The Director of the CIA was part of the cover-up of the assassination of President John F Kennedy, it has been claimed.
Fifty years after JFK's death, the CIA has released a once-secret report that suggests senior CIA officials were "complicit" in covering up information at the time.
CIA chief John McCone was allegedly at the heart of a "benign cover-up", according to the report, which is now available on The George Washington University's National Security Archive website.
Mr McCone and other senior CIA officials are accused of keeping "incendiary" information from the Warren Commission, which was set up by President Lyndon B. Johnson to investigate JFK's murder.
According to the report, written by top-CIA historian David Robarge, the cover-up was intended to keep the commission focused on "what the Agency believed at the time was the 'best truth' - that Lee Harvey Oswald, for as yet undetermined motives, had acted alone in killing John Kennedy."
McCone reportedly withheld from the commission the existence of CIA plots to assassinate Cuban leader Fidel Castro.
Without the information, the commission did not know to ask whether Oswald had accomplices in Cuba or elsewhere who wanted President Kennedy dead in retaliation for the Castro plots.
The report, originally published in the CIA's internal magazine, Studies in Intelligence, and declassified in 2013, also suggests Mr McCone withheld evidence the CIA secretly monitored Oswald's mail after he attempted to defect to the Soviet Union in 1959.
While the report offers no conclusions about the directors' motivations, it suggests the White House may have directed him to hide the information.
“The decision of McCone and Agency leaders in 1964 not to disclose information about CIA’s anti-Castro schemes might have done more to undermine the credibility of the commission than anything else that happened while it was conducting its investigation,” the report reads.
“In that sense—and in that sense alone—McCone may be regarded as a ‘co-conspirator’ in the JFK assassination ‘cover-up.’”
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