Tuesday, August 26, 2014

There is no truth to the story that anything is being withdrawn and reclassified at NARA or the MFF

Yesterday, a false story was going around on Facebook that material in the JFK Records Collection at Archives II as well as the Mary Ferrell Foundation were being withdrawn.

This comes from a poster on Facebook who was looking at this:

This poster did not comprehend what this really is.  This is information that was current in 1993, and not now.  This goes back to, again, 1993, with the very first release of JFK records.  This was prior to the ARRB which I don't think even had people nominated to it yet.  The first release of JFK record wasn't even at Archives II in 1993 because they were still building Archives II in 1993.

The JFK Act has certain language in it wherein when material was transferred over to NARA on or after a certain date the documents would get a Reader Identification Form (RIF) number and that number would go into an online JFK records database to help people find specific documents.  The CIA took advantage of that and in 1993 released material at a certain time ensuring that some records would not get a RIF #. Instead they got the rather long numbers highlighted in yellow.

In 1993 there was no ARRB. There was no definition of what an "assassination record" even was  So, the intelligence agencies themselves came up with their own definition and released some material.  Some material they didn't want to release and they put in the documents place a "Withdrawal" form.

Later, when there was an ARRB, they came up with a definition of what an "assassination record" is, after comments and input from the public, and told the intelligence agencies to go back and do it again.

This poster also conflated a "Withdrawal" form with a Bush/Cheney policy of trying to reclassify documents that had been released.

Nothing of this nature is happening now.

I think Obama overturned that Bush/Cheney idea quickly upon his arrival in the White House.

If one puts the numbers given as RIF numbers, which aren't really RIF numbers, into the JFK online database, you will get a proper RIF number and you'll see the document is still in the system, still at Archives II and is in fact Open in Full.  At least the first two were.  I'll check the rest later.  I can't stay up all night putting out these fires that are only false alarms.

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