JFK at 100 State of the Records: March 16 News Conference and Forum
Federal Judge John Tunheim, former chair of the Assassination Records Review Board (AARB), will speak about the accomplishments and challenges of the JFK Assassination Records Act at a unique Sunshine Week news conference on March 16 in Washington, DC.
The JFK Records Act, approved unanimously by Congress in 1992, mandates the release by Oct. 26 of all U.S. government records related to the assassination of President Kennedy on November 22, 1963. Under Tunheim’s leadership, the ARRB reviewed and released some four million pages of assassination-related material in the 1990s.
Judge Tunheim, now the chief federal judge for Minnesota, will talk about the law as a milestone in open government legislation and about its provisions that mandate the release of some 3,600 still-secret JFK documents later this year on the 25th anniversary of the law’s passage.
Tunheim will address the challenge of secrecy in a democracy. In a 2013 Boston Globe column, he and former AARB deputy chair Thomas E. Samoluk wrote that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) deceived House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) investigators by not disclosing the role of deceased CIA officer George Joannides in the events of 1963.
“It really was an example of treachery,” Judge Tunheim said in an interview. “If [the CIA] fooled us on that, they may have fooled us on other things.”
After the press conference leading experts in history, intelligence, law and science will discuss the relevance of the still-withheld records to the JFK assassination story and to current issues, including the credibility of officials and media outlets, as measured by polls.