CIA Files on JFK Assassination Call Out Mexican Woman

Politico takes a look at what's been newly released so far
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 3, 2017 9:02 AM CDT
Secret JFK Assassination Files Reveal CIA Misgivings
In this Nov. 22, 1963 file photo, President John F. Kennedy rides in a motorcade with his wife Jacqueline, right, Nellie Connally, left, and her husband, Gov. John Connally of Texas in Dallas, Texas., prior to President Kennedy's assassination.   (AP Photo/File)

Late last month, the National Archives began to release thousands of documents related to John F. Kennedy's assassination that had been kept secret for decades. The JFK Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992 mandated the files be released 25 years later (though there's one loophole), and as the document dump begins, Politico takes a look at a couple of insights gleaned from what's been newly released thus far. CIA leaders testified to the Warren Commission that the agency turned up no proof that there was any conspiracy—Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. But in subsequent years, misgivings about that assertion arose, per Politico's read of the documents, misgivings that were never shared publicly.

A 27-page memo written in 1975 pointed out that the "sole live witness on the record regarding Oswald’s activities"—a Mexican woman named Silvia Duran who worked in the Cuban consulate and tried to help Oswald obtain a Cuban visa—was interviewed only by the Mexican government. As Politico puts it, "the CIA was alarmed ... to realize that no one had properly followed up" on this and other details from the six-day trip Oswald took to Mexico City two months before JFK was killed. The memo also suggests an AP article published Sept. 9, 1963 in the New Orleans Times-Picayune could have spurred Oswald to kill Kennedy. Oswald was an "avid reader" of the paper; the article was an interview with Fidel Castro that suggested the US may be plotting to assassinate him, and though the CIA's Mexico City station flagged the article to HQ, it wasn't considered during the investigation. (More Lee Harvey Oswald stories.)

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