“Is everything a conspiracy? No. Only the important stuff.”
Jeff Wells, Rigorous Intuition
People often lose sight of the irony of Lee Harvey Oswald, a man arrested in a theater, in essence spent his time on earth playing a form of real theater--Cold War Theater. Inspired by the TV show, I Led Three Lives, Oswald now plays it out in real life. He plays such roles as the malcontent, the loser, the loner, the friend, the Marine, the Marxist, the jerk, the family man, the Cold War spy, and finally the assassin, all rolled up in one. And very few of these roles are real. In this light we see the maze of a contradictory life coming together in one almost cohesive whole. It’s still disorderly, with mysteries forever abounding, but at least get a glimpse of what played out, those very things they don’t want us to ever know, as our history becomes one massive National Security Secret.
It starts out in the Marines when Oswald’s medical records indicate he was treated for contracting gonorrhea. As the record states, “In line of duty, not due to own misconduct.” The phrase itself is fascinating. Nothing more heroic as catching the clap in service to one’s country. Where did the doctor get the nerve to write such a thing? He was most likely ordered to as contracting an STD is normally grounds for dismissal from the service at that time. Apparently somebody needed him to do more than just operate a radar station and gave him a pass on these indiscretions. Like they did with his two court marshals.
More peculiarities abound because when he was being diagnosed and treated for gonorrhea. His health records state he was treated seven times in September and early October by the medical staff at Atsugi–only his Marine unit diary says he was not there, but on a ship steaming to Taiwan.
Some have speculated that he may have been flown back and forth but that is highly unfeasible. The records could have been falsified to provide cover for Oswald’s other activities. He has a pattern of taking cover jobs to go about doing other things. And these things leave trails–conflicting and often confusing trails. After all, there are false records in his SIG 201 file at the CIA. Numerous documents in other government agencies play Scrabble with his name in various variations of Oswald Lee, Harvey Oswald, and so on. He has a pattern of “fronting” which leads to doppelganger speculations.
Oswald’s Marine medical records also state that he is given a course of penicillin for tonsillitis. Yet his childhood medical records state he had his tonsils removed at the age of six. It may very well be cover for another infection of gonorrhea. If so, yet again, he’s given another pass and the doctor can’t write the same excuse with a straight face again without being called out.
At times Lee Oswald appears to be not so much a person but a Project.
Theater apparently plays well in Russia. Lee Oswald’s journey there, his years there, and his return home are but many segments of the play. While an involved subject I’ll mention only several instances here. One could write a whole book on the Russian defection phase of Oswald’s life.
First is Oswald’s dumping of his U.S. citizenship. He does so by writing an undated later renouncing it. Actually, to legally surrender U.S. citizenship one must fill out a “Certificate of Loss of Nationality.” Which Oswald never did. His passport files at the State Department would have been flagged. They were not. The handwritten letter meant nothing legally. It’s all for show. This way, should he decide to come back to the United States, or perhaps ordered to do so, he could. And he did. And ultimately, the main decider of who is legally a citizen is the Attorney General. Which of course, was Robert Kennedy.
When his mother asked him why he came back he replied, “Mother, not even Marina knows why I came back.” Well, that’s weird. I guess he couldn’t tell her he was ordered to come back by whoever his handlers were.
(Filling the Certificate of Loss of Nationality, established in 1907, was free till just recently; now the government charges around $400 because so many people started doing it to avoid paying taxes. Also, it is wise to arrange for a passport affiliated with another country should one try something like this.)
Secondly, Oswald vows to spill everything he knows about being a radar operator at the Atsugi airbase in Japan. This is the base where the U2 spy planes were flying out of, where Francis Gary Powers was stationed, and was basically a CIA run operation. It’s been debated about how much Oswald knew while stationed there and how high his security clearance was. In the long run it doesn’t matter–whatever he knew the military had to change out all of their codes upon the news of this landing. A safe move even if Oswald knew nothing.
However, admitting to releasing this information to an arch enemy at the height of the Cold War is a breach of National Security and something that could of gotten Oswald arrested; either at the American Embassy in Moscow or upon his return to the United States. Once again, nobody seems to care.
And when he gets back home they continue not to care when Oswald lands a job at Jagger-Chiles-Stovall, a photography and mapping company that specialized in classified government and military work. Peculiar to the outsider of such things but most likely not if you are a dangle out fronting.
Oswald’s Cold War theater hits its stride in the summer of 1963. By this time the Kennedy administration had survived the Bay of Pigs fiasco in 1961 and the 1962 stand-down with the Soviets over the missiles in Cuba. Lee Oswald has begun his main acting job in the town of his birth. He takes a job at the Reily Coffee Company. According to Judyth Baker, former co-worker, alleged lover and author of Me and Lee, Oswald’s job at the Reily Coffee Company was a cover, with her faking his time cards with the owner’s consent so Lee cold run “ops.” The time cards are in reprinted in her book with her “J” on them. Sounds a bit of a stretch, but Hunter Leake, the second highest CIA official in the New Orleans station gave an interview in the early 1980’s where he said he hired Oswald out as a low level currier and that his presence in New Orleans in the summer of 1963 was at the behest of the CIA. Leake further states that after the assassination he was ordered to collect all files on Oswald and personally deliver them to Langley. The cover up was on.
The Fair Play for Cuba Committee drama was the apex of Oswald’s activities durning this period. Using his alias, Alek Hidell, Oswald becomes the one-man branch of the outfit. Just about everything going on with this is phony. He’s seen all over the place handing out pamphlets, some with addresses of people such as Guy Bannister, staunch anti-communist, and some with no addresses at all. No fellow travelers are going to be able to get in touch with him by doing this. He contacts Carlos Bringuier, of the DRE, the Cuban anti-Castro organization (financed and directed by the CIA) and offers his services as a former Marine to help them in their training. He gets rebuffed. Later, he mets up with Bringuier and two other Cubans (all three, being FBI informants) and engages in his famous street scuffle on Canal Street which gets him arrested with press coverage to establish his public credentials of being a communist. This will be blazed to the world after the assassination. His trip to the DRE appears to be a fishing expedition; after all, what pro-Castro guy would want to help out the very group that is out to overthrow his man? To add to the fakery he writes a letter to the FPCC headquarters in New York relating the incident. However, the letter is postmarked 5 days before altercation takes place. Oops! Nothing like having your own secret agent man with hidden psychic powers!
Later, Oswald will appear on a radio debate program, Conversation Carte Blanche, with Carlos Bringuier, Bill Stuckey and Edward Butler (all three men are affiliated with the government in some capacity). Bringuier gave Oswald a hard time about his years in Russia and his communist background. In a major “oops” moment he blurted out the following: “I was under the protection of the....that is to say, I was was not under the protection of the American government.” In the transcript of this in the Warren Commission evidence volumes, the part above in bold is edited out. It’s only in listening to the original recording can this be heard.
Sometimes the truth outs. Oswald’s misspoken comment and quick turn-around is reminiscent of Secretary of Defense William Rumsfeld’s blurting out at a press conference that indeed, the plane that crashed in Shanksburg was shot down. It’s a quick peek behind the curtain. Was it a Freudian slip or was it real?
The Long Road Beyond
There are many more instances of Lee Oswald being an actor, albeit a small one on a much larger stage in the 1960s and on two continents. From Russia, to New Orleans, to the mysterious trip to Mexico, Oswald’s seemingly haphazard life does feature hints of direction. His actions in the summer of 1963, while appearing devoid of purpose and at times batty, is the window dressing. In his things after the assassination was found a rough draft of a speech. It’s decidedly anti-communist. A curious find for someone so ideologically bent against capitalism and the free enterprise system. Is that crudely drafted speech a glimpse of the real man behind the curtain?
It’s all a collection of footprints in the sand. Follow the trail.
Bugliosi, Vincent, Reclaiming History; Mars, Jim, Crossfire; Baker, Judyth, Me & Lee; Armstrong, John, Harvey and Lee; Garrison, James, On the Trail of the Assassins