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Will Trump Release the Missing JFK Files?

by Philip Shenon, Politico:

Unless the president intervenes, we’ll soon know more secrets about the Kennedy assassination.

The nation’s conspiracy-theorist-in-chief is facing a momentous decision. Will President Donald Trump allow the public to see a trove of thousands of long-secret government files about the event that, more than any other in modern American history, has fueled conspiracy theories – the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy?

The answer must come within months. And, according to a new timeline offered by the National Archives, it could come within weeks.

Under the deadline set by a 1992 law, Trump has six months left to decide whether he will block the release of an estimated 3,600 files related to the assassination that are still under seal at the Archives. From what is known of the JFK documents, most come from the CIA and FBI, and a number may help resolve lingering questions about whether those agencies missed evidence of a conspiracy in Kennedy’s death. As with every earlier release of JFK assassination documents in the 53 years since shots rang out in Dealey Plaza in Dallas, it is virtually certain that some of the files will be seized on to support popular conspiracy theories about Kennedy’s murder; other documents are likely to undermine them.

There is no little irony in the fact that decision will be left to Trump, long a promoter of so many baseless conspiracy theories about everything from his predecessor’s birthplace to the notion that the father of one of his campaign-trail rivals was in league with JFK assassin Lee Harvey Oswald.

For the first time, the Trump White House is acknowledging that it is focused on the issue, even if it offers no hint about what the President will do. A White House official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Politico last week that the Trump administration “is familiar with the requirements” of the 1992 law and that White House is working with the National Archives “to enable a smooth process in anticipation of the October deadline.”

Under the 1992 JFK Assassination Records Collection Act, the library of documents about Kennedy’s death must be made public in full by the deadline of this October 26, the law’s 25th anniversary, unless Trump decides otherwise. It is his decision alone.

The prospect of the release of the last of the government’s long-secret JFK assassination files has long tantalized historians and other scholars, to say nothing of the nation’s armies of conspiracy theorists, since no one can claim to know exactly what is in there.

Martha W. Murphy, the Archives official who oversees the records, said in an interview last month that a team of researchers with high-level security clearances is at work to prepare the JFK files for release and hopes to begin unsealing them in batches much earlier than October – possibly as early as summer.

Beyond releasing the 3,600 never-before-seen JFK files, the Archives is reviewing another 35,000 assassination-related documents, previously released in part, so they can be unsealed in full. Short of an order from the president, Murphy said, the Archives is committed to making everything public this year: “There’s very little decision-making for us.”

Many of the documents are known to come from the files of CIA officials who monitored a mysterious trip that Oswald paid to Mexico City several weeks before the assassination – a trip that brought Kennedy’s future killer under intense surveillance by the spy agency as he paid visits to both the Soviet and Cuban embassies there. The CIA said it monitored all visitors to the embassies and opened surveillance of Oswald as soon as he was detected inside the Soviet compound for the first time.

Other documents are known to identify, by name, American and foreign spies and law-enforcement sources who had previously been granted anonymity for information about Oswald and the assassination. At least 400 pages of the files involve E. Howard Hunt, the former CIA operative turned Watergate conspirator who claimed on his deathbed that he had advance knowledge of Kennedy’s murder.

The documents were gathered together by a temporary federal agency, the Assassination Records Review Board, that was established under the 1992 law. In an interview last month, its former chairman, Judge John R. Tunheim of the Federal District Court in Minnesota, said he “wouldn’t be surprised if there’s something important” in the documents, especially given how much of the history of the Kennedy assassination has had to be rewritten in recent decades.

He said he knew of “no bombshells” in the files when the board agreed to keep them secret two decades ago, but names, places and events described in the documents could have significance now, given what has been learned about the assassination since the board went out of business. “Today, with a broader understanding of history, certain things may be far more relevant,” he said.

Murphy, the Archives official, said she, too, knew of no shocking information in the documents – but she said her researchers were not in a position to judge their significance. “As you can imagine, we’re not reading them for that, so we’re probably not the best people to tell you,” she said. “I will say this: This collection is really interesting as a snapshot of the Cold War.”

The Review Board, created by Congress to show transparency in response to the public furor created by Oliver Stone’s conspiracy-minded 1991 film “JFK,” did force the release of a massive library of other long-secret documents from the CIA, FBI, Secret Service and other federal agencies, as well as from congressional investigations of the assassination.

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3 comments to Will Trump Release the Missing JFK Files?

  • anon

    Read about E. Howard Hunt, Frank Sturgis, & Marita Lorenz, in PLAUSIBLE DENIAL: WAS THE CIA INVOLVED IN THE JFK ASSASSINATION?, by Attorney & Author Mark Lane.

    When Will They Ever Learn? [The REAL Question is: When will the American people learn?]
    http://sgtreport.com/2017/04/when-will-they-ever-learn/

    Read the comments. Follow the links.

    LBJ, CIA, FBI, Secret Service ~ ALL were involved in the JFK Assassination & Cover-up.
    (Probably the Mafia, as well, via Carlos Marcello).

  • anon

    “What do Richard M. Nixon, LBJ, Allen Dulles, Cord Meyer, David Morales, E. Howard Hunt, Frank Sturgis, Marita Lorenz, Lee Harvey Oswald, and Mafia Pilot David Ferrie (among others) ALL share in common? Answer: Their involvement in one or more aspects of the NSC 5412 Committee’s (CIA) “Operation 40” to oust Castro…

    Additional note:

    1) JFK was shot in the back, in the throat, and twice in the head, from AT LEAST 3 separate directions! There it is ~ evidence of actual CONSPIRACY. The “kill-shot” came from the area of the Grassy Knoll. This is proven by the Parkland Hospital forensics, BEFORE the body of JFK was rushed to Bethesda…”

    Source: When Will They Ever Learn? [The REAL Question is: When will the American people learn?] http://sgtreport.com/2017/04/when-will-they-ever-learn/

    Read the comments. Follow the links.

  • Guido

    Will he release the truth about 911? Same answer, LOL!!

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