Monday, January 13, 2014

She Let Him Stay

Madam Yekaterina Furtseva the first woman to serve on the Soviet Politburo.

Many of you are familiar with the story of Lee Oswald’s entry into the USSR in 1959.  First by steamer and then plane.  He attempted his defection upon arrival, and as with many elements of his life that event is an odd mix of the amateurish and the mysterious. Rebuffed at his first attempt to defect he takes the extreme measure of attempting suicide by slashing his wrists.  After that, Soviet authorities allow him to stay.  He is never granted Soviet citizenship but is given a good quality apartment and a job at a television factory.  Soon after, he meets Marina Prusakova and they are soon married.  

However, what is commonly left out of the story is who exactly decided to allow Oswald to stay after his suicide attempt.  According to Joseph J. Trento in his book, The Secret History of the CIA, it was the most powerful woman in the Soviet Union, Yekaterina Furtseva.  The first female member of the Politburo, she took a personal interest in this hapless American defector and gave the order to let him stay.  According to Soviet defector Yuri Nosenko, it was Furtseva that ordered the KGB not to recruit Oswald as a possible KGB mole.  

Yekaterina Furtseva was an interesting character.  She started out in local party politics as a youth and slowly rose up the ranks.  She was the former lover of Nikita Khrushchev and with his aid, was assured her a top spot in the Soviet hierarchy.  She was elected to the the Politburo, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, in 1956 and began serving in 1957.  She would later become the Soviet Minister of Culture and serve on the Presidium.  Over time she gained control over the KGB (Trento, p.230) and was allowed to handle case files.  From here, she took an interest in Lee Oswald.  

It’s probably the goal of many that support the Warren Report to try and portray Oswald as a loser, such a nobody, that important agencies would never take an interest in him. It is similar to the portrayal of his him as a loner.  What loner has a wife and kids? Notice the pictures of him in Minsk surrounded by friends.  As Jim Garrison once remarked, not only was Oswald was not the lone gunman, he was never alone either. But Oswald caught the interest of many.  Even his defection to the USSR launched a barrage of memos to almost every agency of the U.S. government and branches of the military.  A Marine defecting to the Other Side was a big deal in 1959.

Yekaterina Furtseva involvement is significant in that the Russians considered turning Oswald.  Defector Nosenko said Oswald was too much of an oddball for them to consider his use as an operative.  It is unknown what influenced Madam Furtseva’s decision to pass on Oswald’s possible operational use.  Evidently, letting him stay was enough for her, so long as the KGB kept close watch over him.
As stated earlier, many author’s ignore Oswald’s sudden good fortune  in being allowed to stay after the Soviet authorities were intent on deporting him.  Many never mention Yekaterina Furtseva’s intervention.  A recent book, The Interloper, Peter Savodnik's rather dull read regarding Oswald’s time in Russia, the author accounts for virtually nothing that was the final decision that allowed Oswald to stay.  Furtseva is never mentioned.  One would think this would be an important detail in the narrative! Savodnik is a cherry picker of the facts and omits other crucial details such as the false defector program to the Soviet Union ran out of Nag’s Head, North Carolina, and admitted to by Sen. Richard Schweiker.  Even Vince Bugliosi in his 1,600 page book, Reclaiming History says not a word about this.

In the end Lee Oswald was most likely an Agent Provocateur, playing many roles and fronting an identity of the misfit with delusions of grandeur.  Only by studying intelligence operations does one get a grasp of what is at hand here. Most of the purveyors of the Official Story never walk down that line of country.  After all, why would they want to complicate a nice, tight little story of theirs given to them by the government?


Book:  The Secret History of the CIA by Joseph J. Trento