Board to supervise release of Kennedy records confirmed a year after deadline
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Senate confirmed in early February the five-member review board that will determine which Kennedy assassination records should be available for public review. The action came more than a year after the January 1993 deadline set in the October 1992 President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act.
Inspired by the 1991 release of Oliver Stone’s movie “JFK,” the act was to make all government records related to the assassination available for public review at the National Archives.
New legislation may be needed because more than half the board’s allotted two-year operation time has expired, according to James Lesar, president of the nonprofit Assassinations Archives and Research Center here. Lesar says that time limit will give board members just enough time to get up to speed before their terms expire in October.
The nomination procedure may have been deliberately stalled, Lesar said. President Clinton made the first nominations to the board in September, but did not deliver all the paperwork necessary for the Senate hearings to be held until November.
The act set an August 1993 deadline for agencies to turn over documents to the National Archives. Although about 800,000 documents were released by the deadline, more than 500,000 documents still remain under the control of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Central Intelligence Agency, Lesar said. It is these remaining documents that the board must decide whether or not to reveal to the public.