Thursday, April 19, 2018

Thursday April 26, 2018 Deadline Looms

Thursday April 26, 2018

President Trump's self-imposed deadline of Thursday April 26, 2018 is fast approaching for him to decide whether to release all of the remaining withheld government records on the assassination of President Kennedy, as he has repeatedly promised to do, or continue to withhold some of them at the request of the heads of government agencies.

The law of the land - the JFK Act of 1992, has already been effectively sidestepped, as it required all government records on the assassination to be released in full by October 26, 2017, twenty-five years after Congress unanimously passed the JFK Act that was reluctantly signed by President George H. W. Bush on that date. At the time Bush added a rider to the law that gave the President the authority to continue to withhold records past that date for reasons of national security.

While Bush did not know that Trump would be President today, President Trump repeatedly promised and tweeted that he would release all of the records in full, especially since he was at war with the "Deep State," noteably the FBI. 

Then, at the very last minute, late in the afternoon of October 26, 2017, his chief of staff, former General John Kelly (USMCR), persuaded him to delay the determination for another six months, even though the agencies of government had 25 years to make their determination. 

Two other deadlines imposed by Trump have come and gone - the March 12th deadline for the heads of the agencies of government to make their requests for continued postponement to the Archivist of the United States (AOTUS) David Ferriero, and a March 26th date the AOTUS had to make his recommendations to the President.

While the deliberation process involved in such administrative decisions can be considered exempt from Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, we will eventually learn what agencies requested records be continually withheld and what the AOTUS recommended, but in the meantime the April 26th deadline looms ahead and cannot be ignored.

Even though the NARA had ''no comment'' on either the identity of the agencies that requested continued postponement or the AOTUS recommendations to the President,  we will eventually come to know those facts,  and they can't remain silent after April 26, 2018.

At the same time the National Archives recognizes the huge public interest in this subject,  as demonstrated by the collapse of the NARA internet servers by the sheer number of people who tried to access the documents they did release in October 2017, yet they continue to ignore the topic as relevant news on their web site. That's something they can't do after April 26, 2018.

President Trump could do a number of things. He could do as he threatened and promised, and release all of the records in full as the law requires, or he can cow tow to the CIA, FBI and military and continue to withhold some of the records they request be kept secret from the public. 

If all the records are released in full there will probably be a temporary clamor in the mainstream media, and then everybody will forget all about it and move on.

More than likely Trump will either postpone the release again,  or continue to withhold records that agencies request be continually withheld indefinately.  

If that is the case there will be some positive attributes to the continued secrecy. 

For one, if they withhold some records,  they will have to release the remaining records that are still being withheld but are not on the lists of those requested to be continually withheld. So either way  there should be a windfall of newly released and previously secret records even if they continually withhold some. 

In addition, if they request some records be continually withheld, Peter Dale Scott`s ``negative template`` thesis comes into play as they will be calling attention to the most sensitive and secret records they want to keep from the public.  

In that case the law requires they identify the agency of record,  the subject matter,  RIF - Record Identification Number and why it is still being withheld. 

By continually withholding records that the JFK Act ordered released they will sturr up a public clamor that will force Congress to act and hold the required public oversight hearings they haven't held since 1997.

Just as the Facebook scandal forced Congress to hold hearings and call Mark Zuckerberg to testify under oath in public, such similar hearings on the JFK Act could determine how and why the law is being subverted and sidestepped by the NARA,  FBI,  CIA and military. 

In addition many of the most important JFK assassination records have been kept out of the JFK Collection at the National Archives,  including the files of the first chairman of the House Select Committee on Assassinations Richard Sprague, the ONI Defector file and the Soviet KGB files, among others. 

Then there are the extensive list of records that have been intentionally destroyed that Bill Simpich has compiled,  and the over 50 records that are missing,  but known to exist, that should be the subjects of Congressional oversight but aren't,  yet. 

While we don't know how this will all play out, it's going to go one way or another, and something will happen come April 26, 2018, as the sunset deadline is fast approaching. 

As Yogi Berra said,  ''When you get to the fork in the road,  take it,'' and while we don't yet know which way it will go, either way something will happen. 

Stay tuned.  

Bill Kelly
Billkelly3@gmail.com 

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2 comments:

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