I haven’t finished reading it yet — barely begun, in fact — but Playboy has published a massive new article on the JFK assassination, written by Washington Post writer Jefferson Morley. Morley focuses on CIA psychological warfare specialist George Joannides, whom we have discussed in a previous post.
Joannides funded the DRE, an anti-Castro group analogous to today’s Iraq National Congress. A day after the murder, their newspaper published the first JFK assassination theory; naturally, they blamed Castro. If the Castro-did-it idea had taken hold, World War III might have resulted. Quite a dangerous meme for the CIA to spread, when you think about it.
Here’s a bit from the Morley article:
John Newman, an Army intelligence analyst turned historian, was the first to parse the new records in his 1995 book Oswald and the CIA. “What we’ve learned since Stone’s movie is that the CIA’s interest in Oswald was a lot deeper than they have ever acknowledged,” Newman wrote. “As Oswald made his way toward Dallas, the reporting about him was channeled into a file controlled by an office in the counterintelligence staff called the Special Investigations Group.”
The SIG, as it was known, was the operational office of James Angleton, the first chief of counterintelligence for the CIA, a legendary controversial figure whose exploits inspired the movie The Good Shepherd. Some thought him a charming and brilliant theorist; others thought him a bully and a paranoid menace.
If you catch me in a lazy mood, I’ll sometimes reduce my theory of the assassination to a single name: Angleton. He was under the spell of an insane Soviet defector named Golitsyn, who alleged that the Sino-Soviet split was a ruse, and that the British liberal politician Harold Wilson was a communist spy.
Shortly after his defection, Golitsyn (who had a sense of self-importance beyond Steve Colbert’s ability to parody) demanded that he be given the opportunity to brief JFK personally. The President declined, and Golitsyn became furious. Although no published sources alleges that he fingered JFK as a commie mole, I feel pretty sure that he did, and that Jim Angleton believed him. If there’s one thing I know about, it’s how paranoid people think.
(Thanks to Covert History for the link.)
Update: Is this a prank, or does Gerry Ford have a posthumous literary career to rival that of L. Ron Hubbard?
The recently-deceased president appears to have a new book coming out, title “A Presidential Legacy and the Warren Commission,” in which he re-affirms belief that Oswald pulled the trigger but also states that the CIA acted more than a little suspiciously:
“This book, actually authored by Gerald Ford, finally proves once and for all that the CIA, our government, did destroy documents and cover-up many facts that day in Dallas,” publisher Tim Miller told Fox & Friends Wednesday morning.
We know that Ford was indeed willing to make “off the record” about Bush and Cheney that would go unrevealed until his death. But he was always an adamant defender of the Warren Commission’s findings, even after other Commission members had expressed reservations:
Senators Richard Russell and John Sherman Cooper and Rep. Hale Boggs all expressed doubts about certain of the conclusion; language had to be changed to get them to reluctantly sign the Report; and efforts to include minority opinions on certain points in the Report were stymied.
Later, Russell took a pro-conspiracy position:
Echoing sentiments he had previously expressed about the assassination, in a 1970 television interview Russell said, “I have never believed that Oswald planned that altogether by himself…. [I] have doubts that he planned it all by himself. I think someone else worked with him.”
House majority leader Hale Boggs (father to Cokie Roberts) made similar statements just before he died in a plane crash.
The other Commission members were Earl Warren (obviously), CIA head Allen Dulles and his friend, banker John J. McCloy. McCoy offered the strange sentiment that any possible evidence of a conspiracy was “beyond the reach” of all of America’s investigatory agencies.
The Warren Commission was technically called the President’s Commission. The President, we later learned, didn’t buy it. In 1970, Lyndon Johnson told CBS News reporters that Oswald had not acted alone. He then demanded that this admission be excised from the broadcast interview.
And now Ford…