Killed Trump JFK

Murder of president : USA releases Kennedy files - but not all

The US government has released thousands of previously under lock and key documents relating to the assassination of former President John F. Kennedy, but some have been blocked for the time being at the request of the secret services. The US National Archives announced on Thursday that a total of 2,891 documents had been published by order of President Donald Trump. The documents that have now been released have been published unredacted on the National Archives website.

The papers surrounding the assassination attempt on Kennedy, around which conspiracy theories are still entwined, contain, among other things, handwritten notes, some of which are decades old, about the murder of the charismatic president, who was fatally shot while driving in an open car in Dallas on November 22, 1963.

There is also a copy of a conversation by then FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover on November 24, 1963. In it, Hoover states that the FBI informed the police that Lee Harvey Oswald's life was in danger - the day before Oswald was killed.

Conspiracy theorists question the official version

An official investigation after Kennedy's death came to the conclusion that he was shot by the lone perpetrator Oswald, who in turn was killed two days later by the nightclub owner Jack Ruby. The version was repeatedly questioned by conspiracy theorists in front of all. Experts assume, however, that the documents that have now been released will neither lead to sensational revelations nor silence the conspiracy theories.

Parts of the secret files remain hidden from the public for the time being anyway. Some "sensitive" documents are still being withheld, the White House said.

Trump had thereby complied with a request from the FBI, the CIA and other secret services, as the relevant documents contained information about the identity and role of informants, for example. Trump therefore gave the services six more months to explain why these documents should not be published.

Trump fears "irreversible damage" to national security

Last week, Trump announced his intention to disclose more than 3,000 documents on the presidential murder, but at the same time restricted it, stating that this was "subject to further information being received." On Thursday he said he had "no choice" but to accept that "certain information" should be further edited. Otherwise there is a risk of "irreversible damage" being done to national security. After the six-month deadline, however, all documents should be released unless the secret services could justify another closure, Trump affirmed.

Kennedy experts, meanwhile, dampened the expectations attached to the publication of the secret files. Those who hoped the documents would provide "a resolution to the case that everyone can agree on" would be disappointed, author Gerald Posner told the AFP news agency. "Nobody gives up their belief in a conspiracy because the published files do not prove it," he said.

The "JFK" film reignited the debate

The documents, however, could possibly shed light on a special chapter in the life of Lee Harvey Oswald: his trip to Mexico City around seven weeks before Kennedy's murder, where Oswald allegedly met Cuban and Soviet agents. The CIA and FBI could block some documents from being released to hide their own mistakes, said University of Virginia political scientist Larry Sabato. "They had every indication that Oswald was an eccentric and a sociopath," he said.

The discussion about the background to the assassination attempt on Kennedy was sparked among other things by the film "JFK" by the US director Oliver Stone from 1991. A law the following year ordered the publication of nearly all of the five million or so documents relating to Kennedy's death. Only a fraction fell under a 25-year confidentiality period - this expired on October 26th. (AFP)

Now new: We give you 4 weeks of Tagesspiegel Plus! To home page