Three Congressmen seek White House meeting on JFK files

Rep. Jim McGovern
Rep, Jim McGovern (D-Mass) Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Expressing concern about the delay in the release of thousands of secret JFK assassination files, three Congressmen are seeking a meeting with “the appropriate Executive Branch official with knowledge and relevant information of the decision to postpone the release of the remaining records.”

Reps. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn), Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) and JIm McGovern (D-Mass.) signed a March 29 letter to President Biden saying it was “imperative that the remaining documents be released as soon as possible.”

Last October 22, Biden announced that federal agencies would miss the deadline set by President Trump in 2017 to release all government records related to Kennedy’s assassination because of the pandemic. When the Washington Post asked me for comment, I suggested “the COVID dog ate my homework” excuse was pretty lame at this late date.

The CIA and other federal agencies were supposed to release all JFK records in October 2017, the deadline set by Congress in the 1992 JFK Records Act. Five years later that still hasn’t happened.

Early last year, the National Archives said that it had 15,834 JFK documents in the that contain redactions, about 5 percent of 319,000-plus records in the collection. Last December 15, the National Archives fully declassified 1,492 of those records, leaving 14,342 JFK documents that are still partially classified. Most of these records were generated by the CIA.

Among the most heavily redacted CIA files are those of Birch O’Neal, the senior counterintelligence officer who opened the Agency’s first file on accused assassin Lee Harvey Oswald; J. Walton Moore, the chief CIA resident in Dallas in 1963, who knew Oswald before Kennedy was kiled, a fact that was concealed from the American public; and David Atlee Phillips who participated in the pre-assassination surveillance of Oswald and had trouble keeping his Oswald stories straight later in life.

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