Curiosity is reaching a fever pitch about what will be revealed when the last government documents about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy are released on October 26th. The president was shot in Dallas on November 22, 1963, and while the majority of the documents related to the investigation of his murder are public record, about 1 percent has been withheld. This final batch contains more than 3,000 files, and each of those files could contain hundreds of individual documents.
President Donald Trump announced via Twitter on October 21st, “Subject to the receipt of further information, I will be allowing, as President, the long-blocked and classified JFK FILES to be opened.” While no method of document release has been revealed, it’s expected that the public will be able to access the de-classified records through the Library of Congress’s website.
A deadline of October 26, 2017 was made law by Congress mandating the release of secret documents on Kennedy’s assassination barring any action by the President to block their release. A White House official told reporters that Trump “believes that these documents should be made available in the interest of full transparency.”
An editorial published on October 24 in the Dallas Morning News said, “Access to these documents would give us all a better understanding of our history. Yes, there will still be unanswered questions and maybe even painful conclusions and speculations.
Conspiracy theorists no doubt will find new intrigue as they read between the lines. But history demands as complete a record as possible of a horrific and traumatic event–the murder of a U.S. president.”
Lee Harvey Oswald, a former U.S. marine, was arrested the same day that Kennedy was shot, but before he could be questioned at length Oswald himself was murdered. He was shot while in police custody by Jack Ruby, a Dallas nightclub owner with ties to organized crime.
Whether Oswald acted alone that day, and who might have guided his actions even if he did shoot the president singlehandedly from the 6th floor of the Texas School Book Depository, has been the subject of countless books and documentaries and films such as Oliver Stone’s JFK.
Oswald, who taught himself Russian while serving as a Marine, received a discharge in September 1959 by claiming his mother needed him to care for her. A month later, he defected to the Soviet Union. He renounced his U.S. citizenship and married a Russian woman named Marina in March 1961. However, on June 2, 1962, Lee and Marina Oswald and their infant daughter left for the United States. They eventually moved into a house in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, where he changed jobs frequently.
Experts on the assassination believe that some of the documents set to be released may pertain to Oswald’s travels to Mexico City in September 1963, just two months before Kennedy was killed in his motorcade. It is without question that while there he went to both the Cuban and the Soviet Union embassies, ostensibly to receive travel documents. He left Mexico City without receiving them.
One theory that circulates among conspiracy theorists is that Oswald was given instruction on murdering the president in Mexico City, either from the Cubans or the Soviets. “It is clear from government files declassified in recent decades that Oswald’s six-day trip to Mexico was never adequately investigated by the CIA, the FBI and the State Department–and, as a result, by the Warren Commission, the panel named by President Lyndon Johnson to investigate the assassination,” said an article in Politico.
Reportedly this last batch of documents contains files on CIA officials who were aware of Oswald’s activities in the weeks leading up to the assassination.
Gerald Posner, author of the bestseller Case Closed, which takes the position that Oswald acted alone, has said, “There may be deep, dark secrets in there, but the release could be embarrassing to people who were involved. You have to remember that Mexico City in the 1960s was a hodge-podge of intrigue where everyone was spying on everyone else.”