From Bill Simpich, author of the revelatory new book State Secret, comes another piece of original research into JFK’s assassination:
A Justice Department official denied in a federal court filing last month that undercover officer George Joannides received a CIA medal for deceptive actions related to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy 49 years ago but the claim cannot be verified.
“The CIA has consistently challenged the notion that a career award could be seen as explicit or tacit approval of any one assignment in Joannides’s 30-year career,” asserted Ronald Machen, U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, in a brief filed on Nov. 21 in the D.C. Court of Appeals.
Machen’s brief is the government’s latest legal salvo in my decade-old (today) Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit over JFK assassination records. At issue are ancient but still-sensitive U.S. government documents related to the murder of President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963.
In recent years, the CIA has grudgingly acknowledged that Joannides served as the Miami-based handler of a Cuban exile group whose members who had a series of encounters with accused assassin Lee Harvey Oswald three months before JFK was killed.
The agency also acknowledges that Joannides served as the CIA’s principal coordinator with the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) in 1978 but did not disclose his role in the events of 1963 to investigators.
“That concealment has fueled suspicion that Mr. Joannides’s real assignment was to limit what the House committee could learn about C.I.A. activities,” wrote reporter Scott Shane of the New York Times in 2009. Read more
The single most popular story on JFK Facts for the week of April 10-17 recounted how Lee Oswald apparently fired a rifle shot at Gen. Edwin Walker, a right-wing firebrand and critic of JFK, in April 1963. The second most popular story linked United Methodist minister Lance Moore and theologian James Douglass as a unique type of JFK author:
The top five:
While the site was under construction, readers flocked to Comment Editor Peter Voskamp’s directive to the commenting crowd, and perennially popular pages about Gail Raven’s memories of her friend Jack Ruby, about secret CIA files and about the best JFK websites.
These were the most-read stories from March 27 to April 3: Read more
via The Intercept: Training for a New Generation of Online Covert Operations..
“Despite heavy competition, Clapper’s ‘No, sir’ lie to Senator Ron Wyden’s question: ‘Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?’ sealed his receipt of the dubious achievement award, which cites the vastly excessive secrecy of the entire U.S. surveillance establishment.”
via the National Security Archive.
Readers responded to Sunshine Week in Washington by making our story about secrecy around JFK records the favorite story of the week. In self-referential twist, last week’s Top 5 Countdown was the second most popular story of the week thus landing in this week’s countdown. And for the 2nd week in a role the story of cops gravitating to the grassy knoll in the aftermath of JFK’s assassination came in at number 5. As we say in the journalism business, that story has legs.
In this new study of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, US cites security more to censor, deny records, Associated Press reporters Ted Bridis and Jack Gillum make two points that show President Obama has failed to deliver on his promise of “a new era in open government.”
“We hear a lot reasons why things can’t be made public, that the NSA needs to surveil to stop people from attacking America. We hear a lot of explanations like that. What if we took all that secrecy away from the Kennedy assassination. What would we see?”
“Plaintiff’s initial FOIA request sought all records related to three people allegedly connected to JFK’s assassination: Johnny Roselli, Jean Souetre and David Morales,”
This line caught my eye:
The scandal started quietly last week when Sen. Mark Udall wrote a letter to President Obama, alleging that the CIA had taken “unprecedented action” against investigators who wrote the Senate Intelligence Committee’s still-classified report on the U.S. torture program.
“In short, this was the exact sort of CIA interference in our investigation that we sought to avoid at the outset,” Feinstein said, saying she raised the issue with the White House counsel. Read more