By Alicia Giordano
On the Friday afternoon before possibly one of the busiest holiday weekends in the United States, the Biden administration issued a memo announcing that, due to national security, it was postponing the release of certain classified documents related to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. (JFK).
Despite the low-key announcement on the eve of the Fourth of July weekend, it sparked outrage led by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (RFK Jr.), who of late has openly speculated that the CIA ) was behind the murder of his uncle. and that he could be in danger from the agency.
In a barrage of Twitter posts, Kennedy, who is gaining momentum against Joe Biden for the 2024 Democratic nomination for president, suggested a cover-up.
“The murder was 60 years ago. What national security secrets could be at risk? What are they hiding? she asked her.
He criticized Biden for choosing the moment to cover “bad news” that he would be “keeping secret indefinitely” about the JFK assassination records.
Kennedy charged that the postponement was an “illegal” violation of the President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992, which mandated the release of all government-held JFK assassination records no later than October. of 2017.
Records have been kept at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). The deadline to release the JFK assassination documents has been repeatedly extended even under the Trump Administration.
However, the law does include an exception in cases where the president certifies that a continued delay is “made necessary by identifiable harm to military defense, intelligence operations, law enforcement, or the conduct of public relations.” foreign affairs” and the damage is “of such severity that it outweighs the public interest.”
In December, as part of a partial release of new records, Biden issued a signed agreement that the rest would be released on June 30, the eve of Independence Day weekend.
On Friday, the White House announced that more than 99 percent of the records have been made public. But in the memo signed by Biden, the president said NARA’s acting archivist advised him to postpone the release of “certain redacted information” in records released in December.
“Continued postponement of public release of that information is necessary to protect against identifiable harm to military defense, intelligence operations, law enforcement, and foreign relations conduct that is of such severity as to outweigh the public interest. in Disclosure,” the memo. state
Biden also said that the future release of the withheld JFK assassination records would “occur consistently” with a policy called the Transparency Plan, which was established by the National Declassification Center (NDC).
“The Transparency Plans will ensure that the public has access to the maximum amount of information while continuing to protect itself against identifiable harm to military defense, intelligence operations, law enforcement, and foreign relations conduct under the standards of the Law”. Biden wrote in the memo.
Since declaring his candidacy for president, Kennedy has increasingly expressed his belief that the evidence shows that his uncle JFK was assassinated by the US government.
He noted that among the members of the Warren Commission, as it was named, to review the assassination, was former CIA director Allen Dulles, who was fired by President Kennedy.
Dulles died in 1969, six years after Kennedy’s assassination in 1963 and denied any involvement in the Kennedy assassination.
Dulles International Airport in Washington was named for his brother John Foster Dulles, who served as secretary of state under President Dwight Eisenhower.
RFK Jr. believes that Dulles used his position on the Warren Commission to cover up evidence of CIA involvement. He said in a recent interview that his own father’s “first instinct” was that the federal agency carried out the murder.
The CIA has long denied any involvement in the death of the 35th president.
In 1979, a US House of Representatives review committee appointed to study the assassination evidence concluded that at least two gunmen and accomplices were involved in the Kennedy assassination.
The only person charged with killing Kennedy was former US Marine Lee Harvey Oswald. Oswald, who denied being the assailant, was assassinated a few days after Kennedy’s death by nightclub owner Jack Ruby.
Ruby was convicted and sentenced to prison where he died in 1967 while awaiting a new trial after winning an appeal of his conviction.
In mid-June, conservative national broadcaster Joe Rogan asked Kennedy if he had concerns about his safety in relation to being targeted by intelligence agencies, such as the CIA.
Kennedy said yes, that he “has to be careful” and that he does “take precautions.”
Samantha Flom contributed to this report.