Tags: Presidential History | james angleton | cia | jfk | assassination

JFK Files Show CIA's Difficulty in Dealing With Former Chief James Angleton

Image: JFK Files Show CIA's Difficulty in Dealing With Former Chief James Angleton
President John F. Kennedy's murderer Lee Harvey Oswald during a press conference after his arrest in Dallas. (STRINGER/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 13 Nov 2017 07:09 PM

Records released in the JFK assassination files show the CIA's difficulty in dealing with erudite chief James Angleton, whose fixation on searching for Soviet agents inside the government stirred an uproar in the intelligence world for more than a decade, USA Today reports.

The National Archives on Oct. 26 released over 3,800 files on the assassination of John F. Kennedy. The once-classified records have fascinated researchers and fueled conspiracy theorists for decades, and also shed light on the CIA's concerns with Angleton, whose career ended abruptly amid controversy over damaging disclosures about agency operations.

Angleton was convinced of a "monster plot" by Moscow to deceive the United States. He directed the agency's illegal domestic activities, which included opening private mail and amassing files on as many as 10,000 Americans.

The CIA delayed responding to requests for information about Angleton, including in 1979 when journalist David Martin asked about the agency's handling of Yuri Nosenko. Nosenko, who defected from the Soviet Union in January of 1964, claimed Kennedy's killer, Lee Harvey Oswald, had been surveilled during a trip to the Soviet Union but not recruited and another KGB defector working with the CIA was really a double agent.

Angleton held Nosenko for years, and the CIA suspected him of withholding information of a Soviet plot to kill Kennedy and a deeper connection between Oswald and the Soviet Union.

"Don't answer his initial request any sooner than necessary," said an internal CIA memo about a Freedom of Information Act request from Martin. "When we do, deny release of any of the information, maintaining it is still classified and involves protection of sources and methods."

Philip Shenon, author of "A Cruel and Shocking Act: The Secret History of the Kennedy Assassination," wrote Angleton's legacy at the CIA was "a uniquely disastrous one."

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Records released in the JFK assassination files show the CIA's difficulty in dealing with erudite chief James Angleton, whose fixation on searching for Soviet agents inside the government stirred an uproar in the intelligence world for more than a decade.
james angleton, cia, jfk, assassination
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2017-09-13
Monday, 13 Nov 2017 07:09 PM
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