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.
Helms, who died in 2002, was dubbed “The Man Who Kept the Secrets” by his biographer Thomas Powers. He was in Powers’ phrase a “gentlemanly planner of assassinations.”
In November 1963 Helms served as the deputy director of the CIA. He became Director of Central Intelligence in 1966. He served until 1973 when he was forced out by President Richard Nixon
At least five undercover officers reporting directly or indirectly to Helms (David Phillips, Win Scott, Ann Goodpasture, John Whitten, Bill Hood, and Tom Karameesines) knew about the travels, politics, and contacts of a young man named Lee Oswald before President Kenned was killed.
The proof of their knowledge is found in this CIA cable about Oswald, dated October 10, 1963. Six weeks later, the man whom they were writing about allegedly killed the president of the United States.
Helms and his colleagues concealed their knowledge of Oswald from investigators. Instead of losing his job, he served another decade. He died in October 2002.