There still exists a large community of Americans who continue to explore and investigate the events that ultimately resulted in the death of one of the country’s most beloved presidents, John F. Kennedy.
That same group, along with curious Americans in general, were excited about an upcoming release of previously redacted files concerning the late president’s assassination. But according to the Washington Examiner, the Biden administration announced yet another delay in the release of those files, which only serves to raise additional flags for those who believe there’s more to the story than the government has let on.
Congress decided in the President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992, to eventually release all files related to JFK’s assassination. Though tens of thousands of documents related to the national tragedy have, in fact, been made available to the public, there remain “secret” files that are supposed to eventually be released.
However, in 2018, former President Donald Trump temporarily halted the release of additional files at the behest of both the archivist of the United States, and the U.S. intelligence agency.
President Trump cited “national security” considerations as the reason for the decision to withhold the release, but set a deadline for Oct. 26, 2021, when the plan was to rollout the first trove of documents, followed by a much more extensive release sometime in 2022.
Citing COVID-19 pandemic delays, David Ferriero, the archivist of the United States, reported “unfortunately, the pandemic has had a significant impact on the agencies,” and went on to explain the extensive process required for such a release.
A recent White House memo on the issue, signed by President Biden, said “[t]emporary continued postponement is necessary to protect against identifiable harm to the military defense, intelligence operations, law enforcement, or the conduct of foreign relations that is of such gravity that it outweighs the public interest in immediate disclosure.”
Has something changed?
When the JFK act was signed into law under former President George H.W. Bush, mostly in an effort to quash the growing number of conspiracies surrounding JFK’s death, it was noted at the time that several decades from then — which would be the present — the same national security concerns would no longer be a factor.
“Most of the records related to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy are almost 30 years old, and only in the rarest cases is there any legitimate need for continued protection of such records,” Congress said at the time.
However, there are clearly still concerns, as Trump delayed the release, and now Biden has followed suit.
The Examiner noted that while troves of files have been released over the years, there’s still a number of sensitive documents related to U.S. operations against Cuba in 1963, among other secretive documents, that appear to be so secretive that their release could have national security implications.
One silver lining is that the Biden administration has directed the U.S. archivist to make the tens of thousands of public documents available in digital form, as to this date, many are still not available online.