WPRs in the Posada files

Today’s note continues to look at whole page redactions (WPRs) in CIA documents from the JFKARC. These were a feature of the 2017-2018 releases, but have been mostly released in 2022-2023. How many are left? Keep reading to find out!

For those who missed the first installment of this series, including an explanation of WPRs, see here.

The note today discusses whole page redactions in the “201 file” for Luis Posada-Carriles, a Cuban exile who had a complex association with the CIA. CIA records on Posada go from 1961 all the way up to 1976-77. During this sixteen year period, Posada was assigned at least three cryptonyms: first AMCLEVE-15, then CIFENCE-4, and finally WKSCARLET-3.

The Posada 201 file

Posada has a five “volume” 201 file in the JFK ARC. Three of the five volumes have WPRs, as can be seen below:

record # (2018) 2022 link 2023 link record info # pages wpr (2018) wpr (2022) wpr (2023)
104-10178-10096 2022 link 2023 link 201 file vol 1 35 13 12 9
104-10178-10154 2022 link 2023 link 201 file vol 2 246 2 2 1
104-10178-10000 2022 link 2023 link 201 file vol 3 310 51 45 39
104-10178-10001 2022 link 2023 link 201 file vol 4 154 0 0 0
104-10178-10002 2022 link 2023 link 201 file vol 5 92 0 0 0

Release history

Volume 1 of the 201 file was partially released in 1994. A copy of this release is available at the MFF here. This partial release excluded all documents in volume ! from 1967.

The partial release was later redone as individual documents, which are available at MFF under several disc numbers (all found in JFK64 reel 10 folder 3). These are mostly released in full. The 1967 documents from the file were released as one document with record number 104-10178-10096, and as the table above shows there are still 9 WPRs in this record. No idea why.

Volumes 2 to 5 were designated NBR, and released repeatedly from 2017 on. These four lengthy docs all still have redactions, but only volumes 2 and 3 have WPRs. Volume 3 is the mostly heavily redacted of the 5, by far. It started out in 2017 with 51 pages withheld in full, but is now down to 39. This still qualifies it as one of the top five most redacted files left in the ARC.

Oddly then, the first three volumes all have WPRs, but the last two, the most recent ones, have none.

Why did the HSCA request the Posada files?

Unlike the people this series on WPRs has looked at so far, Posada’s name actually appears in HSCA report (Vol 10, p. 44). The context is an examination of the claim of Antonio Veciana that he planned to assassinate Fidel Castro during a Castro visit to Chile. According to Veciana, Posada was a participant in the assassination plan, which apparently never actually took place.

Posada was interviewed by the HSCA while imprisoned in Venezuela, where he was charged with taking part in the bombing of a Cubana airlines plane, an attack which killed all 73 people on board. Posada acknowledged knowing Veciana and meeting him at least once during the period when the Veciana claimed the attempt was being planned, but said that Veciana had never mentioned such a plan in their conversation.

Veciana’s claims and credibility are confusing and questionable. Readers interested in this episode should consult Tracy Parnell’s e-book on Veciana and his evolving stories, available for reading online as The Bishop Hoax. The Chile episode and Posada’s peripheral involvement are discussed here.

The ARC also has sixteen pages of notes on the Posada files which are now released in full (available here). No author is listed, but presumably these were done by HSCA investigator Pat Orr, who signed the log sheets for all five volumes. These give summaries of the five volumes for those who do not have time to read hundreds of pages of documents.

My two cents

Posada is a peripheral figure in the JFK assassination. “Peripheral” here means that he is used to evaluate the credibility of another witness, in this case Antonio Veciana, and himself has, so far as I know, never been claimed to have any involvement in the JFK assassination. As far as relevance and significance go, I believe the ARRB got it right when it labeled the Posada files NBR.

Don’t trust the ARRB? Don’t forget, if Pat Orr’s notes are to be believed, significant information on the JFK assassination is not in any of the five volumes.