Kennedy
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Jacob G. Hornberger |

Last week, the National Archives suddenly released a batch of long-secret official records relating to the JFK assassination. This was surprising because the official release date for all the JFK-assassination records, as mandated by law, is coming this October. The still-secret records amount to tens of thousands of pages of documents, many of which are records of the CIA, the super-secret federal agency that has specialized in the art of assassination, the cover-up of assassination, and regime change practically since its inception in 1947.

Of course, the obvious question arises: Why are there still CIA records relating to the Kennedy assassination being kept a secret? After all, the assassination occurred more than 50 years ago. By any standard of reasonableness, the CIA should have released everything at least 25 years ago — that is, during the 1990s, when the JFK Records Act mandated the release of such documents and when the Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB) was enforcing the law.

The CIA can request President Trump to continue the secrecy on grounds of “national security.” If the president grants the request, the secrecy continues. If it doesn’t, the secrecy finally comes to an end, at least with respect to the CIA’s records that have been in the custody of the National Archives for the past 25 years.

It turns out that when the JFK Records Act was being written, someone in Congress — perhaps one of the CIA’s friends or assets — slipped a provision into the law permitting the CIA and other agencies another 25 years in which to keep their JFK-assassination records secret. At the time, that must have felt like a long time for the CIA to continue keeping things under wraps.

But those 25 years are now expiring. The gig is finally up. With one possible exception: The CIA can request President Trump to continue the secrecy on grounds of “national security.” If the president grants the request, the secrecy continues. If it doesn’t, the secrecy finally comes to an end, at least with respect to the CIA’s records that have been in the custody of the National Archives for the past 25 years.

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Will the CIA seek another secrecy extension? Will the agency tell President Trump that “national security” will be threatened if the American people are permitted to see its 54-year-old records?

I don’t have any doubts about it, and I’ve been saying that for several months now. Thus, I was struck by a sentence in an op-ed that appeared in the Washington Post last week about the National Archives’ partial release of records last week. The op-ed, authored by historians Larry J. Sabato and Philip Shenon, is entitled, “President Trump, Give Us the Full Story on the JFK Assassination.” It calls on President Trump to strike “a blow for transparency” by refusing to grant any request for continued secrecy by the CIA and any other federal agency with respect to their JFK-assassination-related records.

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Here’s the sentence in the op-ed that struck me: “Congressional and other government officials have warned us in confidence in recent weeks that at least two federal agencies will make formal appeals to the White House to block the release of some of the files.”

Just as I and others have been predicting for several months. Of course, there will be those who will cry “National security, Jacob!” or simply chalk it up to the CIA’s customary penchant for secrecy.

But there is another explanation, a much more likely one: to continue the CIA’s cover-up of one of the most sophisticated and cunning assassinations in history.

Long ago, when the CIA first began specializing in state-sponsored assassinations and cover-ups, one of its cardinal rules was: Never put assassination plans into writing.

Do the still-secret records contain a videotaped confession by CIA officials stating that they orchestrated the assassination of President Kennedy to protect “national security,” just as they orchestrated regime-change operations in Cuba, Iran, Guatemala, Indonesia, Brazil, Congo, Chile, and elsewhere to protect “national security”?

Of course not.

Will they contain even any acknowledgment that they did so?

Of course not.

Long ago, when the CIA first began specializing in state-sponsored assassinations and cover-ups, one of its cardinal rules was: Never put assassination plans into writing.

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But the CIA knows that the still-secret records will provide further bits of circumstantial evidence that further fill in the overall mosaic of what happened. That’s why they’re going to ask Trump to continue the secrecy — to prevent assassination researchers from getting their hands on those additional pieces of circumstantial evidence.

Think about a giant jigsaw puzzle with thousands of pieces. At one puts the puzzle together, he gets to a point where he has a basic idea of what the picture looks like even if he still doesn’t have all the pieces to the puzzle inserted.

It would be virtually impossible to find a more credible witness than Saundra Spencer.  On the weekend of assassination, she was asked, on a top-secret basis, to develop the autopsy photographs of the president’s body. Yet, when the ARRB showed her the official autopsy photographs in the official records in the 1990s, she stated directly and unequivocally that those were not the photographs she developed.

That’s where we are with the Kennedy assassination, in large part because of the massive release of records that the ARRB succeeded in securing in the 1990s. Don’t forget: The original plan had called for secrecy for 75 years after the assassination. As a result of Oliver Stone’s movie JFK, that plan was short-circuited by mandating a release of records earlier than expected.

Was information secured by the ARRB important? Well, just consider the sworn testimony of Saundra Spencer before the ARRB. She was a Navy photography expert who worked closely with the White House on sensitive and secret documents. It would be virtually impossible to find a more credible witness than Saundra Spencer.  On the weekend of assassination, she was asked, on a top-secret basis, to develop the autopsy photographs of the president’s body. Yet, when the ARRB showed her the official autopsy photographs in the official records in the 1990s, she stated directly and unequivocally that those were not the photographs she developed.

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Was she contradicted by U.S. officials, including those in the Pentagon, Navy, or CIA? Nope. Don’t you know that if they had felt Spencer was lying or mistaken, they would have rushed over to the offices of the ARRB and said so? They didn’t. They remained prudently silent in the face of her incriminating testimony.

It’s important to keep in mind that they had succeeded in keeping Saundra Spencer’s version of the events secret for more than 30 years. That secrecy came to an end in the 1990s with her sworn testimony before the ARRB.

There was much more than that, as set forth in my e-book The Kennedy Autopsy. One thing is clear about Kennedy’s autopsy: There were shenanigans that are consistent with only one thesis: cover-up.

There is little doubt that the CIA’s official records still due to be released in October are going to fill out more of the JFK assassination mosaic. That’s why it’s a virtual certainty that the CIA is going to ask Trump to continue the secrecy and, thus, its cover-up.

Until the 1990s, they had also been able to keep secret the nature and depth of the war that the CIA and Pentagon were waging against Kennedy for doing what Arbenz in Guatemala had done and what Allende in Chile would do (and what Trump promised to do): reach out to Russia and the rest of the Soviet Union in a spirit of peace and friendship and in an effort to establish normal relations between the United States and the Soviet Union. For the full story on that, see FFF’s e-books JFK’s War with the National Security Establishment: Why Kennedy Was Assassinated by Douglas Horne (who served on the staff of the ARRB) and Regime Change: The Kennedy Assassination by Jacob Hornberger.

The CIA was able to keep whatever it wanted still secret for some two decades after the ARRB went out of existence. When someone has engaged in wrongdoing, does it not stand to reason that he will keep the most incriminating evidence secret for as long as he can? There is little doubt that the CIA’s official records still due to be released in October are going to fill out more of the JFK assassination mosaic. That’s why it’s a virtual certainty that the CIA is going to ask Trump to continue the secrecy and, thus, its cover-up.

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Will Trump grant it? At this point, it’s impossible to say. But one thing is for sure: If the U.S. national-security establishment succeeds in getting the United States into a war with North Korea, Iran, Russia, China, or some other nation, it is a virtual certainty that Trump will give the CIA whatever extension of time it wants for continued secrecy and cover-up in the JFK assassination. That’s because he will feel dependent on them to prevail in the war and because there won’t be much public outcry over continued secrecy in the JFK assassination in the midst of massive death and destruction from one of the Pentagon’s and CIA’s forever wars for “national security.”

Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. He was a trial attorney for twelve years in Texas. He also was an adjunct professor at the University of Dallas, where he taught law and economics. In 1987, Mr. Hornberger left the practice of law to become director of programs at the Foundation for Economic Education. This article was first published in The Future of Freedom Foundation and is republished here with permission. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Global Village Space’s editorial policy.

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