10.04.17

Leahy Joins In Pressing For Full Public Disclosure Of JFK Assassination Documents

 Congressman Walter B. Jones and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley are calling for full public disclosure of documents pertaining to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Today, Jones and Grassley introduced companion resolutions to accomplish just that. The first, H. Res. 556 in the House and S. Res. 281 in the Senate, calls on the President of the United States to allow the release of all remaining documents currently held by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), and reject any efforts to postpone their release. The second, H. Res. 557 and S. Res. 282, commends NARA and its employees for working to release those records by October 26, 2017, the date established by the President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992.

“To me, the tragedy that took place in Dallas continues to raise many questions that go unanswered,” said Jones. “After 54 years, there is no reason, for the sake of honesty and integrity in America, that the facts of the JFK assassination should not be made public. Virgil once said, ‘Evil is nourished and grows by concealment.’ It’s time to reveal what happened that awful afternoon in 1963.”

“Transparency in government is critical not only to ensuring accountability; it’s also essential to understanding our nation’s history.  The assassination of President Kennedy occurred at a pivotal time for our nation, and nearly 54 years later, we are still learning the details of how our government responded and what it may have known beforehand.  Americans deserve a full picture of what happened that fateful day in November 1963. Shining a light on never-before-seen government records is essential to filling in these blank spaces in our history,” Grassley said.

“I am proud to cosponsor Chairman Grassley’s resolutions calling on the Trump Administration to publicly disclose all government records related to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy – as required by a 1992 law authored by my good friend, the late Senator John Glenn,” responded Senator Patrick Leahy, Senate cosponsor.  “The assassination of President Kennedy was one of the most shocking and tragic events in our nation’s history.  Americans have the right to know what our government knows.  Transparency is crucial for our country to fully reckon with this national tragedy, and that is the purpose of these resolutions.  Chairman Grassley and I both believe that a government of, by, and for the people simply cannot be one that needlessly hides information from them, and I look forward to continuing our efforts to make our democracy ever more transparent to the American people.”  

"Twenty-five years ago, both Houses of Congress unanimously passed a bill mandating that these records would be released this month. It is time for the National Archives to do what it was directed to do and release these documents," said Congresswoman Louise Slaughter, an original cosponsor.

Several academics with research interests in the life of President Kennedy are also calling on the release of all classified documents.

"Historians and political scientists have been patiently waiting for this information for many years.  If the full true story is to be told, then the full release of these files is essential," said UVA Professor Larry J. Sabato, Director of the University of Virginia Center for Politics. "Surely, 54 years of hidden secrets is more than enough.  It's time to bring all the facts into the bright sunshine of public disclosure." 

Additional House cosponsors include Representatives Dana Rohrbacher, John Conyers, Matt Gaetz, Gerald Connolly and Marcy Kaptur.

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