Since President John F. Kennedy was gunned down in 1963, conspiracy theories about his murder have abounded – and now the American public will have to wait even longer to see the full JFK assassination files. President Joe Biden has chosen to keep the files classified due to his belief that releasing them could lead to “identifiable harm.”
“Temporary continued postponement is necessary to protect against identifiable harm to the military defense, intelligence operations, law enforcement, or the conduct of foreign relations that is of such gravity that it outweighs the public interest in immediate disclosure,” Biden said in a presidential memorandum released Friday, Oct. 22.
Nearly 30 years ago, the President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992 mandated that the records be released to the public. However, a provision allows the release of the records to be postponed if the powers that be think it would compromise U.S. safety.
In his memo, Biden wrote that the provision allowed continued postponement of the JFK assassination files if it was “necessary to protect against an identifiable harm to the military defense, intelligence operations, law enforcement, or the conduct of foreign relations that is of such gravity that it outweighs the public interest in disclosure.”
Biden said he made the decision to further delay releasing the files because of his agreement with the U.S. archivist’s “request for an extension of time to engage with the agencies, and the need for an appropriate review and disclosure process.”
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Former President Donald Trump also postponed the release of the files in 2017, Politico reported.
According to the National Archives, “Approximately 88% of the records in the Collection are open in full. An addition 11% are released in part with sensitive portions removed. Approximately 1% of documents identified as assassination-related remain withheld in full.”
The withheld information likely involves intelligence activities during the Cold War, Politico reported. Users on Twitter reacted to the news and several rehashed long-standing conspiracy theories.
“Of all the #Boomer fixations, the continuing desire to protect JFK-era files secret is one of the most corrosive” Podcast host Nick Gillespie tweeted. “We deserve to know all the @CIA @FBI @NSAGov @DeptofDefense et al chicanery going on here and abroad during the Cold War. Come on, @JoeBiden!”
“So they are holding back the JFK files because they don’t want us to know how our 1963 Pentagon had a plan for an ‘engineered provocation’ that could be blamed on Castro as excuse for toppling him. You know, other stuff like that,” user @GrandmasWeb wrote.
“Why is US Gov’t keeping us from knowing the true involvement of the CIA in the JFK killing?” @dongroves888 tweeted. “We know JFK planned to reduce the CIA’s influence to zero after they went behind his back on the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba. That makes the CIA prime suspect!”
One Twitter user said Biden’s reasoning was an outright “lie” and called the government “incompetent” for postponing full disclosure for so long. “1963? the custodian of the records, needs more time to conduct a declassification review due to delays caused by the coronavirus pandemic,” @3904speed wrote. “OBVIOUSLY A LIE!!!We pay these incompetent government employees are refusing to serve the PEOPLE!”