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George E. Joannides

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Article by Michel Porcheron in Granma International:


Twenty five US academics, headed by G. Robert Blakey, a legal professor at Notre Dame University and an advisor to the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA), Oliver Stone and Norman Mailer, have launched a campaign to get the CIA to make public secret documents related to the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

Some of these documents that the Agency has never made public for national security reasons specifically concern George E. Joannides, a CIA agent in Miami in 1963.

This information has not been widely reported by the media. Strangely enough it did not rise to the level of a big story, as was the case of the anti-Cuban German documentary Appointment with Death farce. Evidently, because the campaign of the 25 is intended to contribute something useful to clarify the mystery of the death of John F. Kennedy, while the documentary is merely a smokescreen to conceal the truth.

The 25 US public figures have been awaiting a response on the Kennedy assassination dossier in the possession of the CIA for months now, after having published an Open Letter in the New York Review of Books magazine.

They are exposing the fact that, in violation of the John F. Kennedy Records Acts of 1992, which dictates that, with certain limitations, any file related to the assassination should be immediately declassified, the CIA is declining to release substantial information. On December 18, 2003, 13 public figures had called for respect for the law on opening the file.

In the Open Setter, the signatories include concrete information on the activities of a CIA agent called George Joannides who, as chief of the Psychological Ops section in Miami, guided and monitored the contacts between Lee Harvey Oswald and a Cuban exile group, the DRE[1], financed by the Agency, according to Héctor Ciapuscio, Argentine journalist with La Mañana de Córdoba.

This new letter regrets that the CIA appeared before the federal court in May 2005 in response to a lawsuit brought by the journalist Jefferson Morley under the Freedom of Information Act. The CIA has confirmed its attitude of blocking files related to the operations of agent George E. Joannides prior to the crime.

The signatories state that without the data on those operations carried out by the officer the public record of the assassination and the confused subsequent investigations are not complete. They affirm that, 18 months after the first lawsuit brought by Morley, the Agency is still refusing to comply with legal requisites and, while acknowledging that it has an indeterminate number of the documents related to the activities of Joannides in 1963, is insisting that it will not in any way make them public for reasons of national security.

The authors of the Letter affirm that the Agency’s position is against commonsense, spurious and unsustainable. It is defying a Congressional mandate, and obscuring the public memory on a fact of high national interest and eroding the confidence citizens’ confidence in the intelligence community at a time when the opposite is required for the collective national security.

In effect, the mission of George E. Joannides in Miami and particularly within the DRE in 1963 emerged after the declassification of documents on 1998. But unfortunately, according to reliable sources, the essential part of the file had been removed and thus disappeared.

It is worthwhile mentioning this observation by Robert Blakely, a former member of the HSCA: “If I had known then what Joannides was doing in 1963, I would have demanded that the agency take him off the job [of responding to committee inquiries], I would have sat him down and interviewed him. Under oath."

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