The CIA is withholding documents suggesting that Lee Harvey Oswald was involved in a covert intelligence operation three months before assassinating President John F. Kennedy in 1963, an author and investigator says.
JFK expert Jefferson Morley said the operation sought to pin the blame on Cuban leader Fidel Castro. The act of violence would have been used as a pretext for a full-scale invasion by the U.S.
Morley made this claim at a press conference on Monday at the Mary Ferrell Foundation, which filed a lawsuit in October seeking the release of all classified information relating to the Kennedy assassination.
"This is an extraordinarily serious claim, and it has profound implications for the official story," Morley said. "The CIA knew far more about the lone gunmen than they are even admitting today."
For decades, JFK assassination experts have sought to uncover evidence of U.S. government involvement in the plot to kill the president.
Congressional and independent investigations began with the 1964 Warren Commission. The CIA maintained it had no involvement with the assassin, although denials did not quell conspiracy theories.
Oswald was a Marine veteran who defected to the Soviet Union before returning to the U.S. in 1963 as a supporter of Castro.
Morley told the conference that Oswald had secretly been involved in campaigns to undermine U.S. supporters of Castro in the summer of 1963.
Morley's claims were based on files from George Joannides, a late CIA intelligence officer who infiltrated pro-Cuban groups and whose files remain sealed. Allegedly then-CIA director John McCone had lied to the Warren Commission, saying the agency had no intel on Oswald.
"What the CIA is hiding is what they've always hidden, which is their sources and methods as they relate to Lee Harvey Oswald," Morley said. "We're talking about smoking-gun proof of a CIA operation involving Lee Harvey Oswald."
The media brief was held days before the two intel agencies were to release all classified files on the JFK assassination, per a deadline set by President Joe Biden last year.
Last year, the National Archives released almost 1,500 documents related to the assassination and has until Dec. 15 to publish the rest.
The Mary Ferrell Foundation is a nonprofit historical group advocating for full transparency of JFK's murder in Dallas in November 1963.
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