JFK at 100: State of the Records
March 16, 2017 1:00 PM
Location: Zenger Room
Press Conference On Secret JFK Assassination Records With Judge John Tunheim To Discuss This Year’s Final Release Of CIA, Other Documents
“JFK at 100: State of the Records” News Conference and Forum
Judge John Tunheim, named by Congress to supervise the release of JFK assassination records, will assess progress
March 16, 2017, 1:00 p.m.
Location: Zenger Room
Washington, DC — Federal Judge John Tunheim, former chair of the Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB), will discuss the accomplishments and challenges of the JFK Assassination Records Act at a unique Sunshine Week news conference on March 16 at the Club.
In 1992, Congress unanimously approved the Act, which mandates the release by Oct. 26 of all U.S. government records related to the 1963 assassination of President Kennedy. Under Tunheim’s leadership, the ARRB has released four million pages.
Tunheim, now Minnesota’s chief federal judge, will discuss the law as a milestone in open government legislation. Its provisions mandate the release of some 3,600 still-secret JFK documents later this year on the 25th anniversary of the law’s passage.
The judge will address the challenge of secrecy in a democracy. In a 2013 Boston Globe column, he and ARRB’s former deputy chair Thomas Samoluk wrote that the CIA deceived House Select Committee on Assassinations investigators by not disclosing the role of a CIA officer in 1963 events while that officer advised the House. "It really was an example of treachery,” the Globe quoted the judge as saying in an interview.
Top experts in history, intelligence, law and science will discuss on March 16 the importance of assassination story to current issues, including the credibility of officials and media outlets as measured by polls, as well as practical procedures to foster open government.
Dr. Cyril H. Wecht, the famed forensic pathologist and chair of the event host Citizens Against Political Assassinations (CAPA), will open the 1 p.m. news conference. Other speakers include Dr. John Newman, a history professor and intelligence expert, attorney James Lesar and his client Jefferson Morley, the lead plaintiff in “Morley v. CIA,” a FOIA lawsuit seeking JFK-related CIA records.
CAPA will announce the name of experts who advocate release of the remaining JFK documents. They include high-ranking Warren Commission staffers. The event is timed for Sunshine Week and provides background for coverage of Kennedy’s 100th birthday anniversary on May 29.