Sunday, October 16, 2011

ONI Response to JFK Act

Chronology and personnel of ARRB – Re: ONI Records & LCDR Terri Pike

Nov 14 1995 – Navy OGC forwards memos regarding requests.

Nov. 27 1995 – Director, ONI responds to CNO (N09BL) by letter, stating that the Office of Naval Intelligence holds no records responsive to the tasking of 14 Nov 1995…..

March 4 1997 – Meeting Report – Topic – Disposition of ONI, NCIS Records “5. (Tim) Wray provided extract from HSCA Staff Report regarding alleged Marine Corps CID post-assassination investigation into activities of Lee Harvey Oswald, and asked for any advice or assistance they might be able to provide regarding where such records might presently be stored, if they exist. Best recommendation: personal papers of the Marine Corps Commandant, Marine Corps CID records. Subject investigation, if authentic, may have been handled outside normal investigative channels.”

Mar. 11, 1997 Meeting Report. Christopher Barger/ARRB staff “met with the ONI team responsible for heading the search for records under the JFK Act. This team is directed by Lieut. Cmdr. Terri Pike; LCDR Doolittle works in the ONI FOIA office; Pike reports to Capt. Peiaec; LCRD Bastein is the JAG.”

“For reason not entirely clear to either the ONI team or ARRB, the tasking for this project only trickled down to them on Friday, March 7, 1997. They were a little confused as to why they were only being tasked with this now, but expressed a willingness to do everything they possibly could to achieve the objectives of the Act.

Mar. 11 1997 – ARRB staffers Wray, Barger and Masih meeting with CAPT Pelaec, LCDR Bastein and LCDR Pike of ONI and discuss JFK Records Act and its requirements. LCDR Pike identifies ONI action taken and intended searchers. Intended searches would begin at Suitland at the Federal Records Center, but would later include district offices within CONUS. “Pike then presented us a small written briefing package detailing what they had identified that they are required to do and the process they will use to go about the review. She noted that their first priority was to identify the records collections they need to search, then determining the physical location of the records. Most of these will be at Suitland, she said, but there will be others located in district offices round the country in locations like Chicago, Atlanta, San Francisco, New Orleans, St. Louis and Boston. They have also identified a need to determine standard subject identification codes which should cause a document to be searched, and she concluded by detailing the records disposition procedures within ONI.”

“Despite the fact that they had only learned of this tasking on Friday, they had located and designated approximately 125 cubic feet of documents that directly relate to subjects we mentioned in our letter to the Navy. These will be reviewed page by page. She anticipated being able to complete the review by the stated deadline set by the Navy and ARRB of April 30, 1997.”

“In addition, she said that ONI had identified about 950 cubic feet, or approximately 2.4 million pages of records which might be related to the topics we were interested in, but that we had not specifically mentioned…LCDR Pike stressed that she, and ONI, understood that all information, even negative result, is important to our process, and that they will be providing reports on everything they search, whether relevant documents are found within or not. Pike provided us with a ‘flow chart’ documenting the normal records disposition process within ONI, explaining what each step of the process is and where documents go during each phase of the process. The final page of her briefing package was a sample of the ‘clue sheets’ being provided to each reviewer for the April 30 documents. Approximately two dozen subject headings are listed along with ‘clues’ or keywords for each subject, and a time window for each subject….In closing, it should be reported that this team, and LCDR Pike in particular, are very impressive, they appear very much to have their act together on this project. They provided details and planning we have rarely seen from other agencies, yet they have had this project assigned to them for less than a week. They were extremely helpful, and have taken an aggressive and proactive approach to complying with the JFK Act. We can expect more impressive work from this team.”

(ARRB Meeting Report and 4-page handout out distributed by LCDR Pike memorialize the results of this meeting.)

Lieutenant Commander (LCDR) FLORENCE “TERRI” PIKE USN –

March 3, 1997 – ARRB “LCDR Pike is our main point of contact in the ONI records review. She works for the Information Management Department.”

March 24, 1997 – Christopher Barger/ARRB – Memo. Subject: Status Report. “I telephone Terri Pike on March 24, 1997. I explained that Tim was about to leave the office, and as a result we were doing what we could call some “stock taking,” that is, trying to determine what has been done and what is outstanding from each agency that we are working with. In that light, I asked her if she could give me a brief status report on what they have done so far.”

“She said that they have completed their review of about 40 cu. ft. of the 127 cu. ft. ONI has committed to having reviewed for us by the April 30 deadline. She also said that they have found one box based on our SF 135 requests. This box has to do with defections, both Cuban and Soviet; they plan on turning this box over to us “in toto.” She said that most of the records in that box are CIA originated or have CIA equities, so they will need to be coordinated with CIA. She ended the call by telling me that if we want to come out there at any point and personally review any of their work, we are welcome.”

21 April, 997 ARRB staffers Horne, Barger and Masih meet with LCDR Pike and LCDR Doolittle of ONI. LCDR Pike stated that review of the first 123 cubic feet of ONI records had been completed, and that as a result .8 cubic feet of records (18 district files) on defectors had been identified as responsive to the CNO tasking; these records were presented to ARRB staffers at the meeting for cursory review. Completion of declassification review and delivery of the original records to the ARRB was tentatively promised within 2 – 4 weeks. LCDR Pike also mentioned that approx. 950 cubic feet of additional records had been identified which –might- be responsive to the topics the ARRB was interested in, and said that review of this material would take approximately 6 months. (ARRB Meeting Report memorializes the result of this meeting.)

April 21 1997 Meeting Report ARRB Military team met with LCDR Terri Pike and LCDR Paul Doolittle of ONI records team. 1 line redacted – “Pike explained that most of the relevant records they found were discovered ‘by accident;’ that is to say, they were misfiled in boxes outside where they should have been. This is important for two reasons. 1) If they had been filed where they ‘should’ have been, they would have been routinely destroyed by this point, and 2) as they continue their review of the approximately 900 cu feet of records they have self-identified, they expect they might well continue to discover records of interest to us….”

There are two different copies of this meeting report in two different typefaces, one with the first sentence of the fourth paragraph highlighted by two circles on one and completely redacted in the other. The line redacted reads: “There are a total of 18 folders of material which ONI has determined should go into the JFK collection and have earmarked for delivery to us….”

Another redacted paragraph follows the following: “Pike said that ONI is going through review of all records covered by the EO; in most cases, they have been willing to release in full about 96% of the documents. She said that for the other 4% they expected that the Board has the power to overrule them anyway, but they had to at least make the request. [Ed. Note: this implies that they might perhaps be resigned to ‘losing’ some of the information they want to protect and would not appeal a Board decision to release some of this information.]

The redacted paragraph reads: “Pike concluded her report by suggesting that we might find more of the records we suggested we wanted in BG38 the records of the CNO. She said that currently ONI is currently organizing a review team to be headed by Lieutenant Helega Gilbert to look through this group using the same criteria as used in this search; however, ARRB staff may also wish to personally review these records for relevant material. She suggested that changes in alert status, etc. might also be found in CNO records…”

April 23, 1997 – LCDR Bastein signs out ONI letter to CNO (09BL) in response to CNO’s 28 Feb tasking, forwarding LCDR Pike memo of 22 April detailing both ONI’s completed, and intended, records searches. Search of the initial 123 cubic feet of records was listed as completed; LCDR Pike further stated that ONI remained responsible for searching an additional 950 cubic feet of records located in Suitland, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Seattle and San Francisco, and stated those searches were scheduled for completion during fiscal year 97.

May 12 1997 – LCDR Pike Faxes LCDR Bastein’s letter to CNO of 23 Apr to the ARRB; the cover sheet for her fax indicates that she had finished declassification review of the.8 cubic feet of defector records, and had prepared a page-by-page index of same. She indicated that transmittal of these documents would occur in the near future.

May 14 1997 ARRB staffer Chris Barger sent fax to LCDR Pike explaining the statutory requirement in the JFK Act to prepare RIFs (Record Identification Forms) for each assassination record in accordance with a standard software format prepared by NANA. ARRB offered to obtain required software for ONI from NARA.

June 6 1997 ARRB mails RIF software disks to LCDR Pike, so that .8 cubic feet of defector files can be RIF-ed prior to transmission to ARRB……

Aug. 19 1997 – ARRB staffer Doug Horne called Terri Pike and requested that ONI look for “119 Reports” covering an alleged ONI investigation of Lee Harvey Oswald’s October, 1959 defection to the Soviet Union. LCDR Pike accepted the tasking, but ARRB never received any feedback on its results. (ARRB Meeting Report of 16 Sept 1997 interview with retired NIS investigator Fred Reeves memorializes in detail the rationale for this search request.)

Aug 19 1997 Call Report – author: Doug Horn

THE PLAYERS Who called whom? Douglas Horne called Terri Pike of the Department of the Navy – Office of Naval Intelligence.

Description of the Call: Summary – I left a voice mail telling Terri Pike about Fred Reeves and his claim to have conducted a post-defection investigation of Oswald at MCAS El Toro in late 1959 or early 1960 at the request of ONI in Washington (Rufus Taylor); I specifically mentioned “119 Reports,” which Fred Reeves said were filed. I asked her to search for those files or a copy of that investigative report, and also asked her to pass to us the name and phone number of the person at ONI most knowledgeable today about such matters/such records.

Call Report

Who called whom? Terri Pike of Department of Navy - Office of Naval Intelligence called Douglas Horne. Terri Pike Returned Doug Horne’s Call

Summary of the Call: Terri Pike called to say she had received my voice mail inquiring about an NIS?ONI post-defection investigation of Oswald at El Toro in 1959 or 1960, would do immediate some checking, and would try to fax us results of her search sometime on Thursday of this week.

Chronology of Key Events in ARRB-ONI Interface (as of Jan. 29, 98) 2 pgs.

“Aug 19 1997 – ARRB staffer Doug Horne called Terri Pike and requested that ONI look for ‘119 Reports’ covering an alleged ONI investigation of Lee Harvey Oswald’s October, 1959 defection to the Soviet Union. LCDR Pike accepted the tasking, but ARRB never received any feedback on its results.”

Memo from Pike to Horne – 13 Amplification of situation… “…I was relieved from the leadership position on this project in late August (1997) by the ONI Reserve Directorate Head….As you know, it was my responsibility to identify all records required under 44 U.S.C. 2107. I felt a personal commitment to ensure this effort was conducted ‘with vigor’ and as thoroughly as possible…” retained counsel with Feldman, Tucker, Leifer, Fidell & Bank, Military Practice Group.

Oct 27 1997 Memo from Pike to ARRB re: Being charged with “fraudulent” official travel – “tasking did not say to search regional record centers.”

“1. Purpose. On Monday, 27 October 1997, Mr. Fuller (Command IG) and his assistant, Mrs. Cathy Hood, informed me that a hotline call was placed with the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) alleging in part that official travel I conducted in July and August of this wear was fraudulent. Mr. Fuller specifically stated during my interview with him that the ‘tasking did not say to search regional record centers.’ Mr. Fuller disagreed with my interpretation of the requirements set for in reference (a). I maintain: Publ I. -102-526 as amended by Pub I 103-345 requiring a search for all records relating to the assassination. The intent of this letter is to notify you of these circumstances….”

Nov. 10 1997 Memo from Pike Statement RE: Hotline Investigation. 5pgs.
“In its questioning to date, the ONI IG has narrowly focused on my travel requirements and has declared that the taskings of the BO and the Kennedy review did not include the requirement for searches for all records regardless of physical location, just those available locally. We fundamentally disagree on the project requirements. I maintain that under all taskings, the ONI is required to identify and dispose….ALL of its records, not just those of the former Naval Intelligence Command stored in Suitland….”

Nov. 4, 1997 – Terri Pike to Doug Horne “Please contact me as soon as possible so that I may informally speak to you about the attached memo. Am I correct that the requirement is to search all sites for responsive records? I am losing a lot of sleep defending the position that we are supposed to ‘do the right thing,’ not necessarily the easiest. Thanks,”

Nov. 13, 1997 – Personal Memo from LCDR F. T. Pike To: Dougals P. Horne, Senior Analyst, ARRB. Sub. ASSASSINATONS RECORDS REVIEW; Ref: your voice mag of 10 Nov. 97.
“1. I received your voice mail, reference this morning As you requested I am providing some amplification as to my situation and the Command IG’s interpretation of your taskings…. 2 I was relieved from leadership position on this project in late August by the ONI Reserve Directorate Head. He assigned me strictly to the declassification provisions of Executive Order (12958 “Classified National Security Information”). After the project was moved by the Chief of Staff (CAPT. Joan Darrah) from the Reserve Directorate to the Staff Judge Advocate….LCDR Dootlittle was recalled to active duty and transferred to San Diego. 3. As you know, it was my responsibility to identify all records required under 44 USC 2107. I felt a personal commitment to ensure this effort was conducted ‘with vigor’ and as thoroughly as possible. I enjoyed working with your staff on this project and am disappointed our relationship has terminated. I have retained counsel with Feldsman, Tucker, Leifer, Fidell & Bank. Their Military Practice Group is handling my complaint and will contact you if and when appropriate. 4. Point of contact for the FOIA office is the Staff Judge Advocate (ONI-OCB) LCDR R. Bastien.”

Dec. 3 1997 – Navy OGC submitted Final Department of the Navy Statement of Compliance to the ARRB, less ONI; Final Statement of Compliance for ONI was promised at a later date, pending completion of ONI efforts.

Jan. 7 1998 Fax and US Mail – Letter from T. Jeremy Gunn Ex. Dir. ARRB to David P. Sheldon, Esq. Feldesman, Tucker, Leiffer, Fidell & Bank, 2001 I Street, N.W. Suite 330, Washington D.C. 20036.

Dear Mr. Sheldon, I would like to thank you for returning my call and for your willingness to consider our request. As I mentioned, we would like to speak, on an informal basis, with your client, LCDR Terri Pike. We anticipate that the discussion would likely take no more than ne to one and one half hours. There are two principle issues that we would like to discuss: first, any records she located or pursued that were relevant to the assassination or to requests made by the ARRB,; second, any discussions she had with ONI officials regarding the content and disposition of the records for which she was searching; and third, any information she might have regarding the location of ONI records and of ONI record-keeping policies. We do not anticipate any need to discuss issues other than these with LCDR Pike, although you or she may know of other issues that might be of interest to us. The two people from our office who would meet with her are Doug Horne, Chief Analyst for Military Records (who Ms. Pike knows) and Kim Heard, a Senior Attorney…..

Jan. 8 1998 ARRB wrote letter to Navy OGC requesting meeting with ONI to discuss program status.

Jan 1998 Present meeting between ARRB staff (Doug Horne and Jim Goslee) and ONI (LCDR Bastein)

March 11 1998 From LCDR Kenneth Brown, JAGC, USN To: Mr. David Sheldon, Civilian Counsel Lt. Andrew Zimmitti, JAGC , USNR, Detailed Defense Counsel

At this stage the government does not intend to seek an evaluation of LCDR Pike under RCM 706. The government is presently satisfied that this issue has been sufficiently addressed by the Psychiatric Department at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

The Department of the Navy strongly objects to LCDR Pike’s cooperation in the investigation being conducted by Mr. Jeremy Gunn of the JFK Assassinations Records Review Board. ONI is unaware of any unauthorized investigation regarding this issue. If Mr. Gunn wishes to conduct an investigation or inquiry, such an effort should be coordinated through the Office of Naval Intelligence.
Your objections are noted.

The Article 32 hearing will be held in the courtroom located at Building 200, Washington Navy Yard, 2nd floor. It will commence at 0900 on Monday, 16, March. As reflected in the Appointing Order previously provided to you. LCDR. Stephen Jamrozy, JAGC, USN will be the Investigating Officer.

Mar 13 1998 – From: LCDR K.B. Brown, JAGC, USN To: Mr. Douglas P. Horne

You are cordially invited to attend an Article 32 proceeding as a witness for the defense in the case of United States v. LCDR Florence T. Pike. The proceeding is scheduled to begin at 0900 on Monday, 16 March 1998 and should be completed on that date. THIS IS NOT A SUBPOENA.

Response – I am unable on Monday, March 16, 1998:; However, I amy be available as a witness at a later date (Sometime after March 23, 1998. – signed D.P. Horne 3/13/98 print name DOUGLAS P. HORNE

March 23, 1998 Call Report. Kim Heard called LCDR K.B. Brown of Dept. of Navy Trial Service Officer. Subject: Terri Pike’s Article 32 hearing. Summary of the Call: “According to Brown, David Sheldon (Pike’s attorney) wants to get the Government privilege lifted in order to discuss SCI and Top Secret Materials. Sheldon told Brown that he had just met with the Review Board. Brown was under the impression that the Review Board staff had told Mr. Sheldon something that now was causing him to make this stink about the classified documents. According to Brown, Sheldon now was causing him to make this stink about the classified documents. According to Brown, Sheldon stated that the prosecutors needed to make this stuff go away because he was planning on dragging it all out and it would hit the newspapers, etc. Sheldon stated that there was some feeling that ONI was trying to shuffle some of the JFK stuff to the side.”

“Brown wanted to know what we told Terri Pike. I stated that we had been interested in learning what she had done with regard to the JFK project. I stated that Pike was the one who had done most of the talking. Brown then said that he wanted to know what we had learned from Pike. I told Brown that I would get back to him.”

March 24, 1998 Call Report. Kim Herd/ARRB “I called LCDR Brown back after having spoken with Jeremy Gunn. Brown wanted to know about our conversation with Terri Pike. I told him that we had spoken with her about her search efforts pursuant to the JFK Act. I suggested that he review that material. I also talked with Brown about the discovery requirements in an Article 32 hearing, and he stated that the defense would have to provide information about any witness they were calling – ie. What they would testify about, etc.”

March 28, 1998 Hand written note re: Terry Pike – (probably by Gunn) “She had been accused of travel work fraud, she suggested that she had found some things – Navy records….she retained a lawyer, Lawyer Sheldon. .when was she transferred, who were her superiors, how long after she discovered this info was terminated, what were the reasons given for her termination.”

April 2 1998 Letter from Doug Horne to LCDR R. D. Bastien – The purpose of this letter is to memorialize for the record our meeting of January 29, 1998, between youself, Jim Goslee and me….you suggested a correction in my summation of information provided by LCDR Pike…in which I quoted her as saying that ONI searches would include district offices within CONUS. You advised that although ONI had district offices in the past, there are no longer any district offices within CONUS, subsequently to the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) splitting away from ONI as a separate entity. You further clarified that the only locations where you would expect to find ONI records today would be at the Federal Records Center in Suitland, at the Naval Historical Center, or at Archives II in College park….you were confident that ONI had searched for and had not located any files for the Director of ONI,…Although LCDR Pike had promised delivery of the originals of those documents,….the Review Board was still not in receipt of these documents….LCDR Pike had recently mentioned to our staff that she had located Naval Attache Records responsive to the JFK Act during her searches of RG 289, and had placed them in a box that she had labeled “44 USC 2107.” It was unclear from our conversation with her whether this box was left at the FRC in Suitland, or whether it was located at ONI headquarters…Please confirm for me, in writing, whether….ONI conducted search of records centers in San Francisco, Atlanta, and San Diego, and if documentation exists of the dates and results of those searches….”

Final Report of the ARRB:
Chapter 8 Compliance with the JFK Act by Government Offices
14. Department of the Navy

The Review Board considered records of the Department of the Navy essential in view of Lee Harvey Oswald's tenure with the Marines, which is administratively a part of Navy. Under the JFK Act, the Navy identified and placed into the JFK Collection at NARA certain core files relating to Lee Harvey Oswald(1) the personnel and medical Marine Corps files for Oswald and (2) Office of Naval Intelligence records on Oswald.

After passage of the JFK Act, the Navy's Criminal Investigative Service transferred, in 1994, the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) records that had been maintained on Lee Harvey Oswald.6 In 1995, the General Counsel of the Navy directed that a further review of the Navy's files be undertaken pursuant to the JFK Act. This directive went to the Chief of Naval Operations, the Commandant of the Marine Corps, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, and the Naval Historical Center. The Navy identified no additional assassination records.

In early 1997, after the Navy consulted with Review Board staff regarding categories of potentially relevant records, the General Counsel's office issued another search directive to the Chief of Naval Operations, the Commandant of the Marine Corps, the Judge Advocate General of the Navy, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, the Secretary of the Navy's Administrative Division, and other components within the Navy. The Review Board asked the Navy to search for files of high-level officials of the Marine Corps, the Office of Naval Intelligence, and the Navy during the years 1959 through 1964.

The Navy conducted an extensive review of files, including a review of files from the Secretary of the Navy's Administrative Office, the Chief of Naval Operations, and the Marine Corps. The Navy located miscellaneous documents relating to the Warren Commission and HSCA from files of the Administrative Office for the Secretary of the Navy as a result of this search. Among the records found was an unsigned copy of an affidavit by the Director of ONI, prepared at the time of the Warren Commission, stating that Lee Harvey Oswald was not used as an agent or informant by ONI.

The Navy confirmed that it had not, however, located the 1959 1964 files for the Director of ONI.

The Department of the Navy submitted its Final Declaration of Compliance dated December 3, 1997.

a. Office of Naval Intelligence.

The Review Board pursued the matter of ONI records separately. Accordingly, the Board requested that ONI submit its own certification of its compliance with the JFK Act. In its Final Declaration of Compliance, ONI stated that it conducted an extensive review of ONI records held at Federal Records Centers throughout the country. ONI did not identify any additional assassination records. ONI was unable to find any relevant files for the Director of ONI from 1959 to 1964. ONI also acknowledged that there were additional ONI records that were not reviewed for assassination records, but that these records would be reviewed under Executive Order 12958 requiring declassification of government records.

The Office of Naval Intelligence submitted its Final Declaration of Compliance dated May 18, 1998.
5. Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI)

Rufus Taylor Director of Naval Intelligence June 1963 - May 1966

The Review Board requested that the Navy and ONI search for the records of Director of Naval Intelligence Rear Admiral Rufus Taylor. The Review Board acquired a copy of an unsigned September 21, 1964, affidavit regarding Oswald that Taylor appears to have executed and forwarded to Secretary of Defense McNamara. The affidavit states that that ONI never utilized Lee Harvey Oswald as an agent or an informant. ONI did not locate any files belonging to Taylor.

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