CIA director was part of a 'benign cover-up' to withhold information from investigators about JFK's assassination
- Declassified CIA reports claim former CIA Director Jon McCone withheld information about President John F Kennedy's assassination
- The reports claim McCone and other top officials were part of a 'benign cover up' to keep the Warren Commission focused on Lee Harvey Oswald
- McCone concluded in his assessment that Oswald, a former Marine, was a 'lone gunman' who acted on his own
- The Warren Commission's final report was consistent with McCone's
- The declassified CIA reports did not raise question about the findings of the Warren Commission, including that Oswald was the gunman
- But the reports acknowledge the failure in the CIA's dealings with the Warren Commission
- The CIA report offers no conclusion as McCone's motivations to cover up agency activities
A former CIA director withheld information about President John F Kennedy's assassination, according to declassified agency reports.
The CIA reports, which were declassified last fall, claim that then-agency head John McCone and other top officials were part of a 'benign cover-up' surrounding the assassination of Kennedy in November 1963.
The report's author, CIA historian David Robarge, claims McCone withheld information to keep the Warren Commission focused on what the agency believed to by the 'best truth… that Lee Harvey Oswald, for as yet undetermined motives, had acted alone,' according to Politico.
McCone and others were 'complicit' in keeping 'incendiary' information from the Warren Commission, a group established in the days after Kennedy's assassination by President Lyndon B Johnson to investigate the incident.
The investigators were officially known at the President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy.
McCone, who was appointed by Kennedy, died in 1991. His testimony in front of the commission, including Chief Justice Earl Warren, was considered vital in finding out what led to Kennedy's death.
The former CIA head concluded in his assessment that Oswald, a former Marine, was a 'lone gunman' who acted on his own.
The Warren Commission's final report - after a year-long investigation that included testimony from hundreds of other witnesses - was consistent with McCone's assessment.
Both McCone and the commission concluded that Lee Harvey Oswald (center) was a 'lone gunman' who killed Kennedy
Many people are convinced Harvey did not act alone in his assassination of Kennedy and that he was part of a bigger plot or conspiracy
The commission also reviewed FBI and Secret Service reports, visited the crime scene in Dallas and analyzed Oswald's records as part of their investigation.
The 888-page report found that Kennedy was killed from a gunshot wound while riding in a motorcade passing below a school book depository building, where Oswald worked.
Many people, however, are unconvinced that Harvey acted alone in the assassination and believe he was part of a bigger conspiracy.
Within an hour of Kennedy being shot, Oswald killed a police officer who had stopped to question him and was arrested minutes later.
He was murdered the next day while being transported to a jail with higher security and his motives were never revealed.
While the declassified CIA reports did not raise question about the findings of the Warren Commission, including that Oswald was the gunman, the reports acknowledge the failure in the CIA's dealings with the Warren Commission.
McCone, who was appointed by Kennedy, died in 1991. The motivations behind his decision to withhold information is still unknown
Oswald was killed shortly after he assassinated Kennedy - his motivation behind shooting the president was never revealed.
The information withheld could have prompted further investigations into Oswald's potential ties with Cuba, according to Politico.
McCone's predecessor, Allen Dulles, ran the CIA when the agency formed plans to assassinate Cuba's Fidel Castro.
But Robarge said in his report that McCone and Dulles did 'not appear to have any explicit, special understanding'.
The CIA report offers no conclusion as McCone's motivations to cover up agency activities, but suggests that the Johnson Administration may have directed him to do so.
Though it was initially stamped 'SECRET/NOFORN' and not to be shared outside the CIA, the report was published in the CIA's classified internal magazine in September 2013 to mark the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination.
The report was declassified by the agency last fall 'to highlight misconceptions about the CIA’s connection to JFK’s assassination' and is now available on the website of The George Washington University's National Security Archive.