You will recall that President Trump caved to CIA director Mike Pompeo and FBI director Christopher Wray in October 2017. The two agencies were allowed to drop a veil of bizarre and suspicious secrecy over the full record of JFK’s assassination.
The clock is ticking, notes Brendan Cole in Newsweek. Will President Biden do the right thing?
In a presidential memo, Trump said the move was “to protect against identifiable harm to national security, law enforcement, or foreign affairs.” According to the National Archives, some 15,834 of the files still contain redactions and 520 remain unreleased in full.In April 2018, it said that a decision about the material must be reviewed again before October 26, 2021 “to determine whether continued withholding from disclosure is necessary.” This means that their fate will fall within the purview of the incoming administration of President-elect Joe Biden.
I have no doubt that Trump personally wanted to release all the JFK files. But after tweeting, inaccurately, that the files had been released, Trump protected the last of the CIA and FBI’s assassination-related secrets.
Newly uploaded JFK records include those from July 24 2017, Nov 9 2017, and Nov 17 2017. Currently about 90 percent of the more than 50,000 released documents are in the Mary Ferrell Foundation Document Archive
President Trump broke his tweeted promise to release “ALL JFK files,” notes James Kelleher.
While an additional 19,000 documents were released, some 15,834 documents contained redactions, and another five hundred or more were withheld from the release. The president bought into the national security argument and again extended the time for the removal of all the redactions and final document release to October 2021.
The President has determined that all information that remains withheld under section 5 must be reviewed again before October 26, 2021 to determine whether continued withholding from disclosure is necessary.
Stuart Wexler, high school teacher and author of “Killing King: Racial Terrorists, James Earl Ray and the Plot to Assassinate Martin Luther King Jr.,” doubts the president will free the files. Read more
The JFK Records Act mandates disclosure of virtually all of this material. The view of Judge John Tunheim is that this material can and should be released in full; we concur and share his disappointment that it did not happen by the statutory deadline. President Trump has expressed the view that only the names of living informants should be withheld from released JFK files after April 28, 2018. Our view is that the names of living informants should be disclosed as well, and in any case current withholding is far beyond that limited scope.
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.
With 17 days to go until President Trump’s April 26 deadline for release of the last of the U.S. government’s assassination files, it is worth recalling what Trump told the head of U.S. government agencies in his October 26, 2017 order.
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About The Deep State news blog
The Deep State is Jefferson Morley’s new blog about the influence of secret intelligence agencies worldwide. Launched in November 2018, Morley has already published his reporting about: