National Archives Finishes Review of JFK Documents

National Archives Finishes Review of JFK Documents

( – Last year, President Joe Biden ordered the National Archives to release the remaining classified documents about the assassination of former President John F. Kennedy. Now they’ve all been reviewed, and most of the documents have reportedly been released to the public. Will that be enough to end speculation and conspiracy theories about the 1963 shooting?

In October 2022, Biden sent a memo to the heads of several federal agencies reminding them of the 1992 President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act (JFK Records Act). This bill held that the government’s records about the assassination “should be eventually disclosed” to the public. In his memo, Biden decided “eventually” meant now and ordered the relevant agencies to disclose everything unless there were still-valid reasons not to reveal the documents.

In May, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) finished reviewing all papers that hadn’t been released. The archivists also looked at several documents that had already been released with redactions. Several batches of documents had been released since April, and a batch of 1,103 was quietly released on June 27. The White House revealed in a June 30 announcement that the review was finished and that the National Archives would indefinitely postpone the release of some information that posed national security risks.

November 22 marks the 60th year since the Kennedy assassination in November, but public interest in his untimely death at 46 seems as strong as ever. There are many conspiracy theories and other claims about who was responsible. Many people can’t accept that renegade ex-Marine Lee Harvey Oswald was acting alone. The official investigation into the shooting by the Warren Commission produced a report that backed the Oswald theory –- but the full version was sealed until 2039.

The 1992 JFK Records Act rescinded that decision and required the release of all records by 2017. That deadline slipped several times under both the Trump and Biden administrations.

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