The American government has decided to block the publication of 209 out of the 3,100 still-classified documents concerning the Kennedy assassination and to hide behind “omissis.”* This cowardly act will surely stoke the imagination of conspiracy theorists who have been living off theories that run counter to the official truth — the one Bobby Kennedy himself accepted after having studied the case in depth.
The espionage and counterespionage agencies, the Central Intelligence Agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, have asked to examine the documents one more time to decide whether making them public would harm national security or create an international incident by uncovering accomplices, foreign powers and espionage methods. President Trump, who had announced the declassification of all documents, gave in and let the CIA and the FBI study them for 180 more days. Now, he complains that he was not able to disclose them. As if it were not up to him and him alone, as the CIA and the FBI are agencies of the administration, answering directly to him. The 1992 law that set the publication deadline publication for Oct. 26, 2017 at midnight, left him complete freedom to choose.
The result of this grotesque extension, after 25 years in which that pile of papers and photos could have been examined over and over again, is that it has thickened the fog of suspicion instead of clearing it. Like in the famous bikini metaphor, those 2,890 uncovered files become irrelevant because all the attention is on what remains covered. Between today and April 26, 2018, the (maybe) last deadline for the end of the archives’ striptease, nothing that is contained in those documents will be any more or less important and the delay will only fuel fantasies.
After having chosen to announce his permission to declassify the documents on yesterday’s flight to Dallas (a questionable theatricality) on Air Force One, he let the generals and advisers who surround him talk him into allowing the re-examination. It is likely that he has no idea what those files contain. The “mysteries” regarding Kennedy’s assassination will remain mysteries, at least as far as those who believe in unspeakable complicity underlying the Warren Commission and the Congress inquiry are concerned.
As experts, historians and journalists go through those 2,890 pages without yet finding anything new (the ridiculous plans to assassinate Castro, even by using Cosa Nostra and Chicago boss Sam Giancana, had been known for years), everyone can hold onto his and her own opinion, clinging to the still-classified papers. A conspiracy theorist would be justified in suspecting that this inexplicable delay conceals a plot to keep attention on the case and distract the public. One hundred eighty days will not change the truth, but it will result in another episode of the most compelling true crime novel in 20th century America: Who killed John Fitzgerald Kennedy?
*Editor's note: "Omissis" translates roughly to "omitted" in English.