Timeout on JFK files, as Washington turns to today’s conspiracy allegations

No, President Trump’s release of a handful of secret JFK files last week was not a “distraction” from his troubles with Special Counsel Robert Mueller III. The release was something that he was legally required to do, and he actually failed to do it.

But with the indictment of Paul Manafort, all is forgotten, at least about JFK. The Washington press corps and the news cycle has whirled away from the crime of Dallas to more recent lawbreaking.

The JFK files story so far, if anybody is still paying attention, is a study in Washington’s dysfunction: Trump got rolled. The media got played. The JFK coverup continues. 

Trump got rolled.  The president’s enthusiastic tweeting about JFK betrayed a genuine, if naive, desire for full disclosure.

Trump’s weakness showed when the CIA and FBI responded at the last minute by telling him the release of 30,000 pages of material would endanger American lives, a claim that is almost certainly untrue. Saying he had “no choice,’ the commander in chief surrendered to their demands to withhold most of the files beyond the statutory deadline of October 26.

It was not a popular decision. Senator Charles Grassley, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, tweeted caustically, “YeGods u had fifty yrs NOW CIA WANTS FURTHER COVERUP/POTUS STOP”

Federal judge John Tunheim who oversaw the release of JFK records in the 1990s called the continuing secrecy “disappointing.”

The media got played. Yet liberal news outlets, usually suspicious of Trump, treated White House statements and numbers credulously. As a legal fig leaf for naked non-compliance with the law, Trump issued a statement he was “ordering that the veil finally be lifted” on the records–which he did not do.

NBC News reported Trump had released “most but not all” of the secret records–which wasn’t close to true.

On MSNBC Rachel Maddow said the president had released 2,800 long-secret files, which sounds like a lot, but only made public “some weird proportion” of them–as if it would be eccentric for her to calculate just how much information about a murder of the liberal president the CIA still feels the need to keep secret.

The coverup continues: Rex Bradford of the Mary Ferrell Foundation set the record straight with data at WhoWhatWhy. According to the National Archives JFK records database, the government’s trove of secret JFK records

 includes 3,147 “withheld in full” records never seen, and an unknown number of redacted documents estimated at about 30,000. Intensely lobbied by federal agencies including the CIA, Trump instead authorized the withholding of well over 90% of these documents. 52 of the 3,147 withheld-in-full records were released and put online by NARA, less than 2%, and 2,839 of the redacted documents were released, which is probably less than 10% of that set.

So, all in all, about 90 percent of the JFK files remain secret, and Trump’s last tweet on the subject is wholly inaccurate.

To be tedious about it, most the JFK files are not released, and the president is now four days behind schedule.

Hence the JFK files story, at least so far:

Trump got rolled. The media got played. The coverup continues.

 

4 comments

  1. Brian Lynch says:

    It is too bad that President Trump got played by the CIA. Symptomatic of hid political naivete. Let’s hope once Mueller’s liberal-based attack is over, we get back to having the files released in their entirety. More evidence of why Trump wishes to drain the swamp.

  2. Dwayne says:

    Umm the tweet you quoted was a second one. The first one stated that he has directed the rest of the records to be released with redaction of living persons’ information. So, in effect they will be released ahead of the 180 day review that he agreed to on Thursday.

    https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/924064610038272000/photo/1?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw&ref_url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cnn.com%2F2017%2F10%2F28%2Fpolitics%2Ftrump-jfk-files-full-release%2Findex.html

  3. If President Kennedy had lived, there would not have been a Vietnam War. That is one of the reasons he was killed. Read his National Security Action Memorandum 263 from October 11, 1963. He was popular and he would have been reelected in 1964. We would probably have a better and more peaceful world today.

    November 22, 1963, after coups in Guatemala, Iran, the Philippines, and other places, the CIA did one in the USA, killing President Kennedy in Dallas.

    Shots came from more than one direction as MANY eyewitnesses testified. There had to be a conspiracy to murder our president. Parkland Hospital doctors in Dallas, who tried to save the President, unanimously testified to an entry wound in the throat and a baseball sized exit wound in the back of the head. Parkland Hospital doctors wanted to perform an autopsy, but the Secret Service forcefully took President Kennedy’s body at gunpoint to Bethesda Naval Hospital, where (after secret operations) military doctors (Naval) released autopsies that said all the gunshot wounds came from the back.

    The House Select Committee on Assassinations (1976-1979) found a probable conspiracy in the murder of President Kennedy, and recommended that the Justice Department investigate further. So far, this has not happened.

    Please visit my website ( http://www.investigate-jfk-murder.org/ ) and sign my petition ( https://petitions.moveon.org/sign/honestly-investigate )

    We should face our history, instead of lying about it.

  4. Brian Joseph says:

    I think it’s possible that a deal was made. The six month timeframe is interesting because that is when the senate intel committee expects to have the Russian influence thing wrapped up by. Also will be interesting to see whether or not other indictments come about from special prosecutors investigation. It may stop at the current level.

    I find it intersting that 6 additional months are needed for agencies to review and redact when they have had 25 years. At the end of those 25 years the prez was supposed to say yay or nay to any agencies’ request to withhold. The additional 6 months looks like some sort of insurance to make sure whatever deal that may have been made is kept.

    Also interesting is the MSM covering the Clinton uranium deal story which is old news and also covering the dems paying for the dossier that included info from Russia. Looks like some shaping of the Russia thing into a bipartisan thing.

    If my suspicions are correct and the deal is kept then we won’t see much of what has been witheld in six months.

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