JFK Files released after more than 50 years of waiting, speculation and conspiracy theories. The U.S. government posted almost all, more than 2,800, of the previously classified John F. Kennedy assassination files online Thursday evening. The release was in compliance with a 1992 order to release them by October 26, 2017. However, around 300 of the documents were withheld from the public due to CIA, FBI and State Department concerns over “U.S. national security, law enforcement and foreign relations”.
Earlier this month, President Trump issued a memo requiring that the heads of intelligence departments publish the files, in which he claimed that the American people deserve to be “fully informed about all aspects of this pivotal event”. The President wrote: “I am ordering today that the veil finally be lifted”.
President John F. Kennedy was shot dead by an alleged lone sniper on November 22, 1963 as he and his wife, First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, drove through Dallas, Texas in a convertible limousine. Former Texas Governor John Connally was sitting in front of the President and was seriously wounded during the attack. The First Lady managed to escape by climbing onto the back of the vehicle to try and reach security agents.
Almost immediately after the incident, police arrested former U.S. Marine Lee Harvey Oswald and charged him with murder. However, Oswald claimed that he was just a “patsy” and had been wrongly accused. On November 24, just two days later, he was shot dead in the Dallas Police Department basement by nightclub owner Jack Ruby.
Following a major government inquiry, the Warren Commission published a report in September 1964 stating that Lee Harvey Oswald had shot and killed John F. Kennedy from an upper floor of the Texas School Book Depository building in Dallas.
After screenwriter Oliver Stone produced a controversial investigative documentary film in 1992 entitled “J.F.K.”, the U.S. Congress passed a bill ordering the National Archives to collect information about the assassination of the former U.S. President and release them within 25 years — meaning they must be published by October 26, 2017.
On Thursday evening, however, the President announced that he had “no choice,” but to accept the national security concerns raised by the intelligence agencies and withhold certain documents. He then allocated a further 180 days for the CIA and FBI to reexamine the censored material.
Independent investigators, journalists, historians and conspiracy theorists have waited over 50 years to view the entire range of classified JFK Files regarding the 1963 presidential assassination in Dallas, Texas. However, the CIA unexpectedly made last-minute redactions which they say protect the names of CIA assets and former officers, as well as special intelligence methodology and partnerships.
This decision is only likely to fuel speculation of a government cover-up. The vast majority of Americans still believe there was a major conspiracy to murder the 35th president of the United States and that more than one killer was involved.
The government has always maintained that there is no evidence indicating Lee Harvey Oswald or Jack Ruby “were part of any conspiracy, domestic or foreign”. But, a 1979 investigation by the House Select Committee on Assassinations claimed that there existed a “high probability” that there were at least two gunmen.
The almost 3,000 documents published Thursday mostly appear to detail the intelligence agencies’ response to the assassination of President Kennedy, as well as the anti-Cuban activity of the U.S. government during the 1960s.
The FBI were apparently investigating Lee Harvey Oswald prior to the murder of the President. According to “Cuban sources”, devout Marxist and Soviet sympathizer Oswald was already a person-of-interest to the U.S. intelligence community.
The FBI also warned the Dallas Police Department that a group were planning to murder Oswald and the police may have chosen not to protect him while he was in custody.
Leaders in the Soviet Union apparently suspected that the assassination was a right-wing coup to take out the President, or that former President Lyndon B. Johnson was somehow involved.
The latest documents also include a detailed report on the CIA’s own foreign assassination plots and a large number of financial records of secret international programs. These include covert operations in Cuba, Congo, the Dominican Republic and Vietnam.
You can download the newly-released documents here.
Tucker is a foreign correspondent and media analyst for Not Liberal.