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Greg Parker

reply to ray carroll

55 posts in this topic

Ray, I have copied this from "The Office that Spied on it's Own Spies" thread, as I do not wish to distract from Bill's important article.

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?

Just on the Helsinki issue, I don't recall whether there were other sources or not. What I do know is that no one has yet pointed to any other city where "quickie" visas to the USSR could be obtained. Apart from that, the State Dept should have known if any such places existed. If it had known, it would have bent over backwards to provide that information, since it would go against the premise that Oswald got any help in his travels. Instead, the dept did not even appear to know about Helsinki, let alone anyehere else. So it is not so much a matter of Helms being a "pergurer" (which on it's own is no indication he lied about anything and everything), but a matter of no one being able to disprove it was the only such place.

Let me say that I do not subscribe to the theory that Lee Oswald was ever a spy for anyone.

Not sure if this was aimed at me and Bill or just Bill. In case it was to both, I should say that Bill and I do have differences in opinion on the USSR trip. But neither of us believe Lee was a spy.

My position is this:

Eisenhower was deeply concerned about his ability to broker a deal on a test ban treaty. A major reason for all the exchange agreements was to try and bring the super-powers closer together on such issues. One thing which was not subject to sharing under the scientific agreements was anything with direct military application. This information was usually shared only with NATO countries. In an attempt to sweeten his position in the upcoming summit, Eissenhower, though the Special Group, organised for a courier to deliver data on Project Teepee - a missile monitoring system. Oswald's mission would be supported by CIA through existing programs such as REDSKIN & REDCAP/REDSOX.

In exchange for this data, Mikoyan agreed to allow the courier to stay as a "defector" to gather agreed upon information. Also, as a bonus, both sides could monitor how Oswald would be dealt with by the KGB and CIA. Oswald had been chosen because he fit the "defector" profile as established during the investigations into the Korean POWs. Very few in the CIA were privy to Oswald's status.

I also do not think Oswald was told he was to "defect" until virtually the 11th hour. This was why it was necessary to have a CIA REDSKIN agent in Snyder's office at the time of the attempt. He was there to brief Oswald on the type of information they wanted him to stay and obtain. There may have been elements of REDCAP to his mission as well (that is in liasing with White Russian cells). Nor was Oswald told in his "defection", he was virtually working for both sides (i.e. the aforementioned monitoring aspect).

What Eisenhohwer did not bank on was being double-crossed by both the Special Group and the CIA - neither of whom wanted a test ban treat to go ahead. Thus, the whole operation is taken over as a "vest pocket" operation - and the U2 makes a flight AFTER such flights were banned by Ike, and the plane is bought down. Additionally, somewhere in the mix, Oswald is hijacked by Angleton to use in his mole-hunting. A "vest pocket" operation has been described as "off-the-book actions undertaken in such a fashion either to provide plausible deniability for squeamish political leadership, OR TO UNDERMINE AND CIRCUMVENT THAT LEADERSHIP."

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?mode=searchResult&absPageId=222327

With regard to PROJECT TEEPEE... the sharing of this was viewed through the prism of Nash's Equilibrium. Essentially, this is the art of appearing to have equilibrium whilst actually having a strategic advantage. The advantage here was that TEEPEE was already redundant by the time it was shared with the Soviets. Whilst Oswald was preparing for his trip to the USSR, the DoD ordered that VELA come online. It had been developed around the same time as TEEPEE, but was considered superior.

Information on TEEPEE and VELA came from Jim Olmstead -- one of the most under-rated reserachers out there. That said, I am not sure Jim totally agrees with my take on things either.

You can see how all of this fits together via my timeline here: http://reopenkennedycase.weebly.com/oswalds-russian-trip.html This is an ongoing project, and as such the timeline is updated periodically.

Edited by Greg Parker

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Just on the Helsinki issue, I don't recall whether there were other sources or not.

Hi Greg:

I take this as an admission that there are no other sources besides the perjurer, Richard Helms.

So it is not so much a matter of Helms being a "perjurer" (which on it's own is no indication he lied about anything and everything), but a matter of no one being able to disprove it was the only such place.

So you are telling me that I cannot disprove the testimony of a proven perjurer? I'll take that job any day. When you rely on the testimony of a known perjurer, the burden of proof is on you.

But neither of us believe Lee was a spy.

My position is this:

I also do not think Oswald was told he was to "defect" until virtually the 11th hour. This was why it was necessary to have a CIA REDSKIN agent in Snyder's office at the time of the attempt. He was there to brief Oswald on the type of information they wanted him to stay and obtain. There may have been elements of REDCAP to his mission as well (that is in liasing with White Russian cells). Nor was Oswald told in his "defection", he was virtually working for both sides (i.e. the aforementioned monitoring aspect).

It sounds as though you DO BELIEVE that Lee Oswald was a spy. In fact, it sounds as though you are accusing him of being a spy FOR BOTH SIDES.

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Just on the Helsinki issue, I don't recall whether there were other sources or not.

Hi Greg:

I take this as an admission that there are no other sources besides the perjurer, Richard Helms.

Actually Ray, I was asleep at the wheel when I replied previously. Helms was not the source for it. He told the WC that it took at least a week.

The facts did not come until until the HSCA uncovered the Golub documents.

So it is not so much a matter of Helms being a "perjurer" (which on it's own is no indication he lied about anything and everything), but a matter of no one being able to disprove it was the only such place.

So you are telling me that I cannot disprove the testimony of a proven perjurer? I'll take that job any day. When you rely on the testimony of a known perjurer, the burden of proof is on you.

Please show me the testimony where he states you could get a quickie (1 to 2 days) visa in Helsinki.

But neither of us believe Lee was a spy.

My position is this:

I also do not think Oswald was told he was to "defect" until virtually the 11th hour. This was why it was necessary to have a CIA REDSKIN agent in Snyder's office at the time of the attempt. He was there to brief Oswald on the type of information they wanted him to stay and obtain. There may have been elements of REDCAP to his mission as well (that is in liasing with White Russian cells). Nor was Oswald told in his "defection", he was virtually working for both sides (i.e. the aforementioned monitoring aspect).

It sounds as though you DO BELIEVE that Lee Oswald was a spy. In fact, it sounds as though you are accusing him of being a spy FOR BOTH SIDES.

Not at all. Initially a courier legally, but covertly delivering radar information (you need to check the wording on the scientific exchange agreement to know that it was legal, despite the covert nature of the delivery), he was thereafter used in various ways, probably including being an unwitting asset for both sides to test reactions to him by CIA and KGB. How does that make him a spy for both sides? Yes, he gathered information for the US, but even that was done legally.

Among other things he may have done for the US:

Meet with NTS cell in Minsk.

Marry Marina and return with her to the US.

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My position is this:

I also do not think Oswald was told he was to "defect" until virtually the 11th hour.

Yes, he gathered information for the US, but even that was done legally.

Among other things he may have done for the US:

Meet with NTS cell in Minsk.

Marry Marina and return with her to the US.[/color]

Well I don't know whether to laugh or cry on reading this, Greg.

How about a more innocent explanation for Lee Oswald's adventure to Mother Russia?

From Bill Simprich's article:

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.

And I've got fifty bucks that says Soviet Consuls in other cities got the same directive from Moscow central. The Soviet Union had decided upon a MAJOR SHIFT in its policy towards foreign tourism.

In September 1959 Kruschev began a 10 -day visit to the US. Khruschev's visit was major news, and President Eisenhower accepted an invitation to visit Russia in 1960. No doubt Lee was among the two-thirds of Americans who warmly welcomed Chairman K. (See August 1959 opinion polls below). Kruschev's 10-day visit had no precedent and represented the first thaw in the cold war. It was airbrushed out of popular memory when the U2 incident scuppered Ike's plan to visit Russia in 1960.

I have not done a real study of contemporaneous news accounts, but I believe "cultural exchange" was in the air and something Chairman K advocated as he travelled around the US and in his summit with President Eisenhower. Khrushchev made it official policy to encourage tourism into the USSR, so in that context it is not surprising that embassies (including Helsinki) had power to issue short-stay tourist visas with a minimum of red tape. Anyway, the Soviets had plan B - every tourist would be monitored by the Intourist agency.

Lee Oswald set out for Moscow shortly after Kruschev's visit to the United States, and I suggest it was Kruschev's open invitation to American tourists that emboldened him.

PUBLIC OPINION AUGUST 1959

5. As you may have heard, there has been some talk recently about U.S.

and

Soviet leaders visiting each others' countries. Do you happen to know

if Premier

Khrushchev has recently accepted any invitation to visit the United

States?

Yes, he has - 75% No, he hasn't - 3 Don't

know - 22,

Public Opinion Online, 58 words, RUSSIA, DIPLOMACY, INFORMATION, August

20,

1959, GALLUP POLL--A.I.P.O.

6. As you may know, Premier Khrushchev is visiting the U.S. around

September 15

(1959) and President Eisenhower will visit the U.S.S.R. shortly after.

All

things considered, do you approve or disapprove of Khrushchev's visit

to the

U.S.? Approve - 66% Disapprove - 20 Don't

know - 14,

Public Opinion Online, 58 words, RUSSIA, DIPLOMACY, August 20, 1959,

GALLUP

POLL--A.I.P.O.

7. Does the U.S. agreement to the exchange of visits (between

Eisenhower and

Khrushchev), in your opinion, mean that there has been a softening in

basic U.S.

attitudes toward communism, or do you interpret it as mainly a new

effort to

reduce tensions? Softening in attitudes - 8% Reduce

tensions

- 76 Don't know - 17, Public Opinion

Online, 69

words, RUSSIA, DIPLOMACY, COMMUNISM, August 20, 1959, GALLUP

POLL--A.I.P.O.

8. How much progress do you think such an exchange of visits (between

Eisenhower

and Khrushchev) is likely to make toward easing cold-war tensions--a

great deal,

some, only a little, or none at all? Great deal - 13%

Some

- 36 Only a little - 24 None at all - 13

Don't

know - 15, Public Opinion Online, 66 words, RUSSIA, DIPLOMACY,

August 20,

1959, GALLUP POLL--A.I.P.O.

Weberman's page: Angleton Dispatches Teenager to Moscow.

http://www.ajweberma...les/nodule2.htm

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My position is this:

I also do not think Oswald was told he was to "defect" until virtually the 11th hour.

Yes, he gathered information for the US, but even that was done legally.

Among other things he may have done for the US:

Meet with NTS cell in Minsk.

Marry Marina and return with her to the US.[/color]

Well I don't know whether to laugh or cry on reading this, Greg.

How about a more innocent explanation for Lee Oswald's adventure to Mother Russia?

From Bill Simprich's article:

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.

I'm afraid you must be misunderstanding Bill's article if you think he is postulating an innocent explanation.

And I've got fifty bucks that says Soviet Consuls in other cities got the same directive from Moscow central. The Soviet Union had decided upon a MAJOR SHIFT in its policy towards foreign tourism.

Then it should be easy to demonstrate what other cities loosened up visa applications for US citizens.

In September 1959 Kruschev began a 10 -day visit to the US. Khruschev's visit was major news, and President Eisenhower accepted an invitation to visit Russia in 1960. No doubt Lee was among the two-thirds of Americans who warmly welcomed Chairman K. (See August 1959 opinion polls below). Kruschev's 10-day visit had no precedent and represented the first thaw in the cold war. It was airbrushed out of popular memory when the U2 incident scuppered Ike's plan to visit Russia in 1960.

I have not done a real study of contemporaneous news accounts, but I believe "cultural exchange" was in the air and something Chairman K advocated as he travelled around the US and in his summit with President Eisenhower. Khrushchev made it official policy to encourage tourism into the USSR, so in that context it is not surprising that embassies (including Helsinki) had power to issue short-stay tourist visas with a minimum of red tape. Anyway, the Soviets had plan B - every tourist would be monitored by the Intourist agency.

From memory only: Short stay (24 hr) quickie visas did apply - but only for businessmen in transit (or some such).

Lee Oswald set out for Moscow shortly after Kruschev's visit to the United States, and I suggest it was Kruschev's open invitation to American tourists that emboldened him.

PUBLIC OPINION AUGUST 1959

5. As you may have heard, there has been some talk recently about U.S.

and

Soviet leaders visiting each others' countries. Do you happen to know

if Premier

Khrushchev has recently accepted any invitation to visit the United

States?

Yes, he has - 75% No, he hasn't - 3 Don't

know - 22,

Public Opinion Online, 58 words, RUSSIA, DIPLOMACY, INFORMATION, August

20,

1959, GALLUP POLL--A.I.P.O.

6. As you may know, Premier Khrushchev is visiting the U.S. around

September 15

(1959) and President Eisenhower will visit the U.S.S.R. shortly after.

All

things considered, do you approve or disapprove of Khrushchev's visit

to the

U.S.? Approve - 66% Disapprove - 20 Don't

know - 14,

Public Opinion Online, 58 words, RUSSIA, DIPLOMACY, August 20, 1959,

GALLUP

POLL--A.I.P.O.

7. Does the U.S. agreement to the exchange of visits (between

Eisenhower and

Khrushchev), in your opinion, mean that there has been a softening in

basic U.S.

attitudes toward communism, or do you interpret it as mainly a new

effort to

reduce tensions? Softening in attitudes - 8% Reduce

tensions

- 76 Don't know - 17, Public Opinion

Online, 69

words, RUSSIA, DIPLOMACY, COMMUNISM, August 20, 1959, GALLUP

POLL--A.I.P.O.

8. How much progress do you think such an exchange of visits (between

Eisenhower

and Khrushchev) is likely to make toward easing cold-war tensions--a

great deal,

some, only a little, or none at all? Great deal - 13%

Some

- 36 Only a little - 24 None at all - 13

Don't

know - 15, Public Opinion Online, 66 words, RUSSIA, DIPLOMACY,

August 20,

1959, GALLUP POLL--A.I.P.O.

Weberman's page: Angleton Dispatches Teenager to Moscow.

http://www.ajweberma...les/nodule2.htm

Ray, the link may have worked 5 years ago when you first posted it, but it doesn't now.

Nor are Gallup Poll results any more convincing now than they were 5 years ago. If one of the questions had been "Do you think it is a good thing that the Soviets have made it easy for US citizens to obtain visas?" you might have a point.

In any case, it makes absolutely no sense for the CIA and State department to HIDE information on generally available looser arrangements, if such arrangements actually existed through multiple embassies. How would hiding that information from the WC help the lone nut scenario?

In case you missed it (and you may have since you did not respond to it) I suggest you go back and read Robert Charles-Dunne's informative post 41 on the subject. Among other nuggets, it shows that the State Dept obtained advice from 3 Helsinki travel agencies. They all said it takes 1 to 2 weeks for a Soviet visa. Seems the local experts did not even know about the quickie visas. I'd say that was understandable. It was far from common knowledge...

Edited by Greg Parker

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Then it should be easy to demonstrate what other cities loosened up visa applications for US citizens.

You make the extraordinary claim that Helsinki was the ONLY consulate where a quickie visa could be had. But in view of the new Soviet policy on tourism, that claim is not even plausible.

In case you missed it (and you may have since you did not respond to it) I suggest you go back and read Robert Charles-Dunne's informative post 41 on the subject.

I took a look at Mr. Charles - Dunne's post. I did not reply, because it is common knowledge -- thanks to the British reporter who researched the issue, that there were several indirect flights from London to Helsinki that would have gotten Lee Oswald there on schedule.

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Then it should be easy to demonstrate what other cities loosened up visa applications for US citizens.

You make the extraordinary claim that Helsinki was the ONLY consulate where a quickie visa could be had. But in view of the new Soviet policy on tourism, that claim is not even plausible.

This new policy was announced in September, 1959 during Niki's visit to the US, according to you, correct Ray?

The Soviet Consul in Helsinki told his US counterpart in July that he would commence issuing quickie visas. If this was part of any loosening of red tape to encourage tourism, it not only pre-empted Niki's announcement, it defeated the whole aim by restricting such visas to Americans -and even then, only ones he deemed to be "okay". But then, he was not being wined and dined and set up with pretty young things by Consul officers from Botswana.

In case you missed it (and you may have since you did not respond to it) I suggest you go back and read Robert Charles-Dunne's informative post 41 on the subject.

I took a look at Mr. Charles - Dunne's post. I did not reply, because it is common knowledge -- thanks to the British reporter who researched the issue, that there were several indirect flights from London to Helsinki that would have gotten Lee Oswald there on schedule.

How did you go about determining this was "common knowledge"? Did you commission a Gallup Poll? Interesting debating technique too. Ignore comments with which you have evidence refuting the claim being made.

What about all the other issues discussed by Mr Charles-Dunne? Should I assume since you also ignored those that you therefore must have evidence which contradicts those facts?

Please list all of the cities in which Soviet consulates issued visas in one or two days in 1959.

Once you've done the above, please explain ( a ) what purpose was served by the State Dept and CIA hiding that information from the WC and

( b ) why the HSCA investigation came up with Helsinki as the sole place one could obtain such a visa.

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Not at all. Initially a courier legally, but covertly delivering radar information (you need to check the wording on the scientific exchange agreement to know that it was legal, despite the covert nature of the delivery), he was thereafter used in various ways, probably including being an unwitting asset for both sides to test reactions to him by CIA and KGB. How does that make him a spy for both sides? Yes, he gathered information for the US, but even that was done legally.

Hi Greg

If Oswald wasn't spying, in some capacity, then CE92 must amount to an incredibly boring hobby that he developed whilst in residence.

Ian Fleming certainly didn't give him any inspiration concerning how he articulated the many facts, numbers and statistics he so obviously collected whilst in the Soviet Union because by any stretch of the imagination, this "narrative" he took time to prepare, write and type up doesn't strike me as light-hearted escapist reading.

http://www.aarclibrary.org/publib/jfk/wc/wcvols/wh16/pdf/WH16_CE_92.pdf

Lee

Lee,

as I said above, he gathered information for the US legally. Spying is an illegal activity, but a tourist, or other legal visitor to a country is free to keep a diary and take note of anything not restricted by local law. The CIA knew this and had a program utilzing legal travellers to gather information as mundane as the color of the earth in certain places they might visit. There was no such thing as information which was not useful, so long as it was accurate.

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This new policy was announced in September, 1959 during Niki's visit to the US, according to you, correct Ray?

The Soviet Consul in Helsinki told his US counterpart in July that he would commence issuing quickie visas. If this was part of any loosening of red tape to encourage tourism, it not only pre-empted Niki's announcement, it defeated the whole aim by restricting such visas to Americans -and even then, only ones he deemed to be "okay".

I cannot tell you exactly when the new Soviet policy on tourism was FIRST announced. No doubt it was decided well in advance of Kruschev's trip.

And where is your evidence that this new policy was aimed ONLY at AMERICAN tourists. Golub said it applied to Americans, but I don't think he ever said that it ONLY applied to Americans.

How did you go about determining this was "common knowledge"? Did you commission a Gallup Poll?

Ever since Chris Mills's 1996 article in the Dealey Plaza Echo, it has been common knowledge among researchers that Lee Oswald could easily have taken an indirect commercial flight from London to Helsinki.

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?absPageId=388371

What about all the other issues discussed by Mr Charles-Dunne? Should I assume since you also ignored those that you therefore must have evidence which contradicts those facts?

Charles-Dunne makes assertions. Since his assertions are not supported by evidence, they cannot be called "facts."

Please list all of the cities in which Soviet consulates issued visas in one or two days in 1959.

You are the one making the extraordinary claim -- that Helsinki was unique -- so YOU have to supply the evidence to support your claim.

why the HSCA investigation came up with Helsinki as the sole place one could obtain such a visa.

Maybe now we may be getting somewhere. Greg, could you please post a link to the HSCA discussion of this question?

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This new policy was announced in September, 1959 during Niki's visit to the US, according to you, correct Ray?

The Soviet Consul in Helsinki told his US counterpart in July that he would commence issuing quickie visas. If this was part of any loosening of red tape to encourage tourism, it not only pre-empted Niki's announcement, it defeated the whole aim by restricting such visas to Americans -and even then, only ones he deemed to be "okay".

I cannot tell you exactly when the new Soviet policy on tourism was FIRST announced. No doubt it was decided well in advance of Kruschev's trip.

So you're basing your opinion on at least some guess work, Ray?

And where is your evidence that this new policy was aimed ONLY at AMERICAN tourists. Golub said it applied to Americans, but I don't think he ever said that it ONLY applied to Americans.

"The lunch was spent in mostly in polite, friendly conversation. Golub remarked that now Moscow had given him the authority to give Americans visas without prior approval from Moscow. He stated that this would nake his job much easier, and as long as he was convinced the American was 'all right' he could give him his visa in a matter of minutes."

How did you go about determining this was "common knowledge"? Did you commission a Gallup Poll?

Ever since Chris Mills's 1996 article in the Dealey Plaza Echo, it has been common knowledge among researchers that Lee Oswald could easily have taken an indirect commercial flight from London to Helsinki.

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?absPageId=388371

With due respect to the good folk at UK Dealey Plaza, I don't the readership was high enough in 1995 to claim anything it published must now be deemed "common knowledge". If you have any facts which correct what you think is an error by a poster, surely the idea would be to bring that to their attention?

What about all the other issues discussed by Mr Charles-Dunne? Should I assume since you also ignored those that you therefore must have evidence which contradicts those facts?

Charles-Dunne makes assertions. Since his assertions are not supported by evidence, they cannot be called "facts."

Everything RC-D said is verifiable. The only person making assumptions without knowing all the facts is you, Ray. Just look at your last reply. You admit not knowing when Moscow announced its new policy on tourism, and yet you insist this policy meant numerous Soviet consuls across Europe could issue quick visas by October, 1959. More telling still, you are unable to name any of those cities, except the one we all know about - Helsinki.

Please list all of the cities in which Soviet consulates issued visas in one or two days in 1959.

You are the one making the extraordinary claim -- that Helsinki was unique -- so YOU have to supply the evidence to support your claim.

why the HSCA investigation came up with Helsinki as the sole place one could obtain such a visa

Maybe now we may be getting somewhere. Greg, could you please post a link to the HSCA discussion of this question?

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?mode=searchResult&absPageId=69279

This verifies instant visas for business in-transit travellers staying no longer than 24 hours. They had to read then still classified documents on Golub to get the facts on his arrangment for US citizens. Do you think it would have been this difficult to get the information if Golub's policy was widespread as you claim?

Edited by Greg Parker

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Not at all. Initially a courier legally, but covertly delivering radar information (you need to check the wording on the scientific exchange agreement to know that it was legal, despite the covert nature of the delivery), he was thereafter used in various ways, probably including being an unwitting asset for both sides to test reactions to him by CIA and KGB. How does that make him a spy for both sides? Yes, he gathered information for the US, but even that was done legally.

Hi Greg

If Oswald wasn't spying, in some capacity, then CE92 must amount to an incredibly boring hobby that he developed whilst in residence.

Ian Fleming certainly didn't give him any inspiration concerning how he articulated the many facts, numbers and statistics he so obviously collected whilst in the Soviet Union because by any stretch of the imagination, this "narrative" he took time to prepare, write and type up doesn't strike me as light-hearted escapist reading.

http://www.aarclibrary.org/publib/jfk/wc/wcvols/wh16/pdf/WH16_CE_92.pdf

Lee

Lee,

as I said above, he gathered information for the US legally. Spying is an illegal activity, but a tourist, or other legal visitor to a country is free to keep a diary and take note of anything not restricted by local law. The CIA knew this and had a program utilzing legal travellers to gather information as mundane as the color of the earth in certain places they might visit. There was no such thing as information which was not useful, so long as it was accurate.

Just a quick follow-up question so I can understand this further Greg. Is there nothing included within Oswald's writings (CE92 being a compilation of his observations during his period in the USSR) that would contravene or break "local law" if he'd been caught collecting and/or documenting it or still further, leaving with it?

Lee

Lee, Priscilla McMillan was an expert on Soviet Law and she never claimed his written observations contravened any Soviet laws. My own best guess is no, unless it included specific data about what the secretive Experimental Shop was working on during the short period he was working in it before moving to the main factory.

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why the HSCA investigation came up with Helsinki as the sole place one could obtain such a visa

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?mode=searchResult&absPageId=69279

Greg: Thank you for posting this link.

Now please correct me if I am wrong, but I do not see where the HSCA concluded that Helsinki was unique. More importantly, I do not see where the HSCA had a scintilla of evidence from which it COULD legitimately conclude that Helsinki was unique.

We know there was a change in Soviet policy to encourage western tourism; We know Helsinki got the memo shortly before Chairman Kruschev's much ballyhooed state visit to the USA, but there is nothing here to show that Helsinki was unique.

You and Bill Simpich claim that Helsinki was unique. The person who makes the argument is the one who has the burden of adducing evidence in support, and so far you have not shown us any.

Edited by J. Raymond Carroll

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Greg:

Debating Carroll's a waste of time. Thus far in this thread, we have him:

**making the baseless assertion about Helms having either invented or been the sole source of info regarding the quickie visa application (not true), primarily because Helms was convicted of perjury a dozen years later. It is easier to impugn the man than refute his message, and even THAT Carroll got wrong;

**asserting that a brand new cultural detente was taking place and any US citizen wishing to do so could all but board the next Aeroflot from NYC to Moscow (not true);

**claiming that he's "got fifty bucks that says Soviet Consuls in other cities got the same directive from Moscow central." But not the proof needed to win the wager. Too much effort apparently;

**asserting that "Lee Oswald set out for Moscow shortly after Kruschev's visit to the United States, and I suggest it was Kruschev's open invitation to American tourists that emboldened him." No doubt a prior Khrushchev speech is what inspired Oswald to learn to speak Russian, to apply for a Marine Corps discharge a month before Nikita's US visit, to apply for a US passport by claiming his intent to visit the USSR, all more than ten days before Khrushchev's first state-side speech;

**groundlessly spitballs conjecture such as "Khrushchev made it official policy to encourage tourism into the USSR, so in that context it is not surprising that embassies (including Helsinki) had power to issue short-stay tourist visas with a minimum of red tape." Yet fails to provide any documentary evidence for any of it;

**doubles down on such baseless hypotheses by stating as near fact: "You make the extraordinary claim that Helsinki was the ONLY consulate where a quickie visa could be had. But in view of the new Soviet policy on tourism, that claim is not even plausible." Without, again, troubling himself to provide us with a single iota of fact, merely assertions, suppositions and fantasy;

**upends logic and exposes his own spectacular inabilities to read and comprehend with this bon mot: "I took a look at Mr. Charles - Dunne's post. I did not reply, because it is common knowledge -- thanks to the British reporter who researched the issue, that there were several indirect flights from London to Helsinki that would have gotten Lee Oswald there on schedule." Carroll makes it seem that Mills' piece rebuts mine, yet a grade school child can see this isn't so. Anyone better able to grasp the English language will find that my piece contains everything material addressed by Chris Mills, but moreso, contains much else besides that Mr. Mills didn't see fit to include.

**leaves unremarked upon Mr. Mills' own closing comments, which everyone here should read - for it is the real enduring puzzle - even if Carroll cannot bother himself to do so;

**resorts to foolishness like: "I cannot tell you exactly when the new Soviet policy on tourism was FIRST announced. No doubt it was decided well in advance of Kruschev's trip." And no doubt telepathically beamed to Comrade Oswald so he would know how to cross the frontier within a day. Yes, A DAY. While Carroll's been busy pretending that all manner of US travelers could avail themselves of near-instant visas wherever they chose to apply, he seems not to have noticed that Oswald's was granted within a day of applying. No doubt Carroll will have no trouble providing a few dozen such examples of one-day waits in locales other than Helsinki, since he's got a hot fifty dollars riding on his ability to do so. http://www.russianbooks.org/oswald/journey.htm

As for Carroll's intended insult toward me - "Charles-Dunne makes assertions. Since his assertions are not supported by evidence, they cannot be called "facts." - I have nothing to fear from forum members reading his output and mine and reaching their own conclusions. To wit, the original piece I wrote that originates somewhere between 15 and 25 years ago, to which Greg Parker originally alluded:

According to passport stamps, Oswald departed from England on October 10 and arrived the same day in Helsinki. Records clearly show there were no direct commercial airline flights between London and Helsinki, other than a single FinnAir flight. The Commission learned that the FinnAir flight on that date arrived in Helsinki at 11:35 PM local time. Since Oswald checked into the tony Hotel Torni before midnight, it was untenable - to even the Commission - that he had checked through customs and made it to the hotel in less than a half hour. But if that was the only direct commercial flight available and he couldn't have flown aboard it, how did Oswald get to Helsinki so quickly? Many researchers have suggested a covert military flight, though even that is an unnecessary [and needlessly suspect] contrivance.

On November 25, 1963, the Stockholm newspaper Squib Dagans Nyheter reported Oswald passed through Sweden in October 1959. The article postulated Oswald had spent several days in Helsinki without being granted a Soviet travel visa, so he came to the Soviet Embassy in Stockholm, where his visa was granted. Though the report did not identify its source, the wording employed led some to believe it originated with Swedish authorities, who would be in a position to know such a thing. As for how this detail was known by November 24 [in order to be published in the following day's paper], is a mystery to which we shall return shortly.

The Commission attempted to resolve these contradictions, but with little success. The Soviets were asked to supply all of Oswald's travel documentation, which they did. The signatures of eight persons on these various documents were all illegible, making it impossible for the Commission to declare with certainty who had granted Oswald his travel visa. It was felt the indecipherable signatures were a deliberate ploy by the Soviets, so that any US intelligence agency sponsoring Oswald would not have been able to trace back the personnel involved in the process. The Commission may have been stymied, but by deductive reasoning, we can draw some strong conclusions.

There is no stamp in Oswald's passport for a trip to Sweden, which should have been present had he obtained his Soviet visa from the Soviet Embassy there, as alleged by the Stockholm newspaper article. It has been suggested that because both countries were members of a common customs bloc, Oswald could have traveled from Helsinki to Stockholm and back without his passport being stamped. This is false. Such flexibility would have pertained had Oswald been a citizen of either country. As a US citizen, Oswald would have been subjected to the same customs scrutiny as other foreigners.

Additionally, there was no reason for Oswald to resort to a Stockholm solution, because there was no Helsinki problem. On the contrary, Oswald's visa was granted to him in record time. The Commission asked the US State Department to determine the length of delays typically encountered by US citizens visiting the USSR. In turn, State asked the same question of three travel agencies in Helsinki who dealt with such matters daily. The consensus was: uniformly, for the period of 1959 to 1964, US citizens would face a minimum 7 to 14 day waiting period.

Lee Harvey Oswald, however, knew that he would receive his in far less time. Arriving at his hotel before midnight on Saturday, October 10, he applied for his visa on Monday, October 12. The visa was granted two days later on Wednesday, October 14, and Oswald departed for Moscow the same day.

Oswald knew he would not face a two week wait for his visa. In 1978 a Finnish government document came to light. It was a "For Facilitating Passport Examination" form filled out by Oswald before or upon his arrival in Helsinki. One question asked of all respondents was how long they would be staying. Oswald incorrectly advised that he arrived October 11, and predicted he would depart on Thursday, October 15. That would allow only three days between his first opportunity to apply for his visa [October 12] and his planned departure from Helsinki. Oswald either knew nothing about the traditional waiting period and simply assumed his application would be expedited, or he knew that he would receive preferential treatment at the Helsinki Embassy.

Unknown to the average US citizen, but well known to the US State Department and CIA, was an obscure detail about the way in which the Soviet bureaucracy worked. Soviet Embassy personnel in European capitals were not authorized to rubberstamp Soviet travel visa applications. Protocol required such applications to be forwarded to Moscow, where approval was either granted or denied, and then returned to the Embassy where the request originated. In Europe there was a single exception to this hard and fast rule. The Kremlin granted the Soviet consul in Finland discretion to unilaterally authorize travel to the USSR. Consequently, while the average traveler might have waited one to two weeks for a visa in Helsinki, this was the single European capital wherein the consul's personal prerogative allowed him to expedite the process, witness Oswald's case.

What's more, the US State Department and CIA were well aware of this fact. During a prior luncheon, Soviet Consul Gregory Golub had announced that "as long as he [Golub] was convinced the American was "alright," [Golub] could give him a visa in a matter of minutes." The US government also knew this was no idle boast from a vodka-soaked bureaucrat. As a State Department dispatch from the US Embassy in Helsinki noted, "Since [september 4, 1959] Golub has only phoned once and this was on a business matter. Two Americans were in the Soviet Consulate at the time and were applying for Soviet visas through Golub. They had previously been in the American consulate inquiring about the possibility of obtaining a Soviet visa in 1 or 2 days. [We] advised them to go directly to Golub...which they did. Golub phoned [us] to state that he would give them their visas as soon as they made Intourist reservations. When they did this, Golub immediately gave them their visas..." The date of that dispatch was October 9, 1959, the day before Oswald's arrival. Was the State Department's interest solely in testing Golub's willingness to grant such travel visas, or in exploiting that it knew he would?

Golub's unique ability to expedite foreign visa applications raises several interesting points. The State cable cited above clearly indicates that when two travelers wanted speedy approval for their applications, it was the US government which steered them toward Golub, indicating the US government knew of his ability to expedite such requests. Moreover, in that instance, Golub didn't advise the applicants directly, but contacted the US Embassy to advise the applications were approved. Golub's only precondition was that Intourist reservations be made first, so that the travelers could be met upon arrival in the USSR, which was a requirement for all foreigners.

One assumes that this was also known by PFC Lee Harvey Oswald. Of all the possible entry points that he might have chosen to cross the frontier, Oswald selected Helsinki. What led him to this, the least problematic of entry points, if not the foreknowledge possessed by the US government? We know that Oswald must have also made the required Intourist reservations, because he was met upon arrival in Moscow by an Intourist guide. How did Oswald, so unaware of travel protocols according to travel agent Louis Hopkins, become so incredibly astute on the same subject in so short a time span?

Yet, if Oswald received the tip to seek out Golub from the US Embassy in Helsinki, as had the two previous US citizens, why is there no State Department dispatch on the subject as there was for the two prior travelers directed to Golub? Why did the sidebar trip to Sweden receive consideration as an alternative explanation for Oswald's mode of travel, if the US provided this information to Oswald in Helsinki?

While in Helsinki, Oswald stayed at a most expensive and exclusive hotel. The frugality ascribed to Oswald by the Warren Commission, a trait necessary for him to save up the money required to travel to the USSR, was apparently no longer in evidence. Recall also that Oswald could have obtained cheaper means of travel had he chosen more direct routes, instead of zigzagging to France, England and Finland.

In July of 1964, CIA determined that there was a means by which Oswald might have been able to travel so quickly from London to Helsinki. An October 9 flight had left London at 7:05 PM local time, which arrived in Stockholm at 1:30 AM local time. A connecting flight, SK 734, then left Stockholm at 3:15 PM local time, arriving in Helsinki on October 10 at 5:35 PM. Such a flight might explain Oswald's means of travel, but left open three questions: Why did his passport contain an October 10th UK exit stamp if he flew out of London the previous day? What might Oswald have done for half a day in Stockholm? And why didn't he register in the hotel for more than six hours after his arrival in Helsinki. Despite self-evident signs to the contrary, the Commission declared Oswald left London a day earlier than his passport stamp indicated.

Also, given the timelines, what exactly was CIA's report attempting to resolve? Was CIA attempting to explain the speed with which Oswald arrived in Helsinki? Or was CIA explaining the reports that Oswald had been in Stockholm? Or both? Had Oswald taken such an indirect route, it would not only offer a reason for the Stockholm sighting of Oswald, but a plausible rationale for his presence there without a Swedish stamp in his passport. Had he been in transit, awaiting a connecting flight, he would only have passed through passport control if he wished to leave the terminal. If he spent 14 hours in the terminal waiting for his connecting flight, there would be no such stamp. Yet sitting in the terminal for 14 hours was not what the Squib Dagans Nyheter reported; it stipulated he received his Soviet visa in Stockholm, which he could not have accomplished without leaving the terminal.

Whatever the CIA's and Commission's purpose, the Stockholm option was problematic. If the October 9 flight to Stockholm departed from London at 7:05 PM, it left before Oswald even arrived in Southampton, let alone London. To posit that Oswald was aboard this flight required that he used some means other than the Liberte to reach Southampton from Le Havre, France. While possible, there is no record that this occurred, and would make inexplicable the presence in Oswald's passport of a UK entry stamp for October 9 at Southampton. Moreover, if Oswald left aboard the 7:05 PM flight from London on October 9, why did his passport carry a UK exit stamp dated October 10?

Again, Oswald's route indicates that time was of the essence. Had he simply waited an extra day, he could have taken a direct flight from London to Helsinki. Instead he must have taken an indirect flight either to Stockholm on the previous night [which the Commission considered] or an October 10 flight to Stockholm or Copenhagen [which the Commission did not consider], the connecting jumps from which would have placed Oswald in Helsinki between 5 and 5:35 PM local time. Either possibility, however, again raised the question of where Oswald might have bided his time for six hours before registering at the Helsinki hotel.

The possibility that Oswald was met in Helsinki by another party, with whom he then spent many hours, never received the Commission's attention. Nor did the fact that Oswald seemed to be in an unnecessary hurry to get to Helsinki by any means possible. Was there a reason Oswald felt compelled to arrive late on a Saturday night if his first chance to apply for a visa would not occur until the following Monday? Instead of taking a connecting flight to Stockholm or Copenhagen at a greater cost, Oswald could have spent an extra day in London and then flown to Helsinki directly for less money. At this juncture, it is apparent that saving money was not the object, whereas saving time was. But for what purpose?

Whatever his means of travel, Oswald seemed determined to reach Helsinki well before he could even commence the next leg of his journey. This in itself suggests he may have wished to leave himself the time necessary to consult with another party prior to filing his visa application with the Soviets in Helsinki. Perhaps he required instructions on how to achieve his visa without unnecessary delays. Or perhaps CIA had already recruited Helsinki's Soviet consul Gregory Golub, who would then expedite the visa applications of travellers who volunteered a particular code word. Hence, Oswald may have arrived in Helsinki early specifically to be advised of that code word. There are any number of possibilities, none of them easy to credit.

As for the Stockholm newspaper report of Oswald's presence there, it too may help resolve a small mystery. Within two days of the assassination, Swedish authorities had located four year old immigration files to determine Oswald's presence in their capital. Why? There was, and is, no known documentation for Oswald's presence there in October 1959. There is no plausible reason that FBI or CIA or the State Department would have requested such information from the Swedes immediately following the assassination, so why did the Swedes feel the sudden need to scour through years worth of immigration paperwork to procure their four year old Oswald documents?

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Protocol required such applications to be forwarded to Moscow, where approval was either granted or denied, and then returned to the Embassy where the request originated. In Europe there was a single exception to this hard and fast rule. The Kremlin granted the Soviet consul in Finland discretion to unilaterally authorize travel to the USSR.

I have only one question, and it is still the same question I posed to Bill Simpich that prompted greg parker to open up this new thread:

What is/are your source(s) for this grandiose claim that Helsinki was unique among Soviet embassies?

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Protocol required such applications to be forwarded to Moscow, where approval was either granted or denied, and then returned to the Embassy where the request originated. In Europe there was a single exception to this hard and fast rule. The Kremlin granted the Soviet consul in Finland discretion to unilaterally authorize travel to the USSR.

I have only one question, and it is still the same question I posed to Bill Simpich that prompted greg parker to open up this new thread:

What is/are your source(s) for this grandiose claim that Helsinki was unique among Soviet embassies?

One notes that Carroll declines to dispute any of the observations made by me about his modus operandi in my prior post, thereby stipulating them to be accurate. He offers nothing of value in this thread, yet clings tenaciously to his self-invented illusion that all Soviet consuls had the same breadth of discretion exercised by consul Golub in Helsinki. Such lazy armchair critics are a dime-a-dozen and don’t move us an inch further toward resolution of such questions.

Carroll could, of course, demonstrate his point by supplying us with indications where other US citizens were granted a visa from other Soviet consuls in other cities within a single day, yet refrains from doing so, despite having wagered $50 on the outcome. Even the analysis of Oswald's contemporaneous "defectors" might provide him with such data. Yet, where we should have evidence, we have sneers and then a telling silence.

He could, of course, provide CIA and/or State Department paperwork from that period, illustrating - as do the Golub docs - that other Soviet consuls were likewise discovered to speed up visa application approvals when they wished to do so. Yet no such evidence is forthcoming. Only sneers and a telling silence.

What’s more, neither the State nor CIA inquiries into this matter wished to leave the impression that Oswald’s trip to the USSR had somehow been facilitated by US intelligence interests, for that would have raised the specter that Oswald was a US spy. Rest assured: had other US citizens been granted one-day approvals for visa applications in other cities by other Soviet consuls, State and CIA had every good reason to brandish same far and wide, if only to demonstrate that Oswald had in no way received special treatment.

And yet the only similar instance presented, to my knowledge, was Golub’s prior solicitude toward US citizens who had been expressly and directly sent to Golub by the US officials in Helsinki. When the Warren Commission cited that instance [Report, page 258], it did so without disclosing that US officials had directed the applicants toward Golub. Are we to take from this that since Oswald received similarly speedy approval that he, too, was directed toward Golub by US officials?

Yet when the patina of preferential treatment toward Oswald remained because of the inexplicable speed with which his application was approved, it was skewed by US officials in polar opposite terms. CIA hadn’t told Oswald to use Helsinki because of its already-demonstrated ease of entry; the Soviets had expedited his application because they were interested in him. Which is why they thereafter watched him from a distance and refused all his advances. Given these two opposing propositions, which seems the more likely?

It would have been helpful had CIA and State decided to conduct a comprehensive analysis of standard wait times for US citizens seeking Soviet visas throughout Europe. But, then, that wasn’t really their interest, was it? They concerned themselves with Helsinki, because that’s where the overly-solicitous treatment was afforded to Oswald.

However, as I pointed out in the ancient article I wrote and posted above, there was near instant reason to suspect that Stockholm may have played a role in this intrigue. Whether it was true was less important than that it had been reported in the Swedish press, thereby requiring a yea-or-nay conclusion as to its validity.

Consequently, when CIA and State set about plumbing the issue, they inquired about wait times in both cities. To wit:

"The Warren Commission asked the State Department to estimate the "average time required to obtain a Soviet tourist visa from Helsinki in 1959." The Department of State had an Embassy contact seek information on Soviet visa application time from three Helsinki travel agencies. These agencies reported that, uniformly for five years from 1959 through 196, "usual time required for receipt of Soviet visa applied for by Americans has been seven to fourteen days." [FBI 105-82555] The CIA conducted numerous studies of this, finally prepaing a memo, "Lengh of Time Required To Obtain Tourist Visas in Helsinki and Stockholm, 1964." This document conceded it normally took from five to seven days, at best, to obtain a visa at any time in 1964. [WR p258.]"

Consequently, the standard wait time remained the same whether in 1959 Helsinki, or 1964 Helsinki or Stockholm: 5-7 days “at best.” Does that make it sound as though the Stockholm Soviet consul in 1964 had the same latitude for granting visas that Golub did in 1959 Helsinki? If so, where’s Carroll’s proof?

My prior post already demonstrated that Oswald’s request for a visa was granted within a single day, because Golub was the only such consul granted that discretion. My challenge to Ray Carroll should be quite simple for him given the faux bravado of his stated certainty: provide a single instance of any US citizen being granted a visa within a day by any other Soviet consul in any other European city in 1959.

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