UPDATED 12:07 PM PT – Friday, December 16, 2022
The Biden administration has released around 13,000 records relating to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
“Pursuant to my direction, agencies have undertaken a comprehensive effort to review the full set of almost 16,000 records that had previously been released in redacted form and determined that more than 70 percent of those records may now be released in full,” Biden said. “This significant disclosure reflects my Administration’s commitment to transparency and will provide the American public with greater insight and understanding of the Government’s investigation into this tragic event in American history.”
According to the National Archives, 98% of all of the documents relating to the 1963 assassination have now been made public, with 3% of the sensitive records still being kept under wraps. Many of the documents released on Thursday discussed Oswald’s contacts and movements belonging to Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
A nonprofit organization called the Mary Ferrell Foundation, which manages an online repository of assassination-related materials, filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration in October. They claimed that the administration failed to meet the deadline for disclosure of all information in 2017.
Rex Bradford, the president of the Foundation called Thursday’s records release “half a loaf” which required more transparency and clarity.
According to Biden’s order, government agencies and the National Archives have until May 1, 2023, to propose recommendations about what should be considered private. After that, “any information withheld from public discourse that agencies do not recommend for continued postponement” will be released before June 30, 2023.
46-year-old Kennedy died after being shot twice while riding on his motorcade through Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963. Many people believed that Lee Harvey Oswald, a former Marine and communist activist living in the Soviet Union, killed the president. At the time, Chief Justice Earl Warren stated that Kennedy was killed solely by Oswald. For 60 years, Warren’s decision has been widely criticized by academics and historians.
Many have speculated that there is more to the story about the president and his killer. John F. Kennedy’s death is considered a national tragedy.