Long Awaited Classified JFK Files to be Released
by Deborah Remsburg | Eternal Affairs Media
-President Trump announced in a tweet on Saturday, that he has decided to release the final batch of thousands of classified government documents related to the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy,
Subject to the receipt of further information, I will be allowing, as President, the long blocked and classified JFK FILES to be opened.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 21, 2017
“Subject to the receipt of further information, I will be allowing, as President, the long blocked and classified JFK FILES to be opened,” Mr. Trump said on Twitter.
In a statement from the White House “The president believes that these documents should be made available in the interests of full transparency unless agencies provide a compelling and clear national security or law enforcement justification otherwise,” the statement said.
In 1992, the year after Oliver Stone’s JFK film prompted fresh interest in the roles of US intelligence agencies in the case – Congress ordered the files to be released from the National Archives no later than 25 years from the date of the law’s enactment. That deadline is Thursday October 26, 2017.
Several proponents of full public disclosure have appealed to President Trump including law makers “I believe the American public needs to know the truth. The president can be a real hero to the American people if he says the truth does matter,” said Rep. Walter Jones, R-N.C., who along with Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, introduced a resolution in the Senate this month that urged Mr. Trump to make a “full public release of all remaining records,” including documents and recordings compiled by the CIA, FBI and Justice Department saying that he should “reject any claims for the continued postponement of the full public release of those records.” “The assassination of President Kennedy occurred at a pivotal time for our nation, and nearly 54 years later, we are still learning the details of how our government responded and what it may have known beforehand,” said Grassley. “Transparency in government is critical not only to ensuring accountability; it’s also essential to understanding our nation’s history,” and added, “Americans deserve a full picture of what happened that fateful day in November 1963. Shinning a light on never-before-seen government records is essential to filling in these blank spaces in our history.”
Roger Stone, Republican consultant and New York Times bestselling author, has also urged the President to release the files but said last week that he has been informed authoritatively that the CIA is urging Trump to delay the release of some of the JFK documents for another 25 years. “They must reflect badly on the CIA even though virtually everyone involved is long dead,” Stone said in a statement on his website.
The CIA has not confirmed or denied reports that it has appealed to Trump to block the release of some of the files on grounds that the documents might still somehow endanger national security if made public. In a cryptic statement last week, the spy agency said only that it “continues to engage in the process to determine the appropriate next steps with respect to any previously unreleased CIA information.”
“If there is not full disclosure of the documents, I would be very disappointed,” said Judge John R. Tunheim, the federal judge in Minneapolis who led the Assassination Records Review Board, the temporary federal agency created by the 1992 law that was responsible for the initial declassification of assassination documents. “The time for full disclosure has long since passed.”
Trump’s tweet seems noncommittal,” said Rex Bradford, president of the Mary Ferrell Foundation, which runs an extensive digital archive. “And it’s clear the CIA is lobbying him to withhold some files, including but not necessarily limited to CIA correspondence with the Assassination Records Review Board [created in 1992]. I think it’s past time they just release these in full.”
The release is expected to include more than 3,000 documents from the FBI, CIA and Justice Department that have never been seen by the public and more than 30,000 that have been previously released but with redactions. Some of the classified documents include a CIA personality study of Lee Harvey Oswald, top-secret testimony of former CIA officers to congressional committees, transcripts of interrogations with Soviet defector and Oswald handler Yuri Nosenko, letters about the case from then-FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, and First Lady Jackie Kennedy, the CIA file on Jack Wasserman the attorney for New Orleans mob boss Carlos Marcello, and the operational file of E. Howard Hunt, career CIA officer and Watergate burglar.
From The Archive: