Professor Scott addresses a key question about the JFK assassination story.
[CIA Director Richard] Helms faced the same legal dilemma after he swore to the Warren Commission to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth (5 AH 121). Helms was then asked “Can you tell the Commission as to whether or not you have supplied us all the information the Agency has, at least in substance, in regard to Lee Harvey Oswald?” Helms’s answer was, “We have, all” (5 AH 122). This was, I submit, both perjury, and obstruction of justice. In 1964 the CIA secrets he protected concerned an operation involving the name of the man reported to have been the president’s assassin.
Richard Helms, retired CIA director, is one of the most important figures in the JFK assassination story. He was one of the senior CIA officials responsible for the intelligence failure that culminated in the breakdown of presidential security in Dealey Plaza. He should have lost his job after President Kennedy was killed because at least five of his subordinates knew all about the accused assassin Lee Oswald before November 22, 1963.
In this 1992 interview, Richard Schlesinger of CBS News aggressively questioned Helms about the role of the CIA in the events of November 22, 1963. Usually a masterful witness, Helms look defensive and unconvincing.
“Best-selling books and blockbuster movies have raked in massive profits since 1963. And now, with the 50th anniversary of that horrible day in Dallas looming, a new generation is set to cash in,” writes reporter Allen Breed in a story republished online by the New York Times, Washington Post, and elsewhere.
This is the reassuring point of view that holds there’s nothing to worry about in the JFK story. Confronted with continuing public doubt, Breed does not assess the latest facts or interview the best informed experts about their implications. He presents his opinion — the minority view — as fact and casts aspersions on those who disagree without much discussion of the facts of the case.
This is the kind of un-journalism that too often issues from major news organizations frustrated by the intractable and contradictory evidence in the JFK assassination story.
As the editor of the JFK Facts blog, I try not to spend a lot of time on stupid conspiracy theories, but given tge widespread ignorance and confusion on the subject, journalistic duty often calls.
Who killed JFK? The Federal Reserve? Nah. A Secret Service man? A hoax. Ted Cruz’s father? Pure B.S. George H.W. Bush? Heavy breathing is not the same as credible evidence. On a recent Black Vault podcast, the most common JFK question I heard was, “Was Kennedy assassinated because of his interest in UFO’s?” Um, no, he was not.
A chart of the QAnon conspiracy theory.
Which brings me to QAnon, the imaginative conspiracy theorist now dominating the Internet, attracting followers of President Trump, and obsessing the Washington Post, which has has published four articles on QAnon in the past week. Like many conspiracy theories, the QAnon fever dream can be traced back to the assassination of JFK.
The QAnon conspiracy theory is a psychedelic mushroom growing in the fertile manure of the Warren Commission. This mind-altering proposition grows in the gloom of anonymous chat groups. It is then stimulated by the bright lights of social media. And finally it is harvested and ingested by Trump cultists eager to prolong the alt-reality buzz that commenced on January 20, 2017.
The cover of a commemorative album about the Cuban Revolution published in Havana in 1959
Cuba celebrates the 60th anniversary of the beginning of its revolution on July 26, 1953. Later this year America will commemorate the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination on November 22, 1963,
The events are ancient but linked. The connection between Cuba’s revolution and the death of the 35th American president remains a live issue in the political culture of both countries.
The assassination of JFK is one reason why this conflict between the United States and Cuba endures to this day.
The late Charles Thomas belonged to an exclusive, unhappy and forgotten club: U.S. government officials whose efforts to honestly investigate the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963 cost them their jobs and reputations.
James McCord was the most important of the Watergate burglars, Bob Woodward once noted. As this declassified JFK file shows, McCord was the chief of the Office of Security, an experienced officer, with impressive security credentials.
He was protected by CIA director Dick Helms. Read more
Before Donald Trump made his false claim that Ted Cruz’s father once associated with accused presidential assassin Lee Oswald, six previous U.S. presidents had offered opinions about who killed JFK. Read more
Phil Shenon has a long piece in The Guardianexcavating the sad story of Charles Thomas, a U.S. diplomat who investigated Lee Harvey Oswald’s actions in Mexico in the 1960s. Thomas was rebuffed by top CIA officials, including counterintelligence chief James Angleton. Thomas was denied an expected promotion and later committed suicide.
The story illuminates a central mystery of the JFK assassination story but not quite in the way than Shenon proposes.
President Trump will soon announce his decision on whether the last of the U.S. government’s JFK files will be fully released or not. April 26 will be a moment to assess what we know about JFK’s assassination that we didn’t know before, and specifically, what have we learned about the CIA’s role in the events of November 1963.
Among those vouching for the probity of the CIA in the JFK assassination story is the agency’s chief historian David Robarge.Read more
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.