At some point in the fall of 2014 the CIA quietly said, 'we'll just leave this here' and published a bombshell PDF of a declassified article on George Washington University's National Security Archive. The 2013 piece by CIA Chief Historian David Robarge is titled "[Director of Central Intelligence] John McCone and the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy" and it basically admits that McCone—appointed by JFK to head the agency—was a little squirrelly in his testimony before the Warren Commission.
Led by Chief Justice Earl Warren, the Warren Commission concluded the assassination of the 35th president of the United States was the work of a delusional mind. Lee Harvey Oswald, an ex-Marine who had once renounced his American citizenship and moved to the Soviet Union, was a lone wolf. The Commission reached this conclusion in great part because John McCone led them in that direction.
McCone, Robarge writes, didn't give the most truthful testimony. In their report on the document, Politico put a fine point on the choices McCone made, and why Robarge's account may give credence to some of the conspiracy theories that have long swirled around JFK's death:
McCone, who died in 1991, was at the heart of a “benign cover-up” at the spy agency, intended to keep the commission focused on “what the Agency believed at the time was the ‘best truth’—that Lee Harvey Oswald, for as yet undetermined motives, had acted alone in killing John Kennedy.” The most important information that McCone withheld from the commission in its 1964 investigation, the report found, was the existence, for years, of CIA plots to assassinate Castro, some of which put the CIA in cahoots with the Mafia.
As Politico notes, Robarge's revelations about McCone's testimony or the truth of CIA involvement with the mafia don't negate the Warren Commission's basic findings. They do prove the CIA director acted to steer the Commission investigation away from closer examination of any ties Oswald—once arrested while distributing pamphlets supporting the communist nation—may have truly had with Cuba.
Not trying to go for the full Oliver Stone here, but it's hard to read an admission like this and not wonder just how many other "benign" diversions took place during the JFK investigations.
We can hear conspiracy theorists cracking their knuckles and preparing to type now. We really can't blame them this time.
Photos by Walter Sisco/Wikimedia/Public Domain