Archive for jeffmorley

On JFK secrecy, Brett Kavanaugh sides with the CIA

The D.C. Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 on Monday that the CIA does not have to pay my court costs incurred in the long-running FOIA lawsuit Morley v. CIA. The split decision was joined by Judge Brett Kavanaugh, who was nominated by President Trump later that day to serve on the the Supreme Court.

About the information I obtained via litigation, the unsigned opinion said, “the public benefit was small.” The decision made no reference to extensive coverage of Morley v . CIA in the New York Times, Fox News, San Diego Union, St. Paul Pioneer Press, CBS News in Dallas, and the New Yorker, among many other news organizations.

The Times and  the U.K. Daily Mail, even published a photo, obtained by the lawsuit, of CIA officer George Joannides receiving a medal after he stonewalled JFK investigators in 1978. In the majority view, public interest in Morley v CIA is not a measure of its public benefit.

A strong dissent by Judge Karen Henderson takes a much more balanced and independent view of the case, in my view. Appointed by President George H.W. Bush in 1990, Henderson points out that the court had previously found that I had met the standard of “public benefit” established in case law.

In a 2013 decision the court stated.

Morley’s request had potential public value. He has proffered—and the CIA has not disputed— that Joannides served as the CIA case officer for a Cuban group, the DRE, with whose officers Oswald was in contact prior to the assassination. Travel records showing a very close match between Joannides’s and Oswald’s times in New Orleans might, for example, have (marginally) supported one of the hypotheses swirling around the assassination. 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. Under these circumstances, there was at least a modest probability that Morley’s request would generate information relevant to the assassination or later investigations.

“In other words,” Henderson writes, “we held that Morley satisfied the public-benefit factor in this case,”

By ignoring this finding, Henderson argues, the majority opinion ultimately depends on the assertion that the CIA responded “reasonably” to my request. Yet, Henderson notes,  the ruling also ignores the fact that the appellate court had ruled the agency’s initial response to my FOIA request was deficient on seven different legal points.

Henderson again:

The majority discusses five in its opinion. It acknowledges that the CIA: (1) missed the 20-day statutory deadline to respond, Maj. Op. 7; (2) incorrectly referred Morley to NARA rather than responding to his FOIA request itself, Maj. Op. 7-11; (3) failed to search its operational files, Maj. Op. 11; (4) submitted an incomplete Glomar response, Maj. Op. 11-12; and (5) relied on an interpretation of Exemption 2 that was later overruled, Maj. Op. 12. It addresses these errors of law seriatim and labels them “incorrect legally,” Maj. Op. 9, but not “unreasonable.” To me, the CIA’s multiple flawed legal positions suggests that it was “recalcitrant” in declining to produce any documents before being sued. Davy IV, 550 F.3d at 1162. At the least, the errors collectively undermine the district court’s conclusion that the fourth factor “weighs heavily against Morley.” Morley X, 245 F. Supp. 3d at 78 (emphasis added).

 

Henderson concludes:

In sum, I believe the district court erred on two levels: it erred in evaluating each of the four factors individually and abused its discretion in weighing them against one another. Accordingly, this case does not call for “[d]eference piled on deference.” Maj. Op. 11. It calls for an adherence to Davy IV and our four earlier Morley opinions. Because I believe the district court ignored our mandate and misapplied our precedent, I would vacate the district court order a fifth time and remand with instructions to award Morley the attorney’s fees to which he is entitled.

Unfortunately, the majority, meaning Kavanaugh and Trump appointee Judge Gregory Katsas, disagreed. I have 45 days to appeal.

 

My day in court with Judge Kavanaugh: the subject was JFK files

Judge Brett Kavanaugh

Judge Brett Kavanaugh

On March 19 the DC Court of Appeals heard oral arguments in my FOIA lawsuit, Morley v CIA. In the absence of Senior Judge Karen Henderson, Judge Brett Kavanaugh presided.

Now Kavanaugh has been nominated for the Supreme Court, and his every word is being parsed.

The question before the court that day: Was the CIA obligated to pay my court costs for a long-running lawsuit about certain JFK assassination files held by the agency.

Click for the audio recording of the hearing. Kavanaugh is the first speaker you will hear, followed by my attorney Jim Lesar, a veteran FOIA litigator. Read more

Reporter’s tape exposes Bill O’Reilly’s big JFK fib


In which CNN picks up on a JFK Facts story.

Canadian TV on what we know now about Angleton and JFK

Oswald appeared to be ‘guided by others’

In his response to Thomas Powers review of THE GHOST, Bill Kelly makes a point that Powers is loathe to admit. People who observed Oswald after his defection to the Soviet Union suspected that he had ties to be intelligence world.

Read more

The BBC talks to three Warren Commission investigators

Vincent Dowd speaks to three men who worked on the report, now in their 80s – Burt Griffin, Sam Stern and Howard P.Willens – who now openly consider its merits and whether it uncovered the truth.

Source: BBC World Service – The Documentary, The Commission Read more

David Kaiser on ‘the new global aristocracy’

We interrupt our regularly scheduled JFK programming for this special message. David Kaiser, a prolific and subtle diplomatic historian, has a piece on his blog,History Unfolding, that is well worth reading. Kaiser’s long historical perspective frames our political realities without pity.

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The day JFK belatedly set the Civil Rights Act in motion

The events of 55 years ago today, as recounted in The New Yorker: Read more

What can Microsoft teach us about the JFK story?

“Cognitive search” is Microsoft’s concept and tool; use computing power to capture analyze massive amounts of data found in the latest JFK files.

But the example these engineers give is not exactly inspiring.

Read more

RFK’s fateful day in Los Angeles and the distrust of the liberals | TheHill

One surprised reporter asked some why they switched allegiance from Kennedy to Wallace; their responses were hauntingly similar to what we have heard from Donald Trump supporters in the past year: “He has guts. … He says what he means. … He is strongly critical of the political establishment.”

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Bobby Kennedy and the promise of rebirth

When there was a second Kennedy assassination, it seemed like the end of hope. Many of Bobby’s followers turned to the right and voted for George Wallace in the general election, a Southern governor who stood for segregation. What made it even worse – if humanly possible – is that there was no attempt for justice for Bobby. Everyone knew Sirhan Sirhan had fired a revolver – but the coroner made a critical finding. “The powder residue pattern on the right ear of Senator Kennedy was caused at a muzzle dis

Source: Bobby Kennedy and the Promise of Rebirth

Who killed Bobby Kennedy? His son RFK Jr. doesn’t believe it was Sirhan Sirhan

What is striking about this article is not only RFK Jr’s trip to see Sirhan and his growing suspicions. What is striking is that the Washington Post treats his views with respect.

“I went there because I was curious and disturbed by what I had seen in the evidence,” said Kennedy, an environmental lawyer and the third oldest of his father’s 11 children. “I was disturbed that the wrong person might have been convicted of killing my father. My father was the chief law enforcement officer in this country. I think it would have disturbed him if somebody was put in jail for a crime they didn’t commit.”

Source: Who killed Bobby Kennedy? His son RFK Jr. doesn’t believe it was Sirhan Sirhan. – The Washington Post

A promise broken on JFK files release 

President Trump broke his tweeted promise to release “ALL JFK files,” notes James Kelleher.

While an additional 19,000 documents were released, some 15,834 documents contained redactions, and another five hundred or more were withheld from the release. The president bought into the national security argument and again extended the time for the removal of all the redactions and final document release to October 2021.

Source: A promise broken on JFK files release | News & Views | Irish Echo Read more

Kennedy family believes CIA killed JFK, says RFK  Jr. in new book

RFK Jr. on his uncle’s murder

Since the publication of David Talbot’s groundbreaking book, Brothers, the story of Robert Kennedy’s suspicions about his brother’s murder have come to light.

RFK’s son shares those same suspicions, which he voiced in a Dallas appearance in 2013 and now details in a new book.

Read more

What the Warren Commission avoided: the anti-racist Oswald

In his unpublished memoir, George de Mohrenschildt, an observant engineer and astute writer, talked about his friend Lee Oswald and his support for the civil rights movement Read more