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Food For Thought on NARA, ARRB & JFK Declassified/Missing Documents


Robert Howard
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With the ARRB for some time, having folded their tent and their members ostensibly having gone on to other various and sundry matters, there is now a dilemma for those who are concerned about something resembling accountability in both the short and long term future concerning the integrity of the declassification process and the availabilty of documents that have been declassified as of Sept 1, 2006.

Why am I raising this issue? Well for one thing there is, or was I should say, a 30 page document re David Ferrie, that managed to turn up missing before it cleared the declassification process, I am told, and I use this document as an example, there are a plethora of vital documents that were and never will be seen by JFK researchers.

See the ARRB's Final Report and Joe Backes articles concerning the release of de-classified documents

The Tenth Batch, et cetera

http://www.acorn.net/jfkplace/09/fp.back_i...arrb_tenth.html

There is reason to be concerned that there is no-one minding the store, so to speak re: 'how things are going' as far as the availabilty of documents after they have been de-classified, that is, if you are inclined to suspect there is a possibility that documents of a 'vital nature' may continue to go down that proverbial 'black hole' never to be seen again.

In other words, do you want to assume that 'yes, everything is present and accounted for' re very pertinent JFK Documents never before seen, in view of the fact that NARA has recently cut back their hours, [no more weekend sojourns, sorry.] and, there is arguably an ongoing lawsuit and national debate as to whether the Bush Administration and the President are currently, in violation of existing US law's regarding

illegal NSA Wiretaps

And that there was the matter a few months ago of trying to re-classifiy documents already de-classified.

which caused a furor among watchdog groups, academics and other concerned Americans.

The Church Committee, some 30 years ago in reference to 'state secrets' penned the words "the details of illegal acts should be disclosed and that the broad scope of United States intelligence activities should be sufficiently described to give public reassurance that the intelligence agencies are operating consistent with the law and declared national policy..The declassification working procedures developed between this Committee, the CIA and other parts of the intelligence community, constitute the beginnings of agreed, sound and sensible methods...for making public matters that should be made public.

From The Church Committee Report: Book I - Foreign and Military Intelligence page 14

It bears mentioning that VP Cheney judging by his remarks on the subject, ostensibly views the reforms of the Church Committee Era as some tragic event that have been rectified. Considering the sheer volume of justifiable criticism of the Bush Administration's handling of the NSA/Wiretaps issue, trusting them with JFK documents, declassified or classified, seems akin to playing Russian Roulette with half the chambers filled.

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As someone who spends a lot of time scanning and making as much as possible of the JFK Collection available online (and percentage-wise it's not yet much), I think Robert's questions are right on target. While if "the truth is in there" it is not in bold print, I would echo Peter Dale Scott's point that the documents may be an oblique path to the truth, but it's the best one we have. The integrity of that record is an important issue, and for me the integrity of our "online copies" is an important issue as well. I've chosen to by-and-large follow NARA's organizational method for the online materials, in order to make it easy to cross-check them.

I have heard, for instance, that Wesley Liebeler's somewhat famous memo about the upcoming Report has gone missing, and certainly when I scanned the box I thought it should have been in, it wasn't there. If somebody has a copy of this by the way, and we can find some informal way of authenticating it, I would be very interested in a copy.

Of some concern to me, though I wouldn't overblow this, is the current re-classification craze and the accompanying pronouncements from the administration that those possessing classified materials should be prosecuted. Coupling the two creates a neat catch-22: how does one know that one possesses classified documents, if they have been reclassified after acquisition?

One of the "new" problems for those researching the JFK records is not the fight to obtain them (though that is not entirely true, witness Jeff Morley and the fight for the Joannides files - http://www.maryferrell.org/wiki/index.php/...ted_-_Episode_2. A new problem, beyond finding the useful needles in the haystacks, is to map out the holes in the record. To borrow another Peter Scott term, this "negative template" is itself useful in pursuing the truth. Why are the Joannides documents withheld? Why are there no photos of Oswald in Mexico City nor tapes of the recorded calls? Why are the photographic panel's files on their failed authenticity test of the autopsy camera missing? Etc. It would be interesting for somebody to try to work up a chart of these things.

Rex

Edited by Rex Bradford
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Guest John Gillespie

Of some concern to me, though [/b][/u]is, is the current re-classification craze and the accompanying pronouncements from the administration that those possessing classified materials should be prosecuted. Coupling the two creates a neat catch-22: how does one know that one possesses classified documents, if they have been reclassified after acquisition?

___________________________________________________

Go ahead and 'overblow' because what you've submitted here is very significant, I believe, and I wish to thank you. It simply is prudent to be aware that Reclassification takes place when a document is downgraded or upgraded and that Declassification is another matter. The terms speak for themselves.

Therefore, say something is downgraded rather than declassified - from "Top Secret" to "Confidential" - from among the above-mentioned documents. Now, consider a situation where one of them is upgraded, unaccountably. Either way, the private citizen in possession of even a table of contents, for example, is put in a position of vulnerability to prosecution. The resultant chilling effect could be imposed by Big Brother in rather capricious or whimsical fashion. A case can be made that this is exactly what was in mind.

The following article may be germane, though not directly related, and speaks to the current crises:

http://refuseandresist.org/dt/archives/200...n_of_journa.php

Regards,

JG

Edited by John Gillespie
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As someone who spends a lot of time scanning and making as much as possible of the JFK Collection available online (and percentage-wise it's not yet much), I think Robert's questions are right on target. While if "the truth is in there" it is not in bold print, I would echo Peter Dale Scott's point that the documents may be an oblique path to the truth, but it's the best one we have. The integrity of that record is an important issue, and for me the integrity of our "online copies" is an important issue as well. I've chosen to by-and-large follow NARA's organizational method for the online materials, in order to make it easy to cross-check them.

I have heard, for instance, that Wesley Liebeler's somewhat famous memo about the upcoming Report has gone missing, and certainly when I scanned the box I thought it should have been in, it wasn't there. If somebody has a copy of this by the way, and we can find some informal way of authenticating it, I would be very interested in a copy.

Of some concern to me, though I wouldn't overblow this, is the current re-classification craze and the accompanying pronouncements from the administration that those possessing classified materials should be prosecuted. Coupling the two creates a neat catch-22: how does one know that one possesses classified documents, if they have been reclassified after acquisition?

One of the "new" problems for those researching the JFK records is not the fight to obtain them (though that is not entirely true, witness Jeff Morley and the fight for the Joannides files - http://www.maryferrell.org/wiki/index.php/...ted_-_Episode_2. A new problem, beyond finding the useful needles in the haystacks, is to map out the holes in the record. To borrow another Peter Scott term, this "negative template" is itself useful in pursuing the truth. Why are the Joannides documents withheld? Why are there no photos of Oswald in Mexico City nor tapes of the recorded calls? Why are the photographic panel's files on their failed authenticity test of the autopsy camera missing? Etc. It would be interesting for somebody to try to work up a chart of these things.

Rex

Robert, Thanks for this thread which I consider one of the MOST imporatant I have seen of late here! I also agree with both Robert and Rex in all they say and are concerned about. I'd just add that Tosh Plumlee is one example of a person who was told that some of the documents released to him and others through FOIAs were now re-classified and he pulled them down from the internet...if you want an example. As I still may have some of them - as do others - are we now at risk of holding classified materials illegally? I'd be willing to bet my life that those that are 'missing' are not simply lost or misplaced...but are the best of the best to understand the truth and this is why they go into the information black hole! Just think how little we would know without documents and photos etc - as altered and as problematic [in many ways I won't go into here] as they often are as to veracity or even being the originals unchanged...! We must not loose eye on the prizes nor loose momentum in getting more and new documents - and all those we should get...which IMO is all of them!...so remember your calculus and make that [all] the limit as x ==>[approaches] truth

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GOOD THREAD ROBERT I hope some take notice and not hijack your work or thread. Seems to be the way things go on these forums these days.

FWIW I Thought this might be of interest to some researchers:

NOTE: reference website toshplumlee.info.

This is NOT my website it was put up by others and I have no control over it. I have been warned to take it down or THEY will. (whoever THEY are)

Also there are over three hundred pages concerning Ferrie and Roselli and others. I was shown them in close door meeting when I was in Washington DC in August of 1991 to give testimony to Senator Kerry. That file is still classified. Some of these files (one example FBI 62-2116) were classified in 1976 and declassified in 1997 and reclassified in 2004. These and others are now under "OMC" file locator numbers.

http://toshplumlee.info/pdf/DEAfiles.pdf

http://toshplumlee.info/pdf/fbi1.PDF

http://toshplumlee.info/pdf/fbi9396.PDF

This DEA information as well as the Roselli/Plumle information has been reclassified secret as of 2004. Also the Plumlee/ John Martino information has been removed from the AARB as well as the Brad Ayers/Plumlee affidavate which Peter Lemkin whitnessed the signing in 1991 or so, and has copy.

DEA FILES INFORMATION: SA Hector Berrellles,/GS; DEA SA Wayne Schmidt and SA Susan Baldin. reference Mexico OMC- AMSOG Drug Interdiction. Phoenix Tri-State Drug Task Force. KiKI Camarenda field report Classified Top Secret released to public in 1992 by SA William Robert Plumlee aka Tosh; reclassified 2004 (This aught to 'frost their balls')

DEAfiles.pdf DEA Mexico OPS:

"... These documents make reference to "Guatemalan Guerrillas" training at a ranch owned by Drug Lord CARO- Quintero in Vera Crus, Mexico. It was reported at the time this was a CIA training site where weapons were exchanged for drugs in support of the Contra effort in Nicaragua and Costa Rico. DEA Agent Enrique Camarena (KIKI) and his pilot found out about this operation known as "The CIA Thing" and were killed because of this knowledge. Plumlee and other OMC American undercover pilots had flown into this ranch many times as reported in various sections within these documents and other news media leaks in Mexico and America. The operation was known as "AMSOG" and, as reported to Senator Gary Hart and his Senate investigators in early 1983, was an "illegal" smuggling operation through Mexico into the United States, supported by the US Military, Panama Southern Command. ...". Bring it on BUSH.

Edited by William Plumlee
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First, I want to thank everyone for posting their comments, Rex alluded to the CIA/Joannides lawsuit I would like to mention that is another area, at the heart of the current conundrum......it is called I am going to drag my feet and f--- you , in essence it is David against Goliath, i.e. who has the dinero to fight a protacted legal battle between the CIA and journalist's, you answered your own question.

With regard to the re-classifying classified documents issue, it is hard to separate the myth from the reality, much of the current concern about the issue stems from a somewhat recent article written by Walt Brown, it has been suggested that there maybe a little sensationalism on this issue, and to be honest anything else on my part would be sheer speculation, NARA's website has, or had a press release at one time regarding the issue.

To sum up JFK history [the assassination itself and the timeline since, if you will] in a nutshell, [not an easy task, but I will take a stab at it], could be entitled 'what we know now, that we didn't know then, but does the collective organism of the American body politic of 2006 really care.'

1963 EVERYONE cared because it was a defining moment in history, and there are a million things in the files, that were never IMO adequately addressed here's one for a taste

Document # 124-10027-10000 is a three page cable from SAC, Mobile, Alabama to Director, SACS, Dallas, El Paso, Memphis, New Orleans, and New York. Father Maurice Ouellet is identified as a source for the Mobile office. He is the Pastor of St. Elizabeth's Mission at Selma.

Mobile wants to draw to the Bureau's attention the fact that Medgar Evers' assassin was also an ex-marine and the type of rifle used is similar to one used by the alleged assassin of President Kennedy. Both suspects in above assassinations ex-marines and MO similar in the killings. "The Bureau and all offices might consider the possibility of [an] organization which blends itself to any situation for the further of agitation, which is known as quote Marxists unquote and its ultimate goal could be the assassination of individuals who are prominent or who might be engaged in any controversial movement."

Joe Backes wrote

God that's interesting. Sounds like what Oliver Stone referred to as "the Beast" in the Nixon screenplay.

1973 still very important, in light of Waregate COINTELPRO, CIA plots to kill Castro become known to Joe Public reforms enacted [which were ostensibly to curtail intelligence agency excesses, didn't seem to work if you followed the Iran-Contra hearings very closely We are a victim of our own media driven culture where a Oliver North in 2006 is a patriot for ostensibly obstructing justice?

1983 Post-HSCA Era, The Last Investigation, as Gaeton Fonzi aptly? described it. IMO, once Sprague was gone so was any real 'serious' investigaton, if you look deeply enough. It was subsequently discovered that Messr's Blakely and Company could have searched any number of CIA documents and didn't bother to do so. Ask people in the know, such as the individuals involved in lawsuit referenced above

1993 People continue to die, no sinister implications in my statement, just alluding to the progression of time factor, once a window of opportunity passes, it does not magically reappear

2003-2006 Here we are in the New American Century, where America is currently immersed in the 'Scandal of the Day or the Scandal of the Week, take your pick, trust in government?, and the argument could be advanced that, 9-11 is New Wine in Old Skins in other words, let's hope it doesnt take 43 years to figure this one out.

Edited by Robert Howard
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First, I want to thank everyone for posting their comments, Rex alluded to the CIA/Joannides lawsuit I would like to mention that is another area, at the heart of the current conundrum......it is called I am going to drag my feet and f--- you , in essence it is David against Goliath, i.e. who has the dinero to fight a protacted legal battle between the CIA and journalist's, you answered your own question.

With regard to the re-classifying classified documents issue, it is hard to separate the myth from the reality, much of the current concern about the issue stems from a somewhat recent article written by Walt Brown, it has been suggested that there maybe a little sensationalism on this issue, and to be honest anything else on my part would be sheer speculation, NARA's website has, or had a press release at one time regarding the issue.

To sum up JFK history [the assassination itself and the timeline since, if you will] in a nutshell, [not an easy task, but I will take a stab at it], could be entitled 'what we know now, that we didn't know then, but does the collective organism of the American body politic of 2006 really care.'

1963 EVERYONE cared because it was a defining moment in history, and there are a million things in the files, that were never IMO adequately addressed here's one for a taste

Document # 124-10027-10000 is a three page cable from SAC, Mobile, Alabama to Director, SACS, Dallas, El Paso, Memphis, New Orleans, and New York. Father Maurice Ouellet is identified as a source for the Mobile office. He is the Pastor of St. Elizabeth's Mission at Selma.

Mobile wants to draw to the Bureau's attention the fact that Medgar Evers' assassin was also an ex-marine and the type of rifle used is similar to one used by the alleged assassin of President Kennedy. Both suspects in above assassinations ex-marines and MO similar in the killings. "The Bureau and all offices might consider the possibility of [an] organization which blends itself to any situation for the further of agitation, which is known as quote Marxists unquote and its ultimate goal could be the assassination of individuals who are prominent or who might be engaged in any controversial movement."

Joe Backes wrote

God that's interesting. Sounds like what Oliver Stone referred to as "the Beast" in the Nixon screenplay.

1973 still very important, in light of Waregate COINTELPRO, CIA plots to kill Castro become known to Joe Public reforms enacted [which were ostensibly to curtail intelligence agency excesses, didn't seem to work if you followed the Iran-Contra hearings very closely We are a victim of our own media driven culture where a Oliver North in 2006 is a patriot for ostensibly obstructing justice?

1983 Post-HSCA Era, The Last Investigation, as Gaeton Fonzi aptly? described it. IMO, once Sprague was gone so was any real 'serious' investigaton, if you look deeply enough. It was subsequently discovered that Messr's Blakely and Company could have searched any number of CIA documents and didn't bother to do so. Ask people in the know, such as the individuals involved in lawsuit referenced above

1993 People continue to die, no sinister implications in my statement, just alluding to the progression of time factor, once a window of opportunity passes, it does not magically reappear

2003-2006 Here we are in the New American Century, where America is currently immersed in the 'Scandal of the Day or the Scandal of the Week, take your pick, trust in government?, and the argument could be advanced that, 9-11 is New Wine in Old Skins in other words, let's hope it doesnt take 43 years to figure this one out.

PS I spent quite some time looking for the referenced 30 page document re David Ferrie, I am still worling on posting the link reference.

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