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CIA Blocking Access to Lee Harvey Oswald Files

By Matthew Yglesias on October 16, 2009 at 4:02 pm

"CIA Blocking Access to Lee Harvey Oswald Files"

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I try really hard not to be a JFK assassination theorist, but the CIA is not really helping matters:

For six years, the agency has fought in federal court to keep secret hundreds of documents from 1963, when an anti-Castro Cuban group it paid clashed publicly with the soon-to-be assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald. The C.I.A. says it is only protecting legitimate secrets. But because of the agency’s history of stonewalling assassination inquiries, even researchers with no use for conspiracy thinking question its stance.

The files in question, some released under direction of the court and hundreds more that are still secret, involve the curious career of George E. Joannides, the case officer who oversaw the dissident Cubans in 1963. In 1978, the agency made Mr. Joannides the liaison to the House Select Committee on Assassinations — but never told the committee of his earlier role.

It’s extremely hard to believe that 40 year-old documents would compromise present-day operational security. It’s also elementary public choice reasoning to understand that the CIA is going to be inclined to massively overstate its need to keep things secret. Presumably they’re just trying to cover up some minor source of institutional embarrassment rather than concerned that these files reveal that Oliver Stone was right all along. One way or another, people should see these files.

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