TRUMP TO RE­LEASE JFK AS­SAS­SI­NA­TION FILES

US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump an­nounced that the long blocked se­cret doc­u­ments will be made pub­lic on Thurs­day

Sunday Express - - FRONT PAGE -

US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump said Sat­ur­day he will al­low long blocked se­cret files on the as­sas­si­na­tion of John F Kennedy to be opened to the pub­lic for the first time.

The Novem­ber 22, 1963 as­sas­si­na­tion — an epochal event in moder n US his­tory — has spawned mul­ti­ple the­o­ries chal­leng­ing the of­fi­cial ver­sion that Kennedy was killed by a lone gun­man, Lee Har­vey Oswald.

So the re­lease of all the se­cret doc­u­ments has been ea­gerly an­tic­i­pated by his­to­ri­ans and con­spir­acy the­o­rists alike.

Trump’s an­nounce­ment fol­lowed re­ports that not all the files would be re­leased, pos­si­bly to pro­tect still rel­e­vant in­tel­li­gence sources and meth­ods.

But Trump ap­pears to have de­cided oth­er­wise.

“Sub­ject to the re­ceipt of fur­ther in­for­ma­tion, I will be al­low­ing, as Pres­i­dent, the long blocked and clas­si­fied JFK FILES to be opened,” he said in the tweet.

The files are due to be opened in their en­tirety Thurs­day nearly 54 years af­ter Kennedy’s as­sas­si­na­tion in Dal­las.

Mil­lions of clas­si­fied files have been made pub­lic un­der a 1992 law passed in re­sponse to a surge in pub­lic de­mand for dis­clo­sure in the wake of Oliver Stone’s con­spir­acy-heavy movie on the as­sas­si­na­tion.

But the law placed a 25-year hold on a small per­cent­age of the files that ex­pires Oc­to­ber 26.

Some re­ports put the num­ber with­held at 3,100. Tens of thou­sands of files that had been re­leased with por­tions blacked out are also set to be fully de­clas­si­fied.

Kennedy was only the fourth US pres­i­dent to be cut down by an as­sas­sin’s bul­lets, and his death at age 46 proved a trau­matic turn­ing point as the United States headed into a pe­riod of tur­bu­lence over civil rights and the Viet­nam War.

The shock­ing im­ages of Jacque­line Kennedy cradling her mor­tally wounded hus­band in the back of an open pres­i­den­tial limou­sine froze the mo­ment in pub­lic con­scious­ness.

A ten-month in­ves­ti­ga­tion led by Supreme Court chief jus­tice Earl War­ren con­cluded that Oswald, a for­mer Ma­rine who had lived in the Soviet Union, acted alone when he fired on Ken- nedy’s mo­tor­cade, hit­ting the pres­i­dent with two shots, one through the up­per back and the other in the head.

Oswald, ar­rested two hours later af­ter mur­der­ing a Dal­las po­lice of­fi­cer, was shot to death two days later by night­club owner Jack Ruby as he was be­ing trans­ferred from the city jail.

The War­ren com­mis­sion’s find­ing was chal­lenged in 1979 by a spe­cial House in­ves­tiga­tive com­mit­tee that con­cluded Kennedy was “prob­a­bly as­sas­si­nated as a re­sult of a con­spir­acy” and there were likely two shoot­ers.

A wel­ter of con­spir­acy the­o­ries have arisen over the years, var­i­ously blam­ing Fidel Cas­tro, the Mafia, the KGB, Lyn­don John­son and the CIA.

Oliver Stone’s con­tro­ver­sial 1971 movie “JFK” man­aged to im­pli­cate John­son, the Mafia and the CIA.

Trump him­self tapped into the pub­lic fas­ci­na­tion with the case dur­ing last year’s pres­i­den­tial cam­paign, bizarrely link­ing Repub­li­can ri­val Se­na­tor Ted Cruz’s fa­ther to the Kennedy as­sas­si­na­tion. Cruz called the ac­cu­sa­tion “nuts.”

Demo­cratic con­gress­man Adam Schiff re­called that his­tory Sat­ur­day, retweet­ing Trump’s an­nounce­ment and ask­ing “does this mean Ted Cruz’s fa­ther will be ex­posed?”

AFP

A file photo taken on Septem­ber 26, 2013 shows var­i­ous his­tor­i­cal news­pa­pers af­ter the as­sas­si­na­tion of for­mer US Pres­i­dent John F. Kennedy |

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