Recently a long time CIA officer passed away and based on clues in his obituary new research has revealed that he had been personally involved with overseeing virtually all the document releases from the early requests by individuals such as Weisberg and Lane through the Church Committee and HSCA inquiries – even being brought back as a consultant after retirement to deal with the JFK Records Act and the ARRB.
Charles (Chuck) Briggs Sr. served with the CIA for 34 years, retiring in 1986. He was an administrative specialist and worked in all four CIA Directorates, serving as Comptroller, Director of Services Staff, Inspector General, Executive Director and Congressional Liaison. He held the unique distinction (in June of 1983) while serving as the Executive Director, of being briefly designated as the Acting Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) and Acting Deputy Director (DDCI), serving in all 3 positions simultaneously.
Much of his records release work was done while working for the Operations Directorate and reporting to the DDO. During the Church Committee, he was named acting Inspector General. His name can be found associated with the requests for of an extended series of documents:
Chief Services Staff and Classifying Officer 1975 Church Committee Request for Warren Commission documents:

Chief Services Staff 1976 Internal Request from Chief, Information and Privacy Staff on Howard Hunts Travel Records:

Request from Harold Weisberg on information about Martin Luther King:
As Chief of Information Services, in 1976 Briggs led the CI Records Study dealing with James Angleton’s files following his dismissal. It has been known that those files were held separately from the regular CIA Headquarters filing system.

Brigg’s report on the Angleton work reveals just how extensive they were. The work to process them involved “several hundred feet of files/418 feet” and involved a number of employees over some four years. By 1979 the records transfer was something like 60% complete.

It has been long rumored that Angleton’s files were destroyed upon his departure.  Briggs own memorandums reveal that to be untrue – but also illustrate that there are sensitive file collections outside the standard CIA file collection, and suggest those files are never made available either to requests or Congressional inquiries. It also confirms that none of Angleton’s files were available for release to the Warren Commission or any following JFK assassination investigations.

There is a great deal to be learned from Brigg’s work, it highlights the true legal restrictions imposed on the CIA and its personnel by the national security acts of 1947/48. The Federal legal code associated with that seriously restricts document releases and apparently trumps civil law in instances where “sensitive and compartmentalized” documents are involved. I’ll go into more detail, with examples from Brigg’s own career, in a follow-on post.


About Larry Hancock

Larry Hancock is a leading historian-researcher in the JFK assassination. Co-author with Connie Kritzberg of November Patriots and author of the 2003 research analysis publication titled also Someone Would Have Talked. In addition, Hancock has published several document collections addressing the 112th Army Intelligence Group, John Martino, and Richard Case Nagell. In 2000, Hancock received the prestigious Mary Ferrell New Frontier Award for the contribution of new evidence in the Kennedy assassination case. In 2001, he was also awarded the Mary Ferrell Legacy Award for his contributions of documents released under the JFK Act.

11 responses »

  1. Carter Dary says:

    Hi Larry,

    I am so fed-up with the free pass that CIA gets on info. James Madison and Jefferson are rolling in their graves over the grievous violations of the laws of this so-called Democracy. Perhaps I sound like a fool, but if I had the power, the CIA would end tomorrow along with the other “spy agencies”. If part of their mission is to protect “us”—as in “we the people” they have consistently failed. I believe they are consigned to protect Big Oil and other corporations (American interests). Sorry for the diatribe, but I am one pissed off “people”.

    Your Friend, Carter

  2. says:

    Did you omit his connection to the 6th floor museum? >—–

    • Ted, I’m going to include that and some other things in the follow on post – unfortunately we have had a terrible ice storm so I’ve been off line
      for about a day and a half so the follow on post was delayed. With help from fellow researchers we have the full details on his connection
      to the Sixth Floor museum but that takes a bit to cover. Strangely enough that was never secret and his involvement was covered both in the
      official history book on the museum and in a oral history he did for them….all pretty well missed by JFK researchers except for my friend Chris
      who raised the issue briefly a couple of years ago, with little attention at the time.

  3. Harry Morgan says:

    The National Security acts of 47-48 and resulting legal codes governing documents release and not surprisingly superseding Civil law is to say the least disturbing. Especially since the balance of JFK assassination records are to be released in 2017. I can’t help but wonder if this and other, many other factors will again subvert any attempt at bringing this to some type of resolution. Virtually any of the announced candidates will have little if any qualms in releasing the information. After 50 years besides the institutionalized cover up, what could possibly be in them insofar as national security concerns applicable to present days. I believe not much is in them except as to confirm what’s already known, and that is plenty.

    • Its a question that has become much more a concern to me in the last year or so as I think I’m almost beginning to understand the true legal Catch 22 of
      the situation. I’m certainly no legal expert but I’m reaching the opinion that key documents such as any of those showing any of the operational details or
      connection with Oswald will no be released as they would reveal sources and methods that a Judge would interpret as falling under national security restriction.
      Beyond that, a good number of the files some of us would want would never be interpreted as being JFK related – only researchers with the right background
      would know what to look for and it would be in very peripheral areas. I also suspect that many of the files are in sensitive/compartmentalized collections that
      are withheld by class, not by document. In short, I think we will see a lot of redacted files released with little or no redaction in 2017 and that may help, but
      I’m pretty skeptical that anything dramatically new will turn up unless its an accident – the good news is that has happened before..

  4. Brace Berg says:

    Larry, have you read David Talbot’s Book on Dulles? I have read parts so far and to me it is good but sketchy in some parts. I think his theory of AWD as the mastermind has a lot of conjecture.

    • Brace, I have read the book and hoped to talk with David in Dallas about it…unfortunately at the last minute he was unable to attend in person so no dialog. Overall I enjoyed the book in regard to Dulles himself although certainly the book is written with an obvious attitude towards Dulles, so its not your standard historical biography. I’m certainly no fan of Alan Dulles and feel even more strongly about his brother but I also would like to see a tad more historical balance in what is being written these days. That said, much of the book is very informative on Dulles himself and that is work well done. Its when it slides over into conspiracy that I have the same concerns you mentioned. At first I was struck by Dulles being at the Farm on Nov. 22, then found out that is reveled in his personal daybook; hard for me to see that as deep conspiracy. Then his being in Dallas three months earlier…well he was on a book tour. So why would somebody like Dulles who had never been “operational” a day in his life go to Dallas three months in advance….I expect a bit more from deniable operations professionals. Perhaps the worst part of me was basing so much sourcing in the St John Hunt material – that is a story we know well and the whole Hunt thing is no more than Hunt leveraging some gossip everybody close to certain exiles such as Artime knew and trying to leverage it for money in his old age. We heard the inside story on that at a Lancer conference years ago and I explore that in the 2010 edition of SWHT….just wish David had checked it out with us. If David had decided to tell the Wheaton/Jenkins gossip that had come via Artime it would have been a lot more significant from a conspiracy standpoint…IMHO.

      Personally I think Dulles was spending his retirement much as he had his life, connecting with all his old cadre and working diligently to undermine the policies of a President whom he fundamentally opposed, distrusted and was hostile towards. I have no doubt he would have expressed his strong doubts about JFK to all his contacts and been adamant about everyone doing something to stop JFK from negotiating with Castro. And I think Angleton would have carried that back to William Harvey and it would have been passed on to the scenario I describe in NEXUS. I’m also certain that Dulles would have known early on that CIA officers and assets were involved and actively worked at covering that up and turning any inquiry towards a lone nut. But Dulles as the operational mastermind of the JFK attack…I just don’t see it and I don’t see that the book delivers on that premise. I know that opinion won’t set very well with a number of folks but so far that’s how I see it.

  5. Brace Berg says:

    I agree many of the things he was able to discover about Harvey and his time in Italy was interesting, I have seen in more than one book or article that Artime may have been a double agent for Castro. Has that been pinned down ? In my readings of and about Dulles he seemed to not have personal wealth but used his access to wealthy friends and contacts to live that life style. The diaries of his wife Clover and her friendship with Mary Bancroft was illuminating. Hard to believe they could be close. I have also read about how close his knowledge of Ruth Paine and her family was. It is not a leap to think Dulles knew who Oswald was. I think the element that is not stressed enough in the failure of the Bay of Pigs is the assassination of Castro component of the plan. No hit on Castro and no success of the invasion. JFK was betrayed by CIA in that operation. In the past I had a more positive view of Helms but lately I have come to think that he had to have some complicity in the seamier side of the whole anti-Castro saga. Hard to think he was not in the loop concerning Oswald. Hard to believe CIA was more concerned keeping their wire taps and surveillance on the Mexico City and Cuban and Russian embassies more secret than anything else including showing a photo of Oswald that was not Oswald. hard to believe wire taps on foreign embassies are the big no no that cannot be acknowledged.

    • Brace, if you have read NEXUS you know that I view Harvey as a key figure in the origin of the plot that actually killed JFK. Have you read Flawed Patriots, his biography – it is a great piece of work and used documents obtained directly from Harvey’s wife, very important info. I didn’t see that much in Talbot’s beyond what was in Flawed Patriots but I certainly may have missed it; I did catch the anecdotal story about Harvey going to Dallas which is not in Flawed Patriots and given the detailed tracing of his movements in Italy found there that makes me curious. I would surely love to see something that solidly places Harvey in Dallas on or before Nov. 22. As to Artime, not sure where the double agent thing came from but Artime’s politics and activities certainly don’t support it, he was very old school Cuban politics…this is the guy who was best friends with E Howard Hunt. I think the best insight in Artime and what he knew comes from his high level aide Quintero and the Jenkins/Wheaton info I put into SWHT. Artime’s associates heard the gossip that was circulating in Miami and it got to Hunt via Artime.

      On the Bay of Pigs, if you have not looked on this blot for my posts on that I encourage you to do so…certainly the assassination was a key element and there were multiple projects in play on that. However it only became the last ditch ploy after the entire landing plan and rules of engagement were changed from what had been in place as late as early January, developed under Eisenhower. If we had Navy aircraft covering the landing ships as planned up to that point there is little doubt full scale military engagement with Castro’s forces would have quickly come about. As to Dulles, I certainly think he knew something about Oswald before hand and much more afterwards; same for Angleton. Helms is another story, Angleton told Helms only what he wanted him to know as did Fitzgerald. Since the active operations involving Oswald were CIA and anti-FPCC, Helms may have been briefed or perhaps not until Phillips trip to DC or even after the assassination.

      The whole thing about the secrecy of the taps and photo surveillance is sort of silly, of course the Cubans and Russians knew that was going on…the extent to which the FBI went into panic mode – and we see it in their documents – about revealing the photo surveillance on the Russians by showing photos from MC to the WC is amazing. Then again, details of any operational nature are some of those most closely protected and it becomes pretty ingrained that they must be protected. Of course its also a good cover when you want to keep something secret that also might bite you in the rear for other reasons.

      • Brace Berg says:

        Hi Larry, I checked a couple of books I had read and in The Man who knew too much there is a small section about one of the Nagell riddles asking if Artime was “Nash”?
        Nagell alludes to Artime being one of the people he was keeping tabs on and Fitzgerald also put watchers on Artime as well. I think Fonzi also speculated he may have become a Castro Double agent after he was released from cuba after being in captivity after the bay of pigs Fonzi also thought Artime died under a cloud because of the cause of his death.

      • Brace, in regard to “Nash”, Nagell was using a rather classic cold war espionage term. Nash was a code used by the Soviets when discussing foreign parties
        to indemnify someone who “was one of ours”. In other words that is the way the referred to one of their assets. In this instance Nagell would have been
        totally correct because Artime was CIA vetted and in 63/64 was at the core of the new and very secret Kennedy administration initiative against Castro. If you
        have my book Shadow Warfare, you will find that discussed in extensive detail, probably more so than anything else in print. Artime was very much old school
        right wing Cuban politics and connected to others of that era. I don’t see any chance he was working for Castro but Artime’s operational security was terrible
        and he kept talking to people he should not have – a real security risk for the CIA. I should note this is the sort of thing that neither Dick Russell or Gaeton
        Fonzi could really have know when they were writing because the body of info that we have now really did not become available until beginning in the late 1990’s.
        That’s why anything written before about 2005 is really pretty dated at this point. Artime did indeed die under a cloud of sorts but that was because his anti-Castro
        efforts all failed and when the Johnson administration dropped in in 65/66, he and many of his associates became involved in a number of rather shady practices…
        he certainly did not prove to be the youthful “people’s leader” that RFK had hoped for back in 1963.

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