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The Release of the JFK Files

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Late Thursday, word spread that President Trump would be releasing secret JFK assassination files to the public. He had been building it u for days and tt was originally unknown whether or not Trump would be preventing any of the files from being released in the interest of certain contents of the files harming U.S. intelligence. However, Trump released just over 2,800 files to the National Archives website just after 7:30 PM on October 27.

While some members of the intelligence community had reportedly warned Trump not to publicize some of the files, many JFK historians don’t believe that the files will reveal any new details about the historical event. On Friday, President Trump stated that he will be releasing all of the remaining John F. Kennedy files, after being forced to withhold thousands of still potentially sensitive documents by U.S. spy agencies. Spy agency officials successfully pleaded with President Trump to hold back about 30,000 sensitive files which has forced him to set up another classified review process that will last six months.

The president tweeted “JFK Files are being carefully released. In the end there will be great transparency. It is my hope to get just about every thing to the public!” He followed that message with yet another tweet stating “After strict consultation with General Kelly, the CIA and other Agencies, I will be releasing ALL JFK files other than the names and addresses of any mentioned person who is still living. I am doing this for reasons of full disclosure, transparency and in order to put any and all conspiracy theories to rest.”

Under a 1992 law, all of the files and records related to the JFK assassination were to be made public unless explicitly withheld by the president. The government had 25 years to make the deadline imposed by the President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992. The law required that all the records “shall be publicly disclosed in full.” However, the law allowed the president to withhold documents beyond Oct. 26, 2017, if he decided disclosure of the files would harm national security.

JFK File Release Highlights

Here are the highlights of the files that were released:

Assassination tip at a bar

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Robert Rawls, a Navy quartermaster, told Secret Service that he had been in a bar in New Orleans about a week before the assassination and heard a man dressed like “a working man” say that Kennedy would be dead in three weeks. However, Rawls admitted to “being somewhat intoxicated” at the time.

Another tip came in just minutes before the 1963 assassination

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25 minutes before John F. Kennedy was assassinated, a British newspaper received an anonymous tip about “some big news” in the United States. The mystery call was made to a senior reporter at the Cambridge News on November 22, 1963, at 6:05 pm local time. Kennedy was shot shortly afterward, as he rode in a presidential motorcade in Dallas, Texas, at 12:30 p.m. CST. Dallas is just 6 hours behind Britain.

Keeping the Warren Commission out of the loop

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The CIA not only knew about Lee Harvey Oswald’s visit to Mexico City and contacts with the Soviet and Cuban embassies and consulates in the time frame of September-October 1963 – it also had telephone taps and photo surveillance. But the CIA  waited months before informing the Warren Commission, the body established to investigate Kennedy’s assassination.

To view all of the files released, visit the National Archives website.

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My name is Amanda and I'm currently a senior at FIU studying Management. When I'm not busy writing, I love working on my photography, traveling, hanging out at the beach and creating content for my blog!
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