from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
Volume 2017, Issue No. 72
October 11, 2017

Secrecy News Blog:


The nominal deadline for release of the last remaining records concerning the assassination of President Kennedy under the terms of the JFK Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992 is October 26, 2017, or two weeks from now.

Agencies have an opportunity to request postponement of release, beyond the deadline, of a few thousand records that are still being withheld, subject to Presidential approval. Officials would not say if any such requests have been forwarded to the White House, but so far none are known to have been approved by President Trump.

In a resolution introduced in the Senate last week, Senators Charles Grassley and Patrick Leahy called for full release of all remaining assassination records.

They urged the President of the United States to "reject any claims for the continued postponement of the full public release of those records."

Further background from the Congressional Research Service can be found in President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection: Toward Final Disclosure of Withheld Records in October 2017, CRS Insight, May 26, 2017.


The Trump Administration budget request proposes a substantial cut to US spending on global health programs, as described in a new report from the Congressional Research Service. But Congress appears poised to provide at least some of the funds that the executive branch had sought to eliminate.

"The FY2018 budget request includes almost $7 billion for global health assistance, roughly 30% less than the FY2017-enacted level," CRS noted.

"The budget request proposes halving the USAID global health budget through the elimination of funding for global health security, vulnerable children, and family planning and reproductive health. Budget reductions are also recommended for all other health programs," including various programs to combat infectious diseases around the world.

The US is the largest contributor to international health programs. But according to the Trump budget request, "other stakeholders must do more to contribute their fair share to global health initiatives."

See U.S. Global Health Assistance: FY2001-FY2018 Request, October 6, 2017:

Other noteworthy new products from the Congressional Research Service include the following.

U.S. Response to Injuries of U.S. Embassy Personnel in Havana, Cuba, CRS Insight, October 6, 2017:

Attack on U.S. Soldiers in Niger: Context and Issues for Congress, CRS Insight, October 5, 2017:

Wildfire Suppression Spending: Background, Issues, and Legislation in the 115th Congress, October 5, 2017:

Electoral College Reform: Contemporary Issues for Congress, updated October 6, 2017:

Overview of Continuing Appropriations for FY2018 (P.L. 115-56), October 6, 2017:

Kosovo: Background and U.S. Relations, October 6, 2017:

Options to Cease Implementing the Iran Nuclear Agreement, updated October 5, 2017:


Secrecy News is written by Steven Aftergood and published by the Federation of American Scientists.

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