The Lie That Linked CIA to the Kennedy Assassination,
March 5, 2002 4:24 AM   Subscribe

The Lie That Linked CIA to the Kennedy Assassination, an essay by the CIA
posted by vbfg (9 comments total)
...not that I'm implying anything with the wording of the thread, it just struck me as slightly funny. It's an interesting article on infromation and disinformation between the various agencies in the cold war. If that's your thang then it's a fascinating read.

Apologies if this is *old* news, it's new to me.
posted by vbfg at 4:32 AM on March 5, 2002

Very interesting, although it excuses the CIA mostly from the possiblity of any Clay Shaw connection versus otherwise (like Oswald working with/for/against them).

For an avowed JFK conspiracy believer like myself the phrase "despite Washington’s painstaking investigation" makes me double over with laughter.
posted by owillis at 4:53 AM on March 5, 2002

*snaps fingers on both hands and assumes he is now invisible. spuriously.*
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:21 AM on March 5, 2002

Voodoo Reports versus Magic Bullets: if there was no govt. involvement, who did kill JFK? Oswald? Gimme a break!
Anyone wanna at least try to explain the Grassy Knoll/ Magic Bullet/ Jack Ruby anomalies (you may presume i'm underinformed, but not that i'm ignorant)?.
posted by dash_slot- at 6:41 AM on March 5, 2002

The article's worth a read in that it's instructive on how information gets misconstrued, misunderstood, and deliberately blown out of proportion and distorted -- reminds me of that game of "Telephone" we played as kids.

From a footnote referring to Oliver Stone's JFK:

To drive home the point, just before the credits roll a reference is made to Helms’s 1979 deposition. Rather than quoting Helms, or accurately characterizing Shaw as an unpaid and sporadic contact, the following words appear against a black screen. “In 1979, Richard Helms, director of covert operations in 1963, admitted under oath that Clay Shaw had worked for the CIA.”

I'd wondered how the heck a prominent businessman and apparently closeted homosexual (blackmail risk) could be an operator, let alone a sensitive intelligence asset. It seems more believable that he was just providing nonsecret commercial intelligence as a knowledgeable international businessman than any kind of cloak-and-dagger conspiratorial stuff. Occam's Razor (simplest explanation is likeliest) figures here.

Of course, conspiracy buffs, like any other type of religious fundamentalist, will insist that this is yet another attempt to obfuscate the "truth" of the CIA's putative involvement with JFK's assassination. It certainly doesn't disprove it. And it's worth noting that the CIA relies upon "compartmented" activities and intelligence so that few people Know Everything -- so just because one part of the CIA knew about Clay Shaw doesn't mean rogue elements elsewhere at Langley didn't get their hands bloody in Dallas.

Consider, if you will, the possibility that somebody from the CIA was involved but it was compartmented from an assistant deputy director like Helms. Unlikely, but far from impossible, if it's something really "black."

As the cigarette-smoking guy in the German helmet says from behind the ferns: Verrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrry interesting.
posted by alumshubby at 7:51 AM on March 5, 2002

Why was the CIA supposedly involved again? I mean, LBJ really wasn't very different from Kennedy; why would they kill one to get the other?

Consider my underinformed and ignorant.
posted by Ptrin at 7:57 AM on March 5, 2002

(For the non-article-clickers, essentially the article states that the whole Garrison angle dramatized in Oliver Stone's JFK was the result of disinformation planted in the European press by the KGB, and that this even took the CIA by surprise; every revelation by Garrison at a press conference had to be painstakingly checked out, and the CIA became paralyzed by the implication of a Congressional investigation, even though they felt the entire thing was bogus.)

It's not actually by the CIA, it's part of their quasi-academic Studies in Intelligence program, which is a spy-work corollary to, for example, the US Army's War College, which publishes Parameters -- a peer-reviewed journal examining military affairs, from battlefield tactics to nuclear strategy. The objective is to learn from the mistakes (and successes) of the past.

The article is actually curiously agnostic on the topic of whether Shaw may have been linked to any rogue or still-classified operation within the CIA, simply noting that there is no record of a connection past 1956 and that indeed the connections Garrison was charging all failed to be corroborated by the agency's own internal records. Note that there may be a classified version of this same article, if you're still interested in spinning your head around.
posted by dhartung at 7:57 AM on March 5, 2002

Ptrin, the underlying conjecture in Stone's film is that JFK would've ended our involvement in Vietnam (still in an advisory capacity then), whereas LBJ supposedly made a Macbethlike deal to become President in exchange for giving the politico-military-industrial establishment the shooting war it craved.

Also, the CIA's ultrahawks were collectively pi$$ed at JFK for not following through on the Bay of Pigs with air support and a full-bore invasion.

And if you buy into that one, you're getting a really good taste of obfuscation, distortion, and "Telephone." I like Ollie Stone's work, but hey, it's just movies.
posted by alumshubby at 8:13 AM on March 5, 2002

From the newly released Nixon tapes:

Referring to the report by the Warren Commission, "it was the greatest hoax that has ever been perpetuated," Nixon said. He did not elaborate why he questioned the report.
posted by euphorb at 11:16 AM on March 5, 2002

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