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That evidence was, of course, only part of the mountains of material considered by the committee, some of it from the CIA. And the CIA’s liaison to the committee was none other than George Joannides, by then retired from the agency.

Blakey, the committee’s chief counsel, recalled how the CIA brought in Joannides to act as a middleman to help fill requests for documents made by committee researchers. “He was put in a position to edit everything we were given before it was given to us,” Blakey said.

But Blakey didn’t learn about Joannides‘ past until Morley unearthed it in files declassified years later.

“If I’d known Joannides was the case officer for the DRE, he couldn’t have been liaison; he would have been a witness,” Blakey told The Associated Press.

Blakey added: “Do I think I was snookered, precisely like the Warren Commission was? Yes.”


Which brings us back to the still-secret investigative files — about 300 pages of which relate to Joannides.

First, some background:

Certain files held by the Warren Commission and House Select Committee were originally ordered sealed, for privacy, security and other considerations, well into the 21st century.

Decades passed before public pressure spurred by Oliver Stone’s 1991 film “JFK” changed that.

Congress passed the President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992, which established the Assassination Records Review Board, or ARRB, to carry out release of records related to the assassination. As a result, about five million pages of documents have been released and are available for review at the National Archives and Records Administration in Maryland.

But the review board agreed to withhold about 1,100 records — each record comprises 1-20 pages — that are considered to contain information about confidential sources or methods or have national security implications.

The JFK Act required all records to be released by 2017, but it left some wiggle room for agencies to petition to have records withheld if disclosure would compromise “military defense, intelligence operations, law enforcement, or conduct of foreign relations.”

It is unknown whether the CIA will try to keep some documents classified past 2017; if it does, that may only increase Morley’s resolve.

“You have to wonder what is so important in a 50-year-old document,” he said. “I’ve come to the conclusion that they’re guarding something big, and that has stiffened my determination.”

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