Monday, 12 June 2023 00:35

For Reasons of National Security - Reframing the Assassinations of the 1960s and the Case Against the CIA - Part 1

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Alexander Sill examines the probable reasons why the CIA and National Security State do not want to give up the last of the JFK documents still being withheld. Even though that defiance is in violation of both the spirit and the letter of the law as written into the JFK Records Collection Act of 1992.

Nearly sixty years after the fact, documents related to the assassination of John F. Kennedy are still making headlines, and are still being withheld in part or in full by the National Archives at the direction of the CIA and other factions of the national security state. Within hours following Kennedy’s death, long before the Warren Commission was even a thought, the case against alleged killer Lee Harvey Oswald was being deemed open and shut by the likes of then FBI director J. Edgar Hoover. (See, Dale in sources at end) This fait accompli conclusion aimed to pre-empt any public discourse long before any serious investigation could really take place. In September 1964, the Warren Commission went on to fully endorse that strangely premature thesis. Case closed; iron clad; Oswald did it. And yet, despite it being presented as so cut and dry, the public is still not fully privy to all of the documents pertaining to the assassination. By all accounts, this now constitutes a violation of the law, and does not help the Central Intelligence Agency when it comes to public suspicion.

The CIA, long the subject of many a conspiracy discussion, is at the center of these continued withholdings and will be the focal point of our discussion here. They continue to stonewall, having pressured both presidents Trump and Biden to withhold relevant documents, despite the fact that full release was mandated by congress to take place by October 2017. So why has the CIA remained such a prime entity of suspicion regarding the Kennedy assassination? Why not discuss some Soviet or Cuban conspiracy, or a pure and simple mob hit? Why not simply accept the Oswald did it conclusion as essentially correct, and the rest as craziness? There are enough theories out there to make one’s head spin, and the mere mention of the JFK assassination can even elicit an air of absurdity. And that is part of the problem. Theories so absurd have been conflated with matters of real concern in this regard, and the topic has, for those not wishing to pay attention, been relegated to a trivial level of non-importance or a sort of comic politics.

The goal of this essay is not to delve into the minutiae of the Kennedy case (e.g. number of shots fired, medical evidence), but to offer aid to someone not familiar with the particulars of the case in reframing how they approach this world changing event particulalry as it relates to the ongoing fight for relevant document disclosure and declassification. And for those who are more ardent researchers, I suggest key tenets that we need to remind ourselves of as we move forward.

Hidden History and the Warren Commission

“History is not what happened, but what the surviving evidence said happened. If you can hide the evidence and keep the secrets, then you can write history.” (Morley, Scorpion’s Dance, p.45) After coming across this quote in researcher and journalist Jefferson Morley’s recent book Scorpions’ Dance, it reminded me of the power of the documentary record concerning any historical event; how first impressions related to a documentary record--no matter how complete or incomplete, dubious or not--can leave an imprint on the public psyche at large, an imprint that can be hard to maintain an objective distance from and can lead to deeply entrenched a priori assumptions. Some examples of such a priori thinking as they relate to the Kennedy assassination are as follows:

1) Government institutions always have the public’s best interest in mind, and are able to properly investigate instances where that may not be the case

2) There was no reason to distrust the Warren Commission, the “blue ribbon” panel of government officials tasked with investigating the assassination.

For many, the government in particular, the Warren Commission Report, released in 1964, represented the only trustworthy review of the documentary record. That review concluded that Lee Harvey Oswald, a disaffected 24 year old with Communist sympathies who had once attempted defection to the Soviet Union, killed President Kennedy and acted alone. Oswald— a man full of contradictions--a man who they said wanted to make his mark on history, yet denied killing the president. He was a man with no clearly defined motive; a “commie nut” that wanted to kill a leader who was moving towards detente with the Soviet Union and Cuba; a man that apparently came out of the blue without warning, yet as we will expand upon, was of prime interest to the upper echelons of American intelligence for years prior to the assassination (JFK Revisited, pg. 195). So does the Warren Commission’s conclusiondeserve to be inherently trusted? Without knowing who affected the commission’s conclusions and how it operated, believing that much was unjustified at best, and some was willfully ignorant at worst.

Less than delving into the many misgivings of the Warren Commission’s investigation, it is paramount to know who comprised the Commission, and the fact that the CIA--which are and were of prime suspicion regarding the Kennedy case--not only had key associates who were highly active in its proceedings (e.g. Allen Dulles), but that that same agency, along with the FBI, purposively hampered the Warren Commission investigation. This is not a theory. This is evident via the documentary record, as we shall see. Then chief justice of the Supreme Court Earl Warren, the namesake of the commission, was not the commission’s most active or influential member. In reality, he quickly became the ceremonial head of a severely compromised investigation. The previously mentioned Allen Dulles, former director of the CIA, was the most active commission member, and a huge reason behind why the commission’s investigation was in fact so compromised. (Talbot, pg.575-578; DiEugenio, JFK Revisited, pg.100)

Dulles’ mere presence on the commission should have signified a huge red flag. Two years prior to John Kennedy’s death, Dulles had been fired from the CIA by Kennedy himself following the Bay of Pigs disaster. Though he took public responsibility for the debacle, Kennedy realized that he had been duped by Dulles and the CIA. who According to a highly critical Inspector General’s report, the Cuban forces were potentially outnumbered by about a 100 to 1. (DiEugenio, Destiny Betrayed, pg.45)

A now declassified CIA document regarding preparation for the invasion acknowledged the fact that, in order for the invasion to be successful in the way that the agency intended, Department of Defense cooperation was necessary (ibid, pg.44). The evidence now available points towards the fact that the CIA sold Kennedy a bill of goods, explaining that the strength of the awaiting Cuban exile uprising would be enough to topple the Castro government. (Wiesak, pg. 25, Howells) In all likelihood, the plan was designed to fail so that the President would be forced to send in the U.S. military. But Kennedy did not succumb to the pressure of the CIA or the military, and the operation ended in complete failure and embarrassment. CIA trained Cuban exiles were captured and killed. (Wiesak, pg. 26-27) Agents were despondent and not only blamed the president, but expressed ongoing, venomous hatred toward him. There was no love lost between both parties, with Kennedy privately stating that he would “shatter the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter it to the winds.” (DiEugenio, Destiny Betrayed, pg.52) The CIA’s budget was cut, the president intended to restructure the agency, and in the fall of 1961, he ordered the agency members in charge of the Bay of Pigs operation to step down: Director of Plans Richard Bisssell, Deputy Director Charles Cabell, and Director Allen Dulles.

When appointed to the Warren Commission, Dulles became the epitome of the fox guarding the hen house; an investigation that because of him and CIA counter intelligence chief James Angleton, completely ignored, or was not granted access to, critical information regarding the President’s alleged killer, Lee Harvey Oswald. But what was the CIA hiding? In a nutshell, it was the intense interest they had in Oswald, and the volumes of relevant documented material relating to him dating all the way back to 1959. Angleton, who was the only person with full access and overview to Oswald’s CIA files, coordinated the CIA response to the Warren Commission. (Scott, Dallas ’63, pg. 90)

Oswald: Defector or Pawn of Intelligence?

In October of 1959, Lee Harvey Oswald, after leaving the Marines, moved to the Soviet Union and voiced his intention to renounce his citizenship at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow. Richard Snyder, the embassy attaché who reported back to U.S. Intelligence, was one of two who spoke with Oswald. In addition to voicing his intention to renounce his citizenship, Oswald also stated that he had something of “special interest” regarding his time in the military that he intended to divulge to the Soviets. This information was relayed to the intelligence community back home with top secret security implications, yet alarm bells strangely failed to go off within the CIA. This would not be the only time information concerning Oswald would be treated in such a way by the Agency, despite it all taking place at the height of cold war tensions. But what exactly was Oswald threatening to turn over to the Soviets? The implication, no doubt, was the information Oswald had on the highly secretive U2 spy plane program the CIA was involved with. (DiEugenio, JFK Revisited, pg.193)

Oswald had once been a radar operator stationed in Atsugi, Japan which was a base for the U2. Then, in what looked like a bizarrely reckless performance, was announcing his intention to commit an act of espionage at the U.S. embassy in Moscow by turning the information over to the Soviets. (DiEugenio, review of The Devil Is in the Details) Figures high up in the CIA certainly recognized the implications of Oswald’s statements, yet no action was ever taken to charge Oswald with any crime. James Angleton never disclosed this sensitive information about the U2 program and Oswald to the Warren Commission, despite the fact that he oversaw the highly compartmentalized and closely guarded documentary record on Oswald, much of which made its way through no less than seven government agencies from 1959 onward.

Just on the surface, Oswald’s brazen actions were strange and suspicious. Here’s a man who, in the post-McCarthy era, traveled to Russia with announced intention to defect, hinted at committing an act of treason and espionage, and yet, was allowed to reenter the United States and live his life as normal without facing any charges. But the actions do make sense, as author Peter Scott has explained, when seen in context of a counterintelligence operation—a mole-hunt in which the CIA was testing for traitors in its ranks. James Angleton was in charge of such operations at the CIA, specifically what are called “marked card” operations, where false and dichotomous information is inserted into files to test for leaks. Oswald’s files routed through CIA, and the State Department, among others, contained purposeful errors, omissions and other various anomalies which created bifurcation of the record, making legitimate information on Oswald closely guarded, and thus the man himself, hard or impossible to track down. (Scott, Dallas ’63, pg.57-59) There are for example, many repeated instances of Oswald’s name being mislabeled as “Lee Henry Oswald” with important information pertaining to “Lee Harvey Oswald” being attached to such files, Oswald’s physical description contradicting his actual appearance (ibid, pg.91), and disparities in the State Department and Marine files over whether Oswald actually renounced has citizenship or not. As Scott explains, if a false age for Oswald is purposely inserted into a file, and sources tell the originating agency that some outside party has heard that Oswald is that same, false age, the agency has narrowed their search for an intelligence leak and potential double agent. Information pertaining to Oswald’s actual age, on the other hand, would reveal nothing (ibid, pg.59)

Former CIA officials have since acknowledged the existence of in house, false defector programs used for counter intelligence purposes. Long time Agency officer Pete Bagley--one of many CIA employees who saw files on Oswald--spoke to the fact that he (Oswald) had to be a “witting” player in such in an operation. (DiEugenio, JFK Revisited, Pg.194). Otto Otepka, then of the U.S. State Department, also knew such programs existed. After inquiring about a list of “defectors” that included Lee Harvey Oswald, Otepka was essentially censured and blackballed by the CIA. His office was bugged and raided, and his career took a turn for the worst. Otepka was getting too close to a highly guarded operation when he asked the CIA which defectors were legitimate and which belonged to the Agency. He was let go from his state department position the month of the Kennedy assassination (Scott, Dallas ’63, pg. 101-102).

It’s also worth noting the specific manner in which the documents regarding Oswald were routed and treated in CIA channels. Unlike, for example, defector Robert Webster, whose files were routinely routed to the Soviet Russia (SR) division, Oswald’s were treated much more unusually. Instead, they were kept closer to the vest by initially going through the office of security (OS) and James Angleton’s counter intelligence office (CI). Additionally, the opening of what is called a 201 (personality file) which should have been another routine matter, especially in the case of a defector, was not initiated for Oswald until over a year after his defection. (Vazakas) Oswald’s files were being treated with secret scrutiny on a need to know basis.

It was JamesAngleton’s clear intention to “wait out” the Warren Commission and not divulge any of this incriminating record regarding Oswald, especially when it came to events that transpired inMexico City in the weeks leading up to the assassination. These events, in the author’s opinion, constitute some of the strongest indications of a pre-assassination conspiracy.

Mexico City, the CIA, and Anti-Castro Operations

During the period of late September to early October 1963, someone using the name Lee Harvey Oswald visited both the Cuban and Soviet embassies in Mexico City in an apparent attempt to acquire an in transit visa for travel to the Soviet Union. The CIA conducted heavy surveillance of both the embassies in question as part of one of the largest and most sensitive intelligence outposts they had anywhere in the world. But it wasn’t until the 1990s, following the passage of the JFK Records Act, that some relevant and startling information about this event became known. Someone who was almost certainly an imposter was the individual actually surveilled at both embassies using Oswald’s name. Tapes and transcripts of the telephone conversations the person in question made at the embassies were recorded, only to be later acknowledged by J. Edgar Hoover after the assassination as not being a match to the Lee Harvey Oswald arrested in Dallas. (DiEugenio, JFK Revisited, pg.93)

Beyond the fact that the recorded voice itself didn’t match, the description of the mystery person given by those working at the embassies was at odds with that of the real Oswald. Additionally, the subject was documented as having spoken very poor “broken” Russian. By almost all accounts, Oswald was fluent in Russian. Worse still was that the CIA did not have any photographs of Oswald entering or leaving either embassy, despite photography being a routine matter of the heavy surveillance being conducted there. Psychological warfare specialist and chief of the CIA’s Western Hemisphere operations at the time, David Phillips, who we will discuss later, likely perjured himself in the 1970s when asked about the surveillance in question. Phillips’ bogus explanations included the assertion that the Agency’s surveillance camera system happened to be down during the period in question, and that the missing audio of these highly sensitive phone conversations regarding the president’s alleged assassin had been destroyed as a matter of routine. (Kreig) But perhaps worst of all, was the information regarding who the Oswald imposter was in contact with during some of the documented correspondence, one Valery Kostikov.

Kostikov was known by the CIA at the time to be in charge of “wet affairs” for the KGB in the western hemisphere: “wet affairs” being lingo for assassinations (Scott, Dallas ’63, pg. 88) The information regarding this correspondence, which should have been treated with extreme urgency, was known to a faction of CIA in early October of 1963, but was only properly disseminated after the assassination of President Kennedy. The standard security “Flash” which should have been attached to Oswald’s inter-government agencies files from that point forward was also conveniently removed. This allowed him (Oswald) to secure his job at the Texas School Book Depository building which overlooked the future Presidential parade route whilst avoiding necessary surveillance by the FBI and the like. (Talbot. Pg. 542) James Angleton said nothing to the Warren Commission about these most sensitive facts relating to Mexico City (Scott, Dallas ’63, pg. 12-13). Additionally, Angleton’s Counter Intelligence staff lied in October 1963 when asked about their latest information on Oswald, stating that their most recent receipt dated back to his 1962 return to the Unites States (ibid, pg.91) Thus if one accepts the Warren Commission’s verdict,they are not simply accepting some “blue ribbon” panel of independent, government investigators. They are by default, accepting a CIA coerced and disguised conclusion.

The agency, for one reason or another, was pre-empting secret discourse within the halls of Washington regarding assassination culpability, and as we shall see, public discourse as well. The deeper context of this as it relates to Oswald suggests that he was likely acting as an agent provocateur for American intelligence, and that his apparent pro-Castro activities were eventually adopted to frame him for the murder of the president. The DRE (Directorio Revolucionario Estudiantil), a CIA supported anti-Castro group, came into contact with Oswald during the summer of 1963, resulting in a public fracas and subsequent arrest of Oswald himself. Oswald had drawn a fair amount of attention during this period by offering his services to the CIA sponsored DRE, members of whom ended up in the aforementioned scuffle with Oswald in the streets of New Orleans when they saw him leafleting for a pro-Castro cause, the Fair Play For Cuba Committee. (DiEugenio, Destiny Betrayed, pg. 159) The FPCC, as of the summer of 1963, was one of the foremost pro-Castro advocacy groups in the United States. Oswald was handing out flyers for the committee, oddly enough, near the heart of the intelligence community in New Orleans. In what was almost certainly a telling mistake, the address stamped on the leaflets in question was 544 Camp Street, an address connected to the very building used by virulent anti-communist and ex-FBI man Guy Bannister. Bannister was also affiliated with the Cuban Revolutionary Council, a CIA sponsored, militant organization comprised mainly of Cuban exiles that conducted clandestine raids on Cuba in effort to overthrow Fidel Castro. (ibid, pgs. 119, 179)

Additionally, audio and video recordings of Oswald debating his supposed pro-Marxist and Castro views against certain DRE affiliates were obtained during this time, adding to the eventual media maelstrom of information brought to national attention in the days after the assassination. The DRE and their affiliates were, in large part, responsible for the dissemination of this material that aimed to shape public opinion. As Jefferson Morley has noted, within hours of the gunfire in Dallas, the AMSPELL [CIA code name for DRE] network delivered an intelligence coup: Kennedy’s killer was a Castro supporter. Ted Shackley of the CIA’s JM/WAVE station in Miami relayed the info about Oswald’s pro-Castro FPCC activities in New Orleans, activities that had also been, interestingly enough, recorded on film and photo and publicized in the summer of 1963. The DRE was remarkably well informed about the suspected assassin who had been in custody for barely two hours. Jose Lanuza of AMSPELL began contacting the press almost immediately upon receipt of the info, including Pulitzer Prize winning Hal Hendrix of the Miami Herald, later revealed to be a CIA asset. The CIA’s propaganda machine was at work from the get go, and barely anyone was aware, other than the agency itself, that the information going out to the press was being generated by the agency’s own affiliates. (Morley, Scorpion’s Dance, pg. 55-56)

Oswald’s ostentatious activities under the FPCC name were not only strange for a supposed communist to be performing, but were actually unsanctioned by the FPCC itself. What was not known for decades was the fact that the CIA and FBI had joint anti-FPCC propaganda campaigns at this time. The CIA effort of which was coordinated at first by none other than David Phillips, the same man who happened to control the flow of intelligence out of Mexico City and also said Oswald was merely a “blip” on the CIA’s proverbial radar. (DiEugenio, Destiny Betrayed pg. 158; Phillips, pg. 139)

Phillips, as noted, dodged important questions under oath before the HSCA when asked about the supposed surveillance of Oswald from the Soviet and Cuban and embassies in Mexico City. All of Oswald’s activities related to the FPCC and DRE have the earmarks of a counterintelligence or COINTELPRO style operation. This includes the planting of deceptive information, the leaking of information, and the use of law enforcement to harass or arrest. (Jefferson Morley: Presentation) The CIA officer who acted as liaison with the DRE was one George Joannides. Documents related to Joannides, who passed away in 1990, happen to be among the ones the CIA is still withholding.

It’s clear by now that Oswald was not merely a “blip” on the CIA’s radar. This was an outright and now verifiable lie on Phillips’, and by association, Angleton’s part. So why the lie? To simply cover up the fact that they had pre-assassination knowledge of Oswald? That Oswald worked for them and ended up killing the president resulting in potential embarrassment for CIA? It seems to go beyond that. They knew what he was up to for years. It defies logic that in the weeks before the assassination, where Oswald should have been treated as a Code Red subject, he could have shaken free of his years’ worth of additional history with the U.S. intelligence community and was allowed to be anywhere near the president’s motorcade in Dallas.

The Conspiracy Theory Conspiracy and Limited Hang Outs

There is another a priori assumption that often surrounds discussion of the Kennedy assassination which deserves our attention: “If there was a conspiracy, the Warren Commission or any other investigative government body would have uncovered it.” Conspiracy, the dirty word that inevitably stands out here, is of prime importance, especially concerning the kind of associations or imprints that same word has left on public discourse.

When covering the Kennedy assassination in the decades since, media outlets have often avoided touching serious discussion of conspiracy with a ten-foot pole. Part of this may have to do with not wanting to tarnish the relationship many major publications and networks have had over the years with sources of exclusive, intelligence inside the CIA. (Talbot, pg. 211, 585; Harding) But a large part of this phenomenon, no doubt, is a lingering product of the CIA’s ongoing tactics, originating with an operation beginning in the 1960s following Kennedy’s death to discredit “conspiracy theorists.” The term itself was not coined by the agency, but the weaponization of the term, fittingly enough, was its doing.

Following criticism from the likes of authors such as the late Mark Lane, a propaganda campaign to counter Warren Commission detractors took shape in the latter half of the 1960s at the behest of the CIA. In early 1967, a key CIA dispatch in particular was disseminated to media assets asking for assistance in labeling such critics as “conspiracy theorists”. The idea was to label them as not of sound judgment, or as the victims of communist propaganda. This highly detailed and multi-faceted strategy can be found under CIA document number 1035-960.

The late author Lance DeHaven-Smith has accurately noted that the term was seldom used prior to the Kennedy assassination and that its weaponization in this way constituted a “conspiracy theory conspiracy”. One in “which “state actors intervene in society to help create a prevailing common sense wherein reasonable suspicions of high criminality are reflexively dismissed and stigmatized by our sense making institutions.” (Good, pg.10)

I have come to label terms like conspiracy theorist as “emotionally charged shielding phrases,” which aim to shut down critical thinking and simply quash an argument whether it happens to be well founded or not. Another example of such a phrase involves the questioning of a given critic’s “patriotism” (e.g. accusing the CIA of skullduggery is “unpatriotic” and “insulting to our institutions”). But hiding behind the use of these pejoratives is simply not good enough anymore, and the CIA seems to know that this is the case. Besides stonewalling and their abdication of responsibility to the law (e.g.. The JFK Records Act), another one of their tactics involves the use of what have been called “limited hang out” discussions.

Former CIA officer Victor Marchetti described a “limited hangout” strategy as “spy jargon for releasing some of the hidden facts, in order to distract the public from bigger, more explosive information.” (Talbot, “Inside the Plot to Kill JFK”) A recent example of this CIA goal-post moving trickery can be seen in the recent way in which the agency has tacitly changed their position on Oswald’s alleged activities in Mexico City. Recognizing that their previous cover story, that of Oswald being a mere “blip” on their radar, as being untenable, the agency has changed its tune, saying instead that they “never engaged Oswald.” (Morley, “The CIA’s New Spin”)

I myself have observed defenders of the Warren Commission resort to a kind of limited hang out reflex when presented with issues in the official narrative. During my final semester in college I was enrolled in a science course, and was allowed to author an essay on various issues dealing with the medical and ballistics evidence related to the Kennedy assassination. When I first proposed the idea and some potential sources, the professor of the class took issue with what I intended to write about, referring me instead to a Newsweek article authored by one Max Holland entitled “The Truth About the Kennedy Assassination.” During the course of a follow up discussion in which I explained several of issues of the assassination story as they related to the article, Oswald, and the CIA, it surprised me to find out that the professor was not aware, or perhaps, was not concerned with the fact that Max Holland had written the Newsweek article. Holland, after all, is a well-known Warren Commission flack, and has received awards from the Agency’s publication for his work.

While the professor seemed to have an open mind with my concerns, and acknowledged that the CIA’s business often dealt in “lies,” he essentially explained that he would find it hard to believe any potential cover up involving the Agency as being anything more than a concealment of something relatively embarrassing. To me, this epitomized a limited hang out argument: tacitly admitting to holes in the official story, getting closer to the truth, but presenting a different, more palatable story that does not consider more sinister possibilities, even in the face of concerning information that gives credence to the latter.

Through their stonewalling and underhanded maneuvers, the agency has turned potentially groundbreaking investigations into limited hang-outs. The House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) of the 1970s pursued leads that often pointed right to the doorstep of the CIA, but were barred from entry. Case in point: while attempting to investigate the links between the DRE and Oswald, investigators from the HSCA were assigned to work with a formerly retired CIA officer who acted as liaison between the committee and the Agency. The CIA then proceeded to play dumb when the committee inquired about who their CIA case officers were back in the summer of 1963. In fact the DRE case officer was George Joannides, the same man the Agency brought out of retirement to be their liaison. By not disclosing what Joannides was actually responsible for back in 1963, the CIA had pretended to investigate itself, and once again obstructed an official government investigation into the assassination of the president. (DiEugenio, JFK Revisited, pg. 66; Black Op Radio, 40:00) It was not until years after the HSCA investigation that the critical role George Joannides had played while working for Central Intelligence were revealed. As previously mentioned, records regarding Joannides and his operations concerning the DRE happen to be among those that are still partially or fully redacted nearly sixty years after the assassination, and over thirty years after Joannides’ death.

G. Robert Blakey, former chief counsel of the HSCA’s investigation, helped coordinate their work with the CIA believing, for years after the fact, that the proceedings had been as thorough and honest as possible. After Jefferson Morley revealed the truth to Blakey regarding Joannides, Blakey revoked his statements of belief in the Agency, and affirmed that they had not cooperated with the HSCA investigation. (ibid, 43:00). There are gaps in the historical record, and the CIA had been filling in the blanks with their own story. This, to borrow a term from cognitive scientist and artificial intelligence researcher Gary Marcus, amounts to “authoritative bullshit.” (Stahl) Marcus uses his term when describing how AI blends truth and fiction together so seamlessly that it comes off as a voice of trustworthy authority to a layperson. I think the term can also apply here, especially when considering the occasional undue reverence we automatically give to certain institutions simply because of their assumed “authority.”

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Last modified on Thursday, 15 June 2023 03:39
Alex Sill

Los Angeles-based guitarist and composer Alex Sill received a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in the Jazz Program at California Institute of the Arts.  He has studied and performed with some of the world's top musicians, and has written for a variety of contexts, including film/trailer music, jazz bands, rock bands, orchestra and a guitar trio.  Alex has been deeply interested in history from an early age, and believes the examples set by John Kennedy, Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. can provide a powerful impetus for social and political engagement today.  For more info visit:

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