In 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.
There is a ten year strategy to digitize all of the 120 billion pages of government documents in the National Archives by 2024. The scan plan refers to it as “our moon shot“.
Ambitious, but possible. The Archivist, David Ferriero, has to set priorities, and he will listen to public opinion about how to do so. As the most-used records in the Archives, the JFK records should get top priority. Read more
Those of us who comb through the CIA’s records about Lee Harvey Oswald’s time in Mexico City are frustrated that there is no easy way to find many of the key cables between Mexico City and Headquarters, or between JMWAVE in Miami and Headquarters.
What we have run into is the working equivalent of a CIA tutorial on how to avoid providing information mandated under the law.
“We drive openness, cultivate public participation, and strengthen our nation’s democracy through public access to high-value records,” writes David Ferriero, Archivist of the United States, in the Third Open Government Plan released yesterday.
The report makes clear what “high value records” the public wants to see. When the Archives sought input in April about the government’s declassification priorities, nineteen commenters called for release of JFK assassination records. That was almost 40 percent of all comments received and more than double the number of comments on any other subject. (See p. 42 of the report.)
In response to the National Archives’ call for public comment on declassification priorities, a faithful reader wrote to Gary Stern, general counsel for the National Archives and Records Administration, urging declassification of the 1,100 assassination-related records that remain hidden from public view.
Stern’s response was an all-too predictable insult to the public interest in these records and an obsequious bow to the CIA.
When David Ferriero, Archivist of the United States, solicited comment on U.S. declassification policy on Monday, he failed to mention that the Archives has already decided that the release of ancient secret U.S. government records related to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy is not a priority.