Today the National Archives released another set of the JFK assassination records. However, this release was a major letdown for the public and a failure of the U.S. government serving its citizens. Here’s why you should be furious about this release:
- Tens of thousands of documents weren’t released: Trump granted the relevant agencies an extension to complete review and redaction of the bulk of the documents. However, these agencies have had 25 years to work through this. Their procrastination should not be our consequence. They should release them as-is. The claims around why these should remain secret for now are smoke and mirrors. They could have let the public know much sooner that the full release wasn’t happening today.
- Trump led us on: Don’t misunderstand me – I generally admire Donald Trump. But his tweets on Saturday and yesterday gave the impression that we were getting the full release. Don’t be fooled – his administration knew that the full document set wasn’t getting released today. Why did he lead us on with those tweets? He also had the power to force the agencies to release today, but he didn’t use that power. Let that sink in – he caved.
- The CIA has no interest in declassifying most of these documents: As clear from past CIA lack of declassification – if the CIA wants it kept secret, it’s going to stay secret. Don’t expect to see anything they don’t want to be released.
- The documents wouldn’t reveal anything anyway: Let’s be real – if there was CIA involvement in JFK’s assassination, there would be no paper trail. Whatever elements of the CIA may have partook in the assassination would definitely not have filed memos and reports to that effect. They know better than that. If anything, these documents just point to the CIA’s preferred narrative – that there may have been Russian or Cuban connections to Oswald.
- No one will be held accountable for failing to release: If no one is getting in trouble for not releasing documents by today, do you expect anything to happen if they keep delaying or refusing to release? No one will be held accountable because no one ever is in the intelligence community.
We can’t let this blow over. We should demand their release. Americans are owed this release. Being deprived of these documents, even if they prove nothing, is a symbolic middle finger from the intelligence community to the American people.
I honestly thought that when Trump stood up to the intelligence community during the Russia collusion accusations that his disdain for them would last and that he would have an impact. If these documents remain classified for the duration of Trump’s presidency, I have no faith in his ability to drain the swamp. Prove me wrong Mr. President.