Tag Archive for Richard Helms

20) ‘I was naive:’ Q&A with Howard Willens, Warren Commission defender

Howard Willens

Howard Willens, former staff attorney on the Warren Commission, remains one of its most vigorous public defenders 50-plus years later.

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18) Dec 24, 1963: CIA official investigating Oswald is ‘sandbagged’ by his bosses

John Whitten is a rare hero of the JFK story.

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QAnon is a psychedelic mushroom growing in the fertile manure of the Warren Commission

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.

But it all began on November 22, 1963 Read more

How the CIA protected a Watergate burglar

Richard Helms

Richard Helms

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

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.

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CIA conceals files on wiretapped newsman who broke a big JFK story

Paul Scott

Paul Scott, investigative reporter (Credit: Jim Scott)

In this Washington Post piece, Jim Scott tells the story of how the CIA wiretapped his father, news reporter Paul Scott, for decades. In the 1960s, Paul Scott and his partner Robert Allen wrote a syndicated column on Washington politics that was driven, not by punditry, but by investigations.

One reason Scott was targeted: his JFK reporting.

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Missing from the new JFK files: a batch of CIA records on Lee Harvey Oswald

Oswald in Custody

Lee Harvey Oswald

All of the U.S. government’s files on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy are supposed to be released by October 26. But one batch of the CIA records on suspected assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, has gone missing.

The records were part of a 7-volume file on Oswald, held by the agency’s Office of Security (OS), which is responsible for protecting CIA property and vetting agency personnel. Declassified CIA records show that volume 5 of the file records existed in 1978. The contents of the missing file are not known.

The disappearance of the records, discovered by JFK researcher Malcolm Blunt, is significant because the Office of Security was the first component of the CIA to open a file on Oswald, an ex-Marine who defected to the Soviet Union in October 1959.

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In 1972, CIA chiefs ordered no more questions about accused assassin Oswald

Angleton on Oswald

On April 5, 1972, CIA counterintelligence chief James Angleton, backed by director Richard Helms, issued a blanket order:

“the agency was not, under any circumstances , to make inquiries or ask any source or defector about Oswald”

The order, found in the massive batch of JFK files released online this week, came nine years after Kennedy was shot dead in Dallas on November 22, 1963, allegedly by Lee Harvey Oswald, a 24 year old ex-Marine. The order was issued after officials in the agency’s Soviet Bloc division asked a Russian defector about the accused assassin who lived in the Soviet Union from 1959 to 1962.

The CIA memo, classified as a state secret for the past 35 years [Ed note: Paul Hoch tells me the memo was released with a name redacted in 1998] sheds light on how Angleton, a legendary spy chief known for his brilliance and paranoia, tightly controlled the JFK investigation for years after the crime. No one at the CIA was supposed to ask questions about Kennedy’s accused killer. Read more

Another gift idea: the JFK story as seen by a top CIA officer

As a former longtime employee of CIA, I can attest that this book conveys a true picture of the goings on within the agency.”

— From Martha Hanchulak’s review of “Our Man in Mexico: Winston Scott and the Hidden History of the CIA.” My first book describes in lucid detail how the CIA’s top man in Mexico viewed President Kennedy’s assassination in 1963: with deep suspicion.

It reads like a novel but every word is true. Available now on Amazon.comRead more

CIA report sheds new light on Angleteon’s role in Watergate

James Angleton

James Angleton, chief of the CIA’s Counterintelligence Staff.

Legendary CIA counterspy James Angleton was interviewed by federal investigators in 1973 about a reported meeting with Watergate burglar Howard Hunt, according to a declassified CIA history made public this week.

Angleton responded by dissembling about his relationship with Hunt and threatening legal action against the source of the story.

The report, first obtained by Judicial Watch, sheds new light on the agency’s role in the burglary that brought down President Richard Nixon in 1974 and changed the course of American politics.

James Jesus Angleton, chief of the agency’s Counterintelligence Staff, reached the peak of his powers during the Nixon’s presidency. But his backstage role in the Watergate affair has gone largely unnoticed.

Fox News correspondent James Rosen delivered the goods: Read more

The JFK Facts podcast: Talking to CIA officers and Ronald Reagan’s JFK theory

Our fourth podcast (now downloadable!) about all things JFK in which we talk about:

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Why did the CIA’s Richard Helms lie about Lee Harvey Oswald? (continued)

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).[2] This was, I submit, both perjury, and obstruction of justice.[3] In 1964 the CIA secrets he protected concerned an operation involving the name of the man reported to have been the president’s assassin.[4]

Source: Why CIA’s Richard Helms Lied About Oswald: Part 2 – WhoWhatWhy

For Part I of Peter Scott’s essay, go here.

The CIA’s secret files on Jim Garrison, the prosecutor celebrated in the ‘JFK’ movie

Jim Garrison

Jim Garrison, New Orleans DA, and object of CIA attention. (Credit: LYNN PELHAM/TIMEPIX )

The CIA retains two secret files on New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison, the crusading prosecutor who inspired Oliver Stone’s hit movie “JFK.”

The files–whose existence was first reported by JFK Facts- are among the 3,600 secret U.S. government records related to JFK’s assassination that are scheduled to be released in October 2017. Earlier this week,  Politico and NOLA,com reported on the existence of the 3,600 records, which was first disclosed on May 12 by JFK Facts.

The Garrison files contain 16 pages of undated and unclassified material, according to  the  National Archives’ online database of JFK assassination records

One file– labelled  “CIA File on Garrison, James”–contains ten pages of material. The other–described as “Illegible Document, Garrison Investigation”–has six pages.

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CIA director Dick Helms should have lost his job after JFK’s assassination

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.

In defense of Bill O’Reilly

O'Reilly on the grassy knoll

The intrepid young O’Reilly reports from the grassy knoll.

At Salon Joan Walsh asks if Bill O’Reilly’s JFK fib will “unravel” him? I doubt it. As Brian Stelter notes, O’Reilly’s ratings are up. Rachel Maddow is scornful but his friends are unfazed, and O’Reilly has moved on. His strategy is clear: Declare victory and get out.

Which leaves us where we were before David Corn first called attention to O’Reilly’s tall tales. Media Matters still wants to take him down because he’s a bad influence on American public discourse. CNN still has sound journalistic and commercial reasons for questioning his credibility

But from the narrower point of JFK Facts, I’m satisfied with O’Reilly’s response. The much-abused Fox News host does not contest the facts first reported in JFK Facts two years ago. That’s decent of him.

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