White House releases some JFK docs, keeps others secret

World Today

With a deadline looming, President Trump decides to release some JFK assassination documents, but honors Intelligence community requests to keep others secret.

CGTN’s Jim Spellman reports.

More than 50 years after U.S. President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, the United States has started releasing the final documents regarding his death.

Over the years, the U.S. government generated about 5 million pages of documents pertaining to the assassination. Most have been made public in full or part, but about 1 percent of those have remained classified. A 1992 law requires all documents be released within 25 years.

At the last moment on Thursday, President Donald Trump decided to have some files redacted on the grounds the information would damage national security. Intelligence and law enforcement agencies pressured the White House to not release some of the documents. About 2,800 will be released now.

The White House has asked for further review of sensitive documents by April, 2018.

President Kennedy was shot while his motorcade made its way through downtown Dallas, Texas in November, 1963. According to the U.S. government, Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone shooter. Over the decades, conspiracy theories have swirled around the assassination – with some claiming there was more than one shooter or that the Soviet Union, the CIA, or even the Mafia was involved.

“The Kennedy assassination may seem like ancient history to people now. But actually it was a demarcation point in American history. Before that date, Americans were remarkably trusting in the credibility of their government. After November 22nd the deterioration began,” said Larry Sabato, a professor at the University of Virginia Center for Politics.

Oswald was shot and killed shortly after the assassination while in police custody. Experts warn the released documents probably won’t shed much new light on the assassination.

“Thousands of pages. It will take years to analyze all of this. And there is not going to be a document entitled: ‘Here are the participants in the Kennedy assassination’. It’s not going to happen,” said Sabato.

Polls have consistently found about 60 percent of Americans think Oswald did not act alone. Most experts say, barring major revelations, it’s unlikely these documents will put any of the conspiracy theories to rest.

Rick Shenkman on the mysteries behind the JFK assassination

Rick Shenkman is an historian and journalist behind the History News Network website. He’s also the author of Political Animals: How Our Stone-Age Brain Gets in the Way of Smart Politics. CGTN’s Mike Walter asked about the intrigue around the newly-released JFK assassination documents, decades after the tragic event.