“It would have been a blessing for us if he had used it, say, in the sense that the assassination might not have taken place, if he had taken the passport and gone to the China as he may have contemplated.”
Allen Dulles, Volume 5, page 318.
Researcher Jones Harris pointed out to me the above quote by Allen Dulles. Needless to say, Dulles’ statement to Secret Service agent Chayes at the Warren Commission hearings in regards to Lee Oswald’s passport and Oswald thinking of traveling to China is so far out of left field, one has a hard time sussing it out. What was he referring to exactly? Nowhere in any testimony or files released at the time, or since, has it been logged that Oswald had a mission to get to China. He had no background in China studies or the languages. Of course he started his Marine career in Asia, first in the Japan and for while in Taiwan. In 1963, during his mysterious and ill-fated trip to Mexico City, his stated purpose was in returning to the Soviet Union, not China. Dulles may have been thinking out loud regarding operations that were of a concern to him as Director of the CIA and simply interjected Oswald into them. Who knows?
Will history records that the Kennedy admin has it hands full with the Soviet Union, Cuba, and Vietnam, China was lurking behind the scenes. The main concern was the Chinese nuclear plants. Neither the U.S. nor the Soviets wanted China to have nuclear weapons. The idea was floated of a Russian/American alliance to take them out but nothing ever came of that, since the Russians did not like the idea of harming a fellow communist state. The Soviets however, would not supply China with the technology to produce nukes. China was on its own but did succeed in setting off its first nuclear detention in October of 1964.
While the U2 spying flights over the Soviet Union are well known, with one pilot, Francis Gary Powers being shot down, captured and put on public trial, there were many flights also conducted over the Chinese mainland throughout the 1950's and 1960's by CIA trained Chinese pilots. Most were flown out of Taiwan. We know of at least 5 U2's shot down over China. There may have been more.
Here is the list:
September 9, 1962. Pilot, Chen Huai-sheng. Killed.
November 1, 1963. Pilot, Yeh Chang-di. Captured.
July 7, 1964. Pilot, Lee Nan-ping. Killed.
January 10, 1965. Pilot, Chang Li-yi. Captured.
September 8, 1967. Pilot, Huang Jung-Bei. Killed.
In a fascinating article translated from a Chinese news web site (link below), a detailed and largely hidden history emerges from this era of U2 flights over China. The U2 squadron for China surveillance was based in Taiwan was called the Black Cats. At first, the Chinese found it impossible to target and shoot down U2s. But in time they learned there was an 18 second delay after the target was "painted." They learned to fire their missiles under the 18 second window.
Reconnaissance flights continued until 1972 when president Richard Nixon visited China and halted the flights. The Black Cats flew a total of 102 missions when they were officially disbanded in the spring of 1974.
China and it's attempts to enter the nuclear club was of concern at the highest levels of government and military. When president Kennedy was shown the plan for an all out nuclear strike, China was targeted as well. Kennedy wanted to know why since at the time they had no active nuclear weapons and was told it was part of the overall strategic plan. The generals knew that China was developing weapons.
So what did Lee Oswald have with any of this? The idea that Oswald was contemplating going to China is so far out there as to hamper proper analysis; unless he was an operative with lots of missions on the schedule and Dulles got them mixed up.
Is there something greater going on here? There is always something greater going on here! Needless to say, it’s a mystery and one collecting dust in the Warren Commission‘s 26 volumes.
The Lost Black Cats
Profile of Power: Presdient Kennedy by Richard Reeves
The Missing Chapter by Jack R. Swike
The Meaning of the Best Man by Stewart Alsop, Saturday Evening Post, 9/29/63