This is a follow up to my last note. There are indeed problems with a set of documents originated by the HSCA. As a result, several of the new releases from NARA redact text that was put online as long as 15 years ago. These redactions should be re-reviewed and officially re-released as early as possible.
This note gives the numbers and nasty details. Be warned! The following is hard-core inside-baseball coverage, not for the faint of heart. For those who refuse to eat anything but cake, there will be a second follow up that gives some examples of the mischief these zombies have caused.
The devil is in the duplicates
This problem probably originates in duplicate records from the House Special Committee on Assassination. These records were not properly resolved in the JFK database.1The database, also called the Assassination Collection Reference System, gives metadata on many, but not all, of the records in the JFK Assassination Records Collection.
The records causing problems here are transcripts of HSCA lawyers deposing various CIA officers. The questioning mostly centers around HSCA’s investigation of Oswald’s trip to Mexico in September-October 1963. Since there were two copies of some of the transcripts, these were entered in the JFK database twice, but because there were gaps in the document metadata, the fact that they were duplicates has often been overlooked.
Presenting this whole story online is very messy. What follows is a tentative attempt to fill in these data gaps, and may also have errors.
Metadata in the tables below comes from the 2021 update of the JFK database, except for the subject field, which I added. Where there is testimony from the same person more than once, I have added a number, based on the dates; e.g. [NOSENKO 2] is the transcript from the second time Yuri Nosenko testified before the HSCA.
Two key points to notice:
1) JFK database titles for the depositions are mostly missing or labeled [RESTRICTED].
2) Matching # of pages and doc dates allow us to match up these records in pairs. I have numbered the pairs, and added an a and b to distinguish them.
I did one wierd thing here: #20 is not a pair, it is a single deposition from Ann Goodpasture. I won’t go into the reasons why I did this, but I don’t want to drop it. So there are 49 records listed here: 24 pairs and a singleton.
The subject field is mostly based on what I found in the online versions of these documents, but a couple of transcripts were released in full very early and therefore never appeared online. I have not actually seen these (e.g. James Michael).
In addition, there is one person whose name was “restricted” in the database (see the records below marked 18a, 18b), and I was unable to find copies of this transcript anywhere on line, so I have no idea who he was. As we will see below, the JFK database says this testimony was released in full, but I admit I am curious to know more.
I did not order any of these records from NARA, too long and too expensive. Let me know if someone actually checks and finds a problem with anything here.
|1b||180-10131-10324||TESTIMONY OF YURI IVANOVICH NOSENKO||[NOSENKO 2]||141||1978-06-20|
|2b||180-10131-10323||TESATIMONY OF YURI IVANOVICH NOSENKO||[NOSENKO 1]||40||1978-05-30|
|3a||180-10110-10010||DEPOSITION OF BRUCE SOLIE||[SOLIE]||92||1978-06-01|
|3b||180-10131-10321||DEPOSITION OF BRUCE SOLIE||[SOLIE]||92||1978-06-01|
|4b||180-10131-10322||DEPOSITION OF DAVID E. MURPHY||[MURPHY]||39||1978-08-09|
|5b||180-10131-10320||DEPOSITION OF JAMES C. MICHAEL||[MICHAEL]||21||1978-07-27|
|6a||180-10110-10013||[PHILLIPS, DAVID 1]||135||1976-11-27|
|6b||180-10131-10328||[PHILLIPS, DAVID 1]||135||1976-11-27|
|7b||180-10131-10325||DEPOSITION OF BERNARD HUGH TOVAR||[TOVAR]||48||1978-06-29|
|10a||180-10110-10017||[SHAW, ROBERT T.]||78||1978-05-16|
|12a||180-10110-10019||[WHITE, ALAN B.]||64||1978-05-18|
|13a||180-10110-10020||DEPOSITION OF JOHN A. MCCONE||[MCCONE]||54||1978-08-17|
|13b||180-10131-10331||DEPOSITION OF JOHN A. MCCONE||[MCCONE]||54||1978-08-17|
|20||180-10110-10028||[GOODPASTURE, ANN 2]||86||1978-11-20|
|22a||180-10110-10030||[TARASOFFS, B. AND A.]||109||1976-11-28|
|23a||180-10110-10031||[LARSON, WILLIAM F.]||86||1978-06-27|
|24a||180-10110-10032||DEPOSITION OF E. HOWARD HUNT||[HUNT]||87||1978-11-03|
|24b||180-10131-10342||DEPOSITION OF E. HOWARD HUNT||[HUNT]||87||1978-11-03|
|25a||180-10110-10033||[RANKIN, J. LEE]||34||1978-08-17|
Status of the HSCA testimony records
Different copies of the HSCA testimony in some cases have different restrictions and release status in the JFK database, and in the CIA’s 2022 index to redacted documents. Some of these records are in fact missing from the CIA index. Not surprisingly, these records were not released in 2022. Here is a list of current status and restrictions of the records in the 2021 update of the JFK database, and release status in the CIA 2022 index (RIP = Released in part, RIF = Released in full).
|#||recnum||subject||NARA status||restricts||CIA status|
|2a||180-10110-10009||[NOSENKO 1]||Release||Open in Full|
|2b||180-10131-10323||[NOSENKO 1]||Release||Open in Full|
|3a||180-10110-10010||[SOLIE]||Release||Open in Full|
|3b||180-10131-10321||[SOLIE]||Release||Open in Full|
|5a||180-10110-10012||[MICHAEL]||Release||Open in Full|
|5b||180-10131-10320||[MICHAEL]||Release||Open in Full|
|6a||180-10110-10013||[PHILLIPS 1]||Release||Open in Full|
|8a||180-10110-10015||[PHILLIPS 3]||Release||Open in Full|
|8b||180-10131-10326||[PHILLIPS 3]||Release||Open in Full|
|11a||180-10110-10018||[SCELSO]||Release||Open in Full|
|11b||180-10131-10330||[SCELSO]||Release||Open in Full|
|12a||180-10110-10019||[WHITE, ALAN B.]||Redact||5(g)(2)(D)|
|13a||180-10110-10020||[MCCONE]||Release||Open in Full|
|13b||180-10131-10331||[MCCONE]||Release||Open in Full|
|14a||180-10110-10021||[EGERTER]||Release||Open in Full|
|14b||180-10131-10333||[EGERTER]||Release||Open in Full|
|15a||180-10110-10022||[MANELL, B]||Release||Open in Full|
|15b||180-10131-10334||[MANELL, B]||Release||Open in Full|
|16a||180-10110-10023||[MANELL, H]||Release||Open in Full|
|16b||180-10131-10335||[MANELL, H]||Release||Open in Full|
|17a||180-10110-10024||[HIDALGO]||Release||Open in Full|
|17b||180-10131-10336||[HIDALGO]||Release||Open in Full|
|18a||180-10110-10025||[RESTRICTED]||Release||Open in Full|
|18b||180-10131-10337||[RESTRICTED]||Release||Open in Full|
|21a||180-10110-10029||[GOODPASTURE 1]||Release||Open in Full|
|23a||180-10110-10031||[LARSON]||Release||Open in Full|
|23b||180-10131-10341||[LARSON, WILLIAM]||Release||Open in Full|
|24a||180-10110-10032||[HUNT]||Release||Open in Full|
|24b||180-10131-10342||[HUNT]||Release||Open in Full|
|25a||180-10110-10033||[RANKIN]||Release||Open in Full|
|25b||180-10131-10343||[RANKIN]||Release||Open in Full|
There are NARA problems here. There is NO NARA restriction listed for 1b (the B version of Nosenko 2). For 6a (the A version of Phillips 1), NARA status is release, for 6b, the same doc as far as I can tell, NARA status is redact. Likewise, for 21a (the A version of Goodpasture 1), NARA status is Release, but for 21b, the same document as far as I can tell, NARA status is Redact.
There are CIA problems here. The CIA index has blanks. Wherever there is a blank, it means CIA did not release the record this time. If an A version is blank and a B version says RIP, that’s a problem.
There are also what look like inconsistencies with the JFK database, but remember, the JFK database is from May 2021, the CIA record index is from last month. So, for example, record 20 (Goodpasture 2), NARA says redacted, CIA says RIF. I’ve scanned through the latest release of GP 2, and it looks like all redactions are gone.
1) Records not released this time at all, but which seem to still have redactions: 1b, 4a, 7a, 9a, 10a, 12a, 19a, 21b, 22a
2) Pairs where at least one member is listed as redacted: 1, 4, 6, 7, 9, 10, 12, 19, 20, 21, 22
Links to various versions of the testimony
There is one final twist, which is that release of both members of a pair has been very spotty. It’s hard to find docs where both members of the pair are available on line. When they are, the redactions are almost always inconsistent. This makes them a veritable zombie factory.
To allow other zombie hunters to check out the zombies, I offer some links. To keep this readable, and editable, I will limit myself to records with NARA status of ‘Redact’ or CIA status of ‘RIP’
|12a||180-10110-10019||[WHITE, ALAN B.]||—||—||2018||—||—|