A CIA officer’s revealing hostility toward JFK

In this interview, Sam Halpern articulates the widespread hostility in the CIA towards President Kennedy in 1963. When I interviewed Halpern in 1997, I was struck by his insistence on voicing a certain contempt toward JFK and his brother.

In these comments, Halpern acknowledges it was rational for Robert Kennedy to suspect the CIA was complicit in his brother’s murder. “So what?” he says.

HIs tone and body language say it all: JFK had it coming. 

A couple of factual corrections.

  • Contrary to what the narrator says, Halpern did not run Operation Mongoose to overthrow Castro. Halpern was an executive assistant to deputy director Richard Helms. Halpern was a trusted deputy, not a chief. Mongoose was overseen by General Edwin Lansdale. The CIA task force that supported Lansdale was headed by William K. Harvey.
  •  Joe Trento is mistaken when he says  JFK spoke of “splintering the agency into a thousand pieces” one more before the assassination. Kennedy uttered those words in the spring of 1961 after the Bay of Pigs fiasco.

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