A top U.S. government official said Thursday that the CIA’s continuing secrecy around 1,100 documents related to the assassination of President Kennedy is “ridiculous.”
Nancy Soderberg, chair of the Public Interest Declassification Board, made the remarks after a public meeting of the board in Washington D.C.
“I think everybody here agrees with you that those records should be public,” Soderberg told attorney Jim Lesar after the event. “It’s ridiculous they’re still withheld.”
Nonetheless, Soderberg said the documents would not be released until 2017, according to a prior agreement with the CIA.
Soderberg’s candid remarks may carry weight in Washington because of her national security credentials. She is a former staff director of the National Security Council Staff who holds the formal title of “ambassador.”
The PIDB’s mission is to “insure records on specific subjects of extraordinary public interest that do not undermine the national security interests of the United States” are made available to “Congress, policymakers in the executive branch, and the public.”
The JFK Records Act, passed in October 1992, mandated that all of the government’s assassination-related records must be made public within 25 years.
As first reported in JFK Facts last June, the CIA retains 1,100 records related to JFK’s assassination that have never been seen by the public. In 1998, the CIA decided the records are “Not Believed Relevant” to JFK’s assassination.
In fact, some of them are quite relevant: See “Top 7 JFK files the CIA still keeps secret.”
By law the records have to be made public in October 2017 unless the President specifically approves continuing secrecy.