June 12, 2012 - Today the National Archives has reversed a 2010 commitment for declassification and decided
instead to withhold records related to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Attached is a press release
from the Assassination Archives and Research Center and a copy of the letter from Gary Stern, General Counsel of
the National Archives announcing this decision. There is contact information on the press release for further information.
(1) AARC Press Release of Jun 12, 2012;
(2) AARC's letter to NARA of Jan 20, 2012; and
(3) NARA's Response to AARC of Jun 12, 2012.
June 4, 2012 - Jefferson Morley's quest for records on George Joannides,
the CIA case officer who managed the DRE at the time Lee Harvey Oswald was in contact with it,
survived a second trip to the Court of Appeals. But the victory was a narrow one,
ruling that on remand to the District Court the CIA will have to once again review
294 documents withheld in their entireties to determine whether other exemption claims
cover all the now non-exempt "Exemption 2" materials, or whether all or some of the Exemption 2
materials are segregable and can be released, perhaps with some Exemption 1 (national security) materials as well.
The judgment is posted together with a memorandum which explains the Court's ruling and
an indication of what lies ahead in District Court.
The following briefs are attached: (1) Judgment of Apr 27, 2012; (2)
The one-page released document; and
(3) A memo explaining the court's ruling and what lies ahead.
April 11, 2012 - This is the second trip to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia
in the Morley case. This is journalist Jefferson Morley's effort to obtain records pertaining to George Joannides, the CIA case
officer for the DRE (Directorio Revoluciionario Estudantil), the Cuban exile organization which had contacts with Lee
Harvey Oswald in the months prior to President Kennedy's assassination. The prior appeal was landmark decision which
ruled that the CIA had to search its normally exempt operational files for responsive records. As a result of this
victory, it was revealed that Joannides was working undercover when he was made the CIA's liaison to the House Select
Committee on assassinations. In that capacity, Joannides never revealed to the HSCA that he had been DRE's case
officer when Oswald was in contact with it. Instead, he deflected the HSCA's requests both for documents about
DRE and for the identity of DRE's case officer.
On remand to the District Court, operational files were searched and additional information released. However,
the CIA still withholds 295 documents in their entireties and has not located the monthly progress reports detailing
the funding of the DRE during the 17-month period when Joannides was its case officer.
The following briefs are attached: (1) Brief for Appellant
Morley; (2) Brief for Appellee Central Intelligence
Agency; and (3) Reply Brief for Appellant Morley.
The case is schedule for oral argument before the Court of Appeals on April 16, 2012, 10 minutes of argument for each side.
Jan 22, 2012 - The AARC, in a letter dated
January 20, 2012, requested that the National Archives and the CIA release some 50,000 pages relating
to the JFK assassination that remain withheld in full from the public, as well as an undisclosed number
of partially deleted records. The letter maintains that release of such records well before the 50th
anniversary of the assassination on November 22, 2013, is essential to having a full and robust national
discussion of this event and its significance. The working group that produced the AARC's letter consisted
of three AARC Board Members and two leading attorneys who have a profound interest in the subject.
The letter was also signed by Professor G. Robert Blakey, the former Chief Counsel of the House Select
Committee on Assassinations.
In short, the AARC has advised NARA and the CIA that fifty years of secrecy is enough.
The working group is currently discussing how best to develop a plan of action to get NARA and CIA
to expedite disclosure of the withheld records. Stay tuned.
An accompanying press release describes the letter.
Oct 18, 2008 - Courtesy of Roger Feinman is this transcript of a CBS interview with Dallas' Sergeant Hill regarding Oswald's arrest, the search of the Book Depository, and the Tippit murder scene. See part 1 and part 2.
Jul 24, 2008 - A New York Times article discusses the FOIA lawsuit of Angela Clemente, client of AARC President James Lesar, over FBI records on "hit man" and "'top echelon' informant" Gregory Scarpa Sr. The files relate to his possible spying on New Orleans crime boss Carlos Marcello.
Jun 19, 2008 - AARC President Jim Lesar sent this letter to Henry Waxman, head of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on June 6. The letter requests hearings be held to review compliance with the 1992 JFK Records Collection Act.
Dec 7, 2007 - The
U.S. Court of Appeals reversed
Judge Richard Leon's decision to deny release of records related to George
Joannides' service in 1963, and ordered the CIA to search its operational files
for Joannides material and explain the absence of monthly reports on the DRE during
See all past News & Views.