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.
In the History Channel’s new documentary series JFK Declassified, former CIA officer Robert Baer describes a meeting in Mexico City between Oswald and Valery Kostikov, a Soviet diplomat, six weeks before JFK was killed. On the program, Baer identifies Kostikov as “the head of KGB assassin operations.”
The CIA had touted this identification of Kostikov to the White House the day after Kennedy’s assassination, and it may have played a role in President Lyndon Johnson’s decision to support a presidential commission to as fears mounted over the Kremlin’s possible involvement in the assassination. The Warren Commission received an ominous CIA memo that repeated the allegation that Kostikov was “believed to work for Department Thirteen…of the KGB…responsible for executive action, including sabotage and assassination.”
The JFK metadata shows that the CIA has a secret 167-page file on Kostikov, which could clarify who he really was. In May 1963, counterintelligence chief Angleton had discounted him as a threat, telling FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover that he had “no information” that Kostikov was associated with the KGB’s 13th Department.
The Kostikov file will help clarify this key question in JFK conspiracy debate.
“The Ghost is the compulsively readable, often bizarre true-life story of American spymaster James Jesus Angleton – the CIA’s poetry-loving, orchid-gardening mole-hunter for almost 20 years. Capturing the extent of Angleton’s eccentricity, duplicity and alcohol-fueled paranoia would have challenged the writing skills of a Le Carre or Ludlum, and Jefferson Morley has done it with flair. This important book depicts the trail of wreckage left behind by Angleton in a CIA career that involved him in virtually every major spy-versus-spy drama of the Cold War and drew him deeply into the mysteries of the Kennedy assassination and the murder of one of JFK’s mistresses.”
—Philip Shenon, author of A Cruel and Shocking Act
Click here to pre-order: The Ghost: The Secret Life of CIA Spymaster James Jesus Angleton.