Fifty two years ago today, a man named Lee Harvey Oswald came to the attention of a group of senior CIA officers in Langley, Virginia. Oswald had recently visited the Cuban consulate and Soviet Embassy in Mexico City. A CIA wiretap captured a man identifying himself as “Oswald.” The CIA officers conferred about his actions.
The story is well documented in CIA archives.
Six CIA officers who knew about Oswald before JFK was killed
One mystery of JFK assassination story is why accused assassin Lee Oswald was not photographed when he visited the Embassy of the Soviet Union in Mexico City two months before President Kennedy was killed in Dallas.
The CIA thought he was Lee H. Oswald.
The CIA had three photographic surveillance bases to take pictures of visitors to the Embassy. Oswald visited the Embassy at least twice in an unsuccessful effort to obtain a visa. But the CIA says no photograph of Oswald was taken.
The photo to the right, which CIA personnel in Mexico City mistakenly linked to Oswald, depicted a man who was never conclusively identified.
In 1978 investigators from the House Select Committee on Assassinations Read more
A former employee called my book about Winston Scott, chief of the CIA’s Mexico City station from 1956 to 1969, “a realistic picture” of the agency.
Phil Shenon and I agree on at least a few things. In any resolution of the mysteries surrounding the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, Mexico City will undoubtedly be important. The investigation into what happened there in 1963 was, for some reason, seriously curtailed by the U.S. government. The government has, since then, fought tooth and nail to keep the full story about what happened there secret.
While I have never met Shenon, I have spoken with him several times by telephone. I first heard from him when he called me around 2011. He introduced himself as a reporter for Newsweek Magazine. He said he was working well in advance on an article for that magazine for the 50th anniversary of JFK’s murder. He wondered whether I would be willing to talk about the HSCA’s investigation in Mexico City. I agreed to speak with him. Read more
Oswald, target of CIA attention
Why would senior CIA officers circulate two inaccurate descriptions of Lee Harvey Oswald with various government agencies six weeks before he allegedly shot and killed President John F. Kennedy?
The answer to the question is elusive. The CIA has never formally offered an explanation, another reason why all of the government’s assassination-related documents need to be released. Presently, key documents about the death of the 35th president will not be released until October 2017 at the earliest. Other documents now found in the National Archives are riddled with redactions hiding key names, dates, words and phrases.
Where has this shameful secrecy taken us? To a place of confusion and suspicion.
David Slawson, former Warren Commission staffer who told Politico Magazine he has changed his mind about the commission’s conclusion, writes to say his position has been slightly misinterpreted. He does not believe there was a conspiracy to kill the president but he does think Lee Harvey Oswald had accessories. Read more
“As a former longtime employee of CIA, I can attest that this book conveys a true picture of the goings on within the agency.”
— From Martha Hanchulak’s review of “Our Man in Mexico: Winston Scott and the Hidden History of the CIA.” My first book describes in lucid detail how the CIA’s top man in Mexico viewed President Kennedy’s assassination in 1963: with deep suspicion.
It’s an epic non-fiction novel of American history.
The spy who sang
John Whitten is a rare hero of the JFK story. He was a senior CIA official who sought, behind the scenes, to conduct an honest investigation of what the agency knew about accused assassin Lee Harvey Oswald, before President Kennedy was killed.
But at a meeting on Christmas Eve 1963 deputy director CIA Richard Helms and counterintelligence chief Jim Angleton shut down Whitten’s efforts to investigate Oswald’s contacts among pro- and anti-Castro Cubans and relieved him of his responsibilities for investigating JFK’s assassination.
Whitten’s story, which I first reported in the Washington Monthly in 2003, illuminated the inner workings of the CIA in the days and weeks after JFK was killed. It is the story of a “good spy” whose pursuit of the truth about JFK’s death cost him his career. Read more
You can read and download it from MaryFerrell.org.
“STATION WOULD APPRECIATE EFFORT TO DELETE PHOTO FROM PUBLICATION.”
— Mexico City CIA Station, Sept. 25, 1964, asking that CIA HQ attempt to convince the Warren Commission not to publish the photograph of the Mexico City “mystery man.”
“So he was contacting one or two embassies trying to get financial aid in order to Mexico City [sic] where he was at the time … he did say he was broke.” Read more
“It is my impression that there were earlier cables, that there was an earlier cable.”
– Raymond Rocca, aide to Counterintelligence Staff chief James Angleton, testifying under oath to the House Select Committee on Assassinations, about CIA cables from Mexico City. The CI staff monitored Oswald’s travels, politics, and personal life from October 1959 to November 1963.
In the wee hours the day following JFK’s assassination, the confusion-clouded military autopsy of the slain president was concluded and the body delivered to the White House. In Dallas Lee Harvey Oswald remained in policy custody, undergoing interrogations of which no recordings were made. President Johnson began his first day as the new President.
In his first phone call with famed and feared FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, Johnson received some surprising news. As “curious history” noted on another post this morning, “Hoover clearly states that the man in Mexico didn’t look like Oswald nor did the voice match. He states that it is a “different man”.
“Curious history” asks: “What do you make of that? The transcript is part of the LBJ library and seems as a credible source.”
Indeed, it is a credible source. The transcript of the call contains the following exchange: Read more