Oswald’s coffin: Robert Oswald’s lawsuit illuminates the buried truths of the JFK story

Oswald's Coffin
Where the accused assassin was laid to rest.

The global coverage of the sad story of Lee Harvey Oswald’s brother suing Baumgardner funeral home for his brother’s coffin demonstrates the enduring public interest in the smallest details of the JFK story.

While custodians of the conventional wisdom in the U.S. media turn up their noses at such fare, the UK’s Daily Mail uses the story to float the notion that Oswald was “in fact a covert U.S. intelligence agent,” a proposition for which there is a good deal of circumstantial evidence.

Oswald was certainly of special interest to the CIA’s Counterintelligence Staff from the day he defected to the Soviet Union in October 1959, to the day he died November 24, 1963. On November 2, 1959, Sam Papich of the FBI and Jane Roman of the CIA discussed his story on the phone. The CIA opened its first file on Oswald within a month. The oft-heard argument that Oswald would not have been of interest to the CIA because of his character is demonstrably false.

The CIA paid close attention from that day forth.

For the next four years, all intelligence on Oswald collected by the State Department, FBI, or CIA went into Oswald’s file, which was controlled by the staff of Counterintelligence Chief James Angleton.

In this 1995 Washington Post story I interviewed Jane Roman. During the interview, which was taped, she conceded that certain senior CIA officers had a “keen interest” in Oswald “held on a need to know basis” in October 1963, six weeks before JFK was killed.

In 1964, Angleton concealed the nature of his interest in Oswald from the Warren Commission. At the same time, he ordered harsh interrogation techniques for Soviet defector Yuri Nosenko  who had knowledge of the Soviet files on the accused assassin. More than 2,000 pages of records related to Nosenko’s interrogation remain secret.

In 1978 undercover officer George Joannides concealed the nature of the CIA’s interest in Oswald from the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA). Thirty years later, three former HSCA investigators are suing the CIA to find out why.






17 thoughts on “Oswald’s coffin: Robert Oswald’s lawsuit illuminates the buried truths of the JFK story”

  1. The CIA, the FBI, the Secret Service, Naval Intelligence, and every officially sanctioned investigation into JFK have failed to properly investigate or disclose evidence. The failure to carry out due process has lasted over 50 long years. It is time to turn over information to civil based investigators, that will guarantee due process, in the investigation of the assassination of the President of the United States of America, in 1963. The abuse of power, perpetuated treachery, and institutional cover ups need to end.

  2. Clarence Carlson

    Whatever side of any argument about the assassination one wishes to take these demonstrable facts remain: the “lone nut” Oswald was indeed of interest to the American intelligence apparatus (CIA conter intel no less along with others) and the CIA obstructed subsequent investigations concerning the death of JFK. The question I ask myself is: what is it they don’t want us to know 50+ years later?

    1. Exactly.

      And just as ridiculous Cuba policy has finally been overturned after 50 years, let’s overturn the equally ridiculous policy regarding the holding of secret JFK assassination-related files at CIA. It’s clearly time to put everything out in the sunshine and let the public see the files.

  3. Would it still be possible to check for viable DNA in the casket? It could possibly resolve the Harvey and Lee question……

  4. Why no global coverage of the fact that Robert Oswald said that if his brother didn’t practice with that rifle and scope in the weeks and months before the assassination then he did not take the shots that killed JFK?
    BIll Kelly

    1. Bill, you bring up a really good point. Thanks for sharing it here. Still Robert was very broken hearted. He said his brother seemed very unconcerned and that his eyes were blank like Orphan Annie when he visited him in jail. Robert came out openly reminding everyone that Lee was his kid brother and if he, Robert, thought Lee might be innocent, he would be doing everything possible to prove it. He knew his brother and even had some personal reasons for believing he was guilty. The issues surrounding the assassination seem to be getting more and more complicated and the conspiracy t

      1. I meant to finish my sentence by saying that even the conspiracy theories aren’t in agreement. It seems to be never ending. It probably would help if the CIA released the documents hut what if it only led to more confusion?

  5. I’ve heard Jim Marrs say that he has reason to believe that Robert Oswald was in the CIA. What evidence is there to support that?

  6. Why should we believe the CIA anyway regarding Oswald’s records? They won’t release all the records, and they ask that we just trust them. Do they think we’re a bunch of gullible idiots?

      1. wrong again photon, i’m sure those families would prefer the cia focused on foreign intelligence matters per their charter as opposed to domestic coups. if so, perhaps their children would still be alive

      2. The CIA helped to fund the Mujahadeen during their war against the USSR between 1979 and 1989. The offspring of aforesaid Jihadis are the contemporary Taleban in both Afghanistan and Pakistan. The CIA’s meddling in this instance was a classic case of the myopic and hubristic leadership (lacking any wider strategic vision) which has characterised the Agency since its inception. For all its resources and massive funding it failed to prevent the 9/11 attacks (organised by one of the Agency’s anti-Soviet proxies during the Afghan War, Osama Bin Laden) on the U.S. homeland. Hardly a success story.

        1. Besides, the CIA led drone attacks in Pakistan have left a bitter legacy and a deep resentment against the USA which has fanned the flames of Islamic militancy. It is fanciful at the very least and deeply troubling at worst to suggest that somehow the CIA’s continued existence in its present form and with its unshackled remit is a safety mechanism against the type of slaughter that took place in Peshawar. The evidence is simply not there to shore up such a contention. Neither should pious acclamations, as to the need for increased security in the light of such atrocities, obviate the need for a publicly funded body such as the CIA to be scrutinised and evaluated on their track record and held to account.

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