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The John F. Kennedy Library will next week begin reviewing, for possible release, the 68 Dictabelts of Presidential phone conversatiins and 125 magnetic tapes of Presidential meetings in its possession, according to Dan H. Fenn '44, director of the Library
Fenn explained that he had looked through a few of the transcripts that were attached to some of the tapes along with some descriptive notes. "The vast majority dealt with national defense and foreign policy," Fenn said.
Fenn said that he has been trying to determine how best to handle the tapes which must be reviewed by a screening committee which was established when Jacqueline Onassis, Senator Edward M. Kennedy '54 (D-Mass.) and the late Robert F. Kennedy '48, deeded the gift to the federal library.
The tapes are considered to be private property, and personally embarrassing or harrassing material as well as sensitive foreign policy and defense matters are to be screened under the terms of the deed, Fenn added.
Fenn said that the Library would not have considered the processing of the tapes to be a "high priority matter" before the recent interest in presidential tapes, but the next week he will start "looking at the tapes" in preparation for the review committee.
Fenn said he does not "think these [the Presidential tapes] will be releaseable" and that they are now in a vault along with other CIA and FBI materials.
The Library has not even permitted radio and television photographers to photograph the tapes, Fenn added.
David Powers, Curator of the Kennedy Library and assistant appointments secretary under President Kennedy, explained that he had been "in and out of the President's office sometimes ten times each day" and that his unfamiliarity with the tapes would lead him "to believe that the tapes dealt with national security or cabinet level meetings."
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