Oct. 10, 1963: Six top CIA officers discuss Lee Harvey Oswald

On October 10, 1963, a man named Lee Harvey Oswald came to the attention of a group of senior CIA officers in Langley, Virginia. Oswald had recently visited the Cuban consulate and Soviet Embassy  in Mexico City. A CIA wiretap captured a man identifying himself as “Oswald.”

The CIA officers conferred about Oswald and his actions and signed off on a cable about him. They are identified on the declassified CIA cable whose authenticity is not disputed.

CIA Oswald Cable
They were: assistant deputy director (ADDP) Tom Karamessines; Soviet Russia division counterintelligence officer Stephan Roll; liaison officer Jane Roman, Special Projects Group (SPG) officer Ann Egerter; chief of the WH/3 desk (Mexico )”John Scelso” aka John Whitten; and chief of operations for Western Hemisphere, William J. Hood.

Why were they so interested in Oswald?

On October 8, 1963, Win Scott, the chief of the CIA station in Mexico City, sent a cable to CIA headquarters, seeking more information about this curious visitor: Who is Oswald? Scott asked.

On the afternoon of October 10, the question was referred to group of senior CIA officers in the Counterintelligence Staff and in the Western Hemisphere directorate. The people, were thinking about the obscure Oswald were not clerks, bureaucrats, or paper pushers. They were senior operations officers. That is to say their primary responsibility was running covert operations.

One possible explanation for their interest in Oswald is that he was part of a covert operation.The CIA denies it


The October 10 cable

What did these  intelligence officers say about Oswald — that lowly, pathetic, apparently harmless yet allegedly sociopathic ex-Marine?

The men and women of the CIA reviewed his CIA file, which included a recent report from the FBI that Oswald had been arrested in August 1963 for fighting with CIA-funded anti-Castro and anti-JFK Cuban exiles in New Orleans.

The FBI report documented that he was a supporter of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee, a pro-Castro group that was listed on the U.S. government’s official list of organizations official described as “subversive.”

For reasons that have never been unexplained, these CIA officers decided not to share information about Oswald’s recent arrest or his public activism in support of a subversive  pro-Castro organization with their colleagues in Mexico City.

Rather, as I reported for the Washington Post in April 1995they chose to cite a 17-month-old memo from the State Department. In that memo, a U.S.  official in Moscow said that the reality of Oswald’s two and half year residence in the Soviet Union had had a “maturing effect” on him. In effect, headquarters was telling Mexico City not to worry about Oswald’s communist background.. He was growing up.

The CIA’s assessment of Oswald seven weeks before JFK was killed

Forty two days later, Oswald allegedly shot and killed Kennedy.

The October 10 cable destroys the cover story, fed to the Warren Commission, that the CIA only had a “routine” interest in Oswald before the assassination. To the contrary, a half dozen high-ranking officers were familiar with his biography, leftist politics, foreign travels and foreign contacts six weeks before JFK was killed.

COME BACK TOMORROW FOR JFK STORY #7: A retired counterintelligence officer gave me a candid assessment of the agency’s pre-assassination interest in Oswald.




71 thoughts on “Oct. 10, 1963: Six top CIA officers discuss Lee Harvey Oswald”

  1. Pingback: JFK Revisited: Oliver Stone and the New JFK Fact Pattern - SHOAH

  2. Thank you, Jeff, for this Top 29 list. It’s incredible. You deserve a medal or reward or something for all this.

    Just unpacking these two paragraphs is enough to turn your hair white:

    “The men and women of the CIA reviewed his CIA file, which included a recent report from the FBI that Oswald had been arrested in August 1963 for fighting with CIA-funded anti-Castro and anti-JFK Cuban exiles in New Orleans.

    The FBI report documented that he was a supporter of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee, a pro-Castro group that was listed on the U.S. government’s official list of organizations official described as “subversive.””

    CIA headquarters is not even letting their station chief in Mexico City know that the man he’s asking about somehow ran into the agency’s secretly funded group in NO just a few weeks earlier. Now how strange is that?

    And the FPCC’s second in command had been turned by the FBI by this time and he was letting them go thru any and all files when director VT Lee was out of town. The FPCC was run more by the FBI than Castro sympathizers by this time.

    Lying to their own about a supposed commie drifter and traitor who had just visited our enemies embassies, weeks before the assassination.

    And they lie and obstruct about it all to this day.

    Yeah, nothing to see here, folks. ‘Lone nut’ my arse. He was the most watched ‘loner’ in history.

  3. “Rather, as I reported for the Washington Post in April 1995, they chose to cite a 17-month-old memo from the State Department. In that memo, a U.S. official in Moscow said that the reality of Oswald’s two and half year residence in the Soviet Union had had a “maturing effect” on him. In effect, headquarters was telling Mexico City not to worry about Oswald’s communist background.. He was growing up.”

    Perhaps that’s how it would be read by Quakers. To a spy service, this indicates deception/instability/worse and is a warning to MEXI.

  4. Given the time period (late 1950s to early 1960s), what’s interesting about Oswald isn’t just that there is a file on him, but that file isn’t immensely larger. The Dulles brothers considered left leaning philosophies to be an anathema to the USA. Hoover who cut his his teeth on the Red Scare was no friend of Communism. Wouldn’t a Marine (always a Marine) defecting to the the mortal enemy of the USA been a traitor and enemy of the state in the eyes of those men (unless…). The vestiges of McCarthyism were still lingering. Regarding Dallas, if Oswald was a willing foot soldier in the great game wouldn’t it have been more likely that he knew only what he needed to know: E.G. Handler: “Take the rifle to the Book Depository 6th floor by the window”. Had Oswald responded: “That’s on JFK’s motorcade route”. The reply by his handler could have been: “Nothing is going to happen to JFK. The pro Castro guys are being set up. don’t leave your prints.” It would be so easy to compromise any number of people on a drill or a false flag operation: “Just do your part, don’t ask questions, it’s under control.” Everybody thinks it’s a set u/drill, but it’s to provide a clearway for the ‘event’ to happen. After the fact Oswald knew he had gotten played and he was the patsy. MHO

  5. Then again, this provides Plausible Deniability for Helms, Dulles and Angleton. Not. It’s inconceivable they would not have been informed.

  6. so photon: “If that is true then he (Oswald) was at least an accessory to murder and as guilty of premeditated murder in the eyes of Texas law as the person who pulled the trigger.”
    ok then we can say the same about Hoover, whom Nagell warned about the assassination; and half the FBI, which, as William Walter has testified, received a teletype warning of JFK’s killing.

  7. Terry Kirkpatrick

    n January of 2003 I received an email from Shawn Phillips, son of the late spy novelist James Atlee Phillips, and nephew of the late spy David Atlee Phillips. This is what Shawn Phillips had to say:

    The “Confession”, you refer to was not in so many words as such. I cannot remember the time frames involved, but this was what was told to me by my father, James Atlee Phillips, who is deceased. He said that David had called him with reference to his (Davids), invitation to a dinner, by a man who was purportedly writing a book on the CIA. At this dinner, was also present a man who was identified only as the “Driver”. David told Jim that he knew the man was there to identify him as Raul Salcedo, whose name you should be familiar with, if your research is accurate in this matter. David then told Jim that he had written a letter to the various media, as a “Preemptive Strike” , against any and all allegations about his involvement in the JFK assassination. Jim knew that David was the head of the “Retired Intelligence Officers of the CIA”, or some such organization, and that he was extremely critical of JFK, and his policies. Jim knew at that point, that David was in some way, seriously involved in this matter and he and David argued rather vehemently, resulting in a silent hiatus between them that lasted almost six years according to Jim. Finally, as David was dying of irreversible lung cancer, he called Jim and there was apparently no reconciliation between them, as Jim asked David pointedly, “Were you in Dallas on that day”? David said, “Yes”, and Jim hung the phone up.

    1. I thought I had read Phillips came home the day of the assassination and said nothing. The family (wife Helen) would be the only source for this.

      Phillips was still angry at JFK well into the 1980s, and writing about that anger, due to his opinion on what went wrong with the Bay of Pigs operation.

  8. Arnaldo M. Fernandez

    Oswald traveled to Mexico and visited both the Cuban and Soviet embassies, after having left a paper trail of connection between the FPCC and the PCUSA. He was also impersonated in Mexico by phone. There is an covert op running here, namely to attach Oswald to Cuba and the URSS.
    Then leftist Lee returned to the States, found a job in Dallas and had no way to be ready on time and in place for firing against JFK, as David Josephs has demonstrated in The Evidence is the Conspiracy: http://www.ctka.net/2014/The%20evidence%20is%20the%20conspiracy.html
    Oswald was framed up starting from the conspiracy facts that the WC did get a wrong rifle, a wrong bullet and even a wrong shell to put the blame on him, didn´t it?

  9. If Oswald was some disgruntled guy in a warehouse who happened to be on the president’s route that day, I think most would accept the lone assassin theory.

    But it’s because he himself was killed and had been in the company of people who actually had a clear motive and intent to kill the president makes it all suspect.

    Ask yourself: What are the odds of a presidential assassin being involved with a CIA propaganda operation three months prior to the assassination? Or that the CIA was playing spook games with the assassin’s “appearance” in Mexico City six weeks prior? What if the public knew that right after the assassination? Makes you wonder what the post-assassination scenario would’ve looked like then.

      1. Please Photon could you answer a couple of questions to assist this thread.
        1. Did Oswald visit Mexico City and attend the Russian and Cuban Embassies?
        2. Did Oswald have ANY active connection with ANY intelligence agencies during ANY time of his life?
        3. Joaniddes is viewed by most observers as an intentional block on discovering the truth about the assassination. What do you say?
        Your posts are always made as statement of facts. Please provide the facts as you know them.

        1. Was Oswald’s name on any CIA expulsion order?

          (CIA document # 632-796)

          Negative, it was Jean Rene Souetre, wanted for an attempt on the life of President Charles de Gaulle of France, picked up by INS agent, Virgil Bailey, in Dallas just hours after the assassination of President Kennedy.

          What’s with Oswald? What’s with all these nonsensical questions? Didn’t you ever read the evidence files of the Warren Commission?

          The mfr. number on the Mannlicher-Carcano didn’t match any of the numbers on file at that Chicago sporting goods store; the Mannlicher was the wrong size and model which the police found as compared to what the Warren Commission claimed it to be.

          Kindly stick to the facts!

  10. How many teenagers with a 9th grade education were being hired by the CIA back then? How about those with a history of violence and anti-social behavior? Why would the CIA etc. give someone like that any kind of major responsibility or “inside” knowledge on anything?

    These are the kinds of questions that logically come up when a “Oswald as government agent” theory is being put forward.

    I can see Oswald as a CIA asset only if he was used to gain information on the Soviets after he came back. (I.e. A domestic contact)

    1. I’m sure even you realize that the CIA was using all sorts of dubious characters for all sorts of purposes during that era.

    2. Bugle boy, you have come to the crux of every theory about Oswald and the CIA. He never would have passed the first investigation.

    3. bugle boy, Have you considered that the specific responsibility given Oswald was to be in the right place at the right time in Dallas; another instance would be his responsibility in New Orleans where his task was simply to pass out leaflets and draw attention to himself? Logic insists that one considers all logical scenarios, not just the one that suits the argument one is wedded to; otherwise, you will be challenged with viewing the assassination in a vortex, out of context with verifiable facts.

      1. Another logical scenario would be that Oswald really was pro-Castro/pro-Cuba and wanted to get his name in the papers so he would have something to show the Cuban consulate if he decided to try to go to Cuba.

        Duran testified Oswald did indeed show her newspaper clippings in Mexico City as evidence of his pro-Castro political leanings.

        1. bugle boy, I agree, Oswald’s attempts to impress the Cubans make some sense when considered in a vacuum; but following the numerous threads leading from those attempts – Joannides’ involvement with the DRE stands out – the logic breaks down. There is little logic of a spontaneous, opportunistic assassination in Dallas, not in the manner it was committed.

          1. I don’t follow your logic r.e. Joannides & the DRE.
            Oswald was a longtime Marxist whose only known connection with the DRE was his few encounters with Carlos Bringuier.

            A theory that involves Oswald working with the DRE as a CIA agent is speculative at best, and makes little sense based on who Oswald was as a person.

          2. Leslie, there is no connection between Oswald and Joannides or any other CIA employee. None.
            Speculation is not proof.

        2. If that’s true, for a guy who planned the assassination of a president he sure wasn’t very good at planning his escape.

          His actions immediately following the assassination point to zero plan. He had no cash. He ostensibly went back to his boarding house room for a gun. He didn’t immediately have a train/plane ticket to get outta Dodge. Nothing.

          1. Maybe he never truly thought that he would actually be successful.
            What was Charles Whitman’s escape plan?

  11. I’ve seen several transformations in the image of Lee Oswald administered to the global public in my lifetime. Adults I trusted as a youngster first told me he was a communist spy. Then he was a Cuban spy. Then both. Oswald’s mother insinuated he worked for the FBI & was doing some secret stuff for the USA in magazine & TV interviews.
    At some point he became a US Intel operative spying on pro-Castro groups while pretending to be anti-Castro. In the movie, ‘JFK’ it was suggested he was trying to break up an assassination plan (not to FBI destroyed by Hosty & alleged teletype warning to FBI stations). Then there’s Hoover’s warning that someone was using Lee Oswald’s name & Social Security number. Toss in the Mexico city dual impersonators (one for Lee Oswald , one for Sylvia Duran)seeking immediate visas to Cuba & USSR, Hoover’s phone call with LBJ about the alleged payoff to kill JFK….

    My head started swimming on all this years ago; I still am not sure who Lee Oswald was, who was pulling his strings & why. I cannot fathom how he pulled off the things he did without at least receiving a trimming before Dallas. Quite a few see an invisible gloved hand shielding Lee Oswald from the raindrops as he moved about the rainfall.

    I do see a ray of hope in the work of Jeff Morley, Bill Simpich & some other dedicated, brilliant minds & admire them for having the patience & fortitude to wade through this quagmire in the face of unyielding opposition.(

    Surely it must be a burden at times for all of them to try to figure this stuff out. I have faith Jeff Morley & his peers will & I hope he gets the support & recognition he unquestionably deserves.

    1. What exactly did Oswald pull off? He couldn’t hold a job. What jobs he had were bad and poorly paid.
      He couldn’t kill Walker.Despite the claim about him being a spy the KGB had no use for him, he felt harassed by the FBI and threatened an agent. To this day, even with all of the speculation there is no evidence that Oswald had any connection to the CIA aside from a possible subject of interest as a former defector.
      Sometimes fate puts the wrong person in the right place at the wrong time. It isn’t rational. It may not be logical. But it happens over and over again in history. Trying to explain away the accidents of history is an exercise in futility. Unfortunately the only successful thing Lee Oswald ever accomplished in his life occurred on Nov. 22, 1963

  12. Oswald was a high school dropout with a 9th grade education and a history of violence & anti-social behavior. He was also an avowed Marxist since the age of 16.
    Why in the world would anyone at the CIA etc. consider asking him to be an intelligence agent?
    And why would Oswald ever consider accepting such a job? His hero was Castro, but Castro was the enemy of the US government.

    It just doesn’t seem possible.

    1. Oddly enough, LHO’s tested IQ was the same as JFK’s. By the time Oswald returned from Russia he had learned enough Russian to qualify as a translator-interpreter. It’s possible that he was drawn into an anti-JFK plot because JFK was(obviously)an anti-Communist Cold Warrior.

    2. Nor does it make sense that Oswald was in a photo with David Ferrie, in the Civil Air Patrol, even though the official story had him not knowing Ferrie. Oswald was accepted into the USMC and found to have good language learning facilities. How he got into and out of the USSR during a time of heightened Cold War tensions so easily without some high level help also doesn’t make sense. Nor does his befriending Geo. DeMorenshild (sp?) who was an avowed White Russian sympathizer and hater of communism. A lot of the Oswald bio doesn’t make much sense to the average layperson until that person starts learning more about who the REAL Oswald was, and not settling for the fictional, or only “need to know” version of Oswald that the Warren Commission presented to the general public.

    3. There’s a difference between an intelligence asset and an intelligence officer.

      And who knows what Oswald believed considering he was in the company of many anti-Castro spooks a lot of the time.

  13. Reading this thread leaves one with the distinct impression that Oswald was “in play” in the fall of ’63 leading up to the assassination.

    1. Oswald was living apart from Marina and his kids in the weeks leading up to Kennedy’s assassination. He was living in different rooming houses and using aliases. He routinely visited Marina and the kids on the weekends. Oswald broke his routine the weekend before the assassination. His whereabouts are unaccounted for during that weekend. His behavior in the weeks and days leading up to the assassination seems to suggest that his decision to shoot the President wasn’t spontaneously planned after the parade route was published during the week of Kennedy’s arrival in Dallas.

      1. I have long thought that an important piece of Warren Commission testimony was that of the rooming house housekeeper Earlene Roberts. She testified that a black Dallas police car pulled up in front of the rooming house while Oswald was there changing clothes after the assassination, and twitted its horn twice as if signalling, then pulled away.

          1. You are incorrect. Earlene Roberts’ testimony to the Warren Commission shows she was questioned by two FBI agents on November 29, 1963 at which time she provided them the information about the police car that pulled up in front of the house and signalled while Oswald was changing. The agents filed reports on what she said. Ms. Roberts said she also told this information to a Secret Service agent shortly after the assassination.

          2. There is no evidence that she reported this story on the day of the assassination ; the FBI interview was nearly a week later.
            Even if it was true, you left out the part about her being frequently visited at home by an area policeman that she knew personally.

          3. Ms. Roberts testified that the police car that signalled while Oswald was changing was not the police car of the two patrolmen she knew. In fact the car was an all black police car, not a patrol car that was painted differently. The transcript indicates FBI agents went out to interview her on November 29 at which time she told this story. She says she also told a Secret Service agent. Some have noted that Oswald was living in a rooming house that had a connection to the Dallas police department given Ms. Roberts’ friendship with the two patrol officers.

  14. I wonder if Bill Simpich sees what some others see developing when the Oswald in Mexico drama played out: an avenue for a double hit; one to get a Presidential assassin out of Dallas, the other to get Oswald (or a replacement) in to Cuba to whack Castro?

    Could the incorrect descriptions of Oswald being shuffled back & forth between departments of the Agency be describing who was in the bullpen waiting for a ticket into Cuba to nail Fidel? Could Oswald possibly got wind that he was being used as a gateway into Cuba & possibly gone rogue as a result? If so, this would seem to indicate lee Oswald really was a Castro groupie after all.

    I’m trying to be patient & finish the book as it’ placed online but the question bag keep growing larger each step I travel into the world Mr. Simpich describes.

  15. And ain’t it strange that official CIA ‘forgot’ to mention Oswald FPFC involvement and NO scuffle in a memo on him just prior to the assassination but it’s pawn group DRE was pushing the story to media immediately AFTER the assassination.

  16. The thing to remember is just because Oswald was part of covert CIA operations DOESN’T mean he KNEW he was part of covert CIA operations. He may also have known but thought he was playing THEM. And the CIA knew that and played him. That’s the nature of intel operations.

    Good point above about Oswald or SOMEBODY looking for a visa to exit the country after the assassination. Did the public even know Kennedy was coming to Dallas yet? If not, it again points to conspiracy.

      1. Oswald knew that an attempt would be made on President Kennedy’s life, whether by himself or with the help of others.

        1. If that is true then he was at least an accessory to murder and as guilty of premeditated murder in the eyes of Texas law as the person who pulled the trigger.
          That statement is in conflict with virtually every conspiracy post that has been posted on this blog.
          It also impeaches every poster who claims innocence for Oswald.

          1. I think the claims are Oswald didn’t fire shots at JFK, and that the central argument is whether he was a lone nut assassin or designated patsy for a larger conspiracy. The weight of the evidence proves the latter.

          2. “That statement is in conflict with virtually every conspiracy post that has been posted on this blog.”

            How so?

            Oswald could have known that there would be an assassination attempt on JFK, and some of us who post haven’t ruled that out. He could also be innocent of everything, but I doubt that. I think he was “played” although he may have though he was a “player on a team who would be compensated for a bit part.” I think the evidence leans toward his not firing the rifle, but being set up to take all of the blame. I think the fist shot that hit Kennedy in the back, the one that never passed through, was fired from the DalTex bldg. The shot that blew his head off from the back, which is what SS Agent Hill said he saw, along with Parkland’s doctors and some nurses, was most likely fired from behind the fence up on the hill. I wouldn’t rule out at least one shot being fired from the TSBD, but not by Oswald. He was eating lunch when the motorcade came by, so we can rule him out. I’d put my speculative money on somebody like Mac Wallace up in the TSBD firing a shot. Oswald was almost certainly part of the plot. His role was that of sucker. I don’t think he’s completely innocent as you seem to say everyone here is saying.

          3. Photon, yours is an ironic reference to “Texas law” given that it did not apply in the assassination; otherwise, JFK’s body was removed illegally, and the investigation by the Warren Commission was fraudulent in that it was not headed by the Texas Attorney General.

          4. If Oswald knew about the assassination there is no way that he could be a patsy, particularly as he was armed and attempted to kill a policeman at the time of his arrest.
            Why would he be willing to get the death penalty for killing a cop if he was a patsy?

          5. Photon – perhaps Tippit tried to kill Oswald and Oswald shot him in self defense? Who knows? Perhaps Oswald knew of the plot and was trying to stop it, as some have claimed.

            Jeff, you seem to be implying for certain that Oswald was part of the plot, and I don’t think that is necessarily supported by what we know, though clearly, it is possible.

          6. Independent witnesses placed Oswald inside the Texas Theater around the time the first feature began, minutes before Tippit would be shot. Oswald moved about and sat directly beside several people for short periods. This is not the behaviour of an assassin on the run. When the Dallas police arrived, they had the lights turned on and they slowly converged on Oswald, who did not panic as one might expect if he was an escaped assassin or co-conspirator. There was a scuffle which later, in DPD accounts, became a story of Oswald pulling a gun on a policeman. Initial accounts, including a recreation for local TV news, showed that Oswald was violently tackled after he stood up and in the ensuing scuffle the gun emerged. Oswald was never charged with assault or attempted murder from the events in the theater.

          7. In all of the talk about Oswald, perhaps the most damning (and denied by Lone Nutters) is the Sylvia Odio story, which Posner tried mightily to discredit, but seems quite honest and believable, especially when you consider that Ms. Odio never gained anything valuable in terms of books sold etc. from her testimony. She says that she saw a ‘Leon Oswald’ prior to the assassination of JFK at around the time Lee H. Oswald was supposed to be down in Mexico City, demanding a passport and visa. Meanwhile, an impostor posing as Oswald was photographed by the embassy and a voice recording supposedly made by Oswald wasn’t his voice, which leads to the very likely possibility of a conspiracy to set Oswald up as a pro-Soviet, pro-Castro person trying to pre-arrange for an exit out of the USA. I also think that Oswald (the one captured and identified in Dallas on November 22 and not the balding heavyset man in the embassy photo claiming to be Oswald) was in on the plot, but not the way he thought he would be. When he found out that he was a patsy and not a team player, he panicked, but by then it was too late. The mistake that the Dallas cops seem to have made was to capture him alive, instead of kill him in the scuffle at the theatre. If they had killed him at the theatre or on the street when he left the TSBD, it would have been even easier to set him up posthumously as the lone assassin. Instead, he had to go through a messy interrogation and he had to go through a messy, on-camera killing by Jack Ruby, who also had ties to organized crime and through that to the CIA, which had a working relationship with organized crime going back to the days of the OSS, in Sicily during WW2. CIA probably doesn’t want people to connect these dots, and they certainly don’t like people messing around with Mexico City embassy records or with any remaining secret Oswald files. Finally, Sylvia Odio’s testimony has had to be slammed and denied by CIA, because if it showed to be true, it would destroy the remaining weak threads of the “Oswald went to Mexico City” sham.

          8. Jeffc, name one independent witness that placed Oswald inside the Texas Theatre at the time the first feature began.
            That statement flys in the face of virtually every documented fact related to the arrest of L .H.Oswald.
            What time did the first feature start?
            Unsubstantiated claims tend to impeach your argument, not support it.

          9. The first feature – “War Is Hell” – began at 1:20 PM. Oswald’s presence in the Texas Theater at that time was verified by Butch Burroughs, the theater’s concession attendant, and by Jack Davis, a patron who was one of the persons Oswald sat beside. Both Burroughs and Davis witnessed Oswald’s behaviour – whereby he moved about, sat directly beside people in an almost empty theater, and returned to the lobby several times.

          10. There is no evidence that Jack Davis was even in the Texas Theatre at the time of the shooting. Douglass’ source is repeated by everybody else as if it is gospel.
            Tell us this- Davis claimed that Oswald sat next to him shortly after the opening credits for the movie. #1. What previews, cartoons,etc came on before the movie started. Perhaps you don’t remember, but in 1963 in movie theaters many if not most films had short subjects preceding the main feature- it was often part of the package the theaters got with showing the film. Most films didn’t actually start until 8-10 minutes after the scheduled time.
            #2. How could Davis recognize anybody, particularly a stranger IN THE DARK?

  17. Tapping on cell phone here…I think David Morales or someone with comparable abilities staged the
    Impersonation of Oswald and the cuban consulate officer silvia duran, knowing it would be picked up by the wiretap
    system in mexico city, knowing it would be noticed because duran was a known quantity, knowing it would result in an investigation by angletons people
    and the Mexico City station, knowing that they would start a mole hunt b/c that was
    how angleton did things. Once this mole hunt about Oswald was memorialized in
    Memos it was prime blackmail material against the officers who created the two
    different and contradictory memos of oct 10, 1963, fifty years ago today.

    State secret won’t address this in detail till chapter five, but you can get
    A look at an earlier version of that chapter at oped news. Type into your browser:
    The twelve who built the Oswald legend: part 10.

    1. Bill Simpich: I’m pursuing the history of Air Force Intelligence, Air Force Security Service relating to the NSA and Major General John B. Ackerman. Is it possible that an operation initiated in the early ’50’s morphed into one that recruited R. Webster later in the decade?

      1. In response to Leslie’s question, I think that Air Force intelligence would have been interested in all Americans who went to the Soviet Union in that era in a general sense, and certainly someone like Webster who could be debriefed after his return with a report on Soviet capabilities. Webster was described as a “Project” and “Guide 223”, so there was a bigger operation but I doubt Webster was aware of it. I see that Ackerman was a deputy director of the NSA, you’re working with some great material.

  18. “Reverse everything” is how I remember one of my government professors instructing his class to analyze Lee Oswald’s actions to figure out who was pulling his strings & why. In other words, list everything you know he did (defect to USSR, suicide attempt, return to US with a Russian wife, Hands Off Cuba leaflets, Latin Listening Post interviews, real (or) impersonated attempts to return to USSR via Cuba, Sylvia Odio visit at her home, note given to Dallas FBI, Thursday visit to Ruth Pain & overnight stay, ride to work with Buell Frazier with package, flight following murder of JFK, Tippit shooting, arrest at Texas Theatre, ‘patsy’ remarks on TV, murder in basement of DPD Headquarters, burial).

    Reverse all of that & ask yourself what would the Soviet KGB response have been if Oswald (or a Russian native) did all that stuff in the USSR? What did the US do? Compare the two.

    As I remember, most of my classmates felt Lee Oswald suckered his way back to the US because he was married; authorities falsely & compassionately believing Oswald had indeed ‘matured’ & overlooking all the mysterious, unstable things we know he did. In other words, Marina was his ticket to ride back to the US & she could be used as an excuse to return to Russia because she still had living relatives there.

    What was the purpose of trying to get immediate visas to the Soviet Union & Cuba? To set up an escape out of the US for running from the JFK assassination or to slip someone NOT Oswald into Cuba to get close to Castro & kill him = Operation 40.

    Take your pick! Bill Simpich hasn’t gotten to it yet in State Secret but he states in the preface he believes the Mexico Oswald charade was the work of David Morales.

  19. I believe that the Oct 10 cable, and the later revelations that the DRE were sponsored by the CIA with George Joannides as the case officer all point to a CIA covert operation involving Oswald.

    The words of Jane Roman I feel are very telling:
    “I would think that there was definitely some operational reason to withhold …..when you see how many people signed off on this”
    “Indicative of a keen interest in Oswald held very closely on a need to know basis”

    When that cable was sent, the authors ( or some of them) must have known it was incorrect because they had the FBI reports of Oswalds fracas with the DRE. I think they were trying to keep a covert operation off the radar.

    The case for this becomes stronger when you consider the fact that the CIA sponsored the DRE and were in control of that group.

    It becomes stronger still when you consider that the CIA case officer for the DRE, George Joannides, was appointed as a cia liason officer to the HSCA without himself or the CIA declaring to the HSCA his role in 1963. That’s not negligence. It is, as George Blakey chief counsel to the HSCA put it, “wilful obstruction of justice”

    George Blakey also stated – “The committee focused, among other things … his (LHO)attempt to infiltrate the DRE. These were crucial issues in the WC investigation, they were crucial issues in the committee’s investigation. The agency knew it full well in 1964, the agency knew it full well in 1976-1979. Outrageously, the agency did not tell the WC or our committee that it had financial and other connections with the DRE, a group that Oswald had direct dealings with!”

  20. On November 23, 1963 J. Edgar Hoover told President Johnson in a recorded phone call that a review of the tapes and photographs from Mexico City showed that a second person had posed as Oswald in Mexico City. The tape of this Hoover-LBJ phone call was obliterated, but a typed transcript survived. Jeff’s item above together with the possible impersonation of Oswald appear to be at the heart of the matter.

  21. Jeff, you seem to be making the case for Oswald as the Lone Assassin and that the CIA and FBI have been covering up their failure to accurately predict his actions. At least with the FBI and Hosty we knew of embarrassing facts for decades.
    So how does that go to Oswald being a CIA agent or asset? How does being negligent ( like virtually every Federal and State agency tasked with security on Nov. 22, 1963) translate into setting up a conspiracy to murder someone? Doesn’t everything that you have uncovered about the CIA and the assassination point to the Agency blowing the assumption that an American Marxist and prior defector was a harmless individual who posed no threat? Doesn’t that by itself confirm that Oswald was the shooter?

    1. I’m not making the case for Oswald as the intellectual author of JFK’s death. That’s your interpretation of the October 10 cable, not mine.

      To me the cable is strong evidence that someone among the signatories to the cable or their bosses, Dick Helms and Jim Angleton, were running a covert operation involving Oswald. After all, they were all operations officers and that was their primary responsibility.

      Jane Roman acknowledged as much when I interviewed her. She said the cable indicated “a keen interest” in Oswald, held on a “need to know” basis. It is impossible to say more because the CIA has never plausibly explained the cable. The explanation given to the Warren Commission was fictional, that is to say a cover story or in plain terms a lie.

      This too lends credence to the notion that what was going on was an operation. The agency was protecting its sources and methods.

      So too does Angleton’s desire to “wait out the Commission” rather than explain the CIA cable traffic around November 22.

      So I would say the preponderance of evidence makes your explanation of an “innocent” mistake–“Oops we screwed up on Oswald. Sorry JFK died but nobody did anything wrong”–implausible.

        1. One reason is because they didn’t say anything in the cables about Oswald’s arrest in NO and his support of the FPCC. In fact, as Newman and others have shown, this info was all diverted to a separate operational file at CIA headquarters, further indicating that this aspect of Oswald was part of an ongoing CI operation.

          If there was just negligence, then why hasn’t the CIA come clean about Oswald? Their continued lying and coverup of this matter is very suspicious. There is no plausible reason for it now (if they are innocent in this matter), 20 years after the cold war ended.

          1. At this point, confidence in government institutions is at an all time low. Americans wouldn’t be shocked to learn about another government agency failure. So I don’t see how the CIA’s incompetence in tracking Oswald is worthy of a coverup today if that’s all there is.

      1. That seems a reasonable interpretation. The bit that I find problematic is the operational aspect. We’re yet to see anything conclusive to indicate that Oswald was working at the behest of the CIA, a group associated with the CIA or any of it’s operatives. On balance, I have to admit though that operational necessity may preclude the existence of such evidence.

        I agree that it seems likely that the CIA was protecting it’s sources, methods and operations. My guess is that they feared that exposing their knowledge of Oswald to the Warren Commission in any shape or form would open them up to questioning on a range of fronts. Angleton would not have wanted HTLINGUAL exposed to public scrutiny for example. Not to mention potentially being accused of a serious lapse in judgement or negligence.

        I also agree it’s difficult to support the idea of an “innocent” mistake. Oswald was known to these people, they had files on him, they were keeping track of him. They had some idea of his nature and character.

        This is the point at which it gets tricky in my view. There is a paper trail and then there’s the assassination. Joining the two is where it becomes difficult. I think at this time we also can’t discard the possibility that Oswald went rogue.

        1. Bit if Oswald was affiliated with US intelligence, and he went rogue, it still opens a pandora’s box of questions. Like, why would an American who had an intelligence legend as a socialist and whose legend sympathized with Cuba and the USSR, but who was really working for US intelligence, actually even want to assassinate the President? What was Oswald actually doing (or think he was doing) in Dallas? You could go on endlessly. If the CIA admits the things we pretty much know at this point, the whole case is re-opened in the eyes of the public, most likely.

        2. “I think at this time we also can’t discard the possibility that Oswald went rogue.”

          I agree. The possibility that whatever intelligence operation Oswald may have been part of may have also had nothing to do with the JFK assassination seems plausible and more worthy of a coverup than simple surveillance failures.

        3. D. Olmens: “Oswald went rogue,” and positioned himself in a building in Dallas that he could be certain provided an ideal vantage point from which to murder the president; he could also be certain, weeks in advance, that the parade route would pass in front of that vantage point; and his rogue nature supports the theory that he would be reckless enough to not have an escape route planned?

          1. When you start pondering whether Oswald “went rogue”, in my view the question of opportunism immediately arises. The motorcade drove directly past Oswald’s workplace. The parade route was in the papers beforehand. He owned a gun. The opportunity was there.

            Firstly, I really struggle to believe that any conspiracy, no matter how sophisticated, could have arranged for Oswald to work in the TSBD beforehand.

            Secondly, he worked in the building and had done for some time beforehand. It’s reasonable to assume he would have become familiar with the building’s floor plan.

            Thirdly, regarding an escape route. I’d question whether Oswald had really thought that far ahead.

            “Going rogue” doesn’t imply Oswald formulated his own masterplan. To me it suggests the opposite: opportunistic and instinctual. Which in turn suggests a carefully and meticulously planned escape route may not have been foremost in his mind.

      2. Why isn’t Tracy Barnes ever mentioned (assistant deputy director)??? He was cousin to Allen Dulles.

        Facts too disturbing for you?

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