PADUCAH, Ky. -- President Bush Tuesday signed legislation permitting the release of the remaining top secret records about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy except 'where the strongest possible reasons counsel otherwise.'
In a written statement, Bush said the new law 'will help to put to rest the doubts and suspicions about the assassination of President Kennedy.'
'I sign the bill in the hope that it will assist in healing the wounds inflicted on our nation almost three decades ago,' he added.
He signed into law the 'President John F. Kennedy Association Records Collection Act of 1992,' explaining the legislation provides for the review and, wherever possible, the release of records relating to Kennedy's death that have not yet been made public.
Kennedy was fatally wounded in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963. A commission headed by then Chief Justice Earl Warren concluded that Lee Harvey Oswald was the sole assassin although there has been speculation of a possible conspiracy through the years.
'In the minds of many Americans, questions about President Kennedy's assassination remaim unresolved,' Bush said. 'Although the government already has released many thousands of documents the existence of additional, undiclosed documents has led to speculation that these materials might shed important new light on the assassination.'
'Because of legitimate historical interest in this tragic event, all documents about the assassination should now be diclosed except where the strongest possible reasons counsel otherwise,' he said.
Bush said that under the constitution, he would insist that he be given the right to protect national security documents although only under the 'most extraordinary circumstances.'
He also said that although the legislation provides that a review board submit its reports simultaneously to the president and Congress, under his authority he should receive the report before it goes to Capitol Hill.
Furthermore, he rejected provisions setting qualifications for nominations for the review board, declaring that he has the 'sole power of nomination and the Senate has sole power of consent.'