JFK Researchers: Latest Released Assassination Documents UnderwhelmingHistorians in the News
tags: JFK, presidential history, Warren Commission, assassination
Frustrated JFK researchers say there is little new to learn in Wednesday's release of previously classified documents collected as part of the government review into the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
The vast majority of the almost 1,500 documents released by the National Archives as new appear to be duplicates of previously released documents with only a few redacted words now revealed, often the name of a CIA case officer or the location of an overseas agency station that investigators had already pieced together. Some have no changes whatsoever.
The release still leaves more than 10,000 documents either partially redacted or withheld entirely, which won't be seen until December 2022 at the earliest under an order issued by President Joe Biden in October. It has prolonged the bitter debate between the federal government and JFK researchers, who argue that the CIA, the FBI and other national security agencies have continually stonewalled a congressionally mandated release.
"It's always 'the next time,'" said the University of Virginia's Larry Sabato, a leading scholar of the assassination. He called the redactions that were removed in Wednesday's release "minimal and worthless."
"The reason it's so important is not so much that we're going to find a smoking gun that changes the entire theory of who killed Kennedy," he said. "The lack of transparency and the fact that getting these documents after 58 years is like pulling a whole mouthful of teeth — it tells you why we have so many conspiracy theories."
You can read the documents here.
Sabato and other researchers cautioned that it will likely take days to go through all 1,500 documents with a fine-toothed comb to ensure there are no new clues surrounding the assassination or novel pieces of historical information about CIA and FBI operations in the 60's.
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