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JFK Act Releases

NOTICE: The Mary Ferrell and Foundation has filed suit in federal court over implementation of the JFK Records Act. Read more about this lawsuit against President Biden and the National Archives.

Background

The 1992 JFK Records Act mandated the declassification of large numbers of formerly-secret documents on the assassination of President Kennedy and its context, including foreign policy and covert action as it related to Vietnam and particularly Cuba. This website contains well over a million pages of documents released under the Act, among other holdings.

But tens of thousands of documents reviewed by the Assassination Records Review Board were withheld from public view or released in redacted form. The JFK Records Act mandated that, 25 years after its enactment, all records reviewed under the Act were to be made fully public, barring extraordinary circumstances which required continued withholding.

In 2017 and 2018 seven batches of records were releases, and an additional release occurred in December 2021. But more than 14,000 records still feature redactions, and various accounting anomalies make it impossible to determine the full status of all records. Furthermore, the Trump and Biden administrations did not follow the procedures outlined in the Act for authorizing continued withholding on a document-by-document basis, instead opting for blanket withholding assertions.

This page exists to track the continued progress toward full disclosure, as well as providing access to the actual documents released since 2017.

Document Releases

From July 24, 2017 through April 26, 2018, seven batches of documents were released.

About the 2017/2018 JFK Document Releases

On December 15, 2021, more documents were released.

About the 2021 JFK Document Releases


State of the JFK Collection

  • State of JFK Releases 2022. This page describes various problems and issues with the JFK Collection as of 2022. The National Archives' maintains a public spreadsheet intended to list the metadata and status of all declassified records - there are many problems with this data, and the status of the full JFK Collection is therefore not knowable.
  • State of JFK Releases 2021. Written by MFF's Rex Bradford in March of 2021, prior to the 2021 releases; describes the state of affairs related to JFK records, with particular emphasis on those still withheld in full, and accounting anomalies.

Other links Related to the JFK Act Releases

  • JFK Database Explorer. MFF's own sophisticated tool lets you explore, filter, and search the metadata of the 319,106 records in the National Archives' JFK Collection database (the 6-part spreadsheet linked to above).
  • ARRB Final Report. The Final Report of the Assassination Records Review Board describes the major declassification effort which was conducted in the 1990s.
  • Biden memo of October 22, 2021. This memo ordered the releases of December 15, 2021, delayed the release of most remaining records for a year pending review, and mandated development of a plan for digitization of the entire JFK Collection.
  • National Archives digitization plan. This 4-page plan outline was delivered to the White House on December 15, 2021. It describes a 2-3 year process for putting the entire JFK Collection online. There is little sign of progress on this plan as of October 2022.

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