Thursday, December 6, 2012

Meanwhile, over on the Education Forum, in the thread Postponed in Full, Bill Kelly is acting as if the ARRB still exists.  He's only 14 years late to the party.  And he still can 't be bothered with checking his post for errors before he posts, "withheld," is one word Bill, not two.

My replies to Kelly's nonsense are found bellow this black and white section


Honestly, this is a complete waste of time.
BK: I don't know what Joe is talking about here, as I think that the idea of focusing on the withheld records is not a complete waste of time, and it doesn't matter when they declassify them, whenever they do we should be on top of them and read what they have been trying to with hold from us. Why not focus on the with held records? 

Going into the JFK online database and finding documents that have been postponed in full there and then reproducing the full text image you get from that here is a huge waste of space for this forum.
BK: That's not what we're doing. We are trying to identify what records have been withheld and then reviewing them as they are released.

Let me tell you why. The Archives II people have not been updating that system, at all. You're only seeing what was initially put in there. I don't think there's ever been any update to it at all. To do so was not seen as a priority. They have cut the staff down a lot. There is no public spotlight on them so they get away with doing this.
BK: Well, let's shine a light on them. They have been talking about upgrading the Archives info for years, and every FOIA request, once released, should be posted on line so others don't have to go through the same old BS process when it has already been done. They should post every document that is requested from the public. 

You should really have all the notices that the ARRB published in the Federal Register regarding document releases. Final Determinations for some changed during the lifetime of the ARRB and were so noted in the published notices in the Federal Register. The ARRB made some decisions to open in full documents after they sunset, leaving to NARA to follow up on that.
BK: I just happen to have a press release from the ARRB for every time they voted on records and published in the Federal Register, and have segregated the postponed records from those released. What shall I do with it? 

They often didn't bother. Sometimes they did.

For example, how many people went into Archives II with the Federal Register notices in hand providing the information that such and such document was to be opened in full sometime after the ARRB sunset, like in 2005? And asked the JFK staff go get them please? I'd wager not many.
BK: I'll supply the notices if anybody has the time and inclination to do this.

There's been a lot of talk from Bill Kelly and others of this 1% of the JFK documents still being withheld based on what a now former member of the National Declassification Center said at a public hearing. There has been mentioned on forums and within the JFK assassination research community a list of over 1,000 documents currently listed as postponed in full - PIF. I have asked Archives II, the NDC, and BIll Kelly to get such a list of RIF numbers for these documents to no avail.
BK: Why am I responsible for getting the RIF numbers for you when you can get them from the government yourself, as I did? I will give them to you but what will you do with them? 

What should be posted on here is just a plain list of RIF numbers, with, if possible the agency number. That would be helpful.
BK: Maybe I'll scan what I have and post them when I have time. 

We can go on our own to the JFK online database for more information on a specific document, to see what such and such RIF number was all about, but I'm telling you, from years of experience, that that thing is hopelessly outdated, and unreliable. Every RIF number listed in this thread should be cross checked against what was published by the ARRB in The Federal Register. And you should cross check with the Mary Ferrell Foundation. You're only arming yourself with a fragment of the necessary info you need to know whether or not a document is still PIF. And if you go to Archives II in person you may be pleasantly surprised to find it open.
BK: Okay, so its not a big waste of time if we take what we know was Postponed In Full and is now released, so we can then read it, and will also learn what is still being withheld, which is what we want to know anyway. So its not such a big waste of time if you learn something new. 

It's not necessarily so that a document listed as PIF at one point, still is.

I think they are just waiting until 2017 and then they will release everything they can. Everything that an agency won't object to being released.

Joe Backes

BK: So the bottom line is there are still many thousands of documents still being withheld under the JFK Act, and while that number is not known to NARA, we can identify specific records and read their subject and topics and learn a lot from just the RIFs, which is what I said in the beginning. 


No, as usual Bill doesn't get it.  Bill Kelly is a bigger pain in the ass than Cinque. He's always been a combative prick to me as if he has a better record of informing people what the hell the ARRB was doing, which he clearly does not, and never did.  I'm tired of him.  That's why I went ahead on my own and didn't wait for those holes at COPA who were paid to pay attention to what the ARRB was doing and were supposed to be telling us all what was going on and couldn't be bothered to go to the public events when they, COPA and the ARRB, were both in Washington, D.C.  I even have the late Dr. Kermit Hall, a member of the ARRB, on audiotape, praising me in stark contrast to the people at COPA on this very point.  

The complete waste of time I was and still am referring to is the reproduction of the full print out of information from the RIF.  It needlessly wastes space on the misnamed Education forum.  Also, the information from the JFK online database is severely out of date with the current condition of the entire JFK Records Collection.  Things have been released in one of three ways, open in full, postponed in part, or postponed in full, and just shoved into the JFK Records Collection often with little or no updating at all to the online JFK database. File folders and the grey archival boxes are bursting at the seams.  Onion skin carbon copy paper, which sometimes are the only copy available of many JFK assassination documents are being severely damaged.  

It's not the strategy of focusing on the Postponed In Full documents that is the problem, it's the tactic currently being used that I find fault with.  

I'll go through Bill points.

First of all, Bill, where was all this interest in JFK records when there was an ARRB?  Why so fixated on them more than a decade after they've gone out of existence?  Why weren't you at every ARRB event when they were around? You're extremely late to the party, Bill.  

I don't understand why FOIA requests are even relevant.  FOIA is horrible, has been horrible for years. That's why John Newman was excited about the JFK Act because they were going to have to let stuff go in buckets and then truck loads.  

Making FOIA requests public and their outcomes public is really a separate issue from the JFK Act and the JFK Records Collection. 

You were the one going on and on about there being these 1,700 plus CIA documents that were being withheld in full.  I have asked repeatedly for this list of RIFs.  Instead of sharing that info, if indeed you do have such a list, and I don't think you really do, you've done nothing with it.  Give me that list and I'll do something with it.  Stop being your usual self and share the information.  If you have it electronically, just email it to me.  

And you do not have ONE press release from the ARRB, I think you meant to say you have all the ARRB notices as published in the Federal Register.  I doubt it.  What should you do with that information?  I'm telling you what to do with it, idiot.  Do you need to be kidnapped and shoved into Archivies II? Can't you get there on your own? Do you need instructions to know how a photocopier machines works too, Bill?

Whiney-pain-in-the-ass "Why is it my responsibility to, blah, blah, blah."  Bill, do us all a favor and just drop dead.  You have no track record of paying any attention to what the ARRB did.  It's pathetic to try to start one 14 years after they're gone.  

What should be going on here is the sharing of information.  There should just be a list of RIFs with the agency numbers of documents postponed in full on a website or a blog.  I don't need anything more than that.  Just two columns, one for the RIF number, if there is one, and often with CIA documents in particular there really isn't one, and the agency file number.  That's it.

Then take that list and cross check it with every thing the ARRB published in the Federal Register.

Then cross reference that with the Mary Ferrell Foundation and see if they already have the document.

Then you go into Archives II and see if indeed every document on that list is indeed Postponed in Full. If so, record what it says about why it is postponed in full and when if any date is given for release.

Or, maybe, just maybe the info in the stuff the ARRB published will tell you that such and such a document should have been released in full by now, and should have been so, perhaps years ago.

That's how to do this properly.  My idea is a better approach.  You're getting information from 3 sources, not 1, and you're going into Archives II with all the information there is and checking to see if
the documents on your PIF list are indeed postponed in full.

Bottom line is, you don't know, or don't want to learn, how to do this properly.  All of this information could be and should be shared. The hard work of physically going to Archives II and checking the true status of the documents could be divided up among people who will actually go to Archives II when they can.  

One of us has a track record of doing exactly this kind of work.  And here's a hint, it isn't you.  

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