'Previously Withheld' JFK Documents Are Released

But it's still not everything
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 15, 2021 1:15 PM CST
Today Brings a New Dump of JFK Documents
The limousine carrying President John F. Kennedy races toward the hospital seconds after he was shot in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963.   (AP Photo/Justin Newman, File)

(Newser) – The White House on Wednesday released almost 1,500 additional documents tied to the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Experts say there's little point in searching for a smoking gun within them, reports CNN, with Fox News adding a large number of the documents involve assassin Lee Harvey Oswald. The National Archives and Records Administration said the release of the "previously withheld" records was done to adhere to an October memorandum issued by President Biden that required "releasable records" be disclosed by today's date.

It's a step forward in an elongated process that was supposed to wrap up in 2017: the John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act passed in 1992 specified all assassination records be made public by October of that year. Then-President Trump balked on releasing some, and Biden allowed for a delay as well. At least 10,000 more are either still withheld or remain partially redacted, as today's deadline only applied to those that national security agencies have not suggested should continue to be withheld. A second deadline set by Biden of Dec. 15, 2022, was "to allow for the remaining documents to undergo a rigorous security review and then be released," per CNN.

CNN adds that there's a third deadline in all this, which is also today, and one that could "be more significant than the documents release." Biden's memo reads, "For any record containing information that an agency proposes for continued postponement beyond December 15, 2022, the agency shall provide, no later than December 15, 2021 ... an unclassified letter, to be signed by the head of the agency, providing a written description of the types of information for which the agency is proposing continued postponement and reasons for which the agency is proposing continued postponement of such information." The memo says NARA will review proposed redactions with agencies no later than September 1, 2022. (Read more John F. Kennedy stories.)

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