The Public Interest Declassification Board is an office in the U.S. government that advises the White House on declassification of government records with the goal of “the fullest possible public access to a thorough, accurate, and reliable documentary record of significant U.S. national security decisions.”
In recent post on the PIDB’s blog, Transforming Classification, the nine-member board signaled its support for maximum disclosure of the still-secret JFK assassination files.
If you’re interested in freedom of information and/or the JFK story, you’ll want to read this letter from New York attorney Larry Schnapf on the disposition of the last of the government’s JFK assassination files in October 2021.
On Wednesday, the Senate Intelligence Committee will hold hearings on the nomination of longtime diplomat William Burns to be the next director of the Central Intelligence Agency.
If confirmed as expected, Burns will have to advise President Biden on a symbolically potent decision: whether or not to release the last of the CIA’s files related to the assassination of President Kennedy in October.
‘Will President Biden release the last of the JFK files in 2021?’
When this question in November, I received some pessimistic replies. Since I’ve thinking about how the JFK research community might campaign to for public release of the 15,834 assassination-related files that remain out of public view, I felt a little discouraged.
You will recall that President Trump caved to CIA director Mike Pompeo and FBI director Christopher Wray in October 2017. The two agencies were allowed to drop a veil of bizarre and suspicious secrecy over the full record of JFK’s assassination.
The clock is ticking, notes Brendan Cole in Newsweek. Will President Biden do the right thing?
In a presidential memo, Trump said the move was “to protect against identifiable harm to national security, law enforcement, or foreign affairs.” According to the National Archives, some 15,834 of the files still contain redactions and 520 remain unreleased in full.In April 2018, it said that a decision about the material must be reviewed again before October 26, 2021 “to determine whether continued withholding from disclosure is necessary.” This means that their fate will fall within the purview of the incoming administration of President-elect Joe Biden.
This letter was released in conjunction with the celebration of the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, January 21, 2019. It was signed by 50 people, including members of the Kennedy and King families as well as doctors, lawyers, activists, and scholars across the political spectrum (names attached.
I have no doubt that Trump personally wanted to release all the JFK files. But after tweeting, inaccurately, that the files had been released, Trump protected the last of the CIA and FBI’s assassination-related secrets.
President Trump broke his tweeted promise to release “ALL JFK files,” notes James Kelleher.
While an additional 19,000 documents were released, some 15,834 documents contained redactions, and another five hundred or more were withheld from the release. The president bought into the national security argument and again extended the time for the removal of all the redactions and final document release to October 2021.
President Trump will soon announce his decision on whether the last of the U.S. government’s JFK files will be fully released or not. April 26 will be a moment to assess what we know about JFK’s assassination that we didn’t know before, and specifically, what have we learned about the CIA’s role in the events of November 1963.
Among those vouching for the probity of the CIA in the JFK assassination story is the agency’s chief historian David Robarge.Read more
Stuart Wexler, high school teacher and author of “Killing King: Racial Terrorists, James Earl Ray and the Plot to Assassinate Martin Luther King Jr.,” doubts the president will free the files. Read more
Jefferson's Morley compulsively readable, and deeply reported biography of CIA spymaster James Angleton is "the best book ever written about the strangest spy chief who ever lived," says Tim Weiner. From the OSS to the CIA to MKULTRA and JFK, Angleton was a ghost of American power. BUY THE GHOST NOW.
About The Deep State news blog
The Deep State is Jefferson Morley’s new blog about the influence of secret intelligence agencies worldwide. Launched in November 2018, Morley has already published his reporting about: