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Oswald’s 201 CIA File


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#1 John Simkin

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Posted 28 September 2006 - 07:10 AM

According to the CIA’s Clandestine Services Handbook, a 201 file was opened on “subjects of extensive reporting and CI (counterintelligence) investigation, prospective agents and sources, and members of groups and organizations of continuing interest.”

When interviewed by the HSCA Richard Helms admitted that anyone who defected to the Soviet Union had a 201 file opened on them. At the request of the HSCA the CIA carried out a search for Oswald’s 201 file. Its discovery raised some serious questions.

Oswald’s 201 file had been created in December 1960 by Ann Egerter. She controlled that file for the next three years. In other words, nothing could go in or out of this file without her permission.

When the HSCA asked Ann Egerter for an interview she refused. When Dan Hardaway of the HSCA threatened to subpoena her, she changed her mind. However, the verbatim record of her testimony is still classified.

There are many unanswered questions about Oswald’s 201 file. The first concerns the date it was opened. Why did it take over a year for the CIA to open his file? He defected in October 1959. Egerter was unable to answer this question. She said she created the file when she saw Oswald’s name on a list of defectors to the Soviet Union in December 1960. Richard Helms was also unable to answer this question. He told the HSCA: “I can’t imagine why it would have taken an entire year. I am amazed.”

The 201 opening form filled out by Egerter is also very strange. It includes the terms “defected to the USSR” and “radar operator” but does not include Oswald’s threat to pass official secrets corning his work to the Soviets.

Helms could however explain why the documents inside the file were missing. He argued that “none of these documents were classified higher than confidential” and that “because document dissemination records of a relatively low national security interest are retained for only a 5-year period, they were no longer in existence for the years 1959 to 63.” We now know that all these documents were destroyed. Some of them have emerged since the passing of the JFK Act. This includes three documents dated before the 201 file was opened in December 1960. This includes a cable from Richard Snyder on 31st October, 1959, informing the CIA that Oswald was threatening to reveal radar secrets. However, this did not trigger a 201 file.

How can these events be explained? The obvious answer is that a 201 file was not created because the CIA knew Oswald was not really a defector.

#2 John Simkin

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Posted 29 September 2006 - 03:27 PM

John McVickar and Richard Snyder, the CIA men who looked after Lee Harvey Oswald while in Moscow. Snyder had a good sense of humour. When Oswald told Snyder wanted to live in the Soviet Union because he was a Marxist, he replied: "Life will be lonely as a Marxist".

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#3 Guest_John Gillespie_*

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Posted 29 September 2006 - 04:33 PM

The 201 opening form filled out by Egerter is also very strange. It includes the terms “defected to the USSR” and “radar operator” but does not include Oswald’s threat to pass official secrets corning his work to the Soviets.


________________________________________

Please define terms. Let's start with this: what is a 201 file, at least in your understanding of that term?

(We'll take these one at a time; I've got a few more.)

John Gillespie

#4 John Simkin

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Posted 29 September 2006 - 04:39 PM

Please define terms. Let's start with this: what is a 201 file, at least in your understanding of that term?


You will find it easier if you actually read my posting.




According to the CIA’s Clandestine Services Handbook, a 201 file was opened on “subjects of extensive reporting and CI (counterintelligence) investigation, prospective agents and sources, and members of groups and organizations of continuing interest.”



#5 Rex Bradford

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Posted 29 September 2006 - 07:29 PM

Here is the CIA's own description of "The 201 System"

http://www.maryferre...bsPageId=395505

Oswald's 201 file is coming online bit by bit at the Mary Ferrell Foundation - it is currently woefully incomplete compared to other CIA document sets, but is growing slowly. Check back in a few months and there should be quite a bit more there:

http://www.maryferre...o?docSetId=1095

Rex Bradford

#6 Nathaniel Heidenheimer

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Posted 29 September 2006 - 10:21 PM

John Newman in Oswald and the CIA, explores the possibility that the 201 file was opened only when someone within the Agency knew of Oswalds intention to return home. He suggests this knowledge may have
been obtained in December 1960, before Oswald had actually informed the U.S. embassy where he was in the USSR or of his intention to return to the U.S. From here Newman explores the possibility that the CIA had some means of communicating with Oswald while he was living in the USSR.

Newman explores the possibility that this contact may have been Leo Setyaev.


My understanding is that Angleton was in direct control of the 201 files. Is this correct? How might his use of these files have functioned within the overal framework of the assassination planning? Did these files play a role in allowing the agency to selectively let some other intelligence agencies have access to certain information, while preventing other agencies, or offices within agencies form similar access?

Was Angleton developing a group of potential patsies who had all been to the USSR and back, thereby doing the preliminary work that would eventually lead to another distinct reason for participation in the coverup: the prevention of a nuclear war with the USSR that Johnson was later to use on Earl Warren and Sen Russel?

Why would Angleton seek to keep this information separate from the Soviet Realities division of the CIA?

Edited by Nathaniel Heidenheimer, 29 September 2006 - 10:24 PM.


#7 Shanet Clark

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Posted 30 September 2006 - 05:23 AM

Two full filing cabinets, or rather sixteen cubic feet of files were in Lee Harvey Oswald's original CIA 201 file, and a more pertinent question is this:

What did his Marine Intelligence and ONI Office of Naval Intelligence files look like?

For that matter, what did John F. Kennedy's ONI Office of Naval Intelligence Files look like?








You see what I am getting at here, with all the recent interest in Lemnitzer and Robert Anderson.........

#8 John Simkin

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Posted 30 September 2006 - 12:02 PM

The key to understanding Oswald’s 201 file is the date it was established. He defected in October 1959, yet the file was created in December 1960. Richard Helms was also unable to answer this question. He told the HSCA: “I can’t imagine why it would have taken an entire year. I am amazed.”

Helms could however explain why the documents inside the file were missing. He argued that “none of these documents were classified higher than confidential” and that “because document dissemination records of a relatively low national security interest are retained for only a 5-year period, they were no longer in existence for the years 1959 to 63.” We now know that all these documents were destroyed. Some of them have emerged since the passing of the JFK Act. This includes three documents dated before the 201 file was opened in December 1960. This includes a cable from Richard Snyder on 31st October, 1959, informing the CIA that Oswald was threatening to reveal radar secrets. Where were these documents filed?

It is impossible to believe that a Oswald file was not created in 1959 in response to the Snyder cable. I suspect that this file was very large by the time he was accused of assassinating John F. Kennedy. It would have been looked at very closely by John Whitten who carried out the first CIA investigation into the JFK assassination. However, Whitten was not given this file. Instead, he saw the 201 file created in December, 1960.

I assume the original file was destroyed. After all, the CIA was hardly likely to tell the Warren Commission that Lee Harvey Oswald had been a CIA contract agent since 1959. In the same way that the FBI was unlikely to admit that Oswald had been working undercover for the bureau in New Orleans in 1963.

This explains why the conspirators set up Oswald as a patsy. They knew that as a result of this, both the CIA and the FBI would take part in the cover up.

#9 Jim Root

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Posted 07 April 2008 - 09:13 PM

John wrote,

"The key to understanding Oswald’s 201 file is the date it was established. He defected in October 1959, yet the file was created in December 1960. Richard Helms was also unable to answer this question. He told the HSCA: 'I can’t imagine why it would have taken an entire year. I am amazed.”

I am a late commer to John Newman's book, "Oswald and the CIA" but have been plowing into it in my limited spare time.

As most of you know, that have been lurking here for years, I began my research by looking into the life and times of Maj. Gen. Edwin Anderson Walker. Without going into many of the details of that research there are aspects of Walker's fall from grace in the US Army and in particular, for this post, his timeline which overlap events in the timeline of the events in the life of Lee Harvey Oswald in general.

Until early 1961 and the pulication of the Overseas Weekly Pro Blue article, the military career of General Walker is the story of an American hero. He is repeatedly at the forefornt of newsworthy events both during WWII and the Cold War years, not to mention the successful, integration of schools in Little Rock, Arkansas. In Taiwan, Korea, development of special forces, covert operations in Greece, etc. we find Walkers name (although now somewhat hidden and tarnished) etched in the annuals of successful operations throughout his lifetime.

Then suddently "Pro Blue" and Walker is forced out of the military and becomes, in our current rendition of history, some sort of racist nut.

In the last few weeks I have had the opportunity to discus the developement of the Walker's Pro Blue Program in the early 1950's. It seems that Walker's involvement in this sort of "indoctrination" did not begin in Germany in 1959. In reality it was an ongoing program that had been developed throughtout the 1950's (as early as 1954 it was in full swing) with the full knowldege and the sactioning of the US Military and without the help of any John Birch literature.

So what changed in early 1961?

As Newman explains, "Oswald had written to the American Embassy in December, asking to return to America, as we will establish in Chapter 10. Howerver, the KGB intercepted that letter and Oswald wrote the embassy again on February 5, 1961, asking why there had been no response to his firs letter. His second letter arrived on Richard Snyder's desk on Feebruary 13, 1961..." (pg 146 Oswald and the CIA) Newman later continues, "By assuming that the CIA had not known where Oswald was in December 1960, the HSCA disconnected his 201 (file) from the event which might have opened it, Oswald's request to the US geovernment to let him come home. Oswald had put his request in a letter to the embassy that was pinched by the KGB. The KGB never put the letter back in the mail to the US Embassy and did not reveal its existence until 1991, after the fall of communism in the Soviet Union." (pg 169 - 170 Oswald and the CIA) Newman sites no source for the fact that the "KGB never put the letter back in the mail to the US Embassy..." but goes on to speculate that the CIA did in fact know that Oswald was planning on returning to the US no later than December 9, 1960 when the 201 File was opened.

Without getting to deep into the particulars of these facts it is interesting to point out that it has been my speculation all along that the beginning of the Overseas Weekly investigation of Walker's Pro Blue Program and the arrival of information about Oswald's attempts to return coincided. Newman's book comes to the same conclusion, not based upon the life of Walker of course, but based upon CIA documents and the way they were handled. While Newman in no way suggests or my Walker hypothisis, his interpetation of the timming of the CIA document creations fits nicely with what I had uncovered by following a different path in researching the life of Walker.

It seems news of Oswald's attempt to return to the US did in fact create a stir to action within the CIA that led to the opening of a 201 File that should have been open in November of 1959. Newman points out throughout his book that information about Oswald was repeatedly circulating around the CIA prior to the 201 opening and he refers to the "black hole" where this information was going. Was Walker somehow involved in the defection of Oswald to the Soviet Union? Was Oswald involved in some covert mission, perhaps a mission that Oswald did not even begin to understand? Was Oswald Angelton's Orchid Man?

With this new information (at least my reading of Newman's book is a new event for me) I will continue to suggest that Walker's fall from grace was an orchestrated event designed to provide cover in the event that Oswald returned to the US.
I will also continue to suggest that the reason that Walker's demise was necessary was that as Oswald traveled between London and Helsinki there was the possibility that he and Walker may have met.

Information that I have speculated upon for years, based upon my study of the life of Edwin Walker, collides with the speculation of John Newman based upon his research into CIA documents. The CIA knew Oswald would be allowed to return to the US and the CIA needed to cover itself in case he did in fact return......Hence the creation of Oswald's "official" 201 File.

John also wrote, "This explains why the conspirators set up Oswald as a patsy. They knew that as a result of this, both the CIA and the FBI would take part in the cover up."

I will go one step further, whoever the conspirators were would have to know "that as a result of this, both the CIA and the FBI would take part in the cover up."

Perhaps this need to insure participation in a cover up also explains the letter from John J. McCloy to Edwin Walker in June of 1963.

Jim Root

#10 Jim Root

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Posted 07 April 2008 - 09:17 PM

John wrote,

"The key to understanding Oswald’s 201 file is the date it was established. He defected in October 1959, yet the file was created in December 1960. Richard Helms was also unable to answer this question. He told the HSCA: 'I can’t imagine why it would have taken an entire year. I am amazed.”

I am a late commer to John Newman's book, "Oswald and the CIA" but have been plowing into it in my limited spare time.

As most of you know, that have been lurking here for years, I began my research by looking into the life and times of Maj. Gen. Edwin Anderson Walker. Without going into many of the details of that research there are aspects of Walker's fall from grace in the US Army and in particular, for this post, his timeline which overlap events in the timeline of the events in the life of Lee Harvey Oswald in general.

Until early 1961 and the pulication of the Overseas Weekly Pro Blue article, the military career of General Walker is the story of an American hero. He is repeatedly at the forefornt of newsworthy events both during WWII and the Cold War years, not to mention the successful, integration of schools in Little Rock, Arkansas. In Taiwan, Korea, development of special forces, covert operations in Greece, etc. we find Walkers name (although now somewhat hidden and tarnished) etched in the annuals of successful operations throughout his lifetime.

Then suddently "Pro Blue" and Walker is forced out of the military and becomes, in our current rendition of history, some sort of racist nut.

In the last few weeks I have had the opportunity to discus the developement of the Walker's Pro Blue Program in the early 1950's. It seems that Walker's involvement in this sort of "indoctrination" did not begin in Germany in 1959. In reality it was an ongoing program that had been developed throughtout the 1950's (as early as 1954 it was in full swing) with the full knowldege and the sactioning of the US Military and without the help of any John Birch literature.

So what changed in early 1961?

As Newman explains, "Oswald had written to the American Embassy in December, asking to return to America, as we will establish in Chapter 10. Howerver, the KGB intercepted that letter and Oswald wrote the embassy again on February 5, 1961, asking why there had been no response to his firs letter. His second letter arrived on Richard Snyder's desk on Feebruary 13, 1961..." (pg 146 Oswald and the CIA) Newman later continues, "By assuming that the CIA had not known where Oswald was in December 1960, the HSCA disconnected his 201 (file) from the event which might have opened it, Oswald's request to the US geovernment to let him come home. Oswald had put his request in a letter to the embassy that was pinched by the KGB. The KGB never put the letter back in the mail to the US Embassy and did not reveal its existence until 1991, after the fall of communism in the Soviet Union." (pg 169 - 170 Oswald and the CIA) Newman sites no source for the fact that the "KGB never put the letter back in the mail to the US Embassy..." but goes on to speculate that the CIA did in fact know that Oswald was planning on returning to the US no later than December 9, 1960 when the 201 File was opened.

Without getting to deep into the particulars of these facts it is interesting to point out that it has been my speculation all along that the beginning of the Overseas Weekly investigation of Walker's Pro Blue Program and the arrival of information about Oswald's attempts to return coincided. Newman's book comes to the same conclusion, not based upon the life of Walker of course, but based upon CIA documents and the way they were handled. While Newman in no way suggests or my Walker hypothisis, his interpetation of the timming of the CIA document creations fits nicely with what I had uncovered by following a different path in researching the life of Walker.

It seems news of Oswald's attempt to return to the US did in fact create a stir to action within the CIA that led to the opening of a 201 File that should have been open in November of 1959. Newman points out throughout his book that information about Oswald was repeatedly circulating around the CIA prior to the 201 opening and he refers to the "black hole" where this information was going. Was Walker somehow involved in the defection of Oswald to the Soviet Union? Was Oswald involved in some covert mission, perhaps a mission that Oswald did not even begin to understand? Was Oswald Angelton's Orchid Man?

With this new information (at least my reading of Newman's book is a new event for me) I will continue to suggest that Walker's fall from grace was an orchestrated event designed to provide cover in the event that Oswald returned to the US.
I will also continue to suggest that the reason that Walker's demise was necessary was that as Oswald traveled between London and Helsinki there was the possibility that he and Walker may have met.

Information that I have speculated upon for years, based upon my study of the life of Edwin Walker, collides with the speculation of John Newman based upon his research into CIA documents. The CIA knew Oswald would be allowed to return to the US and the CIA needed to cover itself in case he did in fact return......Hence the creation of Oswald's "official" 201 File.

John also wrote, "This explains why the conspirators set up Oswald as a patsy. They knew that as a result of this, both the CIA and the FBI would take part in the cover up."

I will go one step further, whoever the conspirators were would have to know "that as a result of this, both the CIA and the FBI would take part in the cover up."

Perhaps this need to insure participation in a cover up also explains the letter from John J. McCloy to Edwin Walker in June of 1963.

Jim Root

#11 William Plumlee

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Posted 08 April 2008 - 02:19 AM


Please define terms. Let's start with this: what is a 201 file, at least in your understanding of that term?


You will find it easier if you actually read my posting.




According to the CIA’s Clandestine Services Handbook, a 201 file was opened on “subjects of extensive reporting and CI (counterintelligence) investigation, prospective agents and sources, and members of groups and organizations of continuing interest.”



FWIW: Not to confuse. The term CI used by the CIA is as John stated (counterintelligence, or "CounterIntell found in some early office memos.

However, when used by law enforcement, DEA, FBI, and local, the term CI means "Confidentual Informant" and a number is place either before or after the term CI (CI-306 or 306-CI)

Example: CI-306 told CI-21 that on the night of the 23rd CI-21 was in bed> It would not read " counterintelligence told....


also [01] means CIA found in some memos.... [24] could mean FBI found in others.

Edited by William Plumlee, 08 April 2008 - 02:25 AM.


#12 William Kelly

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Posted 08 April 2008 - 04:37 AM

The 201 opening form filled out by Egerter is also very strange. It includes the terms "defected to the USSR" and "radar operator" but does not include Oswald's threat to pass official secrets corning his work to the Soviets.


________________________________________

Please define terms. Let's start with this: what is a 201 file, at least in your understanding of that term?

(We'll take these one at a time; I've got a few more.)

John Gillespie


John,

Here's a belated answer to your question.

http://www.icdc.com/...ystem.pdf<br />

When I told military friends of mine that the CIA didn't start a 201 file on Oswald until Dec. 1960, after he defected, they say that then indicates there was ANOTHER Oswald file, other than the 201.

There is also Oswald's military 201 file.

http://www.lyonresea...a_201_file.html


Since the files are mainly composed of documents from other agencies and news clips, even if the file is destroyed, it can be pretty much restored from the records of other agencies.

BK

Edited by William Kelly, 08 April 2008 - 05:46 AM.


#13 Thomas H. Purvis

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Posted 08 April 2008 - 01:50 PM

Here is the CIA's own description of "The 201 System"

http://www.maryferre...bsPageId=395505

Oswald's 201 file is coming online bit by bit at the Mary Ferrell Foundation - it is currently woefully incomplete compared to other CIA document sets, but is growing slowly. Check back in a few months and there should be quite a bit more there:

http://www.maryferre...o?docSetId=1095

Rex Bradford




Rex;

My appreciation for the "open link".

The documents are of some interest, and continue to demonstrate exactly why LHO WAS NOT engaged in activities which had any official sanction.

Providing the open access to these documents is, in my personal opinion, a demonstration of the best of attitudes in sharing of factual information which may ultimately resolve some of the issues.

Tom Purvis

#14 Denis Pointing

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Posted 08 April 2008 - 02:54 PM

The key to understanding Oswald’s 201 file is the date it was established. He defected in October 1959, yet the file was created in December 1960.



Here's a link to a very interesting interview between Jefferson Morley and Jane Roman. http://www.history-m...RomanSaid_2.htm
Jane Roman was a high ranking CIA officer also working in the C.I. office. During the interview, unlike her colleague Ann Egerter , Roman makes it plain that there was in fact a file on Oswald in 59. A quote from the interview: "She did this by checking to see if the agency had ever opened a so-called 201 file on anyone named Lee Oswald. (A 201 file, sometimes known as a personality file, is opened on anybody of interest to the agency.) Because of his defection to the Soviet Union in 1959, Oswald already had a 201 file at CIA headquarters."

Edited by Denis Pointing, 08 April 2008 - 07:49 PM.


#15 Jim Root

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Posted 10 April 2008 - 06:02 PM

The key to understanding Oswald’s 201 file is the date it was established. He defected in October 1959, yet the file was created in December 1960.



Here's a link to a very interesting interview between Jefferson Morley and Jane Roman. http://www.history-m...RomanSaid_2.htm
Jane Roman was a high ranking CIA officer also working in the C.I. office. During the interview, unlike her colleague Ann Egerter , Roman makes it plain that there was in fact a file on Oswald in 59. A quote from the interview: "She did this by checking to see if the agency had ever opened a so-called 201 file on anyone named Lee Oswald. (A 201 file, sometimes known as a personality file, is opened on anybody of interest to the agency.) Because of his defection to the Soviet Union in 1959, Oswald already had a 201 file at CIA headquarters."


Denis

Once again the main point is, "What was the pressing need that generated the creation of a 201 File in December of 1960 when there was already some sort of file by November 1959?"

Pressing the matter further, "Why did the people who had access to the Oswald files in 1959 become so involved in the Warren Commissions investigation of the assassination in 1964?"

Newman's book, Oswald and the CIA, suggests that Oswald's association with the U-2 program was of great interest to those were monitoring Oswald shortly after his defection to Russia. It seems that there is a great deal of information that suggests, based on interviews done by Newman as well as released documents, that Oswald had access to a great deal of information on the U-2. Newman also suggests that Snyders report generated a great deal of activitiy within the agency when Oswald suggested that he was willing to share information with the Soviets.

For myself the downing of Powers on May 1 and the failure of the Paris Summit on May 15, 1960 may well be connected. If true it is not hard to imagine that Oswald played a role in the first event that then led to the second, perhaps without his knowledge.

There are at least two reasons why the above rings true based upon action by Oswald himself:

1. His fear of being proscecuted when he returned to the United States.

2. His speech at Spring Hill College where he himself tied the two events together.

Continuing thoughts that bug the heck out of me.

Jim Root




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