Monday, October 22, 2007

The CIA is suppressing key JFK assassination history

The CIA is withholding key documents in the JFK assassination case. As Jefferson Morley reports in the Huffington Post:

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.
Morley filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the CIA for failing to disclose records about a CIA officer named George Joannides. Joannides was responsible for running the DRE, an anti-Castro CIA front group that had extensive interactions with Lee Harvey Oswald in the months leading up to the assassination of President Kennedy. The CIA has consistently refused to release Joannides' records, even though they are mandated to by the 1992 JFK Assassination Records Act.

What's at stake here matters greatly to all historians. If the government can simply choose which records to release, and which to withhold, they can pervert and deliberately misshape history to serve their purposes.

In this particular case, the CIA appears hellbent on ondoing the will of the people. The JFK act came into being due to an enormous outcry from the public when they learned, at the end of Oliver Stone's film JFK, that many records relating to the assassination were still classified.

Congress passed what became known as "The JFK Act," which mandated the creation of a board to declassify records and, if necessary, seek out new and pertinent records and make them public. The Board, officially named the Assassination Records and Review Board, put Joannides on the JFK assassination story map when they declassified five personnel reports of his in 1998. In addition, researchers learned that it was Joannides who had helped shut down an early investigation of the CIA's possible involvement in the assassination. Joannides was responsible for kicking out two staffers of the House Select Committee on Assassinations who had been set up with full access at CIA to CIA records pertaining to that time period. When the records they dug up got more interesting in terms of suggesting possible CIA involvement in a plot to kill Kennedy, Joannides had the two staffers removed from their temporary office at CIA headquarters.

Morley discusses why Joannides records are of interest:

Oswald approached the DRE's delegation in New Orleans and offered to train guerrillas to fight the Castro government. He was rebuffed. When DRE members saw Oswald handing out pro-Castro leaflets a few days later an altercation ensued that ended with the arrest of all the participants. A week after that, the DRE's spokesman in New Orleans debated the Cuba issue with Oswald on a radio program. After these encounters, the DRE issued a press release calling for a congressional investigation of the pro-Castro activities of the then-obscure Oswald.

The CIA was passing money to the DRE leaders at the time, according to an agency memo dated April 1963, found in the JFK Library in Boston. The document shows that the Agency gave the Miami-based group $250,000 a year -- the equivalent of about $1.5 million annually in 2007 dollars.

The secret CIA files on Joannides may shed new light on what, if anything, Joannides and other CIA officers in anti-Castro operations knew about Oswald's activities and contacts before Kennedy was killed.
Morley has spent several years now trying to obtain these records, and his frustration is palpable. But his frustration should be ours, as it's our history that is being hidden from us. If the CIA was involved in the Kennedy assassination, wouldn't that change entirely our understanding of events from that time forth, and wouldn't that call into question much of the reporting on the case, and the credibility of the media from that time forward?

And aren't laws meant to be upheld? As Morley writes:

In my admittedly subjective view, the JFK Records Act is being slowly repealed by CIA fiat. In defiance of the law and common sense, the Agency continues to spend taxpayers' money for the suppression of history around JFK's assassination. In the post-9/11 era, you would think U.S. intelligence budget could be better spent.
Several former members of the ARRB, including its chairman, filed affidavits in support of Morley's request. Even anti-conspiracy authors Gerald Posner and Vincent Bugliosi have sided with the law, calling for the documents to be released.

If our government can simply choose which laws to support and which to break, is it really our government anymore?

For more information on Morley's suit, click here.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Curious. I always thought Morley was a Washington Post establisment mouthpiece.

8:32 AM  
Blogger Real History Lisa said...

The Washington Post is not a fan of Morley's interest in the JFK case. I commend him for continuing to pursue the records that could bring us closer to the truth.

8:35 AM  
Blogger Real History Lisa said...

A big thanks to Bob Parry for running this piece on his own site. He cares deeply about our Real History and is one of the few journalists in America who seems to get where all this is headed. If you haven't been to his site, you should check it out.

9:08 AM  
Anonymous dtmb said...

Lisa, here's that picture of Gordon Campbell and George Joannides at the Ambassador Hotel?

Do you still discount Shane O'Sullivan's theory?

10:08 AM  
Blogger Real History Lisa said...

Yes I do.

First of all, Gordon Campbell was dead before that time.

I talked to David Talbot several times during the course of his joint investigation of this story with Jeff Morley. You can read what they found, which disproved entirely Shane's story, here.

Look. I have a picture of me, taken in the late 1800s in New York. But of course it isn't me, I wasn't alive then. But the woman in the picture looks JUST LIKE ME. Bizarre. But a true coincidence.

When I went to summer camp at Tanglewood years ago, I found several doubles of people I knew from school. You'd be surprised. For years people would stop me on the street in LA insisting I was some celebrity (which I never thought I remotely resembled, but I got it a lot). Photo IDs mean nothing to me, without serious backup evidence, which Shane's story entirely lacked.

10:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bob Parry, a most important journalist for the past ten years, should be encouraged to follow this and other JFK-related stories even further. In the past he's shied away from assassination stories, and although he's #1 lead writer on the October Surprise scandal, recently he's played this down as well...

2:12 PM  
Blogger Real History Lisa said...

Funny you should mention that. Parry is running this piece on his own site. He cares deeply about our real history.

2:15 PM  

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