Tag Archive for Mexico City

Oct. 10, 1963: Six top CIA officers discuss Lee Harvey Oswald among themselves

Fifty fifty 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 Oswald and his actions and signed off on a cable about him. They are identified on the declassified CIA cable whose authenticity is not disputed.

CIA Oswald Cable

They were: assistant deputy director (ADDP) Tom Karamessines; Soviet Russia division counterintelligence officer Stephan Roll; liaison officer Jane Roman, Special Projects Group (SPG) officer Ann Egerter; chief of the WH/3 desk (Mexico )”John Scelso” aka John Whitten; and chief of operations for Western Hemisphere, William J. Hood.

Read more

Dec 24, 1963: Top CIA official seeking to investigate Oswald is ‘sandbagged’ by his bosses

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

What a senior KGB officer said about Lee Harvey Oswald

Nikolai Leonov

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

How the CIA coopted the leaders of the Mexican government

In response to my query about the most revealing new JFK documents released in the past year, Larry writes:

Read more

Mystery solved: Gunnar Beckman, the Mexico City covert operator

The efficient miracle of crowdsourcing has answered my question: who was running covert operations in the CIA’s Mexico City station in 1963?

Read more

A new clue about the CIA’s Mexico City operations

An eagle-eyed reader, responding to my last post about covert operators in Mexico City, notes that there is a slightly less redacted version of Ann Goodpasture’s Feb. 1977 memo. This version provides a clue.

Look:

Read more

Who was running CIA covert operations in Mexico City in 1963?

MEXI operations

Sensitive source: A newly-released JFK file still conceals a key name.

Fifty five years later, this remains a highly sensitive question.

Take a look at page 9 of this lightly-redacted 1977 CIA memo, released last month by the National Archives. The name of a CIA officer who was running covert operations along with David Phillips in 1963, has been postponed for release until 2021.

Read more

JFK documents illuminate the death of a diplomat who asked too many questions about Oswald

James Angleton

James Angleton oversaw the surveillance of Oswald

Phil Shenon has a long piece in The Guardian excavating the sad story of Charles Thomas, a U.S. diplomat who investigated Lee Harvey Oswald’s actions in Mexico in the 1960s.  Thomas was rebuffed by top CIA officials, including counterintelligence chief James Angleton. Thomas was denied an expected promotion and later committed suicide.

The story illuminates a central mystery of the JFK assassination story but not quite in the way than Shenon proposes.

Read more

Why was Oswald’s name taken off the FBI’s watch list?

Bill Simpich, a civil rights attorney in the Bay Area and the author of State Secret, proposes an answer to the riddle of “FLASH CANCELLED” Read more

What Politico doesn’t know about the JFK files

Politico’s Thomas Maier mines the new JFK files to competently retell the oft-told but still-disturbing story of how respectable CIA officials and murderous Mafia dons tried and failed to assassinate Cuban leader Fidel Castro in the early 1960s.

Along the way, Maier drops this claim:

Read more

New light on Oswald and Mexico City  

WhoWhatWhy has the good news about the new JFK files. It’s confusing but… Read more

Talking Angleton at Chevalier’s Books

Michael Scott and I will talk about THE GHOST and the consequential friendship of James Angleton and Win Scott, Michael’s father, at Chevalier’s Books in  Los Angeles on Tuesday, Nov. 14 at 7 pm. Read more

USA Today: CIA started to disavow knowledge of Lee Harvey Oswald within hours of killing

Some of the best reporting on the new JFK files is coming from USA Today.
In today’s story, the national daily notes an essential newsworthy fact revealed in the newly declassified records.

Within hours of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the CIA started to distance itself from any connection to suspected assassin Lee Harvey Oswald, recently released secret records from the National Archives show.

Read more

Morley responds to CIA historian David Robarge

In a great compliment to me, personally and professionally, CIA historian David Robarge has attacked my new biography of James Angleton, THE GHOST. Read more

El Pais on ‘mysteries hidden in the secret JFK assassination files’

Jan Martinez Ahrens’ piece in EL PAÍS, the leading newspaper of Spain (machine translated) shows why foreign coverage of the JFK files release was more realistic and less propagandistic than the U.S. coverage.

Read more