Vice President of the Mary Ferrell Foundation calls new release by Biden a “sham” because key documents remain classified.
On December 15, President Joe Biden released nearly 1,500 documents on the JFK assassination, but withheld 5,000 critical documents.
The move was not surprising given Biden’s long track record going back to his days on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee of rubber-stamping CIA operations and helping the CIA to cover up its crimes.
Under the 1992 President John F. Kennedy Records Collection Act, the U.S. government was supposed to release all documents about the assassination in 2017.
President Donald Trump delayed the full release twice and President Biden has now done the same—releasing only some documents while keeping records secret that are expected to be the most interesting to researchers.
The Biden administration’s excuse is that the JFK Records Act permits postponement of disclosure of information if this is considered “necessary to protect against an identifiable harm to the military defense, intelligence operations, law enforcement or the conduct of foreign relations that is of such gravity that it outweighs the public interest in disclosure.”
But what harm could possibly derive from exposure of the truth behind the assassination of one of America’s most beloved leaders nearly 60 years ago?
Jefferson Morley, Vice President of the Mary Ferrell Foundation, which investigates the JFK assassination, referred to the new release as a “sham,” noting that Biden had authorized the release of only about 10% of redacted records on December 15.
“The government has never offered a credible explanation for the assassination,” Morley said. “People don’t believe what they’re hearing. And when they’re holding 90% of the documents that are required by law, they continue fifty years of deception and deceit.”
The Rosetta Stone in JFK Assassination Research?
Morley is behind a lawsuit filed by the Mary Ferrell Foundation demanding the release of the CIA’s George Joannides file.
Recruited into the CIA in 1952, Joannides came into contact with Lee Harvey Oswald while running a covert Cuba-related program less than four months before Kennedy was shot.
As the CIA’s Miami-based chief of psychological warfare operations, Joannides, using his alias “Howard,” provided $51,000 per month to the Cuban Student Directorate, an anti-Castro organization that was part of a larger covert CIA program called AMSPELL.
Part of the aim of this program was to infiltrate and discredit the Fair Play for Cuba Committee (FPCC), a left-wing group that promoted a restoration of diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba and acceptance of the Cuban revolution.
Lee Harvey Oswald was the New Orleans chairman of the FPCC who was interviewed on television explaining the goals of the organization and featured in local newspapers after getting arrested during a fight while distributing handbills for the FPCC.
Jefferson Morley suggested in a presentation at the National Press Club on December 6 that the arrest was part of standard COINTELPRO [FBI Counterintelligence program] operating procedure in which an intelligence agent or provocateur infiltrated a subversive group, planted deceptive information or created negative publicity, including by provoking law enforcement to arrest a member of the group.
Senator Richard Schweiker (R-PA) had said during the 1975 Church Committee deliberations that “everywhere you look, with him [Oswald] there are the fingerprints of intelligence.”
Growing up in a fatherless household in New Orleans with a loveless mother and absent brother, Oswald had become fascinated with the TV series I Led 3 Lives, which was loosely based on the life of Herbert Philbrick, a Boston advertising executive who infiltrated the U.S. Communist Party on behalf of the FBI.
In 1956, Oswald was tapped by David Ferrie, a CIA asset involved in anti-Castro operations leading up to the Bay of Pigs invasion, to join the Civil Air Patrol. In 1957, living out his boyhood fantasy, he was trained for future spy missions into the Soviet Union by the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) under the direction of the CIA as a young enlistee in the Marine Corps.
Fluent in Russian, Oswald subsequently worked at the Atsugi Naval Air Facility in Japan, the largest CIA installation in the world, which was used as a launching base for the U-2 reconnaissance flights over the Soviet Union. There Oswald possessed a Minox camera used by spies that was not yet available for sale in the U.S. in 1963.
Oswald’s roommate in the Marine Corps, James Botelho, who became a California judge, said that Oswald was not a communist or Marxist—that was a cover—but was anti-Soviet and was on assignment in Russia for American intelligence.
James Wilcott, a former CIA finance officer, testified before the House Select Committee on Assassinations in 1978 that he had handled the funding for a CIA project in which Oswald had been recruited as a CIA spy and that Oswald served the CIA as a double agent in the Soviet Union.
In New Orleans, Oswald worked for the Reilly Coffee Company, which was located at the center of the intelligence community in the city and was owned by William B. Reilly, a supporter of the CIA-sponsored Cuban Revolutionary Council.
Researcher Bob Katz wrote that Oswald “moved in a world of right wingers and Cuban exiles [in New Orleans] that had been tied to the Agency since the Bay of Pigs.”
According to Jefferson Morley, Oswald was involved in at least four CIA covert operations in Mexico, some just weeks before JFK was killed.
Morley told the National Press club on December 6 that Oswald’s visibility with the FPCC and arrest “created a legend.” He was in turn the perfect patsy for the Kennedy assassination because the authorities were intent on blaming it on the communists.
Morley pointed out that after the Kennedy assassination, the FPCC disbanded in a major victory for the CIA. Executive branch authorities have been reluctant to release the documents from the Joannides file because they would shed light on a CIA operation involving Oswald which would expose CIA methods and illuminate the back story to Oswald’s being set up as a patsy.
The documents would also expose that former CIA Director Richard Helms lied to Congress when he claimed that the CIA had “probably limited knowledge of Oswald” and that the CIA had control over the media, which repeated the disinformation that Oswald was a communist.
In an exclusive interview with CAM on December 18, presidential historian and seasoned JFK assassination researcher Robert Morrow characterized the December 15 document release as a “shell game” in light of the failure to release hundreds of documents that would shed light on how Oswald was run by the CIA.
Morrow said that, in 14 years of research on the topic, he learned that the JFK assassination was the domestic equivalent of Operation Northwoods, a false-flag attack on Cuba based on deception, and that Lyndon B. Johnson was behind the killing.
Morrow said that “Oswald loved John F. Kennedy and was a pre-selected patsy.”
A key indication is that, “when they released an all-points bulletin after JFK was killed, the Dallas police described the suspect as a man [they didn’t use Oswald’s name] who was 5’10” 165 pounds—a description of Oswald given by his mother Marguerite in 1960 when she was inquiring about her son’s whereabouts when he was behind the Iron Curtain.”
In reality, Oswald was 5’9” and 145 pounds.
He could not have been the shooter because he was spotted on the 2nd floor of the Texas School Book Depository—far from the sniper’s nest on the 6th floor—calmly drinking a Coke less then two minutes after JFK’s assassination—which was too quick (the real shooter, in any case, likely came from the grassy knoll near where Kennedy’s motorcade was passing).
Dallas police chief Jesse Curry admitted in a 1969 interview with the Dallas Morning News: “We don’t have any proof that Oswald fired the rifle, and never did. Nobody’s yet been able to put him in that building with a gun in his hand.”
According to Morrow, U.S. intelligence had “manipulated the Dallas Police Department,” and from the outset “drove the investigation. Oswald’s own mother, Marguerite, had admitted to The New York Times in December 1963 that Oswald worked for the CIA, though she had to be discredited and smeared.”
A Crack in the Media Consensus
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., weighed in on December 15, tweeting that “the CIA’s murder of my uncle was a successful coup d’état from which our democracy has never recovered.”
In the same tweet, Kennedy praised Fox News host Tucker Carlson for running what he called “the most courageous newscast in 60 years” in which he accused the CIA of murdering JFK.
See newscast here.
Of further significance, Carlson noted that widespread use of the insulting phrase “conspiracy theory” only began in the aftermath of the JFK assassination, with the CIA successfully marginalizing its critics by promoting that accusation in the compliant media.
Tucker’s father, Dick Carlson, was director of the Voice of America during the Cold War, along with at different points, the U.S. Information Agency (USIA) and Radio Marti, which broadcast CIA propaganda into Cuba.
According to Robert Morrow, Tucker subscribed to the official narrative about the Kennedy assassination for a long time but has shifted his view based on his conversation with an insider source (believed to be Donald Trump), and it is “remarkable that one of the nation’s most prominent political commentators went on TV saying the CIA killed JFK.”
Jefferson Morley has also been featured recently on CNN and MSNBC, and Jim DiEugenio, a collaborator with Oliver Stone, appeared on Fox.
This is a major crack in the traditional reporting and media consensus that Oswald was a lone assassin—finally after 60 years.
Chelsey Cox, “JFK documents: Biden administration orders release of nearly 1,500 classified files,” Yahoo News, December 15, 2021. ↑
The CIA claims that all CIA records related to Mr. Joannides were previously released with only minor redactions, which does not appear to be true. ↑
Joannides was also the CIA official tasked with covering up the CIA’s role in the assassination before the 1976 House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) to which he was appointed as a liaison. HSCA counsel Robert Blakey said that, if he had known about Joannides’s background, he would have prosecuted him. ↑
The FPCC was inspired in part by C. Wright Mills’s book, Listen Yankee: The Revolution in Cuba (New York: Ballantine Books, 1960). ↑
Oswald’s girlfriend in New Orleans said that this remained Oswald’s favorite show as an adult. ↑
Phillip F. Nelson, LBJ: The Mastermind of the JFK Assassination (New York: Skyhorse Publishing, 2011), 334-342. David Ferrie was the initial target of New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison’s investigation into the assassination. Eight witnesses had observed Oswald in Ferrie’s company attempting to vote in rural Clinton, Louisiana. On the night of November 22, 1963, Ferrie made a strange trip to Texas for the alleged purpose of indoor ice skating. Ferrie said at the time of the assassination he was still in New Orleans, employed as an investigator for mob boss Carlos Marcello. On February 22, 1967, four days after Garrison’s probe was made public, Ferrie was found dead in his apartment. The coroner concluded that he had died at the age of 49 of a blood clot, though Garrison suspected foul play. ↑
Bob Katz, “Who Was Lee Harvey Oswald,” in Government by Gunplay: Assassination Conspiracy Theories From Dallas to Today, Sid Blumenthal and Harvey Yazijian, eds., introduction by Philip Agee (New American Library, 1976), 15. ↑
Botelho told Mark Lane that, if Oswald had been a communist, then he would have “taken violent action against him and so would many of the Marines in the unit.” ↑
Nelson, LBJ: The Mastermind of the JFK Assassination, 385. ↑
Katz, “Who Was Lee Harvey Oswald,” in Government by Gunplay, Blumenthal and Yazijian, eds. Oswald’s CIA handler, George de Mohrenschildt, was a geologist, oil company consultant and leader in Dallas’s white Russian community who was a member of the Dallas Petroleum Club and the World Affairs Council. A friend of George H.W. Bush, he helped Oswald get employment at a graphic arts company that had contacts with the U.S. Army Map Service and allowed Oswald to do top secret work for the U.S. Army, including processing reconnaissance photos of Cuba. After the assassination, de Mohrenschildt stated that Oswald was a patsy and that the FBI had killed Kennedy. De Mohrenschildt was found shot to death at his daughter’s house in Florida after he publicly revealed that the CIA had sanctioned his contact with Oswald. The “official” cause of death was suicide. ↑
Jefferson Morley, Our Man in Mexico: Winston Scott and the Hidden History of the CIA (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2008). ↑
Phillip F. Nelson, LBJ: From Mastermind to the “Colossus” (New York: Skyhorse, 2014), 467. Significantly, a Book Depository employee, Victoria Adams, who was on the stairs at the moment Oswald was supposed to be making his escape, never saw Oswald. ↑
Joseph McBride, Into the Nightmare: My Search For the Killers of President John F. Kennedy and Officer J.D. Tippit (Berkeley, CA: Hightower Press, 2013), 28. ↑
One could also add in academia. ↑
CovertAction Magazine is made possible by subscriptions, orders and donations from readers like you.
Blow the Whistle on U.S. Imperialism
Click the whistle and donate
When you donate to CovertAction Magazine, you are supporting investigative journalism. Your contributions go directly to supporting the development, production, editing, and dissemination of the Magazine.
CovertAction Magazine does not receive corporate or government sponsorship. Yet, we hold a steadfast commitment to providing compensation for writers, editorial and technical support. Your support helps facilitate this compensation as well as increase the caliber of this work.
Please make a donation by clicking on the donate logo above and enter the amount and your credit or debit card information.
CovertAction Institute, Inc. (CAI) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and your gift is tax-deductible for federal income purposes. CAI’s tax-exempt ID number is 87-2461683.
We sincerely thank you for your support.
Disclaimer: The contents of this article are the sole responsibility of the author(s). CovertAction Institute, Inc. (CAI), including its Board of Directors (BD), Editorial Board (EB), Advisory Board (AB), staff, volunteers and its projects (including CovertAction Magazine) are not responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in this article. This article also does not necessarily represent the views the BD, the EB, the AB, staff, volunteers, or any members of its projects.
Differing viewpoints: CAM publishes articles with differing viewpoints in an effort to nurture vibrant debate and thoughtful critical analysis. Feel free to comment on the articles in the comment section and/or send your letters to the Editors, which we will publish in the Letters column.
Copyrighted Material: This web site may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. As a not-for-profit charitable organization incorporated in the State of New York, we are making such material available in an effort to advance the understanding of humanity’s problems and hopefully to help find solutions for those problems. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. You can read more about ‘fair use’ and US Copyright Law at the Legal Information Institute of Cornell Law School.
Republishing: CovertAction Magazine (CAM) grants permission to cross-post CAM articles on not-for-profit community internet sites as long as the source is acknowledged together with a hyperlink to the original CovertAction Magazine article. Also, kindly let us know at info@CovertActionMagazine.com. For publication of CAM articles in print or other forms including commercial internet sites, contact: info@CovertActionMagazine.com.
By using this site, you agree to these terms above.
About the Author
Jeremy Kuzmarov is Managing Editor of CovertAction Magazine.
He is the author of five books on U.S. foreign policy, including Obama’s Unending Wars (Clarity Press, 2019), The Russians Are Coming, Again, with John Marciano (Monthly Review Press, 2018), and Warmonger. How Clinton’s Malign Foreign Policy Launched the U.S. Trajectory From Bush II to Biden (Clarity Press, 2023).
He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.