United States: Govt ‘Loses’ Oswald Files Before October Release

From the article on Salon: Missing from the new JFK files: Batch of CIA records on Lee Harvey Oswald

All of the U.S. government’s files on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy are supposed to be released by October 26. But one batch of CIA records on suspected assassin Lee Harvey Oswald has gone missing.

The records were part of a seven-volume file on Oswald held by the agency’s Office of Security. The OS is responsible for protecting CIA property and vetting agency personnel, and maintains a file system independent of the CIA’s Central File Registry. Declassified CIA records show that Volume 5 of the file records existed as recently as 1978.

The disappearance of the records, discovered by JFK researcher Malcolm Blunt, is significant because the Office of Security was the first component of the CIA to open a file on Oswald, an ex-Marine who defected to the Soviet Union in October 1959 and was later charged with killing JFK in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963.

The official story that Oswald acted alone is widely disbelieved. President Lyndon Johnson, First Lady Jackie Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, French president Charles DeGaulle, and Cuban leader Fidel Castro all privately concluded that JFK was killed by his political enemies, not by a lone assassin.

As a result, conspiracy theories have proliferated over the years, including President Trump’s bogus claim that Ted Cruz’s father was involved.

The disappearing Oswald file is the latest in a series of remarkable revelations that news organizations have found in long-secret JFK assassination files made public for the first time by the National Archives in July.

WhoWhatWhy reported on documents showing that the mayor of Dallas at the time of JFK’s assassination, Earle Cabell, was a CIA asset in the 1950s. His brother, Charles Cabell, was a high-ranking CIA official until 1962.

While the documents don’t show that Earle or Charles Cabell had any connection to JFK’s assassination, they do illuminate that the CIA’s extraordinary penetration of domestic American institutions extended to the city where JFK was killed. If anyone had said over the last 50 years that the mayor of Dallas in 1963 was a CIA asset, they would been derided as a conspiracy theorist. Now we know for a fact that he was.

Given the recent revelations, the disappearance of part of Oswald’s first CIA file is curious, if not suspicious.

The handling of information about Oswald before the assassination shows that he was a figure of deep and constant interest to Angleton and his staff in the four years before JFK was killed. So conspiracy theories notwithstanding, Oswald’s CIA security file is historically significant.

In an email to AlterNet, Blunt, a retired British mental health professional with deep knowledge of the internal workings of the CIA in the 1960s, calls the disappearance of the records “obfuscation for a reason.” “It had to be done because of an interest — undisclosed and unknown — in Mr. Oswald’s records.”

By law, the missing volume of Oswald’s OS file, if it exists, has to be made public by Oct. 26, 2017 the day all of the government’s JFK files are supposed to be made public. But does it exist?

The CIA’s story — that Vol. 5 never existed — is dubious. The OS volume is known to have existed in the 1970s because a declassified record found by Blunt shows that CIA officials and congressional investigators had access to it.

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