James K. Galbraith in Project Syndicate:
Brood with me on the latest delay of the full release of the records pertaining to the murder of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas on November 22, 1963. That was 58 years ago. More time has passed since October 26, 1992, when Congress mandated the full and immediate release of almost all the JFK assassination records, than had elapsed between the killing and the passage of that law.
The late Senator John Glenn of Ohio – an astronaut-hero of the Kennedy era – wrote the 1992 law. It stipulates that “all Government records concerning the assassination … should carry a presumption of immediate disclosure, and all records should be eventually disclosed.” The law states that “only in the rarest cases is there any legitimate need for continued protection of such records.”
Congress was precise in specifying where such a need might exist. Protecting the identity of an intelligence agent who “currently requires protection” was one case. Likewise, any intelligence source or method “currently utilized” deserved protection. In some cases, privacy concerns might be paramount. Finally, there was language exempting any other matter relating to “defense, intelligence operations, or the conduct of foreign relations, the disclosure of which would demonstrably impair the national security of the United States.”