Who you going to believe on JFK?

Fidel Castro

Fidel Castro, tormenter of empire

On the perennial, perhaps boring, question of a JFK assassination conspiracy, the question may boil down to: who do you believe?

Fidel Castro, leader of Cuba in the 1960s, was a tireless Latin revolutionary. Charles de Gaulle, president of France, was a conservative continental statesman. They both came to the conclusion that President John F. Kennedy had been  assassinated by right-wing enemies within his own government.

Richard Helms, CIA director

Richard Helms: The man who kept the JFK secrets

To be sure, Castro and De Gaulle were themselves both targets of CIA-sponsored assassination attempts–or so they believed.

Some say Castro and De Gaulle were “anti-American.” If so, they owed their long lives to prescience about the ways of the American power. Despite 638 documented assassination attempts, Castro died peacefully his bed

At the time of JFK’s assassination in 1963, Richard Helms was deputy director of the CIA. According to his biographer, he was the man who kept the secrets in Washington, Arlen Specter was a District Attorney from Philadelphia who became the senior senator from Pennsylvania.

Both Helms and Specter asserted, for the record and under oath, that Kennedy was killed by a lone gunman whose motives were unknown.

The Obvious Question

If you had to decide the JFK conspiracy question based solely on the judgement of these four men, who would you believe?


  1. Martin Shackelford says:

    Hard to trust any of the four, for various reasons.


  2. I can’t say I “believe” any of them.

    Castro and De Gaul were world leaders themselves and subject to assassination attempts. This would predispose them to assume the worst of intentions in any and all situations (didn’t the Soviets do the same, as well, and conclude a right-wing conspiracy killed JFK?).

    Helms was, quite likely, hiding the fact that the CIA had been keeping tabs on Oswald (makes sense, he defected to the USSR) and dropped the ball by not keeping the FBI (also following Oswald but seemingly always one step behind because he was not seen as a major threat) in the loop about his activities. If Oswald resolved to kill JFK, it might have been in his rage after being denied a visa to Cuba and he might have said as much and it was recorded (the CIA was bugging other embassies in Mexico City). The CIA would be loathe to admit it knew of such a threat and did not provide the FBI with the information.

    Specter as a District Attorney wasn’t trying to prove the truth but rather convince based on probabilities. Personally I believe much of the investigation including Specter was misled by the Zapruder film, believing it recorded the entire assassination. Some now conclude that this is not true, that the first shot – which many witnesses stated sounded “different” – occurred right after JFK’s car turned the corner, striking the traffic sign at Houston and Elm (you can see the same sign even today via the Dealey Plaza live cam). Thus the three shots were fired not over some impossibly short time but one well within the capabilities of a trained marine. As for the “magic bullet” the PBS documentary in 2013 demonstrated that bullet yaw could quite likely have accounted for the wounds in question. Connally’s clothing exhibits signs of a bullet entering him sideways.

    So to sum up they got the right man, but the threat he posed was bungled and the evidence was partially misinterpreted. It all points to that universal human trait known as fallibility rather than any sort of conspiracy.

    • Randy Robertson says:

      The Zapruder film has all the evidence one needs to show conspiracy. A bullet went forward through JFK’s head at 313, fragmented with a portion of a bullet cracking the windshield. One frame, 1/18th of a second, later a flare of reflected light is seen from the front windshield. One can conclude that this was due to deformation of the windshield as it cracked. At frame 318 Zapruder reacts to the sound of the shot by blurring his film at 318. But there is additional damage to the windshield as evidenced by a dent in its frame. At frame 329 there is the same phenomenon of a flare of reflected light just as was seen when a fragment of a bullet cracked the windshield. Zapruder reacts to hearing this shot by blurring his film again at frame 331. 318 and 331 are separated by only .8 seconds so they could not have come from the same rifle. Further substantiating this is the fact that it takes Zapruder longer to react to the head shot than it did for either the final shot which dented the windshield frame and the shot which struck Connally- 6 frames both fired from the TSBD. 227-221=6 331-325=6 But for the head shot it is 8 frames 318-310=8.

      So Michael your challenge is to explain the flares of reflected light at 314 and 329 and Zapruder’s reactions to both these shots in blurring his film at 318 and 331 – .8 seconds apart. You are going to have to agree that the windshield was cracked by the head shot so if that flare of reflected light was not caused by fragment impact what caused such a fortuitously placed flare only 1/18th of a second after impact? What is your explanation for a second flare? What phenomenon besides an acoustic one could cause Zapruder to blur his film a second time at 331? I might add that the timing of the blurs was identified by Nobel laureate Luis Alvarez. Don’t feel bad if you can’t come up with an alternative explanation. Not one lone nutter has even attempted it.

    • J.D. says:

      I’m surprised that so many people express faith in the explanation for the single-bullet theory offered in that 2013 PBS documentary. Numerous scholars have criticized that documentary, including Josiah Thompson:


      I don’t recall that the documentary offered any explanation for the discrepancy between the location of the bullet holes in Kennedy’s clothing and the purported path of the bullet, which for me remains the single most disturbing physical evidence of a conspiracy.

      • Arnaldo M. Fernandez says:

        That’s the strongest evidence. Material and irrefutable. All the Warren Commission’s defenders must allow to do an experiment of criminal investigation with their own cloths.

  3. Dan Clark says:

    To believe Helms and single-bullet Spector over DeGaulle and Castro would require the following:
    Ignorance of the facts as they were and as they are. Naïveté to a grotesque point believing a man who ran an entire agency of duplicitous, lying, ******** over statesmen who have absolutely nothing to gain by offering their well-informed (by their own experiences with CIA and their own intelligence) thoughts, in fact they would only invite derision from our government and media.

    To believe Helms and Specter one must reconcile where the county was headed on November 21,1963: peace overtures with Kruschev, an offer of detante with Cuba, full withdrawal from Vietnam, encouraging third world countries to control their own destinies etc

    By the following afternoon that all was being reversed and within a month the U.S. had reversed Kennedy’s policies completely. So I short, Helms and Specter lied every step of the way about what happened in Dallas.

    It’s too bad Specter didn’t get more time with Fonzi in 2012, he may have spilled so much more.

  4. Ronnie Wayne says:

    Dulles told fellow Warren Omissioners basically that CIA personnel were expected to lie on behalf of the agency. That kind of puts his former employee Helms statement into perspective. Dulles was also the most active of the Warren Omissioners by far thus heavily influencing the conclusion of Specter and the Commission itself. Personally I wonder if Specter wasn’t a target of the CIA’s MKULTRA program and tripping on LSD when he came up with the Magic Pristine bullet Theory. DeGaulle and Castro knew what they were talking about.

  5. Bogman says:

    Castro was prescient by decades when he concluded the CIA was trying to blame him for the assassination.

    Helms lied and obfuscated about his direct control of the CIA-funded DRE via his intermediary Joannides his entire life.

    Based on that evidence, I’ll go with the former’s truth-telling capabilities regarding the assassination.

  6. Jean Davison says:

    “No amount of belief establishes any fact.” The opinion of any of those men (or anyone else) means absolutely nothing.

    What does the evidence say? That’s all that matters.

    • Arnaldo M. Fernandez says:

      Take the jacket and shirt of the deceased as irrefutable material evidence. Let’s connect the dots with the holes in a simple test.
      All the Warren Commission defenders are invited to come dressed in suit and tie.
      They will remove their jackets and shirts to mark the position of the bullet hole in Kennedy’s, and will also mark on their bodies the back wound given by the WC.
      They will put on their jackets and shirts, and will take a back seat in a Lincoln Continental 1961
      They will get their jackets and shirts to ride up until the mark on each one matches the mark of the back wound. This crucial moment will be photographically captured.
      They will compare the photos with the Zapruder film to find even the faintest resemblance of JFK’s tailored suit jacket and buttoned shirt bunching up as theirs.
      They will surely face a dilemma. If the Warren Commission accurately placed the back wound, then JFK’s jacket and shirt were replaced, hence conspiracy; if the jacket and shirt are authentic, then the WC gave a false representation of JFK’s back wound, hence conspiracy or cover-up.

  7. William DuBritz says:

    Asking Fidel Castro what happened in Dealy Plaza on November 22,1963 is like asking OJ Simpson what happen outside Nicole Brown Simpson’s home in Brentwood on June 12,1994.

    • Arnaldo M. Fernandez says:

      Castro would have never risked everything to kill Kennedy just to get anything except LBJ in the White House. He proceeded in a rational manner to win the dirty world against the US: infiltrating both the CIA and the Cuban exile until the core.

  8. Kennedy63 says:

    Assassinating heads of State is, by all means, a method of covert Statecraft. Helms, Spector, Castro, and DeGulle were aware of this political reality. DeGulle and Castro were targets of assassins. Helms was a coup sponsor. Spector was a lackey of the power-apparatus in this country – part of which was engaged in assassinating heads of States. “Truth” to any one of them would be a specious proposition, deeply nuanced, and woefully lacking absolutism. Truth is: The bullets hit their mark in Dallas. America – and the world – was forever changed. We live daily with the legacy of JFK’s assassination.

  9. J.D. says:

    Of the four, Richard Helms stands out as someone whose word is particularly untrustworthy. He was convicted in 1977 of lying to Congress during the Church Committee hearings, for which he received a fine and a two-year suspended sentence. If someone is willing to lie to Congress and risk being prosecuted for perjury, I don’t think they’d hesitate to lie to anyone.

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