George Joannides, chief of CIA covert operations in Miami in 1963, also had a residence in New Orleans, according to the CIA.
In a court motion filed last week, the CIA acknowledged for the first time that deceased CIA officer George Joannides lived in New Orleans while handling contacts with an anti-Castro student organization whose members had a series of encounters with accused presidential assassin Lee Oswald in August 1963.
The unexpected admission came in arguments before a federal court judge about whether the CIA is obliged to pay $295,000 in legal fees incurred during my Freedom of Information Act lawsuit concerning certain 50-year-old JFK assassination records.
In a previous court filing, my attorney Jim Lesar argued that two documents released over CIA objections in 2008 were significant because they showed that Joannides’s espionage assignment took him to New Orleans where Oswald lived.
Ten years ago I filed a lawsuit seeking the records of a deceased CIA officer involved in the events leading up to the assassination of President Kennedy and its confusing investigatory aftermath. Read more
I filed suit for the records of George Joannides ten years ago, and the case is still not over. The legal bills of my attorney Jim Lesar now run to more that $125,000, and the CIA refuses to pay, even though the Court of Appeals ruled in our favor.
No one is doing this kind of work except for JFK Facts. We need your help to continue.
[This story was published in JFK Facts on June 19, 2013.]
George Joannides, chief of CIA covert operations in Miami in 1963
A federal court ruled Tuesday that my lawsuit for the records of deceased CIA officer George Joannides “serves a public benefit” and ordered a lower court judge to reconsider his decision to deny the award of legal fees.
A three-judge appellate panel declared that Judge Richard Leon had erred in his September 2012 decision that the governnrnent did not have to pay my court costs for 10 years of litigation. In 2007 the D.C. Court of Appeals ruled in favor of arguments made by my attorney, James Lesar, who contended that the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) obligated the CIA to release more records about Joannides. Read more
A Justice Department official denied in a federal court filing last month that undercover officer George Joannides received a CIA medal for deceptive actions related to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy 49 years ago but the claim cannot be verified.
Retired CIA officer George Joannides (left) received the Career Intelligence Medal from deputy CIA director Bobby Ray Inman on July 15, 1981. (Photo credit: CIA)
“The CIA has consistently challenged the notion that a career award could be seen as explicit or tacit approval of any one assignment in Joannides’s 30-year career,” asserted Ronald Machen, U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, in a brief filed on Nov. 21 in the D.C. Court of Appeals.
Machen’s brief is the government’s latest legal salvo in my decade-old (today) Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit over JFK assassination records. At issue are ancient but still-sensitive U.S. government documents related to the murder of President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963.
In recent years, the CIA has grudgingly acknowledged that Joannides served as the Miami-based handler of a Cuban exile group whose members who had a series of encounters with accused assassin Lee Harvey Oswald three months before JFK was killed.
The agency also acknowledges that Joannides served as the CIA’s principal coordinator with the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) in 1978 but did not disclose his role in the events of 1963 to investigators.
“That concealment has fueled suspicion that Mr. Joannides’s real assignment was to limit what the House committee could learn about C.I.A. activities,” wrote reporter Scott Shane of the New York Times in 2009. Read more
Reelz Channel’s new JFK documentary claiming that a Secret Service agent shot President Kennedy is based on a 30-year old book which triggered a lawsuit from the agent involved, resulting in a formal apology from the book’s publishers.
In short, this JFK theory, touted by veteran TV reporter Bill Kurtis, has already been discredited and debunked. Read more
A three-judge federal appellate court in Washington DC heard oral arguments Monday about the significance of certain CIA records related to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, a rare event in the long-running controversy over the murder of the popular chief executive almost 50 years ago. Read more
As I prepare for Monday’s hearing with the CIA, I am heartened by all the support I got on Facebook. When the going gets tough (and in this business it often does), it is nice to know I am I’m not alone. So thank you.
And let’s thank my attorney, the indefatigable Jim Lesar whose mastery of FOIA and the JFK story has made it all possible.
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The Deep State is Jefferson Morley’s new blog about the influence of secret intelligence agencies worldwide. Launched in November 2018, Morley has already published his reporting about: