On Oct. 26, President Donald Trump released 2,800 previously classified documents relating to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Originally, hundreds more documents were going to be released. However, last minute overtures from the intelligence community, namely the CIA, prevented the full release. President Trump stated that the entities that blocked those documents’ release have 180 days to better articulate their case. At that time, he will release them himself.
Within the thousands of documents are tales of assassination plots, surveillance and other covert activities..
With regard to Cuba, some of the documents demonstrate CIA plots to use the mafia to assassinate Fidel Castro. Others pertain to rewards for Castro’s assassination. In one such instance, the CIA offered an award of $.02 to whomever killed Castro. In another instance, they offer over $100,000.
Regarding Lee Harvey Oswald, nothing particularly noteworthy was revealed. The FBI apparently had a wiretap on Oswald and learned that he had been in communication with the government, but this hardly demonstrates that Oswald’s decision to assassinate the president came from the Russians. Instead, the documents only indicate that Oswald was far from proficient in the Russian language.
Beyond those topics, various other interests are addressed. An internal report from the FBI in 1964 documented evidence that Lyndon Johnson was a member of the Klu Klux Klan at the beginning of his political career. The documents also show significant infighting between the FBI and the CIA and increasing concern from the FBI that the CIA was violating its legal limits and operating within the U.S. Lastly, documents in this release also show the FBI’s interest in alleged sex parties that President Kennedy participated in alongside his brother-in-law Peter Lawford and friend Sammy Davis, Jr. However, upon further investigation, the FBI found these allegations conspicuous at best.
For those looking to find a smoking gun that demonstrates that someone other than Oswald was involved in the assassination, an intriguing deposition was held before the Commission on CIA Activities in 1975 by Richard Helms, then Deputy Director of Plans at the CIA when President Kennedy was murdered.
In the exchange, David Belin, a lawyer associated with the commission, confirms that Helms was indeed a part of the assassination. After Helms answers in the affirmative, Belin asks: “Is there any information involved with the assassination of President Kennedy which in any ways shows that Lee Harvey Oswald was in some way a CIA agent or…”
Before the question can be continued or Helms’s answer given, the document abruptly stops.