The JFK records review is concluded

So says a June 30 memo released by the White House on Friday.

The memo thus officially ends the review process begun in October 2021. As a result of the review, President Biden writes in the memo, “With my final certification made in this memorandum -– the last required under the Act -– and definitive plans for future disclosures, my Administration is fulfilling the promise of transparency to the American people.”

As I said in my note on the June 27 release, there are still over 1000 redacted records in the ARC. For these, the 6/30 memo states that “Future release of the information in these records shall occur in a manner consistent with the Transparency Plans described in section 5 of this memorandum.”

CNN has coverage of the memo here.

Not everyone is happy with Biden’s memo. Jeff Morley was prompt to criticize the announcement on his substack blog, JFK Facts.

There is no press release from NARA NARA’s press release on Biden’s final certification is here. NARA also gives some numbers on the remaining redactions in an update to the original announcement of the June 27 release: “NARA worked in concert with agencies to jointly review the remaining redactions in 3,648 documents in compliance with the President’s directive. Between April and June 2023, NARA posted 2,672 documents containing newly released information. Documents released in December 2022 are not being posted again if the redactions have not changed.”

These match the numbers I gave in my post on the June 27 release. However, there are still two points worth restating here.

First, the 3648 documents are listed in the CIA document index here. But this is not a complete list of all redacted documents. Other agencies, particularly the DOD and FBI had their own lists. I looked at these in an earlier note here on the total number of redacted records left in the ARC.

Second, despite NARA’s claim that “Documents released in December 2022 are not being posted again if the redactions have not changed,” a number of documents with no changes were released for a second time. In addition, while most of the documents posted at NARA on June 27 were not released in full, some were. Which docs still have redactions is therefore hard to say.

My two cents

An updated version of the JFK Database, indicating the current status of every record in the collection, should be at the top of NARA’s todo list.

Almost as urgent is posting all JFKARC records online. The research value of this will be much greater than the minute redactions in the last 1000+ documents.

As for the final release of the still redacted documents, the agencies with these docs have undertaken a deathwatch for people whose names they still don’t want to release. These names should be checked more often than once every decade. Other “triggering events” are more miscellaneous, and deserve a separate note.