Morley v. CIA

CIA’s ‘inaccurate representations’ blocked release of key JFK files, investigators say

John Tunheim

Federal judge John Tunheim, former chair of the Assassination Records Review Boad

[Reposted from December 2013, this news report is relevant to the oral arguments in Morley v. CIA  that will be heard in Washington federal court on March 19, 2018.]

Two members of an independent civilian review panel that oversaw the release of the government’s JFK assassination files say the CIA misled them about the records of deceased undercover officer George Joannides.

In a piece for the Boston Herald, Judge John Tunheim, former chair of the Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB) and Thomas Samoluk, former deputy director of the ARRB, said this: Read more

Former chief JFK investigator on CIA obstruction

“I now no longer believe anything the Agency [CIA] told the committee any further than I can obtain substantial corroboration for it from outside the Agency for its veracity…. “

— G. Robert Blakey, former Chief Counsel to the House Select Committee on Assassinations, in an addendum to the web page for the Frontline episode “Who Was Lee Harvey Oswald?”.

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What is Morley v. CIA?

Morley v. CIA is a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, filed by journalist Jefferson Morley, seeking certain JFK assassination related records generated by a CIA undercover officer named George Joannides

Here’s some press coverage of the case.

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CIA to argue JFK lawsuit disclosures have no ‘public benefit’

Barrett Prettyman Courthouse

Washington DC courthouse where federal judges will hear oral arguments about the CIA’s JFK records.

On Monday March 19, a three-judge federal appellate court in Washington, D.C. will hear oral arguments about the “public benefit” of disclosure of CIA files related to the assassination of President Kennedy.

With the release of the last of the U.S. government’s JFK assassination files set for April 26, 2018, the judges have to pass judgement on a still-timely question: is there any public benefit from learning more about the events of November 1963? Read more

4 ways to fix the JFK files mess

What follows is a letter to David Ferriero, the National Archivist, from the Mary Ferrell Foundation, sponsor of the largest online collection of JFK assassination records.

The Foundation makes four recommendations for the improving the release of the last of the U.S. government’s JFK assassination files, now scheduled for April 26, per written orders of President Trump.

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Federal judges to hear JFK files case on March 19

On Monday morning March 19 my attorneys Jim Lesar and Dan Alcorn and I will appear at the Barrett Prettyman federal courthouse in Washington to make oral arguments in my long-running lawsuit, Morley v. CIA. Read more

A medal for stonewalling: one JFK secret the CIA plans to keep

Joannides medal

Retired CIA officer George Joannides (left) received the Career Intelligence Medal in 1981, two years after misleading House investigators about what he knew about Lee Oswald. (Photo credit: CIA)

One of the most important documents uncovered by my lawsuit Morley v. CIA  is this photograph showing the previously unknown fact that CIA officer George Joannides received a medal after stonewalling JFK investigators about his assassination-related actions in 1963 and 1978.

I’ll talking about this photographs in oral arguments before a federal appellate court in Washington on March 19.

Along with the photo, the CIA was forced to disclose the citation on the Career Intelligence Medal, which commended Joannides for his performance in “diverse assignments of increasing responsibility at Headquarters, the domestic field, and overseas.” Read more

‘Denied in Full’: JFK investigator identifies a key missing CIA file that remains secret

Dan Hardway

Dan Hardway, JFK whistleblower

Here’s a 40-year old JFK file that should, by law, be released by April 28, 2018.

On September 20, 1978 the CIA evaluated the work of George Joannides, then serving as the CIA’s liaison to the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA).

As HSCA investigator Dan Hardway (left)  explains in this sworn affidavit,  Joannides was stonewalling Congress’s JFK investigation at the time.

The release of this document would illuminate what the CIA thought of Joannides’ actions, which former HSCA counsel G. Robert Blakey has described as “obstruction of Congress.”

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I’ll be in federal court on March 19 talking about key missing JFK files

Barrett Prettyman Courthouse

Where federal judges will hear oral arguments about CIA JFK files.

On Monday morning March 19  my attorneys Jim Lesar and Dan Alcorn and I will appear at the Barrett Prettyman federal courthouse in Washington for oral arguments in my long-running lawsuit, Morley v. CIA.

The issue before the three-judge panel: has there been a “public benefit” from the lawsuit’s disclosure of long-secret documents about deceased CIA officer George Joannides? Read more

What Trump and the CIA are still concealing: the George Joannides files

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Top CIA official was told Oswald contacted KGB officer in Mexico City, new JFK file shows

An obscure code name jumped out at me from a key new document in the latest JFK files to be made public by President Trump and the CIA on Friday. Read more

Exclusive: JFK investigator on how CIA stonewalled Congress

Dan Hardway

Dan Hardway

In a new sworn declaration filed in federal court, former JFK investigator Dan Hardway tells the story of how the CIA stonewalled him and other investigators for the House Select Committee of Assassinations in 1978.

Hardway’s first-person story is the most vivid and powerful account of how the CIA obstructed Congress’s attempt to investigate JFK’s assassination in 1978 since Gaeton Fonzi’s book, The Last Investigation. Hardway adds new detail to the story Fonzi told by detailing the obstructionist tactics of George Joannides that he personally experienced.

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JFK Facts podcast: Morley v. CIA, the James Angleton story, and other developments

Our sixth podcast. This week we discuss:

— Jim Lesar’s petition for a writ of certiorari in Morley v. CIA

— Jeff Morley responds to a question about the 2017 declassification and how that may impact CIA and JFK: The Secret Assassination Files

Dr. John Newman’s planned update to 1992’s JFK and Vietnam

— Diplomatic historians and the evolving understanding of JFK’s attitudes about imperialism and anti-colonial calls for independence throughout the third world

— Richard D. Mahoney’s JFK: Ordeal in Africa (1983) and The Kennedy Brothers (2011)

Betting on the Africans, Phillip E. Muehlenbeck

Kennedy, Johnson and the Nonaligned World, Robert Rakove

— Jeff Morley’s upcoming book on James Angleton

To download the podcast as an MP3: Click HERE; Place cursor on file; RIGHT click and select “Save Audio As.”

Got a question or a comment? Contact us at and we’ll talk about it on the show.


Jefferson Morley’s new ebook, CIA and JFK: The Secret Assassination Files, available on Amazon, provides the fullest account yet of the JFK records that the CIA is still concealing in 2016 and why they should be made public in October 2017.


The implications of latest Morley v. CIA ruling

The latest Morley decision greatly simplifies the test for determining whether a FOIA plaintiff is entitled to receive attorney fees.


Thanks and a note on the Morley v. CIA road ahead

Thanks all the positivity on the court’s decision.  I think Bill S. has quoted the essence of the decision, which is good news for FOIA requesters everywhere.  What’s gratifying is the court’s rather commensensical affirmation that people who want to know more about the CIA and the events of November 1963 are acting reasonably.

In addition, this court has previously determined that Morley’s request sought information “central” to an intelligence committee’s inquiry into the performance of the CIA and other federal agencies in investigating the assassination. Morley v. CIA, 508 F.3d 1108, 1118 (D.C. Cir. 2007). Under these circumstances, there was at least a modest probability that Morley’s request would generate information relevant to the assassination or later investigations.”

Unfortunately,, the archaic appellate process has delivered us back into the tender mercies of the oft-reversed Judge Leon. We are exploring possible remedies. If you have expertise in federal appellate court procedures, maybe you have some ideas.

I will keep you posted, if you keep posting the story of the court’s decision on your social media.