Despite several legal attempts, classified documents on JFK's Assassination will not be released on the 50th anniversary of his death
November 22, 2013 will mark the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President Kennedy. The circumstances surrounding his assassination have been a source of controversy and public fascination for decades. The declassification of documents related to President Kennedy’s death has been an event that many, many people have been waiting for. Well, the truth behind John F Kennedy’s assassination will have to wait a little longer.
The JFK Act Collection consists of a total approximating five million pages, much of it has already been released, but the more important documents in the collection have been ‘postponed in full’ until 2017. Assistant Archivist ‘Michael Kurtz revealed that the CIA continues to withhold approximately 50,000 pages of JFK assassination-related records.’ I would like to clarify that National Archives has never counted, and thus does not know, the actual number of pages that are postponed. All we do know is that the CIA is withholding a total of 1,171 complete documents classified for national security purposes.
The contents of these files are partially known and intriguing. Conspiracy buffs are not the only ones seeking to open them for a closer look. Some serious researchers believe the off-limits files could shed valuable new light on nagging mysteries of the assassination including what U.S. intelligence agencies knew about accused assassin Lee Harvey Oswald before Nov. 22, 1963.
George Joannides, a deceased CIA agent, whose activities just before the assassination and, fascinatingly, during a government investigation years later, have tantalized researchers for years. It turns out that several hundred of the still-classified pages concern Joannides. So far the Joannides files and thousands more pages primarily from the CIA remain off-limits at a National Archives center in College Park, Md. Declassified documents show that Joannides while based in Miami, was the CIA case officer for the anti-Castro Student Revolutionary Directorate, the group involved in the street fracas with Oswald.
“There is no question that in various ways the CIA obfuscated, but it may be they were covering up operations that were justifiable, benign CIA operations that had absolutely nothing to do with the Kennedy assassination,” said Anthony Summers, a British author whose sequel to his JFK book “Not In Your Lifetime” will be released this year.
“But after 50 years, there is no reason that I can think of why such operations should still be concealed,” Summers continued. “By withholding Joannides material, the agency continues to encourage the public to believe they’re covering up something more sinister.”
In early 2012, a request to release the secret documents was made by the Assassination Archives and Research Center, a Washington, D.C. non-profit public interest group in a letter signed by several of its board members. In June of 2012, the National Archives turned down the request to declassify secret records related to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in time for the 50th anniversary of that tragic event. This did not gather much media attention but the word got around. This past July we found out we’ll be waiting at least another four years.
The 50th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination in 2013 will result in widespread discussion and news coverage, it’s a pity that government documents related to the assassination will not be made public in order to have a fully informed discussion. It is only time before the public realizes the continued delay and scrutinizes everything they can.
“Fifty years later, it is time to have access to the complete historical record of this controversial and complex era in our nation’s history” – Peter Kornbluh