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WASHINGTON (CBSMiami/AP) — Newly released files say a British newspaper received an anonymous call about “big news” in the United States about a half an hour before the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
A batch of 2,800 declassified documents includes a memo to the director of the FBI, dated November 26, 1963, about a call received by the Cambridge News on November 22.
It says the caller said that “the Cambridge News reporter should call the American Embassy in London for some big news, and then hung up.”
The memo says Britain’s MI5 intelligence service calculated that the call came 25 minutes before Kennedy was shot in Dallas.
Anna Savva, a current Cambridge News reporter, says the paper has no record of who took the call. She said Friday that learning of the call was “completely jaw-dropping.”
In another document, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover wrote a memo saying the night before Lee Harvey Oswald was shot, a man called saying “he was a member of a committee organized to kill Oswald.”
The FBI reportedly contacted Dallas Police who assured them “adequate protection would be given.”
The FBI had actually been monitoring Oswald’s killer, Jack Ruby, for a year. Hoover also knew that Oswald had ties to Cuba and Russia.
The FBI director wrote that he was concerned about conspiracies and wanted to have “something issued so we can convince the public that Oswald is the real assassin.”
Oswald was revealed to be on the FBI’s radar a month before the assassination, and he apparently told an associate that he wanted to “kill President Eisenhower.”
Other information that came out after the assassination includes a man who told investigators that he heard a man bet $100 that President Kennedy would be dead within three weeks.
A 413-page memo details every threat against Kennedy, including those from the KKK and the mentally ill.
Documents also show that both Russia and Cuba saw the assassination and were afraid they would be blamed. Russia believed Kennedy’s death would mean the start of nuclear war.
President Donald Trump blocked the release of hundreds of records on the assassination, bending to CIA and FBI appeals, while the National Archives came out Thursday night with a hefty cache of others.
“I have no choice,” Trump said in a memo, citing “potentially irreversible harm” to national security if he were to allow all records to come out now. He placed those files under a six-month review while letting 2,800 others come out, racing a deadline to honor a law mandating their release.
The documents approved for release and made public late Thursday capture the frantic days after the Nov. 22, 1963, assassination, during which federal agents madly chased after tips, however thin, juggled rumors and sifted through leads worldwide.
They also include cables, notes and reports stamped “Secret” that reveal the suspicions of the era — around Cubans and Communists.
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