Tag Archive for NARA

The state of the still-classified JFK files

Rex Bradford and I assess the State of JFK Releases 2021 at Mary Ferrell Foundation web site.

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Breaking a promise, Trump blocked the release of JFK files a year ago

TrumpEarlier this year documentary film maker Randy Benson makes a important point about the JFK file releases of 2018–which left more than 15,000 assassination-related records beyond public view.

President Trump is responsible.

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.

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From the Black Vault: a note on getting good JFK data

John Greenewald, the man behind the Black Vault site of declassified government records, writes with some thoughts about the difficulty of figuring out which JFK files the Trump has NOT released. Read more

Correction: the number of secret JFK files may be less than previously reported

Robert responds to my recent post on JFK files.

Black Vault deserves a thanks for putting on line a pdf and excel file of the latest data provided by NARA, but if you take the Black Vault figures to mean that there are thousands of records still withheld in full, that is not correct.

I’m not certain that Robert is correct but I want to air his concerns so that we get an accurate number of still-secret JFK files. Read more

JFK Most Wanted: Dave Phillips’ CIA operations files

David Phillips

David A. Phillips, chief of CIA anti-Castro covert operations in 1963

David Phillips was a failed actor turned expatriate newspaper publisher in Santiago, Chile when he was recruited into the CIA in the early 1950s. He made his mark fast. In 1955, he won a Distinguished Intelligence Medal, one of the agency’s highest honors, for mounting deceptive radio broadcasts in the CIA’s overthrow of the democratically elected government of Guatemala in 1954.

After that his CIA career took off. With Howard Hunt, Phillips served as propaganda chief in the CIA’s failed effort to invade Cuba at the Bay of Pigs In April 1961. When he was assigned to Mexico City in 1962, station chief Win Scott described him as “the finest covert action officer I have ever met.”

After JFK’s assassination, Scott was not so complimentary and I suspect the reason why was Oswald’s curious handling of Oswald. .(I tell the story in my biography of Scott, Our Man in Mexico. Buy it here.)

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The CIA’s secret files on Jim Garrison, the prosecutor celebrated in ‘JFK’

The CIA retains two secret files on New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison, the crusading prosecutor who inspired Oliver Stone’s hit movie “JFK.”

The files–whose existence was first reported by JFK Facts–are among the 3,600 secret U.S. government records related to JFK’s assassination that are scheduled to be released in October 2017. Read more

Agencies hint they may try to block JFK declassification in 2017

I missed Lauren Harper’s useful update on UNREDACTED about  the National Archives plans for JFK declassification in 2017.

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What will happen with JFK disclosures in October 2017?

A faithful friend responds to Politico story on JFK disclosures coming in October 2017. Read more

10 questions about the still-secret JFK records

JFK blogger Bill Kelly has ten questions about the still secret JFK files uncovered by Michael Ravnitsky and WhoWhatWhy, and reported by Politico.

Some can be answered but some can’t. See Number 4.

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List shows what the public doesn’t know out about JFK’s assassination 

The documents were collected by the Assassination Records Review Board, an independent agency created by the JFK Records Act, which has previously released thousands of documents about Kennedy’s assassination. They should be released by October 2017 as per the JFK Records Act unless the next President decides they should remain classified.

Source:  Daily Mail Online

Question for Chris Christie: Will you release all JFK files in 2017?

A JFK question for New Jersey Governo Chris Christie: Will you enforced the JFK Records Act and mandate the release of all assassination-related records, as scheduled, in October 2017,

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New records surface on General Lansdale and Cuba

The National Declassification Center announced yesterday the release of long-classified records on General Edward Lansdale and Cuba that may help complete the historical record of the end of the Kennedy administration.

The records include:

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What does the NSA have on JFK’s assassination?

I recently wrote,“NSA also has an unknown number of JFK documents.” Read more

A question for 2016 presidential candidates

Do you favor the release of all JFK assassination records in possession of the U.S. government by October 2017 without exception?


National Archives puts the CIA on notice about JFK records

The National Archives responds to the wishes of the public.

That’s the good news from yesterday’s forum at the Archives building in Washington, D.C. In her lengthy and detailed statement, Martha Murphy, de facto chief of the JFK Assassination Records Collection, laid out the Archives’ plan for the release of thousands of pages of assassination-related records by October 2017.

In the past, JFK Facts has taken Archivist David Ferreiro and his staff to task for their passive position on the continuing stonewalling of the CIA, which retains more than 1,100 assassination-related records and has insisted on redactions of hundreds of thousands of other documents.

Now the Archives is taking a more proactive role. In her remarks at the forum, JFK archivist Martha Murphy made clear that the Archives is proceeding on the assumption that the CIA and other agencies will release all of their JFK records and remove all of redactions on JFK records, as mandated by law, in October 2017, unless specifically ordered by the White House. Under the terms of the JFK Records Act, federal agencies can only continue to postpone release of documents with the approval of the White House. By default the records will become public.

This is the appropriate public stance for the Archives to take because that is what the JFK Records Act requires. That’s rather different than the public position the Archives took two years ago. At a public forum in August 2013, Archives general counsel Gary Stern gratuitously told citizens demanding the enforcement of the JFK Records Act that there was no “conspiracy” to keep records out of public view. Stern also regurgitated the CIA’s absurd talking point that it didn’t have “the time or resources” to declassify JFK records.

JFK Facts pointed out that the agency somehow found the time and resources to declassify its records about the Katyn Forest massacre in Poland in 1941, a tragic and historically important event to be sure but one in which, unlike the tragedy of Dallas, no Americans lost their lives.

When the National Declassification Center’s blog asked for public suggestions for what records should receive priority when it came to declassification, the largest number of comments by far came from people urging the release of JFK records. The public’s overwhelming preference was ignored in favored of the CIA’s prerogatives.

When I expressed some bitterness about this state of affairs, well-placed Washington friends assured me the Archives was doing all that it could behind the scenes, that Ferreiro and Stern favored full disclosure, and that public criticism would accomplish nothing. I’m willing to believe that. I know Stern personally favors full disclosure, and I trust Ferreiro does too. All of that is beside the point.

The National Archives does not work for the CIA. The National Archives works for the American people and the JFK Records Act, passed in 1992, is clear: all government records must be “immediately” reviewed and released. For the CIA to say, two decades after the passage of that law, that it lacks the “time and resources” to come clean about the murder of a sitting president was not only extraordinarily revealing about the agency’s everyday contempt for the memory of President Kennedy. It was — and is — an evasion of the law.

The National Archives deserves credit for putting the CIA (and other) agencies on notice that it expects compliance with the law by October 2017. This doesn’t mean the CIA cannot and will not seek postponement of some records. If there is no public attention to the issue, I think they probably will.





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