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COPA 2006


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Hello all,

John Judge circulated this email last week following the COPA conference in Dallas. for the first time COPA made a loss at the event. John is asking for a few contributions to help COPAs bank balance and so ensure that it continues to provide excellent speakers every year at the conference.

Plans are also afoot to hold a large conference in Los Angeles to remember the assassination of Bobby Kennedy and a new conference in New York aimed at the Malcolm X assassination.

I'm a student and I'm sending €50 over to John and COPA, I hope many of you will do the same.

Suggestions are also welcomed for speakers at next years conference. COPA is looking for dedicated researchers, not just those who release books, after all COPA is the researchers organisation. SO if you know anyone that would be suitable to speak at COPA or has any valuable research, either contact John Judge or myself or leave a message here and I will ensure that it gets to COPA.

Please read the message and give a little,

John

Friends,

First I want to say thanks for your ongoing participation and interest in COPA's regional meetings over the years. I want them to continue next year and especially in 2008, which is a triple anniversary year for JFK, RFK and MLK, and I hope to have meetings in Memphis, Los Angeles and Dallas that year to address them all. Given the release of the new film "Bobby" and new findings regarding the presence of JM/WAVE CIA operatives in the Ambassador Hotel the night he was shot, as well as efforts to get some court review for Sirhan Sirhan, there may be momentum for a meeting in LA in 2007. Also, there is the possibility of having a meeting in March in New York City near the Audobon Ballroom in Harlem, the scene of the murder of Malcolm X in 1965, which is being restored into a museum in his honor.

Our theme in Dallas this year was "Acts of State: Assassination as a Tool of Politics". As Bill Kelly points out, there are probably more leaders in the world who have come to power through political assassinations and murder than through democratic elections. Certainly the recent attacks in Russia using a radioactive poison and the calls for assassination from Pat Robertson against Hugo Chavez, or the development of assassination technology and capability from unmanned drones being advertised as effective against civilian vehicles in Jane's Defense Weekly, the issue has not gone away. COPA is meant to be a forum for the research community that is doing serious, credible work on the various assassinations and political events.

However, COPA operates on a tiny budget through the generosity of very few donors each year. I have kept the registration rates low, hoping to at least break even in Dallas and the other locations for travel, room rental and audio-visual equipment, and have succeeded until this year. We only had 7 rooms reserved with the Hotel Lawrence this November, and only 20-30 participants at our events, including the keynote speech. Our gate did not nearly cover our costs and we lost hundreds of dollars.

I know some of you have been generous in the past or on a regular basis, and all of you have supported us with registration or donations at some point. If you can manage even a small donation of $25 or more right now it would be greatly appreciated and make our future events more likely. I am working now to begin to invite our speakers for the next two years' events. If a featured speaker in our past agendas did not appear and you wanted to hear them, please feel free to get in touch and encourage them to contact me.

Also, if you send $50 or more, I will be sure you get a copy of the DVD set of this year's events from Ralph Cole and Justice Vision. Please make the check to COPA or Coalition on Political Assassinations and mail it to PO Box 772, Washington, DC 20044. Donations to COPA, a 501 ©(4) are NOT tax-deductible for the donor, however.

Thanks for whatever support you can give. Please try to help me build participation by inviting new people to attend and making your plans early for the coming two years. I will be in touch as plans and agendas develop. Rex Bradford offered to help us get up a website this year also.

Thank you again for your interest,

John Judge, for COPA

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Hello all,...I'm a student and I'm sending €50 over to John and COPA, I hope many of you will do the same.

Suggestions are also welcomed for speakers at next years conference. COPA is looking for dedicated researchers, not just those who release books, after all COPA is the researchers organisation. SO if you know anyone that would be suitable to speak at COPA or has any valuable research, either contact John Judge or myself or leave a message here and I will ensure that it gets to COPA.

Please read the message and give a little,

John

Hi John,

As someone who has worked with John Judge and knows how hard he works behind the scenes, you certainly appreciate how important it is to keep the Watchdogs on site, especially with the looming committee battles to free more files and get new testimony in Congressional hearings.

John. What will it take to get you back in the Fray?

When John Newman first envisoned COPA as having people "on the ground" in the NARA and Capitol Hill, a lot of good people flocked there, but it seems that Judge is the one of the few still there. With the loss of Cynthia McKinney, Judge is out of a job, but he is still in a good position to organize the effort necessary to monitor the new Congress and affect the direction of some of the upcoming committee hearings.

Born and raised in Washington (both his parents worked at the Pentagon), Judge provides a unique and independent perspective to the often archic political drama that often unfolds there. With the first COPA director under indictment (we stand by Dr. Wecht), and the death of Prof. Phil Melanson, Judge's leadership of COPA comes at a significant time.

As I was recently appointed Secretary/Treasure (with T. Carter), and since the treasuery is in the red, I have been developing some fund raising programs that will be tied in to our planned upcoming, pro-active efforts centered around Congress, the Courts and the NARA.

COPA was originally formed around 1991 as a coalition of three non-profit organizations with common goals -the Assassination Archives and Research Center (AARC), the California based Citizens for Truth about the Kennedy Assassination (CTKA - See Probe) and the Committee for an Open Archives (COA), which Judge and I co-founded to seek the release of the JFK assassination records.

Over the years COPA lobbied for the JFK Act of 1992 and then monitored the work of the Assassinations Records Review Board (ARRB), organized two meetings with the Cubans, provided a network for cooperation among reserachers and a platform to present their work at annual conferences and meetings in LA, Memphis, Dallas and DC.

The most significant work COPA members have provided is legal assistance, in the criminal and civil cases related to the RFK and MLK assassinations, and as the plantiff in COPA vs. DOD to force the release of the US Army After Action Reports from Memphis when MLK was assassinated.

COPA is a non-profit organization but donations are not tax-deductable because it can be a political action organization (PAO), it can endorse candidates and sue the government, all uses we hope to put to great effect in the next year.

Previously COPA was financially supported by a small group of wealthy professioanls who subsidised much of its work. Since that is not now the case, and COPA is no longer an umbrella coalition of the three original organizations, it now stands alone as an organization of individual members, and must be supported by those members. Rather than depending on a few large donations, COPA will now sink or swim on the support of individual members who want COPA to continue this work and those who want to be a part of that mutual effort.

John G's 50 pounds means the most now, just as we are beginning to gear up for a new campaign, to monitor the work of the new Congress and to push for oversight hearings on the JFK Act and Open Government issues. It will take a lot of work to get the needed investigative hearings on intelligence matters and justice committee issues, to get the Congress to subpoena the right witnesses and the sealed documents, and to have the Congressmen ask the right questions once the hearings are underway.

While there are a number of important COPA projects underway, the upcoming Congressional Committee hearings are the most important at the moment, and raising the necessary funds to keep COPA going is a priority.

Additional announcements from COPA will be made shortly.

Thanks for your interest and support - Bill Kelly bkjfk3@yahoo.com

As John Judge says: ...COPA is meant to be a forum for the research community that is doing serious, credible work on the various assassinations and political events. However, COPA operates on a tiny budget through the generosity of very few donors each year.

Also, if you send $50 or more, I will be sure you get a copy of the DVD set of this year's events from Ralph Cole and Justice Vision. Please make the check to COPA or Coalition on Political Assassinations and mail it to PO Box 772, Washington, DC 20044. Donations to COPA, a 501 ©(4) are NOT tax-deductible for the donor, however.

Thanks for whatever support you can give. Please try to help me build participation by inviting new people to attend and making your plans early for the coming two years. I will be in touch as plans and agendas develop. Rex Bradford offered to help us get up a website this year also.

Thank you again for your interest, John Judge, for COPA

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John, BK

I can think of no cause more worthy than COPA. I will be sending a donation today. Thanks for letting us know. John Judge has been tireless in putting togehter these conferences year after year. Next year Terry and I are definately going.

Dawn

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I've received a number of messages pledging money, which is very encouraging.

All my best to you all and keep it coming!

John

What is the address again, to send my pledge of $50?

Peter,

PO Box 772, Washington, DC 20044.

John

John, Peter, Dawn, Peter, Terry, et al.,

Today is John Judge's birthday, and while I can't be with him tonight at a dinner with friends and associates at a Dupont Italian restaurant frequented by entertainment celebs and mob types, I did talk with him on the phone.

Judge said that he is getting a good response for the call for dues and donations from COPA members, and that he has another former Congressional staffer move into the COPA Bunker to assist in rent and utilities, at least for the nest few months.

In addition, his job with CM continues into the first week of the new year when he hopes to catch on with the staff of another Congressman or committee, as well as spending more time on COPA matters.

I've also heard from Jim Lesar, the legal point man for FOIA and JFK Act motions and he is beginning to push for JFK Act and FOIA hearings early in the next Congress, which begins in the second week of January.

We have less than one month to convince the new Congressional leadership of the necessity of holding oversight hearings on the JFK Act and FOIA, and consider that every other special interest issue group is also petitioning Congress for similar hearings on their own issues. We will get our hearings in the 110th Congress, but in order to get the ball rolling early, we have to convince them that this issue is extremely important and long overdue.

We will post examples of simple letters, emails, phone calls and faxs that can be sent to the proper person, for both American citizens and foreigners with interest in this. Best will be to get CONSTITUENTS of the relevant Congressmen to contact their representative, which carries more weight than from someone who doesn't vote in the Congressmen's district. The most important Congressmen, Committee chairman who set the agendas and schedule hearings - are Henry Waxman (D. Calf.) and John Conyers (D. Mich.), but other committees also have relevant oversight responsibilities.

Dr. Edward R. Martino, John Martino's son, wrote an important memorandum on the record for Larry Hancock in which he says, "Now we have just had a significant election with a major turnover in Congress. Democracy is a fragile and inefficient form of government, fraut with divisionsand clumsy at best. At the same time, when it functions as our Founding Fathers intended, we can measure the progress by the results of a fair election, sometimes hoping to chart a new direction, instead of by the tyranny that stems from the barrell of a gun."

As PDS says in his Dallas COPA talk, "And I consider this a top priority for testing the honesty and credibility of the new Democratic leadership in Congress. Will they pursue these matters? And I hope that by hook or by crook you will try and put pressure on the new Democratic Congress to deal with these matters, so that we get a proper investigation of them for the first time."

By hook or by crook we have to convince Waxman and Conyers to hold the hearings on the JFK Act/FOIA early in the new Congress and ensure that the right witnesses are called and they are asked the right questions, and from that crack in the door, the truth should spill out.

COPA should have a working web site soon, and those interested in supporting financially will be able to see the results of their contributions, and those who want to help on individual projects - Congressional Briefings, JFK ACT/FOIA Hearings, MLK Act, JFK Grand Jury Project; Open Government proposals etc., will be directed to the right quarters.

Those who live in the DC area and can lobby in person and attend hearings, or are constituents of Committee Chairman, will have special roles to play in the upcoming action.

By hook or crook, we have less than a month to put our game together.

All the best and thanks for all your interest and support,

Bill Kelly

Edited by William Kelly
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Hopefully John Judge will get a job to his liking, though he will never get the independence that he did under Cynthia McKinney.

Wish him a happy brithday from me won't you Bill.

Looking forward to a COPA website.

Hopefully I will be able to join you guys in some capacity again this summer. I'm not sure how yet, but I'm sifting through ideas, possibly another internship.

I am also working on a website for the MLK bill that I began desinging in August, but because of disruptions in the legislation I did not finish it. We still have good contacts and support on this particular bill so there is no reason why it should die in the water, which I am sure it will not.

All the best,

John

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