US releases file repository – DW – 12/16/2022

The US National Archives released 13,173 documents related to the assassination of former President John F. Kennedy on Thursday.

The latest release means that 97% of documents related to the assassination are now publicly available. It follows a wave of similar disclosures by the Trump administration in 2017.

However, the White House is still withholding thousands of documents at the request of unidentified government agencies.

In a memo on Thursday, US President Joe Biden said the National Archives and related agencies “will jointly review the remainder of the records that have not been publicly released.”

He said that “any information not publicly disclosed that the agencies do not recommend further deferred” will be released on June 30, 2023.

What do the new documents include?

Much of the documents released Thursday involved Lee Harvey Oswald, who was found guilty of assassinating Kennedy in November 1963.

Oswald defected to the Soviet Union in 1959 before returning to the United States in 1962.

A 1963 document describes how CIA officials in Mexico City “intercepted a phone call” that Oswald called the Soviet Embassy there “using his own name” and speaking “broken Russian”.

Also among the newly released files is a 1990 document recounting an interview with a former KGB officer. The official said Oswald was recruited by the KGB after defecting but was considered “a bit crazy and unpredictable”.

The official said the KGB had no longer had contact with Oswald after he returned to the United States and declined any official mission to assassinate the president.

Another document from 1991 cites another KGB source as saying Oswald was “never an agent controlled by the KGB.”

Massive bombing is unlikely

Thousands of books, articles, TV shows, and movies have explored the idea that the Kennedy assassination was the result of an elaborate conspiracy – all without convincing evidence.

Kennedy scholars say that the latest trove of documents released is unlikely to reveal any major bombings or quell the myriad conspiracy theories surrounding the assassination.

zc/sms (Reuters, AFP)


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