The CIA is withholding evidence that Lee Harvey Oswald was involved in a covert intelligence operation three months before assassinating John F. Kennedy in 1963, an author and investigator has claimed.
Prominent JFK expert Jefferson Morley said the operation, which sought to blame Cuban leader Fidel Castro for an act of violence that could be used as a pretext for a full-scale invasion by the US, would fundamentally alter the accepted history of the presidential assassination.
Mr Morley made the claim at a press conference on Monday for the Mary Ferrell Foundation, which filed a lawsuit in October seeking to force the CIA and the FBI to release all of the classified information it holds on the Kennedy assassination.
“This is an extraordinarily serious claim and it has profound implications for the official story,” Mr Morley said. “The CIA knew far more about the lone gunmen than they are even admitting today.”
JFK assassination experts have, for decades, sought to uncover evidence of US government involvement in a plot to kill the president.
During years of Congressional and independent investigations beginning with the 1964 Warren Commission, the CIA has maintained it had no involvement with the assassin. Their denials have done little to quell the conspiracy theories surrounding Kennedy’s death.
Oswald, a Marine veteran, defected to the Soviet Union before returning to the US in 1963 as a supporter of Castro.
Mr Morley, a former Washington Post reporter and the author of numerous books on the intelligence community, told the press conference that Oswald had secretly been involved in operations to undermine US supporters of the Cuban leader in the summer of 1963.
He based the claim on files from George Joannides, a late CIA intelligence officer who infiltrated pro-Cuban groups and whose files remain sealed. He said the evidence proved that the then-CIA director John McCone had lied to the Warren Commission that the agency held no information about 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,” he said. “We’re talking about smoking-gun proof of a CIA operation involving Lee Harvey Oswald.”
The media briefing was held days before the FBI and CIA are due to release all remaining classified files on the JFK assassination, per a deadline set by President Joe Biden last year.
The National Archives last year released nearly 1,500 documents related to the assassination, and has until 15 December to publish the remaining hidden files.
The Mary Ferrell Foundation is a non-profit historical group that advocates for full transparency of the Kennedy’s murder in Dallas in November 1963.
Oswald was murdered days later by Jack Ruby.