A note from Professor David Kaiser, diplomatic historian and author of a fine JFK book, The Road to Dallas.
Kaiser’s account of Lee Oswald’s activism on behalf of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee in New Orleans is key to understanding the JFK story.
KAISER: “I wrote in The Road to Dallas that Oswald’s whole FPCC operation was evidently part of the COINTELPRO operation the FBI was running against that organization. I also said, though, that that did not mean he was working directly for the FBI, which frequently subcontracted COINTELPRO to right wing groups.
“Oswald’s operation, it seems to me, had two goals: 1) to identify pro-Castro activists in New Orleans (this was a failure, he never smoked out anyone), and 2) to discredit the FPCC as a Communist front (which is what the radio debate did.)
“I do think that the New Orleans’ FBI reaction to Oswald’s arrest, etc., showed that they knew the whole FPCC chapter was fake. They made no real attempt to run it down–whereas that very same summer, when a chapter of SANE, I believe, a ban-the-bomb group, was formed in New Orleans, they were all over it. What is even more interesting, to me, is that none of the reports that the FBI did file on Oswald and the FPCC actually said, there wasn’t any chapter. He was acting on his own, period.”
Tomorrow: A reader asks “Does this not make LHO a CIA asset?”
James Angleton’s real life is the most intriguing, moving, and at time shocking spy story in American history. In The Ghost, Jefferson Morley has capture the man in all of his brilliant and sometimes delusional eccentricity. A must read’ for anyone who wants to understand just how strange and secretive the CIA was at the height of the Cold War.
–David Ignatius, columnist for the Washington Post and author of The Director.