3 – A CIA Hit
This is among the most popular theories and probably the most difficult one to debunk. The supposed reason is certainly plausible because there is a lot of truth to it. Kennedy was apparently sick of the CIA’s attempt to kill Cuban dictator Fidel Castro. The President’s administration was not overly concerned about Cuba, and members of the CIA blamed Kennedy for the Bay of Pigs failure in 1961. Perhaps they were worried that Kennedy would be re-elected in 1964 and further frustrate their efforts to deal with Cuba. Maybe prominent CIA members felt that the President would disband them in the near future?
The key to uncovering the truth about the assassination could lie in documents outlining Oswald’s visit to Mexico City. The answer is potentially contained in classified CIA documents; there is still a huge amount of paperwork related to the assassination that has never been released to the public. This documentation will apparently be released in late 2017, so maybe we’ll be closer to the truth.
Remember, Oswald was supposedly in Mexico City between September 27 and October 3, 1963, even though he was seen at a meeting in New Orleans on September 25/26. It is impossible for him to have reached Mexico City so quickly which suggests he was impersonated; for what purposes we can’t ascertain. Oswald spoke to the Cuban Consulate and the Russian Embassy while he was there, but his goal was likely to obtain citizenship to one of these countries. Some conspiracy theorists believe Oswald was a CIA operative, but there is no evidence.
In 1995, John Newman, a former executive of the National Security Agency and Intelligence Officer with the U.S. Army, published evidence that both the FBI and CIA tampered with their files on Oswald before and after the assassination. He also claimed that both agencies withheld information that outlined the threat Oswald posed to the President. Newman named James Angleton, the CIA chief of counter-intelligence, as one of the key figures in the murder.
The FBI released around 40,000 files relating to the assassination in 1977. These documents included a memorandum which claimed President Johnson told his advisor, Marvin Watson, that he was convinced a CBI plot was to blame for the death of Kennedy.
Holes in the Theory
Conspiracy theorists love pointing to shadowy government agencies to explain unusual occurrences and few organizations are murkier than the CIA. It is the bogeyman of the intelligence community and has been linked with a variety of political assassinations. If you believe the CIA was behind the murder, it means you think it hired its own man or else Oswald was involved.
There is no concrete evidence linking Oswald to the CIA, and if they hired him, surely they would have equipped him with something more efficient than the old rifle he supposedly used? Also, if they wanted to ‘silence’ him after the event, they wouldn’t have waited two days to do it. If it was another CIA Operative, where did he fire from? The grassy knoll? The Depository? Some other building?
Also, JFK reportedly mended fences with the agency and apparently began to enjoy a close relationship with it. Just a few weeks before the assassination, Kennedy defended the CIA over allegations of misconduct in Vietnam; stating that: “I think they have done a good job.” The idea that Oswald was recruited by the CIA is intriguing, but to this day, no one has submitted conclusive evidence of any contact between him and the agency.