JFK Files Watch: White House is reviewing Archivist’s secrecy recommendations

National ArchivesIn his Oct. 26, 2017 order concerning JFK files, President Trump set a specific time table for the CIA and other agencies that want to keep JFK secrets past April 26, 2018.

Any agency seeking to postpone release of any files must report to U.S. Archivist David Ferriero “on the specific information within particular records that meets the standard for continued postponement” under JFK Records Act, Trump said.

“Thereafter,” Trump went on, “the Archivist shall recommend to me, no later than March 26, 2018, whether the specific information within particular records identified by agencies warrants continued withholding from public disclosure after April 26, 2018.”

So I recently put two questions to Ferriero’s offiice.

1) Has the Archivist made his recommendations to the President?
2) Has the Archivist recommended  postponing the release of any JFK documents after April 26, 2017? If so, how many?
James Pritchett, director of public and media communications for the Archives, responded:
The Archivist provided recommendations to the White House per the amended timeline provided by the administration. The National Archives has no additional information to provide until the White House has had time to review recommendations, reach a decision(s) and provide guidance as to the release of the remaining eligible documents. 
As the Mary Ferrell Foundation pointed out in a March 12 letter to Ferriero the Archives’ JFK records database indicates that 21,890 assassination-related records remain wholly or partially classified. About 85 percent of  those records are held by CIA and FBI.
The withheld files include material on the CIA’s surveillance of accused assassin Lee Harvey Oswald from 1959 to 1963 in Russia, New Orleans, and Mexico City.

The Foundation urged Ferriero to recommend release of all JFK files with no information withheld.





  1. d drewelow says:

    does the review team at the archives have intelligence background and,if so, are members free from bias in favor of or loyalty to former or current employers in the cia and other agencies? i hope the agency has not tasked its own people to this job.

  2. Randy Robertson says:

    Jeff I would write a follow up letter and ask how many “particular” records did they provide recommendations for which would warrant their withholding past the April 26 date. You might also add that none of the agencies have posted in the Federal Register as required by the law. Did this have any impact on his recommendations?

  3. Kennedy63 says:

    “The Archivist provided recommendations to the White House per the amended timeline provided by the administration.” By all appearances, the Archivist’s spokesperson, while purporting to follow the law, is actually following bureaucratic contraints that obviates release of information pertaining to what specific recommendation were provided to the White House, by deflecting to how the White House may articulate decision(s) about remaining CIA and FBI files. The National Security State in defiant motion, again!

  4. tpm says:

    The case remains “Alice through the looking glass.”

  5. mark says:

    Jeff, Is there any truth to the rumor that George Joannides was exhumed and tasked with reviewing the CIA documents?

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