Part I: The Quest for Additional Information
and Records in Federal Government Offices
A major focus of the Assassination Records Review Board's work has been to attempt to answer questions and locate additional information not previously explored related to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
The Review Board's "Requests for Additional Information and Records" to government agencies served two purposes. First, the additional requests allowed Review Board staff members to locate new categories of assassination records in federal government files. In some files, the Review Board located new assassination records. In other files, it discovered that the file contained no relevant records. In both cases, the Review Board staff memorialized their findings in written memoranda, with the hope that the public would be able to easily determine what files the staff reviewed. Second, the additional requests allowed Review Board staff to request background information that could assist in the review of records that it had identified as relevant to the assassination. For example, Review Board staff members might encounter particular cryptonyms, abbreviations, informant symbol numbers, file numbers, or office designations in assassination records, but could only determine the meaning of those abbreviations, numbers, and codewords by requesting and reviewing additional files.
While the Review Board made most of its additional requests to the FBI and the CIA, it also made requests to other agencies, such as the Secret Service, the Department of State, and the National Security Agency (NSA). The government offices answered each of the Review Board's requests for additional information and records, as the President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992 (JFK Act) required.1 This chapter serves as an overview of the Review Board's requests rather than as a complete detailed explanation of each request. The only way for the public to fully evaluate the success of the Review Board's approach is to examine the Review Board's records as well as the assassination records that are now at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) as a direct result of the Review Board's requests.
Moreover, because the Review Board's requests were not always consistent in theme, the chapter is necessarily miscellaneous in nature.
Scope of Chapter
Section 3(2) of the JFK Act defined the term "assassination record" to include all records that were "created or made available for use by, obtained by, or otherwise came into the possession of" any official entity that investigated the assassination.
This chapter does not discuss those records that government offices identified for inclusion in the JFK Collection.
Section 7(j)(1)(C)(ii) of the JFK Act empowered the Board to direct government offices to make available "additional information and records" that the Review Board believed it needed to fulfill its responsibilities under the Act. As the JFK Act specifically instructed the Review Board to go beyond
the scope of previous inquiries, the Review Board tailored its additional requests to encompass those materials that no previous investigative body had identified as assassination-related. This chapter covers only those records that the Review Board sought, pursuant to its authority, to request additional information and records.
It is widely known that the Warren Commission and the House Select Committee on Assassinations conducted extensive investigations of Jack Ruby, and, as a result government offices processed voluminous Ruby records. The Review Board made only two additional requests for information and records concerning Ruby. Therefore, this chapter does not have a separate section on Ruby. Similarly, the JFK Collection contains a considerable number of records concerning Lee Harvey Oswald's activities in New Orleans, but the Review Board made only a few requests for additional information and records regarding Oswald in New Orleans.
A. Records Related To Lee Harvey Oswald
The Review Board's additional requests focused upon locating all records concerning Lee Harvey Oswald held by the U.S. government. The Review Board requested each agency to check their archives, files, and databases for information directly related to either Lee Harvey Oswald or his wife Marina Oswald. Given that many conspiracy theories allege U.S. government involvement with Lee Harvey Oswald prior to the assassination, the Review Board was particularly interested in locating records that agencies had created or maintained prior to the assassination. In some cases, the Review Board simply released more information from files that the public has long known about, such as the CIA 201 file on Lee Harvey and Marina Oswald or the FBI files on Lee Harvey Oswald. In other cases, the Review Board's additional requests led to the release of new records, such as the CIA's security file on Lee Harvey Oswald, or resulted in the release of previously denied records, such as the original files on the Oswalds from the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS).
1. Pre-Assassination Records
The question of what U.S. government records existed on Lee Harvey Oswald on November 22, 1963, has never been answered to the satisfaction of the public. Thus, a primary goal of the Review Board was to clarify the pre-assassination records held by the agencies which were most involved in the post-assassination investigation.
At the time of the assassination, the CIA held four types of records which contained information on Lee Harvey Oswald: a 201 or personality file which was released to the public in 1992; an Office of Security file which nearly duplicated the pre-assassination 201 file; HTLINGUAL records; and records within a general file on U.S. citizens who had defected to another country.
i. Security file. CIA's search of its Office of Personnel Security database produced the original Office of Security's subject file on Lee Harvey Oswald (#0351164) established circa 1960. The first volume of the Security file contains 19 documents, similar but not absolutely identical to the pre-assassination volume of Oswald's 201 file. The Review Board identified an additional six documents, which appear to pre-date the assassination, in later volumes of the Security file. Although the HSCA reviewed the Office of Security file in 1978, Congress did not include this file with the other material viewed by the HSCA that it sequestered. Consequently, this file did not end up in the CIA sequestered collection.2 As a result of the Review Board's request, CIA transmitted its Office of Security file to the John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection (JFK Collection) at NARA.
ii. Records in the defector file. CIA established its 12-volume Office of Security Defector file (#0341008) circa 1950 for the purpose of recording information on U.S. citizens who defected to other countries and information on foreign citizens who were considering defecting to the United States. The Review Board staff reviewed the entire defector file for records related to Lee Harvey Oswald. The staff located records on Lee Harvey Oswald, including research notes, press clippings, and duplicates of records found in the Security file, and identified the records as appropriate for inclusion in the JFK Collection.
iii. HTLINGUAL records. HTLINGUAL is the crypt for CIA's mail opening and mail cover program for 1952 to 1973. The CIA reported to the Review Board that it destroyed most of its formal HTLINGUAL records in 1990 at the direction of CIA's Office of General Counsel. The CIA sequestered collection, however, does contain several "soft" or working files on Lee Harvey Oswald and the HTLINGUAL project, including the "soft" file held by the Special Investigations Group of the Counterintelligence Staff (CI/SIG). In response to the Review Board's request for additional information, the CIA located additional references to HTLINGUAL records in archival files of the CIA's Deputy Director of Plans (now the Deputy Director of Operations). CIA processed the relevant records for release to NARA.
The FBI opened its file on Lee Harvey Oswald in 1959 when press reports from Moscow announced that Oswald, a twenty year old former Marine had renounced his U.S. citizenship and had applied for Soviet citizenship. Between 1959 and November 22, 1963, the FBI filed approximately 50 records from several government agencies in its Headquarters file on Oswald (10582555). Although the FBI processed all of the pre-assassination documents in Oswald's file under the JFK Act, the Review Board made several additional requests to the FBI to determine whether it had other pre-assassination records on Lee Harvey Oswald in its files.
For example, the Review Board staff found documents cross-referenced from files captioned "Funds Transmitted to Residents of Russia" and "Russian Funds." The Review Board requested access to files with these case captions from FBI Headquarters and the Dallas and New York Field offices for the years 1959 through 1964. The Review Board staff located assassination records concerning attempts by Marguerite Oswald, Lee Harvey Oswald's mother, to send money to her son while he was in the Soviet Union, and recommended to the FBI that these records be included in the JFK Collection.
The Review Board also sought to determine whether the FBI maintained a file in Mexico City on a "Harvey Lee Oswald" under the file number 1052137. The Mexico City Legal Attache (Legat) opened a file on Lee Harvey Oswald (1053702) in October 1963 following Oswald's visit to Mexico City. Some of the documents in the Legat's file contain notations for routing records to a file numbered 1052137, and were captioned "Harvey Lee Oswald." One researcher conjectured that this file would predate the Lee Harvey Oswald file, 1053702, and might lead the Review Board to other FBI documents on Lee Harvey Oswald. In response to the Review Board's request, the FBI searched its Legat's files for a file numbered 1052137 and captioned "Harvey Lee Oswald," but it did not find such a file.
c. Secret Service.
The Review Board reviewed the Secret Service's Protective Research Files and determined that the Secret Service did not open a protective research file (CO2) file on Lee Harvey Oswald prior to the assassination. Secret Service records extant indicate that the Secret Service also did not have any information on Lee Harvey Oswald from other government agencies prior to the assassination.
d. IRS/Social Security Administration.
To shed light on questions regarding Lee Harvey Oswald's employment history and sources of income, the Review Board sought to inspect and publicly release Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Social Security Administration (SSA) records on Oswald. Although the Review Board staff did review IRS and SSA records, Section 6103 of the Internal Revenue Code prohibits the disclosure of tax return information, and section 11(a) of the JFK Act explicitly preserves the confidentiality of tax return information. Thus, the Review Board unfortunately could not open Lee Harvey Oswald's tax returns. The next chapter of this report explains, in the IRS compliance section, the mechanics of the Review Board's and the IRS's efforts to release this information.
e. INS records on Lee and Marina Oswald.
Many researchers have asked how Lee Harvey Oswald, a defector to the Soviet Union, could have been allowed to re-enter the United States in 1962 with his wife, a Soviet national, and how Marina Oswald would have been permitted to leave the Soviet Union when emigration was, at best, extremely difficult. In an attempt to shed light on these questions, the Review Board requested and released original files on Lee and Marina Oswald from the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). Subsequently, in late 1997, INS discovered in its investigative section, that it had an extensive working file on Marina Oswald that contained 196364 records directly relating to the assassination.
f. House Un-American Activities Committee.
As of this writing the Review Board had obtained authorization of the House Judiciary Committee to release its HUAC files on Lee Harvey Oswald. The records predominantly postdated the assassination. However, HUAC held a few pre-assassination records on Oswald, including articles on his defection to the U.S.S.R. and his return to the U.S.
2. Military records
The question of whether the Marine Corps conducted a post-assassination investigation and produced a written report on former Marine Private Lee Harvey Oswald, circa late 1963 and early 1964, has never been resolved to the satisfaction of the public. Similarly, many have wondered whether the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) conducted a post-defection "net damage assessment" investigation of Lee Harvey Oswald circa 1959 or 1960. Various former Oswald associates and military investigators have recalled separate investigations.3 Researchers have also questioned whether Oswald was an "authentic" defector, a "false defector" in a program run by an agency of the U.S. government, or a false defector sent on a mission to the U.S.S.R. for a particular purpose and then used for different purposes by some members of the intelligence community following his return to the United States.
a. U.S. Marine Corps records.
The Review Board asked the Marine Corps to search for any records relating to post-assassination investigations that the U.S. Marine Corps might have completed, as some researchers believe. The U.S. Marine Corps searched files at both U.S. Marine Corps HQ in Quantico, and at the Federal Records Center in Suitland, Maryland, but the Marine Corps did not locate evidence of any internal investigations of Lee Harvey Oswald, other than correspondence already published in the Warren Report.
i. U.S. Marine Headquarters copy of enlisted personnel file and medical file. In 1997, the Review Board transferred to the JFK Collection at NARA the original (paper) copies of Lee Harvey Oswald's U.S. Marine Corps Enlisted Personnel File, and Medical Treatment File. Previously, these files had been maintained at U.S. Marine Corps Headquarters in Quantico, Virginia and had only been available in microfiche format in response to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests that people made to the Marine Corps.
ii. Additional relevant U.S. Marine Corps unit diaries. The Review Board obtained from U.S. Marine Corps Headquarters at Quantico, Virginia, additional official U.S. Marine Corps unit diaries from the units in which Oswald served. These additional diaries complement the partial collection of unit diaries gathered by the HSCA. Together, the Review Board and HSCA unit diary records appear to constitute a complete unit diary record for Oswald. Researchers can compare the in and out transfer dates in Oswald's personnel file with the original entries in the pertinent diaries to which they correspond.
b. Military identification card.
To resolve questions about whether Oswald's DD1173 Military Identification card provided some indication that Oswald had a connection to CIA, the Review Board requested and received additional information from the Federal Records Center in St. Louis, Missouri, from the personnel files of other Marines who had served with Oswald (for comparison purposes), and from the U.S. Marine Corps and the U.S. Army's Military History Institute.
c. Possible ONI post-defection investigation.
The Review Board became aware of an individual named Fred Reeves of California, who was reputed to have been in charge of a post-defection "net damage assessment" of Oswald by the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) shortly after Oswald's defection to the U.S.S.R. The Review Board contacted Reeves, interviewed him twice by telephone, then flew him to Washington, D.C., where the Review Board staff interviewed him in person.4
In 1959, Reeves was a civilian Naval Intelligence Operations Specialist.5 Reeves told the Review Board that a week or so after Oswald defected to the U.S.S.R., two officers from ONI in Washington, D.C.,6 called him and asked him to conduct a background investigation at the Marine Corps Air Station in El Toro, CaliforniaOswald's last duty station before his discharge from the Marine Corps. Reeves said that he went to El Toro, copied Oswald's enlisted personnel file, obtained the names of many of his associates, and mailed this information to ONI in Washington, D.C. He said that ONI in Washington ran the post-defection investigation of Oswald, and that the Washington officers then directed various agents in the field. Although Reeves did not interview anyone himself, he said that later (circa late 1959 or early 1960), approximately 12 to 15 "119" reports concerning Oswald (OPNAV Forms 5520119 are ONI's equivalent of an FBI FD302 investigative report), crossed his desk. Reeves said he was aware of "119" reports from Japan and Texas, and that the primary concern of the reports he read on Oswald was to ascertain what damage had been done to national security by Oswald's defection. Reeves reported that he also saw eight to ten "119" reports on Oswald after the assassination, and that he was confident he was not confusing the two events in his mind.
In the spring of 1998, Review Board staff members met with two Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) records management officials, one of whom personally verified that he had searched for District Intelligence Office records (with negative results) from the San Diego, Dallas, and New Orleans District Intelligence Offices in 1996 with negative results. This search included "119" reports from the time period 19591964, during an extensive search of NCIS record group 181. The search included any records that would have been related to Oswald's defection. Thus, the Review Board ultimately located no documentary evidence to substantiate Reeves' claims.
3. In the U.S.S.R.
Various authors interested in Lee Harvey Oswald have suggested that Oswald was a CIA source, asset, or operative at the time of his defection to the U.S.S.R. in October 1959. Researchers further suggest that Oswald either performed some sort of mission for the CIA, met with CIA personnel in the Soviet Union, or was debriefed by CIA personnel upon his return. The Review Board staff requested information and records from CIA and other agencies in an effort to pursue records that might shed light on such allegations.
a. CIA operations in Moscow.
The Review Board staff examined extensive CIA records concerning the history and operations of the CIA in or against the Soviet Union in the late 1950s and early to mid 1960s. The Review Board found no records that suggested that Oswald had ever worked for the CIA in any capacity, nor did any records suggest that Oswald's trip and defection to the Soviet Union served any intelligence purpose. The Review Board staff also interviewed the senior CIA officer in Moscow at the time of Oswald's arrival and the CIA Chief of Station present when Oswald departed the Soviet Union. Both individuals stated that they had no knowledge of Oswald prior to the assassination, and they did not believe that Oswald's trip and defection to the Soviet Union was orchestrated for any intelligence purpose.
b. American Embassy personnel.
Review Board staff interviewed, or informally spoke with, numerous individuals assigned to the American Embassy in Moscow during the time period 19591963. The clarity of individual memories of Oswald and/or the Moscow Embassy varied widely and few stories were consistent. One of the most interesting was the interview of Joan Hallett, the receptionist at the American Embassy and the first embassy person to meet Oswald. Hallett was the wife of Assistant Naval Attache Commander Oliver Hallett and a temporary receptionist during the summer American Exhibition at Sokolniki Park in Moscow. Hallett's recollections of Oswald's visit place him at the embassy before the end of the Exhibition on September 5, 1959. Available records show Oswald in the USSR no earlier than October 15, 1959. While Hallett's Department of State employment records document her recollection that she was not employed as a receptionist as late as October 31, 1959, the Review Board found no documentary evidence to explain the variation in dates.
c. Search for American Embassy records.
In an effort to account for the widely varying stories from the interviews of personnel assigned to the American Embassy in Moscow, the Review Board staff reviewed the Department of State post files for Moscow for the period 19591963, which are available to the public at NARA. The Department of State was not able to locate the visitors book for Moscow circa 1959 nor any list of visitors and tourists for late 1959.
d. DCD/OO alleged debriefing of
Lee Harvey Oswald.
Part of the mystery surrounding Oswald's defection and return to the U.S. is the question of whether the CIA's Office of Operations (later the Domestic Contacts Division) interviewed Oswald upon his return from the Soviet Union. The available evidence is contradictory. The Review Board requested additional information and records in an attempt to coroborate a November 25, 1963, memorandum which discusses the recollections of a CIA staff officer that the Agency considered interviewing Oswald. The CIA, however, did not locate any corroborating information or records in its files.
In an effort to better understand this mystery, the Review Board searched for records which might confirm or deny whether there was any contact between Oswald and the CIA before or after his time in the Soviet Union. The Office of Operations (OO), which in 1963 was a part of the Directorate of Intelligence, interviewed American citizens who might have come into contact with information or individuals of intelligence interest while overseas.7 The Review Board staff examined OO records and operational histories to gain an understanding of OO practices in the early 1960s. The Review Board staff found no evidence of contact between Oswald and OO either before or after his time in the Soviet Union. While the records showed that OO was interested in interviewing tourists to the Soviet Union for general information in the 1950s, by 1962 only travelers with special access, knowledge, or skills were of intelligence interest. OO had no specific policy covering contacts with returning defectors; however, a local field office could initiate a contact if justified by a particular situation. CIA could not locate any records or reporting showing any OO contact with Oswald.
While a DCD "A" file does exist in the CIA's sequestered collection, most of the documents in the file are from the mid-1970s; none predate the assassination. Furthermore, the file appears to have been created as DCD personnel attempted to locate any evidence of contacts with Oswald in response to various congressional investigative bodies. CIA processed this file for release to NARA.
4. In Mexico City
Lee Harvey Oswald's visit to Mexico City in September-October 1963, remains one of the more vexing subplots to the assassination story. Oswald's fascination with the Soviet Union and Cuba is well-known, yet there exists no consensus of opinion as to why he spent time at both the Soviet and Cuban Embassies during his brief stay in Mexico City in late September and early October 1963. Why did Lee Harvey Oswald make this mysterious trip to Mexico just six weeks prior to the assassination? Was the purpose of this trip merely to apply for a transit visa at the Cuban Embassy in a desperate attempt to return to Moscow after the Soviets had rebuffed his direct approach? Since the Mexico City chapter is so puzzling, and provides fertile ground for speculation, the Review Board sought to ensure that all government records on this subject were released and took action to pursue additional records. The Review Board facilitated the release of thousands of previously sanitized and closed documents on the subject of Oswald's trip to Mexico, including but not limited to records from CIA, FBI, Department of State, the Warren Commission and the HSCA. The Review Board also pursued leads suggested by researchers and submitted requests to agencies for additional records and/or evidence.
a. Technical surveillance.
At the time of Oswald's trip to Mexico, with the Cold War well underway and the Kennedy Administration preoccupied with Cuba, the CIA's Mexico City Station housed one of the Agency's major foreign clandestine operations in the Western Hemisphere. The station maintained a multifaceted surveillance coverage of the Soviet and Cuban diplomatic installations. CIA electronic surveillance confirmed that Lee Harvey Oswald visited and communicated with both the Cuban Consulate and the Soviet Embassy between September 27 and October 1 or 2, 1963. Despite requests from several congressional investigative bodies and the Review Board, the CIA never located photographic evidence of Oswald's visit to either embassy. Although CIA has transcripts of the calls believed to have been made by Oswald, the CIA has consistently maintained that it did not retain tapes from the period of Oswald's visit as the Station continually recycled the tapes after it transcribed any useful information. According to the transcripts, only one of the calls, made to the Soviet Consulate, actually identifies a Lee Oswald as the caller. Since CIA had already erased the tapes, in accordance with the Station's standard procedures, it could not perform post-assassination voice comparisons.
Given the importance of the Mexico City Station, the Review Board worked to ensure that the records on the Station and Oswald's Mexico City visit in the JFK Collection at NARA represent the full universe of records. Recognizing the existence of gaps in the JFK Collection, the Review Board staff worked to verify whether any additional extant records could provide further information on or more tangible evidence of Oswald's trip to Mexico City and alleged contacts with the Soviet and Cuban Embassies. The Review Board staff examined the CIA sequestered collection, the Oswald 201 file, and the then unprocessed files maintained by longtime CIA officer Russ Holmes in an effort to locate any leads toward unique information on Oswald's visit and the CIA Station in Mexico City.
i. Audio and photographic. CIA has acknowledged that in 1963, at the time of Oswald's visit, the Mexico City Station had in place two telephone intercept operationscovering both the Soviet and Cuban Embassies; three photographic surveillance operations targeting the Soviet compound; and one photographic surveillance operation, which employed at least two cameras, targeting the Cuban compound. Painstaking negotiations between the Review Board and CIA on the protection or release of technical and operational details resulted in CIA's disclosure of a great deal of previously withheld information concerning audio and photographic surveillance. This process then paved the way for the Review Board to ask for specific types of records pertaining to CIA's surveillance activities.
The Review Board submitted formal and informal requests to CIA relating to electronic surveillance operations. Several members of the Review Board staff reviewed the sequestered collection microfilm, which contained a broad universe of records on CIA technical operations and covered a period that extended beyond the assassination. Because the release of the Warren Commission Report in 1964 had a bearing on certain surveillance operations in Mexico City, the Review Board sought to ensure that it marked for inclusion in the JFK Collection all records reflecting any changes in or suspension of surveillance activity around the time that the Warren Commission released its report. In addition, the Review Board explored any newly identified operations or surveillance activity.
During its review of all project files and operational reports, the Review Board found direct references to electronic bugs and hidden microphones at the Cuban Embassy and requested CIA to provide additional information. The Review Board attempted to determine whether CIA had any other electronic intelligence that may have recorded Oswald's visits inside the Cuban consulate or discussions about his visits. In response to this request, CIA provided evidence from a Mexico City history stating that its bugging operation was not in place at the time of Oswald's visit. CIA provided no further information on hidden microphones.
Although CIA had photographic surveillance targeting the front gates of both the Soviet and Cuban Consulates, CIA reports that it did not locate photographic evidence of Oswald's visits. In an effort to obtain additional records on this subject, the Review Board submitted additional requests for information pertaining to technical surveillance. The Review Board staff also reviewed project files concerning all known telephonic and photographic operations. The Review Board designated as assassination records all technical operational reports pertaining to the 196364 time frame that CIA had not already placed in the JFK Collection. These new records included periodic progress reports, contact sheets, project renewal reports and related documentation on telephone and photographic surveillance, logs that corresponded to photographic surveillance, contact sheets from photographic surveillance, and transcripts of telephonic surveillance.
ii. Tapes, transcripts, and photographs in existence. CIA reported that it routinely erased tapes from telephone operations after two weeks, unless CIA identified a conversation on a tape that was of particular intelligence value. CIA stated that it destroyed tape[s] containing Oswald's voice and other related calls as a matter of routine procedure, even though the Mexico City Station's interest in the Oswald conversations at the time that CIA intercepted them was such that the Station transcribed them and reported them to CIA Headquarters in an October 8, 1963, cable. CIA reported that its interest at the time was in an American talking to the Soviet and Cuban Embassies, not in Oswald in particular, and thus, the tape recordings themselves were not of intelligence value.
On the day of the assassination when Oswald was named as the alleged assassin, CIA Headquarters instructed its Mexico City Station not to erase any tapes until it provided further notification. Although CIA did not locate tapes from the September-October time frame, the Review Board's additional requests resulted in CIA's identifying approximately 185 additional tapes from the Station's telephone operation from the days immediately following the assassination and the next few weeks. The Review Board designated all of the tapes as assassination records and the CIA is currently processing the tapes for release to NARA.
The Review Board's efforts to locate new photographic evidence of Oswald in Mexico City were unsuccessful. The Review Board explored the possibility that CIA had additional records pertaining to CIA photographic surveillance of the Soviet Embassy. Although the Mexico City Station ran three operations during the relevant time period, the HSCA investigators found photographic evidence and log sheets from only one of these CIA operations.8 The HSCA materialincluding the photographs of the man who was initially misidentified as Oswaldis available to the public at NARA.
Beyond the photographic evidence from the time period of Oswald's visit, the CIA sequestered collection microfilm contained additional log sheets and copies of film from the Cuban and Soviet surveillance operations. The Review Board believed these records may be useful to researchers for the purpose of establishing a frame of reference or modus operandi, and for understanding the scope of CIA coverage in 1963. In light of the historical value of this material, the Review Board declared all photographic coverage for 1963 that it found in the CIA sequestered collection microfilm as assassination records.
b. Cable traffic.
The Review Board determined that, while much of the Mexico City Station cable traffic existed in the JFK Collection, the traffic contained numerous gaps, particularly in communications between Mexico City and the CIA Station in Miami, JMWAVE.9 The Review Board deemed these gaps to be significant because both CIA stations played roles in U.S. operations against Cuba. The cable traffic that the Review Board reviewed in the CIA's sequestered collection commences on October 1, 1963, and contains the earliest known communicationan October 8, 1963, cablebetween the Mexico City Station and CIA Headquarters concerning Lee Harvey Oswald.
In 1995, the Review Board submitted a formal request for additional information regarding the above-referenced gaps in CIA cable traffic. CIA did not locate additional traffic for the specified periods. CIA completed its response to this request in February 1998 explaining that:
In general, cable traffic and dispatches are not available as a chronological collection and thus, for the period 26 through 30 September 1963 it is not possible to provide cables and dispatches in a chronological/package form. During the periods in question, the Office of Communications (OC) only held cables long enough to ensure that they were successfully transmitted to the named recipient. On occasion...cables were sometimes held for longer periods but not with the intention of creating a long-term reference collection.
In addition, CIA informed the Review Board that it did not have a repository for cables and dispatches from stations in the 1960s.10 Although originating offices maintained temporary chronological files, the offices generally destroyed the temporary records in less than ninety days. After the assassination, the Office of the Deputy Director of Plans ordered relevant CIA offices to retain cables that they would have otherwise destroyed. The HSCA used the remaining cable traffic to compile its Mexico City chronology. Had CIA offices strictly applied the ninety-day rule, there might have been copies of cable traffic commencing as early as August 22, 1963, rather than October 1, 1963, available to CIA on November 22, 1963. (See illustration.) [omitted here]
c. Win Scott files.
Winston M. (Win) Scott was the CIA Chief of Station in Mexico City at the time of Oswald's visit. While the CIA had processed some of Scott's files as part of its sequestered collection, the Review Board followed up on several leads suggesting that CIA might have additional Scott files from his Mexico City days. Scott apparently had an interest in the assassination, and was a prodigious record keeper. The Review Board asked the CIA to search for any additional extant records that Scott had maintained. According to Anne Goodpasture, who had worked with Scott in Mexico City, Scott kept a collection of classified documents from his tenure as Chief of Station which he stored in a safe in his home following his retirement. While the details of the story are unclear, the Review Board understands that shortly after Scott's death in 1973, CIA Counterintelligence Chief James J. Angleton, one of Scott's longtime friends, traveled to Mexico City to make arrangements with Scott's wife for CIA personnel to review Scott's classified material. CIA produced what it says are its complete files on Scott, including inventory lists, some documents which appeared to be from Scott's personnel file, and Scott's semi-autobiographical novel. The Review Board examined these documents for information relevant to the assassination. The Review Board determined a small number of the records to be assassination records.
d. Sylvia Duran.
Silvia Tirado de Duran, a Mexican national who worked as a receptionist at the Cuban Consulate in Mexico City at the time of Oswald's visit, assisted Oswald in his quest to apply for a visa to ultimately return to the U.S.S.R., and thus became a key figure in the Mexico City chapter of the assassination story. In the immediate aftermath of the assassination, the Mexican federal security service, Direccion Federal de Seguridad (DFS), arrested and interrogated Silvia Tirado de Duran.
CIA had transcribed intercepts of phone calls made between Silvia Duran and the Soviet Consulate in Mexico City that related to her dealings with Oswald. Duran's statement to the DFS after the assassination corroborated the information in CIA's interceptsthat Lee Harvey Oswald went to the Cuban Consulate to request a transit visa. The DFS provided Duran's interrogation reports to U.S. authorities in Mexico City and the reports were widely disseminated to U.S. federal agencies in the immediate aftermath of President Kennedy's death.
Given that the initial ten-page "confession" or interrogation appeared to be a summary report of Duran's account and the statements of several other individuals who also were arrested and questioned with Duran, the Review Board wondered whether the CIA had an "original" transcript from Duran's arrest. The Review Board requested that CIA search for such a transcript, but CIA searches all returned to the ten-page summary and CIA did not locate additional records.
e. Legat administrative files.
The FBI keeps administrative files on each of its field offices and its Legal Attache, or Legat, offices. The Legat administrative files contain communications between the Legat and FBI Headquarters concerning personnel, real estate, supplies, construction, and to a lesser extent, relations between the FBI Legat and representatives of other government agencies abroad. The Review Board requested and received from the FBI access to its Mexico City Legat administrative file with the hope that the file might contain records concerning the assassination itself or records concerning Oswald's pre-assassination travels to Mexico. The Review Board also asked the FBI for access to its Legat administrative files for London, England; Bern, Switzerland; and Paris, France during the periods of 19601965 and 19771979 (the period of the HSCA investigation.) The Review Board did not locate assassination records in the Legat files for London, Bern, or Paris files, or in the 19771979 Mexico City Legat file. The Review Board did designate approximately thirty documents from the Mexico City Legat file for 1960-1965 that discussed FBI staffing of the Mexico City Legat both before and after the assassination.
f. Anne Goodpasture deposition.
Anne Goodpasture worked for Mexico City Chief of Station Win Scott for many years and possessed a thorough understanding of the operations of the Mexico City Station. The Review Board deposed Goodpasture at length and she provided information concerning the daily routine of the Mexico City Station, the types of operations performed by the station, the management of operations performed by the station, and the working style of Win Scott. The Review Board believes that researchers will be particularly interested in information she provided on the handling of audio surveillance tapes in the station which may have recorded Lee Harvey Oswald's voice.
B. Records On Cuba
In the mid-1970s, the Church Committee publicly revealed what journalists had been alleging since 1967that the U.S. government had sponsored assassination attempts at various times against Cuban leader Fidel Castro. Castro presumably knew about these attempts long before the U.S. public, and some historians and researchers have questioned whether he retaliated by assassinating President Kennedy. The Review Board sought to find records that would illuminate a slightly different but related area of interest: the degree to which the U.S. government sponsored potential uprisings and military coups within Cuba, and the extent of possible U.S. plans to invade Cuba by overt military force. The Board believed that such records would be of interest not only to mainstream historians, but also to many who believe there was a conspiracy to kill President Kennedy. For example, evidence of serious, or imminent, contingency plans to invade Cuba with U.S. military forces during the Kennedy Administration, if found, could provide either a motive for retaliation by Castro or a motive for domestic malcontents who might have been displeased that such plans were not immediately implemented by the administration. The Review Board believed that there would be strong public interest in any records which would illuminate U.S. government policy deliberations on Cuba.
Further, Lee Harvey Oswald's connection with the Fair Play for Cuba Committee made the Review Board's search for any records on U.S.-Cuba policy all the more relevant. The degree to which U.S. policy toward Cuba following President Kennedy's assassination did or did not change provides a final reason to search for records to enhance the historical understanding, or context, of the assassination.
1. CIA Records
Most of the relevant CIA records on Cuba that the Review Board staff identified as assassination-related existed in the CIA sequestered collection before the Review Board began making requests for additional records and information. The Review Board identified additional records pertaining to the period 19601964 from some contemporary working files of a CIA office concerned with Latin American issues. Most of these records concerned the existence or activities of the JMWAVE Station in Miami. Small numbers of records pertaining to Cuba or U.S.-anti-Cuban activities were identified in the records of the Directorate of Plans (now the Directorate of Operations) and in the files of several senior officers of the CIA during the 196065 period. CIA processed for inclusion in the JFK Collection those records that the Review Board marked as assassination records.
2. Military Records
The Review Board staff located military records on Cuba in four different collections of records.
a. Joint Staff Secretariat.
The staff of the Joint Staff Secretariat searched for records related to both Cuba and Vietnam policy and flagged selected records from 19611964 from the files of Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairmen Lyman Lemnitzer, Maxwell Taylor, and Earle Wheeler, and selected records from 19611964 from the Central Files of the Joint Staff for examination and consideration by the Review Board staff. The Review Board staff flagged all but one of the 147 records selected as appropriate for inclusion in the JFK Collection. Approximately two-thirds of the 147 records related to Cuba policy from 1961196411the remainder related to Vietnam policy.
In 1963, Joseph Califano served as both General Counsel to Secretary of the Army Cyrus Vance and as Special Assistant to the Army Secretary. NARA identified six Federal Records Center boxes containing the Cuba policy papers of Joseph Califano from 1963. The Review Board designated the six boxes of "Califano Papers," in their entirety, as appropriate for inclusion in the JFK Collection.
During 1963, Secretary Vance was the "DOD Executive Agent" for all meetings of the governmental task force, the "Interdepartmental Coordinating Committee on Cuban Affairs," (ICCCA). As Vance's special assistant, Califano often represented him at meetings of the ICCCA, and was part of all ICCCA policy deliberations. The collection of Califano Papers represents a unique find and reflects much of the interagency planning activities related to Cuba during 1963.
c. Office of the Secretary of Defense.
A small number of records (approximately forty) from the papers of Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara at NARA contain some material on Cuba policy. The Review Board processed these records for inclusion in the JFK Collection.
d. Joint Chiefs of Staff history.
The Review Board staff reviewed and identified as assassination records two volumes of The History of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, written by Walter S. Poole (Volume VIII: 19611964, Part IIThe Succession of Crises; and Volume VIII: 19611964, Part IIIThe Global Challenge). Poole is presently updating and rewriting the two volumes to improve their scholarship. When he has finished, Poole will submit the volumes for a security review and the Joint Staff Secretariat will forward the volumes to NARA.
3. Presidential Library Collections
In response to public interest in, and speculation about, the possible connection between Cuba or U.S. policy toward Cuba and the assassination of President Kennedy, the Review Board requested the John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Libraries to search their holdings of Cuba records for assassination-related information. The Presidential Libraries identified additional assassination records in the Cuba Country files, the National Security files, various office files, personal papers of White House officials, and certain unprocessed collections of presidential aides and policy advisors.
a. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library records.
Augmenting the JFK Library's initial search and identification of assassination records, a joint team of Review Board staff and representatives from other agencies, visited the JFK Library in June 1996 to conduct a comprehensive review of JFK Library closed collections. The Review Board staff reviewed all of the Library's National Security Files containing records on Cuba from the Kennedy Administration. As a result of this effort, the JFK Library released thirty boxes of Cuba files to the JFK Collection. The Library also opened its Presidential recordings on the Cuban Missile Crisis and sent copies of these to the JFK Collection.
Subsequent to this visit, the Library identified additional assassination records on Cuba. Of particular value were those records which discussed the Kennedy Administration's policy toward Cuba, proposed anti-Castro activities, and Operation Mongoose planning. Most of these records were generated by the Standing Group Committee of the National Security Council with additional CIA and OSD memoranda discussing sensitive Cuban operations. The Review Board staff also identified Cuban records in the JFK Library's closed papers of Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, Richard Goodwin, and Ralph Dungan and in the Department of Justice Criminal Division microfilm collection.
The Review Board discovered a wealth of Cuba material within the Robert F. Kennedy (RFK) papers, though it did not declare all of the records as assassination records. To ensure that the JFK Library opened the RFK papers, however, the Review Board designated those records which it believed to be relevant. This group of records was subject to a Deposit Agreement requiring the express permission of the RFK donor committee, then headed by Michael Kennedy, to authorize their release.12 The Review Board has not yet secured the final release of all of the RFK papers, but the JFK Library foreign policy staff is working with the Review Board to attempt to obtain the release of the RFK papers.13 Upon approval by the committee, the JFK Library will send these important records to the JFK Collection at NARA.
b. Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library records.
To ensure a more complete review of the LBJ Library's holdings for assassination records, two members of the Review Board staff and a NARA representative visited the Library in March 1997. The Review Board conducted a comprehensive review of the closed National Security files, including a targeted review of Cuban records. As expected, the LBJ Library was not as rich as the JFK Library in material pertaining to Cuba. In addition to identifying records that had direct reference to the assassination, the Review Board was also interested in those records that could reveal continuity or shifts in policy between the Kennedy and Johnson Administrations. The Review Board designated additional assassination records pertaining to Cuba found in Johnson's Vice Presidential Security files, Cuba Country Files, and various Office Files of White House aides.
4. Church Committee Records
The JFK Collection contains extensive records relating to the Church Committee's investigation of alleged assassination plots against Fidel Castro, and includes materials relating to the Church Committee's examination of Operation Mongoose and AMLASH. In addition, the JFK Collection includes testimony from key government officials knowledgeable on U.S. policy toward Cuba in the 1960s, such as Robert McNamara, McGeorge Bundy, Roswell Gilpatric, Richard Helms, and John McCone.
C. Records on Vietnam
The debate among historians continues over whether President Kennedy would have escalated U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War had he lived, or whether he would have lessened involvement and even withdrawn from Vietnam. The Review Board, therefore, sought to locate any records that would illuminate this debate or illuminate any differences between the Kennedy Administration's mid- and-late 1963 Vietnam policy and the Johnson Administration's 1964 Vietnam policy. Much of the Review Board's interest in Vietnam records, as in the case of the Review Board's search for Cuba records, is in enhancing the historical understanding or context of the assassination.
1. CIA Records
The Review Board's additional requests added few CIA records on Vietnam to the JFK Collection. The Review Board identified a small number of records pertaining to Vietnam in the files of the Directorate of Plans (now the Directorate of Operations) and in the files of several senior CIA officials from 196365. Some records designated as assassination records concern CIA reporting on the assassination of South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem and his brother in November 1963. Many of the Vietnam records examined by the Review Board staff dealt wholly with CIA and military liaison and operations after 1965. CIA processed for the JFK Collection the few Vietnam records Review Board staff members identified as assassination records.
2. Military Records
The Review Board staff located military records on Vietnam in three different collections of records.
a. Joint Staff Secretariat.
The staff of the Joint Staff Secretariat searched for records related to Vietnam policy and flagged selected records from 19611964 from the files of Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairmen Lyman Lemnitzer, Maxwell Taylor, and Earle Wheeler, and selected records from 19611964 from the Central Files of the Joint Staff, for examination and consideration by the Review Board staff. The Review Board selected approximately fifty records for inclusion in the JFK Collection.
b. Office of the Secretary of Defense.
The Review Board identified for inclusion in the JFK Collection a small number of records (approximately forty) from the personal papers of Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara at NARA that contain some materials on Vietnam policy.
c. Joint Chiefs of Staff history.
The Review Board identified a three-part Joint Chiefs of Staff official history titled The Joint Chiefs of Staff and the War in Vietnam, 1960-1968, as appropriate for inclusion in the JFK Collection.
3. Presidential Library Collections
During most of President Kennedy's time in office, the Vietnam War was not the pressing issue for the White House that it became, a problem which had begun to heat up shortly before Kennedy's death. Vietnam, as a foreign policy priority, then went on to consume the Johnson presidency. The perceived change in Vietnam policy between these two presidential administrations has provided another source of fodder for conspiracies. In response to concerns expressed by the assassination research community that the Vietnam question had not been adequately addressed by past investigations, the Review Board extended its search of both the Kennedy and Johnson Presidential Library materials to include records on Vietnam. The Review Board was primarily interested in obtaining records that could indicate any changes in President Kennedy's plans regarding military involvement in Vietnam and any shift or continuity of policy at the beginning of President Johnson's administration.
a. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library.
The JFK Library identified a small number of Vietnam-related documents in its National Security files. Most of the Vietnam records date from August 1963 through the assassination, as the Kennedy Administration began to pay attention to events in Vietnam. The Library also released copies of Presidential recordings to the JFK Collection for the same period, which contained additional information pertaining to Vietnam.
b. Lyndon Baines Johnson
In response to the public's desire to know more about any shift in policy between the Kennedy and Johnson Administrations, the Review Board extended its search at the LBJ Library to include Vietnam materials from the transitional period. Two members of the Review Board staff visited the LBJ Library in 1997 and reviewed a vast collection of National Security Files and White House Office Files. Not surprisingly, the search for relevant Vietnam-related material at the LBJ Library proved to yield more records than the search for Cuba-related records. Most of the additional assassination records identified at the LBJ Library from this transitional period concerned Vietnam. Some of these records indicate that Vietnam, rather than Cuba, was quickly becoming a priority for President Johnson's White House.
4. Church Committee Testimony
Among the major issues involving Vietnam was the assassination of President Diem and his brother in November 1963 shortly before President Kennedy's assassination. The Review Board released classified Church Committee testimony on this issue by CIA officers William Colby and Lucien Conein. The Church Committee's report on the Diem assassination relied heavily on their testimony, which had remained classified for over twenty years.
D. Records of Senior Agency Officials
To the extent that agencies such as the CIA, FBI, or Secret Service maintained the working files of those individuals who served as senior agency officials during the time of the Kennedy assassination, the Review Board requested agencies to search those files for assassination records.
The CIA maintains few working files of senior CIA officers from the 1950s and 1960s. To the extent that CIA preserves such records, the records exist in the general filing system under the office that the individual held at the time, e.g. the Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) or their Deputy Directors (DDCI). Based on the Review Board's observations, the contents of the DCI and DDCI working files primarily tend to be correspondence files, briefing papers, and working files on general subjects rather than in- depth collections of detailed material.
The Review Board staff requested and reviewed files of DCIs Allen Dulles and John McCone, DDCIs Charles Cabell and Marshall Carter, and the office files of the Deputy Director of Plans (DDP) (now the Directorate of Operations) for the time period 19581968. Because records such as the briefing papers that CIA officers prepared for the DCI are sensitive and worldwide in nature, the Review Board designated only the relevant portions of the records as assassination records.
a. Allen Dulles.
CIA reviewed most of the files of DCI Allen Dulles under its Executive Order 12958 declassification program. The Review Board staff reviewed some of Dulles' papers and his office calendars for the relevant time period. The Review Board marked some pages of the calendars, which recorded Dulles' official and social activities, as assassination records.
b. John McCone.
The Review Board staff examined CIA's index to DCI John McCone's files, reviewed files of possible relevance, and marked relevant documents as assassination records. According to the box and folder index listings of McCone's files, McCone did not maintain files on the assassination of President Kennedy, the assassination investigation, Lee Harvey Oswald, or the Warren Commission. McCone records do include memoranda, briefing reports, and transcripts which discuss Oswald, the assassination, and the assassination investigation.
Within the McCone papers, the Review Board noticed several file folders with notations or sheets indicating documents on a wide variety of subjects which are either missing or were destroyed. Of the missing or destroyed documents, two refer to the Kennedy assassination. One document from a 1963 listing is described as "Date of Meeting26 Nov; ParticipantsDCI & Bundy; Subjects CoveredMsg concerning Pres. Kennedy's assassination." The second document is described as "Date of Meeting19 May 64; ParticipantsDCI, J.J. McCloy; Dinner at ResidenceRe: Oswald." This document is annotated "Destroyed 12872." CIA historians noted that both documents were missing when they reviewed the files in 1986. The Review Board designated as assassination records all relevant documents from the McCone files including the notations on the destroyed and missing records.
c. Charles Cabell and Marshall Carter.
Review Board staff located only a small number of assassination records in the records of DDCIs Charles Cabell for 19591962 and Marshall Carter for 19621965. The DDCIs' records consist primarily of personal correspondence, official correspondence, and briefing papers.
d. Richard Bissell, William Colby, and Richard Helms.
CIA provided the Review Board with a massive index to the files of the Office of the Deputy Director of Plans (later the Deputy Director of Operations) covering the period from the late 1940s to the present. Review Board staff carefully reviewed the index and identified potentially relevant material. According to CIA, it incorporated into these office files all of the still existing records of Richard Bissell, William Colby, and Richard Helms as DDPs. Again, due to the sensitive and worldwide nature of many of the DDP/DDO files, the Review Board designated only certain portions of the records for release to the JFK Collection.
e. James J. Angleton.
Knowledge of the records that James J. Angleton, Chief of Counterintelligence for thirty years, allegedly created, and the probable destruction of those records after his retirement, has generated extensive public interest. In an attempt to satisfy the public's curiosity about Angleton's files, the Review Board asked the CIA (1) to search for any extant records that Angleton maintained, and (2) to account for the destruction of his files or the incorporation of his files into other filing systems. In response, the Directorate of Operations provided three memoranda that document CIA's multi-year review of Angleton's counterintelligence files.14 These memoranda state that CIA reviewed Angleton's records and incorporated a small percentage into the files of the Directorate of Operations. CIA destroyed other records, either because the records were duplicates or because CIA decided not to retain them. The Directorate of Operations did not provide destruction records to account for the Angleton files.
f. Lawrence Houston.
Lawrence Houston was the CIA General Counsel for much of the agency's early years. Few of his working papers, however, still exist today. The Review Board staff reviewed a small number of papers identified as belonging either to the files of Lawrence Houston or the Office of the General Counsel for the time period 1959-1964. The staff did not detect any additional assassination records in this collection of Houston's papers. However, the Office of the General counsel had retained a file on CIA records that were held by the Warren Commission. The Review Board determined that this file was an assassination record and marked it for inclusion in the JFK Collection at NARA.
g. William Harvey.
William Harvey was intricately involved in the planning for the Bay of Pigs invasion and the various assassination plots against Fidel Castro. The Review Board received a query from a researcher concerning the possible existence of "operational diaries" that Harvey may have created. CIA searched its Directorate of Operations records and did not locate any records belonging to Harvey. The introduction to the 1967 CIA Inspector General's (IG) report on plots to assassinate Castro notes that Richard Helms directed that, once the IG's office produced the report, CIA should destroy all notes and source material that it used to draft the report. CIA may have destroyed Harvey's alleged diaries in response to Helms' directive. Finally, Review Board staff also asked various CIA reviewers who worked on records relating to the Bay of Pigs whether they had located any operational diaries belonging to Harvey. Despite its efforts, the Review Board did not locate any diaries.
The Review Board attempted to determine whether the FBI retained any sets of working files of its top officials during the years surrounding the assassination. Public speculation regarding the alleged secret files of FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover is widespread. Of course, following Hoover's death, his personal secretary, Helen Gandy, destroyed many of his "Personal and Confidential" files, so that the full extent of Hoover's Personal files will never be known. Although the FBI has processed over 15,000 pages of Hoover's "Official and Confidential" files under the FOIA, the public speculates that some of Hoover's secret files are still extant.
In an effort to locate any working or secret files of FBI officials, the Review Board requested and received from the FBI access to records that might shed light on the question of what, if any, files are still in the FBI's custody.
a. Hoover and Tolson records, including "Official and Confidential" files, chronological files, and phone logs.
The Review Board requested that the FBI search for Hoover and Tolson "working" records relevant to President Kennedy's assassination. The FBI made Director Hoover's "Official and Confidential" (O&C) files available to the Review Board and the Review Board designated as assassination records the two O&C files on John Kennedy, the O&C file relating to Secret Service-FBI agreements on Presidential protection, a memorandum regarding Hoover's conversation with Lyndon Johnson about the assassination (from the Johnson O&C file), and several other documents from the O&C files. The Review Board also reviewed Director Hoover's telephone logs. Recognizing that the FBI has already made the logs public in its FOIA reading room, the Review Board relieved the FBI from the burden of further processing the logs under the JFK Act. Finally, Hoover maintained various subject files (apart from the O&C files), including materials on the assassination. The Review Board asked the FBI to locate these materials, but the FBI has not been able to locate the materials.
The Review Board also requested and received from the FBI access to the files of Clyde Tolson, which consisted solely of original memoranda from Director Hoover. Unfortunately, the chronological file started with January 1965, and the FBI could not account for any 196364 files that Tolson may have maintained. The Review Board identified several documents as assassination records.
b. Miscellaneous administrative files from the Director's Office.
The Review Board requested access to a variety of FBI Director's Office administrative files. The Review Board examined files for the relevant time period with the following case captions: Assistant Director's Office Administrative File, the Attorney General, Attorney General's Briefing, Criminal Division of the Department of Justice, Director's Office Administrative File, Executive Conference, National Security Council, Office Memoranda, Protection of the Attorney General, Threats Against the Attorney General, and White House. The Review Board staff designated a small number of documents from these filesprimarily on organized crimeas assassination records.
c. John P. Mohr records.
When Director Hoover died in 1972, Clyde Tolson inherited the bulk of Hoover's estate. When Tolson died, John P. Mohr, former Assistant Director for Administration of the FBI, served as the executor of Tolson's estate. Some authors allege that Mohr purged J. Edgar Hoover's personal files after Hoover's death in 1972. When Mohr died in February 1997, the Review Board issued a subpoena to his estate to determine whether Mohr retained any records related to President Kennedy's assassination or to the FBI's investigation of the assassination. Mohr's estate produced, and the Review Board staff inspected, Mohr's records. Mohr's records included three files of Mohr's personal correspondence, a set of Warren Commission volumes, and the FBI's initial reports on President Kennedy's assassination. The Review Board staff found no new assassination records, and, as such, released Mohr's estate from any obligation to turn records over to the JFK Collection.
3. Secret Service
In response to the Review Board's request for files of Secret Service officials, Secret Service reported that it did not maintain office files for senior officials such as Chief James J. Rowley, Chief of the Protective Research Section Robert Bouck, or Chief Inspector Thomas Kelly.
The Secret Service located various Rowley correspondence and memoranda, but did not provide any information as to the disposition of any working files maintained by Chief Rowley. The Review Board also sought information as to the identity and disposition of any working files maintained by Bouck because Bouck was responsible for the collection of information relating to potential threats to the President and Vice-President. Mr. Bouck testified before the Warren Commission regarding protective intelligence information gathered in connection with President Kennedy's trip to Dallas. As with Chief Rowley, the Secret Service identified various Bouck documents, but did not (or could not) account for whether there were any personal working files maintained by Mr. Bouck.15
4. Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD)
In 1997, the Review Board staff met with officials from OSD and emphasized the importance of identifying and reviewing records for Secretary of Defense McNamara, who had executed an affidavit for the Warren Commission stating that Oswald was not an informant or intelligence agent for the U.S. military. McNamara was also an important figure because of his direct and daily involvement in creating U.S. policy on Cuba and Vietnam.
The Review Board also asked OSD to locate and review files of the OSD General Counsel who had "serve[d] as the liaison with the [Warren] Commission for the Department of Defense."
The OSD advised the Review Board that "[a]ll official files of Secretary McNamara [had] been searched" and that "[n]o items relating to the Warren Commission were found." Inventories of Secretary McNamara's records were forwarded to the Review Board. In addition, a detailed inventory of additional records of Secretary McNamara at NARA was also provided. Within the McNamara records at NARA, the Review Board identified a file relating to Operation Mongoose, which was subsequently opened. The Review Board identified as assassination records approximately forty records from McNamara's files that are relevant to U.S. policy in Cuba or Vietnam. Additional records relating to the Warren Commission were located among the General Counsel's files and additional records relating to the HSCA were located among Secretary of Defense Harold Brown's files.
5. Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI)
The Review Board requested that the Navy and ONI search for the records of Director of Naval Intelligence Rear Admiral Rufus Taylor. The Review Board acquired a copy of an unsigned September 21, 1964, affidavit regarding Oswald that Taylor appears to have executed and forwarded to Secretary of Defense McNamara. The affidavit states that that ONI never utilized Lee Harvey Oswald as an agent or an informant. (See illustration.) [omitted here] ONI did not locate any files belonging to Taylor.
The Review Board staff requested that the Army identify for review under the JFK Act certain additional, discrete record groups. Specifically, the staff asked the Army to locate the 196364 files for top Army officials, including the Secretary of the Army, the Chief of Staff for the Army, the Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence, the Assistant Chief of Staff for Operations and Plans, and top officials of the U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command. The Army located no assassination records in response to the Review Board's requests.
7. National Security Agency
The Review Board requested that NSA locate the original files of top NSA officials during the period of the Warren Commission (NSA Director Lt. Gen. Gordon Blake and NSA Deputy Director Dr. Louis Tordella). NSA located materials on the Warren Commission from files of Deputy Director Tordella.
8. Department of State
The Review Board ensured that the Department of State inventoried all files of its top officials who would have had some official involvement with the investigation of the assassination, including Secretary of State Dean Rusk, Undersecretary George Ball, Deputy Undersecretary Alexis Johnson, Ambassador Thompson, Ambassador Thomas Mann, and other State Department officials. The Department of State was very cooperative in making available to the Review Board manifests for these archive records.
9. Department of Justice
a. Office of Information and Privacy (OIP)
The Review Board raised with the Department of Justice's OIP the issue of whether there were any separately maintained files for Attorneys General Robert F. Kennedy, Nicholas Katzenbach, and Ramsey Clark in view of their positions and respective involvement with investigations of the assassination. OIP reported that records of the Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General were not maintained as a separate file system until 1975 under Attorney General Edward Levi.16 Two archivists for the Department of Justice also confirmed that distinct files for the Office of Attorney General were not archived prior to 1975 and that there were no separately maintained files for Messrs. Kennedy, Katzenbach, and Clark. The archivists believed that such files most likely would have been stored at a presidential library.
With respect to Attorney General files post-dating 1975, the Review Board sought to inspect the files of Attorney Generals Edward Levi and Griffin Bell for any materials relating to the Kennedy assassination investigations of the Church Committee and the HSCA. The Office of Information and Privacy made available for inspection certain original files for Attorneys General Levi and Bell, which yielded additional assassination records. The Review Board designated as assassination records files that primarily related to DOJ's work with the HSCA and the Church Committee.
b. Criminal Division
The Review Board requested that the Criminal Division make available all files separately maintained by Herbert J. Miller, Jr., Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division at the time of the assassination. Mr. Miller had been designated as DOJ's "liaison" to the Warren Commission. The Review Board also sought the files of J. Walter Yeagley, Assistant Attorney General for the Internal Security Division, to determine whether he (or his office) had any pre-assassination records relating to Oswald. The Criminal Division reported that it maintained no discrete files for Miller17 and Yeagley.18
10. Department of the Treasury
The Review Board requested that Main Treasury review its holdings to identify records of C. Douglas Dillon, Secretary of the Treasury at the time of the assassination and Warren Commission investigation. Review Board staff independently reviewed archive transmittal forms for Treasury records and identified certain Treasury records for review, which Treasury provided to Board staff. As a result of its review, the Review Board staff identified files of J. Robert McBrien relating to his work as Treasury's liaison to the HSCA and Church Committee.19
The Review Board also requested a complete accounting for the files of high-level Treasury officials who would have had involvement in the assassination investigation, especially important because Secret Service was part of the Department of the Treasury and ultimately reported to Secretary Dillon. Accordingly, the Review Board asked for an accounting of the files of Secretary Dillon, Special Assistant to the Secretary Robert Carswell, Treasury Secretary John Connally, and General Counsel at the time of the Warren Commission investigation G. D'Andelot Belin. Treasury officials reviewed its inventories and reported that its "review disclosed no additional JFK-related records."20 Treasury also reported that it did "not have custody of any Dillon files,"21 which presumably reside with a presidential library.
Although the IRS reported that it searched for records of top IRS officials who assisted in the Warren Commission investigation, it stated that it did not locate any such records.
E. Pro- and Anti-Castro Cuban Matters
Both the Warren Commission and the HSCA considered the possibility that pro-Castro or anti-Castro activists had some involvement in the assassination of President Kennedy, as both pro- and anti-Castro groups in the U.S. had contact with Lee Harvey Oswald. The Warren Commission investigated Oswald's Communist and pro-Castro sympathies, including his involvement with the Fair Play for Cuba Committee, and his September 1963 trip to Mexico City. In addition, the Church Committee, an internal CIA Task Force, and the HSCA all re-examined the extent to which the Cuban government or pro-Castro activists in the U.S. might have been involved in the assassination.
Given the amount of time that prior investigative bodies spent considering the possibility that either pro- or anti-Castro Cuban forces may have played a role in President Kennedy's assassination, the Review Board sought to collect and process all relevant federal records relating to such groups. To the extent that both pro- and anti-Castro Cuban groups coordinated their activities within the United States, the FBI would be the agency most likely to have investigative records on their activities. Thus, the Review Board's efforts to uncover records beyond those examined by prior investigative bodies focused primarily on FBI records.
1. Fair Play for Cuba Committee
The Fair Play for Cuba Committee (FPCC) was a pro-Castro organization with headquarters in New York. The FPCC had chapters in many cities, but Lee Harvey Oswald was its founding and, it seems, only member in New Orleans. In the summer of 1963, Oswald distributed handbills that he had printed that advocated "Hands Off Cuba!" and invited members of the public to join the New Orleans chapter of the FPCC. The Warren Commission and the congressional committees that investigated the assassination discuss Oswald's connection to the FPCC in their respective reports. As such, the Review Board's routine processing of federal agency records from Warren Commission files and files concerning other congressional committees encompassed records on the FPCC. Not all FPCC records, however, found their way into the existing collections. Where Review Board staff noticed gaps in the documentation regarding the FPCC, it requested that federal agencies provide access to additional records and information.
a. FBI field office files.
When the FBI processed its "core and related" files and "HSCA Subject" files, it processed the FBI Headquarters file on the FPCC, but it did not process any records from the FBI's New York and Dallas field office files on the FPCC. Thus, the Review Board staff requested access to these two field office files.
The only records that the Review Board staff located in the Dallas field office file were duplicates of Headquarters records that the FBI had already processed as part of its "core and related" files or HSCA files. The FBI agreed to include the Dallas field office copies in the JFK Collection.
The New York field office file proved to be much more voluminous than the Dallas file and yielded more assassination records. A number of the records that the Review Board staff designated as assassination records from the New York file involved June Cobb, a woman who was an intelligence asset during the 196064 period, primarily for the CIA but also for the FBI, regarding Castro, Cuba, and the FPCC. In addition, Cobb was the asset who first informed the CIA of Elena Garro De Paz's allegation that Oswald attended a "twist" party in Mexico City with Sylvia Duran. For the above reasons, the Review Board staff recommended to the FBI that it process as assassination records any FPCC documents that referenced June Cobb. The Review Board also found assassination-related records in the New York field office file concerning the FBI's efforts to infiltrate and disrupt the FPCC.
The bulk of the remaining records that the Review Board staff designated as assassination records from the New York FPCC file involve the FBI's investigation of the FPCC. Many researchers view Oswald's role in the FPCC as an indication that he may have been an asset of one or more U.S. intelligence agencies. That is, they theorize that he was a "plant," an intelligence asset sent on a counterintelligence mission against the FPCC. Thus, Review Board staff designated as assassination records those documents which address the urgency with which the Bureau viewed the FPCC, the priority the Bureau placed on infiltrating the group, and Bureau intentions/plans to initiate counterintelligence activities against the group. The Review Board staff employed similar reasoning in designating records as assassination-related in the FBI's Cuban Counterintelligence Program (COINTELPRO) file referenced below.
b. CIA records on Richard Gibson.
In 196063, Richard Thomas Gibson was the Director of the New York chapter of the FPCC. CIA opened a 201, or personality, file on Gibson because of his support of both Fidel Castro and Patrice Lumumba. The 19601964 records include the Warren Commission's investigation of Gibson, and CIA included those records in the JFK Collection.
c. Department of Justice Criminal Division files on FPCC.
The Review Board staff requested that the Department of Justice Criminal Division search for records relating to the FPCC. The Review Board located some assassination records regarding the FPCC and Vincent T. Lee within the Criminal Division's files.
2. Cuban COINTELPRO
Early in its tenure, the Review Board examined the FBI's FOIA "reading room" records on the FBI's COINTELPRO against pro-Castro Cubansprimarily the FPCC and the July 26th Movementduring the early 1960s. The Review Board's examination of the reading room materials led the Review Board to make a request to the FBI for a Headquarters file entitled, "Cuban MattersCounterintelligence ProgramInternal SecurityCuba" and for any other Headquarters files documenting efforts by the FBI or other agencies of the U.S. government to disrupt, discredit, or bring into disrepute the FPCC or its members or activities. The FBI made its records available to the Review Board and, but for some very recent, unrelated documents, the Review Board designated all records in the Cuban COINTELPRO file as assassination records.
Records that the Review Board designated as assassination records from the COINTELPRO file include FPCC and July 26th Movement membership and mailing lists. The file further details the FBI's basis for initiating its counterintelligence program against the two pro-Castro organizations. Finally, the file provides details concerning the methods that the Bureau used to disrupt the activities of the FPCC and the July 26th Movement.
3. Anti-Castro Activities; IS (Internal Security)-Cuba
In the spring of 1996, the Review Board received a letter from a member of the research community noting that one of the "Hands Off Cuba" pamphlets that appeared in the New Orleans FPCC file contained a cross-reference to a file entitled "Anti-Castro Activities; ISCuba" and numbered NO (New Orleans) 1051095. The Review Board staff established that the FBI had not processed this particular file under the JFK Act, and then requested that the FBI provide access to all files bearing the above-referenced caption from Headquarters and from the New Orleans, Miami, Tampa, New York, and Dallas field offices during the relevant time period.
After reviewing New Orleans file 1051095, the Review Board staff designated two volumes of the file as assassination records.
4. Cuban Intelligence Activities in the U.S.; Cuban Situation
During its review of the FBI's assassination records, the Review Board staff saw file references to cases captioned "Cuban Intelligence Activities in the U.S." and "Cuban Situation." The Review Board requested access to Headquarters files and files from the Miami, Tampa, New York, Washington, D.C., and Dallas field offices with the above-referenced captions, and designated forty records from those files as assassination records. Most of the relevant records concern activity in the anti-Castro community following the Bay of Pigs invasion and following President Kennedy's assassination.
5. Anti-Castro Cuban Groups, Including DRE, Alpha 66, SFNE, JURE, FRD, CRC, and Commandos-L
In an effort to gather and review records relating to the activities of prominent anti-Castro Cuban groups who might have had some involvement in the assassination of President Kennedy, the Review Board requested the FBI to provide access to files on the above-referenced anti-Castro Cuban groups for Headquarters and the New Orleans, Miami, Tampa, New York, and Dallas field offices. The FBI kept voluminous files on each anti-Castro Cuban group. Review Board staff members reviewed hundreds of volumes of records in search of assassination-related material. The files did yield approximately seventy assassination records.
The Review Board also requested the CIA to provide files on the above-referenced groups, to the extent that the CIA had not already processed such records under the JFK Act. The Review Board identified additional records from 19601964 in contemporary working files of a CIA office concerned with Latin American issues. Most of the relevant CIA records concerned the existence and activities of the CIA's JMWAVE station in Miami. The Review Board also identified a small number of records pertaining to U.S. anti-Cuban activities in the Directorate of Plans files and in the files of DCI John McCone. The Review Board marked relevant records and requested that CIA process the records for inclusion in the JFK Collection at NARA.
6. Threats Against the Life of Fidel Castro
As widely reported, the U.S. government attempted, at various times, to assassinate Cuban leader Fidel Castro. Due to the high level of public interest in this topic, the Review Board requested that agencies locate any relevant records and provide them to the Review Board staff.
a. CIA DS&T records.
At the request of the Review Board, the CIA searched its Directorate of Science and Technology (DS&T) databases and records for files on possible assassination attempts against Fidel Castro.22 CIA's search produced only one recorda handwriting analysis. The Review Board staff reviewed the record and determined that it was not relevant to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
b. FBI file captioned "Threats Against the Life of Fidel Castro."
An HSCA Outside Contact Report dated February 18, 1978, indicates that the HSCA requested access to an FBI file captioned "Threats Against the Life of Fidel Castro" or some similar caption. The HSCA never made a formal request for such a file, and the FBI did not provide to the HSCA a file with such a caption. The Review Board requested access to any FBI Headquarters files with this or a similar caption. The FBI located and provided two records that referenced "Threats Against the Life of Fidel Castro," which summarized Walter Winchell's radio broadcasts, and compared the broadcasts with information that the FBI had concerning threats against Castro. The Review Board designated both of these records for inclusion in the JFK Collection.
7. American Gambling Interests in Cuba
As part of its efforts to gather records relating to a Cuban connection to the assassination, the Review Board staff requested that the FBI provide access to all Headquarters, Miami, Tampa, and Havana files captioned, "American Gambling Interests in Cuba."
The FBI's Miami field office (into which all of the Havana Legal AttachÄ's, or Legat's, files were forwarded when the Legat closed) and Tampa field office reported to FBI Headquarters that they did not have any files with the above-referenced caption. The Review Board staff did not locate any material in the FBI Headquarters files related to the assassination of President Kennedy. Most of the files that the FBI located consisted of pre-1959 records monitoring the activities of Florida racketeers who were trying to establish gambling and hotel facilities in Cuba.
8. Sergio Arcacha-Smith, Antonio Veciana, and Bernardo de Torres
Sergio Arcacha-Smith, Antonio Veciana, and Bernardo de Torres were anti-Castro Cuban activists in the early 1960s. Arcacha-Smith was the New Orleans representative to the Cuban Revolutionary Council until 1962, and in that capacity, he used an office in the building at 544 Camp Street. The 544 Camp Street address was printed on FPCC literature that Lee Harvey Oswald distributed in New Orleans in August of 1963. Veciana led Alpha66, a violent anti-Castro organization that engaged in paramilitary operations against Castro's Cuba as well as assassination attempts against Castro. Veciana testified to the HSCA that he acted as an agent of the U.S. government, and that he met Lee Harvey Oswald in Dallas in 1963 in the presence of his American "handler." Torres was a Cuban exile living in Miami who later worked with New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison in his investigation of Clay Shaw.
The HSCA reviewed FBI Headquarters files on Arcacha-Smith, Veciana, and de Torres, so the FBI processed some records on these three men with its "HSCA Subject" files. The Review Board requested that the FBI conduct an additional search at Headquarters, and in the New Orleans, Houston, and Dallas field offices to determine whether the FBI had other assassination-related information on these three individuals. The Review Board designated thirty-three documents for processing as assassination records from the many files the FBI produced in response to the Review Board's request. The relevant documents concern the Cuban exile community's reaction to President Kennedy's assassination.
F. Records on Organized Crime
The question as to whether organized crime played a role in a possible conspiracy to assassinate President Kennedy is one that nearly every government investigation into the assassination has addressed. Thus, the Review Board processed a large number of files on organized crime figures and organized crime activities simply because federal agencies made their organized crime files available to previous government investigations. For example, the FBI's "HSCA subject files" contain large portions of the FBI's files on organized crime figures such as Santos Trafficante, Carlos Marcello, Angelo Bruno, Frank Ragano, the Lansky brothers, Johnny Roselli, Nick Civella, and Joe Campisi. The majority of records that Review Board analysts processed in these files were not directly assassination-related, but because prior investigative bodies considered these men to be relevant, the records have been included in the JFK Collection. In several instances, however, the Review Board pursued additional records that had not been reviewed by prior investigative bodies.
1. Sam Giancana
From the time he was a young man, Sam Giancana rose within the Chicago organized crime syndicate until he became syndicate leader in 1957. After an eight-year stint in Mexico, Giancana was deported back to Chicago where he was murdered in 1975, shortly before he was scheduled to testify before the Church Committee. The Review Board considered Giancana to be of historical interest with respect to the Kennedy assassination for a number of reasons: (1) Giancana was involved in the CIA plots to assassinate Fidel Castro; (2) Giancana expressed hostility toward the Kennedys because of the Kennedys' war against organized crime; (3) Giancana had associates in common with President Kennedy (namely, Frank Sinatra and Judith Campbell Exner); (4) Giancana allegedly contributed to Kennedy's 1960 presidential campaign; and (5) Giancana was allegedly linked to Joseph P. Kennedy through the illicit liquor trade.
The FBI Headquarters file on Sam Giancana consists of 37 volumes of records dating from 1954 to 1975. When the Review Board staff began to review the FBI's "main" file on Sam Giancana in early 1995, it realized that the FBI had not designated for processing any records that predated January 1, 1963.23 Apparently, the HSCA had requested access to the entire FBI file on Giancana, but the FBI provided only portions of its file to the HSCA. The Review Board staff requested and received access to sections spanning the years 19581962. After reviewing the additional volumes, the Review Board designated the earlier-dated material as assassination records in the summer of 1995, and the FBI processed the records under the JFK Act.
2. FBI Electronic Surveillance of Carlos Marcello: BriLab
Many of the books on the assassination of President Kennedy discuss the possibility that Carlos Marcello, alleged organized crime boss of New Orleans, was involved in the assassination. In the late 1970s, the FBI investigated Marcello on an unrelated matterthe bribery of organized labor. As part of the "BriLab" investigation, the FBI conducted approximately eight months of electronic surveillance on Marcello's home and on his office at the Town and Country Motel. According to several sources, the "BriLab" tapes contained conversations in which Carlos Marcello or his brother Joseph admitted that they were involved in the Kennedy assassination.24
The FBI maintains its tapes and transcripts from the "BriLab" surveillance, but because the FBI's source of authority for the surveillance was 18 U.S.C. sec. 2501 et seq. (Title III), the "take" from the surveillance remained under court seal.25 Thus, the assassination research community was not able to confirm or reject allegations that the tapes or transcripts contain information relevant to the assassination. Once the Review Board obtained a court order allowing it access to the materials, the staff reviewed all of the transcripts from the FBI's surveillance on Marcello in New Orleans. Although the staff did not locate the specific conversations that the researchers mentioned, it did locate thirteen conversations that it believed to be assassination records. Most of the conversations took place in the summer of 1979 during the period that the HSCA released its report. The conversations primarily focused on Marcello's reaction to the HSCA's allegations that he may have been involved in the assassination. With the help of the U. S. Attorney's Office in the Eastern District of New Orleans, the Review Board obtained a court order to release transcripts of the 13 conversations to the public.
3. Department of Justice Criminal Division Records
The Review Board sought to inspect the Criminal Division's extensive organized crime files on individuals who were alleged to have had involvement in the assassination, who were associated in some manner with Jack Ruby, or who had made claims of organized crime involvement in the assassination. The Review Board staff reviewed these files and designated specific materials as assassination records. As noted by the Criminal Division, the Division had, "[i]n an unprecedented approach,...ully opened its files and indices to the Review Board." "Hundreds of organized crime case files and other files of a general nature were made available for Review Board staff scrutiny..."
G. Warren Commission Staff and Critics
Given that the Warren Commission constituted the first official investigation into the events surrounding the assassination of President Kennedy, the Review Board clearly had an interest in ensuring that all federal agency records on the Warren Commission and its activities became part of the JFK Collection. Although the agencies processed a large number of Warren Commission era documents as part of their core files, the Review Board staff questioned whether federal agencies such as the FBI and the CIA opened and maintained files on the Warren Commission staff members because they were working for the Warren Commission. Likewise, the Review Board staff questioned whether federal agencies such as the FBI and CIA opened and maintained files on critics of the Warren Commission because they were criticizing the Warren Commission's conclusions.
1. FBI Files on Warren Commission Staff
In an effort to determine whether the FBI opened or maintained files on Warren Commission staff, the Review Board requested FBI Headquarters file references on Warren Commission Assistant Counsel Norman Redlich. While reviewing the files provided in response to the Review Board's request for Norman Redlich's files, the Review Board staff observed a reference to General Counsel J. Lee Rankin's request that the FBI conduct a background investigation on Redlich and also on Assistant Counsel Joseph A. Ball. The staff then asked for FBI Headquarters file references on Rankin and Ball, as it seemed that the FBI may have maintained a file on Ball's investigation. Redlich's file also showed that the Civil Service Commission (CSC) had conducted a background investigation on Redlich before Rankin asked the FBI to do an investigation. Consequently, the Review Board questioned whether the CSC had carried out background checks on other Warren Commission staff members. In an effort to determine whether similar files existed at the FBI for other Warren Commission staffers, the Review Board ultimately extended the request to include Assistant Counsel Leon D. Hubert, Jr. (whose file the Review Board thought may also contain references to Hubert's career in New Orleans politics). In addition, the Review Board asked the FBI to provide a statement on whether it opened any files, individually or collectively, on other individuals who worked as Warren Commission Assistant Counsels or staff members, because of their employment with the Warren Commission.
In response to the Review Board's request, the FBI provided all of its headquarters file references on all of the Warren Commission staff members. From the Redlich request, the Review Board designated as assassination-related a group of records on Redlich within the FBI's file on the Emergency Civil Liberties Committee. Otherwise, although Review Board staff did locate some assassination-related records, the FBI had already processed most of the records as part of its core files. The Review Board did not locate any information to indicate that the FBI systematically kept records on Warren Commission staff members simply because they were employed by the Warren Commission.
2. CIA and FBI Files on Warren Commission Critics
In an effort to determine whether the FBI opened or maintained files on Warren Commission critics because they criticized the Warren Commission's work and findings, the Review Board requested access to all records on prominent Warren Commission critic Mark Lane and to all pre-1973 Headquarters file references to the other Warren Commission critics listed below.
a. Mark Lane.
When the Review Board began to examine the FBI's "core and related" files, it noticed that a number of records that mentioned the name Mark Lane cross-referenced the FBI's main file on Lane. Because the FBI had not slated the Lane main file for JFK Act processing, the Review Board requested access to all file references to Mark Lane or to Lane's Citizens' Committee of Inquiry in the files of FBI Headquarters and the New York field office. The Review Board staff's examination of the Lane main file revealed that approximately eight volumes of the file contained a significant percentage of documents relating to the Kennedy assassination. The Review Board recommended that those eight volumes be included in the JFK Collection. In addition to the Lane main file, the Review Board designated as assassination-related the entire file on the Citizens' Committee of Inquiry, as well as records in the FBI's Communist Party COINTELPRO file, and a select few records about Lane that appeared in the files of other individuals. The Review Board's inquiry revealed that the FBI maintained substantial files on Lane's professional and personal activities, and kept detailed files on Lane's political activism.
The CIA did not open a 201 file on Lane. The Agency's records on Lane consist of: a dispatch dated January 23, 1970, an Office of General Counsel letter dated March 29, 1977, six FOIA requests, and one public affairs request. Review Board staff reviewed these records but did not designate them as assassination records. Review Board staff found one additional reference to Lane in a foreign government document and designated the information as assassination related.
b. Harold Weisberg.
FBI records on Warren Commission critic Harold Weisberg related to Weisberg's previous employment with the Department of State, Weisberg's public participation in political issues, and Weisberg's published work as a journalist. The only assassination-related file on Weisberg the FBI produced in response to the Review Board's request was its file concerning a FOIA lawsuit that Weisberg brought against the Department of Justice. The Review Board recommended that the FBI process the FOIA litigation file as an assassination record under the JFK Act.
The Review Board determined that the CIA processed most of its files on Weisberg as part of the CIA sequestered collection. The Review Board examined a CIA Office of Security file on Weisberg and identified a small number of documents as assassination records.
c. Josiah Thompson.
In FBI files containing the name of Josiah Thompson, the Review Board staff located one assassination-related document that the FBI had processed as part of its "core" files on the JFK Assassination. The document was about Thompson's book Six Seconds in Dallas. The Review Board instructed the FBI to process the document as a duplicate of the record that appeared in the "core" files.
The CIA has a small 201 file on Thompson which indicates that he was considered to be of possible operational interest to the Agency in the early 1960s while he was living overseas. CIA lost interest however, and the CIA records that the Review Board examined do not appear to reflect that Thompson worked for the CIA in any capacity. The Review Board staff did not locate any assassination records in the 201 file.
d. Edward J. Epstein.
FBI records containing the name Edward Jay Epstein concern Epstein's general journalistic activities. The few assassination-related records in Epstein's file were processed by the FBI as part of their "core" files. Thus, the Review Board staff did not designate any additional records as assassination records.
CIA located an Office of Security file and a Publications Review Board file on Epstein as well as three CIA records documenting the CIA's destruction of records under a standard records destruction schedule. The destroyed records related to three FOIA requests. None of the FOIA requests asked for information on Epstein. The Review Board staff did not designate any additional records as assassination records.
e. Paul Hoch.
Aside from the few assassination-related records in FBI files containing the name Paul Hoch that were processed by the FBI as part of their "core" files, the Review Board did not locate any additional assassination records.
f. David S. Lifton.
The name David S. Lifton appeared only in the FBI's "core" files. The FBI did not produce any additional files that contained Lifton's name.
g. Sylvia Meagher.
FBI files relating to Sylvia Meagher contained five documents that the Review Board believed to be assassination-related. The FBI processed these five documents as part of the "core" files. The Review Board instructed the FBI to process these five documents as duplicates of records that appeared in the "core" files.
The CIA reported that it no longer had any records on Meagher. At one time, the Office of Security had a file on Meagher and a 1968 Ramparts magazine article. The Review Board also located a reference to a Privacy Act request made by Meagher. CIA destroyed the Privacy Act request and the Office of Security folder under normal record control schedules.
H. Name Searches
The Review Board requested searches of federal records for new or additional information and records on individuals who proved to be of interest to investigative bodies such as the Warren Commission and the HSCA.
In addition, the Review Board received hundreds of letters, telephone calls, and telefaxes from members of the public requesting the Board to locate government records on individuals who the public believed were linked in some way to the assassination. Obviously, the Review Board staff could not request and review records on every name that came to its attention. The Review Board requested additional information and records on some individuals, and this section attempts to summarize the bulk of the Review Board's requests for information on names that are not mentioned in other places within this Report.
1. John Abt
Following his arrest on November 22, 1963, Lee Harvey Oswald stated to representatives of the media that he wanted to be represented by John Abt. Abt was an attorney who had represented the Communist Party, USA.26 Abt's primary residence was in New York City, but he was spending the weekend of November 22, 1963 at his cabin in Connecticut. Thus, the Review Board requested access to the FBI's files on John Abt from FBI Headquarters and from the New York and New Haven field offices. Although the New Haven office reported that it had no file references to Abt, the FBI made available records from Headquarters and from the New York field office. The Review Board designated 24 records (all dated after November 22, 1963) for processing under the JFK Act. Some of the designated records relate to whether Abt and Oswald knew each other prior to President Kennedy's assassination. The remainder of the records involve Communist Party meetings at which attendees discussed the Kennedy assassination.
2. Edward Becker
Edward Becker claims that, in September 1962, he met with Carlos Marcello and three other men, and heard Marcello threaten to have President Kennedy killed. The HSCA reviewed the FBI's headquarters file on Edward Becker and, as such, the FBI processed it under the JFK Act. The Review Board requested access to the Los Angeles field office file on Edward Becker, as well as access to the control file on the Los Angeles informant who discredited Becker's allegation. The Review Board designated two documents from the Los Angeles field office file on Becker and one document from the Los Angeles informant's control file. All three of the designated records concerned Becker's allegation that Marcello threatened President Kennedy.
3. Carlos Bringuier
Carlos Bringuier was an anti-Castro Cuban activist in New Orleans who had repeated contact with Lee Harvey Oswald in the summer of 1963. Bringuier managed a clothing store in New Orleans, and he was also the New Orleans representative of the anti-Castro organization Directorio Revolucionaro Estudiantil (the DRE). Oswald visited Bringuier's store in early August 1963 where the two engaged in a discussion on the Cuban political situation. According to Bringuier, Oswald portrayed himself as being anti-Castro and anti-communist. Several days later, someone told Bringuier that an American was passing out pro-Castro leaflets in New Orleans. Bringuier and two others went to counter-demonstrate, and Bringuier was surprised to see that Oswald was the pro-Castro leafleter. Bringuier and Oswald argued and both were arrested for disturbing the peace. The publicity from the altercation and trial (Oswald pleaded guilty and was fined $10 and Bringuier and his friends pleaded not guilty and the charges were dismissed) resulted in a debate on WDSU radio between Bringuier and Oswald on August 21, 1963. The Review Board designated six serials from the New Orleans file on Bringuier.
4. George Bush
A November 29, 1963, memorandum from FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover to the Director of the Bureau of Intelligence and Research at the Department of State refers to the fact that information on the assassination of President Kennedy was "orally furnished to Mr. George Bush of the Central Intelligence Agency." At the request of the Review Board, the CIA made a thorough search of its records in an attempt to determine if the "George Bush" referred to in the memorandum might be identical to President and former Director of Central Intelligence George Herbert Walker Bush. That search determined that the CIA had no association with George Herbert Walker Bush during the time frame referenced in the document.
The records that the Review Board examined showed that the only other "George Bush" serving in the CIA in 1963 was a junior analyst who has repeatedly denied being the "George Bush" referenced in the memorandum. The Review Board staff found one reference to an Army Major General George Bush in the calendars of Director of Central Intelligence Allen Dulles. There was no indication if this General Bush could be the referenced George Bush. The Review Board marked the calendar page as an assassination record.
5. Ed Butler and Information Council of the Americas (INCA)
Edward Scannell Butler debated Lee Harvey Oswald in New Orleans in the summer of 1963 on the radio station WDSU. The radio debate occurred shortly after Oswald was arrested for disturbing the peace in August 1963. Following the assassination, but before President Johnson formed the Warren Commission, Butler testified before a Senate Internal Security Subcommittee regarding his contact with Oswald. Butler had long been associated with the Information Council of the Americas (INCA), a New Orleans-based clearinghouse for anti-Communist information, and particularly for anti-Castro Cuban information.
The Review Board requested access to all FBI headquarters and New Orleans field office files on Edward Scannell Butler and the Information Council of the Americas. The Review Board designated five records to be processed under the JFK Act. All of the designated records concern Butler's contact with Oswald in August 1963.
Chapter 7 of this Report discusses the Review Board's attempts to obtain records directly from Mr. Butler and INCA.
CIA processed all of its records on Butler as part of its sequestered collection.
6. Claude Barnes Capehart
One researcher inquired whether a Claude Barnes Capehart was ever an employee, directly or indirectly, under any name, whether on salary or contract, of the CIA, or a company, business, agency, or other entity operated by the CIA. The HSCA was interested in Capehart, who claimed to have been in Dallas, Texas, on November 22, 1963, as a CIA employee. The CIA granted Review Board staff full access to its records on Capehart.
CIA records state that Capehart worked for two different private business contractors on U.S. government classified projects, but the records the Review Board examined do not show that CIA ever employed him as an officer, staffer, asset, or source. The records indicate that at least one of the private contractors for whom Capehart worked, Global Marine, Inc., did have CIA contracts. The records further indicate that a background investigation was run on Capehart in August and September 1973, so that he could work on those contracts as a crane operator/driller from October 30, 1973 to July 9, 1975. As part of his work with Global Marine Inc., Capehart signed secrecy agreements with CIA in October 1973 and January 1975.
The CIA holds two files on Capehartan Office of Security File and a medical file. The CIA processed its Office of Security file as part of the segregated collection. The medical file, not part of CIA's segregated collection, concerns an accident which occurred on one of the construction sites, and the Review Board did not believe it was relevant. The medical file does not contain any information on or evidence of any possible psychological problems. The CIA reported that it has never had an Office of Personnel file or a 201 file on Capehart.
There is no evidence in either the Office of Security file or the medical file to suggest that Capehart worked for the CIA on any additional contracts nor in any capacity, direct or indirect, other than as the employee of a private contractor, Global Marine, Inc., working on CIA contracts. There is no evidence in the files that the Review Board saw to suggest that CIA ever assigned him a pseudonym or that he used another name. Finally, there is no information in the records to support Capehart's allegations concerning the Kennedy assassination nor to confirm his whereabouts during the relevant time period.
7. Lawrence Cusack
The late Lawrence Cusack was a prominent New York attorney in the 1950s and 1960s who represented, among other clients, the Archdiocese of New York. The Review Board received information that Cusack performed some legal work for Joseph P. Kennedy and that Cusack's son was engaged in an attempt to sell a group of allegedly salacious documents regarding Cusack's professional (but secret) relationship with President Kennedy. The documents at issue allegedly contained information regarding President Kennedy's relationship with Marilyn Monroe and with various mafia figures. Questions were raised concerning the authenticity of the documents, and Cusak's son subsequently was indicted on fraud charges.
In an effort to determine whether the FBI had any information on Lawrence Cusack's relationship with the Kennedy family, the Review Board requested access to all FBI Headquarters and New York field office files on Lawrence X. Cusack. The Review Board did not find any assassination records in the materials provided by the FBI.
8. Adele Edisen, Winston de Monsabert, Jose Rivera
Dr. Adele Edisen has written several letters to the Review Board and has also provided public testimony to the Review Board. In her letters and testimony, Dr. Edisen stated that, in New Orleans on November 24, 1963, she recounted to an FBI agent and a Secret Service agent her knowledge of apparent dealings between Dr. Jose Rivera, Mr. Winston de Monsabert, and Lee Harvey Oswald in 1963. The Review Board requested FBI records on these individuals from FBI Headquarters and field offices in Baltimore, Dallas, Denver, New Orleans and Washington, D.C. The FBI retrieved only a few records relating to the individuals referenced above, all of which the Review Board designated as assassination records.
9. Billie Sol Estes
In the 1980s, Billy Sol Estes alleged that Lyndon Johnson was involved in the assassination of President Kennedy. Estes was reportedly a con artist who claims to have had a financial relationship with Lyndon Johnson. The Review Board requested access to all FBI Headquarters files on Billie Sol Estes. The Review Board designated eight serials for processing as assassination records under the JFK Act. All of the designated records concern Estes' alleged knowledge of persons connected to the assassination of President Kennedy.
10. Judith Campbell Exner
Judith Campbell Exner claims to have been a link between President Kennedy and Mafia members Sam Giancana and Johnny Roselli. Introduced to John Kennedy by Frank Sinatra during Kennedy's 1960 presidential primary campaign, she claimed to have had a relationship with John Kennedy that lasted from the winter of 1960 until March of 1962. In 1975, Ms. Exner gained national media attention when she testified before the Church Committee in its investigation of the CIA plots to assassinate Fidel Castro. Between 1976 and 1997, Ms. Exner filed numerous lawsuits against the FBI seeking access to all information the FBI held on her. The Review Board requested access to all FBI Headquarters and field office main files on Judith Campbell Exner. The FBI produced several small field office files containing press clippings the FBI collected on Ms. Exner, as well as several files which reflect Ms. Exner's efforts to gain access to her information in the FBI's files. The FBI also produced several files with references to women with names similar to Judith Campbell Exner. The Review Board designated as assassination records all main files on Ms. Exner, as well as all records that made reference to Ms. Exner. The Review Board also designated the entire FBI file on the murder of Johnny Roselli which the FBI produced in response to this request.
11. H.L. Hunt and Family and Clint Murchison and Family
Some researchers allege that the assassination of President Kennedy was masterminded by wealthy Dallas oilmen H.L. Hunt and Clint Murchison. The Review Board requested access to all FBI headquarters and Dallas field office files on the following individuals during the period 1960 through 1969: H.L. Hunt, Nelson Bunker Hunt, Lamar Hunt, Clint Murchison, Sr., Clint Murchison, Jr., and Paul M. Rothermel. FBI files contained many references to the Hunts, the Murchisons, and Rothermel, but the documents were primarily concerned with their business dealings or their political activities. The Review Board designated for the JFK Collection ten documents from the files the FBI produced in response to the Review Board's request.
12. Joseph P. Kennedy
In light of allegations that Joseph P. Kennedy's organized crime connections helped to fund John Kennedy's 1960 campaign for the Democratic nomination, the Review Board requested FBI files on Joseph P. Kennedy. Given that Joseph P. Kennedy was a prominent American who served in many high-level government positions, the Review Board limited its request for FBI files on Joseph P. Kennedy to: (1) a list of file numbers and case captions of files where Mr. Kennedy was the main subject of the file; and (2) field office files for the 1956 FBI investigations of Kennedy in connection with his appointment to the Presidential Board of Consultants on Foreign Intelligence Activities of the U.S. government. The Review Board singled out Kennedy's 1956 background investigation because of its proximity to the 1960 presidential election, and the allegations of organized crime influence during that election. The Review Board also requested that the FBI provide a list of file numbers and case captions that contained documents mentioning Joseph P. Kennedy. The vast majority of records that the FBI produced concerning Joseph P. Kennedy were not related to the assassination of President Kennedy. The Review Board found only three records that it believed to be assassination-related, all relating to threats that were made by private citizens to Joseph P. Kennedy and his sons.
13. Oswald LeWinter
In 1997, the Review Board received a query from a researcher as to whether a man named Oswald LeWinter had any ties, current or past, with the CIA. According to the researcher, LeWinter claimed to be the current Deputy Director of Counterespionage for the CIA with information on the assassination of President Kennedy. The Review Board staff examined CIA and FBI records on LeWinter. FBI and CIA files indicate that LeWinter is a well-known fabricator with an interest in intelligence and law enforcement activities who frequently makes claims related to sensational or unusual news events. The records that the Review Board examined did not show that Oswald LeWinter was ever employed by or worked for the CIA in any capacity. Further, CIA reported that it has never employed anyone with a title or position equivalent to "Assistant or Deputy Director of Counterespionage."
14. Marita Lorenz
Marita Lorenz allegedly was involved in the early plots to assassinate Fidel Castro; associated with some of the more colorful gun-running characters in the assassination story; and has worked as an informant for government agencies, including the Drug Enforcement Agency. According to former HSCA staffers, Lorenz claimed to have witnessed a meeting between Frank Sturgis, a.k.a. Frank Fiorini, and E. Howard Hunt, both of whom had denied knowing each other in testimonies to the Rockefeller Commission. Although there are extensive FBI files on Lorenz, the Review Board located no additional files in the CIA collections under her name. Upon the suggestion of former HSCA staffers to look further into Marita Lorenz, the Review Board requested DEA and INS to search their respective agency files for records on Lorenz. While INS had no records, DEA produced two files, none of which contained information of relevance to the assassination.
15. John Thomas Masen
John Thomas Masen was a Dallas area gun dealer who was arrested on gun smuggling charges two days before the assassination of President Kennedy. During the fall of 1963, Masen supplied arms to the Directorio Revolucianario Estudiantial (DRE), an anti-Castro group based in Miami. The FBI interviewed Masen during the assassination investigation regarding allegations that he may have sold 6.5 mm Mannlicher-Carcano ammunition to Lee Harvey Oswald. Some researchers have alleged that Masen had connections to Oswald. The Review Board requested access to FBI files on John Thomas Masen from the following locations: Headquarters, San Antonio, Dallas, and Miami. The FBI reported that the Miami field office file had been destroyed, but the Review Board designated as assassination records the Headquarters, San Antonio, and Dallas field office files in their entirety. These files describe the FBI's investigation of Masen in 1963 and 1964, and his association with the DRE.
16. John Anthony McVickar
John Anthony McVickar was a consular officer in Moscow from 1959 to 1961 where he dealt with Lee Harvey Oswald and Marina Oswald. McVickar shared an office with consular officer Richard Snyder in 1959 and so was present to hear Snyder's October 31 interview with Oswald. McVickar was interviewed by members of the Review Board staff and provided affidavits to the Review Board. McVickar said he hds in this collection of Houston's papers. However, the O that exists in the CIA sequestered collection is that of an individual with a different middle name and no connection to the assassination.
17. Elizabeth Catlett Mora
Elizabeth Catlett Mora was a prominent American communist who lived in Mexico City in the early 1960s. Mora was an associate of Vincent T. Lee, head of the FPCC, and traveled to Cuba with him in December 1962. The Review Board requested access to FBI Headquarters and Mexico City file references to Mora to determine if the Communist community in Mexico City had any contact with Oswald during his trip to Mexico City in the fall of 1963. The Review Board designated 12 serials from the Headquarters file on Mora which concerned the Oswald investigation in Mexico City.
18. Gordon Duane Novel
Gordon Novel came to the attention of New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison after making claims that he was an employee of the CIA in New Orleans in 1963 and knew both Lee Harvey Oswald and Jack Ruby. The CIA has a 201 and an Office of Security file on Gordon Novel. The 201 file includes a Domestic Contacts Division "A" file which CIA incorporated into the 201 file. The Review Board reviewed both files and designated as assassination records the entire Office of Security file, and relevant documents from the 201 file which did not duplicate records already found within the CIA sequestered collection.
19. Orest Pena
Orest Pena was a New Orleans bar owner and an anti-Castro activist. Pena and Oswald obtained passports on the same day in the summer of 1963. Pena testified before investigative committees, and claimed he was an FBI informant. In an effort to verify his claims that he was an informant, the Review Board requested access to any Headquarters or field office files under the "134" or "137" classification (the FBI file classification for its informant source files). The FBI found no files responsive to this request.
20. Carlos Quiroga
Carlos Quiroga was an anti-Castro Cuban activist in New Orleans who had contact with Lee Harvey Oswald in the summer of 1963. Quiroga received Oswald's flyer on the FPCC, contacted Oswald, and feigned interest in the FPCC. In addition, Quiroga spent time with Oswald in an effort to determine whether the FPCC was a serious pro-Castro group in New Orleans. The Review Board requested access to all Headquarters and New Orleans field office files regarding Carlos Quiroga. The Review Board designated six serials from the New Orleans file as assassination records.
21. Charles Small
Charles Small was a prominent American Communist who lived in Mexico City in the early 1960s. The Review Board requested access to FBI Headquarters and Mexico City file references to Small to determine if the Communist community in Mexico City had any contact with Oswald during his trip to Mexico City in the fall of 1963. The Review Board designated as assassination records 18 serials from the files produced in response to this request. These documents primarily relate to the Mexico City Communist community's reaction to the assassination and to the fact that Oswald had visited Mexico City shortly before the assassination.
22. Clarence Daniel Smelley
Clarence Daniel Smelley was a member of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters in Birmingham, Alabama, who alleged in 1964 that he had information in his possession that Teamster President Jimmy Hoffa had conspired to and carried out the assassination of President Kennedy. The Review Board requested access to the FBI Headquarters file titled "James Riddle Hoffa; Clarence Daniel Smelley; Unknown Subjects," as well as the corresponding Memphis and Birmingham field office files. The Review Board designated the entire Headquarters file for processing under the JFK Act. This file documented the Bureau's investigation of Smelley and his allegations. The FBI reports that it destroyed corresponding Memphis and Birmingham field office files in the 1970s.
23. Richard Snyder
Richard Snyder was the Department of State consular officer on duty at the American Embassy in Moscow when Lee Harvey Oswald appeared at the embassy to announce his defection on October 31, 1959. Though Snyder had briefly worked for the CIA in 1949 and 1950, the Review Board staff could locate no evidence in CIA files that he still had any connection to the CIA at the time of Oswald's defection. CIA processed its 201 record on Snyder as part of the sequestered collection. The Review Board staff examined Snyder's Office of Personnel file, but did not designate any records as assassination records.
24. Marty Underwood
Marty Underwood was an advance man who worked for both President Kennedy and President Johnson. He was part of the team that accompanied President Kennedy to Texas in November 1963. Certain researchers contend that when Judith Campbell Exner in April 1960 allegedly delivered a satchel of cash to Mafia boss Sam Giancana as a favor to then presidential candidate Senator John F. Kennedy, Underwood was on the same train from Washington, D.C. to Chicago, with instructions to "keep an eye" on her. The Review Board was also interested in learning more about Underwood's relationship with Winston Scott, the CIA Chief of Station in Mexico City, whom he met during the Johnson administration. The Review Board requested access to all file references on Marty Underwood. The FBI produced two documents responsive to this request, and neither record contained any assassination-related information. Although Underwood's oral history is at the LBJ Library, he has refused to sign a deed to open the history. While the Review Board considered the oral history to be an assassination record, Underwood gave permission to open only those sections which pertain directly to the assassination. The LBJ Library will send those sections to the JFK Collection.
25. General Edwin Walker and the Minutemen
General Edwin Walker, a retired Army Major General, was an extreme right-wing political activist living in Dallas in 1963. He was forced into retirement from the U.S. Army in 1961 for distributing right-wing literature to soldiers under his command. General Walker was involved in organizing the protests of James Meredith's matriculation to the University of Mississippi in the fall of 1962, as well as protests of Adlai Stevenson's visit to Dallas in October 1963. After the events of November 2224, 1963, Marina Oswald confided to authorities that she believed it was Lee Harvey Oswald who shot at General Walker's home in April 1963.
The Review Board was interested in whether the FBI had any information which indicated that Walker or his followers: (1) had expressed any desire to assassinate President Kennedy; (2) had any contact with Lee Harvey Oswald; or (3) had any information regarding the Walker shooting. The Review Board requested access to Headquarters and Dallas field office files on General Walker, the Minutemen, the Headquarters file number 100439412, and the Dallas field office file number 1051475. The FBI produced numerous files in response to this request, and the Review Board recommended 191 documents from the various files be processed as assassination records. These documents concerned threats against President Kennedy and members of the Kennedy Administration and reactions within the right-wing political community to the assassination of President Kennedy.
The Review Board also requested the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice to search for files on Walker. The Review Board staff located a small number of assassination records in the Criminal Division's files.
This section, organized by agency, sets forth some of the searches for additional information and records which did not easily fit within other sections or chapters.
At the request of the Review Board, the CIA undertook a search for and located the original early records regarding the development of the U2 plane. The CIA also located one of the few extant, unredacted, and still closely held copies of the so called "Family Jewels" document.
a. The U2 connection and the "fake" manuals.
Many researchers have wondered whether Lee Harvey Oswald learned enough about the U2 airplane during his U.S. Marine Corps service in Japan to provide useful information to the Soviets as to its airspeed and altitude or whether he might have played a different role regarding Soviet knowledge of the airplane. In his 1994 personal memoir, Ben Rich, the former director of Lockheed's research and design "Skunk Works," states that Lockheed flight engineers produced four false test flight manuals at Richard Bissell's request. The false test flight manuals contained incorrect information on the plane's weight, speed, altitude, and load factor limits. Rich claims that Lockheed produced the four manuals but only Bissell knew how or if the CIA got them to the Soviets. Did Oswald, or others like him, carry these fake manuals into Soviet hands?
In an effort to locate records to confirm Rich's story, the Review Board staff contacted several individuals who were involved with the U2 program at CIA. In addition, the Review Board staff examined numerous files from the earliest days of the U2 including some of the original test flight manuals. The Directorate of Science and Technology found no mention of any fake U2 manuals in its archives or database. In addition, Lockheed, when queried, reported that records of that age, if they still existed, were neither indexed nor archived. In short, the Review Board staff was unable to find any individual who had ever heard of any fake U2 manuals or any record which even hinted at the existence of any manuals. With Rich and Bissell both deceased, the existence or plans for four fake U2 manuals remains a mystery.27
b. The "Family Jewels."
The 693-paged "Family Jewels" is not a single written document or report, but rather a collection of separate memoranda or letters from individuals, branches, divisions, and offices within the CIA. It grew out of a request by James Schlesinger, then Director of Central Intelligence, instructing individual Agency components to detail acts or programs being conducted by the Agency which might possibly violate the charter of the CIA. Although Schlesinger did not place a time limit on responses, the majority of the material detailed in the "Family Jewels" is from the late 1960s and early 1970s. The "Family Jewels" contains multiple copies of memoranda as different authors attached previous branch, office, or division materials to individual treatises, retorts, elaborations, or addenda. The collection does not have a table of contents, sequence, or organizational rationale. CIA stamped the pages consecutively, and they appear roughly to be numbered in the order in which they were collected.
In response to the Review Board's informal request CIAIR08, the CIA agreed to meet with a member of the Review Board staff to review the "Jewels" and identify assassination-related material. Portions of 27 pages were marked as assassination records to be processed for inclusion in the JFK Collection at the National Archives.
a. "Research Matters" file on John F. Kennedy.
The Review Board requested access to file number 9437374 in the summer of 1995. The file was one of the 164 files that comprised J. Edgar Hoover's "Official and Confidential (O&C)" files, which were removed from Hoover's office after his death and are currently maintained by the FBI as a group to maintain their integrity. The file consists of five volumes, and three "EBFs," or enclosures behind file. The FBI processed the entire file under the JFK Act. The file consists of a mix of material relating to John Kennedy. Volumes 1, 2, 3, and the first half of Volume 4 all predate the assassination. The second half of Volume 4 and all of Volume 5 contain documents that are dated after the assassination and consist of condolence letters and other material relating to President Kennedy. The earliest documents in the file date back to the late 1940s, when John Kennedy ran for and was elected to Congress. The pre-assassination file contains social and professional correspondence between Kennedy and Director Hoover. It also contains a significant number of newspaper articles and information about Kennedy's election races. Once Kennedy became President, the file captured information about Presidential protection and liaison with the Secret Service. The file also contains letters and call reports from members of the public to the FBI generally and to Director Hoover specifically relating to President Kennedy.
b. Liaison with other federal agencies.
In his Warren Commission testimony, Secret Service agent Rowley commented that, had federal agencies shared their information relating to Lee Harvey Oswald, the government could have compiled a list of at least 18 items that would have alerted the Secret Service that Oswald was a threat to the President. In light of allegations that federal agencies neglected to adequately share law enforcement information, the Review Board staff believed that information of the 1960s era, which related to liaison between federal government agencies on law enforcement matters generally and matters affecting Presidential protection specifically, would be relevant for purposes of the JFK Collection.
i. Secret Service/Protection of the President. The Review Board requested access to the FBI's files captioned "Liaison with the Secret Service" and "Presidential Protection." Both of these files had previously been available in the FBI's FOIA reading room in a heavily redacted form. The FBI's file on Presidential Protection does not begin until 1964, and the Review Board designated all documents from 1964, and 27 documents from post-1964, as assassination records. The Review Board also designated the FBI's entire file on the Dillon Commission as assassination-related.
ii. CIA. Although the HSCA reviewed portions of the FBI's liaison file with the CIA, the Review Board requested access to additional sections of the FBI/CIA liaison file covering the period 1957 through 1969 in an effort to locate new assassination records. The Review Board designated all documents from the CIA liaison file for the years 1963 and 1964 as well as 67 documents from the period before and after 1963 and 1964 for processing as assassination records. These documents cover a wide variety of topics related to the assassination including information about how the FBI and the CIA shared information when their interests overlapped.
iii. NSA. The Review Board staff's review of the FBI liaison file with NSA for the years 19591964 produced no additional assassination records.
iv. Customs. The Review Board staff's review of the FBI's liaison file with the Customs Service produced no additional assassination records.
v. ATF. The Review Board staff's review of the FBI's liaison file with the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms produced no additional assassination records.
3. Secret Service
a. Protective survey reports.
Whenever the President traveled outside of Washington, D.C., the Secret Service would generate a Protective Survey Report, or a "trip report." Trip reports, composed by Secret Service agents who conducted advance work for the President's trips, contained information ranging from logistical details about seating arrangements to details about individuals in the area known to have made threats against the President's life. Some of the survey reports document information Secret Service received from other agencies such as the FBI or the CIA.
The survey reports detail President Kennedy's travel, whereabouts, associations, and activities for his entire administration. They also provide a complete picture of the Secret Service's protection of President Kennedy.
b. Shift reports.
The White House Detail consisted of Secret Service agents whose duties were to personally protect the life of the President, the Vice President, and their respective families. The White House Detail kept "shift reports," usually authored by the Special Agent in charge of the shift, that detailed the activity of each section during their assigned working hours.
c. Eileen Dinneen memoranda.
Eileen Dinneen, a staff researcher for the HSCA, obtained access to protective intelligence files and Protective Survey Reports. Dinneen documented her review of these files in memoranda and reports. The Review Board staff found useful Dinneen's documentation of information contained in the Secret Service protective intelligence files of individuals whom the Secret Service considered to be dangerous to the lives of the President, the Vice President, and their families from March to December 1963. For each protective intelligence file she reviewed, Dinneen created a one-page report documenting the name of the individual and various biographical and background information the Secret Service maintained on the individual. The Board's vote to release in full these "threat sheets" was the subject of the Secret Service's May 1998 appeal to the President.
4. Department of State
Robert Edward Webster was a technician working on the American Exhibition in Moscow in the summer of 1959 when he decided to renounce his citizenship and defect to the Soviet Union. Webster appeared at the U.S. Embassy to announce his defection two weeks prior to Oswald's visit. Researchers have suggested that accounts of Oswald's appearance at the embassy differ because embassy personnel have confused the arrivals of Webster and Oswald. In an effort to explore any physical similarities between the two men, the Review Board asked the Department of State to locate a circa 1959 passport photograph of Webster. The Department of State produced its passport file on Webster, and transferred the file to the JFK Collection. The passport file includes new, detailed information on Webster's defection.
The Review Board's two primary concerns with Army records were: first, to open the counterintelligence files located at the Investigative Records Repository (IRR) at Fort Meade; and second, to determine whether Army intelligence units had any regular responsibilities for protection of the President as part of their normal duties circa 1963.
a. U.S. Army's Investigative Records
This facility at Fort Meade in Maryland, a part of the Army's Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM), contains investigative files on individuals of counterintelligence interest to the Army. The HSCA studied 34 IRR "case files," and thus, the Army processed those records for inclusion in the JFK Collection. The Review Board requested three additional files and designated them assassination records. The three additional case files declared as assassination records by the Review Board pertain to Alfredo Mirabal Diaz, Jordan James Pfuntner, and Clemard Joseph Charles. The Review Board staff also designated one additional file consisting of an assortment of extracts from various Army Intelligence Regulations.
b. Army Security Agency records and files.
The Review Board did not locate any additional assassination records from the Army Security Agency's files. Review Board staff searched for information and records concerning ASA electronic surveillance from the 1960s, but was unsuccessful in its efforts to locate any such material. Army personnel provided to the Review Board staff a unit history which gave a generic description of ASA surveillance activities in Mexico City in 1963. The one paragraph that addressed this activity was short, not very detailed, and described the ASA surveillance effort of the Cuban and Soviet Embassies as largely unsuccessful, due to technical difficulties. This paragraph did not provide any raw intelligence or surveillance data.
c. Army Inspector General 1973 report on domestic surveillance abuses in the U.S.
In 1997, the Review Board requested that the Army's Inspector General's Office locate and provide a copy of its own 1973 report on domestic surveillance abuses in the United States, in the hope that this document might mention domestic surveillance activity in the early 1960s and provide leads to the Review Board. (The Church Committee cited this report in detail.) The Army IG office responded to the Review Board staff that it could not locate its own report.
6. White House Communications Agency
WHCA was, and is, responsible for maintaining both secure (encrypted) and unsecured (open) telephone, radio, and telex communication between the President and the government of the United States. Most of the personnel that constitute this elite agency are U.S. military communications specialists; many, in 1963, were from the Army Signal Corps. On November 22, 1963, WHCA was responsible for communications between and among Air Force One and Two, the White House Situation Room, the mobile White House, and with the Secret Service in the motorcade.
The Review Board sought to locate any audio recordings of voice communications to or from Air Force One on the day of the assassination, including communications between Air Force One and Andrews Air Force Base during the return flight from Dallas to Washington, D.C. As many people are now aware, in the 1970s, the LBJ Presidential Library released edited audio cassettes of unsecured, or open voice conversations with Air Force One, Andrews Air Force Base, the White House Situation Room, and the Cabinet Aircraft carrying the Secretary of State and other officials on November 22, 1963. The LBJ Library version of these tapes consists of about 110 minutes of voice transmissions, but the tapes are edited and condensed, so the Review Board staff sought access to unedited, uncondensed versions. Since the edited version of the tapes contains considerable talk about both the forthcoming autopsy on the President, as well as the reaction of a government in crisis, the tapes are of considerable interest to assassination researchers and historians.
Given that the LBJ Library released the tapes in the 1970s, the paper trail is now sketchy and quite cold. The LBJ Library staff is fairly confident that the tapes originated with the White House Communications Agency (WHCA). The LBJ Library staff told the Review Board staff that it received the tapes from the White House as part of the original shipment of President Johnson's papers in 1968 or 1969. According to the LBJ Library's documentation, the accession card reads: "WHCA?" and is dated 1975. The Review Board staff could not locate any records indicating who performed the editing, or when, or where.
The Review Board's repeated written and oral inquiries of the White House Communications Agency did not bear fruit. The WHCA could not produce any records that illuminated the provenance of the edited tapes.
7. Presidential Library Materials
The JFK Act obliged both the John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Libraries to grant the Review Board access to donor-restricted material and to records stored under a deposit agreement to determine whether the material contains assassination information. Initially, both presidential libraries were reluctant to release their most closely guarded records involving Jacqueline Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, and William Manchester. In the case of both libraries, privacy concerns, as well as political motivations, delayed the decision-making process. The Review Board was able to secure the LBJ Library's agreement to release the Jacqueline B. Kennedy tapes and transcripts;28 obtain William Manchester's permission to allow a member of the Review Board staff to review his papers on The Death of a President; and secure the cooperation of the JFK Library in approaching the Kennedy family regarding the release of the sealed tapes and transcripts of Manchester's interviews with Jacqueline B. Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy.
a. William Manchester interviews.
Most of William Manchester's work papers relating to his work on The Death of a President are stored at the JFK Library under a 1967 Deposit Agreement. Of particular historical value are the extensive personal interviews he conducted in the early aftermath of the President's death. In contrast to other records in the Collection that shed light on the assassination investigations, the Manchester interviews chronicle the human side of the story. Manchester envisioned that The Death of a President would provide "one complete, accurate account about the assassination,...that would be based on material gathered while the memories were still fresh."29 The interviews captured and recorded the early recollections and reactions of people closest to President Kennedy and provide a lens through which the tragedy of the event can be seen and understood in the context of the times.
Beginning in early 1995, the Review Board made repeated attempts to gain access to Manchester's papers at the JFK Library. In June 1998, Manchester agreed to allow a Review Board staff member to review his material at the Library. This review revealed that, while much of the information Manchester obtained from the interviews is incorporated into his book, his raw notes would be of great value and interest to researchers.
Although Manchester recorded some of his interviews on tape, the recordings were not available at the Library. Only the written notes and/or transcripts of his interviews are in this collection. Furthermore, not all of the interviews that Manchester referenced in The Death of a President are accounted for in the notebooks and transcripts he deposited in the JFK Library. Because of their unique historical value, the Review Board regards these interviews as highly relevant to the assassination. This outstanding collection of materials should be made available to the public as soon as possible. At this point, however, Manchester has refused to cooperate and it is unfortunately impossible to open the records without his consent.
The tapes and transcripts of William Manchester's interviews of Robert F. Kennedy and Jacqueline B. Kennedy are subject to a 1967 legal agreement which states that they were not to be made public for 100 years "except... on the express written consent of plaintiff [Jacqueline B. Kennedy]." With Mrs. Onassis's death, her daughter Caroline Kennedy became her representative and is the only person with authority to give consent to open this material.
The Review Board recognizes that the interviews have extraordinary historical value and so it pursued this matter with the JFK Library and with William Manchester. After evaluating whether the the court order could be lifted, the Review Board decided to approach Caroline Kennedy to discuss the possibility of having the tapes and transcripts opened at the Kennedy Library. Caroline Kennedy wrote to the Review Board in late August 1998, informing the Board of her decision not to release the material at this time, nor would she agree to allow one of the Review Board members to review the material to determine whether the tapes contained assassination-related material.
The Review Board was very disappointed that Caroline Kennedy declined to even allow the Review Board access to the material. The Board hopes that she will agree to public release at a later time.
b. Jacqueline B. Kennedy tapes at the LBJ Library.
There are six recorded telephone conversations between Jacqueline B. Kennedy and President Johnson within the collection of presidential recordings at the LBJ Library. The Review Board has worked consistently with the LBJ Library to secure their release. The LBJ Library was concerned about donor restrictions associated with the release of these tapes. Finally , in March 1998 the LBJ Library decided to release the six conversations provided that they be opened along with the next scheduled release of President Johnson's recordings. The Review Board understands that these tapes will be released on September 18, 1998, along with the release of the August to November 1963 recordings.
The Review Board examined a large number of records in its efforts to identify additional federal records and information related to the assassination, many of which are not detailed in this report. For every assassination record that the Review Board located and included in the JFK Collection, the staff literally reviewed hundreds of documents. The need to review every file on a document-by-document basis meant that the Review Board simply did not have time to request additional information and records on every research lead that it received. For those requests that the Review Board staff did make, the Review Board staff team leaders kept notebooks that documented the Review Board staff's efforts to locate additional records at the FBI, CIA, and Department of Defense. To the extent that the public is interested in finding information on the Review Board's additional requests, the notebooks document which records Review Board staff reviewed and which records the Review Board has designated as assassination-related.
Part I: Endnotes
1 JFK Act, sec. 5(c)(2)(H).
2 Chapter 5 of this Report defines the CIA's Sequestered Collection.
3 In Volume 11 of its report, the HSCA attempted to deal with allegations of a possible military investigation of Oswald by the Marine Corps following the assassination. Also, some former USMC associates of Oswald have told researchers that they recall civilian investigators asking questions about Oswald following his defection in late 1959 or early 1960.
4 The in-person, unsworn interview was tape-recorded, and the three written interview reports are dated August 5, August 13, and September 16, 1997, respectively.
5 Reeves served in the District Intelligence Office of the San Diego, California 11th Naval District.
6 One of the officers who called Mr. Reeves was Rufus Taylor, who was Director of Naval Intelligence in 1964.
7 The Office of Operations later became the Domestic Contacts Division (DCD) of the Directorate of Operations.
8 See the HSCA's report on Oswald in Mexico City, The Lopez Report, where the subject of CIA photographic surveillance operations is discussed at length.
9 The Review Board was not able to locate cables or dispatches from the following periods: Mexico City Station to Headquarters (September 2630, 1963); Headquarters to Mexico City Station (September 2630, 1963); JMWAVE to Headquarters (September 26November 21, 1963); Headquarters to JMWAVE (September 26November 21, 1963); and all traffic between the Mexico City Station and JMWAVE for the periods September 26October 20, 1963 and November 22December 30, 1963.
10 According to CIA, in the 1960s, offices of record for cable traffic and dispatches did not create cable and dispatch files for reference collection purposes.
11 Approximately half of the records on Cuba were from 1962 and the other half were from 1963. Very few records from 1961 or 1964 were present.
12 The RFK donor committee was established in the 1970s for the purpose of overseeing the processing of RFK papers which were held on a deposit agreement at the JFK Library. It traditionally has been comprised of Kennedy family members and scholars and is now headed by Max Kennedy, one of Robert F. Kennedy's sons.
13 When the Review Board decided in 1996 that it would not object to the JFK Library keeping custody of the RFK Cuba-related records, provided that the JFK Library agree to release the records, the JFK Library moved to process the records as part of the executive order mandatory review declassification. Consequently, the Library included the RFK records in the pilot scanning project conducted by CIA, with the stipulation that they be reviewed under JFK Act guidelines. The process was delayed due to a combination of technical problems with the scanning project and a change in leadership of the donor committee following the death of Michael Kennedy.
14 The CIA memoranda bear the dates November 23, 1976; August 5, 1977; and November 29, 1979.
15 Secret Service Final Declaration of Compliance.
16 OIP Final Declaration of Compliance.
17 Mr. Miller was later subpoenaed by the Review Board, and he had retained numerous records from his tenure as Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division.
18 Criminal Division Initial Statement of Compliance (dated January 29, 1997).
19 Dec. 19, 1996, Review Board Letter to Main Treasury.
20 Main Treasury Final Declaration ª 10.
21 Id. ª 19.
22 In the early 1960s, the Technical Services Division (TSD), was a part of the Directorate of Plans (now the Directorate of Operations). Later administrative shifts moved TSD (renamed the Office of Technical Service) to the DS&T and the files of the relocated office were incorporated into the DS&T system.
23 The FBI had only designated for processing under the JFK Act sections 1718 and 2037 of the Giancana file. Section 17 of the file began with the year 1963, and so the FBI had not designated for processing any volumes of records that predated January 1, 1963.
24 Robert Blakey and Richard Billings, Fatal Hour (1981); Anthony Summers, Conspiracy 503504 (1980); Gerald Posner, Case Closed 459460 (1993); John H. Davis, Mafia Kingfish, 519524 (1989); Ronald Goldfarb, Did the Mob Kill JFK?, Washington Post, Dec. 10, 1995 at C3:1.
25 When the FBI determines that electronic surveillance is a necessary component of a particular investigation, the FBI goes to a federal court and obtains authorization pursuant to Title III to establish the surveillance. Title III operates to automatically place all materials obtained from the overhear under court seal. Then, if the U.S. Attorney wants to use the tapes in a prosecution, they have to petition the federal court to have the seal lifted only for the portions of the tapes that will be played at trial. The practical effect of this procedure is that everything that is not played at trial remains under seal. Thus, in order for the Review Board staff to obtain access to the BriLab surveillance, it had to move to unseal the materials for the purpose of its review. Then, when the Review Board staff located assassination records within the BriLab materials, it requested the Title III court to unseal the records for the purpose of public disclosure.
26 The Worker newspaper, to which Oswald subscribed, often mentioned Abt.
27 Ben R. Rich and Leo Janos, Skunk Works: A Personal Memoir of My Years At Lockheed. New York: Little Brown, and Company. 1994.
28 Scheduled to be released on September 18, 1998.
29 William Manchester, Foreward to The Death of a President, Harper & Row, Publishers, New York, p. ixx.