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The US government declassifies thousands of documents on the Kennedy assassination

Last weekend, December 15, the United States National Archives released a total of 13,173 documents related to the assassination of former President John Fitzgerald Kennedy, after President Joe Biden issued an executive order, adding to the nearly 1,500 files released last year, most related to Harvey Lee Oswald, who was the main suspect in the former president’s assassination.

Regarding the declassification of the aforementioned files, Joe Biden mentioned that some of them will be kept in order to protect the integrity and stability of intelligence and legal operations, as well as to safeguard the well-being of the armed forces. In this way, a total of 97% of the files related to the Kennedy assassination are declassified, with 3% remaining a mystery.

Among the files, information regarding the interception of communications between Lee Harvey Oswald and the embassy of the Soviet Union (present-day Russia) in Mexico by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in the weeks prior to the assassination, revealed a series of conversations that Oswald had with the Soviets, with assistance from the office of former Mexican President Adolfo López Mateos, but without any knowledge on the part of Mexican security or intelligence officials.

The documents, released by the United States National Archives, include CIA surveillance of Lee Harvey Oswald prior to the events of November 22, 1963 (Photo internet reproduction)

In the aforementioned conversations, dated October 1963, Oswald consulted with a member of the Soviet embassy security about the status of a telegram that an official from the Asian giant had promised to send to Washington on behalf of Kennedy’s assassin. As a result of said conversation, reports were issued and sent to the FBI, the Department of State and the US Navy. However, later, the CIA, through a report, indicates that it does not know what actions were taken by the Intelligence Bureau (FBI).

There are still a series of documents without declassification, taking into account that the risk that revealing the missing files would imply to national security would be too high. There are a handful of agencies that have sensitive information according to President Biden and the official in charge of the National Archives recommended not to disclose all the documents to the public.

The law signed in 1992 that required all government documents related to the assassination of JFK to be revealed by October 26, 2017, was sometimes postponed due to the risk it would represent for the security of the United States. Former President Donald Trump in 2017 revealed a series of files related to the assassination, but like this series of files, he made it clear that they would not be fully disclosed for the aforementioned reasons.

However, Biden commissioned archivist Debra Wall to conduct an investigation to determine whether the files could be made public in their entirety in the future. In addition, the National Archives stated that it is working jointly with the Department of Justice in order to analyze which documents are the ones that would be suitable for disclosure and which will be retained by the government. According to official sources, the next disclosure of the documents would be in June of next year.

The Biden administration has been sued by the Mary Ferrell Foundation, which alleges that the management has illegally postponed the deadline for disclosure of the files and urged the current government to provide reliable evidence of the causes for which these postponements have been made.

Lee Harvey Oswald was named as the prime suspect in the assassination of former President John Kennedy and was assassinated two days after his arrest (Photo internet reproduction)

John Fitzgerald Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963 during a visit to Dallas, Texas, where he was intercepted in his convertible car by three shots that hit his head. He was later transfered to Parkland Hospital where he would die at 1 a.m.

At the time, Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested and was determined as the only suspect and material author of the attack. Oswald was a former US Marine with behavioral problems who later defected to the Soviet Union in 1959. After being detained for two days, Oswald was murdered by Jack Ruby, a Dallas businessman who was unrelated to Oswald and would die two years later.

For many years, the Kennedy assassination was the target of numerous conspiracy theories about Oswald’s involvement in the attack, whether he got any help, whether the federal government or even the CIA were involved, or whether it was an attack by the Soviet Union using Oswald as a sleeper agent after he visited the Soviet Union for a time and having returned with his wife of Russian origin and their two children.

In 1963 Acting President Lyndon B. Johnson established the “Warren Commission” with the aim of investigating the assassination of Kennedy and those involved in it. The commission was chaired by the head of the Supreme Court Earl Warren and also made up of senators Richard Russell Jr and John Sherman Cooper, representatives Hale Boggs and Gerald Ford, the director of the CIA Allen Dulles and the president of the World Bank John McCloy. In 1964, the “Warren Commission” determined that it had been Oswald on his own who had carried out the three shots that assassinated the president in November 1963.

(Talking like this can get you killed)

However, the bulk of public opinion never expressed confidence in the Commission’s 1964 determination that Oswald had acted on his own, based on various facts such as the angle of the shooter, the number of shots fired, the time needed to reload and re-aim, and even Ruby’s role in Oswald’s subsequent assassination, having left more intrigue than certainty.

With information from La Derecha Diario

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