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This is the 44 page CIA document concerning the HSCA Blahut incident.
(All caps is the verbatim document. Donated by Anna Marie Kuhns-Walko 

 

OLC #78-2246

12 JULY 1978

MEMORANDUM FOR THE RECORD

SUBJECT: HSCA INTERNAL SECURITY PROBLEM

1. I RECEIVED A TELEPHONE CALL FROM MR BLAKEY YESTERDAY MORNING. HE STATED THAT A PROBLEM HAD ARISEN IN THE HSCA STAFF. SENSITIVE MATERIAL RECEIVED FROM A NON-CIA SOURCE, CONCERNING THE KENNEDY AUTOPSY, SEEMS TO HAVE BEEN MISHANDLED. ONE OF THE STAFF MEMBERS NOTICED THAT CERTAIN PHOTOGRAPHS HAD BEEN REMOVED FROM THEIR PLASTIC CONTAINERS ALTHOUGH REMAINING IN THE BOOK CONTAINING THEM. THEY DO NOT KNOW THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THIS BUT ARE CONCERNED THAT IT REFLECTS AN IMPROPER PROCEDURE WITHIN THE HSCA STAFF.

2. THE CIA EMPLOYEE WHO CONTROLS ACCESS TO THE SAFE IN THE SPECIAL WORK AREA IN HSCA HAD SOME GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE WAY THINGS WERE HANDLED THERE. MR BLAKEY SAID THAT THE CIA EMPLOYEE HAD BEEN INTERVIEWED INFORMALLY AND OUR PERMISSION WAS REQUESTED TO TAKE A FORMAL STATEMENT FROM HIM. MR BLAKEY INDICATED THAT IT WAS THE CIA EMPLOYEES GENERAL OBSERVATIONS ONLY ABOUT PROCEDURE THAT WERE OF INTEREST. MR BLAKEY SAID THAT BECAUSE OF THE QUESTION OF THE HANDLING OF THE BOOK HE FELT IT WAS NECESSARY TO PREPARE A FORMAL REPORT FOR THE COMMITTEE. I CALLED THE DIRECTOR OF SECURITY AND REPORTED THE PROBLEM, RECOMMENDING THAT OUR EMPLOYEE BE AUTHORIZED TO COOPERATE AS REQUESTED. THE DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF SECURITY PHONED ME BACK AND AGREED TO HAVE THE CIA EMPLOYEE INSTRUCTED ACCORDINGLY. AT THAT TIME IT WAS MY UNDERSTANDING THAT OUR EMPLOYEE HAD NOT SEEN THE MATERIAL.

3. THIS MORNING, WHEN THE CIA EMPLOYEE IN QUESTION VISITED OUR OFFICE, AS HE DOES ROUTINELY BEFORE GOING TO THE HSCA OFFICES, I SPOKE WITH HIM ABOUT IT. IT DEVELOPED THAT THE NOTEBOOK IN QUESTION HAD BEEN REMOVED BY HSCA STAFFERS FROM THE SPECIAL SAFE IN WHICH IT WAS KEPT, AND THEN LEFT ON A WINDOW LEDGE. AS MUCH OF THE CIA EMPLOYEES TIME IS SPENT SITTING AND WAITING HE DID IDLY LEAF THROUGH THE BOOK AND QUICKLY RECOGNIZED WHAT IT WAS. HE STATED THAT HE DID NOT HANDLE ANY OF THE PICTURES. I INSTRUCTED HIM THAT HE SHOULD NOT TOUCH OR READ ANYTHING THAT IS NOT KEPT IN OUR SAFE.

I ALSO ADVISED HIM THAT AFTER ANSWERING QUESTIONS FOR THE RECORD THAT, IF HE FELT THERE WAS INFORMATION NOT ELICITED FROM HIM ABOUT THE WAY THINGS GO IN THE SPECIAL AREA WHERE HE WORKS, HE SHOULD VOLUNTEER THAT INFORMATION. I TOLD HIM THAT IF ASKED HE SHOULD STATE THAT I SUGGESTED THIS TO HIM.

S D BRECKINRIDGE

OLC/SDB/HFS
ORIG - OLC/RECORD
1 - OLC/CHRON
1 - O/DDC
1 - LC
1 - DDA
1 - D/SECURITY
1 - OGC (ATTN: MR RININGER)
1 - IG


OSS 8 1968

E-2 IMPDET

CL BY 010249

SUBJECT: HOUSE SELECT COMMITTEE ON ASSASSINATIONS (INTERNAL INVESTIGATION CONCERNING JFK AUTOPSY PHOTOGRAPHS)

ATTACHMENT A - POLYGRAPH REPORT OF REGIS BLAHUT, DTD 17 JUL 78

ATTACHMENT B - STATEMENT BY DD/SECURITY, DTD 17 JUL 78

ATTACHMENT C - STATEMENT BY D/SECURITY, DTD 18 JUL 78

ATTACHMENT D - STATEMENT BY DD/SECURITY (PTOS), DTD 17 JUL 78

ATTACHMENT E - MEMORANDUM FOR THE RECORD FROM S D BRECKINRIDGE, DRD 18 JUL 78

ATTACHMENT F - MEMORANDUM FOR THE RECORD FROM S D BRECKINRIDGE, DTD 14 JUL 78

ATTACHMENT G - MEMORANDUM FOR THE RECORD FROM S D BRECKINRIDGE, DTD 12 JUL 78

 

17 July 1978

MEMORANDUM FOR THE RECORD

FROM: SIDNEY D STEMBRIDGE, DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF SECURITY

SUBJECT: CONVERSATION WITH MR REGIS BLAHUT ON TUESDAY, 11 JULY 1978

1. THIS MEMORANDUM IS PREPARED TO RECORD ACTIONS TAKEN BY ME RELATIVE TO A REQUEST FROM THE HOUSE COMMITTEE ON ASSASSINATIONS (HSCA) TO INTERVIEW MR REGIS BLAHUT, AN EMPLOYEE OF THE OFFICE OF SECURITY.

2. DURING THE NOON HOUR ON TUESDAY, 11 JULY 1978 MR ROBERT W GAMBINO, DIRECTOR OF SECURITY ASKED ME TO RESPOND TO A REQUEST MADE BY THE HSCA TO SCOTT D BRECKINRIDGE TO CONDUCT A RECORDED INTERVIEW OF REGIS BLAHUT RELATIVE TO CERTAIN DOCUMENTS BELONGING TO THE HSCA. I SUBSEQUENTLY TALKED TO MR BRECKINRIDGE WHO TOLD ME THAT HSCA STAFF DIRECTOR ROBERT BLAKEY WANTED TO INTERVIEW MR BLAHUT BECAUSE HE SUSPECTED CERTAIN DOCUMENTS OR PHOTOGRAPHS IN A PARTICULAR FOLDER BELONGING THE HSCA MIGHT HAVE BEEN TEMPORARILY REMOVED FOR UNKNOWN PURPOSES. MR BLAKEY SAID THE MR BLAHUT, BEING A CUSTODIAN OF CIA MATERIAL IN THE SAME ROOM HOUSING THE HSCA MATERIAL, MIGHT BE ABLE TO ASSIST IN AN INVESTIGATION THEN BEING CONDUCTED BY MR BLAKEY. ACCORDING TO MR BRECKINRIDGE THE INTERVIEW WITH ME BLAHUT WAS TO BE RECORDED EITHER BY STENOGRAPHER OR TAPE RECORDED. I ADVISED MR BRECKINRIDGE THAT THE OFFICE OF SECURITY HAD NO OBJECTION AND ASKED IF HE WOULD ADVISE MR BLAHUT. MR BRECKINRIDGE RESPONDED THAT HE BELIEVED MR BLAHUT WAS WAITING FOR A CALL AT THE HSCA FROM SOMEONE IN THE OFFICE OF SECURITY.

3. I CALLED MR BLAHUT AROUND 1:30PM AND ADVISED HIM I WAS AWARE OF THE REQUEST FOR HIM TO INTERVIEWED. I INQUIRED AS TO WHAT WAS INVOLVED AND HE EXPLAINED THAT SOME PHOTOS IN A BOOK BELONGING TO HSCA APPEARED TO HAVE BEEN TEMPORARILY REMOVED AND SINCE HE WAS IN THE ROOM WHICH HOUSED THE BOOK, HSCA WANTED A RECORDED INTERVIEW WITH HIM. I ASKED HIM IF HE HAD SEEN THE BOOK OR PHOTOS REFERRED TO AND HE SAID HE HAD GLANCED AT THEM. HE FURTHER EXPLAINED THAT THE BOOK HAD BEEN LEFT OUT ON A WINDOW SILL AND THAT HE HAD CASUALLY FLIPPED THROUGH THE PHOTOGRAPHS CONTAINED THEREIN. I ADVISED HIM TO SUBMIT TO THE INTERVIEW REQUEST AND ASSIST IN RESOLVING THE MATTER IN ANY WAY HE COULD. I THEN TERMINATED THE CALL.

SIDNEY STEMBRIDGE


17 JULY 1978

MEMORANDUM FOR THE RECORD

FROM: HOLLIS H WHITAKER, DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF SECURITY (PTOS)

1. THE FOLLOWING IS A SEQUENCE OF CONVERSATIONS THAT I HAD, ON 11 JULY 1978, WITH PEOPLE IN THE OFFICE OF SECURITY RELATIVE TO MR REGIS BLAHUT'S BEING INTERVIEWED BY MEMBERS OF THE COMMITTEE STAFF OF THE HOUSE ASSASSINATIONS COMMITTEE. IN THE LATE MORNING OF 11 JULY, MR ROBERT GAMBINO, DIRECTOR OF SECURITY, CALLED ME AND TOLD ME THAT HE HAD RECEIVED A PHONE CALL FROM MR SCOTT BRECKINRIDGE, OFFICE OF LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL, WHO SAID THAT THE COMMITTEE STAFF WANTED TO INTERVIEW REGIS BLAHUT RELATIVE TO KNOWLEDGE HE MIGHT HAVE OF THE MOVE OF CERTAIN FOLDERS OUT OF THE SAFE IN THE ROOM IN WHICH REGIS WAS OPERATING. MR GAMBINO TOLD ME TO RELAY THE MESSAGE TO REGIS THAT HE SHOULD HELP THE COMMITTEE STAFF IN ANY WAY HE COULD AND TO BE TOTALLY COOPERATIVE WITH THEM.

2. I IMMEDIATELY CALLED MR BLAHUT AND RELAYED THE MESSAGE AS GIVEN BY THE DIRECTOR OF SECURITY. MR BLAHUT INFORMED ME AT THAT TIME THAT THE COMMITTEE STAFF HAD ALREADY TALKED TO HIM AND THAT HE HAD BEEN COOPERATIVE, BUT NOW THEY WANTED TO RECORD HIS INTERVIEW. I EXPRESSED SOME SURPRISE AT THE RECORDING BUT TOLD HIM THAT I WOULD CALL THE DIRECTOR OF SECURITY TO GET PERMISSION FOR THE RECORDING. MR BLAHUT SAID THAT HE HAD NO OBJECTION TO THE RECORDING IF WE HAD NONE. I ASKED REGIS WHAT THIS WAS ALL ABOUT AND HE TOLD ME THAT SOMEBODY HAD MOVED SOME PICTURES IN ONE OF THE SAFES AND THEY WERE QUESTIONING HIM AS TO WHETHER HE HAD EVER SEEN THE PICTURES. I ASKED HIM IF HE HAD AND HE SAID YES, ON ONE OCCASION WHEN HE WAS SITTING IN A CHAIR NEAR THE SAFE IN QUESTION AND HE SAW THE PICTURES IN A NOTEBOOK LYING ON THE WINDOWSILL. HE SAID THEY WERE PICTURES OF FORMER PRESIDENT KENNEDY AND THE COMMITTEE STAFF WAS ASKING REGIS IF HE SAW THE AUTOPSY PICTURES. HE SAID HE TOLD THEM THAT HE DIDN'T KNOW IF THEY WERE AUTOPSY OR NOT; ALL HE KNEW, WAS THAT THEY WERE OF THE DECEASED PRESIDENT. I TOLD HIM TO STAND BY AND I WOULD ADVISE ON THE RECORDING DECISION.

3. I THEN CALLED THE DIRECTOR OF SECURITY AND INFORMED HIM OF THE REQUEST TO RECORD REGIS' INTERVIEW AND TOLD HIM FURTHER WHAT REGIS HAD TOLD ME ABOUT SEEING THE PICTURES. MR GAMBINO INDICATED THAT HE WOULD HAVE TO CHECK IT OUT FURTHER AND WOULD BE BACK IN TOUCH WITH ME.

4. I WAS LATER ADVISED BY MR STEMBRIDGE, DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF SECURITY, THAT MR GAMBINO HAD ANOTHER APPOINTMENT AND MR STEMBRIDGE WAS WAITING FOR A RETURN CALL FROM SCOTT BRECKINRIDGE BEFORE WE CALLED REGIS AT THE COMMITTEE.

5. SHORTLY AFTER 12 NOON, I CALLED MR STEMBRIDGE AND ASKED HIM IF HE WOULD MIND ADVISING REGIS OF THE DECISION ON THE RECORDING SINCE I, LIKEWISE, HAD AN APPOINTMENT I WAS TRYING TO KEEP. MR STEMBRIDGE ADVISED THAT HE WOULD BE HAPPY TO CALL REGIS AS SOON AS HE HEARD FROM MR BRECKINRIDGE. I THEN DEPARTED FOR MY APPOINTMENT.

6. I SUBSEQUENTLY BRIEFED MR JAMES CALLAHAN, CHIEF, DOMESTIC SECURITY BRANCH, OF THE ABOVE. THIS BRIEFING WAS JUST TO KEEP MR CALLAHAN INFORMED AS TO WHAT WAS HAPPENING WITH HIS EMPLOYEE, REGIS BLAHUT.

7. THE ABOVE IS A COMPLETE STATEMENT, TO MY KNOWLEDGE, OF WHAT OCCURRED UNTIL I WAS FURTHER BRIEFED BY MR CALLAHAN ON 14 JULY 1978.

HOLLIS H WHITAKER

17 JULY 1978

MEMORANDUM FOR THE RECORD

SUBJECT: MEETING WITH ROBERT BLAKEY AT THE HSCA

1. AFTER MR BLAKEY AND MR CORNWELL MET WITH THE DCI, THE DDCI AND THE LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL ON THE MORNING OF 17 JULY, THE DDCI GAVE HIM A COPY OF THE POLYGRAPH EXAMINATION OF REGIS THOMAS BLAHUT AND TOOK THEM DOWN TO 7D-6015 TO EXAMINE THE PAPER. THE DDCI THEN CALLED THE DIRECTOR OF SECURITY AND ASKED HIM TO COME UP TO MY OFFICE.

2. WHEN BLAKEY FINISHED HIS EXAMINATION OF THE PAPER, HE AND GARY CORNWELL CAME INTO MY OFFICE. I REINTRODUCED BOB GAMBINO AND BLAKEY IMMEDIATELY ASKED HIM FOR BLAHUT'S SECURITY FILE. GAMBINO DEMURRED AND HANDED BLAKEY BLAHUT'S OFFICIAL PERSONNEL FILE INSTEAD.

3. MOST OF THE DISCUSSION CENTERED ON WHAT BLAKEY WANTED THE OFFICE OF SECURITY TO ACCOMPLISH IN THEIR FOLLOW-UP INVESTIGATION OF BLAHUT. THIS WILL BE COVERED IN MR GAMBINO'S MEMORANDUM FOR THE RECORD. AS THE CONVERSATION WOUND DOWN, I FELT IT NECESSARY TO ASK MR BLAKEY WHETHER OR NOT THE HSCA WOULD ACCEPT THE VALIDITY AND OBJECTIVITY OF A CIA INVESTIGATION OF BLAHUT. THIS CONVERSATION CONTINUED FOR BETTER THAN FIVE MINUTES. ALTHOUGH MR BLAKEY WAS NOT PREPARED TO SAY THAT THE HSCA WOULD ACCEPT THE VALIDITY AND OBJECTIVITY OF A CIA INVESTIGATION, HE DID SAY THAT BEFORE COMING OUT TO HEADQUARTERS, THE STAFF HAD DECIDED THAT A CIA INVESTIGATION WAS THE BEST ALTERNATIVE AVAILABLE TO THEM. THEY REJECTED THE DC POLICE BECAUSE OF POLITICAL OVERTONES; THEY REJECTED THE FBI BECAUSE AS A MEMBER OF THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY THE FBI MIGHT BE PRESUMED TO BE BIASED IN FAVOR OF THE CIA; AND THEY DECLINED TO CONDUCT THE INVESTIGATION THEMSELVES BECAUSE THEY HAVE NO CONSTITUTIONAL AUTHORITY TO DO SO. THUS, A CIA INVESTIGATION WAS THE ONLY COURSE LEFT OPEN TO THEM.

4. DURING THIS PORTION OF OUR CONVERSATION, AFTER CONSULTING WITH BOB GAMBINO, I SUGGESTED THAT THE HSCA SHOULD PICK A "MORE OBJECTIVE INVESTIGATING BODY." I SAID I DID NOT WISH THERE TO BE ANY QUESTION IN A POST MORTEM WHICH MIGHT SOMEHOW IMPUGN THE CIA. I TOLD BLAKEY THAT AS FAR AS I WAS CONCERNED, I WAS 99.9 PERCENT SURE THAT CIA'S INVESTIGATION WOULD NOT IMPUGN THE CIA OR GIVE EVIDENCE OF ANY CIA EMPLOYEE'S COMPLICITY WITH BLAHUT. THUS, I WAS SAYING THAT MY PREDICTION WAS FOR A CLEAN BILL OF HEALTH FOR THE CIA THROUGH A CIA INVESTIGATION. WAS MR BLAKEY PREPARED TO ACCEPT THIS? ME BLAKEY SAID HE WAS PREPARED TO ACCEPT THAT AND THAT HE BELIEVED THAT THE CIA WAS NOT GUILTY OF ANY COMPLICITY IN MR BLAHUT'S ACTIVITIES.

5. MR INTERPRETATIONS OF WHAT MR BLAKEY SAID WAS THAT HE WISHED CIA TO GO AHEAD WITH THE INVESTIGATION OF BLAHUT AND THAT HE EXPECTS US TO COME UP WITH A CLEAN BILL OF HEALTH FOR THE CIA.

HAVILAND SMITH JR

SA/DDCI

DISTRIBUTION: ORIG - DDCI & RETURN TO MR SMITH
1 - SCOTT BRECKINRIDGE
1 - MR GAMBINO (D/OS)
1 - EXEC REG


OLC 78-2400

17 JULY 1978

MEMORANDUM FOR THE RECORD

SUBJECT: MEETING OF THE DCI AND DDCI WITH ROBERT BLAKEY, CHIEF COUNSEL, AND GARY CORNWELL, DEPUTY CHIEF COUNSEL, HOUSE SELECT COMMITTEE ON ASSASSINATIONS

1. (S ) AT THE REQUEST OF CHIEF COUNSEL BOB BLAKEY, THE DIRECTOR AND DEPUTY DIRECTOR MET WITH HIM TO DISCUSS THE FACTS SURROUNDING AN ALLEGED SECURITY VIOLATION LAST WEEK INVOLVING A SECURITY OFFICER PROVIDED TO THE COMMITTEE BY CIA. THE FACTS APPEAR TO BE AS FOLLOWS:

 

A. (S ) ON 23 JUNE MR BLAKEY INDICATED THAT COMMITTED SECURITY OFFICERS HAD REPORTED TO HIM A PROBABLE SECURITY VIOLATION INVOLVING THE KENNEDY AUTOPSY FILE. AT THIS POINT, BLAKEY WENT INTO A LENGTHY DESCRIPTION OF THE SENSITIVITY OF THE AUTOPSY FILE. THE FILE CONTAINS COLOR PHOTOGRAPHS OF THE BODY OF PRESIDENT KENNEDY AND IN BLAKEY'S WORDS THE COMMITTEE HAS REGARDED THESE PHOTOGRAPHS AS "THE FAMILY JEWELS;" I.E., IF THE COMMITTEE EVER LOST CONTROL OF THESE PHOTOGRAPHS IT WOULD BE VERY DAMAGING TO THEIR CREDITABILITY. AS A CONSEQUENCE, THE AUTOPSY FILE HAS BEEN STORED IN A SEPARATE SAFE WITH INGRESS AND AGREES TO THAT SAFE REPORTED SEPARATELY. ON THE 23RD OF JUNE, COMMITTEE SECURITY OFFICIALS APPARENTLY DISCOVERED THAT ONE PAGE CONTAINING ONE COLOR PHOTOGRAPH FROM THE AUTOPSY HAD BEEN RIPPED OUT. THEY THEN PROCEEDED TO CONDUCT THEIR OWN INVESTIGATION. THEY DETERMINED THAT 10 PEOPLE HAD HAD ACCESS TO THE SAFE ON 23 JUNE, FROM EXAMINING ACCESS RECORDS AND BY TAKING FINGERPRINTS INSIDE THE SAFE.

B. (S ) THE COMMITTEE SECURITY INVESTIGATION APPARENTLY ESTABLISHED THAT FINGERPRINTS FOUND INSIDE THE SAFE ON THAT DAY MATCHED FINGERPRINTS OF REGIS BLAHUT.

C. (S ) WHEN IT WAS DETERMINED THAT BLAHUT'S FINGERPRINTS MATCHED THOSE FOUND IN THE SAFE HE WAS SUMMONED TO BE INTERVIEWED BY COMMITTEE SECURITY OFFICERS IN THE AFTERNOON OF THE 11TH OF JULY. A TAPE WAS MADE OF THE INTERVIEW. ACCORDING TO BLAKEY, BLAHUT'S STATEMENT ON 11 JULY WAS AT VARIANCE WITH THE PHYSICAL EVIDENCE AND THE FACTS WHICH THEY HAD PIECED TOGETHER CONCERNING THE INCIDENT.

D. (S ) BLAHUT WAS CALLED AGAIN FOR AN INTERVIEW ON 13 JULY AND WAS CONFRONTED WITH THE INCONSISTENCIES BETWEEN THE FACTS ESTABLISHED BY THE PHYSICAL EVIDENCE AND THE STORY HE HAD TOLD ON 11 JULY. A SECOND STORY WAS GIVEN. IN BLAKEY'S VIEW, THIS LIKEWISE WAS INCONSISTENT WITH THE FACTS. AGAIN, THE INTERVIEW WAS TAPED.

E. (S ) FINALLY, ON 14 JULY BLAHUT WAS SUMMONED AGAIN. HE DECLINED A FORMAL INTERVIEW ON TAPE AT THIS TIME, HOWEVER. ACCORDING TO BLAKEY, HIS STORY WAS STILL INCONSISTENT WITH THE FACTS WHICH THEIR INVESTIGATION HAD ESTABLISHED. AFTER THE FIRST INTERVIEW WITH BLAHUT ON 11 JULY AND BEFORE THE INTERVIEWS ON 13 AND 14 JULY BLAHUT HAD CONSULTED WITH HIS SUPERIORS AT THE AGENCY.

2. (S ) BLAKEY REMINDED THE DIRECTOR OF HIS PROMISE TO BLAKEY ON FEBRUARY 4TH THAT IF THE ASSASSINATIONS COMMITTEE INVESTIGATION TURNED UP ANY IMPROPER COURSE OF CONDUCT, THE DIRECTOR WOULD TAKE ACTION TO CORRECT IT. BLAKEY STATED THAT HE HAD BRIEFED CHAIRMAN LOUIS STOKES (D., OHIO) ON THE FACTS OF THE BLAHUT INVESTIGATION TO THIS POINT, AND THAT CHAIRMAN STOKES HAD ASKED HIM TO APPROACH THE DIRECTOR PERSONALLY ON THE MATTER. ON BEHALF OF CHAIRMAN STOKES MR BLAKEY CALLED FOR AN AGENCY INVESTIGATION OF THIS INCIDENT.

3. (S ) THE GROUNDS FOR THE REQUEST ARE THAT ON THREE OCCASIONS BLAHUT'S TESTIMONY HAS BEEN INCONSISTENT, AND THAT IT VARIES WITH THE PHYSICAL FACTS AND THE INVESTIGATION CONDUCTED BY THE COMMITTEE WHICH CONSIST IN PART OF THE FOLLOWING:

 

A. (S ) THE BLAHUT FINGERPRINTS ON ONE PHOTOGRAPH OF THE KENNEDY AUTOPSY ARE NOT IN THE POSITION ON THE PHOTOGRAPH THAT THEY WOULD HAVE TO BE HAD BLAHUT EXAMINED THE PHOTOGRAPH IN THE MANNER IN WHICH HE DESCRIBED.

B. (S ) THE BOOK CONTAINING THE PHOTOGRAPHS WAS OUT ON THE SHELF IN THE VAULT AT LARGE, AND NOT INSIDE THE SAFE WHERE THEY WERE STORED. THE LOG DID NOT SHOW THAT THE BOOK HAD BEEN REMOVED FROM ITS SEPARATE SAFE ON THIS OCCASION.

C. (S ) PHYSICAL EVIDENCE, I.E., FINGERPRINTS, INDICATED THAT BLAHUT HAD HIMSELF OPENED THE SPECIAL SAFE CONTAINING THE AUTOPSY FILE.

4. (S ) MR BLAKEY'S QUESTION IS IF THE INCIDENT HAD BEEN ONE OF MERE IDLE CURIOSITY WHY HAD NOT BLAHUT REPLACED THE AUTOPSY FILE INSIDE THE SAFE? WHY HAD ONE PHOTOGRAPH BEEN RIPPED OUT? WITH RESPECT TO AGENCY INVOLVEMENT IN THE MATTER, BLAKEY IS MAKING A GREAT DEAL OF THE FACT THAT BEFORE TWO OF THE THREE OCCASIONS ON WHICH THE COMMITTEE STAFF INTERROGATED BLAHUT, BLAHUT HAD CONSULTED WITH HIS SUPERIORS AT THE AGENCY AND FOLLOWING THESE CONSULTATIONS HIS TESTIMONY WAS NO MORE TRUTHFUL THAN IT HAD BEEN ORIGINALLY WITH RESPECT TO CERTAIN POINTS. THIS LED BLAKEY TO MAKE A REQUEST OF THE DIRECTOR THAT THE INSPECTOR GENERAL CHECK ON THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE OFFICE OF SECURITY AND BLAHUT IN ORDER TO VERIFY BLAHUT'S STORY. FURTHER, BLAKEY WANTS TO READ A REPORT OF SUCH AN IG INVESTIGATION AND WOULD LIKE TO TALK TO BLAHUT'S SUPERIORS HIMSELF. HE WOULD ALSO LIKE TO READ BLAHUT'S SECURITY FILE.

5. (S ) THE DIRECTOR THEN STATED HIS VIEWS. HE ALLUDED TO A POLYGRAPH EXAMINATION OF BLAHUT WHICH OCCURRED IN THREE SEPARATE SESSIONS DURING SATURDAY, 15 JULY. THE THIRD RUNNING CONFIRMED THE VERACITY OF BLAHUT'S STORY WITH SEVERAL MINOR GLITCHES. THE DIRECTOR OFFERED BLAKEY A COPY OF THE REPORT OF THIS POLYGRAPH EXAMINATION. HE SUGGESTED THAT BLAKEY COME BACK TO HIM AND INDICATE TO HIM WHAT MORE SHOULD BE DONE AFTER HE READ THE POLYGRAPH FILE, INFERRING THAT THIS EXAMINATION SHOULD ANSWER MOST BLAKEY'S QUESTIONS.

6. (S ) BLAKEY THEN GOT TO THE NUB ISSUE AS FAR AS THE AGENCY IS CONCERNED. WAS BLAHUT'S INVOLVEMENT WITH THE KENNEDY AUTOPSY FILE AN ATTEMPT BY THE AGENCY TO UNDERMINE THE WORK OF THE COMMITTEE? WAS BLAHUT ACTING ON THE REQUEST OF AND WITH KNOWLEDGE OF HIS SUPERIORS IN TAMPERING WITH THE FILE? BLAKEY INDICATED HE WANTED TO KNOW WHAT BLAHUT HAD TOLD HIS SUPERIORS. THE DIRECTOR REJOINED THAT A GOOD MANY OF THESE QUESTIONS COULD BE RESOLVED BY STUDYING THE POLYGRAPH EXAMINATION RECORD AND BY CHECKING BLAHUT'S FILE. THE DDCI INTERJECTED THAT THE POLYGRAPH INTERVIEWS HAD SHOWN THAT BLAHUT HAD DISCUSSED THE MATTER WITH NOBODY BESIDES HIS WIFE. THE ONLY MATTER UNRESOLVED BY THE POLYGRAPH (I.E., THE ONLY MATTER ON WHICH BLAHUT APPEARED NOT TO HAVE BEEN TRUTHFUL) IS HOW MANY TIMES HE HAD ENTERED THE SAFE. THE DIRECTOR NOTED THAT BLAHUT'S SUPERIORS IN THE OFFICE OF SECURITY HAD BEEN CONCERNED AT BLAHUT'S STATEMENT THAT HE LIED IN EARLY INTERVIEWS WITH THE COMMITTEE AND IT HAD BEEN AT THEIR INSTRUCTION THAT BLAHUT WENT BACK TO THE HILL TO INFORM THE COMMITTEE.

7. (S ) IN CONCLUSION, BOTH THE DIRECTOR AND THE DDCI WERE FIRM IN THEIR ASSERTION THAT THERE WAS NO CIA COLLUSION BETWEEN BLAHUT AND HIS SUPERIORS TO ASSIST BLAHUT IN UNDERMINING THE WORK OF THE COMMITTEE. THE QUESTION WAS PIT AS TO HOW MANY ON THE STAFF OF THE HOUSE COMMITTEE ON ASSASSINATIONS ARE AWARE OF THIS INCIDENT. BLAKEY REPLIED THAT TWO OF THEIR SECURITY PEOPLE, HIMSELF, GARY CORNWELL AND CHAIRMAN STOKES. THE FINAL REQUEST WHICH BLAKEY SCARCELY HAD TO MAKE WAS THAT BLAHUT BE REPLACED WITH SOMEONE BETTER.

FREDRICK P HITZ
LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL

DISTRIBUTION:ORIGINAL - SUBJ FILE
1 - EA/DCI
1 - OGC
1 - MR BRECKINRIDGE
1 - D/OS
1 - OGC CHRON

OLC/FPH:BAA (18 JUL 78)


OLC # 78-2246/3

18 JULY 1978

MEMORANDUM FOR THE RECORD

SUBJECT: SECURITY AND HSCA

I HAVE REVIEWED THE ATTACHED MEMORANDUM FOLLOWING RECENT DEVELOPMENTS IN THE HSCA PROBLEMS WITH THE CIA EMPLOYEE WORKING THERE. THE DIRECTOR OF SECURITY ASKED THAT I ADD ANY DETAIL NOT INCLUDED HERE. THE ESSENTIAL POINTS OF MY KNOWLEDGE OF THE MATTER ARE IN THOSE MEMORANDA, TO WHICH I CAN ADD THE FOLLOWING:

 

A. IN MY CONVERSATION WITH THE CIA EMPLOYEE ON THE MORNING OF 12 JULY I ASKED HIM IF HE HAD TOLD HSCA PERSON THAT HE HAS SEEN THE PICTURES, AS HE HAD TOLD ME HE DID; HIS REPLY WAS IN THE AFFIRMATIVE. I MADE A STATEMENT TO THAT EFFECT TO MR BLAKEY WHEN I MET WITH HIM THE AFTERNOON OF 13 JULY WHEN MR JOANNIDES AND I VISITED THE HSCA AREA. WE DID NOT CONTACT THE CIA EMPLOYEE ON THAT VISIT, BUT HE LEARNED OF OUR PRESENCE AND FOLLOWED US TO THE ELEVATOR WHERE WE SPOKE TO HIM BRIEFLY WITHOUT TOUCHING ON THIS MATTER.

B. I HAD NO OTHER CONVERSATIONS WITH THE EMPLOYEE ON THIS SUBJECT.

S D BRECKINRIDGE

ATTACHMENT

OLC/SDB/HFS

DISTRIBUTION:
ORIG - OLC/SUBJ
1 - OLC/CHRON
1 - D/SECURITY


OLC #78-2246/1

18 JULY 1978

MEMORANDUM FOR THE RECORD

SUBJECT: SECURITY EMPLOYEE IN HSCA AREA

1. AN EARLIER MEMORANDUM DISCUSSED AN INTERNAL HSCA PROBLEM. THIS MORNING I RECEIVED A TELEPHONE CALL FROM THE CIA EMPLOYEE WORKING IN THE HSCA AREA. HE MADE STATEMENTS TO ME TO THE EFFECT THAT HE HAD NOT BEEN CANDID IN RESPONSE TO HSCA QUESTIONS CONCERNING THE INCIDENT REPORTED MY EARLIER MEMORANDUM. WHEN I INSTRUCTED HIM TO BACK TO THE QUESTIONERS AND CORRECT HIS STATEMENTS HE TOLD ME HE HAD DONE SO. I SPOKE TO HIS SUPERIOR ASKING THAT HE REPORT IT TO THE DIRECTOR OF SECURITY IMMEDIATELY. I REPORTED IT TO MR SMITH, SA/DDCI, AND I SAW THE DDA AT LUNCH AND ALSO TOLD HIM.

2. AFTER LUNCH, IN A CONVERSATION WITH MR GAMBINO, HE INFORMED ME THAT THE OFFICE OF SECURITY WILL REPLACE THE MAN WHO CURRENTLY IS HANDLING THIS WORK IN THE HSCA AREA. HE WANTED TO RECALL THE MAN IMMEDIATELY, AND HAVE HIM BRIEF HIS REPLACEMENT. I SAID THAT I WOULD LIKE TO SPEAK WITH MR BLAKEY FIRST. I PHONED MR BLAKEY'S OFFICE SHORTLY AFTER 1300 AND LEFT A MESSAGE FOR HIM TO PHONE ME AS SOON AS HE RETURNED FROM LUNCH. AS HE HAD NOT RETURNED MY CALL BY 1430, AND WE HAD TO HAVE THE BRIEFING TAKE PLACE HERE, I PHONED MR BLAKEY'S OFFICE AND LEFT A MESSAGE FOR HIM THAT WE ARE WITHDRAWING THE PRESENT MAN THERE AND REPLACING HIM. I SAID HE WOULD BE ASKED TO CLOSE UP AND RETURN TO THE AGENCY THIS AFTERNOON TO BRIEF HIS REPLACEMENT. I THEN CALLED THE SUPERVISOR OF THE EMPLOYEE IN QUESTION AND ASKED HIM TO RECALL HIM. IN THE ABSENCE OF ANY COMMUNICATION WITH MR BLAKEY WE WILL NOT KNOW UNTIL THE EMPLOYEE RETURNS TO HEADQUARTERS WHETHER THERE WERE ANY PLANS FOR WORK AT THE HSCA OFFICE AREA THIS WEEKEND.

S D BRECKINRIDGE

OLC/SDB/HFS

DISTRIBUTION:ORIG - PLC/SUBJ
1 - OLC/CHRON
1 - IG
1 - D/SECURITY
1 - DDA
1 - GENERAL COUNSEL
1 - SA/DDCI
1 - LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL

18 JULY 1978

MEMORANDUM FOR THE RECORD

FROM: ROBERT W GAMBINO, DIRECTOR OF SECURITY

SUBJECT: HOUSE SELECT COMMITTEE ON ASSASSINATIONS (INTERNAL INVESTIGATION CONCERNING JFK AUTOPSY PHOTOGRAPHS)

1. IN COMPLIANCE WITH THE REQUEST FROM MR ROBERT BLAKEY, STAFF DIRECTOR, HOUSE SELECT COMMITTEE ON ASSASSINATIONS, I AM PREPARING THIS RECORD WITH MY ACTIONS UPON BEING NOTIFIED THAT MR BLAHUT WAS TO BE INTERVIEWED BY HSCA CONCERNING JFK PHOTOGRAPHS.

2. ON 11 JULY 1978 I WAS TELEPHONICALLY CONTACTED BY MR SCOTT BRECKINRIDGE WHO INFORMED ME THAT HSCA WAS CONDUCTING AN INTERNAL INVESTIGATION CONCERNING JFK PHOTOGRAPHS. MR BRECKINRIDGE ASKED ME IF I WOULD AGREE WITH HAVING HSCA STAFFERS INTERVIEW ME BLAHUT. I ADVISED MR BRECKINRIDGE THAT I CERTAINLY HAD NO OBJECTIONS AND WOULD SEE TO IT THAT MR BLAHUT WAS ADVISED TO COOPERATE WITH THE COMMITTEE IN ALL RESPECTS. IMMEDIATELY AFTER TALKING TO MR BRECKINRIDGE I CALLED MR HOLLIS WHITAKER, DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF SECURITY (PTOS) AND REQUESTED THAT HE NOTIFY MR BLAHUT TO ASSIST THE COMMITTEE IN ANY WAY HE COULD IN CONNECTION WITH THEIR INVESTIGATION.

3. ON 15 JULY 1978 I WAS NOTIFIED TELEPHONICALLY BY MR WHITAKER THAT MR BLAHUT HAD THAT DAY INFORMED MR JIM CALLAHAN, CHIEF, DOMESTIC SECURITY BRANCH, THAT HE HAD LIED TO THE COMMITTEE DURING THE PREVIOUS INTERVIEW. MR WHITAKER ALSO RELATED THAT MR CALLAHAN HAD INFORMED BLAHUT IN NO UNCERTAIN TERMS TO RETURN TO THE COMMITTEE AND TELL THEM THE TRUTH CONCERNING HIS KNOWLEDGE OF MATTERS INVOLVED IN THEIR INVESTIGATION OF JFK PHOTOGRAPHS.

4. I ALSO DISCUSSED WITH MR WHITAKER THE INFORMATION WHICH HE PROVIDED ME CONCERNING MR BLAHUT'S APPARENTLY UNAUTHORIZED HANDLING OF JFK PHOTOGRAPHS. I INDICATED TO WHITAKER THAT IN VIEW OF THIS INFORMATION WE WOULD HAVE TO CONSIDER POLYGRAPHING MR BLAHUT TO ASCERTAIN THE DEGREE OF HIS COMPLICITY.

5. LATER THE SAME DAY I WAS TELEPHONICALLY CONTACTED BY MR JACK BLAKE, DEPUTY DIRECTOR FOR ADMINISTRATION, WHO INFORMED ME THAT THE DIRECTOR HAD BEEN IN TELEPHONIC CONTACT WITH MR ROBERT BLAKEY CONCERNING THE MATTER OF BLAHUT'S UNAUTHORIZED HANDLING OF COMMITTEE MATERIAL. MR BLAKE INSTRUCTED ME TO ARRANGE A POLYGRAPH OF MR BLAHUT TO ASCERTAIN THE FACTS OF THIS MATTER. HE FURTHER INSTRUCTED ME TO PROVIDE A COPY OF THE POLYGRAPH REPORT TO THE DIRECTOR ON SUNDAY, 16 JULY 1978.

6. IN ACCORDANCE WITH MR BLAKEY'S INSTRUCTIONS, I BRIEFED MR LOU DIFILIPPO, CHIEF, POLYGRAPH BRANCH, AND REQUESTED HIM TO PERSONALLY CONDUCT THIS POLYGRAPH EXAMINATION. I EMPHASIZED TO MR DIFILIPPO THE NEED TO CAREFULLY COVER THE FOLLOWING AREAS: 1) DETERMINE WHETHER OR NOT BLAHUT HAD ANY INSTRUCTIONS FROM AGENCY OFFICIALS TO "SPY ON THE COMMITTEE," AND 2) DETERMINE WHETHER BLAHUT HAD REMOVED THE PHOTOGRAPHS FROM COMMITTEE SPACE OR HAD PHOTOGRAPHED THE PHOTOGRAPHS.

ROBERT W GAMBINO


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