Oswald and the CIA: The Documented Truth About the Unknown Relationship Between the U.S. Government and the Alleged Killer of JFK

Oswald and the CIA: The Documented Truth About the Unknown Relationship Between the U.S. Government and the Alleged Killer of JFK by John Newman

Book: Oswald and the CIA: The Documented Truth About the Unknown Relationship Between the U.S. Government and the Alleged Killer of JFK by John Newman Read Free Book Online
Authors: John Newman
you sure there wasn't?
    MR. GOLDSMITH: The opening of the file, according to the record, is 9 December 1960.
    MR. HELMS: Yes, [approximately 1/2 a line still classified] but [2-4 words still classified] had they not opened a file a lot earlier?
    MR. GOLDSMITH: According to the record that the committee has seen, the first opening of any file on Oswald was 9 December 1960.
    MR. HELMS: I can't explain that."
    Indeed he could not explain it, because it makes no sense at all. We will return shortly to the clue in Helms's statement-the section still partially censored-because it fits with other evidence of pre201 file activity at the CIA on Oswald.
    There is more to the HSCA probe, which refused to let this important question die. The HSCA insisted that the CIA indicate "where documents pertaining to Oswald had been disseminated internally and stored prior to the opening of his 201 file."9 The answer is disturbing. The CIA argued that "none of these documents were classified higher than confidential," and, further, that "because document dissemination records of a relatively low national security interest are retained for only a 5-year period, they were no longer in existence for the years 1959 to 63."10 None of this was close to the truth. The HSCA threw its hands up and resigned with the statement that "in the absence of dissemination records, the [late 2011 issue could not be resolved.""
    It is unfortunate the CIA made such misleading statements to a congressional investigation. We have most of those records today, along with the internal dissemination documents the HSCA asked for-but did not get-back in 1978. What these documents show is eye-opening. The old argument that Oswald's pre-201 files were not important enough to keep turned out to be untrue in a particularly embarrassing way. The truth is that part of Oswald's pre-201 CIA files were classified SECRET EYES ONLY. This sort of mischief compromises not just the Agency's integrity on this issue, but also on the entire gamut of surrounding issues. Not surprisingly, there are more problems with the Agency's story about Oswald's pre-201 files, especially the claim that Confidential files had been destroyed. This, too, turns out to be wrong. The truth is that the CIA kept Oswald's Confidential files. We have them today. These files were stored in some sensitive and revealing places, places we will visit at the end of this chapter.

    So why the bogus story about missing documents? Perhaps we should have a whole new subdiscipline for contemporary historians who try to wade through the deceitful maze of Cold War counterintelligence. In practice, this story functioned as a smoke screen preventing further disclosure of Oswald's CIA files-especially the early ones. The idea is this: We have nothing because we destroyed what we had. At the same time, this story reinforced the fictitious notion that the Agency's preassassination interest in Lee Harvey Oswald was superficial: We got rid of his files because we were not interested in him. Problems with this begin, however, the moment you think about it.
    The story that a marine who defected and threatened to give military secrets to the enemy was judged to be of only "relatively low national security interest" is dubious. The fact that the HSCA was misled to adds a dramatic and tragic perspective to this coverup, and impresses one with the lengths to which the CIA was prepared to go to protect the secrets that lay in Oswald's files. Spinning tales is not done for sport, but rather to protect secrets. Oswald's early files are astonishing to read. They establish beyond any doubt that the CIA had a keen interest in him from the very day of his defection.
    CI/PROJECT/RE
    CIA Director Helms's testimony contained this partial-because some words were redacted-question: "Had they not opened a file a lot earlier?" This question is worth exploring based upon the internal record now available to us. Let us revisit the paper trail inside the CIA

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