PREVIOUSLY SEALED KENNEDY ASSASSINATION DOCUMENTS RELEASED ON WESTLAW
"All Government records concerning the assassination of President John F. Kennedy should carry a presumption of immediate disclosure." -- The President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992.
The release of the JFK Assassination Review Board Transcripts & Documents on WESTLAW provides online access to the recently declassified government documents. The JFK-TRANS database on WESTLAW offers easy access to the assassination documents and supports word-searching for pointed research and location of specific names and information within the documents.
A significant feature of the JFK-TRANS database on WESTLAW is the addition of explanatory notes by Mark Zaid, a nationally recognized expert on the assassination of President Kennedy. Zaid offers background information and explanations which shed light on the often difficult-to-understand government documents contained in the database. For instance, regarding a CIA "Personality (201) File" on JFK-TRANS, Mark Zaid writes:
"This document signified the opening of a CIA '201' file on Lee Harvey Oswald (mistakenly identified as Lee Henry Oswald) on December 9, 1960. A '201' file is created on individuals of interest to the CIA, but does not necessarily signify an intelligence connection to the CIA..The newly released information consists of identifying the CIA officer responsible for the opening of Oswald's '201' file -- Ann Egerter, who was part of the CIA's CI/SIG division or Counterintelligence Signals Division."
According to Zaid, the ARRB transcripts and documents are highly significant for those involved in scholarly research of the assassination of President Kennedy. These documents include recently declassified CIA personnel names and code names for Cuban and Soviet surveillance posts; information regarding previously sealed CIA operations; and reveal the extent to which the CIA and FBI independently suspected assassination plots. For instance, an internal CIA memo released in the JFK-TRANS database reveals the method in which CIA bugging information was transcribed from Mexico City, where Lee Harvey Oswald was spotted by CIA operations shortly before arriving in Dallas around the time of President Kennedy's assassination (1963 WL 12391 [JFK.doc]).
Mark S. Zaid is a Washington, D.C. attorney/lobbyist specializing in matters of public/private international law, national security, foreign sovereign immunity, and the Freedom of Information/Privacy Acts. His practice involves cases relating to government accountability (U.S. and foreign), international humanitarian law, terrorism, war crimes and representation of former/current U.S. federal/intelligence agents. He frequently handles legal matters surrounding the assassination of President Kennedy and is co-author of "The Declassification of Dealy Plaza: After Thirty Years, a New Disclosure Law At Last May Help to Clarify the Facts Of The Kennedy Assassination," 34 S.TEX.L.REV.407 (1993).
West Publishing's WESTLAW contains more than 6,900 legal, business and financial databases, and is the exclusive online legal research service to offer integrated access to The Wall Street Journal(R) and other Dow Jones News/Retrieval(R) databases. For more information about the content of these databases, call the West Reference attorneys at 800-REF-ATTY (800-733-2889). For technical assistance, call West Customer Service at 800-WESTLAW (800-937-8529). -0- 11/17/95
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