Thousands of previously classified documents regarding the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy have been released to the public this week.
NBC News reported that with the National Archives’ latest release of documents, only 3% of the records still remain classified.
Here’s what else we know.
Why do the JFK assassination files matter?
The Hill reported that this latest release of files has been the biggest one since the 2018 release.
“... The profound national tragedy of President Kennedy’s assassination continues to resonate in American history and in the memories of so many Americans who were alive on that terrible day; meanwhile, the need to protect records concerning the assassination has weakened with the passage of time,” the White House said in a memorandum Thursday.
The Mary Ferrell Foundation group, which sued the Biden administration for further delaying the documents release last year, wrote a statement regarding the importance of releasing this information to the public, according to the Deseret News.
“These failures have resulted in confusion, gaps in the records, over-classification, and outright denial of thousands of assassination-related files, five years after the law’s deadline for full disclosure,” the MFF statement detailed.
The White House memorandum continued: “It is therefore critical to ensure that the United States Government maximizes transparency by disclosing all information in records concerning the assassination, except when the strongest possible reasons counsel otherwise.”
What will happen with the remaining JFK assassination documents?
Biden told the National Archives in a memo that they will be given until May 2023 to review the last 3% of the redacted documents, according to CNN.
7 News reported that researchers will need several days to go through the documents and ensure that government operations or “novel pieces of historical information about CIA and FBI processes in the 60’s,” will not be given away in the remaining material.
Jefferson Morely, vice president of the Mary Ferrell Foundation and the person responsible for suing the Biden administration for delaying the documents’ release, questioned the call for more delays and redactions with information regarding the assassination.
“What the CIA has hidden,” is information on if the CIA had, “operational interest in Oswald,” around the time when President Kennedy was murdered, Morely said according to the Washington Post.
Biden’s memo continued that if the National Archives fail to meet this deadline, “any information withheld from public discourse that agencies do not recommend for continued postponement,” will be made public before June 30, 2023.