COVID: Is there anything it can’t do?
As we approach the 58th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, many Americans who love their nation and history are eagerly awaiting the release of government files related to the investigation of his death.
The Biden administration, however, has officially delayed the release of these records. It is blaming COVID for the decision.
The White House statement, signed by President Biden, did not make clear exactly how the coronavirus had delayed the release of the records, which must be released to comply with a 1992 congressional act, but said that the national archivist had reported that the pandemic had had a “significant impact on the agencies” that need to be consulted on redactions.
The archivist of the United States directs the National Archives and Records Administration, the repository of public governmental records. The position has been held since 2009 by David S. Ferriero, a former librarian at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Duke University and the New York Public Library. He is the 10th person in the role since the National Archives were established in 1934.
The White House statement said that the National Archives required additional time to conduct research and work with the agencies, which include the Defense, Justice and State departments.
It appears the most sensitive of the material will be released late next year.
This year, the National Archives and Records Administration ruled that “unfortunately, the pandemic has had a significant impact on the agencies,” and NARA needed additional time to research the material and “maximize the amount of information released,” the memo said.
The most sensitive information will now be released in December 2022 and material that has already been deemed “appropriate for release to the public,” will be dumped on Dec. 15 of this year.
Some 250,000 records have already been released, but the public cannot view them unless they drive to NARA’s College Park, Maryland headquarters, the memo said.
I guess that means COVID will be all wrapped up by 2022! Good to finally have a firm date on the pandemic’s end.
The material would become available through a 1992 Act focused on the records related to the assassination.
In 1992, Congress ruled that “all Government records concerning the assassination of President John F. Kennedy … should be eventually disclosed to enable the public to become fully informed about the history surrounding the assassination.”
The act allowed the government to postpone the release to “protect against an identifiable harm to the military defense, intelligence operations, law enforcement or the conduct of foreign relations,” according to Biden’s memo.
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