In ‘State Secret’ Simpich solves an Oswald mystery

I’ve been remiss in keeping up with posts on the serialization of Bill Simpich’s remarkable book “State Secret,” now available for free at the Mary Ferrell Foundation website.

“State Secret” tells the story of Lee Harvey Oswald in Mexico City in October 1963 in unprecedented detail and clarity. I told this story, as it was seen through the eyes of station chief Win Scott, in my book, “Our Man in Mexico.” But I can see now that  my account, while not wrong, is simplistic. Using documents declassified after I wrote my book, Simpich shows there was rather more going on than I knew.

On the central question of whether someone impersonated Oswald in Mexico City, I wrote that yes, someone probably did. I think Simpich has proven it beyond a reasonable doubt: Somebody impersonated the completely unknown Lee Harvey Oswald in Mexico City, and when this came to the attention of the CIA and FBI, there was deep concern. Seven weeks later Oswald apparently killed the president of the United States.

We can disagree about what this set of facts means, but not that it is a fact.

Maybe the impersonation of Oswald is irrelevant to who killed JFK. Maybe it just means the CIA and the FBI were incompetent and failed to stop a stealthy treacherous left-wing agitator with murder on his mind. Or perhaps the impersonation of Oswald is a strong indicator of a CIA conspiracy. I’m not going to pass judgement on that question here. I’m just saying it is a fact: Oswald was impersonated.

And if you want understand why I say this with so much confidence, read Simpich’s book. I can vouch for his bonafides. He’s a litigator in San Francisco who has won some big civil cases. He has standards for evidence that can stand up in court. In a JFK book that’s essential. When you go out for a beer, he picks up the check. For a JFK author that’s surprisingly rare.

Download Chapter 6.

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