Biden delays release of some JFK tapes, citing pandemic

The pandemic has created backlogs for several federal agencies, leading to backlogs of visa applications, untreated Social security ben...


The pandemic has created backlogs for several federal agencies, leading to backlogs of visa applications, untreated Social security benefits and backlogs in FDA inspections.

Friday, the White House announcement another administrative accident: a delay in the publication of a wealth of documents related to the assassination of former President John F. Kennedy.

The White House statement, signed by President Biden, did not specify exactly how the coronavirus delayed the release of the documents, which must be released to comply with a 1992 congressional law, but said the National archivist had reported that the pandemic had had a “significant impact on agencies” that should be consulted on redactions.

The United States Archivist heads the National Archives and Records Administration, the custodian of public government records. The post has been held since 2009 by David S. Ferriero, former librarian at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Duke University, and the New York Public Library. He is the 10th person to hold this position since the creation of the National Archives in 1934.

The White House statement said the National Archives needed more time to research and work with agencies, which include the departments of Defense, Justice and State.

The assassination of the 35th president on November 22, 1963, is still raging in the public imagination. He’s also been the subject of an endless stream of conspiracy theories.

Despite a full year-long murder investigation by Chief Justice Earl Warren who concluded that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone, surveys over the years have consistently found that most Americans believe that others were involved.

The 1992 law required the government to release the last of the Kennedy assassination documents to the public by October 26, 2017, unless the incumbent president chose to withhold some for national security reasons. The Trump administration released a mine of JFK assassination records in the fall of that year. While the documents intrigued researchers and conspiracy theorists, they did not conclusively change the previous understanding of the assassination.

Mr Trump, who himself participated in an assassination plot, claiming that former rival Ted Cruz’s father was somehow involved in Kennedy’s murder, has pushed back the date of publication of certain dossiers by 2021.

In the White House statement on Friday, President Biden said he agreed with the archivist’s recommendation that the documents should not be released to the public until December 2022.

“A continued temporary postponement,” he said, “is necessary to protect against identifiable damage to military defense, intelligence operations, law enforcement or the conduct of foreign relations of a such seriousness that it outweighs the public interest in immediate disclosure “.

The White House has also said it wants to make JFK documents more accessible. More than 250,000 documents – over 90 percent of the agency’s collection of documents on the assassination – have been made public and “only a small fraction” contain redactions. But many documents are only available to the public if they visit the National Archives site in College Park, Maryland.

The White House statement also ordered the archivist to create a plan to digitize and make available online the documentation agency’s entire collection of documents from the JFK assassination.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Biden delays release of some JFK tapes, citing pandemic
Biden delays release of some JFK tapes, citing pandemic
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