[Sorry about the headline, but it was too much to resist even though I do feel guilty… a little]
One of the most bizarre incidents of a largely bizarre election season happened in May of 2016 when then-candidate Donald Trump parroted a story from the National Enquirer, run by his friend, the aptly though unfortunately named David Pecker, that accused Ted Cruz’s father, Rafael, of complicity in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. (My posts on the story from the time, here | here).
Now Trump has the ability to make at least part of this egregious slur right:
The nation’s conspiracy-theorist-in-chief is facing a momentous decision. Will President Donald Trump allow the public to see a trove of thousands of long-secret government files about the event that, more than any other in modern American history, has fueled conspiracy theories – the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy?
The answer must come within months. And, according to a new timeline offered by the National Archives, it could come within weeks.Under the deadline set by a 1992 law, Trump has six months left to decide whether he will block the release of an estimated 3,600 files related to the assassination that are still under seal at the Archives. From what is known of the JFK documents, most come from the CIA and FBI, and a number may help resolve lingering questions about whether those agencies missed evidence of a conspiracy in Kennedy’s death. As with every earlier release of JFK assassination documents in the 53 years since shots rang out in Dealey Plaza in Dallas, it is virtually certain that some of the files will be seized on to support popular conspiracy theories about Kennedy’s murder; other documents are likely to undermine them.
Under the 1992 JFK Assassination Records Collection Act, the library of documents about Kennedy’s death must be made public in full by the deadline of this October 26, the law’s 25th anniversary, unless Trump decides otherwise. It is his decision alone.
Despite the 53 elapsed years, we can be sure that either the FBI or CIA, if not both, will find some fatuous reason to request to keep the documents secret because that is what bureaucracies do. In all probability, there is nothing in the remaining documents that sheds any light on the assassination. According to Politico they mostly concern surveillance of Lee Harvey Oswald during his trip to Mexico City where he tried to get a visa to Cuba so he could defect. But conspiracy theories grow in the dark and there is no valid reason for any document concerning Kennedy’s assassination to remain classified.