Sunday marked the 52nd anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, whose life was taken on November 22, 1963 by a hidden assassin armed with a high-powered rifle, as he traveled by motorcade through Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas. The First Lady cradled her dying husband in her lap as the car sped to the hospital — where he died from a gun shot to the head. Below is the front page of the New York American Journal, announcing that President John Kennedy has been shot and is reportedly dead.
Lee Harvey Oswald, a former U.S. Marine who defected to the Soviet Union in 1959, was identified as the sniper. On November 24, 1963, nightclub owner Jack Ruby shot Oswald as he was being led by Dallas police through the basement of the main station to a car waiting to transport him to the nearby county jail. Oswald died that afternoon.
Kennedy’s death and assassination has been shrouded in mystery and conspiracies for over 50 years, and the government’s refusal to make public all records pertaining to that tragic day have only led to further speculation and caused many to conclude that Oswald was simply a patsy — and that JFK’s murder was organized by the power elite of the “shadow government,” who work to serve and protect the interests of politicians in the U.S. and abroad.
One reason is because Kennedy was allegedly set to do away with the Federal Reserve, a move said to not only have rattled politicians at home, but left many dignitaries and influencers in Europe unnerved as well.
As POLITICO notes, shortly after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, Chief Justice Earl Warren, who oversaw the first official inquiry, was asked by a reporter if the full record would be made public.
“Yes, there will come a time,” the chairman of the Warren Commission responded. “But it might not be in your lifetime.”
While the CIA, FBI, or other agencies may attempt to prevent the release of the full report (by appealing to the president), the JFK Records Act of 1992 mandated the files be made public in 25 years — by October, 2017. A special team of Kennedy archivists and technicians were tasked with processing nearly 40,000 documents said to be the final collection of records that might put to rest, or confirm, many theories and speculation about Kennedy’s death. These JFK files are housed at the National Archives and Records Administration, but many historians, researchers, and scholars believe if these records were ever made public, they could embarrass the CIA — and for that reason, JFK conspiracy theorists and Truthers fear the files will never be made public.
“We have sent letters to agencies letting them know we have records here that were withheld, 2017 is coming,” said Martha Murphy, head of the National Archives’ Special Access Branch. “Within our power, the National Archives is going to do everything we can to make these records open and available to the public,” she added. “And that is my only goal. There are limits to my powers, and the President of the United States has the right to say something needs to be held for longer.”
Among the 40,000 documents are roughly 3,600 that were “withheld in full” primarily because they contain damaging information about the Warren Commission itself; tax and grand jury information, and “because information in the document reveals the identity of an unclassified confidential source,” according to Murphy.
The Kennedy files also include statements from CIA spies, inducing master spy E. Howard Hunt, who is most famous for leading the ring that ignited President Nixon’s Watergate scandal, which eventually led to his resignation. Shortly before he died in 2007, Hunt claimed he had been privy to a CIA plot to kill Kennedy — code name “the Big Event.” As Salon notes, in 2003, while confessing his “sins” to his eldest son, Hunt “downplayed his own role in the crime, as well as the complicity of key CIA superiors to whom he remained loyal.”
British researcher Malcolm Blunt believes the most damaging information about JFK’s murder may have been destroyed or never sent to the Assassination Records Review Board.
“There are going to be appeals to the president, the Central Intelligence Agency for sure,” Malcolm predicted. “Particularly on cover issues — corporations and financial institutions, banks and business used for cover purposes.”
Theories about what would have happened to three major historical events if JFK had been alive in 1964 are just as prevalent as theories about his murder. The three main topics of his day were: the Vietnam War and the Civil Rights and Voting Rights acts. All three were part of Kennedy’s presidential campaign and historians believe he stood a good chance of winning his second bid for ruler of the free world.
As we near the October, 2017, deadline, it will be interesting to see how many government agencies work overtime to appeal the JFK Records Act, and get all records sealed for good.
Do you believe the full John F. Kennedy files will be made public in 2017? Leave your comments below.
[Images credited to Central Press/Keystone/ Three Lions/Getty Images]