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Kennedy Assassination: Trump Declassifies Some Documents

Washington (October 27, 2017): United States President Donald Trump has ordered the release of 2,800 files on President John F Kennedy’s assassination.

But Trump blocked the release of other files, citing national security concerns. Trump agreed not to release the full tranche of records relating to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, acquiescing to last-minute requests from national security agencies that some of those records remain secret.The US government released over 2,800 records Thursday night in an effort to comply with a 1992 law mandating the documents’ release, but kept roughly 300 files classified out of concern for US national security, law enforcement and foreign relations.

Trump’s decision to keep some documents secret is likely to keep conspiracy theories alive, fueling those who have long questioned official conclusions about the assassination and argued that the government has helped cover up the truth.In a memo, Trump directed agencies that requested redactions to re-review their reasons for keeping the records secret within 180 days. “The American public expects and deserves its government to produce as much access as possible to the John F. Kennedy assassination records,” he wrote.“I am ordering today that the veil finally be lifted” on the records, the memo said. “At the same time, executive departments and agencies have proposed to me that certain information should continue to be redacted because of national security, law enforcement, and foreign affairs concerns. I have no choice — today — but to accept those redactions rather than allow potentially irreversible harm to our nation’s security.”Trump teased the release of the documents twice in the last week, but did not make clear whether he planned to allow the full release, though he noted in a Saturday tweet that he would allow the release of documents “subject to the release of further information.”

Historians who have closely studied the Kennedy assassination have said they do not expect the documents to reveal any bombshells or to contradict the conclusion that Lee Harvey Oswald was solely responsible for killing Kennedy. Still, the files will give Americans a fuller picture of how the 35th US president was killed and the ensuing investigation into his assassination.

“There’s going to be no smoking gun in there,” Gerald Posner, the author of “Case Closed: Lee Harvey Oswald and the Assassination of JFK,” told the journalists on Saturday. “Anybody who thinks this is going to turn the case on its head and suddenly show that there were three or four shooters at Dealey Plaza — it’s not the case.”

“Oswald did it alone,” Posner continued. “But what the files are doing and why they’re important to come out is they fill in the history of the case and show us how the FBI and CIA repeatedly hid the evidence.”

The CIA and FBI documents could also shed new light on Oswald’s mysterious trip to Mexico City weeks before the assassination. The files could also reveal new details about US involvement in attempts to assassinate Cuban President Fidel Castro, notably the CIA’s alleged ties to the mob as part of that effort.

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