John F. Kennedy Papers Released

The Truth to be Revealed in the Documents

Illustrator: Kelly Lynch

Nov. 22, 1963 is an infamous day that Americans will never forget, and with information about it recently surfacing, interest has been reignited about that fateful day in Dallas.

Documents regarding John F. Kennedy’s assassination were made public this past week due to a law signed by President George H.W. Bush in 1992 mandating that the assassination records were to be released 25 years from the date of the act being signed into law. Regardless of this lengthy timespan, intelligence agencies like the CIA and the FBI said they needed 180 more days to review the files to ensure their release will not hurt national security. Many of the documents have had some names, personal information, and parts of the files redacted in order to secure the identities of those who were involved. President Trump encouraged the release of the documents in order to put conspiracy theories to rest through the truths revealed in the papers, but government intelligence agencies pushed back saying that it may cause irreversible harm to United States security matters.

About 35,000 documents were expected to be made public, but just 2,800 were revealed on Sunday, Oct. 26, followed by 676 more on Friday, Nov. 3. Trump announced that all the remaining papers should be made completely public by April 26 in accordance with the President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act. Using these papers, the American people are hoping to clear up discrepancies about why Lee Harvey Oswald took a trip to Mexico City and had a phone call with its Russian Embassy, if the shooting occurred as a part of a “coup” by the far-right, if it was the deed of one man or part of a more elaborate plot among several people or groups, and many other questions that the American people want answered.

In the papers, Lee Harvey Oswald was called a “good shot” by a Cuban intelligence officer, neurotic maniac disloyal to his country by a Soviet Union official, and one document gets mysteriously cut off when asked his association to the CIA. It is apparent that there is still a lot we could learn about this man and his motives. Back when the story of John F. Kennedy’s assassination was breaking news there were already some citizens who did not fully trust the information they were told, who did not think it was the work of only one man, and agreed with conspiracies. The FBI Director at the time, J. Edgar Hoover, noticed this trend in attitudes toward the situation and stated in one of the newly released documents that “there is nothing further on the Oswald case except that he is dead.”

No matter if you are a hardcore junky for conspiracy theories or only put your trust and knowledge into the legal processes that found Oswald at fault, the release of the papers will provide absolute truth and closure on that dreadful day in Dallas.