Issue #2 New Discoveries in the Recently Released
CIA FILES AND THE PRE-ASSASSINATION
FRAMING OF LEE HARVEY OSWALD
Peter Dale Scott
This piece was originally published in: Deep Politics II: Essays on Oswald, Mexico and Cuba (Essay completed March, 1994)Were CIA Files Manipulated to Prepare the Way for the Warren Commission?
The U.S. media responded to the 30th anniversary of the John F. Kennedy assassination by reviving the Warren Commission picture of Lee Harvey Oswald as a neurotic frustrated by neglect, and "angered" (in the words of Gerald Posner) "that others failed to recognize the stature he thought he deserved." (1) The newly released government files, we were assured, would add nothing to this picture.
In fact the recently released documents tell us a great deal that is new, and important, not so much about Lee Oswald the man, who remains mysterious, but about "Lee Oswald" the file subject. The man may or may not have been neglected, but the file subject was the focus of sustained governmental interest. This lasted from the time of his alleged defection in 1959, and was particularly active in the crucial eight weeks preceding the President's murder.
The clearest new picture of this sustained interest comes from the files of the CIA, the fullest new release that we have to date. Although the CIA had professedly no intelligence interest in Oswald the man, incoming FBI documents on "Lee Oswald" the file subject were always distributed to widely scattered sections of the CIA's Counterintelligence Staff, from a minimum of four persons in different sections, to as many as eleven. At least two FBI documents on "Lee Harvey Oswald" were reviewed by SAS/CI/Control, in the Counterintelligence section of the CIA's anti-Castro Special Affairs Staff, on November 21, 1963, the day before the assassination.
These details by themselves prove nothing. More serious is the evidence that the CIA files were being fed false information from without, while in the same period CIA officers were further distorting and falsifying the Oswald file with additional false information from inside, both prior to the assassination and subsequent to it. (2) The cover-up in this area can presumably be taken as an indication of some important issue at stake.
With the new releases, the number of unanswered questions about "Lee Oswald" the file subject is now greater, not less, than before. However one hypothesis at the center seems more and more reasonable. This is that the CIA's files were being both fed and doctored in late 1963 to present a continuous flow of apparent evidence, always plausible but never conclusive, and above all never true, that Oswald was a possible agent of Soviet or Cuban intelligence.
This alleged evidence was never at any time strong enough to justify an armed response against either the Soviet Union or Cuba. On the other hand it was cumulatively enough for Lyndon Johnson, by November 29, 1963, to persuade Chief Justice Warren and other recalcitrant leaders of the need for a Warren Commission. According to Warren, Johnson spoke of the "rumors floating around the world" that "might lead us into war," and possibly "a nuclear war." (3)
"Rumors floating around the world" were of course far less likely to lead to war than apparent evidence in government files of Oswald's involvement in KGB or Cuban assassination plots. I have called such claims "phase one" stories, because their real purpose may have been no more than to produce the desired "phase two" hypothesis (no more true, but much less dangerous) that Oswald was a lone assassin. Two of these "phase one" stories particularly concern us because in each case the claim, inherently flimsy, was actively promoted by individuals inside the U.S. government.
The first, which we shall look at more closely, was that Oswald had met in Mexico City with a Soviet KGB assassination operative, Valeriy Vladimirovich Kostikov. As we shall see, this allegation had been essentially stripped of its ominousness by November 27, 1963, when one of its original proponents had acknowledged there was no strong evidence of Kostikov's role as an assassin.
A Digression: The Timing and Consequences of the Alvarado "Phase One" Story
By this time, however, a second "phase one" story had surfaced. On November 25, 1963, a Nicaraguan double agent, Gilberto Alvarado, told a Mexico City CIA officer that he had seen Oswald recruited to kill Kennedy inside the Cuban Consulate in Mexico City. The second story had three points in common with the first one.
1. It had enthusiastic proponents within the government (in this case U.S. Ambassador Thomas Mann and CIA officer David Phillips in Mexico City).
2. It received apparent corroboration from other sources.
3. Nevertheless the story was inherently so flawed it was destined to be discredited.
The fatal weakness of the Alvarado story was his claim to have seen Oswald in the Cuban Consulate on September 18, 1963, at a time when Oswald had not yet left New Orleans. Faced with this problem, Alvarado retracted his story on November 30. We do not yet know if CIA Director McCone told President Johnson this when he discussed Alvarado with him on November 30 and December 1. (4) No matter: by November 29 Lyndon Johnson had announced the formation of the Warren Commission. (It would appear that the Alvarado story delayed the FBI's official report on the assassination, originally scheduled for November 29, until December 5.) (5)
Lyndon Johnson's conversation with Congressman Charles Halleck the same day gives the clearest picture of the role played by false "phase one" allegations: "This thing is getting pretty serious and our folks are worried about it ... it has some foreign implications ... CIA and other things ... and I'm going to try to get the Chief Justice on it." Johnson added that "we can't have Congress, FBI and others saying that Khrushchev or Castro ordered the assassination:" "This thing is so touchy from an international standpoint .... This is a question that could involve our losing 39 million people." (6)
Johnson drew particular attention to the plans which Senator Eastland had revealed to him the previous day, of holding hearings before his Senate Internal Security Subcommittee. Speaking to House Speaker John McCormack, Johnson explained that he had to announce the Warren Commission quickly: "I better get him [Senator Eastland] to call off his investigation." He added that some Dallas official would testify that Khrushchev planned the assassinations. (7) This last detail is supported by the recurring reports that Dallas District Attorney Henry Wade, and his Assistant, William Alexander, had been preparing to charge Oswald with murdering the President as part of an international Communist conspiracy. (8)
But the Eastland Committee may have got wind of the still-secret Alvarado allegation as well. Their staff person Al Tarabochia, a Cuban exile, claimed to "know someone who has access to confidential information about the Cuban Embassy in Mexico City." (9) Although Committee Counsel Julien Sourwine refused to reveal the identity of this informant, the thrust of the Eastland inquiry would seem to suggest that he was someone conversant with the Alvarado allegations. (10)
As far as we know, support within the CIA for the Alvarado "phase one" story was confined to the Mexico City Station. The Kostikov story, although short-lived, was potentially more serious. Not only did it have high-level proponents at Headquarters, it would appear that the Oswald-Kostikov contact had been reported by CIA officers in such a way as to ensure that its potential significance would not be realized at the time.
In short the key to the Kostikov story, as to the Alvarado story, would appear to have been its timing. Just as the Alvarado story contained a fatal flaw that led to its timely disposal, so the key explosive element in the Kostikov story (his KGB status and alleged assassination activity) would appear to have been suppressed, with the result that no alarms went off until after the assassination.
The Kostikov Story and Falsifications in the CIA Documentary Record for October 1963
In October 1963, the month before the President's murder, the CIA produced five documents on Oswald: three cables, a teletype, and a memo. In late November the cumulative effect of these was to is give investigators the impression, superficially provocative but in fact misleading, that Lee Harvey Oswald, the leading suspect in the assassination, had met in Mexico City with KGB agent Valeriy Kostikov, a suspected Soviet assassinations operative. (11)
1. The Mexico City Station Cable of October 8, 1963Of these five documents, at least three show signs of CIA doctoring; and the first, which does not, was nevertheless so misleading as to be possibly dishonest. This was a cable to CIA Headquarters from the Mexico City Station on October 8, 1963, reporting that on October 1, an individual, who "identified himself as Lee Oswald," had been overheard telling the Soviet Embassy that three days earlier, on September 28, he had been at the Soviet Embassy when he "spoke with Consul whom he believed to be Valeriy Vladimirovich Kostikov." (12)
This cable has been the subject of much speculation since the belated release in 1975 of an FBI memorandum, saying that FBI agents in Dallas who had spoken to Oswald had "listened to a recording" of the voice of this individual, and were of the opinion that he "was not Lee Harvey Oswald." (13) The House Committee's devious treatment of this memo in their Report reflects their suspicion that the individual was in fact not Oswald but an impostor. (14)
This impression of an impostor was further complicated by the second paragraph of the cable:
Have photos male appears be American entering SovEmb 1216 hours, leaving 1222 on 1 Oct. Apparent age 35, athletic build, circa 6 feet, receding hairline, balding top. Wore khakis and sport shirt.
This 35-year old visitor to the Soviet Embassy was not the 24-year old Oswald. But neither (we now suspect) was he the individual who identified himself as Lee Oswald.
It is hard to justify the mention of this so-called "mystery man" in the cable. The intercepted telephone conversation had taken place at 10:45 A.M. that day; in it the man identifying himself as Oswald had spoken of a visit on September 28 only. There was nothing to suggest that he intended to visit the Embassy on October 1. (15)
The author of the cable's second paragraph, Ann Goodpasture, was an assistant to Station Chief Winston Scott, who supervised the work of three photo bases operating against the Soviet Embassy. (16) Her explanation to the House Select Committee (supported in part by other Station officers) was that, out of the four or five day period of Oswald's visit, this "was the only non-Latin appearing person's photograph that we found that we could not identify as somebody else." (17)
For various reasons Edwin Lopez and Dan Hardway, the authors of the House Committee's staff report on "Lee Harvey Oswald, the CIA, and Mexico City," found this explanation "implausible." One of these reasons was that the photo, allegedly taken on October 1, was in fact taken one day later. They also found it suspect that this alleged mistake was not discovered until 1976, even though CIA Headquarters, the day after the assassination, had told MEXI (the Mexico City station) that the "mystery man" was not Oswald, and added, "Presume MEXI has double-checked dates of these photos." (18)
If Ms. Goodpasture's testimony was accurate, then the photo surveillance of the Soviet Embassy failed to turn up any photos of the Lee Harvey Oswald arrested in Dallas. The House Committee was however unable to confirm this; the CIA declined to make the photo take from the Soviet Embassy available for review. (19)
2. The Headquarters Cable and Teletype of October 10 about Lee Henry Oswald
However suspicious we find the first cable's description of an irrelevant "mystery man," the Mexico City CIA Station's role in transmitting this information seems relatively innocuous, compared to the devious Headquarters response to it. Two messages were sent out within two hours of each other on October 10, a cable to Mexico City and a disseminating teletype to the FBI, Navy, and State Department. Although (according to one of the authors) "the cable and the teletype had been prepared simultaneously by three knowledgeable people, " (20) the two messages contained falsified information and were mutually incompatible. While the teletype transmitted the misleading description of the 35-year-old mystery man, the cable informed Mexico City of the age and height of the 24-year-old former Marine Lee Harvey Oswald. Not by this name however: both outgoing messages misidentified the "Lee Oswald" in Mexico City with a "Lee Henry Oswald" who had since 1960 existed in CIA files and documents and nowhere else. (21)
CIA counterintelligence officer Ann Egerter, one of these "three knowledgeable people," had invented the name "Lee Henry Oswald" back in November 1960, when information about Lee Harvey Oswald was collected in response to a request from the State Department's Director of Intelligence and Research. In December 1960 Ms. Egerter then opened a 201 file on "Lee Henry Oswald," which then became the repository for information on Lee Harvey Oswald, plus her lone misleading report on Lee Henry Oswald. (22)
This falsification in 1960 appears to have been deliberate. In her report for the State Department, Ms. Egerter also altered an FBI account from Oswald's mother of Oswald's coming "to Fort Worth for a visit of about three days" into a visit to "his mother in Waco, Texas for about three days." (23) The effect of the two alterations was to make "Lee Henry Oswald" much harder to trace. (24)
I will show in a moment that the falsification and distortion in the two messages of October 10, 1963, was in fact far worse than the supplying of two incompatible physical descriptions for a man with an invented name; and that it was possibly concerted (I suspect) so as to create an impression of KGB intrigue that would only surface after the assassination. But let us first dispense with the standard CIA explanation that the confusions in the cables are attributable to Murphy's Law, and the inattention of those drafting the cables. Ann Egerter told the House Committee that Oswald's "contact with Kostikov" "caused a lot of excitement" at Langley; and that Oswald "had to be up to something bad." Another of the officers drafting the messages (whom we shall call Ms. A) thought it possible that Oswald "really was working for the Soviets." The key to this excitement was the "contact with Kostikov;" yet Kostikov's KGB identity and allegedly sinister reputation were, inexplicably, not mentioned in either cable. (25)
These two employees should have to explain why, if the Kostikov contact excited them so much, they chose not to mention it to the FBI. It can safely be said that, if they had, the reaction of the FBI to their teletype would have been very different, and with it American history. The FBI already had a file on Kostikov, and knew him to be at the least a KGB agent. Thus Oswald would very likely have been interviewed, and possibly put under surveillance. If he had, he would probably not have been in a position to be, or be fingered as, the assassin.
What was left out of the two messages in fact created a far greater distortion than the misinformation included. What most strikes us about the two messages is not the falsification of Oswald's name (as Henry rather than Harvey) and of his wife's (as Pusakova rather than Prusakova); it is the staggeringly false claim in the cable that the "latest headquarters info" was a State Department report "dated May 1962:"
Latest HDQS info was [State] report dated May 1962 saying [State] had determined Oswald is still US citizen and both he and his Soviet wife have exit permits and Dept State had given approval for their travel with their infant child to USA. (26)
There is no hint in either message that, as the CIA was well informed, Oswald had been back in the United States since June of 1962. On the contrary, both messages created the impression that Oswald, when last heard of, was still in the Soviet Union. (Thus the October 10 cable to Mexico City was summarized in a later file document as "Attempts of Lee Oswald and wife to reenter U.S.") (27)
By suppressing from the cable what it knew about Oswald since May of 1962, CIA Headquarters concealed a, key fact which, if transmitted, should have resulted in Oswald's case being handled much more actively, and (perhaps even more importantly) by different people inside the Agency. This key fact was Oswald's arrest in New Orleans on August 9, 1963, in connection with his Fair Play for Cuba activities on behalf of Fidel Castro.
A seven-page FBI memo on this arrest, dated September 24, 1963, had in fact been received by the Agency on October 3. It was then seen by two of the authors of the cables: Ann Egerter of the Counterintelligence/Special Investigations Group, and Jane Roman of Counterintelligence/Liaison (on October 4). It thus should have been fresh in their memories when drafting the October 10 messages a few days later. Yet they both suppressed any reference to it. (28)
3. The falsification of Oswald's 201 File
The CIA later misled the Warren Commission about its knowledge of Oswald's arrest by October 3, 1963; and individual CIA officers may have broken the law in doing so. When the CIA belatedly submitted Oswald's 201 file to the Warren Commission (as Commission Document 692), the September 24 memorandum had been relocated to a later position in the file, making it appear (falsely) that it had been received after the October 10 cables had been drafted. (29)
Here it becomes relevant that it is a felony, under Section 1001 of the US Criminal Code, knowingly and willingly to falsify, conceal, or cover up facts within the jurisdiction of any department or agency of the United States. What we have just discussed is cover-up of material facts after the assassination to the Warren Commission. This pattern of cover-up is however consistent with other concealment, prior to the assassination, within the Agency.
Another apparent sign of cover up is that the May 1962 report on Oswald, summarized in the October 10 cable, was reportedly not in the 201 file, and thus never submitted by CIA to the Warren Commission. A copy of this State Department document was indeed sent to CIA in May 1962. If it was not in the 201 file, where was it filed, and why was this file not submitted to the Warren Commission? (30)
4. The Falsification in the October 16 Mexico City Memo
Just as Headquarters suppressed all references to Cuba in their pre-assassination messages, so, astonishingly, did the CIA station in Mexico City. One might argue that by October 8, the date of their Oswald-Kostikov cable, they had not yet established that Oswald had also visited the Cuban Embassy. But Oswald's efforts to obtain a visa at the Cuban Consulate were certainly known by October 16, when a "counterintelligence type" in the Mexico City station (whom we shall call Ms. B) drafted a memo on Oswald. (31) This memo was given to the FBI Attache in the Embassy; and by this channel FBI Headquarters finally learned, belatedly on October 18, that Oswald had not only visited the Soviet Embassy but had allegedly spoken with the KGB Agent Kostikov.
The October 16 CIA memo was apparently compiled after comparing the voice heard on October I (claiming to be Lee Oswald) with an earlier voice or voices on the telephone from the Cuban Embassy inquiring about a visa. Yet the memo mentioned neither the Cuban Embassy nor the exculpating fact that the alleged conversation with Kostikov was apparently about a visa.
Instead Ms. B's memo contained the following sentence (which would later prove to be a provocative one, when matched with the alleged assassination background of Kostikov):This officer determined that Oswald had been at the Soviet Embassy on 28 September 1963 and had talked with Valeriy Vladimirovoch [sic, i.e. Vladimirovich] Kostikov, a member of the Consular Section, in order to learn if the Soviet Embassy had received a reply from Washington concerning his request. We have no clarifying information with regard to this request. (32)
The House Committee learned from the author of this memo that she had used the word "determined" after rechecking the transcripts of the various conversations (from both embassies). By this time the station had linked to Oswald at least four apparently related transcripts between September 27 and October 1, and of these two related unambiguously to a request for a visa from Washington. Yet the station officer, who had seen these transcripts, chose to write that there was "no clarifying information."When asked why the 10/16 memo said that there was no clarifying information on Oswald's "request" when it was known by this time that he was seeking a visa, [she] said that "They had no need to know all these other details." (33)
Another slight departure from the facts, which would also prove to be provocative after November 22, was the false statement in the memo that "Oswald" had been at the Embassy on September 28 "in order to learn if the Soviet Embassy had received a reply from Washington concerning his request." In fact this inquiry was made on October 2 as a follow-up to the alleged meeting of September 28. The mis-dated inquiry was later cited as evidence that Oswald had made a significant, but unclarified, request to the Soviet Embassy in Washington, prior to his arrival in Mexico City. (34)
How These Falsifications Prepared for the "Phase One" Hypothesis: an Oswald-KGB Plot
On November 23, one day after the assassination, Bagley submitted a memo describing Kostikov as "an identified KGB officer ... in an operation which is evidently sponsored by the KGB's 13th Department (responsible for sabotage and assassination)." The remainder of this provocative paragraph remains redacted. (35) It may well have been explosive. Possibly drawing on either FBI or CIA information, Dallas FBI Agent James Hosty later wrote of Kostikov as the KGB "officer-in-charge for Western Hemisphere terrorist activities -- including and especially assassination... the most dangerous KGB terrorist assigned to this hemisphere." (36)
At the same time, Bagley's reference to the 13th Department was apparently ill-founded. His clarification of it in a subsequent CIA blind memo of November 27 is so tentative as to be worthless. (37)
It will be seen that many of the falsifications and distortions in the CIA's Oswald documents had the same result: creating the appearance of evidence for a "phase one" hypothesis that would however not go off prematurely, before the assassination. Consider the examples of falsification:
1) Suppression of Kostikov from the October 10 teletype: James Hosty, the principal FBI agent on the Oswald case, has complained that he only learned of this contact with Kostikov, who was described to him only as a "Vice-Consul," not KGB, by accident in late October. Former FBI Director Clarence Kelley, transmitting Hosty's complaint, blames the pre-assassination failure to identify Kostikov as a KGB agent as the major reason why Oswald was not put under surveillance on November 22. (38) The FBI's failure to intensify investigation of Oswald in response to the October 10 teletype in this fashion earned a reprimand for an FBI Headquarters agent. (39)
2) " Latest HDQS info was ... report dated May 1962: " This too suggested an inactive matter, rather than what was in fact an active FBI investigation. (This language reached the FBI via Mexico City; the falsehood- might have caught someone's eye& if it had been transmitted. directly to FBI Headquarters, where at least three and probably four FBI reports on Lee Harvey Oswald had been transmitted to CIA between May 1962 and October 3, 1963.)
3) The suppression of what was known about Oswald's visa request: One could hardly have raised the specter of nuclear war against the Soviet Union (as it was raised in the days after November 22) if it had been clearly transmitted that Oswald's "request" to the Soviet Embassy in Washington was in fact about a visa.
4) Suppression of the links between Oswald and Cuba: A link (via Oswald) between the FPCC and the Cuban Embassy in Mexico City could hardly have lain dormant in CIA and FBI files until after the assassination on November 22. Both the CIA and the FBI had mounted offensive operations against the FPCC, hoping precisely to prove that it was receiving its orders from abroad.
5) "Lee Henry Oswald" and "Marina Pusakova ": Even these apparently trivial falsifications may have had the effect of postponing an FBI response to the October 10 teletype. Before October 10, all but one of the numerous documents in the CIA's "Lee Henry Oswald" file were in fact about Lee Harvey Oswald. By supplying Oswald's vital statistics to the FBI under a falsified name, the CIA effectively delayed for two days the moment of truth when FBI agents charged with investigating Lee Harvey Oswald learned about the apparently provocative contact with Kostikov. Following receipt of an incoming FBI cable from Mexico City on October 18, Oswald's FBI file contains a fruitless name search for "Lee Henry Oswald" on October 19. (40) Even though the incoming cable was answered on October 22, FBI Assistant Director Gale later found this delay grounds for a censure of the Headquarters agent responsible. (41)
But the suppression of Cuba from the CIA's pre-assassination Oswald records (both in Langley and in Mexico City) may have been much more important for another consequence. This was to keep the responsibility for the misleading October 10 messages solidly in the hands of Soviet counterintelligence personnel, the chief of whom was Tennant Bagley, Chief of SR/CI (Soviet Counterintelligence). Because the FPCC was an active CIA matter, mention of Oswald's arrest in the October 10 cables would have meant expanding the small cabal of drafters to include people charged with Cuban affairs (presumably working for Desmond FitzGerald, one of the more outspoken critics in the Agency of James Angleton's Counterintelligence staff). (42)
Instead, by restricting the October 10 cables to Oswald's career in the Soviet Union, only one area section cleared the drafts of each of them. This was SR/CI, the counterintelligence staff of the Soviet Russia section, headed (as we have seen) by Tennant Bagley. (43)
One is particularly struck by the fact that in October SR/Cl had nothing to say about Kostikov, and acquiesced in two messages which found Oswald more worth discussing than the KGB agent he had met. Yet on November 23, one day after the assassination, Bagley submitted a memo describing Kostikov as "an identified KGB officer ... in an operation which is evidently sponsored by the KGB's 13th Department (responsible for sabotage and assassination)." (44) It is hard to pin down precisely when Bagley acquired this alleged information about Kostikov. According to Edward Jay Epstein, however, Kostikov "had been identified for some time [prior to October 1963] as an intelligence officer for the KGB, who specialized in handling Soviet agents operating under deep cover- within the United States." (45)
Why would SR/CI withhold from the FBI the information that Oswald (whom the CIA knew to be the subject of current and extended FBI intelligence reports) had just met in Mexico City with "an identified KGB officer"? The most sinister explanation would be that they only wanted this information to become known after November 22, so that Oswald would be left free until this time and then picked up, to be identified as Kennedy's assassin. This possibility of conspiracy, however remote, is so serious that those apparently responsible for this message - including Bagley, Egerter, and Jane Roman, should be questioned under oath.
A far more likely explanation, for which there is some evidence, is that the Oswald-Soviet contact in Mexico City was handled anomalously, because it was part of, or somehow impinged upon, a U.S. intelligence operation.
1. Gerald Posner, Case Closed (New York: Random House, 1993), 220.
2. By falsification I mean, not complete fabrication, but contamination of true information with details that are clearly false (such as replacing the name "Lee Harvey Oswald" in files with the false name "Lee Henry Oswald" that the CIA originated back in 1960).
3. Earl Warren, Memoirs (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1977), 357-58; quoted at 11 AH 7. Cf. Peter Dale Scott, Deep Politics and the Death of JFK (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press), 113.
4. Schweiker-Hart Report, 103. An LBJ-McCone telephone transcript at 3:14 PM November 30 is withheld on grounds of national security.
5. AR 244; Scott, Deep Politics , 38.
6. LBJ telephonic transcripts: conversation at 18:30, 11/29/63.
7. LBJ telephonic transcripts: conversation at 16:55, 11/29/63.
8. Scott, Deep Politics , 270.
9. Warren Commission staff memorandum of March 27, 1964 from W. David Slawson to J. Lee Rankin, reproduced at 11 AH 176; cf. 11 AH 65, 175, WCD 351. Warren Commission Document 351, which discussed this matter, also revealed that the Staff of the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee had been in touch with Ed Butler, whose right-wing propaganda organization INCA managed the Oswald radio debate in New Orleans. Cf. Peter Dale Scott, Crime and Cover-Up (Santa Barbara: Prevailing Winds Research, 1993), 53.
10. Julien Sourwine was involved in other CIA-supported covert operations that may have had a bearing on the Kennedy assassination and cover-up. See Scott, Deep Politics, 116; cf. 215-16, 260, 262, 264-66.
11. Peter Dale Scott, Deep Politics, 39-44.
12. MEXI 6453 of 8 October 1963; Incoming 36017 of 9 October, CIA Document #5-1A, text in Lopez Report, 136-37.
13. FBI Letterhead Memorandum of February 23, 1963, reprinted in AR 249-50; Scott, Deep Politics, 41-42.
14. AR 250. The Report says that the CIA Headquarters, "never received a recording of Oswald's voice," leaving room for the possibility that they received a recording of someone else impersonating Oswald. This evasive language ("recording of Oswald's voice") is used three times: see Peter Dale Scott, "The Lopez Report and the CIA's Oswald Counterintelligence Secrets, in Oswald in Mexico: A Research Document Compendium, Book Three: The Lopez Report (Evanston, IL: Rogra Research, 1994), 11-14.
15. Lopez Report, 78-79. .
16. Lopez Report, 47-48, 136-37.
17. Ann Goodpasture Testimony to House Select Committee on Assassinations, 4/13/78; reproduced in Lopez Report, 138.
18. DIR 84888 of 23 Nov 1963; Lopez Report, 139-41.
19. Lopez Report, 139; telephone interview with Edwin Lopez, 10/4/93.
20. Lopez Report, 149.
21. CIA teletype 74673 of 10 Oct 1963; CIA cable 74830 of 10 Oct. 1963; both reproduced in Lopez Report, 144-46.
22. File Request for "Lee Henry Oswald" reproduced at 4 AH 206. Without being directly named, Ann Egerter is identified by a reference in the House Committee Assassination Report (AR 201) to the individual who "responded to the [State Department] inquiry and then opened a 201 file on each defector [including 'Lee Henry Oswald'] involved." The footnote cites an interview of May 17, 1978 (JFK Classified Document 014731) which is identified in the Lopez Report (142-43, footnote 570 at A-39) as that of Ann Egerter. This identification has been confirmed to me.
23. CIA Document # 596-252F (copy of #1371-447); Attachment to letter of 21 Nov 1960 to Hugh S. Cumming, Jr., Director of Intelligence and Research, State Department, from Richard M. Bissell, Jr., CIA Deputy Director (Plans); submitted for signature by S. H. Horton, Acting Chief, Counter Intelligence Staff; CIA Document # 596-252F. Cf. FBI Interview of Marguerite Oswald, 4/23/60; in Fain Report of 5/12/60, "Funds Transmitted to Residents of Russia," 3; 17 WH 702.
24. Marguerite Oswald lived and worked in Waco at the time of her FBI interview in April 1960 (17 WH 708), but not when Lee visited her in Fort Worth in September 1959. Other false or dubious statements in this brief 1960 report (e.g. that Oswald "renounced his U.S. citizenship") are traceable to sources outside the CIA: chiefly Marguerite Oswald's interview with the FBI, and a news story about Oswald by Priscilla Johnson (CIA Doc. #594-252D).
25. Lopez Report, 143.
26 DIR 74830 of October 10, 1963; 4 AH 217. The CIA's 201 file on Oswald, as submitted to the Warren Commission (WCD 692), and as released to the public in 1992, contained at least three subsequent FBI reports on Lee Harvey Oswald: the Fain Report from Dallas of August 30, 1962 (after Oswald's return to Texas), the Hosty Report from Dallas of September 13, 1963 (linking Oswald to the Communist Party and the Fair Play for Cuba Committee); and a Letterhead Memo from New Orleans (see below) of September 24, 1963 (concerning Oswald's arrest on August 9). It is difficult however to speak with confidence of the contents of Oswald's 201 file. An internal CIA memo of 20 February 1964 reported that "37 documents which should be in the 201 file are not available in it" (4 AH 208). A machine listing of the documents in the 201 file was attached to this memo, but was missing by 1978 (AR 203-04). The House Committee deposed the author of the memorandum (unidentified) and learned that, because of back-up in the CIA computer system, "physical placement of the document in the file was not always necessary" (AR 204). WCD 692, the version of the pre-assassination 201 file supplied to the Warren Commission, was available for years to the public at the National Archive under conditions of minimal security. The best we can do is take the CIA's own release of 1992 as their version of what the 201 was supposed to contain. 27 CIA Cable MEXI 6534 of 15 Oct 1963 (incoming 40357); file copy in WCD 692, Oswald's 201 file. To add to the mystery, the May 1962 State Department report, referred to in the October 10 cable, is not included in Oswald's 201 file as we have it, while several FBI reports following his return are included.
28. To believe the CIA, this latest piece of information on Oswald should also have been at the top of the 201-file that was apparently consulted in the preparation of the October 10 messages. It is possible however that the 24 September memo may have been initially filed in two other files (100/300/11 and 200/300/12) that apparently dealt with the Fair Play for Cuba Committee; and that it only found its proper place in Oswald's 201 file at a later time. This delay would only make more conspiratorial the behavior of Ann Egerter, who was the first to see the memo and was also responsible for Oswald's 201 file (Lopez Report, 142; Scott, "Lopez Report," 21).
29. The two dated pages of the September 24 memo are placed in WCD 692 after an FBI transmittal form of November 8, 1963, and an FBI memo (the so-called Kaack report) of October 31, 1963 (which had been covered by the November 8 transmittal form). However the two dated pages were originally accompanied by five undated pages of text and Appendix, on "Lee Harvey Oswald," "Fair Play for Cuba Committee," "Corliss Lamont," and "Emergency Civil Liberties Committee." In the 1992 release of the CIA's 201 file these five pages are attached, falsely, to an FBI report from James Hosty, dated September 10, 1963. They clearly do not belong there. The two-page Hosty report ends on p. 2; the Appendix likewise begins on p. 2, rather than p. 3. This elaborate dispersal and concealment of the seven-page memo of September 24 can hardly have been accidental, or by inadvertence. (In the published Rector Press edition of WCD 692, the scattered pages of the September 24 memo will be found at pp. 71-75 (five undated pages], 113-14 (dated memo]).
30. The document in question is a communication of May 17, 1962 with attachment from John Noonan, Chief of the State Department's Office of Security, to FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, "Subject: American Defectors: Status of in the U.S.S.R." This document has since been released by the FBI as part of Oswald's FBI file (WCE 834, Item 36; unrecorded copy in Oswald Headquarters FBI File 105-82555, after serial -24; original in file 100-362196-423). There are other apparent falsifications of the pre-assassination Oswald 201 file (WCD 692). A State Department Memo of Conversation of January 26, 1961 (an apparent source for the words "attempted to renounce" in the October 10 cable), is in fact a copy of an internal State Department memo that was not sent to CIA (so far as we know) until after the assassination. An FBI Report from John Fain in Dallas on July 3, 1961 was the source for the cable's reference to "an undated letter from Oswald postmarked Minsk on five Feb 1961." This FBI Report was submitted to the Warren Commission as part of Oswald's 201 file, and again to the public in 1992. We now learn from the 1993 release that this report, although charged to the 201 file, "was not in the 201," when a copy "provided us by the National Archives" was added to it after the assassination. See the note on the last page of DBF-82181 (Fain report of July 3, 1961) under the cover sheet: "DBF- 82181 7-3-61 (July 3 61) is part of Commission Document (CD-692) and is available to the public in this form. (A copy of DBF-82181 was not in the 201, although IP/Files has it charged to it. This copy was made from CD-692 provided us by the National Archives. It is also #18 on list of attachments to XAAZ-22595 [CD-692, CIA Document #509-803] which is list of documents which existed on Oswald in the file before Nov. 22, 1963.)"
31. Lopez Report, 170-71; cf. 101.
32. Lopez Report, 170-71.
33. Lopez Report, 170, 171. Eventually the station had a sequence of nine apparently related transcripts between September 27 and October 3, of which five concerned a visa request. After the assassination, the CIA decided that three of the nine calls were not by Oswald: two on September 27 (in Spanish, a language Oswald was not known to speak), and one on October 3 (when Oswald, according to the FBI and Warren Commission, was already on a bus back to the United States). Cf. Lopez Report, 73-80.
34. Rocca memo ZZ
35. Memo of 23 November 1963 from Acting Chief, SR Division, signed by Tennant Bagley, "Chief, SR/Cl." CIA Document #34-538.
36. Clarence M. Kelley, Kelley: The Story of an FBI Director (Kansas City: Andrews, McMeel & Parker, 1987), 268.
37. Blind memo of 27 November 1963, prepared by Birch D. O'Neal, C/CUSIG, for Mr. Papich of the FBI Liaison Office (according to O'Neal's routing slip, "Mr. Bagley of SR prepared the portion responding to the question concerning any information we have 'pinpointing' KOSTIKOV as being in the 13th Department)": "KOSTIKOV's involvement in [redacted] is our only reason to believe that he is connected with the 13th Department. KOSTIKOV was in clandestine contact with [redacted] (as definitely confirmed by [redacted]'s photo identification) and arranged (redacted]'s contact in the U.S. with a KGB colleague of Kostikov's. This colleague was identified by [redacted] from photos as Oleg BRYKIN, who has definitely been identified, by an FBI source in a position to know, as a member of the 13th Department." Hardly a very solid foundation for Bagley's "phase one" claim that had a significant impact on how the President's murder was investigated!
38. Kelley, Kelley: The Story of an FBI Director , 272-74.
39. Memorandum from FBI Inspector James H. Gale of 12/10/63; as reported in Schweiker-Hart Report, 92, cf. 3 AH 518; Scott, Deep Politics, 63.
40. Oswald Headquarters FBI file, 105-82555, after serial -42.
41. Memo of December 10, 1963; 3 AH 518, 522.
42. FitzGerald once remarked that Angleton's CI men were holed up in a small office, scrutinizing the entrails of chickens.
43. The teletype to the FBI, Navy, and State was cleared in draft with just two sections: CI/SIG (where Ann Egerter worked and retained custody of the Oswald 201 file) and SR/CI (where Tennant Bagley was Chief). The cable to Mexico City was cleared in draft with three: SR/CI/A, CI/Liaison/Jane Roman (who was the releasing officer on the teletype), and CI/SPG (presumably the same as CI/SIG).44. Memo of 23 November 1963 from Acting Chief, SR Division, signed by Tennant Bagley, "Chief, SR/CI." CIA Document # 34-538. 45. Edward Jay Epstein, Legend (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1978), 237. Epstein, though not reliable on all matters, had excellent relations with members of Angleton's CIA Counterintelligence Staff, and does not hesitate to supply restricted information about their responses and files.
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