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December 19, 2016
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January 3, 2007
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August 21, 1978
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Approved For Release 2007/01/03: CIA-RDP81M00980R aR00p300~ 0 Central Intelligence Agency Washington, D.C. 20505 (703) 351-7676 21 August 1978 Herbert E. Heteu Director of Public Affairs MEMORANDUM FOR: See Distribution FROM : Lavon B. Strong Deputy Director of Public Affairs SUBJECT: Joe Trento Story DCD provided us this draft (by phone) of the article Joe Trento has written entitled, "Was Howard Hunt in Dallas the Day JFK Died." It drags out the old "mole" story as well as the one on Hunt. The Director was asked about the story today in Dallas. We will need to consider what response the Agency should make to inquiries. I Lavon B. Strong Distribution: ADDO C/CI OGC Breckenridge OGC OLC Approved For Release 2007/01/03: CIA-RDP81M00980R000300050054-5 Approved For Release 2007/01/03: CIA-RDP81 M00980R000300050054-5 SUNDAY NEWS JOURNAL of 20 August 1978, Wilmington, Delaware "WAS HOWARD HUNT IN DALLAS THE DAY JFK DIED" by Joe Trento/Jacqui Pow.wrers A secret CIA memo says that E. Howard Hunt was in Dallas the day 1hn F. Kennedy was murdered and that top Agency officials plotted to cover up punt's presence there. Some CIA sources speculate that Hunt thought he was assigned by higher ups to arrange the murder of Lee Harvey Oswald. Sources say Hunt, convicted in the Watergate conspiracy in 1974, was acting chief or the i:IA station in Mexico City in the weeks prior to the Kennedy assassination:. Oswald was in Mexico City and met with two Soviet KGB agents at the Rt:s:.i an embassy there immediately before leaving for Dallas, according to the c"ficial Warren Commission Report. The 1966 secret memo, now in the hands of the House Assassination Committee places Hunt in Dallas November 22, 1963._ Richard M. Helms, former CIA director and James J. Angleton, former C11 chief, initialed the memo according to investigators who made the information available tothe Sunday News Journal. According to sources close to the Select Committee on Assassinations, the document reveals: Three years after Kenndy's murder and shortly after Helms and Angleton were elevated to their highest position in CIA they discussed the fact that Hunt was in Dallas on the day of the assassination and that his presence there had to be kept secret; Helms and Angleton thought that news of Hunt's presence in Dallas would be damaging to the Agency should it leak out; Helms and Angleton felt that a cover story giving Hunt an alibi for being elsewhere the day of the assassination"aught to be considered". Hunt, reached Friday at his Miami, Florida home, denied that he was in Dallas on November 22, 1963 and denied that he had been in Mexico City anytime ater 1961. Hunt said that he was in Washington the day of the Kennedy r'urder. "...I have plenty of witnesses. I took off at noon that day and wens shopping and had a chinese dinner in downtown Washington with my wife." Approved For Release 2007/01/03: CIA-RDP81M00980R000300050054-5 Approved For Release 2007/01/03: CIA-RDP81 M00980R000300050054-5 Hunt said he knew of no reason for such a memo to exist. He said he had never heard of the memo's existence. CIA sources who have provided .,.i,, assassination committee with material pertaining to Hunt's alleg-d presence in Dallas, say that Hunt's story about shopping in downtown Washington was a coyer story concocted as a result of the memo, They say.all Hunt's witnesses are CIA arranged and that his wife cannot be questioned because he ia; killed in a plane crash.. The assassination committee will open hearing:.- this. tall on the Kennedy murder, Dawn Miller, spokeswoman for the committee, sa-d that there would be "no comment on the report of a memo," We will be hole?inq detailed hearings in September. Because of committee rules, that is all I am emitted to Say. Committee sources told the Sunday News Journal that both Helms and Angleton had been questioned by committee investigators but that the issue of the memo was not raised'with either witness. Sources say Hells tole the committee he could not answer specific questions on the CIA's involvement because of "inability to remember dates." Helms faulty memory 'or; ITT`_, involve- ment in Chile led to his sentencing last year on two counts of withhollinq information from Congress, a charge reduced from perjury by order'of President Carter, Helms could not be reached. for comment, A secreta?. said that he was out of town and would not be available. When Angleton was questioned by committee staffers, he was "evasiv3" according to a source who was present. Angleton could not he reached--)r comment, Asked to explain why a potentially damaging coverup plot wot;- i be put out on paper, one high leyel CIA source said, "The memo is very odd, it was almost as if Angleton was informing Helms, who had just becom Director, that there was a skeleton in the family closet that had to be, taken car; of Approved For Release 2007/01/03: CIA-RDP81 M00980R000300050054-5 Approved For Release 2007/01/03: CIA-RDP81 M00980R000300050054-5 and this was his response." One committee source says the memo "shows the CIA involvement in the Kennedy case could run into the CIA hierarchy. We are trying not tc get ahead of ourselves but the mind boggles." As 21axk part of its $5 million expenditure on the Kennedy and Ptctrtin Luther King assassinations, the Committee contracted a Cambridge, mass. sonics firm to review tape recordings made as shots were fired at tF Kennedy motorcade. The firm has provided the comm ittee's technical staff with new evidence which shows that four shots and not three were fired at the Kennedy car. Sources say this would have made it mpossible for Oswald to act alone. "Combined with the memo covering up Hunt.'s involvement in Dallas that day, what we have so far puts a real dent in the Warren Commission versicr," a committee source contends. Helms and Angleton currently are targets of an internal CIA prcbE* and a new Senate intelligence committee investigation into the possibility of that the Soviet KGB penetrated the CIA with a mole, or higher level double agent. Cleveland Cram, the former CIA station chief in Ottawa, Catada, was called out of retirement to investigate Angleton's and Helms' role in the penetration. Cram came across the Hunt memo in his "mole study" one investigator suspects. The urgency of the mole investigation within the Agency has reached ' more intense level since the memo was discovered" according to a source close to the internal investigation. Herbert E. Hetu, public affairs director of the CIA, told the Sunday News Journal, "I had heard rumors of such a memo, but have been unable to track them down. I checked with our liaison with the assassination committee and he didn't know about it." The possibility of a "r.,ole" or double agent in the CIA in connection with Oswald was first brought to light in Edward Approved For Release 2007/01/03: CIA-RDP81M00980R000300050054-5 Approved For Release 2007/01/03: CIA-RDP81 M00980R000300050054-5 J. Epstein's book, "Legend--the Secret World of Lee Harvey Oswald." That book details Oswald's ties with. US Soviet and Cuban intelligence. Accorilintl to Epstein's editor at Reader's Digest Press which published the book, Angleton was a main source for the author. In 1964,.a Soviet defector named Uri Nosenko told the CIA that Oswald did not act as a Russian agent in the Kenn=t,y assassination. For year, according to the book, a battle within th`' tgency ensued as to whether or not Nosenko was telling the truth. That battle ended in 1976 when Nosenko was accepted as a genuine defector and put on th-2 CIA payroll and given a new identity. According to the book, Angleton urged that Nosenko not be accepted because he believed the Russian to be a double agent. Hunt's appearance on -:ie scene in Dallas and in Mexico City at the time of the murder adds strength to a theory shared by some internal CIA investigators. They believe Oswald was r_-arking for US intelligence that he was ordered to infiltrate the KGB and that this explains his life in Russia. They also believe that Oswald proved to be so unstable that he vas "handled by the KGB into becoming a triple agent and assigned for the Dallas job.!" The same investigators theorize that Hunt was in Dallas that day on the orders of a high. level CIA official who in reality was a KGB mole. Hunt allegedly thought he was to arrange that Oswald be murdered because he had turned traitor. Actually he was to kill Oswald to prevent him from ever testifying arid revealing the Russians had ordered him to kill Kennedy, the CIA sources specu'_rate. CIA investigators are most concerned that either Helms or Anglf-ton might be that mole. Hunt first detailed the existence of a small CIA assassination team in an interview with the New York Times while in prison in DecerrOer 1975 Approved For Release 2007/01/03: CIA-RDP81 M00980R000300050054-5 Approved For Release 2007/01/03: CIA-RDP81 M00980R000300050054-5 for his role in Watergate. The assassination squad, allegedly headed jy Carl Boris Pash, was ordered to eliminate suspected double agents and low ranking officials. Pash's assassination unit was assigned to Angq''~ton, other CIA sources say. Hunt's fondness for strange plots has been w-t'2ly reported. He is alleged to have concocted schemes ranging from Water ate to a plot to assassinate columnist Jack Anderson. Hunt is also the author of 45 spy novels. It was also learned from CIA and committee sources that during FA:~--time that the Warren Commission was investigating the Kennedy assassination, Angleton met regularly with a member of the Commission--the late Allan Dulles, then head of the CIA and Angleton's boss. Dulles, on a weekly basis, briefed Angleton about the direction of the investigation. Angleton, according to sources, in turn briefed Raymond Rocca, h-s closest aid and the CIA's official liaison with the commission. Rocca, now retired, was unavailable for comment. His former wife, who also worked for Angleton, is now working for Cleveland Cram as part of the CIA mole investigatioi team: Approved For Release 2007/01/03: CIA-RDP81 M00980R000300050054-5 0 U,CLASSjFf roved SU#IECE )Optional) R MA1007/01103: CIA-RDPnO( W M 50054-5 I'l ;i USE ONLY ROUTING AND RECORD SHEET Oil r. 'Office of Legislative Counsel TO: (Offieer designation, room number, and building) OS SAG 2._.p=1~ as EXTENSION NO. OFFICER'S INITIALS Per our conversat ttii1n. , here are the Agency do uarients requested by the'. We have sanitized them, ')tit please check to be su we have done so-prope~rly. .Thanks for your help. I have. not heard from O;-a11 Legislative Affairs corce:rnin.g the conflicting info a,--out DOD's position on Bry,-r 's clearances. When I di. 1:'11 let you know. 13. COMMENTS (Number each comment to sho+ rom whom to whom. Draw a line ocross column after ea: i. comment.) >?M 0 1 0 USED? ovN~ pproi edSP :r: f lease[ 260T1O1YOi? I`CIR~RDPB'~NI O {~ Vft 300051I10t4-6I OLC 78-1995/1 2 1 AUG 1978