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Petition to Free JFK Files by 2013

Unless the National Archives reverses itself, the 50th anniversary of JFK's death will come and go without the remaining identified JFK assassination files being released to the public.

In 2010, Assistant Archivist Michael Kurtz stated that the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) would include remaining JFK records in the National Declassification Center's project to review and release backlogged documents by 2013. But in a recent letter to Assassination Archives and Research Center President Jim Lesar, NARA's General Counsel Gary Stern said that Kurtz "misspoke." Ironically, the letter cited NARA's need to "balance historical impact [and] public interest" in determining which records to focus its review efforts on. It would be hard to argue that JFK assassination records are not high on either metric.

The letter notes that among the records are 1171 CIA documents still withheld in full. While these and some other records are slated for full declassification in 2017, there is no guarantee that such will actually occur. The upcoming 50th anniversary is the best occasion to apply pressure to ensure these records become public.

If you would like to weigh in on this issue, one option is to sign an online petition put together by researcher Bill Kelly, author of the excellent JFK Countercoup blog.


For more information, see these resources:

National Archives: No new JFK docs, by Jefferson Morley, on salon.com.

Why It's Important to Free the JFK Files Now, by Bill Kelly, on JFK Countercoup.

Is The Government Holding Back Crucial Documents?, by Russ Baker, on WhoWhatWhy.

AARC Press Release of June 12, 2012, on AARC website.

AARC's Letter of Jan 20, 2012, regarding remaining JFK records, on AARC website.

NARA Response by General Counsel Gary Stern on June 6, 2012 to AARC Letter, on AARC website.

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