The 1992 JFK Records Act gave the U.S. government 25 years to make public all files related to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on 22 November 1963. The time was up on October 26, 2017… but not all the files were released.
There have been public doubts about the official account of the assassination since days after the event. It must be said that it all seemed a little too simple: the President was killed by one man, Lee Harvey Oswald, working alone. He has arrested within hours, then two days later was shot by a nightclub owner, Jack Ruby.
The 1991 Oliver Stone film JFK crystalised many of the conspiracy theories. It led to Congress demanding the release of files in the hope of proving the conspiracy theorists wrong once and for all.
For more on the assassination and the conspiracy theories,
read our article.
The Truth at Last?
A large batch of documents was released this summer and researchers and theorists alile were awaiting the 26 October deadline with bated breath. The general opinion was that the most important documents had been held back for the final batch.
In recent weeks, rumors were rife that President Trump would refuse to declassify some of the documents, to protect the CIA and FBI. Counter theories said that Trump has no love for either security agency and would be happy to sign off on anything that discredited them.
In the end, President Trump allowed the agencies an extra 6 months to go through the disputed records and show the White House should agree to censor them.
While they wait, there is plenty of work to be done shifting through the thousands of pages that have been released. It is raw intelligence, difficult to connect and interpret. The New York Times has a team of academic researchers hard at work on the documents. Since they have been released online, many people can consult them at once, so the paper has asked the public to participate in the analysis. But trying to find the truth within the archive resembles tring to find a needle in a haystack.