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Rachel Marsden: New JFK assassination revelations raise questions as Biden refuses declassification

Tribune Content Agency logoTribune Content Agency 11/9/2021 Rachel Marsden, Tribune Content Agency
John F. Kennedy's murderer Lee Harvey Oswald during a Nov. 22, 1963 press conference after his arrest in Dallas. © (Stringer/AFP/Getty Images/TNS) John F. Kennedy's murderer Lee Harvey Oswald during a Nov. 22, 1963 press conference after his arrest in Dallas.

PARIS — Here in the capital city of France, so many people here have a tough time believing that the version of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination set in stone by the Warren Commission — the one concluding that assassin Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone when he fired a bullet with a debatable trajectory into a sitting American president from the sixth-floor window of the Texas School Book Depository 58 years ago. All you really need to know about French skepticism of official government narratives is that this is the country whose citizens still vividly recall the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in Ukraine in 1986 and the French government’s downplaying of the subsequent radioactive cloud that floated across France, despite the panic in neighboring Germany at the time.

Rachel Marsden wearing a dress shirt and tie: Rachel Marsden. © Provided by Tribune Content Agency Rachel Marsden.

Now, some new JFK revelations risk propagating the notion that the U.S. government can be trusted about as much as France’s. “Cuban exile told sons he trained Oswald, JFK’s accused assassin, at a secret CIA camp,” reads a Miami Herald headline published on Oct. 30. The story explains that Ricardo Morales, a sniper instructor working for the CIA to train Cuban exiles in an attempt to overthrow Cuban leader Fidel Castro in the early 1960s, had trained Lee Harvey Oswald in CIA-backed training.

But what would Lee Harvey Oswald have been doing among member of what appears to be Brigade 2506 or Alpha 66 or another such CIA-linked dissident group? These recruits were mostly Cuban expats recruited by the CIA in Miami and covertly trained in Guatemala, Florida, Louisiana, and Alabama in an attempt to invade Cuba and overthrow Castro in the failed Bay of Pigs invasion.

It’s hard to imagine why Oswald might have found himself attracted to the political and ideological crusade of anti-Castro obsessives who, at the time of Kennedy’s death, were upset that Castro hadn’t yet met the same fate, particularly since Oswald’s loyalties seemed to be the opposite. Various sources report that Oswald had “actively advocated” in favor of Castro. So it would only make sense that Oswald hung out with Cuban dissidents to spy on them for the Castro government — something that former CIA officer Bob Baer has also argued in a History Channel series, “JFK Declassified: Tracking Oswald”. Barr’s research places Oswald in contact with the Cuban dissident group Alpha 66 and with Cuban intelligence officials, notably during a trip to Mexico City.

If all this is true, then Oswald had both American and Cuban intelligence contacts and would have had the opportunity to act as a double agent. It’s not a stretch to imagine how someone like him could be easily manipulated by intelligence professionals to at least show up somewhere on command when warranted. Which could explain Oswald’s response when asked by a reporter in the wake of the assassination, “Did you shoot the President?” To which he replied, “No. I'm just a patsy.”

The optics of Oswald’s active involvement in the Cuban dissident movement make it easy to frame the CIA as the master manipulator with a role in JFK’s death. And his pro-Castro activism and contacts with Cuban intelligence noted by the CIA provide a convenient link between JFK’s death and the Castro government.

If anyone wanted to deliberately muddy the waters, then Oswald would have indeed been the ideal useful idiot to serve as cover. And this new information about Oswald’s background and contacts underscores why so many years later, people still don’t feel that they have the whole story.

In 1992, Congress moved to declassify all documents related to the assassination by Oct. 26, 2017, in response to public outrage provoked by Oliver Stone’s Hollywood movie, “JFK”, discrediting the official government narrative. Former President Donald Trump delayed the declassification, citing “national security, law enforcement, and foreign affairs concerns,” and “potentially irreversible harm to our Nation’s security.”

Likewise, President Joe Biden also cited national security concerns in withholding the release of the documents. “Temporary continued postponement is necessary to protect against identifiable harm to the military defense, intelligence operations, law enforcement, or the conduct of foreign relations that is of such gravity that it outweighs the public interest in immediate disclosure,” reads a White House memo.

Both of these White House assertions arguably point to CIA shenanigans. Why else would the U.S. government keep wanting to protect Fidel Castro if Oswald was serving as a Cuban asset? Similarly, if Oswald acted alone, as the government’s longstanding theory claims, then why keep protecting a dead man?

If declassifying the JFK assassination files risks harming U.S. national security, as the state keeps claiming, then what other dodgy official narratives are also being protected right now under the pretext of “national security” while leading citizens to believe lies or part truths?

(Rachel Marsden is a columnist, political strategist and host of an independently produced French-language program that airs on Sputnik France. Her website can be found at http://www.rachelmarsden.com.)

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