President Joe Biden has decided to delay the release of the classified documents related to the assassination of late President John F. Kennedy and he has blamed the COVID-19 pandemic.

The files were scheduled to be released next week but will now be released in two batches, one later this year and one in 2022, The Washington Post reported.

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“The Archivist of the United States (Archivist), however, has reported that ‘unfortunately, the pandemic has had a significant impact on the agencies’ and NARA and that NARA ‘require[s] additional time to engage with the agencies and to conduct research within the larger collection to maximize the amount of information released,’” the memorandum from Biden said.

“The Archivist has also noted that ‘making these decisions is a matter that requires a professional, scholarly, and orderly process; not decisions or releases made in haste.’ The Archivist therefore recommends that the President ‘temporarily certify the continued withholding of all of the information certified in 2018’ and ‘direct two public releases of the information that has’ ultimately ‘been determined to be appropriate for release to the public,’ with one interim release later this year and one more comprehensive release in late 2022.,” he said.

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“In light of the agencies’ proposals for continued postponement under the statutory standard, the Archivist’s request for an extension of time to engage with the agencies, and the need for an appropriate review and disclosure process, I agree with the Archivist’s recommendation. Temporary continued postponement is necessary to protect against identifiable harm to the military defense, intelligence operations, law enforcement, or the conduct of foreign relations that is of such gravity that it outweighs the public interest in immediate disclosure. Accordingly, by the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including section 5(g)(2)(D) of the Act, I hereby certify that all information within records that agencies have proposed for continued postponement under section 5(g)(2)(D) shall be withheld from full public disclosure until December 15, 2022,” he said.

He said that the first release of information would be done with respect to the anniversary of JFK’s assassination.

“Any information currently withheld from public disclosure that agencies have not proposed for continued postponement shall be reviewed by NARA before December 15, 2021, and shall be publicly released on that date. Out of respect for the anniversary of President Kennedy’s assassination, such release shall not occur before December 15, 2021,” he said.

In 2017 President Donald Trump promised to release the Kennedy records, and released some, but hled others under pressure not to, Reuters reported.

Congress had ordered in 1992 that all remaining sealed files pertaining to the investigation into Kennedy’s death should be fully opened to the public through the National Archives in 25 years, by Oct. 26, 2017, except for those the president authorized for further withholding.

Trump had confirmed on Saturday that he would allow for the release of the final batch of once-classified records, amounting to tens of thousands of pages, “subject to the receipt of further information.”

But as the deadline neared, the administration decided at the last minute to stagger the final release over the next 180 days while government agencies studied whether any documents should stay sealed or redacted.

The law allows the president to keep material under wraps if it is determined that harm to intelligence operations, national defense, law enforcement or the conduct of foreign relations would outweigh the public’s interest in full disclosure.

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More than 2,800 uncensored documents were posted immediately to the National Archives website on Thursday evening – a staggering, disparate cache that news outlets began poring through seeking new insights into a tragedy that has been endlessly dissected for decades by investigators, scholars and conspiracy theorists.

 

SOURCE: ConservativeBrief

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