Trump pushes JFK assassination records deadline to 2021

President Donald Trump extended the deadline for the public release of the John F. Kennedy assassination files to 202...

Posted: Apr 27, 2018 9:07 AM
Updated: Apr 27, 2018 9:07 AM

President Donald Trump extended the deadline for the public release of the John F. Kennedy assassination files to 2021 on Thursday, prolonging the infamously drawn-out disclosure around the shooting.

Trump's move came on the deadline he imposed last year for the full release of the files -- barring national security and privacy concerns -- after the 25-year-in-the-making deadline imposed by the John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act came to pass last October.

"I agree with the Archivist's recommendation that the continued withholdings are necessary to protect against identifiable harm to national security, law enforcement, or foreign affairs that is of such gravity that it outweighs the public interest in immediate disclosure," Trump said in a presidential memorandum on Thursday.

The memorandum accompanied a release of about 19,000 documents by the National Archives in compliance with the records law and Trump's order last year.

Many of the documents released Thursday contain redactions, and they join the massive trove of Kennedy assassination records that already have been made public.

Kennedy's 1963 assassination prompted a whirlwind of questions from the public and researchers, plenty of conspiracy theories and reflexive secrecy from the government.

In 1992, President George H.W. Bush signed the JFK Assassination Records Collection Act, requiring the release of all records relevant to the assassination by the year 2017.

'Possible we'll just never see some'

Over the years, millions of documents have become public, offering researchers a major opportunity to pore over not only records related to the Kennedy assassination, but also a variety of other topics, from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s life and slaying to pivotal moments in the Cold War.

Phil Shenon, an author and former New York Times reporter, told CNN it would take "weeks, months, years" to go through the existing documents, especially given duplicate documents and remaining redactions, in addition to the cloud of unreleased records.

"I think it's possible we'll just never see some of these documents," he said.

Shenon said the most credible evidence in his assessment lends credence to the notion that Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone gunman, but he said evidence within the documents publicly released since the 1992 law have underscored the possibility Oswald told others of his plans.

"We've gotten millions of pages of documents since this law was passed in 1992," Shenon said. "And a lot of those documents have pointed away from Oswald as a pure lone wolf. The documents show that he may have talked openly about killing Kennedy before the assassination and that he was in touch with people who may have wanted to see Kennedy dead."

Questions on future release

Last year's release was hotly anticipated, and ultimately the deadline came to pass with Trump allowing many documents to go public while granting government agencies a few months of breathing room -- a time period he extended by several years on Thursday.

CNN reported last October that Trump was "unhappy" with the incomplete release around the records deadline.

As they began to sift through the newly released documents, researchers focused on the continued delays in the full disclosure of the records.

Dr. Larry Sabato, a historian and professor of politics who studies the assassination, said in an email conversation with CNN that he is pessimistic the full records will ever come to light.

"Maybe scholars in 2063 will have more to work with," he said. "And that's not a flip statement."

Sabato pointed to fellow Kennedy researcher Gerald Posner, who identified on Twitter what he said were examples of redactions in Thursday's release of information that already had been made public.

In one example, Posner said a reference to "Mexican police" had been scrubbed possibly out of concern about harm to foreign relations, and in another, Posner said there were missing pages in a version of a document already released in full some 20 years ago.

Huntsville
Few Clouds
82° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 84°
Florence
Clear
81° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 83°
Fayetteville
Overcast
80° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 82°
Decatur
Clear
79° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 81°
Scottsboro
Broken Clouds
79° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 83°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 91776

Reported Deaths: 1639
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson12039228
Mobile9170197
Montgomery6305147
Madison508227
Tuscaloosa398466
Baldwin326323
Shelby307532
Marshall298433
Unassigned281255
Lee251940
Morgan224315
Etowah195728
DeKalb171813
Elmore162637
Calhoun159012
Walker147464
Houston132712
Dallas129423
Russell12471
St. Clair123612
Limestone120813
Franklin120620
Cullman115711
Colbert110712
Lauderdale109512
Autauga103020
Escambia97915
Talladega92713
Jackson8704
Chambers82838
Tallapoosa82278
Dale78722
Butler75135
Blount7413
Chilton7226
Coffee7165
Covington71520
Pike6607
Barbour5635
Lowndes55824
Marion54724
Marengo52614
Clarke4879
Hale45726
Bullock44111
Winston43211
Perry4314
Wilcox4089
Monroe3954
Randolph39110
Bibb3813
Conecuh37210
Pickens3719
Sumter35918
Lawrence3240
Washington31412
Macon31113
Crenshaw2973
Choctaw27612
Cherokee2477
Henry2463
Greene24511
Geneva2420
Clay2235
Lamar2032
Fayette1765
Cleburne1211
Coosa922
Out of AL00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 112441

Reported Deaths: 1117
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby21728293
Davidson19563205
Rutherford615553
Hamilton572047
Knox410837
Williamson330822
Sumner321970
Unassigned29575
Out of TN278914
Wilson210222
Sevier17565
Montgomery175212
Bradley173910
Putnam160113
Trousdale15766
Robertson145919
Hamblen129713
Blount11817
Tipton11239
Maury10897
Washington10892
Madison92913
Bedford87711
Macon84113
Sullivan8339
Hardeman83011
Lake7560
Loudon6823
Bledsoe6741
Fayette6428
Anderson6307
Dickson6091
Gibson5902
Dyer5687
Cheatham5486
Rhea5111
Jefferson5083
McMinn49320
Lawrence4916
Henderson4690
Obion4534
Lauderdale4386
Carter4335
Warren4294
Coffee4212
Cocke4121
Hardin4097
Haywood4025
Roane3922
Cumberland3856
Smith3843
Monroe3779
Greene3765
Hawkins3694
Giles35410
McNairy3245
DeKalb3221
Weakley3103
Franklin2864
Marshall2662
Lincoln2551
Carroll2443
Crockett2364
Claiborne2350
Hickman2330
Henry2250
Campbell2211
Wayne2191
Marion2094
White2053
Chester1962
Grainger1790
Polk1793
Johnson1770
Decatur1692
Overton1391
Unicoi1390
Union1290
Cannon1260
Humphreys1093
Benton1081
Jackson1081
Scott1050
Grundy1022
Meigs990
Sequatchie960
Morgan911
Fentress760
Hancock761
Perry740
Stewart700
Clay640
Lewis581
Houston540
Moore440
Van Buren330
Pickett251

Community Events