On the 60th anniversary of his uncle John F. Kennedy’s assassination, independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.’s campaign launched a petition calling on President Joe Biden to release all records related to the Nov. 22, 1963 assassination.
“John F. Kennedy’s assassination left an indelible scar upon the American psyche,” RFK Jr. said in a statement Wednesday. “Everyone who was alive at the time can remember where they were on that day.”
“Of all the legacies that my uncle left for our country, there is one that has not yet been fulfilled,” he continued. “During his term in office, he upheld a vision of America as a nation of peace, a vision that was abandoned after his death.”
RFK Jr. said that for the 60 years following JFK’s assassination, the U.S. has “maintained a military empire,” which has squandered “trillions of dollars as our economy hollowed out and our health and infrastructure decayed.”
The independent presidential candidate promised the American people to that he would “put us back on the road to peace that JFK led us toward,” referencing JFK’s plan to withdraw American advisers from Vietnam shortly before his assassination.
“We will instead take a path back toward peace and prosperity for our country,” RFK Jr. said.
Under the 1992 Kennedy Records Assassination Act, all documents in the more than 5 million pages of assassination related-records were mandated to be released by 2017 — unless “certified as justifiably closed by the President of the United States,” according to the National Archives.
In October 2021, President Biden issued a memorandum setting a December 2022 deadline for the release of the remaining JFK assassination records — a deadline he later extended to June 2023.
In June, the Biden administration once again continued to postpone the public release of information in the JFK assassination records, saying it is “necessary to protect against identifiable harms to the military defense, intelligence operations, law enforcement, and the conduct of foreign relations that are of such gravity that they outweigh the public interest in disclosure.”
“What is so embarrassing that they’re afraid to show the American public 60 years later?” the Kennedy campaign asks in its petition to President Biden.
“Trust in government is at an all-time low,” the petition reads. “Releasing the full, unredacted historical records will help to restore that trust.”
“In the spirit of transparency, in the spirit of democracy, we, the undersigned, call upon President Biden to obey the 1992 act and release the Kennedy assassination documents to the public,” the campaign wrote.
President Biden released a statement Wednesday to mark the 60th anniversary of the JFK assassination, calling it “a defining moment of deep trauma and loss that shocked the soul of our nation.”
Biden described JFK as “a war hero, senator, and statesman,” and applauded his efforts related to civil rights and leading the U.S. through “the most dangerous moments of the Cold War.”
“His ideas rhymed with the lessons I’d learned from the nuns at school and around my father’s kitchen table – that we are each called to do good works on this earth, to try to make our world a better place in the service of others,” Biden said.
The president’s statement did not include any reference to the release of the assassination-related records.