Article 9159 of alt.conspiracy Subject +quot;Prologue+quot;#1, newsletter of The Committee
Article 9159 of alt.conspiracy:
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (dave "who can do? ratmandu!" ratcliffe)
Subject: "Prologue"#1, newsletter of The Committee for an Open Archive (COA)
Keywords: the past is prologue. the future is what we will make of it.
Date: 13 Mar 92 15:34:14 GMT
Sender: email@example.com (Net News)
Organization: Silicon Graphics, Inc.
This is the first newsletter by the Committee for an Open
Archive, founded in Washington D.C. in November, 1991
The Newsletter of the Committee for an Open Archives
The Committee for an Open Archives--P.O.Box 6008, Wash.D.C. 20050-0708
Volume 1 #1 "THE PAST IS PROLOGUE" January 1992
COMMITTEE FORMED TO RELEASE JFK DOCUMENTS
Washington, D.C. The Committee for an Open Archives was formed in
November, 1991 to help draft a bill to release the documents of the
House Select Committee on Assassinations, see that it is introduced
in Congress, to lobby for its passage and to disseminate the
information once it is released.
Although most of the Warren Commission and FBI documents related
to the assassination of John F. Kennedy have been released in
censored form, there are some significant materials from the
earliest investigations that are still being kept under raps. We
are also attempting to get them released.
The most important documents however, stem from the House Select
Committee on Assassinations, which concluded its business in 1979.
HSCA Chairman Louis Stokes, on March 27, 1979, officially wrote
that, ". . . The Justice (sic) Department is in physical custody of
a variety of materials originating from the Select Committee. It
can be anticipated that your department will receive requests under
the Freedom of Information Act for access to these materials."
"The purpose of this letter is to request specifically that this
congressional material and related information NOT be disclosed
outside your department without written concurrence of the House of
"All government agencies are . . . to treat the records they
compiled for the HSCA investigation in the same fashion as
"congressional material" NOT TO BE RELEASED TO THE PUBLIC."
House Rule XXXVI on the "Preservation and Availability of
Noncurrent Records of the House" stipulates that such documents can
only be made available if they have "been in existence for 50
The Committee for an Open Archives intends to see that a bill is
introduced in this congress that will release these documents.
Although Rep. Stokes and former HSCA chief counsel G. Robert Blakey
are expected to try and block such an effort, there is strong public
support for such action and a growing lobby effort to pass such
It is believed that the bill, once introduced, will be assigned
to the House Administration Committee before it is voted on by the
* * * * * * *
STONE'S "JFK" SPARKS DEBATE, FUELS MOVEMENT TO OPEN ARCHIVES
By William E. Kelly
There have been few major motion pictures to create as much
controversy before their release than Oliver Stone's new movie,
Like Stone's other films, "JFK" is entertainment, not
documentary or history. It's conspiratorial tone, however, has
irked a few lawyers and journalists, whose reputations were made and
are still threatened by this case.
The film is significant for calling attention to the
assassination of JFK, a black hole in American history, and for
using the medium to reach and influence a new generation who weren't
even born in November, 1963.
While the debate rages over whether President Kennedy was killed
by one man alone or by a sinister conspiracy, much of the truth lies
locked away in the National Archives in Washington D.C.
Stone's movie may inspire some people to call for an official
investigation. That however, has already been done, and done over,
by the Dallas Police, the FBI, the USMC, the Warren Commission, the
New Orleans District Attorney's office, the Schweiker-Hart
subcommittee of the Senate's Church Intelligence Committee and the
House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA).
It was this last Congressional committee which compiled many
important documents and took the testimony of many witnesses from
1977-1979. The HSCA issued a series of publications, its final
report concluding, "there is evidence of conspiracy." The committee
then dissolved, leaving its most significant evidence locked in the
Because these documents are classified as "congressional
documents" they are subject to House Rule #36 which stipulates that
they cannot be released to the public for 50 years. They are
scheduled to be released in the year 2029.
Nor can these documents be obtained by researchers through a
Freedom of Information Act suit since Congress absolved itself from
compliance when it approved the Freedom of Information and Privacy
Act, over-ridding a veto attempt by President Gerald Ford, who had
served on the Warren Commission.
Now it will take an act of Congress to release the files and the
public support for such an act is increasing.
Former chief counsel of the HSCA G. Robert Blakey said, "I'll
rest on the judgment of historians in 2029." But we won't. We want
the truth in our lifetime not in 2029.
Committee for an Open Archives P.O. Box 6008, Washington D.C. 20005-0708
* * * * * * *
Letter From The Publisher:
The idea for the Committee for an Open Archives (COA) developed
several years ago, but it only fermented into a workable concept
last November shortly before the Assassination Symposium on Kennedy
(ASK) in Dallas.
I had suggested the idea to John Judge, who had first introduced
me to the significance of the Kennedy assassination when we were
both in college in the sixties, but the concept only percolated
until just before we left for the ASK conference. I put together a
leaflet for the COA that I distributed to the Symposium
participants, and received a tremendous response from an unabashly
On my way home from the conference my train made a six hour stop
over in Washington, during which time I visited my Congressman,
William Hughes (D. 2nd, N.J.) and then walked over to the Archives,
where I learned the exact law, House Rule #36, which has kept the
House Select Committee on Assassinations documents locked away. I
also visited lawyer James Lesar at the Assassination Information
Archives and my college mate John Judge.
While Judge took out the P.O. box in Washington, I put together
this newsletter. I called it PROLOGUE a month before I saw Oliver
Stone's film, "JFK," at the end of which he notes, "The Past Is
Prologue"--the words that are inscribed on the side of the wall of
the National Archives. I knew, at least we were on the same
wavelength, but I never expected the movie to capture the public's
imagination the way it did.
I knew that we had to convince over 218 congressman, a clear
majority, to change the Rules of the House to release the documents.
I also knew that of the 15,000 bills introduced into Congress every
year, approximately 1,000 make it into law, or 1/15th the number
submitted. So I thought we were going to start out with at least a
1 in 15 chance of getting the bill through.
Now however, and as long as the public maintains its interest to
influence the people's representatives, the chances keep getting
better. Once a bill is introduced, as a similar bill was in 1983
(HR# 160), it is sent to a committee. In this case it would
normally be the House Administration Committee. The more committees
it is sent to, and the longer it stays in committee, the less of a
chance it has to make it to the house floor for a vote, and the less
chance it has of becoming a law. Without the public interest, most
bills lose out in committee, where they stay "on the shelf" until
the year is out, and then they must be reintroduced to be considered
We don't intend to let that happen. While Oliver Stone made our
job plausible, when it was only possible a few weeks ago, Congress
still must be urged to move, each congressman must be individually
polled as to where they stand on this issue, the bill must be
sponsored, co-sponsored and introduced to the House and assigned to
a committee. The committee must hold hearings on the bill and then
vote on its merits before the matter can be brought to the floor by
the entire House of Representatives. The bill may even be included
in a larger package of bills to be voted on.
This is certainly an idea whose time has come. Not long ago we
were just a few eccentric assassination and history buffs, but now
we are mainstream America, with over 70% of the population
supporting our cause. Neither Democrat nor Republican, liberal or
conservative, leftwing or rightwing, nor even lone-nut vs.
conspiracy theorists, we just want the facts, and we want them to be
made available to the public.
Forget another official investigation. There's already been too
many of those. Any new official investigation will merely
monopolize the files for another ten years. Lets put all the cards
on the table and let them fall where they may. No more secrets, no
more lies, just Open the Archives.
William E. Kelly
* * * * * * *
House Rule #XXXVI
PRESERVATION AND AVAILABILITY OF NONCURRENT RECORDS OF THE HOUSE
1. (a) At the end of each Congress, the chairman of each
committee of the House shall transfer to the Clerk any noncurrent
records of such committee, including the subcommittees thereof . . .
2. The Clerk shall deliver the records pursuant to clause 1. of
the rule, together with any other noncurrent records of the House,
to the Archivist of the United States for preservation at the
National Archives and Records Administration. Records so delivered
are the permanent property of the House and remain subject to this
rule and the orders of the House . . .
3. . . . (b) . . . (2) Any investigative record that contains
personal data relating to a specific individual (the disclosure of
which would be an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy), any
administrative record with respect to personal, and any record with
respect to a hearing closed pursuant to clause 2(g)(2) of rule XI
shall be available if such records has been in existence for 50
years . . .
4. . . . (b) The Committee on House Administration may
prescribe guidelines and regulations governing the applicability and
implementation of this rule.
(c) A committee may withdraw from the National Archives and
Records Administration any record of the committee delivered to the
Archivist of the United States under this rule. Such withdrawal
shall be on a temporary basis and for official use of the committee.
NEW BILL WRITTEN BY THE
Committee For An Open Archives
P.O. Box 6008, Washington D.C. 20005-0708
102nd CONGRESS 2nd Session H. Res. # ?-
To provide for the immediate release of all records of the
Select Committee on Assassinations.
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
1 Resolved, That, the Clerk of the House is authorized and directed to
2 order the Administrator of the General Services to make available for
3 public use, in accordance with this resolution, all records of the House
4 Select Committee on Assassinations of the 94th and 95th Congress.
1 Sec. 2. The guidelines governing disclosure of the records of
2 the Select Committee on Assassinations shall be the guidelines utilized
3 by the General Services Administration for the records of the
4 President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy and any
5 other official investigation, including those conducted by the FBI, CIA,
6 ONI, USMC, Dallas police and any other agency of the U.S. government.
1 Sec. 3. It is the intent of the House that the General Services
2 Administration give priority to review and release of these records.
* * * * * * *
COMMITTEE FOR AN OPEN ARCHIVES
--P.O. Box 6008, Washington, D.C. 20005-0708--
-------------THE TRUTH IS OUR ONLY OBJECTIVE-------------
- The Committee for an Open Archives is a non-profit
organization established to draft, introduce and pass Congressional
legislation to declassify and accelerate the release of documents
and testimony related to the assassination of President John F.
Kennedy. The COA was founded by William E. Kelly and John Judge and
is funded through donations and membership subscriptions.
- The COA intends to pursue this goal through informing the
public about what information is being withheld, creating a broad
base of public-citizen support to open the Archives, and initiate an
intense lobbying campaign in Congress to pass the necessary
legislation to release the documents as soon as possible.
- The COA is also pursuing Freedom of Information and Privacy
Act requests for specific documents and will publish the most
recently released information, as well as any new developments in
the JFK assassination, in our newsletter -- PROLOGUE. We are also
attempting to establish a nationwide team of independent
researchers, disseminate the facts to be reviewed and indexed, and
open a computerized network that will store, file and distribute the
information as it becomes available.
- Besides the censored Warren Commission documents that remain
classified after nearly 30 years, there are the House Select
Committee on Assassination (HSCA) files, transcripts and information
in the National Archives, which are locked away, according to House
Rule #36, until 50 years after the conclusion of the HSCA
investigation, in 2029.
- To support this effort to release the facts, please sign and
Committee For An Open Archives, P.O. Box 6008, Washington D.C. 20005-0708
Level of Commitment:
Sign On - ______ - Send Petition For Congress To Amend HR#36.
Subscribe- ______ - Subscribe to Prologue-The COA Newsletter ($25 enclosed).
Come In - ______ - Volunteer Your Time - Work In Your Community.
Come On - ______ - Committeeman - ($100--Includes petitions, 4 subs to
PROLOGUE, one for you, your Congressman and 2 friends
as well as the latest Faxed updates from ReFormFacts.
Reach In - ______ - Researcher ($200 includes 8 subs, 2 update's & " ).
Tune In - ______ - Compunet Researcher. (When on line).
Chip In - ______ - Donate financially (tax deductible check $______ included).
Be On - ______ - Be a Benefactor and serve on the COA Board of Advisors.
* * * * * * *
IN THE NEXT ISSUE OF PROLOGUE LOOK FOR:
- Oliver Stone Fires Back - the complete Wash. Press Club speech.
- Report from the ASK Conference in Dallas.
- Dallas For Beginners - A Tour De Force of the Scenes of the Crimes.
- Tom Wilson's New Gray Scale Imaging of Photo Evidence.
- The Press Release on the Houston Police Dept.'s Identification of
- New Column by John Judge - Judge For Yourself.
- New Books Previewed and Reviewed: Jean Hill, Mark Lane, John
Newman et al.
- What's in the Archives Anyway. Lists of documents we know about
and want to see.
- Organizing Your Community and Lobbying Your Congressman--How will
your Representative vote?
THE LAST HURRAH BOOKSHOP
BOOKS ON POLITICAL ASSASSINATIONS
CONSPIRACY AND THE KENNEDY FAMILY
937 MEMORIAL AVE.
WILLIAMSPORT, PA., 17701
PHONE: (717) 327-9338
THE THIRD DECADE
A JOURNAL OF RESEARCH ON THE JFK ASSASSINATION
JERRY ROSE, EDITOR
STATE UNIVERSITY COLLEGE
FREDONIA, NEW YORK, 14063
PREVAILING WINDS RESEARCH
P.O. BOX 23511
SANTA BARBARA, CA. 93121
"It's not ironic, it's sad that people are still investigating the
assassination of President John F. Kennedy, . . .
. . . it's sad that this crime was not properly investigated from
the very beginning."
- Kevin Costner
"We don't dare confront the implications. I think we've all agreed
there was a conspiracy to kill President Kennedy, and we just don't
want to know the complete truth. It involves such powerful forces
in what we call high places that if we do know, everything might
- Leonard Bernstein - 1980
"The very word `secrecy' is repugnant in a free and open public and
we are as a people, inherently and historically opposed to secret
societies, secret oaths and to secret proceedings. We decided long
ago that the dangers of excessive and unwarranted concealment of
pertinent facts far outweighed the dangers which are cited to
justify it. Even today, there is little value in opposing the threat
of a closed society by imitating its arbitrary restrictions. Even
today there is little value in insuring the survival of our nation if
our traditions do not survive with it."
- John F. Kennedy
"There is always a tendency in government to confuse secrecy with
security. Disclosure may be uncomfortable, but it is not the
purpose of democracy to ensure the comfort of its leaders."
- Robert F. Kennedy
yer friendly neighborhood ratman
ko.yan.nis.qatsi (from the Hopi Language) n. 1. crazy life. 2. life
in turmoil. 3. life out of balance. 4. life disintegrating.
5. a state of life that calls for another way of living.
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