The Journal Gazette
Saturday, December 04, 2021 1:00 am

Furthermore ...

JFK files handling enough to spark new conspiracy theories

EDITORIAL BOARD | The Journal Gazette

The 58th anniversary of president John F. Kennedy's assassination on Nov. 22, 1963, rolled around last week. Most of those then in public life have long since died, and the world has changed mightily.

These days, Americans don't agree on much of anything. Some don't even believe Kennedy was assassinated. On this year's anniversary, hundreds of QAnon folks gathered at the site of his shooting in Dallas, expecting JFK and his son to reappear.

In the early 1990s, after filmmaker Oliver Stone's “JFK” heightened public interest in questions about the assassination, Congress voted to mandate that all government documents related to the case be released by 2017. The only person who could stop the process, the congressional act said, would be the president.

When that day arrived 22 years later, President Donald Trump decided to delay releasing thousands of pages of JFK evidence.

In any case, Trump punted the matter to November 2021, ensuring the decision on their release would fall to President Joe Biden.

But Biden's White House, like Trump's, has deferred the final release of information pertaining to America's best-known murder case. It seems the CIA, having had nearly six decades to complete the task, hasn't been able to sort through the papers because of COVID. Some may be released this month. Others won't see daylight until, as fans of the Chicago Cubs used to say, “next year.”

Odds are that nothing in those documents will demonstrate Kennedy was the victim of a conspiracy. Bureaucrats sinister and clever enough to arrange murder surely could figure out how to make an incriminating memo disappear. But the effect of Trump's and Biden's decisions is to make even believers in the lone-assassin theory start wondering just what the Sam Hill is in those yellowing documents.

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