Unless our current President changes his mind, and he has repeatedly shown his willingness to do that, several thousand sequestered documents related to the John Kennedy assassination will be released in days.  Despite the President’s claim that he is releasing them, they are being released according to a law passed by Congress in 1992.

Though by no means a conspiracist, I was a member of the Senate Select Committee to Investigate the Intelligence Agencies of the U.S. Government in 1975 and 76 and thereafter became a charter member of the new Senate Intelligence Oversight Committee created on the recommendations of the Select Committee (popularly known as the Church Committee for its chairman, Senator Frank Church).

One of our most startling discoveries was a pattern of attempted assassinations of half a dozen foreign leaders by the CIA from the late 1950s until the mid-1960s.  The most notorious and persistent of these plots targeted Fidel Castro of Cuba.  To carry them out the Agency employed three well known Mafia figures who knew Cuba first hand.

The Warren Commission tasked with investigating the Kennedy assassination was not aware of the Castro plots or, most importantly, the Agency’s partnership with the Mafia figures, for one important reason.  A member of the Warren Commission was Alan Dulles, then head of the Agency.  Because he placed protection of the CIA ahead of a search for truth, and to avoid the embarrassment that would be created by its hand-in-glove relationship with the Mafia, Dulles chose not to reveal the Castro plots to Chief Justice Earl Warren and other Commission members.

Now suppose how this information might have changed the path of the Warren Commission.  It certainly considered Castro a suspect, in part out of retaliation for the successful U.S. stand-off with the Soviet Union over Russian missiles proposed to be deployed on Cuban soil and more crassly to create a vendetta for Kennedy’s attempts to assassinate him.

But had Mr. Dulles candidly, and secretly, shared with his colleagues on the Commission the CIA-Mafia plots against Castro, suddenly a new set of those with interests in assassinating John Kennedy would have arisen.  The Mafia’s interest in getting rid of Castro was to re-enter Cuba and take back its extremely lucrative network of casinos and hotels.  The Kennedy settlement with Krushchev included an unpublicized agreement to end U.S. efforts to overthrow Castro.

Overnight, the Mafia’s hopes of regaining its hundred million dollars a year income from Cuba, real money in those days, went out the window.  Motive enough for partnering with the CIA in the first place and real motive for retaliating against a President who crushed those hopes.

Whether any of these government documents promised to be released will confirm and shed light on this dark corner of an even darker assassination remains to be seen.  But each of us is left to decide whether a loner with a mail order rifle or the Mafia had a greater motive or the means to carry it out.

PS: The Church Committee sought to interview the three key Mafia figures in this drama.  Two of them, Johnny Roselli and Sam Giancana, were brutally murdered during our investigation.  Their murders have never been solved.

9 Responses to “A Mystery Within a Greater Mystery”

  1. Paul G Says:


    “Overnight, the Mafia’s hopes of regaining its *$100,000,000 a year income from Cuba, real money in those days, went out the window. Motive enough for partnering with the CIA in the first place and real motive for retaliating against a President who crushed those hopes.

    … each of us is left to decide whether a loner with a mail order rifle or the Mafia had a greater motive or the means to carry it out. [The Church Committee sought to interview the three key Mafia figures in this drama. Two of them, Johnny Roselli and Sam Giancana, were brutally murdered during our investigation. Their murders have never been solved].”

    – Gary Hart, Senate Intelligence Oversight Committee member, 1975
    * $700,000,000 in 2017 currency.
    The very public murder of Jack Kennedy, our enlighteningly courageous president over a half-century ago, seems in many ways to some of us survivors as if it occurred yesterday. Unbeholden to special interests while mastering his new office at warp speed, his patient resolution of the Cuban Missile Crisis and belated recognition of the CIA’s incongruousness in a republic, led him to dedicate America to a more peaceful role in the world. This is evidenced in his address to American University’s students:
    “[L]et us not be blind to our differences-but let us also direct attention to our common interests and to the means by which those differences can be resolved. And if we cannot end now our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity. For, in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children’s future. And we are all mortal.” http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=9266
    But such humanizing of “enemies” was seen by war-profiteers as incongruous to their special interests.
    James Sutton Files may or may not have fired a mercury round that not only killed our national hero but obliterated America’s ideals for generations. Egomaniacal presidents fostered “search and destroy” missions including killing students on American campuses! Today, they sow division and hatred for profit worldwide and here at home. Can JFK’s beloved republic be restored if our students remain unaware?

  2. Gary Hart Says:

    Two corrections: It is Allen Dulles (not Alan), and Mr. Dulles was dismissed from his position as CIA Director following the failure of the Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961. Nevertheless, the point stands: his mission was to protect the Agency from disclosure of the Castro assassination plots and the partnership with the Mafia, with all the implications that may, or may not, have had for the Kennedy assassination. GH

  3. Elizabeth Miller Says:

    Senator Hart,

    >>>>But each of us is left to decide whether a loner with a mail order rifle or the Mafia had a greater motive or the means to carry it out.

    If only it were that simple.

    Clearly, Americans generally do not wish to think about how the best evidence in this assassination was altered to make exit wounds look like entrance wounds and vice versa. While the mafia may very well have been involved in the murder of the president, it most decidedly did not have the means to alter the best evidence.

  4. Paul G Says:


    SURVEILLANCE AND SUPRESSION SINCE WOUNDS OUR SOULS http://freedom-articles.toolsforfreedom.com/jfk-assassination-who-how-why-part-1/


    As a huge admirer of the great president, I am not of the view that he was involved directly in any real plans to assassinate Castro, I would be interested to know how others might think otherwise, as no direct evidence but heresay seems likely.

    I adore Marilyn Monroe, though born after her loss to our world, since six , I have cherished even a glimpse of that extraordinarily vibrant woman.

    I have read a hideous book on the so called “assasination ” of her, the title is more or less of that ilk and I shall not dignify the author , in which he claims RFK was behind it and sat watching as the late great lady was injected !

    Many think Elvis is wandering about malls in America looking like Santa or perhaps playing him in a store , missing the attention.

    I prefer to remember or see the greats with respect, but await such documents to see if they confirm me in my views, that Oswald murdered President Kennedy, as Marilyn left us by accident.

  6. Eric Jacobson Says:


    According to polling research reported in the above-linked article in the well-respected fivethirtyeight.com blog, Americans by a 2-1 majority have concluded that conspirators assassinated President Kennedy. (Elizabeth I suspect will confirm that our fellow North American citizens of Canada concur in at-least this same ratio.)

    It is an equal certainty that this same ratio of citizens have reached the corollary conclusion that the same- or additional conspirators who murdered JFK (massively) covered-up what I call the domestic crime of the 20th century. And it is an equally safe bet that a sizable percentage of us, including some contributors to this space (although I obviously wouldn’t presume to speak definitively for anyone but myself) are naturally appalled that the responsible authorities, who have had over 5 DECADES to do so, have not cracked the JFK murder case nor held any of the conspirators culpable (posthumously or otherwise).

    Indeed, what is most galling to me is that no one in the executive branch of Texas state government or the federal government has ever even TRIED in good faith to solve the heinous crime and prosecute the perpetrators. Eg. The latest partial release of JFK files Thursday evening (which gives new meaning to the Nixon-era phrase “modified limited hang-out”) includes a memo from FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover dated Nov. 24, 1963 at 4 pm. that states: “The thing I am concerned about, and so is Mr. Katzenbach, is having something issued so that we can convince the public that Oswald is the real assassin.” See https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/10/26/us/politics/document-Hoover-on-Oswald-Death.html . Come again?!? Great crime-fighter you turned out to be J. Edgar! Obviously the federal authorities had zero interest in a real criminal investigation of President Kennedy’s murder. Quite the contrary: As Bush and Cheney later did in stating a pretext for the criminal invasion of Iraq: “They fit the facts around [Hoover’s] conclusion.” No reasonable person can now disagree.

    Any good-faith investigative (and if appropriate prosecutorial) effort would have to take as its starting point (and relentless focus) the precise description of the direction from which the fatal shot came given in real time by JFK’s press secretary Malcolm Kilduff in response to reporter Tom Wicker’s question here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fHQ4EoDZKdg . At the 2:45 mark Mr. Kilduff shows the fatal shot’s EXACT right-front-to-back trajectory by pointing to his own head. Kilduff later explained that he held the press conference “after conferring with Dr. Malcolm Perry on the cause of death.” See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eSpw9w5GGYk at 13:53 mark.

    Dr. Perry also told reporters in real time that President Kennedy had “a large wound to his head in the right posterior area.” See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mNZTWuWn9JE at 50 second mark.
    (Due to stress Kilduff seems to have misstated Dr. Perry’s name as Dr. Burkell in answering Wicker’s question. No “Dr. Burkell” is listed among those involved with JFK at Parkland Hospital.)

    And Dr. Charles Carrico, who was the first doctor in the Parkland Hospital ER when the president arrived saw the same thing. He points to the right side area of his own head (using all 5 of his fingertips as if he were holding a softball) where he said JFK had a “great big wound”. See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G7ngt-SqGv0 at the 16:34 mark. (Thank goodness for YouTube.) PLAINLY, JFK was fatally shot from the picket fence on the grassy knoll (an extremely short distance away from Elm Street) in which direction nearby spectators immediately courageously sprinted en masse after the shots rang out in search of the assassin(s).

    The murders in office of presidents Lincoln, Garfield and McKinley WERE all satisfactorily investigated and solved and the perpetrators were all put to death. JFK’s unsolved assassination, in sharp contrast, is now a multi-generational bipartisan disgrace! There is simply no closure or anything remotely approximating it.

    With each new release of formerly hidden information it appears more certain that during the 1960s rightist conservative extremists conspired to shoot their way to power in this country by methodically assassinating our nation’s most talented and charismatic non-conservative (elected and civil society) leaders. Contrary to any surface appearances formed by subsequent nominal alternations of party control of America’s governmental institutions, rightists have never relinquished this ill-gotten political power. As Sen. Hart alludes in his main blog essay he was one of the honorable exceptions to the insidious high-level cover-up: One of the few in his so-called “silent” generation who made earnest efforts to get to the truth about the assassinations in the hopes that the truth would set us free. No such luck, alas. At least not yet.

    Here is a small example of the host in action (on this general front) in 1975 when he rather fearlessly sparred with then CIA-Director nominee GHW Bush during the latter’s confirmation hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee. The following account (which appears in my lengthy review of Ray Strother’s 2002 book and may be of interest to some) summarizes the Hart-GHW Bush colloquy during Bush’s Senate confirmation hearing on his nomination to be CIA Director. See https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5ilXuTzT1mlMHV6Y2l3QkFCbWM/view?usp=sharing at pp. 57-58:
    In December 1975 Richard Nixon’s successor, President Gerald
    “toasts his own English muffins” Ford, fired William Colby as Director of
    Central Intelligence (DCI) and nominated George HW Bush to replace him,
    an appointment requiring Senate confirmation. Hart served on the Senate
    Armed Services Committee which appraised Bush’s fitness for that post.
    When it was Hart’s turn to pose questions during Bush’s confirmation
    hearing, after first querying Bush on the propriety of the CIA participating in
    the assassination of foreign leaders (Bush answered candidly that he would
    not rule it out) Hart confronted Bush with a hypothetical scenario (which just
    happened to be) identical to the one involving the Watergate burglars, who
    had been caught carrying large sums of hush money paid to them by staffers of the Committee to Reelect the President, money which had been donated in the first instance by US businessmen (including an old Bush crony in the oil business) and been laundered through Mexico. On the “smoking gun” Watergate tape Nixon is heard authorizing his top aide HR Haldeman to have the CIA chief (fraudulently) tell the FBI director that the Watergate burglary matter involved national security, and that the FBI should accordingly cease and desist its investigation into the source of the money found on the burglars. Hart tactfully asked Bush what he, as DCI, would do if Bush were met the same presidential request in a hypothesized similar situation going forward. After verifying that Hart and he were actually referring to the June 1972 Watergate burglary incident, to which Hart replied “we are”, Bush said that he would have told the president in that instance that “the CIA is not going to get involved.”

    Amidst concerns that the appointment of Bush, a former RNC chair, would risk politicization of intelligence, Hart and three other Senate Democrats on the Armed Services Committee voted against forwarding Bush’s nomination to the full Senate with a positive recommendation. Ultimately, Bush was confirmed 64-27 by the Senate, with Hart in opposition again.

    (This likely marked a promotion for George HW Bush. During the re-opened investigation into the JFK assassination by Congress in the 1970s a document was discovered containing the account of a FBI field interview conducted on November 29, 1963 of a CIA asset named “George Bush” who had prepared an assessment of the potential for unrest in Miami following the Kennedy assassination.[*] The CIA claimed that the George Bush interviewed by the FBI on November 29, 1963 was a namesake functionary, not George HW Bush, but this strains credulity since the other George Bush was a mid-level bureaucrat whose specialty and responsibilities did not include surveying the Miami political landscape and assessing the potential for civil unrest.)
    * See document image at https://twitter.com/__0HOUR1_/status/923738584141783040 (link not in my original text).

  7. Eric Jacobson Says:

    https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2017/10/30/u-s-planned-261-000-troop-invasion-force-cuba-newly-released-documents-show/813376001/ (USA Today Oct. 30, 2017)

    Senator, your write: “The Kennedy settlement with Krushchev included an unpublicized agreement to end U.S. efforts to overthrow Castro.”

    The above-linked USA Today article refers to just-released documentation of our pre-Cuban Missile Crisis planning efforts “to overthrow Castro” to which you allude, and further states (I think significantly which is the only reason I’m offering a second comment on the same thread):

    “On Nov. 17, 1962, after the crisis had passed, an Air Force plan showed the extent of attack aircraft available to attack Cuba. Gen. Curtis LeMay, the Air Force chief of staff, had argued for a U.S. attack on the missile bases [in Cuba]. His post-crisis plan showed there were 1,456 aircraft and 355 missiles, including 80 Polaris missiles on nuclear submarines, available to strike Cuba.”

    Could JFK have been stuck down either by rogue elements of the CIA/military because he spurned LeMay and his ilk’s pressure to “finish the job” bungled at the Bay of Pigs? Could the assassination have been in retaliation for JFK’s “unpublicized agreement to end U.S. efforts to overthrow Castro” to which you refer?

    Alternatively, I mentioned in my comment to your previous main blog essay that the Kennedy brothers might have devised a “false flag” assassination-attempt pseudo-event (that went horribly wrong) designed to provide JFK with an excuse to abrogate the “unpublicized agreement” to which you refer and invade Cuba in the spring of 1964 in “retaliation” for the Castro brothers’ “attempt to assassinate the U.S. president” by and through their “Communist asset” Lee Harvey Oswald. The Kennedys could have been planning to ride that success to a landslide victory in the 1964 general election, could they not?

    Some credence is lent to both of these alternate theories by a newly released document conclusively showing that Oswald began working for the CIA in 1957 (see March 4, 1964 memo so stating from CIA Director John McCone to Secret Service Chief James J. Rowley at https://www.facebook.com/ECJLA/posts/1460266257344319 ). If Oswald was playing a role in the run-up to the assassination (pretending to be a Communist) he plainly did not do so expecting to die in November 1963. Btw, he was very BAD at his covert role (as a pretend Communist) — his “debates” with anti-communists broadcast on radio were cringe-worthy; they were to real advocacy and debating what “indicating” is to real acting. See eg. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F_mg5-KCjRU .

    And as to the (granted: seemingly outlandish) false-flag scenario, it is a bit disconcerting (is it not?) to read that Air Force Brig. Gen. Edward Lansdale’s March 1962 (pre-Cuban Missile Crisis memo) refers to the proposed US invasion armada including “Navy PT boats, the type of ship John Kennedy served on during World War II, for raids on Cuban coastal positions.” Could JFK have been setting up a 1964 U.S. invasion scenario where he reprised his WW2 service by seeing off PT boats in Florida or even possibly manning one himself, and leading his troops as Commander-in-Chief onto the Cuban coast to liberate the island, Teddy Roosevelt style?

    Feel free to consider the above scenarios of mine rhetorical questions Senator, but more importantly: What do you think of my general idea that it is long past time for a real law enforcement investigation and if appropriate prosecution of the conspirators (if any are still alive) who murdered President Kennedy? What kind of a nation and people leave the broad-daylight murder of an elected president unsolved and unpunished for 54 years?!? Should not today’s FBI and a Mueller-caliber special prosecutor form a cold case unit to solve the domestic crime of the 20th century? (Especially since we know that the Texas criminal justice establishment almost certainly lacks the political will to re-open the most notorious crime in their state’s history or the ability to solve it if they did.)

  8. Chris R. Says:

    The scheduled release of documents regarding the JFK assassination has proven interesting. First, certain government agencies are still claiming that national security is threatened by a full release now over 50 years later. If these remaining documents are released, it will because President Trump decides such claims are without merit, or perhaps, less compelling than the public’s right to know what really happened to such a popular president. What has been released so far, includes documents that on the surface, do not pertain to the assassination itself, but are simply embarrassing to the FBI and CIA. One such FBI file from 1968 on Martin Luther King, Jr.’s personal life and suspected Communist Party affiliation simply shows how far right of center the FBI was at the time. Records relate that columnist Joseph Alsop advised LBJ that an independent commission was needed because the FBI was not trusted by the Left. That point was proved by FBI director Hoover’s insistence on convincing the public that “convince the public that Oswald is the real assassin” before any investigation had been completed.

    Another quite curious document just recently released pertains to the CIA’s failure to investigate a report of Adolf Hitler living in Columbia in 1955. Now how is that related to the assassination of the President of the United States states eight years later? Understand that Stalin, Eisenhower, JFK, and generals on the ground disbelieved the story from Nazi loyalists that Hitler had committed suicide. Historians have accepted that story because they believe that it would have been impossible for Hitler to have lived in exile without having been recognized. Yet, the 1955 CIA memo is proof that it had no interest in pursuing the claim that Hitler escaped Europe through Franco’s fascist Spain. The U.S. never really wanted democracy in South America’s banana republics, and the regimes there would have found German industrialists and military men quite useful to them. The story is quite plausible.

    Does anyone seriously think that Adolf Hitler and his Nazi exiles in South America had plotted to assassinate JFK as part of some kind of revenge that would lead to the restoration of the Nazi Third Reich? Of course, I am aware of a CIA agent who came from a blue blood New England family that was reported to have been involved in Operation Paper Clip, the extraction of German scientists like Werner Von Braun and other useful Nazis in the post-war Cold War world. This agent had a powerful father who served in the U.S. Senate, but who also was implicated for serving on the board of a U.S. company that had been trading with the Nazis during the war. So, his son was well connected to help escaping Nazis, and that family was at least tangentially involved in almost every U.S. scandal in the second half of the 20th century, and a few in the years before that. Col. Fletcher Prouty had named him as an organizer of the failed Bay of Pigs invasion that resulted in JFK’s order to break the CIA into a thousand pieces.

    As Eric noted, George H. W. Bush’s name comes up in the JFK files that have been released. According to the FBI files he was in two different places at the same time. In one file, agent George Bush was in Miami reporting on reaction to JFK’s assassination. In another, oil man and Republican Party leader George H. W. Bush phoned into the FBI offices claiming that he was in Tyler, Texas and that one of his “sign painters” had made threats against the president. Yet, photographs show a man resembling a young George H. W. Bush near the Tex- building in Dealy Plaza that day, and a police report clearly states that an unnamed oil man from Houston was arrested for running out of that building immediately after the assassination. Some have found a resemblance to then 17 year old George W. Bush in photos after that. (Of course, Bush Sr. like Nixon who was witnessed in Dallas and at Love Field that day, can’t remember where he was then.) Hopefully, President Trump will make an exception to his order that the names of living people must be redacted from what is publicly released for former presidents. The next three presidents after JFK were those whom he had defeated first for the Democratic nomination in 1960, LBJ, then in the 1960 general election, Nixon, and then by a man who served on the commission that covered up the entire affair, Ford. Transparency requires that anyone who later became president whose name comes up in these files must be made public.

    Another legitimate avenue of inquiry is how the Chief Justice of the United States got pressured to preside over a commission, that if its foundational premise was wrong, i.e., that one “Lee Harvey Oswald” was the lone assassin, would have required his recusal from any subsequent legal case to have reached the U.S. Supreme Court. Why would a Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court have consented to such a task? I suspect that the CIA must have presented a claim that the Russians and/or Cubans were involved in the assassination and that a cover-up was needed to avoid WWIII. That relates to the role of “Lee Harvey Oswald” defecting to the Soviet Union and visiting the Soviet embassy in Mexico City. Understand that a judge in Texas previously ordered the exhumation of the body of the man killed by Jack Ruby to determine who was actually buried there since the identity of “Lee Harvey Oswald” was the amalgamation of two different men, one Lee Oswald and one Harvey Oswald. Many of those records have been withheld on “national security” grounds that the president may overrule. It is difficult to understand how national security is endangered by events over 50 years ago since the Soviet Union collapsed decades ago, and the U.S. now has diplomatic relations with Cuba. Ultimately, President Trump will decide this matter. Thank god it won’t be another Bush or Clinton.

  9. Chris R. Says:

    Just a clarification. The report of “an independent oil operator from Houston, Texas” having been arrested for running out of the Dal-Tex came Deputy Sheriff Roger Craig who made the report to Jim Garrison, the New Orleans, D.A. Craig stated that the arrest was made by Dallas Police officer R.E. Vaughn, but no record was ever made of the arrest in Dallas. A subsequent photograph with a man who resembles a young G. H. W. Bush standing among police is out side of the Texas School Book Depository subsequently.

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