13K More Unedited JFK Assassination Files Released

No 'smoking gun' is expected, however
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 16, 2022 12:01 AM CST
13K More Unedited JFK Assassination Files Released
Part of a file from the CIA, dated Feb. 3, 1968, titled "Mexico City Chronology" about Lee Harvey Oswald's time in Mexico and contact with the embassy of the Soviet Union in Mexico City, that was released on Dec. 15, 2021.   (AP Photo/Jon Elswick, File)

After delaying their release and then releasing nearly 1,500 of them last year before being sued for illegally withholding the rest, the federal government on Thursday released almost all of the remaining government files on John F. Kennedy's assassination, in their unedited form. The White House says more than 97% of the records are now available to the public (see them here); the rest will be delayed just a little bit longer, the BBC reports. Thursday's release included 13,173 documents; a remaining 515 are being withheld in full for now and 2,545 are being partially withheld. The National Archives and other agencies have until May of next year to review those, and then "any information withheld from public discourse that agencies do not recommend for continued postponement" will be released by June 30, 2023, CNN reports. Coverage:

  • No "smoking gun": The prevailing opinion seems to be that no major revelations will be uncovered. As Kennedy expert Larry Sabato puts it to CNN, "The truth is not that [alleged assassin Lee Harvey] Oswald was part of a conspiracy to kill Kennedy. The truth is that this assassination was preventable and could have been prevented and should have been prevented if the CIA and FBI were doing their jobs. Really, that’s it."

  • Mexico City: Many are hoping to glean more information about Oswald's time in Mexico City the month before the assassination, when Oswald met with a Soviet KGB officer. While the CIA says all of the information held by the agency has already been released and there's nothing new in this release, a comparison of a previously released version of one document with the newly released, unredacted version shows that the Mexican president helped the US wiretap the Soviet embassy in Mexico, CBS News reports. That arrangement, the document says, was "highly secret and not known to Mexican security and law enforcement officials."
  • Tracking Oswald: The Washington Post reports that several of the documents focus on Oswald's movements and contacts, and that one reveals that he was "on the CIA's radar" more than a year before the assassination. See more at the Post.
  • Frustration remains: Experts are still frustrated at the continued delay of the release of all the documents in their fully unredacted form, NBC News reports. "It’s been 60 years. They’ve run out of excuses," says one attorney. More on that here.
  • For more: USA Today offers a rundown of what we know about the files.
(More John F. Kennedy stories.)

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