The US National Archives released thousands of secret documents on Thursday about the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy .
The Warren Commission, which investigated the shooting of the charismatic 46-year-old president, determined it was the work of a former Navy sniper, Lee Harvey Oswald , acting alone.
However, that formal conclusion was insufficient to quell speculation that a more sinister plot was behind the assassination of the 35th President of the United States on November 22, 1963.
According to the Archives, 13,173 documents were made public but the White House prevented the publication of a few thousand more citing national security reasons .
He said that 97% of the records, totaling approximately five million pages, have been released.
President Joe Biden commented in a memo that a “limited” number of documents will continue to be withheld.
Previous requests to withhold documents have come from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the federal police (FBI).
“The continued temporary postponement of public release of such information is necessary to protect us against identifiable harm to military defense , intelligence operations, law enforcement, or the conduct of foreign relations,” it said.
No explosive revelations
Kennedy scholars have said the documents still in the archives are unlikely to contain explosive revelations or put to rest conspiracy theories about the assassination.
Oswald was shot dead two days after killing Kennedy by nightclub owner Jack Ruby as he was being transferred from the city jail.
Oswald and the KGB
A significant number of the files released Thursday relate to Oswald, his international travels and contacts in the weeks, months and years leading up to Kennedy’s assassination.
Oswald defected to the Soviet Union (USSR) in 1959 but returned to the United States in 1962.
Among the documents released Thursday is one from 1990 recounting the questioning of a former KGB officer who said Oswald was recruited by the KGB after defecting but was considered “a bit crazy and unpredictable.”
The officer claimed that the KGB had no further contact with Oswald after he returned to the United States and suffered from depression. The KGB ” never charged him with killing President Kennedy ,” he said.
Another document, from 1991, cites a different KGB source as saying that Oswald was “at no time a KGB-controlled agent”, although the KGB “monitored him closely and constantly while he was in the USSR”.
Hundreds of books and movies, like Oliver Stone’s 1991 film ‘JFK,’ have fueled the conspiracy industry , pointing the finger at Cold War rivals the Soviet Union or Cuba, the mob and even the Vice President. of Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson.
The release of the documents complies with an act of Congress dated Oct. 26, 1992, that murder records held at the National Archives be released in their entirety 25 years later.
Thousands of documents related to the Kennedy assassination in the National Archives were released while President Donald Trump was in office, but the former president also withheld others for national security reasons.