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Judicial Watch • JW Lawsuit Forced National Archives’ Release of Kennedy Docs

JW Lawsuit Forced National Archives’ Release of Kennedy Docs

JW Lawsuit Forced National Archives’ Release of Kennedy Docs

Judicial Watch

A Judicial Watch lawsuit has forced the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) to finally release records of Robert F. Kennedy’s tenure as Attorney General though the government agency is falsely representing that the move was voluntary.

For years the Kennedy family has wielded its power, keeping the government records secret in violation of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). They include more than 60 boxes of documents, including phone logs, messages, trip files, memoranda, reports, and other records concerning the Cuban missile crisis, the war in Vietnam, the civil rights movement, and law enforcement activities of both the FBI and Justice Department .

In the fall of 2012 JW filed a series of FOIA requests in an effort to make the records public. However, the documents have been under control of the Kennedy family in Dorchester, Massachusetts and the NARA made no effort to obtain them. Earlier this year JW was forced to sue the NARA, an agency responsible for preserving government records and increasing public access to them, on behalf of a historian.

The NARA’s press release announcing that the Kennedy records are finally available to the public indicates that it was a voluntary decision and, not surprisingly, omits that JW had to take legal action to accomplish it. “The National Archives is pleased to open these additional historic materials as the nation and world continue to mark the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s administration,” said David S. Ferriero, Archivist of the United States. “As President Kennedy’s Attorney General, closest advisor and confidant, Robert F. Kennedy played a vital role in the Kennedy Administration’s policy decisions. Researchers and the public look forward to exploring these documents.”

The mainstream media has bought it hook, line and sinker, also failing to mention that the Kennedy records would more than likely still be secret if not for JW’s lawsuit. A group dedicated to investigating the accuracy of information related to John F. Kennedy’s assassination acknowledges JW’s hard work, writing that “the persuasive power of our adversarial legal system is impressive.”

In 2011 Judicial Watch helped expose the tightly kept secrets of another Kennedy brother, the late Senator Edward Kennedy. After a lengthy exchange with the FBI and subsequent lawsuit, JW obtained previously redacted material from Kennedy’s bureau file. The FBI files revealed that, during a tour of Latin America, “Ted” Kennedy “made arrangements to ‘rent’ a brothel for an entire night”; sought meetings with “communists and others who had left-wing views.”


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