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Programmed to Kill:

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Guest Stephen Turner

Interviewer, So Mr Pacepa, you're a former intel officer who specialised in disinformation until you defected to the US, care to tell us anything about the Soviets, how they killed JFK perchance?

Great spoof, that'll keep yer laughing till Christmas. LOL.

Edited by Stephen Turner
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Guest Stephen Turner
So you have read the book, Stephen?

You certainly are not saying that because you believe the Russkies were above political assassinations, are you?

No, and no to your questions Tim. I dont have thousands of pounds to spend on books by everyone who claims to know the truth about the assassination, and tend to take information proffered by those with an axe to grind with a very large pinch of salt. New political masters=, in my book, much axe grinding.

Those who have been professional liers in the past, cannot expect to be believed when insisting they are finally telling the truth.

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  • 3 weeks later...

My review:

Programmed to Kill, according to neocon Michael Ledeen, "must be considered one of the basic books about the Kennedy assassination." That fact is, in itself, almost enough for us to consider it disinformation. But good disinformation contains a kernal of truth so let us consider Ion Pacepa's book in that light.

Pacepa was, before he defected to the West in 1978, national security advisor to Romanian dictator Nicolae Cezsusescu and acting chief of his foreign intelligence service. He makes a case that Lee Harvey Oswald was recruited by the KGB, and returned to the United States, at their direction, to kill President Kennedy. Khrushchev tried unsucessfully to cancel Oswald's mission but Oswald went ahead on his own and committed the assassination. Khruschchev then had Ruby kill Oswald, to keep this all a secret. One cannot help but wonder why he did not have Oswald killed before the assassination rather than after. (Or maybe they did; one thinks of Richard Case Nagell.)

Pacepa's case is rather circumstantial, derived from his familiarity with the operational patterns and practices of Soviet bloc intelligence. The only actual evidence in the book is that he claims to know "for a fact" that Oswald's friend and mentor, George de Mohrenschildt, was an agent of Soviet bloc intelligence.

On the evening of November 26, 1963 General Sakharovsky, chief of the PGU, the foreign intelligence arm of the KGB, arrived in Bucharest. His purpose was "to unleash a diversionary intelligence effort aimed at directing world attention away from the Soviet Union and focusing suspicion for the killing of President Kennedy on the United States itself." The program, which continued for years, was called Operation Dragon. This suspicion was inevitable as the accused assassin had defected to the Soviet Union and had married a Soviet woman before returning to the United States. And there was another problem: his closest friend in the United States was a Russian emigre. The general did not mention his name but did mention the international association that had once sent him to Belgrade. An associate of Pacepa's named Doicaru checked the records of the Rumanian intelligence service, the DIE:

He remembered that the DIE station in Belgrade had once wanted to recruit an American with a German name who was assigned to Yugoslavia as a representative of the International Cooperation Administration. "I was right," Doicaru told us when he returned. "George de Mohrenschildt" was the name of the man who seemed to fit Sakharovsky's description. DIE archive records showed that in 1957, when de Mohrenschildt had been assigned to Belgrade, the DIE station there had spotted him as a target for recruitment. In those days, however, the rule was that, before trying to recruit a foreigner, the DIE first had to ask Moscow for a name check on the target individual. In this case the PGU had answered that de Mohrenschildt was already "taken."

Pacepa next makes his case that Oswald was recruited by the PGU in Japan. The case is circumstantial but quite plausible and he may well be right. Oddly, though, he completely ignores the possibility that Oswald might have been already under the control of American intelligence, that he might have been what is called in the trade a "dangle." I do not see how the Soviet's could ever have been certain that Oswald was really working for them. They would have played along, no doubt, but that they would have used an agent of doubful reliability, and one who, at that, had such an obvious connection to them, for a mission so important as the assassination of an American President simply defies belief.

As I said, though, Pacepa is fairly plausible in his description of how Oswald was likely recruited and managed by the PGU. To make his case, though, he has to counter the testimony of Yuri Nosenko, an earlier defector who maintained that the KGB had minimal interest in Oswald and certainly never recruited him. Nosenko's credibility has been hotly contested. James Angleton went to his grave convinced that Nosenko was a fake defector, sent to draw attention away from the Soviet's role in the assassiation.

Pacepa, however, maintains that Nosenko was the real thing, but that he was working in the wrong wing of Soviet intelligence to really know what was going on with Oswald. He worked for the domestic wing, the VGU, rather that the foreign wing, the PGU, that would have recruited Oswald. Pacepa maintains, rather plausibly, that the PGU would not have informed the VGU that Oswald was working for them and, in fact, would have gone to greath lengths to conceal it.

As evidence that Nosenko did not really know what was going on Pacepa cites several facts. First, that "Nosenko had no knowledge that OSWALD ever directed a communication of any type to the American Embassy in Mosco." Second, that Nosenko was unaware that Oswald had visited the American Embassy in Moscow in October of 1959. Also that Nosenko was unware of Oswald until he declared his intention to defect, although Nosenko should have been routinely advised when Oswald was first issued his visa to visit the Soviet Union.

Pacepa's descriptions of Soviet and Eastern bloc intelligence patterns and practices are fascinating. It seems to me quite plausible, even likely, that they recruited Oswald in Japan and kept in touch with him after he returned to the United States. If so, they would have been horrified to learn that he had been accused of the assassination of Kennedy, as were many, perhaps, in the CIA.

Edited by Gary Buell
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  • 5 months later...

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