Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Lee Oswald, International Man of Mystery

Much has been written over the years about the possibility of Lee H. Oswald being an intelligence operative. Oswald’s mother Marguerite believed her son to be an agent and stated so many times in her Warren Commission testimony. The CIA and other agencies of the Federal government denied hiring Oswald for any type of employment. But down through the years, declassified documents and witness testimony has come forth to show that Lee Oswald could very well possibly have been an agent. It certainly paints a different picture than what we were originally told. In fact, the evidence, though piecemeal, is quite substantial. He was most likely a low level operative. Oswald as “secret agent” helps fill in some of the mysterious and inexplicable events of his life. Let us take a look at what we know.

Marine Health Records
It’s been widely reported that Oswald’s health records document his contracting gonorrhea “in the line of duty” and “not of his own fault.” This makes no sense at all unless Oswald was involved with a covert operation, this being under the Office of Naval Intelligence. At this time, a serviceman found to be infected with a sexually transmitted disease was grounds for immediate dismissal from the military. Yet, Oswald slides by, just as he does when he is court-martialed twice and still remains in the Marines.

Oswald was known to frequent a “gentlemen’s club” in Tokyo when on leave. His fellow marines were surprised that he could afford to go there, as they couldn’t. It was known as an exclusive club and quite expensive. There was a geisha there that was allegedly a KGB agent. Perhaps the source of Oswald’s infection? We’ll never know for certain, but it makes more sense than the official explanation contained in Oswald’s medical records.

Years in Russia
Much has been written on Oswald’s entry into the Soviet Union at the height of the Cold War. John Newman’s Oswald and the CIA is a good book to cover that period in detail, as I don’t have the space here to plod through it all. Probably the most important point to examine is the CIA’s false defector program, headed by chief of counter intelligence, James Angleton, which was in operation at this time. Oswald, ever portrayed as a loser, never has any problems financing his trip to the Soviet Union, getting passports and visas in record time, obtains a job a radio plant, acquires a monthly stipend from the Red Cross, marries a Russian woman within a month of meeting her, and has no trouble in getting a loan from the State Department for his return to the USA. All of this, from a man that has proven himself to be as anti-American and unpatriotic as a person could be in this highly charged time. Meanwhile, his wife gets permission to leave with a foreign defector (within ten days—unheard of!), and he gets his new passport in 24 hours and off they go.

When his mother Marguerite asks him why did he return, Oswald replies, “…not even Marina knows why I returned.” Why the big secret? Why can’t you tell your wife, or your family about such a big turnaround of events such as this? Maybe to cover for his operations there?

One item of note is the stamping of Lee and Marina’s passports. Since they are traveling together their passports should confirm identical stamps. Marina says they were never separated during their long train journey to Rotterdam to board the ship. However, there is a discrepancy. When they crossed the East German border to the west, Marina’s passport is stamped at the Helmstedt crossing—Lee’s is not. His passport is not stamped till they get to the Belgium border crossing at Bentheim/Oldenzaal. Could he have been detained for questioning at this point? Other than a bureaucratic screw-up, there is no other explanation other than Oswald being held aside and debriefed. Especially since the FBI and CIA shown so little interest in chatting with him upon his return stateside. Perhaps that is because he was debriefed in west Berlin.

The Agents That Talked
Over the years several CIA agents have come forward with interesting revelations on Lee Oswald and his interaction with the Agency. Many others have given testimony in regards to Oswald to various investigations (Church Committee, HSCA, etc.) and their statements remain classified.

Some have broken the silence. One was Hunter Leake, formerly second in command at the CIA station in New Orleans. He gave an interview 1981 to historian Michael Kurtz, professor at Southeastern Louisiana University. In the interview he candidly stated that he had hired Oswald out as a low-level currier. Leake paid Oswald in cash for his efforts. Leake also said that Oswald moved to New Orleans in April of 1963 on behest of the CIA to work for them there. After the assassination, Leake reports he was ordered by the Agency to deliver all files on Oswald personally to the CIA headquarters at Langley, Virginia. And there, in the belly of the Beast, goes the evidence.

Former CIA officer Joan Roman, who worked directly under counter intelligence chief James Angleton, admitted to author Jeff Morley in 1994 that the CIA had an “keen interest” in regards to Oswald that was held in a “need to know basis.” She later regretted making the statement but never recanted it. An October 10, 1963 cable, now declassified shows there was a great interest in Oswald and his activities before the assassination. This information was never given to any of the investigations that have been conducted. So deep was the need to know that the station chief in Mexico City, Winston Scott, was kept in the dark about many of Oswald’s activities. So, a keen interest in Oswald but to what end? For his operational work? Maybe so. James Angleton was known to run operations under the nose of his station chiefs, leaving them in the dark. Jeff Morley, author of Our Man in Mexico, stated in an interview (www.maryferrell.org) that the reason for an interest in Oswald, and the deceptive nature of not telling all to Win Scott, belies an Agency use of Oswald for operations.

Winston Scott keep copies of everything in home safe that were later acquired personally by James Angleton. They stayed in the belly of the Beast till they were destroyed by written order in 1986. This is the destruction of material evidence in a murder investigation. Classic CIA cover-up.

Former CIA accountant James B. Wilcott gave his testimony in a secret session of the HSCA in 1978. It was kept classified for over 20 years till a FOIA request pried it out of the bowels of the Beast. In his testimony, under oath, Wilcott claimed that his role was furnishing money to Case Officers for reimbursement to their assets in the field. After the assassination of Kennedy, he learned from a Case Officer (name by this time forgotten) that Oswald was a recipient of payments. Critics have cited other witness testimony to discredit Wilcott’s claims but he did pass a lie detector test in regards to his statements. As one researcher once said, if he is lying then where is the perjury indictment? Also, why was the testimony taken in secret and held classified for so long, if not important? I believe Wilcott’s testimony is correct and collaborates the interview Hunter Leake gave in 1980. Perhaps Leake was the agent Wilcott was distributing cash to?

Antonio Veciana, head of anti Castro group, Alpha 66 had a meeting in Dallas in 1963 with his CIA handler Maurice Bishop (alias for David Philips). As he was walking up to meet Bishop/Philips he noticed his handler was talking to a young, pale, skinny young man. He took careful note of the young man’s looks as his CIA handler had taught him to do. Antonio Veciana hung around for a while till the conversation was over. Only then did he approach the CIA officer. Veciana conducted his business with Bishop/Philips and then left Dallas, never asking about the young man he had seen. Later, as the news flashed across the world that President Kennedy had been shot and a suspect had been arrested, Veciana instantly recognized the suspect. He was the same young man he had seen talking to his CIA officer in Dallas. Veciana then realized how deep he was in the matrix.

Finally, years later, David Philips would write an outline for a novel with Lee Oswald (named) as one of the main characters. It’s allegedly autobiographical with a CIA agent character as Philips. In the outline he states that Oswald had two handlers and was being groomed for an assassination mission against Castro. The Philips character can’t understand why Oswald shot Kennedy, as if this is an operation gone badly, forever a mystery to even those “in the know.” Of course it may all be very self-serving too—the words of a man with a guilty conscience. A man who spent the last years of his life dodging the question of what really happened on that day in Dealey Plaza in November 22, 1963.

The main argument of the Warren Commission apologists is that no government agency would ever be dumb enough to hire somebody Lee Oswald for espionage work. Well, they were dumb enough to hire out the Mob to kill Castro; weirdoes like David Ferrie; goofs like Frank Sturgess (of Watergate break-in fame). With that understanding, it seems perfectly plausible they would hire somebody like Oswald to do freelance work. I’ve read that the CIA likes to hire fringe types or people with criminal backgrounds so in the advent they are uncovered the CIA can disavow ever dealing with such a person. Oswald was just that type of person, with his two court-marshals, snarky personality, inability to hold down a job, and his arrest record in New Orleans.

All roads lead to Lee H. Oswald. If they didn’t, there wouldn’t be so much covering up, destruction of evidence, files still classified, lying, and obstruction. We only have threads. But over time, collect enough threads and suit shall ye make.

Sources: Google, www.joanmellen.com, www.ourmaninmexico.com, www.history-matters.com, www.maryferrell.org. Books: Our Man in Mexico, Oswald and the CIA, Farewell to Justice, Reclaiming History