Kennedy Assassination Files Released by National Archives

Kennedy Assassination Files Include Previously Classified Documents, Collected as a Government Review, and are Published by the National Archives.

Dec 23, 2022By Angela Davic, News, Discoveries, In-depth Reporting, and Analysis
Kennedy Assassination
Courtesy of Cecil Stoughton / White House Photographs /John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston


The Kennedy assassination files include 13,173 classified documents, published by The National Archives on Thursday. The records are a component of the federal investigation into President John F. Kennedy’s murder in 1963. Also, over 97 percent of documents related to the event are now publicly available.


Most of the Documents Belonged to the CIA

kennedy connally before shots
Governor and Mrs. Connally with President and Mrs. Kennedy in the Dallas procession, via Getty Images


Nearly 60 years after President John F. Kennedy’s assassination, the Biden administration has released thousands of once-classified records related to the tragedy. Also, the president gave this order last year. Due to the COVID-19 epidemic, the White House decided to postpone a public release.


“This has been a commitment of the president”, says Karine Jean-Pierre, White House press secretary. “President Biden believes all information related to President Kennedy’s assassination should be released to the greatest extent possible, consistent with national security.”


Released Document


The 46-year-old president’s untimely death spawned myriad conspiracy theories ever since. Also, many centered around the 1964 Warren Commission’s conclusion that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. The government is withholding 515 full documents, as well as parts of 2,545 documents.

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Officials will review the remaining records in the coming months. They will also determine whether anything else can see the light of the day by June 2023. A large number of the documents belonged to the CIA. Several focused on Oswald’s movements, his contacts. Also, whether it was his signature on a visa application for Cuba.


Americans Do Not Believe Oswald Acted Alone in Kennedy Assassination

Kennedy Assassination
Courtesy of Cecil Stoughton / White House Photographs /John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston


However, for many MPs and proponents of openness, making all of the remaining documents public is about regaining confidence in how the government is run. According to public polling, the majority of Americans do not agree with the Warren Commission’s official conclusion that Lee Harvey Oswald assassinated John F. Kennedy alone.


Larry Sabato, author of the “The Kennedy Half Century: The Presidency, Assassination, and Lasting Legacy of John F. Kennedy”, spoke about recent events. He does not believe the document release can change anything that happened that day in 1963. “It’s not going to change the story”, he said of the newly declassified documents. “It’s not. I guarantee you.”


Kennedy Assassination
Jim Altgens/AP


He also said this is not the place to look for evidence to support allegations that Oswald did not kill Kennedy alone. Also, that it included CIA involvement. “The truth is not that Oswald was part of a conspiracy to kill Kennedy”, he said. The truth is that this assassination was preventable, and could have been prevented, and should have been prevented if the CIA and FBI were doing their jobs. Really, that’s it. Now that’s serious, but you’re not going to find the names of other conspirators in here.”


The limited amount of material still hidden “would currently damage intelligence activities in a discernible way”. The majority of those documents are internal administrative papers. They gathered them to give the JFK review board background information on the CIA. Also, to help in understanding of the CIA sources, methods, terminology, cover, and tradecraft.

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By Angela DavicNews, Discoveries, In-depth Reporting, and AnalysisAngela is a journalism student at the Faculty of Political Science in Belgrade and received a scholarship for continued education in Prague. She completed her internship at the daily newspaper DANAS and worked as an executive editor at Talas.