Trump Plans Release Of Suppressed JFK Records

President Trump fulfilled important goals of the Justice Integrity Project and other transparency advocates around the world when he announced on Oct. 21 his plan to release remaining classified documents pertaining to the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

donald trump make great logo“Subject to the receipt of further information, I will be allowing, as President, the long blocked and classified JFK FILES to be opened,” Trump tweeted on early Saturday regarding the assassination.

 Citizens Against Political Assassinations (CAPA), on whose board this editor serves, convened by conference call Oct. 21 to discuss the developments. CAPA Chairman Cyril H. Wecht, the prominent forensic pathologist, consultant and author, led the group in reiterating its longstanding support for document release and the applauding the president's "courage" in his action.

Update: Justin Gray of Cox Media's Washington, DC Bureau interviewed me on Oct. 23 for a perspective distributed to its news outlets around the nation, particularly television stations. I reiterated that the public should appreciate the apparent actions by Trump and congressional leaders to fulfull a congressional mandate to release the documents and should also watch carefully news coverage of the release to determine whether media and guest experts are treating the issues honestly -- or are continuing the spin that suppresed the truth for decades.   

JFK's death unfolded shortly after the adjoining photo was taken of his motorcade in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963.

President Kennedy, Jacqueline Kennedy, John Conally, in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963The long-awaited news of Trump's thinking was reported by, among other places, the Washington Post in Trump plans to release JFK assassination documents despite concerns from federal agencies and by the New York Times in Trump Says He Will Release Final Set of Documents on Kennedy Assassination. Both news reports are excerpted below.

A cautionary voice was raised by Libertarian-conservative analyst Jacob Hornblower, who wrote on Oct. 23 I Predict Trump Will Continue the CIA’s JFK Assassination Cover-Up.

"What is going on here?" Honblower continued before providing his analysis: "Negotiations. The art of the deal. The CIA desperately does not want to show the American people its long-secret JFK-related records. It has asked Trump to continue keeping at least some of them secret notwithstanding the passage of more than 50 years since the Kennedy assassination."

Wecht, 86, was a county coroner in Pittsburgh for 20 years. A longtime medical school professor and attorney, he still undertakes hundreds of autopsies a year and is the author or co-author of more than 40 books and 500 scientific articles.

He among those who have described in books and lectures for decades the considerable scientific evidence that accused killer Lee Harvey Oswald could not possibly have fired the fatal shot killing Kennedy. His view opposes official reports by the FBI and Warren Commission parrotted by the media since the day after the killing. 

Dr. Cyril Wecht (Noel St. John)Wecht is shown at a CAPA forum March 16 at the National Press Club (in a photo by Noel St. John) describing the overwhelming scientific evidence discrediting the mainstream media accounts of the JFK killing and the vital importance for the American people of document release and informed commentary.

This editor has been active through the Justice Integrity Project, CAPA and elsewhere in advocating for these JFK document releases in cooperation with other JFK research groups and freedom of information advocates.

Opposed are those claiming that "national security" should prevent disclosure of what are estimated to be thousands of pages of remaining classified documents, including those thought to be highly embarrassing to intelligence and investigative agencies that helped cover up the truth at the beginning and continuing to the present.

Most media outlets also have advocated since the shooting a simplistic story claiming that former Marine Lee Harvey Oswald was a lone nut who fired three shots to kill the president with no help from anyone else. At this point, most of those outlets appeared this weekend to be featuring for commentary only or at least primarily those analysts who claim that new documents will simply reinforce the Warren Commission's original findings.

Thus the information wars involve not just release of the documents but a fair opportunity for alternative experts to help the public understand the evidence. For such reasons, this column, continued below, is segment 42 of the Justice Integrity Project's "Readers Guide to the JFK Assassination," whose previous segments are excerpted below with hot links to the lists of all major books, films, archives, plus interpretative articles..

jfk warren  comm. to lbj 1964The 1964 Warren Report

The Warren Commission led by then-Chief Justice Earl Warren issued a report in 1964 advocating that single-shooter theory, generating a long-standing debate that has resulted in more than 2,500 books on the assassination and vast numbers in the United States and around the world who do not believe the official story. Warren is shown at center left with other members of the commission and its chief counsel presenting their report to President Lyndon B. Johnson.

In March, this editor and CAPA organized a unique conference at the National Press Club of JFK research experts. The featured speaker was former Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB) Chairman John Tunheim, who was appointed by Congress to superintend a 1990s process to release pertinent JFK assassination records, culminating in last disclosures this Oct. 26.

Also we published here a comprehensive summary of the experts advocating compliance with the 1992 "JFK Act" unanimously passed by Congress mandating complete release of documents by Oct. 26 of this year.

That summary, JFK Experts Advocate Compliance With Records Release Deadline, showed that document release supporters come from across the political spectrum. They included Tunheim, his fellow ARRB members, former Reagan Administration Attorney Gen. Edwin Meese, and former House Select Committee on Assassinations General Counsel Robert Blakey, as well as several surviving members of the Warren Commission's staff.

At issue are thought to be some 3,000 previously suppressed documents, and some 30,000 partially redacted documents, experts say. Some four million pages have previously been released. The CIA and to a lesser extent the FBI have been leading opponents of release through the decades.

Researchers have speculated with increasing intensity for years whether the current president would dare release documents that power centers at the CIA and elsewhere have long resisted disclosing for reasons they do not describe much beyond the bromide "national security."

Among those pushing the president to release documents were the president's longtime friends, Roger Stone and Jerome Corsi, both of them authors and journalists now associated with the Alex Jones Infowars network.

Donald J. Trump in White House Red Room (Jan. 20, 2017, Shealah Graighead)President Trump is shown in White House Red Room on Jan. 20, 2017, the first day of his presidency, in a White House portrait by Shealah Graighead.

chuck grassley officialIn a board statement on Oct. 21, CAPA also extended its appreciation to U.S. Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa, shown at left) and House member Walter Jones (R-North Carolina) for their leadership in introducing S. Res 281 and H. Res 556 voicing congressional support for full document release.

CAPA thanked also other early and prominent supporters of the bipartisan effort, including Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont), who is like Grassley a longtime leader of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Reps. John Conyers (D-Michigan) and Elijah Cummings (D-Maryland), who have been leaders for many years of relevant House committees.

Similarly, Assassination Archives and Research Center President James H. Lesar issued a Statement that praised Trump and other key leaders. Lesar also noted, however, that Trump left open the possibility that document releases might hinge on "receipt of further information."

Lesar, an attorney who has long fought in the courts to release CIA and other key documents pertaining to the assassination, argued in his statement, "Post hoc justifications to further delay release are not warranted in light of the clear congressional mandate requiring full disclosure by October 26, 2017." 

The Decision

Earlier on Saturday, this editor (a volunteer CAPA board member and public relations committee chair) posted a reader comment at 10:01 a.m. on the Washington Post's reader comment section regarding the announcement, as follows:

Thank you, President Trump!

You have upheld values of transparency and democracy, and taken a courageous stand on the side of the large majority of Americans who for decades have expressed disbelief in the findings of the Warren Commission, according to public opinion polls on the topic consistently reporting such disbelief as ranging from the mid-60s to more than 70 percent of Americans.

Release of documents over the needless objections of those obsessing over bogus "national security" implications also conforms with the views of many experts of diverse political views. These include such conservatives as former Reagan Attorney General Ed Meese, progressives, and several surviving staffers of the Warren Commission itself.

My news report earlier this year summarized that impressive array of experts supporting the release that was announced today (JFK Experts Advocate Compliance With Records Release Deadline, published by the Justice Integrity Project and also by Citizens Against Political Assassinations (CAPA) at http://ow.ly/GQHW309IAGY).

Right now, every American patriot should applaud President Trump for this action.

Andrew Kreig

Justice Integrity Project Editor and CAPA Board member

Author, attorney and political commentator

Washington, DC

CAPA Board member Jerry Policoff, who has researched since the 1960s the assassination and the heavily biased coverage of the killing by the major news media, provided this additional comment on Trump's announcement:

This is a fine development, but we must be vigilant and skeptical. Why, for example, have many previously available documents apparently disappeared from the National Archives JFK collection, and will they be among the documents made available in this new release? If not we need to demand an accounting as to what happened to those documents.

Most of all we need to be prepared for the inevitable mainstream media spin that is certain to accompany the release of these documents.

The media have propagated the lone assassin myth unrelentingly from the beginning in defiance of the actual evidence. This will undoubtedly continue regardless of what turns up in the newly released documents. The critical community will have a strong responsibility to get the word out about what is there and what it means — as well as to provide historical context.

What Does The Evidence Mean?

Most serious independent researchers believe that the main outlines of the assassination are already known via the previous document disclosures, witness statements, and more than 2,500 books. A central finding by CAPA supported by this editor is that Oswald could not have fired the fatal bullet, which raises the questions regarding why that secret had to be covered up — and why the secret remains important today. 

If Trump dares follow through on his apparent promise to smite within the next five days, by Oct. 26, that Gordion knot of silence and cover-up he will have shown more courage on the point than his predecessors.

Regarding other specifics, all CAPA board members are available more specific comments to the media about these historically important developments. Those CAPA board names are here.

Those in the media (including academia) seeking contact information should ask this editor via JIP or CAPA addresses for specifics. All readers here are encouraged to leave reader comments on media pages, keep others informed of your efforts, and air views otherwise on social media, including JIP and CAPA account buttons on websites.

Contact the author Andrew Kreig

Related JIP News Coverage

Justice Integrity Project, JFK Experts Advocate Compliance With Records Release Deadline, Andrew Kreig, March 7, 2017. The former government officials and other experts shown in this column are among those who have called for full release by the National Archives of still-classified records regarding the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

The National Archives' release of an estimated 3,600 still-classified documents scheduled for Oct. 26, 2017 is anticipated as the final step of a process that Congress unanimously enacted by the JFK Records Act of 1992, and implemented by the Assassinations Record Review Board (ARRB), a five-person commission chaired by John Tunheim. On Sept. 30, 1998, it made its final report, passed unanimously and with recommendations excerpted below.

Judge John Tunheim at CAPA Forum at National Press Club (Noel St. John photo)Assassinations Record Review Board (ARRB) Recommendations (1998) (Excerpted below, with former AARB Chairman John Tunheim, now a federal judge, shown at CAPA's forum in a Noel St. John photo):

The Final Report of the Assassination Records Review Board provides not only an opportunity to detail the extraordinary breadth and depth of the Board'swork to identify and release the records of the tragic death of President John F. Kennedy, but also to reflect on the Board's shared experience in carrying out this mission and the meaning of its efforts for the much larger challenge of secrecy and accountability in the federal government.

The Review Board was created out of the broad public frustration that the federal government was hiding important information about the Kennedy assassination by placing its records beyond the reach of its citizens. Broad disagreement with the Warren Commission findings, explosive claims in the popular movie JFK, and continued deterioration of public confidence in government led to consensus that it was time to open the files.

— The Hon. John R. Tunheim, ARRB chairman (currently Chief U.S. District Judge, Minnesota) and the other ARRB members: Henry F. Graff, Kermit L. Hall, William L. Joyce, and Anna K. Nelson.

Justice Integrity Project, Wecht, CAPA Challenges Warren Report Defenders Sabato, Shenon, Andrew Kreig, Sept. 22, 2017. Disclosures this summer about President John F. Kennedy’s 1963 assassination are prompting a blistering dispute on whether new "scientific evidence" proves that Lee Harvey Oswald killed JFK as a lone gunman — or whether the claim against Oswald is part of an ongoing media cover-up of the truth.

Dr. Cyril H. Wecht repeatedly challenged two media darlings, politics professor Larry J. Sabato and author Philip Shenon, for claiming that recent scientific disclosures confirm the Warren Commission’s controversial finding in 1964 that Lee Harvey Oswald alone killed Kennedy.

Wecht — a former county coroner for 20 years based in Pittsburgh and a forensics expert who has studied the JFK death for five decades — repeatedly requested without success last month that Sabato cite his evidence for claiming in a Politico column co-authored with Shenon that “21st century forensic science demonstrates that Oswald was almost certainly the lone gunman in Dallas.”

Other Related JFK Documents News Coverage, Commentary

Arranged In Reverse Chronological Order

Oct. 26

ny times logoNew York Times, The J.F.K. Assassination: A Cast of Characters, Natalie Reneau and Peter Baker, Oct. 26, 2017 (video). As a new trove of documents about the killing of President John F. Kennedy is released, The Times's Peter Baker walks us through who’s who in this American tragedy.

ny times logoNew York Times, A Half-Century Later, Papers May Shed Light on J.F.K. Assassination, Peter Baker and Scott Shane, Oct. 26, 2017 (print edition). With permission from President Trump, the federal government on Thursday will begin releasing the final documents on the 1963 killing of John F. Kennedy.

Oct. 25

India America Today, Expert Applauds Trump Promise of Releasing JFK Files, Tejinder Singh (White House correspondent), Oct. 25, 2017. Tweeting from Air Force One, minutes before landing in Dallas, the city where the former president was shot and killed, [U.S. President Donald] Trump said, “The long anticipated release of the #JFKFiles will take place tomorrow. So interesting!” Trump was in Dallas to address a Republican Party fund-raiser.

Andrew Kreig, Justice Integrity Project Editor (www.justice-integrity.org) told India America Today, “Trump is taking a courageous stand on the side of the large majority of Americans who for decades have express disbelief in the findings of the Warren Commission, according to public opinion polls on the topic consistently reporting such disbelief as ranging from the mid-60s to more than 70 percent of Americans.”

“Release of documents over the needless objections of those obsessing over bogus “national security” implications also conforms with the views of many experts of diverse political views. These include such American conservatives as former Reagan Attorney General Ed Meese, progressives and several surviving staffers of the Warren Commission itself. My news report earlier this year summarized that impressive array of experts supporting the release that was announced today (JFK Experts Advocate Compliance With Records Release Deadline, published by the Justice Integrity Project and also by Citizens Against Political Assassinations (CAPA) at ),” noted Kreig, who is also CAPA Board member.

Welcoming the decision, Kreig added, “President Trump has upheld values of transparency and democracy in a way that should be applauded by freedom lovers around the world. The problems of political assassination and other persecution are a global problem. So, the unanswered questions surrounding the 1963 murder of America’s young president hold continuing importance around the world.”

The Hill, Trump teases release of JFK files: 'So interesting!' Jordan Fabian, Oct. 25, 2017. President Trump teased the release of thousands of government documents related to the assassination of former President Kennedy on Wednesday, minutes before landing in Dallas, the city where the former president was shot and killed. “The long anticipated release of the #JFKFiles will take place tomorrow. So interesting!” Trump tweeted.

 The president headed to Dallas to attend GOP fundraisers and receive an update on the recovery from Hurricane Harvey. Trump has said he doesn’t plan to block the release of files related to Kennedy’s killing ahead of the National Archives’s Thursday deadline to make them public. Congress passed a law in 1992 mandating the release of the files within 25 years, but the president has the power to stop it in the interest of national security.

Trump’s advisers have reportedly urged him to block at least some of the files. The White House has not said whether the president will do so. “Subject to the receipt of further information, I will be allowing, as President, the long blocked and classified JFK FILES to be opened,” Trump tweeted over the weekend.

jacob hornberger headshotCrowdSource Radio via YouTube, JFK Expert predicts release, implications, Jason Goodman, Oct. 25, 2017 (video interview, 69 mins.). Host Jason Goodman interviews Investigative reporter and author Andrew Kreig, a board member of Citizens Against Political Assassinations (CAPA), and author of a 42-part "Readers Guide to the JFK Assassination" online encyclopedia and commentary archive.

Future of Freedom Foundation, No “Smoking Guns” in the JFK Records? Jacob G. Hornberger, Oct. 25, 2017. Most of the mainstream media continues telling their readers not to expect any “smoking guns” in the JFK records that are supposed to be released tomorrow. That’s assuming, of course, that President Trump doesn’t change his mind at the last minute and grant the CIA’s request for continued secrecy. I stand by the prediction I made earlier this week. I think Trump will strike a last-minute deal with the CIA, perhaps one in which the CIA promises to bring its power and influence to bear on Congress to cease and desist about Russia. My hunch is that the deal will be announced in a fundraising speech that Trump is delivering today, not coincidentally, in Dallas.

There are several fascinating aspects to this controversy.

First of all is the mainstream media’s new-found discovery that the records are set to be released tomorrow. For the past year, some of us have been harping on the impending deadline and suggesting that the CIA would beseech Trump to keep its long-secret records secret, perhaps for another 25 years. The entire time, the mainstream media has largely remained silent about the matter … until just recently when the issue exploded into the public arena. Just Google “JFK Records” and you’ll see what I mean.

Most of the media articles, op-eds, and editorials fail to question a central issue: The fact that the CIA wants its 50-year-old records to continue to be kept secret. That should be big news, especially given that the reason the JFK Records Act was enacted in the first place was because of Oliver Stone’s movie JFK, which posited that the CIA orchestrated the assassination of the president as part of its many Cold War national-security regime-change operations. At the end of JFK, there was a blurb about the fact that the U.S. national security establishment was continuing to keep its assassination records secret from the American people. This secrecy created such an uproar among the American populace that Congress was effectively forced to act. That’s what produced the JFK Records Act, which the national-security establishment vehemently opposed.

Oct. 24

Future of Freedom Foundation, Circumstantial Evidence in the JFK Assassination, Jacob G. Hornberger, Oct. 24, 2017. The mainstream media is repeatedly emphasizing that the records will contain no “smoking guns.” Well, duh! Ever since the CIA began specializing in assassinations, one of its principal rules has been never to put any reference to a covert state-sponsored assassination into writing. Given such, it’s no big revelation that the records that are set to be released will not contain a videotaped confession, a memorandum detailing how the assassination was to be carried out and covered up, or any other such “smoking gun” type of evidence.

However, it is a virtual certainty that the tens of thousands of records will contain bits of circumstantial evidence that further fill in the mosaic that the assassination of President Kennedy was one of the CIA’s regime-change operations, no different in principle from those carried out in the 1950s-1970s in such countries as Iran, Guatemala, Congo, Cuba, and Chile.

The problem is that mainstream reporters and commentators, generally speaking, have no understanding of or appreciation for the importance and relevance of circumstantial evidence. To them, all that matters is direct evidence, such as a videotaped confession or a signed memorandum showing how the assassination was carried out.

What is circumstantial evidence? The definition provided by Wikipedia is as good as any other: "Circumstantial evidence is evidence that relies on an inference to connect it to a conclusion of fact — like a fingerprint at the scene of a crime. By contrast, direct evidence supports the truth of an assertion directly — i.e., without need for any additional evidence or inference."

It is worth noting that courts consider circumstantial evidence to be of equal value to direct evidence.

Oct. 23

jacob hornberger headshotFuture of Freedom Foundation, Opinion: I Predict Trump Will Continue the CIA’s JFK Assassination Cover-Up, Jacob G. Hornberger (shown at right), Oct. 23, 2017. What is going on here?

Negotiations. The art of the deal. The CIA desperately does not want to show the American people its long-secret JFK-related records. It has asked Trump to continue keeping at least some of them secret notwithstanding the passage of more than 50 years since the Kennedy assassination.

What Trump has done with his announcement is send a clear message to the CIA: “Give me what I want and I’ll give you want you want. Otherwise, I will let all your cherished long-secret records relating to the JFK assassination be shown to the American people.”

Make no mistake about it: A deal is about to be made. The CIA will cave. It will end up giving Trump whatever it is he wants. Trump is in the driver’s seat because the CIA cannot afford to permit the American people to see the records it wants to continue to be kept secret. And once the CIA gives Trump what he wants, he will cave and give the CIA the continued secrecy it so desperately needs. All this will happen by this Thursday, the date set by law for release of all the JFK records that Trump has not blocked.

Mary Pinchot Meyer (WhoWhatWhy photo collage from JFK Library, Wikimedia and National Park Service)

Mary Pinchot Meyer (WhoWhatWhy photo collage from JFK Library, Wikimedia and National Park Service)

WhoWhatWhy peter janney coverWhoWhatWhy, The Murder of John Kennedy’s Mistress, Part 3, Peter Janney (author of "Mary's Mosaic," shown at right), Oct. 23, 2017. In the third and last installment of this series, the case against the black laborer continues to build. To make matters worse, a new witness comes forward. But something is quite wrong with his story about what he allegedly saw — and, it turns out later, about his own background. Who was he really?

In Part 3 of this mystery, the case against the black laborer, Ray Crump, for the murder of Mary Pinchot Meyer continues to build, despite the lack of physical evidence, and despite the lack of an obvious motive. She was neither robbed nor raped.

To make matters worse for Crump, a new witness comes forward — William L. Mitchell, an Army lieutenant stationed at the Pentagon. He claimed that, shortly before the murder, he passed a “negro male” who was following the victim, “about two hundred yards” behind her. His description of the man’s clothes matches what Crump had been wearing when arrested.

The highly anticipated release of long-withheld US government documents related to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy is scheduled for this Thursday, October 26. In the runup to this event, the media has devoted more attention to this history-altering political murder than at any time since the Oliver Stone film “JFK” came out in 1991. As one of the outlets digging deep into the tragedy, WhoWhatWhy has pointed out that many questions remain unanswered and many key issues are yet unresolved. Accordingly, we are dedicating more articles to the topic leading up to the highly-anticipated data dump, and have put together a crack team to analyze the documents once they are released.

— WhoWhatWhy Staff

JFK, Jacqueline and Caroline Kennedy (Jacques Lowe "Camelot" exhibit at Newseum)

Jacqueline, John and Caroline Kennedy (Jacques Lowe photo, on exhibit at Newseum "Camelot" exhibit currently in Washington, DC)

People, Jackie Kennedy Would Want JFK Assassination Papers Made Public, Says Her Former Secret Service Agent, Tierney McAfee and Liz McNeil, Oct. 23, 2017. On Thursday, the government will release thousands of long blocked and classified documents about the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

clint hill hsAccording to Jackie Kennedy’s former Secret Service agent, Clint Hill (shown at right), that’s exactly what the former first lady would have wanted. “It was my understanding that she wanted all the information released,” Hill tells People. “She wanted people to have as much information about what actually happened as possible.”

Hill says that’s also one of the reasons why the first lady didn’t immediately change out of the clothes she was wearing when her husband was shot and killed while riding by her side in a motorcade in Dallas, Texas on Nov. 22, 1963. Just hours after her husband was shot, Jackie wore her bloodstained, pink Chanel suit to the inauguration of Vice President Lyndon Johnson.

“She told us she wanted people to see what had happened. She wanted people to see the blood-spattered clothing that she was wearing because she was sitting right next to her husband. Because she wanted everybody to understand that this was a tragic event,” explains Hill, who wrote the memoir Five Presidents about his time as a Secret Service agent for former commanders in chief Kennedy, Dwight Eisenhower, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford.

Hill says Jackie didn’t often speak of her husband’s assassination at age 46 and didn’t explicitly tell the agent she wanted all of the government documents related to his death released. “It was based on my understanding and knowledge of her,” he says. “I don’t think she would have denied access to any of the information from the public.”

He adds, “Over the years, the entire family tried to put [the assassination] behind them. They didn’t want to recognize the fact that he had been assassinated.”

Oct. 22

Boston Herald, JFK record release stirs speculations, Brian Dowling, Oct. 22, 2017. Records related to the assassination of John F. Kennedy will be released Thursday. The highly anticipated release of a treasure trove of previously redacted or withheld records related to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy has researchers of the longquestioned killing speculating about key details that could shed light on what the feds knew about the killer.

The National Archives document dump slated to take place Thursday may include reams of documents on CIA agents and Soviet defectors, some of Lee Harvey Oswald’s financial records and even personal notes from first lady Jacqueline Kennedy and FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, experts predict.

The 5th Estate (Indonesia), Andrew Kreig: Trump Plans Release Of Suppressed JFK Records, Andrew Kreig, Edited by Robert Finnegan, Oct. 22, 2017.  Long suppressed documents to be made public.

Atlantic, Conspiracy Theories Are for Underdogs, Adrienne LaFrance, Oct. 22, 2017. Donald Trump’s recent tweet about long-secret JFK files is a way for the president to try to reclaim a status that has repeatedly helped him.

So when Donald Trump suggests he will help the public access long-secret JFK files in the name of transparency, he’s doing it with the same talent for identifying the kinds of stories that captivate people that he’s leaned on his entire career. (Those who have studied the JFK assassination closely are mixed on the potential significance of these files. “I've always thought that the release of these documents is going to be something like what happened on New Year’s Eve 2000,” Josiah Thompson, the author of Six Seconds in Dallas: A Micro-Study of the Kennedy Assassination, told me on Saturday. “A great big zero of happening!”)

Regardless of the files, though, Trump’s attention to them is a window into how he wants to be seen. In one dashed-off tweet, Trump positions himself as doing something noble — advocating for transparency, against the warnings of the intelligence community — while feeding at least two major conspiracies. One, that the press is “the enemy of the American people” working in cahoots with the deep state, and, two, by lending credibility to the idea that the official story of JFK's assassination is indeed suspect.

“Trump has built a coalition of conspiracy minded constituencies,” said Joseph Uscinski, a political science professor at the University of Miami and the co-author of American Conspiracy Theories. “Trump had no political experience, and he therefore had to justify his candidacy by appealing to conspiracy theories that impugned the establishment. Trump appealed to people who had conspiracy mindsets and who would normally be disinclined to vote, but Trump used conspiracy theories to motivate them.”

“Now, appealing to JFK conspiracy theories is a great idea for him,” Uscinski added, “because recent polls show that 60 percent of Americans believe in one form of JFK conspiracy or another.”

Trump’s focus on JFK comes, too, at a moment when it would serve the president to have the American people talk about anything other than his false claims about comforting grieving military families.

Oct. 21

New York Post, What’s inside the secret JFK assassination files? Bill Sanderson, Oct. 21, 2017. Secret government documents to be released this week likely contain new details about what the CIA knew about Lee Harvey Oswald before he murdered President John F. Kennedy, assassination experts say. President Trump tweeted Saturday that he’ll allow the release of the documents, “subject to the receipt of further information.”

Eighty-eight percent of the Archives’ 5 million pages of JFK material are already public. Another 11 percent are partly public, with sensitive portions removed. Just 1 percent of the records remain fully secret. Revealing the secret details will help Americans grasp what happened in Dallas, said William Kelly, an assassination researcher from New Jersey. “It’s going to give us the final pieces of the puzzle,” Kelly said.

Time, The Final JFK Assassination Documents Are About to Drop. Here's What to Know, Lily Rothman, Oct. 21, 2017. Thursday is a date that, for 25 years, has loomed large on the calendars of the curious: Oct. 26, 2017, the final deadline for the release of all government records pertaining to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963. Though JFK enthusiasts had worried the final release might never come or would be further delayed, as the President does have the authority to intervene, the release appears to be on track.

Since 2014, a National Archives and Records Administration team has been working to prep the remaining documents for release by that deadline. In July, the first batch of previously withheld documents covered by the law was released online, comprising more than 400 documents that had been fully withheld and nearly 3,400 that had previously been redacted in part.

Earlier this month, resolutions were introduced in the Senate and House urging President Trump not to intervene in the release of, by their count, about 3,000 more unreleased documents and over 30,000 that had been redacted when previously released. As of March, no agency had notified the National Archives (NARA) that they were trying to keep their documents from being released. Last week, with the deadline just days away, NARA told TIME that while it could not disclose whether any agency appeals to further postpone release had been made, the National Archives continued to prepare for a release by the deadline.

Dallas News, Decades of secrecy end as Trump allows release of last JFK assassination records, Todd J. Gillman, Oct. 21, 2017. Generations of professional and amateur sleuths have spent decades steeped in the details of the JFK assassination. In coming days, they’ll be able to pore through thousands more files kept classified for 54 years.

washington post logo

 Washington Post, Trump plans to release JFK assassination documents despite concerns from federal agencies, Ian Shapira, Oct. 21, 2017 at 9:50 AM. President Trump announced Saturday morning that he planned to release the tens of thousands of never-before-seen documents left in the files related to President John F. Kennedy’s assassination held by the National Archives and Records Administration.

“Subject to the receipt of further information, I will be allowing, as President, the long blocked and classified JFK FILES to be opened,” Trump tweeted early Saturday.

Kennedy assassination experts have been speculating for weeks about whether Trump would disclose the documents. The 1992 Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act required that the millions of pages — many of them contained in CIA and FBI documents — be published in 25 years, by Oct. 26. Over the years, the National Archives has released most of the documents, either in full or partially redacted.

But one final batch remains and only the president has the authority to extend the papers’ secrecy past the October deadline. In his tweet, Trump seemed to strongly imply he was going to release all the remaining documents. But he also hedged, suggesting that if between now and Oct. 26, other government agencies made a strong case not to release the documents, he wouldn’t. Also, Trump was not clear about whether he would publish all of the documents in full, or with some of them redacted.

In the days leading up to Trump’s tweet, a National Security Council official told the Washington Post that government agencies were urging the president not to release some of the documents. But Trump’s longtime confidant Roger Stone told conspiracy theorist Alex Jones of Infowars this week that he personally lobbied Trump to publish all of the documents.

Stone also told Jones that CIA director Mike Pompeo “has been lobbying the president furiously not to release these documents.”

Kennedy assassination experts say they don’t think the last batch of papers contains any major bombshells. They do suspect the papers will shed light on the activities of Lee Harvey Oswald, Kennedy’s assassin, while he was traveling in Mexico City in late September 1963, and courting Cuban and Soviet spies. Phil Shenon, who wrote a book about the Warren Commission, the congressional body that investigated Kennedy’s killing, said he was pleased with Trump’s decision. But he wonders to what degree the papers will ultimately be released.

 djt official Smallny times logoNew York Times, Trump Says He Will Release Final Set of Documents on Kennedy Assassination, Michael D. Shear, Oct. 21, 2017. President Trump has decided to release a final batch of thousands of classified government documents related to the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy, Mr. Trump announced in a tweet on Saturday morning.

Mr. Trump has the power to block the release of the documents, and intelligence agencies have pressured him to do so for at least some of them. The agencies are concerned that information contained in some of the documents could damage national security interests.

The president did not make clear what he meant when he said in his tweet that the release of the documents would be “subject to the receipt of further information.” A White House official did not immediately respond to emails seeking clarification.

 Assassination Archives and Research Center (AARC), Statement by AARC president, James H. Lesar, Oct. 21, 2017. Jim Lesar (shown at right), President of the Assassination Archives and Research Center (AARC), issued the following statement:

The AARC congratulates President Donald J. Trump on announcing in a tweet today that as President he will allow the release of JFK-assassination records to go forward as provided by the JFK Act which Congress unanimously passed in 1992.  President Trump’s decision is correct, and it rightly attributes the prolonged blockage to Executive Branch agencies, particularly the CIA, when Congress mandated such information to be released as promptly as possible. 

chuck grassley officialWhile President Trump’s tweet contains a possible face-saving out, conditioning such release on the “receipt of further information,” Lesar pointed out that these agencies and the National Archives have had 25 years to produce such information, they have not done so. Post hoc justifications to further delay release are not warranted in light of the clear congressional mandate requiring full disclosure by October 26, 2017.

Lesar noted that the release has the support of both political parties, as both Sen. Charles Grassley (Republican of Iowa, shown above left) and Sen. Patrick Leahy (Democrat of Vermont), Senate Judiciary Committee leaders, have introduced legislation endorsing release of the records.

Politico, Trump Likely to Block Release of Some JFK Files, Philip Shenon, Oct. 20, 2017. If the decision holds, it could contribute to the belief that the government has something to hide. Trump administration and other government officials say privately that President Donald Trump is almost certain to block the release of information from some of the thousands of classified files related to the November 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy that are scheduled to be made public in less than a week by the National Archives.

Administration officials would not identify what specific information related to Kennedy’s murder might be kept secret on Trump’s orders, though they acknowledged concern over classified documents held at the Archives that were created decades after the assassination—specifically, in the 1990s.

The officials held out a slim possibility that the always-unpredictable Trump could decide at the last minute to release all the remaining JFK files held at the Archives—tens, if not hundreds of thousands, of pages of long-secret documents—but said it was highly unlikely, especially because of concern that documents from the 1990s might expose relatively recent American intelligence and law-enforcement operations. Some of those documents could be partially released, with some of the information blacked out, they said.

A previously released, bare-bones index of nearly 3,100 never-before-seen assassination-related documents scheduled for release next week shows that the vast majority were created in the 1960s and 1970s, and many, if not most, of them appear likely to be declassified. Only several dozen date from the 1990s, and most of those were created by the CIA; many are letters written at the spy agency to a special federal review board that, at the time, was trying to decide how much of the JFK record from the 1960s could be made public without damaging national security or U.S. foreign policy.

Lindsay Walters, a White House spokeswoman, told POLITICO Magazine that the White House was working “to ensure that the maximum amount of data can be released to the public” by next Thursday, Oct. 26—the 25-year deadline set by Congress under a 1992 law signed by President George H.W. Bush that was intended to try to tamp down conspiracy theories about Kennedy’s assassination.

But there has been concern, she said, over classified assassination-related documents stored at the National Archives that were created decades after Kennedy’s murder. “Some of the records within this collection were not created until the 1990s” and they need to be closely reviewed to guarantee there would be no “identifiable harm” to national security if made public, she said. She was not more specific in identifying the documents in question.

A congressional official who has been closely monitoring the issue, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Trump had been under pressure from the CIA to block the release of some of the assassination documents on national security grounds, possibly to protect CIA tradecraft and the identity of agency informants who might still be alive.

 

Justice Integrity Project Readers Guide To JFK Assassination

By Andrew Kreig, JIP Editor, CAPA Board member and Associate Editor and Board member of The Indicter

What follows are excerpt's from our Project's so-far 38-previous segments of a "Readers Guide" to the assassination begun in 2013 to underscore both the 50th anniversary of the death and its continuing relevance, particularly slanted media, government, and academic treatment of the death that serves as a Rosetta Stone to similar slanted coverage sensitive matters extending through the decades to today's news.

John F. Kennedy side profile

The Justice Integrity Project is an active supporter of Citizens Against Political Assassinations (CAPA) and The Indicter, each of which investigates suspected political assassinations around the world. The Project's most recent previous column on these topics for the Readers Guide was JFK Birthday Prompts Inspiration, Art, Advocacy, Snark on June 2, 2017, with this beginning. "The 100th birthday anniversary of President John F. Kennedy on May 29 prompted many memorials about the late president's enduring popularity, the continuing controversies over his murder, and at least one prominent display of mockery of the late president by a big newspaper."

In the Readers Guide below, a red asterisk (*) denotes major articles in the series. Other articles may be regarded as more routine or duplicative treatments sometimes covering specific events.

Dealey Plaza Panorama (Andrew Kreig Photo)At right is a photo by this editor in Dallas showing Dealey Plaza. The Texas Book Depository Building where accused assassin Lee Harvey Oswald worked is behind the row of trees. The car in the center lane is near the location of President Kennedy's limo at the time of his fatal shooting. The "X" mark is repeatedly painted on the street by author and photographic expert Robert Grodin as reminder of the horrific crime that Dallas authorities seek to expunge by removing the X.

  1. Project Launches JFK Assassination Readers' Guide, Oct. 16, 2013.
  2. Project Provides JFK Readers Guide To New Books, Videos, Oct. 26, 2013. This is a list of new books and films in 2013.
  3. Disputes Erupt Over NY Times, New Yorker, Washington Post Reviews of JFK Murder, Nov. 7, 2013. *
  4. Self-Censorship In JFK TV Treatments Duplicates Corporate Print Media's Apathy, Cowardice, Nov. 7, 2013.
  5. 'Puppetry' Hardback Launched Nov. 19 at DC Author Forum on ‘White House Mysteries & Media,'  Nov. 19, 2013.
  6. Major Media Stick With Oswald 'Lone Gunman' JFK Theory, Nov. 27, 2013.
  7. JFK Murder Scene Trapped Its Victim In Kill Zone, Nov. 30, 2013.
  8. Project Lists JFK Assassination Reports, Archives, Videos, Events, Nov. 2, 2013. *
  9. JFK Murder, The CIA, and 8 Things Every American Should Know, Dec. 9, 2013. *
  10. JFK Murder Prompts Expert Reader Reactions, Dec. 19, 2013. Reactions to our Dec. 9 column. 
  11. Have Spy Agencies Co-Opted Presidents and the Press? Dec. 23, 2013. *
  12. Don't Be Fooled By 'Conspiracy Theory' Smears, May 26, 2014. *
  13. Experts To Reveal Secrets of JFK Murder, Cover-up at Sept. 26-28 DC Forum , Sept. 5, 2014. 
  14. Washington Post Still Selling Warren Report 50 Years Later, Sept. 22, 2014. *
  15. JFK Experts To Explode Myths, Sign Books In DC Sept. 26-28, Sept. 24, 2014.
  16. Former Cuban Militant Leader Claims CIA Meeting With Oswald Before JFK Killing, Sept. 27, 2014. *
  17. JFK Readers Guide: Assassination Books, Reports, Oct. 15, 2014. *
  18. Dealey Plaza Picket Fence (Andrew Kreig Photo)Former House JFK Murder Prober Alleges CIA ‘Lied,’ Seeks Hidden Records, Oct. 18, 2014. *
  19. The JFK Murder 'Cover-up' Still Matters -- As Does C-SPAN's Coverage, Nov. 11, 2014. *
  20. JFK, Nov. 22 and the Continuing Cover-Up, Nov. 24, 2014. *
  21. JFK Assassination Readers Guide To 2013-14 Events, Nov. 28, 2014. *
  22. CIA, Empowered by JFK Murder Cover-up, Blocks Senate Torture Report, Dec. 1, 2014. *
  23. Nearly Too Late, Public Learns of Bill Moyers’ Conflicts Over PBS, LBJ, Jan. 2, 2014.
  24. Why Bill O'Reilly's Lie About JFK's Murder Might Matter To You, March 17, 2015.
  25. Free Videos Show Shocking Claims About CIA, JFK Murder Probes, June 29, 2015.
  26. Pioneering Black Secret Service JFK Guard Abraham Bolden Warns Of Current Lessons, July 22, 2015.
  27. Understanding Hollywood-Style Presidential Propaganda From JFK To Trump, Aug. 18, 2015.
  28. Beware Of Wrong Conclusions From New CIA Disclosure On Oswald, Sept. 28, 2015.
  29. The JFK Murder Cover-Up: Your Rosetta Stone To Today’s News, Nov. 29, 2015.
  30. Austin Kiplinger, David Skorton: Two Civic Giants Going And Coming, Dec. 15, 2015.
  31. Trump Alleges Rafael Cruz Tie To JFK Murder Suspect Oswald, May 3, 2016.
  32. Revelations Confirm Proof Of JFK, RFK Murder Cover-ups, Nov. 25, 2016.
  33. Top Experts To Assess JFK Murder Records, Revelations March 16, March 8, 2017.
  34. Speaker Program For March 16 Forum On Secret JFK Records, March 8, 2017.
  35. JFK Experts Advocate Compliance With Records Deadline, March 8, 2017.
  36. At CAPA Forum, JFK Experts See Need, Momentum For Assassination Records Release, March 23, 2017.
  37. Time Magazine, History Channel Ramp Up Oswald-JFK Fake News, April 26, 2017.
  38. JFK Birthday Prompts Inspiration, Art, Advocacy, Snark, June 2, 2017.
  39. Deep State Killed JFK For His Cuba Policy, Peace Advocacy, Experts Say, June 13, 2017.
  40. Newly Released JFK Murder Files Prompt Disputes, 'Jigsaw' Solutions, Aug. 4, 2017.
  41. CAPA Challenges Warren Report Defenders Sabato, Shenon, Sept. 22, 2017.
  42. Trump Plans Release Of Suppressed JFK Records, Oct. 21, 2017
  43. Trump Backs Off Promise To Release All Suppressed JFK Documents Today; Permits Partial Release, Oct. 26, 2017

 

JIP Editor's Other Recommended Columns

WhoWhatWhy, The Mystery of the Constant Flow of JFK Disinformation, Russ Baker and Milicent Crano, Nov. 24, 2015. For decades, the mainstream media have been promoting, mostly through TV specials, the government-approved story of John F. Kennedy's assassination. But those who were inclined to believe it before may have become more skeptical, ironically, because of these shows, most of which have been slick infomercials using junk science. And each one just provides more embarrassing evidence of a cover up. Below, we present a small sample of this mind-opening evidence, along with an essay that explores the mystery of why these attempts keep coming.

Peter Dale ScottWhoWhatWhy, The CIA, Mafia, Mexico — and Oswald, Part 1 of a six-part series of Peter Dale Scott book excerpts, Nov. 22-27, 2015. Russ Baker introduction: When John F. Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963, the United States lost more than its president. It lost its innocence. The subsequent investigations into the young president's killing raised more questions than they answered — and caused Americans to lose faith in their government. Indeed, for many people in the US and across the world, the assassination marked the point at which their fundamental perceptions changed. Just after the Warren Commission released its report on the assassination, the level of public trust in government was at 77 percent. A decade later it had plummeted to less than half that (36 percent).

Kennedy's death and the circumstances surrounding it gave birth to a movement. This movement, composed of all kinds of people, is dedicated to investigating the story behind the story, to exposing the power networks hidden beneath surface events. These machinations have been dubbed "Deep Politics." Those who study it believe there is much more to national and world events than what the public is told by government officials and evening newscasters — and, as you will see, Peter Dale Scott proves it. On the occasion of the anniversary of Kennedy's assassination, WhoWhatWhy is pleased to present excerpts from Chapter 2 of Scott's latest work: Dallas '63: The First Deep State Revolt Against the White House by Peter Dale Scott (Open Road Media, September, 2015).

For Part 1 of this series, please go here; Part 2, go here; Part 3 go here; Part 4 go here; Part 5 go here; Part 6 go here.

Separately, San Francisco attorney and prominent JFK Assassination researcher Bill Simpich (shown in a file photo) has published on OpEd News a series so far in 12 parts on "The Twelve Who Built the Oswald Bill SimpichLegend." The series began in 2010 with: The JFK Case: The Twelve Who Built the Oswald Legend (Part One: Mother, Meyer, and the Spotters)

The most relevant segment to George de Mohrenschildt is Part 7: The hand-off from De Mohrenschildt to the Paines:

OpEdNews, The JFK Case: The Twelve Who Built the Oswald Legend (Part 7: The hand-off from De Mohrenschildt to the Paines), Bill Simpich, Oct. 22, 2011. When Oswald and his family returned to the Dallas-Fort Worth area from the Soviet Union, they knew that they had make contacts if they were going to put food on the table. Dallas oilman/spy George de Mohrenschildt became a benefactor to the Oswald family, providing them with money and contacts after their return to the US from the Soviet Union. De Mohrenschildt's lawyer Max Clark was also General Dynamics' industrial security consultant and a leader within the White Russian community. Oswald contacted Max Clark's wife shortly after his return, explaining that the Texas Employment Commission had referred her to him as a Russian-speaker and that his wife would like to spend time with another Russian-speaker. Oswald had legend makers precisely because he and his wife presented a perceived threat to national security. De Mohrenschildt visited and exchanged cards and letters with CIA official J. Walton Moore on a regular basis during the fifties and sixties. Moore wrote a memo in 1977 claiming that he only met de Mohrenschildt twice, in 1958 and in 1961. Moore's hazy memory on the number of visits was exposed by the House Select Committee on Assassinations. De Mohrenschildt revealed a few hours before his death that Moore took him to lunch in late 1961, and described to him an ex-Marine in Minsk in whom the CIA had "interest." In the summer of 1962, an associate of Moore suggested that de Mohrenschildt might want to meet Oswald. De Mohrenschildt then called Moore, suggesting that suitable payback would be a little help by the State Department with an oil exploration deal in Haiti.

The first part of the series is, with additional segments listed below in reverse chronological order. A photo of the Oswalds is via the National Archives:

Lee Harvey Oswald and Marina Oswald National ArchivesOpEd News, The JFK Case: The Twelve Who Built the Oswald Legend (Part One: Mother, Meyer, and the Spotters), Bill Simpich, Aug. 22. 2010. With millions of documents released in the years since the JFK Act was passed in the nineties, the intelligence backgrounds of the twelve who built the Oswald legend have come into focus. A legend maker can range from a "babysitter" who just keeps an eye on the subject to someone handing out unequivocal orders. I count twelve of them, and I'll tell you about them here in this series of essays here.

  1. 08/22/2010 The JFK Case: The Twelve Who Built the Oswald Legend (Part I): Mother, Meyer, and the Spotters
  2. 09/02/2010 The JFK Case: The Twelve Who Built the Oswald Legend (Part 2): An Instant Visa Gets The Marine Into Moscow
  3. 12/06/2010 The JFK Case: The Twelve Who Built the Oswald Legend (Part 3): Counterintelligence goes mole hunting with Oswald's file
  4. 11/16/2010 The JFK Case: The Twelve Who Built the Oswald Legend (Part 4): When the U-2 Goes Down, Oswald is Ready to Return
  5. 12/27/2010 The JFK Case: The Twelve Who Built the Oswald Legend (Part 5): The Double Dangle
  6. 11/22/2011 The JFK Case: The Twelve Who Built the Oswald Legend (Part 6): White Russians Keep An Eye On Oswald In Dallas
  7. 06/03/2012 The JFK Case: The Twelve Who Built the Oswald Legend (Part 7): The hand-off from De Mohrenschildt to the Paines
  8. 06/04/2012 The JFK Case: The Twelve Who Built the Oswald Legend (Part 8): The CIA-Army Intelligence Mambo
  9. 08/30/2012 The JFK Case: The Twelve Who Built the Oswald Legend (Part 9): Oswald Takes Center Stage As An Intelligence Asset
  10. 07/26/2013 The JFK Case: The Twelve Who Built the Oswald Legend (Part 10): Nightmare in Mexico City
  11. 12/21/2014 The JFK Case: The Twelve Who Built the Oswald Legend (Part 11): The Paines Carry the Weight
  12. 12/31/2014 The JFK Case: The Twelve Who Built the Oswald Legend (Part 12): The Endgame