Tuesday, January 3, 2023

Morley's "New Story"


Conspiracy gadfly Jefferson Morley recently published a four-part series at his Substack blog. This series of articles tries to bolster his unsubstantiated claim that the "proof" of an "undisclosed Oswald operation" managed by the CIA is found in 44 files of CIA officer George Joannides still withheld by the agency. Morley also maintains that his work has led to the emergence of a "new story" that is now being promoted by a suddenly sympathetic media.

This article is part of a ongoing effort to fact check Morley's claims. Quotes by Morley appear in green.


In November 2021, the Washington Post published a piece attributing the enduring skepticism about the Warren Commission to, yes homophobia.

Morley is referring to an article by Alicia Long, author of the book Cruising for Conspirators which chronicled the homophobic nature of the Jim Garrison probe in New Orleans. But as Morley was informed months ago, neither Long's book nor her Wapo article asserts that skepticism of the Warren Commission critics is founded in homophobia. See my piece from January of 2022 that discussed Morley's similar assertions about Long published in Counterpunch.

Also see Fred Litwin's article correcting Morley's false claims on this matter.

Destiny Betrayed

Morley thinks that Destiny Betrayed, Oliver Stone's "documentary" on the JFK assassination is "factually sound" and that critics of the film were "uninformed about Kennedy’s assassination and/or prejudiced" against Stone. But Fred Litwin, who is certainly not "uninformed" about the JFK case, has written extensively on the film and its shorter counterpart JFK Revisited. He found innumerable glaring errors and inconsistencies.

JFK Story "Recast"

The JFK story was recast. The JFK story was not framed as a question of conspiracy. It was framed as a question of accountability, yes or no?

This might be true if it were not for the December 6th press conference. That briefing was very much about Morley's conspiracy theories which he admits generated "even more favorable news coverage" than the lawsuit.

... mainstream news organizations discovered a credible source—the Mary Ferrell Foundation—offering a new and credible narrative of the JFK story that conflicted with the narrative laid down by the White House and mainstream news organizations—-and had nothing to do with the eternal conspiracy question.

Again, both the lawsuit and the December 6th press conference were the product of MFF members who are among the strongest advocates for a conspiracy in the death of JFK. So, saying that this is a "new and credible narrative of the JFK story" that has "nothing" to do with the "conspiracy question" is disingenuous.

A Major Break or just Another Theory?

Our [Morley and Rolf Mowatt-Larssen] presentation led to a breakthrough in my JFK journalism six months later, which complemented the Mary Ferrell Foundation’s lawsuit and generated even more favorable news coverage for the cause of full JFK disclosure.

But I have adopted [Mowatt-Larssen's] methodology, his framework for understanding Kennedy’s assassination: as the product of a tightly-held (“compartmentalized”) operation known only to a very few, very skilled covert operators. I don’t swear on this as Historical Truth, but I think it makes a lot of sense.

There are several problems with Mowatt-Larssen's ideas. I wrote about some of these in more detail HERE. One such difficulty is the coffee klatch of housewives that resulted in Lee Harvey Oswald getting a job at the Texas School Book Depository and thus being in a position to commit the murder of JFK. The "tightly-held" theory of Mowatt-Larssen quickly evaporates since, by my count, at least 10 people would have to be involved with placing Oswald in the building. If Morley and/or Mowatt-Larssen are ready to document how the assassination occurred, I'm all ears. But that is unlikely to happen since Morley admits they "debate fruitlessly."

MFF lawyers asked me to come up with compelling examples of JFK documents that were still being kept secret. ... I came up with ten, including the files of George Joannides, ...

One of the ten files that Morley mentions is that of David Atlee Phillips one of the agency's outstanding covert officers during the cold war. Morley spent much of his book Our Man in Mexico pursuing Phillips as a suspect in the JFK murder as I documented HERE. That quest has apparently now been abandoned for the greener pastures of the "Oswald operation" allegedly managed by Joannides.

And that I realized, was the JFK news of 2022: the shroud of operational secrecy the still surrounds documentation of the CIA’s interest in Lee Harvey Oswald while JFK was still alive. What was new—and newsworthy—is the pattern of secrecy discernible in the Joannides file.

In other words, Morley's "smoking gun" proof of the "undisclosed Oswald Operation" is the fact that the CIA will not provide him with access to the Joannides files. So, he really has no proof. He only has a theory which is no better than any of the dozens of other conspiracy theories about the death of JFK offered through the years. And common sense says that if Morley had proof he would have presented it at the presser. Instead, he regurgitated a series of unproven ideas.

The story of the undisclosed Oswald operation is jarring because it is factual, not conspiratorial or anti-conspiratorial.

Let's be clear. There exists no "factual" proof of an "undisclosed Oswald operation." It is simply a Morley theory until he provides compelling evidence. Is it possible that there was such an operation? Anything is possible, although it is unlikely in the extreme.

The reason I say that is because ARRB researcher Michelle Combs looked at the Joannides file (for the years 1961-64 and 1978-79) and found that it contained "very general" information that had "no specific reference to his relationship with the DRE" and no "information relevant to the assassination."

Similarly, Judge John Tunheim, who Morley implies is of the same mindset as himself, said as recently as the December 6th press conference that there are "no bombshells" in the JFK collection. And an "undisclosed Oswald operation" would certainly qualify as a "bombshell." Finally, Carlos Bringuier told Dale Myers that he never received a nickel from the CIA and did not know Joannides.

It is very unfortunate that not one of the journalists or news organizations that Morley mentions including Marc Caputo, Axios, Brian Pfaill, and The Daily Beast thought to ask how the fact that the CIA has withheld certain files proves an "undisclosed Oswald operation." Nor did these journalists ask how an ARRB researcher failed to find evidence of such an operation.

Let's assume though, for the sake of argument, that there was an operation. Joannides became aware of Oswald and directed the DRE to find him and make the public aware of his pro-Castro sentiments and his defection to the Soviet Union (which was public knowledge anyway). How would the CIA's and the DRE's natural desire to embarrass and minimize Oswald prove that they conspired to kill JFK? And how did a "tightly-held" group of conspirators manage to frame Oswald for the murder of JFK and Officer Tippit? Morley offers no answers to these questions.

1 comment:

  1. The problem for those Lone Nutters (LN) fanatics is that there is no single evidence that could involve to Lee Harvey Oswald in the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy. So far, the US Government has no shawn the trajectories of the bullets inside JFK's body, and will never show them because do not exist the fantastic trajectories in which the Warren Commission rely his explanation. Moreover, in the moment that the shots rang out he was standing at the entrance of the TSBD.


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