Richard Helms kept the CIA’s secrets on JFK’s assassination

The retired CIA director appears on the defensive in this unusually tough interview with CBS News correspondent Richard Bernstein, around 1992 (H/T Mike Swanson).

Richard Helms, who died in 2002, had a few JFK secrets to keep and he kept them in this interview.

Helms personally put George Joannides in charge of handling CIA contacts with the Cuban student exile group that publicized Oswald’s pro-Castro activities in August 1963.

Helms was a mentor to David Phillips, the CIA officer seen in the company of accused assassin Lee Oswald in September 1963, according to a former associate.

Watch.

18 comments

  1. Dan says:

    Oops. Nothing in the Warren Report about CIA making an immediate investigation to see if its people were in Dallas on 11/22/63. Nor in the HSCA report. CIA officer John Whitten did resign as head of the CIA’s investigation of the assassination in early December 1963 when he found out information on Oswald’s pro-Cuba activities had been withheld from him. Helms appointed Angleton to replace Whitten.

  2. TLR says:

    Thanks, never seen that before. Too bad he didn’t specifically ask if Howard Hunt was in Dallas. Just to see his reaction.

    • Ronnie Wayne says:

      Yeah me too. Just for any readers who don’t know: (I’m doing this from memory so someone correct me if I’m wrong). I think TLR’s comments are in relation to Counter Intelligence Chief’s James Jesus Angleton’s memo to Helms when he was being pressured to retire. It said something to the effect of “we never did establish an alibi for Hunt in Dallas did we?”.
      I also believe JJA was quoted as saying (I think around the time he was terminated) “A mansion has many rooms, but I’m not privy to who shot John”. Naturally he later denied this was in reference to JFK.

  3. Ronnie Wayne says:

    “the only DCI convicted of misleading congress” (wikipedia).
    Two Tricky Dick’s in that era. What happened when they butted heads in 73″? Helms got fired, Nixon faced impeachment. All ultimately over “that Bay of Pigs thing”?

  4. Shane McBryde says:

    Wow! Once again, something new. That’s why I check this site like everyday. I would love to see someone put together the David Atlee Philips vignettes contained within the documentary, “On Company Business.” The film is about 3 hours in length and there must be a good half an hour of Philips, maybe more. But, he is a truly riveting character to watch.

  5. Rich Buley says:

    If the CIA had nothing to do with it, why is it still refusing to turn over files? Could it be Helms’ last statement, “Can anyone prove we had something to do with it?”

    • Shane McBryde says:

      Technically, CBS News correspondent Richard Bernstein in effect asked Helms to prove a negative, that he (Helms) didn’t have Kennedy killed. How is he supposed to do that? The burden of proof is on the accuser. Although, in this case journalists are just flatly refused access to any information that might duly incriminate, completely exonarate, or at the very least shed a little more light on what was going on back then when, at that particular point in time all of the familiar suspects just happened to have intersected, and all of them had powerful reasons to hate Kennedy.

      And, they did hate him. And, it seems that somehow, and in some heretofore unrealized way, Lee Oswald was like the linchpin connecting all these forces. I would love to be shown that it really was all one really amazing coincidence.

  6. Preston Newe says:

    I’ve read that when one opens the front door to CIA headquarters what’s inside is NSA. If that assessment is true, head spooks like Helms, Angleton, Phillips & their peers are puppets that take investigation punches while the puppet masters (NSA) quietly watch the show from behind curtains. If that is an accurate assessment is it actually the NSA withholding the information Jeff Morley & the global public seeks?

    • Dan says:

      Experts on national security had believed for years that the NSA budget was larger than CIA’s budget, however recent news stories based on Edward Snowden revelations reported that in fact CIA’s budget is much larger than NSA’s.

  7. Jonathan says:

    Richard Helms, like all the top CIA guys of his time, was a professional liar. One can cannot trust a thing he or any of his CIA colleagues said publicly about the JFK assassination.

  8. Kennedy63 says:

    Mary Ferrell Website is featuring chapters from Bill Simpich. His not yet published book “State Secrets” provides interesting insights into the intrigue surrounding Oswald, Mexico City and the CIA’s CI/SIG and Staff D, including key personnel from the CIA and FBI.
    Helms, as did other high ranking CIA officials, customarily lied regarding information on the coup which murdered JFK in Dallas. Coups are designed to effectuate a regime change. Once in power, those who ascended to Power are in positions to suppress and direct a cover-up.

  9. Mike says:

    Liar! Liar! Mouth says, “I know nothing! Hands and body say, “I know who in the CIA was in Dallas and much more.” Liar! Liar!

  10. Dave says:

    It’s the same old CIA strategy that Dulles spoke about during an internal meeting of the Warren Commission: that if questioned under oath about secret CIA operations, a CIA officer’s duty would be to lie. Then he was asked, well, to whom WOULD a CIA agent HAVE to tell the truth? Dulles: “Well, perhaps to the President”.

    Which is of course ironic, as far as Nov. 22, 1963 is concerned. But maybe Obama might want to take this up with Langley …

  11. Company Business says:

    Ol slick haired liar Dick Helms. All those old bastards from that era where lying sacks of sh*t.

  12. Joe from Toronto says:

    What strikes me about this interview is how in the wake of Stone’s JFK reporters weren’t afraid of asking the CIA tough questions.

    Compare that to today when coporate reporters tend to fawn over elites.

    It is remarkable how Stone managed to change the game, at least temporarily.

  13. pp says:

    Ronnie Wayne, is this James Angleton document extant (about stating that E Howard Hunt being in Dallas on the day of 11/22/63)? Is there a direct URL link to it? Can you talk to that? I am keenly interested in tracking down that particular memo. Are you aware of a publication that actually has that published in completeness? Anyone else have data on this particular issue? Please post here.

    RE: Angleton’s quote about the mansion having many rooms. You can see the direct published excerpt from the NYTimes in Canfield and Weberman’s book Coup d’Etat in America (first edition–that’s the one I know it’s in). Angleton was being interviewed about the student demonstrations et. al. and the general upheaval of the 1960s, and Angleton then puts that comment into it–complete non sequitur, if my memory serves–with the rest of the comments. Angleton put that comment in there on purpose.

  14. Brad Milch says:

    Richard Helms, the person who suggested MKUltra to Allen Dulles (who established the project in the early 1950′s) also destroyed a lot of CIA secrets when he ordered the destruction of Project MKUltra records in 1973, making it impossible to determine how many US & Canadian citizens were killed by the illegal CIA human experiments. Those records that survived were investigated by the Church & Rockefeller investigations & reports. Operation Midnight Climax is a good example of just how sordid & bizarre those CIA experiments were.

  15. Dr TCH says:

    PP…the “Angleton document” does not seem to be extant (or, at least, available), but is dealt with–at length–in Mark Lane’s book, “Plausible Deniability.” See, e.g., pp 129 and 167. Trento–author of the “Spotlight article in question–testified during cross-examination in “Hunt v. Liberty Lobby” that he had viewed the document, which–he claimed–had been initialed by both Angleton and Helms.

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