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News Archive - Oct 2006

New Hours at the National Archives

Oct 31, 2006: As of last October 2, the hours of operation for the National Archives facilities in Washington DC have changed, including the NARA II building in College Park, MD where the JFK Collection is housed. See this press release on the NARA website. Evening and weekend hours will now only be available one week per month. The list of weeks featuring extended hours on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday is listed here. Thanks to everyone who contacted the Archives to protest the original plan to cut all extended hours.

Two JFK Assassination Conferences in November

Oct 26, 2006: This November 17-19 in Dallas, two conferences will be held commemorating the 1963 assassination of President Kennedy. They are the annual JFK Lancer and COPA events, presenting the latest research as well as other activities such as a bus tour of relevant sites.

The JFK Lancer conference, November in Dallas 2006, will be held on Nov 17-19, at the Crown Plaza Hotel in Dallas. Registration after Oct. 15 is $200 ($75 for students). Confirmed speakers include Larry Hancock, Gerald McKnight, Lamar Waldron, John Hunt, George Michael Evica, and Don Thomas, among many others. Visit the JFK Lancer website for more information.

The Committee for an Open Archives (COPA) conference will be held at the Hotel Lawrence (214-761-9090) in Dallas, on Nov 17-19. Registration is $45 for the event, with daily and student rates available. Confirmed speakers are said to include Rep. Cynthia McKinney, Peter Dale Scott, Bradley Ayers, Rex Bradford, and several others. Email John Judge at copa@starpower.net for more information.

Lawsuit to Obtain Joannides Records Dismissed

Oct 2, 2006: Jefferson Morley's lawsuit to obtain CIA records of officer George Joannides was dismissed last Friday by Judge Richard Leon (see judge's opinion). Joannides was the former chief of anti-Castro psychological warfare operations in Miami in 1963, which included oversight of the DRE, the Cuban exile group whose members knew Lee Harvey Oswald in New Orleans. For background on the Joannides story, see our Unredacted interview with journalist Jeff Morley (pictured at left) and AARC President Jim Lesar.

Judge Leon upheld the CIA's right to block disclosure of records about Joannides's operational activities in August 1963. That's when Joannides' agents in a Cuban exile student group had a series of encounters with accused assassin Lee Harvey Oswald and used U.S. government funds to call attention to his pro-Castro activities.

At the time, CIA records show that Joannides was guiding and monitoring the Cuban Student Directorate and providing it with up to $25,000 a month. When JFK investigators later questioned Joannides about his knowledge of Oswald and the events of 1963, he stonewalled. In fact, the CIA had placed him in a position as liaison with the House Select Committee on Assassinations, without informing them of Joannides' prior role. When G. Robert Blakey, the House Committee's Chief Counsel, learned of this recently, he wrote a scathing response which begins: "I am no longer confident that the Central Intelligence Agency co-operated with the committee."

The dismissal of the Morley lawsuit shows that, with the demise of the Assassination Records Review Board, there is a problematic lack of enforcement of the JFK Assassination Records Collection Act.

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