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MLK DAY and JFK ACT


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Today is Martin Luther King Day in the USA.

Although an official holiday, instead of just taking the day off from work, many people have dedicated this day as a day of public service, and do things that will make their communities better places to live.

In that spirit, I ask those people with an interest in the JFK assassination to take a little time today to write to Rep. Henry Waxman, Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee to request that they hold hearings on the JFK Act, to reconsider the MLK Act to release the HSCA records on the assassination of MLK, and to pass the Emmett Till Bill.

This small act of writing a letter could have major influence on what happens down the road.

February is Black History Month in USA and I hope people utilize this opportunity to learn more about political assassination in the USA and to urge their Senators to pass the Emmett Till Bill, which passed the House but is being held up in the Senate by ONE senator.

It would be significant if Waxman's Committee would hold hearings on the JFK Act during Sunshine Week - March 16-22 - when Open Government is the theme.

Here's my letter to Waxman and an brief synopsis of the JFK Act issues - as the ARRB listed in their recommendations, and how we can use Sunshine Week to press for JFK Act Oversight Hearings.

Thanks to all who answer this call.

Bill Kelly

Request to Rep. Waxman for oversight hearings of the JFK Act.

William Kelly - Committee for an Open Archive

20 Columbine Ave.

Browns Mills, N.J. 08015

Rep. Henry Waxman (D. Calf.)

Committee on Oversight and Government Reform

U.S. House of Representatives

2157 Rayburn House Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20515

(202) 225-5051

Cc: Rep. Wm. Lucy Clay (D. Mo.)

Chairman, Subcommittee on Information Policy, Census, NARA.

Rayburn House Office Building B-349A

Rep. Waxman,

As chairman of the Committee on Government Oversight and Reform, you are responsible for conducting oversight of the JFK Act of 1992, which affected the release of millions of previously secret documents and records related to the assassination of President Kennedy. It was one of the largest single release of such records in history, yet some government agencies and departments ignored the law and many records remain sealed. Some were even destroyed after the act became law.

According to the law, the JFK Act remains in effect until the Archivist of the Untied States certifies that that last record has been released (2017). While public hearings were held before the act was passed and signed into law, oversight hearings have yet to be held.

Since your committee is responsible, Rep. Wm. L. Clay's subcommittee on Information Policy, Census and NARA should hold hearings to address the issues raised by the JFK Act, especially in regards to those intentionally destroyed, improperly withheld, and missing records.

Please inform me when any hearings are scheduled to be held on oversight of the JFK Act so that I can make arrangement to attend these important hearings.

You are in position to have a significant impact on the outcome and disposition of these important issues. Thank you for your time and consideration,

William Kelly

THE JFK ACT – CONGRESSIONAL OVERSIGHT & SUNSHINE WEEK

The public confidence in their government is the issue.

American citizen's confidence in their government began to wane in the first public opinion polls taken after the assassination of President Kennedy in November 1963, and has declined continuously since then.

Thirty years later, the public's continued lack of confidence in government was tied to the fact that the government records about the assassination were sealed and being kept from the public.

In an attempt to restore the American public's confidence in their government, Congress passed the JFK Act of 1992 – a law that ordered the release all of the government records related to the assassination of President Kennedy. The bill, signed by President Bush, and enacted by President Clinton, created the Assassinations Records Review Board, chaired by Federal Judge John Tunheim, to review and oversee the release of the records.

The Final Report of the Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB) recommends that, "The dialogue about how best to balance national security and privacy with openness and accountability will continue both within government and beyond. The Review Board will necessarily be part of that important debate. The Review Board was created out of the broad public frustration that the federal government was hiding important information about the Kennedy assassination by placing its records beyond the reach of its citizens. Broad disagreement with the Warren Commission findings, explosive claims in the popular movie JFK, and continued deterioration of public confidence in government led to consensus that it was time to open the files. Thus the debate in Congress largely became a debate over what mechanisms could constitutionally compel the opening of the assassination files."

"The Review Board's mandate was not to investigate once again the assassination, but to release as many of these heavily restricted documents as possible. Lawmakers commented that the efforts of the Review Board "will stand as a symbol and barometer of public confidence in the review and release of the government records related to the assassination of President Kennedy....Several provisions of [the JFK Act] are intended to provide as much independence and accountability as is possible within our Constitutional framework." Restoring public confidence in government is a difficult task under any circumstances. The Review Board took this responsibility seriously, however, and set out in April 1994 to create the most complete record possible of the documentary evidence of the assassination so that in the end the American public could draw its own conclusions as to what happened and why on that fateful day in Dallas in November 1963."

[For complete recommendations see: http://www.fas.org/sgp/advisory/arrb98/index.html]

And yet, fifteen years later, the public's confidence in government has not been restored, some of the most significant records have been destroyed, many records remain withheld and procedures are being put in place to keep them secret forever.

Indeed, the CIA is challenging the release of records in court, documents related to its operations with Cuban groups connected to the accused assassin. Otther agencies, like the Secret Service and National Security Agency have deliberately destroyed documents or simply refuse to release relevant records related to the assassination.

And the committees of Congress assigned to oversee the law has yet to conduct one oversight hearing in the fifteen years since the law was implemented. The previous Republican controlled Congress never pretended to exert its oversight responsibilities at all, but the new Democratic controlled Congress has pledged to change, to responsibly oversee it's duties, to conduct its business in public, and to open the government's records to the public. Now its time to do it.

Sunshine Week (March 16-22, 2008) is "is a national initiative to open a dialogue about the importance of open government and freedom of information. Participants include print, broadcast and online news media, civic groups, libraries, non-profits, schools and others interested in the public's right to know."

You can read more about Sunshine Week at: http://www.sunshineweek.org/sunshineweek/about

JFK SUNSHINE WEEK PROJECT – SWP

In the spirit of Sunshine Week, the purpose of the JFK Sunshine Week Project is to call attention to the JFK assassination records destroyed, missing and still being with held, to educate people about the assassination records, and to stimulate Congress to hold the required oversight hearings on the government response to the JFK Act that are mandated but have yet to be held.

You don't have to read very far into the chapter on the government's compliance with the JFK Act in the Review Board's Final Report.

[http://www.fas.org/sgp/advisory/arrb98/part11.htm]

to find examples of the deliberate destruction of assassination records.

As the Review Board reports, "Congress passed the JFK Act of 1992. One month later, the Secret Service began its compliance efforts. However, in January 1995, the Secret Service destroyed presidential protection survey reports for some of President Kennedy's trips in the fall of 1963. The Review Board learned of the destruction approximately one week after the Secret Service destroyed them, when the Board was drafting its request for additional information. The Board believed that the Secret Service files on the President's travel in the weeks preceding his murder would be relevant."

"The Review Board requested the Secret Service to explain the circumstances surrounding the destruction, after passage of the JFK Act. The Secret Service formally explained the circumstances of this destruction in correspondence and an oral briefing to the Review Board."

Most of the records that remain with held will not be released until 2017, and some are are not being designated for release at all. While most of these with held records are only known to the requester who has been denied them, the most visible case is that of Morley v. the CIA, in which Morley seeks CIA operational records related to George Joannides, a career CIA officer who directed the anti-Castro Cuban DRE, which had contacts with the accused assassin the weeks and months before the assassination.

Besides these records that are being contested in court, there are hundreds of other examples of similar records being with held, mainly for reasons of national security.

According to the law, the JFK Act remains in effect until the Archivist of the Untied States certifies that that last record has been released (2017).

While public hearings were held before the act was passed and signed into law, oversight hearings have yet to be held.

The Final Report of the JFK Assassination Records Review Board noted that,

"The Review Board was created out of the broad public frustration that the federal government was hiding important information about the Kennedy assassination by placing its records beyond the reach of its citizens. Broad disagreement with the Warren Commission findings, explosive claims in the popular movie JFK, and continued deterioration of public confidence in government led to consensus that it was time to open the files. Thus the debate in Congress largely became a debate over what mechanisms could constitutionally compel the opening of the assassination files."

"The Review Board's mandate was not to investigate once again the assassination, but to release as many of these heavily restricted documents as possible. Lawmakers commented that the efforts of the Review Board "will stand as a symbol and barometer of public confidence in the review and release of the government records related to the assassination of President Kennedy....Several provisions of [the JFK Act] are intended to provide as much independence and accountability as is possible within our Constitutional framework." Restoring public confidence in government is a difficult task under any circumstances. The Review Board took this responsibility seriously, however, and set out in April 1994 to create the most complete record possible of the documentary evidence of the assassination so that in the end the American public could draw its own conclusions as to what happened and why on that fateful day in Dallas in November 1963."

The Report says that "…Several provisions of [The JFK Act] are intended to provide as much independence and accountability as possible within out Constitutional framework…."

Well now it is time to be accountable to the public and the Constitution.

"….It will be years before the JFK Collection at NARA can be judged properly. The test will be in the scholarship that is generated by historians and other researchers who study the extensive documentation of the event and its aftermath. Does the historical record formed by the Board inspire confidence that the record is now reasonably complete? Will the documents released under the JFK Act lead to still other materials?"

"…Agency reviewers will note that the Republic has not collapsed under the weight of threats to national security because of Review Board actions and, perhaps, they will also note that openness is itself a good thing and that careful scrutiny of government actions can strengthen agencies and the process of government, not weaken it."

Among the Review Board recommendations were:

"2. The Review Board recommends that any serious, sustained effort to declassify records requires congressional legislation with (a) a presumption of openness, (2) clear standards of access, (3) an enforceable review and appeals process, and (4) a budget appropriate to the scope of the task."

4. The Review Board recommends that future declassification efforts avoid the major shortcomings of the JFK Act: (a) unreasonable time limits, (employee restrictions, application of the law after the Board terminates, and (d) problems inherent with rapid sunset provisions….the Review Board sunsets but the JFK Act does not and, as a result, there is uncertainty about the status of openings that will occur after September 1998, and whether any further appeals by agencies might be permitted, and, if so, who would represent the interest of openness;…the sunset provision in the JFK Act, while embodying the important concept that this effort was not to be permanent, nonetheless undermined the careful review and disposition of the records. The Board inevitably lost critical staff in the final stages because they had to seek job security for themselves and their families. Moreover, the sunset enabled government agencies that were not inclined to cooperate to simply try to outlast the Board. A more open-ended provision would be preferable, in which the Board, supervised by its congressional oversight committee and the Office of Management and Budget, would declare its progress, but not set a termination date until there was agreement concerning the successful completion of the mandate."

"6. The Review Board recommends that a compliance program be used in future declassification efforts as an effective means of eliciting full cooperation in the search for records."

"The Review Board compliance program was established to ensure that all federal agencies holding assassination records would warrant under oath that every reasonable effort had been made to identify assassination records and that such records had been made fully available for review by the Board. The Board has remained concerned that critical records may have been withheld from the Board's scrutiny and that the Board did not secure all that was "out there." It is all too easy to imagine that agencies and agency personnel not inclined to cooperate might simply have waited, using the JFK Act's sunset provision by waiting for it to take effect and ending the need to cooperate."

"The Review Board's solution to this concern was to develop a compliance program in which each agency designated a "compliance officer" to warrant, under oath and penalty of perjury, that records had been diligently searched for and turned over to the Board for review and/or release to NARA. This program entails a detailed review (overseen by Review Board staff) of the effort undertaken by each agency in pursuit of such records and constitutes a record to guide future researchers in examining what assassination records were actually uncovered. The program is also intended to be forward-looking, so that the agencies will continue to follow the provisions of the JFK Act after the Board terminates its role. The program has worked well."

"7. The Review Board recommends the following to ensure that NARA can exercise the provisions of the JFK Act after the Review Board terminates: a. that NARA has the authority and means to continue to implement Board decisions. b. that an appeals procedure be developed that places the burden for preventing access on the agencies, and c. that a joint oversight group composed of representatives of the four organizations that originally nominated individuals to serve on the Review Board be created to facilitate the continuing execution of the access provisions of the JFK Act."

"The creation of the JFK Collection at NARA established a large records collection undergoing intense use by researchers. Having created this national research resource, Congress should ensure that NARA receives the additional resources necessary to manage this collection responsibly, and that it is also be given the authority to administer the remaining provisions of the JFK Act."

"The Board recommends negotiation of a memorandum of understanding among NARA, the FBI, and the CIA that would establish a common agreement on how to resolve the inevitable issues concerning the extensive assassination records of these two agencies. This is particularly necessary since additional records will be sent to NARA and additional releases of documents are scheduled to take place after the termination of the Review Board."

"The formation of a liaison group composed of individuals from professional organizations that originally nominated members for the Review Board to oversee implementation of the provisions of the JFK Act would ensure the continuing representation of the public interest by those trained to understand continuing historical, archival, and legal issues."

"The Review Board's experience leaves little doubt that the federal government needlessly and wastefully classified and then withheld from public access countless important records that did not require such treatment. Consequently, there is little doubt that an aggressive policy is necessary to address the significant problems of lack of accountability and an uninformed citizenry that are created by the current practice of excessive classification and obstacles to releasing such information. This need is not something recently identified, although the Moynihan Commission on Secrecy in Government is a recent expression of this long-standing concern. Change is long overdue and the Review Board's experience amply demonstrates the value of sharing important information with the American public. It is a matter of trust."

"The Review Board's recommendations are designed to help ensure that the comprehensive documentary record of the Kennedy assassination is both actively developed after the Board terminates, and that the experience of the Review Board be turned to the larger purpose of addressing the negative consequences of the excessive classification of federal records. The Review Board's effort to accomplish the purposes of the JFK Act has been focused and aggressive. It will be for others, of course, to judge the Board's success in achieving these goals, but there can be no doubt about our commitment to making the JFK Act and an independent Review Board a model for the future."

"I know of no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves, and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion." – Thomas Jefferson

"The very word 'secrecy' is repugnant in a free society and open republic and we are, as a people, inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, secret oaths and to secret proceedings. We decided long ago that the dangers of excessive and unwarranted concealment of pertinent facts far outweighed the dangers which are cited to justify it. Even today, there is little value in opposing the threat of a closed society by imitating its arbitrary restrictions. Even today there is little value in insuring the survival of our nation if our traditions do not survive with it." – John F. Kennedy

Edited by William Kelly
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::BUMP::

No disrespect to Tim, but I find it a bit disturbing that this can scroll through to the 2nd page read by less than 60 people while a thread on Tim's moderation receives 117 replies and nearly 5,000 hits.

I have a link on my website to contact details for Members of Congress, and a plea for people to contact their member in relation to reopening the JFK case. I know from email received through the website that ordinary people (as opposed to researchers) have at least seriously considered acting on that plea.

That this thread would slide into oblivion shows we stand in stark contrast when it comes to actually taking action.

Prove me wrong. Write the damn letters!

Today is Martin Luther King Day in the USA.

Although an official holiday, instead of just taking the day off from work, many people have dedicated this day as a day of public service, and do things that will make their communities better places to live.

In that spirit, I ask those people with an interest in the JFK assassination to take a little time today to write to Rep. Henry Waxman, Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee to request that they hold hearings on the JFK Act, to reconsider the MLK Act to release the HSCA records on the assassination of MLK, and to pass the Emmett Till Bill.

This small act of writing a letter could have major influence on what happens down the road.

February is Black History Month in USA and I hope people utilize this opportunity to learn more about political assassination in the USA and to urge their Senators to pass the Emmett Till Bill, which passed the House but is being held up in the Senate by ONE senator.

It would be significant if Waxman's Committee would hold hearings on the JFK Act during Sunshine Week - March 16-22 - when Open Government is the theme.

Here's my letter to Waxman and an brief synopsis of the JFK Act issues - as the ARRB listed in their recommendations, and how we can use Sunshine Week to press for JFK Act Oversight Hearings.

Thanks to all who answer this call.

Bill Kelly

Request to Rep. Waxman for oversight hearings of the JFK Act.

William Kelly - Committee for an Open Archive

20 Columbine Ave.

Browns Mills, N.J. 08015

Rep. Henry Waxman (D. Calf.)

Committee on Oversight and Government Reform

U.S. House of Representatives

2157 Rayburn House Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20515

(202) 225-5051

Cc: Rep. Wm. Lucy Clay (D. Mo.)

Chairman, Subcommittee on Information Policy, Census, NARA.

Rayburn House Office Building B-349A

Rep. Waxman,

As chairman of the Committee on Government Oversight and Reform, you are responsible for conducting oversight of the JFK Act of 1992, which affected the release of millions of previously secret documents and records related to the assassination of President Kennedy. It was one of the largest single release of such records in history, yet some government agencies and departments ignored the law and many records remain sealed. Some were even destroyed after the act became law.

According to the law, the JFK Act remains in effect until the Archivist of the Untied States certifies that that last record has been released (2017). While public hearings were held before the act was passed and signed into law, oversight hearings have yet to be held.

Since your committee is responsible, Rep. Wm. L. Clay's subcommittee on Information Policy, Census and NARA should hold hearings to address the issues raised by the JFK Act, especially in regards to those intentionally destroyed, improperly withheld, and missing records.

Please inform me when any hearings are scheduled to be held on oversight of the JFK Act so that I can make arrangement to attend these important hearings.

You are in position to have a significant impact on the outcome and disposition of these important issues. Thank you for your time and consideration,

William Kelly

THE JFK ACT – CONGRESSIONAL OVERSIGHT & SUNSHINE WEEK

The public confidence in their government is the issue.

American citizen's confidence in their government began to wane in the first public opinion polls taken after the assassination of President Kennedy in November 1963, and has declined continuously since then.

Thirty years later, the public's continued lack of confidence in government was tied to the fact that the government records about the assassination were sealed and being kept from the public.

In an attempt to restore the American public's confidence in their government, Congress passed the JFK Act of 1992 – a law that ordered the release all of the government records related to the assassination of President Kennedy. The bill, signed by President Bush, and enacted by President Clinton, created the Assassinations Records Review Board, chaired by Federal Judge John Tunheim, to review and oversee the release of the records.

The Final Report of the Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB) recommends that, "The dialogue about how best to balance national security and privacy with openness and accountability will continue both within government and beyond. The Review Board will necessarily be part of that important debate. The Review Board was created out of the broad public frustration that the federal government was hiding important information about the Kennedy assassination by placing its records beyond the reach of its citizens. Broad disagreement with the Warren Commission findings, explosive claims in the popular movie JFK, and continued deterioration of public confidence in government led to consensus that it was time to open the files. Thus the debate in Congress largely became a debate over what mechanisms could constitutionally compel the opening of the assassination files."

"The Review Board's mandate was not to investigate once again the assassination, but to release as many of these heavily restricted documents as possible. Lawmakers commented that the efforts of the Review Board "will stand as a symbol and barometer of public confidence in the review and release of the government records related to the assassination of President Kennedy....Several provisions of [the JFK Act] are intended to provide as much independence and accountability as is possible within our Constitutional framework." Restoring public confidence in government is a difficult task under any circumstances. The Review Board took this responsibility seriously, however, and set out in April 1994 to create the most complete record possible of the documentary evidence of the assassination so that in the end the American public could draw its own conclusions as to what happened and why on that fateful day in Dallas in November 1963."

[For complete recommendations see: http://www.fas.org/sgp/advisory/arrb98/index.html]

And yet, fifteen years later, the public's confidence in government has not been restored, some of the most significant records have been destroyed, many records remain withheld and procedures are being put in place to keep them secret forever.

Indeed, the CIA is challenging the release of records in court, documents related to its operations with Cuban groups connected to the accused assassin. Otther agencies, like the Secret Service and National Security Agency have deliberately destroyed documents or simply refuse to release relevant records related to the assassination.

And the committees of Congress assigned to oversee the law has yet to conduct one oversight hearing in the fifteen years since the law was implemented. The previous Republican controlled Congress never pretended to exert its oversight responsibilities at all, but the new Democratic controlled Congress has pledged to change, to responsibly oversee it's duties, to conduct its business in public, and to open the government's records to the public. Now its time to do it.

Sunshine Week (March 16-22, 2008) is "is a national initiative to open a dialogue about the importance of open government and freedom of information. Participants include print, broadcast and online news media, civic groups, libraries, non-profits, schools and others interested in the public's right to know."

You can read more about Sunshine Week at: http://www.sunshineweek.org/sunshineweek/about

JFK SUNSHINE WEEK PROJECT – SWP

In the spirit of Sunshine Week, the purpose of the JFK Sunshine Week Project is to call attention to the JFK assassination records destroyed, missing and still being with held, to educate people about the assassination records, and to stimulate Congress to hold the required oversight hearings on the government response to the JFK Act that are mandated but have yet to be held.

You don't have to read very far into the chapter on the government's compliance with the JFK Act in the Review Board's Final Report.

[http://www.fas.org/sgp/advisory/arrb98/part11.htm]

to find examples of the deliberate destruction of assassination records.

As the Review Board reports, "Congress passed the JFK Act of 1992. One month later, the Secret Service began its compliance efforts. However, in January 1995, the Secret Service destroyed presidential protection survey reports for some of President Kennedy's trips in the fall of 1963. The Review Board learned of the destruction approximately one week after the Secret Service destroyed them, when the Board was drafting its request for additional information. The Board believed that the Secret Service files on the President's travel in the weeks preceding his murder would be relevant."

"The Review Board requested the Secret Service to explain the circumstances surrounding the destruction, after passage of the JFK Act. The Secret Service formally explained the circumstances of this destruction in correspondence and an oral briefing to the Review Board."

Most of the records that remain with held will not be released until 2017, and some are are not being designated for release at all. While most of these with held records are only known to the requester who has been denied them, the most visible case is that of Morley v. the CIA, in which Morley seeks CIA operational records related to George Joannides, a career CIA officer who directed the anti-Castro Cuban DRE, which had contacts with the accused assassin the weeks and months before the assassination.

Besides these records that are being contested in court, there are hundreds of other examples of similar records being with held, mainly for reasons of national security.

According to the law, the JFK Act remains in effect until the Archivist of the Untied States certifies that that last record has been released (2017).

While public hearings were held before the act was passed and signed into law, oversight hearings have yet to be held.

The Final Report of the JFK Assassination Records Review Board noted that,

"The Review Board was created out of the broad public frustration that the federal government was hiding important information about the Kennedy assassination by placing its records beyond the reach of its citizens. Broad disagreement with the Warren Commission findings, explosive claims in the popular movie JFK, and continued deterioration of public confidence in government led to consensus that it was time to open the files. Thus the debate in Congress largely became a debate over what mechanisms could constitutionally compel the opening of the assassination files."

"The Review Board's mandate was not to investigate once again the assassination, but to release as many of these heavily restricted documents as possible. Lawmakers commented that the efforts of the Review Board "will stand as a symbol and barometer of public confidence in the review and release of the government records related to the assassination of President Kennedy....Several provisions of [the JFK Act] are intended to provide as much independence and accountability as is possible within our Constitutional framework." Restoring public confidence in government is a difficult task under any circumstances. The Review Board took this responsibility seriously, however, and set out in April 1994 to create the most complete record possible of the documentary evidence of the assassination so that in the end the American public could draw its own conclusions as to what happened and why on that fateful day in Dallas in November 1963."

The Report says that "…Several provisions of [The JFK Act] are intended to provide as much independence and accountability as possible within out Constitutional framework…."

Well now it is time to be accountable to the public and the Constitution.

"….It will be years before the JFK Collection at NARA can be judged properly. The test will be in the scholarship that is generated by historians and other researchers who study the extensive documentation of the event and its aftermath. Does the historical record formed by the Board inspire confidence that the record is now reasonably complete? Will the documents released under the JFK Act lead to still other materials?"

"…Agency reviewers will note that the Republic has not collapsed under the weight of threats to national security because of Review Board actions and, perhaps, they will also note that openness is itself a good thing and that careful scrutiny of government actions can strengthen agencies and the process of government, not weaken it."

Among the Review Board recommendations were:

"2. The Review Board recommends that any serious, sustained effort to declassify records requires congressional legislation with (a) a presumption of openness, (2) clear standards of access, (3) an enforceable review and appeals process, and (4) a budget appropriate to the scope of the task."

4. The Review Board recommends that future declassification efforts avoid the major shortcomings of the JFK Act: (a) unreasonable time limits, (employee restrictions, application of the law after the Board terminates, and (d) problems inherent with rapid sunset provisions….the Review Board sunsets but the JFK Act does not and, as a result, there is uncertainty about the status of openings that will occur after September 1998, and whether any further appeals by agencies might be permitted, and, if so, who would represent the interest of openness;…the sunset provision in the JFK Act, while embodying the important concept that this effort was not to be permanent, nonetheless undermined the careful review and disposition of the records. The Board inevitably lost critical staff in the final stages because they had to seek job security for themselves and their families. Moreover, the sunset enabled government agencies that were not inclined to cooperate to simply try to outlast the Board. A more open-ended provision would be preferable, in which the Board, supervised by its congressional oversight committee and the Office of Management and Budget, would declare its progress, but not set a termination date until there was agreement concerning the successful completion of the mandate."

"6. The Review Board recommends that a compliance program be used in future declassification efforts as an effective means of eliciting full cooperation in the search for records."

"The Review Board compliance program was established to ensure that all federal agencies holding assassination records would warrant under oath that every reasonable effort had been made to identify assassination records and that such records had been made fully available for review by the Board. The Board has remained concerned that critical records may have been withheld from the Board's scrutiny and that the Board did not secure all that was "out there." It is all too easy to imagine that agencies and agency personnel not inclined to cooperate might simply have waited, using the JFK Act's sunset provision by waiting for it to take effect and ending the need to cooperate."

"The Review Board's solution to this concern was to develop a compliance program in which each agency designated a "compliance officer" to warrant, under oath and penalty of perjury, that records had been diligently searched for and turned over to the Board for review and/or release to NARA. This program entails a detailed review (overseen by Review Board staff) of the effort undertaken by each agency in pursuit of such records and constitutes a record to guide future researchers in examining what assassination records were actually uncovered. The program is also intended to be forward-looking, so that the agencies will continue to follow the provisions of the JFK Act after the Board terminates its role. The program has worked well."

"7. The Review Board recommends the following to ensure that NARA can exercise the provisions of the JFK Act after the Review Board terminates: a. that NARA has the authority and means to continue to implement Board decisions. b. that an appeals procedure be developed that places the burden for preventing access on the agencies, and c. that a joint oversight group composed of representatives of the four organizations that originally nominated individuals to serve on the Review Board be created to facilitate the continuing execution of the access provisions of the JFK Act."

"The creation of the JFK Collection at NARA established a large records collection undergoing intense use by researchers. Having created this national research resource, Congress should ensure that NARA receives the additional resources necessary to manage this collection responsibly, and that it is also be given the authority to administer the remaining provisions of the JFK Act."

"The Board recommends negotiation of a memorandum of understanding among NARA, the FBI, and the CIA that would establish a common agreement on how to resolve the inevitable issues concerning the extensive assassination records of these two agencies. This is particularly necessary since additional records will be sent to NARA and additional releases of documents are scheduled to take place after the termination of the Review Board."

"The formation of a liaison group composed of individuals from professional organizations that originally nominated members for the Review Board to oversee implementation of the provisions of the JFK Act would ensure the continuing representation of the public interest by those trained to understand continuing historical, archival, and legal issues."

"The Review Board's experience leaves little doubt that the federal government needlessly and wastefully classified and then withheld from public access countless important records that did not require such treatment. Consequently, there is little doubt that an aggressive policy is necessary to address the significant problems of lack of accountability and an uninformed citizenry that are created by the current practice of excessive classification and obstacles to releasing such information. This need is not something recently identified, although the Moynihan Commission on Secrecy in Government is a recent expression of this long-standing concern. Change is long overdue and the Review Board's experience amply demonstrates the value of sharing important information with the American public. It is a matter of trust."

"The Review Board's recommendations are designed to help ensure that the comprehensive documentary record of the Kennedy assassination is both actively developed after the Board terminates, and that the experience of the Review Board be turned to the larger purpose of addressing the negative consequences of the excessive classification of federal records. The Review Board's effort to accomplish the purposes of the JFK Act has been focused and aggressive. It will be for others, of course, to judge the Board's success in achieving these goals, but there can be no doubt about our commitment to making the JFK Act and an independent Review Board a model for the future."

"I know of no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves, and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion." – Thomas Jefferson

"The very word 'secrecy' is repugnant in a free society and open republic and we are, as a people, inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, secret oaths and to secret proceedings. We decided long ago that the dangers of excessive and unwarranted concealment of pertinent facts far outweighed the dangers which are cited to justify it. Even today, there is little value in opposing the threat of a closed society by imitating its arbitrary restrictions. Even today there is little value in insuring the survival of our nation if our traditions do not survive with it." – John F. Kennedy

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Share on other sites

::BUMP::

No disrespect to Tim, but I find it a bit disturbing that this can scroll through to the 2nd page read by less than 60 people while a thread on Tim's moderation receives 117 replies and nearly 5,000 hits.

I have a link on my website to contact details for Members of Congress, and a plea for people to contact their member in relation to reopening the JFK case. I know from email received through the website that ordinary people (as opposed to researchers) have at least seriously considered acting on that plea.

That this thread would slide into oblivion shows we stand in stark contrast when it comes to actually taking action.

Prove me wrong. Write the damn letters!

I totally agree with Greg. Thanks Bill. This is the most important topic on this forum. I meant to comment yesterday but I actually worked all day, glad not to be in any court as it was a state holiday.

As many forum members know I have pleaded over the years that we put aside our many differences and come together as a community in our quest for truth and justice. To just read that John Kelin is now leaving because of the snipes here saddens me. As someone wrote yesterday "Langley is smiling".

Write the letters, let's get some momentum here. Please.

Dawn

Edited by Dawn Meredith
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::BUMP::

No disrespect to Tim, but I find it a bit disturbing that this can scroll through to the 2nd page read by less than 60 people while a thread on Tim's moderation receives 117 replies and nearly 5,000 hits.

I have a link on my website to contact details for Members of Congress, and a plea for people to contact their member in relation to reopening the JFK case. I know from email received through the website that ordinary people (as opposed to researchers) have at least seriously considered acting on that plea.

That this thread would slide into oblivion shows we stand in stark contrast when it comes to actually taking action.

Prove me wrong. Write the damn letters!

I totally agree with Greg. Thanks Bill. This is the most important topic on this forum. I meant to comment yesterday but I actually worked all day, glad not to be in any court as it was a state holiday.

As many forum members know I have pleaded over the years that we put aside our many differences and come together as a community in our quest for truth and justice. To just read that John Kelin is now leaving because of the snipes here saddens me. As someone wrote yesterday "Langley is smiling".

Write the letters, let's get some momentum here. Please.

Dawn

Very late here, but I just want to quickly add apologies and THANKS to anyone who already had already sent one, or was at least was already contemplating sending one...

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Thanks, Greg and Dawn,

People don't believe letters to their congressman have any impact, but they really do.

We have to let them know that there are people out there who are truely interested in this, or they won't even put the issue on the table.

So far, since Waxman and the Democrats have taken over, and are calling the shots, the Oversight and Reform Committee has held hearings on Guantamano, Walter Reed Army Hospital, the politization of the White House policy on Global Warming, and have scheduled hearings later this month on sports dopers starring Roger Clemmons, and next month on the disapearing White House emails, which should include the testimony of the Archivist of the United States. As you can see, all of these hearings were sceduled after these issues became front page news. The Committee hearings are reactionary, and we must get them to react, and make this story news once again.

If we get them to hold Congressional Oversight hearings on the JFK Act, we would BEGIN again, the obtaining of sworn public testimony on the assassination of President Kennedy. While the testimony will be limited to discussion of the disposition of the government records, it's enough to get the ball rolling again.

Originally, there was the thought the sub-committee on NARA and Census would hold one hearing that would cover a multitude of issues - but now that the FOIA reform is out of Committee, there's room for a new issue.

And they're not going to want to touch the JFK Act unless they are forced to.

Now we have to let them know that we want this to be the next important issue.

Thanks to all who take the time to write,

Bill Kelly

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