Declassified documents reveal that Oswald met with the Cold War enemies of the United States, both Russia and Cuba, only eight weeks before JFK’s assassination.
This claim, made by the producers of new History Channel docu-series JFK Declassified: Tracking Oswald, is not new. The claim may just be promotional hype for the series which begins tonight and runs through May 30. But, from long experience with JFK documentaries, my fact checking antennae are tingling.
It is not too soon to say the History Channel’s claim is potentially misleading.
The History Channel’s upcoming documentary series, “JFK Declassified: Tracking Oswald” sounds enticing. A videogenic and decorated former CIA operations officer Robert Baer revisits the secret intelligence dimensions of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
Baer is not the worst choice for a guide to the JFK story. He is an incisive commentator on CIA affairs, and no apologist. He rejects torture and expresses skepticism on drones. He comes across as a thinking man’s intelligence officer. (The fact that George Clooney played Baer in the movie Syriana gives him a whiff of Cool Liberal cologne.) Read more
Oswald, the CIA & Mexico City (The Lopez Report) Audiobook
Thanks to Dave Giglio, you can now listen to a key JFK assassination document: the HSCA report about Lee Oswald’s visit to Mexico City. 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 reads like a novel but every word is true. Available now on Amazon.com. Read more
Fifty three 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.
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.
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
The short answer is I don’t know.
The long answer is that we are talking about one of the most pregnant moments in the Warren Commission’s efforts to obtain information from the CIA. It happened in March 1964. 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..
On September 27 and 28, 1963, a man calling himself Lee Oswald visited the Cuban consulate and Soviet embassy in Mexico City. He was seeking visas to visit both countries. As Oswald was a former defector to the Soviet Union who was planning on traveling with his Russian-born wife, he immediately attracted the interest of CIA officers and FBI agents in the Mexican capital.
And so the FBI began searching for Oswald–while President Kennedy was still alive, a story that was withheld from the Warren Commission and is ignored in virtually every book about JFK’s assassination.
Rob writes: “I just finished Our Man in Mexico and wanted to tell you it was really great.”
“Excellent on Win Scott’s FBI to OSS to CIA history; excellent on the Kennedy assassination issues; and just a really enjoyable bio. You have some of the most succinct and informative expositions of the various facets of the story that I have come across. So, kudos!”
Rob is right, and that’s not my bias speaking. Here’s what the Wall Street Journal said about Our Man in Mexico.
You can order the book in hardcover or paperback here.
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