Why would the U.S. government change its story about the actions of an undercover CIA officer involved in the events that led to the assassination of President Kennedy?
That’s the question raised by the latest court filing by U.S. Attorney Ron Machen in the case of Morley v. CIA.
In November, I reported that Machen had disputed my claim that two CIA records showed that Joannides had traveled to New Orleans in April and May 1964. He asserted that the undercover CIA man had merely maintained a residence there.
“New Orleans is clearly listed as Joannides’ place of residence when on home leave, and the form does not put him in New Orleans on the dates cited by Plaintiff,” Machen stated in a Nov. 11 sworn court filing.(See p. 14)
As I reported Joannides and his family actually lived in Miami in 1962-64; his address was listed in the 1963 Miami phone book.
Three weeks later, Machen changed the government’s story. In opposing the introduction of Judge Tunheim’s remarks about the CIA’s “inaccurate representations” about Joannides into the court record, Machen denied that Joannides had lived in New Orleans.
“Morley’s claims of … purported new information that Joannides ‘traveled to’ or ‘lived’ in New Orleans during which time he ‘monitored’ Oswald are false and inaccurate,” he stated in a Dec. 3 court filing. (See p. 2.)
In sum, the government’s position now is that Joannides maintained a home residence in New Orleans but did not travel or live there.
What’s going on here?
Machen’s first statement would seem to be the more accurate one. Here’s the relevant portion of the “home residence” record, dated April 1, 1964.
The question is why Machen is now denying under oath what he once asserted under oath: that Joannides had a residence in New Orleans?
I don’t know. Only the U.S. Attorney can answer that question.
Both of Machen’s statements cannot be correct. One of the statements has to be inaccurate. You could say that the chief law enforcement officer in the nation’s capital has apparently made a false statement, under oath, about a CIA officer involved in the JFK assassination story.
The presence of CIA undercover operations officers in New Orleans in the summer of 1963 remains a highly sensitive issue for the U.S. government, even a half century after the fact.
CIA admits undercover officer lived in New Orleans (Nov. 11, 2013)
5 Decades Later Some JFK FIles Still Sealed (Associated Press, Aus. 18. 2013)
Justice Dept. denies CIA officer was honored for coverup (JFK Facts,Dec. 17, 2012)
Court uphold public benefit of disclsoure about CIA officer in JFK story (JFK Facts, June 19, 2013)
CIA Still Cagey About Oswald Mystery (New York Times, October 17, 2009)
Morley v. CIA: Why I sued the CIA for JFK assassination records (JFK Facts, Feb. 23, 2013)