Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Andrew Kreig on CAPA - Open Government and Sunshine Week

CAPA - New Group Advocates Disclosure On Political Assassinations

Andrew Kreig, March 13, 2016

Americans deserve thorough disclosure of the nation’s major assassinations says a new research group at the start of the annual “Sunshine Week” in March 2016.

As an initial goal, Citizens Against Political Assassinations (CAPA), a non-partisan umbrella group, seeks withheld records pertaining to the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy in 1963 and the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. and New York Senator Robert F. Kennedy in 1968. 

Americans deserve thorough disclosure of the nation’s major assassinations says a new research group during the annual “Sunshine Week” in March.

 “CAPA seeks release of the remaining JFK records with a minimum of redactions, which can obscure vital information,” said CAPA Chairman Cyril H. Wecht, M.D., J.D., a prominent expert in forensic pathology for five decades.

“We shall also file Freedom of Information Act requests and similar legal actions to enforce the law and undertake public education efforts to show the importance of disclosure to new generations.” Wecht is a world-renowned consultant, medical school professor, author, and former county coroner for two decades in Pennsylvania.

This editor is one of nine CAPA directors along with Wecht, and is also the media liaison for the CAPA announcement, which is timed to coincide with the annual Sunshine Week launched by Florida journalists and then nationally in 2005 by the American Society of Newspaper Editors (ASNE) with funding from the Knight Foundation. The purpose is to advocate for open government and warn against the dangers of excessive secrecy.

In Washington, DC, the National Press Club and Newseum are among the organizations sponsoring events during the week seeking more transparency by government. There are many challenges for the media and the public in obtaining from government information once regarded as routine. For example, the Washington Post reported in its Sunday, March 13 print edition, The federal government no longer cares about disclosing public information.

This editor shares those goals as an active member of more than a half dozen journalism and legal bodies, including the National Press Club's Press Freedom Committee and several other of the largest and oldest journalism bodies, such as SPJ, ASJA, and the Overseas Press Club. But an urgent need exists also for more for targeted advocacy efforts on the topic of assassinations, especially since the major media have proven extremely reluctant to use their influence to report sensitive aspects of major assassinations -- much less lobby for additional disclosures.


Part of this reluctance is doubtless the pressure of deadlines and, often, the implied need for scientific and legal expertise to overcome obstacles.

Yet review of the records indicates that other factors doubtless include the establishment media's role in maintaining public confidence in government institutions and their own brand names as purveyors of truth even though such declassified records as those about Operation Mockingbird show that during the 1950s and 1960s the nation's top newspaper, broadcast, wire services and magazines worked closely at the ownership to thwart reporting on sensitive intelligence topics, including the 1963 assassination of President Kennedy and the Warren Commission investigation of it.

Importantly, such efforts as Operation Mockingbird were cooperative ventures between media owners and such agencies as the CIA, the evidence indicates, and not the agencies in effect mandating that the media do anything.

Thus, Operation Mockingbird's co-leaders are now known to have been Washington Post Publisher Philip Graham and the CIA's Frank Wisner, Sr., who dined together weekly with their wives, as Graham's widow Katharine Graham noted (albeit in passing) in her memoir Personal History.

Somewhat similarly, Time-Life Publisher Charles "CD" Jackson led the magazines' coverage of the 1963 assassination and their exclusive acquisition of such vital evidence as the video of the killing by Abraham Zapruder. Jackson, publisher of the nation's two most important magazines in terms of influence, was regarded also as the nation's leading expert on psychological warfare because of his successes during World War II in the CIA's forerunner, the Office of Strategic Services, and his work as a national security advisor to President Eisenhower.

Similar efforts placed CIA and other intelligence operatives in other businesses, government offices (including the White House and Pentagon), academia, unions, religious organizations, and political groups of the mainstream, left and right, researchers now know from many documents, witness accounts and books.
The late Air Force Col. Fletcher Prouty described the process in his courageous 1973 insider's account The Secret Team, for example. In it, Prouty described how he helped arranged such confidential placements when he worked at the Pentagon during the 1950s and early 1960s at the liaison between the Joint Chies of Staff and the CIA's leaders for covert operations in such specialties as assassinations, revolutions and propaganda.

Among more recent books on the topic are last year's Workshops of Empire by Eric Bennett and John Countney Murray, Time/Life and the American Proposition: How the CIA's Doctrinal Warfare Program Changed the Catholic Church by David Wemhoff and, more generally, The Devil's Chessboard by David Talbot, subtitled Allen Dulles, the CIA and the Rise of America's Secret Government. Proponents of such program justified them, to the extent they ever had to do so, for anti-communist and patriotic reasons, as evidenced by many other books too numerous to mention here.

For such reasons, the JFK Act of 1992 exemplifies one major CAPA initiative that is especially congruent with the goals of Sunshine Week and other open government initiatives this spring fostered by the newspaper, broadcast and library leaders along with concerned citizens.

The JFK Act requires federal release of records on the assassination of President Kennedy by October 2017. The president of the United States at that time will be responsible for enforcement. Millions of pages have been declassified regarding Kennedy's assassination and the Warren Commission investigation, (but so many remain classified that they can’t tell us how many).

The CIA has long objected to release of others, as reported by such researchers as Russ Baker's investigative team at WhoWhatWhy and by former Washington Post Reporter Jefferson Morley, who curates the website Their columns are Exclusive: List of Withheld JFK Assassination Documents and Denied: the JFK records the government doesn’t want you to see, respectively.

“Especially in the midst of the 2016 presidential election cycle,” said CAPA's leader Dr. Wecht, ”Sunshine week is a key time to foster public confidence in government by building public support for document release and other ‘sunshine’ goals. Time is running out to do something about the horrific JFK crime and cover-up. There is power in numbers. We hope you will join us in this worthy endeavor to bring truth to the American people.”

Excerpted below are samples of news reports and analysis by the Justice Integrity Project about these topics, as well as by other writers and groups. The appendix includes links to a so-far 30-part "Readers Guide" to the JFK Assassination providing, among other things, a catalog of the most important several hundred books on the topic out of the more than 2,500 total estimated.

Even though a great deal of progress has been made in solving key components of the JFK assassination and several others important documents are still being withheld. That creates terrible precedents also for important political murders and attempts reaching current times in the United States and globally.

Therefore, leading scientists, lawyers, journalists and other researchers -- most with decades of experience and current participation in other groups -- have convened to create a new organization in CAPA to dispel remaining secrets, working in a complementary fashion with other entities, including other researchers and authorities.

But the scope of work is large and priorities will be determined by those who participate effectively. Please consider joining the effort this week and participating on a committee suited to your interests and talents. To join CAPA, visit its website.

For any questions, you are involved to contact this editor.  
Andrew Kreig

Justice Integrity Project Editor (
Washington, DC 20004
Twitter: AndrewKreig

No comments:

Post a Comment