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National Archives Releases JFK Assassination Records, President Orders Release of All Remaining Section 5 Records and Review of Redactions within 6 Months

Report by Paula Antolini
October 26, 2017 11:12PM EDT

 

Image: Posthumous official presidential portrait of U.S. President John F. Kennedy by Aaron Shiker.

 

National Archives Releases JFK Assassination Records, President Orders Release of All Remaining Section 5 Records and Review of Redactions within 6 Months

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Washington, DC

The National Archives today released 2,891 records related to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy that are subject to the President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992 (JFK Act). These records are available for download online.

The President has also ordered that all remaining records governed by section 5 of the JFK Act be released, and thus additional records will be released subject to redactions recommended by the executive offices and agencies.  NARA will process these records for release as soon as possible on a rolling basis.

Based on requests from executive offices and agencies the President has allowed the temporary withholding of certain information that would harm national security, law enforcement, or foreign affairs.  The President also ordered agencies to re-review their proposed redactions and  only redact information in the rarest of circumstances where its withholding “is made necessary by an identifiable harm to military defense, intelligence operations, law enforcement, or conduct of foreign relations; and the identifiable harm is of such gravity that it outweighs the public interest in disclosure.”  These instructions will allow the National Archives to release as much information as possible by the end of the temporary certification period on April 26, 2018.

The National Archives previously released 3,810 related records on July 24, 2017, including 441 records previously withheld in their entirety and 3,369 records previously withheld in part. More information about this release is available online.

In addition, the National Archives is also releasing to the public the unclassified electronic records of the Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB), including 52,387 emails and 16,627 files from the ARRB drives.

The National Archives established the John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection in November 1992, and it consists of approximately five million pages of records. The vast majority of the collection has been publicly available without any restrictions since the late 1990s.

 

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