J.F.K. FILES TO BE OPENED

President Trump is set to allow the release of all of the still classified documents relating to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy…maybe.  What can we expect to find in the files?  We’ll have the report.

Aired on October 23, 2017. 

TRANSCRIPT

> AND SO MY FELLOW AMERICANS, ASK NOT WHAT YOUR COUNTRY CAN DO FOR YOU, ASK WHAT YOU CAN DO FOR YOUR COUNTRY.

PRESIDENT JOHN F. KENNEDY'S ASSASSINATION, TO THIS DAY QUESTIONS AND CONSPIRACY THEORIES REMAIN.

BUT NOW A NEW WRINKLE IN THE CASE WHICH COULD PROVIDE GRIST FOR THE MILL.

PRESIDENT TRUMP TWEETED THIS WEEKEND HE WOULD ALLOW THE RELEASE OF THE LAST BATCH OF HIGHLY CLASSIFIED DOCUMENTS.

MAYBE.

SUBJECT TO THE RECEIPT OF FURTHER INFORMATION I WILL BE ALLOWING THE LONG BLOCKED FILES TO BE OPENED.

SUBJECT TO THE RECEIPT OF FURTHER INFORMATION.

IF FURTHER INFORMATION DOES COME THROUGH, PRESIDENT MIGHT PUT THE BRAKES ON THE EXPECTED DOCUMENT DROP.

HISTORIANS AND CURIOUS, INCLUDING THE KENNEDY FAMILY ARE ALL WAITING FOR THE INFORMATION TO BE MADE PUBLIC.

BUT FEW WEEKS AGO OTHER DOCUMENTS WERE RELEASED BY NATIONAL ARCHIVES.

CONTAINED IN THOSE DOCUMENTS, SOME OF THE IN CIA CAME TO DOUBT.

TOP INTELLIGENCE OFFICERS WERE CONCERNED THAT INVESTIGATORS FROM THE WARREN COMMISSION AND FBI FAILED TO FOLLOW UP ON IMPORTANT CLUES CONCERNING LEE HARVEY OSWALD'S CONNECTION TO CUBA.

EVEN COULD BE MURDERED IN RESPONSE TO CIA's OWN ATTEMPTS TO KILL CASTRO.

AND FOR THE ANSWERS TO THE QUESTIONS EVERYONE HAS BEEN ASKING OR MAYBE NOT.

JACK FORD HAD THE CHANCE TO DISCUSS THE DOCUMENTS WITH LARRY SABATO, DIRECTOR OF THE CENTER FOR POLITICS AND AUTHOR OF KENNEDY HALF-CENTURY: THE PRESIDENCY, ASSASSINATION, AND LASTING LEGACY OF JOHN F.

KENNEDY.'

BEGAN THE CONVERSATION BY ASKING PROFESSOR SABATO JUST HOW LARGE THE CACHE OF INFORMATION RECENTLY UNEARTHED BY HIM AND HIS TEAM REALLY WAS.

WE HAD SEVERAL HUNDRED FILES RELEASED.

AND EACH FILE CAN CONSIST OF A SINGLE PAGE OR THOUSANDS OF PAGES.

IN TOTAL, THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS OF PAGES RELEASED.

CAN'T GIVE YOU EXACT COUNT BECAUSE THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES DIDN'T GIVE US A COUNT.

THIS IS JUST A TASTE OF WHAT IS COMING IN OCTOBER.

WHY DID THIS HAPPEN?

WHY NOW, WHY IN OCTOBER?

GO BACK TO OLIVER STONE'S MOVIE 'JFK' IN THE EARLY 1990s.

CAUSED A GIGANTIC STIR, REOPENED THE QUESTION OF WHO KILLED JFK, AND CONGRESS WAS LITERALLY FORCED TO PASS A LAW SIGNED BY GEORGE H.W. BUSH IN OCTOBER 1992 REQUIRING BY OCTOBER 2017 EVERY DOCUMENT HELD BY THE CIA, FBI, NSA, FILL IN THE BLANK, MUST BE RELEASED.

LET'S COME TO SOME OF THE DETAILS THAT SEEM TO BE CONTAINED IN THIS MOST RECENT RELEASE.

FIRST OF ALL, THE QUESTION I'M SURE PEOPLE ARE ANXIOUS TO ASK, IS THERE ANYTHING IN THESE DOCUMENTS THAT SUGGEST THAT LEE HARVEY OSWALD WAS NOT THE SHOOTER?

NO.

AND I DON'T EXPECT TO FIND ANYTHING.

I BELIEVE THAT LEE HARVEY OSWALD WAS NOT ONLY THE ASSASSIN, BUT THE LONE ASSASSIN IN DEALEY PLAZA IN 1963.

KEEP IN MIND, THERE ARE THOUSANDS OF CONSPIRACY THEORISTS WHO STRONGLY DISAGREE WITH ME AND OTHERS WHO REACHED SAME CONCLUSION.

BUT FORENSIC EVIDENCE IS STRONG AND WE HAVE NEW TECHNIQUES IN THE 21st CENTURY AND I USED SOME IN MY BOOK, 'THE KENNEDY HALF-CENTURY,' AND ALL CONFIRMED THAT LEE HARVEY WAS SOLE ASSASSIN.

BUT WE'RE NOT SAYING THAT NO ONE ENCOURAGED OSWALD TO DO IT.

THAT'S INTERESTING.

I KNOW FROM LOOKING AT YOUR WORK, THAT ONE OF THE SUGGESTIONS COMING OUT OF THE RELEASE OF THESE DOCUMENTS WAS THAT LEE HARVEY OSWALD HAD SOME PERHAPS CONVERSATIONS WHEN HE TRAVELED TO CUBA AND THERE MIGHT HAVE BEEN SOME ENCOURAGEMENT COMING FROM THE CUBAN GOVERNMENT OR THE RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT.

TELL US WHAT THESE DOCUMENTS ARE SAYING AND GIVE US YOUR ASSESSMENT.

TO MY MIND THIS TRIP TO MEXICO CITY, WHICH OSWALD TOOK ALMOST PRECISELY TWO MONTHS BEFORE THE ASSASSINATION OF JOHN F. KENNEDY IS ONE OF THE ROSEETTA STONES OF THE KENNEDY ASSASSINATION HAS NEVER BEEN FULLY EXPLAINED.

HE HAD BEEN IN NEW ORLEANS AND EARLY SEPTEMBER ARTICLE APPEARED IN THE 'NEW ORLEANS TIMES PICAYUNE' AND HE WAS AN AVID READER OF THAT NEWSPAPER.

FROM THE APP CORRESPONDENT BUREAU CHIEF IN HAVANA, CUBAN OFFICIALS WERE FURIOUS THAT THE U.S. GOVERNMENT WAS TRYING TO KILL CUBAN OFFICIALS LIKE CASTRO AND OTHERS SENIOR IN THE ADMINISTRATION.

AND CASTRO SAID IF AMERICAN OFFICIALS CONTINUE TO DO THIS, THEY WILL NOT BE SAFE IN THEIR OWN COUNTRY.

OSWALD READ THIS AND HE WAS ALREADY UNSTABLE IN MANY, MANY WAYS.

HE WAS FURIOUS BECAUSE OF IT.

WE THINK THIS MIGHT HAVE STIMULATED HIS TRIP TO MEXICO CITY.

WHY DID HE GO TO MEXICO CITY?

HE WENT THERE TO MEET WITH THE CUBAN EMBASSY OFFICIALS AND SOVIET EMBASSY OFFICIALS.

WE KNOW FOR SURE HE DID IN PART BECAUSE THE CIA TRACKED HIS MOVEMENTS IN AND OUT OF THOSE EMBASSIES.

IN THE SOVIET EMBASSY MET WITH TWO KGB OFFICIALS, ONE FROM BUREAU 13, THE ASSASSINATIONS BUREAU OF THE KGB.

THAT OUGHT TO GIVE YOU THE WILLIES.

IT SHOULD GIVE ANYBODY THE WILLIES.

HE WAS THERE FOR SIX DAYS, WHAT WAS HE DOING FOR SIX DAYS?

WE ONLY HAVE A FEW HOURS ACCOUNTED FOR.

CIA ANALYSTS AT THE TIME KNEW ABOUT ALL THIS BUT THERE WAS ONE IMPERATIVE FOR WARREN COMMISSION AND LYNDON JOHNSON, CONCLUDE THAT LEE HARVEY OSWALD DID THIS WITH LITTLE HELP AND ENCOURAGEMENT AND NO CONNECTIONS.

DIDN'T WANT TO STIMULATE WORLD WAR THREE.

WHO CAN DISAGREE WITH THAT?

AS TIME WENT ON, CIA OFFICIALS REALIZED THEY HAD NOT FULLY ANALYZED THE MEXICO CITY TRIP AND WONDERED WHAT THE CONNECTION WAS.

IN THE NEW BATCH OF FILES THERE'S INFORMATION SUGGESTING THAT SENIOR OFFICIALS IN THE CIA WERE UNSATISFIED WITH THEIR OWN EXPLANATIONS THEY GAVE TO THE WARREN COMMISSION.

GIVEN WHAT WE'VE LEARNED, AND YOU'VE TALKED ABOUT OSWALD IN MEXICO CITY MEETING WITH AUTHORITIES FROM CUBAN GOVERNMENT, SOVIET UNION AT THE TIME, WITH ALL THE PASSAGE OF TIME SINCE, DO YOU HAVE A SENSE THAT WE'LL EVER REALLY KNOW WHAT IT WAS THAT MOTIVATED LEE HARVEY OSWALD?

PROBABLY NOT.

WE'RE LEFT TO GUESS.

PART OF THIS BECAUSE JACK RUBY KILLED LEE HARVEY OSWALD SO QUICKLY AFTER THE ASSASSINATION.

AND PARTLY BECAUSE WARREN COMMISSION WASN'T TOLD WHAT WAS REALLY GOING ON BY CIA AND FBI BECAUSE LYNDON JOHNSON DIDN'T WANT TO KNOWN, MAYBE FOR A GOOD REASON.

BUT UNFORTUNATELY SO MUCH TIME HAS PASSED, WE'RE LEFT TO GUESSWORK.

BUT THESE DOCUMENTS HELP US GUESS BETTER.

ALWAYS A PLEASURE LARRY SABATO, THANKS FOR SPENDING TIME WITH US.

I ENJOYED IT.

Funders

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