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Federal Judges Grill CIA on JFK Secrets

by Jefferson Morley

October 22, 2007

Lawyers for the Central Intelligence Agency faced pointed questions in a federal court hearing Monday morning about the agency's efforts to block disclosure of long-secret records about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

Three appellate judges probed for explanations of the agency's rationale for withholding records concerning a deceased undercover CIA officer named George Joannides whose role in the events of 1963 remains unexplained....

Full story: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jefferson-mo...al_b_69414.html

Edited by Michael Hogan
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Of course I want all the documents disclosed. I mean, that's not saying much, even Bugliosi and Posner joined in calling for release of the documents.

Of course I want the truth discovered.

That is why I am upset when I discover someone is deliberately planting false information about the assassination. That ought to concern any member or reader who wants the truth of the assassination discovered. Because inserting false information into the "reecord" only slows down and confuses.

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G. ROBERT BLAKEY ON THE JOANNIDES MATTER

I am no longer confident that the Central Intelligence Agency co-operated with the [House Select Committee on Assassinations.] My reasons follow:

The Committee focused, among other things, on (1) Oswald, (2) in New Orleans, (3) in the months before he went to Dallas, and, in particular, (4) his attempt to infiltrate an anti-Castro group, the Directorio Revolucionario Estudiantil or DRE.

These were crucial issues in the Warren Commission's investigation; they were crucial issues in the committee's investigation. The Agency knew it full well in 1964; the Agency knew it full well in 1976-79. Outrageously, the Agency did not tell the Warren Commission or our Committee that it had financial and other connections with the DRE, a group that Oswald had direct dealings with!

What contemporaneous reporting is or was in the Agency's DRE files? We will never know, for the Agency now says that no reporting is in the existing files. Are we to believe that its files were silent in 1964 or during our investigation?

I don't believe it for a minute. Money was involved; it had to be documented. Period. End of story. The files and the Agency agents connected to the DRE should have been made available to the Commission and the Committee. That the information in the files and the agents who could have supplemented it were not made available to the Commission and the Committee amounts to willful obstruction of justice.

Obviously, too, it did not identify the agent who was its contact with the DRE at the crucial time that Oswald was in contact with it: George Joannides.

During the relevant period, the Committee's chief contact with the Agency on a day-to-day basis was Scott Breckinridge. (I put aside our point of contact with the office of chief counsel, Lyle Miller) We sent researchers to the Agency to request and read documents. The relationship between our young researchers, law students who came with me from Cornell, was anything but "happy." Nevertheless, we were getting and reviewing documents. Breckinridge, however, suggested that he create a new point of contact person who might "facilitate" the process of obtaining and reviewing materials. He introduced me to Joannides, who, he said, he had arranged to bring out of retirement to help us. He told me that he had experience in finding documents; he thought he would be of help to us.

I was not told of Joannides' background with the DRE, a focal point of the investigation. Had I known who he was, he would have been a witness who would have been interrogated under oath by the staff or by the Committee. He would never have been acceptable as a point of contact with us to retrieve documents. In fact, I have now learned, as I note above, that Joannides was the point of contact between the Agency and DRE during the period Oswald was in contact with DRE.

That the Agency would put a "material witness" in as a "filter" between the Committee and its quests for documents was a flat out breach of the understanding the Committee had with the Agency that it would co-operate with the investigation.

The Committee's researchers immediately complained to me that Joannides was, in fact, not facilitating but obstructing our obtaining of documents. I contacted Breckinridge and Joannides. Their side of the story wrote off the complaints to the young age and attitude of the people.

They were certainly right about one question: the Committee's researchers did not trust the Agency. Indeed, that is precisely why they were in their positions. We wanted to test the Agency's integrity. I wrote off the complaints. I was wrong; the researchers were right. I now believe the process lacked integrity precisely because of Joannides.

For these reasons, I no longer believe that we were able to conduct an appropriate investigation of the Agency and its relationship to Oswald. Anything that the Agency told us that incriminated, in some fashion, the Agency may well be reliable as far as it goes, but the truth could well be that it materially understates the matter.

What the Agency did not give us none but those involved in the Agency can know for sure. I do not believe any denial offered by the Agency on any point. The law has long followed the rule that if a person lies to you on one point, you may reject all of his testimony.

I now no longer believe anything the Agency told the Committee any further than I can obtain substantial corroboration for it from outside the Agency for its veracity. We now know that the Agency withheld from the Warren Commission the CIA-Mafia plots to kill Castro. Had the Commission known of the plots, it would have followed a different path in its investigation. The Agency unilaterally deprived the Commission of a chance to obtain the full truth, which will now never be known.

Significantly, the Warren Commission's conclusion that the agencies of the government co-operated with it is, in retrospect, not the truth.

We also now know that the Agency set up a process that could only have been designed to frustrate the ability of the Committee in 1976-79 to obtain any information that might adversely affect the Agency.

Many have told me that the culture of the Agency is one of prevarication and dissimulation and that you cannot trust it or its people. Period. End of story.

I am now in that camp.

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I did a somewhat hurried search but could not find that the story about the oral argument was covered by either the "Washington Post" or the "New York Times". I was, of course, shocked.

You're kidding, right?

Dawn

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Dawn, kidding that I was "shocked" that neither the Times nor the Post covered the oral argument? Of course I was kidding.

Did you read Morley's article? The judges seemed to be grilling the CIA attorneys. Of course, you know very well that is not necessarily predictive of the outcome.

Kudos to Jim Lesar for all the work he has done, not only on this case, but on other FOIA cases throughout the years.

Edited by Tim Gratz
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Dawn, kidding that I was "shocked" that neither the Times nor the Post covered the oral argument? Of course I was kidding.

Did you read Morley's article? The judges seemed to be grilling the CIA attorneys. Of course, you know very well that is not necessarily predictive of the outcome.

Kudos to Jim Lesar for all the work he has done, not only on this case, but on other FOIA cases throughout the years.

Of course I read the Morley article. I have been following this case. It's a lynchpin in the black ops analysis. (Which is not news to you TG).

Yes, bless Lesar who has been relentless for so very long.

Dawn

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Dawn, I am still convinced Dallas was not "black ops" for reasons cited in that thread.

Even if it was, a highly doubtful proposition, I consider it even more unlikely (like 1 chance in a million) that there would be any documents revealing such an operation.

I think it possible the documents might reveal a previously withhheld CIA relationship with LHO. What would it do to the CIA if it had to admit it had lied to EVERYONE about that for over forty years?

Edited by Tim Gratz
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What happened to the openness of the "new" CIA, which just a few months ago released, of its own free will, documents of old dirty secrets? (The secrets weren't secrets at all, of course, except to that large segment of the American population that might be described as numbskulled American Idol fans.) Ha ha ha ha ha.

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This is great news. Thank you for the link to the article.

I recall hearing about the letter signed by Norman Mailer, Gerald Posner, Anthony Summers and etc. and thinking what a motley group that was! Wonder what motivated Mssrs. Posner, Bugliosi and Mailer to sign such a letter?

Is it too cynical of me to think we won't learn much from the documents, if the CIA actually decides to pony up?

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Is it too cynical of me to think we won't learn much from the documents, if the CIA actually decides to pony up?

I doubt that anyone can forge documents, if it comes to that, better than the CIA. And they've only had, what, a few decades to work on them.

E. Howard Hunt forged some JFK cables all by himself. He (supposedly) wasn't even working for the agency anymore, but he could churn out a few forged cables for the world to see, though they never came to light. (I think they were "deep sixed" out of Hunt's White House safe or whatever.)

We will get nothing out of these people that proves anything. (And Bugliosi and Posner of course know it. How noble of them to sign that letter!)

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