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A “smoking-gun” JFK assassination file?
Don’t hold your breath
A colleague and friend, Jeff Morley -Some news outlets have picked up his claim, which was laid out in detail at a morning press conference. “JFK Assassination Investigator Has Jarring New Claim About Oswald’s CIA Involvement,” was the Daily Beast headline.
The problem is that Morley has not seen the documents.
No one has.
It’s guesswork by anyone to claim they know what those files might reveal.
In fact, they are not even part of the President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection at the National Archives. In its review of those documents, the CIA had concluded they were not “assassination-related” files and never sent them to the National Archives. Even if President Biden orders the release of all those files on December 15, the documents in which Morley is interested are not included.
Those files are still in CIA custody. Morley cites the CIA’s obfuscation and misleading responses to the Warren Commission, House Select Committee on Assassinations, and the Assassination Records Review Board, as evidence they must be hiding something. The agency might indeed be hiding something in those files. It has consistently in its history put the preservation of its own secrets above the public’s right to know. I have fought sometimes for the release of CIA files on other subjects only to discover that the information the agency had classified was trivial. What is in the documents sought by Morley might have nothing to do with the assassination of JFK. No one can say with any certainty.
Morley is insistent that those 44 documents should be reviewed and released under the JFK Records Act.
What is long overdue in the JFK assassination is full disclosure of relevant sealed government files. I urge the CIA to put the files identified by Morley into the Collection at the National Archives and process them as quickly as possible.
Hundreds of thousands of pages of assassination files have been made public since Congress passed the JFK Act in 1992. There has been no credible proof of a conspiracy in the death of the president in those released documents. Now, Jeff Morley is one of the first researchers to demand access to files not part of the assassination records. Erring on the side of disclosure is the right option in this case.
If the documents Morley seeks are released and do not prove what he expects, I trust that he accepts that. At least one assassination researcher, Tracy Parnell, believes Morley will not so easily abandon his “smoking-gun” claim. According to Parnell, ““[I]f the documents Morley seeks are made public and do not show what he says they do, his fallback position will be that the definitive records were destroyed. And he now has his own ‘truth’ in the form of the witness.” According to Morley, he has obtained “the testimony of living witnesses.”
If Parnell is right, the JFK assassination will have taken another step to becoming a conspiracy whack-a-mole, a never ending search for irrelevant government files in the hope that one of them, somewhere, anywhere, is the long sought after “smoking-gun.”