Back in 1992, President George H.W. Bush signed the JFK Records Act of 1992. It mandated the release of all federal government files concerning the assassination of President John F. Kennedy within 25 years.
The clock will stop ticking in less than a month, on Oct. 26.
But under the law, President Donald Trump may withhold some or all of the 3,100 files that remain confidential if he believes making them public could harm national security. A spokesman for the National Security Council told Fox News this week that the administration is “working closely with the National Archives and other departments and agencies … on processes that are consistent with” the law.
If that means the Trump White House intends to release the papers — or at least the vast majority of them — good. The idea that details surrounding the killing of an American president more than half a century ago could somehow endanger the nation today is far-fetched, to say the least.
“There’s no reason this information — from a security standpoint — should not be made public,” Rep. Walter Jones, a North Carolina Republican, told Fox. Rep. Jones, along with Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, is leading the congressional effort to declassify the documents.
“The papers should be released,” said Larry Sabato, who wrote a book about the JFK assassination and runs the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics. “We, the people, paid for all this.”
Indeed. Any effort to keep this information from the public would be counterproductive and only further flame the conspiracy theories that have raged for decades. Mr. Trump’s decision should be an easy one, even if the papers contain some potentially embarrassing details: Follow the law and declassify the files.