Japan’s NHK TV: Oswald in the Eyes of the CIA

Along with Rolf Mowatt-Larsen, John Newman and Dick Russell, I was interviewed extensively for this two-part show on NHK Prime, a prime-time magazine show on Japan’s public television network.

Here’s how NHK presents its latest JFK story.

With the help of top experts, NHK takes a new look at the incident through reenactments and fresh theories on the case. Lee Harvey Oswald, the man who killed JFK, was once a US Marine stationed in Atsugi, Japan who later defected to the Soviet Union. While his own upbringing played a role in his decisions, there is also a possibility that a certain organization was manipulating him behind the scenes. ..  We follow the little-known footprints left by this infamous assassin.

Watch: Oswald and JFK UNSOLVED CASES Part 1: The Pawn – NHK WORLD PRIME | NHK WORLD-JAPAN On Demand

In several days of shooting in Miami, New Orleans and Texas, I found the NHK reporters and producers to be meticulous and thoughtful. I don’t agree with all their conclusions but they have done their homework.

As a print journalist, I’m not crazy about the reenactment scenes. I accept they are necessary to present a complex story to a huge TV audience.

I respectfully disagree with the “rogue CIA” theory. I think that’s jumping to a conclusion that is not warranted by the evidence. The intellectual authors of the November 22 ambush might have held positions in the Pentagon. If so, they had CIA help but such a covert operation (based on the false-flag template developed by the Northwoods planners) would not qualify as a “rogue” plot.

If it was my show, I would offered a more cautious conclusion: certain CIA officers were involved in the JFK plot.nWhether they were “rogue” or not has yet to be determined.

NHK may have overestimated the importance of Oswald’s time in Japan but a national network is not wrong to emphasize that part of the story to its core audience. Oswald’s actions in Japan have never been explained, merely “plausibly denied.”

I feel like I’m good company. Rolf and John are retired career intelligence officers. They are analytically rigorous, operationally experienced and politically independent. Talking about the JFK case with them is always interesting and informative. I have learned much from both of them.

Dick and I are career journalists who have written extensively about the CIA in the early 1960s and about the JFK case. We have different perspectives and interpretations of key issues, but I think we’re in agreement about the JFK fact pattern.

The available public record shows:

  • Oswald was the object of constant high-level CIA attention from 1959 to 1963.
  • Oswald was used by senior CIA officers for counterintelligence and propaganda purposes both before and after JFK’s assassination; the name of these officers are on the public record;
  • One of these CIA program , AMSPELL, was incorporated into a false-flag operation to blame JFK’s assassination on Cuba and to shield the intellectual authors of the crime; the names of some of the officers involved in this AMSPELL operation are on the public record.
  • Oswald was what he said he was: “a patsy.”
  • The CIA hid the story of how these officers manipulated Oswald from the Warren Commission, the Church Committee, and the House Select Committee on Assassinations.
  • Thousands of pages of JFK files remain secret to this day.
  • Here’s Part II:


  1. Bogman says:

    The public record summary rings so much truer than the official story.

  2. Russ Tarby says:

    Jeff, I was unable to connect to Part Two…please reload or refresh that link. thanks.

  3. robert e williamson jr says:

    I’ve just finished Part one but the link for part two isn’t working.

    If Oswald was a radar operator aware of the U-2 program is very significant. The U-2 being under primarily CIA control is a clincher here.

    The most glaring fact seems to be the lie by CIA that said Oswald was not on their radar. Why would CIA lie when they knew his background?
    This seems very strange. Can it be that Ruby killing Oswald was an unplanned event and CIA saw a way to cut to the chase and bury the truth? Very weird!

    Thanks Jeff.

    It makes absolutely no sense that a 21 year old Oswald left the Marines
    after operating radar, knew about the U-2, defected and then returned and CIA didn’t know about him.

    This lie alone is very damning.

  4. jay sutherland says:

    interesting watch…although I feel there is more than we have been told about the assasination I have no doubt LHO was firing a rifle from the TSBD.When someone disputes that they lose credibility with me.For example where are the “cutain rods” he claimed to bring to work? Keep up the good work

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