G. Robert Blakey's 2003 Addendum to this Interview:
I am no longer confident that the Central Intelligence
Agency co-operated with the committee. My reasons follow:
The committee focused, among other things, on (1) Oswald,
(2) in New Orleans, (3) in the months before he went to Dallas, and, in
particular, (4) his attempt to infiltrate an anti-Castro group, the Directorio
Revolucionario Estudiantil or DRE.
These were crucial issues in the
What contemporaneous reporting is or was in the Agency's
DRE files? We will never know, for the Agency now says that no reporting is in
the existing files. Are we to believe that its files were silent in 1964 or
during our investigation?
I don't believe it for a minute. Money was involved; it had
to be documented. Period. End of story. The files and the Agency agents
connected to the DRE should have been made available to the commission and the
committee. That the information in the files and the agents who could have
supplemented it were not made available to the commission and the committee
amounts to willful obstruction of justice.
Obviously, too, it did not identify the agent who was its
contact with the DRE at the crucial time that Oswald was in contact with it:
During the relevant period, the committee's chief contact
with the Agency on a day-to-day basis was Scott Breckinridge. (I put aside our
point of contact with the office of chief counsel, Lyle Miller) We sent
researchers to the Agency to request and read documents. The relationship
between our young researchers, law students who came with me from Cornell, was
anything but "happy." Nevertheless, we were getting and reviewing
documents. Breckinridge, however, suggested that he create a new point of
contact person who might "facilitate" the process of obtaining and
reviewing materials. He introduced me to Joannides, who, he said, he had
arranged to bring out of retirement to help us. He told me that he had
experience in finding documents; he thought he would be of help to us.
I was not told of Joannides' background with the DRE, a
focal point of the investigation. Had I known who he was, he would have been a
witness who would have been interrogated under oath by the staff or by the
committee. He would never have been acceptable as a point of contact with us to
retrieve documents. In fact, I have now learned, as I note above, that Joannides
was the point of contact between the Agency and DRE during the period Oswald was
in contact with DRE.
That the Agency would put a "material witness" in
as a "filter" between the committee and its quests for documents was a
flat out breach of the understanding the committee had with the Agency that it
would co-operate with the investigation.
The committee's researchers immediately complained to me
that Joannides was, in fact, not facilitating but obstructing our obtaining of
documents. I contacted Breckinridge and Joannides. Their side of the story wrote
off the complaints to the young age and attitude of the people.
They were certainly right about one question: the
committee's researchers did not trust the Agency. Indeed, that is precisely why
they were in their positions. We wanted to test the Agency's integrity. I wrote
off the complaints. I was wrong; the researchers were right. I now believe the
process lacked integrity precisely because of Joannides.
For these reasons, I no longer believe that we were able to
conduct an appropriate investigation of the Agency and its relationship to
Oswald. Anything that the Agency told us that incriminated, in some fashion, the
Agency may well be reliable as far as it goes, but the truth could well be that
it materially understates the matter.
What the Agency did not give us none but those involved in
the Agency can know for sure. I do not believe any denial offered by the Agency
on any point. The law has long followed the rule that if a person lies to you on
one point, you may reject all of his testimony.
I now no longer believe anything the Agency told the
committee any further than I can obtain substantial corroboration for it from
outside the Agency for its veracity. We now know that the Agency withheld from
We also now know that the Agency set up a process that
could only have been designed to frustrate the ability of the committee in
1976-79 to obtain any information that might adversely affect the Agency.
Many have told me that the culture of the Agency is one of
prevarication and dissimulation and that you cannot trust it or its people.
Period. End of story.
I am now in that camp.
Anyone interested in pursuing this story further should
consult the reporting by Jefferson Morley of the