Public Interest Declassification Board cites JFK Records Act as a model

In a new study of the U.S. government’s dysfunctional declassification system, the Public Interest Declassification Board (PIDB) cited the JFK Records Act of 1992 as a model for effective release of information that interests the public. That’s why the PIDB should make sure that the CIA declassifies 1,100 assassination-related documents by October 2017, their scheduled release date

“The report also notes in passing that the 1992 JFK Assassination Records Review Act mandated disclosure requirements for assassination-related records that were ‘much more stringent’ than those of past and current executive orders. There is perhaps an implicit suggestion that a similarly forthcoming approach could be adopted in other topical reviews.”

The JFK Records Act is indeed a strong law, but lax enforcement by Congress and the National Archives have allowed the CIA to use the law, intended to force full disclosure, to delay it.

The PIDB s an advisory committee established by Congress in 2000, in order to promote the fullest possible public access to a thorough, accurate, and reliable documentary record of significant U.S. national security decisions and activities. President Obama appointed Nancy E. Soderberg as chair of the Board.

Sodeberg is a decent person but she and her colleagues are so deeply embedded in the secrecy system that they have little ability to change it. Their very reasonable suggestions, like the JFK Records Act itself, are likely to be ignored by national security policymakers who operate beyond accountability.

You can download the PIDB report here.

 

 

 

2 comments

  1. David Regan says:

    Perhaps consideration should be given to the RFK case as well: Years after pact to open RFK files, gaps remain http://www.bostonglobe.com/news/nation/2014/12/02/long-awaited-secret-rfk-files-open-can-still-means-off-limits/SunrO2dDuiI73CumvF8QWI/story.html?event=event25 via @BostonGlobe

  2. Mariano says:

    The FBI should also release JFK files.

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