Thursday, July 19, 2012

Silencing the whistleblowers in Dealey Plaza on the 50th anniversary of JFK's assassination

The following is a note from John Judge re his efforts to try to get a permit to hold the usual moment of silence to honor John F. Kennedy. For years, a few hundred people have gathered on the Grassy Knoll on November 22, the anniversary of President Kennedy's assassination, to hold a moment of silence and renew our efforts to find the truth. The research community  has, in essence, been whistleblowers to the crimes of many in government who provably sought to cover up ties between Oswald and the CIA. If there was nothing to hide, why is so much still being hidden?

But I digress. Here is John Judge's message. I hope to see many of you in Dealey Plaza next year.

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Imagine the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy, November 22, 2013, at the Grassy Knoll passing without a word in the press about his assassination and who was behind it, only a celebration of his life. That is what Dallas authorities are planning now.

Every year, as you know, we hold a Moment of Silence on the Grassy Knoll at 12:30 pm on November 22 to commemorate the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and to keep alive the knowledge and outrage about the injustice of his intentionally unsolved political murder. After our event, which continues a tradition started in 1964 by researcher and journalist Penn Jones, Jr., we speak truth to power.

We invite the best researchers to our annual meetings to present the best new evidence in the major political assassinations of the last five decades, and we encourage them to speak briefly on the Grassy Knoll. Our event is not a circus or carnival atmosphere, it is not even “conspiracy theory,” as the press commentators try to dismiss it. It is an event lest we forget.

We will be there again this year, this time on Thanksgiving Day. We invite you to join us for the conference and for the event in Dallas, from November 22-25th. We will be staying and meeting at the Hotel Lawrence this year, as in the past.


Imagine, on the 50th anniversary, when the attention of the national and international press, the crowds who come to Dallas and Dealey Plaza and the world that will be watching, that there would be no Moment of Silence. We have been applying for the permit for the last three years in anticipation of a major conference and huge crowds, and have been told repeatedly that none could be issued more than a year in advance. To our surprise a permit was then issued for the whole area of Dealey Plaza for next year for a full week in November to the Sixth Floor Museum, without an event yet planned. This permit is also exclusive of other events at the site, which ours never was.

The director of the Sixth Floor Museum said she got the permit to be “proactive” on behalf of the Mayor’s office in Dallas, which then appointed a committee to plan “dignified” events to “celebrate the life of John F. Kennedy” that week. We have attempted to coordinate with the Sixth Floor Museum only to be told that we should “move the national and international press attention to [JFK’s] death to another moment.” That would be a trick, but we all know that it will be gone at any other moment. We are also trying to coordinate with the Mayor’s commission to exercise our right of free speech in a public park that belongs to history and the American people. We want to be there to be seen and heard, to be silent and loud. We don’t want to be in a “free speech zone” a mile away where no one will hear our message.

The Director of the Sixth Floor Museum, which gives a very imbalanced view of the evidence and the history of the assassination of JFK to millions of tourists each year, told the Dallas Morning News that they had no event planned but they might do a “moment of silence”. I would suggest that if they do such an event to the exclusion of ours, it would stretch into an eternity of silence regarding this assassination.

Penn Jones wrote four volumes on the evidence and strange witness deaths in the Kennedy assassination called Forgive My Grief. Forgive ours, but some things are not forgivable and should not be forgettable. We will be there on November 22, 2013 in any case. Hope you will be with us.


We also fight to release all classified records on these murders, now decades past. Our support for the JFK Assassination Records Collection Act and the Review Board it created has led to the release of over 6.5 million pages of classified records buried since 1964, but not all of them. We have joined the call by the Committee for an Open Archives and the Assassination Archives and Research Center to expedite the release of all related files on JFK’s assassination by the 50th anniversary next year, and not in 2017 or even later. All efforts to use FOIA, Mandatory Declassification Review or even Obama’s Executive Order calling for release of files classified for over 25 years to be implemented without review have failed so far. The new agencies, created by his administration to facilitate transparency and release, have decided that the JFK records are outside their mandate. An online petition to demand release can be found at

We continue to push for introduction of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. Records Act to release hundreds of thousands of pages of the House Select Committee on Assassinations investigation into his death, locked up since 1978 until 2028. All their files on JFK are already released. The Clerk of the House was approached to use her authority to release these records, but their office has declined saying it needs Congressional legislation. We have a new sponsor who seems ready to drop the bill and details will follow to get support.

Our website features speakers from past conferences as well as regular news updates about political assassinations, new evidence and witnesses, legal developments, threats on the President and Secret Service response, and in-depth articles from leading researchers and academics.

Every year we gather in Dallas, and some years in Memphis, Los Angeles and New York, to present and discuss the best new evidence in the murders of Malcolm X, the Kennedy Brothers, Dr. King and others. We invite renowned legal, medical, forensic and ballistics experts, academics and noted authors, and citizen researchers whose work over the years has shed light on these crimes and rewritten our history. We make many of the presentations available by livestream on our website, but being at the event, networking, getting the latest books and resources and meeting those seeking the truth is an experience not to be missed.

This is a critical time because these assassinations are fading into history for later generations. The approaching 5th decade mark may consign active concern about the assassinations of the 60s to past history and indifference, despite widespread acceptance in the public that a conspiracy of some sort was involved, not the actions of a lone, crazed gunman. We are the ones who are left to make sure that this history is not lost and its impact on the present is made clear. November 22, 1963 marked a turning point in America and the rise of the Military Intelligence Industrial Complex that President Eisenhower warned of and Kennedy opposed has defined our history since. The political assassinations that day and others that followed were instrumental in destroying hope for a different future and movements for social change. All those killed had challenged militarism, war, racism and poverty, the "pillars of oppression" defined by Dr. King that still plague us today.


Imagine instead a major conference in Dallas that we have titled "50 Years is Enough!" – with all the key researchers, authors, legal and medical/forensic experts who have broken the cases open in the past decades there to speak the truth about them, to those present and on the internet to the rest of the world. Imagine a crowd of thousands in Dealey Plaza, along with the world press, seeing our banners calling for release of records and hearing our speakers calling for justice and an independent investigation of these unsolved homicides that would hold those responsible to account and take the sordid history since to task. Imagine a future where the assassination of fairly elected leaders and purveyors of hope for social change would never again be tolerated and would demand full investigations and exposure of the forces behind them. We cannot celebrate the life of John F. Kennedy while we forget his death.

Our Dallas meeting this year will be held from November 22-25 at the Hotel Lawrence, just off Dealey Plaza. We will announce hotel reservation information and rates soon. Information on speakers and other details are being posted at our website as well. Next year we plan to hold a national conference in Dallas, and we may be doing meetings in Memphis and Los Angeles as well if there is interest.

We can't do all this without you. Since 1994, we have worked to present serious research, new evidence, force release of records, support legal challenges and forensic testing, and to keep these cases alive to the public and a new generation. We do all this with the help of a very few donors and on a tiny budget. No foundations sponsor us, and certainly no corporation or government funds. We are volunteers, no paid staff.


This year, anticipating the need to have a major conference on the 50th anniversary, two donors have put up a challenge grant, which will match all donations made before that up to $2,000. This means a donation of any size will double for us right now and make it possible for us to be visible next year and to bring the best speakers.

Donations of $50 or more will get you a copy of a DVD set of our jam-packed 2011 conference in Dallas. $100 or more will also automatically register you for this year's conference events, a real bargain. Donations are not tax deductible. Checks can be made to COPA at P.O. Box 772, Washington, DC 20044 or credit card donations can be made to our Paypal account from the website (

We need you. Will you join us now with your support? Will you come to Dallas this year and next? Will you stand with us on the Grassy Knoll to speak out and be visible and help get out our call for an Occupy the Grassy Knoll in 2013 (see

COPA has been a leader in this work for nearly two decades and our work is not finished yet. I hope you will contribute now to both the hope of the future and the continued visibility of the past.

Thanks for your support!

John Judge, Director

Coalition on Political Assassinations

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Stories that disturb me

I'm busy working on my RFK book, so I haven't spent much time posting. When I do post - it's usually something short on Twitter ( or Facebook ( But I continue to be concerned by what I see all around me and wanted to share a few links with you.

I saw NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake interviewed on RT today (yet more proof how censored the American press is -- you won't see him on the Today show, or even Sixty Minutes). He said our every communication is being tracked in ways that violate our constitutional protections. "Our security has become the state religion," he said, and those who speak truth to power find that the response is to "attack the messenger" rather than dealing with the message. Those are powerful sentiments that should be a wake-up call to the rest of us.

Here's more about Drake and other whistleblowers:

Here's a story that should also make you think about where all this is headed, an article from the NYT titled "That's no phone. That's my tracker."

I'm deeply concerned about the growing prosecution of whistleblowers. Look - I don't care if their motives aren't pure if the information is important. Exposing war crimes should be done and should be protected, even if someone is "just a disgruntled employee" - so what? Maybe those are the only people who find the guts to speak up. And of course, most whistleblowers are NOT disgruntled employees. They're concerned citizens who see our rights violated and try to do something to protect that. But absolute power corrupts absolutely, and those who live by secret power will go to enormous lengths to protect it.