Mr. PREYER. Thank you, Mr. Helms. We appreciate your being here today, and the Chair will recognize Mr. Goldsmith to begin the questioning.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Helms, as part of your association with the CIA were you required to execute a secrecy oath?

Mr. HELMS. Yes, I was.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - Do you recall testifying before this committee in executive session on August 9 of this year?
Mr. HELMS - Yes, I do.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - At that time, Mr. Helms, were you presented with a series of letters which authorized you to testify fully and truthfully about all information that you had available pertinent to the committee's legislative mandate?
Mr. HELMS - Yes.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - At this time I would ask that Mr. Helms be shown JFK exhibit F-536. Mr. Chairman, I would indicate for the record that JFK exhibit F-536 consists of two exhibits, A and B. They are both letters dated September 1, 1978, from the General Counsel's Office of the CIA. They are directed to Mr. Helms. [Handed to witness.] Mr. Chairman, may we have JFK exhibits F-536A and F-536B admitted into the record?
Mr. PREYER - Without objection, so ordered.


Mr. GOLDSMITH. Mr. Helms, have you received the originals of these letters?
Mr. HELMS - Yes, I have.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - Have you had a chance to discuss these letters with your attorney?
Mr. HELMS - Yes.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - Do you understand these letters?
Mr. HELMS - I hope so.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - Do you understand that at today's hearing you are still obliged to testify truthfully before this committee?
Mr. HELMS - I understand that.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - Do you understand, Mr. Helms, that in the event that your testimony touches upon classified information, the alternative would be to request that the committee go into executive session?
Mr. HELMS - I understand that, sir.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - Thank you. Mr. Chairman, I would indicate for the record that the letters that Mr. Ambassador was shown at the August 9 hearing correspond with JFK exhibits F-94, F-125, F-126, and F-127. Mr. Helms, what was the organizational function of the Deputy Directorate for Plans in 1963?
Mr. HELMS - The Deputy Director for Plans or the Deputy Directorate for Plans? I was the Deputy Director for Plans and head of an organization which performed certain covert activities overseas.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - Before you proceed I would like to show you JFK exhibits F-94, F-125, F-126, and F-127 from the hearing that we had in August. [Handed to witness.]
Mr. HELMS - Thank you. [Pause.] I have not read every word of those memoranda, Mr. Goldsmith, but I recall having seen them on August 9.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - At the time did you understand them?
Mr. HELMS - Yes.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - I might ask, for the record, would Mr. Helms' attorney identify himself.
Mr. CRAIG - My name is Gregory B. Craig, of Williams & Connolly.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - Thank you. Returning to my previous question, would you describe the organizational function or purpose of the DDP in 1963 which I believe you headed.
Mr. HELMS - That is one of the most--it contained one of the most highly classified documents in Washington, the description of what the DDP does, and if you have received a specific authority from the Director of Central Intelligence to disclose all these activities, I would be glad to do so.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - I would ask that Mr. Helms be given a copy of the declassified transcript from his executive session testimony. Mr. Helms, I refer your attention to page 4 of that transcript, specifically lines 111 through 118.
Mr. HELMS - All right, Mr. Goldsmith. Since this has been declassified, I understand, then let me just read what it says: 9 In 1963, the Deputy-Director for Plans was * * * the Deputy Director who was in charge of--I guess the simplest term is--overseas operations. This entity of the CIA received its mandate from NSC documents. In any event, the responsibility of this unit was to conduct espionage and counterespionage and covert actions outside the continental limits of the United States. Some of the lines you will note have been excised.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - I understand.
Mr. HELMS - So if to the press it is not a coherent statement, it is because it is not coherent.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - Mr. Helms, I would ask to the extent you are able to testify without touching upon classified information you make an effort to do so. Have you had a chance to review the declassified transcript that the committee made available to you?
Mr. HELMS - Yes. I have looked through it. I am not sure, though, that I have become aware of all of the things that have been taken out and all the things that have been left in. It is really difficult to read something that has been chopped up the way this has. I have looked through it but I would not say I have in my head what was allowed in and what was taken out.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - Mr. Helms, did the committee make available to you the testimony from your executive session transcript?
Mr. HELMS - Yes, I have in front of me these documents which were made available to me by the committee I think 2 days ago. I went through them.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - I understand that. My question now is, Has the committee made available to you the full transcript from your executive session testimony?
Mr. HELMS - Yes, I believe I could have come and read it at any time, at least I was so assured by the committee.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - Did you ever avail yourself of that opportunity?
Mr. HELMS - I did not.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - Mr. Helms, what role, if any, did the Agency have in the investigation of the assassination of President Kennedy?
Mr. HELMS - At the time that the Warren Commission was formed, the Agency did everything in its power to cooperate with the Warren Commission and with the FBI, the FBI having the lead in the investigation. As best I can recollect, it was the Agency's feeling that since this tragic event had taken place in the United States, that the FBI and the Department of Justice would obviously have the leading edge in conducting the investigation, and that the Agency would cooperate with them in every way it was possible, and the same applied to the Warren Commission.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - So I take it, then, that the Agency perceived its role to be somewhat secondary to the role of the FBI?
Mr. HELMS - That is correct.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - What were your specific responsibilities with regard to the investigation?
Mr. HELMS - As the Deputy Director for Plans, I regarded my responsibility as being one which saw to it that inquiries given to the Agency by the FBI or originated with the Warren Commission, were answered as well and as expeditiously as possible.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - Which staff or unit within the CIA was given primary responsibility for coordinating the investigation?
Mr. HELMS - After I believe maybe 2 or 3 weeks following the assassination, the counterintelligence staff in the Deputy Directorate for Plans was given the job of coordinating and handling the inquiries which came in and the replies which went back, both to the FBI and to the Warren Commission, and as you are aware, the so-called counterintelligence stall had the job in any event of carrying on liaison on covert matters with the FBI for the CIA.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - Would you describe in general terms what the organizational function of the counterintelligence staff was in 1963?
Mr. HELMS - In the organization of the Deputy Director for Plans at that time we had a series of staffs. These staffs were assigned functions in terms of the mission of the entire DDP. There was a foreign intelligence staff which dealt with the acquisition of normal intelligence. There was a counterintelligence staff which provided staff guidance to the rest of the organization in counterintelligence say that the counterintelligence staffs mandate was somewhat wider than the others because the CIA had the mandate within the intelligence community to maintain basic files on counterintelligence cases, counterespionage cases, originating overseas.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - Was the investigation of the death of President Kennedy perceived as a counterintelligence-type case?
Mr. HELMS - It was not perceived in any specific terms at all that I recollect. It was perceived as a great national tragedy, and I think the feeling in the Agency was that anything it or its personnel could do to help resolve the questions that prevailed at the time, we would try to do, whether it was counterintelligence, positive intelligence, or what it was.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - Are you able to state why the CIA staff in particular was given this responsibility? Mr. HELMS, Well I think one of the more compelling reasons was that since it had had through the years the responsibility for carrying on liaison with the FBI, that it was in a better position and used to dealing with that Agency and therefore it was sensible to have them continue to.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - Now prior to giving the CI staff this responsibility was the chief of one of the Western Hemisphere desks designated to coordinate the flow of information at CIA headquarters?
Mr. HELMS - I believe in the early day after President Kennedy's demise that there was a feeling that the principal point of interest as far as the Agency was concerned was Mexico City, where information, had been provided by the CIA to the rest of the Government that someone called Lee Harvey Oswald had been in touch with the Soviet and Cuban Consulates there. Once it was established that this investigation was going to be Far more wide ranging than just Mexico City, the responsibility was transferred.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - Did this particular desk officer ever-complain to you about interference with Mr. Angleton, who was then chief of the CIA staff?
Mr. HELMS - I do not recall any complaint, Mr. Goldsmith.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - Do you recall whether this desk officer had any particular responsibilities with regard to the investigation after the responsibility for coordinating the investigation was transferred to the CIA staff.
Mr. HELMS - I don't have any recollection of the details.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - What role, if any, did Mr. McCone, who was then Director of Central Intelligence, have in the Agency's investigation?
Mr. HELMS - I think that he had the role any Director would have had that was to see to it that sufficient manpower and funds and other resources of the Agency were put to work in support of the Warren Commission and the FBI. And I recall certainly that he maintained a continuing and abiding interest in these proceedings.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - Was he kept regularly apprised of the developments of the investigation?
Mr. HELMS - I would have thought that he was. I can't tell you in precise detail 15 years later, but he had every opportunity 5 days a week at the agency staff meeting to ask any questions on his mind, and we had every opportunity to pass on to him anything that had come up we thought would be of interest.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - Has Mr. McCone ever indicated to you that he was not satisfied with the flow of information from below upstream to him?
Mr. HELMS - In connection with this investigation?
Mr. GOLDSMITH - Yes, sir.
Mr. HELMS - Not that I am aware of, Mr. Goldsmith. I think, if knowing Mr. McCone, if he had been dissatisfied he would have made his dissatisfaction clear and I wouldn't have forgotten it.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - You mentioned earlier that the responsibility for investigating this case was primarily in the hands of the FBI and the CIA saw itself serving as a support function. Do you think this division of responsibility was adequate?
Mr. HELMS - But I think it is the only way the matter could have been handled. I can't conceive of its being handled any differently. There has to be one investigative organization in charge of an investigation, and I can't see how this could have been otherwise. Am I missing something here?
Mr. GOLDSMITH - I am not suggesting that you are missing anything, Mr. Helms. Mr. Helms, were there any substantive or procedural problems between the Bureau and the CIA in conducting the investigation?
Mr. HELMS - I don't recall any procedural problems. As for questions of substance, my memory is not all that clear. I don't know whether there were some small disagreements about certain aspects of this case or not. Certainly investigators, no matter how well motivated tend to have different emphases, and it may well be that there were some, but nothing that looms large in my mind today.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - Do you recall specifically whether there was any disagreement in the handling of the Nosenko case?
Mr. HELMS - I don't recall any disagreement about the so-called handling of the Nosenko case. There was I believe a difference of interpretation as to what Nosenko represented. It was my impression that the FBI had passed on what Nosenko had to say about Lee Harvey Oswald to the Warren Commission exactly the way Nosenko had given it to them and that at a later date it was necessary to point out to the Warren Commission that the bona Mr Nosenko had not been established.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - Did the agency's investigation reflect any working hypotheses? By that question I mean, Did any particular aspect of the investigation receive emphasis?
Mr. HELMS - You mean inside the CIA?
Mr. GOLDSMITH - Yes, sir.
Mr. HELMS - Oh I think there was concern among many officers working on these matters that the Soviets might have been involved in this in some fashion and that the Cubans might have been involved in some fashion, I imagine we shared the concerns of the Warren Commission at the time. After all, there is a lot of give and take and conversation and meetings back and forth and one organization obviously influences the sensations of another organization.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - Did the Agency pay particular attention to the area of foreign conspiracy? You made reference to Soviet involvement and Cuban involvement. Was that the primary focus?
Mr. HELMS - That was obviously a matter of prime concern and since Nosenko was in the Agency's hands this became one of the most difficult issues to face that the Agency had ever faced. Here a President of the United States had been murdered and a man had come from the Soviet Union, an acknowledged soviet intelligence officer, and said his intellignece service had never been in touch with this man and knew nothing about him. This strained credulity at the time. It strains it to this day.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - Was all information pertinent to the Warren Commission's work promptly given to the Warren Commission, M.r Helms?
Mr. HELMS - I don't know how to answer that question, Mr. Goldsmith. I thought we made a major effort to be as cooperative and prompt and helpful as possible. But in recent years I have been through enough to recognize that you can't make a flat statement about anything, so I don't know. Maybe there were some places where it wasn't as prompt as it should have been. But I am not in a position to identify them.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - Are you able to state what factors generally governed whether information was made available to the Warren Commission---
Mr. HELMS - I misunderstood the first part of your question.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - Are you able to state what factors governed whether information was made available to the Warren Commission---
Mr. HELMS - I don't think there were any governing factors except the necessity for us to be careful about our sources and methods in certain cases, and I believe that obstacle was gotten over by going down and having conversations with the Warren Commission at various times in order to make these points clear on what the issues were, I don't believe we held anything back.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - As a general rule, did you wait to receive an inquiry from the Commission prior to passing information on to the Warren Commission?
Mr. HELMS - Yes; I believe so.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - Turning to another area now, to what extent, if any, did Mr. Dulles, former Director of the CIA, play a special role on the Warren Commission insofar as the Agency was concerned?
Mr. HELMS - I don't have any sensation that he played any special role. He obviously was in tough with the Agency on two or three occasions, as was only natural under the circumstances. He had been director of it for a long time and he would obviously feel more comfortable dealing with people in the Agency than he might in other agencies of the Government. But I don't recall this had any particular force and effect as far as the conduct of the agency was concerned or the conduct of the Warren Commission investigation.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - To what extent did he attempt to represent the interests of the CIA while serving as a member of the Warren Commission?
Mr. HELMS - I have no idea, Mr. Goldsmith.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - At this time I would ask that Mr. Helms be shown JFK F-529. [Documents handed to witness.]
Mr. PREYER - If there is no objection, exhibit F-529 will be admitted into the record.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - That's F-529. [Whereupon, exhibit F-529 was received.]


Mr. GOLDSMITH - I would ask that you skim through exhibit F-529, Mr. Helms, paying particular attention, however, to paragraph No. 3.
Mr. HELMS - Yes; I have read paragraph 3.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - Does this exhibit, Mr Helms, refresh your memory on the extent to which Mr. Dulles may have represented CIA interests while serving "as a member of the Warren Commission?
Mr. HELMS - I don't read that memorandum that way Mr. Goldsmith. I read this memorandum to say that since the Agency was not able to, what shall we say, vouch for the bona fides of Mr. Nosenko, that this was going to have an effect on the Commission report and what the Commission had to say and the point at issue here, if I read this correctly, was how best to have the Commission word its report, come to its conclusions without leaving itself hanging on a limb on the basis of the fact that they thought that Mr. Nosenko was bona fide when in fact this had not been demonstrated. That is the way I read this memorandum.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - I certainly understand what the central issue is. My question is whether Mr. Dulles was attempting to represent the Agency views to the Warren Commission.
Mr. HELMS - I don't get that from reading this exhibit. I believe in reading the material that you have made available to me that the gentleman who signed this memorandum made that deposition before you, and I assume that you asked him what he thought about it. Did he give a different answer?
Mr. GOLDSMITH - Mr. Helms, I am sorry but I am not in a position today to answer your questions. Mr. Chairman, this concludes my initial line of inquiry. I would defer to you at this time, sir.
Mr. PREYER - The Chair recognizes Congressman Stokes for such time as he may consume for the questioning of the witness.
Chairman STOKES - Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Good morning, Ambassador Helms.
Mr. HELMS - Good morning, Mr. Stokes.
Chairman STOKES - Mr. Helms, I wonder if you would tell us what role, if any, you played with regard to Mr. Nosenko.
Mr. HELMS - When Nosenko defected in Geneva and came to the United States, or was brought to the United States, in my position as Deputy Director for Plans, I obviously was involved in the basic decisions that were going to have to be made or were made in now and the past involving the interrogation of him, his handling, and what we would do with respect to finding out what he represented and what information he had to purvey.
Chairman STOKES - So would it be fair to say that right from the very beginning of the initial contact with him, right on through his custodial period here in the States, that you were constantly in charge of that situation?
Mr. HELMS - No; I was not constantly in charge of it. In fact, I was not in charge of it from the first day because I do not think any Deputy Director regards himself as being in charge of anything when he has a Director who is really in charge, plus the fact there were other members of the Interagency Defector Committee which is composed of other agencies of Government interested in these matters. They also have a say in what happens with respect to these things. So I certainly was involved with decisions on Nosenko from beginning to end, but I was not the controlling authority at all times.
Chairman STOKES - There were three major agency reports that were written in regard to the Nosenko case; specifically there was a report in 1968 issued by the Soviet Russia Division, another report later in 1968 called the Office of Security report, and then a third report in 1976, referred to as the Hart report. Would you tell us whether you are familiar with all three of these reports?
Mr. HELMS - I don't recall any longer whether I read the first two or whether I was simply briefed on their contents. The Hart report I have never seen. I left the agency in early February 1973 and I have had no substantive connections with it since.
Chairman STOKES - During his defection in 1964 and upon his arrival in the United States was Yuri Nosenko in the custody of the CIA?
Mr. HELMS - I am sorry, I missed the question.
Chairman STOKES - I was asking precisely during his defection in 1964 and upon his arrival in the United States, was Yuri Nosenko in the custody of the CIA?
Mr. HELMS - Yes, he was. That was an accepted procedure under the functioning of the Interagency Defector Committee that defectors that came to this country were handled by the CIA, through the interrogation period, resettling period, whatever had to be done to them.
Chairman STOKES - Is that the legal authority under which he was being detained?
Mr. HELMS - No. I think that perhaps, Mr. Chairman, if you would not mind, I would like to answer that question a little bit more fully. If you would indulge me.
Chairman STOKES - Certainly.
Mr. HELMS - Two days ago, on September 20, 1978, I received a transcript of my testimony before this committee in executive session on August 9. While reviewing that transcript I noted that, although I am not a lawyer, I characterized Mr. Yuri Nosenko's legal status with the CIA between 1964 and 1969 in a number of different ways. Since this is an area of obvious interest to the committee, I would like to take this opportunity to describe my understanding in somewhat greater detail as to what Mr. Nosenko's legal status with the Central Intelligence Agency was. As I say, I am neither a lawyer nor a judge, so I was not reared to draw any legal conclusions about Mr. Nosenko's tenure with the Central Intelligence Agency. I'm sorry, I am not prepared. On January 23, 1964, in Geneva, Switzerland, Mr. Nosenko requested that he be permitted to defect to the West. Mr. Nosenko's request I believe was accompanied by a claim that he could give a comprehensive report on Lee Harvey Oswald's contacts in connection with the KGB during Oswald's stay in the Soviet Union between 1959 and 1962. It is difficult to overstate the significance that Yuri Nosenko's defection assumed in the investigation of President Kennedy's assassination. If Mr. Nosenko turned out to be a bona fide defector, if his information were to be believed, then we could conclude that the KGB and the Soviet Union had nothing to do with Lee Harvey Oswald in 1953 and therefore had nothing to do with President Kennedy's murder. If, on the other hand, Mr. Nosenko had been programed in advance by the KGB to minimize KGB connections with Oswald, if Mr. Nosenko was giving us false information about Oswald's contacts with the KGB in 1959 to 1962, it was fair for us to surmise that there may have been an Oswald-KGB connection in November 1963 more specifically that Oswald was acting as a Soviet agent when he shot President Kennedy. If it were shown that Oswald was in fact acting as a Soviet agent when he shot President Kennedy, the consequences to the United States of America and, indeed, to the world, would have been staggering. Thus it became a matter of the utmost importance to this Government to determine the bona fides of Mr. Yuri Nosenko. Mr. Nosenko arrived in the country in February 1964. By the end us that the task of evaluating Mr. Nosenko's credibility would not be easy. On April 2, 1964, as Deputy Director of Plans, I, along with David Murphy, Chief of the Soviet Bloc Division and Mr. Lawrence R. Houston, the General Counsel to the CIA, met with Mr. Nicholas Katzenback, then Deputy Attorney General of the United States; Mr. J. Walter Yeagley, Chief of the Internal Security Division of the Justice Department; Mr. William E. Foley, who was then Mr. Yeagley's first Asistant in the Internal Security Division; and Mr. Garold f. riese from the Office of Legal Counsel in the Justice Department. The meeting took place in Mr. Katzenbach's office in the Justice Department. The purpose of the meeting was to define Mr. Nosenko's legal status in the United States and to anticipate what kind of legal problems might arise in connection with the Agency's on going custody of Mr. Nosenko. The Agency provided me a copy of the memorandum for the record written by Mr. Lawrence Houston describing this meeting on April 2, 1964, and a second memorandum which reflects the substance of a telephone call from Mr. Foley on the following day, April 3, 1964. These documents were in part declassified by the Agency on September 18, 1978, and I would like to make them part of the record of these proceedings. During the meeting of April 2, 1964, the Department of Justice was fully informed of Mr. Nosenko's status with the Agency and the Department's opinion was requested as to the scope of the Agency's ongoing authority with respect to Mr. Nosenko. As Mr. Houston's memorandums relate, Mr. Nosenko's technical status in the United States was one of "exclusion and parole," which means that the Immigration and Naturalization Service had technically excluded Mr. Nosenko from the United States but had also temporarily "paroled him" to the custody of the Central Intelligence Agency. It is my understanding that the terms of the parole provided that Nosenko would remain in the custody of the Agency unless it was determined whether Mr. Nosenko should be deported or whether he should be permitted to settle in the United States. If Mr. Nosenko violated the terms of the parole, he would be deported. As these memorandums indicate, it was the opinion of the Justice Department that the Agency was free "to take any action necessary to carry out the terms of the parole." That opinion was expressed to us in the meeting of April 2, 1964, and repeated to us the following day by way of a telephone call from Mr. Foley, who had been requested by Mr. Katzenbach to check and to confirm the Department's legal opinion. In addition to the Justice Department, the Interagency Committee on Defectors was also fully informed of Mr. Nosenko's status. The agency and that committee concurred, I believe, with the legal position adopted by the Department of Justice. The Interagency Committee on Defectors was the Government body which was formed in order to preside over the care, feeding, and general treatment of defectors. That committee is composed of representatives from the Central Intelligence Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, the Department of State, and the Immigration and Naturalization Service' as the Rockefeller Commission report indicated, Mr. Nosenko's confinement--and I quote from the report, "was approved by the Director of Central Intelligence, the Director of the FBI, the Attorney General, and the U.S. Intelligence Board; selected Members of the Congress were also aware to some extent of the confinement." End of quotation and end of my statement.
Chairman STOKES - So then, do I understand that based upon that meeting it was your opinion then that this man was being held legally and not in violation of law?
Mr. HELMS - It was our opinion that--l don't know, I am not a lawyer, I have to be careful of my words--hut let me just say it was our impression we had the authority to hold him as we were holding him.
Chairman STOKES - At the time you testified to our committee here in executive session, is that what you said to us?
Mr. HELMS - No. I say, when I went through the transcript of' my testimony that day on August 9, I found that I characterized his confinement in various ways, so I composed this statement in order to straighten the matter out as we understood it.
Chairman STOKES - Now, can you recall what Mr. Katzenbach said in that meeting? You were present and Mr. Katzenbach was present; right?
Mr. HELMS - Yes
Chairman STOKES - Can you tell the committee what Mr. Katzenbach said on that occasion about the situation?
Mr. HELMS - What we remember about this, Mr. Stokes, is pretty well encompassed in here, that we shared with him the problem we had in connection with Mr. Nosenko. We identified to him why the problem was very serious. We pointed out that there might be difficulties in connection with holding him. Suppose that Mr. Nogot a lawyer; then what did we do about it? How did we ever establish what his bona fides were? In other words, we had a whole series of problems which we were sharing with the Justice Department in an effort to get some help or assistance, how we ought to go about this matter and ascertain what our authorities to do it were. That was the purpose of the meeting. But 15 years later I certainly do not remember direct quotations, from either Mr. Katzenbach or myself.
Chairman STOKES - But it would be fair to characterize the situation as saying that he did make comment upon the situation and give you advice?
Mr. HELMS - That is right.
Chairman STOKES - Now, Mr. Helms, yesterday Mr. Katzenbach appeared before this committee and testified in the same hearing room. I want to read to you from the transcript of that testimony and then ask for your comment:

Chairman STOKES - The time of the gentleman has expired. Mr. Katzenbach, Mr, Sawyer asked you about the decision to sign off for Mr. Nosenko. Can you tell us whom it was that came to you and asked for your permission to begin the interrogation of Nosenko?
Mr. KATZENBACH - I don't recall anybody doing so, Mr. Chairman. I understand that Mr. Helms had a conversation with me or thinks he recalls he had a conversation with me on it. I have no recollection of that conversation but perhaps his recollection is better than mine. I don't know. I don't recall any such conversation.
Chairman STOKES - Was this your testimony, that you don't recall anyone. talking to you about it?
Mr. KATZENBACH - Yes, sir, that is my testimony.
Chairman STOKES - At any time?
Mr. KATZENBACH - At any time.
Chairman STOKES - How did you learn of it?
Mr. KATZENBACH - I learned of it when the gentleman writing a book called me up about 3 or 4 months ago or 6 months ago, and asked me about it. And I said, who is Nosenko?
Chairman STOKES - That would be Mr. Epstein?
Mr. KATZENBACH - Yes, sir, Edward J. Epstein, right. And that was the first time that I heard of it, to my recollection.
Chairman STOKES - So, then, so that the record is patently c]ear on this point, during your tenure you knew absolutely nothing at all of' this situation?
Mr. KATZENBACH - Nothing that I can recall at this time. It was quite a while ago, but I have absolutely no recollection of Mr. Nosenko or anything to do with him during that period of time.
Chairman STOKES - While you held the office that you held, were you at any time requested to give your approval to treating any defector in this manner?
Mr. KATZENBACH - No sir. The only connections that I can recall with the CIA at all fell into two categories One was when they wished to, wiretap or some electronic device to be put within this country they came to me, and the only other thing was whenever they wanted a book suppressed they came to me and I told them not to do it? Chairman STOKES Told them what?
Mr. KATZENBACH - Told them not to do it, that there was not any way you were going to do it. Those were the only ways, at least offhand, when I none that I recall as Deputy. A little bit l guess at the time of the Cuban missile crisis and perhaps some at the time of the Cuban prisoner exchange, but I had very little connection with the CIA. And I don't recall except for those occasions their ever asking me any legal advice whatsoever perhaps for good reason.
Chairman STOKES - Are you absolutely certain that you cannot recall any conversation with Mr. Helms about Nosenko? Mr. KATZENBACK. I am certain that I don't recall it, yes, sir. I can't flatly deny such a conversation occurred, but I have no recollection it. It is quite a while ago and I believe if it was as dramatic as put by Congressman sawyer, I would remember it. I was simply informed that somebody was being questioned. There was a potential defector, I might not recall that.
Chairman STOKES - Thank you. Any other questions? Mr. Sawyer.
Mr. SAWYER - Yes. Mr. Katzenbach, I don't know whether you were informed of the details of the situation, but we had testimony by a spokesman for the CIA so that it is not just a statement of some employee or something. He was designated by the present Director to come here and present the story because he was supposed to be the most familiar with it since he had reviewed it for the CIA. He stated in substance, Mr. Nosenko was taken into custody in this country by the CIA after defection or after alleged defection, held in a so-called safe house on a diet of tea and porridge twice a day, was allowed no reading material. The guards were instructed neither to talk to him or smile to him. He was subjected to 48 hours at a crack interrogation. This being while they built a separate facility somewhere else in the country; namely, a device described by him as a bank vault, and then built a house around the bank vault to put this man in and then kept him there under the equivalent of some 3 years with that kind of thing, 1,277 days to be specific, at which point they finally gave up and gave him some emolument and put him on their payroll and let him go. And then they gave as their--I questioned on the authority to do a thing like that. Did they have any kind of process, and they said other than the fact that Helms had conferred with you and gotten your OK, that this would be legal. And I just found it awfully difficult to believe that. And that is why--and I don't imagine it would be the kind of thing that you would be asked to OK enough that you would not rather clearly remember the incident if it had occurred.
Mr. KATZENBACH - If the facts that you have just set forth to me, Congressman, had ever been made known to me, I would recollect it, I am certain; and I would hope to goodness I would not have given the legal advice that is claimed.
Mr. SAYWER - It makes me feel better about it. Thank you. That is all I have

Mr. Chairman - Having heard Mr. Katzenbach's testimony of yesterday, can you reconcile his testimony to this committee with your statement just read to this committee?
Mr. HELMS - I can only say, Mr. Stokes, that it is very hard to reconcile. I think the basic point at issue here is really whether the meeting with him took place at all. What happened after the meeting is something he was not responsible for as far as I am aware. Let me read to you the memorandum for the record which Mr. Lawrence R. Houston, the General Counsel of CIA, wrote on April 3, 1964. I have a copy in front of me. It is headed Memorandum for the Record and the subject is the Nosenko case. It reads: Mr. Helms, Mr. Murphy, and I met with Mr. Nicholas deB. Katzenbach, J. Walter Yeagley, William E. Foley, and Harold F. Ries, on April 2, 1964. Mr. Helms outlined the problems foreseeable in our future relations with Nosenko and asked the opinion of the Justice representatives on what we could do to control the situation. I pointed out that his technical status is one of exclusion and parole-or more technically, deferment and parole. Paragraph 2: After some discussion, Mr. Foley stated it was his opinion that Agency representatives could take any action necessary to carry out the terms of the parole. Mr. Katzenbach asked Mr. Foley to check this and let me know and Mr. Foley later confirmed this position by telephone. I in turn, after the meeting, reviewed the parole agreement and provided an interpretation thereof for Director of Security, a copy of which is attached hereto. Also, I informed Mr. Foley of this interpretation. Signed, Lawrence R. Houston, General Counsel. The attachment is a memorandum also dated April 3, 1964. It is signed by Lawrence R. Houston, General Counsel. It is a memorandum for the director of security. That would be the officer who was the director of the security office of the Central Intelligence Agency. The subject is Parole status of defectors: On 2 April 1964, we had a discussion with the Department of Justice on the status of aliens whose inspection by INS-- that is the Immigration and Naturalization Service, I interpret here so there will not be a lack of clarity--whose inspection by INS is deferred upon arrival at our request and who are then paroled to this Agency. It was the position of the Department of Justice that we were responsible for taking any action necessary to carry out the terms of the parole. That, I believe, is paragraph 1 of this memorandum, Mr. Stokes. The balance of the memorandum has been excised and therefore is not on the sheet there.
Chairman STOKES - Then, in light of the document which you have just read and along with your other testimony, then obviously the statement of Mr. Katzenbach to this committee yesterday could not be true, could it?
Mr. HELMS - No; I am afraid it is not.
Mr. PREYER - Chairman Stokes, may I interrupt?
Chairman STOKES - Certainly.
Mr. HELMS - I would like to say, because I would like to be clear with this committee, that I asked my attorney to be in touch with Mr. Katzenbach some weeks ago in connection with this matter. It is reflected in his testimony that it was brought to his attention that I had this meeting with him. I did not want to have this committee think I pulled this as a surprise on Mr. Katzenbach and he came down here innocently and had no opportunity to review the facts if he cared to.
Chairman STOKES - Then he was appropriately advised prior to his appearance here yesterday of the memorandums you just read?
Mr. HELMS - I don't know that he was advised of the memorandums, but he was advised certainly of our recollection of this meeting.
Chairman STOKES - Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. PREYER - Mr. Helms, I understand that you are requesting that this document be made a part of the record. I would like to ask the clerk if she will mark it as an exhibit so that we can enter it into the record at this point.
Mr. HELMS - Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Chairman, as a point of clarity, is it just these memoranda that you want to make a part of the record? My statement is in the transcript so I don't think that is necessary. I think these are the two documents.
Mr. PREYER - The document will be marked as exhibit F-413 and made a part of the record at this point. [The information follows:]


Chairman STOKES - Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Now, Mr. Helms, I note that the memorandum does not give indication from which Mr. Katzenbach would be able to draw the conclusion with reference to the way that the CIA intended to treat this man. That is not in that memorandum, is it?
Mr. HELMS - No, it is not in the memorandum as of the time that the meeting with Mr. Katzenbach was held. Deliberations were still going on inside the Agency as to what exactly to do about Mr. Nosenko, and as things developed over the months, I don't think that Mr. Katzenbach can be held responsible for that and I have no reason to want to involve him in it.
Chairman STOKES - Is it fair also to say that in all probability he was never informed of the way this man was treated?
Mr. HELMS - In all probability, that is correct.
Chairman STOKES - Now, how long did Mr. Nosenko remain in CIA custody?
Mr. HELMS - I think all told, I think it was from 1964 when he defected until he was resettled with the new identity which I believe was in 1969 or 1970.
Chairman STOKES - Can you tell us what unit within the CIA had the primary responsibility for handling Mr. Nosenko in 1964?
Mr. HELMS - My recollection is that the office of security was given the responsibility for his housekeeping, his care, his feeding, his guarding, and that the Soviet bloc division had the responsibility for his interrogation.
Chairman STOKES - Did the Soviet Russia division continue to have responsibility for questioning Nosenko until he was released from CIA custody in 1969?
Mr. HELMS - No. I believe that it was in 1967 that the decision was made or I made the decision if you would prefer that, that the case simply could not go on in that fashion it had to be resolved. Therefore, a change was made. Nosenko was turned over to an officer in the office of security who had made an examination of the case. He felt that he could get along well with Nosenko and that possibly he could, if he couldn't solve the problem of his bona fides, at least he might be able to solve the problem of how we were going to resettle him on the American scene. I was rather puzzled by some of Mr. Hart's testimony the other day before this committee. He seemed to go into lurid detail about Nosenko's treatment, but when it came time to make his contribution to the purposes of the committee hearing, in other words, what Nosenko knew about Oswald, he had no clarification to make and nothing to contribute. Yet he was here as the official representative of the Director of Central Intelligence, as I understand it. It was almost as though his purpose was to use his testimony before this committee to excoriate some of his former colleagues for the handling of the Nosenko case. In any event, I never heard of the note alleged to have been handwritten by the "Deputy Chief of the Soviet Bloc Division" using such sensational terms as "liquidate the man, commit him to a looney bin," et cetera. These options were never presented to me, were never entertained by me, and were never considered. The problem was to resettle Nosenko in American society and this is what the Agency did. Any other assertions are false as far as I personally am aware. I would not like to see perpetuated on indefinitely into the history of this country that there was any consideration given by senior officials of the Agency to those options that were identified in this lurid, handwritten memorandum. I don't know how the thing happened to get written. I don't know how it happened to be held in the files. I don't know how it happened to be part of Mr. Hart's role to bring it down here, but in any event, I want to put to rest once and for all that this was never considered.
Chairman STOKES - Now you have mentioned a security officer. When did the security officer assume the responsibility for handling Nosenko?
Mr. HELMS - My recollection Mr. Stokes, is that it was about 1967, some time in 1967.
Chairman STOKES - So at that time would they have assumed primary responsibility and taken it away then from the Soviet bloc?
Mr. HELMS - Well, they assumed primary responsibility. I think that is the fair thing. I had asked Adm. Rufus Taylor, who sadly died the other day but who became Deputy Director of Central Intelligence after I was made Director, to make it his personal responsibility to look into all aspects of the Nosenko case in an effort to get it resolved. He had done a lot of work on this case and one of his recommendations as I recall it was that this be turned over to the office of security and that we try an entirely different approach.
Chairman STOKES - Can you tell us why the responsibility for handling Nosenko in terms of questioning was transferred from the SR people over to the security officer?
Mr. HELMS - It was just another approach we were attempting. In other words, wee wanted to take him away from those people who had been interrogating him and see if a quiet, solicitous and let's say, favorable approach were used, that we might be able to solve the problem of his bona fides but at least get him in the frame of mind where we could resettle him.
Chairman STOKES - How long a period of time was Nosenko actually held in this status?
Mr. HELMS - Well, during the period of 1964 to 1967 he was held under Spartan circumstances. In 1967 when he was turned over to the office of security he was moved to a safe house where he certainly was in confinement but lived under very comfortable conditions, perhaps as well as anybody in this room.
Chairman STOKES - Now, during that 3-year period, and I suppose you would say it is 3 years he was held in confinement, as a basis of Mr. Hart's testimony a few days ago, I posed the question to him that the man was actually being held in jail, wasn't he. His answer was substantially yes. How would you characterize the period?
Mr. HELMS - I find no fault with that characterization.
Chairman STOKES - Initially, can you tell us how the individuals who handled Mr. Nosenko for the SR division had been selected?
Mr. HELMS - When the defection took place in Geneva, or at least before it took place, two officers were sent to Geneva to talk to Mr. Nosenko. One was a high officer in the SR division and the other was a case officer who not only spoke fluent Russian but had had a great deal of experience in handling Soviet agent cases and this seemed to be a good team as far as those in charge though at the time, and so did I.
Chairman STOKES - Can you tell us how knowledgeable or how expert they were in terms of the Oswald case?
Mr. HELMS - I don't have any recollection of that any more, Mr. Stokes. I don't think that we chose them because of their knowledge- ability in the Oswald case initially. This issue was to decide about the defection of this man in the first place. The Oswald matter really hadn't gotten viable until it was indicated he knew something about it, and then when we got him to the United States, what he knew about it. Actually, I think that it may be of interest to the committee that in attempting to establish the bonafides of someone, it is necessary to have information in some depth of the facts about which they are talking. With respect to Nosenko, we put people who were knowledgeable about the Soviet Union and Soviet mores, and so forth, on the case because we had more information about those things and could check his statements out much better than if we were using something about Lee Harvey Oswald. He had been in the Soviet Union and we knew very little about him, because I would like to remind you, Mr. Stokes, that what is known about Lee Harvey Oswald today was certainly not known in early 1964. This is all material that has been developed since. I think one has to be fair with history that when we go back to February 1964, the knowledgeability of anybody in the Government on Lee Harvey Oswald was very limited, even more limited than it is now.
Chairman STOKES - Wouldn't I understand that first they did know he was a KGB officer at the time he came to you; correct?
Mr. HELMS - That is what he told us.
Chairman STOKES - You did know that Oswald been in Russia, did you not?
Mr. HELMS - Yes, we knew that he had been in rUssia, certainly.
Chairman STOKES - And as a part of your responsibility to the Warren Commission was to give them such information as came to your knowledge regarding Oswald in Russia, was it not?
Mr. HELMS - Certainly, Mr. Stokes. Chairman STOKES- And in establishing this man's bona fides, would it not be logical that you would want to know everything he knew about Oswald as a part of the interrogation process so that you might establish his bona fides through that?
Mr. HELMS - But I thought that he was asked about what he knew about Oswald. I thought there were four or five interrogations, one by the FBI and some by us during this period. Am I wrong?
Chairman STOKES - Well, he was under the custody of the CIA. You have told us that.
Mr. HELMS - But other people had access to him. The FBI was given access to them. We gave other people access to these people if they requested it. It was the FBI's statement to the Warren Com mission quoting Nosenko based on their own interrogation that led me weeks later to go down and talk with the Chief Justice of the United States and point out with him that we could not go bail, we could not vouch for the bona fides of this man, and therefore we could not vouch for his statement.
Chairman STOKES - Yes, and this was the precise problem that you were confronted with. You knew you had an important issue on your hands, didn't you?
Mr. HELMS - Certainly.
Chairman STOKES - And it was extremely important by virtue of the high level conference which you had had, which you referred to this morning, that you had been able to establish his bona fides; isn't that correct?
Mr. HELMS - We were doing our best to do so.
Chairman STOKES - So it is in that area, then, I would think, that you would want to see the top interrogators, not only those expert in interrogating with reference to the Soviet Union, but also about events in the Soviet Union such as Oswald would be important to you to have him interrogated about?
Mr. HELMS - Well, sir, I was not present at these interrogations and I don't know the exact questions. I assume there is a record available someplace. But it seems to me that in posing this question this way, to me it is damned if you do and damned if you don't. You are damned if you hold a fellow too long and treat him badly because you would like to find out what he does know about Oswald, and you are damned the other way if you have not dug his teeth out to find out what he knows about Oswald. I don't know sir, the answer. If we had to do it over, I don't know what we would do. We would probably do it differently, but I don't know how we would have arrived at the truth in the space of time we had available to us. You may recall from the record that Mr. Nosenko, at the time he defected and before, was a very heavy drinker. One of the problems we had with him during his first period of time in the United States was he didn't want to do anything except drink and carouse. We had problems with him in an incident in Baltimore where he started punching up a bar and so forth. One of the reasons to hold him in confinement was to get him away from the booze and settle him down and see if we could make some sense with him. The fact that he may have been held too long was therefore deplorable, but nevertheless we were doing our best.
Chairman STOKES - Well, in light of what you are now saying to us about the fact that you are damned if you do and damned if you don't, was it important to you that you be kept informed regularly of everything that he was saying and everything that he was doing et cetera?
Mr. HELMS - Mr. Stokes, I felt that certainly I should be kept generally informed, but during the period of the Warren Commission, they are the ones who should be kept informed, the FBI should be kept informed, and that after the Warren Commission had made its report and things then were not guided by their investigation, we still went on with the job of attempting to find out what this man represented.
Chairman STOKES - But if, as you say, as you have just indicated, the Warren Commission needed to be informed and so forth, and wasn't it your direct responsibility to inform the commission?
Mr. HELMS - But I thought I did. I thought I told them that we couldn't establish his bona fides.
Chairman STOKES - Well, in order for you to be able to communicate with the Warren Commission, you had to get information from some source, didn't you?
Mr. HELMS - Yes.
Chairman STOKES - So my question to you is: What direction did give those under you as to how often you were to be briefed, how often you ought to be given the results of the interrogation or whatever was occurring with this man?
Mr. HELMS - Certainly I stayed current to that extent. If there bad been the slightest intimation that we were prepared to vouch for his bona fides or that the interregation reached that point it would have been brought to me immediately. I think that if I don't any longer recall the exact date, but I think it was in June or something of 1964, that after getting the permission of the Director of Central Intelligence, Mr. McCone, I went to see the Chief Justice privately to point out to him what our difficulties in this matter were. It seems to me I was as forthcoming as a man could be, what else could I do? What else should I have done? What did you tell him about your difficulties? What were they?
Mr. HELMS - I told him we were not able to satisfy ourselves that the man was what he was purported to be, that the jobs that he had held were the ones that he really did hold, that there were inconsistencies in his testimony, that what he had to say about the Oswald case didn't make sense to us, and that, therefore, I simply wanted to point out to the Chief Justice that I was sorry but whatever the FBI had given him or given the Commission about what Mr. Nosenko had said about Mr. Lee Harvey Oswald, that I felt he should take into consideration the fact that we could not vouch for his bona fides and therefore they should not take at full strength what he said. It was up to them to make their evaluation, but I felt we owed this to him.
Chairman STOKES - In order for you to tell the Chief Justice that, how often had you been briefed?
Mr. HELMS - I have no recollection any longer, Mr. Stokes.
Chairman STOKES - In terms of the interrogation that took place of Oswald, I'm sorry, Nosenko, were the interrogators instructed to pose a large number of questions relative to Oswald to Nosenko?
Mr. HELMS - Mr. Stokes, there was no issue more central in those days than an effort to straighten out this business about Oswald. But I would submit in evidence, I don't know whether you have been an interrogator, sir, but there are so many questions you can ask about based on the information that was known about Oswald at the time. If my facts are straight, the information about Oswald that was known was that he had gone to the Soviet Union, that he expressed a desire to give up his citizenship. That is what he told the American Embassy. He had gone to Minsk, married a Russian girl, which was suspicious in its own right. He then decided to come back to the United States and virtually disappeared, but it was not the CIA's jurisdiction to keep an eye on him in the United States and the amount of information available at that time based on which one could make an interrogation was pretty thin for the simple reason that how were we going to find out in the Soviet Union what Oswald had done there except from his own statements? We had no independent means of verification. We didn't have that good an organization inside the Soviet Union. We had no means of following up on these leads.
Chairman STOKES - In light of your statements in this context, let me cite to you the testimony of Mr. Hart to this committee and get your comment on that. Mr. Hart, with reference to the matter of whether Nosenko was being incarcerated or being questioned, said to this committee this: Mr. HART. Insofar as I can tell, the assumption among the top leadership of the agency was that during this period of incarceration Mr. Nosenko was being questioned or interrogated. That is flatly contrary to the facts because although he was incarcerated for 1,277 days, on only 292 days was he in part questioned. We do not, it is difficult to tell just how many hours of questioning there took place on those 292 days when he actually was questioned. The rest of the time, which is 77 percent of the total time of incarceration, he was left entirely unoccupied and was not being questioned. There was, in other words, no effort being made to get at more information which he might have. Do you agree with that statement?
Mr. HELMS - I have no comment to make on it. Mr. Hart, I gather, was appointed by Director George Bush in 1976 to look into the whole Nosenko case. I have been informed of that in recent times. I assume he looked into it fairly and squarely. I would assume also that this committee has talked thoroughly with all the interrogators and has verified independently whether these facts are true or not. I have no capacity for doing that.
Chairman STOKES - So you take no issue with that statement?
Mr. HELMS - None. I don't know its merits one way or the other.
Chairman STOKES - Then I take it from that you in no way contest the statement of Mr. Hart?
Mr. HELMS - I have no basis for contesting it, Mr. Stokes. I mean, he has a record there. I simply was saying that I have no independent verification of the number of days he was interrogated. I would assume, though, that the committee does have an independent verification because I believe that the interrogators are still alive and I assume the committee has talked to them. Is this correct?
Chairman STOKES - I think that is substantially correct, yes. Mr. Helms, in January 1968 when the SR division report concerning Nosenko was issued, what was the Agency's position regarding Mr. Nosenko's bona fides?
Mr. HELMS - There were those in the agency who believed he was bona fide and there were those in the agency who did not. I never recall having resolved the case in my own mind one way Or the other. My preoccupation at the time was to get Mr. Nosenko resettled. If there were those who felt there was a reasonable chance he was bona fide, that was all right with me, but as far as I am aware, never signed off on any document or made any final decisions about his bona fides. If you have a document, I would appreciate seeing it because I have not been shown one, and if my recollection is not accurate, I don't want to mislead this committee. I want to be absolutely fair and truthful and forthcoming.
Chairman STOKES - Perhaps it may help refresh your recollection that at the time the committee took your testimony previously, Mr. Goldsmith asked you the question: "Is it not a fact that the SR report of 1968 indicated that in fact Mr. Nosenko was not a bona fide defector?" Your answer at that time was: "I don't remember firsthand what the thrust of the report was." So I take it, then, that your testimony today is that you still do not recall?
Mr. HELMS - No. But I am sorry, 1 must have misunderstood your earlier question. I am sorry. I thought that you were asking me what my opinion was about that.
Chairman STOKES - No, no.
Mr. HELMS - I am sorry.
Chairman STOKES - Basically, what we are asking you is this: In January 1968, when this report came out of the SR division, what was the Agency's position regarding Nosenko bona fides?
Mr. HELMS - Well, the Agency's position would not have been reflected in the 1968 report, The Agency's position would have been one that l would have signed off on and I don't recall ever having made personally the decision based on recommendations and various other factors involved, whether he was bona fide or not. I simply was trying to explain that m)' interest then was different.
Chairman STOKES - Well, then, can you tell us in January of 1968 the Agency's position with regard to the veracity of the information Nosenko had provided concerning Oswald?
Mr. HELMS - I don't think any judgment has ever been made about that. I thought I read in the newspapers--and I assume the newspapers reported accurately--that Mr. Hart, after all his investigation, was not able to tell you that Nosenko was accurate about Oswald or not accurate about Oswald, if he could not do it--
Chairman STOKES - To the contrary. He said to the committee, based upon everything he knew about him, that the testimony he had given this committee, he said I would not use it, so he did have an opinion.
Mr. HELMS - He said he would not use it?
Chairman STOKES - That is what he said.
Mr. HELMS - That confuses me.
Chairman STOKES - Why?
Mr. HELMS - Well, it confuses me because isn't that a copout? If you are not going to use it, then it is not true.
Chairman STOKES - That is substantially correct, that would be my own interpretation. Now let me ask you this: Wouldn't your analysis and the doubt which you had of this man's overall bona fides also bear upon the question of what he was saying to you and through you to the Warren Commission about Oswald, that is, if you doubted his general bona fides, wouldn't you have to doubt what he was saying to you about Oswald?
Mr. HELMS - Yes, sir, that is why I went to see the Chief Justice.
Chairman STOKES - Now let me ask you this: After the SR division issued its report in 1968, was the Nosenko case reinvestigated by the security officer?
Mr. HELMS - Oh, I think the ground was gone over not only by that security officer, but I think that through the weeks after that a long interrogation, or if you don't want to call it an interrogation, let's say an elicitation, was carried on with Nosenko to find out what he knew about a whole host of things, including the Oswald case. I believe it was during that latter period that he had additional contributions to make about the size of the files that the KGB held on Oswald and matters of this kind.
Chairman STOKES - Let me ask you this: In light of what you said to us this morning, would you agree that the consequences of the Nosenko case for the American intelligence community were quite great particularly if it turned out that he was not a bona fide defector? I think you may have commented on some of that in your first statement.
Mr. HELMS - Yes, I did, Mr. Stokes, but I agree with what you said.
Chairman STOKES - I would like to call your attention to page 137 of the declassified transcript which you have there at the witness table with you. Lines 6 through 20. Do you have that?
Mr. HELMS - Yes, sir.
Chairman STOKES - This, of course, is your testimony before this subcommittee of this committe earlier. Now, at that time did you testify that you had no recollection of ever signing off on any piece of paper that made Nosenko a consultant to the CIA and that you never agreed to any such thing?
Mr. HELMS - When I made that statement in executive session on August 9, it was my distinct impression that we had made an arrangement or signed a contract with Nosenko which made him an independent contractor. In other words, it was a relationship between him and the Agency whereby he would do research work under controlled circumstances and we would control the environment, what documents he saw, what he did, and in this way we would be justified in seeing if his expertise was of any help to us, and, second, under this document we could pay him so that he could live and eventually get to be resettled. I was not aware at that time that the independent contractor provision had along with it in the document the word "consultant." If I was aware of it at the time, I never thought about it. I must confess that my thought of what a consultant is has been changed in present times, because I am a consultant to various American businesses now and my relationship to them is not the relationship I contracted for with Nosenko, so this is a semantic problem. I can only say that I am sorry that I was maybe the slightest bit misleading, but I have now explained it and I hope that satisfies you.
Chairman STOKES - Mr. Chairman, I will ask that an exhibit in the possession of the Clerk be marked as JFK F-531. I will ask that a copy of it be delivered to the witness and that the exhibit be made a part of the record at this time.
Mr. PREYER - If there is no objection, the exhibit, F-531, will be entered into the record at this point. [The information follows:]


Mr. HELMS - I have the document before me, Mr. Stokes, now. It is a document dated October 5, 1972.
Chairman STOKES - That is the document. Can you tell us what that document is?
Mr. HELMS - The subject of it is retroactive reimbursement of Yuri Ivanovich Nosenko. It entails a description of his case, what he was promised in the way of money, and gives at the end a suggestion as to how the moneys might be handled. This in turn was passed up the line in the Agency and was approved on October
Chairman STOKES - Mr. Helms, I would direct your attention to page 4 of that document and ask you whether or not your signature appears on that document?
Mr. HELMS - Yes, it does, beside the date October 18, 1972. That is my signature.
Chairman STOKES - Now, I will ask you to read three of the paragraphs from this document, paragraphs 6, 7 and 9. Would you do that, please, read it out loud?
Mr. HELMS - Six, seven, and nine?
Chairman STOKES - Yes, sir.
Mr. HELMS - Yes, sir. As of April 1969, Mr. Nosenko signed a 1-year contractual agreement for $16,500, including a clause giving assistance to him in resettlement expenses in the amount of $8,000. In March 1970, Mr. Nosenko signed a new contract for 2 years at $18,500 per annum. At about the same time he was provided with certain financial assistance, $20,000 being for the down payment on a new house and $5,000 for other related household expenses. Mr. Nosenko's contract was renewed at the new rate of $19,500 per annum on March 1, 1971 and the contract was again renewed in February 1972 at the salary of $21,000 per annum. Paragraph 7: An analysis of this case clearly indicates that Mr. Nosenko has been an extremely valuable source, one who has identified many hundreds of Soviet intelligence officers, and he has otherwise provided a considerable quantity of useful information on the organization of the KGB, its operational doctrine and methods. Then I find a blank and written in here in somebody's hand is sensitive information. The remainder of the sentence reads: Have been forwarded to the Federal Bureau of Investigation based on data from Mr. Nosenko. He has conducted numerous special security reviews on Soviet subjects of specific intelligence interest and he has proven himself to be invaluable in exploring counterintelligence leads. He recently authored a book which is of interest to the Agency. In effect, Mr. Nosenko has shown himself to be a productive and hard working defector, who is rehabilitated and favorably disposed to the Agency. Paragraph 9: In summary, the original oral agreement with Mr. Nosenko is fully documented and supports his claim; his resettlement since 1967 has been relatively smooth, with no significant security problems having developed; and he continues to function at the present time as a highly productive and useful source of information on the KGB. In view of these various considerations, it is requested that the payment of $125,000 to Mr. Nosenko be approved. These funds would be paid out of unliquidated obligations applicable to lapsed appropriations. The sentence stops there and it is written in somebody's handwriting, "sensitive sources and methods information." And the memorandum has the signature below.
Chairman STOKES - Thank you. In paragraph 9 where it says: "and he continues to function at the present time as a highly productive and useful source of infor mation on the KGB," that does not, to you, connote the activities of a consultant?
Mr. HELMS - No, sir.
Chairman STOKES - That's how you would interpret that?
Mr. HELMS - That is the kind of information we get from any agency. I am sorry, but my impression today, and it may not have been 5 years ago, I don't know, but today my impression of a consultant is one that has a closer relationship with the organization for which he is working than an agent does in an intelligence relationship. They are insulated from certain kinds of information, they are insulated from certain access, and insulated from a lot of things. Consultant is not necessarily so. Consultant is a very wide ranging term which covers all kinds of things in our language. I would just not like to see a reference at that time to his having been a consultant. I have been told since, I don't know how accurately, that Nosenko has been seen in the CIA headquarters building at Langley. I guess if he has access to the building out there, maybe he is a consultant now, but he was not considered one in my time.
Chairman STOKES - I see. Mr. Chairman, I will ask that the clerk mark another exhibit in her possession, JFK exhibit F-537 and that a copy of it be shown to the witness.
Mr. HELMS - I have the document in my hands. It is JFK exhibit F-537.
Chairman STOKES - Have you had a chance to read that document?
Mr. HELMS - No.
Chairman STOKES - Could you take the time to familiarize yourself with it?
Mr. HELMS - This is an interrogatory which this committee presented to the Agency; is that correct?
Chairman STOKES - That is correct, sir.
Mr. HELMS - I have read the document now, Mr. Stokes.
Chairman STOKES - All right. Mr. Helms, prior to referring you to that particular document, would you look at page 133 of the declassified transcript before you, beginning at line 11 1/2. It looks like where Mr. Goldsmith poses a question to you and your answer follows.
Mr. HELMS - Is this where Mr. Goldsmith says, "What about at the conclusion of the [security officer's] work?"
Chairman STOKES - That is right. Would you please read Mr. Goldsmith's question and your answer? Mr. HELMS [reading]:
Mr. GOLDSMITH - What about at the conclusion of [the security officer's] work when he issued his report, at that time did the Agency have a position with regard to Nosenko's bona fides?
Mr. HELMS - I do not believe so. At least during my time there I do not recall us ever taking a position as an agency.
Chairman STOKES - Now let me ask you, having read that question and your answer to it, is that your best recollection?
Mr. HELMS - That is my best recollection, Mr. Stokes. I notice that in this document which you tell me the Agency has provided, they say that the final conclusion was that he is a bona fide defector. I simply do not recall participating in any meeting or signing any document which made the final judgment that he was a bona fide defector.
Chairman STOKES - Let me now refer you to the exhibit, F-537 and ask you, now that is a document from the Director of Central Intelligence is it not?
Mr. HELMS - It is not signed by him, sir, so I don't know.
Chairman STOKES - Well, on the first page it does have a signature on there.
Mr. HELMS - On the first page it just has the signature of Mr. Breckinridge, principal coordinator for the House Select Committee on Assassinations.
Chairman STOKES - Is there a letterhead at the top of it?
Mr. HELMS - yes, it say, "Office of Legislative Counsel."
Chairman STOKES - And ahead of that?
Mr. HELMS - The Director of Central Intelligence.
Chairman STOKES - Washington, D.C.; right?
Mr. HELMS - Yes, 20505.
Chairman STOKES - Does the first page read as follows: 1 September 1978, Mr, G. Robert Blakey, Chief Counsel and Director, House Select Committee on Assassinations, Washington D.C. DEAR MR. BLAKEY. Forwarded herewith are answers to the interrogatories received at the close of business on 28 August 1978. Signed, S.D. Breckinridge, Principal for HSCA with attachment.
Mr. HELMS - Yes.
Chairman STOKES - Now, would you turn to the next page, commencing where it says question 3, would you read everything from that point forward? Mr. HELMS [reading]: Define Nosenko's present and past employment arrangements with the Central Intelligence Agency, include (a) the dates and nature of this employment; (b) the services rendered by Nosenko; (c) itemize the counting of all compensation received by Nosenko; (d) an account of the roles of Richard Helms and John McCone in authorizing Nosenko's employment and compensation arrangements for the CIA. Prior to Nosenko's defection on 4 February 1964, he was promised $50,000 for previous cooperation, $10,000 for his identification in 1962 of a particular espionage agent, and $25,000 a year compensation for future services. Mr. Richard Helms himself approved the foregoing on 17 February 1964. Although no effort was made to fulfill the promise until some 5 years after Nosenko's defection, the original promise formed the basis for the eventual employment and/or monetary remunerations. Following acceptance of Nosenko's bona fides in late 1968, Mr. Helms approved an arrangement which resulted in Nosenko's employment as an independent contractor effective 1 March 1969. This first contract called for him to be compensated at a rate of $16,500 a year. As of 1978 he is receiving $35,327 a year (see attached annual compensation table for years 1969 to 1978). In addition to regular yearly compensation, Nosenko was paid for the years 1964 to 1969; in November 1972 in the amount of $25,000 a year, less income tax. The total amount paid was $87,000--I beg your pardon--total amount paid was $87,052. He also received in varying increments from March 1964 to July 1973 amounts totaling $50,000 to aid in his resettlement on the private economy (see attached table for the breakdown). The total resettlement figure in effect satisfied that portion of the above 1964 promise to pay Nosenko $50,000 for previous cooperation. In 1976, Nosenko was paid $10,000 to satisfy that part of the above promise relating to his identification of an espionage agent. Further, he was compensated in the amount of $28,500, representing the difference between the $25,000 a year promised and the actual amount paid to him during the period 1 March 1969 to 1 March 1975. Since 1969, the agency has contributed to Nosenko's hospitalization insurance premium. The agency has also compensated him for certain unusual medical and dental expenses. To date, Nosenko continues to work as an independent contractor with the compensation provision being periodically amended. His work for the agency includes consultation with both the agency and the FBI on certain matters of current interest concerning Soviet intelligence activities and personnel both in the U.S. and abroad. From time to time he was also consulted by various elements of the agency on current Soviet developments and requirements. He has been, and continues to be, used as a regular lecturer at counterintelligence courses of the agency, the FBI, Air Force, OSI, and others. Our records do not show that Mr. John McCone played any role in authorizing Nosenko's employment compensation arrangements with the CIA. Annual compensation table. Do you want me to go through that?
Chairman STOKES - No. Having read this answer to the interrogatories posed to the agency, is there anything at all in this interrogatory that you would say is untrue?
Mr. HELMS - The only two statements, Mr. Stokes, that I would cavil with are the one that is "Following acceptance of Nosenko's bona fides in 1968," and I guess it appears on the last page of the document. That is the only point. If these bona fides were established in late 1968, I have no recollection of this having happened, that is all. I am sorry, I just--you want me to tell the truth here. I am doing my best.
Chairman STOKES - So then, if I understand your answer, you are not sticking with your previous testimony with reference to the fact that the agency never arrived at a determination on his bona fides?
Mr. HELMS - I didn't believe they ever did. I think my other testimony is consistent with what I am saying now. If it is not consistent, then you and I are misunderstanding each other, and that I would like to get straightened out right away.
Chairman STOKES - I guess where I am having difficulty is my understanding of how you enter into this financial arrangement. Whether you call it consultant or independent contractor or give it any other name, how you justify entering into a contract where you give taxpayer funds to someone Who you say in your opinion is not bona fide.
Mr. HELMS - I think, Mr. Stokes, that I can explain--I trust I can explain this satisfactorily. It has been said, and I believe it is true, that in the latter days of his interrogation Mr. Nosenko provided the agency with useful information with respect to certain Soviet activities. I do not recall that he gave them any additional information that helped to resolve the Oswald case or Oswald status with the KGB. The reimbursement was for two purposes, one, to get him resettled in the United States. May I say that this was the only viable option left to us at that time. There was no way of deporting him to the Soviet Union; he would have been shot and killed when he got back. He would never have been able to explain to them what he was doing during the period that he was away. So we had only one option and that was to try to resettle him. That was what I had in mind to do, and he needed money and he needed employment. If you will study the history of Soviet defectors in this country, they have had an extraordinarily difficult time adjusting to our society. They have a very difficult time making money and running businesses and being gainfully employed. I think if you will put an interrogatory to the agency to give you a history of the resettlement of defectors since 1945, you will find what I am telling you is true. Therefore, it was a complex of matters involved in his compensation; part of it was the useful information, part of it was to get him resettled, and part was because we had no choice except to do these things. At least we had no choice in my opinion. Maybe somebody else would have a different opinion, but at least in our opinion we had no choice.
Chairman STOKES - That is your total answer as to why he was being given this kind of compensation?
Mr. HELMS - Yes, sir.
Chairman STOKES - Let me now ask you this---
Mr. PREYER - There is a vote on the floor at this time. The committee will take a 10-minute recess. The committee stands in recess for 10 minutes. [Recess.]
Mr. PREYER - The committee will come to order.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - Mr. Chairman, there are a number of other documents which relate generally to the subjects of Mr. Helms' testimony, but with respect to which there was not sufficient time to ask specific questions. May they be admitted into the record as JFK EXHIBIT F-532 at this time?
Mr. PREYER - Without objection, so ordered. [The exhibit referred to follows:]


Mr. HELMS - Mr. Chairman and Mr. Stokes, would you indulge me moment, please. I would like to straighten something out. Mr. Craig tells me that he feels that I did Mr. Katzenbach an injustice in something that I said, and I would not want to do that, so let me just modify what I said this morning. Mr. Stokes asked me whether I thought Mr. Katzenbach's statement to this committee regarding our meeting was untrue. I believe I replied in the affirmative. All I meant to say was that couldn't count on Mr. Katzenbach's memory. I wasn't questioning either his judgment or his integrity. I just want to make this point. The meeting did occur but I didn't mean to imply that he testified untruthfully before this committee.
Mr. PREYER - Thank you, Mr. Helms. Mr. Stokes.
Chairman STOKES - Thank you, Mr. Chairman. If I could just follow up at this point in an area that gives me some concern, that is, if I understand you correctly, I believe you said you still even today don't really know whether Nosenko is bona fide or not; further, it is your recollection you don't believe the agency ever arrived at that determination, particularly when you were there. Let me ask you this: If it were clearly proven that Nosenko's statements concerning Oswald were untrue, what significance would you attach to such a finding insofar as the broader question of his overall bona fides are concerned?
Mr. HELMS - I think, Mr. Stokes, that is just the point. This is the issue which remains, as I understand it, to this very day, that no person familiar with the facts, of whom I am aware, finds Mr. Nosenko's comments about Lee Harvey Oswald and the KGB to be credible. That still hangs in the air like an incubus. I think, therefore, this tends to sour a great deal of one's opinion of all the other things that he may have Contributed to the knowledge of the intelligence community about Soviet affairs and Soviet agents and so forth. I do not know how one resolves this bone in the throat. And therefore, if I sit here before you and say, Mr. Stokes, I believe that Mr. Nosenko is a bona fide defector and you can rely on everything he says, I am in effect saying now, Mr. Stokes, you can rely on what he says about Lee Harvey Oswald. And I would not like to make that recommendation to you. That is where this thing lies and it is a most difficult question even at this late date.
Chairman STOKES - Then doesn't this raise a question, then, of a further part of the dilemma, that if he was not, bona fide, the only alternative, then, is what the CIA suspected, and that was that he might have been a KGB plant sent here for the purpose of deceiving the United States?
Mr. HELMS - That is correct.
Chairman STOKES - Doesn't that logically follow?
Mr. HELMS - That is certainly true, and that was foremost in our minds.
Chairman STOKES - So it leaves you with the conclusion, then, that if Nosenko was lying about Oswald, that Oswald would in fact be left as being an agent of the KGB?
Mr. HELMS - By implication.
Chairman STOKES - Right. If just the basic Nosenko story were fundamentally disproved without our taking the next step and saying Oswald is a KGB agent, what significance would that have on the overall assessment of Nosenko's bona fides?
Mr. HELMS - Mr. Stokes, I find this extraordinarily difficult to say. As one works this backward and forward, as you have been doing with great skill, it is, I find, rather dangerous for me to sort of jump from one assumption to another assumption and then extrapolate from these things to judgments which might be very alarming and which could not be demonstrated. I am sorry, and I recognize that it is absolutely central to the investigation of this committee, which has worked very long and very hard on this subject to try to resolve this issue. But I can give no more help than I have already given.
Chairman STOKES - Then that leads to to my next question, which is whether you can tell us to what extent, if any, Nosenko's story concerning Oswald changed in 1968 from the story he had been telling earlier about Oswald.
Mr. HELMS - I didn't recall that there was all that much change in his story by 1968. I may be wrong. I have not studied this matter in the depth that would be required to answer that statement accurately. Mr. Hart has been all through the records. He might have found something which may be helpful on this. But I can't be helpful on it. I don't know at what point any longer, at what date Mr. Nosenko began telling us about the additional files which were in the KGB. First he said there was only one file, then he said there were seven or eight files on surveillance, and I believe there were modifications of this story that came later. If that was in 1969, I accept that, I am not arguing about it, I just don't recall.
Chairman STOKES - Are you in a position to tell us today whether any independent investigation ever confirmed Nosenko's story about Oswald?
Mr. HELMS - I don't know of any, sir. There may have been, but I am not familiar with it.
Chairman STOKES - Are you aware of the fact that Nosenko was given three polygraph tests in 1964, 1966 and 1968? Are you aware of that?
Mr. HELMS - I was aware of it and I read it recently in the documentation which I have been shown.
Chairman STOKES - Can you give us some idea as to why he was given a polygraph test on three separate occasions?
Mr. HELMS - I want to be clear, Mr. Stokes, that in testifying in answer to this question that I am not depending on my recollection from 15 years ago. I am depending on what I have read recently. I believe one polygraph test was designed as a sort of psychological trick on Nosenko to indicate that he wasn't telling the truth. This was early on. I believe the latter two tests were an effort to find out about his credibility, whether he was telling the truth, his questionable behavior. I must confess when I was reading the results of the second polygraph; there is a statement from some polygraph expert in the United States who was brought in independently, but I didn't understand his quotations, I didn't understand to what they related. I couldn't figure out whether he was saying this was a good polygraph test or it was a bad one or whether Mr. Nosenko was lying or wasn't lying. I am sorry, but I just couldn't figure it out.
Chairman STOKES - Did you learn that he had failed his first two polygraph tests and that he passed the third?
Mr. HELMS - Yes. This assertion I saw in the record.
Chairman STOKES - Did you learn further that with reference to the test that he passed this test which was given to him approximately 1 month prior to the issuance of the 1968 report by a security officer, and this was where the report concluded that he was a bona fide defector?
Mr. HELMS - Yes, I am aware that there was a relationship between that last polygraph test and the recommendation that we resettle him in the normal way of handling defectors. I would like to point out though, Mr. Stokes, that I don't believe anyone contends that the polygraph or lie detector is anything more than an aid to interrogation. I don't think when one says one passes or fails a polygraph test this is an accurate description of the phenomenon involved. When you take a polygraph test you are asked various questions and the operator has to make a judgment as to whether you are answering the questions accurately or whether you are lying--I don't mean accurately; whether you are answering the questions to the best of your knowledge and there- fore honestly, or lying. But I don't believe anyone including courts of law accept polygraph examinations as a final judge. They are simply aids in attempting to establish whether a man is telling the truth or not.
Chairman STOKES - I would concur with you in terms of the law, that the law accepts them as merely an investigative tool at best and they have no real reliability in a courtroom. Yet we know that it is an investigative tool that has fairly wide usage. So when we see and our investigation reveals the fact that your agency conducted three polygraph tests, obviously the question is raised by us as to why they polygraphed him on three different occasions. Certainly not just for the fun of it. Then when we look further we realize that with him having failed two tests and we see that the third one is conducted in 1968 just prior to the issuance of the report which said he was bona fide, obviously it raises the question in our mind someone said: Uh huh, if we're going to come out and say he's bona fide, we better get a test that supports that. Is that a logical conclusion?
Mr. HELMS - I think the conclusion which is logical is that in trying to wrap up the case and come forward with a recommendation that a polygraph test and all other kinds of investigative techniques would have been brought to bear in an effort to make a good tidy package. In other words, I don't think the officers wanted to come forward with this proposal that he be resettled and then have the question asked: How does he react on the polygraph these days, and so forth. And they would have to say: Well, we never tested him. But you know, Mr. Stokes, and this is perhaps not relevant to this inquiry, but I think in some respects it may be. I don't know where the polygraph role stands in Mr. Nosenko's case. We discovered there were some Eastern Europeans who could defeat the polygraph at any time. Americans are not very good at it, because we are raised to tell the truth and when we lie it is easy to tell are lying. But we find a lot of Europeans and Asiatics can handle that polygraph without a blip, and you know they are lying and you have evidence that they are lying. I don't know in which category----
Chairman STOKES - Mr. Nosenko falls in that category?
Mr. HELMS - In some category.
Chairman STOKES - I am advised that the CIA used polygraph tests on all its employees.
Mr. HELMS - It works very well with Americans.
Chairman STOKES - Let me ask you this. We have learned further through our investigation in the first two polygraph tests, that Nosenko was asked numerous questions, numbering somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 or 40 questions, relative to Oswald. We have learned, further, that in the 1968 tests he was only asked two questions about Oswald on that polygraph test. Can you tell us why that occurred?
Mr. HELMS - I could not answer. I have no idea. In fact, I can't even give you a rational explanation at this late date. I may have been able to give one at the time. I may have known, but I am sorry, my memory is blank.
Chairman STOKES - At any rate, the questions revolved around Oswald wouldn't be any less important in 1968 than they were in 1964 or 1966.
Mr. HELMS - No, sir, they wouldn't have been less important. But by 1968, there was a clear objective in mind of trying to do something about the resettlement of this man, that this case simply had to be resolved. That was determined, and therefore I was to accept many obstructions or obstacles, and so forth, and still probably would have said I think we better go ahead and resettle that man. There is no other option, there is nothing else we Can do.
Chairman STOKES - I would like to get to a further Comment this area. From what we have heard from you regarding the polygraph and from what we have heard from Mr. Hart, we have a conflict here that the committee must in some way resolve. Mr. Hart told us when he testified here, representing the head of the CIA, that the polygraph was not utilized for the purpose of ascertaining the truth of this man's statements. It was used to intimidate him, it was a part of the whole process of breaking him. Let me just quote some of the things he said to us, so we can then ask you your opinion. He said: The agency's activity was devoted to breaking Nosenko, who was presumed, on the basis of the supposed evidence given by Mr. X that Nosenko was a dispatched KGB agent to mislead the United States. It is with this in mind that we have to approach everything that happened from 1962, after the first contact with Nosenko terminated, and the time Nosenko was turned over to the CIA Office for Security Reinvestigation. The polygraphs themselves must be evaluated in the light of their use, not to get at truth, because they were not used as an instrument of getting at truth. They were used as an instrument of intimidation of one sort or another, in one way or another. Now, again on the handling of Mr. Nosenko, the belief among the small group of people running the Nosenko case, a very limited group of people, was that he was part of a plot of the type outlined by Mr. X, which was so horrendous that therefore not many people could be made privy to this investigation. Then at another part of his testimony--and I am skipping parts to get at pertinent parts--he said: In addition to that, the operator was guilty of some provocative remarks. He told, before the polygraph examination, one of the polygraph examinations began, he told Nosenko that he was a fanatic, that there was no evidence to support his legend, and "your future is now zero." Then, if I recall his testimony correctly, he went on to explain that in a polygraph test obviously you do not make comments this sort to a man prior to him being given the test. Then he says in further quotes: * * * The chief of SB and the Deputy Chief of SB, the fact that the man was, except for extraordinary lengths of time strapped into the chair, all of these add up in the estimation of the CIA examiners who have gone over this series of tests, to an invalid polygraph. Now in the handwriting of the Deputy Chief, SB, who is a day-to-day supervisor of the activity which I have been describing, it is--there is an admission which is implied fairly clearly that there was no intention that this 1966 series of polygraphs would be valid. I read here a direct quotation which exists in writing and most of it is in the handwriting of the Deputy Chief of SB Speaking of the aims to be achieved by the 1966 polygraph examinations, he writes, "To gain more insight into points of detail which we could use in fabricating and ostensibly confession insofar as we could make one consistent and believable event to the Soviets, a confession would be useful in any eventual disposal of Nosenko." Now, he does not clarify what he means in this document by disposal, but it is apparent that--And then Mr. Sawyer interrupted and said, Excuse me. Did you use the term eventual disposal of him? Mr. Hart. I used the term eventual disposal, yes, sir. Now, Mr. Helms, I think it would be important to this committee to have your comments on Mr. Hart's testimony with reference to why the polygraph was being utilized in light of your own. My understanding is that the first polygraph examination that he was given was designed not to elicit the truth; it was designed to be used as a pressure tactic on him to see if he would confess.
Mr. HELMS - I thought the only polygraph or the only two polygraphs that were given in the normal polygraph way by examiners who had nothing to do with the interrogation were the last two. I think the first one, it has been admitted, was for the purpose of bringing pressure to bear on him. As to those lurid comments about the disposal, I have already addressed myself to those. I knew nothing about these comments; I knew nothing about a written confession; I knew nothing about anything of those things at the time. They may have been written down by Deputy Chief of Soviet Bloc Division, but I have not seen his notes. All I know is that I was never aware of this, and therefore there was never any indication on the part of anybody in a position of responsibility in the management of the Agency to do anything with Mr. Nosenko except to try to establish his bona fides somehow.
Chairman STOKES - So if these things were being done while you were in the capacity which you have described here, it was never brought to your attention?
Mr. HELMS - It was not.
Chairman STOKES - The responsibility for handling Nosenko was initially given to the SR branch or the SR division. Did the SR division enter into a situation as the neutral party, or did the SR division think from the very beginning that Nosenko was not a bona fide defector?
Mr. HELMS - I think early on their conviction was that he was not a bona fide defector. That is my impression today.
Chairman STOKES - When the security officer began his investigation did he enter the situation in a sort of neutral capacity?
Mr. HELMS - I don't know whether he entered it, sir, in a neutral capacity or whether he felt the SR division fellows had been wrong and that a different treatment with Nosenko would elicit a different result. I am inclined to think that was the status of the affair. In any event, by that time it was clear that the hostile interrogation was getting nowhere.
Chairman STOKES - At that point you were aware, of course, of the hostile interrogation; is that it?
Mr. HELMS - Yes. Since I indicated a decision was made to try that after his behavior--his thinking was such there was no way to get him to talk at all except to confine him.
Chairman STOKES - How would you characterize, by the way, your own reaction to this whole situation? Was this frustrating? Or were you just content to go along with this in this whole period of time?
Mr. HELMS - I don't think there has ever been anything more frustrating in my life. This would have been resolved very rapidly if it involved anything except the assassination of President Kennedy. I don't suppose I would be sitting here today if he hadn't been assassinated either.
Chairman STOKES - I think you testified earlier today that you told or communicated the fact to Chief Justice Warren that this man's bona fides generally could not be established, that he was not believable. When you met with Chief Justice Warren for the purpose of clarification did you tell him specifically the agency had been unable to resolve the issue of Nosenko's bona fides, or did you tell him that the Agency did not think that Nosenko was bona fide?
Mr. HELMS - I believe, and it is my recollection, that what I said to the Chief Justice was that we don't know what this man represents but we cannot vouch for him. In other words, we cannot vouch for him positively, and therefore I think the Warren Commission should take into consideration the fact that we cannot vouch for him and therefore we cannot sign off, if you like, on what he has said as being true, and that in all fairness to the Commission this obviously sets in question the statement which the FBI passed to the Warren Commission about Nosenko's comments right after his defection about Oswald, and that I took as close to a middle position as I could. In other words, I didn't use any excessive language, I didn't attempt to dramatize this. I just said we can't establish his bona fides. And that is our responsibility and I am sorry.
Chairman STOKES - Yesterday I put into the record an exhibit which was a report to the Warren Commission that had been compiled as a result of testimony taken from Nosenko by the FBI a fairly extensive document which the Warren Commission had in its files. I did not see Such a document with reference to the CIA. Can you tell us what the substance was of what you told the Warren Commission or Chief Justice Warren of Nosenko's story about Oswald?
Mr. HELMS - Sir, I am not sure I quite understand. Are you asking me is there a document in existence of what I told Chief Justice Warren?
Chairman STOKES - Yes. It can be answered twofold. No. 1, I am asking you, is there such a document? No. 2, tell us what, if anything, was said, whether there is or is not a document.
Mr. HELMS - I don't know; I don't think there is a document. I don't recall ever having written a document about it. Whether Chief Justice Warren himself wrote a document or whether it is incorporated in the proceedings of the Warren Commission, that I don't know either, sir.
Chairman STOKES - Can you give us the benefit of what you told him about the substance of Nosenko's story?
Mr. HELMS - I don't believe that at this meeting, at least as I now vaguely recall it, that I went into the substance. I simply stuck to the fact that I couldn't vouch for the man and therefore whatever he had said they would have to judge in that light.
Chairman STOKES - Can you tell us what Chief Justice Warren's reaction was?
Mr. HELMS - I don't think he was pleased to hear this. He was perfectly reasonable about it and said, thank you, and I will inform my colleagues on the Commission about this; I appreciate your having told us, and we will be guided accordingly.
Chairman STOKES - Did the Warren Commission themselves or staff ever make a request to interview.
Mr. HELMS - I am not aware of it, Mr. Stokes, if they did.
Chairman STOKES - Did you inform the Warren Commission in April of 1964 that Nosenko was then being placed in solitary confinement?
Mr. HELMS - I don't remember any more what the Warren Commission was told about the circumstances of Mr. Nosenko's living conditions or handling. I don't have any recollection of that at all. Whether any of my colleagues sought, to provide it, know. Fifteen years is a long time to remember.
Chairman STOKES - Let me ask you this. Is it something that you think they should have been told about?
Mr. HELMS - I have a hard time answering. I think we were all preoccupied with getting at what Mr. Nosenko knew about Oswald and the details had been given them, and it would seem to me those were the relevant things.
Chairman STOKES - Wouldn't it have been either a responsibility of you or Mr. McCone to advise the Commission of the extraordinary action being taken with reference to this affair?
Mr. HELMS - I don't think there is anything particularly extraordinary about the manner in which the Warren Commission was sitting.
Chairman STOKES - You misunderstood my use of the word "extraordinary." It seemed to me at the point where you are getting ready to put a man in solitary confinement--under conditions under which he was confined is not a normal American situation.
Mr. HELMS - I understand that.
Chairman STOKES - So I put it in that sense. Don't you think they should have been advised of this extraordinary situation?
Mr. HELMS - Maybe my recollection is faulty, but during the time that we were attempting to resolve is bona fides in order to help the Warren Commission, the fact that he was being kept alone and isolated and so forth, I don't think that would have come as a surprise to anybody. This is the way we handled all defectors.
Chairman STOKES - That was standard operating procedure; is that it?
Mr. HELMS - Of course. What would you do with them, put them in the Hilton?
Chairman STOKES - Whose decision was it, Mr. Helms, to place him in solitary confinement?
Mr. HELMS - I think it was the decision arrived at by those involved in the case that this was--well, it was a kind of a decision jointly arrived at, I am sure, on the recommendation of the individuals who were going to do the interrogating, and at the original point of departure obviously he would have been kept alone and an effort would have been made to interrogate him on successive days. The fact he was held do long is something that came afterward. That didn't have much to do with the Warren Commission once their report had come out but we still were under this necessity to try to resolve the cse; but a lot of people were involved in this decision. This is probably not the kind of a decision an individual makes all by himself.
Chairman STOKES - What I am trying to do is have the record clear as to who made this decision as of April 4, 1964, to place him in solitary confinement.
Mr. HELMS - I don't know who exactly made the final decision. I assume it went to the Director for his approval. I don't know this as a fact. I would assume that the agency records might show this. If they don't, my recollection is not that clear any more. I was a party to the decision, I am sure of that. I don't want to duck anything around here. I don't want any of you gentlemen to think that like so many witnesses which come before congressional committees nobody can be found who is prepared to stand up and say they were there; but I was there. It would not have been my final decision to make.
Chairman STOKES - So that the committee then, following up on your last words, so they an properly assess it, what specifically was your input?
Mr. HELMS - I assume my input would have been to agree this should be tried, the hostile interrogation should be tried. I obviously had no idea at that time that this was going to drag on so.
Chairman STOKES - Mr. Helms, let me refer you once again to page 147 of the declassified transcript. The question posed to you on that pate.
Mr. HELMS - 147, Mr. Stokes?
Chairman STOKES - 147.
Mr. HELMS - Is this where I say, "I certainly agreed to the fact that this should be tried."?
Chairman STOKES - No. I would like you to refer to line 17 and then I want to ask you this question.
Mr. HELMS - I see line 17, It is where Mr. Goldsmith asked me a question.
Chairman STOKES - The question asked of you by Mr. Goldsmith, "Please describe to the best of your knowledge the conditions under which Nosenko Was placed When he was put in solitary confinement." Answer: "He was put into a small house in the countryside where he had a perfectly sanitary and satisfactory living condition. They were just not particularly spacious or padded, let us say. His bed was perfectly adequate, his chair was perfectly adequate, the lighting was pefectly adequate, but it was not particularly comfortable in the normal American sense of the terms." Was that question asked of you and was that your answer?
Mr. HELMS - Yes. If that is not an accurate description of the first place he was held after his defection, then I was misinformed. I never went to visit the place myself. This is simply what I was told.
Chairman STOKES - So my understanding now is the testimony here today would not be the same as it was on that day. Is that what you are saying?
Mr. HELMS - No, I am not, sir. I am simply saying that I believe he was held in different places in this period of time. As to the first place he was held, it is my understanding this is an accurate description of it. If it is incorrect, I am sorry. But I would just do my best to describe what I understood. Is it not correct?
Chairman STOKES - Let me ask you this. What do you understand; the conditions changed from what you have described?
Mr. HELMS - Some months later when another facility was created specifically to hold Mr. Nosenko, I believe that was somewhat later on--it must have been later on because it had to be arranged.
Chairman STOKES - I am having a little problem understanding. On that occasion if you were under the impression Mr. Goldsmith was asking you about one particular place and you had in mind another place. Why didn't you indicate that at that time?
Mr. HELMS - That is quite conceivable, Mr. Stokes. I am sorry if when he says the place he was in solitary confinement, if that referred to the later installation, I didn't understand it that way. He was in solitary confinement from the time he was brought over.
Chairman STOKES - At the point he was put into solitary confinement, then, can you describe the conditions that existed then?
Mr. HELMS - Now in "solitary confinement," are you referring to the installation in which he was later held, which was constructed for this purpose? Is that the one you are talking about?
Chairman STOKES - Let me put it this way, so that there is no mistake about it: He was put in solitary confinement April 4, 1964; is that right?
Mr. HELMS - He was subjected to hostile interrogation. Is there a magic to solitary Confinement, aside from the fact that is kind of buzz word in the United States? I mean, he is living alone in a house; is that solitary confinement, or do you have something else in mind? That is all I am trying to get after.
Chairman STOKES - How many times was his position, where he was headquartered at a house, changed?
Mr. HELMS - I don't know. I don't know where he was first put when he arrived in Washington. I don't know if that is the same place he was kept until he was moved to a later place. I am not sure of these details anymore at all.
Chairman STOKES - Well, are you able to describe any of these places where he was kept for us?
Mr. HELMS - The place, the installation, which he was later taken to, I saw many years afterward. Have you seen it?
Chairman STOKES - No, I have not.
Mr. HELMS - I guess it still exists.
Chairman STOKES - Can you describe that place for us, the conditions that he experienced there?
Mr. HELMS - I never visited the place when Mr. Nosenko was there. It was quite some years after he had left there that I went to see it at the time it was constructed, I believe I sent an officer or a couple of officers in whom I had confidence to go down and examine the place and see if it was too rigorous or whether it was proper for the purposes and so forth; and I was assured that it was all right. Perhaps I should not have taken their word. Maybe I should have gone down myself, but the fact remains that I have seen it once; but I can't describe the conditions under which he was held because I never visited him when he was there.
Chairman STOKES - Mr. Helms, prior to April 4, 1964, when he was put in solitary confinement, hadn't he been on vacation in Hawaii with some of the CIA agents for over 2 weeks?
Mr. HELMS - Well, I knew he was drinking in Baltimore; he was in Hawaii. There were various devices being used to try and take care of him, and talk to him, and so forth; so it may be that it was in April precisely that he was put in solitary confinement or that he was confined. Let's put it that way.
Chairman STOKES - He was confined as of that date?
Mr. HELMS - After all, he was in the custody of these individuals, as soon as he arrived in the United States. I am not sure when he was confined, but if it was in the same house in which he was living in Washington, or whether it was or not, I am sorry, I just don't have these details, Mr. Stokes.
Chairman STOKES - But even the place which you described in your previous testimony--you don't know when that was, do you?
Mr. HELMS - I thought this was the first place he was put when the serious interrogation began. When I was down here before-and I guess it is in this book somewhere--Mr. Nosenko himself, l believe, gave this committee an affidavit, describing the fact that he was held in two different places. That was the basis on which I assumed he was accurate about it; but if this is now coming down to a question of my veracity about this testimony, then I must have misunderstood the question. I would rather withdraw it and not describe at all how Mr. Nosenko was held. I think that would be better for the record.
Chairman STOKES - Is that your preference?
Mr. HELMS - Yes. Then there won't be any question about it.
Chairman STOKES - I ask, Mr. Chairman, that the clerk mark another exhibit in her possession as JFK F-446. I request that the witness be provided a copy of it and that this exhibit be entered into the record at this point.
Mr. PREYER - Without objection, JFK exhibit No. F-446 will be admitted into the record at this point. [The information follows:]


Chairman STOKES - I request further, Mr. Chairman, that in the event I did not request that JFK exhibit F-537 be made a part of the record, that it be made a part of the record at this point.
Mr. PREYER - Without objection, JFK exhibit F-537 is entered into the record at this point. [The information follows:]


Mr. HELMS - I have the document.
Chairman STOKES - Mr, Helms, when this committee interviewed Nosenko, during the course of the testimony we took from him I made a special request that he provide this committee with an affidavit which set forth with preciseness exactly the way he was treated while a member--while in custody by the CIA. I want to read this exhibit at this time: In accordance with the request of the staff of the committee, the House Select Committee on Assassinations, I make the following statement describing the conditions of my imprisonment from April 1964, to the end of 1967. On April 4, 1964, 1 was taken for a physical checkup and a test on a lie-detector somewhere in a house. A doctor had given me a physical checkup and after that I was taken in another room for the test on a lie-detector. After finishing the test, an officer of CIA has come in the room and talked with the technician, started to shout that I was a phoney, and immediately several guards entered in the room. Guards ordered me to stand by the wall, to undress and check me. After that, I was taken upstairs in an attic room. The room had a metal bed attached to the floor in the center of this room. Nobody told me anything, how long I would be there or what would happen to me. After several days, two officers of CIA started interrogations. I tried to cooperate and even in evening hours was writing for them whatever I could recollect about the KGB. These officers were interrogating me about a month or 2 months. The tone of interrogations was hostile. Then they stopped to come to see me until the end of 1964. I was kept in this room until the end of 1964 and beginning of 1965. The conditions were very poor and difficult. I could have a shower once in a week and once in a week I could shave. I was not given a toothbrush and a toothpaste, and food given to me was very poor. I did not have enough to eat and was hungry all the time, I had no contact with anybody to talk to. I could not read. I could not smoke. I even could not have fresh air or to see anything from this room. The only window was screened and boarded. The only door to the room had a metal screen, and outside, in a corridor, two guards were watching me day and night The only furniture in the room was a single bed and a lightbulb. The room was very hot in the summertime. In the end of 1964, there was started again interrogations by several different officers. The first day they kept me under 24-hours interrogation. All interrogations were done in a hostile manner. At the end of all those interrogations, when I was told that it was the last one and asked what I wanted to be related to higher-ups. I said that I was a true defector and being under arrest about 386 days, I wanted to be put on trial, if I was found guilty or released. 1 also asked how long it would continue. I was told I would be there 3,860 days and even more. This evening I was taken by guards, blindfolded and handcuffed, in a car and delivered to an airport and put in a plane. I was taken to another location where I was put into a concrete room with bars on a door. In the room was a single steel bed and a mattress, no pillow, no sheet and no blanket. During winter it was very cold and I asked to give me a blanket, which I received after some time. Except 1 day of interrogation and 1 day of a test on a lie-detector, I have not seen anyone besides guards and a doctor. The guards were not allowed to talk with me. After my constant complaining that I needed fresh air, at the end of 1966 I was taken almost every day for 30 minutes' exercise to a small area attached to this cell. The area was surrounded by chain-linked fence and by a second fence that I could not see through. The only thing I could see was the sky. Being in this ceil, I was watched day and night through TV camera. Trying to pass the time a couple of times, I was making from threads a chess set. Every time when I finished those sets, immediately guards were entering in my cell and taking them from me. I was desperately wanting to read. Once when I was given a toothpaste, I found in the toothpaste box a piece of paper with description of components of this toothpaste. I was trying to read it under blanket, but guards noticed it and again was taken from me. Conditions in both first and second location were analogical and illogical. I was there until November of 1967. Then I again was transferred blindfolded and hand cuffed in this to another location. In the new place I had a room with much better conditions, and CIA officers started questioning me every day, excluding Sundays, touching all questions concerning my biography, career in the KGB and all cases of the KGB known to me. I was in prison for the whole 5 years and I started my lile in the USA in April of 1969. Dated August 7, 1978, signed by Nosenko, Y.I. This affidavit was taken by counsel for this committee, Kenneth Klein, as a result of my request. Having heard this affidavit as I read it, can you tell me whether or not that was a bona fide statement of Mr. Nosenko about the way he was treated by the CIA?
Mr. HELMS - Mr. Stokes, I have no means of agreeing or disagreeing. I have no basis for agreeing or disagreeing. I didn't visit him during the time he was being held. After that affidavit was read to me back in August, I inquired of one of my former associates who had to do with the holding of Nosenko. He said that he was certainly held under difficult conditions but I don't think that his testimony about the food that Nosenko has--he made the point that the doctor examined him once a week and that certain of these statements would seem to be somewhat exaggerated. But I have no independent basis for saying that. You can bring this officer in here anytime you like and ask him. I just don't know whether it is correct or not.
Chairman STOKES - Did anyone working under you ever request permission to give him drugs?
Mr. HELMS - My recollection is that there was a request made to use the kind of drugs that were considered to be aids in interrogation, the truth drugs, such as, I believe, sodium pentathol, is one of them. I don't recall exactly what was proposed, but I made it clear on that occasion that he was to be given drugs under no circumstances; and I also made it clear from the very outset that he was not to be mistreated physically. To the best of my knowledge, he was never given drugs and never mistreated physically and regu larly was checked by doctors to check his state of health. The doctor who did the checking was a medical doctor as well as a psychiatrist.
Chairman STOKES - When Mr. Hart testified here a few days ago, in substantially every detail in Mr. Nosenko's affidavit, Mr. Hart verities that this is the way this man was treated, and he verities that from 6 months compilation of records of the CIA, compiled, researched, and studied by him and four assistants, with that knowledge. Do you still say that your position being what it was with the Agency that you knew nothing of these Spartan conditions?
Mr. HELMS - I knew that he was being held under Spartan conditions. I am simply saying I am unable to attest to the details that he has in here, because I never went to visit him during this time. The reports were made to me that he was being held in Spartan conditions; that is why we had the doctor go down to examine him.
Chairman STOKES - With reference to his diet there, is it your statement that you said that statement was exaggerate?
Mr. HELMS - The gentleman with whom I spoke a few days ago told me the one thing he insisted on was that Mr. Nosenko got enough food. He told me this. I can only attest to what he told me, but he is available if you want to talk to him.
Chairman STOKES - We have the statement of the CIA that periodically during this time his diet was modified to the extent his portions of food were modest and restricted. That is their statement to us. Mr. Chairman, I think I have maybe just one or two final questions. The conditions that we have just talked about obviously began April 4, 1964; is that right?
Mr. HELMS - That is what you say, Mr. Stokes.
Chairman STOKES - I am not the witness here.
Mr. HELMS - I am going with your time schedule from now on. There is no sense in my getting all confused and delaying this hearing. I will accept what you say, that it started in April 1964.
Chairman STOKES - You will accept it. The report of the Warren Commission was not issued until-December-September of that year.
Mr. HELMS - I am sorry, sir--did you say September or December?
Chairman STOKES - I originally said December, and I was wrong. It was September.
Mr. HELMS - September?
Chairman STOKES - Right. It would seem to me that that would have been ample time for the Warren Commission to have been advised of the conditions under which a defector who professed to have important information about Oswald was being kept If I understand your testimony correctly, the Commission was not told of these conditions under which this defector was being kept?
Mr. HELMS - I don't recall their having been told;. they certainly knew that we had the defector in our custody, because that was the burden of what I told the Chief Justice. The precise circumstances under which he was being held, if they were identified to the Warren Commission, I am not aware of it.
Chairman STOKES - Thank you, Mr. Helms. Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
Mr. PREYER - This may be a good place for us to break, if you have completed your questioning, Mr. Chairman. Let me suggest that the committee recess until 1:30. Would that be agreeable to you, Mr. Helms?
Mr. HELMS - Certainly, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. PREYER - Is that agreeable with the committee? The committee stands recessed until 1:30 today.
[Whereupon, at 12:18 p.m., the hearing was recessed, the committee to reconvene at 1:30 p.m. of the same day.]


Mr. PREYER - The committee will resume its session. The Chair recognizes Congressman Dodd for such time as he may consume to resume the questioning.
Mr. DODD - Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Helms, before I begin my line of questioning, I would like to ask you if you might not want to clarify one of your statements. I received some calls over the lunch break from some constituents from my home State of Connecticut who were listening to the testimony this morning. They mentioned to me your response earlier regarding Eastern Europeans and Asians with their propensity to be able to pass polygraph tests, and it occurred to me that you might want to rephrase your statement. I understood you to mean trained agents from those parts of the world rather than Asians and Eastern Europeans as ethnic groups. I thought you might want to take a minute to clarify that. TESTIMONY OF RICHARD HELMS--(Resumed)

Mr. HELMS - Mr. Dodd, if my generalization caused offense, I had no intention of doing this. What I, in effect, was trying to say was that there is an occasional individual who lives in that part of the world who has spent his life lying about one thing or another and therefore becomes so good at it that he can pass the polygraph test. But this would be 1 individual in maybe 1 million or a 100,000, something of that kind. I imagine Americans, if they set their minds to it, could do it as well. I meant no offense to Eastern Europeans as a category or any individual Eastern European.
Mr. DODD - I thought I would clear that up.
Mr. HELMS - I am glad you did. I am sorry if any of your constituents felt I was being disrespectful, but I had no intention of being that way.
Mr. DODD - I would like, Mr. Chairman, to ask the clerk to show to the witness JFK exhibit F-413A. This is a letter dated April 3, 1964, from Lawrence R. Houston, general counsel, that Mr. Helms brought with him this morning and had, I believe, inserted in the record. This is the only copy. Would you please show that to Mr. Helms.
Mr. HELMS - I have it in front of me, Mr. Dodd.
Mr. DODD - Mr. Helms, I noted in looking at the exhibit during the lunch break that there was, no signature on that letter. There is an initial. I am not sure it is even Mr. Houston's initial but it was not signed by anyone. I would like to, if I could, address some questions to you with regard to Mr. Houston and the credibility of that statement. This morning you supplied the committee with this memorandum which was ostensibly written by Mr. Houston, the former CIA General Counsel, regarding meetings with the Justice Department officials about Nosenko. That was the substance anyway, as I understood it, of the memorandum. Is that correct?
Mr. HELMS - Yes, sir.
Mr. DODD - Is this the same Lawrence Houston who on May 7, 1962, along with Sheffield Edwards, also of the CIA, briefed Attorney General Robert Kennedy about the pre-Bay of Pigs CIA Mafia plots?
Mr. HELMS - I believe it was the same Mr. Houston. He was General Counsel of the Agency for many years.
Mr. DODD - I am looking here at the report from the Intelligence Committee on page 131, the bottom paragraph: "Briefing of the Attorney General on May 7, 1962." An entry in Attorney General Kennedy's calendar for May 7, 1962, states, "1 o'clock Richard Helms. At 4 o'clock the Attorney General met with Houston and Edwards to be briefed on the CIA operation involving Maheu, Rosselli, and Giancana."
Mr. HELMS - That would be the meeting.
Mr. DODD - That satisfies your recollection?
Mr. HELMS - That satisfies my recollection. I have been questioned about that calendar on many occasions. That appointment that I had with the Attorney General that day at 1 o'clock apparently was canceled, so I was never there. But I believe Edwards and Houston did keep their appointment.
Mr. DODD - Isn't it true that at that meeting both Mr. Houston and Mr. Edwards told the Attorney General--on May 17, 1962-that the CIA-Mafia plots no longer were in any existence, were terminated?
Mr. HELMS - That is my understanding of what they told him, Mr. Dodd. I believe--wasn't that contained in a memorandum for the record written after their meeting? Was it written by Colonel Edwards? I don't recall; someone wrote it.
Mr. DODD - I will quote for you the bottom paragraph, bb, on page 132 of this report. It says, "And that Kennedy was told the activity had been terminated as of that time."
Mr. HELMS - I assume that is what they told him.
Mr. DODD - In fact, I will read a direct quote here I have on page 133 of this same report, footnote 4 referring to the italicized paragraph at the top of page 133: The Attorney General was not told that the gambling syndicate operation had already been reactivated, nor as Jar as we know was he ever told that CIA had a continuing involvement with U.S. gangster elements. That is from the Inspector General's report, page 65. That is where the italicized words come from. And then the fourth footnote referrring to this general line of questioning, it says, footnote 4: Houston testified that Kennedy insisted "There was not to be any contact of the Mafia without prior consultation with him." Isn't it also true to your knowledge that in 1967 the CIA Inspector General's report concluded that Sheffield Edwards had, in fact, lied when they and Houston had told the Attorney General that these plots no longer existed?
Mr. HELMS - Does it appear in the Inspector General's report that Edwards lied?
Mr. DODD - Well, maybe semantically we could---
Mr. HELMS - I'm not caviling, I just don't recall any more.
Mr. DODD - On page 134 of this same report, I am reading from the first full paragraph at the top of page 134, which reads as follows. As concluded by the CIA itself and the Inspector General's report. Edwards' statement that he was not aware of these developments is implausible. Do you have any disagreement with that statement?
Mr. HELMS - I don't know how to judge it one way or the other. I did not recall the statement as I was sitting here, and I am just unable to help with it. If the Inspector General thought it was iraplausible, I guess he thought it was, but I don't think any final judgment was made about it. It was part of a very long report which was directed at some other things as well, and I don't recall this ever became an issue that anybody had attempted to define, or refine, let me put it that way.
Mr. DODD - The reason I raise it is the credibility of Mr. Houston with regard to the memo, and I thought maybe you might be able to shed some light on why that was not signed. Was that a normal operating procedure not to sign something with your name typewritten underneath it?
Mr. HELMS - I don't know. What we are dealing with is a Xerox, or if it isn't a Xerox--maybe I shouldn't use a company name-let's say a copy. I don't know whether it is a copy of the original memorandum Mr. Houston wrote or a copy of a copy that was made at the time that he wrote the memorandum. I don't know who put the signed LRH down here. In other words, I think that we need some help from the agency as to the exact circumstances, but I can't conceive that Mr. Houston wouldn't be glad to speak for himself. He is still alive and well and living here in Washington.
Mr. DODD - Thank you very much. This morning I believe I heard you testify that you gave all of the information you believed pertinent to the Warren Commission's investigation--to the commission promptly. Am 1 recalling your statement correctly there?
Mr. HELMS - I said--I believe I testified, Mr. Dodd, that I believed this to be the case although I had learned in recent years that one must never make a flat statement about anything, so there may have been certain cases in which they did not get information promptly. But I believe our effort was to give it to them as promptly as possible.
Mr. DODD - Alright, I would like to proceed, if I could, for the next few minutes and ask you to respond to questions surrounding the so-called assassination plots that were ongoing during the period from 1961 on. And so I would like to have you focus your attention on that particular aspect of your inquiry here today. My first question is, to your knowledge, was any member of the Warren Commission, or its staff, ever informed by the Central Intelligence Agency of the CIA's anti-Castro assassination plots?
Mr. HELMS - I assume that you are referring to the one that is most frequently characterized as an assassination plot Which involved the Mafia? Because the other assassination plots I don't accept as assassination plots. And so again We have a definitional problem.
Mr. DODD - Let's start off and ask whether the Warren Commission was ever informed of any of these attempts on the Cuban regime whether on the person of Fidel Castro or an effort to overthrow his government, or an effort to knock him off personally-whatever they fall into. In any of those to areas your knowledge was the Warren Commission, members or their staff, ever informed of these efforts?
Mr. HELMS - I don't know what the Warren Commission knew
Mr. DODD - I didn't inform them of these things, but they had among them as members Mr. Allen Dulles, who was certainly aware of what had been going on with respect to Cuba; Senator Russell of Georgia, the chairman of the Oversight Committee, who was also aware of what was going on with respect to Cuba; Mr. McCone who was director at the time, also knew what was happening. What the Commission knew from those gentlemen I don't know. I never spoke to them myself about it.
Mr. DODD - But you never did personally?
Mr. HELMS - I never did.
Mr. DODD - I would like to draw your attention if I could to page 22 of your now declassified August 9, 1978, testimony before this committee written, you stated and I will quote--do you have a copy of the report in front of you?
Mr. HELMS - Yes, I do. What page is this?
Mr. DODD - Page 22.
Mr. HELMS - I am on 22.
Mr. DODD - On line 9. Does your copy read, "The only assassination plot that had any semblance of substance to it"--I am quoting your response now to Mr. Goldsmith's question--"was one involving a couple of Mafia chieftains and which were supposed to have taken place before the Bay of Pigs." Is that an accurate reflection of your views?
Mr. HELMS - As far as I know, it is an accurate statement. I would make essentially the same statement today.
Mr. DODD - Before proceeding with the line of questioning on that, may I ask who these Mafia organized crime chieftains were?
Mr. HELMS - My recollection--I would like to point out that there were two times in which different people were in touch with the Mafia. One happened before I was aware that this was going on and which was the episode that was referred tO by Colonel Edwards and Mr. Houston when they saw the Attorney General. The second one, which I never characterized as an assassination plot because as far as I knew it never went anywhere, was a second one involving the the Mafia, the one which I have on public television apologized for and said it was the greatest mistake of my life to have had anything to do with it and I am sorry about it. But I have never had any convincing evidence from any human being today that this plot ever went anywhere. I think just to make myself quite explicit here, I would want to see the information that said that I had any indication from William Harvey that his operation with Rosselli ever produced anything in Havana. I would like some evidence of this. I would like a statement under oath from somebody other than a Mafia chieftain.
Mr. DODD - I will go back to my question again. The first relationship existed prior to your direct involvement, is that right?
Mr. HELMS - That is right.
Mr. DODD - This is prior to the May 7, 1962, meeting referred to by Colonel Edwards and Mr. Houston?
Mr. HELMS - That is right, and therefore I don't know the details of it.
Mr. DODD - Am I correct in assuming that the names referred to in the report Mr. Rosselli, Mr. Giancana, that those were the principals involved. Were there others that you were aware
Mr. HELMS - I believe there were others. I thought there was a fellow named Trafficante involved but I am not sure about that. He maybe came into the picture later.
Mr. DODD - I do recognize that you have made a public apology and I preface my questions to you with that in mind. But could you tell this committee who the individuals were that you happened to be involved with on the second set of circumstances involving Mafia chieftains or organized crime figures?
Mr. HELMS - As far as I am aware in that particular situation it was William K. Harvey who was in touch with John Rosselli, and it was Harvey and Rosselli who were attempting to find, if I understood it correctly, some channel from Florida into Havana. I also understand that there was a question of poison pills which were supposed to be transported to Havana. There was never any evidence they were ever transported there or ever left the United States. There was never any evidence that this plot ever left the Florida mainland. If it was indeed an assassination plot, it was misadvertised to me, because I had understood it was an effort to see if a connection could be made between the Mafia in Florida and the Mafia in Havana. To the best of my knowledge, the connection never was made.
Mr. DODD - Other than Mr. Harvey and Mr. Rosselli, was there anyone else that would fall into the character of being members of organized crime that you had direct contact with?
Mr. HELMS - I had direct contact with none of--the only gentleman I had direct contact with myself was Harvey, who was a staff officer. I never met Mr. Rosselli. I never met Mr. Giancana. If I met a Mafia chieftain, I wasn't aware of it.
Mr. DODD - Am I to understand that Mr. Giancana was also involved in this second.
Mr. HELMS - I don't think he was. It was not my understanding that he was. But then I have no way of demonstrating that, Mr. Dodd. The Mafia has its own internal organization, and who Rosselli talked to I don't know.
Mr. DODD - Going back again to the statement that I read from page 22 of your declassified testimony before this committee, "The only assassination plot that had any semblance or substance was the one involving a couple of Mafia chieftains." I would like to, refer to JFK exhibit F-527. I would ask the clerk to supply Mr. Helms with a copy of that exhibit. And I would ask you, Mr. Helms, if you would take a look over this exhibit with particular emphasis on the last paragraph of what is page 2 of the exhibit, page 3, to the top of page 4, ending with the paragraph that ends at the top of page 4. Take a minute to look at that. I am not asking that you read it out loud but just that you familiarize yourself with the contents of this exhibit.
Mr. HELMS - I have read that now. Mr. DODD, Is it fair to assume you recognize this document? You have seen it before?
Mr. HELMS - Yes, I have.
Mr. DODD - Am I correct in stating this is the CIA's Inspector General's report done in 1967----
Mr. HELMS - The one that I asked to have done.
Mr. DODD - The one you asked to have done as DCI, Director of the Agency?
Mr. HELMS - Right.
Mr. DODD - I don't intend to read all of this but beginning at the last sentence on page 2 of the Inspector General's report it reads as follows: We can identify five separate phases in agency assassination planning although the transitions from one to another are not always sharply defined. Each phase is a reflection of the then prevailing government attitude toward the Cuban regime. Without reading each one of them, the inspector General's report prepared at your request, then outlines in separate paragraphs, from A to E, five separate phases, as they describe, and using their language again in "agency assassination planning." I would like to know, first of all, how you can explain that we have in a report prepared for you in 1967 what appears to me to be five separate areas of assassination planning and how that can be distinguished from your statment to this committee in executive session where you talk about basically one or tee semblance assassination attempt involving organized crime figures. Can you please enlighten the committee as to how you can reach two separate---
Mr. HELMS - Yes, I can. I think this is rather lurid language that has been used in this report. As I read through it, this looks like the efforts that were made during this time to upset the Castro regime. If one identifies that as assassination planning, I don't think that is a proper description of it, and if somebody will come forth with all the items that are supposed to have been in that planning, I would be delighted to hear it.
Mr. DODD - They identify here one period beginning prior to August 1960, That is the first one. The second one is August 1960 to April 1961. The third is April 1961 late 1961.
Mr. HELMS - Aren't those all the same one?
Mr. DODD - That is my question for you. The Inspector General seemed to distinguish between the various phases here, and according to your testimony before us, is this what you were referring to? is this what you are calling one, what they call five?
Mr. HELMS - That is right. I became involved with this business sometime in 1962 after I took over as DDP. I've forgotten what month. Anything prior to that I didn't have anything to do with. I would assume this was one plot but maybe there were others. But if there are, in all the time I spent with the Church committee and all the time I have spent endlessly for the last 3 or 4 years, it seems to me, about these matters, I haven't had anything else brought to my attention. And if you gentlemen have something, I would like to know it. But I don't know what it is and I am sorry I can't help.
Mr. DODD - Did you take issue with this report 11 years ago at the time it was issued?
Mr. HELMS - Mr. Dodd, when I got this report I had some problems with respect to reporting to President Johnson about certain points that he was particularly interested in. I did not attempt to parse it or analyze it or get it changed or do anything with it except use it as a fact-finding document. I want to say right now that I never expected to see the document in the public domain declassified for the appetites of all those who wanted to make the most of it, and therefore if I had known this, I obviously would have edited the report and changed it rather substantially, put it in the hands of lawyers and had it entirely rearranged.
Mr. DODD - I say to you, Mr. Helms, with all due respect, it is not being put into evidence to satisfy the voracious appetites of anyone but merely to try to clear up a point we are trying to resolve here. I hope you don't understand---
Mr. HELMS - What is the point you would like to resolve?
Mr. DODD - As someone who is just confronted, I am not an expert in these matters but I read your transcript and you said, "The only assassination plot that had any semblance of substance was the one involving a couple of Mafia chieftains."
Mr. HELMS - And that is what I believe to this date.
Mr. DODD - I am confronted with an Inspector General's report which was not written to satisfy the appetites of anyone I presume. It is a declassified document which says, "We can identify five separate phases." I am merely asking you to clarify that in light of the earlier statement. That is the only purpose for this being brought into testimony.
Mr. HELMS - I am sorry. For example, it says here that particular scheme--which scheme? Is this the Mafia thing that we are talking about?
Mr. DODD - That is correct.
Mr. HELMS - And was again pushed vigorously in the area of Mongoose and in the climate of intense administration pressure to do something about Castro and Cuba. Are we talking about the same. Mafia thing here as well? If that is a lot of plots, I regard it as one and the same operation. And if I am misleading you in some fashion--
Mr. DODD - Maybe I can help you. Is it one and the same in your mind because it involved Cuba and Fidel Castro, and that was one entity?
Mr. HELMS - The only one that I know about that was that seemed to have been taken seriously was the one involving Rosselli and Harvey. I believe the Church committee brought out-found a wetsuit, a clam shell, various things that were on the shelf in the agency that were regarded as things that might be used in possibly killing Castro, or being used against him, which never came off the shelf, were never used. If that is a plot to have created this, then I will back up and say we ought to enumerate every single item that conceivably had to do with the invasions of Cuba which we were constantly running under government aegis. We had task forces that were striking at Cuba constantly. We were attempting to blow up powerplants, we were attempting to ruin sugar mills, we were attempting to do all kinds of things during this period. This was a matter of American Government policy. This wasn't the CIA alone. Now, if those things taper over into assassination plots, maybe so. I find the semantics the English incendiary but not very clear and not very clarifying, and not very specific.
Mr. DODD - Mr. Chairman, I would ask unanimous consent that exhibit JFK F-527 be entered into the record at this time.
Mr. PREYER - Without objection, JFK F-527 is entered into the record at this point. [Whereupon exhibit JFK F-527 was received in evidence.]


Mr. DODD - Mr. Helms, did John McCone, former Director of Central Intelligence Agency and your immediate supervisor, know about--I gather you don't care for the word assassination plots and I am trying to find some words you and I can agree on. Let's call them efforts to get rid of Fidel Castro. Does that satisfy you?
Mr. HELMS - Fine.
Mr. DODD - Did John McCone know about the agency's efforts to get rid of Fidel Castro?
Mr. HELMS - He certainly was on top of all the operations that we mounted against Cuba. He was in the vanguard of this. He attended most of the committee meetings, he pushed certainly as hard as anyone in the administration to see if we couldn't topple the Castro regime. I believe he has testified to the effect that he did not know of what he called specific efforts to kill Castro. I don't know whether he knew about it or not. I will accept his word. I have no reason to argue with him about it. There was a big flareup at the time of the Church committee hearings over whether I had told McCone about this or whether I had told Harvey not to say anything about it. I don't have any clear recollection any more of the events surrounding that particular detail, so I cannot help you on it. I would be glad to if I could.
Mr. DODD - So you don't know when he would have been informed, if he had been?
Mr. HELMS - Then I believe he had Mr. Elder, who was his executive assistant his--
Mr. DODD - I am having a hard time hearing.
Mr. HELMS - I am sorry. During the Church committee hearings Mr. EIder, who had been his executive assistant, swore out an affidavit that he had been instructed by McCone to tell me that anything smacking of assassination was not permissible to Mr. McCone. Mr. Elder gave his testimony under oath. I never had any conversation with Mr. Elder like that, that I ever recall. As I have said on previous occasions and on the record, I have great regard for Mr. McCone. He was my boss. I would have no doubt whatsoever, if he had expressed himself in this fashion through one of his subordinates to me, that I would have remembered it. I think I would have remembered it. So the issue is unresolved.
Mr. DODD - For the purposes of clarity can we talk about these efforts to get rid of Fidel Castro in terms of pre-Bay of Pigs and post-Bay of Pigs? I think for our purposes that might be of some help.
Mr. HELMS - Certainly.
Mr. DODD - Did I understand you to say that you are not sure he knew about either the pre-Bay of Pigs or the post-Bay of Pigs efforts or that he knew about the pre-Bay of Pigs and didn't know about the post-Bay of Pigs or knew about both?
Mr. HELMS - I thought on one occasion I told him about the preBay of Pigs episode because my recollection is that something appeared in a newspaper--I think in the Chicago Sun Times-about it, and I went and spoke to him about it and told him what was involved. As to the post-Bay of Pigs, I don't know what he knew. You know, Mr. Dodd, I am not looking for refuge in these matters. I am prepared to stand here and take my beating in any form that you gentlemen want to administer it.
Mr. DODD - We are not out to beat anyone. We are just trying to get at the facts.
Mr. HELMS - I am delighted to hear you say that. But let me just explain as Director of the agency Mr. McCone had every opportunity to find out anything in the agency that he wanted to find out. He had an inspection staff, he had executive assistants, he had all kinds of people around him. So what he knew and what he didn't know on a given date I can't possibly attest to, but I do want to make the point that nobody was stopping him from finding out anything he wanted to find out.
Mr. DODD - In the Church committee report which 1 have marked here as JFK exhibit F-539, reading at the bottom: Mr. McCone testified that he was not aware of the plots to assassinate Castro which took place during"the years in which he was DCI, Director of Central Intelligence and that he did not authorize those plots. He testified that he was not briefed about the assassination plots by Dulles, Bissel, Helms, or anyone else when he succeeded Dulles as Director in November 1961. Do you take issue with that?
Mr. HELMS - No, I am not going to take issue with it. I would simply end up in a lengthy hassle between me and Mr. McCone. I I have better ways to spend my time.
Mr. DODD - So you would agree with Mr. McCone's testimony that he was not briefed? Mr. HELMS. I have no basis for agreeing or disagreeing Mr. Dodd.
Mr. DODD - Can you think of any reason why you might not have briefed him.
Mr. HELMS - When he came aboard as Director I was not the Deputy Director of Plans. It was Mr. Bissell who was the Deputy Director of Plans, and Allen Dulles was the Director. Dulles left, McCone took his place, and Bissell continued on as Deputy Director of Plans for a time.
Mr. DODD - When you became Deputy Director of Planning in 1962, can you think of any reason why you would not have told Mr. McCone?
Mr. HELMS - The episode, the pre-Bay of Pigs episode, I did talk to him about one day, I know.
Mr. DODD - So you did inform him of the pre-Bay of Pigs effort?
Mr. HELMS - Yes. That was not when he came in 1961; it was after that, so I guess if you parse the statement, the statement is accurate.
Mr. DODD - Mr. Chairman, I would ask that JFK exhibit F-539 be entered into the record at this time.
Mr. PREYER - Without objection, JFK exhibit F-539 is entered in the record at this point. [Whereupon, JFK exhibit F-539 was received in evidence.] [The information follows:]


Mr. DODD - If I told you August 3 or August 1963 is when Mr. McCone believes that he was informed by you of the pre-Bay of Pigs efforts, would you argue with that date?
Mr. HELMS - Is that when that story came out in the Sun Times? Because that is the only thing I can key it to.
Mr. DODD - That is what he states, and I just wondered if you would argue with that.
Mr. HELMS - No, certainly not.
Mr. DODD - Mr. Chairman, I will ask that JFK F-538 be entered in the record at this time as well.
Mr. PREYER - Without objection, JFK exhibit F-538 is admitted into evidence at this point. [Whereupon, JFK exhibit No. F-538 was received in evidence.] [The information follows:]


Mr. DODD - Mr. McCone testified he did not know about authorized plots. Helms, Bissell, and Harvey all testified that they did not know whether McCone knew of the assassination plots. Each said, however, he did not tell McCone of the assassination efforts either when McCone assumed the position of DCI in December 1961 or at any time thereafter until August 1963. So that would have been the first time Mr. McCone was aware of any of these efforts?
Mr. HELMS - I think that is plausible. I can accept that.
Mr. DODD - These would have been the efforts that were pre-Bay of Pigs?
Mr. HELMS - That is my recollection of that particular episode, yes.
Mr. DODD - Did you ever talk with the Warren Commission or anyone on the Warren Commission staff about these efforts to get rid of Castro?
Mr. HELMS - No, sir. I might point out in fairness to all concerned that that was not my function in those days. If anybody was going to be briefing the Warren Commission about ongoing operations of any kind in the CIA, it would have been the Director or with the Director's authority.
Mr. DODD - In other words, you talked about these plots to no one who had any connection whatsoever with the Warren Commission?
Mr. HELMS - Not that I know of; no.
Mr. DODD - I would like to, if I could, refer to page 17--I hope we have the same copies--of the now declassified August 9 executive session testimony that you gave before this committee.
Mr. HELMS - Yes, I have page 17.
Mr. DODD - You can read along with me. Mr. Helms is responding to a question by Mr. Goldsmith.
Mr. HELMS - Excuse me, did you say you wanted me to read it?
Mr. DODD - No. I will read it and you may read along with me. On the bottom of page 16:
Mr. GOLDSMITH - Did the agency's investigation reflect any working hypotheses? By that, did the agency give any particular emphasis to the particular areas, geographic areas?
Mr. HELMS - I think that the entire U.S. Government, not only the CIA was very concerned as to whether there would be evidence of' some foreign conspiracy to assassinate President Kennedy. They were concerned whether the Soviets were involved in this. They were concerned whether the Cubans were involved in this. They were concerned that somebody may have been involved in it. Then dropping to the next paragraph, second sentence: There is hardly any question there was more discussed during those days as to who was behind Lee Harvey Oswald, if indeed he was the man who was responsible, what had affected his life, why had he done the things he had done, and so forth. Then dropping down to the last paragraph here on this page beginning with the sentence: I think if the Chair would indulge me a minute, 1 would like to make a comment about the various investigations into the assassination of President Kennedy based on the long years I have spent in the intelligence business, and that is, until the day that the KGB in Moscow or the Cuban intelligence in Havana is prepared to turn over their files to the United States as to what their relationships to these various people were, it is going to be extraordinarily difficult to tidy up this case, finally and conclusively. It seems to me that the question of possible Cuban complicity was, according to your testimony, on the minds of a lot of people. This was not something that came up later, but right at the very time. Isn't that correct? In fact, this morning you said in response to a question from Chairman Stokes that you certainly were aware that the alleged assassin Lee Harvey Oswald had sought a visa at the Cuban Embassy in Mexico. Is that correct?
Mr. HELMS - Yes.
Mr. DODD - And you were aware that the alleged assassin Lee Harvey Oswald had lived for more than 2 years in the Soviet Union; is that correct?
Mr. HELMS - Right.
Mr. DODD - And you were aware that Lee Harvey Oswald had passed out Fair Play for Cuba materials in New Orleans; is that correct?
Mr. HELMS - I believe it is.
Mr. DODD - In light of all-of that knowledge, in light of the obvious interest and emphasis that the entire U.S. Government had on the possible activities of the Cuban Government, and in light of the fact that you knew that Lee Harvey Oswald had engaged in these activities, why didn't you tell the Warren Commission about the efforts to get rid of Fidel Castro or to overthrow the Cuban Government?
Mr. HELMS - Mr. Dodd, you are singling me out as to why I didn't march up and tell the Warren Commission when these operations against Cuba were known to the Attorney General of the United States, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of State, the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, the President of the United States himself although he at that point was dead. All kinds of people knew about these operations high up in the Government. Why am I singled out as the fellow who should have gone up and identified a Government operation to get rid of Castro? It was a Government wide operation, supported by the Defense Department, supported by the National Security Council, supported by almost everybody in a high position in the Government.
Mr. DODD - According to your earlier testimony you have made note of the fact and I think the record indicates that the Attorney General had asked that be stopped. I presume he was told that they would be. So far as he was concerned, they had ended.
Mr. HELMS - What about some connection with the Mafia? But the efforts to unseat Castro under Operation Mongoose had gone on full blast under the Attorney General's direction and we had the Cuban missile crisis in October of 1962. If the Cuban missile crisis with the connivance of Fidel Castro and the Soviet leaders had been a success, those missiles would have been introduced to Cuba and the United States would have been hostage to those missiles of the Soviets. It would have been the coup of the century. In December of 1962 the brigade comes back to the United States having been bought off with drug supplies by the Attorney General, et cetera. President Kennedy went to the Orange Bowl in Miami and greeted them in December 1962 and assured them, and this may not be an exact quote, as follows: "I will return this banner to this brigade in a free Havana" Those operations went on nonstop during 1963. If that doesn't indicate there was bad blood between President Kennedy and Fidel Castro, I don't know what does.
Mr. DODD - But my point is this, according to your testimony, Mr. McCone was not aware of the post-Bay of Pigs efforts and attempts. Robert Kennedy, the then Attorney General, asked that all activities such as that be stopped. Mr. McCone is not aware. I can't ask you why others who had knowledge of this, did not communicate it to the Warren Commission. But as I read your executive committee testimony, you felt you had, not the link with the Warren Commission but had a very active role in communicating with the Warren Commission. That doesn't help me in trying to understand why you would not have made that information available and known to the Warren Commission.
Mr. HELMS - Well, I am sorry, I didn't.
Mr. DODD - In retrospect, do you think it was relevant?
Mr. HELMS - In retrospect, Mr. Dodd, I would have done a lot of things very differently. I would like to point out something since we are so deeply into this. When one government is trying to upset another government and the operation is successful, people get killed. I don't know whether they are assassinated or whether they are killed in a coup. We had one recently in Afghanistan. The head of the Afghanistan Government was killed. Was he assassinated or killed in a coup? I don't know. These semantics are all great. I want to say there is not a chief of state or chief of government in the world today who is not aware of the fact that his life is in jeopardy. He takes every possible protection to guard himself. The relevance of one plot or another plot and its effect on the course of events I would have a very hard time assessing and I think you would, too. Suppose I had gone down and told them and said, yes, you know we tried to do this. How would it have altered the outcome of the Warren Commission proceeding?
Mr. DODD - Wasn't that really for the Warren Commission to determine?
Mr. HELMS - I think that is absolutely correct, but they did not have that chance apparently.
Mr. DODD - That is right.
Mr. HELMS - I don't want to take the sole blame for the fact that they didn't have that chance.
Mr. DODD - I am not asking you to.
Mr. HELMS - Well, the implication of the hearing is to that effect.
Mr. DODD - You have to take these things in the entire context. This is not the only hearing we are having. Prior to the issuance of the Warren Commission's report, did the Agency at any time have any documents or other information which might have indicated that Mr. Castro may have known about some of these efforts to get rid of him?
Mr. HELMS - I don't know that. I have heard these allegations flying around. I don't know whether they are accurate or not. I have heard allegations of newspaper stories that Mr. Castro knew or didn't know. Eminent Senators of the United States have taxed me with the fact they knew that Castro knew Mr. Cubela was a double agent. Mr. Cubela gets up in Havana not long ago and says Mr. Castro did not know he was a double agent; and testified to this committee that he didn't know he had any connections with the CIA. Who is right in all of this?
Mr. DODD - That is what we are trying to find out.
Mr. HELMS - Well, I can't contribute anything.
Mr. DODD - Was there any effort to investigate whether or not Castro or the Cuban Government was aware of these efforts?
Mr. HELMS - Well, I think that we used what few resources we had in Cuba. But after all, you must remember that the whole object of this exercise at the time was to get intelligence on Cuba of any kind and it was turning out to be extraordinarily difficult and the U.S. Government made a major effort to get intelligence on Cuba during this period of months.
Mr. DODD - I am not in any way trying to be harassing, Mr. Helms, when I ask these questions. But you stated earlier that there were other people that were aware of these efforts to get rid of Castro and that they might have had a responsibility as well to communicate that to the Warren Commission.
Mr. HELMS - Well, they might have communicated to the Warren Commission the operations that were being run against Cuba which were certainly advertised to the Cubans because people began getting arrested. I mean, task forces would land. The people would be arrested. I have no doubt they were interrogated. Therefore, Castro knew these efforts were being made against him. Now, if you want to single out the assassination plot involving the Mafia as one thing and you want to circumscribe it and separate it from all these other things, exactly who knew about it and who might have told the Warren Commission, I am not dead certain.
Mr. DODD - I want to try to determine, if I could, whether or not it was a conscious decision on your part not to inform the Warren Commission, or was it just something that you didn't think should be done at the time?
Mr. HELMS - It never occurred to me. We never talked to anybody outside the Agency about covert operations of any kind--that perhaps was a mistake--except to the Senate and House Committees to whom we reported.
Mr. DODD - But as I understand your statement, you believe today that that was a mistake?
Mr. HELMS - I think it was a mistake, no doubt about it. I think we should have shoved the whole thing over. I would have backed up a truck and taken all the documents down and put them on the Warren Commission's desk.
Mr. DODD - I notice in your executive testimony and earlier today in previous testimony it was your position that the the Warren Commission information only in reponse to the Commission's requests.
Mr. HELMS - Basically that was the case. I imagine that if anything came into the Agency which seemed to be of fundamental interest to them, we would have volunteered it, but basically we felt our role was to respond to Warren Commission requests and not to try and get out in front of them or to try and second-guess them or anything else. I mean the Commission.
Mr. DODD - But fundamentally it was on a request basis. You were not necessarily volunteering information?
Mr. HELMS - That is right.
Mr. DODD - I would like to refer you to JFK exhibit F-520. I would ask the clerk to give Mr. Helms a copy of that exhibit, so that he has it in front of him. [The information follows:]


Mr. DODD. This exhibit, Mr. Helms, is dated May 11, 1964. It is a memorandum that was prepared for your review. The subject of the memorandum is information regarding Lee Harvey Oswald provided to the CIA by a Cuban defector.
Mr. HELMS - Which part of it, Mr. Dodd, would you like me to look at?
Mr. DODD - Do you recall the document? Just looking at it, does it refresh your memory?
Mr. HELMS - I had better look at it a little more carefully. I have no doubt it is in my packet of papers. Yes, sir, I have been through it now.
Mr. DODD - And you recognize this as a memorandum that was prepared for your review and it does involve information regarding Lee Harvey Oswald provided to the CIA by a Cuban defector?
Mr. HELMS - Yes.
Mr. DODD - All right. I will read paragraphs 3 and 4 here if you want to follow along with me, beginning on paragraph 3: We have the problem of reconciling the operational exploitation of blank- The name having been sanitized here- and satisfying the responsibilities we have undertaken with Mr. Rankin, blank is such an operational gold mine that Mr. Blank wants at a maximum 2 months to work fully. It is palpable, however, that we must furnish to the Commission the substance of blank. It looks like. Then paragraph 4: It is recommended that the DDP in turn or via a designee, preferably the former, discuss the blank situation on a very restricted basis with Mr. Rankin at his earliest convenience, either at the Agency or at the Commission headquarters. Until this takes place, it is not desirable to put anything in writing. Doesn't this language here indicate that in this particular instance anyway, the Agency was contemplating volunteering this defector's information to the Warren Commission Without a specific request from the Commission itself?
Mr. HELMS - Yes, I think that is right sir. That is what it looks like to me.
Mr. DODD - Let me ask you this: Why did you fee] in this case that the Commission should be privy to this information? Why did you volunteer this information?
Mr. HELMS - Well, I can only assume from reading this, since I don't have any independent recollection of exactly what this defector was saying, that it was so obvious to all of us that it would be of interest to the work of the Commission that we wanted to get it in their hands. In saying earlier today that we reacted both to the time and in response to questions, I didn't mean to imply that we never volunteered anything, particularly if it seemed that the Commission ought to have it, at least in our judgment it seemed that the Commission ought to have it.
Mr. DODD - I noticed earlier today in response to Mr. Stokes' question you voluntarily went, I presume, to the Chief Justice at the time and communicated to him about the reliability of Nosenko's testimony with regard to Oswald?
Mr. HELMS - Yes, sir, it was certainly voluntary because we were very concerned at the time.
Mr. DODD - These were pieces of information that the Warren Commission would not on its own have had access to as a result of their own work?
Mr. HELMS - I think that is correct.
Mr. DODD - And certainly it was as well, a conscious decision on the part of the Agency and yourself that both of these pieces of information were relevant to the investigation by the Commission?
Mr. HELMS - That is correct, Mr. Dodd.
Mr. DODD - Now I come back again, Mr. Helms---I suppose it is a constant difficulty I have. I can see and appreciate why you would feel that the defector's information was relevant. I can certainly see why the question of the reliability of Mr. Nosenko with regard to his information with regard to Oswald was relevant. I have this terrible problem of trying to understand why, albeit today you recognize it was a mistake, but why--when you back in 1964 recognize the relevancy of those two pieces of information-there was a lack of understanding as to the relevancy of attempts on our part to destabilize or get rid of Fidel Castro. That is the difficulty I have.
Mr. HELMS - I can understand your difficulty Mr. Dodd. I am just sorry. It is an untidy world.
Mr. DODD - Other than the anti-Castro assassination plots, was there any other information pertaining to a possible mode or means or opportunity to kill the President that you are aware of and that Warren Commission was not told about?
Mr. HELMS - I am sorry, I don't get the---
Mr. DODD - Other than the assassination plots. We know about the defector, you volunteered that. We had the voluntary turning over of the opinion with regard to Nosenko. We know today we didn't turn over relevant information with regard to these efforts to get rid of Castro. Are there other things that you can recall that might have had relevancy--things of importance, to the Warren Commission's investigation of the assassination of an American President.
Mr. HELMS - Well, I don't know of any others. I can't think of what they might have been, but then we might have been guilty of some other errors of omission, I don't know. None come readily to mind. This didn't come readily to mind at the time.
Mr. DODD - You said earlier that you informed President Johnson of the anti-Castro plots or the efforts to get rid of Castro.
Mr. HELMS - Yes, I did.
Mr. DODD - Do you recall when he would have become aware of that?
Mr. HELMS - I guess he became aware of it when I told him, although I believe there were some allegations in a column by Drew Pearson. Yes, I think that is correct, that there was a column by Drew Pearson and then maybe some lawyer in town, 3 friend of his, made some mention of this to President Johnson. It was responsive to this inquiry from him that I gave him the information.
Mr. DODD - And he was told specifically about the CIA's efforts to get rid of Castro?
Mr. HELMS - Yes, he was.
Mr. DODD - Was he told specifically about the CIA--organized crime connection?
Mr. HELMS - That is the thing we were talking about. It was about the operations to get rid of Castro. They were ongoing even in his administration.
Mr. DODD - Let me ask you when that would have been? I think in your executive testimony you said May 10, 1967.
Mr. HELMS - If that is what I said in the executive testimony, I believe that to be the correct date on which I did this. That is my belief. I did my best to reconstruct when it was, in recent times. If it is a mistake, it is a mistake, but it is an honest one. It is my recollection of when I did this.
Mr. DODD - Is it further your testimony that President Johnson so-called AMLASH.
Mr. HELMS - I gave him what I recollect is a good fill-in on what we were trying to do. The AMLASH. operation was a political action operation to get a political grouping together to unseat Castro. I recognized it in one of the documents, because the other day in this group of documents, some officer in the Cuban operations testified to the fact that that was referred to consistently in the group as an assassination operation. That is not my recollection of the case. It was not an assassination operation or designed for that purpose. I think that I do know what I am talking about here, but there are other witnesses to that. Mr. FitzGerald is dead, but there are other gentlemen who worked with him at the time.
Mr. DODD - As you said in your earlier testimony, it is semantics that we are having trouble with.
Mr. HELMS - If you are the target there is a great deal of difference whether somebody is thinking of doing something to you 10 miles from here and actually doing something. I don't mean to indulge too much in seroantics, but it is a question of whether anything happened or not.
Mr. DODD - That is not the question. We are talking about what was planned to happen.
Mr. HELMS - The AMLASH operation was designed to try and get a political action operation and a military operation to get fid of Castro.It was he who kept saying that the fastest way to do this is to kill the man. But this didn't mean that the Agency was interested in that aspect of the thing and the primary reason for being in touch with him was quite the opposite. We were trying to do various things to rein him in.
Mr. DODD - It was not suggested that there be a democratic election to unseat Castro?
Mr. HELMS - I should say not. But if you go through the records of those years, you will find it was the whole U.S. Government was behind this one.
Mr. DODD - Well, could you distinguish this one, then, from the other ones? You didn't want to characterize the other efforts as assassination plots or efforts to single out and get rid of Castro? This one you describe as more of a political operation. I am having a difficult time distinguishing the earlier ones if they are to be distinguished.
Mr. HELMS - Well, I think it goes back, Mr. Dodd, to what I was saying a few minutes ago where one government mounts operations to unseat another government, at what point does what word become what word. You are trying to unseat them and you are trying to unseat them by the means at your disposal. Some may be shooting with guns. Others will take off and go to the hills. Others might be that you could arrest them and put them in jail. You know this as well as I do. It is the history of the world. There are coups constantly going on. All I am trying to say is the U.S. Government had a policy for many months of trying to mount a coup against Fidel Castro.
Mr. DODD - I would like to draw your attention to JFK-527. would ask the clerk to show the witness, Mr. Helms, a copy of this exhibit. Mr. Helms, as they bring it over to you, this is page 94 of the CIA's 1967 Inspector General's report. Do you have a copy of it there?
Mr. HELMS - Yes, I do. I think this is correct. Is this about the AMLASH meeting?
Mr. DODD - There you go; that is the proper one. Again, just to make sure I understood you, your testimony was that you didn't consider AMLASH to be an assassination plot? It was more of a political operation?
Mr. HELMS - That is right.
Mr. DODD - OK. Now let me read the section where you identified the document. I am reading what is underlined here, and I think for the purpose of the record it is important to note that the underlining was done by the InspectorGeneral It was not done by the committee. It is likely that at the very moment President Kennedy was shot, a CIA officer was meeting with a Cuban agent in Paris and giving him an assassination device for use against Castro. Now, again, I am reading from the same report that we read from earlier. They are calling it an assassination device. Are we getting semantical here again?
Mr. HELMS - No. I think the device, that was a hypodermic with some kind of poison in it---
Mr. DODD - I am having a hard time hearing you, Mr. Helms.
Mr. HELMS - I believe it was a hypodermic Syringe they had given him with something called Black Leaf-40 in it. This was in response to AMLASH request that he be provided with some sort of a device whereby he could kill Castro. He returned this device on the spot to the case officer. The case officer brought it back to Washington and that was the end of the plot.
Mr. DODD - OK, but for purposes of discussion, the officer gave this Cuban, this agent in Paris, a device with that material you described in it. 1 presume the material, if injected into a human being, would kill him; is that right?
Mr. HELMS - I would think so, yes.
Mr. DODD - So the officer gives the Cuban agent the device to kill somebody.
Mr. HELMS - I am sorry he didn't give him a pistol, because it would have made the whole thing a lot simpler and less exotic.
Mr. DODD - Well, whether it is a pistol or a needle, if AMLASH is a political plot to destabilize the governement, what in the blazes are we giving an agent a device to kill Castro for if it is not an assassination plot?
Mr. HELMS - Well, if you want to have it that way, why don't you just have it that way.
Mr. DODD - It is not what I want.
Mr. HELMS - I think it is what you want.
Mr. DODD - I am reading to you from reports prepared at your request by the Inspector General. I'm not fabricating, I am quoting.
Mr. HELMS - I understand that.
Mr. DODD - Well, it is not a question of what I want. It is a question of what this committee would like to know. and the committee is not satisfied, I don't believe, at this point as to exactly what the characterization of AMLASH was.
Mr. HELMS - Well, I have told you what I believe the characterization of AMLASH to be.
Mr. DODD - What does that have to do with this?
Mr. HELMS - Because we gave him a gun or hypodermic syringe or whatever the case may be at his request because he had aims on Castro. If that is your definition of an assassination plot, then have it that way. It is quite satisfactory with me.
Mr. DODD - But it is your characterization that it would not be---
Mr. HELMS - No; it is not. He didn't accept the weapon. If we gave him a gun and he gave it back there is no way he was going to make an assassination or murder with that particular device, was there?
Mr. DODD - It is not a question of what he wanted to do. It is what we were trying to do by giving him this device. That is what I am driving at.
Mr. HELMS - Is it important? I thought you had Mr. Cubela testifying that they never even knew he was in touch with the CIA. So how is it relevant to the hearings of this committee let alone the Warren Commission?
Mr. DODD - I would suggest to you that it might be relevant, if, in fact, Mr. Castro was aware of the fact that we were engaging in an activity designed to cause his early demise.
Mr. HELMS - Well, if he didn't know it, he could have guessed it.
Mr. DODD - To the best of your knowledge, Mr. Helms, was the AMLASH operation well, I guess called in in-house jargon a secure operation an operation where to your knowledge there were not any leaks.
Mr. HELMS - The allegations I believe have been made by some officer connected with it that he felt there had been leaks.
Mr. DODD - I am sorry. I didn't hear you.
Mr. HELMS - The allegation I believe has been made by some officer connected with the operation that there were leaks, that it was not a secure operation. The merits of that allegation I do not know. I know that the Senate committee seemed to feel that this was the case and I believe they came to the conclusion that it was a double agent operation. I never believed that it was a double agent operation. I am now supported by Mr. Castro and Mr. Cubela I don't know whether that support gives me any solace or not.
Mr. DODD - Just a second ago you said even if he didn't know, he could have guessed anyway.
Mr. HELMS - Sure.
Mr. DODD - I will ask that JFK exhibit F-527 be entered into the record at this point. Mr. FITHIAN [presiding]. Without objection it is admitted. [JFK exhibit F-527 was entered previously.]
Mr. DODD - Mr. Helms, I would like to show you JFK exhibit F-512. This is an affidavit that was prepared by an individual who no longer works with the Agency. The name at the top is a fictitious name, not his real name.
Mr. HELMS - That is known in the jargon as a cryptonym.
Mr. DODD - Then, Joseph H. Langosch is a cryptonym. This individual is a person who has extensive experience in counterintelligence matters related to CIA operations against Cuba. In fact, quoting from his background here, he worked for the Agency from 1955 to 1968. During 1963, he functioned in two capacities as a CIA officer, the first capacity being as Special Assistant to the Chief of the Special Affairs staff, and the second capacity being as the Chief of Counterintellgience for the Special Affairs staff. During 1963, the Special Affairs staff was the CIA staff responsible for CIA operations directed against the Government of Cuba and the Cuban intelligence services and that as Chief of Counterintelligence for the Special Affairs staff he was responsible for safeguarding the Special Affairs staff against penetration by foreign intelligence services, particularly the Cuban Intelligence Service. So he was directly involved here on page 4.
Mr. HELMS - He is the man I was talking about a few moments ago when I said somebody identified with the operation made the allegation that this was an assassination plot. The gentleman may have heard somebody say this, but I had not heard anybody say it. I had occasion to ask if this was the common talk in the SAS staff from someone else who was there in a high position and I am told it was not. So, I don't know the merits of the case. I have no reason to put the man down on his affidavit, but on the other hand this was not my understanding of it.
Mr. DODD - Well, for the purpose of the record, for the other committee members who may not be aware of his statement in the affidavit, he says that the AMLASH operation might have been an insecure operation prior to the assassination of President Kennedy because it was highly possible that as of 1962 the Cuban Intelligence Services had knowledge of the CIA's association with persons involved in the AMLASH operation, including AMLASH 1, also known as blank, and that the information which led him to doubt the security of the AMLASH operation prior to the assassination of President Kennedy was available to senior level CIA officials, including Desmond FitzGerald. And the last paragraph states that the AMLASH operation prior to the assassination of President Kennedy was characterized by the Special Affairs staff, Desmond FitzGerald, and other very senior CIA officials, as an assassination operation initiated and sponsored by the Central Intelligence Agency.
Mr. HELMS - It is interesting to me that a man who is so close to Mr. FitzGerald spells his name wrong.
Mr. DODD - How do you spell the name?
Mr. HELMS - It has a capital G.
Mr. DODD - That may not be his fault. That may be the stenographer's fault.
Mr. HELMS - But he has all kinds of initials in the margin here in which he made certain corrections. He would have had the opportunity to take note of that, too, I would think.
Mr. DODD - We will take note of that. Obviously, you have had some experience..in intelligence Work. Would you like to comment on this aside from that?
Mr. HELMS - You know, it is an interesting fact that this committee knows more about the truth of the assertions than I do because you have talked to Cuban officials. The meeting in Cuba at which Cubela testified has occurred within the last 2 or 3 months, and I imagine in the two trips that this committee has made to Havana--at least the newspapers tell me it has been two trips-you have had a chance to satisfy yourself perhaps as to whether the operation was insecure or not. The Cuban position seems to indicate that it was secure that they did not know about it That is why I say it is interesting. I have nothing to contribute myself. I don't know whether it was insecure or not. I can only tell you, though, that intelligence officers are just as human as most people and the fellow who doesn't feel that maybe he was properly appreciated at one time in his career is always glad to get back at his superiors by saying he was the one who was right and they were the ones who were wrong.
Mr. DODD - Fine. Mr. Chairman, at this point I would terminate my line of questioning and turn back the balance of my time. Thank you, Mr. Helms.
Mr. HELMS - Thank you, Mr. Dodd. Thank you very much.
Mr. FITHIAN - We were not sure, Mr."Dodd, that you had a balance of time, but we do want to thank you for your exhaustive questioning. I think the plan here, Mr. Helms, is very soon to go back to the counsel, but I am going to exercise the prerogative of the Chair because I have a plane to catch and I want to ask a couple of questions before I leave. Mr. Helms, the fact that Oswald was in possession of information of some sort on U.S. radar equipment and radar operating procedures at the time he defected or attempted to defect to Russia in 1959 is of some interest to us. Some people claim that he might have had knowledge of the U-2 spy plane performance characteristics as well, although that is less certain. But we are certain at least about the radar information. He told a State Department official, as you testified this morning I believe, in Moscow in 1959 that he intended to give this information to the Soviets. My question is: Was the CIA aware of Oswald's defection and the extent of his radar training in 1959?
Mr. HELMS - I don't know, Mr. Fithian. My impression was that we first heard of his defection to the Soviet Union through State Department channels. Having been a marine and therefore a responsibility of the Navy Department, I think the Agency would not have gotten very close to Mr. Oswald-They would not have regarded him as part of our responsibility.
Mr. FITHIAN - So then the Agency, though aware, I would presume there is some procedure for Americans, for your handling or someone handling American attempts to defect?
Mr. HELMS - Yes, sir. He went to the Embassy in Moscow, and the ordinary Consuls would have handled this affair.
Mr. FITHIAN - And you or the Agency would not have been, under a routine arrangement, have been alerted by the State Department?
Mr. HELMS - Well, I think we would have heard from the State Department and I believe that we did hear from the State Department. We would have had no jurisdiction in the case.
Mr. FITHIAN - Would you, would the Agency then not have--as a matter of practice--not have inquired of DOD or someone as to how much damage to our U-2 operation, let's say, theorized, that Oswald might be able to do by the defecting.
Mr. HELMS - I don't know. We might have, but I would have thought that the feeling would be that that was the Navy Department's responsibility.
Mr. FITHIAN - Is it your best assessment that in all probability the Agency did not make any effort to assess the potential damage of Oswald's----
Mr. HELMS - I think that is right. In other words, he was another Marine, but what specialty he had or what he had been involved with, I don't think we would have gone into that unless it were volunteered to us in some form.
Mr. FITHIAN - Then the return of a defector to the United States, as Oswald did in 1962, is that--would that trigger an action by the Agency to interview him?
Mr. HELMS - Normally it would have, except that he would have been regarded by the Agency as a member or a Reserve member from the Defense Department, and therefore it would have been up to the Navy to take him over and talk to him.
Mr. FITHIAN - Now, I thank you for your assessment. I would like your best guess on this. I doubt that you have any specific information, though you may. Given our work in the whole field of intelligence, is it reasonable for this committee to assume that with Oswald's background and his attempt to defect, that he would be "an uninteresting target" to the KGB?
Mr. HELMS - I simply do not understand that assertion. I would have thought, to begin with, that any American who went to the Russian Government and said, "I want to defect to the Soviet Union" would have immediately been taken over by the KGB to find out what his game was because, after all, the KGB's charter is to protect the Soviet state against infiltration. How would they know that he was serious about this? How would they know that the CIA had not sent him to make a fake defection and to try to get into Soviet society through this device? So for that reason, if not for many others, I find it quite incredible, the assertion by Nosenko that Oswald was never interrogated or was never in touch with the KGB While he was in the Soviet Union. This really stretches one's credulity. It goes back to the testimony this morning that this is the hardest thing about the whole. Nosenko case to swallow, and I have not been able to swallow it in all these years.
Mr. FITHIAN - Then my own belief that it is highly improbable that the KGB would have so acted, you would not find that too far off base?
Mr. HELMS - No. In other words, I would have thought they would have grabbed him immediately.
Mr. FITHIAN - With all of that, and that is where I sort of come down to, this did not rule out him becoming a bona fide agent as far as the Agency was concerned? That is, it did not rule out coming down favorably on his own as far as the Agency was concerned?
Mr. HELMS - You see, I don't know whether you were here this morning when we were talking about this.
Mr. FITHIAN - Yes, I was.
Mr. HELMS - I realize that the publications are full of sentences saying that the Agency considered or made the judgment that Nosenko was bona fide. When we speak about the Agency, we are speaking about an organization, and normally when an organization is going to take a position, the various people in it decide that this is the position that ought to be taken and there is some record made of this. I don't ever recall having taken a position in writing or a firm, final position about Nosenko's bona fides. I did make a decision that he was to be resettled. I feel that there is no basis for me to waver in my feelings here. When I was talking this morning, I omitted to make a point in connection with that memorandum which I signed off on and which is a matter of your record here now in the committee hearings so there is no need to get the document. But in that April 2 memorandum of 1963, which I signed off on, there were various steps outlined in the attachment to the memorandum about the resettling of Nosenko and I would like to read step 5 for the benefit of the committee because I think it is relevant here. I said: When we have favorably resolved this agreement within the Agency as to his bona fides, we will allow him his ultimate freedom, including assistance in finding suitable employment. If disagreement persists, however, as to his bona fides beyond the end of this calendar year, we will consult with other appropriate Government agencies as to whether he may be allowed full freedom as a nonresident alien or whether the security of the United States require his deportation. I have a note here that I misread the date on the copy I have of the memorandum. Maybe my eyesight is not very good here; 1969 was the date of the memorandum. I am sorry. It is such a bad copy. It is April 2, 1969. In any event, if the Agency records do not have in them a memorandum which bears my signature which says that this Agen-. cy's position is that Nosenko is bona fide, I think that would bear out my recollection that I never made a final decision on the subject.
Mr. FITHIAN - My problem--and this is an opinion rather than a question, Mr. Ambassador--my problem is that as I look over this, I find it extremely difficult, as I have indicated, to accept that they would have--to accept Nosenko's story with regard to the KGB activity or nonactivity. I find it almost equally impossible to understand why, in the face of this, which was considered by many the crucial question about Nosenko, why we as a Government continued to pay him the kind of money that we went over this morning in testimony. I find, as a matter of fact, I find both of these about equally implausible, if I can come back to this.
Mr. HELMS - Well, I think, sir, that you must realize, Mr. Fithian, that one has difficulty handling these defectors. What do you do with them? I mean, do you put them on welfare? This is really one of the problems. Defectors are encouraged to come to this country because they do have information that is denied to the United States in these closed societies and otherwise. They have been very useful in the information they have turned over. I am told that Mr. Nosenko, in certain categories, has made a very useful contribution to American intelligence. But if you have the man on your hands, and even if he is not turning out to be particularly useful, do you want him wandering around as a public charge? I don't think we do. Now you can get down to the details of whether he is being paid the correct amount or not. I think that is Admiral Turner's responsibility now. I have not had to deal with this matter for 5 years. I prefer that you ask him if he thinks he is worth it now.
Mr. FITHIAN - Thank you very much. I have no further questions.
Mr. PREYER - Mr. Goldsmith is recognized for a few additional questions on direct.
Mr. BLAKEY - Mr. Chairman, I wonder if I could ask a question?
Mr. PREYER - The Chair recognizes Mr. Blakey.
Mr. BLAKEY - Ambassador Helms, I have not, up until this point, asked questions in our hearing before. I had an occasion several years ago in a public forum to ask a question of Mr. Colby along the lines of what I would like to ask you now. I wonder if you would respond to it. You had a conversation with Congressman Dodd in which you discussed the pre-Bay of Pigs plots involving the Mafia and the post-Bay of Pigs involving the Mafia. You raised some question in your mind as to which of the plots were serious in the sense that they contemplated more than the overthrow of Castro, but more particularly his personal assassination. I found the factual discussion extremely interesting. Let me change the focus and direction, if I might. Let me ask you a moral question, not a legal question, not a practical question, but a moral question: Would you tell me and the members of this committee and maybe the American people what possibly could have been the moral justification for the CIA entering into an alliance with the Mafia to execute the President of a foreign country?
Mr. HELMS - There was none. I have apologized for this. I can't do any more than apologize on public television that it was an error in judgment on my part. There was great pressure on us at that time to try to find connections in Cuba. For my part in this and to the extent I had anything to do with it, I am heart sorry. I cannot do any more than apologize.
Mr. BLAKEY - I understand you say there was no moral justification for it.
Mr. HELMS - Not that I am aware of.
Mr. BLAKEY - Thank you.
Mr. PREYER - Mr. Goldsmith?
Mr. GOLDSMITH - Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I would ask that Mr. Helms be shown JFK F-518. I might state for the record that JFK F--518 is a summary, a partial summary, of a conversation involving a woman named Luisa Calderon who was identified as having possible connections with DGI, Cuban Intelligence. Mr. Chairman, I move for the admission into the record of this exhibit.
Mr. PREYER - Without objection, the exhibit is ordered admitted into the record at this time. [The information follows:]


Mr. GOLDSMITH - Mr. Helms, this document was provided to the committee from the CIA and it describes a conversation which raises the possibility that a woman affiliated with DGI, Cuban Intelligence, knew about the assassination before it occurred. In other words, it suggests the possibility of foreknowledge. I want to be very clear that the committee is not indicating that this definitely does indicate foreknowledge. It simply raises the possibilities of foreknowledge. Do you recall ever having this conversation brought to your attention?
Mr. HELMS - I really can't remember. I just don't have any idea. I imagine it would have been brought to my attention and I imagine we would have tried to follow up to find out what it meant, but I don't have a personal recollection of it.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - Do you know whether this particular information was ever communicated to the Warren Commission?
Mr. HELMS - I have no idea.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - Do you think that it should have been?
Mr. HELMS - I would have thought that it would have been one of the things that would have been reported to them, but I don't have any specific knowledge that it was. This did not show up in the Warren Commission report?
Mr. GOLDSMITH - Again, Mr. Helms, I am not in a position to answer questions.
Mr. HELMS - I am sorry. I won't ask you any more question, Mr. Goldsmith.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - I appreciate that. Did the Agency ever conduct an investigation to determine whether Lee Harvey Oswald been connected with the CIA?
Mr. HELMS - Yes. I believe that Mr. McCone presented to the Warren Commission a sworn affidavit saying that he had no formal connection with the CIA of any kind. I gather that through the years a couple of people have been identified who had once thought that maybe the Agency should have some kind of a contact with Lee Harvey Oswald, but to the best of my knowledge no contact was ever made. In any event, he was not an agent of the CIA and I was horrified this morning to have. Mr. Blakey, as a part of this committee's work coming out with the allegation at legation at this late date that he had some indentification with the Agency. Can't this ever be put to rest? What does it take to put it to rest? Excuse me, I am asking you a question. I will rephrase it. I would hope that at some juncture someone would find some means of putting this allegation to rest.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - Mr. Helms, what did the Agency's investigation involve when it was looking into this matter?
Mr. HELMS - We have records for one thing in the Agency, and then on top of that, I have the recollection that various people were asked whether they knew anything about Oswald or had any connection with him, people like the officers in the contact division, did you ever interview Lee Harvey Oswald; people in the CE staff, et cetera. I don't remember the exact details. Fifteen years later it would be implausible for me to remember exactly what, but I can assure you that we would not have asked or suggested or allowed Mr. McCone to swear out an affidavit, present it to the Warren Commission unless we believed the affidavit to be truthful.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - Was there a written report summarizing the Agency's investigation?
Mr. HELMS - I don't know.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - Do you think one should have been filed?
Mr. HELMS - I don't know.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - Why not?
Mr. HELMS - I don't have any idea why it should have. If it manifested itself in the affidavit sworn by Mr. McCone, isn't that evidence enough?
Mr. GOLDSMITH - Are the Agency's files sufficiently accurate to resolve that issue?
Mr. HELMS - I don't know. You know, after this inquiry today, I am reminded of the fact that back in the days of the Continental Congress that intelligence, espionage, and counterespionage were conducted by committees of the Continental Congress. I think maybe the best thing to do would be to return secret intelligence to the aegis of the U.S. Congress and let you fellows run it.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - Mr. Helms, did the Agency ever have an operational interest in Lee Harvey Oswald?
Mr. HELMS - Not that I am aware of.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - I would ask that the witness be shown JFK F-526. I would ask that you read that. For the record, this is a memorandum dated November 25, 1963.
Mr. HELMS - I have glanced at this memorandum. I have not read it in great detail. Who wrote it?
Mr. GOLDSMITH - You are asking me who wrote it?
Mr. HELMS - Oh, I am sorry. I am supposed to take an anonymous memorandum and make judgments on it. I'll do the best I can.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - I might add that this is a sanitized document and I would hope you would not want me to indicate who wrote it. Referring you to the first paragraph that makes reference to the laying on of interviews.
Mr. HELMS - The first paragraph makes reference to the laying on of interviews with Lee Harvey Oswald.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - Does the language of this memorandum suggest that the possibility of a contact with Oswald was contemplated?
Mr. HELMS - The memorandum does not say anything about a contact.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - Does the memorandum make reference to the laying on of interviews?
Mr. HELMS - It says I had discussed--some time in summer 1960-with almost a whole line blank the laying on of interviews through blank or other suitable channels. At the moment, I don t recall if this was discussed while Oswald and his family were on route to this country or was after his arrival.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - I am sorry. I didn't ask you to read the document. I simply asked you to---
Mr. HELMS - I am sorry. I didn't know I was disobeying.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - I simply asked you whether the document makes reference to the laying on of interviews?
Mr. HELMS - Yes, if says someone thought about laying on an interview.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - In light of that, does it suggest that at the very least a contact with Oswald was contemplated bythe Agency?
Mr. HELMS - Not by the Agency, by some individual in the Agency. For a lawyer, I think you ought to be more precise.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - Mr. Helms, I am not in a position here today to respond to your criticism.
Mr. HELMS - I am sorry. That was not criticism.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - Mr. Helms, have you testified before at a congressional hearing?
Mr. HELMS - At any time?
Mr. HELMS - Do you mean in my life?
Mr. GOLDSMITH - Yes, sir.
Mr. HELMS - On more than one occasion, yes.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - And during those occasions, sir, was the standard operating procedure for the attorney to ask the questions and for the witness to answer them?
Mr. HELMS - I must confess during my life, Mr. Goldsmith, that I was usually asked questions by the Senators or the Congressmen
Mr. GOLDSMITH - Very well, Mr. Helms. Under those circumstances again, was the procedure for the member of the committee or its staff to ask the questions and to have the witness answer the questions?
Mr. HELMS - Yes.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - Did anyone tell you before you came to testify here today that standard operating procedure would not be followed?
Mr. HELMS - I don't recall discussing it with anyone.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - Fine. Let's follow the standard operating procedure, Mr. Helms.
Mr. HELMS - Certainly, Mr Goldsmith.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - Do you know what followup there was to this memorandum dated November 25, 1963?
Mr. HELMS - I have no idea.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - I would like to draw your attention to the last line on this memorandum. It makes reference to the Harvey story.
Mr. HELMS - Yes.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - Do you know what Harvey story that is referring to?
Mr. HELMS - No, I do not.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - Did the Agency debrief Lee Harvey Oswald upon his return from the Soviet Union?
Mr. HELMS - I was not aware that it did. I don't believe it would.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - Would standard operating procedure have called Oswald to have been debriefed?
Mr. HELMS - I would not have thought so, Mr. Goldsmith. I think that the standard operating procedure after he returned to the United States would have been for the Navy to debrief him.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - Why is that, sir?
Mr. HELMS - Because he had been a member of the Marine Corps, and I believe he stayed in the Marine Reserve, if I am not mistaken. But in any event, the understandings were that military officers were handled by the intelligence organs of the Defense Estab-
Mr. GOLDSMITH - So I take it, then, that the Agency had no interest in finding out whatever information Oswald may have picked up during his work at a radio factory in Minsk?
Mr. HELMS - I think they would have hoped--they would have got that information from the Navy.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - Did the Agency ever obtain that information from the Navy?
Mr. HELMS - I don't know.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - Again, Mr. Helms, would you agree that a memorandum that makes reference to the possibility of the laying on of interviews on Oswald is contemplating a contact with Oswald? I am not suggesting a contact necessarily occurred, sir, but that it is contemplating a contact.
Mr. HELMS - Apparently someone, and 1 am sorry but the memorandum is so sanitized that I don't know who it was nor do I know in what part of the Agency he was, apparently had an idea at some point it might be a good idea to interview Oswald. To the best of my knowledge, his thought never came to anything.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - Did the Agency ever interview the author of this memorandum to determine whether there was any followup?
Mr. HELMS - I don't know. I don't know who wrote the memorandum.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - Do you think if there were a written report summarizing what the Agency had done in its investigation of the Oswald allegation, perhaps issues like this might more readily be resolved?
Mr. HELMS - I don't know. I think these issues are very difficult to resolve, particularly 15 years later when I don't even know what I am dealing with.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - Do you think the availability of a written report summarizing the steps that the Agency went through would facilitate resolving this issue today?
Mr. HELMS - Yes, I think probably it would have been, in light of hindsight, might have been very useful if we had had a memorandum for the record of everybody in the Agency who was talked to about Oswald. We should have kept that going for several years.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - If I may have a moment, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Helms, what is a 201 file?
Mr. HELMS - I believe the 201 file, if memory serves, is simply the number given to a type of file at the Agency in which personality information is placed. In other words, if you open a 201 file on the chairman of this committee, for example, it would simply be information that had come into the Agency which involved that gentleman.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - Why would the Agency have opened a 201 file on Oswald?
Mr. HELMS - Why would it have?
Mr. GOLDSMITH - Yes, sir.
Mr. HELMS - I believe at some point a decision must have been made that Oswald was perhaps a matter of continuing interest and therefore the information which we held on him should be put in the file. I would like to suggest to the committee that when a Government agency receives mail it has to do something with it, and one of the things that you do with it is to try to categorize the type of information it is and where it would best be filed so that if you need it at some future date you can get it back.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - I would ask that Mr. Helms be shown JFK exhibit F-534. For the record, that is a Department of State telegram dated October 31, 1959. Would you please read to yourself that telegram.
Mr. HELMS - Yes, Mr. Goldsmith, I have read it now.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - This telegram makes reference to Oswald indicating his intention or desire to defect, and it says that Oswald has offered the Soviets any information he has acquired as an enlisted radar operator. My question to you is whether information contained in this particular telegram would normally lead to the opening of a 201 file?
Mr. HELMS - I just don't know how to answer the question. I would have thought so but, on the other hand, maybe a decision would be made that this was something that involved the Marine Corps and that this was their concern. After all, the Department of Defense has a very large Defense Intelligence Agency and then it has intelligence units in the Army, Navy, and Air Force and they do have jurisdiction over their people and their security.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - Mr. Helms, I would ask you to refer to your previous testimony to this committee on page 75, specifically to line 15 response to the question posed by me:
Mr. GOLDSMITH - Would the information contained in this telegram normally lead to the opening of a 201 file? We are referring to the same telegram. Would you please read the response that you gave that day?
Mr. HELMS - I would have thought so, an American who was defecting to the Soviet Union would have been of counterintelligence interest and that would have been quite sufficient to have caused the Agency to open a file.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - Mr. Chairman, I move for the admission of this exhibit.
Mr. PREYER - Without objection, the exhibit is ordered into the record at this point. [Whereupon, JFK exhibit F-534 was received in evidence:]


Mr. GOLDSMITH - Mr. Helms, when if ever is it permissible to remove a document from a 201 file?
Mr. HELMS - I don't really know what the regulation of the Agency is any more about the removal of documents. I would have thought it was not a common practice to remove documents from a 201 file, but whether there were specific cases under which this might have been done for some particular reason, I suppose there were.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - When a document is removed from a 201 file is any record of this event required to be kept?
Mr. HELMS - Normally I would think that an entry would be made that such-and-such a document had left the files, so anybody who was reviewing that file would then realize it was not complete. But I am so far away from these matters anymore, Mr. Goldsmith, that I am really not a good witness on these technicalities, and I am sorry about that. But I am not and I would not like the vagueness of my memory to mislead anybody.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - I would ask Mr. Helms be shown JFK F-523. I might indicate this is a form that is used to initiate the opening of a 201 file. Mr. Helms, in whose name was this 201 file opened?
Mr. HELMS - The name is Oswald, Lee, and the middle name Henry. Excuse me, I stated December 9, 1960. Is that correct?
Mr. GOLDSMITH - Yes, sir.
Mr. HELMS - I just wanted to be sure I can read it.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - Did the Agency ever initiate inquiry as to_why the file on Oswald was opened Under the middle name of Henry instead of Harvey?
Mr. HELMS - I don't know-the answer to that, Mr. Goldsmith. I believe that it caused a great deal of controversy at the time it was discovered after President Kennedy's death. But what the resolution of the matter was and whether any logical explanation was found, I do not know.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - Did you ever see a written report dealing with this issue?
Mr. HELMS - If there was one I don't recall seeing it, but I have no doubt that somebody must have made an effort to explain it.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - You made reference earlier to the date of this particular document. It is December 9, 1960. The State Department telegram which we showed you earlier was dated October 31, 1959. That is the document that made reference to Oswald intending to defect and to give military information to the Soviets. Why after the receipt of this State Department telegram in October of 1959 would it have taken more than a year to open a 201 file on Oswald?
Mr. HELMS - I have no explanation for that, Mr. Goldsmith, I am sorry, I just don't know.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - Would a routine name trace for Lee Harvey Oswald have resulted in a reference to the file opened under the name Lee Henry Oswald?
Mr. HELMS - I believe that the procedure in the Agency was when traces were being run of this kind that all the Oswalds would have been run and certainly all the Leo Oswalds would have been run. It was probably at that time it was discovered there was a mistake here.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - I take it, your answer then, is yes?
Mr. HELMS - Yes.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - I notice under the section in the middle of the page where it says other identification, the initials AG are inserted. Do you know What the initials AG stand for?
Mr. HELMS - I am sorry, I am not with you.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - Please look down the right-hand side of the page. There is a column marked other identification and within that the initials AG appear. Do you know what that term stands for?
Mr. HELMS - I don't know what that is. I am not familiar with it. I am sorry, I just don't know?
Mr. GOLDSMITH - I understand. I note by looking at the bottom of the page that Oswald's file was restricted. Do you know why Oswald's file would have been restricted?
Mr. HELMS - No, I don't.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - Is that unusual in any way?
Mr. HELMS - Maybe because he was an American, but I don't literally know the reason.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - Is it unusual to restrict such files?
Mr. HELMS - I wouldn't have thought so. But the Agency was loaded with different kinds of classifications and classification procedures and special arrangements, and so forth, to take care of unusual circumstances, so I don't think that was unusual.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - Are 201 files ever maintained on a covert basis or is there ever such a thing as a fake 201 file?
Mr. HELMS - I don't know. You brought to my attention the fact that you had discovered one in the Agency. I was not aware of the phenomenon myself prior to your having brought it to my attention. Since you did find one, then I concede that I guess there was such a thing, but I was not aware of the one that you brought to my attention and I am not aware of any others.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - Let's examine that particular one at this point. I would ask that Mr. Helms be given JFK F-522. What was the ZR rifle project?
Mr. HELMS - My understanding from the hearings of the Church committee, I believe the ZR rifle originally started out as an indicator for a project which was supposed to cover a man who in turn had been taken on to have available an operational capability to kill people. This man was hired before I was aware of these things. I have this in hindsight but I believe that is what the ZR rifle was supposed to be and then I believe later it metamorphosed into something else. But anyway, after I became Deputy Director for Plans, I put on the shelf for good any and all use of his capacity for killing people. We didn't need that, so that was the end of that. If the ZR rifle continued after that, it was in another context and I don't remember precisely what the context was. I can read what you have given me here, that it was to spot, develop, and use agent assets for Division D operations. My recollection of Division D was that it was the operational staff in the Agency which attempted to procure code and cipher materials overseas for use by the National Security Agency.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - In fact, that form which you were just reading, the reference to Division D, has no bearing at all upon any executive action-type problem, any type of assassination program?
Mr. HELMS - I would not have thought so. If that was in Division D, maybe it was there for convenience. Maybe they didn't know where else to put it, and 1 can t blame them.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - Is it also possible the person writing these notes was writing that aspect of--it to mislead people to cover the fact that this was assassination activity? '
Mr. HELMS - I don't know whether that was the idea or not, Mr. Goldsmith.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - Let's take a closer look at this particular document. This document consists of handwritten notes. The notes are in the handwriting of two different individuals.
Mr. HELMS - Yes, I notice here on one of the pages, "It should have a phony 201 to backstop this."
Mr. GOLDSMITH - You are reading from which page, sir?
Mr. HELMS - I am sorry, they are not numbered, Mr. Goldsmith. I am not trying to be difficult. It is 1, 2, 3--this is page 4.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - You are referring to the bottom of the page where it says, "should have phony 201 in RI"?
Mr. HELMS - That is it.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - The document indicates, "should have phony 201 in R1 to backstop this. All documents therein forged and backdated. Should look like"--I believe that says a "CE file."
Mr. HELMS - I think that must be what it means.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - Let's refer your attention now to page 6, two pages further.
Mr. HELMS - Right.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - At the bottom right-hand portion of the page approximately five or six lines up, the person wrote in, "Never mention the word assassination." Is that true?
Mr. HELMS - Yes, that is what it says.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - Would you turn to the next page. Does that page say "No projects or papers except for cover"? Does it also say "cover file create from RIS"--the rest of it not really legible? Does it contain that language?
Mr. HELMS - Yes. I don't know, I can't read it either. It is so cut up and excised, and so forth, it really doesn't make much sense.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - In any event, Mr. Helms, do these handwritten notes contain any indication that this particular project contemplated the use of fake files?
Mr. HELMS - That is what it says here. I don't know any more about it than that, if this is the item I mentioned a moment ago that you had brought to my attention and I concede that is what this says. But I find it awfully difficult to deal with these matters so totally out of context and excised and sanitized, and so forth. My recollection is as I have told you, that the ZR rifle project was an individual who was supposed to kill people. He never killed anybody and he was never used for that purpose after I had anything to do with it, and any further business the ZR rifle was involved in was something else's entirely.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - Mr. Helms, I would ask you to refer to page 86 of your prior testimony which is given at a time when you had access to the complete document.
Mr. HELMS - Is the top of that page supposed to have been censored by the Agency or is that somebody else's lining.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - No, sir, that was not intended to be sanitized by the Agency. I believe your lawyer will confirm that. [Witness conferring with counsel.]
Mr. HELMS - Excuse me, Mr. Goldsmith, I was confused by what I was looking at here. [Witness reading from prior testimony.]
Mr. GOLDSMITH - The question to you:
Mr. GOLDSMITH - In any event, would you agree that here is a case where at the very least agency personnel were contemplating the use of a fake 201 file and possibly a fake operational file? Will you please read your answer? Mr. HELMS [reading]:
Mr. HELMS - Yes, it looks like that. But then his boss would have known about this. He would have had to get permission to do that. Somebody would have known about it. Is that as far as you want me to read? Mr. GOLDSMIH. Yes. I have one more exhibit to show you, Mr. Helms. I would ask Mr. Helms be given JFK F-524. While that is being done, Mr. Chairman, I would ask that JFK F-522, F-524, and F-526 be entered into the record.
Mr. PREYER - Without objection, the exhibits are entered into the record at this time.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - In addition, I would ask that JFK F-525, F-512, and F-523 also be entered into the record.
Mr. PREYER - Without objection, the exhibits are entered into the record at this point. [Whereupon, JFK exhibits F-512, F-522, F-523, F-524, and F-526 were received in evidence:]


Mr. GOLDSMITH - The first page of JFK exhibit F-524 is a letter from Mr. Breckinridge to Professor Blakey of this committee. I would refer your attention--why don't you read both pages.
Mr. HELMS - I have had a chance to read not only Mr. Breckenridge's covering memorandum to Mr. Blakey but also the attached memorandum which is unsigned and just says "To Chief," I don't know what.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - Does this memorandum make reference to 37 documents being missing from Oswald's 201 file?
Mr. HELMS - Yes, it does. It says that: [In 1964, February 20, a comparison of the documents available in 201 file and those recorded as being those in the 201 file has shown 37 documents which should be in the 201 file are not available in it. And there is a breakdown of what seems to be missing.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - Was this document ever brought to your attention?
Mr. HELMS - I can never remember it having been brought to my attention.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - , Were you ever informed that at some time there were at least 37 documents missing from Oswald's 201 file?
Mr. HELMS - No I doubt that would have been brought to my attention. I would assurne somebody in charge of the registry would have gone looking for the documents.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - Is the information contained in this document particularly sensitive?
Mr. HELMS - You mean sensitive operationally or in a security sense?
Mr. GOLDSMITH - Sensitive in the sense that the Agency normally attributes to that term.
Mr. HELMS - I wouldn't have thought so.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - In light of that, why would this document have carried the classification of "secret" and the restriction for eyes only" prior to its declassification?
Mr. HELMS - Sir; I am sorry but I don't see "eyes only" on it nor do I see "secret" on it.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - I understand that. I said prior to its declassification. Please reread the letter to Professor Blakey from Mr. Breckenridge.
Mr. HELMS - I don't know. Maybe it was overclassified. A lot of documents in the agency were.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - Thank you, Mr. Helms. I have no further questions.
Mr. GOLDSMITH - Mr. Chairman, there are a number of other exhibits which relate generally to the subjects of Mr. Helms' testimony, but with respect to which there was not sufficient time to ask specific questions. They have been marked for identification as JFK F-513 through F-517, F-519, F-521, F-525, F-528, F-530, and F-533. May they be admitted into evidence at this time?
Mr. PREYER - Without objection, they may be admitted into evidence. [The exhibits referred to above follow.]


Mr. PREYER - It has been a long afternoon and I imagine Mr. Helms would be ready for a recess period. I think we are very close to finishing. We have one other member who wishes to ask questions. I know you are anxious to finish. Would you prefer to take a 10-minute recess at this time or would you like to attempt to finish up?
Mr. HELMS - If you don't mind, Mr. Chairman, I would like to go right along. I would like to finish if we possibly can as soon as we can.
Mr. PREYER - The Chair recognizes Mr Sawyer.
Mr. HELMS - Good afternoon, Mr. Sawyer.
Mr. SAWYER - Good afternoon, Ambassador. First I would like to clear up what I think was a combination of misstatements about what Mr. Hart testified to via-a-via Nosenko. He did not say that we should not believe the veracity of what Nosenko said. He said he believed that but that he felt, because of the size and compartmentalization of the KGB, he would not at all necessarily know whether they had contact with him or not, and for that reason I am quite puzzled with this combination of not having accepted the bona fides of Nosenko and yet putting him on the payroll as a consultant. How can you possibly get any value out of information supplied with someone when there is a belief or at least a strong possibility that he is a double agent, there for the specific purpose of deceiving?
Mr. HELMS - Well, sir, this is the constant and continuing hazard in all intelligence work of this kind. There isn't a statement that is made by any defector that comes to the United States that goes unchecked. We take all the statements and then they are checked out and there is an effort made to find out if they are true and they are examined and research work is done on them, and so forth, because this is a very difficult and untidy problem, I am sad to say. And it is particularly untidy given the importance of the Nosenko case. I have been told he gave useful information to an agency of the U.S. Government about certain Soviet operations overseas and certain information about the KGB. I can't personally attest to this, and I am sorry; but I believe that certain of high information was believed to be of value.
Mr. SAWYER - It seems to me, looking at the facts of this thing here he was incarcerated under horrible conditions for a period of some 5 years or approximating 5 years, and then apparently the project was given up as not being able to resolve the question, at least to everyone's satisfaction. There are memorandums indicating it would be now a great catastrophe to release this man presumably after what had been done to him here in the country; it would be devastating if he talked much about it. There was even a memorandum of the director of the Soviet bloc group or division, discussing the possibilities of disposing of him and elaborating on that to mean either liquidation or drugging him to a point where he became incomprehensible so he couldn't tell anybody anything, or just putting him in an insane asylum and just throwing away the key apparently. It would just seem to me after what you people did to Nosenko here in this country, without any color of law at all, that you really only had two choices: One was dispose of him as suggested---
Mr. HELMS - That was never considered, Mr. Sawyer.
Mr. SAWYER - Well, I am talking about what your division chief of the Soviet bloc wrote down that was being considered at least by him.
Mr. HELMS - He was the Deputy Division Chief and maybe he did write these things down, but I say these things were never brought to my attention, the suggestion was never made to me, this was never an option that was considered.
Mr. SAWYER - You have testified about your considering assassinating people along with the Mafia. It is nothing new to you people apparently to assassinate somebody?
Mr. HELMS - That is your statement, Mr. Sawyer.
Mr. SAWYER - Well, I thought that was what you have been testifying to here about willingly becoming a party to an assassination either by syringe, by gun, or by poison pills of Castro. So once we get in the acceptance of that line, it doesn't seem to me so out of line that would be one of the things you would consider, and apparently your deputy division chief did consider it. It seems to me the only other option would be to pay him off and handsomely enough so he would keep quiet about this when you let him go. You obviously couldn't deport him very well at this point in time, and it just appears to me as I look at that it is perfectly plain that you exercised the option of paying him off. Do you dispute that?
Mr. HELMS - Yes; I dispute it.
Mr. SAWYER - You said you paid over a_period of time some half a million dollars, is about what it amounts to as I both in lump-sum payments and in monthly stipends to a guy that the Agency never decided wasn't, in fact, there to mislead it and give it false information YoU paid that as a consultant and you say the motivation was not at all to pay him off. Is that your position?
Mr. HELMS - No sir. I am-counting 10. That is what my mother taught me to do under these circumstances.
Mr. SAWYER - You are doing what?
Mr. HELMS - I am counting to 10.
Mr. SAWYER - Well, I will be patient if it takes that long.
Mr. HELMS - The effort in Mr. Nosenko's case and the only option that we had available to us my opinion was to resettle him and give him a new identity and handle him in such a way he would have a chance to make a life for himself on the American scene. It has been 5 years since I had anything to do with his case. I don't know what has been done to him since.
Mr. SAWYER - You said you could not just put him out on welfare. What do we do with most immigrants that come in either from Indochina that are refugees or regularly admitted immigrants? We may provide them some educational help in the language, and that sort of thing, but we don't pay them off. Here you are talking about sums of money that wouldn't be mentionable in the same breath as welfare, and I just say as 1 look at this thing, taking all these facts you have testified to into account, it would just seem to me on the face of it that it was a payoff. I am surprised to hear you deny it.
Mr. HELMS - I believe that under the Constitution you are entitled to your viewpoint and I am entitled to mine.
Mr. SAWYER - Well, you did in fact, plead guilty to having withheld information from the Senate committee, didn't you?
Mr. HELMS - No, sir, I did not.
Mr. SAWYER - I thought you had.
Mr. HELMS - I did not. I pleaded nolo contendere.
Mr. SAWYER - So that you just don't contest it, then, which is the legal equivalent of a plea of guilty, is that correct; except that it can't be used as an admission against you in a civil case; right?
Mr. HELMS - I am not a lawyer, Mr. Sawyer.
Mr. SAWYER - But i am sure you were advised by a lawyer before you entered a nolo contendere; were you not?
Mr. HELMS - I was advised by lawyers.
Mr. SAWYER - Something else bothers me. When you put Nosenko into solitary you obviously intended to hold him a very long time; did you not?
Mr. HELMS - I don't think that was the intention at the time. The intention was to hold him no longer than it took to find out whether he was bona fide or not or to satisfy ourselves on this.
Mr. SAWYER - But you invested in building a whole separate vault and building around it, and so forth, for the purpose of accommodating Nosenko; did you not?
Mr. HELMS - I asked this morning if anybody from the committee had looked at the building. It was no vault, as I recollect it. I don't think it was a very expensive building at all.
Mr. SAWYER - Where was it located?
Mr. HELMS - It was located in Virginia.
Mr. SAWYER - Was it on a military base?
Mr. HELMS - I believe those items are classified, and I was told by the agency to go into executive session if you wanted to discuss this.
Mr. SAWYER - Do they still use this?
Mr. HELMS - I don't know.
Mr. SAWYER - Was it ever used for anyone else other than Nosenko?
Mr. HELMS - I don't know. I don't think so.
Mr. SAWYER - Apparently it was a reinforced steel box that was described by Mr. Hart as being like a bank vault, and he then described that a house had been built around it to accommodate the interrogating staff and guards, and what not, and then surrounded by a linked barbed-wire fence. You wouldn't do that just to put somebody in it for a couple of months, would you?
Mr. HELMS - It would have depended on the circumstances. And after all, this was a very important case to us, so I would think the question of the amount of money that the installation cost really rarely came up.
Mr. SAWYER - What was the purpose of moving him from what was apparently a secure place of confinement into this so-called safe house? What was the purpose of building another facility and moving him out of there into that?
Mr. HELMS - I assume because those safe houses are much more complicated to administer, it take more guards, and things of that kind I think there were practical considerations involved.
Mr. SAWYER - Wouldn't it be a fair deduction if you went to the trouble of building a separate facility of this type that it obviously was going to be quite a long-term incarceration if that is specifically for what it was built?
Mr. HELMS - Well, 1 just said, sir, this was not the intention. The intention was to try to find out whether this man was bona fide and that was the objective, and when we had done that we would have let him loose and if this was a mistake in building this house, then I guess it was a mistake.
Mr. SAWYER - You said, too, that you didn't subject Nosenko to physical abuse. As I have both talked to Nosenko and listened to the CIA official spokeSmen define it, it was a partial starvation, being subjected to cold weather without being provided a blanket, not being allowed fresh air during the heat of the summer for over a year. Don't you consider that, just those items alone, as being physical torture actually? i those items 1 don't know whether
Mr. HELMS - I cannot verify those items. I don't know whether they are true or not. You have told me today they are true.
Mr. SAWYER - You were the man in charge when he had been without any legal process or trial, just incarcerated in solitary confinement. You were in charge of the Agency that was doing that, weren't you?
Mr. HELMS - I wasn't in charge at that time.
Mr. SAWYER - During part of that time you were.
Mr. HELMS - I became in charge later. Is there any evidence when I was Director these things happened to him? I didn't know anything about it at the time. I hear conflicting stories about how he was greated. You'll have to use your stories, I'll use mine.
Mr. SAWYER - Mr. McCone could have found out anything in the Agency that he wanted to find out. You said that right here, you remember?
Mr. HELMS - I said that.
Mr. SAWYER - So I presume as one of the people in charge of this having occurred to the man ou could have found out anything about what was happening to him that you wanted to, couldn't you?
Mr. HELMS - I never was told any tales.----
Mr. SAWYER - Well, you knew he was in your custody?
Mr. HELMS - That is correct.
Mr. SAWYER - And you never made any inquiry about what was happening to him over this 4- or 5-year period?
Mr. HELMS - Of course I did.
Mr. SAWYER - Did you find out then what they were doing to him, what you were doing to him?
Mr. HELMS - I was never told of these details of his being kept in a room so hot he couldn't stand it, or any of those things. Those were never brought to my attention and I never got those in answer to any inquiry. If this is the truth I am genuinely sorry about it, but I was not aware of it at the time.
Mr. SAWYER - You said about Oswald when he came back from Russia that you wouldn't have had really any particular jurisdic tion or interest because he was a marine. As I understand it, he had been discharged from the Marine Corps, and for how long a period of time does military service retain intelligence jurisdiction over a person?
Mr. HELMS - I don't know. I really don't.
Mr. SAWYER - When you were interviewed apparently by a Mr. Lardner, George Lardner of the Washington Post after your excutive testimony here, you said in effect to him--the article is in the Washington Post of Thursday, August 10, referring to your appearance here on August 9: "Your questions are almost as dumb as the committee's." Does that fairly reflect your personal opinion and attitude?
Mr. HELMS - I don't recall talking to Mr. Lardner after the hearing the other time. I was chatting in the hall with a newspaperman around lunchtime. I don't recall such an acerbic remark as that, and of course I withdraw it if I did make it. I never even saw the article, so it must have been the first edition of the Washington Post. The article I saw the next day didn't have anything like that in it. It teaches you never to talk to the press. I mean that's the only lesson, if they quoted me accurately. If they didn't quote me accurately, then I shouldn't have made off-the-cuff remarks. But I don't feel that way. I think this inquisition has been admirably handled.
Mr. SAWYER - If you didn't read the article, let me give you the benefit of the applicable part of it. It says: Helms told reporters during a break that no one would ever know who or what Lee Harvey Oswald, named by the Warren Commission as Kennedy's assassin, represented. Asked whether the CIA knew of any ties Oswald had with either the KGB or the CIA, Helms paused and with a laugh said, 'I don't remember.' Pressed on the point, he told a reporter, 'Your questions are almost as dumb as the committee's' You don't recall any such statement?
Mr. HELMS - I recall an exchange about Oswald because I don't think we are ever going to find out what Lee Harvey' Oswald's role was until we get the Russians KGB files, That is what I was referring to.
Mr. SAWYER - You did allude to the representation in Mr. McCone's letter or affidavit that there was no formal connection between Lee Harvey Oswald and the CIA. Did the use of the word formal intend to exclude any other type of relationship or contact?
Mr. HELMS - No, Mr. Sawyer. I am sorry. I was trying to use a short cut, I think. But in the documents I was given in preparation before this hearing the actual affidavit of Mr. McCone is there present and I think should be permitted to stand on its own feet. In other words, I would not want to say I was attempting to add or subtract from it.
Mr. SAWYER - But there was no specific connotation?
Mr. HELMS - No, sir. I am sorry if in my effort to make a short sentence I didn't go all through the various points that were made in there, because as I said earlier this afternoon, I never found the slightest evidence that the Agency had anything to do with Lee Harvey Oswald, and I was just hoping that maybe this hearing would put that rumor to rest.
Mr. SAWYER - In your long time with the Agency, have you ever known of any example where anything remotely similar to what was done to Nosenko was done to someone else here in this country?
Mr. HELMS - No; I know of no other case comparable, nor do I know of any case that confronted us where a man might have information having to do with the assassination of the President of the United States. The answer to your questions specifically is I know of no comparable case and I believe there never was one.
Mr. SAWYER - Whereas I recognize your disclaimer of being a lawyer, you certainly know that the police, even with the assassin himself, could never have done anything like this, would never have been permitted to do anything like this. You understand people's rights enough for that, don't you?
Mr. HELMS - Oh, yes, I understand people's rights.
Mr. SAWYER - Holding a man in solitary confinement under these kinds of conditions without a trial and subjecting him to both physical and mental torture--even with an assassin himself. There is no way the laws of our country permit that kind of thing. You knew that, didn't you?
Mr. HELMS - Well, I rather thought that the legal status of Mr. Nosenko in those days was in a very gray area and if I am wrong about it I wish you would correct me now, Mr. Sawyer, because I am prepared to be corrected.
Mr. SAWYER - Well, he was a human being, wasn't he?
Mr. HELMS - I believe so.
Mr. SAWYER - You know in most States even treating an animal like this will land you in jail. I have no further questions. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. PREYER - Are there any further questions? Mr. Dodd.
Mr. DODD - Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Helms, you made a point earlier in your testimony today with regard to the testimony of Mr. Hart before this committee. You commented on the fact that he didn't really share with us any specific knowledge about the substance of our inquiry; that is, in connection with whatever connection there may have been between the KGB and Lee Harvey Oswald, and to that extent what information the Agency had with regard to that specific information. I have to agree. In fact, Mr. Hart mentioned here that he had stated specifically to the Agency that if he were to be expected to talk about Lee Harvey Oswald, then it was pointless of the Agency to send him up here because he had no intention of talking about Lee Harvey Oswald. If this committee were to ask you who would be a good witness or several good witnesses that we could talk to either presently employed at the Agency or former employees of the Agency who could shed additional light on that particular aspect of our investigation, who would you suggest?
Mr. HELMS - I would suggest the Chief of the Soviet Bloc Division and the Deputy Chief who have been maligned here. I think they might come before this committee and answer for themselves as to the reasons behind the way the interrogation was conducted. I think that would be good for openers.
Mr. DODD - Who are these people again? I am sorry.
Mr. HELMS - The gentlemen who were Chief and Deputy Chief of the Soviet Bloc Division at the time of the Nosenko interrogation.
Mr. DODD - Could I go back a minute. Counsel asked you some questions about this 201 file that existed on Lee Henry Oswald, believe.
Mr. HELMS - That is right.
Mr. DODD - There is some confusion I think in the committee's mind as to how that file was opened. What kind of file is it? What is a 201 file.
Mr. HELMS - It is nothing but a personality file. We might open a file--we get pieces of paper like this and if they refer to Christopher Dodd, we would open a file on Christopher Dodd. They just happen to be called a 201 file because we had a numbering category files of different kinds used in different parts of the Agency. There is no arcane significance at all; it is just a number. It might have been called 5-type files or X-type files.
Mr. DODD - You said it takes something to trigger it?
Mr. HELMS - Yes, it takes a form like this to be filled out.
Mr. DODD - I wanted to get clear in my own mind. Can you tell the committee what it was specifically that triggered the opening of the 201 file on Lee Henry Oswald?
Mr. HELMS - I don't know what happened, sir, I don't know how they got the name wrong. I have no idea any more, if I ever knew. I don't know whether it was a clerical error, a mistake, or just what. I recognize in 1978 when you look back 15 years, Lee Harvey Oswald was not a household name. It may have been somebody thought it was Henry and read it wrong and it was Harvey. But I think it got straightened out very quickly, at the time of the dissemination of reports to the Government when he visited the Soviet and Cuban consulates in Mexico City.
Mr. DODD - Mr. Chairman, may I request that we suspend for a couple of minutes. I think I can get down to the bottom line very quickly. The mere existence of a 201 file does not suggest in any way, does it, that the person who is the subject of a 201 file is in any manner, shape or form an employee, agent, operative of the Agency?
Mr. HELMS - No, sir; it does not. It simply is a device for holding information. When an individual gets into special categories of relationships with the Agency, then the whole file business is changed.
Mr. DODD - So the existence of a 201 file on Lee Henry--or Lee Harvey Oswald in the Agency would in no way indicate that he is in fact a paid employee of the Agency?
Mr. HELMS - It means absolutely nothing. As a matter of fact, there were files in the Agency on Congressmen and Senators, but they had newspaper clippings. If you are going to file a newspaper clipping, you have to put it someplace.
Mr. DODD - Fine. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. HELMS - Thank you for making that point of clarification, Mr. Dodd.
Mr. PREYER - Thank you. I have no questions. I think the ground has been very thoroughly covered. I do just want to take my few minutes to make a brief statement about the hearings that we have had today and yesterday. I think the past 2 days of testimony have shown the CIA did things 15 years ago or so which shock us, sometimes shock us profoundly today. I had someone at the luncheon recess conclude from this testimony that America is a lawless society because one of' our institutions broke the law some years ago. Well, this is certainly not a lawless society. Russia is a lawless society, where a handfull of people control things and where you cannot change it unless a revolution or a war comes along. I think the past few days' hearings here have indicated that we can change things. The kind of testimony Mr. Hart of the C/A gave, criticizing his own institution, your testimony today, it is impossible to conceive of a KGB agent, for example, ever admitting that an thing they did 15 years ago was wrong. I don't think it was wrong to bring out these horrors of the past. I think the old adage that "the truth can make you free" is true here. The truth about these things, I think, will free up the CIA from past mistakes and it will free up all of us. And that is the second point I want to make. I think when we view these actions of some time ago today, we have to realize that at that time when these acts were committed there was a national consensus that this Nation's security was in peril. So I think we would want to be very careful how we make retroactive scapegoats. There are those who betrayed one trust, their trust of office, the trust of power; but they did so to preserve another trust, the trust of national security. In all of these hearings, Mr. Helms, in all of the inquiry situations that you have been subjected to lately, I don't think anyone has ever suggested that you ever betrayed that other trust, of the national security. I think in judging the actions of individuals in the past, we want to consider who it was who called up those actions. In large measures, the American people at that time were calling up these measures out of fear that our national security was in peril. Mr. Helms, we appreciate your being here with us today and answering all of these questions. At the conclusion of the testimony of our witnesses, we allow each witness 5 minutes to make any statements that he may choose to make. You have testified at some length today, but if there is any matter you wish to clear up, any statement you wish to make, we will be glad to hear from you at this time.
Mr. HELMS - Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Well, I would like to say I deeply appreciate the remarks you have just made at the conclusion of this hearing. I thank you for them. 1 thank you for your courtesy as chairman. I have no other comments.
Mr. PREYER - If there is no further business today, the committee stands recessed until 9 o'clock Monday morning.
[Whereupon, at 4:20 p.m., the hearing was adjourned, the committee to reconvene on Monday, September 25, 1978, at 9 a.m.]