JFK Assassination: What’s in the Newest Batch of Declassified Documents?
Last month, the Biden administration released a batch of classified documents related to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
The National Archives and Records Administration published the new 1,491 documents, of which 958 are from the CIA.
That means 9 out of 10 of the total number of documents are still being withheld from declassification.
“It’s very little and very late,” Robert F. Kennedy Jr., the president’s nephew, told The Epoch Times.
“There’s only 10 percent of the documents that legally have to be released in that data dump. But even those documents are clearly showing that the CIA lied outright to the Warren Commission about its relationship with Lee Harvey Oswald.”
The 1992 JFK Records Act, signed by Congress into law, mandated that all the documents be released by Oct. 26, 2017.
However, one person had the power to stop it—the incumbent president.
When the time for total declassification finally came, President Donald Trump put a six-month delay on the final declassification. Then he put a three-year delay on it.
Some documents were declassified, however, and by the time President Joe Biden took office, about 15,000 documents were either being withheld or redacted in part.
Jim DiEugenio is a JFK assassination expert and the scriptwriter for the 2021 film “JFK Revisited: Through the Looking Glass,” an intense film that highlights information that had not previously been made known widely to the public in a clear manner.
“So you get this situation where 58 years after Kennedy was killed, you still have something like 14,300 pages of classified documents, which I believe is really a kind of defiance of the law,” DiEugenio told The Epoch Times.
“For a couple of different reasons—one of them being that in the JFK Records Collection Act, it said that if the president chose to keep a document classified, he had to have a written reason.
“To my knowledge that has not happened yet, either under Biden, or under Trump. And they’ve also made the National Archives a part of this process, which I don’t understand at all because the National Archives is only a repository. In the law, it doesn’t say anything about them being part of the declassification process. It’s between the President and the agencies of government, whether that be the FBI, the CIA, State Department, or whatever.
“So this is very, very disappointing. In other words, if Biden follows through and declassifies everything next year, that means we’ll have waited 59 years. 59 years—when in fact the Warren Commission says that there is no question that Oswald acted alone.”
Did Oswald Leave Mexico City by Automobile or by Bus?
The Warren Commission, appointed by President Lyndon B. Johnson to report on the assassination of JFK, concluded that Lee Harvey Oswald acted entirely alone in the assassination, and that he went to Mexico and returned to the United States by bus.
The newly declassified documents show that the Nov. 26, 1963 CIA summary, which documents Oswald’s activities, was made about seven weeks after he had left Mexico City.
“They have Oswald leaving Mexico City by automobile,” DiEugenio said (pdf).
“Which is very, very interesting for a lot of different reasons. Number one, Oswald did not have a driver’s license. Secondly, Oswald did not have a car. And third, the Warren Commission, which is going to be issued about 10 months later, they’re going to say that Oswald went down by bus, and that he returned by bus.”
“It denotes that either he went down with somebody else, or there was an impersonator of Oswald down there. So, that changed over time.”
‘Was There More Than One Stretcher With a Bullet On It?’
In the very early days of the U.S. House of Representatives’ Select Committee on Assassinations, there was a meeting between then chief counsel Richard Sprague and some of the representatives on the commission.
“Sprague said that he had a witness from Parkland Hospital, which is where Kennedy and Connally were taken to after the assassination, who was a nurse,” DiEugenio said.
“And she said, that as she came out of one of the trauma rooms, there was a stretcher up against the wall near the elevator, and she saw a bullet on it.”
During this meeting, Sprague wouldn’t tell the others what her name was, or where she was.
“The Warren Commission would say that there were two stretchers there, not just one, and that the bullet was underneath the mat of the stretcher, and it only emerged after the custodian Darrell Tomlinson pushed it up against the wall.
“So I thought that was utterly fascinating because it leaves one with the impression that: ‘was there more than one stretcher with a bullet on it?’ And there have been reports that such was the case.”
Also during the meeting, Sprague told the congressmen that he’s having problems with the credibility of former CIA officer David Phillips.
“[Sprague] suspects that Phillips is not being completely candid with them about Oswald’s alleged activities in Mexico City,” said DiEugenio.
“Especially about his calls to the Russian embassy from the Cuban embassy, that he’s found certain discrepancies in the adduced record that the CIA has given him, and in fact, he wants to go down and interview the translators down there. Because he is under the suspicion that there might have been some kind of alteration of the transcripts of Oswald’s alleged conversations with the Russian embassy, because he cannot find the information that Phillips talked about at their first interview in the transcripts that were given to him by the CIA.”
Edgar Stern Had a CIA Clearance
The new document dump also reveals that Edgar Stern, the husband of the heiress (Edith Stern) to the Sears Roebuck fortune who was a big backer of Clay Shaw against Jim Garrison, had a CIA clearance (pdf) that was not publically known about before.
New Orleans DA Jim Garrison had accused Clay Shaw of being part of a conspiracy to assassinate JFK.
“The Sterns would bring reporters to their mansion. They would wine them and dine them, [and] they would push certain angles to attack Garrison. Well, turns out Edgar Stern had a CIA clearance in the 1950s for about three years,” said DiEugenio.
Clay Shaw’s Former Boss Was Recruiting Lawyers for the CIA
According to DiEugenio, it is now determined that Clay Shaw’s former boss at the New Orleans International Trade Mart, Lloyd Cobb, was recruiting lawyers for the CIA to place them on a panel of attorneys that possessed special clearance.
“We knew that Cobb was on the CIA’s cleared attorneys panel in New Orleans. Which was [composed] of certain people that the CIA would choose, and if somebody was in trouble—and there were several people in trouble during the Garrison investigation—they would pick an attorney from this chosen panel to defend this person, and of course the CIA would pay for it,” DiEugenio said.
“It turns out that Cobb was actually one of the people who was contacting other lawyers and evaluating them for the CIA to put on this panel. He wasn’t just a member of it. He was sort of like their agent on this scene in New Orleans conducting these clearance evaluations for who to hire to put on this panel.
“In other words, here you have Clay Shaw’s former boss at the International Trade Mart, running a panel of lawyers to block and impede Jim Garrison’s investigation. Very, very, interesting if you ask me.”
CIA Knew That Boxley Was a Staffer for Them
An alleged investigator who ended up working for Jim Garrison and was apparently unloyal to him turned out to be a former CIA staffer.
His name was William Wood, his alias—Bill Boxley.
“In this newest batch of documents, it reveals that the CIA knew that Boxley actually was a staffer for the CIA in the 1950s before he went to work for Jim Garrison,” DiEugenio noted.
“And if you take a look at Jim Garrison’s book ‘On The Trail the Assassins,’ it turns out that Mr. Wood—alias Bill Boxley—did end up betraying Mr. Garrison. It’s in one of the chapters of his book.”
CIA Reveals Names of Two Assassins
In the newest batch of documents, the CIA reveals the real names of the assassins that they had hired under the code names WI Rogue and QJ Win.
“This had been an assignment that was given to CIA officer William Harvey. He was supposed to go around the world and hire people of disrepute to engage in felonious activities for the Central Intelligence Agency; things like safecracking, breaking and entering,” DiEugenio explained.
“And it turned out that these guys were actually sent to Congo to assassinate Patrice Lumumba.”
Qj Win was Jose Mankel.
WI Rogue was David Dato. His real last name was Tzitzichvilli.
DiEugenio finally noted that most of these documents are not ones that have been previously classified in full, most of these new documents have been redacted before.
“Now we can more cleanly see what is in them,” he said.
Full disclosure of the rest of the documents is expected next year.
“At the end of next year, it’s going to be very, very interesting.”