JFK papers out Thursday
On Thursday, thousands of pages of classified information about the assassination of John F. Kennedy are slated to be released.
President Donald Trump announced last Friday that he would allow the release of the documents “subject to the receipt of further information.” In other words, unless someone convinces the president today that there is some overriding national security concern not to release the documents, Thursday they will be in the public domain.
For those of us who are officially baby boomers, Nov. 22, 1963, was our “Pearl Harbor moment.” Those of us who were born in the first decade after World War II know exactly where we were, what we were doing, when we heard the news that President Kennedy had been shot in Dallas.
As students in high school, our classmates sat in stunned silence as radio news was broadcast over the loudspeaker system. Within an hour of the first report of gunshots fired at the Dallas motorcade, a solemn announcer intoned that “John F. Kennedy, 35th president of the United States, has died of gunshot wounds.”
A presidential commission chaired by then-Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Earl Warren concluded that a man named Lee Harvey Oswald had acted alone in assassinating Kennedy. Oswald himself had been shot dead during a jail transfer two days after Kennedy’s murder.
Since that time, numerous conspiracy theories have been floated about the assassination. Thursday’s documents release should put those theories to rest, once and for all . . . unless there is a smoking gun in them.
No one is predicting shocking revelations Thursday. Most analysts believe there will be some embarrassing moments because of intelligence lapses about Oswald’s movements shortly before the shooting (he visited the Russian Embassy in Mexico City less than two months earlier).
But, Thursday will tell. All sorts of media and security experts will scour the documents. Those of us who lived through that awful day should have any questions we may have resolved.
Fifty-four years after the event, it is about time.
* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.