Suit: Biden Illegally Withholding JFK Assassination Files

'The law requires the records be released' so 'what are they hiding?' asks Robert Kennedy Jr.
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 19, 2022 3:26 PM CDT
Suit: Biden Illegally Withholding JFK Assassination Files
Part of a file from the CIA, dated Feb. 3, 1968, titled "Mexico City Chronology" about Lee Harvey Oswald's time in Mexico and contact with the embassy of the Soviet Union in Mexico City, that was released on Dec. 15, 2021.   (AP Photo/Jon Elswick, File)

Some of the most sensitive government records related to the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy are due to be released on Dec. 15. But that's not soon enough for the Mary Ferrell Foundation, the nation's largest online source of JFK assassination records, which argues the current and former president have unlawfully withheld thousands of documents and fears more excuses will be used to keep them under wraps. The 1992 JFK Assassination Records Collection Act required all related records housed in the National Archives be disclosed by Oct. 26, 2017, per NBC News, "to enable the public to become fully informed about the history surrounding the assassination." But it also allowed some records to remain hidden in the interest of, say, national security.

Former President Donald Trump cited protections for national security, law enforcement, and foreign affairs in withholding many of the documents. President Biden granted "the continued postponement of full public disclosure," saying more time was needed to review proposed redactions as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, before releasing 1,491 documents last December. "Our expectation is that, a year from now, most of the over 14,800 records currently redacted or withheld will be declassified and available to the public," the National Archives noted at the time. But it added "that will happen only if agencies abide by the standards specified in the Act," which requires the release of all records "with only a few withheld or redacted with minimal redactions."

The CIA holds 70% of the records and the FBI holds 23%, according to MFF Vice President Jefferson Morley, author of the JFK Facts blog, who argues "it's high time that the government got its act together and obeyed the spirit and the letter of the law." Robert Kennedy Jr., JFK's nephew, agrees. "The law requires the records be released," he tells NBC. So "what are they hiding?" Rolf Mowatt-Larssen, a former CIA agent and expert on the assassination, believes the documents may reveal a plot by rogue agents who sought "to get rid of Kennedy after the Bay of Pigs and the Cuban Missile Crisis," per NBC. The lawsuit filed Wednesday claims unlawful redactions and seeks the disclosure of other records "known to exist but that are not part of the JFK Collection." (More JFK assassination stories.)

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