The day that conspiracy theorists and history buffs have been waiting on arrived this week. The 2,800 newly released, previously classified files on President John F. Kennedy’s assassination uncovers the internal turmoil and suspicion in U.S. intelligence agencies following those unfortunate events in November 1963. But, what exactly do those files reveal and what does it all mean? Here’s what we know so far.
What the files show: How agencies balanced their own concern that it all might be a part of a larger plot with their need to keep the public calm.
The latest findings:
- Per the AP, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover sent out a memo saying he and an FBI deputy were concerned about “having something issued so we can convince the public that Oswald is the real assassin.”
- The KGB alleged to have information indicating that President Johnson played a part in Kennedy’s assassination.
- The CIA offered the mob $150,000 to kill Fidel Castro, but the mob insisted on doing it for free, according to a 1975 document.
- 25 minutes before JFK was shot, a British newspaper received an anonymous call in which they were told to call the American Embassy for “some big news,” according to the AP.
- In one document, then FBI director J Edgar Hoover confronts the spreading conspiracy theories, writing, “There is nothing further on the Oswald case except that he is dead.”
- President Lyndon B. Johnson thought that JFK’s assassination was payback for the assassination of Vietnam President Diem, according to a 1975 deposition by then CIA director Richard Helms.
- Another file describes the Soviet Union’s reaction according to a source who said the news was received with “great shock and consternation and church bells were tolled in the memory of President Kennedy.”
- The FBI was carefully tracking Oswald’s movements when he was in Mexico City a few weeks before shooting JFK, according to a 1964 cablegram. One memo suggests Oswald spoke with a KGB officer in broken Russian while in Mexico City.
- A day before Oswald was murdered, the FBI received a phone call from someone threatening to kill Oswald.
- An FBI report alleges that President Lyndon B. Johnson was a member of the KKK based on an informant’s claim to have “documented proof,” which was not included, according to BBC.
- The CIA had thought about sabotaging parts for planes headed to Cuba from Canada and considered assassinating Cuban President Fidel Castro by hiring mafia leaders, according to CNN.
- The files include memos about communist sympathizers, according to ABC News.
Check out the released files here.