‘Oswald was known to a dozen senior CIA officials’

I make a strong claim about the CIA and Lee Harvey Oswald in this video. I think the new JFK files corroborate my observation. But I’d like to get independent verification, preferably from a reputable fact-checking service like Snopes.

Betty Egerter

Betty Egerter: she controlled access to CIA’s Oswald file

To assist in the fact checking process, I’d like to identify a baker’s dozen (plus one) of senior CIA officials who knew about Lee Harvey Oswald before John F. Kennedy was killed.

When I say Oswald was “known” to them, I mean that  the new JFK files in the National Archives show that these CIA employees had read Oswald’s CIA file(s) before November 22, 1963. Thus they were presumptively knowledgeable about the contents of those files, which documented Oswald’s biography, his foreign travels, his political views and his personal life.

They were:

  1. James Angleton, counterintelligence chief
  2. Birch O’Neal, chief of the Special Investigations Group (C/SIG)
  3. Jane Roman, counterintelligence liaison officer (CI/L)
  4. Ann Egerter, SIG file chief
  5. William J. Hood, chief of operations, Western Hemisphere division
  6. Thomas Karamessines, assistant deputy director of plans
  7. Anita Potocki, chief of Foreign Intelligence, Staff D (FI/D)
  8. Will Potocki, officer, Counterintelligence Operations (CI/OPS)
  9. Charlotte Bustos-Videla, file chief, Mexico Desk (WH-3)
  10. Bill Bright, counterespionage officer, Soviet Russia division (SR/CE)
  11. Stephan Roll, counterintelligence officer, Soviet Russia division (SR/CI/RED)
  12. Win Scott, chief of station, Mexico City
  13. Ann Goodpasture, Scott’s deputy
  14. David Phillips, chief of Cuban operations
Anne Goodpasture

Anne Goodpasture, CIA officer

Note: Scott, Goodpasture, and Phillips did not have access to Oswald’s headquarters file but they received a summary of its contents on October 10, 1963. They had personal knowledge of Oswald’s contacts with presumed foreign intelligence officers in Mexico City.

The above links are only part of the documentation for my statement. Other CIA records to confirm the knowledge of each officials. Sometimes, these documents require context to understand.

If fact checkers have any questions about the sources for my claim, please drop me a line.

 

33 comments

  1. Arnaldo M. Fernandez says:

    There are also some pawns in this chessboard. Charles Flick (aka Arehart), was the CIA officer at LIENVOY’s interception center (staffed with Mexican DFS’agents). He picked up the reports and provided Goodpastura with a tape with the extracts of the tapped conversations. He should have learned that some Oswald was calling the Soviet embassy from the Cuban consulate on September 28, 1963. He told journalist Ron Kessler that even two Mexican monitors commented about this call. At the Mexico City station, Bob Shaw (Cuba desk) and Herb Manell (Soviet Russia desk) should have also learned about an American naming himself Oswald, since both routinely read LIENVOY’S summaries. And it’s almost sure that Scott’s deputy Alan White learned somehow about Oswald before the assassination.

  2. Hanora Brennan says:

    Other than plugging his book the author has contributed little. Huge disappointment.

  3. Fred says:

    Just a quick comment – SNOPES is NOT reputable.

    • Barney says:

      How about a little evidence there, Fred. Sniped cites the evidence they use when they fact check(which is much more in demand these days than ever before), so why don’t you.

  4. Richard Turnbull, J.D. says:

    More questions as usual: link #4 Ann Egerter leads to an account of someone claiming to be Oswald but who speaks ‘broken Russian.’ Yet when Marina met Oswald years earlier, she thought his Russian was excellent and he was from one of the Soviet republics. I don’t think Oswald was ever in Mexico City in the first place.

    • Jean Davison says:

      Oswald’s command of Russian has been overestimated, I believe.

      Marina met Oswald after he’d been living in Russia for a year and a half. She said, “He spoke with accent so I assumed he was maybe from another state, which is customary in Russia. People from other states do speak with accents because they do not speak Russian. They speak different languages.” In other words, Marina thought he did NOT sound like a native speaker.

      People who knew him in this country said that although his Russian grammar was poor he could converse in the language very well and that he preferred to speak Russian whenever he could. The translator who said “broken Russian” also said that when the Embassy person switched to English the caller immediately said “please speak Russian.” In my opinion this sounds exactly like Oswald. Two pages here:

      https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=76868&search=%22broken_russian%22#relPageId=2&tab=page

      Also, Silvia Duran, the Cuban employee who began this call to the Soviet Embassy later IDed Oswald to the HSCA as the man she dealt with.

      • Arnaldo M. Fernandez says:

        The problem is not that he didn’t sound like a native Russian speaker, but that he was talking in a “terrible, hardly recognizable Russian,” as CIA-listener Tarasoff described. After meeting Marina, Oswald improved his accent to the degree described by his friend Mohrenschildt when he visited Oswald in the summer of 1962:

        “We spoke English first and then, somehow, we switched to Russian. Lee spoke it very well, only with a slight accent . Marina did not say very much. “Doesn’t your wife speak any English at all?” I asked Lee. “No, and I don’t want her to know English. I want her to continue speaking her own language. Russian is beautiful and I don’t want to forget
        it.”

        With such an approach to Russian, the Oswald listened by Tarasoff is not the one who came from Russia with Marina and befriended Mohrenschildt.

      • Arnaldo M. Fernandez says:

        The problem is not that he spoke Russian with accent when he met Marina. The problem is that he couldn’t have spoken in “terrible, hardly recognizable Russian,” as CIA-listener Tarasoff described in September 1963, because in the summer of 1962 Morhenschildt visited Oswald and gave this testimony:

        “We spoke English first and then, somehow, we switched to Russian. Lee spoke it very well, only with a slight accent . Marina did not say very much. “Doesn’t your wife speak any English at all?” I asked Lee. “No, and I don’t want her to know English. I want her to continue speaking her own language. Russian is beautiful and I don’t want to forget
        it.” And he added with deep conviction . “Russian literature is marvelous…”

        Nobody with such an approach to the Russian language and with a Russian wife ended up talking in “terrible, hardly recognizable Russian” in a year.

        • Peter says:

          De Mohrenschildt told the Warren Commission a slightly different story than what he wrote in the manuscript of the book he was writing at the time of his death in 1977 which you have quoted.

          He told the WC that Oswald spoke fluent Russian but with a foreign accent and made mistakes, grammatical mistakes, but had a remarkable fluency in Russian.

        • Jean Davison says:

          Oswald loved to speak Russian and would speak it whenever he could — which fits with the translator’s saying that when he switched to English the caller said, “Speak Russian please.”

          Mohrenschildt praised Oswald’s Russian but said his grammar was poor:

          “Mr. JENNER. … as I recall, you noted he had a conversational command of the language.
          Mr. De MOHRENSCHILDT. Yes.
          Mr. JENNER. But that he did not speak a refined Russian.
          Mr. De MOHRENSCHILDT. No, no; not a refined Russian.
          Mr. JENNER. He had trouble with his grammar?
          Mr. De MOHRENSCHILDT. Yes, yes.”

          Paul Gregory, who knew Oswald in 1962, said, “It was this poorly spoken Russian, but he was completely fluent. He understood more than I did and he could express any idea, I believe, that he wanted to in Russian. But it was heavily pronounced and he made all kinds of grammatical errors, and Marina would correct him, and he would get peeved at her for doing this. She would say you are supposed to say like this, and he would wave his hand and say, ‘Don’t bother me.’”

          Ruth Paine said something similar:
          Mrs. PAINE – He had a larger vocabulary than I do in Russian. He had less understanding of the grammar, and considerably less regard for it.
          Mr. JENNER – He was not sensitive to the delicacies of the language?
          Mrs. PAINE – He didn’t seem to care whether he was speaking it right or not…

          Also, with a second language it’s use it or lose it. Ruth said, “[Marina] commented at one time in the fall, after Lee came to the house on a Friday, that his Russian was getting worse, whereas mine was getting better, so that I spoke better than he did now.”

      • Bill Banks says:

        My recollection is only that. Marina thought Oswald was from one of the Baltic states. Residents there deliberately avoided using Russian as much as possible and usually did not speak it well–often (usually?) on purpose.

      • David Regan says:

        #JFKFiles | The Framing of Oswald : The #CIA, #FBI and the #WhiteHouse were all aware an imposter had used Oswald’s name during visits to the Cuban and Russian Embassies in Mexico City; Details hidden from the American public. #JFK #patsy #coverup https://twitter.com/filesjfk/status/950171843004047360?s=21

    • Arnaldo M. Fernandez says:

      He was. The Cubans confirmed it, since his signature on the visa application was authenticated. Consul Azcue didn’t identified him, but Consul Mirabal and two officials at the premises did do. He was also impersonated by phone and maybe at the Soviet embassy on Saturday 28 of September 1963, and that’s the key point.

      • Charles says:

        As Bill Simpich also pointed out, it was the impersonation that was key. Oswald’s factual or fictional presence is a distraction.

    • Peter says:

      I tend to agree with Jean on this one.

      Robert Fitzpatrick who spoke Russian and met Oswald only two months prior to his trip to Mexico said that although Oswald spoke very fluent Russian, what stood out were his mistakes in grammar and that it seemed as if he had learned the language from talking to people and not from any formal training.

      Peter Gregory said that Oswald spoke Russian with a Polish accent. Perhaps this combined with Oswald’s grammatical mistakes may explain why Tarasoff noted the person speaking on the tape recording spoke barely recognisable Russian.

      • Arnaldo M. Fernandez says:

        If he spoke very fluent Russian, he couldn’t have spoken in “terrible, hardly recognizable” Russian two months later, since grammar is not a big deal in phone conversations. In June 1962, Russian teacher Paul Gregory gave him a letter addressed to whom it may concern that he was capable of being an interpreter or a translator.

        • Jean Davison says:

          Oswald called Peter Paul Gregory, who he didn’t know, and asked him for a letter of recommendation.

          Gregory said,”He spoke to me in English, so I suggested to him… that he might drop by my office and I would be glad to give him a test. He did. He came by the office, about 11 o’clock that morning, and I gave him a short test by simply opening a book at random and asking him to read a paragraph or two and then translate it. He did it very well. So I gave him a letter…”

          Translating a written passage is easier than carrying on a conversation.

          • Arnaldo M. Fernandez says:

            After that, he spoke very well Russian with Morhenschildt and with Marina in his everyday life. The key is not that he spoke “excellent” or “very well” Russian, but that he spoke Russian well-enough for concluding that he was not the person speaking in “terrible, hardly recognizable Russian” over the phone on September 28, 1963. A must-read about that:
            http://harveyandlee.net/Russian.html

  5. Ron says:

    I know you’ve been concentrating these days on Oswald’s background, etc., rather than the forensics of the case, but listening to the interview above and the talk about the rifle, it’s of some note that this was the only presidential assassination in history that involved a rifle and long-distance shooting. All previous attempts involved handguns and close-up attacks. And other than MLK’s killing, following attempts also involved close-up attacks (RFK, Reagan, Wallace, etc.) I’m not sure what importance that particular fact holds other than to muddy the waters about the shooter’s identity and the murder. Which may be an answer unto itself.

  6. Arnaldo M. Fernandez says:

    Castro delivered a good piece about this issue: nobody uses a rifle with scope for killing somebody on the move at short distance. And no one can fire two precise shots with such a rifle within a few seconds. See http://jfkfacts.org/why-the-warren-commission-got-scared-with-castro/

  7. Allen Lowe says:

    as usual Jean Davison knows little of the case. Oswald was excellent in his Russian BEFORE he went over; there is a story of one of his serviceman friends whose aunt met LHO so they could converse in Russian. This occurred before his visit there.

    As for those above in the CIA who knew of Oswald, great work, Jefferson. This is in itself is proof that, contrary to current disinfo, there was no CIA blunder in failing to bring attention to Oswald pre-assassination. That is just Shenon’s fallback. They all knew about Oswald, and only a simultaneous cerebral hemorrhage could have been the cause of ALL failing to note some alarm. It couldn’t have happened this way. LHO was, at the very least, an asset.

    • Peter says:

      I’m not sure if I would go as far as to say Oswald was excellent in his Russian before he went to the Soviet Union.

      The serviceman’s aunt was Rosaleen Quinn and she told the FBI that Oswald was a quiet individual and it was difficult to converse with him. She commented that he spoke Russian well for someone who had not been formally trained in the language. It would appear Quinn had only recently begun learning Russian herself from doing a Berlitz course so this should be taken into account when evaluating her judgement on Oswald’s proficiency in the Russian language.

      In the 1990’s Belarus leader Stanaslav Shushkevich, whose name appears in Oswald’s address book with the word teacher alongside it, claimed he taught Oswald Russian whilst Oswald was in Minsk working at the radio factory. In a 2013 interview Shushkevich said Oswald seemed to have very strong habits that weren’t suitable for studying Russian, especially with the accents in Russian words.

      There’s no doubt Oswald could speak Russian before he went to the Soviet Union but that he spoke it excellently is questionable.

      • Arnaldo M. Fernandez says:

        Here we got again. The problem is not that he spoke “excellent” or “very well” Russian, but that he spoke Russian well-enough for concluding that he was not the person speaking in “terrible, hardly recognizable Russian” over the phone on September 28, 1963. A must-read about that:
        http://harveyandlee.net/Russian.html

  8. drewelow says:

    Hanora, are you familair with his breakthrough work with the jane romano slips and interview with he? jeff is doing the careful work of an intelligence analyst, only from the side of the public interest and journalistic integrity.you will not be disapointed. see historymatters.com…..correction: ‘roman’, not ‘romano’

  9. Brian Lynch says:

    It is very interesting that this many people in positions of responsibility at the CIA knew of Oswald. He was definitely on the agency’s radar. It will be interesting to see if this information indeed does become available to those of us who wish to know what the truth is. It appears that there was a reason for this surveillance activity of Oswald by the CIA. The big question in my mind, is, what was the reason for this activity-it just doesn’t seem that it would happen by coincidence. What the CIA was attempting to hide, is it simply evidence that is a big part of the cover-up? I have serious doubts that we will ever know the hard truth in this matter.

  10. H Beazley says:

    The fact that Oswald was impersonated in Mexico City “speaking broken Russian” proves beyond doubt that there was a conspiracy to frame him. I would add that Doug Horne has proven that Kennedy was shot from the front and that the autopsy was manipulated to make it appear that the shots came from in back. Watch Horne’s six-hour interview on YouTube for this proof. We can no longer tolerate the false stories generated by the MSM. A free press is the cornerstone of a democracy.

    Jeff, you state often that the CIA was “watching” Oswald with the intimation that they were watching him because they thought him suspicious. After much research I conclude the CIA was “operating” Oswald. J. Edgar Hoover recognized at the time that Oswald was “impersonated” in Mexico City and to make him appear pro-Castro and this fact alone proves Oswald was set up to take the fall. A responsible journalists should not mention the Mexico City fiasco with out mentioning that Oswald was impersonated when he alledgedly met with a Russian agent.

  11. robert e williamson jr says:

    Jeff I looked at the Hardway stuff any reason George Joannides is not on this list? Is it because we don’t have a piece of paper to verify he knew?

    I mean it’s pretty telling that they bring him our of retirement and he successfully halts Hardy and Lopez.

  12. Paul Oryshak says:

    Should John Whitten (“Scelso”) also be added to the list? Was he not one of the CIA officers who signed off on reading the October 9/10 memoranda about the Oswald incident in Mexico City?

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