Was he a KGB assassin? Did he have contact with Lee Harvey Oswald before the assassination of President Kennedy?
Some answers from my piece (co-authored by Rex Bradford) in Newsweek: “America’s most powerful conspiracy theorist will decide the fate of CIA trove.”
Think there’s nothing significant in these JFK records? Think again.
I get this question a lot, most recently from reader Peter.
This week Alan and I pick up where we left off in our ongoing discussion about Bob Baer and History Channel’s six-part docu-series, “JFK Declassified.” Read more
In a piece for the Daily Beast, How the KGB Duped Oliver Stone, Max Holland argues that an article published in an Italian newspaper in 1967 was a KGB disinformation operation that convinced the American people and Oliver Stone that JFK was killed by a CIA conspiracy.
There are many problems with this claim. I’ll just mention four. Read more
Lee Harvey Oswald, Marine and defector
The Soviet intelligence service has a massive file on accused presidential assassin Lee Harvey Oswald that has never been public, said federal judge John Tunheim, former chairman of a government declassification panel
Tunheim said he reviewed the file in Moscow in 1994 on behalf of the Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB), which declassified millions of pages of JFK documents in the 1990s.
“The KGB file stood five feet tall when you stacked all the boxes up,” Tunheim told a Washington press conference on Thursday.
I like Peter Vronsky’s deeply researched Web site:
Lee Harvey Oswald alleged assassin of President Kennedy travelled to the Soviet Union in 1959 and remained there until 1962: accounts of Russian witnesses told to Peter Wronski in 1991-92.
Source: Lee Harvey Oswald in Russia Main Menu
In this remarkable blog post on Espionage History Archive, Nikolai Leonov, KGB rezident in Mexico City in 1963, talks about his encounter with the man who would be accused of killing JFK.
Insider: Fidel Castro, Nikolai Leonov, and Nikita Khrushchev
Nikolai S. Leonov has an interesting perspective on the story of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
Leonov joined the KGB in 1958 and retired in 1991 with the rank of Lieutenant General. In the spring of 1963, his fluency in Spanish gained him the job as the Russian interpreter for Cuba president Fidel Castro during his first visit to the USSR in the spring of 1963, In the photo above he is the man standing between and behind Castro and Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev. Read more
As a historian of the Cold War, I found these comments by retired KGB officer Nikolai Leonov, to be fascinating. Whatever you think of his ideological convictions,Leonov was an effective secret intelligence professional for decades, a foe that CIA men like James Angleton and Win Scott had to respect..
Before I try to answer this most complex of questions, let me say a couple of things.
First, let us stipulate that 99.99 percent of JFK conspiracy theories are BS. Let me repeat that: 99.99 percent of JFK conspiracy theories are BS.
John Simkin breaks down the mysteries of a key JFK story: Yuri Nosenko and the Warren Report.
Reader Photon asks:
Assassination was not his tactic.
“So ‘LBJ and crew’ murdered John Kennedy, but Fidel ‘most certainly was not [involved]’? While I consider it unlikely that Oswald could have cooperated with anybody in a conspiracy, his visit to the Cuban Embassy certainly is intriguing. It is not like Fidel had never sanctioned political assassination in the past. For 50 years he has gotten away with knocking off Camilo Cienfuegos after Huber Matos didn’t do it for him.”
The ensuing fast and furious debate in the comments section on this subject is reminder that the history of assassination as a political technique in the struggle for power in Cuba from 1955 to 1965 is definitely relevant to any discussion of the assassination of JFK.
“The bolt clicked open. Vladimir Kryuchkov, dressed in a dark suit, stood in the doorway. ‘You are welcome,’ the spymaster said.
Yuri Nosenko was an officer in the Soviet KGB who defected to the United States in April 1964, shortly after the assassination of JFK. Nosenko said that he had seen the files that the KGB compiled on accused assassin Lee Harvey Oswald in his two and a half year residence in the Soviet Union between 1959 and 1962. The Soviet intelligence service had not recruited or used him as an agent, Nosenko said.
Deputy CIA Director Richard Helms told Chief Justice Earl Warren that he could not vouch for the accuracy of Nosenko’s claims exculpating the KGB. This left open the possibility that Nosenko was a false defector sent by the Soviet Union to obscure its role in JFK’s assassination.