What We Know Now

New JFK Assassination Files Released Among Others

By: Steven Morris

Former President John F. Kennedy, assassinated November 22 1963. (Credit: cnn.com)

On October 26, the National Archives released 2,891 files relating to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, who was assassinated 54 years ago in Dallas, Texas.

This file release was done in accordance with “The President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992,” which states, “Each assassination record shall be publicly disclosed in full, and available in the Collection no later than the date that is 25 years after the date of the enactment of this Act…”.

President George H.W. Bush signed this law into effect on October 26, 1992, which became the reason why these documents were released at this time.

Although 2,891 files were released, not all of them have been released yet.

In addition to this file release, President Trump held back files that were sensitive to National Security, after numerous pleas by the CIA and the FBI.

According to the press release by the National Archives, “Based on requests from executive offices and agencies the President has allowed the temporary withholding of certain information that would harm national security, law enforcement, or foreign affairs.” 

The National Archives further elaborated, “The President also ordered agencies to re-review their proposed redactions and only redact information in the rarest of circumstances where its withholding is made necessary by an identifiable harm to military defense, intelligence operations, law enforcement, or conduct of foreign relations; and the identifiable harm is of such gravity that it outweighs the public interest in disclosure.”

It goes on to say, “These instructions will allow the National Archives to release as much information as possible by the end of the temporary certification period on April 26, 2018.”

The documents being withheld, according to most historians, hold more significance than documents released on October 26.

However, there were interesting tidbits in the file release on October 26.

One file, a memo written by then FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, was forwarded to the White House, shortly after President Kennedy’s death.

In this memo was the reaction of the Soviet Union in relation to President Kennedy’s death.

The memo states, “According to our source, officials of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union believed there was some well-organized conspiracy on the part of the ‘ultraright’ in the United States to effect a ‘coup,’”

The memo also conjectured, “They seem convinced that the assassination was not the deed of one man, but that it arose out of a carefully planned campaign in which several people played a part.”

Another highlight of the file release was a cable by the FBI in which a Cuban intel officer stated that he knew him, and that he agreed with the notion that Oswald was a good shot.

There were also files that were released that had nothing to do with the assassination. Wedged in these records were files pertaining to an investigation by the CIA in relation towards a rumor that Adolf Hitler did not kill himself, but escaped to South America. However, another file relating to this stated doubt by CIA higher-ups about this rumor.

The tragedy that was the assassination of President John F. Kennedy still remains a situation casted in doubt and is an event with numerous conspiracy theories.

When the documents that haven’t been released are released, we may finally have a clear picture as to what happened on that tragic day.

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