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Federal Judge: CIA “Treachery” Regarding Still-Classified JFK Files

CIA treachery? Shocking!

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News flash: CIA Lies.

Well, that’s according to Federal Judge John Tunheim, as featured in a Boston Globe story on the “trove” of secret files still being withheld by the US Government fifty years after JFK was murdered in Dealey Plaza.

How would Judge Tunheim know about this trove of treachery?

It just so happens that he’s the former chair of the Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB), the declassification project created in the aftermath of Oliver Stone’s JFK and the public outrage it sparked.  From the Globe:

The so-called 1992 JFK Records Act, the law that established Tunheim’s records review board, stipulated that all the files have to be released by October 2017 unless the president of the United States grants permission to keep them secret — something many researchers fear could happen if there isn’t more public pressure.

And time is running out for the government. Those ultra-secret secrets regarding Kennedy’s public execution have long been coveted by researchers and critics of the Warren Commission. Their desire to see them is directly proportional to the government’s unwillingness to let even the ARRB see them:

The National Archives and Records Administration, which is tasked with working with the agencies that originally generated the files, reports that some 1,100 distinct documents that Tunheim and his team did not have access to remain shielded from public view.

Interesting to note that many of the defenders of the surveillance state, the Patriot Act and the NSA’s uber alles style of spying often sing out that tired little ditty: “If you are not doing anything wrong, then you have nothing to worry about.”

You don’t say?

Funny how–If we, the people, turn around and apply that to a fifty-year old event–we are derided as tin foil millinery models and cranky kooks, simply because it seems strange to us that the government is afraid to release the information. As the good judge told the Globe:

“A lot of questions remain,” said John R. Tunheim, a federal judge in Minnesota who chaired the Assassination Records Review Board, which oversaw the review and disclosure of some five million records related to the JFK assassination in the 1990s. “We only put a few pieces of the puzzle together. Lots of the jigsaw is missing.”

Thankfully, researchers and journalists, like the tireless Jefferson Morley of, have refused to accept this veil of secrecy. Morley has long battled the CIA and the government in court, trying to pry loose those secrets and bring them into the light of day.

As Morley told the Globe:

“There is no mechanism to implement the JFK Records Act,” said Jefferson Morley, a former Washington Post reporter and author who is suing the CIA to release more documents. The National Archives, he said, “has little leverage with the CIA to release stuff.”

So, the CIA has final say … the will of the people notwithstanding. But what is it they are trying to hide?

Some believe it is the files on US attempts to launch a coup in Cuba with the help of Castro’s internal opponents in late 1963. Others say it is the files on leading Mafia figures who were previously hired by the CIA to kill Castro but never testified before congressional investigations because they were slain just before they were about to appear.

But there are several categories of files that they agree offer the prospect of bringing into better focus a plot that most Americans believe involved more than Oswald acting alone. Just as importantly, researchers say, the files could clear some individuals or agencies that have been suspected of involvement.

The information is considered by researchers to be critical to understanding what the military discovered about Oswald before and immediately after the assassination.

Which brings us back to the persistent rot at the foundation of the official story–that Lee Harvey Oswald was a loner, a nut and the sole gunman who, by unhappy coincidence, was able to get a job a the Texas Book Depository prior to the parade and, despite having been a defector to the USSR at the height of the Cold War after working at a top secret U-2 spy plane monitoring station at Atsugi, Japan, he was basically left to his own devices as an pro-Castro agitator until he decided to order a crappy rifle and fell an increasingly pro-diplomacy president.

Maybe it is not the secret files they are afraid of releasing.

Maybe they are afraid of releasing the Kraken of public outrage that would, most assuredly, convince Americans that, like JFK wanted to do when he was president, the CIA should be shattered into a thousand pieces.

Public domain image from Wikimedia Commons.

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JP Sottile

JP Sottile

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