How much will the final JFK assassination documents reveal?

Now that President Trump has approved release of the final set of documents in the JFK assassination, we may be closer to answers to the nagging doubts that have plagued Americans for more than half a century. 

I am old enough to remember where I was on November 22, 1963.  I was in high school, and the principal spoke over the intercom (inexact quote): "The president has been shot in the chest and is in serious condition."

One of my classmates asked, in disbelief, "What did he say?"  A girl in the class, who happened to be developmentally challenged, blurted out – and I remember this as being very odd – the president has been shot in the head, and he is dead.  She was, inexplicably, correct.

Perhaps that will eventually turn out to be the only remarkable mystery of that fateful day, but for now, many questions remain.  Otherwise, why would the records still be sealed?

Nearly 52 years later, all the questions have been addressed, but I still find the explanations more contrived than illuminating.

For example, the Zapruder film shows the moment of the fatal impact, in which Kennedy's head is jolted rearward, making it appear that the bullet came from in front, not from behind, from the location in the book depository building, which, according to the Warren Commission, was where Lee Harvey Oswald fired all three shots.  Just prior to that, the president grabs the front of his neck, apparently after being shot there.

Subsequent expositions show convincingly how two bullets from behind could produce those reactions.  But there is a problem.  Given enough carefully designed experiments, one could show how almost any seemingly unlikely event could in fact occur.  And it could.  But one must remain skeptical that if the experiments were designed with a specific, and convenient, outcome in mind, then how likely is it that the more obvious interpretations of the Zapruder film are correct?

More skepticism is justified as the unlikely events begin to accumulate.  Why did so many witnesses reportedly disappear?  Why did so many people closely connected to the event die soon afterward under suspicious conditions?  Why were so many witness reports excluded from the report?

Numerous inconsistencies abound, including the handling of the president's corpse and the autopsy by physicians whose credentials were not suited to the high importance of the case.

The Warren Commission Report was intended to lay the matter to rest and to reassure a distressed public that there was no further need for concern.

At a minimum, even if the report was essentially correct in most of its controversial findings, a cover-up of monumental proportions is a distinct possibility.  For example, is it possible that those charged with protecting the president ignored credible warnings or made serious mistakes in their preparations?  Did they then scurry for the shadows to protect their careers?

At worst, was there complicity high in the government?

Now, decades later, as President Trump has signaled that the sealed records should be opened to the public, there are indications that some in the intelligence community do not want that to happen.

They must have good reasons.  The question is, good for whom?

Now that President Trump has approved release of the final set of documents in the JFK assassination, we may be closer to answers to the nagging doubts that have plagued Americans for more than half a century. 

I am old enough to remember where I was on November 22, 1963.  I was in high school, and the principal spoke over the intercom (inexact quote): "The president has been shot in the chest and is in serious condition."

One of my classmates asked, in disbelief, "What did he say?"  A girl in the class, who happened to be developmentally challenged, blurted out – and I remember this as being very odd – the president has been shot in the head, and he is dead.  She was, inexplicably, correct.

Perhaps that will eventually turn out to be the only remarkable mystery of that fateful day, but for now, many questions remain.  Otherwise, why would the records still be sealed?

Nearly 52 years later, all the questions have been addressed, but I still find the explanations more contrived than illuminating.

For example, the Zapruder film shows the moment of the fatal impact, in which Kennedy's head is jolted rearward, making it appear that the bullet came from in front, not from behind, from the location in the book depository building, which, according to the Warren Commission, was where Lee Harvey Oswald fired all three shots.  Just prior to that, the president grabs the front of his neck, apparently after being shot there.

Subsequent expositions show convincingly how two bullets from behind could produce those reactions.  But there is a problem.  Given enough carefully designed experiments, one could show how almost any seemingly unlikely event could in fact occur.  And it could.  But one must remain skeptical that if the experiments were designed with a specific, and convenient, outcome in mind, then how likely is it that the more obvious interpretations of the Zapruder film are correct?

More skepticism is justified as the unlikely events begin to accumulate.  Why did so many witnesses reportedly disappear?  Why did so many people closely connected to the event die soon afterward under suspicious conditions?  Why were so many witness reports excluded from the report?

Numerous inconsistencies abound, including the handling of the president's corpse and the autopsy by physicians whose credentials were not suited to the high importance of the case.

The Warren Commission Report was intended to lay the matter to rest and to reassure a distressed public that there was no further need for concern.

At a minimum, even if the report was essentially correct in most of its controversial findings, a cover-up of monumental proportions is a distinct possibility.  For example, is it possible that those charged with protecting the president ignored credible warnings or made serious mistakes in their preparations?  Did they then scurry for the shadows to protect their careers?

At worst, was there complicity high in the government?

Now, decades later, as President Trump has signaled that the sealed records should be opened to the public, there are indications that some in the intelligence community do not want that to happen.

They must have good reasons.  The question is, good for whom?