THE CIA AND POLITICAL ASSASSINATION

BY LARRY HANCOCK

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In the three editions of Someone Would Have Talked, I presented sources and circumstantial evidence suggesting that certain CIA officers instigated a joint action against President Kennedy — using individuals, networks and assets which had previously been used in a series of efforts to eliminate Fidel Castro and senior members of his regime. Anecdotal evidence, including remarks by certain senior CIA officers suggests that action evolved through the activities of individuals within the CIA’s Department of Plans (Operations).

What Someone Would Have Talked, some 480 pages in its most recent (2010 paperback) edition does not do is to provide a full picture of the culture and conditions which could allow such an act to be instigated by CIA personnel and then not be exposed by an Agency investigation. In essence that work deals with what happened‚ rather than how could something like that happen? In other words, how can you take a position that CIA officers were involved and yet maintain that it was not an act of the Agency as a whole? The only way to respond to that question is to engage in a historical study of how political assassination evolved within the Central Intelligence Agency. How did it start, how was it conducted (how will you recognize it when you see it), who gave the orders, and perhaps most importantly‚ who were the people actually involved in such actions as political assassination and even on a grander scale, executive action of senior political leaders during the 1950’s and 1960’s.?

While many of those questions were quite mysterious for a considerable time, much detailed research is now available (including that of various Congressional investigations of the 1970’s) as well as a host of actual documents on the subject of Agency political assassination (many of the documents are quite dry and still cryptic with code words and agency name crypts, which have only recently become known). Equally important, only in the last decade have biographies and oral histories on some of the key Agency personnel have allowed much deeper insights into internal social networks as well as the sorts of dialogs which really made things happen inside the shadow world of covert operations — the things that never showed up in memos, were obfuscated with agreed upon agency speak and often were never sanctioned with as a designated project (which meant waiving normal agency internal security procedures and virtually all oversight), in other words, the way such things were done under extreme deniability...

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