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Bill Simpich

The Office that Spied on Its Own Spies

13 posts in this topic

My article below recently got a good review in Lobster. Here's the review and the

article. I would really appreciate feedback from Education Forum members, so I can

build on this work further. This was written just before some of us went to

lobby in DC in March. The endnotes provide the sources. There's a hyperlinked

version at http://www.opednews.com/articles/1/THE-JFK-CASE--THE-OFFICE-by-Bill-Simpich-100310-266.html

I'd appreciate it if you can give me your best take. -- Bill Simpich

Lee Harvey Oswald and the CIA

‘The JFK Case; the Office that Spied on its Own Spies’ by Bill

Simpich is a very interesting and important article based on

recent documents, which shows conclusively, from official

paper, that LHO was working for the CIA. With some modest

extensions, Simpich shows that LHO was part of operations

which were trying (a) get defectors into the USSR and (B)

detect ‘moles’ within the CIA. In other words, LHO was

working for Angleton’s counter intelligence end of the Agency.

This explains why so much effort was made to cover-up the

CIA’s links with Oswald – for example the hanky-panky in

Mexico City involving the Soviet embassy. It presumably also

explains why Angleton was made the Agency’s official liaison

with the Warren Commission: he could make sure that none of

his section’s operations were exposed.

THE OFFICE THAT SPIED ON ITS OWN SPIES

Memos released in full show that Lee Harvey Oswald was used in espionage aimed at the Soviets during 1959 and 1963. On both occasions, Oswald was seeking an instant visa in order to enter a Communist country.

Documents recently released in full reveal that alleged assassin Lee Harvey Oswald was wittingly or unwittingly used in CIA spying activities referred to as LCIMPROVE during the two months before John F. Kennedy was killed. Until the last few years, these documents only existed in less-than-complete form.

LCIMPROVE is defined in two separate CIA documents as "Counter-espionage involving Soviet intelligence services worldwide". The request for the definition of LCIMPROVE by government staffers to the CIA is here (see item #2) The CIA's response is here.

Counter-espionage involves actions taken to detect and counteract espionage. Several CIA memos with the subject line "LCIMPROVE" were written during the two periods of Oswald's life when he was trying to instantly obtain a visa to enter a communist nation.

The LCIMPROVE memos in 1959 dramatically describe the time when Oswald was seeking to defect to the Soviet Union. These memos are also linked to the REDCAP program to induce Soviets and Eastern Europeans to defect to the West.

These REDCAP/LCIMPROVE memos are filled with wild yarns about sex-and-alcohol parties involving Americans and Soviets together in Helsinki. It was days of wine and roses, with each side testing the other. American vice consul William Costille was enticing the Soviet consul Gregory Golub to defect. By all appearances, Soviet consul Golub just wanted to let the good times roll.

Soviet consul Golub was warmed by the camaraderie. Helsinki became the only place in the Soviet borderlands where a foreigner could get a visa in a matter of minutes if you "looked all right". This change in policy came down shortly before Oswald needed to cross the Soviet border from Helsinki.

Oswald was still a Marine when he came to Helsinki. Oswald would probably never have received permission from Soviet authorities in Moscow to enter the USSR. The instant visa from Golub is what made it possible for Oswald to successfully defect to the Soviet Union during October 1959. He married a Soviet woman and returned with his new family to the United States in 1962.

LCIMPROVE documents from late 1963 report on Oswald's quest to get instant visas to visit Cuba and the USSR. A great deal of evidence indicates that Oswald was impersonated in Mexico City. All references to Oswald in Mexico City are based on what is contained in the CIA reports. I am not assuming that these stories about Oswald are true.

The CIA reports on Oswald's visits to the Soviet and Cuban consulates in Mexico City to obtain these visas less than two months before the JFK assassination. Oswald showed up with his visa application at the Cuban consulate on a Friday all fired up to leave for Cuba the following Monday. This was during a time when Mexico City was an "intelligence battlefield" for both sides in the Cold War.

On the lighter side, Oswald was behaving like a clown. He was demanding an instant travel visa to go to Cuba. The American government ban on Cuban travel had begun two years earlier in 1961. Mexico City was the only place in Mexico that an American had any chance to get into Cuba at all. The Cubans were only providing travel visas during time to American travelers when a way station was needed while en route to one's ultimate destination.

In this case, Oswald hadn't even applied for a Soviet visa. Obtaining a visa from the Soviets was going to take four months. Oswald was doing one of the things he was known at being best at - being an impossible person.

Oswald had succeeded in making himself the talk of the town on Embassy Row in Mexico City. Tongues were wagging inside the Cuban consulate at Oswald's rash and rude manners as he tried to convince the employees into giving him a visa to leave for Cuba the following Monday. His flat-out lie to them about having a Soviet visa added more fuel to the fire.

The buzzing of the consulate employees was picked up by CIA wiretaps throughout the building and on every telephone. As a bonus, such an event inevitably worsened relations between Cuba and Oswald's Fair Play for Cuba Committee during a time when a documented CIA-FBI plan to discredit the FPCC was nearing fruition.

The more hidden aspects involved the shadowboxing between the Americans and the Soviets. For years, there was a practice in intelligence circles of slightly altering items in Oswald's biography and using these items as "marked cards" as they passed information back and forth with each other. If an unauthorized person had access to a particular spelling of a name, for example, that "marked card" indicated that there had been a leak. A leaker might be a defector.

The "marked card" technique has been around for a long time. Peter Wright in Spycatcher refers to this method as a "barium meal". Tom Clancy in Patriot Games calls this trick a "canary trap". Scott mentions that the "marked card" was one of the methods used to catch the infamous CIA mole Aldrich Ames during the 1990s. The marked card trick didn't work because Ames himself was the chief of the Soviet Russia counterintelligence staff.

Thus, Oswald was wittingly or unwittingly involved in a molehunt aimed at American intelligence officers. Ann Egerter was the main mover in this effort. Egerter was with the Counter-Intelligence Special Investigations Group, or CI/SIG. For years, the CIA and other agencies had been using "marked cards" as a method to see if the CIA itself was being infiltrated by Soviet or Cuban agents. Egerter referred to her group as the "office that spied on spies".

At the same time, REDCAP memos surfaced during the summer of 1963 directed at Kostikov and other Soviet Embassy employees. As mentioned above, REDCAP was a CIA program that encouraged Soviet defections. Soviet vice consul Valeriy Kostikov was the subject of a REDCAP memo written the same day that Oswald first visited the Soviet embassy. The CIA may have wanted to see if Oswald could effectively test the emotional makeup of Soviet vice consul Valeriy Kostikov or another embassy employee. Oswald was known to be a provocateur, in the classical sense of the word. He knew how to get an argument going, as well as how to spur a discussion that might reveal a vulnerability that Kostikov or another embassy employee.

The story is that Oswald came to the Soviet Embassy in late September, buttonholed Kostikov, threw a loaded revolver down on the table, and burst into tears. The purpose of this drama may have simply been to get Kostikov and the other consuls to let down their guard and talk.

My colleagues and I intend to bring this evidence to the House Oversight Committee between March 14-20, as part of the nationwide "Sunshine Week" to build dialogue about the importance of open government and freedom of information. Congressman Ed Towns of Brooklyn is the chair of this committee. On Tuesday, March 16, we will take it to the halls of Congress to release the many documents still in the vaults and for other documents to be released in full. Aging witnesses and informants can be interviewed while it's still possible to get their statements.

We also have strong evidence of twelve different "handlers" directing Oswald for the four years prior to the assassination that will be provided in a series of forthcoming articles. We ask you to sign our petition and take action to call on Cong. Ed Towns and the House Oversight Committee during Sunshine Week to get them to do the right thing. Critical documents about American history and contemporary issues should be declassified and released to the American people. Here's our petition.

Just about all the sources can be viewed in the endnotes, below.

Paper trails were created in Mexico City to discredit Oswald by linking him with the Fair Play for Cuba Committee and the KGB

Oswald had already obtained a new passport back in June of 1963, stating in his application that he planned to go to the Soviet Union and elsewhere by December. Oswald had one child and his wife Marina was due to have another in October. There were marital difficulties, but Oswald was devoted to his young child and looking forward to the next one. The family depended on his income for their day-to-day needs. All indications indicate that he was not truly serious in his attempt to return to the Soviet Union.

Two goals were set for Oswald to meet and a third goal for his handlers. There is much evidence that Oswald was impersonated some or all of the time in Mexico City, and I'm not going to try to resolve that discussion here. When I discuss Oswald here, I'm talking about Oswald and anyone else who may have impersonated him.

The first goal was for Oswald to leave a paper trail expanding his legend as a pro-Castro activist with the Fair Play for Cuba Committee (FPCC). There was a CIA-FBI plan to use deception to discredit the FPCC, and the odds were good that Oswald would be used in some way. Oswald knew how to empty a room, and he did that to good effect at the Cuban embassy when he didn't get his instant visa. The reactions of the annoyed employees was just what the wiretappers wanted.

Oswald had posed as an FPCC organizer in New Orleans that summer, although he never recruited any followers or did anything effective other than reveal himself over public airwaves as a defector returned from the Soviet Union. Direct travel from the United States to Cuba had been banned since 1961. He had to enter Cuba through a third country. The only place that could be done in 1963 was through Mexico City.

The second goal was to put Oswald and Soviet vice consul Valeriy Kostikov in the same room in Mexico City and test Kostikov in some way, or at least to make a paper trail showing that the two men had spent as much time together as possible. The FBI had floated a rumor to CIA counterintelligence chief James Angleton that the consular officer was not only KGB, but also a member of Department 13 (the bureau of assassination and sabotage), which Angleton had determined in June 1963 to be still unproven.

Although the REDCAP program was most successful among Eastern Europeans, REDCAP was a worldwide program designed to induce Soviet defections. There were a number of REDCAP memos discussing the Mexico City Soviet station during this era. It's clear that there was a plan to see if any Soviet consuls were vulnerable to recruitment for defection, or to at least divide and conquer within their ranks by making it look like someone was toying with the idea. These REDCAP memos continued to float around well after the JFK assassination.

The handlers Ann Egerter and David Phillips had the responsibility to meet the third goal, which was the other side of the REDCAP equation. Was everyone reliable inside the CIA itself? Get different items of information about Oswald spread out between four different intelligence agencies. Give the better dope to the locals so they'll work with you again. Give the bad dope to the drones at headquarters, which is where the mole might be lurking. Then sit back and see if anything leaks. This was all part of the eternal search for possible enemy penetrators of the CIA.

During the autumn of 1963, the CIA and FBI were working on psychological operations against the Fair Play for Cuba Committee that would plant "deceptive information" to "embarrass" the FPCC

The FBI's liaison to the CIA, Sam Papich, contacted FBI HQ on September 18, 1963, a week before Oswald's arrival in Mexico City. Papich let FBI headquarters know that John Tilton, a mid-level CIA officer with a background in psychological operations, was considering planting "deceptive information" which might "embarrass" the FPCC in areas where it has some support. A perceived relationship between Oswald and Kostikov could be used to discredit the FPCC, or any other activities that could be plausibly linked with Oswald.

Another suggestion of Tilton's was for the FBI and CIA to work together to obtain the FPCC foreign mailing list and FPCC stationery "to produce large quantities of propaganda in the name of the (FPCC)". Tilton specifically says this is designed "to counter their activities in foreign countries". In other words, fake or misleading FPCC literature would be created that would make the FPCC look bad.

How would this faux FPCC literature be circulated? "This would be done by distributing propaganda through appropriate cut-outs." A cut-out is an intermediary in a clandestine operation. A "cut-out" does not know the source or destination, the information being transmitted, or the identities of any persons involved in the espionage process. Was Oswald an appropriate example of such a cut-out?

We know that part of Tilton's plan got past the talking stage. On October 27, New York informant NY 3245-S* (who may have been FPCC worker Victor Vicente) got inside the New York FPCC national office and gave to the FBI a couple hundred documents, the foreign mailing list, and a sample of FPCC stationery. One of those documents was a letter from Oswald to the office reporting on the publicity caused by his FPCC efforts on behalf of his one-person New Orleans chapter. In the swirl of the assassination, these two chiefs took careful note that the letter from Oswald to FPCC head "Vincent Lee" somehow got addressed to "Henry Lee". These gentlemen always wanted more dirt on the FPCC, but I think there was another reason why the chiefs took a second look.

Oswald was trying to obtain his visas in the most difficult way possible

While CIA officials mulled over who should be the cut-out to "distribute propaganda" that would backlash against the Fair Play for Cuba Committee, Oswald was busy trying to get to the Soviet Union in the most difficult manner possible. Instead of mailing off an application for a visa to get to the USSR, a travel visa application in Oswald's name was prepared for personal delivery to the Cuban consulate in Mexico City. The application stated that Oswald wanted to visit Cuba by himself for two weeks on his way to the USSR.

It was already complicated enough to try to visit two Communist countries at once. It would have been much simpler to visit them in separate visits.

Given that Oswald was determined to visit both nations in one trip, the smarter and easier way would have been to mail visa applications to the Cuban embassy and the Soviet embassy in Mexico City as soon as possible after obtaining the passport in June.

The story is that Oswald chose the bone-headed way, going to the Cuban consulate in person on a Friday afternoon on 9/27/63. Once at the consulate, he handed them an application to obtain a Cuban visa right there on the spot for a Monday departure on 9/30/63, even though he had no Soviet visa. The Cubans called the Soviet consulate, and were told it would take four months to get one. When asked about Oswald's wife, the story goes that Oswald said that Marina was in New York City and she would follow him from there.

When the Cuban consulate workers told him the bad news, Oswald acted out and caused an unforgettably boisterous scene. Despite American claims, none of the consulate employees who were present could positively identify Oswald as the person at the Cuban consulate that day. Cuban consul Eusebio Azcue was emphatic in testifying that Oswald was not the "dark blond" man angrily demanding an instant visa.

Because of the number of potential witnesses to this impersonation at the Cuban consulate, there is no paper trail of documents prior to the assassination showing that someone calling himself Oswald was seen at the Cuban consulate. Helms admitted to the Warren Commission that the CIA was told that Oswald was at the Cuban consulate before JFK was assassinated. When CIA director Richard Helms was asked about this near the end of his life, he claimed that the CIA "didn't want to blow their source". I believe we will discover that the "source" was the impersonator himself.

Look at the end of this article at the CIA's records for suspect RIS officers. RIS stands for Russian Intelligence Services - a generic term for the civilian KGB and the military GRU. These records show that Oswald or someone like him spoke to Kostikov at the Soviet embassy on 9/27/63 and his colleague attaché Paul Yatskov on 9/28/63. One way to read this list is that the CIA is listing Oswald as a suspect Russian spy.

Another and even more fascinating way to read these documents is to flip the script and look at the string of REDCAP cases in the summer of 1963 involving Kostikov and other Soviets that tests their potential as possible defectors. If you read from the bottom of the page of the previous hyperlinked item to the top of this one, you'll see a meeting between Oswald and Kostikov and a string of REDCAP cases both before and after.

As discussed in greater depth below, REDCAP not only induced defections, but encouraged possible candidates to "stayed in place" and burrow against the Communist enemy from within without coming to the West. See the REDCAP cases throughout this list and by the names of Soviet embassy officials Kotsikov, Yatskov, and Nechiporenko. Also see a REDCAP memo focused on Kostikov during 9/27/63 itself. Particularly intriguing is a meeting between Kostikov and a David Paton, with the notation "Kostikov had legitimate contact with Paton on visas". There is certainly no such statement after the visa discussions with Oswald.

With or without his knowledge, it looks like Oswald was used for counter-espionage purposes as part of a CIA molehunt for Soviet spies within the agency

The names of both Lee Harvey Oswald and his wife Marina Prusakova were repeatedly misspelled as "Lee Henry Oswald" and "Marina Pusakova" in CIA messages during the time that Oswald was reported to have visited the Cuban and Soviet consulates in Mexico City. It wasn't just a typographical error. This error and others like it had been made repeatedly by the same person.

The CIA's Ann Egerter (also known as Egeter) told Congressional investigators that she worked at the office that spied on their own spies, known as the Counter-Intelligence/Special Investigations Group, or CI/SIG. Egerter assisted in the preparation of two separate CIA messages on 10/10/63, both referring to him as Lee Henry Oswald. One message inaccurately referred to Oswald as "approximately 35 years old, with an athletic build" and the other message more accurately described him as "born 18 Oct 1939, five foot ten inches, light brown wavy hair". In fact, Oswald's central CIA file was wrongly entitled by Egerter as "Lee Henry Oswald" several years earlier when he had defected from the Marines to the Soviet Union. By the time of the weekend of the assassination, even Walter Cronkite was calling him "Lee Henry Oswald".

There was another common practice among the agencies to invert Oswald's name as "Harvey Lee Oswald". Like most people, Lee Oswald never used his middle name except for official purposes. This practice of transposing his names emanated from CIA and military sources, and the FBI eventually picked up on it as well.

The House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) knew about this practice and looked for Oswald files under these various names during their investigation of this case during the 70s.

Just a few of many examples:

1. A remarkable 1972 handwritten memo entitled "Harvey Lee Oswald" states: "Today the DC/CI (Deputy Chief, Counter-intelligence) advised me that the Director had relayed via the DDP (Deputy Director of Plans) the injunction that the Agency was not, under any circumstances, to make inquiries or ask questions of any source or defector about Oswald."

2. Thomas Casasin, chief of CIA's Soviet Russia Division 6, wrote that at one point he had "operational interest in the Harvey story" that involved the theme of defection.

3. The Warren Commission documented someone named "Harvey Oswald" appeared at the Selective Service office in Austin to complain about his military discharge at the same time that another Oswald was heading to Mexico City.

4. Lt. Harvey Oswald was reported to be seen in a well-known bar in Havana with leading FPCC leader Robert Taber right after the Bay of Pigs invasion.

5. "Harvey Lee Oswald" has a list of approximately a hundred documents attributed to him. Many of them have been destroyed or cannot be found, including an entire FBI file under that name.

In the intelligence practice of having two or more files on a subject, the regular name is used for material that is meant for the public domain, while the transposed or misspelled name is for covert information. In that manner, an agency can tell the "truth" about the contents of their overt file, and hide its covert information in the covert file with the transposed or misspelled name.

Author and professor Peter Dale Scott cites many of the errors discussed above (and more) in his groundbreaking essay Oswald and the Hunt for Popov's Mole. Most of these errors were committed by highly educated agents like Egerter, whose careers depend on getting names right and accurately spelling the names of relevant parties.

Scott suggests that these errors are wholly deliberate, and that this pattern is one of the essential methods used by the CIA in a "molehunt" looking for Soviet spies that might be trying to penetrate the CIA itself. If a spy without proper clearances to the document were to repeat the misspelled name to another party, this "marked card" would point to the errant spy. Scott has written:

"In the game of molehunting, of course, the distinction between targeter and targeted is not a secure one. The situation is something like the parlor game of Murder, in which the culprit is"likely to be one of the investigators."

Egerter's boss James Angleton was the head of CIA counterintelligence. Angleton used CI/SIG in a ruthless manner, destroying the lives of innocent officers and anyone else who stood in the way of his hunt for Soviet agents supposedly penetrating the CIA. By the time Angleton was fired in the midst of the Watergate era, he was accused of being a Soviet mole himself. By 1980, Congress was forced to pass a bill to compensate the unfairly accused officers in what became known as the "Mole Relief Act".

LCIMPROVE documents focus on when Oswald was trying to get a Cuban visa prior to the 1963 JFK assassination

The first document, dated October 8, 1963 from LADILLINGER, mentions a phone tap on the Soviet embassy in Mexico City that supposedly picked up a call from Lee Oswald on October 1 in "broken Russian". It also states that Oswald's photo was taken by a hidden camera outside the embassy on the same day and described him as "apparent age 35, athletic build". This 10/8/63 message can be seen here.

For many years, the controversy around this 10/8/63 document has been that it is not a description of Lee Harvey Oswald. Peter Gregory, a Russian translator, told the FBI that Oswald was skilled enough at Russian to be a translator himself. Oswald was 24 years old with a slender build, not 35 with an athletic build.

FBI documents state that Dallas FBI agents who knew Oswald's voice described the voice as not Oswald's after listening to the October 1 tape of the phone tap and described the voice as not Oswald's. The CIA subsequently denied that this tape existed after the assassination and convinced the Dallas agents to cover up the tape's existence.

Warren Commissioner David Slawson has admitted listening to the tape after the assassination, and is curiously vague and closed-mouthed about it. Slawson, a law professor, is recently retired and lives in the West Coast. He should be asked to tell the full story before Congress.

CIA agent Anne Goodpasture admitted in 1995 that her boss Win Scott may have had a copy of the tape and "squirreled it away in his safe".

Goodpasture said that the tape technician Arnold Arehart would know

if a copy was made, as he was in the tape center "all the time".

The photo turned out to have been taken on October 2, not October 1, and it was not Oswald. The House committee found Goodpasture's story of the photo "highly implausible".

Hoover himself told LBJ that "we have up here the tape and the photograph of the man who was at the Soviet Embassy, using Oswald's name. That picture and the tape do not correspond to this man's voice, nor to his appearance. In other words, it appears that there is a second person who was at the Soviet embassy."

In other words, this October 8 message from LADILLINGER has been cited for many years as the strongest proof that Oswald was impersonated when he was in Mexico City. The LCIMPROVE subject line on LADILLINGER's memo is telling evidence that this impersonation was part of a counter-espionage program aimed at the Soviets. I haven't seen LCIMPROVE in any of the earlier Mexico City memos.

The second document, dated October 15, 1963 from GFGESTETNER, is very short. The Mexico City CIA station asks CIA headquarters to "pls pouch photo Oswald", or "please send a photo of Oswald". It may be that the Mexico City station itself was aware that there are problems with any would-be Oswald photos at the station. The message refers to "Lee Henry Oswald", not "Lee Harvey Oswald". This 10/15/63 message can be seen here.

The 10/15 document also refers to "DIR 74830" this was the 10/10/63 message to Mexico City discussed above that provides a far more accurate description for "Lee Henry Oswald" "born 18 Oct 1939, five foot ten inches, one hundred sixty five pounds, light brown wavy hair, blue eyes". Except for his name and his weight (which varied between 130-150 pounds during his short life as an adult), this message got it right.

In Popov's Mole, Scott brings home how the repeated use of the name "Lee Henry Oswald" and the error regarding his weight was part and parcel of the molehunt being led by CI/SIG's Egerter while Oswald was in the Soviet Union. With great determination, Egerter had succeeded in getting these details wrong for three years.

The 10/10/63 message also told the Mexico City CIA station to provide the 5'10"/165 description to their local FBI, Navy, INS, and State Department contacts.

However, CIA headquarters sent a second and contradictory message on the same day to the headquarters of these agencies providing totally wrong information for Oswald: "approximately 35 years old, with an athletic build", and falsely assuring them that their local contacts were being provided the same information.

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Ann Egerter helped prepare both of these contradictory messages. Remember that for Egerter, counter-intelligence meant that her group CI/SIG had to run an "office that spied on spies".

During the 1970s, the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) analyzed these two 10/10/63 messages from CIA headquarters and verified that they were drafted at the same time and sent within a few hours of each other.

Given these contradictory messages, and the lack of an operational name accompanying LCIMPROVE, it indicates that Oswald may have been part of what the CIA refers to as a "hip pocket group" or a "vest pocket group" known to only a few persons.

We have every reason to believe that Ann Egerter in Washington at CI/SIG teamed up with "Gerald F. Gestetner" (a pseudonym for chief of Soviet affairs Herbert Manell) and his wife "L.A. Dillinger" (a pseudonym for Barbara Murphy Manell) and others at the Mexico City CIA station to run this espionage operation using Oswald and aimed at the Soviets.

We know that Egerter's boss was James Jesus Angleton, the legendary head of CIA counterintelligence that presided over Egerter's molehunting unit. Angleton is legendary for almost tearing the agency apart in the paranoid manner that he hunted for Soviet moles.

We also know that Gestetner and Dellinger answered to David Phillips, the number three man at the station and the one in charge of covert actions as well as the Cuban desk. Phillips had a history of running anti-FPCC operations. Phillips made a point of letting Cuban exile leader Antonio Veciana see him with Oswald just a few weeks earlier in Dallas. Phillips admitted under oath that "we covered this man (Oswald) all the time" in Mexico City right after he wrote a book called The Night Watch describing Oswald as a "blip".

Gestetner testified that his duties as Soviet affairs chief were to monitor counterintelligence, to negate Soviet efforts to penetrate their station, and to recruit Soviets to their side.

Dillinger testified that she was the assistant chief on Soviet affairs in Mexico City, and that their joint duties were counter-espionage and field investigations on the Soviets. Dellinger had taking care of children at home and was only working part-time. Her main job was to review the telephone tap transcripts every day.

Gestetner and Dillinger were married and reviewed these transcripts as a team. These agents took the name game right to the halls of Congress. When interviewed at Capitol Hill, they changed their names just slightly from "Gerald F. Gestetner" to "Herbert Gestetner", and from "L.A. Dillinger" to "Barbara Dillenger" using their old counter-espionage trick to make it more difficult for ordinary people to keep track of them in the dawning era of public access to computers.

LCIMPROVE documents also focus on when Oswald was trying to get a Soviet visa prior to his 1959 defection

A second set of documents focus on Oswald's defection to the Soviet Union in October 1959. Several LCIMPROVE documents are dated near the time and place of Oswald's border crossing from Helsinki to the Soviet Union. The Soviet consul and the American vice consul had just confirmed an agreement where an American could get an instant visa to the USSR in minutes in Helsinki if he "looked all right".

This was a sea change from having to wait indefinitely while the documents were mailed to Moscow for approval. Oswald was on leave from the US Marines at the time, and any such approval would have been virtually impossible to obtain.

It's documented that counter-espionage LCIMPROVE activities go back at least as far back as at a memo written on June 7, 1956, looking at Soviet consul Gregory Golub as someone who "professes sympathy for the United States". LCIMPROVE may have originated in response to the West publishing Khrushchev's famous call for the "de-Stalinization" of the Soviet Union three days earlier.

The subject line of the 6/7/56 memo was "REDCAP/LCIMPROVE". For several years, a program known as "REDSOX sought to parachute agents into the satellite countries to foment rebellion, while REDCAP was intended to handle the results of such efforts, including the expected deluge of defectors and refugees." Angleton obtained a copy of Khrushchev's secret anti-Stalin speech in April and planned on using isolated portions of it for propaganda purposes. After the copy of the speech was reviewed and declared to be authentic, CIA chief Allen Dulles decided to use this opportunity to intensify REDSOX and REDCAP.

Although we don't know what the "LC" phrase in LCIMPROVE stands for, the term LCFLUTTER is well-known as a CIA cryptonym for a truth-finding technique, such as polygraphs and truth serum. In the counter-intelligence realm, LCIMPROVE appears to be a technique for improving counter-intelligence operations directed at the Soviets, and it seems to be focused on visas and other travel-oriented events such as REDCAP.

After Allen Dulles provided the full text of Khrushchev's speech to his brother Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, the New York Times picked it up and published the speech on June 4. Significant uprisings resulted in both Poland and Hungary in the next few months.

On August 28, 1959, the Helsinki CIA chief of station wrote a REDCAP/LCIMPROVE memo to David Murphy (CIA chief for Soviet Russia) and Eric Timm (CIA chief for Western Europe), telling them that Soviet consul Gregory Golub would issue visas immediately and without Moscow approval. Murphy later wrote a book where he described REDCAP as a "worldwide defector inducement" program.

"First priority went to efforts to recruit Soviets as sources or, as the Redcap sloganeers put it, to encourage them to "defect in place". Failing that, those who insisted on defecting outright would be brought to the West, where their intelligence knowledge could be tapped."

The Helsinki CIA station had been working on Golub for awhile, hoping that he might be a possible defector. Soviet consul Golub was very attracted to two female students taking notes for the CIA in a "legal travelers" program known as REDSKIN. American vice consul William Costille was an officer specializing in REDSKIN-style operations. During July 1959, seemingly estranged from his wife, Golub turned on the charm towards two women known to us only as PAWNEE/3 and PAWNEE/5.

An internal CIA memo shows that the station agents in Helsinki were fascinated, as well as concerned that the agency should help PAWNEE/5 "avoid any pitfalls or traps which she might walk into either wittingly or unwittingly. It is hard to decide from this whether G. just has a case of plain old hot pants or is entertaining more sinister plans or schemes."

By August 14, "arrangements (were) made for a night on the town this Saturday with Costille and date and Golub and a trusted Finnish girl we are certain will give Golub a run for his money."

It seems that providing Golub with female companionship during the summer sweetened him up. The focus of the August 28 REDCAP/LCIMPROVE memo was that "as long as the Americans had made travel arrangements through a local travel bureau (in Helsinki), as well as hotel reservations, (Golub) said he had no objections to giving them a visa in a matter of minutes."

Take a look at the Helsinki CIA chief of station's October 9 memo to two other CIA division chiefs, Jack Maury of Soviet Russia and Eric Timm of Western Europe, written one day before Oswald came to Helsinki in hopes of a quick border crossing into the Soviet Union. As can be seen, the subject line was entitled REDCAP/(Redacted), the usual heading for much of their correspondence.

As REDCAP was designed to stir up unrest among émigrés, it was far more successful in the Eastern European satellite states than in the USSR. An inspector general's report issued in June 1956 stated that "the Soviet division could not produce "an authoritative statement of its missions and functions". The report stated there were only twenty "controlled agents' in the USSR the list contained a low-ranking naval engineering officer, the wife of a guided missile research scientist, laborer, telephone repairman, garage manager, veterinarian, high school teacher, locksmith, restaurant worker, and unemployed. These were not the people that could tell you much what was going on in the Soviet Union except in their neck of the woods, much less the Kremlin.

Given the low ebb of REDCAP in the USSR at this time, REDCAP would be the perfect spot to tuck in someone like Oswald whose apparent goal was to become a Russian citizen and yet might want to keep his option to re-defect to the West. It's not impossible that Oswald may not have even known that he was being used by the CIA. Future articles will show how the path was paved for his convenience by his handlers.

REDCAP was originally designed in 1952 to deal with the results of uprisings in the Soviet satellites, with a special focus on defectors and refugees. This may have been another reason that REDCAP was slow to get off the ground in the Soviet Union itself.

According to Angleton biographer Michael Holzman, "It is said that clandestine services chief Frank Wisner and James Angleton had dual responsibility for Red Cap." If this is accurate, this may indicate that Angleton and Wisner's successor Cord Meyer worked together with Murphy and the Western European chief to effortlessly guide Oswald into Moscow.

The October 9 REDCAP memo provided immediate assurances that Golub had confirmed with Costille that Americans would receive Soviet visas as soon as they made Intourist advance reservations. How did this gem get by CIA deputy chief Richard Helms? Helms was in charge of investigating all issues related to the CIA for the Warren Commission. Helms had access to these REDCAP documents, but closed his eyes and touted that a 5-7 days was the absolute minimum to obtain any visa longer than a 24 hour transit visa. Helsinki was the exception during 1959. It took weeks or months to obtain a Soviet visa anywhere else, because the general rule was that the Soviet consul had to send the visa applications to Moscow.

It appears that Oswald immediately made good use of Costille's tip about coming through Helsinki. Oswald arrived in Helsinki late Saturday night on October 10, requested his visa on the 12th, obtained a visa from Golub by the 14th, and was in the USSR by the 15th.

On the 13th, right while Oswald's visa was hanging in the balance, Golub called up Costille and they had a quick lunch and get-together. This was the first time Costille had heard from Golub in more than a month. Golub thanked Costille "profusely" for buying him two tickets to see Leonard Bernstein on the 4th, and confided to him that he had given one of tickets to PAWNEE/5. Golub was surprised that PAWNEE/5 was not nervous about being seen with a Soviet, and "made a definite effort to impress Costille...that his relationship was strictly above board and he had nothing to hide." The next day, the 14th, Oswald got his visa. Was it thanks to Leonard Bernstein?

When the CIA questioned Soviet defector Yuri Nosenko claim that Oswald was a KGB agent, the first question on one of the interrogation lists was about Oswald getting a visa within two to four days. After traveling to Europe by freighter, the normally tight-fisted Marine stayed in an extremely expensive Helsinki hotel and booked a private guided tour of Moscow.

Eric Timm from the CIA's Western Europe division had already cautioned that any hope of the "jilted husband" Golub defecting to the West was becoming more remote, and thought that Golub might be on to Costille's game. Three weeks after Oswald entered Moscow, Golub's wife "returned to Helsinki on 7 November and surprised him after an absence of four months. (Redacted) states that the relationship appears to be the same as it was before Mrs. G left, and Golub was glad to have her back." This final LCIMPROVE memo of November 27, 1959 ends with Golub walking out on the "trusted Finnish" woman when she takes all her clothes off instead of wearing his wife's nightgown, making it clear that the days of wine and roses were over.

All of the above is part of a long-term pattern of LCIMPROVE in espionage affairs involving visas and travel involving the Soviets. Keep in mind that Lee Oswald was a US Marine that had not been formally discharged. There was little chance that Moscow was going to grant him a visa, unless a friendly consul gave him an instant visa. The days of wine and roses with Golub and Costille sheds new light on the vigorous steps that were taken several CIA officers to get the Red Marine inside the Soviet Union.

Oswald's Soviet soujourn could have been part of the aforementioned REDSKIN program, which often used students and strictly legal methods such as travel itineraries to gather intelligence about facilities in main metropolitan areas and along main transportation lines. However, given the general lack of knowledge among CIA officials about Oswald's activities in the Soviet Union, it appears that he may have been part of a vest-pocket operation run by a very high CIA official who did not answer in the ordinary channels. Someone like counterintelligence chief Jim Angleton could arrange the operation with the aid of the CIA chiefs that guided Oswald into Moscow.

The USSR was not well understood in the postwar era, and US intelligence agencies were fired up to learn more about their new enemy. This was a time when the American people were extremely naïve about the role of intelligence agencies. Fear of the unknown was twisted into the drive to build and expand American supremacy.

Mexico City is different. We see Dillinger describing the phone call of Oswald speaking "broken Russian" while trying to persuade the Soviet embassy to give him an instant visa. This time, Oswald's attempt was unsuccessful. Whoever was Oswald at the Soviet embassy on the 28th apparently dissolved in tears. This may have been part of a plan to test the vulnerability of the consulate staff of Kostikov, Yatskov, and Nechiporenko to see if there was any REDCAP potential.

Later that month, Gestetner asked the Navy for a photo of "Lee Henry Oswald", continuing to work the counter-intelligence and Soviet sides of Oswald's new legend. The collection of FPCC evidence was continuing in New York. - Before events had run their course, they were interrupted by the events of November 22, 1963.

Whenever new documents in the JFK assassination are released, the information obtained aids progressive social movements in their struggles. When we know what the intelligence agencies have done in the past, we are more effective in our work to fight for democracy here at home.

When we fully understand what intelligence operations were going on in Mexico City, it will aid us in understanding what happened on November 22 and in subsequent events. We can learn, as a people, to resist manipulation by the specialists in public management.

The next time that clever political forces create provocations in the Gulf of Tonkin or around weapons of mass destruction, we can refuse to blindly react and march into war as in Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq.

Even when presidents like LBJ decide to cover up the truth rather than risk being dragged into an attack on Cuba - which may have been the motivation for the JFK assassination - we can organize on the ground and bring the facts to light.

Even now, there are witnesses waiting to be found and informants waiting to be released from their oaths so they are allowed to speak without fear of prosecution or loss of honor. Don't believe the drumbeat from the mass media. Although many years have gone by, many of the key facts in this case are now known. More remain to be known.

At a time that FOIA procedure is moving in a more positive direction, this is the moment to demand more information from the hidden vaults and into the hands of the American people. We can sum up what we have, demand the rest, and ask the right questions to those still alive.

When summing up what we have, the Mary Ferrell Foundation (maryferrell.org) is an incredible resource that made it possible to research this story without leaving my desk. The technology available for researchers enables us to accomplish investigations that could not even be considered a few years ago. We can get some great work done with more people joining in to summarize documents and help put together some of the puzzles in our nation's recent history.

During Sunshine Week in Washington DC (March 14-20), a number of researchers and concerned citizens will call on the House Oversight Committee for hearings that will bring more documents and the living witnesses into the daylight. A new MLK Act, based on the JFK Act, is also under discussion for immediate release of the King case documents that are currently locked up until 2029.

Sign our petition here: http://www.petitiononline.com/JFKACT/petition.html Join us on Tuesday, March 16 in Washington DC to get more of our history into the hands of the American people. Ask Ed Towns and the committee to free the files.

- Bill Simpich is a civil rights attorney and antiwar activist in the San Francisco Bay Area. Thanks go to William Kelly and Greg Parker for their assistance in reviewing this article. Bill Simpich can be contacted at bsimpich@gmail.com.

ENDNOTES:

Here's the request by government staffers asking the CIA to define LCIMPROVE, (see item #2): (Note: HSCA are the initials for the House Select Committee on Assassinations, which investigated the case between 1976-1979). HSCA Segregated CIA Collection, Box 9/ LIST OF NAMES RE KENNEDY ASSASSINATION INVESTIGATION, p. 22.

RIF#: 104-10061-10115 (02/15/78)

Here's the CIA's response: "Counter-Espionage Involving Soviet Intelligence Services, Worldwide": HSCA Segregated CIA Collection, Box 9/ LIST OF NAMES RE KENNEDY ASSASSINATION INVESTIGATION, p. 23

RIF#: 104-10061-10115 (02/15/78)

Here's another version of the responses, from a "small black notebook" in CIA custody: HSCA Segregated CIA Collection, Box 18, page 3, NARA Record Number: 1993.07.17.08:10:45:620630 http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?docId=73010&relPageId=3;

This next part you can skip, unless the reader has any doubt about the accuracy of the CIA's admissions. The names in the notebook were used to aid the staffers in determining the true identities of various witnesses. See how the numbers in the notebook correspond with the names in the left margin of those working the CIA's Cuban desk. HSCA Segregated CIA Collection, Box 9, pp. 16, 17, 18, 19, NARA Record Number: 104-10061-10115.

My colleagues and I intend to bring this evidence to the House Oversight Committee between March 14-20, as part of the nationwide "Sunshine Week": Sunshine Week is a nonpartisan initiative led by the American Society of News Editors. Here is more on Sunshine Week.

On Tuesday, March 16, we will lobby in the halls of Congress in a call for the last of the millions of JFK documents still under lock and key to be released to the American people: The Mary Ferrell Foundation has an excellent backgrounder on the history of the fight to free the JFK files. See Freeing the JFK Files.

You can still sign our petition here: http://www.petitiononline.com/JFKACT/petition.html

Oswald had already obtained a new passport back in June of 1963, stating in his application that he planned to go to the Soviet Union and elsewhere by December: Oswald's passport application, 6/24/63, Warren Commission Hearings, Vol. 24, p. 509. Oswald was not a good speller, but to spell your own mother's name "Marguerite Claverie" as "Margret

Clavier" and your wife's maiden name of "Prusakova" as "Prossakava" is rather beyond the pale.

The only place that could be done in 1963 was through Mexico City: See the Mary Ferrell Foundation for more background on the still-unfolding story of Oswald in Mexico City.

Hoover went to great lengths to point out that the CIA itself wrote a memo in June 1963 saying there was no proof to support the claim that Kostikov was part of Department 13: Memo from J. Edgar Hoover to CIA Director John McCone, 9/1/64, ADMIN FOLDER-X6: HSCA ADMINISTRATIVE FOLDER, CIA REPORTS LHO, p. 51, RIF#: 124-10369-10063.

John Tilton was a mid-level CIA officer with maritime operations and psychological operations:

Tilton was no Boy Scout. He reported to Edward Lansdale in 1962-63 as part of the Psychological Operations Group, a psy-op team designed to destabilize Cuba.

Later in the decade, Tilton was the CIA La Paz station chief involved in the capture and assassination of Che Guevara.

Tilton was the last chief of the Phoenix Program in Vietnam, a US program estimated to have killed 20,000 alleged Viet Cong and tortured untold thousands.

Tilton was considering planting "deceptive information" which might "embarrass" the FPCC in areas where it has some support: MEMORANDUM: Fair Play for Cuba Committee, Found in: DDP (Deputy Director of Plans) Files, RIF#: 104-10310-10151 (09/18/63) CIA#: CIA-DDP-FILES (9/18/63); see also Church Committee, Book V, Final Report (1976), pp. 65-66; see also Newman, p. 394.

How would this faux FPCC literature be circulated? "This would be done by distributing propaganda through appropriate cut-outs": MEMORANDUM: Fair Play for Cuba Committee, Found in: DDP (Deputy Director of Plans) Files, RIF#: 104-10310-10151 (09/18/63) CIA#: CIA-DDP-FILES (9/18/63); see also Church Committee, Book V, Final Report (1976), pp. 65-66; see also John Newman, Oswald and the CIA (New York, Carroll & Graf: 1995) p. 394.

On October 27, New York informant NY 3245-S* (who may have been FPCC worker Victor Vicente) got inside the New York FPCC national office and gave to the FBI a couple hundred documents, the foreign mailing list, and a sample of FPCC stationery: Memorandum from SAC, New York, to Director, FBI, 11/27/63, re Fair Play for Cuba Committee, Miscellaneous CIA Series/NARA Record Number: 104-10310-10071

In the swirl of the assassination, these two chiefs took careful note that the letter from Oswald to FPCC head "Vincent Lee" somehow got addressed to "Henry Lee": Memo from FBI Nationalities Intelligence supervisor W. R. Wannall to Division 5 supervisor William Sullivan, 11/23/63, FBI - HSCA Subject File: FPCC/NARA Record Number:

Oswald reportedly went to Mexico City and tried to obtain the Cuban visa right there on the spot, even though he had no Soviet visa: Oswald's Cuban visa application, Warren Commission Exhibits, Vol. 25, p. 815, Exhibit 2564, 9/27/63.

When asked about Oswald's wife, Oswald reportedly said that she was in New York City and she would follow him from there: FBI report, 5/18/64, Warren Commission Hearings, Vol. 24, p. 589; CE 2121, p. 39. statement made by Cuban consulate employee Sylvia Duran, 11/23/63 that Oswald's

wife Marina was supposedly in New York City.

None of the consulate employees who were present could positively identify Oswald as the person at the Cuban consulate that day. Azcue was emphatic in testifying that Oswald was not the "dark blond" man angrily demanding an instant visa: HSCA Report, Vol. III, 136.

There is no paper trail of documents prior to the assassination showing that Oswald was seen at the Cuban consulate. When CIA director Richard Helms was asked about this near the end of his life, he claimed that the CIA "didn't want to blow their source": John Newman, Oswald and the CIA (New York, Carroll & Graf: 1995), p. 418.

List of Records and Files on Suspect RIS Officers, 11/20/74. Russ Holmes Work File/NARA Record Number: 104-10414-10342. Every page of this document shouts out for more analysis. See, in particular:

Oswald on 9/27/63: See bottom of page 26 of 29.

See reference to Oswald and Kostikov: Top of page 28 of 29, somehow these pages were separated.

"Y talked with O": At mid-page - a reference to Yatskov and Oswald meeting on 9/28/63.

See a REDCAP memo focused on Kostikov during 9/27/63 itself: Memo from Mexico City Chief of Station Willard Curtis (Win Scott) to Chief, Western Hemisphere, DISPATCH: REDCAP/VALERIY VLADIMIROVICH KOSTIKOV, 9/27/63,

HSCA Segregated CIA Collection (microfilm - reel 9: Hernandez - Loganov)/NARA Record Number: 104-10173-10310.

Particularly intriguing is a meeting between Kostikov and a David Paton, with the notation "Kostikov had legitimate contact with Paton on visas":

You have to wonder about Paton as well. Well-known Political aide Frank Mankiewicz wrote a book with Fidel Castro and Kirby Jones in 1975, With Fidel. In the introduction (at vii.), the authors thank several members in the US Foreign Service for making "their travels a lot easier", including "David Paton in Mexico City".

The CIA's Ann Egerter worked at the office that spied on their own spies: Preliminary HSCA Interview of Ann Egerter by Dan Hardway and Betsy Wolf, March 31, 1978, p. 3, 180-10142-10298.

One message inaccurately referred to "Lee Henry Oswald" as "approximately 35 years old, with an athletic build": CIA teletype 74673 to FBI, State Department, and Navy, October 10, 1963; NARA, JFK files, CIA 201 file on Oswald. (Egerter's name is on this last page) Egerter signed this document as a coordinating officer, and was one of the people who reviewed it for accuracy, which described "Lee Henry Oswald".

The other message more accurately described him as "born 18 Oct 1939, five foot ten inches, light brown wavy hair": CIA teletype 74830 to Mexico City CIA station, October 10, 1963, HSCA Segregated CIA Collection, Box 6/NARA Record Number: 104-10052-10057 (Egerter's name is on this last page)

Egerter signed this document as a coordinating officer, and told Congressional investigators that she could not explain the errors in the description of Oswald in these two documents.

Oswald's central CIA file was wrongly entitled by Egerter as "Lee Henry Oswald" several years earlier when he had defected from the Marines to the Soviet Union: Field Personality (201) File Request for Information on Lee Henry Oswald, HSCA Segregated CIA Collection, Box 60/(12/9/1960) NARA Record Number: 1993.07.26.19:17:44:150330.

By the time of the weekend of the assassination, even Walter Cronkite was calling him "Lee Henry Oswald": Walter Goodman, "Reviews/Television; CBS Replays the Weekned of Nov.22:", New York Times, Nov. 17, 1988

The House Select Committee on Assassinations knew about this practice and looked for Oswald files under these various names during their investigation of this case during the 70s: List of Documents Requested From Blakey, p. 13, HSCA Segregated CIA Collection, Box 20/NARA Record Number: 104-10081-10025.

"The Agency was not, under any circumstances, to make inquiries or ask questions of any source or defector about Oswald: Memorandum re Harvey Lee Oswald, 4/5/62, Russ Holmes Work File/NARA Record Number: 104-10440-10039

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This note was apparently precipitated by the defection of Soviet agent Oleg Lyalin, best known for causing 105 Soviet agents to be expelled from Britain. See the notes of bemused CIA archivist Russ Holmes to Mrs. E___, probably Mrs. Ann Egerter, where Holmes confesses: "Interesting Oswald angle, DCS (Domestic Contact Services) source protection angle which cannot understand myself. However, we should note this re Oswald for the future Pete (probably Pete Bagley) has seen and I routed orig to Rocca"(Bagley and Rocca are counterintelligence supervisors)

Russ Holmes Work File/NARA Record Number: 104-10440-10039

Domestic Contact Services has been described as a debriefing operation.

Deposition of Victor Marchetti, 3/28/75, p. 66 Church Committee Boxed Files, NARA Record Number: 157-10011-10092.

Thomas Casasin, chief of Soviet Russia. Division 6, wrote that at one point he had "operational interest in the Harvey story" that involved the theme of defection: Memo for the record, Thomas B. Casasin, 11/25/63, Russ Holmes Work File/NARA Record Number: 104-10429-10239.

Lt. Harvey Oswald was reported to be seen in a well-known bar in Havana with leading FPCC leader Robert Taber right after the Bay of Pigs invasion: Report by Lambert L. Anderson at FBI HQ to SAC, New York (reporting tip from army intelligence), 1/28/64, FBI JFK Assassination File (62-109060), Section 43, pp. 88-89. click here=62297&relPageId=89

The Warren Commission documented someone named "Harvey Oswald" appearing at the Selective Service office in Austin to complain about his military discharge at the same time that another Oswald was heading to Mexico City: Memo by Mrs. Lee Dannelly, Asst. Chief for Administrative Services, State Selective Service HQ, 12/30/63; Warren Commission Exhibit 2137, Volume 24, page 734.

There is a list of about 100 files that have his name inverted by the authorities: See Peter Dale Scott, Deep Politics II: The New Revelations in U.S. Government Files, 1994-1995, p. 142, Appendix II, "The Documentary Life of Harvey Lee Oswald".

In the game of molehunting, of course, the distinction between targeter and targeted is not a secure one. The situation is something like the parlor game of Murder, in which the culprit is"likely to be one of the investigators: For more on this subject, see Peter Dale Scott, "Oswald and the Hunt for Popov's Mole", Fourth Decade, March 1996, at p. 14. If Scott offers many ways that the "marked card" was used.

By 1980, Congress was forced to pass a bill to compensate the unfairly accused officers in what became known as the "Mole Relief Act": David Wise, Molehunt (Random House, 1992), see footnote 5.

The first document, dated October 8, 1963 from LADILLINGER, mentions a phone tap on the Soviet embassy in Mexico City that supposedly picked up a call from Lee Oswald on October 1 in "broken Russian": Memo from "LADILLINGER" in the Mexico City CIA station to CIA Headquarters, 10/8/63, Russ Holmes Work File/NARA Record Number: 104-10422-10205.

LIENVOY refers to the phone tap program. LIEMPTY refers to the hidden camera program.

Peter Gregory, a Russian translator, told the FBI that Oswald was skilled enough at Russian to be a translator himself: 11/29/63 FBI interview by SA Earle Haley with Peter Gregory; Warren Commission Document 5, p. 290.

FBI documents state that Dallas FBI agents who knew Oswald's voice listened to the tape of the phone tap and described the voice as not Oswald's: FBI HQ supervisor Alan Belmont to FBI supervisor Clyde Tolson, 11/23/63, see Lopez Report, Addendum to Footnote 614.

The CIA subsequently denied that this tape existed after the assassination...: Report of the HSCA on the CIA's Handling of the Assassination, p. 7. HSCA Segregated CIA Collection (staff notes)/NARA Record Number: 180-10140-10044.

...and convinced the Dallas agents to cover up the tape's existence: Id.,

at p. 6.

Warren Commissioner David Slawson has admitted listening to the tape after the assassination, and is curiously vague and closed-mouthed about it: Joseph N. Riley, Listening to Lee, Fair Play Magazine.

CIA agent Anne Goodpasture admitted in 1995 that her boss Win Scott may have had a copy of the tape and "squirreled it away in his safe":

Deposition of Anne Goodpasture, AARB, Dec. 15, 1995, p. 147.

Goodpasture said that the tape technician Arnold Arehart would know

if a copy was made, as he was in the tape center "all the time".

Deposition of Anne Goodpasture, AARB, Dec. 15, 1995, pp. 147-148.

The House committee found the story of the photo "highly implausible": Lopez Report, id., pp. 153-154.

That picture and the tape do not correspond to this man's voice, nor to his appearance. In other words, it appears that there is a second person who was at the Soviet embassy: LBJ phone call with Hoover, 11/23/63.

The Mexico City station asks CIA headquarters to send a photo of Oswald, apparently aware that there are problems with the Oswald photo. Curiously, the message refers to "Lee Henry Oswald", rather than "Lee Harvey Oswald": Memo originating from "G. F. Gestetner", Mexico City station, to Director, MEXI 6534, 10/15/63, HSCA Segregated CIA Collection (microfilm - reel 30: Mexico City Station File)/NARA Record Number: 104-10195-10409.

The 10/10/63 message also told the Mexico City CIA station to provide this description to their local FBI, Navy, INS, and State Department contacts: October 10 message from CIA HQ to Mexico City station, HSCA Segregated CIA Collection, Box 3/NARA Record Number: 104-10050-10010

The final page has the reference to "ODENVY, ODACID, ODOATH, and ODURGE", cryptonyms for "FBI, State Department, Navy, and INS".

CIA headquarters sent a second and contradictory message on the same day to the headquarters of these agencies providing totally wrong information for Oswald: October 10 message from CIA HQ to FBI, Navy and State Department: HSCA Segregated CIA Collection, Box 56/NARA Record Number: 104-10125-10339.

CI/SIG was "the office that spied on spies": Preliminary HSCA Interview of Ann Egerter by Dan Hardway and Betsy Wolf, March 31, 1978, p. 3, 180-10142-10298.

During the 1970s, the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) analyzed these two 10/10/63 messages from CIA headquarters and verified that they were drafted at the same time and sent within a few hours of each other: Oswald, the CIA, and Mexico City (aka "Lopez Report") p. 144 (1978)

Oswald may have been part of what the CIA refers to as a "hip pocket group" or a "vest pocket group" known to only a few persons: HSCA Segregated CIA Collection, Box 26/NARA Record Number: 104-10086-10396, from copy of a duplicate file entitled "Goodpasture", p. p. 14 of 106. Also see p. 21 of 106, which offers a little more.

"Gerald F. Gestetner" (a pseudonym for chief of Soviet affairs Herbert Manell): Deposition of (Redacted), 4/28/78, p. 2, NARA Record Number: 180-10110-10023. "Herbert Manell" typed at top of this page.

Gestetner has also been identified elsewhere as "Paul Dillon", see Philip Agee, Inside the Company, p. 528.

"L.A. Dillinger" was a pseudonym for Barbara Murphy Manell: Memo for the Record by Russ Holmes, p. 5, NARA Record Number: 104-10419-10215.

Barbara Manell Murphy and husband Herbert Manell are also identified on this slip as "Cynthia Hausman" and her husband as "Paul Dillon": NARA Record Number: 104-10096-10232.

Also see Philip Agee, id., re "Cynthia Hausman".

We know that Egerter's boss was James Jesus Angleton, the legendary head of CIA counterintelligence that presided over Egerter's molehunting unit: HSCA Security Classified Testimony/HSCA Interview of James Angleton, 5 Oct 1978, p. 150.

Angleton is legendary for almost tearing the agency apart in his paranoid hunt for Soviet moles: See generally David C. Martin, Wilderness of Mirrors, (Guilford, CT, Lyons Press: revised edition, 2003).

We also know that Gestetner and Dellinger answered to David Phillips on covert actions matters, the number three man at the station and the one in charge of both covert actions and the Cuban desk: HSCA Segregated CIA Collection, Box 26/Copy 3 of a Duplicate File Entitled "Goodpasture", p. 21, NARA Record Number: 104-10086-10395 click here=796203

See John Newman, Oswald and the CIA, pp. 236-243; Jim Powell, "Lies, Damned Lies, and Elena Garro", Dealey Plaza Echo, January 2008, p. 14.

All too common in the files are mostly-illegible documents, like this file about Phillips' source FPCC member Court Foster Wood. Someone on the inside with the public's interest in mind retyped this opening page. 10/7/61, HSCA Segregated CIA Collection, Box 41/NARA Record Number: 104-10114-10162

Phillips made a point of letting Cuban exile leader Antonio Veciana see him with Oswald just a few weeks earlier in Dallas: Lamar Waldron/Thom Hartmann interview with Antonio Veciana, leader of Cuban exile group Alpha-66, 6/2/93; see pages 172-173 and 529-30 of their book Ultimate Sacrifice (New York, Carroll & Graf: 2005).

Phillips admitted under oath that "we covered this man (Oswald) all the time" in Mexico City: HSCA Deposition of David Phillips, 11/27/76, p. 97. HSCA Security Classified Testimony.

Phillips wrote a book describing Oswald as a "blip": David Atlee Phillips,

The Night Watch (New York: Atheneum, 1977) p. 139.

Gestetner testified that his duties were counterintelligence monitoring, to negate Soviet efforts to penetrate their station, and to recruit Soviets to their side: Deposition of (Redacted), pp. 3-4, HSCA Security Classified Testimony/NARA Record Number: 180-10110-10023.

Dillinger testified that she was the assistant chief on Soviet affairs, and their joint duties were counter-espionage and field investigations on the Soviets: Deposition of (REDACTED), p. 5, HSCA Security Classified Testimony/NARA Record Number: 180-10110-10022.

The deponent is identified on the record as "Dillinger" at pages 91-92.

When interviewed at Capitol Hill, they changed their names just slightly from "Gerald F. Gestetner" to "Herbert Gestetner", and from "L.A. Dillinger" to "Barbara Dillenger": Preliminary Interviews with Herbert Gestetner and Barbara Dillenger, 3/20/78, NARA Record Number: 180-10141-10228.

The names of this husband-wife team are mostly redacted in the depositions. At one point, Gestetner's deposition is identified as that of Herbert Mannell. In any case, their testimony makes it simple to match up with the interviews:

Gestetner: "Head of the Soviet section of the station in Mexico City"

Dillinger: "Assistant chief of Soviet affairs in Mexico City"

It's documented that counter-espionage LCIMPROVE activities go back at least as far back as at a memo written on June 7 1956, looking at Soviet consul Gregory Golub as someone who "professes sympathy for the United States": HSCA Segregated CIA Collection (microfilm - reel 8: Golitsyn - Hernandez)/NARA Record Number: 104-10172-10342

REDSOX sought to parachute agents into the satellite countries to foment rebellion, while REDCAP was intended to handle the results of such efforts, including the expected deluge of defectors and refugees: Ronald R. Krebs, Dueling Visions: U.S. Strategy in Eastern Europe Under Eisenhower, p. 64.

The term LCFLUTTER is well-known as a cryptonym for a truth-finding technique, such as polygraphs and truth serum: See, for example, OPERATIONAL SECURITY/LCFLUTTER RIF#: 104-10102-10259 (10/18/63)

After Dulles provided the full text of Khrushchev's speech to his brother Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, the New York Times picked it up and published the speech on June 4: Id., at p. 64.

During late August 1959, the Helsinki CIA chief of station wrote a REDCAP/LCIMPROVE memo to Jack Maury (CIA chief for Soviet Russia) and Eric Timm (CIA chief for Western Europe), telling them that Soviet consul Gregory Golub would issue visas immediately and without Moscow approval: Dispatch REDCAP/LCIMPROVE Procuring of Female Companionship for Gregoriy T. Golub, Memo from Helsinki CIA Chief of Station to Chief, SR (Jack Maury) and Chief, WE (Eric Timm), 8/28/59, HSCA Segregated CIA Collection (microfilm - reel 8: Golitsyn - Hernandez)/NARA Record Number: 104-10172-10294.

David Murphy, a later SR chief, wrote a book where he described REDCAP as a "worldwide defector inducement" program: David E. Murphy, Sergei Kondrashev, and George Bailey, Battleground: Berlin (New Haven, Yale University Press: 1997), p. 238. (available on google)

"First priority went to efforts to recruit Soviets as sources or, as the Redcap sloganeers put it, to encourage them to "defect in place": Id., at 238.

American vice consul William Costille was an officer specializing in REDSKIN-type operations: Memo by chief Eric Timm, Western Europe, to chief of Helsinki CIA station, 9/21/59, HSCA Segregated CIA Collection, Box 5/NARA Record Number: 104-10051-10196 click here=27338&relPageId=3

Costille and Golub met when Costille was installed as vice consul in December 1958. Memo from Chief, Helsinki CIA station to Chief, Soviet Russia (Jack Maury) and Chief, Western Europe (Eric Timm), 12/30/58, HSCA Segregated CIA Collection (microfilm - reel 8: Golitsyn - Hernandez)/NARA Record Number: 104-10172-10313.

During July 1959, seemingly estranged from his wife, Golub turned on the charm towards two women known to us only as PAWNEE/3 and PAWNEE/5: Memo from Chief, Helsinki CIA station to Chief SR (Jack Maury) and Chief WE (Eric Timm), 7/10/59.

It is hard to decide from this whether G. just has a case of plain old hot pants or is entertaining more sinister plans or schemes: July 1956 CIA routing slip, NARA Record Number: 104-10172-10302.

Arrangements have been made for a night on the town this Saturday with Costille and date and Golub and a trusted Finnish girl we are certain will give Golub a run for his money: Memo from Chief of Station, 8/14/59, HSCA Segregated CIA Collection (microfilm - reel 8: Golitsyn - Hernandez)/NARA Record Number: 104-10172-10297.

It seems that providing Golub with female companionship during the summer sweetened him up. The focus of the August 28 REDCAP/LCIMPROVE memo was that "Golub said he had no objections to giving them a visa in a matter of minutes: Memo from Helsinki CIA chief of station to Murphy and Timm, re REDCAP/LCIMPROVE Procuring of Female Companionship for Gregoriy T. Golub, 8/28/59, HSCA Segregated CIA Collection (microfilm - reel 8: Golitsyn - Hernandez)/NARA Record Number: 104-10172-10294.

An inspector general's report issued in June 1956 stated that "the Soviet division could not produce "an authoritative statement of its missions and functions". The report stated there were only twenty "controlled agents' in the USSR: Tim Weiner, Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA, (New York, Doubleday: 2007) pp. 124-125.

REDCAP was originally designed in 1952 to deal with the results of uprisings in the Soviet satellites, including defectors and refugees: Ronald R. Krebs, Dueling visions: U.S. strategy toward Eastern Europe under Eisenhower, p. 64.

It is said that clandestine services chief Frank Wisner and James Angleton had dual responsibility for Red Cap: Michael Holzman, James Jesus Angleton, The CIA & the Craft of Counterintelligence (Amherst, University of Massachusetts Press, 2008) p. 158.

The CIA chief of station in Helsinki sent a memo to Murphy and Timm with immediate assurances that Golub had confirmed with Costille that Americans would receive Soviet visas as soon as they made Intourist advance reservations: Memo from Chief, SR to Chief, WE, 10/9/59

Richard Helms told Warren Commission counsel Lee Rankin on 7/31/64 that in Helsinki 5-7 days was the absolute minimum to obtain any visa longer than a 24 hour transit visa: Memo from Richard Helms to J. Lee Rankin, 7/31/64. CIA 104-10009-10053

It was weeks or months to try to obtain the visa anywhere but Helsinki - elsewhere, the rule was that the Soviet consul had to send the visa applications to Moscow:

John Armstrong, Harvey and Lee (Quasar, Ltd., Arlington, Texas, 2003), p. 255.

Oswald arrived in Helsinki late Saturday night on October 10, requested a visa on the 12th, got a visa by the 14th, and was in the USSR by the 15th: Mary Ferrell's chronology, October 1959.

On the 13th, right while Oswald's visa was hanging in the balance, Golub called up Costille and they had a quick lunch and get-together. This was the first time Costille had heard from Golub in more than a month. Golub thanked Costille "profusely" for buying him two tickets to see Leonard Bernstein on the 4th: Dispatch: REDWOOD/REDSKIN/REDCAP re Gregory Golub, 11/27/59, HSCA Segregated CIA Collection (microfilm - reel 8: Golitsyn - Hernandez)/ NARA Record Number: 104-10172-10291

Here's a document showing departure from Finland on the 15th: CE 2775 - Translation of registration of Lee Harvey Oswald for residence in Moscow, October 1959 (CD 735, p. 237).

When the CIA questioned Soviet defector Yuri Nosenko who claimed that Oswald was a KGB agent, the first question on their interrogation list was about Oswald getting a visa within two to four days: HSCA Segregated CIA Collection, Box 56/NARA Record Number: 1993.08.10.14:55:58:930060.

After traveling to Europe by freighter, the normally tight-fisted Marine stayed in an extremely expensive Helsinki hotel and booked a private guided tour of Moscow: John Armstrong, Harvey and Lee (Quasar, Ltd., Arlington, Texas, 2003), p. 255.

Timm had already cautioned that any hope of the "jilted husband" Golub defecting to the West was becoming more remote, and thought that Golub might be on to Costille's game: Memo from CIA Western European chief Eric Timm to Helsinki CIA chief of station, 9/21/59, HSCA Segregated CIA Collection, Box 5/NARA Record Number: 104-10051-10196

Three weeks after Oswald entered Moscow, Golub's wife "returned to Helsinki on 7 November and surprised him after an absence of four months: Personal Information Data, Gregory Golub, p. 10, HSCA Segregated CIA Collection (microfilm - reel 8: Golitsyn - Hernandez)/NARA Record Number: 104-10172-10283

HSCA Segregated CIA Collection (microfilm - reel 8: Golitsyn - Hernandez)/ NARA Record Number: 104-10172-10291

This is part of a long-term pattern of citing LCIMPROVE in espionage affairs directed at the Soviets, when Dillinger describes the phone call of Oswald speaking broken Russian while seeking an instant visa: IN 36017, memo from Mexico City to Headquarters, 10/9/63, Oswald 201 File (201-289248)/NARA Record Number: 104-10015-10047 "Cable Concerning Telephone Call to USSR Embassy From American Male Who Spoke Broken Russian".

Mexico City asks the Navy for a photo of Lee Henry Oswald: MEXI 6534, from G.F. Gestetner to Navy, re "Lee Henry Oswald", 10/15/63, COPY 4 OF A DUPLICATE FILE ENTITLED, "GOODPASTURE.", RIF#: 104-10086-10396

Oswald's plans make sense in the context of the REDSKIN program, which used strictly legal methods such as travel itineraries to gather intelligence about facilities in main metropolitan areas and along main transportation lines: Jeffrey Richelson, A Century of Spies, p. 257

It appears that Oswald may have been part of a vest-pocket operation run by a high CIA official who had no duty to respond in the ordinary channels: One officer acknowledges that "vest pocket" operations exist without other Agency officials knowing about it. At the same time, a deputy chief of clandestine affairs insists that he reviewed every clandestine operation ever run in the Soviet Union. Obviously, these two statements are contradictory.

However, assuming the deputy chief is both truthful and accurate, it would indicate that if Oswald was involved in an operation, and it wasn't REDSKIN, the operation was closely held by someone who did not answer to this deputy chief. HSCA Segregated CIA Collection (staff notes)/ NARA Record Number: 180-10142-10413.

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Helsinki became the only place in the Soviet borderlands where a foreigner could get a visa in a matter of minutes if you "looked all right". This change in policy came down shortly before Oswald needed to cross the Soviet border from Helsinki.

Hi Bill:

Interesting article. Let me say that I do not subscribe to the theory that Lee Oswald was ever a spy for anyone. Nor do I believe that "Helsinki became the only place in the Soviet borderlands where a foreigner could get a visa in a matter of minutes"

Greg Parker and I have argued this issue before, and as far as I can gather, Richard Helms is the ONLY source for this claim that Helsinki was unique.

Richard Helms is a convicted perjurer....

So my question is: Do you have any other source-- besides the perjurer Helms -- for the proposition that Helsinki was the only embassy where a foreign tourist like Lee Oswald could quickly get a tourist visa?

Edited by J. Raymond Carroll

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Helsinki became the only place in the Soviet borderlands where a foreigner could get a visa in a matter of minutes if you "looked all right". This change in policy came down shortly before Oswald needed to cross the Soviet border from Helsinki.

Hi Bill:

Interesting article. Let me say that I do not subscribe to the theory that Lee Oswald was ever a spy for anyone. Nor do I believe that "Helsinki became the only place in the Soviet borderlands where a foreigner could get a visa in a matter of minutes"

Greg Parker and I have argued this issue before, and as far as I can gather, Richard Helms is the ONLY source for this claim that Helsinki was unique.

Richard Helms is a convicted perjurer....

So my question is: Do you have any other source-- besides the perjurer Helms -- for the proposition that Helsinki was the only embassy where a foreign tourist like Lee Oswald could quickly get a tourist visa?

John Newman did extensive research and wrote about this subject years ago. It may or may not satisfy some of your specific questions, but it is very relevant.

Oswald's CIA 201 File & the HSCA

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John Newman did extensive research and wrote about this subject years ago. It may or may not satisfy some of your specific questions, but it is very relevant.

Oswald's CIA 201 File & the HSCA

Thank you Greg. John Newman's book is one of the most important books ever published, and we all owe a debt to Google Books for making it available. But I don't think John Newman is ready to vouch for Richard Helms's reliability as a witness.

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John Newman did extensive research and wrote about this subject years ago. It may or may not satisfy some of your specific questions, but it is very relevant.

Oswald's CIA 201 File & the HSCA

Thank you Greg. John Newman's book is one of the most important books ever published, and we all owe a debt to Google Books for making it available. But I don't think John Newman is ready to vouch for Richard Helms's reliability as a witness.

Bill, that is a fascinating piece, and a lot to absorb. But there was one, albeit speculative, thought that I had when I perused your piece, and that is in reference to the Lt. Harvey Oswald in Cuba. No doubt you are familiar with the stories, actually pre-assassination FBI reports, regarding persons who saw or met someone whom they thought to have been Oswald, with some type of accompanying Cuban angle.

One was a woman in New Orleans, I believe, that met a young man who claimed to have just come back from Cuba, this was on a bus I believe, then there was an American or Latin prisoner in Cuba who attested to seeing someone while there who looked just like or, very much like Oswald, he was released and came back to the US, where he told his story...

At any rate, my belief is that there was someone, probably DRE, or Alpha-66, who, if Oswald had not been arrested in the Texas Theater and had disappeared, would have leaked that "Oswald was in Cuba," whether he was there or not......perchance going so far as to also throw out some photos of whomever the real Oswald imitator in Cuba, was.

I do believe, like many, that the idea was to place LBJ in a position where he would have had no choice but to invade Cuba, if, it could be proven, through, sleight of hand in this case, that Oswald was a com-symp, who killed JFK and scurries back to Cuba......but since Oswald was taken into custody in the Texas Theater, that whole idea, completely unraveled.

As you know, the DRE, John Martino and Frank Sturgis were all proponents of the Castro did it angle, in the immediate aftermath of the assassination, that let fly a slew or rumors and innuendo about Ruby and Oswald being connected to Castro, none of these stories were ever proven. At this late date, as speculative as it is to speak of who the gunmen were, I believe INTERPEN figures are as much of a candidate as Ruby associates, who were in the business of murder.

FWIW

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Helsinki became the only place in the Soviet borderlands where a foreigner could get a visa in a matter of minutes if you "looked all right". This change in policy came down shortly before Oswald needed to cross the Soviet border from Helsinki.

Hi Bill:

Interesting article. Let me say that I do not subscribe to the theory that Lee Oswald was ever a spy for anyone. Nor do I believe that "Helsinki became the only place in the Soviet borderlands where a foreigner could get a visa in a matter of minutes"

Greg Parker and I have argued this issue before, and as far as I can gather, Richard Helms is the ONLY source for this claim that Helsinki was unique.

Richard Helms is a convicted perjurer....

So my question is: Do you have any other source-- besides the perjurer Helms -- for the proposition that Helsinki was the only embassy where a foreign tourist like Lee Oswald could quickly get a tourist visa?

Raymond, your question is a really important one, and at this time I can only answer it by implication. Let me approach it carefully.

On 11/25, there is an incorrect and very curious story in the Stockholm press saying that Oswald was turned away at Helsinki, that he went back to Stockholm, and traveled directly to Moscow two days later. This was reported this to the new President on 11/29, with the proviso that a "very reliable but extremely sensitive source" gives them the right information.

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?docId=107002&relPageId=6

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?docId=107002&relPageId=7

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?docId=107002&relPageId=8

They eventually figure out that he did enter through Helsinki.

There's the HSCA Final Report, at p. 212 which quotes State Department legal adviser Abraham Chayes telling Rankin of the Warren Commission that it's normally a week to get a visa from Helsinki.

Helms' 7/31/64 statement was triggered by the SR/CI's 7/28 report saying that it's a 5 day minimum for Helsinki and Stockholm, and 2-3 days appears to be impossible, they'll write a report on this.

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?docId=957&relPageId=243

Then here's the Deposition of Ray Rocca, Angleton's right hand man, where Rocca testifies that the CIA was never able to figure out how Oswald got his USSR visa so expeditiously. That's hard to believe, because it's no mystery. The 1959 memos spell out how Golub got it done, but they weren't declassified until the 1990s. When asked if the expeditious visa indicates some relationship between Oswald and intelligence, even Rocca had to admit:

"Indeed." He then hedges, but not by much.

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?docId=249&relPageId=265

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?docId=249&relPageId=266

So I'll keep digging, it's a good question. For now, besides the admittedly unreliable Helms, we have Chayes and Rocca saying this is an unusually fast visa, and not suggesting any other cities besides Stockholm where such a thing might be possible.

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So I'll keep digging, it's a good question. For now, besides the admittedly unreliable Helms, we have Chayes and Rocca saying this is an unusually fast visa, and not suggesting any other cities besides Stockholm where such a thing might be possible.

Thank you Bill.

Note the final footnote on page 212 of the HSCA Report, which suggests that the Helsinki episode is evidence of a Soviet intelligence interest in helping Oz.

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?docId=800&relPageId=242

I think that was the Angleton -Helms - Rocca line, beginning soon after the assassination, claiming that Oz was a soviet agent, and that the Soviets had rigged up Helsinki specially to make it easy for him.

I would be hesitant about adopting the propaganda of Helms/Rocca/Angleton as my own theory of the truth.

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Bill:

Some further thoughts, one Kudo and one question on the Helsinki phase of your article. By way of introduction, I fully endorse this proposition:

It is now apparent that the World War III pretext for a national security cover-up was built into the fabric of the plot to assassinate President Kennedy.

(John Newman, Oswald & the CIA, Carroll & Graf edition, p.636)

First, a disagreement:

Keep in mind that Lee Oswald was a US Marine that had not been formally discharged. There was little chance that Moscow was going to grant him a visa, unless a friendly consul gave him an instant visa.

I don't see how the Soviets, even if they took 7 days to check a visa applicant, would easily discover Lee Oswald's status in the armed forces. Even if they could check, what would they discover? He had in fact been honorably discharged from active duty, with some follow-up commitments to be sure, but nothing that would necessarily conflict with a 6-day visit to Russia.

Next the Kudo:

The October 9 REDCAP memo provided immediate assurances that Golub had confirmed with Costille that Americans would receive Soviet visas as soon as they made Intourist advance reservations. How did this gem get by CIA deputy chief Richard Helms? Helms was in charge of investigating all issues related to the CIA for the Warren Commission. Helms had access to these REDCAP documents, but closed his eyes and touted that a 5-7 days was the absolute minimum to obtain any visa longer than a 24 hour transit visa.

Helms was promoting the World War III deception. Helms knew that it was easy to get a tourist visa in Helsinki in 1959.

Helms also knew it was easy to get get an indirect commercial flight from London to Helsinki, yet he left suspicions lingering until Chris Mills -- who had none of the resources available to Helms --looked into the matter.

Helsinki was the exception during 1959. It took weeks or months to obtain a Soviet visa anywhere else, because the general rule was that the Soviet consul had to send the visa applications to Moscow.

That is what Helms wanted us to believe, and as I stated on the linked thread, there is no evidence to support it so I've got fifty bucks that says it isn't true.

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=16104

This is from the Guardian newspaper in 1959:

Ten years ago if you asked the Soviet Embassy in London for a tourist visa they would not even bother to answer your letter. To-day they will give you one the same afternoon, with an effusive smile and a shower of pamphlets. ...

http://books.google.com/books?ei=f3ojTJL4C8P38Abip6G_BQ&ct=result&id=NWcrAQAAIAAJ&dq=khrushchev+1959+tourist+visa&q=+tourist+visa#search_anchor

I have no doubt that Helms also knew that tourist visas could easily be had in London in 1959.

So much for the uniqueness of Helsinki, and yes I will accept payment in Canadian dollars.

Finally, a question:

When the CIA questioned Soviet defector Yuri Nosenko claim that Oswald was a KGB agent, the first question on one of the interrogation lists was about Oswald getting a visa within two to four days.

What was Nosenko's response, and are the records of this available online?

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Bill:

Some further thoughts, one Kudo and one question on the Helsinki phase of your article. By way of introduction, I fully endorse this proposition:

It is now apparent that the World War III pretext for a national security cover-up was built into the fabric of the plot to assassinate President Kennedy.

(John Newman, Oswald & the CIA, Carroll & Graf edition, p.636)

First, a disagreement:

Keep in mind that Lee Oswald was a US Marine that had not been formally discharged. There was little chance that Moscow was going to grant him a visa, unless a friendly consul gave him an instant visa.

I don't see how the Soviets, even if they took 7 days to check a visa applicant, would easily discover Lee Oswald's status in the armed forces. Even if they could check, what would they discover? He had in fact been honorably discharged from active duty, with some follow-up commitments to be sure, but nothing that would necessarily conflict with a 6-day visit to Russia.

Next the Kudo:

The October 9 REDCAP memo provided immediate assurances that Golub had confirmed with Costille that Americans would receive Soviet visas as soon as they made Intourist advance reservations. How did this gem get by CIA deputy chief Richard Helms? Helms was in charge of investigating all issues related to the CIA for the Warren Commission. Helms had access to these REDCAP documents, but closed his eyes and touted that a 5-7 days was the absolute minimum to obtain any visa longer than a 24 hour transit visa.

Helms was promoting the World War III deception. Helms knew that it was easy to get a tourist visa in Helsinki in 1959.

Helms also knew it was easy to get get an indirect commercial flight from London to Helsinki, yet he left suspicions lingering until Chris Mills -- who had none of the resources available to Helms --looked into the matter.

Helsinki was the exception during 1959. It took weeks or months to obtain a Soviet visa anywhere else, because the general rule was that the Soviet consul had to send the visa applications to Moscow.

That is what Helms wanted us to believe, and as I stated on the linked thread, there is no evidence to support it so I've got fifty bucks that says it isn't true.

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=16104

This is from the Guardian newspaper in 1959:

Ten years ago if you asked the Soviet Embassy in London for a tourist visa they would not even bother to answer your letter. To-day they will give you one the same afternoon, with an effusive smile and a shower of pamphlets. ...

http://books.google.com/books?ei=f3ojTJL4C8P38Abip6G_BQ&ct=result&id=NWcrAQAAIAAJ&dq=khrushchev+1959+tourist+visa&q=+tourist+visa#search_anchor

I have no doubt that Helms also knew that tourist visas could easily be had in London in 1959.

So much for the uniqueness of Helsinki, and yes I will accept payment in Canadian dollars.

Finally, a question:

When the CIA questioned Soviet defector Yuri Nosenko claim that Oswald was a KGB agent, the first question on one of the interrogation lists was about Oswald getting a visa within two to four days.

What was Nosenko's response, and are the records of this available online?

_____________________________________________________________________________________

Good question, and here's what I've found out about Nosenko's response so far:

Nosenko says that there is no requirement to clear tourists thru Moscow, because they need the money. He says that if a tourist in "Italy, Sweden, Finland..." wants to visit the USSR, they may be able to get in within 3-5 days. So Helsinki, according to Nosenko, is not unique.

But 3-5 days is the norm, because the request has to be run by the Ambassador for approval. When Nosenko is asked if the time can be shorter, he says "I have seen the allowance that was given to the Ambassadors. It was said three to five days. This was for tourists only." He also said that the issuing agent (such as Golub) need not be KGB.

Nosenko says "this was in the form of a directive...the KGB answer was provided by the SCD and signed by the Chairman or one of his Deputies. The 7th Department prepared the original answer." When asked what year this was, Nosenko responded, "Maybe 1960".

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?docId=55330&relPageId=11

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?docId=55330&relPageId=12

Let's assume that Nosenko is correct, and let's also assume that the directive in place by 1959. It's still very unusual.

Oswald did not apply for his visa until the 13th. http://www.russianbooks.org/oswald/journey.htm

"On 13 October Golub called Costille to invite him to lunch. (This is the first overture Golub has made toward Costille since the beginning of

September.)" They agree to a quick lunch that very day. http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?docId=18377&relPageId=3

On the 14th, Oswald gets his visa.

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?docId=10673&relPageId=369

Nosenko said that 3-5 days was the procedure, not one day.

Let me know what more you find! Thanks.

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I don't see how the Soviets, even if they took 7 days to check a visa applicant, would easily discover Lee Oswald's status in the armed forces. Even if they could check, what would they discover? He had in fact been honorably discharged from active duty, with some follow-up commitments to be sure, but nothing that would necessarily conflict with a 6-day visit to Russia.

One thing Posner got right was that his status as a reservist limited his ability to travel overseas. One permissable reason would be "study".

Helms was promoting the World War III deception.

Actually this is just an extreme example of the "Bogota Syndrome", an expression coined after the alleged* CIA intelligence failure prior to the Bogotazo. It was defined as "an extraordinary concern with early warning of crises and emphasis on the Communist angle"

* I say "alleged" because I believe the outcome was what was desired - ergo, not a failure within the CIA. But in any case, Director Hillenkoetter did produced at least some evidence that intelligence was passed on to the State Dept.

Edited by Greg Parker

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J Raymond Carroll

You wrote:

"Helms also knew it was easy to get get an indirect commercial flight from London to Helsinki, yet he left suspicions lingering until Chris Mills -- who had none of the resources available to Helms --looked into the matter."

As you may remember Antti Hynonen and I did addtional research on this subject which was reviewed and endorsed by Chris Mills. Of the two flights which would have arrived in Helsinki in time for Oswald to "check into the Torni Hotel when he did in fact check in" only one picked up passengers in Stockholm before traveling to Helsinki (the second which arrived some 30 min. after the fisrt). If Oswald were on the second plane to arrive in Helsinki then Oswald having been in Stockholm would have some measure of truth. I do not believe the first plane landed in Stockholm as one of its many stops.

The Stockholm to Helsinki plane began its journey in Frankfurt, traveled to Hamburg and then to Stockholm. This was a daily route.

There are several interesting things about this route:

1) There was a flight from London to Frankfurt that would have arrived in time for Oswald to have taken this route before getting on the plane that would take him to Helsinki.

2) There was a flight from London to Hamburg which would have allowed Oswald to arrive in Hamburg to then hope the flight to Stockholm and Helsinki.

3) If Oswald would have traveled from La Harve to Paris instead of backtracking (and spending extra money) to London, the Paris route to Helsinki would have taken Oswald to Hamburg and then on the same plane to Stockholm/Helsinki with one major difference: Oswald would have landed in Helsinki the day before the State Department received the information about the Soviet Embassy in Helsinki and before it had been pointed out that a person who wanted to receive an "instant" visa into the Soviet Union via the Helsinki Embassy would need to first purchase First Class Intourist Vouchers (which Oswald did ) before applying for and receiving this visa.

4) The passenger list, while available at the time of the Warren Comiission , were never made public allowing for speculation that a sensitive name may well have been on the (or one of the) planes that Oswald used to reach Helsinki.

5) During the same time period that Oswald would be traveling to Helsinki Maj. Gen. Edwin Anderson Walker was traveling to take command of the 24th Infantry Division in Augsberg, Germany (in a change of command that was not in sequence to the normal tour and command change).

6) At the time the normal route from London to Augsburg would have put Walker on a London to Hamberg flight and then utilized ground transportaiton to complete the travel to Augsburg.

7) If Walker would have first traveled to NATO command before goint to Augsburg he would have traveled from London to Frankfurt.

I do not believe there would have been any more sensitive names in the flight records than to have found both Oswald and Walker on the same flight in October of 1959. Speculation of course but in the Warren Commission records they give the exact, to the penny, amount that Oswald spent on his travel from London to Helsinki, $111.90.

Seems someone knew what flight/s Oswald took Helsinki and who else was on the plane/s but after months of waiting choose not let the Warren Commission know.

I cover this in much more depth in my article "Serendipity" located in the JFK Online Seminars

Jim Root

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http://www.opednews....101001-277.html

Oswald meets Don Alejandro, a White Russian in the Soviet Union

When Oswald began working in Minsk at the Radio and TV factory as one of 5000 employees, he noticed that he was "being observed" by his supervisor. The supervisor was chief engineer Alexander Romanovich Ziger, a Polish Jew in his late forties who had supposedly relocated to Argentina in 1938 and returned to Belarus around 1955 or 1956. Mr. Ziger spoke English with an American accent, while his family spoke no English. Ziger claimed he had worked for an American company in Argentina.

Sources describe Ziger as Alejandro or as Aleksandr. Oswald called himself "Alec" or "Alik" while in the USSR, and even obtained a hunting license under the name "Aleksey Harvey Oswald". Although the story is that "Lee" is difficult for Russians to pronounce, I suspect that his friendship with Don Alejandro was a major factor. Between 1959-1962, Oswald and "Don Alejandro" spent six days a week together at the factory and three or four nights at the Ziger home speaking in English over tea and cakes. Oswald enjoyed many Sunday drives into the country with the family. Don Alejandro is Legend Maker #8.

http://www.opednews....101001-277.html

Edited by William Kelly

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Consider joining the Mary Ferrell Foundation, which provides offers unlimited access to millions of documents that make a difference.

It is indeed a good place to start, however, most docs that originated in the much earlier years from the FBI/CIA will not be found there. And,

Some evidence you cannot find at all. Thus,

The reason for courtroom battles against the FOIA, most of the time in favor for "them".

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