriously discuss national security in the context of US-Russian relations, it mostly involves vilifying both Trump and Russian leader Vladimir Putin. (Recall also that previous presidents were free to negotiate with Russia’s Soviet communist leaders, even encouraged to do so, whereas the demonized Putin is an anti-communist, post-Soviet leader.)

The current state of US-Russian relations is unprecedentedly dangerous, not only due to reasons cited here—a new Cold War fraught with the possibility of hot war. Whether President Trump serves one or two terms, he must be fully empowered to cope with the multiple possibilities of a US-Russian military confrontation. That requires ridding him and our nation of Russiagate allegations—and that in turn requires learning how such allegations originated.

Opponents of Barr’s investigation into the origins of Russiagate say it is impermissible or unprecedented to “investigate the investigators.” But the bipartisan Church Committee, based in the US Senate, did so in the mid-1970s. It exposed many abuses by US intelligence agencies, particularly by the CIA, and adopted remedies that it believed would be permanent. Clearly, they have not been.

However well-intentioned Barr may be, he is Trump’s attorney general and therefore not fully credible. As I have also argued repeatedly, a new Church Committee is urgently needed. It’s time for honorable members of the Senate of both parties to do their duty.

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JFK-CIA

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July 20, 1977: CIA Mind Control Project MKUltra Docs Released for First Time – Sputnik International

Posted by M. C. on October 3, 2017

If the program is really dead-what took it’s place?

https://sputniknews.com/military/201707201055726074-mk-ultra-40th-anniversary/

“Project MKUltra” was the name given to an illegal program of human experimentation conducted by the US Central Intelligence Agency, which investigated mind control. The 1975 Church Committee hearings exposed the operation – and on July 20, 1977 a Freedom of Information Act request uncovered a cache of 20,000 documents relating to it.

Officially — albeit behind closed doors — the CIA claimed the program was pursued in response to perceived instances of mind control techniques employed by Chinese, North Korean and Soviet forces on Allied prisoners of war in the Korean War. Read the rest of this entry »

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