Yet another delay in the release of certain documents related to the JFK assassination! And if they wanted us not to remain suspicious that there was a conspiracy in the death of President Kennedy, well, this statement does the opposite. Here's CNN's New Day to calm us down:
"In a memo Friday, this is what the White House wrote: '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,' John Berman said.
He brought on national security attorney Mark Zaid, who has handled cases surrounding the JFK assassination.
"This is something you are steeped in and have worked in for years. That statement, which case out late Friday from the White House, which always sets off people's radar there, to say that national security is at stake by the release of the JFK assassination documents? What's going on here?" Berman said.
"Well, look, there is the possibility there's some information within these files that still needs to be protected. That was statutory language. So I'll give you one example. Lee Harvey Oswald, the expected assassin, went to Mexico City in September of 1963. We know he visited the Soviet and the Cuban embassies. We might have had, probably did, sources in those embassies, both human and technical, and protecting those sources, especially human, they could still be alive 58 years later. They could be in their 80s right now. But what is really at stake here is getting the White House and the agencies to identify, specifically, what the harm is, so that people understand and have trust in their government," Zaid said.
Yes, that is EXACTLY the point, Mark! We like you, what you say makes good sense!
"And I have heard it told that there are people, I don't know if you're among that, that think it's the CIA specifically that's slow walking this," Berman said.
"There's no doubt. Absolutely. Most of these records are CIA records. Even though they have cited covid, which is completely understandable, all the Freedom of Information Act lawsuits have been litigating for the last two and a half years and have been stymied by covid. We all get that. But these records have been processed for the last 25 years. The agencies have been supposedly going through these that entire time. So to just now all of a sudden say, well, covid required this extension is a little disingenuous," Zaid said.
Berman asked why both Trump and Biden delayed release of some records.
"Because it's intelligence methods. I mean, it really does emanate from the agencies. The CIA in particular, as we've said, has pushed this and pushed this. Look, a lot of the information actually doesn't depend or relate to what actually happened November 22nd. So there's no smoking gun in these documents. But there's a lot of information surrounding the event. CIA activities in Cuba, Castro the years before, and any other type of information that may relate to organized crime. Who knows?
"It is all about getting the fuller picture so that we have a better understanding of everything. And what we really want is the -- this administration, as everyone before it, to comply with the statute. This was a congressional statute passed in 1992. In many ways, Congress dropped the ball too because they haven't done much oversight on it."
Berman asked, as many of us have, "Are we ever going to see this?"
Zaid said we will -- eventually.
"Look, this order that President Biden issued on Friday actually has some good things in it too. Now, we have to wait another year, and that's not good. but he's requiring that the National Archives digitize all the records, a quarter million records. Most of the records are publicly available, but you have to go to the National Archives in College Park, Maryland, to see it. So hopefully, sometime within the next couple years, these records will be online so anyone around the world can access them and do their own research."