Tags: CIA | JFK | Warren | assassination

Panel Suggests Ways to Break JFK Cold Case

By    |   Thursday, 05 Dec 2013 01:49 PM

Recently, at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, the Wecht Institute of Forensic Science and Law presented a program on the 50th anniversary of the assassination of JFK that included a panel of experts on the efforts made from the Warren Commission in 1964 through the Assassination Records Review Board in 1998 to uncover documents that might shed light on the assassination, given that public opinion quickly turned against the Warren Commission Report, and over the intervening decades, the Report has not served its intended purpose of allaying the suspicions of the public that actors other than Lee Harvey Oswald were involved.

The purpose of this article is to summarize the remarks of the experts and to set forth some resources that may be useful to readers. The panel was moderated by Daniel Alcorn, a lawyer in Washington who is an expert on using the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to get access to documents. He asked the panelists to talk about the "lessons learned" from the studies and investigations, since the current president professes to seek lessons from his experiences.

The first speaker was Mark Lane, one of the first to popularize distrust of the Report, who has written a book titled Last Word: My Indictment of the CIA in the Murder of JFK. He has made extensive use of FOIA and congressional investigations to get access to documents, and he told the story of how he lobbied for the creation of the House Select Committee on Assassinations. He pointed out that Oswald never had access to counsel, and he accused the government of silencing Oswald, perhaps to protect others who may have been involved.

Joan Mellen, an English professor at Temple University, credited New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison with opening the door to consideration of possible CIA involvement. She cited a 1956 report by legendary Ambassador David K. E. Bruce, warning that the CIA could become a Gestapo-type organization promoting a policy of destroying nation states in order to further capitalist interests. However, another report, by Bruce Lovett, has totally disappeared. Mellen charged that the CIA has since become more open and defiant in using the military as a means to conduct operations. She credits President George H.W. Bush with implementing the Kennedy idea of removing the CIA from the role of overall supervision of the intelligence community.

Rex Bradford, vice president of the Assassination Archives and Research Center, complained that the various investigations have failed to penetrate the defenses of the CIA. He added that he has been successful in placing the documents obtained by the Church Committee online, but he expressed concern that there were leads that were not followed and documents not obtained.

Robert Tanenbaum, former deputy chief counsel of the House Select Committee on Assassinations, made an impassioned plea not to let utopians take away the freedom of Americans or elected officials to treat citizens like morons.

James Lesar, president of the Assassination Archives and Research Center, urged that efforts focus on seeking a break in the case and holding oversight hearings on the handling of documents.

Dan Hardway, who took over when Tanenbaum left the House Select Committee staff, pronounced himself a cynic as to the usefulness of further hearings.

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Robert-Feinberg
The Wecht Institute of Forensic Science and Law recently presented a program on the 50th anniversary of the assassination of JFK that included a panel of experts on the efforts made from the Warren Commission in 1964 through the Assassination Records Review Board in 1998.
CIA,JFK,Warren,assassination
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2013-49-05
Thursday, 05 Dec 2013 01:49 PM
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