Why I’m taking JFK to the Supreme Court

According to an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court filed this week in Washington, the language of the Freedom of Information Act is clear:

The court may assess against the United States reasonable attorney’s fees and other litigation costs reasonably incurred in any case under this section in which the complainant has substantially prevailed.

The Obama Justice Department doesn’t want to admit it but, in Morley v. CIA, yours truly substantially prevailed. Will the Supreme Court be interested?

It’s a long shot, but I try to think like Steph Curry; sometimes a long shot is worth taking.

My FOIA lawsuit, filed 13 summers ago, has forced disclosure of some interesting information about the assassination of President Kennedy that the CIA would you prefer you not know not pay attention to.

To wit:

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)

A career CIA officer, George Joannides, received an agency medal, in part for his role in obstructing Congress’s efforts to investigate JFK’s death.

I even obtained a photo of Joannides receiving the medal.

The story was covered everywhere from Fox News to the New York Times. The San Angelo Times in south Texas covered it. So did the Daily Mail in London.

There was no “public benefit” in my discoveries, the CIA replied via various Justice Department  consigliere. The agency’s reasoning has been ratified  three times by Judge Richard Leon.

Judge Leon divined that the records I had obtained–two travel documents showing Joannides traveled to New Orleans during the time of the Warren Commission investigation; and a photo and CIA citation Joannides received in 1981–were largely worthless as history.

“Nothing other than pure speculation connects any of it to the Kennedy assassination,” the court said.

The evident media interest in what I discovered–including stories in PoliticoAssociated Press, and Project Censored— were not evidence of “public benefit.: The court knew better than to succumb to such vulgarity.

Judge Leon, like most federal judges, is mercifully innocent of the problematic nature of the historical record of JFK’s assassination. He, like others, naturals rebels against the idea that there might any significance to the fact that the CIA was running “psychological warfare” operations in New Orleans in the summer of 1963 when an erratic communist named Lee Oswald crossed the path of various paid CIA assets.

It could not possibly mean anything that Joannides maintained a residence in New Orleans, as U.S. Attorney Ron Machen affirmed under oath in a federal court filing.

DRE Trinchera
The first JFK conspiracy theory

In my affidavits to the court, I documented that I was not speculating when I said that a CIA-funded anti-Castro group, guided and monitored by Joannides, had published the first JFK conspiracy theory ever to reach public print. The CIA does not deny the point.

Judge Leon was not impressed. Asserting the “public-benefit” factor requires more than speculation of an unknown potential future benefit, he ruled against me.

I was so depressed.  Then a unanimous DC Court of Appeals came to my rescue.

On appeal, the court of appeals unanimously vacated the district court’s denial of petitioner’s motion and remanded the matter once again to the district court because the district judge improperly analyzed the public-benefit factor by assessing the public value of the information received rather than “the potential public value of the information sought” (App. 2 quoting Davy, 550 F.3d at 1159).

While agreeing with the lower court that the value of the released documents is “at best unclear” and appear to reveal little, if anything, about the President’s assassination, the court ruled that it was ultimately irrelevant to Davy’s requirement that a court assess “the potential public value of the information sought,” not the public value of the information received (

What I sought had–and has–a lot of potential value, I think: CIA records related to covert operations in New Orleans in the summer of 1963.

What Morley v. CIA discovered was that the agency still hides–well into the 21st century– a trove of information on the subject. Will we see these records in October 2017? President Trump or President Clinton will have to decide.

Or maybe the Supreme Court will hear respond to my petition for writ of certeriorari. Its a long shot but…

The CIA’s performance in the matter deserves judicial review.

The agency acknowledged the existence of scores of documents related to Joannides’ work as the chief of anti-Castro  “psychological warfare” operations in Miami at the time of JFK’s murder. These operations took place more than a half century ago.

CIA & JFKThe agency has been fighting in Washington federal court for more than a decade to make sure that you do not learn what was going on in New Orleans in the summer of 1963. It would harm your “national security,” you see.

What the government is saying in its frightened response to Morley v. CIA, is that you, the average citizen, are safer, not knowing what they’re hiding about the events of 1963. P

Serious powerful people in Washington really and truly believe such nonsense–and they really want you to believe it. In fact, it is, on its face, a crazy argument. It is ludicrous and paranoid, if it is not offered in bad faith.

That’s why I’m taking JFK to the Supreme Court.

If you to know the full story, I suggest read my new  ebook, CIA and JFK: The Last Asssasination Files, now available on Amazon










13 thoughts on “Why I’m taking JFK to the Supreme Court”

  1. Jeff,

    Per the link below, I see that September 26, 2016 is the date the Justices will “consider” your petition. Regarding this, I have a couple questions.

    * What is the impact on your petition of having only 8 court justices?
    * Assuming this moves to oral argument and a favorable outcome, in addition to the legal fees issue, can the Supreme Court dictate other specific actions to be taken?



  2. CIA & JFK: The Secret Assassination Files.
    Suspicions about the CIA’s involvement in the JFK assassination have been circulating for decades, but Jeff Morley has more than suspicions. He has dug through countless sheaves of once-secret documents and interviewed so many spooks I’m surprised he’s not haunted. Most edifying is his study of one George Joannides, a senior CIA agent who oversaw the New Orleans chapter of the anti-Castro DRE in the early-1960s, during the time that Lee Oswald was picketing there in favor of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee. So Joannides lived in New Orleans that summer before the Kennedy killing, while Oswald was being sheep-dipped as a communist. In the late-1970s, Joannides’ assignment changed. He became the CIA point man in its relationship to the House Select Committee on Assassinations. In other words, this spook who’d been part of the covert actions of the summer of 1963 was now monitoring the information the agency would share with the HSCA.
    While Morley’s revelations about Joannides are at the heart of the book, he also penned fascinating chapters about other Cold War agency officials such as Richard Helms, Jane Roman, Win Scott and — most surprisingly — John Whitten, “the spy who sang.” Whitten had been the agency’s chief of covert operations for Mexico and Latin America in 1963, and he gave secret testimony to HSCA in May 1978, finally released by the Assassinations Records Review Board in 1996. Whitten accused Helms of sabotaging the agency’s 1963 probe into Oswald’s alleged pro-Cuban connections
    Morley’s book goes a long way toward documenting the “Spy vs. Spy” shenanigans that comprise the crucial background of the assassination.
    Let’s hope that Morley’s and Jim Lesar’s lawsuit against the CIA finally bears fruit. Let’s hope that the 1,100 files set to be released in October 2017 actually help dedicated investigators like Morley to finally tie up the loose ends.

  3. Jesse Hemingway

    Good Luck Jeff, LBJ’s executive order 11130 lacks any constitutional authority it was a bluff all the way.

  4. Jeff, if anyone has ever diligently earned the right to be paid back reasonable attorney’s fees and other litigation costs it’s James Lesar, J.D. period

  5. Jeff, I hope you and your legal representatives are successful in this action. You certainly deserve to be.

  6. Jeff,
    I think this next step is awesome and necessary. You continue to be a strong advocate for “We the People” and help us have a voice on critical issues, like excessive government secrecy.

    Thank You!

  7. Like Neil Young said “Keep on Rockin’ In the Free World”, in spite of the new world order.

  8. CIA records related to covert operations in New Orleans in the summer of 1963.

    And your evidence for those? I hope something more than that Johannides was in the city.

    1. The FACT that a representative of Our Government, yours and mine John, had a conflict of interest in his representation for Us.
      When called out of retirement by the CIA to represent them in dealing with the HSCA he and they failed, purposefully, to reveal his role JM/WAVE’s overseeing of the DRE in the summer of 63 represents a real serious conflict of interest.
      I know Toms hates the phrase but, JMHO.
      Joannides probably considered himself a patriot.
      I have to wonder if he was not a possibly unknowing Traitor to Democracy.

  9. A career CIA officer, George Joannides, received an agency medal, in part for his role in obstructing Congress’s efforts to investigate JFK’s death.

    And your evidence for this is?

  10. Great work Jeff and I fully believe in your mission and IMO the long shot could have a tremendous effect.

    At least we will know how our govt feels about transparency with its citizens. Eventually it will happen , I

    just hope sooner than later but you will at least be “on record” as the first one, and one day that will likely mean


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