Intelligence Analyst’s Initial Assessment Regarding Released JFK Assassination Documents

I have read over 600 pages so far from the statutory and POTUS ordered release by the National Archives and Records Administration.

Some things really jumped right out at me and I have made some conclusions about this, coming from the perspective of former sniper, Army Special Forces soldier, government employee, and intelligence analyst. Details and theory on the tactical and technical “who did it” later, but for now the following is my BLUF (Bottom Line Up Front) general assessment.

CAVEAT & PREFACE:  I have been a big defender of the CIA, FBI, NSA, and the rest of the IC, to include publishing multiple times to this as well as in conference presentations. I have stuck up for them many times and have known, met, and/or worked with many (well over 1,000) personnel from the FBI and Intelligence Community. There are many thousands of people in the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC), national security organizations, and federal law enforcement who are absolutely patriotic, hard working, dedicated professionals who love their country and do a great job. Some uncommonly heroic and altruistic. I have had the honor to meet and served with such professionals in all three categories. I also believe that we must protect classified information and intelligence tools as well as enforce CI and OPSEC at all cost.

I am also subject to multiple classified Non-Disclosure Agreements.

Additionally, I am not a “conspiracy buff” (and actually have a real problem with the personality profile that is, and avoid them and their social media).


The only reason why a government would over-classify the files and delay the release of them for decades, is because they had some form of involvment or connection to the event. The FBI and CIA are the ones that want files witheld. And petitioned at the last minute to withhold about 1% of the most damaging files, getting another opportunity to redact more of the evidence.

It is long past the time where compromising what are called “sources & methods” and current “equities” and operations are a concern. So, they cannot use that as an excuse.

Even if the assassination was not conducted by or facilitated by the US Government or a rogue element, there is obviously some degree of attribution to the FBI and CIA of persons who knew, dealt with, or collected intelligence on the alleged assassin (and possibly others that may have been connected), CONSIDER THIS: If this had not had some type of U.S. Government connection, then they would have moved heaven and earth to find and prosecute all who were involved. But, they did not. Instead, they were in a rush to close the case and seal the files. They wanted the files sealed for decades until the point where the guilty would not outlive the release date.


  • a.  I do not think that the complete evidence trail was ever archived or even documented in the first place. There is a lot missing from these files that would paint a clearer picture of the assassination and the events before and after. If it all were documented and/or archived, then some key evidence may have been removed over the years.
    The release of 19gb of documents is a disorganized compilation of scanned and disconnected documents, mostly interagency memos and notes from interviews.
    I once knew a police detective who said that his department had an over 90% clearance rate on homicides, most of those completed within a year or less of the arrest. So, how is it that we still do not know the full details of the JFK assassination after nearly 56 years? Especially with the resources of the federal government available?
    Therefore, we may never get the whole story. That is why they delayed the release of the records. So, none of those complicit or guilty would be held accountable. So, that the involved agencies would not be embarrassed or incur scrutiny.
  • b. Many of the 2800 downloadable documents made available after 8pm EDT on October 26th, 2017 show a number of pages for each document in the menu, but actually contain far less pages than is listed. In many of these cases, the downloadable document only contains what amounts to a cover page, but not the main body of information that goes with it. Not much detail.
    Especially those documents listed as coming from the FBI and CIA.

CONSIDER THIS: Who better to cover up or eliminate evidence than those who collect and investigate it? (That was my original assessment back in the 1980s when I began reading about this event, and I am now completely convinced of it.)


  • I do not know of any better way to put it than this: The most dishonest people that I have ever met are ones that I have worked with were those with the highest security clearances. And in the most sensitive positions. I was mortified in witnessing this, and in multiple government workplaces. Although we have many patriots and true professionals in our federal law enforcement, military, and intelligence professions, they are also ridden with morally bankrupt individuals. Anyone else who has worked in these places will tell you the same thing. So, expect them to not tell the truth and conduct cover-ups.
  • The “CYA”(cover-your-ass) mentality, not “rocking the boat,” cover ups, and concealment of the truth are VERY widespread in the federal government. Many government employees are more concerned with job security than the mission or doing the right thing and more worried about preserving their agency and its budgets than the transparency or truth that the people deserve and expect. The cover up tendency is everywhere at the federal level.
    Example: I once reported multiple very blatant and repetitive major security violations by an intelligence analyst in the war zone, witnessed by others on my team, but was told to keep quiet and that it would not be pursued. I was told that it would not be investigated because that would reveal all of the other security violations there and cost people their careers. So, the offender was asked to resign, then lands a job as a highly paid contract interpreter position at GITMO. In another workplace, an elaborate and lengthy coverup was conducted of an imposter and thief who managed to get a Top Secret clearance and high paying job. You all paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for that.
    These types of things happens all of the time.
    We must always protect classified information, sources & methods, and current operations.
    But, it is criminal to conceal criminality.
    Especially when 100% of their income and benefits are paid for by the citizenry.
    Or, as a friend and current analyst just put it: “John, these guys f_ _ _ _d up and they know it. They never expected to get caught. The only way out was to seal the records and sell everyone on a story the story that they wanted us to believe. Like the mainstream media does. The only witness that was caught was shot before he could talk by someone from the organized crime outfit that is mentioned specifically throughout the documents and was involved in a sponsored plot to kill Fidel Castro. This is pretty obvious.”


The released documents contain many specifics about U.S. government plots to assassinate more than one foreign leader. During that era, our government engaged in many planned and completed assassinations. They had the capability to do it and had training & technologies for that as well as sabotage & subversion. (Note: I personally believe that there are justifications for removing our enemies, especially military enemies and sponsors of terrorism. No doubt about it.)


In many cases, there are very sound and vital reasons for declassifying and conducting authorized disclosures of classified information or capabilities.

The FBI and CIA had 25 years to prepare for the deadline mandated in the 1992 statute, yet were not ready on Thursday, October 26th, 2017 to fully comply with it. Now they want more time and insist that redactions of some of the remaining files may be warranted. This makes one wonder if they ever expected these files to be released to the public.

They have had over 56 years to figure this out. Yet, for the past 56 years, rather than offer to disclose what they know, they choose to conceal.

Many of us know that there are in fact very sound reasons for not making certain information public, and that it is for public good and in keeping with providing for the common defense.

However, in this case, many of us who know about classification and declassification believe that there is no sound reason for concealing the files in question, upon any sound reason or basis of national security, other than to avoid embarassment.

Therefore, as do others and some of my friends still in federal service, and some in the media, I think that the FBI and CIA are going to lose a lot of credibility on this. Especially getting the POTUS to agree to not release about 1% of the documents, the most damaging of them.

There may be a public, media, and Congressional outcry on this intentional delay.

The delay this week (and for decades prior to that) was a bad decision on their part.

What are they hiding?


  1. Major cover up. They never intended for the public to know the whole story.
  2. Many details missing and too much raw data with no analysis. Therefore, we may never get the whole story.
  3. Corruption and cover up existed in connection with the assassination.
  4. Our government was conducting targeted assassinations during the era of the Kennedy presidency.
  5. Despite knowing for 25 years that they were required to declassify and release the documents, the FBI and CIA still keep stalling.


Therefore, he President should:

  1. Order the remainder of the documents released, with zero redactions.
  2. Order an unclassified analysis and conclusions made about the JFK assassination, using modern link analysis and other analytical tool (such ad Palantir Government platform and Analyst Notebook), written in plain English, with graphics, and released to the public.
  3. Authorize a commission on needed reforms of the agencies that still insist on covering up their mistakes. If there was ever an opportunity to “defang” a major portion of the deep state, this is it. Like it or not, the federal government failed to properly protect a President and then attempted to conceal records connected to the investigation.


  1.  The US Government did not conduct or have entities in their employ that conducted the JFK assassination, but felt compelled to conceal activities and associations that they had at one time or another with those tied to it, to avoid embarassment and possible prosecution.
  2. The US Government did not conduct or have entities in their employ that conducted the JFK assassination, but elements trained by or connected to them at one time or another conducted the assassination, and felt compelled to conceal those activities and associations. For instance, Lee Harvey Oswald may have been an asset that went “rogue.” And, or, the mafia (for which the documents show had extensive ties to the US Government.) If the lone shooter theory were truly “case closed,” then there would be absolutely no reason at all that there would end up being thousands of pages and 19gb of files to conceal for up to 56 years. There was obviously some nexus or connection that they fought to conceal.
  3. The US Government did not conduct or have entities in their employ that conducted the JFK assassination, but elements working on behalf of a foreign power conducted the assassination, and that some aspect of that operation was tied to our government or its operatives past or present. So, they felt compelled to conceal it to avoid embarassment and possible prosecution.
    (Otherwise, our government would not have covered up that a foreign power conducted the assassination.)
  4. The US Government did not conduct or have entities in their employ that conducted the JFK assassination, and it was conducted by one or more persons operating independently. BUT, in the course of the ensuing and successive commissions and investigations, OTHER covert yet questionable activities and associations of the CIA and FBI were uncovered AND/OR classified sources & methods, operations, and equities would have been compromised. So, the US Government felt compelled those to avoid embarassment, possible prosecution, or unneeded disclosure.


I previously spent a lot of time here, looking at this event from a tactical & technical perspective based upon professional experience:

The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza
Dealey Plaza John F. Kennedy Assassination Site.Dallas TX
Please see my previous post following the visit, to include some theory and questions.
Where the partial release of files is available from NARA:

John Milton Peterson

John Peterson is a combat veteran of the U.S. Army Special Forces who is currently the Special Projects Director of the International Association of Counterterrorism & Security Professionals (, appointed to their Advisory Board and as writer for their quarterly journal in 1997. He also serves as Chairman of the American Preservation Alliance ( He periodically writes for several firearms outlets & outdoor media groups, being published on the newsstand more than twenty times. He has served as a military sniper, infantryman, full-time firearms instructor for two of country's oldest and most prestigious shooting schools, military & law enforcement sniper instructor, intelligence analyst, Army Special Forces soldier, and as private investigator. He enlisted in the military at age 17 under President Reagan. Since 9/11, he has spent years supporting national security between a combat tour of duty in Afghanistan in the Army Special Forces, then at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, then years as a contractor for the intelligence community supporting the war effort. He is currently working on two books, is active with several professional associations, and continues service for the public good. John is on twitter, instagram, Gab, and Ricochet at: @jtfpeterson

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