WASHINGTON: Donald Trump has delayed the release of hundreds of “sensitive” files about the assassination of President John F Kennedy.
The US President approved the release of 2,800 other files related to the 1963 killing but has placed the other records under a six-month review after appeals from the CIA and FBI.
The documents are unlikely to alter the overall narrative of the assassination and investigation, but they do shed new light on aspects of both while providing a few unusual nuggets of information, including:
Among the newly released documents is the revelation that the UK’s Cambridge News received an anonymous call about “some big news” in America 25 minutes before Kennedy was assassinated.
A memo to the director of the FBI said the anonymous phone call was made to the newspaper’s senior reporter.
The document, from deputy director James Angleton, states: “The caller said only that the Cambridge News reporter should call the American Embassy in London for some big news and then hung up.”
Documents from then-FBI director J Edgar Hoover reveal the Soviet Union feared they would be blamed for putting Lee Harvey Oswald up to assassinating Kennedy.
A threat had been made to kill Oswald the night before he was shot.
“There is nothing further on the Oswald case except that he is dead.”
That was the memo dictated by Hoover the day Oswald was shot dead by local nightclub owner Jack Ruby.
Hoover said Oswald’s killing was “inexcusable” after the FBI warned the Dallas Police Department to protect the prime suspect.
Hoover later publicly quashed talk of a conspiracy and sought “something issued so we can convince the public that Oswald is the real assassin”.
The documents approved for release show federal agents madly chasing after tips in the days after the assassination and juggling rumours and leads worldwide.
The materials also cast a wide net over varied activities of the Kennedy administration, such as its covert efforts to upend Fidel Castro’s government in Cuba.
In a September 14, 1962, meeting disclosed in the files, for example, a group of Kennedy’s senior aides, including brother Robert, the attorney general, discussed a range of options against Castro’s communist government.
The meeting was told the CIA would look into the possibility of sabotaging airplane parts that were to be shipped to Cuba from Canada.
McGeorge Bundy, JFK’s national security adviser, cautioned that sensitive ideas like sabotage would have to be considered in more detail on a case-by-case basis.