Original FOIA request for George Joannides files

The lawsuit Morley v. CIA began with this Freedom of Information Act request.

4 July 2003

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT REQUEST

Ms. Katherine DyerInformation and Privacy Coordinator

Central Intelligence Agency

Washington, DC 20505

Re: George Efythron Joannides

Dear Ms. Katherine Dyer

         By way of background, I am a journalist in Washington who works as a news editor at washingtonpost.com, the Web site of the Washington Post. I have also worked as an editor in the Sunday Outlook section of the Post and a reporter in the Metro section.

         Pursuant to the Freedom of Information Action, 5 U.S.C. & 552, I request all records pertaining to CIA operations  officer George Efythron Joannides, (also known as “Howard,” “Mr. Howard” or “Walter Newby”), including but not limited to the following:

  1. All “201” files or records, including covert as well as overt 201 files or records.
  2. All “P” files or records.
  3. All commendations or awards received by George E. Joannides;
  4. All leave and travel records pertaining to George E. Joannides during his service in Athens, 1951-62, Miami, 1962-1964, Athens 1964-66, Manila, 1967-69, Saigon 1969-71, and Washington 1971-1975.
  5. All reports, memoranda, letters or other written communications authored by or addressed to George E. Joannides (a.k.a. “Howard,” “Mr. Howard,” or “Walter Newby”).
  6. All index references maintained on George E. Joannides or “Howard,” “Mr. Howard,” or “Walter Newby” in any CIA component in which he worked or with which he had contact.
  7. All records related to telephone calls, messages, or tapes of telephone calls during Joannides’s tenure in Miami (December 1962 to April 1964) and his tenure as liaison to the House Select Committee on Assassination (May 1978 to June 1979).
  8. All outside contact reports or forms regarding any contacts between Joannides and any representative of the news media, any executive branch employee, any federal agency employee, or representative of Congress pertaining to George E. Joannides.
  9. All records of whatever form, written or tape recorded, including but not limited to “soft files,” pertaining to George Joannides’s service as deputy chief and chief of the Psychological Warfare PW branch of the Agency’s JM/WAVE station in Miami from December 1962 to April 1964. Please search all records, of whatever nature, related to telephone calls, including messages and tape recordings of telephone calls.
  10. Any and all records reflecting Joannides’s participation in, or contacts with, any covert project or operation.
  11. All records of whatever form, written or tape recorded, including but not limited to “soft files,” of Joannides’s communications with other branch chiefs in JM/WAVE station with whom he had liaison responsibilities in 1962-64: Foreign Intelligence (FI), Counterintelligence (CI) and Paramilitary (PM). 
  12. All records pertaining Joannides’s contacts with individuals or officers of an anti-Castro organization in Miami known as the Directorio Revolucionario Estudantil, or DRE between December 1962 and April 1964, including but not  limited to Luis Fernandez Rocha, Juan Manual Salvat, Antonio Lanusa, and Carlos Bringuier.  In CIA records the DRE is known by the cryptonym, AMSPELL.
  13. All communications between the deputy director Richard Helms at CIA headquarters and JM/WAVE station in Miami, directed to or from George Joannides (a.k.a. “Howard,” “Mr. Howard,” or “Walter Newby”) in the period December 1962 to April 1964.
  14. All office communications of JM/WAVE station chief Ted Shackley to or from George Joannides (a.k.a. “Howard,” “Mr. Howard,” or “Walter Newby,”) in the period December 1962 to April 1964.15.
  15. All communications between Joannides and Howard Hunt, Frank Fiorini, (a.k.a. Frank Sturgis) and David Phillips. Please search the records of each of these CIA employees as well the records of the office which Phillips headed in 1963, Western Hemisphere 3 (WH3) in Mexico City.
  16. All records in the Office of the General Counsel pertaining to the selection of George Joannides as liaison to the House Select Committee on Assassination (HSCA) in May 1978.
  17. All records in the Office of General Counsel and other CIA components, of Joannides’s work with the HSCA, including all communications with other offices of the Agency and all communications with the HSCA and any federal agency from May 1978 to June 1979.

   The materials I seek are of great public interest. They shed new light on the assassination of President Kennedy on November 22, 1963, a topic of continuing discussion on the Internet and in public print. Specifically, they illuminate the role of an anti-Castro organization, the Directorio Revolucionario Estudantil or DRE, in the events leading up to the assassination. Members of the DRE had contact with accused assassin Lee Harvey Oswald 12 weeks before Kennedy was killed. At the time of these contacts, the group’s leaders in Miami had a close, collaborative and financial relationship with George Joannides.

     These records also promise to shed light on the confused investigatory aftermath of the assassination. George Joannides, as a U.S. government employee, was uniquely well-positioned to observe and report on the events of November 1963. The public has a right to know what he knew. 

I plan to disseminate this information in the national media. I have worked as an editor and reporter at The Washington Post and washingtonpost.com for 11 years. I have written often about the CIA, the Kennedy assassination, and the events of 1963 for The Washington Post, The Nation, Slate, and other national publications.

     As a representative of the news media, I cannot  be charged search fees. See 5 USC & 552A (4) (A) (II) and (III).

     If any records pertaining to the subject of this request have been processed for another requester, please notify me immediately as to the quantity of such preprocessed pages so I can make a determination as to whether to obtain them preliminary to a reprocessing of such records.

         The word “record” as used herein includes all documents of whatever kind and in whatever form, including but not limited to written records, audio and video tapes, photographs, movie films, computer disks, and all data created, stored or maintained in electronic format.  All records which are extant as of the date of your final compliance with this request should be provided. 

     In complying with this request, please search under all logical spelling variants of the name George Efythron Joannides, as well as “Howard,” “Mr. Howard,” or “Walter Newby” or any other cryptonyms, code names or pseudonyms that Joannides used.

     Please search all locations or repositories of records that might be responsive to this request, including any location where responsive records may have been archived or warehoused.  If records pertaining to the subject of this request exist or are likely to exist but cannot be located by a search of your indices, please conduct a search using whatever other methods you have at your disposal that may result in the retrieval of such records.  This request should include “soft” files.  The search should also include any files or records maintained by individual officers of employees of your agency. 

     Please instruct all appropriate components which may have records responsive to this request that no records possibly responsive to this request are to be destroyed pending final judicial determination of the right of my client to obtain these records under the Freedom of Information Act. 

         Please conduct a search of, but not limited to, the files of the Directorate of Operations, the Office of Security, the Office of the General Counsel the Office of Personnel and all CIA components in which Joannides served or with which he communicated.

Please advise me as soon as possible as to the estimated volume of records responsive to the above requests and the amount of time you estimate will pass before my request is processed.

Sincerely yours,

Jefferson Morley

          1804 Kenyon St. NW

         Washington, DC 20010

4 comments

  1. Bogman says:

    An historic document, IMO.

    It’s obvious to me now that Helms and Joannides conspired to lie and obstruct to ensure the CIA’s invisible hand behind the DRE stayed invisible to the two main federal investigations into the assassination – the WC and HSCA.

    How can we be sure they conspired? Because both knew the truth, both lied to investigators, and both knew if the other did tell the truth, the jig was up for both of them. (And Joannides travels to NO before the wC investigators get there?!)

    My guess is Joannides’ appointment as the CIA’s liaison to the HSCA came from Helms (even though both men were retired from the agency by then). Who wants to bet?

    Why is all this so damning? Because somehow the lone nut lunkhead LHO stumbled across this secretly funded anti-Castro CIA front group, and that somehow turned into video of LHO handing out pro-Castro fliers in NO being seen by the largest national TV audience in history just hours after the assassination. Before this unknown ‘nut’ was even charged with the crime of killing the president.

    Amazing that. It’s called setting initial impressions and setting the frame to blame it all on the commie (or Castro). Just like William Harvey predicted it would happen in his notes on executive action.

  2. […] I first requested records on Joannides in 2003 the CIA referred me to the National Archives, asserting that all the Joannides […]

  3. […] I first requested records on Joannides in 2003, the CIA referred me to the National Archives, asserting that all the […]

  4. […] I first requested records on Joannides in 2003, the CIA referred me to the National Archives, asserting that all the […]

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