Sunday, June 29, 2014

While we wait for 2017...

Bill Kelly is trying to get something going with a petition to Archives II.  I don't think that will work at all.  He wrote to Archives complaining about the JFK online database which has not been updated as much as it could be.  He wrote me an email about it and I'm going to respond here. 

No.  I don't think they are updating this at all.  My friend Malcolm Blunt says the main problem, and this has been going on for years is what they call "interfiling," meaning you go and copy on site everything in box Super Secret, from the Super Secret agency.  And then the very next day, next week, month, year, they've gone and put new stuff into a box in which you think you already have everything in it.  

I hope he won't mind me mentioning the problem as he experienced it.

" you may know there has been a massive interfiling in the Warren Commission collection (RG272), unfortunately with no index  or finding aid provided, when I went back through the WC Office Files of Staff I found the boxes absolutely stuffed full....for instance Slawsons rough handwritten notes are there in quantity...the irritating bit is the new copy paper is off white

[ actually they are a pale blue color and you cannot increase or decrease the contrast level to suit the purpose of getting a good copy from badly handled and faded documents.  The solution is what I mention below, getting a small computer, a laptop, a modern one, and a scanner, or digital camera, and then go crazy coping.]  

and does not pick up very well pencil writing, which is what Slawson used in his notes..   this is a pain........I was there for a couple of weeks last August and had a blow up with one of the staff there over NARA not providing an index or finding aid for the Warren Commisssion interfiles; NARA have previous form on this, 7 or 8 years ago I managed to get them (NARA) to print the RIFs for the brought forward from 2010 releases by CIA which were interfiled into the CIA Seg collection printed from Micro takes up a whole trolley, but it's better than nothing ;otherwise we would have had nothing to help us find those previously redacted documents. Of course the cry there is lack of resources and reductions in staff."

The thing to do is to get a small computer, just one with a good USB port, I hear there's USB2, and USB3, doesn't matter, then get a scanner that will work with your computer.  Scan everything in color and .jpg  When you use your own equipment you can copy for free.  If you use their equipment, even to save a photocopier scan to a USB flash drive, in other words, not producing a hard copy, not using any paper or the thing's carbon, they still charge you 25 cents a page.  If you write to them and ask them to copy for you it's 80 cents a page.

I brought my old iMac computer, a G4 model, like this one, to Archives II with a flatbed scanner.

And when I got there the damn thing wouldn't even turn on.  Of course it had to go through a scanner like they have for your carry-on luggage at the airport, and I thought that damage it.  So, I copy the old fashioned way and got everything I wanted.  And when I got back home and plugged the old computer back in it worked fine.  Grrr! 

So, I need to get a laptop and a scanner, and get a good amount of time off from work, say a week and scan, scan, scan. 

People are antsy for something, they want to do something to speed up the process and get what they are withholding from us. A petition won't work.  

And Morley's idea that there are only 1,100 documents still being withheld and only the CIA is withholding JFK assassination documents is way the f off the mark, though I know and see why he thinks this.  It's so off the mark, it's like going to the beach and finding only one grain of sand.

I'm going through the notices in the Federal Register.  And I got the numbers that they didn't put into the Federal Register.  In the last few months of the ARRB's life, this is around April of 1998 they only placed summaries, a few thousand from this agency, and a few thousand from this other agency, etc into the Federal Register, like this:

I got the numbers, the decisions, document by document.  It's going to take me most of the summer, at least to go through this stuff, but I have all the data.  I have the RIF numbers.  

I got a stack of legal sized paper copies that are about 6 inches high beside me for the RIF numbers that they didn't put into the Federal Register. 

I haven't heard ANYONE mentioning the U.S. Army records.  There are LOTS of them.

And the quiet fiasco of the ONI basically saying to the ARRB, "Yo, Fuck You we do not have to obey this law."  And they got away with it.  I didn't hear a peep about this all the time I was trying to learn everything about what they were doing.  And, they court martialed a woman who did want to help and cooperate with the ARRB.   None of the ARRB members ever talked about this, during their time as members, or after.  

I think it was Bill Kelly's blog where I first heard about this.  

So, I don't know what to tell you.  Don't wait for me, make some noise, go ahead.  There are two new podcasts that are interesting, on this site called, "The Dallas Action," and "The Lone Gunman."  And, of course, there's good ol Len Osanic.  

I don't know where the research community will go with the loss of John Judge, and Debra Conway's health making her less active.  She's done a great job for years.  But, we are all mortal.

Maybe new leadership will happen, or a new conference, or some new technology will help us get documents and gives us a new and better way to share them.  

We're still here, and we're still reading documents and books.  2017 is the next big thing.  So, stay healthy everybody, and start saving money because I honestly don't think they are just going to cave in and release all these documents on some magical day in 2017.  I really don't think they are going to go, "alright, here's everything, yes we killed him, well, not we, as most of us were born long after the assassination, but yes, the agency I'm working for now, they had people who did this, and more importantly there is still an active thing to lie about it all."

So, who knows, maybe they do release a great deal of stuff, or maybe they fight like hell to keep it secret for many more years to come.  Who knows? 

I'm reminded of something Bruce Springsteen once said to Pete Seeger, "Sometimes you just have to outlive the bastards!" 

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