John F. Kennedy Assassination: US Releases Trove of Related Documents

The federal government on Thursday released a trove of new documents relating to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, a watershed moment in US history and the subject of persistent, defiant conspiracy theories. the government’s official conclusion that Lee Harvey Oswald, acting alone, shot him to death.

Historians and researchers say they are just beginning to learn 13,173 documents containing newly disclosed informationhopefully they can shed more light on one of the most scrutinized murders in recent history and the government’s actions before and after it.

Documents include records regarding Oswald’s trip to Mexico City weeks before Kennedy’s assassination in 1963; by Oswald 1959 trip to Finland, the year he defected to the Soviet Union; and my pictures apply for a Cuban visa. Some materials — including one about Operation Mongoosea covert government campaign to remove Cuba from Fidel Castro — including deals.

Many documents have been released before, but now have less editing or none at all, the researchers say. Many people scrambled to see what new information was revealed.

Mark S. Zaid, a Washington attorney who has handled Freedom of Information Act lawsuits related to the Kennedy assassination and has pushed for the release of more documents, said: “There won’t be any. any gun that smokes. There won’t be anything pushing the needle one way or another.

“For someone interested only in the Kennedy assassination, I daresay they won’t find anything that will leave their mouths open,” Mr. Zaid said as he began poring over the file. “The value in these documents will be for dedicated researchers and academics who will now spend months digesting each page.”

The National Archives says more than 97 percent of the records in Its collection relates to the Kennedy assassination — about five million pages — are now available to the public.

President Biden decided last year delay the release of the latest trove until December 15, 2022, said the national archives had reported that the pandemic was having a “significant impact” on agencies requiring editorial advice.

A 1992 law requires the government to make final documents about Kennedy’s assassination public by October 26, 2017, unless the president chooses to withhold them for national security reasons. Trump administration releases Kennedy assassination files in the fall of 2017.

But after intense lobbying by the CIA and FBI, President Donald J. Trump agreed to withhold one batch pending additional review to ensure that nothing is released that would harm national security. Mr. Trump told the agencies that any adjustments were extremely rare.

According to the CIA, 95% of their documents in the collection have been disclosed, and none have been completely edited or completely retained. The CIA says its collection of files includes about 87,000 documents, about 84,000 of which have been made public.

In A memo on Thursday, Mr. Biden said “the profound national tragedy of the assassination of President Kennedy continues to reverberate in American history and in the memories of so many Americans who survived that terrible day; Meanwhile, the need to protect records related to the assassination has weakened over time.”

“Therefore, it is important to ensure that the United States government maximizes transparency by disclosing all information in the records related to assassination, unless for the best possible reasons. offer other advice,” Biden said.

Gerald Posner, an investigative journalist and author of “Case Closed: Lee Harvey Oswald and the Assassination of JFK,” said the documents released Thursday include many previously released documents. with re-edits. Mr. Posner said the public generally assumes that most documents withheld by the government have never been seen.

Mr. Posner warned that anyone who believes the latest shipment could change the “fundamental conclusion” reached by the Warren Commission in 1964 is “a fool’s errand”. That committee, led by Chief Justice Earl Warren, concluded that Oswald acted alone when he fired three shots from the Texas School Book Archives on November 22, 1963, killing Kennedy and injuring him. Governor John B. Connally Jr. riding in an open-top limousine through Dealey Plaza in Dallas.

However, Mr. Posner said, “the fact that 59 years later we are talking about documents that the CIA and other agencies are refusing to release in their entirety, completely makes the public think that something is wrong. in the Kennedy assassination.”

survey over the years has consistently revealed that most Americans believe others were involved in the murders. A House selection committee said in a 1979 report that there was evidence of the possibility of a conspiracy but did not identify who the masterminds might be.

Multiple documents released Thursday detail CIA covert operations in Latin America in the years before and after the assassination.

For example, a memo dated December 1963, a month after the assassination, discussion efforts to interrupt a meeting of the United Labor Federation for Latin America – described as a “gathering of leftist labor leaders, socialists and communists” – in Brazil .

A document outlining CIA efforts to Cuban frame for smuggling Soviet weapons into various Latin American countries, as well as activity plan bomb power plants, oil refineries and other industrial targets in Cuba.

Julian E. Barnes contribution report.


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