Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Is the JFK Assassination Relevant Today?

Is the JFK Assassination Ancient History or a Current Event that's Relevant Today?

Some of the FBI records on the assassination of JFK that have been released.

More than that are still being withheld - over 3500 documents remain withheld in full or over 30,000 pages while another 35,000 documents remain withheld in part, with redactions.

These still sealed JFK Assassination records make it relevant. 

If what happened at Dealey Plaza is ancient history and not relevant today, then why are so many JFK assassination records still being withheld by the government for reasons of national security?

Why does our nation’s security depend on the government keeping the American public from knowing what information is contained in over 3,000 documents – 30,000 pages of records?

John Newman, whose new book “Where Angels Tread Lightly” deals with what we have learned from the release of these records so far, had said that not only Dealey Plaza, but the Archives II is a crime scene, as it has possession of most of the evidence in the murder as well as the relevant government documents that would give us a pretty good picture of what happened at Dealey Plaza if they would only let us read them.

But the clock is ticking, the countdown has begun and the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is making preparations for the final release of the last of the still sealed records by October 2017, as the law requires.

The JFK Act remains in effect until that time the Archivist of the United States (AOTUS) informs the President, Congress and the American people that the last JFK assassination record has been released to the public as the JFK Act of 1992 prescribes, and the date is set for October 26, 2017.

Now, over 50 years later, it is in the national interest to release all of these records, but it won’t be easy and won’t be without a fight against the national security state agencies who want many of these records to remain sealed indefinitely - and intend to ask the next president of the United States, whoever he or she may be, to keep them sealed, and only he/she can.

According to the JFK Act, passed by congress and signed by President G. H. W. Bush on October 26, 1992 - only the president can continue the withholding of the records, and only if the “continued postponement is made necessary by an identifiable harm to military defense, intelligence operations, law enforcement, or conduct of foreign relations, and the identifiable harm is of such gravity that it outweighs the public interest in disclosure.”

Will the nation’s security be preserved? Will the government and various agencies survive? Will the heavens fall?

The consequences should not be that catastrophic, but putting the last pieces of the Dealey Plaza puzzle into place will certainly be enlightening, change our perspectives, re-write history and certainly damage the reputation of the agencies of government – CIA – FBI – NSA – WHCA – ONI – Secret Service – who have covered up the truth for the past half-century and should be directly threatened by what’s in the documents.

According to Jeff Morley [ ] – Martha Murphy, of NARA, recently corrected an Assassinations Records Review Board (ARRB) statement that one percent of the total records in the collection are still being withheld. Since there are over 350,000 documents in the collection that total nearly 4 million pages, they estimated that one percent as 3,000 documents, but have recently obtained a better count. According to Morley, “Murphy acknowledged that she had misplaced the decimal point. The actual figure is 1.1 percent, she said.”

“We currently have documented in the [JFK records] database 3,603 documents withheld in full [out] of a total of 318,866 documents in the database. So that comes to 1.1 percent,” Murphy wrote.

Morley notes that, "While the Assassination Records Review Board, an independent civilian panel, which oversaw the declassification of JFK records in the 1990s, had first used the 1 percent figure, the exact number of documents still off limits to the public was not known until now."

In a second email, Murphy wrote, “we have found five of those documents which were actually released in the collection as redacted,” leaving 3,598 records that remain withheld in full. Murphy stressed the figure would likely change again as archivists compare the data base to the actual records in preparation for their scheduled release in October 2017. The Archives does not yet have an accurate agency by agency breakdown of the withheld records, Murphy said.

According to Morley, "In her April 10 presentation, Murphy made it clear that all withheld information will be released in October 2017, as mandated by the 1992 JFK Records Act, unless the President orders otherwise."

Murphy said that archives staffers are currently perfecting the index because there are errors or missing information in the index as to the status of records and intends to post the released information on the web and then integrate the newly released records into existing files.

According to an FOIA attorney who was present at the NARA public forum, Murphy also stated that 11% of the documents in the collection are partially withheld, meaning they have redactions. 11% of 318,866 documents is 35,075 documents with redactions. So the current numbers are 3,598 documents withheld in full and 35,075 withheld in part. It would be helpful if the Archives would provide page counts and agencies of origin for these categories.

Indeed, it would be helpful if the NARA would but they haven’t and they won’t, and I don’t believe they will post these remaining one-point-one-percenters on line in 2017 because they won’t post the five documents they just located now.

As former House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) investigator Dan Hardway recently told me, “we need an army of researchers with lap tops and scanners to go to the Archives II and scan and post these records as they are released so everyone can read them.”

We are up against a tired National Archives staff, a Congress reluctant to conduct proper oversight, and the government agencies and their staff of attorneys handsomely paid by the taxpayers to keep these records secret, and we must summon up the energy, masses and will to oppose them.

That’s why we have formed a new organization – Citizens Against Political Assassinations (CAPA) that picks up where the organizations that lobbied for the passage of the JFK Act in 1992 left off and to continue the work we began twenty years ago to see the JFK Act to its full completion.

Over the next few years CAPA will be:

-    Correcting the mainstream media spin on political assassinations and secrecy in government;
-    Making political assassinations and government transparency campaign issues in local, state and the national elections;
-    Getting all of the political candidates to support open records and transparency and announce their positions publicly in their campaign platforms;
-    Have each presidential candidate declare their intention whether to release all of the JFK Assassination records or keep them sealed and to pledge their support for open records;
-    Hold a Congressional Briefing in Washington on the JFK Act to focus attention on the destroyed, missing and still withheld records and provide a platform for witnesses to testify;
-    Engage the NARA staff to expedite the release of the records, to post the requested documents on line as they have promised, to update their public index and make their private index available to researchers, work more efficiently with researchers and to see that Congress properly oversees the JFK Act so that is enforced;
-    Engage Congressman on the relevant oversight committees and their Congressional staff to see that the JFK Act is properly enforced, and hold public hearings on the JFK Act on the destroyed, missing and still withheld records and release the MLK HSCA, Church Committee and other relevant records that are still being withheld.

As an association of independent researchers we seek the complete release of all of the remaining JFK Assassination records by October 26, 2017 and we intend to ratchet up our efforts to educate the public, the media and the government as to why it is now in the national interest to have all of these records released.

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