David Ferriero, U.S. Archivist
“We drive openness, cultivate public participation, and strengthen our nation’s democracy through public access to high-value records,” writes David Ferriero, Archivist of the United States, in the Third Open Government Plan released yesterday.
The report makes clear what “high value records” the public wants to see. When the Archives sought input in April about the government’s declassification priorities, nineteen commenters called for release of JFK assassination records. That was almost 40 percent of all comments received and more than double the number of comments on any other subject. (See p. 42 of the report.)
So what did Ferriero do?
via “Book Excerpt: the Hearing With Oliver Stone: A Heroic Moment for Our Protagonist” — HowardWillens.com.
“Stone’s movie, [David] Belin’s speech, and the likelihood of congressional action prompted several commission lawyers to discuss how we might best respond to the movie and support legislation making assassination records public ….”
From the invaluable Bryan Bender at the The Boston Globe: “Some experts contend that the only way to ensure public access is for the president to give broader declassification powers to the National Archives.”
The answer, unfortunately, is yes. See our authoritative list of the Top 7 JFK files the CIA still keeps secret.
You can do something about it.
The National Declassification Center has once again requested public comment on topics for priority declassification in opening up of government records to the public.
One JFK Facts reader has submitted the comment below:
In case you missed it, JFK activist Karl Golovin got a retired CIA counterintelligence officer, Willam Nolte, to say on camera that the agency’s extreme overclassification of 1,100 ancient JFK assassination records does “great harm to the historical record.”
The National Archives is talking about Modernizing FOIA. They’re looking for:
“people who are passionate about FOIA and are willing to devote time and energy to this effort. If you are interested in putting forward your name (or someone else’s), please let us know as soon as you can. We hope that you will consider getting involved in this effort to improve FOIA!”
The spirit is impressive. Whether FOIA can be modernized so as to bring greater freedom of information to U.S. national security agencies is another question.
A faithful reader calls attention to one practical step the U.S. government can take in 2014 to contribute to public understanding of the JFK assassination story: declassify the papers of Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy from 1963-64.
The blog of the Public Interest Declassification Board (PIDB) is seeking comment on declassification priorities for the National Archives.
Open The Government, a coalition of public interest groups advocating open government policies, is highlighting the National Security Archive’s blog post calling for prioritizing the declassification of the CIA’s secret JFK assassination files. Read more
Peter Kornbluh, Cuba scholar at the non-profit National Security Archive, objects to yesterday’s post criticizing the National Archives for its stance on secret JFK files.
“This criticism of NARA General Counsel, Gary Stern, seems a classic case of shooting the messenger–and in this case an ally for transparency on this issue,” Kornbluh writes.
On November 22, Karl Golovin held a one-man vigil at the JFK Center for the Performing Arts in Washington DC. Watch.
Writing in Philly.com, columnist Stuart Bykofsky makes the case for full disclosure of JFK assassination records. White House reporters are starting to ask questions about these files but President Obama has yet to respond.
Join the more than 2,600 people who have signed the online Change.org petition calling on the National Archives to review and release the 1,100 CIA records related to JFK’s assassination that remain secret. Read more