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The President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992, or the JFK Records Act, is a public law passed by the United States Congress, effective October 26 1992. It directed the National Archives and Records Administrationmarker to establish a collection of records to be known as the President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection. It stated that the collection shall consist of copies of all U.S. government records relating to the assassination of President John F. Kennedymarker in 1963, which shall be transmitted to the National Archives. Assassination records also included those created or made available for use by, obtained by, or otherwise came into the possession of any state or local law enforcement office that provided support or assistance or performed work in connection with a federal inquiry into the assassination.

The Act requires that each assassination record be publicly disclosed in full, and be available in the collection no later than the date that is 25 years after the date of enactment of the Act (i.e., October 26 2017), unless the President of the United States certifies that: (1) continued postponement is made necessary by an identifiable harm to the military defense, intelligence operations, law enforcement, or conduct of foreign relations; and (2) the identifiable harm is of such gravity that it outweighs the public interest in disclosure.

The Act established, as an independent agency, the Assassination Records Review Board to consider and render decisions when a U.S. government office sought to postpone the disclosure of assassination records. The Board met for four years, from October 1 1994 to September 30 1998. When the Act was passed in 1992, 98 percent of all Warren Commission documents had been released to the public. By the time the Board disbanded, all Warren Commission documents, except income tax returns, had been released to the public, with only minor redactions.

References

  1. ARRB Final Report, p. 2. Redacted text includes the names of living intelligence sources, intelligence gathering methods still used today and not commonly known, and purely private matters. The Kennedy autopsy photographs and X-rays were never part of the Warren Commission records and were deeded separately to the National Archives by the Kennedy family in 1966 under restricted conditions. The JFK Records Act specifically excluded those records.


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