10-21-17 7:27 PM EDT | Email Article

By Bill Sanderson

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 (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/trump-to-allow-release-of-long-secret-files-on-jfk-assassination-2017-10-21), "subject to the receipt of further information."

Federal law requires the National Archives to release all of its JFK files by Thursday, 25 years to the day after President George H. W. Bush signed the JFK Assassination Records Act.

The law lets Trump withhold part or all of the documents if he decides some "identifiable harm" weighs against disclosure.

The records may reveal what the CIA knew about Oswald's trip to the Soviet and Cuban embassies in Mexico City weeks before Kennedy was shot in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963, said investigative journalist Gerald Posner.

"There are these glitches in Oswald's biography in which we don't know what he is up to. One of those is Mexico City," said Posner, whose 1993 book "Case Closed" debunks the many conspiracy theories surrounding Kennedy's assassination.

Oswald visited the embassies to apply for visas that would let him return to the Soviet Union, where he lived from 1959 to 1962. The CIA closely monitored both embassies. Posner said the CIA may have video of Oswald's visits to them.

The documents may also shed light on ex-CIA officer and Watergate conspirator E. Howard Hunt's confession to two of his sons that he had advance knowledge of rogue CIA officers' plans to kill Kennedy.

Many assassination experts believe Hunt's confession soon before he died was too vague to mean anything.

"Let's see what the documents show," said Posner.

For decades, the National Archives has been gathering government assassination papers.

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.

Posner said the archive opening will be "the last big gasp for JFK documentation."

The government's conclusion that Oswald shot Kennedy on his own in a bid to attain a bizarre kind of fame is a hard sell. A 2013 Gallup poll found 61 percent of Americans believe Kennedy's assassination was a conspiracy.

Legions of JFK conspiracy theorists offer a suspect list that includes rogue CIA agents, the FBI, the Mafia, pro-Castro Cubans, anti-Castro Cubans, Corsican mobsters, and Lyndon Johnson, Kennedy's vice president.

Posner -- whose book was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize in history -- doubts the new documents will reveal any secret plot.

"If American intelligence had evidence of it, it would have been out a long time ago," he said.

Government archivists also doubt that the secret documents contain any startling revelations.

"We assume that much of what will be released will be tangential" to the assassination, the National Archives Web site says.

Researchers are nonetheless eager to see the documents.

"Things that didn't look very exciting to them back in 1997 or 1998 might have relevance today," said Posner.

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.

This story originally appeared at NYPost.com (http://nypost.com/2017/10/21/whats-inside-the-secret-jfk-assassination-files/).

-Bill Sanderson; 415-439-6400; AskNewswires@dowjones.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

10-21-17 1927ET

Copyright (c) 2017 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
Copyright 2017 MarketWatch
Add a Comment
If you have questions or comments about this topic, check out our message boards.
Sponsored Links
Buy a Link Now
Sponsor Center
Content Partners