After a couple of false starts, the FBI claims that the remaining JFK assassination files that were scheduled to be released last week will finally be made public. But historians and researchers still might be somewhat disappointed. After further vetting by intelligence agencies, the FBI says that some sensitive names in the files will be withheld.
President John F. Kennedy enters his White House car after attending a showing of the movie “Spartacus” in a downtown theatre in Washington on 3 February 1961. (AP Photo/William J. Smith)
It’s been a strange couple of weeks for US presidential historians. On October 25, President Trump said that all of the secret JFK files scheduled to be released since 1992 would be made public. But that didn’t happen. Agencies such as the FBI and CIA held up the full release, only putting out about 2800 documents. The agencies said that they wanted more time to evaluate the documents, despite the fact that they had 25 years to prepare.
The FBI claims that the remaining files will finally be released by the US National Archives in the coming weeks, but the agency didn’t give a firm date. Sadly, it appears that the files will still leave some holes in the historical record in order to protect sources. At least for now.
“The limited redactions relate to individuals who provided information during the course of the investigation, and whose lives may be at risk if they are publicly identified,” FBI spokesperson Susan McKee told the Associated Press.
That, of course, suggests that the people involved are still alive. There’s no right to privacy under US law for dead people. And agencies typically release quite a bit of information after the persons involved are dead. (That’s why there’s always a mad scramble for Freedom of Information Act requests after someone dies.)
The FBI says that “every effort is being made to lift the remaining redactions”, but the move will surely inspire even more conspiracy theories about what really happened when John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas on 22 November 1963.
As every good conspiracy theorist knows, Kennedy didn’t even die. How else could he have watched a movie in the White House on November 29, seven days after his death. And yes, that would mean that he’s 100 years young today and living under an assumed name in some place like Cape Cod or something. It’s only logical. Back and to the left. Hard to argue with facts, sheeple.