In April of this year, I reported that President Donald Trump had a decision to make with regards to releasing 3,600 pages of documentation on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Now, it appears that he will be releasing them, just not all of them yet.
Earlier this month, Trump tweeted, “Subject to the receipt of further information, I will be allowing, as President, the long blocked and classified JFK FILES to be opened.”
Subject to the receipt of further information, I will be allowing, as President, the long blocked and classified JFK FILES to be opened.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 21, 2017
President Trump released 2,891 of the documents Thursday night, while the rest will not be released until April 2018, allegedly due to national security concerns.
“I am ordering today that the veil finally be lifted,” Trump wrote in a memo announcing the delay Thursday evening.
“At the same time, executive departments and agencies have proposed to me that certain information should continue to be redacted because of national security, law enforcement, and foreign affairs concerns,” he wrote. “I have no choice — today — but to accept those redactions rather than allow potentially irreversible harm to our Nation’s security.”
Still, he warned that agency heads should be “extremely circumspect” in asking for further postponing the release of any of the documents, saying: “The need for continued protection can only have grown weaker with the passage of time.”
NBC reports on what those national security concerns are.
Trump “wants to ensure there is full transparency here,” a senior administration official said at a briefing. He is “expecting agencies to do a better job in reducing conflict within redactions and get this information out as quickly as possible.”
The CIA said in a statement that the redactions were meant to protect information that would “harm national security — including the names of CIA assets and current and former CIA officers, as well as specific intelligence methods and partnerships that remain viable to protecting the nation today.”
“Every single one of the approximately 18,000 remaining CIA records in the collection will ultimately be released, with no document withheld in full,” the agency said.
The public will eventually receive full access to the documents, and behind the scenes there is a lot of work taking place to see that these documents see the light of day.
“There’s a mad scramble going on in the executive branch to get this done,” one official said.
The classified documents were scheduled to be released on October 26, the date Congress set 25 years ago under a bill signed by then President George H.W. Bush.
Those documents contain another 35,000 assassination-related documents.
Many interested parties are hopeful that the documents will shed some light Lee Harvey Oswald’s trip to Mexico City just weeks before the assassination. He said at the time that he made the trip to secure visas that would allow him to enter the Soviet Union and Cuba, according to the Warren Commission.
Clint Hill, the Secret Service agent who used his body to shield the mortally wounded president and first lady Jacqueline Kennedy after the first shots rang out in Dallas, said he hoped the documents might provide a motive for the shooting.
“I’m hoping that within that material — and there’s lots of it — there will be some indication as to the motive, the reason why he did what he did,” Hill told MSNBC.
“Deep down, I still have that sense of guilt that I should have been able to get there quicker and I didn’t,” he said with remorse though there was really nothing he could have done in the situation. “I was the only one who had a chance to do anything.”
Additionally, another interesting piece of information may also be in those documents, according to NBC.
“About 200 pages of the new batch are expected to delve into the six-day visit that Oswald, a onetime Marine who had defected to the Soviet Union, made to Mexico City just before Kennedy’s assassination,” NBC reported. “One of the juiciest stories is likely to be that of June Cobb, a CIA spy working in Cuba and Mexico, who reported that Oswald had been spotted in Mexico City. Cobb, born Viola June Cobb in Ponca City, Oklahoma, died Oct. 17, 2015, in New York, where she was living in a Manhattan senior center, an official there and her former sister-in-law told NBC News.”
Document Download Link Now Available: National Archives Releases JFK Assassination Records http://goo.gl/4eSCBo