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.
Will President Trump enforce the law when it comes to JFK assassination files later this month?
That’s the question the Mary Ferrell Foundation put to National Archivists David Ferriero in a March 12 letter. Read more
What follows is a letter to David Ferriero, the National Archivist, from the Mary Ferrell Foundation, sponsor of the largest online collection of JFK assassination records.
The Foundation makes four recommendations for the improving the release of the last of the U.S. government’s JFK assassination files, now scheduled for April 26, per written orders of President Trump.
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
Our government is still ignoring us, even after it asked for our input.
With U.S. Archivist David Ferriero inviting and then ignoring public comments calling for declassification of all JFK assassination records, its time to sign Bill Kelly’s updated Change.org petition to free the JFK files.
Under the JFK Records Act, Ferriero has responsibility for enforcing the JFK Records Act — and he’s not doing it.
Here’s the story:
David Ferriero, U.S. Archivist
“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.)
So what did Ferriero do?
Peter Kornbluh, Cuba scholar at the non-profit National Security Archive, objects to yesterday’s post criticizing the National Archives for its stance on secret JFK files.
“This criticism of NARA General Counsel, Gary Stern, seems a classic case of shooting the messenger–and in this case an ally for transparency on this issue,” Kornbluh writes.
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.