John Fitzgerald Kennedy - 5 things the JFK files tell us

Although huge sections have been omitted, the release of the JFK Files have shed some light on the assassination of John F. Kennedy. What do they tell us?

The release of the JFK files - documents explaining what happened on the momentous day in which Lee Harvey Oswald shot President Kennedy, have shed some serious light. Although large sections have been removed - for security reasons - here's what we now know:


It wasn't part of a government conspiracy. That is, according to the government, anyway. The files provide no evidence that the murder of JFK was part of a government conspiracy, but point to the worry that there was one. The documents show that there was no answer when officials asked if Lee Harvey Oswald, the shooter and self-professed Marxist, was on the CIA's payroll.


The government response was a shambles. The documents make it clear that the US government and Intelligence Services had no idea what was going on, and certainly considered all the popular claims that the murder, and subsequent killing of Oswald, were part of a conspiracy.


Then FBI Director Edgar Hoover received a call the night before Oswald was shot, telling him that the event was going to occur. Despite increasing police protection for Oswald - the assassin was still killed by Jack Ruby.


300 of the 3,100 files set to be released were held back as they posed a threat to national security. So, far from putting conspiracy theories to bed, it seems the release of the files has only served to spawn more.


You can access the files on the National Archives website. The remaining 300 yet to be released have been referred to agencies - and in six months time some which are argued to not pose a threat to security may also be released.