The CIA showed total contempt of Congress and the president, Oct. 25, by not releasing all documents in their possession dealing with the Kennedy assassination, even when ordered to do so by President Donald Trump himself. Trump compromised by giving them an additional six months to comply.
The intensity of long-term CIA defiance says two things. One, what the CIA knows is far worse than what is likely imagined. Second, if they are allowed redaction for six months, what else might they redact and how would the public know? If they feel this strongly about not disclosing after 54 years, the public will never know from them what they do not want known. Remember that from the beginning the CIA has been implicated in the assassination.
But scholars have already weighed in on the Kennedy assassination, so we do not have to wait for the CIA to release their filtered documents. Here is what we know.
The government’s inscription on the wall of the Texas School Book Depository reads: “On Nov. 22, 1963, the building gained national notoriety when Lee Harvey Oswald allegedly shot and killed President John F. Kennedy from a sixth story window as the presidential motorcade passed.”
The word allegedly is an admission that the government remains uncertain that Oswald did the deed or acted alone.
Most scholars on the assassination view the Warren Commission’s review of the data with great skepticism and some view it with contempt, especially in light of its numerous omissions. As for example, the testimony made by Dr. Charles Crenshaw who placed Kennedy in the coffin at Parkland Hospital, but he testified years later that the neck wound had been tampered with to look like an exit rather than an entry wound. An entry wound would have proved whether there was more than a single assassin and would have provoked more investigation.
In 1976 The U.S. House Select Committee on Assassinations concluded, “President John F. Kennedy was probably assassinated as a result of a conspiracy.”
Congress themselves used the word conspiracy. They, like the Warren Commission, did their investigation mostly in secret. Unbelievably, they too sealed their evidence for 50 years under Congressional rules.
As the years fly by and as seen from the hundreds of new books on the subject, it is increasingly more difficult to dismiss as an accomplice, Lyndon Baines Johnson and his CIA and FBI friends. Newer historians are not as willing to give him a free pass on the subject.
My journalist friend, Don Clark, has personally read most of the 2,000 books on the subject and is a noted speaker on the assassination. He told an audience in San Francisco that while the government has not, or will not, pursue the subject, private investigators have done so, and he feels that the public does not have to wait for the sealed records. What follows are his “must reads” on the subject.
First, Clark suggests viewing the director’s cut of the motion picture “JFK” by Oliver Stone. Despite the profanity, the “movie contains more spoken words, more script, than any film in history,” he said.
Second, “On the Trail of the Assassins” by Jim Garrison, a former FBI agent, treats Oswald’s time in New Orleans and the four government agents identified as “handlers” that seemed to “shadow” him.
Third, read “JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters.” It is a stunning piece of original research published in 2008 by James Douglass.
Fourth, read “Mary’s Mosaic: The CIA Conspiracy to Murder John F. Kennedy, Mary Pinchot Meyer and Their Vision for World Peace,” by Peter Janney. The work, published in 2012, found that the author’s own “CIA father,” was among the conspirators orchestrating the deaths of Kennedy and his friend Mary Pinchot Meyer. The latter’s death is also “in a veiled way” in the recent movie, “An American Affair.”
Fifth, read “JFK: The CIA, Vietnam and the Plot to Assassinate John F. Kennedy,” by Air Force Col. L. Fletcher Prouty, who served at the time of Kennedy’s death as the key liaison between the Pentagon and the CIA.
Sixth, the following three books will help tie together many loose ends.
Revealing the secret links between the most powerful law firm in Texas and the criminal rise to power of Lyndon Johnson is “Blood, Money & Power: How LBJ Killed JFK,” by Barr McClellan; “LBJ: Mastermind of the JFK Assassination,” by Phillip Nelson and “Texas in the Morning,” by Lyndon Johnson’s longtime mistress, Madeline Duncan Brown “takes you to the meeting the night before the assassination. Brown shares in her book the story of Lyndon Johnson coming late to the meeting, then emerging in a fury, grabbing her by the arms so hard it hurt and swearing in a rage, ‘After tomorrow, those goddamn Kennedy’s will never embarrass me again – and that’s not a threat, that’s a promise!’”
In light of decades of intensive reading, Clark posed the question, “Was it devious, desperate Lyndon Johnson, the viper in the nest, the Brutus to Kennedy’s Caesar, had blackmailed his way onto the 1960 presidential ticket, who knew he was about to be dumped from the 1964 ticket, who knew he was about to be indicted and probably go to prison for his probable role in the Bobby Baker and Billy Sol Estes scandals, whose lifelong lust and endless scheming for the presidency would stop at nothing to get to that office, least of all murder?” Perhaps it is time to speak the unspeakable.
Dr. Harold Pease is a syndicated columnist and an expert on the United States Constitution. He has dedicated his career to studying the writings of the Founding Fathers and to applying that knowledge to current events. He has taught history and political science from this perspective for over 30 years at Taft College. Newspapers have permission to publish this column. To read more of his weekly articles, visit www.LibertyUnderFire.org.