President Trump fulfilled a previously set requirement on Thursday by releasing thousands of previously classified files surrounding former president John F. Kennedy’s assassination. The POTUS didn’t choose the date arbitrarily; instead, Congress set it as the day of release in 1992, using the President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act (or JFK Records Act) that originally kept the records sealed.
As many expected, the documents contain an incredible array of evidence ranging from photos through investigative reports and even court documents. For conspiracy theorists, it represents renewed vigor in the search for the truth, but the documents also contain a long list of bizarre and confounding facts.
- The documents contain claims that former President Lyndon B. Johnson believed that JFK was assassinated because he ordered the assassination of Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem, a man who held leadership during the Vietnamese war. Despite the mention, there is little evidence in the document to back up such claims.
- At least one document mentions that the American government was considering a partnership with the Mafia. The documents reveal that the “intermediary…hired by CIA” was none other than Sam Giancana. If the deal had gone through, Giancana would have been responsible for assassinating Cuban leader Fidel Castro.
- One memo shows that former U.S.S.R. leaders were “shocked and consternated” at Kennedy’s death — an event they believed was related to an attempted coup on behalf of the American far right. The Communist Party of the Soviet Union also believed President Johnson was somehow involved.
- An individual claiming to be a “member of a committee” to kill Lee Harvey Oswald telephoned the FBI with his plans just one day prior to his murder. J. Edgar Hoover pointed the finger at Jack Ruby, but also states that Ruby denied involvement in the same memo.
- The files highlight a failed attempt by JFK to create a bounty system for the capture or assassination of Fidel Castro. The plan granted individuals or organizations between $0.02 and $1 million dollars for the delivery of Castro, dead or alive. JFK originally planned to have air raids drop the pamphlets over Cuba’s most populated areas.
What do you think of the efforts made to keep historical information from the American publics’ eyes?