By Stephanie Salas-Vega
The Trump administration allowed the National Archives to release over 2,800 classified records related to the assassination of former President John F. Kennedy. The release was an effort to comply with a 1992 law requiring the documents’ release Oct. 26, according to CNN.
“I am doing this for reasons of full disclosure, transparency and in order to put any and all conspiracy theories to rest,” President Donald Trump tweeted Oct. 27, according to CNN.
Ahad Hayaud-Din, a Brookhaven College government professor and director of the Institute for Political Studies, said scholars at several prominent institutions will be scouring the documents for the next few months. “Once they have a preliminary assessment, that will lead to further inquiry,” he said.
Oliver Stone’s 1991 conspiracy-thriller film, “JFK,” sparked conspiracy theories when it suggested a secret government cover-up, according to The Washington Post. Stone tells the story of a prosecutor’s effort to prove the CIA killed Kennedy. A closing statement in the film informed the public about the assassination records, which caused viewers to demand Congress declassify them.
In 1992, George H.W. Bush signed the President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act, or the JFK Records Act, which allowed the files to be released after a 25-year period, according to Business Insider.
The movie pointed out a few of the inconsistencies which sparked several conspiracy theories about the assassination, Johnathan Arriaga, a student, said. “I think it’s interesting how long it took them to release [the files] and I don’t think it will be able to solve any theories,” Arriaga said.
Originally, 3,100 documents were to be released, but 300 of them were blocked from release out of concerns for national security. Among the released files, were documents pertaining to subjects including Oswald’s possible ties to the Soviet Union and an anonymous tip to an English newspaper before Kennedy was shot.
The National Archives released 13,213 more documents Nov. 9, according to CBS News.
CIA-MAFIA AND CASTRO
A 1975 document from the Rockefeller Commission shows plans to kill Cuban president Fidel Castro were handled in the early days after Kennedy’s assassination, according to CNN. Attorney General Robert Kennedy told the FBI he learned the CIA planned to pay a gunman $150,000 to kill Castro. In the report, the attorney general said the CIA would never use the mafia again without checking with the Department of Justice because it would be difficult to prosecute people in the future. However, the report shows the CIA was later interested in using mobsters to deliver a poison pill to Castro.
OSWALD MEETS WITH SOVIET OFFICIAL
According to Business Insider, Lee Harvey Oswald met with KGB officer Valeriy Vladimirovich Kostikov Sept. 28, 1963 in the Soviet Embassy in Mexico City, weeks before Kennedy’s assassination. Kostikov was affiliated with the KGB’s, the former Russian secret police and intelligence agency, 13th department responsible for sabotage and assassination. The CIA learned about this meeting through a phone call it intercepted between Oswald and an embassy guard Oct. 1, 1963.
DEATH THREAT TO OSWALD
FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover addressed Oswald’s death by Jack Ruby in a document dated Nov. 24, 1963, according to CNN. Hoover said the FBI’s Dallas office received a call from a man speaking in a calm voice, who said he was a member of a committee to kill Oswald. Ruby said no one was associated with him and denied making the phone call. “There is nothing further on the Oswald case except that he is dead,” Hoover said.
ENGLAND NEWSPAPER RECEIVES WARNING
According to Business Insider, one document revealed a British reporter for the Cambridge News received an anonymous phone call 25 minutes before Kennedy was shot. He was instructed to call the U.S. Embassy in London for “big news” before hanging up. After the reporter heard about the assassination, he told local police about the call who then passed the information to MI5, Britain’s domestic security agency. The information was sent to the highest levels of the FBI, including Hoover.
Josh Thomas of the Cambridge News tweeted their staff would investigate the documents.
A FORM OF REVENGE
A 1975 document for the Rockefeller Commission transcribed the testimony of former CIA Director Richard Helms, according to CNN.
Helms said he thought former President Richard Nixon believed the CIA was responsible for the death of South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem, who followed a coup linked to the CIA. However, Helms said there was no evidence of that claim in the agency’s records.
Helms said former President Lyndon B. Johnson said Kennedy’s assassination was a form of revenge by the Vietnamese government.
The document cuts off after Helms was asked whether Oswald was a CIA agent.