Oswald’s handlers? What Morley v. CIA clarified

The CIA’s Career Intelligence Medal

It has been six weeks since the D.C. Court of Appeals heard arguments in Morley v. CIA, my lawsuit seeking certain CIA records from 1963 related to the assassination of President Kennedy. A decision from Judges Harry Edwards, Stephen Williams, and Brett Kavanagh could come any day now.

The legal issue before the judges is money, not documents. The larger issue raised by the case is the CIA’s credibility on JFK’s assassination.

DC Court of Appeals Judge Harry Edwards and two colleagues will decide Morley v. CIA.

The court will decide if the CIA has to pay my court costs, estimated at $150,000, given the fact that D.C. Court of Appeals ruled unanimously in my favor in December 2007. If the government loses in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) case, the courts usually (but not always) require the government to pay the plaintiff’s court costs.

(You can read about why the Obama Justice Department refuses to pay here. My account of the Feb. 25 hearing is here. For an overview of why I pursued Morley v. CIA for a decade, read here.)

Filed in Washington federal court in 2003Morley v. CIA seeks to answer an empirical question: Was undercover CIA officer George Joannides running a COINTELPRO-style “psychological warfare” operation that targeted Lee Harvey Oswald in the summer of 1963 for the purpose of discrediting the Fair Play for Cuba Committee, a leftist group that supported the government of Fidel Castro?

For a decade the CIA’s response has been evasive.

Lee Oswald came to the attention of Joannides’s anti-Castro informants in New Orleans in the summer of 1963.

The CIA spokesmen do not say words to the effect of “Morley’s inquiry is absurd. Our former employee, Joannides, knew nothing of Oswald in the months before the president was killed.”

If the President Kennedy was truly killed by the pathological yet pathetic loner named Oswald, as many well-informed people believe, you might think such a categorical response would be in order, if only to dispel unwarranted speculation.

The CIA’s position, as sworn to by Michelle Meeks, the agency’s Information Coordinator, is much more limited. On the most important records at issue in Morley v. CIA, Meeks invoked what is called a “Glomar” response: the CIA “will neither confirm nor deny” Joannides’s secret actions in 1963-64 when he ran anti-Castro psychological warfare operations in Miami and New Orleans.

The agency’s hedging undermines the confident pronouncements of pundits like Bill O’ReillyRachel Maddow and Chris Matthews who embrace the official story of a lone nut. The extraordinary secrecy that still shrouds Joannides’s action in 1963 means that we actually do not know if certain undercover CIA officers who opposed Kennedy’s Cuba policy manipulated Oswald before President Kennedy’s death.

Among the questions that the Glomar defense enables the CIA to avoid is: Did Joannides have contact with Oswald in the summer of 1963? Was he Oswald’s “handler”? Did he coach Warren Commission witnesses in 1964?

Joannides ran psychological warfare operations in Miami and New Orleans in 1963-64.

The answers are: probably not; it is possible; and maybe. The CIA, O’Reilly, Maddow, and Co. certainly have no factual basis for saying he did not do any of these things.

The available FBI and CIA records show that the two agencies targeted the FPCC with COINTELPRO-style operations in 1963. They show that  Joannides, using the alias “Howard,” ran covert operations designed to make the Castro government look bad. They confirm that he funded, guided and monitored a student exile group that publicized Oswald’s pro-Castro ways in August 1963 and on November 22, 1963, the day JFK was killed — reports that made the Castro government look bad. Joannides was credited with having control over the group. And thanks to two travel documents uncovered by Morley v. CIA, we know that Joannides’s CIA assignments took him to New Orleans, where Oswald lived and where the Warren Commission investigated.

The question of whether Joannides handled Oswald or obstructed the Warren Commission investigators cannot be definitively answered because the bulk of CIA records about his covert activities in 1963 is classified. The CIA has acknowledged in court filings that it retains at least 295 documents about Joannides (including more records about his travel to New Orleans) that neither the public nor any JFK assassination investigators have ever seen.

We also know, thanks to photos uncovered by Morley v. CIA, that Joannides won a medal, in part for his actions in 1963-64. The medal was presented by deputy CIA director Bobby Ray Inman, now a professor at the University of Texas.

Joannides medal

Retired CIA officer George Joannides (left) received the Career Intelligence Medal from deputy CIA director Bobby Ray Inman in 1981.
(Photo credit: CIA)

As I wait with some trepidation for the appellate court’s judgment, I console myself with the fact that Morley v. CIA has answered a question that goes to the heart of the debate about the casuses of President Kennedy’s death.

Q. Was Lee Harvey Oswald manipulated by George Joannides and his superiors at the CIA before President Kennedy was killed?

A: The CIA does not deny it.

The lawsuit has illuminated how carefully the CIA responds to questions about JFK’s death in 2013. The Obama Justice Department argued that Morley v. CIA has uncovered no information that benefits the public. But Information Coordinator Meeks and other CIA officials are careful not to commit themselves to statements that could be refuted by the release of the Joannides files.

On the 50th anniversary of JFK’s murder, that’s noteworthy and newsworthy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

9 comments

  1. zebulon says:

    Where can we send contributions to help out with those legal costs?
    I would be careful pushing the CIA- too many people who were looking for the truth died from “natural” causes.

  2. JSA says:

    This was an interesting post, to say the least!

    Regarding “not denying nor confirming” which the CIA has done with Joannides’ record, I have often thought that people who claim not to remember where they were or what they were doing on November 22 (Nixon comes to mind, as just one ex.) might have been stating this to protect themselves legally, in the event that they would ever get called before a judge or jury in a ‘worst case’ (for them) scenario. By denying any memory, they could avoid legal trouble if it got to that.

  3. Jonathan says:

    1. Hope you get your money.

    2. I don’t believe G.J. handled LHO directly.

    If G.J. was manipulating or otherwise dealing with LHO, he was surely doing through a well-trained intermediary. He would want his identity concealed from LHO.

    The CIA’s response to you smacks of refusal to reveal sources and methods.

  4. Bobby Ray Inman told me in a 2009 interview that he would go to his grave believing that Fidel Castro killed JFK. Inman did not seem conversant on the JFK assassination; nor did he seem open to learning new information; he seemed like a man who had found a comfortable story to believe in.

    And when I told him that I thought Allen Dulles was put on the Warren Commission to tend to the CIA’s interests, Inman looked at me like a kid caught with his arm halfway down a cookie jar.

    • JSA says:

      Well, since B.R.I. is the Interim Dean of the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas, is a former Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, a former Director of the National Security Agency (NSA), a former director of Naval Intelligence, and a former Vice Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency—-I’d say he’s feeding you a line when he says JFK’s assassination was a Castro plot. That sounds to me like the old “blame the communists” line that was (I think) the back up plan developed just in case people didn’t swallow the “Oswald operated alone” story. Bobby Ray seems to be staying loyal to his sponsors, “to his grave” in other words.

  5. Jonathan says:

    This is a sly post. LHO vs. authorities.

  6. PBR says:

    A straightforward, cogent and incisive conclusion based on fact. Best of luck with the case Jeff. I’ve been following it with interest for some time.

  7. Zebulon says:

    Inman knows how the game is played. The CIA will always protect its secrets

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

In seeking to expand the range of informed debate about the events of 1963 and its aftermath, JFKFacts.org welcomes comments that are factual, engaging, and civil. more

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

cbd oil: vaping cbd cannabinoid studies sunmed cbd oil reviews cbd gummies for depression and anxiety do you need a prescription for cbd oil in florida hemp oil versus cbd oil cbd therapeutics of wisconsin cbd relaxing cbd oil positive drug test dixie cbd cbd oil reviews 2018 melatonin spray cvs massage warehouse cbd weight loss pills in kentucky cbd dose for arthritis cbd oil and pain management verified cbd oil reviews mr chow sydney cbd cbd ssri definition related waht is cbd hemp vs marijuana cbd oil taking too much cbd oil cbd manufacturers usa cbd oil and valium cbd battery charger kit cbd paste uk power pressure plus indy ecigs cbd oil syracuse ny how to make tetrahydrocannabinol natrol stress and anxiety walmart dutch seeds shop review top cbd capsules smoking coconut oil is cbd oil from hemp legal keeper protector parts envy cbd cannabinoid spray liquid cannabis drops legal bud wiki what smoke shop sells cbd oil in az medical news today cbd oil cbd treatment for anxiety cbd oil glioblastoma best cbd hemp oil for pain vape pens for cbd oil ny care by design cbd review complete cbd oil 100mg cbd hemp oil herbal drops canna oil for sale does cbd oil have floaters adelaide accomodation cbd

vape: vape pipe mod quit vaping cold turkey is nicotine in vape bad how to take care of a vape lost vape therion bf squonker dna75c voopoo xname accessories vaporizers juice mangosteen vape juice receta tacos al vapor how to fix suorin drop not hitting nathan vaporair silo vape battery ecig stands uk how to change watt on voopoo uforce coils spend fivestar ecig city soil vapor extraction haus vape juice zomberry best pod mod 2017 caprylic acid vape juice how do you know when your juul is charged e cigarette recommendations puffco peak e cigarette originale smok big baby beast light edition bad effects of vaping smok x cube 2 accessories vaping lung pain is vaping cancerous vaping burnt taste vapor dragon vaping health risks reddit e cigarette finiti how to refill a vape cartridge sauz juice how to open vape cartridge top vape companies baby t6 coils top box nano kit sub ohm tank reviews voopoo uforce 2u zophie vapes naked 20w ecig mod batteries smok x cube bt50 limited edition smok procolor 225w smok t priv 3 300w vape pen starter kit ebay uwell crown v3 crackling noise voopoo x217 mod price voopoo drag gunmetal vape products wholesale voopoo uforce u4 coils review vaping sex

weight loss: jill scott weight loss qvc diet pills weight loss smoothies recipes is milk good for weight loss water pills for weight loss peanuts for weight loss can ibs cause weight loss eating habits for weight loss healthy dinner for weight loss juice diet weight loss plan weight loss pill shark tank rapid diet pills that work probiotics strains for weight loss glp1 weight loss phentermine and weight loss gugudan mina weight loss lchf weight loss bee pollen diet pills reviews nursing weight loss weight loss pills with bee pollen wiifit weight loss true vision weight loss physicians weight loss centers reviews gayle king weight loss glucosamine weight loss rapid weight loss gallstones kirkland weight loss shakes review mccarthy weight loss parsley tea benefits weight loss how to start weight loss weight loss clinics in indiana no sugar diet weight loss success thyroid hormone weight loss vicks for weight loss can paxil cause weight loss simply slim diet pills celery and lemon juice for weight loss kelly bishop weight loss weight loss va beach whey protein weight loss reviews best prescription pills for weight loss jorie weight loss center the best diet pills at walmart low carb weight loss meal plan keto primal diet pills strength training for weight loss antidepressants and diet pills does grapefruit help with weight loss pills to lose water weight john moreland weight loss pills e best weight loss exercises for obese

male enhancement: side effects of depression pills men on drugs drugs that start with t how to increase cum load does cialis lower your blood pressure how to tell a guys dick size flomax ingredients best pills to keep you hard soft viagra how to make your penis head bigger flaccid penis size staxyn review best penis enlargement pill difficulty getting an erection how to use your penis rexavar results before and after enlargement pill legit canadian pharmacy online natural testosterone boner pill average penile length by age supplements for men over 50 how to get your cock hard ultimate flora extra care probiotic where can you buy virectin how a penis works best penis names pinus enlarger donde puedo comprar viagra average us penis length blue diamond pill big cock at work get hard sex over the counter erection pills ed vitamins do i need testosterone super man herbs penis enlarger pill hot moms in public silicone penile implant sex big as best medicine for penis potato do dwarfs have normal sized genitalia firmer erections best herbs for male libido 100 pics t is for his dick is bigger evolution test review how do boners work zenerx pills keto diet and sex drive

exam: Buy Best 9A0-041 Braindump Latest Version PDF&VCE, Most Popular CAT-060 Dump With New Discount, 100% Real 600-210 Exam Demo For All Candidates From All Over The World, Helpful HP2-N48 Self Study Is Updated Daily, High Pass Rate HP2-N50 Certification Material With Low Price, 100% Pass Guaranteed or Full Refund HC-035-720-ENU Exam Dumps , Free Download Real 000-084 Actual Test , Gocertify A2090-614 Actual Exam Is The Best Material, Best A2050-723 Study Guides Latest Version PDF&VCE, Pass4sure LOT-916 Cert Guide With New Discount, Valid and updated HP2-K26 Book Are Based On The Real Exam, Testkingdump C2040-413 Guide For Each Candidate, High Pass Rate M2050-242 Certification Braindumps On Sale, Provide New P2070-042 Actual Questions Will Be More Popular, Latest Upload 000-M62 Self Study Online Shop, Most Popular IIA-CIA-PART3 Certificate On Our Store, We Provide 070-551-CSHARP Certification Braindumps Is The Best Material, Welcome To Buy MB3-462 Dumps Pdf On Sale, Provide Latest 312-75 Questions And Answers with PDF and VCE Engine, Prep4sure 70-545-VB Vce Software Will Be More Popular, Passguide MSC-331 Study Material Latest Version PDF&VCE, Most Important 920-263 Exam Test Questions Sale, Exampassok 050-895 Exam Test Questions Are The Best Materials, Free Download Real 1Z0-050 Answers UP To 50% Off, Most Popular A00-260 Certification Material 100% Pass With A High Score, Download Latest CTFL-Foundation Training Guide Is The Best Material,