The final countdown for disclosure of the last of the U.S. government’s JFK assassination files begins next Monday with prospects for full disclosure, as mandated by law, still in doubt.
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In defiance of the law, President Donald Trump is delaying the release of hundreds, if not thousands of files on the John Kennedy assassination that were due to come out Thursday. He also approved 2,800 other records for release.
In a conference call with reporters, White House officials insisting on anonymiity said Trump will state in a coming memo that he had “no choice” but to keep thousands of pages of JFK records secret because of “national security” concerns.
Officials say Trump will impress upon federal agencies that JFK files should stay secret after the six-month review “only in the rarest cases.”
The law is quite explicit about President Trump’s responsibilities today. With each passing hour, he is in danger failing to see that the law on JFK records are faithfully executed.
The JFK Records Act
On October 4, Rep. Walter Jones and Sen. Charles Charles Grassley introduced H. Res 556, and S. Res 281, respectively, which call on President Trump to insist on “full public release” of hundreds of thousands of pages of JFK assassination documents and to “reject any claims for the continued postponement of …. those records.”
Trump has 15 days to decide whether the last of the government’s JFK files become public nor not.
Listen to a solid conservative from North Carolina.
“To me, the tragedy that took place in Dallas continues to raise many questions that go unanswered,” Jones said in a statement. “After 54 years, there is no reason, for the sake of honesty and integrity in America, that the facts of the JFK assassination should not be made public. Virgil once said, ‘Evil is nourished and grows by concealment.’ It’s time to reveal what happened that awful afternoon in 1963.”
A bipartisan group of Congressman are urging President Trump to insist on “full public release” the government’s JFK assassination records by October 26 and to “reject any claims for the continued postponement of …. those records.”
In two “sense of Congress” resolutions introduced Wednesday on Capitol Hill, the legislators call for the CIA, FBI and other federal agencies to release all of their records related to the November 1963 murder of President John F. Kennedy.
JFK’s assassination on November 22, 1963 generated six official investigations and widespread belief that the liberal president was the victim of a conspiracy and not a lone gunman.
After the box office success of Oliver Stone’s conspiratorial epic “JFK, Congress unanimously approved the JFK Records Act on October 26, 1992, mandating release of all government records related to JFK’s death within 25 years.
Most of the JFK files have been made public but some 35,000 documents remained fully or partially redacted and have never been seen by the public, researchers or the media. By law, federal agencies must obtain the written permission of the president to keep these documents secret after this month.
“Transparency in government is critical not only to ensuring accountability; it’s also essential to understanding our nation’s history,” said Sen. Charles Grassley, (R-Iowa) in a written statement. “…Americans deserve a full picture of what happened that fateful day in November 1963. Shining a light on never-before-seen government records is essential to filling in these blank spaces in our history.”
The CIA and FBI have not yet revealed whether they will appeal to Trump for continuing secrecy.
“CIA continues to engage in the process to determine the appropriate next steps with respect to any previously unreleased CIA information,” said spokesperson Nicole de Haay told Alternet last month.
In an email, the FBI press office said, “We do not have a comment to provide and suggest you reach out to the White House.”
The White House did nor respond to request for comment.
According to the National Archives online database, the unreleased records include CIA files on two senior officers involved in assassinations and four Watergate burglars, as well as the closed-door testimony of numerous JFK witnesses, such CIA spymaster James Angleton.
The resolutions have attracted diverse support. The House measure, introduced by Jones, is co-sponsored by several members who served in Congress in 1992, and voted for the original JFK Records Act.
They include liberals Reps. John Conyers (D-Mich.), currently the longest serving member of Congress, Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio), the longest serving woman in the House, Louise Slaughter (D-NY) and Gerry Connolly (D-Va.)
The Senate resolution (S. Res 281) was introduced by Grassley (R-Ia), the conservative chairman of the Judiciary Committee, and co-sponsored by liberal Sen. Pat Leahy (D-Vermont), the ranking member of the committee.
“Chairman Grassley and I both believe that a government of, by, and for the people simply cannot be one that needlessly hides information from them,” Leahy said in a statement. “I look forward to continuing our efforts to make our democracy ever more transparent to the American people.”
Jones said he will send a letter to all members of Congress seeking their support for the non-binding resolutions.
Jones also said he plans to contact Roger Stone, a confidante of Trump and JFK conspiracy theorist. On Wednesday Stone joined anti-conspiratorial author Gerald Posner in a public statement calling for release of the JFK files.
“I will ask Mr. Stone to please use his influence with Donald Trump to encourage the president to join in this effort,” Jones added.
During the 2016 presidentail campaign Trump concocted a bogus JFK conspiracy theory to smear Republican rival Ted Cruz.
The first batch of the last JFK records, released by the National Archives in July, generated several revelations that shed new light on the JFK story.
One top CIA counterintelligence official came to doubt the lone gunman theory in the mid-1970s and suspected Cuba might have been involved, according to Politico.
Collectively, the latest revelations pour cold water on the theory that the Soviet intelligence service, the KGB, was involved in JFK’s murder, while raising questions about the “Castro did it” theory and the role of the CIA in the events leading to November 22, 1963
Whether any JFK records will remain secret after this month is up to President Trump. The conspiracy-theorist-in chief has three weeks to decide.
He’s called global warming a hoax, suggested that Barack Obama was not an American and linked autism to childhood vaccinations. And soon, President Donald Trump, America’s most powerful conspiracy theorist, will decide the fate of more than 113,000 pages of secret documents about the ultimate conspiracy theory: the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on Nov. 22, 1963.
The 1992 JFK Records Act mandates the release of over 3,500 JFK assassination records. never before seen by the public, by October 26, 2017. Trump’s ruling on this matter will be interesting in light of his alleged war with the CIA.
No. A comparison of Trump and JFK shows why.
In a prequel of sorts to the emerging war between President-elect Trump and the CIA, the War on the Rocks blog, reviews the latest revelations from the declassified history of the CIA’s disastrous Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba in 1961.
Why is something that happened 55 years ago relevant to power politics in today’s Washington?
Because the the power struggle that followed the CIA’s first public defeat would shape and hone the interventionist mission of the secret agency. Now the CIA faces the wrath of a commander in chief who mistrusts its prerogatives and sympathizes with its adversaries in Moscow and, according to the CIA, was aided by them.
Bill Kelly has the story on the former Warren Commission lawyer who is close to Donald Trump and well-positioned to influence the decisions the Trump administration will have to make about JFK secrecy and disclosure in the next ten months:
Of all the surviving former Warren Commission lawyers, none will be more influential in the new administration than Murray Laulicht, a New Jersey attorney whose wife, Linda Kushner, is the sister of Charles Kushner, the father of Jared Kushner, Donald Trump’s son-in-law.
I can announce that the U.S. Government will declassify even more documents from that period including, for the first time, military and intelligence records, because I believe we have a responsibility to confront the past with honesty and transparency.”
So said President Obama last March. Today, the White House announced the U.S. government will release five hundred more US government documents from 14 U.S. agencies related to the American support for Argentina’s bloody military dictatorship between 1975 and 1984.
Let’s do the same for JFK. Two dozen JFK authors and investigators have asked Obama to endorse the same principle when it comes to the U.S. government documents–which including military and intelligence records–related to the assassination of President Kennedy. Read more