In one of the most bizarre cases to ever come before the courts, the president of the Confederate Memorial Association, which owns and operates the Confederate Memorial Hall museum and library in downtown Washington, D.C., has been jailed, has had his lif e threatened on numerous occasions, and has been fined over $30,000 (see check for $2,775 and check for $27,004).
John Edward Hurley, currently released from the D.C. lock-up pending another hearing on Thursday, April 17, at 1:30 in the D.C. Superior Court, claims that an intelligence network headed by Oliver North has been behind the nearly ten years of litigation a imed at ousting him and taking over the museum as another CIA front.
At a hearing in January, Hurley paid the over $30,000 in legal bills and expenses that his adversaries had claimed -- over Hurley's objections -- were legitimate expense bills. In the court pleadings, however, Hurley had counterclaimed that the expenses were for the restoration of the Confederate monument in Arlington National Cemetery, something that had nothing to do with the litigation in the D.C. Superior Court. The court ordered that the payment be made for the United Daughters of the Confederacy ( UDC), the group that purportedly incurred the expenses.
Hurley had further asserted that the presiding judge in the case, Judge John H. Bayly, Jr., had hired the plaintiffs to sue him and that the judge was instrumental in hiring the attorney for the plaintiffs, who were North's buddies posing as Confederate h istory buffs who were entitled to serve on the CMA's Board of Trustees. Judge Bayly has refused to recuse himself, although he has admitted having the plaintiffs in his employ.
One of the designees to serve on the CMA board is James Freeman, a U.S. marshal and major in the U.S. Army. Freeman claims to be a member of the Jefferson Davis Camp No. 305 of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.
A commander of the group is Col. Jeffrey Addicott, an active duty Army officer in the Judge Advocate General's office in the Pentagon. This photo of Col. Addicott was taken on January 18, 1997, at the observance of the 190th birthday of Robert E. Lee h eld by the Washington, DC chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy. Col. Addicott was the featured speaker at the event, which took place in Statuary Hall of the US Capitol Building. The subject of Col. Addicott's address was "The Convictions of Robert E. Lee."
The lawyer for the Jefferson Davis Camp is Herbert Harmon, general counsel for the Reserve Officers Association and head of a secret group of lawyers and judges known as The Counsellors. The Counsellors meet monthly at the Army and Navy Club across from the White House to, according to Hurley, "carve up the constitutional rights of ordinary citizens who may have stumbled upon a 'national security' operation."
Hurley said his troubles began when he cancelled a "Freedom Fighter Night" that was arranged for Confederate Memorial Hall in 1986 which was to raise money for the Contras and Afghan rebels. Both groups have been identified as suppliers in the world drug - trafficking market.
The cocaine connection, according to Hurley, has now been clearly established with the ruling in the United States District Court for South Carolina that a former member of the South Carolina legislature, Robert Kohn, was a drug trafficker and therefore n ot a creditable witness for the government in the prosecution of other members of the South Carolina legislature. The court said the FBI's withholding of this information from defense attorneys was egregious prosecutorial misconduct, and tainted their en tire sting operation known as "Lost Trust."
Hurley said that this startling new information completed the loop on how intelligence forces have been interfering with domestic litigation. He claims that a commander of the Jefferson Davis Camp, Richard T. Hines, had brought Robert Kohn to Confederat e Memorial Hall, a fact that he reported to the FBI in Columbia, South Carolina, and to the Washington Field Office of the FBI. He was interviewed on several occasions by FBI agent Mike Morton on the matter and was told that the purpose of Kohn's visit w as to make contacts in Washington to bribe a judge.
[Richard T. Hines is pictured here during a court ordered visit to the Confederate Memorial Hall on March 1, 1997. Mr. Hines was also photographed at the January 18, 1997 observation of the birthday of Robert E. Lee, at which Col. Jeffrey Addicott gave the keynote address (see above).]
Hurley now says he knows why he never heard back from the FBI. Had they pursued this information, Hurley said, they would have impeached their key witness in their sting operation against the innocent members of the South Carolina legislature.
In an astounding turn of events, Mr. Hurley now has had nearly $22,000 of the expenses returned to him by attorney Harmon, claiming that he and the judge made a "mistake." (See Harmon's check for $21,879.46.)
Hurley has now also discovered that Judge Bayly, when he was with the Justice Department, handled a case (McGehee v. CIA) with Royce Lamberth (now a federal judge) which was essentially finding ways to resist complying with Freedom of Information Act requ ests that were sent to the CIA. Lamberth now serves on the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which has authorized over 8,000 wire taps and break-ins, having only denied a half dozen requests.
All of these requests do not permit U.S. citizens to have an attorney, have access to a court record, or even be aware that they have been targeted by the federal government.
Hurley sees the suspension of the Constitution as the "mistake." He is not optimistic about his chances in any US court, he says, and is preparing his family not only for his likely imprisonment but for what he describes as his own "probable assassinati on" by the government as payback for his uncovering court complicity in cocaine trafficking.