American spies must lead difficult lives. The most honest of them, and even their superiors, don't always know whom they're working for.
VLADIMIR Y. SEMICHASTNY, HEAD OF THE KGB
Many American families named Oswald have petitioned the courts to change their name to Smith or Jones. What they read here will surprise them. The skeptics will complain that we don't know anything, or at least don't tell anything, about "the Oswald affair." If we were to expand on the subject, if we were to take his life apart piece by piece as the Warren Commission tried to do, we would only be attributing to Oswald a role far more important than the part he was destined to play in the Kennedy assassination. To do so would be to divert public attention, as the Warren commission, has done, from the essential matter at hand, the plot.
The Oswald story has been twisted out of all proportion. We have established the truth about the most important aspects of the affair. We have cut out or simplified the parts that seemed to us superfluous. Espionage affairs and conspiracies always have their share of romantic detail, but this is better left aside when the object is to get at the truth. Oswald was nothing more than a bit actor in a play with far wider implications, a pawn who was manipulated by the conspirators. Once he had outlived his usefulness, he was murdered and his body tossed to the crowd.(1) The public, after all, had to be told something.
Senator Millard L. Simpson (Wyoming) has described Oswald as "a Communist with an insane urge to kill." William Manchester wrote that Oswald and Ruby "both were misfits with twisted personalities, outcasts who craved attention, nursed grudges, were prey to wild impulses and fits of murderous temper, couldn't relate to other people -- women especially -- and were indifferent to public affairs." Manchester also describes Oswald as an "arrogant, weedy malcontent" and speaks of his "monumental stupidity."(2)
Dr. Lewis Robbins claims that Oswald was suffering from "advanced paranoia."(3) Manchester agrees, adding, "We now know what kindled the firestorm in Lee Harvey Oswald. It was the disintegration of his marriage. We also know when the wave overwhelmed him. It fell on the evening of Thursday, November 21, 1963." We are asked to believe that Oswald assassinated the President of the United States because his Russian wife made fun of him and left him for a Lesbian!(4) (Which doesn't prevent Mr. Manchester from suggesting in another part of the book that Oswald, like Ferrie and Ruby, had homosexual tendencies.)
Who was he, really, this "two-gun Pete" whose body was so hastily shoved in the ground on November 25, 1963, in a Fort Worth cemetery? Who was he, really, the man who was buried as "William Bobo"?
Despite an unhappy childhood and a modest education, Oswald was a bright(5) and well-organized young man(6) who wrote well and expressed himself with ease. He was impressible, gentle, polite and reserved. His father (who was neither a gangster nor a good-for-nothing, but an insurance salesman) died before he was born, and Lee was placed in an orphanage for a time and deprived of parental affection. His IQ was 118, which according to Dr. Irving Sokolow is well above average. He dropped out of high school in New Orleans at the age of 16 and, like his older brother and his stepbrother, joined the Marine Corps when he was 17, in 1956.(7)
Oswald was a good soldier. He was promoted to Private First Class and sent to Japan, where he was trained as a radio operator. An American who knew him in Tokyo(8) says, "He was a proud kid, full of the Marine Corps spirit. He didn't talk much, but he really swallowed the Communist line."
At that time, the CIA was developing its U2 program,(9) and it needed radar specialists. It recruited its personnel from the ranks of the Army, or preferably from the Marine Corps. Oswald was one of those contacted at the Atsugi base in Japan,(10) and he accepted the CIA's offer. At 19, he received his diploma as a radar specialist. His technical training was rounded out by the general courses ("spy training") given to all CIA trainees, and by language classes (Spanish and Russian) and courses in Marxist dialectic. The CIA provided him with a "funny"(11) and opened a file on him which contained a report on his Marxist opinions and another stating that he had been court-martialed for carrying a personal weapon and insulting an officer. In 1958, he was sent to Santa Ana, California, where he received detailed instruction on the U2. He had been discharged from the Marine Corps and no longer had regular sessions on the firing range. In addition to his technical abilities, he showed a real aptitude for languages. Moreover, he was reserved and discreet, essential characteristics for a secret agent.
In 1959, the U2 missions were intensified. The CIA was expanding its intelligence rings in China and especially in the Soviet Union. We do not know the nature of Oswald's CIA assignment, but we do know that he left New Orleans on September 20, 1959, for the Soviet Union via Finland.(12) The President of the United States, however, is sometimes no better informed. Eisenhower declared on May 11, 1960, speaking of the U2 affair, that "these activities have their own rules and methods of concealment which seek to mislead and obscure." The fact that he remained in the Soviet Union for 30 months(13) indicates that it was probably a long-term assignment, and he may not have been given any specific duties for the first few years. He was immediately placed under surveillance by the Soviet GRU, which among other things seeks to obtain information about the enemy by studying its intelligence techniques. (The goal of every counter-espionage unit is to infiltrate the enemy's intelligence services in order to learn its real intentions, and even to take part in its activities.)
In the past,(14) a spy, once, uncovered, was immediately placed under arrest and most probably executed. Intelligence services today prefer to locate an enemy agent and keep him under surveillance to see what they can learn, or try to recruit him as a double agent. Spies who are arrested are no longer shot; instead, they are exchanged.(15) By allowing an identified agent to remain in the Soviet Union, the Russians may have hoped to learn more about Oswald's mission.
Oswald was permitted to settle in Minsk, a closed city where a school for spying and sabotage, the existence of which the CIA was naturally aware of, is located. He was hired by a local factory as an electrician. In order to be able to watch him day and night, the KGB sent Marina Prusakova, officially a pharmacist at the same factory, onto the scene, and the CIA obtained pictures of the "couple."
Six months after Oswald's arrival in the Soviet Union, Gary Power's U2 plane was shot down by an S A 2 rocket over Sverdlosk in the Urals. The diplomatic reverberations from this incident resulted in the cancellation of the Paris summit conference. The CIA suspended the U2 flights over the Soviet Union, and with it the activities of some of its agents.(16) Oswald, however (who had probably planned on a longer stay), married Miss Prusakova, whom he had taken a liking to and thought might prove useful.
In 1962, the CIA resumed its aerial espionage activity using Midas and Samos satellites (launched by Thor Delta rockets) which overflew Soviet territory at an altitude of 300 miles every 72 hours and required no assistance from the ground. Soon afterwards, Oswald obtained an exit visa and returned to the United States, taking his wife and child with him. The Oswald couple was nothing less than a rather picturesque case of Funkspiel.(17)
With Marina Prusakova, the FBI faced a problem similar to that which Oswald had presented to the KGB almost three years before. When Mr. and Mrs. Oswald landed in the United States in June 1962, the FBI re-activated its file on Oswald and opened another on Marina Nikolaevna Prusakova. At the same time, the couple's activities were probably being closely scrutinized and carefully noted in the files of Zapiski.(18)
Oswald was recuperated by the CIA but was assigned to another program, probably because, with the exception of the reconnaissance flights over Cuba for which only limited personnel was required, the U2 was seldom used anymore. "Promotions" in intelligence work don't follow the same rules as promotions in the civil service. An agent is obliged to remain inactive for as long as his superiors deem necessary. The CIA, moreover, had reason to suspect Oswald, as it does any operative returning from enemy territory who may have been turned into a double agent. Thus, Oswald was placed under CIA surveillance and was even tested and interrogated by an expert employed by both the CIA and Texas oil circles, a man known as George S. De Mohrenschildt and nicknamed "The Chinese."(19)
Oswald attended a training course at a Dallas firm specializing in the reproduction of maps and secret documents and which was run, naturally enough, by the CIA. But the FBI was also interested in Oswald. On June 26, 1962, two FBI agents, John W. Fain and Thomas Carter, made him an offer in line with his abilities. They wanted him to use his Marxist reputation to infiltrate several Communist groups, especially the Young Socialist Alliance, the Socialist Workers Party, and the newspaper The Worker, and to furnish information on the members of the Slavic immigrant community around Fort Worth to which Marina Prusakova, of course, belonged.(20)
In August 1962 Oswald took out a subscription to The Worker and offered his services as a photographer.(21) In October and November, he also contacted the Socialist Labor Party and subscribed to its publication The Militant. Throughout the winter of 1962-63, Oswald corresponded with these leftist groups, helping them out from time to time. In October 1962 the CIA, frightened by the Cuban missile crisis, called back those of its agents who were in training or on vacation. Oswald made several trips to New Orleans, where he received new instructions, changed his occupational disguise, and rented a post office box (POB 2915). In April 1963, Oswald was told to move to New Orleans, where he continued to infiltrate Communist groups. It is highly probable that he was working simultaneously for the CIA and the FBI. He tried to join subversive groups like the Fair Play for Cuba Committee (FPCC), which was violently critical of American policy towards Castro. Oswald distributed Communist literature in the streets of New Orleans to win the approval of the FPCC and make contact with the pro-Castro groups in Louisiana. Actually, he was working for the opposition group, the anti-Castro Cuban Democratic Revolutionary Front, which was controlled by the CIA. Oswald worked out of an office located at 544 Camp Street.(22)
In New Orleans Oswald encountered several other CIA men, including Banister, Ward, and David Ferrie, all of whom belonged to the Minutemen. Ferrie was what is known as an adventurer. At 45 he was a licensed pilot and had flown for a time for an airline, but he had worked for the CIA since 1955 and had been employed in several Central American operations. Ferrie had worked for Castro in the days when he was an exiled idealist in Mexico and the CIA was behind him. He had parachuted weapons and explosives to Castro and Che Guevara when they were fighting in the Sierra Maestra. One of Ferrie's cargos had enabled the Castro guerrillas to blow up a munitions train belonging to Batista. When Batista was overthrown by Castro, the CIA switched its allegiance to the ex-dictator, and Ferrie was assigned to work against the new Cuban regime.(23) Between 1960 and 1962 he was seen at CIA bases in San Antonio, Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua, and on Swan Island off Honduras, and he had been one of the instructors at the coffee plantation at Retalhuleu. In Miami he worked for Alex Carlson.(24) In New Orleans, he was regarded as a tough guy. Like Banister and Ward, he belonged to the Minutemen. He knew Oswald, whom he had met in 1959, shortly before his departure for the USSR.
All of these men, regardless of their past or their political affiliations, were in the pay of the CIA, and they were hard at work when, in July 1963, the training, the simulated raids, and even the airlifts were called off. President Kennedy had just ordered the CIA to abandon its plans for the invasion and the harassment of Cuba. John McCone argued against this decision, but in the end he was forced to yield. It proved more difficult, however, to convince the men in the lower echelons of the agency.
On July 31, 1963, acting on orders from Washington, the FBI surrounded the CIA training centers and most of the other establishments connected with the Cuban operation and closed them down.(25) The following day, August 1, President Kennedy announced the conclusion of a nuclear test ban treaty and the installation of a direct telephone line between the White House and the Kremlin. Once again he stated, "Our goal is not war, but peace."
A few days later, Ferrie was contacted by Clay Shaw, a New Orleans businessman and Director of the International Trade Mart in New Orleans since 1947, who was acting as a front man for another businessman.(26) The Committee needed both a commando and a scapegoat. The commando was recruited from among the CIA Minutemen, and Oswald and the anti-Castro men were chosen for the other role. In September he introduced him to Clay Shaw and General Walker.
Oswald was probably told that he had been chosen to participate in a new anti-Communist operation together with Ferrie and several other agents. The plan consisted of influencing public opinion by simulating an attack against President Kennedy, whose policy of coexistence with the Communists deserved a reprimand. Another assassination attempt, also designed to arouse public feeling, had been simulated on April 10 against General Walker.(27)
Oswald was arrested by the New Orleans police on August 9, but was later freed at the request of FBI agent John L. Quigley. Contrary to the FBI, the upper spheres of the CIA were certainly not informed of the preparations for the assassination.(28) The activities of the CIA are highly compartmentalized. The team that operated at Dallas included specialists who had worked for the CIA's DCA.(29) Several of them belonged to the Minutemen, which was thus able to keep the upper hand in the situation.(30)
Oswald had no special reason to suspect this new mission. In four years he had seen and done worse, and he was so psychologically involved in intelligence work that at times he would confuse his assignments for the CIA and the FBI, and his "Marxist" and "anti-Marxist" activities. Furthermore, he was not in the habit of asking questions. There is no doubt that he considered himself well covered on November 22.
Time passed . . . Meticulous as always, Oswald closed the new post office box (PO Box 30061) that he had rented in New Orleans on June 3. He arrived in Dallas on October 2 and rented a room. That same day, Governor Connally held a meeting at the Hotel Adolphus. The principal subject of discussion was the President's trip, but the Governor was not kept informed of all of the plans. On October 3, the Texas Congressional delegation met at the Capitol in Washington, and the following day Governor Connally went to the White House to go over the details of the trip with Ken O'Donnell. October 5, a Saturday, was the final day of a three-day celebration in Houston. Sandra Smith, daughter of Lloyd Hilton Smith, Vice-President of Humble Oil, was wed to a New York broker. Under a tent set up in the garden, the young socialites of Houston and Dallas danced the night away. The two daughters of Henry Ford II whirled in the arms of Ivy League students, and Mr. Morgan Davis was one of the guests.
Between October 7 and 10, Ferrie and six other men arrived in Dallas. On October 14, the Committee arranged to have Oswald hired (at the minimum wage of $1.25 an hour) at the Texas School Book Depository. On October 15, Oswald visited the warehouse, and on October 16, he began taking inventory and moving boxes of books. The other employees were quick to notice that he didn't talk much.
One week later, President Kennedy drove beneath the windows of the Depository. Then the leaves began to fall, and soon the traces disappeared. Policemen, journalists, a taxi driver, women, and a number of other people died suddenly. Even the CIA suffered losses. In 1964, Banister died of a " heart attack," and Ward was killed in a "plane crash." Ferrie was tougher, but he died in 1967 of a "cerebral hemorrhage." These, at least, were listed as the official causes of death.
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1. With the exception of a few scholarly works such as Mark Lane's Rush to Judgment, most of the 50-odd books devoted to the Kennedy assassination have little more foundation than the detective story published in Paris in 1931 by an author who used the bizarre and premonitory pseudonym, "Oswald Dallas" (Le Capitaine Fragalle, Collection Le Masque).
2. Explaining Oswald's behavior, Manchester writes: "Kennedy was all-powerful. Oswald was impotent. Kennedy was cheered. Oswald ignored. Kennedy was noble, Oswald ignoble. Kennedy was beloved, Oswald despised. Kennedy was a hero; Oswald was a victim. One man had almost everything, the other had nothing. Kennedy, for example, was spectacularly handsome. Oswald . . . was already balding, and he had the physique of a ferret."
3. Because Oswald, according to Dr. Robbins, deliberately left clues behind him.
4. Mrs. Paine, Marina Oswald's "friend" with whom she was staying at the time of the assassination, was President of the East-West Contacts Committee, an association promoting literary contacts with the Soviet Union.
5. The counselor at the Dallas Employment Office was impressed
by Oswald's vocabulary and his aptitudes, and remarked that he expressed
himself extremely well.
One of the officials at the US Consulate in Moscow, Richard E. Snyder,
calls him "intelligent."
William Stuckey of radio station WDSU in New Orleans describes him as
"intelligent and very logical." and adds that Oswald reminded him of a "young
One of the officials at the US Consulate in Moscow, Richard E. Snyder, calls him "intelligent."
William Stuckey of radio station WDSU in New Orleans describes him as "intelligent and very logical." and adds that Oswald reminded him of a "young attorney."
6. He took notes on everything he read.
7. The Marine Corps has a high percentage of orphans. Perhaps it offers them the warmth and companionship that they never knew at home.
8. Richard N. Savitt.
9. The first squadron of U2s, consisting of three planes, was formed in January 1956 at Watertown Strip in Nevada. Other squadrons were based at Lakenheath Air Force Base in Great Britain, Wiesbaden, Germany, Adana, Turkey, and Atsugi, Japan. The planes were sometimes flown from other secret bases located on Formosa, in Korea, and possibly elsewhere.
10. The CIA maintained an office at Atsugi, which was used as a fueling stop for flights from the United States which operated over the Soviet Union and China.
11. A faked document in CIA jargon.
12. It was probably around then, or perhaps a month later, that the FBI opened a file on Oswald, as it does for all the CIA agents that it manages to identify. This file was kept up to date regularly.
13. It will be recalled that the Warren Commission described Oswald as a penniless soldier who defected to the Soviet Union because he believed in Communism and who tried to renounce his American citizenship in order to live like a Marxist.
14. In his book, The Craft of Intelligence, Allen W.
Dulles cites one of his predecessors, a Fifth Century Chinese named Sun Tzu,
who classified spies according to category. Things have not changed a great
deal since then. Sun Tzu distinguished between: 1) classical agents,
introduced from the outside; 2) converted agents, who have been captured and
sent back to the enemy; 3) condemned agents, used to transmit false
information to the enemy in order to get rid of them; and 4) surviving agents,
who have infiltrated the enemy and managed to get out alive.
Dulles adds that all four categories are necessary to an intelligence
organization, and that an agent may change categories several times in the
course of his career.
Dulles adds that all four categories are necessary to an intelligence organization, and that an agent may change categories several times in the course of his career.
15. Two fliers from an Air Force RB 47 shot down on July 1,
1960, Captain Olmsted and Captain McKone, were exchanged in 1960 for two GRU
agents, Igor Melekh and Willie Hirsch, arrested by the FBI on October 27,
1960. "The return of the RB 47 fliers and President Kennedy's release of
Willie Hirsch and Igor Melekh was the first cautious groping of both sides
toward what rapidly became standard procedure. As unthinkable as it might have
been in the previous decade. nations began publicly trading their spies in the
1960s" (Wise and Ross, The Espionage Establishment).
On February 10, 1962, Soviet Colonel Rudolf Abel, who was serving a 30-year
prison sentence at the Atlanta Federal Penitentiary, was exchanged on a Berlin
bridge for U2 pilot Francis Gary Powers.
The recuperation of important captured agents has become customary, and it
has sometimes led to the arrest of tourists. To recuperate one of their
agents, Igor Alexandrovitch Ivanov, arrested in New York in November 1963, the
KGB arrested Professor Frederick C. Barghoorn of Yale and three other American
tourists, Wortham, Gilmour and Mott (Mott later committed suicide while being
transferred to a forced labor camp). The KGB failed to obtain Ivanov's
release, but Kennedy persuaded them to release Professor Barghoorn.
Spy trades are now practiced regularly by the Soviet Union and the Eastern
European satellites (Gordon Lonsdale in England, Alfred Frenzel in West
Germany, and Zvoboda in France).
On February 10, 1962, Soviet Colonel Rudolf Abel, who was serving a 30-year prison sentence at the Atlanta Federal Penitentiary, was exchanged on a Berlin bridge for U2 pilot Francis Gary Powers.
The recuperation of important captured agents has become customary, and it has sometimes led to the arrest of tourists. To recuperate one of their agents, Igor Alexandrovitch Ivanov, arrested in New York in November 1963, the KGB arrested Professor Frederick C. Barghoorn of Yale and three other American tourists, Wortham, Gilmour and Mott (Mott later committed suicide while being transferred to a forced labor camp). The KGB failed to obtain Ivanov's release, but Kennedy persuaded them to release Professor Barghoorn.
Spy trades are now practiced regularly by the Soviet Union and the Eastern European satellites (Gordon Lonsdale in England, Alfred Frenzel in West Germany, and Zvoboda in France).
16. Oswald was in regular contact with the CIA through its Moscow Station at the American Embassy. As a U2 specialist, he may have used a special radio transmitter broadcasting on a 30 inch wave length, which is undetectable on the ground but can be picked up at 70,000 feet by a U2, which is equipped with an ultra-high frequency recording system (5,000 words in 7 seconds). The discovery in the wreckage of the U2 of the special tape recorder used by Powers probably enabled the Soviets to neutralize this ingenious system of communications.
17. "Funkspiel" consists of infiltrating the enemy intelligence service and feeding the enemy a certain amount of false information, using double agents or what their employers believe are double agents. It is a tricky and subtle game that can be played in a number of different ways. There were some extraordinary cases during the Second World War. More recently, there was Kim Philby, the head of the Soviet Department of British intelligence and a Soviet agent. If Oswald fell into this category, he was no more than an elementary case.
18. Zapiski, the central files department of the KGB, where more than 400 persons are employed.
19. The Chinese claimed to have been born in the Ukraine and
to have served in the Polish cavalry. He was recruited by the OSS during the
war and entered the University of Texas in 1944; where he obtained his degree
in geological engineering (specializing in petroleum geology). The CIA used
him in Iran, Egypt, Indonesia, Panama, Guatemala, Haiti, Nicaragua, San
Salvador, Honduras, Nigeria, Ghana and Togo. One of his covers was the
International Cooperation Administration (ICA), but he also worked for
Mohrenschildt was a distinguished and cultivated man, a member of The
Establishment and the New York Social Register. His wife, a White Russian born
in China, often worked with him. He belonged to the Dallas Petroleum Club, the
Abilene Country Club and the Dallas Society of Petroleum Geologists and had
close connections with the oil industry, in particular with the presidents of
McGee Oil, Kerr, Continental Oil, Cogwell Oil Equipment Co., Texas Eastern
Corp., and with John Mecom of Houston.
Mohrenschildt was a distinguished and cultivated man, a member of The Establishment and the New York Social Register. His wife, a White Russian born in China, often worked with him. He belonged to the Dallas Petroleum Club, the Abilene Country Club and the Dallas Society of Petroleum Geologists and had close connections with the oil industry, in particular with the presidents of McGee Oil, Kerr, Continental Oil, Cogwell Oil Equipment Co., Texas Eastern Corp., and with John Mecom of Houston.
20. Infiltrating the American and emigre socialist and Communist movements in the United States in order to obtain information about their activities is one of the major preoccupations of the FBI.
21. Colonel Abel's hobby was also photography, and he had a studio in Kelton Street. Oswald was hardly in the same class with Abel, but photography is a practical hobby which is popular with many intelligence agents.
22. The confusion that reigned in the CIA's operations in New Orleans at that time was such that this address appeared on some of the Communist literature that Oswald was given to hand out on the streets. The slip came to someone's attention, however, and the Camp Street address was replaced by 4907 Magazine Street.
23. One of his "clients" during this period, Eladio del Valle, was killed in Miami the same day Ferrie was found dead in New Orleans. The Cuban's murder has never been explained.
24. Alex E. Carlson, a Spanish-speaking lawyer from Miami
Springs who fought in the Philippines and Okinawa, is President of the
Double-Chek Corporation, a brokerage firm that serves as a CIA cover for the
recruitment of pilots employed in Central American and the Caribbean. He uses
post office box addresses for his contacts.
Among the other picturesque figures in this milieu were:
David F. Green, a former Marine Corps Lieutenant who served in Korea and
was recruited by the CIA in Tokyo. He was used in Laos and then in South
Vietnam, and served as a rifle instructor at the Pontchartrain base.
Kurt Schmitt, a former non-commissioned officer with the 28th Panzer
Division of the Wehrmacht, who emigrated to the United States in 1947 and
became a naturalized American citizen in 1953. He was recruited by the CIA in
1955 to serve as a radio instructor.
Among the other picturesque figures in this milieu were:
David F. Green, a former Marine Corps Lieutenant who served in Korea and was recruited by the CIA in Tokyo. He was used in Laos and then in South Vietnam, and served as a rifle instructor at the Pontchartrain base.
Kurt Schmitt, a former non-commissioned officer with the 28th Panzer Division of the Wehrmacht, who emigrated to the United States in 1947 and became a naturalized American citizen in 1953. He was recruited by the CIA in 1955 to serve as a radio instructor.
25. More methodical and often more discreet than their CIA
counterparts, Mr. Hoover's agents were remarkably well-informed about what was
going on in Florida, New Orleans, Texas, and California, and also (we shall
see why later) about the CIA's activities abroad.
The FBI kept a file on every identified agent of the CIA, whether he be a
temporary, a correspondent, or a contractual, and after the assassination it
had little difficulty in determining whom to question. Its reports were so
detailed, and were submitted to the Warren Commission so promptly, that even
the professional investigators employed by the Commission were surprised. Some
of these secret reports are now deposited in the National Archives. Others,
more confidential, are still in the hands of the FBI.
FBI agents Regis Kennedy and Warren de Brueys knew David Ferrie well. De
Brueys was based in New Orleans, where he was involved in the CIA's
anti-Castro activities. After the assassination, the FBI interrogated David
Ferrie and Gordon Novel. Novel was a buddy of Ferrie's who had been with the
CIA since 1959. He worked through the Double-Chek Corporation and the
Evergreen Advertising Agency. He had carried out several missions in the
Caribbean, was involved in arms purchases, and knew both Ruby and Oswald. The
FBI questioned him on five separate occasions, but Novel didn't scare easily,
and he didn't talk.
In 1967 New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison subpoenaed him, but he
left Louisiana for Ohio, and Garrison never succeeded in obtaining his
The FBI kept a file on every identified agent of the CIA, whether he be a temporary, a correspondent, or a contractual, and after the assassination it had little difficulty in determining whom to question. Its reports were so detailed, and were submitted to the Warren Commission so promptly, that even the professional investigators employed by the Commission were surprised. Some of these secret reports are now deposited in the National Archives. Others, more confidential, are still in the hands of the FBI.
FBI agents Regis Kennedy and Warren de Brueys knew David Ferrie well. De Brueys was based in New Orleans, where he was involved in the CIA's anti-Castro activities. After the assassination, the FBI interrogated David Ferrie and Gordon Novel. Novel was a buddy of Ferrie's who had been with the CIA since 1959. He worked through the Double-Chek Corporation and the Evergreen Advertising Agency. He had carried out several missions in the Caribbean, was involved in arms purchases, and knew both Ruby and Oswald. The FBI questioned him on five separate occasions, but Novel didn't scare easily, and he didn't talk.
In 1967 New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison subpoenaed him, but he left Louisiana for Ohio, and Garrison never succeeded in obtaining his extradition.
26. Clay Shaw was indicted by District Attorney Garrison for participating in a plot to assassinate President Kennedy and released on $10,000 bail. But Shaw only acted as an intermediary for the Committee. His trial was repeatedly postponed, and in May 1968, a federal court blocked the case.
27. After his death, Oswald was also blamed for this incident. It seems highly improbable that he played a major role in it. Specialists are hired to deliberately miss someone as well as to kill him, and Oswald was not an expert marksman.
28. The CIA makes it a rule never to admit or claim
responsibility for its operations, even when they are successful, as was the
case in Guatemala and Iran. As Allen Dulles once remarked, "We are not
journalists." Nevertheless, it has deposited 51 Top Secret documents in the
National Archives, including several disclosing that Oswald was one of its
Document CD 392, "Reproduction of Official CIA Dossier on Oswald."
Document CD 698, "Reports on Travel and Activities of Oswald."
Document CD 931, "Oswald's Access to Information about U2."
The public will be allowed to read them in the year 2038.
Document CD 392, "Reproduction of Official CIA Dossier on Oswald."
Document CD 698, "Reports on Travel and Activities of Oswald."
Document CD 931, "Oswald's Access to Information about U2."
The public will be allowed to read them in the year 2038.
29. The DCA, or Department of Covert Activity, is responsible
for sabotages, kidnappings and "liquidations." It is the equivalent of the
The first person to mention CIA involvement in the assassination was Gary
Underhill, a former OSS agent who occasionally carried out an assignment for
the CIA. On November 28, 1963, he told friends in New Jersey that he knew who
was responsible for the President's murder. Soon afterwards he was found dead
in his Washington apartment with a bullet in his brain.
The first person to mention CIA involvement in the assassination was Gary Underhill, a former OSS agent who occasionally carried out an assignment for the CIA. On November 28, 1963, he told friends in New Jersey that he knew who was responsible for the President's murder. Soon afterwards he was found dead in his Washington apartment with a bullet in his brain.
30. The Minutemen were also in charge of planting evidence
against Oswald, removing or destroying other damaging evidence, and killing
Patrolman Tippit, but they made several mistakes. The "evidence of
premeditation" at a gun shop, a firing range and a used car lot involving a
man who resembled Oswald was so obviously fabricated that not even the Warren
Commission dared invoke it. Officer Tippit was to be killed by two Minutemen
to give other Minutemen on the Dallas police force an excuse to shoot Oswald,
but the latter, realizing that this was no simulated assassination but the
real thing, had probably grown suspicious. He went to the appointed meeting
place at the Texas Theatre, where he was fortunate enough -- for the moment at
least -- to be arrested by a police patrol which, as he didn't resist, did not
shoot him as planned. Two days later Jack Ruby, another employee of the
Committee, killed Oswald (with the cooperation of the Dallas police). Ruby was
later liquidated in prison by a slower but no less radical means. (Oswald was
not killed instantly, but by attempting artificial respiration a Dallas police
inspector managed to aggravate his internal hemorrhaging. Another accomplice
was planted at Parkland Hospital where Oswald was taken, and it appears that
his intervention hastened Oswald's death.
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