Create a JFK Records Declassification Project

The National Archives should create a project to declassify remaining secret JFK assassination records before the 50th anniversary of that tragic event in 2013. The Archives recently established Berlin Wall and Pentagon Papers anniversary projects. Public interest is high in the remaining secret JFK assassination records. Such a project would fulfill President Obama's desire that his administration be the most open administration in the history of the United States.


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  1. Comment

    What better time than the 50th anniversary of the assassination? When so many people, so many students, are focused on this important period in American history, there is no better or more appropriate opportunity than now to release the remaining records for public observation and study. If all the remaining 50,000 records cannot be released...might the National Archives try for Most? Many? Some?

  2. Comment

    I agree with dalcorn & kester70. It's time for our government to release all of the JFK assassination records. We've been waiting patiently for 50 years, and it would be nice to know that ours is still a government by and for the people.

  3. Comment

    I agree with this, as one of the people who worked to create and implement the JFK Records Act. We still need oversight hearings so that records postponed or redacted under the Act, records kept secret by President George HW Bush under his signing statement on the Act, records now marked NTBR (not to be reviewed) at CIA or other agencies, records never turned over to the Review Board that fit the definition of "related records" under the Act, and records discovered and sought since under FOIA request and suit will be released. We also need to get the release of the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) regarding the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King through new legislation being delayed by Senator Kerry and Representative Lewis. And there is also no reason to exclude all these files for immediate release under the provisions of President Obama's Executive Order in January 2009 to release all records classified for more than 30 years. Finally, we need to stop classifying 15.5 million paper records each year and over a petabyte of digital records every 18 months, a volume of text so large that human readers could never catch up with even reviewing it. We need to take our history back and have transparent government decisions not secret assassination programs nobody confirms or denies.

    Comments on this comment

    1. Comment

      Creating a "JFK Records Declassification Project" is an excellent idea. As dalcorn noted, the 50th anniversary of JFK's assassination will be here in less than two years, "Public interest is high in the remaining secret JFK assassination records" and "The Archives recently established Berlin Wall and Pentagon Papers anniversary projects."

      Excellent points by johnjudge as well; the proposed board needs to hold hearings so the public can exercise oversight. All records need to be accounted for and reviewed. The fact that we are almost at the 50th anniversary of one of the nation's defining events and the government is still suppressing significant information undermines the public's confidence in government.

  4. Comment

    I support this very thoughtful approach.

  5. Comment
    Josiah Thompson

    Wouldn't it be swell to get this done in time for the 50th Anniversary. It should have been finished decades ago.

    Comments on this comment

    1. Comment

      Josiah. Thanks for your great book, Six Seconds in Dallas. A classic that has held the test of time since its inception in 1966. You made a major contribution to public understanding of the events in Dallas & I thank you.

    2. Comment

      Agreed - it's still probably my favourite book regarding the assassination . . .

  6. Comment
    David Reitzes

    Unnecessary secrecy breeds mistrust. Open all relevant files NOW.

  7. Comment

    It is a national disgrace that records pertaining to the most momentous event in postwar 20th century history remain classified and withheld from American citizens. For John Kennedy, who said, "In your hands, my fellow citizens, more than mine, will rest the final success of failure of our course," we, the people, demand access to those records related to his violent removal from office. At stake in this matter is the restoration of American democracy. 50 years of cover-up is enough!

  8. Comment

    I support review and release of the records already identified as assassination-related, AND speedy review and release of records that may not have been identified by ARRB but nonetheless qualify as provably assassination-related.

  9. Comment

    It is to be hoped that NARA will mount a special exhibition on the JFK documents in 2013. And, in recognition of the national responsibility entrusted to the Archives for protection, preservation and conservation of the nation's historic record and the importance of these specific materials, it is also to be hoped that NARA will expedite its process of review and declassification, and will release the remaining withheld and redacted records before then.