Never mind that the scandal has been brewing since 1998, when it was discovered that the CIA had intentionally covered up a key role that a CIA agent named George Joannides had played in the months leading up the JFK assassination and, later, in the investigation of the assassination itself.
Better late than never, I suppose.
The documents had been released pursuant to the 1992 John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act, which had been enacted in response to Oliver Stone’s movie JFK and which mandated the release of all government documents relating to Kennedy’s murder.
The documents revealed that Joannides had served as a CIA liaison to an anti-Castro student group known as the DRE and had supervised the funneling of large sums of CIA money into the organization. As I pointed out last week in anarticle dated October 14, when he was living in New Orleans in the months before the assassination Lee Harvey Oswald had had an encounter with a leader of the New Orleans branch of the DRE, a man named Carlos Bringuier.
Later, in the 1970s when the House Select Committee on Assassinations investigated the Kennedy assassination, the CIA called Joannides back from retirement to serve as a liaison between the CIA and the House committee. Ostensibly his job was to facilitate CIA cooperation with the House investigation.
But there was one big problem in all this. No one but Joannides and the CIA knew about Joannides’ prior relationship with the DRE. Not the Warren Commission. Not the House Committee. For some reason known only to the CIA and Joannides, the information was kept secret from the people whose task was to conduct a full and complete investigation into the Kennedy assassination.
Even worse, the CIA had the audacity to select as liaison the person who was the subject of the secret, raising the obvious question: Was Joannides called back from retirement to serve as a barrier rather than a facilitator? Or as the Times put it, “That concealment has fueled suspicion that Mr. Joannides’s real assignment was to limit what the House Committee could learn about C.I.A. activities.”