The publication of the documents, ordered by President Biden, was eagerly awaited by historians and by those who doubt that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone.
WASHINGTON – The National Archives on Wednesday released nearly 1,500 documents related to the US government’s investigation into the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
the disclosure cables, internal notes and other documents meet a deadline set in October by President Joe Biden and comply with a federal law that requires the government to release records in its possession regarding the Kennedy assassination. Other documents are expected to be made public next year.
There was no immediate indication that the files contained any new revelations that could radically reshape public understanding of the events surrounding the Kennedy assassination on November 22, 1963 in Dallas by gunman Lee Harvey Oswald.
But the final installment of the documents was nonetheless eagerly awaited by historians and others who, decades after Kennedy’s assassination, remain skeptical that at the height of the Cold War a troubled young man with a Mail order rifle was the only one responsible for an assassination that changed the course of American history.
The documents include cables and CIA memos discussing Oswald’s previously disclosed but never fully explained visits to the Soviet and Cuban embassies in Mexico City, as well as discussions, in the days following the assassination, of the potential Cuban involvement in Kennedy’s murder.
A CIA note describes how Oswald phoned the Soviet Embassy while in Mexico City to apply for a visa to visit the Soviet Union. He also visited the Cuban Embassy, apparently interested in a travel visa that would allow him to travel to Cuba and wait for a Soviet visa there. On October 3, more than a month before the assassination, he returned to the United States through a border crossing point in Texas.
Another note, dated the day after Kennedy’s assassination, indicates that according to an intercepted phone call in Mexico City, Oswald contacted a KGB officer while at the Soviet embassy in September.
After Kennedy’s assassination, Mexican authorities arrested a Mexican employee of the Cuban embassy with whom Oswald had contacted, and she said Oswald “declared himself to be a Communist and admirer of Castro,” according to the memo. It is a reference to Fidel Castro, the Cuban leader at the time and opponent of the Kennedy White House.
A CIA document labeled “Secret Eyes Only” details what it says are US government plots to assassinate Castro, including a 1960 ploy “which involved the use of the underworld with contacts at the interior of Cuba ”.
Another document released on Wednesday shows that the US government is assessing whether Oswald, while living in New Orleans, may have been influenced or affected in any way by the publication in the local newspaper of an interview conducted. by an Associated Press correspondent with Castro in which Castro warned of retaliation if the United States tried to help eliminate the Cuban rulers.
The new files include several FBI reports on the bureau’s efforts to investigate and monitor top Mafia figures like Santo Trafficante Jr. and Sam Giancana, who are often mentioned in conspiracy theories surrounding the Kennedy assassination. The files also include several FBI reports showing that the office regularly monitored anti-Castro groups operating in South Florida and Puerto Rico in the 1960s.
Outside of the Kennedy Inquiry, some of the material would be of interest to academics or anyone interested in the details of the 1960s counterintelligence, with pages and pages of obscure detail on things such as methods, equipment. and personnel used to monitor Cubans and Soviets. embassies in Mexico City.
In blocking the publication of hundreds of documents in 2017 due to FBI and CIA concerns, President Donald Trump cited “potentially irreversible harm.”
The Warren Commission in 1964 concluded that Oswald had been the sole gunman, and another Congressional investigation in 1979 found no evidence to support the theory that the CIA had been involved. But other interpretations persisted.
Associated Press editors Ben Fox and Nomaan Merchant in Washington and Alan Suderman in Richmond, Virgin