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- The National Archives is releasing approximately 3,100 classified documents relating to President John F. Kennedy’s assassination. The documents are likely to both clear up and inflame conspiracy theories, which have swirled for decades, surrounding the assassination.
The US National Archives on Thursday is releasing thousands of previously classified documents related to President John F. Kennedy’s 1963 assassination.
You can read the documents on the National Archives site.
Sure to be fodder for conspiracy theorists, the files all relate to Kennedy’s assassination in 1963. Following his murder, more than 30,000 government documents – totaling millions of pages – have been incrementally released to the public, although many of them have been redacted or only partially released.
Much of the public stayed in the dark about the presence of these files until Oliver Stone’s 1991 film “JFK,” in which a closing statement told the public about the secret documents. Movie-goers quickly turned into letter-writers, as concerned citizens began demanding that Washington make the full set of files available.
Congress accelerated the choice to declassify them, and then-President George H.W. Bush signed the President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act a year later in 1992. The Act created a review board known as the Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB) that oversaw the documents’ release.
President Donald Trump announced on Saturday that he would not block the planned release of the files, many of which have been classified since the 1960s.
The October 26 release date was not determined by the Trump administration, but instead by the 25-year-old Records Collection Act.
Trump sparked controversy when, during the 2016 presidential primary, he suggested that Sen. Ted Cruz’s father was involved in Kennedy’s assassination and had contacts with Lee Harvey Oswald, the man who pulled the trigger. Trump hasn’t yet apologized for the claim.
Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963, in Dallas, just over two years into his presidency. Conspiracy theories about his murder have swirled ever since.
Of the tens of thousands of documents already partially released, approximately 3,100 still remain classified. No one knows exactly what information is contained in the files; the only guide is an index that vaguely lists the contents of the secret documents.
The index does, however, present eyebrow-raising file names that seem to implicate a connection between the Assassination Records Review Board and the CIA. One such batch of files is listed with the subject line “CIA CORRESPONDENCE RE ARRB,” Politico reported.
Chris Weller and Jeremy Berke contributed to this report.