New Data Show How the CIA Pursued Lee Harvey Oswald

The National Archives of the United States released a plethora of documents linked to the 1963 killing of then-President John F. Kennedy.

This came fairly soon after President Joe Biden authorized an executive order, allowing the release and keeping thousands of other critical documents concealed for up to yet another year.

It was not anticipated that the release of 13,173 papers would include any fresh bombshells or alter the commission’s finding that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone.

Nonetheless, historians interested in the circumstances surrounding the killing will find the most recent cache valuable.

CIA Involvement and Cover-Up?

On November 22, 1963, John F. Kennedy was gunned down and murdered while traveling through Dallas in his motorcade. His age was 46.

Tons of books, articles, television programs, and films have investigated the theory that the killing of John F. Kennedy was the product of a complex conspiracy.

None offer solid evidence that Oswald, who was gunned down by club owner Jack Ruby two days after assassinating Mr. Kennedy, collaborated with anybody else.

Many of the records disclosed on Thursday belonged to the CIA, including a number of Oswald’s travels and connections. Other records focus on demands made by the Warren Commission throughout its assassination investigation.

The records reveal the United States government filed a so-called 201 file on Lee Harvey Oswald in December 1960, approximately three years before the assassination of John F. Kennedy and following Oswald’s unsuccessful departure from the Soviet Union in 1959.

A memo dated December 1963 detailed how CIA personnel in Mexico City “hijacked a telephone conversation” made by Oswald in October from that location to the Soviet Embassy “using his own identity” and speaking “poor Russian.”

Documents indicate that Oswald intended to pass through Cuba en route to Russia and was pursuing a visa.

There were initial worries that Oswald’s murderer, Ruby, may have had ties to Oswald. However, a recently disclosed September 1964 report to the presidential panel probing the killing said the CIA had no evidence Ruby and Lee Harvey Oswald had previous interactions of any kind.


Delay After Delay

Congress mandated in 1992 that any remaining secret files connected to the inquiry into the death of John F. Kennedy be released to the public via the National Archives 25 years later, on October 26, 2017.

That is unless the president authorized additional withholding. Instead, in 2017, then-President Donald Trump disclosed a trove of papers, but he chose to disclose the remaining documents gradually.

Initially, the other JFK data were scheduled to be published in October 2021. Mr. Biden delayed the release, citing disruption caused by the COVID-19 outbreak.

He stated the documents would be released in two batches: the first on December 15, 2021, and the second on December 15, 2022, following an intense one-year review.

With Thursday’s rollout, 95% of the records in the CIA’s JFK murder records catalog will have been released in total, according to a statement from a CIA spokesman.

No files will remain censored or withheld in full, following a “strenuous one-year review” of all previously unpublished information.

Mr. Biden stated in a memorandum on Thursday that until May 1, 2023, the National Archives and related agencies “shall collaboratively examine the remaining redactions in previously unreleased data.”

“Any material withheld from disclosure requirements that agencies do not advise for a continuing deferral” will be provided by June 30, 2023, following this assessment.

This article appeared in NewsHouse and has been published here with permission.