January 28, 1997
Mr. Edmund Cohen
Thank you for your letter dated January 15, 1997, in which I was notified by your Panel's decision denying my request of unclassified documents pertaining to my brother. You further advised me that I "have the right to seek judicial review of this determination in a United States district court".
I have no intention of seeking court action, because I understand and respect the secretive nature of your Agency - that was why I only requested "unclassified" or "declassified" documents that are no more harmful to your Agency or to national security; and also because I do not have financial resources to pursue that avenue.
I initially invoked the Freedom Information Act in my request for documents, deeming it was the only and right way. I think that was a mistake, because it put your Agency on the legal and defensive mode. I should have come to your Agency on a "friendlier" approach, and that is what I intend to do now.
Since my brother was mysteriously killed twenty two years ago, I have been struggling to find out the answers to the "who" and the "why" in my mind. Since I deem that his assassination was linked to the appearance of his involvement with your Agency through his relationship with Mr. Richard Peters, I awaited twenty one years before taking action and seek information with your Agency. Here is what I propose that would allow your Agency to deny the nonexistence of the documents while satisfying my request of information of the "who" and/or "why", or at least to the "who" (because the "why" might disclose "analytic or operational interest" of your Agency): your Agency either allows me to review the pertaining documents on "for-your-eyes-only" basis at your headquarters, or has somebody give me the answers orally "off the records".
I greatly appreciate your taking time to consider my unorthodox request and hope that you would indulge and sympathize with the emotional feelings that accompany such a request.