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Jim Garrison Said CIA Killed Kennedy: Here’s His Evidence

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Jim Garrison Said CIA Killed Kennedy: Here’s His Evidence
Jim Garrison is most famous for having been depicted by Kevin Costner in the 1991 Oliver Stone film “JFK” (1) which portrayed a version of his quest to find out the truth, as he saw it, behind the assassination of President John F. Kennedy (2).

Garrison, when he was district attorney for Orleans Parish in Louisiana, prosecuted a New Orleans businessman named Clay Shaw for complicity in the assassination. Garrison believed that Shaw, among other people, were part of a plot by some elements of the Central Intelligence Agency (3) to kill the president to derail what was supposed to be Kennedy’s efforts to negotiate an end to the Cold War.

Testimony at the trial placed Shaw at a so-called “assassination party” attended by a number of right-wing zealots where the murder of President Kennedy was discussed. Some doubt exists that such a party ever took place. But, to make a long story short, after a trial that lasted a little more than a month, the jury took about an hour to find Shaw innocent.

Why did Garrison believe that the CIA was behind the assassination of President Kennedy? Journalist and historian Max Holland concluded (4), based on recently declassified documents, that the theory originated in an article in a left-leaning Italian newspaper Paese Sera that was published three days after Shaw was arrested.

“According to the afternoon daily, Clay Shaw was no mere international businessman. That profession was a facade for his involvement in ‘pseudo-commercial’ activities via the Centro Mondiale Commerciale (CMC), a trade-promotion group headquartered in Rome from 1958 to 1962. The defunct CMC had been ‘a creature of the CIA,’ according to Paese Sera, ‘set up as a cover for the transfer to Italy of CIA-FBI [sic] funds for illegal political-espionage activities.’ Revealingly, one of the CMC’s most nefarious acts, according to Paese Sera, was support for the ‘philo-fascists’ who had attempted to depose Charles de Gaulle in the early 1960s.”

CIA Conspiracy Theory

The story was built around known facts, that anti-communist activists in Italy had been given support by the CIA, that Shaw had given information from his travels to the CIA’s Domestic Contact Service, though he was never a covert asset or an agent, that Shaw was also a board member of CMC, and that he had been charged with involvement in Kennedy’s assassination.

The story was picked up by the Soviet communist party newspaper Pravda and left-wing media in Greece and Canada.

Holland found that there was no link between the CIA and CMC nor did Shaw have any contact with the Agency after 1958. The original story in Paesa Sera was likely the result of a Soviet KGB dezinformatsiya operation that attempted to undermine the credibility of the CIA by linking it with the Kennedy assassination.

Oddly enough, the CIA conspiracy theory was never introduced during the trial, even though Garrison evidently believed in the connection since the Paese Sera story had come to light. Nevertheless, even though Garrison lost at trial, he achieved a victory of sorts by spreading the meme that the CIA had Kennedy killed for wanting to end the Cold War.

As with all conspiracy theories, the CIA-Kennedy Assassination theory persists because its adherents want to believe it because it fits a particular world-view.

jim garrison

Formula to Disprove Conspiracy Theories

The idea that the CIA or any other elaborate conspiracy would assassinate a sitting president in full public view is ludicrous on its face.

The CIA possessed the means to kill people and make it seem like a natural event without the fuss of a shooting. Indeed, one of the plots to kill Castro involved a poisoned cigar (5).

Kennedy’s various health problems, which the Agency may or may not have known about, would have provided a perfect cover.

Indeed, JFK’s particular sexual antics would have provided the means to remove him from the presidency without the messy course of a political assassination. Americans took a far dimmer view of marital infidelity in 1963.

Putting the final nail in the coffin, Oxford math professor David Grimes (6) has developed a formula that pretty much disproves all elaborate conspiracy theories. A conspiracy to kill President Kennedy as widespread as conspiracy theorists like Garrison believe would have unraveled decades ago.

References & Image Credits:
(1) IMDB
(2) TSW: James Files Assassinate John F. Kennedy
(3) Reddit
(4) CIA
(5) Mental Floss
(6) BBC
(7) Photo of JFK in Limo
(8) Photo of Jim Garrison

Originally published on

  • Mike

    Whereas the CIA did indeed have elaborate plots to kill Castro, none of them succeeded, did they? And if JFK was simply removed, there would be no message sent to Bobby and Teddy that if they run, are elected, and cross the establishment that bad things were sure to happen. A daylight public execution speaks volumes. Garrison may not have been right about everything (BTW, it was later demonstrated that Clay Shaw was indeed on the CIA payroll), but he opened the investigation into conspiracy wide and paved the way.

  • Howard Schumann

    The CIA-Kennedy Assassination theory persists not because anyone “wants” to believe it as a result of their world view. That is ludicrous on its face. It persists because of the strong evidence of a carefully planned coup and cover-up at the highest level of government.

    The probability that an avowed communist would serve in the intelligence gathering arm of the US Navy, renounce his citizenship, seek asylum in the USSR at the height of the Cold
    War, have his re-entry application back to the US expedited, be allowed to travel freely to Mexico, happen to share an office building with an anti-Castro group, appear on TV as a Castro sympathizer, get a job in Dallas a few weeks before Kennedy was scheduled to appear, had a bad day and got off three shots with no motive, hit both the president and Connally with a single bullet that weighed exactly the same as an unfired round…hmm, that probability falls somewhere between slim and none.

  • Fernando

    Mark their are a lot of details you left out on your report. Researchers believe In the conspiracy because the evidence supports it as facts. Not because people “want to believe it.”. Shaws involvement in the jfk conspiracy was very minimum. But he was involved in the aspects of a “sheep dipping” assignment to make Oswald appear as an angry lone nut. For example the case of the Clinton Louisiana incident where Shaw, and david ferrie, escorted Oswald to apply at a near by hospital. The hospital turned out to be a mental institution! So imagine the story of the angry little nut being that more solidified had Oswald choosed the job. Shaw did have connections to the CIA, but during the trial garrison had no knowledge that he was connected with Permindex. And other secret agencies sponsored by our government. This would have helped garrisons case significantly. It wouldn’t be until the 1978 when CIA director Richard helms would admit that Shaw WAS a contact agent/contractor for the agency. Garrison was on the right track. But too many witnesses deaths, pressure from the media, and governors protecting witnesses. It’s no wonder garrison lost his case. But the pure facts still remain. FBI found no palm impressions on the rifle, and the exoneration of Oswald negative nitrates exam proves he did not fire a rifle that day. Not to mention the tippet murder. Out of the 4 bullets that were pulled from his body 3 were winchester while 1 was Remington. But the shells found at the crime scene 2 were winchester while the other 2 were Remington. They simply do not add up! Likeep many evidence in this case. Researchers will say their is no conspiracy. But if the evidence does not support that as fact. Then the only conclusion is conspiracy.

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Top Secret Editors

Ryan is the founder of Top Secret Writers. He is an IT analyst, blogger, journalist, and a researcher for the truth behind strange stories.
Lori is TSW's editor. Freelance writer and editor for over 17 years, she loves to read and loves fringe science and conspiracy theory.

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Gabrielle is a journalist who finds strange stories the media misses, and enlightens readers about news they never knew existed.
Sally is TSW’s health/environmental expert. As a blogger/organic gardener, she’s investigates critical environmental issues.
Mark Dorr grew up the son of a treasure hunter. His experiences led to working internationally in some surprising situations!
Mark R. Whittington, from Houston, Texas, frequently writes on space, science, political commentary and political culture.

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