Really killed Ted Cruz JFK

United States - What is in the published Kennedy files?

"I have no other choice." Half contrite, half offended Donald Trump bows to the urging of the foreign secret service. Around 200 files are kept under lock and key. Too critical. Too great is the danger of creating distress for informants who are still alive. Trump would have loved to have given the great scout. But these days the president is feeling the power of "the services" with force. The CIA and FBI prevail: the release of the last still secret documents on the murder of John F. Kennedy is under their direction.

America has been looking forward to the release of thousands of classified papers. The confidentiality period for the last documents expired on Thursday. Not surprising, but a fixed date for 25 years. On Wednesday, Trump once again fired the hope via Twitter that the nation will finally get to the bottom of one of the great puzzles in recent US history: “The long-awaited release of the JFK documents will take place tomorrow. So interesting!"

The assassin Lee Harvey Oswald before his questioning in Dallas. Source: AP

On Thursday, however, there was bitter argument about individual text passages. With the result that of 3100 files on Friday night only 2891 are released for download from the National Archives. For the remainder, there is a further 180 days to review.

And the old doubts promptly flare up again. Government officials in Washington whisper behind closed doors about late-night calls and discreet meetings: The CIA leadership is said to have intervened several times in the White House "on JFK matters" to prevent publication. What is the secret service hiding?

To this day, two thirds of all Americans cannot imagine that the political light figure of the 20th century was killed by a simple criminal. A lone perpetrator without - domestic? foreign? - Client in the background. Even 54 years after the teenage President John F. Kennedy was shot dead in an open car while driving through Dallas, hardly anyone can be satisfied with a simple answer. And so an entire nation - historians, politicians, journalists, recreational researchers - pounces on every scrap of information.

"Oswald was the culprit, there are no other backgrounds"

The "New York Times" immediately started a live ticker, published information step by step - and asked its readers for help with the laborious sifting through the 50-year-old papers. The historical and political classification will, however, take months, if not years.

The question of why the CIA monitored the later JFK assassin Lee Harvey Oswald on an extremely suspicious trip to Mexico in 1963, but did not pursue this lead, is being discussed with passion in Washington’s bars and cafes. The man who was to commit one of the most spectacular attacks in world history just seven weeks later had apparently tried in vain for a visa at the embassies of the Soviet Union and Cuba.

In Mexico City, one of the documents now suggests, on September 28th he had contact with an employee of the Soviet secret service KGB - who worked for Department 13, responsible for sabotage and assassinations. On October 1st, Oswald is said to have called again and asked whether there was "news about the telegram to Washington".

Did the secret service break down? Has his investigation been stopped politically? If yes why?

From here Oswald shot the president. Source: EPO FILESEPA FILES

It says a lot about the internal constitution of America that these questions are debated in all seriousness. The already great skepticism towards the state authorities, the difficult relationship with their own secret services are breaking new ground: in case of doubt, everything can be trusted.

This certainly seems to be the case during the Cold War era. In the now accessible papers of the FBI, written in 1975, it says of Fidel Castro: "The CIA was looking for ways to work with the mafia to kill the Cuban dictator." And elsewhere it says: "The CIA was involved in an arms smuggling to assassinate General Trujillo. ”In fact, the then dictator of the Dominican Republic was killed in 1961. It seems understandable that the CIA does not want to remind people of their methods at the time.

Shortly after the fatal shots. Source: James W. Ike Altgens

On the other hand, the statements made by FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover about the death of the Kennedy assassin appear strange. The JFK files indicate that the FBI received an anonymous call the day before Oswald was murdered: The caller posed as a member of a committee that was supposed to kill Oswald. Despite the warning repeated again later, nothing was done to protect Oswald on the way to an interrogation.

That was a mistake, Hoover admits - because he wanted a confession. On the other hand: Immediately after Oswald's arrest, Hoover himself announced: “Oswald was the perpetrator, there is no other background.” Did the controversial and feared police boss really want to prevent any more in-depth investigation?

Indeed, Lee Harvey Oswald's ties to the Soviet Union and the KGB remain the most noticeable. But there are also documents that prove that Oswald was considered by the Soviets to be extremely unstable and was therefore out of the question as a KGB agent, even though he had lived in the Soviet Union for several years. In the end, there is only room for speculation that Oswald was encouraged to commit the attack.

The headlines the day after the attack. Source: imago stock & people

The entanglements and confusions continue to work today. In the 2016 election campaign, for example, Donald Trump assumed that the father of his former competitor Ted Cruz was personally close to the JFK assassin: “What did he have to discuss with Oswald shortly before his death? Right before the shots. That's terrible, "Trump said in the spring of 2016 on Fox News. Cruz simply calls the story nonsense.

Although his father was a political prisoner under the former Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista, he was by no means a supporter of the communist Fidel Castro. To this day, there is a dispute over a photo that could show Cruz Senior and Oswald in a street scene. However, there is no evidence that it actually shows the father of today's politician, nor that the men knew each other. The name Cruz appears only once in the documents of the JFK investigators: The Cuban ambassador to Canada at the time bore this name - and is said to have celebrated the assassination attempt on Kennedy in his embassy with a happy party.

Campaigner Trump could still feel confirmed: Reinforcing the decades of suspicions and assumptions once again increased awareness of himself - and harmed his competitor. Conspiracy theories surrounding the death of John F. Kennedy always find grateful listeners.

A section of a file dated November 24, 1963 in which the then director of the FBI, J. Edgar Hoover, speaks about the death of Lee Harvey Oswald. Source: AP

The doubts remain, although the committee investigating the Kennedy assassination, the so-called Warren Commission, had already declared in 1964 that Oswald was a lone perpetrator. Even further investigation by Congress in 1979 failed to support the theory that intelligence was involved, that part of America wanted to get rid of this young, Democratic president.

Perhaps the myth would have long since faded had it not been for one of the most famous contemporary directors of all people who ennobled the conspiracy theories of the early 1990s. With his film "John F. Kennedy - The Dallas Crime Scene", Oliver Stone started a broad debate in the USA about the background to the crime. In 1992, with Stone hinting at state involvement, Congress was forced to pass a law of its own allowing millions of documents on the case to be published early in order to regain confidence in the police investigation. A further 25-year deadline was set for only a few papers, which now ended.

All those who have benefited from the gloomy stories in the past will speak up these days. First of all, the political scientist Larry Sabato, whose book "The Kennedy Half-Century" is as well known as it is controversial. "People finally want to know what the government knew and when," says the University of Virginia professor. "The government, the FBI and the CIA were not ready to publish critical details at the time."

Unclear what was going on between the White House and the FBI

In fact, all of the absurd rumors about the murder would hardly have been possible had the perpetrator not fired the fatal shots in Dallas of all places - a city that was considered a "place of hate" even in Kennedy's circle.

The president's arrival on November 22, 1963 was anything but celebrated. On the contrary: many opponents could hardly hold their own with anger when the head of state rolled through the city center in an open car.

Many Texans berated JFK as a Communist friend and Pope spy. The very wealthy entrepreneur Haroldson Lafayette Hunt had advertised an incendiary speech against Kennedy in the local newspaper for that day, which outwardly resembled an obituary with a black border. In the bold text, Hunt cursed the president as a traitor and ally of Moscow.

Leaflets were distributed along the planned route, on which a photo of the president could be seen - with the addition "Wanted for treason". There were quite a few advisors who advised the head of the White House to cancel his visit to Dallas in the heated mood.

The later enthusiasm for John F. Kennedy, who only became a legend after his tragic end, makes the sharp debates about the Cuban crisis, armament and Berlin politics into oblivion. And also the discussion about Washington morality. Ironically, on the day of the attack, a seven-page article appeared in the high-circulation “Life” magazine that shook the capital: Several congressmen slipped deeper and deeper into a sex and corruption scandal involving government contracts worth millions. Various politicians are said to have contributed to the project and acted in the orbit of a prostitution ring.


In the report, the name Ellen Rometsch appears for the first time, who the FBI suspected of espionage for the East because she came from the GDR. Without further ado, the author claimed that the young woman was in high society. Rometsch is considered Kennedy's last lover. FBI director Hoover is said to have personally made sure that the dark-haired beauty, wife of a Bundeswehr non-commissioned officer, was sent back to Germany.

It is still unclear why the FBI created a file on Rometsch in 1963, compiled a total of almost 500 pages and pursued the case until 1987. It is only confirmed that the suspicion of espionage could never be substantiated. Historians still wonder what was actually going on between the White House and the FBI at the time. Answers may soon be found in the final files of John F. Kennedy.

By Stefan Koch / RND