Almost 3,600 JFK records at National Archives sealed until 2017

National ArchivesThe U.S. government retains approximately 3,600 records related to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy that have never been made public, according to the latest count of the National Archives.

Martha Murphy, a National Archives official, told a public forum in Washington on April 10, that only .01 percent of the JFK Assassination Records Collection at the Archives has not been made public. In a follow-up email with JFK Facts. Murphy acknowledged that she had misplaced the decimal point. The actual figure is 1.1 percent, she said.

“We currently have documented in the [JFK records] database 3,603 documents withheld in full [out] of a total of 318,866 documents in the database. So that comes
to 1.1 percent,” Murphy wrote.

While the Assassination Records Review Board, an independent civilian panel, which oversaw the declassification of JFK records in the 1990s, had first used the 1 percent figure, the exact number of documents still off limits to the public was not known until now.

In a second email, Murphy wrote, “we have found five of those documents which were actually released in the collection as redacted,” leaving 3,598 records that remain withheld in full. Murphy stressed the figure would likely change again as archivists compare the data base to the actual records in preparation for their scheduled release in October 2017.

Howard Hunt files

National Archives list of CIA files on Howard Hunt that remain secret

The still-secret records includes more than 1,100 CIA documents, whose existence was first revealed by JFK Facts in May 2013, and subsequently reported by the Associated Press, Fox News, and the Boston Globe.

The Archives does not yet have an accurate agency by agency breakdown of the withheld records, Murphy said.

In her April 10 presentation, Murphy made it clear that all withheld information will be released in October 2017, as mandated by the 1992 JFK Records Act, unless the President orders otherwise. Archives staffers are currently perfecting the index because there are errors or missing information in the index as to the status of records, she said. The Archives intends to post the released information on the web and then integrate the newly released records into existing files, Murphy said.




  1. JOHN MASCARO says:

    To say that only 1.1% of documents have not been revealed as a defense against not hiding potentially incriminating and conspiratorial evidence is like saying that rat poison isn’t so bad since it only has between .001% – .005% of actual poison; all the rest is inert material.

  2. Kevin Peckham says:

    Ok folks what do you intend to discover once these files are made public, the truth? Sorry not gonna happen. We are only going to see what they want us to see and that’s all

  3. Jim says:

    I’ve looked at the partial list of withheld information and I call partial because we don’t know what records have not be listed. What is surprising to me is the list of CIA files does not include any documents from the Intelligence directorate, all the files are from the Operations side of the house.

  4. Ramon F Herrera says:


    “There is a category of CIA documents labelled “Not Believed Relevant” (“NBR”). These records were made available to the HSCA, but CIA contends are not relevant to the JFK assassination. Believed to include personnel files on key CIA figures covering events before and after assassination time frame. Jeff [Morley] knows more about these records.”


    Can a kind soul please explain this apparently unfathomable question? How come the “NBR” records are guarded with more ferocity than the Fort Knox gold reserves? All of those records (presumably “irrelevant”) say the following:


    • Dan says:

      CIA made a concerted effort to cause the Records Review Board to postpone the NBR records to the latest possible date, October 26, 2017. CIA was successful in obtaining this treatment for these records. Speculation is that these records contain details of operations conducted by key CIA officers such as William King Harvey and David Atlee Phillips.

  5. Bill Kelly says:

    If Murphy is correct and the NARA intends to post these thousands of records on the web in October 2017 – why didn’t they just post the five documents they discovered have been released on the web now?

    Why are they making us dig for them?

    They have not intentions of posting any documents on the web.

    We’ll have to go in and do it ourselves, as we’ve always done.


  6. Bill kelly says:

    Can Martha Murphy provide JFKFacts with the five docs released with redactions?

    They could be good examples of what is being withheld.

  7. Ronnie Wayne says:

    Back to a “double edged sword” here. The CIA had so many years before the AARB to purge or redact anything they wanted to. Yet much was found in what the AARB released. If there is nothing left there though why do they still keep them classified?
    I’ve not read the Act and really know little about it. Didn’t the CIA maintain control of the files until recently? If so I guess they had the ability to further purge and redact more since the AARB?
    How will there be no redactions? How can they recreate them, do they still have the originals?
    Further, I thought I read a post on here a few months back by Dan Hardway that GHWB retained the right to delay release further even after his Presidency when he signed the act.
    As I’ve admitted my ignorance can anyone enlighten me (with facts)?

    • Ramon F Herrera says:


      “I read a post here a few months back by Dan Hardway that GHWB retained the right to delay release further even after his Presidency when he signed the act. As I’ve admitted my ignorance can anyone enlighten me (with facts)?”


      We are confusing the person with the role. If Mr. Hardway indeed stated that George HW Bush (the person) attempted to arrogate any rights which would continue *after* his presidency, with nothing but respect (and admiration for his work) I tell you that he is WRONG.

      This is what Bush the 41st. stated:

      It seems to me that Bush was pressuring future president Clinton to “Grow a pair! Be a man! Do not allow the rabble to overcome your constitutional responsibility”.

      OTOH: Allen Dulles continued to rule after being fired.

      • Ramon F Herrera says:

        Re-reading what I wrote, I hurry to clarify that my “respect and admiration for his work” goes to Dan Hardway (and Ed Lopez).

        Not to Bush or Blakey.

  8. Robert Paul says:

    Sadly, I don’t believe the files will reveal very much – only more fuel for speculation. I can’t imagine the CIA/NSA telling us what foreign governments’ communication codes were broken, when, and what countries’ mail was, and still is, being read.

    To me, that’s the reason for the intense 50+ year cover up and possibility the primary motive for murdering JFK. If the intelligence community believed, or knew, that JFK was spilling critical national security code breaking beans to his bedmates (maybe while under the influence of powerful analgesics combined with amphetamines), then he had to be (in their sick minds) eliminated. While that’s strictly a self-contrived theory of mine, IMO it’s the strongest motive that I can imagine – far more plausible than a bunch of guys pissed off because of the Pigs’ Bay beach fiasco.

    I want to stress – that’s just my theory with NO fact-based evidence other than second hand knowledge of the immense resources devoted to code breaking and the intense security that surrounds those activities.

    • Juneau says:

      Robert Paul – on the day JFK was murdered the Dallas Morning News published the infamous “Welcome Mr. Kennedy” ad and “Wanted for Treason” handbills were also distributed on the streets in Dallas.

      Here are examples of what they charged JFK with – “He is turning the sovereignty of the US over to the Communist controlled United Nations” , “He has given support and encouragement to the Communist inspired civil rights movement”, “Why have you scrapped the Monroe Doctrine in favor of the “Spirit of Moscow”, “Why have you allowed the Attorney General (your brother) to go soft on Communists, fellow travelers, and ultra-leftists in America..” These are but a few examples of why JFK was “Wanted for Treason” and possible justifications for his murder by extremists.

      Attorney General RFK was also prosecuting members of the organized crime who were later proven to be involved in CIA assassination attempts against Castro (Rockefeller, Church, and House Select Comm. on Assassinations). Included in this list are Jimmy Hoffa, Sam Giancana, and John Roselli. It is certainly possible that the plots against Castro were turned against their new traitor – JFK.

      Roselli and Giancana were both brutally murdered as they began secret Congressional testimony – and who knows how Hoffa was killed? Jeff Morely stated in Pittsburgh that documents relating to the CIA – Mob plots could be a big part of what is still sealed. Did the CIA knock off those who might have been directly involved in CIA-Mob plots against JFK?

    • Ramon F Herrera says:

      [Robert Paul:]

      “I can’t imagine the CIA/NSA telling us what foreign governments’ communication codes were broken, when, and what countries’ mail was, and still is, being read.”


      Neither can we! Specially since:

      (a) We are not asking for any of that.

      (b) The JFK Assassination Records Collection Acts of 92 is not about any of that.

  9. Bob Prudhomme says:

    Dumb question but, if all of the files are released, and some are missing, will anyone on our side actually know they are missing?

  10. lysias says:

    After January 2017, Obama will no longer be president, and the new president will be entitled under the act to continue to have the documents withheld. Could that explain the stall?

    • Ramon F Herrera says:


      Have you read the Act? It is really quite simple. The fact that at some point between now and then Obama will not be president is irrelevant, it changes nothing. In fact, the following presidential terms have come and gone since the enacting of the Act and the holders of the Oval Office at those times could do absolutely nothing about those documents:

      – George H.W. Bush, only term
      – Bill Clinton, 1st. Term
      – Bill Clinton, 2nd. Term
      – George W. Bush, 1st. Term
      – George W. Bush, 2nd. Term
      – Barack Obama, 1st. Term
      – Barack Obama, 2nd. Term

      This is like the Bicentennial Celebration of the US: Ford was the lucky one.

      No president has withheld anything: it was We The People (well, our *supposed* Representatives, to be exact) who decided to move the lawful release date FORWARD from 2039 to 2017.

      Thanks to Jim Garrison and Oliver Stone, God bless them.

      • lysias says:

        “In her April 10 presentation, Murphy made it clear that all withheld information will be released in October 2017, as mandated by the 1992 JFK Records Act, unless the President orders otherwise.”

        • Ramon F Herrera says:


          “unless the President orders otherwise”


          True, but she will need to be lobbied and persuaded before she can order otherwise, a formal request must be written by the agency that produced the record in question and sent to the Oval Office.

          See my first post above.

          It is a small detail, I know, and that is my personal interpretation of the law.

    • Ramon F Herrera says:


      “Could that explain the stall?”


      Could you explain this: What do you mean by “stall”?

  11. L says:

    I don’t think I’m alone with the thought that even when these files are released they will be so highly redacted as to be completely without usable information.

    • Ramon F Herrera says:


      “they will be so highly redacted”


      The Law says:

      ZERO redactions.

      • Antonio D'Antonio says:

        I’m not completely sure, but if the JFK documents to be released in 2017 come under the authority of current Executive Order 13526-Classified National Security Information, the identity of a confidential human source or a human intelligence source could still be redacted as being classified.
        But maybe the JFK records do not come under the authority of the current executive order.

        • Antonio D'Antonio says:

          Actually, buy the time that the records are released in 2017, there may be a different executive order in effect that the JFK documents may or may not come under the authority of.

          • Ramon F Herrera says:

            I can only speak about existent legislation and orders. We could even discuss about proposed initiatives.

            What you have stated is essentially the most important feature of human law (as opposed to divine or natural): They can be modified.

      • Dave says:

        So does this mean that come October 2017, not only the unreleased remaining 1.1% of the JFK docs will be freed in their entirety, but ALSO 100% of the previously-released but redacted docs will be released, FULLY UNREDACTED?
        If not, WHEN?

        • Dan says:

          The redacted in part documents along with the withheld in full documents will be released in full on October 26, 2017 unless the President postpones their release.

          • Ramon F Herrera says:

            “unless the President postpones their release.”


            … after a request has been made by the submitting agency on a DOCUMENT BY DOCUMENT basis.

            I am sure that president Carson, Cruz, Paul, Bush, Christie, Warren or Clinton will reject requests such as:

            “All the October 1963 records”.

            “All records related to the cancelled presidential trip to Chicago”

          • Dan says:

            There is a category of CIA documents labelled “Not Believed Relevant” (“NBR”). These records were provided or made available to the House Select Committee, but CIA contends are not relevant to the JFK assassination. Believed to include personnel files on key CIA figures covering events before and after assassination time frame. Jeff knows more about these records.

  12. Dan says:

    Martha Murphy also stated that 11% of the documents in the collection are partially withheld, meaning they have redactions. 11% of 318,866 documents is 35,075 documents with redactions. So the current numbers are 3,598 documents withheld in full and 35,075 withheld in part. It would be helpful if the Archives would provide page counts and agencies of origin for these categories.

  13. Ramon F Herrera says:


    “all withheld information will be released in October 2017, as mandated by the 1992 JFK Records Act, unless the President orders otherwise.”


    It is relevant to add this. Not even the president can say:

    “Let’s keep these ones under wraps for another decade”.

    I repeat, not even the president of the United States has that authority.

    What s/he can do is make a call to Langley and say:

    “Hey, guys, would you do me a solid? Submit a request for document XYZ-2-48765 to remain locked up.”

  14. Arnaldo M. Fernandez says:

    The point is not only the quantity, but also (and above all) the quality of some operational files, as Morley and this site has been arguing for years. “Two Guns” Harvey, David Phillips, Anne Goodpasture, Howard Hunt, David “El Indio” Sanchez-Morales, and George Joannidess actually form a hell of a team.

  15. JSA says:

    Could CIA be stalling for time while they destroy the requested documents?

    Can someone who is knowledgeable on FOIA requests and on these documents please answer my question? Because I’m worried that the reason why this date has been held to so carefully by CIA’s lawyers is so that they can have enough time to destroy documents and then come out in the open and say: “See folks? Nothing there!”

    Look at this letter to see what I’m talking about:

    • Paul Turner says:

      It certainly would fall in line with the evidence tampering that went on beginning right after the assassination itself.

    • Ramon F Herrera says:


      “Could CIA be stalling for time while they destroy the requested documents?”


      That would be absurd. Everything they wanted destroyed is destroyed by now. Why wait?

      Based on some reading, I am under the impression that the files in question are *already* in NARA’s possession. At the time of the reading I speculated:

      – “Could they be in a restricted area in College Park (not at Langley!) where only CIA personnel has the keys?”

      Another huge question: Whatever happened to the J. Edgar Hoover most private files? How about those of Guy Banister (*)?

      There are so many unknowns !! And the intelligence agencies only add wood to the fire. Then they wonder why paranoia is rampant.

      (*) Delphine says that they were carted out by the FBI.

      • Pat Dugan says:

        Hoover’s private files and some of his office files as well, were burned shortly after his death ( I believe on the same day).

      • M says:

        I have approximately 18,000 pages of my own federal docs stored in NARA that cannot be viewed that corresponded with my military (but almost all) my career with DoD/DoJ afterward. NARA, big deal……

    • F.Vegas says:

      I don’t think they would be destroying documents at this stage in the game and the commenter above is right, they are held at the archives and have been for quite some time. Also, I have found while doing FOIAs that one reason some documents are withheld is simply because no-one has requested them yet. sending FOIAs is really easy, each agency has a sample form that you can easily find with a quick google search which you follow and send off to them electronically. I wish more people would start requesting info and we would get a lot much sooner. Then donate your findings to the Mary Ferrel Foundation and we all have more info!

      • Ramon F Herrera says:


        “I don’t think they would be destroying documents at this stage in the game […] they are held at the archives and have been for quite some time.”


        Precisely. Since the 90s. I have a real hard time visualizing the following scenario:

        An intern, employee of Martha Murphy in College Park is carrying some boxes around, when a sinister spook-looking fellow shows up and asks:

        – “What are you doing with those?”

        – “I was told to prepare them, sir: sort, scan, etc. for publishing.”

        – “Sorry [perhaps with a gun, to make it more dramatic?] hand them over, I have to destroy some of them”.



        “I wish more people would start requesting info and we would get a lot much sooner.”

        Are you aware that there are 3 categories:

        (1) NDC/Executive Order

        (2) FOIA

        (3) ARRB

        and the critical, relevant stuff will not be disclosed even if you are armed with all the FOIAs in the word?

        See the video:
        Minute 3:42′.

        Did you know that Jeff Morley has a 12-year long case, and all he has gotten is an admission that George The Greek had a home in New Orleans?

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