Echoing a post in JFK Facts last week, UNREDACTED, the blog of the non-profit National Security Archive, has called for prioritizing the declassification of more than 1,100 CIA documents related to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy that are still kept secret by the CIA.
Blogger Nate Jones notes that the National Archives has recently “asked for suggestions for which documents 25 years and younger and 25 years and older should be declassified.”
“While these include such interesting and worthy topics as ‘the Cuban Missile Crisis,’ ‘Vietnam P.O.W. and M.I.A.s,’ ‘9/11 and Terrorism,’ ‘Iraq 2001-2004,’ and ‘Guantanamo/Detainee Issues,’Jones notes, “they make no mention of the Kennedy assassination documents which remain unavailable to the public. This omission is bizarre, considering these Kennedy assassination documents are likely the most frequently and prominently requested classified documents in NARA’s possession.”
Jones makes the timely point that making declassification of secret JFK records a priority will enhance the credibility of the National Archives.
“The successful review and release of these (mostly) CIA documents in NARA’s possession,” he writes, “will establish that the US National Archives really is the people’s archive, rather than, in the words of one PIDB
commenter, ‘The CIA Archives.'”
What is the National Security Archive?
The Archive, housed at George Washington University in Washington D.C., has no connection to the National Security Agency.
Rather, the Archive is a public interest research organization that compiles document collections on post-World War II U.S. foreign policy, national security and nuclear policy that are indispensable to scholars and students of the period. The Archives is also a consistent advocate in Congress and the Executive Branch for strengthening open government laws and the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
The Archive’s mission is “challenging government secrecy, informing the public debate through access to declassified documents, ensuring government accountability, and defending the right to know in the US and abroad.”
I don’t pretend to be unbiased here as my own education in U.S. national security policymaking began at the Archive 25 years ago. I don’t know Nate Jones but I have many friends on the Archive staff.