Tag Archive for Richard Helms

Why fact-based JFK conspiracy theories make sense to most people

“Conspiracy theories,” writes author Annie Jacobsen in a New York Times forum, are “the stories we tell ourselves to make sense of how we live.” A JFK conspiracy theory (or anti-conspiracy theory) is a story we tell ourselves in order to make sense of what happened on November 22, 1963.

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Ben Bradlee on JFK’s assassination

David Talbot interviewed the late great editor Ben Bradlee for his book Brothers: The Hidden History of the Kennedy Years. He asked him a question many people have wondered over the years: Why didn’t he, of all people, investigation the murder of his pal Jack Kennedy?

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Yuri Nosenko and the Warren Commission Report

John Simkin breaks down the mysteries of a key JFK story: Yuri Nosenko and the Warren Report.

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The hidden history of the first JFK conspiracy theory

Last week, Joseph Lazzaro of International Business Times followed up on a JFK Facts story with some historical perspective.

Lazzaro wrote:

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Nixon asked CIA about the ‘Who shot John angle’

Nixon Helms

President Nixon and CIA Director Richard Helms.

The 42nd anniversary of the Watergate burglary reminded me of  Richard Nixon’s obsession with the “whole of Bay of Pigs thing.”

H.R. Haldeman, White House chief of staff for Nixon, wrote in his memoirs that he had come to the conclusion that his boss used the phrase as a kind of coded reference to the assassination of President Kennedy.

A tape of a conversation between Nixon and CIA director Richard Helms in October 1971 lends credence to the notion. Listen to the tape, published online by Luke A. Nichter, a history professor at Texas A&M University.

Nixon, it is clear, was interested in what he called the ‘Who Shot John?’ angle.

Listen. Read more

Top CIA officials were ‘not truthful’ with Warren Commission, former staffer says

Howard Willens

Howard Willens, Warren Commission defender.

Howard Willens, a former Warren Commission staffer, acknowledged in a an email interview with JFK Facts that deputy CIA director Richard Helms was “not truthful” with the Commission and there is “no doubt” that counterintelligence chief James Angleton did not cooperate with the inquiry into JFK’s assassination.

While vigorously defending the Commission’s conclusions, Willens admitted he was naive about the CIA. Asked about a passage in his journal from March 1964 in which he wrote that senior CIA officials “did not have an axe to grind” in the commission’s investigation, Willens acknowledged “my comments about the CIA were naive to say the least.”

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CIA was in the loop for Castro peace feelers

Lisa Howard, ABC News

Lisa Howard, ABC News reporter

In response to Two secret memos on JFK and Cuba, John Simkin, the British historian wrote the following essay that gives valuable context to this neglected story.

Simkin writes:

“The secret negotiations that took place between the JFK administration and the Cuban government could be significant issue in the JFK assassination.

“A key figure in this was Lisa Howard.

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Two secret memos about JFK and Cuba

One of the very best JFK document researchers recently called attention to two important JFK documents from 1963. They both concern President Kennedy’s exploration of normalizing relations with Fidel Castro’s government in Cuba.

Are the memos relevant to story of JFK’s assassination ? You be the judge.

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DId the CIA destroy an Oswald tape?

Probably.  A  tape recording of man identifying himself as Oswald was probably destroyed in January 1986. This question, prompted by a comment from reader JSA, is a natural follow up to the question, “Did the CIA track Oswald before JFK was killed?”

Some thing the tape may still exist but I think the evidence suggests otherwise. What is certain is that contrary to the false claims of the CIA, the tape existed after November 22, 1963.
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Did the CIA track Oswald before JFK was killed?

Yes, closely and constantly.

This is one of the biggest JFK revelations of the past 20 years, and one that we need talk up in social and news media on the 50th anniversary of JFK’s assassination.

While the CIA assured Congress in the 1970s that its interest in Lee Harvey Oswald before JFK was killed was “routine,” the newest documents tell a very different story: Oswald was monitored closely and constantly by an super-secret office within the CIA’s Counterintelligence Staff from 1959 to 1963, known as the Special Investigations Group.

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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.

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How the stupid JFK conspiracy debate misleads us

The estimable Andrew Sullivan has weighed in on the JFK conspiracy question. He claims Oswald Killed Kennedy, Period. So has Slate’s Fred Kaplan. He argues that even the best JFK conspiracy theories are bunk.

Let me say I think Sullivan and Kaplan are among the very best online journalists we have. I’m glad to say I count them as friendly acquaintances. I’m sorry to say I also think they have fallen victim of JFK denialism: the very Washington impulse to dismiss troubling evidence in the JFK story. Read more

A JFK conversation with KPFA’s Project Censored

On Friday I spoke with Mickey Huff and Peter Phillips, hosts of the the Project Censored program on KPFA radio in Berkeley, California. I enjoyed the conversation because it escaped the straightjacket of “conspiracy” for a more wide-ranging–and realistic–discussion of the media and the intelligence failure of November 22, 1963.

Listen up.                        Read more

A tough question for Oliver Stone

Rolling Stone asked: “Will the government ever release all of the [JFK] assassination records?”

Oiiver Stone, director of “JFK,” the movie, replied:  “That’s a tough question.”

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CIA kept RFK apprised of Castro assassination plotting

The CIA on its gangster friends.

In June 1964, Bobby Kennedy was grieving, guilt ridden and getting ready to leave his job as attorney general when he received a faintly ominous memo from the CIA. Written by Deputy Director Richard Helms, a man he did not trust, the four-page missive concerned a subject he did not care to think about: assassination.

Seven months before, the 39-year-old RFK had lost his brother and his political power in a burst of gunfire in Dallas. Under President Lyndon Johnson, Helms, a canny 51-year-old spymaster, had kept his job despite the fact that the CIA had been following accused assassin Lee Oswald for four years.

Helms’s memo, entitled “Plans of Cuban Exiles to Assassinate Selected Cuban Government Leaders,” reminded RFK that he had dabbled in the killing business before his brother’s murder and could not escape it even as he prepared to leave the government.

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