The details of the negotiations and planning surrounding the Cuban Missile Crisis have long been the subject of some contention for historians, with some of the most influential and enduring accounts contradicting what the tapes of those planning sessions tell us. Almost immediately after the Cuban Missile Crisis resolved, rumors began floating around Washington D.C. that the narrative that emerged was the handiwork of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy in an effort to force the resignation of Adlai Stevenson, Kennedy’s Ambassador to the United Nations. A Central Intelligence Agency chronology, originally classified SECRET and recently released to MuckRock, confirms that the architect of this historical revisionism was, in fact, Kennedy - and reveals that denials of this were based on nothing more than word games.
Beginning in the early ’50s, the Federal Bureau of Investigation began keeping what would become an extensive file on the singer and civil rights activist Josephine Baker, tracking with great interest her comments in the international press critical of racial discrimination in the U.S. Though the Bureau never formally opened an investigation into Baker, it fielded several requests from the Immigration and Naturalization Service to collect derogatory information that would help make the case for denying her a visa and barring her entry to the country.
As we’ve written about before, Ernest Hemingway’s relationship with the Federal Bureau of Investigation would charitably be described as “strained.” Hemingway would tell anybody who’d listen that he thought the Bureau were a bunch of Nazi mediocrities, and the FBI in turn dismissed Hemingway as a drunken phony. As his file shows, however, all of that changed when Hemingway finally did something the Bureau agreed with: he died.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation never conducted an investigation focused on acclaimed author Truman Capote, who was at work on his classic In Cold Blood when his name first appeared in the Bureau’s files. Though the agency declined to look into direct requests related to the writer’s safety and reputation, his file nevertheless stretches over 100 pages, in no small part because he was among those who supported, for a time, the Fair Play for Cuba Committee.
Panama has a long history of coups and interventions involving the United States that go back to the establishment of the Panama Canal, some of which resulted in pro-U.S. governments, while other seemed to benefit Communist groups. Documents show that the confessed assassin of Panamanian President José Antonio Remón Cantera was a Central Intelligence Agency asset, and that at least one other CIA asset was on the scene and arrested at the time of the assassination in 1955. Both also share ties to the Cuban community, as well as vague connections to the JFK assassination - and one of them may have also been involved in a plot to kidnap and/or assassinate Vice President Spiro Agnew and CIA Director Richard Helms.