Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The CIA “Family Jewels” Released (Almost)


For those of us who might be called “intel wonks,” one of the most sought after CIA files was finally released today, after thirty-four years of insider speculation and waiting. (See www.foia.cia.gov and follow the “Family Jewels” links).

The 702-page “Family Jewels” document, commissioned in 1973 by then-CIA director James R. Schlesinger, details the most sordid aspects of the CIA’s history, with special emphasis on operations that were in seeming violation of the National Security Act of 1947, the legislation that established the Agency.

As expected, there is little new here -- most of the critical details (assassination plots against foreign leaders, domestic spying on journalists and dissidents, the Yuri Nosenko affair, etc.) have leaked out piecemeal over the years.

What actually jumped out at this writer was the cover letter by Howard Osborne, the CIA’s former Director of Security and author of the compilation. Osborne’s memo serves as an introduction and brief description of the episodes he catalogued in the remaining 701 pages. Osborne’s bullet-point list, which notes the aforementioned topics, is almost all-inclusive, but what struck me is the fact that, of the eight topics listed in numerical order, seven are described, but one is completely redacted. And not just any one, but the very first one! The pages that refer to this topic are also completely white.

It is a typical CIA release blunder, and one that is certain to invite conspiracy theorists to fill in the blank. Here is my list of what the various conspirati might nominate for the missing top spot:

• The JFK Assassination Plan – detailing how the agency coordinated the faking of the Zapruder Film, JFK’s body alterations and switching, the planting of Oswald’s rifle, the forging of the “backyard photos,” the identities of the Umbrella Man, the Black Dog Man, Badge Man, and the Tramps; the planting of the Magic Bullet, the payoffs to the Parkland and Bethesda doctors, the true location of JFK’s brain, the retirement package arranged for Arlen Spector, the designing of a protective vest for LBJ so he wouldn’t be killed accidentally, etc.

• The CIA’s employment file on Lee Harvey Oswald (feel free to substitute Clay Shaw, Sirhan Sirhan, Timothy McVeigh, or the 9/11 hijackers).

• The full autopsy reports for the aliens who crashed at Roswell in 1947.

• Map to the location of the Ark of the Covenant, with a listing of its contents.

• List of over two-dozen secret airfields used by the CIA to import cocaine, LSD, Ecstasy, and crystal meth.

• Various Photos: “Bubbles,” the first chimp to be successfully infected with the CIA’s newest weapon, HIV; an actual “smoking gun;” LBJ, Oswald, and E. Howard Hunt sharing a table at Jack Ruby’s Carousel Club; National Intelligence Medal presented posthumously to “Lee H. Oswald, Agent.”

• Infiltration of Hollywood Operation; reports filed by agents Paris Hilton, Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan, and Mary Hart (who is actually a cutting edge robot).

I intend on filing a Freedom of Information request immediately for the missing bullet-point. However, I doubt these spooks will ever respond. And even if they did, it would just be another cover story.