National Archives release 1,500 secret JFK murder files

The limousine carrying President John F. Kennedy races to the hospital seconds after he was shot in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963. Photo: Justin Newman (AP)

Nearly 1,500 Secret Documents Related to the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy are published online by the nation’s top archivists, in line with a deadline set by the White House this fall.

The series of reports, memos and diplomatic telegrams from the CIA, FBI, State Department and other agencies have never been seen by the public before. They represent a small fraction of the federal paperwork related to the assassination of the 35th U.S. President, who was shot twice, once in the back of the head, while driving in a motorcade through Dealey Plaza in downtown Dallas on Nov. 22. 1963 .

The assassination has long been the focus of popular conspiracy theories that reject the official Warren Commission findings, which list Lee Harvey Oswald, a 24-year-old former Marine who once defected to the Soviet Union, as Kennedy’s sole assassin.

In October, citing the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on federal operations, the White House again postponed the release of its long-classified files, about 10% of which remained unpublished today.

After today’s release, there are still about 14,000 files left, according to the National Archives.

Each of the remaining files was at one point flagged as potentially containing information whose release, the agencies claimed, could be expected to harm US national security or diplomatic relations.

The authorities holding the data have a year to complete a security investigation of those still being held back — at which point they will either be published in full or, more likely, in redacted form. Some may not be published at all and will be identified on a public index with the reasons why they have been withheld in their entirety.

Officially, JFK documents are withheld as necessary to “protect against apparent damage to military defense, intelligence operations, law enforcement or foreign relations conduct that is of such gravity that it outweighs the public interest in disclosure,” a Biden said. -administration memo, signed by the president in October.

The prolonged rollout of JFK newspaper publishing over many decades has effectively undermined the stated purpose of the effort, launched by Congress nearly three decades ago in hopes of dispelling any lingering doubts surrounding Kennedy’s brutal and untimely death. .

Opinion polls of the past decades have consistently shown that a majority of the country still believes there were multiple conspirators, if not gunmen; that Oswald, himself assassinated two days after Kennedy, was ultimately the “patsy” he claimed to be.

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