What the curious case of Richard Gibson tells us about Lee Harvey Oswald

I was on BBC 3 Radio yesterday talking about the curious case of Richard Gibson, co-founder of the leftist Fair Play for Cuba Committee and, it turns out, a longtime CIA spy.

The larger context of Gibson’s story, which I broke in Newsweek, tells us a lot about the CIA’s surveillance of Lee Oswald in 1963. 

Richard Gibson

Richard Gibson, CBS News writer who became a CIA spy

The fact that CIA dumped Gibson’s file while he is still alive is striking. The agency is not careless about protecting “sources and methods.” A journo-friend who knows the CIA well, asks: “Do you think this was just a massive screwup, or some sort of revenge for something he did?”

Probably the latter. Maybe CIA found out Gibson was selling information to the KGB as well. Maybe Gibson gave them bad intelligence. There has to be a reason why CIA officials chose to burn a living source–especially after President Trump tweeted that living sources would be protected.

Its too bad Gibson cannot give his side of the story.

Suspicions of Gibson have been around a long time. Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan found some of the first evidence 25 years ago and asked Gibson about it. He denied all.

Defending Cuba

Mike asks “Does this mean the FPCC was a CIA operation? If so, since Oswald passed out FPCC pamphlets, is this further evidence that he worked with the agency in some capacity?”

Not exactly. The Fair Play for Cuba Committee was not a CIA operation. It was a CIA target. The Gibson story, along with a lot of other evidence, shows how agency officers sought to penetrate, manipulate, control, and disrupt Americans who sympathized with the Cuban revolution. One of those Americans was Lee Oswald.

Gibson and his CBS News colleague Robert Taber did not intend the FPCC to become a mass organization. They brought together about 30 intellectuals to sign an ad in the New York Times in April 1960. They hoped to do nothing more than persuade news organizations and newspaper readers to look at the aims and accomplishments of the Cuban revolution more objectively.


The New York Times advertisement announcing the creation of the FPCC

At a time when Jim Crow ruled America, the racial diversity of the signatories, starting with the writer James Baldwin, is striking. The fact that black intellectuals signed on to a foreign policy manifesto, when most whites expected blacks to restrict themselves to the “Negro question” was also radical.

Targeting the FPCC

Striking too was the instantly hostility of the CIA, FBI, and Senate Internal Security Committee.  As college students and professors formed chapters of the Committee, the FPCC was suddenly a growing organization and perceived as a growing threat to U.S. officials.

The popularity of the idea that American should give Cuba a break forced Gibson to take on a job he never expected to have: running a national political movement. He was not a CIA source–not yet. But the U.S. government was already seeking to disrupt and destroy his organization, by any means.

Gibson and Taber

Founders of the FPCC: Richard Gibson, left, and Robert Taber, right, (Credit: Richard Gibson Papers, George Washington University)

Gibson was wiretapped by the CIA while talking to June Cobb, a CIA informant known as LICOOKY-1. He was served with two subpoenas by the Senate Internal Security Committee, which was determined to press criminal charges against the group in 1961.

The FBI intercepted and opened the group’s mail. When the FPCC hired an accountant to handle the flood of donations, the FBI turned him an informant.

Gibson, feeling harassed and underpaid, resigned from the FPCC and offered his services to the CIA in July 1962. By 1963, the FPCC had dozens of chapters around the country. The Senate Internal Security Committee was still seeking to demonize and disrupt the group with hostile hearings. And the CIA had the co-founder of the group as a potential source.

Oswald in New Orleans

Lee Oswald in New Orleans, August 16, 1963

Targeting Oswald

The purpose of the CIA’s penetration was not just to spy on American sympathizers with Cuba. The agency sought the ability to act in the name of the FPCC, the better to destroy it.

In September 1963, CIA officer John Tilton asked the FBI for the FPCC’s mailing list and stationery the purpose of “planting deceptive information which might embarrass the Committee.”

Tilton, it should be noted, was in communication at this time with George Joannides, aka “Walter Newby,” the chief of the psychological warfare branch of the Miami station. Both Tilton and Joannides shared their deliberations with Angleton’s operations office, known as CI/OPs.

While most of the Joannides files are still classified, the circumstantial evidence indicates he participated in the CIA’s covert campaign operation against the FPCC. His assets in the DRE/AMPSELL program publicized Oswald’ FPCC connections in August 1963. After JFK was killed, they published–with CIA funds–the first JFK conspiracy theory.

Of course, none of this was disclosed to the Warren Commission. The Commission’s bright young liberal lawyers trusted the CIA. They could not imagine that senior agency officials would deceive them about material evidence related to the assassination of JFK. But they did. Among many other things, the CIA men concealed their targeting of the FPCC at the very time Oswald was publicly supporting the group.

Howard Willens, one of those lawyers, conceded to me, “I was naive, to say the least,” about the CIA.

Understanding COINTELPRO

The Richard Gibson story gives lie to a common myth about the U.S. government’s program of political harassment known COINTELPRO. The myth is that it was the creation of FBI director J. Edgar Hoover. In fact, it was a joint enterprise with the CIA, and specifically with counterintelligence chief James Angleton. COINTELPRO, after all, stands for “Counterintelligence Program.”

DRE Trinchera

The first JFK conspiracy theory

The recruiting of Richard Gibson, co-founder of the FPCC, was a key part of the U.S. government’s plans to destroy the FPCC. Those plans came to fruition on November 22, 1963, when Oswald was arrested for killing the president, a charge he denied. Joannides’ AMSPELL assets went to newspaper reporters with evidence of Oswald’s support for the FPCC, Kennedy had been killed by a communist, said the CIA’s agents. Oswald and Castro were “the presumed assassins.”

A month later, the FPCC disbanded, its work forever tainted by association with the suspected (and now conveniently dead) assassin. The operation to destroy the FPCC had succeeded.

George Joannides would get a medal for his covert work in Miami. Richard Gibson would get a job as a spy.


  1. Paul f says:

    Was Oswald really a leftist, or is that another one of those things that is assumed without foundation?

    • jeffmorley says:

      In his personal comments and dicussions with friends he espoused a moderate leftist line on the issues of the day. He admired JFK’s civil rights policies and defended Cuba from North American aggression.

  2. Steven P Schwendeman says:

    Thank you for your important post.

    You wrote:

    “The Gibson story, along with a lot of other evidence, shows how agency officers sought to penetrate, manipulate, control, and disrupt Americans who sympathized with the Cuban revolution. One of those Americans was Lee Oswald.”

    From the last sentence are you implying that Lee Harvey Oswald legitimately supported the FPCC while handing out pamphlets with the address of the office building (544 Camp St.) holding the anti-communist office of Guy Banister? Do you actually think Oswald’s association with Bannister was unknown to the CIA targeting the FPCC?


    • jeffmorley says:

      Oswald was a leftist and an admirer of Castro so his political views were consonant with the FPCC.

      I do NOT think Oswald’s association with Bannister was unknown to the CIA men targeting the FPCC but I have no evidence to support the idea. So I don’t state possible CIA knowledge of the association as a fact and I don’t make any assumptions based on the possibility.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

In seeking to expand the range of informed debate about the events of 1963 and its aftermath, JFKFacts.org welcomes comments that are factual, engaging, and civil. more

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

vape: girly vape mod smelling cigarette smoke spiritual meaning vape voltage vapes for cheap plume vape juice buy vapor pens online vape portland crown uwell nautilus vape pen with cartridges vape pen starter kit with liquid vape city taunton silly rabbit vape juice pandora mods vape pipe tobacco vape smok prince tank uwell valyrian capacity e cig battery ecig mod battery charger nitecore vapordna phone number wax pen vape vapor rub in ear nicotine liquid 100mg viper vape e juice simple vapes strongest nicotine vape juice 100 percent vg vape juice eversmoke e cigarette does vaping leave residue pure e cigarette coupon vape o rama psa vaping vape shops in findlay ohio smok troubleshooting best wattage to vape e juice what is a smok best sub ohm ecig vap machine best all natural vape juice smok vape mod kit loon vape how much nicotine is in a cigar vape cart packaging vape rda builds hulk tears vape juice order vape pen online uwell crown tc new regulated box mods nmd r1 vapor pink 150 watt vape box what is vapor rub voopoo black drag volcano vaporizer amazon voopoo drag 157w box mod does invo ecig battery come pre charged voopoo gene chip mojo 88w 2600 mah tc starter kit voopoo mojo skin voopoo rex set ohm juul battery replacement voopoo d4 coil dry vapor pen

cbd oil: cbd side effects nature made super b energy complex cbd living hemp oil effects cbd for ptsd ben greenfield cbd can you take too much cbd oil medical term for seizures cbd oil ulcerative colitis hemp oil plus smoke shops that sell cbd oil near me cbd 4 paws what is a cbd isolate what does blog stand for pet cbd products cbd oil smells bad organix cbd oil dischem cape town cbd cbd how to use best websites for cbd oil haleighs hope synergy cbd oil canna blast cbd boston university bs md acceptance rate christian book discounters cbd best strength of cbd oil for copd cbd oil vandergrift cbd oil mast cell uticaria cbd breakdown med terra hawaiian haze cbd review cbd tongue drops can i bring cbd oil on plane selling cbd on ebay clonazepam and cbd thc infused cbd oil best full spectrum cbd oil on amazon cbd oil under eyes cannabis oil cancer where to buy cbd k9 hemp oil 39 conditions and diseases listed in the act product is related to components as sentence is related to does smoking weed cause diarrhea cbd oil and christianity hemp oil medicine mean in english cbd oil smoke shop hemp oil is cbd club med mediterranean free samples cbd oil can cbd oil help hpv forms of cbd oil how to produce cbd oil fuggin cbd cbd oil and pure water bongs cbd oil in kerala malayalam green remedy 2500 mg cbd hemp oil how to extract cbd from hemp

weight loss: hcg weight loss program la weight loss diet plan soulcycle weight loss 90 day weight loss workout plan cucumber weight loss consumer diet pills running benefits weight loss free quick weight loss pills hair loss weight gain fatigue medical weight loss dallas paleo and weight loss do acai pills help you lose weight walking 5 miles a day weight loss first doctors weight loss hiram trufix weight loss reviews bar method weight loss javita weight loss should i have weight loss surgery hydrochlorothiazide and weight loss best diet pills 2017 birmingham weight loss behavior modification for weight loss walking on treadmill for weight loss weight loss while pregnant supernatural weight loss prayer is strawberry good for weight loss diverticulitis and weight loss red mountain weight loss pricing raspberry weight loss pills oxycodone weight loss orlistat weight loss stories lt360 weight loss fast weight loss pills for women cranberry pills and weight loss thyroid hormone weight loss best drugstore diet pills one a day weight loss pills anniston weight loss clinic hwy 202 best weight loss pills online protein for weight loss female benefits of weight loss pills vegan meals for weight loss weight loss pills reductil bee pollen weight loss pills best diet pills to lose weight fast icd 10 code weight loss diet pills target long term weight loss buy phentermine diet pills online marathon keto pills reviews yellow bullet diet pills reviews should i use diet pills slimbetti diet pills prices best vitamin for weight loss fast metabolism pills smoking weed and weight loss phentermine dangers patch for weight loss pill with e on it shark tank keto pills review

exam: Offer 9A0-146 Book Pdf Is Updated Daily, Sale Latest Release 3309 Practice Test Will Be More Popular, Most Popular 3305 Test Pdf , SelfTestEngine BCP-420 Test Questions And Answers Pdf , Certshared 642-811 Exam Dumps On Store, Offer GSSP-JAVA Certification Material For Sale, Most Popular GB0-540 Exam Practice Pdf On Our Store, Certleader HP0-241 Exam Prep For Download, Most Popular HC-031-122-CHS Exam Collection Sale, We Provide 000-737 Vce Download On Sale, Most Reliable 000-135 Actual Exam 100% Pass With A High Score, Passeasy 000-107 Training For Each Candidate, Exam-Labs C2040-986 Exam Book Online Store, 50% OFF 000-597 Dumps Pdf For All Candidates From All Over The World, Free Download Real C2040-958 Exam Dumps With Low Price, Free C2140-053 Study Guide Pdf With High Quality, ITexam-Answers COG-142 Study Guide On Our Store, Provide New M2090-194 Exam Questions And Answers With Accurate Answers, Buy Best LOT-832 Exam Collection With Low Price, Prep4sure M30-300 Cert Guide , Download Latest 70-234 Brain Dumps Online, Welcome To Buy 70-646 Cert Exam Are Based On The Real Exam, 50% OFF MB4-640 Book Pdf Online Store, Easily To Pass 070-480 Practice Exam Covers All Key Points, Helpful 920-326 Actual Questions Is The Best Material, Provide Latest 920-473 Exam Test Questions On Our Store, Most Popular OMG-OCSMP-MBA400 Preparation Materials , High Pass Rate 1Z0-213 Material Pdf Is What You Need To Take, Latest 310-043 Study Material With The Knowledge And Skills, Reliable and Professional I10-003 Certification Material Is The Best Material,

male enhancement: best libido booster real average penis size how to naturally increase sex drive six star testosterone boosters how to enhance sex drive big white dick gay best ed treatment walgreens clm sex coupon how to increase sex time naturally viagra doctor interactive sex toys for men cialis with dapoxetine 60mg how to grow my penis naturally get a bigger dick buy medications online penis becoming erect red pill viagra real penises male hair reference enlarge penis in natural way empty pill capsules walgreens big dick and small dick testosterone food booster does your penis shrink as you age nitric rush review top 10 testosterone supplements pics of erections herbal sex supplements orgasm from kegels foods that build up testosterone interactive sex toys for men testosterone ingredients does viagra work for everyone perscription meds online what is in viagra that makes it work best nitrous oxide supplement depression impotence unable to maintain erection pills for sex for men amlodipine helps erectile dysfunction spotify email support healthy penis penis enlargement ad how to get a bigger head roman pills herbs that get you high man tea rock hard formula reviews menopause libido generic sildenafil 20 mg monster sex cartoons pills to make a man last longer in bed purple oval pill 007 pills supplements to increase dopamine erection in morning ss increase how big is mandingos dick spray that makes you last longer vardenafil brand name