In April 2018, President Trump issued an order to the National Archives to continue keeping thousands of CIA records relating to the John Kennedy assassination secret from the American people. The new deadline, which could be extended again by either Trump or a President Biden, was set for October 2021.
Since the order was issued early in the Trump regime, no doubt he felt confident that there would be no adverse political consequences flowing from his order. But now that Trump is engaged in a heated race with Joe Biden, he ought to be called upon to explain and justify his order for continued secrecy in an assassination that took place almost six decades ago.
Given the official narrative of the Kennedy assassination, the massive secrecy in which the Pentagon and the CIA engaged after the assassination has never made any sense.
The official narrative says that a lone nut former U.S. Marine communist killed Kennedy with no apparent motive. The most that proponents of the lone-nut theory have ever come up with on a possible motive is that a little man wanted to become a big man by killing a big man. The big problem with that theory is that the accused assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, denied that he did it and even contended that he was being framed for the crime. If a little man wanted to become a big man by killing a big man, wouldn’t he be acknowledging that he did it and even boasting about it?
IN 1991, Oliver Stone come out with his movie JFK, which posited that Kennedy had been assassinated as part of a U.S. domestic regime-change operation intended to protect “national security” from a president who had declared an end to the Cold War and an intention to establish peaceful and friendly relations with the Soviet Union and the rest of the communist world. (See FFF’s book JFK’s War with the National Security Establishment: Why Kennedy Was Assassinated by Douglas Horne, who served on the staff of the ARRB.)
At the end of JFK, Stone inserted a blurb pointing out the continued secrecy of federal agencies with respect to records relating to the Kennedy assassination some 30 years after the assassination in what had been presented as nothing more than a lone-nut murder of a president.
While the mainstream media was poo-pooing Stone’s movie, the American people were outraged over the continued secrecy. Public pressure caused Congress to enact the JFK Records Collection Act in 1992, which mandated the release of all assassination-related records of federal agencies, including the Pentagon and the CIA.
To enforce the law, Congress called into existence the Assassination Records Review Board. In its four years of operation, the ARRB secured the release of tens of thousands of records relating to the assassination, some of which pointed to the fraudulent nature of the autopsy that the U.S. military conducted on the president’s body. (See my books The Kennedy Autopsy and The Kennedy Autopsy 2.)
There were two strange parts of the JFK Records Act:
1. The law expressly prohibited the ARRB from investigating any aspect of the JFK assassination. Doesn’t that seem to be a rather strange provision? If a matter that had intentionally been kept secret for 30 years needed to be investigated, wouldn’t you think that Congress would want it investigated? The no-investigation provision was strictly enforced on the ARRB staff by the ARRB board of trustees.
2.The law permitted federal agencies to keep their records secret for another 25 years, a provision that the CIA took advantage of. Given that this was supposedly just a lone-nut murder, why was secrecy necessary in the first place? What “national security” concern would there have been? And wouldn’t a lapse of 30 years be sufficient for any such “national security” concern? Why another 25 years, especially since continued secrecy would only serve to buttress Stone’s thesis in JFK?
Back in the 1990s, 25 years must have seemed like a long time away, long enough that the CIA and the Pentagon could rest easy. Anyway, by the time those 25 years expired, there was a good chance that no one would care anyway, especially within the mainstream press.
But when that deadline rolled around in 2018, there were people who still cared. They were demanding that Trump release the records.
That’s not what Trump did. Instead, he granted the CIA’s request for at least another 3 1/2 years of secrecy.
Back in 2018, Trump didn’t have to justify his decision, but now that he’s running for reelection, he should be made to account for what he did by being asked the following questions:
1. How could the release of the CIA’s long-secret JFK-assassination-related records possibly pose a threat to “national security”?
2. Why not order an immediate release of those long-secret records now rather than wait until October of next year?
3. If the CIA has nothing to hide, why is it still hiding it after almost 60 years after the Kennedy assassination?
The big problem, of course, is the deep loyalty that the mainstream press, Democrats, Republicans, and even some conservative-oriented libertarians have toward the CIA, not to mention the deep fear of being labeled a “conspiracy theorist.” That is why it is unlikely that Trump will be required to justify his deference to the CIA and its desire for continued secrecy in the Kennedy assassination.