E. Howard Hunt’s Personnel File

Today, the National Archives released several hundred additional documents relating to the Kennedy assassination. These documents have redactions and are subject to further review to remove redactions by Trump’s April deadline. One of the more interesting files in today’s release is E. Howard Hunt’s personnel file. Below, I am going to detail some of the redactions I noticed that may be of significance when redactions are removed.

For those unfamiliar with E. Howard Hunt, he served in the OSS during World War II which led to his career with the CIA. In the CIA, he was known for participating in the 1954 overthrow of Jacobo Arbenz in Guatemala and in the 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion. After his career with the agency ended in 1970, he helped organize the infamous break-in at the Watergate Hotel for which he saw prison time. Perhaps most significant of all, however, is Hunt’s supposed death bed confession of his involvement in and knowledge of the conspiracy to assassinate Kennedy.

E._Howard_Hunt_&_One_of_the_Three_Tramps_Arrested_after_JFK_Assassination
Hunt was accused of being one of the Three Tramps in Dallas

From my perfunctory glance, here are some redactions of possible significance from Hunt’s personnel file:

  • pg. 148: This page may be a Notification of Personnel Action that is dated around the Kennedy assassination. The action before this is dated 9/16/1962 and the one after is dated 8/3/1964.
  • pg. 191: Where did Eisenhower visit in 1960 that needs to be redacted?
  • pg. 218: Where did he serve overseas that is redacted?
  • pg. 223: Where was he from 1957 to 1960?

While removal of these redactions may not reveal anything of significance to the Kennedy assassination, they could reveal more details about Hunt’s career that were not previously known. If Hunt was involved in the Kennedy assassination, it was not through any official role of his at the CIA. Instead, I think any CIA involvement in the assassination was by a select group of individuals operating outside of official capacity for what they thought was best for the agency and the Cold War given Kennedy’s threats to splinter the agency “in a thousand pieces and scatter it to the winds.”

I will be taking a look at more of these released documents as I have time and making additional observations.

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