Thousands of top secret files relating to President John F. Kennedy's assassination are finally available for anyone to read.
Kennedy was shot by Lee Harvey Oswald in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963. For nearly 54 years, conspiracy theories have swirled around his death.
Last week, President Donald Trump announced on Twitter that the "long blocked and classified" records would be released, Chris Enloe of the TheBlaze reported.
The tweet countered a story in Politico magazine which claimed that Trump planned to block the release of some of the documents. The story said it was a “slim possibility that the always-unpredictable Trump could decide at the last minute to release all the remaining JFK files.”
Trump reiterated his original tweet Wednesday announcing the release for Thursday.
How many files are there?
The total library encompasses some 5 million pages — 88 percent has been open and available to the public since the late 1990s, according to the National Archives. An additional 11 percent had been released in redacted form, with sensitive portions excised, History reported.
As the October 2017 deadline approached, the Archives released a batch of material in July, including a total of 3,810 documents. Some 441 had been withheld in full until that point, and 3,369 previously released in redacted form. Among the released information were 17 audio files of interviews conducted with a KGB officer, Yuri Nosenko. Nosenko, who defected to the United States in early 1964, claimed to have been in charge of a file the KGB kept on Oswald during the time he lived in the Soviet Union (1959-62).
Why are were the documents classified for so many years?
In 1992, then-President George H.W. Bush signed the JFK Assassination Records Collection Act, which established a single collection of the files at The National Archives. A plan to declassify the files was set for the 25th anniversary of the law: Oct. 26, 2017.
What do the experts say about the release?
Kennedy assassination expert and author Gerald Posner speculated that the revelations contained in the latest batch of files might prove embarrassing to some prominent figures.
“There may be people who were informing to the CIA at the time who have moved on to careers in politics and business, and the revelation that they were informing will be embarrassing to them,” he told USA Today.
The files may also contain intriguing items unrelated to the assassination, including a handwritten letter from Jackie Kennedy about her husband’s funeral and a previously classified letter from J. Edgar Hoover, Posner said to USA Today.