Few bombs expected as Biden orders release of JFK assassination files | US News

The release of thousands of documents relating to the assassination of John F Kennedy is unlikely to provide major revelations about the 1963 assassination of the US president.

The US National Archives released 13,173 documents related to the assassination after President Joe Biden issued an executive order authorizing it, keeping hundreds of other sensitive documents secret for up to another year.

The files are not expected to contain new bombs or change the conclusion reached by the Warren Commission led by Chief Justice Earl Warren that assassin Lee Harvey Oswald, a former Marine and communist activist who had lived in the Soviet Union, acted alone .

Kennedy was shot and killed while traveling in a motorcade through Dallas on November 22 at the age of 46.

Thousands of books, articles, TV shows, and movies have explored the idea that the president’s assassination was the result of an elaborate conspiracy, involving bodies such as the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the Mafia, the Russians, or even his Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson.

No one has ever produced conclusive evidence that Oswald – who was fatally shot by nightclub owner Jack Ruby two days after killing Kennedy – worked with anyone else, although he has had a considerable afterlife as a conspiracy theory in the 59 years following the murders. .

Many of the documents released Thursday belonged to the CIA, including many that focused on Oswald’s movements and his contacts.

The US government opened a file on Oswald in December 1960, nearly three years before Kennedy’s assassination and after his failed defection to the Soviet Union in 1959.

A copy of a letter sent by Lee Harvey Oswald sent to the leaders of the Soviet Union requesting political asylum previously released by the National Archives
A copy of a letter sent by Lee Harvey Oswald sent to the leaders of the Soviet Union requesting political asylum previously released by the National Archives

A December 1963 document described how CIA officials in Mexico City “intercepted a telephone call” Oswald made in October from that city to the Soviet embassy there “using his own name” and speaking “broken Russian”.

Oswald hoped to travel via Cuba to Russia and was seeking a visa, documents show.

There were initial concerns that Ruby, Oswald’s killer, might have some connection to Oswald.

But a newly released September 1964 memo to the presidential commission investigating the assassination said that “the Central Intelligence Agency has no indication that Ruby and Lee Harvey Oswald ever knew, were associated with, or could be connected in any way.”

It took many years for the files to see the light of day. Congress mandated in 1992 that all remaining sealed files relating to the investigation into Kennedy’s death be fully open to the public by 2017, except those authorized by the president for further withholding.

In 2017, Donald Trump released a cache of records, but has decided to release the remaining documents on an ongoing basis. The remaining JFK files were originally scheduled to be released in October 2021.

Biden postponed the planned release, citing delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and announced they would instead be disclosed in two batches: one in December 2021 and another by December 15, 2022, after undergoing an intensive one year review.

By Thursday’s release, 95 percent of the documents in the CIA’s JFK assassination document collection will have been released in their entirety.


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