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James Norwood

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  1. More nonsense from Bojczuk, who simply repeats the same talking point over and over. Nature abhors a vacuum, and Bojczuk is incapable of offering an explanation for the overwhelming evidence that there were two men concurrently in the Marines named Lee Harvey Oswald. One of the two men attempted a false defection during the Cold War. I concur with Sandy that there is no point in writing answers to his questions. His only purpose on this forum is to sow discord.
  2. John, The best analysis of Titovets that I have read is that of the outstanding writer-researcher Millicent Cranor. Her article is entitled "Is US Effort to Block Oswald Friend and His ‘Revelations’ Another Deception?”, Who.What.Why: https://whowhatwhy.org/2013/08/27/is-us-effort-to-block-oswald-friend-and-his-revelations-itself-a-further-deception/ James P.S. While it is true that numerous individuals were asked by the KGB to keep tabs on Oswald during his stay in Minsk, it does not necessarily follow that the snitches were were KGB agents. A case in point is the engineer Stanislav Shushkevich, who was asked by the KGB to tutor Oswald and to be sure that another person was present with him at all times, so that there was never a private, one-on-one conversation. But Shushkevich himself was not a KGB agent.
  3. I have listened to these tapes many times, and I do not believe they are fake. The context here is that the two friends are clowning around recording different voices of dramatic characters, such as those from Shakespeare's Othello. So, of course, Oswald sounds different depending on the character interpretation in these amateur dramatic readings. The more important question for me is why Oswald never speaks in Russian in the recordings. According to Titovets, the goal of the recordings was to improve Titovets' English language skills; yet his English is clearly competent as apparent in the recordings. According to Norman Mailer, Titovets had made recordings of Oswald speaking in Russian. If that is the case, then why did Titovets not release all of the tapes that would offer us a sense of how well Oswald was speaking Russian while in Minsk????
  4. Strongly disagree. This is what is known as creating a legend. The role that Oswald was playing was in laying a trail of evidence that would make the "defection" seem plausible to the Soviets. One individual who recognized the legend immediately was Oswald's fellow Marine in Santa Ana, James Botelho, who knew that his buddy was not a genuine Marxist. In an interview given to Mark Lane, Botelho observed that “Oswald was not a Communist or a Marxist. If he was I would have taken violent action against him and so would many of the other Marines in the unit.” After Oswald’s defection was made public, Botelho told how an investigation at the Santa Ana Marine base was conducted purely for show: “It was the most casual of investigations. It was a cover-investigation so that it could be said there had been an investigation….Oswald, it was said, was the only Marine ever to defect from his country to another country, a Communist country, during peacetime. That was a major event. When the Marine Corps and American intelligence decided not to probe the reasons for the ‘defection,’ I knew then what I know now: Oswald was on an assignment in Russia for American intelligence.”
  5. Joe, Thank you for your insights into the process of learning a foreign language. You really get to the heart of the matter when you raise the following questions: "Oswald didn't study the Russian language as a child did he? He never went to a language school did he? Did Oswald listen to Russian language training and study records?" When it comes to the evidence, the answer to all three questions is a resounding "no." Someone playing devil's advocate might argue that certain individuals are uniquely gifted in acquiring a new language. To that assertion, I would respond that if Oswald had a knack for foreign languages, there would be a paper trail left from his teachers and fellow students who witnessed those skills. There is an alternative explanation to Oswald's Russian language proficiency other than official training. And that is simply that he was a native speaker of Russian. It is the study of the evidence of the two Oswald's that offers a window into how this young man was fluent in Russian. James
  6. Karl, Thanks very much for posting the link to the interviews with Shushkevich. Also, I found the video filled with fascinating insights from those who knew Oswald in Minsk. For Shushkevich, the best that he can say about Oswald's spoken Russian was that it was "pretty decent" or "passable." That does not square with the Oswald who allegedly read long and complex works by Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, and Turgenev or who dazzled Monterey Institute graduate Dennis Ofstein with his command of spoken Russian. As you observe above, all three of the acquaintances appearing on camera believed that Oswald was incapable of killing President Kennedy. These are not "conspiracy theorists," but rather people who had spent their lives living the realities of actual conspiracies in the Soviet Union. James
  7. You haven't done your homework, Tracy. Multiple Marines witnessed Oswald reading Russian-language materials. Rosaleen Quinn, the aunt of one of Oswald's Marine buddies, was teaching herself Russian through the Berlitz language system and was interested in conversing with Oswald. In her Warren Commission deposition, Quinn asserted that “Oswald spoke Russian well.” The meeting of Oswald and Quinn occurred in 1959. Also, prior to leaving for the Soviet Union, Oswald was administered an Army exam in Russian proficiency and answered the majority of the questions correctly. Your statement above is blatantly inaccurate.
  8. Steve, You raise an important question about how Oswald was able to take his notes out of the Soviet Union without them being confiscated. One of the most interesting facets of this story is what he did with the notes upon returning to the United States. On June 13, 1962, Oswald, Marina, and Baby Junie arrive in Hoboken, New Jersey aboard the SS Maasdam. Without detention by the federal authorities for arguably being a traitor to his country, Oswald spends the night with his wife and daughter safely ensconced at the Times Square Hotel in New York. The next day, the Oswalds fly out of New York to Dallas-Fort Worth, arriving on the evening of June 14. On June 18, five days after his return, Oswald hires a professional stenographer to type up his notes. He never lets the notes out of his sight, spending time in the office watching the typist preparing the manuscript and assisting her in reading his handwriting. The typist completes ten pages of single-spaced manuscript, which include only a portion of the complete set of notes. She is paid $10, or $1 per page, for her work. Oswald takes away the finished copy, his original notes, and even her carbon paper used for the copy she prepared. The notes were obviously of special import and priority for Oswald to have them transcribed within a week of his return to the United States. The typist, Pauline Virginia Bates, recalls her work in transcribing the notes in the youtube video linked below. Notice that early in the video there is an image of a UPI news release after the assassination that recalled the time Miss Bates spent with Oswald. The title of the article is "Hinted He was Secret Agent for U.S." For the article, Miss Bates is quoted as saying that Oswald was nervous or scared on the last day of their association: "He was fidgety, jumping up and down, looking over my shoulder, wondering at what point I was in the manuscript." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hlnp0HfhLvQ
  9. There is eyewitness testimony that challenges Myra DaRouse's recall on the matter of the accent. Ed Collier was one of the classmates of Oswald and apparently in the same homeroom of DaRouse. Collier recalled that "we called him Yank because he had a Yankee accent." Marilyn Murret, Oswald's cousin recalled that "it seems he was from the North, and so they ridiculed him in school....he was riding the streetcar one day, I believe, and he sat next to some Negroes. Well, when he got out of the streetcar or bus, or whatever it was, these boys ganged up on him, and hit him in the mouth." This testimony suggests that the boy known to Collier and Murret was from north of the Mason-Dixon line, did not speak with a Southern accent, and was unfamiliar with segregation practices in the Deep South.
  10. Mathias, The following is the extent of what we know about the Warren Commission's inquiry into the possibility that Oswald studied Russian at the foreign language institute in Monterey. In a closed-door meeting of the Warren Commission, general counsel J. Lee Rankin stated that, “we are trying to find out what [Oswald] studied at the Monterey School of the Army in the way of languages.” Of course, Rankin's inquiry produced no documented results and no conclusions about where Oswald learned Russian. And in the Marine records of Oswald, there is no placement of Oswald in Monterey, especially for the lengthy period of time that would be necessary for intensive foreign language training. Thanks very much for getting the ball rolling on this discussion. James
  11. You have missed something, Tony. It is a mistake to be assuming that Harvey Oswald came from Hungary when we have no hard evidence about his place of birth. And no one knows Harvey's birth date. I was attempting to show that my friend, who was in the same generation as Oswald and born in the mid- to late-1930s, learned both Polish and Russian at home around the same time. When I wrote "the exact age of Oswald," I was referring to the exact age of the American-born Oswald. We do not know either the precise age of the refugee or his birthplace. It is therefore a non-starter to engaging in a wildly speculative comparison of the height of male Hungarians in the 1950s and hope to add anything to the discussion of Oswald's Russian language proficiency.
  12. Mathias, Three follow-up points: (1) Nelson Delgado's Warren Commission testimony about Oswald's proficiency in Russian is so garbled that it surprises me that you are basing your argument that Oswald may have received formal training in the Russian language on anything Delgado recalls. Just listen to how hopelessly confused Delgado becomes, as he is clueless as to what language he even heard Oswald speaking, then concludes about the words he heard Oswald speak: "Where he picked them up, I don't know."!!! Mr. LIEBELER - Did you hear him speak Russian? Mr. DELGADO - Well, like I say, he tried to teach me Russian, but then another time I had some thought that what he was speaking to me was German; but according to the agent, he messed me all up, and I couldn't figure whether it was Hebrew or German. I tried to tell him that some of the words he had mentioned to me at the time I didn't recognize them, but when I came back from Germany some of those words I do remember, you know. Mr. LIEBELER - It seemed to you like it was German? Mr. DELGADO - Like German; yes. Mr. LIEBELER - But you only came to that conclusion after you had been to Germany? Mr. DELGADO - Right. At the time it could have been Yiddish or German, you know. Mr. LIEBELER - Could it have been Russian? Mr. DELGADO - No; different gutteral sounds altogether. Mr. LIEBELER - But you did not know whether Oswald spoke this other language to any extent; he just used a few words? Mr. DELGADO - No; I just remember his particular language, which I am in doubt about, had a "ch" gutteral sound to it [indicating], you know; and I could only assume it was Jewish or German, and later on when I was in Germany, I think, I am pretty sure it was German that he was speaking. Mr. LIEBELER - Did he speak it well or did he just use a few words? Mr. DELGADO - He speaks it like I speak it now, you know, like, just phrases, you know. Where he picked them up, I don't know. (2) The linguist Peter Paul Gregory wrote a letter of recommendation for Oswald for prospective jobs as an interpreter or translator. He also noted that Oswald spoke fluently, "but with somewhat of a Polish accent." As I noted above: (a) we have no direct evidence that Oswald fled from Hungary and (b) he could have been a refugee from any of the Eastern Block countries, including Poland, where you assert that it "should be much easier to learn Russian than for a Hungarian." (3) You completely ignored my point #2 in the previous post that argues that Oswald could have learned to speak Russian at home in a bilingual family. Your conclusion that "the most reasonable explanation for his proficiency" was during his period in the Marines is pure speculation. The much more "reasonable explanation" based on all of the evidence is that he was a native speaker. To review the evidence, I recommend that you read my article which attempts to synthesize the facts and not engage in wild speculation or unfounded conclusions. James
  13. Mathias, I am certain that Jim Hargrove will respond to your post, as he knows the context of your earlier interchange. In the meantime, here are my perspectives in response to your questions: (1) In the postwar years, there was an influx of more than 200,00 refugees to America coming from Eastern Europe. We cannot say for certain that Harvey Oswald was a refugee from Hungary. He could have come from any one of the newly formed Eastern Bloc nations. I would not rule out Hungary as a possibility. According to historian Agnes Vamos, the teaching of Russian language became compulsory in Hungary from 1945 until the time of the collapse of the Soviet Union nearly a half century later. Vamos writes that “after World War II, Hungary, similarly to other Eastern European countries, found itself in the Soviet Union occupied zone. The extension of the hegemony of Russian language started in Eastern Europe and in Hungary as well. Its aim was to contribute to the cohesion of the Eastern Bloc, a ‘fraternal community’, by promoting the culture through language teaching.” (Agnes Vamos, “Hungarian-Russian bilingual schools in Hungary during the Soviet occupation (1945-1989),” Paedogogica Historica (June 2018, Vol. 54, Issue 3, pp. 301-19): https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00309230.2017.1349158 (2) A second point is that, depending on the family, a child growing up in Eastern Europe either during the war or in the postwar years, may have learned to speak Russian at home, due to bilingual parents. A colleague of mine was a Holocaust survivor from Poland, who would have been almost the exact age as Oswald. The colleague informed me that in his childhood he had already learned to speak both Polish and Russian at home prior to starting school. (3) Regarding Nelson Delgado and other Marines who witnessed Oswald reading publications in the Russian language, there is no evidence that they saw him engaged in language study, either by the use of a textbook, flash cards, or tutorials with an expert. Yet somehow, by 1959, Oswald was already competent enough to be reading newspapers, journals, novels, and other literature. Russian is challenging language. It would be even more daunting for a high school dropout with no formal training to become as competent as Oswald was prior to the time he left for the Soviet Union in 1959. If he were receiving “one-on-one lessons” during his stint in the Marines, the major questions to be answered are: (a) who was giving him the lessons?; (b) when did the lessons occur outside of his well-documented regular Marine duties?; (c) where did they occur?; and (d) how could he have attained a skill set in such a short time to be able to take an Army Russian-language competency exam? Zack Stout was a fellow Marine who worked alongside Oswald every day for a ten-month period either in the radar bubble in Atsugi, the Philippines, Subic Bay, aboard ship, and while they were on liberty. Neither Stout nor any other Marine witnessed Oswald receiving lessons in the Russian language. James
  14. Jim, Another good example of Oswald's exceptional Russian language skills is apparent in the Warren Commission testimony of Dennis Offstein, one of Oswald's co-workers at Jaggars, Chiles, Stovall (JCS). Offstein was a technician who had studied Russian language for a full year at the famed Monterey institute, yet Oswald ran circles around him in language skills. In his testimony, Offstein recalled that after a full-year of immersion in Russian language, he still struggled, while for Oswald, speaking Russian seemed second nature. If Oswald had a special aptitude for learning a foreign language, there is no evidence of this from any of his teachers or classmates by time he dropped out of high school in the tenth grade. As you indicate above, there was no window of time for him to study a language while in the Marines. So, when, where, and how did Oswald come to such proficiency in the Russian language? That is the topic that none of the critics on this forum wish to debate. James
  15. John, Thank you for your insightful analysis. While I concur with you that there is inevitably conjecture and speculation involved, the points that you raise about Dulles are certainly not far-fetched. The so-called Office of Policy Coordination (OPC) was a branch of the CIA coming into its own in the late 1940s. Allen Dulles and Frank Wisner were running this operation with the intent of recruiting ex-Nazis and assets from Eastern Europe. As noted by David Talbot in his book The Devil's Chessboard--Allen Dulles, the CIA, and the Rise of America's Secret Government (New York: HarperCollins, 2015): "Dulles and Wisner were engaged in their own no-holds-barred war with the Soviet bloc. They saw Eastern Europe as their primary battlefield in the great struggle to roll back the Soviet advance." (149) In his article "The Early Lives of Harvey and Lee," John Armstrong provides this background on Frank Wisner: "Wisner and his group recognized they could use these Eastern European immigrants' knowledge, customs, and familiarity with their respective homelands. Wisner asked the National Security Council (NSC) to sanction the 'systematic' use of such refugees, and they (the NSC) agreed. The NSC soon issued a top-secret intelligence directive (NSCID No. 14), which even today remains 'classified,' that authorized both the FBI and the CIA to find and jointly exploit the knowledge, experience, and talents of well over 200,000 Eastern European refugees resettled in the USA. The CIA soon contacted the Displaced Person's Commission (DPC), which worked closely with the leaders of refugee organizations in the USA. DPC chairman Ugo Carusi sent a memorandum to all refugee organizations in the USA that read: 'We would like to advise that the U.S. Commission [DPC] has a formal agreement with the CIA to cooperate in every possible way to facilitate their programs. It is, therefore, altogether desirable that local representatives of the voluntary agencies and State Commissions and Committees make available to fully identified CIA agents the addresses of displaced persons.'” The full article, including J. Edgar Hoover's role in the recruitment operation, may be read at: https://harveyandlee.net/Early/Early.html
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