‘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.
“Not likely,” said John Davies, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran. He cited the ideological cast of the new administration.
Looking at Biden’s appointments to his cabinet, all of whom have close connections with the Washington Establishment, as well as Biden’s own past ties with the National Security State, the chance of these files becoming public are minimal.
I agree Biden’s is a status quo administration but I also think it’s not impossible that this administration would do the right thing. If White House lawyers perceive that the political cost of secrecy to be higher than the cost of full disclosure, they will opt for full disclosure.
That’s what happened when the box office success of Oliver Stone’s JFK shamed Congress into doing the right thing: passing the JFK Records Act, a strong law that yielded a wealth of information that has clarified key aspects of the JFK story, like Operation Northwoods and CIA monitoring of Lee Harvey Oswald.
I don’t have hit movie up my sleeve so I’m looking for other ideas.
How to raise the political cost of continuing JFK secrecy over the next eight months? That’s the question I’m asking myself and anybody who is interested in full JFK disclosure.
And I’m asking a second question: what are the most important redacted documents in the JFK collection?
Price of Secrecy
On October 26, 2017 President Trump tweeted that “all of the JFK files” had been released ahead of time. You can’t see the tweet because Trump’s account has been shut down.
Trump’s claim was untrue. All the JFK documents were not released and they were not released ahead of time. In fact, the very next day, in a meeting with CIA director Mike Pompeo and FBI director Christophe Wray, Trump caved in to their demands for four more years of JFK secrecy.
“The Deep State got to him,” my Trump-loving friends say.
I say the CIA and FBI got to him.
If Biden’s policymakers wants demonstrate that there actually is a “deep state” of hidden power brokers who defy the will of the people and Congress, then they should definitely keep these 15,834 assassination-related files secret.