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While today marks sixty years since President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, the United States government continues to keep secret anywhere from 2,000-5,000 files.
Jefferson Morley has long worked as a journalist and researcher with the Mary Ferrell Foundation, which is committed to forcing the release of all the documents that should by law be accessible to the public.
In an interview timed to the 60th anniversary of the assassination, Morley described the “big body of material” that remains concealed by the CIA, including “transcripts of interviews with CIA officials taken by the Church committee, a panel led by Idaho Sen. Frank Church in 1975 that exposed much of the CIA’s record of assassinations and coups in the 1950s and 1960s.”
There are also “notes taken in 1978 by investigators for the House Select Committee on Assassinations. The CIA allowed investigators to take notes on documents the committee reviewed, but congressional staff were prohibited from copying them because the agency claimed they contained information that could undermine national security.”
Yet throughout 2023, the U.S. Justice Department under President Joe Biden has successfully fought a lawsuit intended to force Biden and National Archives and Records Administration to release files.
On October 19, 2022, prior to the release of thousands of documents in December, the Mary Ferrell Foundation sued [PDF] Biden and NARA for allegedly failing to fulfill their duties under the JFK Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992. (The law that was passed after Oliver Stone’s “JFK” was released in 1991.)
The complaint suggested that the “clear and convincing evidence” standard for postponing the release of records was not followed. Instead, a number of records were withheld yet again due to flimsy claims of “anticipated harm.”
In July, a U.S. court dismissed many of the claims against Biden and NARA, and around that time, Biden issued a “final certification” that his role in the disclosure of records was complete. All future releases of JFK files would be handled by the agencies that held the documents. The CIA could decide whether to release any CIA files.
But Morley and the Mary Ferrell Foundation have not given up. Their lawsuit was updated [PDF] at the end of October, and it argues that a court should intervene and force a review of remaining records because “elderly witnesses have emerged with surprising new evidence.”
“In a new memoir reported in the New York Times on September 9, 2023, 88-year-old Secret Service agent Paul Landis stated for the first time that he found a near-pristine bullet lodged in the back of the seat cushion of the limousine where President Kennedy was slain, and that it was not the bullet that caused the fatal wound,” the complaint declares.
"Landis was fifteen feet away from the President at the time of the shooting. Landis’ account contradicts the Warren Report finding that the near-pristine bullet originated from the rear of the limousine, causing seven wounds in JFK and Texas Governor John Connally, and falling out of Connally’s body while he was lying in a different stretcher.”
The complaint adds, “Landis’ placement of the seat cushion bullet would obliterate the “magic bullet theory” used by the Warren Commission as the basis for its finding that there was only one shooter of the President.”
Also, a new documentary from Paramount+ called “JFK: What the Doctors Saw” contains testimony from seven medical professionals who “examined President Kennedy’s wounds." They assert that the “official story of a lone gunman is wrong," and further insist that the “president was attacked by multiple gunmen.”
The elderly witnesses will likely be dead before any more files are released, if the CIA, Pentagon, and the Biden administration have their way. That is why journalists, researchers, and academics believe a court must take action.
During the past year, released documents have revealed that the CIA and the president of Mexico had a “telephone tap center,” which intercepted a call from Lee Harvey Oswald from Mexico City to the Soviet embassy. The call took place about a month before JFK was assassinated, and the CIA employed “extraordinary measures” to hide it from the Justice Department as they prepared their report on the assassination.
There was also a 1977 memo that Morley that revealed “the name of a CIA undercover officer who participated in a secret investigation into JFK’s assassination in 1963 that focused on the enemies of Fidel Castro in the United States.” It showed that while “the White House and the FBI were assuring the public that a loner had killed the president for no reason the CIA’s Miami station was actively pursuing suspicions that anti-Castro exiles might have been involved.”
Morley has claimed that there are documents that the CIA has concealed, which show that Oswald was involved in a “covert intelligence operation” a mere three months prior to the assassination. It potentially involved blaming Castro for an act of violence that could justify a US invasion of Cuba.
But both the CIA as well as the FBI have apparently resisted the release of any remaining files that would show Oswald’s involvement.
The reason why a coverup would continue 60 years later was best articulated by James W. Douglass in his book JFK and the Unspeakable.
…John Kennedy’s story is our story, although a titanic effort has been made to keep it from us. That story, like the struggle it embodies, is as current today as it was in 1963. The theology of redemptive violence still reigns. The Cold War has been followed by its twin, the War on Terror. We are engaged in another apocalyptic struggle against an enemy seen as absolute evil. Terrorism has replaced Communism as the enemy. We are told we can be safe only through the threat of escalating violence. Once again, anything goes in a fight against evil: preemptive attacks, torture, undermining governments, assassinations, whatever it takes to gain the end of victory over an enemy portrayed as irredeemably evil. Yet the redemptive means John Kennedy turned to, in a similar struggle, was dialogue with the enemy. When the enemy is seen as human, everything changes…
JFK was a threat to a shadow state that in his era was not nearly as powerful as it is today, and the truth of what happened remains a threat to the national security state because it undermines all the myths that we are taught as children about the United States of America.