Yesterday, President Trump ordered the release of over 2,000 documents related to the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
The CIA and FBI, however, requested that the president allow them to keep thousands of additional documents for six more months of review. The president has agreed, allowing them until April 26th to continue reviewing and redacting information that could endanger agents or national security.
The released documents are expected to add a wealth of information to public knowledge about the Texas shooting. They do not, as yet, seem to offer any earth-shattering revelations to either support or dismiss the many conspiracy theories surrounding JFK’s death.
New Information in the JFK Assassination
One memo says that Lee Harvey Oswald, who was the only official suspect in JFK’s death before he was also shot and killed, contacted the Cuban embassy from Mexico City. The FBI intercepted the call. Oswald also sent a letter to the Russian embassy, which the FBI intercepted, read, and resealed.
This information could fan the flames of conspiracy theories speculating on Cuban or Soviet involvement in JFK’s assassination. But the author of the document, probably J. Edgar Hoover, is clear that these facts should remain out of public knowledge because they would only “muddy the waters.”
The call to the Cuban embassy, it says, was simply about a visa. The letter to the Russian embassy was asking for an extension to Oswald’s wife’s visa. Strangely, it adds that the “letter from Oswald was addressed to the man in the Soviet Embassy who is in charge of assassinations and similar activities on the part of the Soviet government.”
Oswald had made headlines before when, as a former Marine, he defected to the Soviet Union in 1959. The defection was temporary, and, quickly disillusioned with Soviet life, he returned to the United States. He met and married his wife, Marina Prusakova, during the few years he was living as a Soviet.
Why the Records Were Released
On October 26, 1992, the George H.W. Bush administration passed the President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act. This mandated the release of all assassination related documents within 25 years from that day (which was Thursday), unless, for reasons of national security, the president allowed further withholding.
Trump’s authorization of six more months of withholding for certain documents seemed a bit reluctant. The president himself has had a number of dalliances with conspiracy theories.