2001 Proposal for the Revival of COPA - By William E. Kelly
An Open Letter to the COPA Board of Directors and members of the Committee for an Open Archives, Coalition on Political Assassinations (COPA) and other interested Independent Researchers associated with the investigation of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
As an original member of COPA, I think we are at a crucial and critical crossroads, where we can either fold up our tent as a unified force and go at it alone, or we can revive our organized efforts and at least try to achieve our intended purpose to “seek the historical truth about these murders, to identify those responsible for covering them up, and to restore justice and democratic processes to our country.”
That the murder of JFK is still a great mystery, that the evidence of conspiracy is lacking, that the trails are cold or lost in a labyrinth, that we will never know the truth in our lifetime - are all truly understandable myths that can be easily be disposed of with the truth.
All that needs to be done is to require the government to enforce the JFK Act by getting Congressional oversight to ensure that the Act is followed to the fullest extent of the law.
There is also a need to instigate legal proceedings in every jurisdiction possible to solve crimes related to the assassination, and use very legal precedent afforded the law as we have seen in other similar crimes – the indictment and conviction of the assassin of Medgar Evers 30 years after the murder, the conviction of those responsible for the Dupont Circle Bombing, the O.J. Simpson, M.L.K. and the prosecution of Chilean dictator A. Pinochet, Birmingham bombings and all of the civil rights murder prosecutions that are only now being officially acted on. These cases provide clear precedent and legal avenues that should be followed in prosecuting crimes related to the assassination of President Kennedy.
As co-founder of the Committee for an Open Archives (COA), one of the three original groups that comprised COPA, I propose to sponsor an internet symposium on the JFK Act, the purpose of which will be to instigate Congressional oversight committees to review the work of the Assassinations Records Review Board (ARRB) and to depose additional witnesses under oath.
I ask the Board of Directors to revive COPA, not to function as it did previously - as a watchdog of the ARRB, but rather to take on a new and important role as a legal action organization, with most of its funds used primarily to pay legal costs to initiate legal action whenever and wherever appropriate in order to legally resolve the outstanding issues related to the assassination of President Kennedy.
Although the investigation and understanding of the MLK, RFK and other political assassinations are important endeavors, it is essential that there be a concentration and focus of efforts on the JFK assassination in order to obtain additional witness testimony and instigate legal proceedings in multiple jurisdictions before the case fades into historical obscurity.
While COPA has remained relatively inactive, and we recognize the contributions the organization has made on legal fronts, independent researchers have continued their work as individuals, and many of us feel that we have been left out in the cold and abandoned by the organizational umbrella that gave us recognition, legitimacy and group power.
I began this proposal as an individual, but I now ask other COPA members and all interested independent researchers to ask our distinguished colleagues and mentors to assist us in the task of fulfilling COPA’s original mission to “seek the historical truth…identify those responsible…and to restore justice and democratic processes in our country.”
We don’t have one clue, we have many. We don’t have one exhibit of evidence, we have dozens; we don’t have one new witness, we have many dozens and we don’t have forever to break this case, we only have now, or that opportunity will be lost forever.
We respectfully await your recommitment to the case, to help provide legal assistance and the organizational unity and strength to accomplish our goals, however unrealistic they may seem, however unattainable they may seem, and against the overwhelming odds of power and money that we face in opposition to the total truth.
It is something that we must do, and will do, and I thank you for your time in considering this proposal.
William E. Kelly, Jr. – Co-founder, Committee for an Open Archives.
Note: This was written over a decade ago, circa 2001.