For decades, the assassination of former President John Fitzgerald Kennedy has been subject to numerous conspiracy theories. While the official story states one man, Lee Harvey Oswald, acted alone, many offer different explanations for what really happened continue to persist. The theories range from foreign actors and communist plots to more sinister ideas such as our own government taking him out.
Whatever the case may be, the final revelations will be explosive.
When the Warren Commission concluded its investigation of the Kennedy investigation, a great deal of information remained classified. The purpose of this was generally to protect named individuals in the report. In the time since, many who were alive at the time have passed on.
In 1992, a law was passed releasing millions of pages worth of documentation, and it did have an effect on the official story. Among other things, it showed that there was an intelligence failure and there was a significant possibility the Kennedy assassination could have been prevented.
There was no smoking gun about the Central Intelligence Agency being responsible or proof of some other dark, sinister plot from outside of the generally accepted official story. But many more documents still remained classified.
The 1992 legislation set the deadline for release of these documents as October 26th, 2017, but there was a catch. The President of the United States can delay the release of the remaining Kennedy assassination documents. President Trump has not publicly given any indication where he is leaning on the issue.
With just under two weeks left, will the documents be released? If they are indeed allowed to become public knowledge, is the general public even ready? Can they handle the truth?
The National Archives had originally proposed releasing the documents over the summer, giving Americans the ability to slowly digest the last of the Kennedy assassination investigation pages. This plan never came to fruition, and with the deadline so close, the review seems to be going down to the wire. This means that thousands of pages worth of classified documentation will be dropped on Americans all at once, Wikileaks style.
A lot of confusion will mount quickly and it will take time for the releases to be properly organized and digested. Is this the kind of disarray we need in an already fragile political climate?
Quick trigger reporters and headline hungry editors in the mainstream media will attack the documents like ravenous animals, desperate to find the smoking gun that will get them the most website clicks. Historians will jump in quickly to affirm long-held theories or disprove certain theories.
Regular Americans will watch with curiosity, but few will actually delve in and personally read the documents themselves. This will leave them caught in the upcoming frenzy.
Whether or not the country is ready for this moment, it is coming. Barring President Trump caving and blocking transparency, history is about to receive a huge dose of information. We will likely view the assassination of former President Kennedy in a different light, but how much differently? What will we learn? The history books could be significantly rewritten, or the revelations themselves could be quite underwhelming.
In under two weeks, we hopefully will know.