"Is there any information involved with the assassination of President Kennedy which in any way shows that Lee Harvey Oswald was in some way a CIA agent or agent…"
This is the record of a key question presented to Richard Helms in his deposition regarding his tenure as Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) from 1966 to 1973, to the presidential Commission on CIA Activities in 1975. The question being made was in regards to "charges that the CIA was in some way conspiratorially involved with the assassination of President Kennedy," according to David Belin, an attorney for both the Warren and Rockefeller Commissions. Unfortunately, the released document simply ends mid-sentence, leaving Belin’s question incomplete — and omitting Helms’ answer entirely.
Helms’ deposition was released as part of what was expected to be the final round of classified documents released by the National Archives regarding the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy, as per the President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992. Despite announcements by President Trump that he intended to release all of the remaining documents, only 2,891 of the approximately 3,140 documents were released, with the remaining 250 remaining under review until April 26, 2018.
Although it’s expected that Richard Helms’ answer regarding Oswald’s suspected CIA connections would be in the negative, this recent release of documents revealed numerous details surrounding Kennedy’s presidency, including documents regarding planned assassination attempts against Cuban President Fidel Castro: in addition to the infamous "exploding cigar" plot, the idea of placing potential bounties on the communist leader’s head was put forward, ranging from $100,000 to a mere 2 cents; a plan to have attorney and negotiator James B. Donovan, the protagonist of Steven Spielberg’s 2015 movie Bridge of Spies, to present Castro with a skin-diving suit laced with a fungus that cases madera foot, and a breathing apparatus contaminated with tuberculosis bacilli. Donovan foiled that plot himself, instead presenting Castro with "an uncontaminated skin-diving suit as a gesture of friendship"; and an attempt to supply a Cuban government official with an assassination device that could be used to kill Castro.
Other documents detail endeavors such as the search for a stripper named "Kitty" that was alleged to be an associate to nightclub owner and Lee Harvey Oswald’s killer, Jack Ruby; the opinion by the House Select Committee on Assassinations that it wouldn’t be in Fidel Castro’s interest to assassinate JFK, as the repercussions against Cuba would be too dire if the link were discovered; and an FBI warning to the Dallas Police that they had "received a call… from a man talking in a calm voice and saying he was a member of a committee organized to kill Oswald."
Hopefully the answer Richard Helms provided in regards to Oswald’s potential CIA connections will be included in the next, and hopefully final, round of released documents next April. But perhaps we shouldn’t put too much faith in these remaining records to finally answer the question of whether or not Lee Harvey Oswald was part of a grander conspiracy: Washington Post journalist Ian Shapira says that he doesn’t "expect any smoking gun to emerge next spring. We believe that if any smoking gun existed, it either would have emerged a long, long time ago, or, more likely, it would have been destroyed."
- Photo of Lee Harvey Oswald with rifle, taken in Oswald's back yard, Neely Street, Dallas Texas, March 1963. The photo was Warren Commission exhibit 133-A. via wikmediia commons
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