Friday, November 3, 2017

JFK Files Withheld

I anticipated the JFK Act would be upheld, all of the records would be released as Congress wrote in the law and the Assassination Records Revicew Board (ARRB) concluded in their final report, there would be a flurry of media activity and then things would slowly die down and go back to normal.

What happened was anticipated by some (Jacob Hornberger for one), and generally derided by everyone, including Warren Commission defenders, and as Dr. Cyril Wecht has challenged, they should be the ones in the forefront of this fight, and it is a fight - between almost everyone and a handful of military-intelligence officer who have Trump's ear and are pulling at it like the nuns in grammar school.

But actually, there are some good aspects of the continued withholding of the records.

For one, it give us some more time to get our acts together, evaluate the situation, determine exactly what was released and what remains withheld, and prepare a plan of action.

In addition, while the relevant oversight committees of Congress - the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee (Chaired by Rep. Trey Goudy  - R. S.C), and the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs (Chaired by Sen. Ron Johnson - R. IN), showed no interest in holding JFK Act oversight hearings, so other Congressmen who chair other committees introduced new legislation that will require new hearings on these matters. That may stimulate the responsible committees to do their job and hold hearings too.

So now, there will most likely be Congressional hearings on the JFK Act, - the last one was held in 1998.

Prior to Congressional Hearings, we can hold a Congressional Briefing in Congress that we control, and present the most knowledgeable expert witnesses - Jim Lesar, John Newman, Dan Alcorn, Jeff Morley, Rex Bradford, Malcolm Blunt, Oliver Stone and others.

Besides Congress, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has a big responsibility in adhering to this law, and seeing that it is enforced and carried out according to the intent and spirit that Congress infused it.

The Archivist of the United States (AOTUS) David Ferraro, according to the law, is personally required to see that the Act is carried out and publish an index and guide to the JFK Collection, two things he has not done, and now the President has directed the heads of all agencies of government to notify him - the AOTUS, on what records they want to continually withhold or release with redactions, by mid-March. Then the AOTUS must review them and recommend to the President what records he would consider withhold or releasing with redactionns.

I wrote to the AOTUS David Ferraro over a year ago requesting a meeting between him and the JFK Collection Staff and a handful of the top FOIA lawyers and researchers to go over the issues related to the JFK assassination records, and he never responded.

Now such a meeting is more likely and will include the congressmen who have expressed interest in this issue and have introduced the new bills that requires the release of all the remaining records.

In addition the CAPA - Citizens Against Political Assassinations research and legal committees are reviewing all possible legal actions that can be taken and will report on that soon.

Most frustrating is the Mainstream Media stories on this issue that continauly report that only 300 documents remain withheld when in fact the true figures are astounding, as Russ Baker discovered in a talk with an archivist.

There are still 2,745 records withheld in full, 547 of which are tax and grand jury records that are exempt from the JFK Act - apparently exempt - as the New Orleans Grand Jury records are already released in full. What other grand jury investigated the Kennedy assassination?

In addition there are 31,354 records withheld in part, 1,295 of which are tax and grand jury records that they claim are exempt from the JFK Act. I thought the JFK Act trumped all other laws.
So minus the tax and grand jury records there are 29,512 records withheld in part and 2,745 withheld in full.

What was released in the July and October data dumps consist of a release of only 2% of the records withheld in full and 10% of those withheld in part.

Exclusive: National Archives Reveals Missing Document Count to WhoWhatWhy - WhoWhatWhy

In the past week there have been two more bulk releases of records by NARA, for a total of four data dumps since July.

In addition, the Attorney General of USA has announced (on TV) that the FBI will release the remaining JFK FBI records, possibly within a week or so, through the NARA.

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