JFK assassination: Nearly 1,500 documents published by National Archives


The National Archives in the US published on Wednesday nearly 1,500 documents relating to the 1963 assassination of John F. Kennedy, the first Irish American Catholic President of the US.

1,491 documents, including letters, testimony, and memos, relating to JFK’s assassination were made available on The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) website on Wednesday, December 15.

Despite the large tranche of newly-available information, NPR reports that “no evidence is expected to emerge that would put in doubt the conclusion of the Warren Commission’s report that Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone gunman in Dallas in November 1963.”

NARA said on Wednesday that it posted the nearly 1,500 documents online in the wake of President Joe Biden’s memo issued on October 22 which required disclosure of releasable records by December 15, 2021.

“As of December 15, 2021, all documents subject to section 5 of the JFK Act have been released in full or in part,” NARA said in a statement on Wednesday. “No documents subject to section 5 of the JFK Act remain withheld in full.”

The JFK Act, formally titled The President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act, was passed in 1992 and says in part that “all records should be eventually disclosed to enable the public to become fully informed about the history surrounding the assassination.”

As permitted by the JFK Act, agencies appealed to President Biden to continue postponement of certain information beyond October 22, 2021, the day Biden issued his memo.

In his memo, President Biden accepted a recommendation from the Archivist that he should “temporarily certify the continued withholding of all of the information certified in 2018” and “direct two public releases of the information that has” ultimately “been determined to be appropriate for release to the public.”

Biden directed agencies “to ensure that the United States Government maximizes transparency, disclosing all information in records concerning the assassination, except when the strongest possible reasons counsel otherwise.”

The memo notes that a more “comprehensive” release should occur in 2022.

NARA said on Wednesday: “Over the next year, the National Archives and the agencies proposing continued postponement of more than 14,000 previously withheld documents will be conducting an intensive review of each remaining section 5 redaction to ensure that the United States Government maximizes transparency.

“Any information currently withheld from public disclosure that agencies do not propose for continued postponement beyond December 15, 2022, will be released to the public on that date.”

The John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection, established by the National Archives in November 1992, consists of approximately five million pages. The vast majority of the collection has been publicly available without restrictions on access since the late 1990s, NARA says.





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