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Willem Oltmans


John Simkin
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What do members think about Willem Oltmans? In February 1977, Oltmans, met George de Mohrenschildt for lunch in Dallas. Oltmans later told the House Select Committee on Assassinations: "I couldn't believe my eyes. The man had changed drastically... he was nervous, trembling. It was a scared, a very, very scared person I saw. I was absolutely shocked, because I knew de Mohrenschildt as a man who wins tennis matches, who is always suntanned, who jogs every morning, who is as healthy as a bull."

According to Oltmans, he confessed to being involved in the assassination of John F. Kennedy. "I am responsible. I feel responsible for the behaviour of Lee Harvey Oswald... because I guided him. I instructed him to set it up." Oltmans told the HSCA: "He begged me to take him out of the country because they are after me." On 13th February 1977, Oltmans took de Mohrenschildt to his home in Amsterdam where they worked on his memoirs. Over the next few weeks de Mohrenschildt claimed he knew Jack Ruby and argued that Texas oilmen joined with intelligence operatives to arrange the assassination of Kennedy.

Willem Oltmans arranged for George de Mohrenschildt to meet a Dutch publisher and the head of Dutch national television. The two men then travelled to Brussels. When they arrived, Oltmans mentioned that an old friend of his, a Soviet diplomat, would be joining them a bit later for lunch. De Mohrenschildt said he wanted to take a short walk before lunch. Instead, he fled to a friend's house and after a few days he flew back to the United States. He later accused Oltmans of betraying him. Russ Baker suggests in his book "Family of Secrets": "Perhaps, and this would be strictly conjecture, de Mohrenschildt saw what it meant that he, like Oswald, was being placed in the company of Soviets. He was being made out to be a Soviet agent himself. And once that happened, his ultimate fate was clear."

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/JFKoltmans.htm

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What do members think about Willem Oltmans? In February 1977, Oltmans, met George de Mohrenschildt for lunch in Dallas. Oltmans later told the House Select Committee on Assassinations: "I couldn't believe my eyes. The man had changed drastically... he was nervous, trembling. It was a scared, a very, very scared person I saw. I was absolutely shocked, because I knew de Mohrenschildt as a man who wins tennis matches, who is always suntanned, who jogs every morning, who is as healthy as a bull."

According to Oltmans, he confessed to being involved in the assassination of John F. Kennedy. "I am responsible. I feel responsible for the behaviour of Lee Harvey Oswald... because I guided him. I instructed him to set it up." Oltmans told the HSCA: "He begged me to take him out of the country because they are after me." On 13th February 1977, Oltmans took de Mohrenschildt to his home in Amsterdam where they worked on his memoirs. Over the next few weeks de Mohrenschildt claimed he knew Jack Ruby and argued that Texas oilmen joined with intelligence operatives to arrange the assassination of Kennedy.

Willem Oltmans arranged for George de Mohrenschildt to meet a Dutch publisher and the head of Dutch national television. The two men then travelled to Brussels. When they arrived, Oltmans mentioned that an old friend of his, a Soviet diplomat, would be joining them a bit later for lunch. De Mohrenschildt said he wanted to take a short walk before lunch. Instead, he fled to a friend's house and after a few days he flew back to the United States. He later accused Oltmans of betraying him. Russ Baker suggests in his book "Family of Secrets": "Perhaps, and this would be strictly conjecture, de Mohrenschildt saw what it meant that he, like Oswald, was being placed in the company of Soviets. He was being made out to be a Soviet agent himself. And once that happened, his ultimate fate was clear."

Before I go on, I will state beforehand that I will not be providing link's URL's et cetera to corroborate my assertions but everything I am about to state can be verified through declassified documents released over the last few years.

Oltmans is what I would call a chamelon; to those who rely on the written word journals, books et cetera, he comes off as a white knight, trying to put the blank pieces together to solve the JFK assassination; ie Deke, Diki Dmitrov, who according to Charles Spears, [see Penn Jones Continuing Inquiry] "his body was found full of bullet holes in Europe" and that this was not reported by the American media, it is alleged that he was murdered after he disappeared from his hotel suite in London before he was ostensibly about to be brought to testify to the HSCA; [My own research indicates that there was an attempt by Oltmans to meet with Carter Administration officials which never took place].

Oltmans "cultivated" a relationship with DeMohrenschildt over a decade prior to GDM's death. traveling from Europe periodically to see him when Oltmans periodically popped up in Dallas, in the Kennedy Administration, Oltmans even testifiied before a Senate Subcommittee regarding Cuba, the problem with Oltmans, according to the documents I have read, is that he also had "cultivated" a relationship with Sukharno in the same time frame 1961-62, and essentially acted as a mouthpiece for whatever the Soviet [propoganda] line was at the time. That is if you believe what the declassified documents say......

He was also employed as a United Nations journalist who was never able to obtain accredation as such, because he never produced any material he had written to qualify him to become an official UN journalist...Adding a degree of validity to the implication that he was a agent of another country's intelligence apparatus.

To add further confusion over the whole issue, in one of Penn Jones later Continuing Inquiry "someone claiming to be Dmitrov," surfaced in the Reagan years, but the whole story regarding him sort of petered out.....

My personal conclusion is that the whole idea that Dmitrov would have come to the HSCA and solved the Kennedy Assassination, is pure smoke and mirror's....

Although to say that places myself in the uncomfortable position of validating comments made by G Robert Blakey who more or less stated that the "assertions of Oltmans weren't worth a bucket of warm spit."

To believe otherwise, I would say would be making the case that a great deal of events which have transpired in the world of counterintelligence, since the assassination of JFK are indirectly related to the latter, which I am inclined to believe has a certain potential to be true.

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Willem Oltmans arranged for George de Mohrenschildt to meet a Dutch publisher and the head of Dutch national television. The two men then travelled to Brussels. When they arrived, Oltmans mentioned that an old friend of his, a Soviet diplomat, would be joining them a bit later for lunch. De Mohrenschildt said he wanted to take a short walk before lunch. Instead, he fled to a friend's house and after a few days he flew back to the United States. He later accused Oltmans of betraying him. Russ Baker suggests in his book "Family of Secrets": "Perhaps, and this would be strictly conjecture, de Mohrenschildt saw what it meant that he, like Oswald, was being placed in the company of Soviets. He was being made out to be a Soviet agent himself. And once that happened, his ultimate fate was clear."

Edward Epstein interviewed de Mohrenschildt in Palm Beach for Readers Digest shortly before his "suicide."

Lisa Pease and James DiEugenio have stressed their belief that Epstein was heavily influenced if not an outright agent of James Jesus Angleton.

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.ph...p;mode=threaded

Beware: The Douglas/Janney/Simkin Silver Bullets By James DiEugenio:

As John Newman has shown, Oswald's pre-assassination 201 files were held in a special mole-hunting unit inside Angleton's counter intelligence domain. This unit, called SIG, was the only unit Angleton had that had access to the Office of Security, which by coincidence, also held pre-assassination files on Oswald. Angleton staffer Ann Egerter once said that SIG would investigate CIA employees who were under suspicion of being security risks. (The Assassinations, pgs. 145-146). When Oswald "defects" to the Soviet Union, it just happens that Angleton is in charge of the Soviet Division within the CIA. When Oswald returns, he is befriended by George DeMohrenschildt, a man who Angleton has an intense interest in. As Lisa Pease pointed out, shortly before the assassination, Oswald's SIG file was transferred to the Mexico City HQ desk. (Ibid, p. 173) While there, members of Angleton's staff drafted two memos: one that describes Oswald accurately, and one that does not. The first goes to the CIA; the other goes to the State Department, FBI and Navy. Ann Goodpasture, who seems to have cooperated with David Phillips on the CIA's charade with Oswald in Mexico City, had
worked with Angleton as a CI officer
.

***

While the HSCA was ongoing, Angleton was involved in two exceedingly interesting episodes: one that seemed to extend the cover up of his activities with Oswald, and one aimed at furthering his not so veiled threat about being a fall guy. The first concerns the creation of the book
Legend
by Angleton's friend and admirer Edward Epstein. Written exactly at he time of the HSCA inquiry, this book was meant to confuse the public about who Oswald really was. If anything,
it was meant to portray him as a Russian agent being controlled by DeMohrenschildt.
At the same time, DeMohrenschildt was being hounded by Dutch journalist Willem Oltmans to "confess" his role in the Kennedy assassination -- which he refused to do. Right after he was subpoenaed by the HSCA, DeMohrenschildt was either murdered or shot himself. The last person who saw him was reportedly Epstein.

See Pease's articles at Probe:

http://www.ctka.net/pr700-ang.html

http://www.ctka.net/pr900-ang.html

Also:

http://www.maryferrell.org/wiki/index.php/..._Kennedys_Ghost

Another of the talking heads, Edward Jay Epstein, has acknowledged that one of his books on the case was written in extensive consultation with James Angleton, former head of CIA CounterIntelligence and himself a "person of interest."

Epstein admitted in his book Deception that CounterIntelligence chief James Angleton and his associates were primary sources for his book Legend. Angleton's CI division had opened the 201 file on Oswald and kept it closely held in the Agency. For more on Angleton and the JFK assassination, see Lisa Pease's James Jesus Angleton and the Kennedy Assassination (Part 1 and Part 2).

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Edward Epstein interviewed de Mohrenschildt in Palm Beach for Readers Digest shortly before his "suicide."

Lisa Pease and James DiEugenio have stressed their belief that Epstein was heavily influenced if not an outright agent of James Jesus Angleton.

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.ph...p;mode=threaded

Beware: The Douglas/Janney/Simkin Silver Bullets By James DiEugenio:

As John Newman has shown, Oswald's pre-assassination 201 files were held in a special mole-hunting unit inside Angleton's counter intelligence domain. This unit, called SIG, was the only unit Angleton had that had access to the Office of Security, which by coincidence, also held pre-assassination files on Oswald. Angleton staffer Ann Egerter once said that SIG would investigate CIA employees who were under suspicion of being security risks. (The Assassinations, pgs. 145-146). When Oswald "defects" to the Soviet Union, it just happens that Angleton is in charge of the Soviet Division within the CIA. When Oswald returns, he is befriended by George DeMohrenschildt, a man who Angleton has an intense interest in. As Lisa Pease pointed out, shortly before the assassination, Oswald's SIG file was transferred to the Mexico City HQ desk. (Ibid, p. 173) While there, members of Angleton's staff drafted two memos: one that describes Oswald accurately, and one that does not. The first goes to the CIA; the other goes to the State Department, FBI and Navy. Ann Goodpasture, who seems to have cooperated with David Phillips on the CIA's charade with Oswald in Mexico City, had
worked with Angleton as a CI officer
.

Have you read Cleveland Cram's Of Moles and Molehunters? Cram intended to become an academic but in 1949 was recruited by the CIA. In 1953 he was sent to work in London where he got to know Kim Philby. In 1958 Cram returned to head office where he ran the British desk. This was followed by a second spell in England before serving as chief of station in Canada.

Cram was appointed Deputy Chief of Station in Europe. After nine years he became Chief of Station in the Western Hemisphere. He retired from the CIA in 1975. The following year he met George T. Kalaris and Ted Shackley at a cocktail party in Washington. Kalaris, who replaced James Angleton, as Chief of Counterintelligence, asked Cram if he would like to come back to work. Cram was told that the CIA wanted a study done of Angleton's reign from 1954 to 1974. "Find out what in hell happened. What were these guys doing."

Cram took the assignment and was given access to all CIA documents on covert operations. The study entitled History of the Counterintelligence Staff 1954-1974, took six years to complete. As David Wise points out in his book Molehunt (1992): "When Cram finally finished it in 1981... he had produced twelve legal-sized volumes, each three hundred to four hundred pages. Cram's approximately four-thousand-page study has never been declassified. It remains locked in the CIA's vaults."

Cram continued to do research for the CIA on counterintelligence matters. In 1993 he completed a study carried out on behalf of the CIA's Center for the Study of Intelligence (CSI). "Of Moles and Molehunters: A Review of Counterintelligence Literature". This document was declassified in 2003.

In this work Cram looks at the reliability of information found in books about the American and British intelligence agencies. Cram praises certain authors for writing accurate accounts of these covert activities. He is especially complimentary about the books written by David C. Martin (Wilderness of Mirrors), David Wise (Molehunt) and Tom Mangold (Cold Warrior). Cram points out that these authors managed to persuade former CIA officers to tell the truth about their activities. In some cases, they were even given classified documents.

Cram is particularly complimentary about the Wilderness of Mirrors, a book about the exploits of William Harvey and James Angleton. He points out that Martin does “not name his sources, footnote the book, or provide a bibliography and other academic paraphernalia” but is invariably accurate about what he says about the CIA. Cram adds that luckily Martin’s book did not sell well and is now a collectors item (the book was republished in 2004).

In "Of Moles and Molehunters", Cram is highly critical of the work of Edward J. Epstein (Legend: The Secret World of Lee Harvey Oswald and Deception: The Invisible War Between the KGB and the CIA). Cram makes it clear that Epstein, working with James Angleton, was part of a disinformation campaign. Cram writes: “Legend… gave Angleton and his supporters an advantage by putting their argument adroitly – if dishonestly – before the public first. Not until David Martin responded with Wilderness of Mirrors was an opposing view presented coherently.”

You will find what Cram said about Epstein here:

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/JFKcramC.htm

Of Moles and Molehunters is discussed here:

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=5194

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In "Of Moles and Molehunters", Cram is highly critical of the work of Edward J. Epstein (Legend: The Secret World of Lee Harvey Oswald and Deception: The Invisible War Between the KGB and the CIA). Cram makes it clear that Epstein, working with James Angleton, was part of a disinformation campaign. Cram writes: “Legend… gave Angleton and his supporters an advantage by putting their argument adroitly – if dishonestly – before the public first. Not until David Martin responded with Wilderness of Mirrors was an opposing view presented coherently.”

I keep finding myself wondering whether Angleton can be explained merely as a paranoid spy working for America. Is it possible he was recruited by someone else besides the Soviets at some point in his career? Sort of like J. Edgar Hoover's protection of mafia. Maybe someone got to Angleton while he was in Italy?

For example:

By Lisa Pease, "James Jesus Angleton and the Kennedy Assassination," from the July-August 2000 issue (Vol. 7 No. 5)
Probe
:

...James Jesus Angleton was the son of James Hugh Angleton, an NCR executive who had once participated in General Pershing’s pursuit in Mexico of Pancho Villa, and Carmen Moreno, a Mexican woman. He grew up in Boise, Idaho and later Dayton, Ohio, where NCR was headquartered. At the age of fourteen, his family moved to Milan, Italy (where NCR manufactured cash registers). Angleton spent summers at British prep schools and Malvern College. He participated in international Boy Scout Jamboree events in Scotland, Hungary and Holland. Angleton biographer Tom Mangold indicates that when the Nazis took over the Boy Scouts in Germany, Angleton made friends with some anti-Nazi leaders and carried their letters back to the founder of the international Boy Scout movement in England. Both father and son would serve the OSS. Angleton’s father was described by Max Corvo, a top OSS officer in Italy, as "ultra-conservative, a sympathizer with Fascist officials. He certainly was not unfriendly with the Fascists."2

When he reached college age, Angleton attended Yale, where Angleton first showed a pension for staying up all night. Insomnia was to plague him most of his life. Although many who knew him described him as "brilliant," Angleton’s record at Yale was undistinguished; during his junior and senior years he received two F’s and four D’s, and ended up withdrawing from another class relating to his major, English. But Angleton managed to impress teachers with his mysteriousness, his apparent maturity, and his self-assurance.

Angleton took a serious interest in poetry and, with Reed Whittemore, co-edited the poetry magazine Furiouso, which included poems by e e cummings and Ezra Pound, among other notables. Because of his interest in this area, he was to be called by some the "Poet-Spy."

After graduating in the lowest 25% of his class, Angleton enrolled at Harvard Law School. According to Mangold, "Angleton’s move to Harvard was not the consequence of any strong ambition to study law. Rather, like many young men at the time, he was putting his future on hold." During his Harvard period, Angleton met and married his wife, Cicely D’Autremont. The marriage took place a few weeks after Angleton had been drafted into the Army. Shortly thereafter, through the combined efforts of his OSS father, and his former Yale English professor Norman Pearson, then heading up the OSS Counterintelligence effort in London, Angleton was transferred to London to study Italian matters for X-2, the OSS counterintelligence component.

It was during this period that Angleton met Kim Philby, the man who would become every counterintelligence officer’s nightmare. Philby rose to a position of great influence in the British intelligence service, until he was finally exposed as a Soviet agent and fled behind the Iron Curtain. Angleton was devastated by this, despite having been warned by Bill Harvey at an early time that Philby looked like a mole.

In October of 1944, Angleton was transferred to Rome as commanding officer of Special Counterintelligence Unit Z, a joint American-British detachment. Less than half a year later, Angleton was made the Chief of X-2 in Italy. He was the youngest X-2 chief across OSS. His staff included Raymond G. Rocca, who would loyally serve by his side until Angleton’s ouster from the CIA in 1974.

While he was clearly an accomplished counterintelligence expert by this time, there was another aspect which deserves mention. In his book The Real Spy World, longtime CIA officer Miles Copeland describes, through a slightly fictionalized veil in which he calls Angleton by the false nickname "Mother," a different story. For background, SI, referenced within, was, according to Copeland, an OSS division which X-2 officers held in contempt. According to Copeland:

In 1946, an X-2 officer known within the organization as "Mother" took a lot of information on Palestine from The New York Times; spooked it up a bit with fabricated details, places, and claims of supersecret sources; and sent it to the head of SI, Stephen Penrose, for appraisal. After studying it carefully, Penrose and his assistants decided that the material was "genuine," that its source must be very deep inside secret Zionist and Arab terrorist groups, and that arrangements should be made for developing the sources into a regular espionage network. Mother then negotiated with Penrose for a budget, meanwhile leading the SI officers through a maze of fake names, fake background reports, and the like, and finally established that SI would be willing to pay as much as $100,000 a year out of what was left of OSS funds. Mother then confessed that the whole thing was a hoax and that the information could have been acquired for 25 cents through the purchase of five issues of The New York Times.3

In other words, Angleton’s activities, however successful, were not limited to acts of loyalty to his fellow intelligence compatriots, but could occasionally be directed to more personal, vindictive measures. Copeland paints this as a jolly escapade. But in his footnotes, he admits that Penrose, against whom this operation was conducted, suffered a near-breakdown as a result, and was transferred to less stressful jobs. "[Penrose] and various other top people in SI (with a few conspicuous exceptions, such as Richard Helms, who defected to X-2 and went on to become the CIA’s director) were generally thought to be ‘too Christ-like for the spy business,’ as Mother put it."4 Copeland, by the way, was one of twenty-five OSS officers Angleton wanted to remember in his 1949 will. Others included Allen Dulles, "the operator, the patriot;" Richard Helms; and Ray Rocca.5

After the war, Angleton did not wish to return to his new wife, nor his son, born in his absence, and chose instead to remain in action in Europe. X-2 was folded into the Strategic Services Unit (SSU), ostensibly a War Department unit and a temporary holding place for the then defunct OSS.

Two years after the war, Angleton would return stateside to his wife and son to work for the amalgam of temporary intelligence agencies that would eventually become the CIA. There, he would achieve notoriety for his late hours, and for being, as his secretary Gloria Loomis related, "a terrible taskmaster."6

The SSU and other remaining intelligence units evolved over time into two separate pieces – the Office of Special Operations (OSO), and the Office of Policy Coordination (OPC). Richard Helms served with Angleton and Rocca in the OSO. Stewart Alsop, in his book The Center, the "Prudent Professionals," labeled the OSO people the "Prudent Professionals." Alsop called the OPC crowd the "Bold Easterners." The OPC included Frank Wisner, Richard Bissell, Edward Lansdale, Desmond Fitzgerald and Tracy Barnes.

In Italy, 1947, Angleton participated in an OSO operation given to a group called SPG, or Special Procedures Group, in which propaganda and other means were used to keep the Italians from voting any Communists into office.7 Other means included the Mafia. "Wild Bill" Donovan, founder of the OSS, helped release "Lucky" Luciano and other Mafia criminals from jail in New York so they could return to Italy and provide not only contacts, but if necessary, the strong-arm tactics needed to win the war against incipient Communism in Italy. Angleton’s later reported contacts with the Mob may well stem back to this period.

One of the groups most interested in defeating the communists in Italy was, not surprisingly, the Vatican. Angleton both gave and received intelligence to and from the Vatican. Among Angleton’s most famous agents in Italy was Mons Giovanni Montini. Montini would become famous in 1963 when he became Pope Paul VI.8 Angleton has been named as a source for funds which were used to defeat the Communists. In return, evidently, Angleton obtained access to the Ratlines the Vatican was using to move people out of Europe to safety abroad. Angleton and others from the State Department used the Ratlines to ferry Nazis to South America.9

The OPC crowd held enormous sway in the early days of the CIA, but that changed in the wake of the spectacular failure at the Bay of Pigs. Curiously, Richard Helms and Angleton both saw their careers rise by standing on the sidelines and keeping free of all dealings related to the Bay of Pigs.

Angleton made an interesting comment about the Bay of Pigs episode. He told the HSCA that before the Bay of Pigs, he had asked Bissell, "Do you have an escape hatch?" He asked Bissell most plainly, "In case the thing falls flat on its face is there someone who goes to Castro and says, ‘you have won the battle. What is your price?’" Angleton explained to the HSCA that he was trying to say, "have you planned for the failure as much as planned for the success?" The implication was that this was Angleton’s own modus operandi in such matters.10 We would do well to remember that statement in the context of the Kennedy assassination and cover-up.

During the period between the end of the war and the formation of the CIA, William "Wild Bill" Donovan, the establishment lawyer who created the OSS, lobbied long and hard for a single intelligence agency to pick up where the OSS had left off, running secret operations and gathering human intelligence or "humint" in new and creative ways. In the end, although Donovan would not be a part of it, the Central Intelligence Agency or CIA was ultimately formed through the National Security Act of 1947.

Before the CIA was created, many in Congress feared that the creation of a new intelligence agency would lead to a police state similar to the one they had just defeated in Germany, and refused to back Donovan’s efforts. But the loudest protest came from J. Edgar Hoover, who feared a direct encroachment upon the FBI’s turf. One could argue that the OSS people won because they made the better case. But there is another possibility here.

Angleton, Hoover and Blackmail

In Tony Summers’ book about J. Edgar Hoover, Official and Confidential, Summers showed that Meyer Lansky, a top Mob figure, had blackmail power over Hoover through possession of photos that showed Hoover and his lifelong friend and close associate Clyde Tolson together sexually. In the paperback edition of the same book, Summers introduced another figure who evidently had possession of such photos: James Angleton. If Angleton had such photos, imagine how he could have used them to force the FBI’s hand during the investigation of the Kennedy assassination.

Summers names two sources for this allegation: former OSS officer John Weitz, and the curious Gordon Novel. Weitz claimed he had been showed the picture by the host of a dinner party in the fifties. "It was not a good picture and was clearly taken from some distance away, but it showed two men apparently engaged in homosexual activity. The host said the men were Hoover and Tolson…." Summers added in the 1994 version, "Since first publication of this book, Weitz has revealed that his host was James Angleton."11

Novel’s account is even more interesting. Novel said that Angleton had shown him some photos of Hoover and Tolson in 1967, when Novel was involved in New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison’s case against Clay Shaw. "I asked him if they were fakes, " Novel recounted, "but he said they were real, that they’d been taken with a special lens. They looked authentic to me…." Novel’s explanation of why Angleton showed him the pictures is even more interesting:

I was pursuing a lawsuit against Garrison, which Hoover wanted me to drop but which my contacts in the Johnson administration and at CIA wanted me to pursue. I’d been told I would incur Hoover’s wrath if I went ahead, but Angleton was demonstrating that Hoover was not invulnerable, that the Agency had enough power to make him come to heel. I had the impression that this was not the first time the sex pictures had been used. Angleton told me to go see Hoover and tell him I’d seen the sex photographs. Later, I went to the Mayflower Hotel and spoke to Hoover. He was with Tolson, sitting in the Rib Room. When I mentioned that I had seen the sex photographs, and that Angleton had sent me, Tolson nearly choked on his food."12

Now, Novel has been known to fell a few tall tales in his day. But he has on other occasions been forthcoming with interesting and sometimes self-incriminating material (such as his own participation in the Houma raid and the association between David Phillips and Guy Banister).13 Given Weitz’s corroboration, and given Angleton’s enormous power over many in high places, Novel’s account rings true. Novel added that Angleton claimed the photos had been taken around 1946.14 During the 1945-1947 timeframe, Hoover was battling hard to prevent the creation of any other intelligence organization separate from the FBI. And during this period, Angleton was involved with the Mafia in the Italian campaign. It’s certainly possible under such circumstances that Lansky or one of his associates may have shared the photos with Angleton. And the reverse case can also be considered.

Miles Copeland adds additional credibility to this scenario in his account of this period. "Penetration begins at home," Copeland has Angleton/"Mother" saying, "and if we can’t find out what’s going on in the offices where our future is being planned, we don’t deserve to be in business."15 Copeland presented this scenario:

There are several stories in the CIA’s secret annals to explain how the dispute was settled, but although they "make better history," as Allen Dulles used to say, they are only half-truths and much less consistent with the ways of government than the true ones. Old-timers at the Agency swear that the anti-espionage people would almost certainly have won out had it not been for the fact that an Army colonel who had been assigned to the new management group charged with the job of organizing the new Agency suborned secretaries in the FBI, the State Department, and the Defense Department and organized them into an espionage network which proved not only the superiority of espionage over other forms of acquiring "humint" (i.e. intelligence on what specific human beings think and do in privacy), but the necessity for its being systemized and tightly controlled. The colonel was fired, as were the secretaries, but by that time General John Magruder, then head of the group that was organizing the CIA, had in his hands a strong argument for creating a professional espionage service and putting it under a single organization. Also, thanks to the secretaries and their Army spymaster, he had enough material to silence enemies of the new Agency—including even J. Edgar Hoover, since Magruder was among the very few top bureaucrats in Washington on whom Mr. Hoover didn’t have material for retaliation.16

Is he saying what he appears to be saying? Copeland added, cryptically, "The success of the old SSU cadre (former OSS and future CIA officers) in perpetuating itself has been due in part to an extraordinary capacity for Byzantine intrigue…." And in a footnote to this phrase, Copeland explains, still somewhat cryptically, "This intrigue was mainly to keep ‘The Hill’ off its back." Copeland seems to be insinuating that more people than Hoover were blackmailed to ensure the creation and perpetuation of the CIA.

David Wise also lends credence to such a scenario with this episode. Thomas Braden, a CIA media operative was confronted by Dulles over a remark Braden had about one of Dulles’ professional relationships. Wise recounted what followed:

"You’d better watch out," [Allen] Dulles warned him. "Jimmy’s got his eye on you." Braden said he drew the obvious conclusion: James Angleton had bugged his bedroom and was picking up pillow talk between himself and his wife, Joan. But Braden said he was only mildly surprised at the incident, because Angleton was known to have bugs all over town.17

Braden described how Angleton would enter Dulles’s office "first thing in the morning" to report the take from the overnight taps:

"He used to delight Allen with stories of what happened at people’s dinner parties … Jim used to come into Allen’s office and Allen would say, ‘How’s the fishing? And Jim would say, ‘Well, I got a few nibbles last night.’ It was all done in the guise of fishing talk."18

More to the point, Braden was upset because "some senator or representative might say something that might be of use to the Agency. I didn’t think that was right. I think Jim was amoral."19 It would not be beyond belief that Angleton routinely used information gathered through clearly illegal taps to blackmail people into supporting his efforts. No wonder some of his Agency associates feared him.

Indeed, just about everyone in the Agency who knew Angleton came to fear him and to avoid crossing his path. This extended from subordinates to some of the highest officials to serve the agency, including Allen Dulles and Richard Helms. Angleton was called "no-knock" because he had unprecedented access to senior agency officials. Said Braden,

"He always came alone and had this aura of secrecy about him, something that made him stand out—even among other secretive CIA officers. In those days, there was a general CIA camaraderie, but Jim made himself exempt from this. He was a loner who worked alone."20

Angleton knew that knowledge was power, so not only would he go to extraordinary lengths to obtain such, he would also lord his knowledge over others, especially incoming CIA directors. Said one Angleton contemporary,

"He would put each new director through the embarrassment of having to beg him to indoctrinate them in important CIA matters. Jim was enormously clever, he relished his bureaucratic power and was expert at using it. He was utterly contemptuous of the chain of command. He had a keen sense of what the traffic would bear in relation to his own interests. It worked like this: when a new director came in, Jim would stay in his own office out of sight. If a top staff meeting were requested, he simply wouldn’t attend and would offer endless delays. He was a master at waiting to see the new director alone—on his own terms and with his own agenda."21

Angleton’s most powerful patrons were Allen Dulles and Richard Helms. As biographer Tom Mangold described it,

He was extended such trust by his supervisors that there was often a significant failure of executive control over his activities. The result was that his subsequent actions were performed without bureaucratic interference. The simple fact is that if Angleton wanted something done, it was done. He had the experience, the patronage, and the clout.22

It wasn’t until William Colby, a longtime nemesis of Angleton’s, became the Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) that Angleton’s power was dimmed, and eventually extinguished. But it was a long time coming.

Of course, this is getting a little off the topic of Willam Oltmans.

Edited by Linda Minor
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To return to Oltmans, I have been doing some research into this character and it reveals something about JFK's dispute with the CIA I was unaware of.

Willem Oltmans, the son of a lawyer, was born in Huizen, the Netherlands, on 10th June 10, 1925. Oltmans studied at Nijenrode before going to Yale University (1948-50).

Oltmans returned to the United States where he became a journalist with United Press International. In June 1956 he interviewed President Sukarno of Indonesia. The article that he produced was considered too sympathetic to the nationalist leader. At the time the CIA was supporting the PRRI-Permesta rebellion in Sulawesi.

Oltmans argued that Netherlands New Guinea should be given full independence. Oltmans' actions resulted in creating some dangerous enemies. This included Joseph Luns, the Dutch minister of foreign affairs. According to Oltmans, Luns did what he could to sabotage his journalistic career. Luns later became secretary-general of NATO.

In 1958 Oltmans emigrated to the United States and worked for several media outlets in the Netherlands. Oltmans created controversy by travelling to several communist countries including Cuba and North Vietnam. Oltmans developed a reputation as a radical journalist. It was later revealed that Oltmans' network in the 1960s had been infiltrated by CIA agent, Werner Verrips.

On 5th April 1961, Joseph Luns arranged for the New Guinea Council to take office in Netherlands New Guinea. President Sukarno threatened to invade this territory that he felt believed belonged to Indonesia and on 15th August, 1962, he ordered full mobilisation of his army. Oltmans claimed to have prevented a Dutch war against Indonesia over New Guinea by sending a memo to President Kennedy. Whatever the truth of this statement, Kennedy, against CIA advice, applied pressure on the Dutch government to hand over the territory to a temporary UN administration (UNTEA). On May 1, 1963, Indonesia took control of the territory.

As David Kaiser pointed out in "American Tragedy" (2000) "Kennedy had courted President Sukarno - who at home balanced his large domestic Communist party with a pro-Western army - and his administration had supported the transfer of West New Guinea from Dutch to Indonesian sovereignty and successfully mediated the dispute between the two nations... In the week before his death, Kennedy had decided to visit Indonesia in the spring of 1964." After Kennedy was assassination, President Lyndon Johnson cancelled the visit and in December 1964 he cut off all aid to Indonesia.

Willem Oltmans produced five volumes of autobiography: Memoires: 1925-1953 (1985), Memoires: 1953-1957 (1986), Memoires, 1957-1959 (1987), Memoires, 1959-1961 (1988) and Memoires: 1961-1963 (1997).

In 2000 Oltmans won his legal case against the Dutch government. The jury agreed that the government, under the influence of Joseph Luns, conspired to keep him out of work, for which it had to pay him 8 million guilders (4 million US dollars) in damages.

Willem Oltmans died of cancer in Amsterdam on 30th September, 2004.

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I certainly do not want anyone to think I am attempting to close a door on any possibility re Oltman's or anyone else. For a while I was as interested in his information as anyone else, all I can suggest is that Forum members read his own testimony and draw their own conclusions.

The link is below.

Willem Oltmans Deposition Testimony

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/....do?docId=48774

Edited by Robert Howard
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I certainly do not want anyone to think I am attempting to close a door on any possibility re Oltman's or anyone else. For a while I was as interested in his information as anyone else, all I can suggest is that Forum members read his own testimony and draw their own conclusions.

The link is below.

Willem Oltmans Deposition Testimony

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/....do?docId=48774

I see he mentions Loren Hall and Lester Logue here:

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/...mp;relPageId=47

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Chapter 19 of your book is an article about George de Mohrenschildt that first appeared in New Times Magazine. You mention Willem Oltmans’ claim that de Mohrenschildt “served as a middleman between Lee Harvey Oswald and H.L. Hunt in an assassination plot involving other Texas oilman, anti-Castro Cubans, and elements of the FBI and CIA.”

Oltmans later withdrew his claim that H.L. Hunt was invloved. He claimed that deMohrenschildt was the one who gave him that information but a later investigation proved Hunt was in no way involved.

Can you provide more information on this? This is what Willem Oltmans told Robert Tanenbaum on 4th January 1977:

Robert Tanenbaum: What was the reason he told you about going to commit suicide?

William Oltmans: One of the reasons was, I found it in my notes, that he doesn't want his children to look upon, to their father for the rest of their life as having been involved, directly involved in the killing of President Kennedy. He would say - and I have notes - "I would rather kill myself than let my children" - and he called not only his daughter Alexandra, but also his brother, Professor de Mohrenschildt, who is in California. He said, "My brother and daughter, I don't want to have to live the rest of their lives by this thing." You know, that he was involved. "I would rather shoot myself." He told me that various times."

Robert Tanenbaum: All right, sir. So, up until the time that you left New York City from John F. Kennedy Airport, did you have any other conversations with him with regard to the assassination of the President?

William Oltmans: Yes, repeatedly.

Robert Tanenbaum: Now, again in substance, tell us what, if anything George de Mohrenschildt told you - this is up until the time you were in New York City - about the assassination.

William Oltmans: Sir, pages and pages. I will...

Robert Tanenbaum: In substance, will you tell us what he said, please.

William Oltmans: Each time he would reveal something else....

Robert Tanenbaum: Did you have any conversations of substance with him in New York?

William Oltmans: Not at all. New York, talked a bit, but not in London.

Robert Tanenbaum: Up until this time, had he ever mentioned Jack Ruby or H. L. Hunt?

William Oltmans: Yes.

Robert Tanenbaum: Up until this time?

William Oltmans: Yes, I forgot all about that.

Robert Tanenbaum: Would you please tell us that, then.

William Oltmans: O.K. You see, in Dallas, in the many talks I had with him about going, I asked him point blank, "Did you know Ruby?"

"Yes."

"Have you been in Ruby's Bar?"

"Yes."

"Then what happened to Oswald. If Oswald set up the Kennedy Assassination, he must have had a lot of money."

De Mohrenschildt, with a devilish laugh said "He wasn't long enough around to get the money."

Then I said, "But who would pay?"

You see, he talked in circles. He was still talking in circles. He was coming around to talking, but when I asked him, who would put up that kind of money, he said, well, he would reply, "Well, did you see the letter of Oswald, was released by the FBI, to Hunt? Now, why do you think Oswald would write to Mr. H. L. Hunt?"

Then I said "Do you know Hunt, have you known him?"

He said, "I knew him for 20 years. I was very close with him. I went to all his parties."

You see, de Mohrenschildt clearly indicated that the money had come from, that his contacts were "upwards to Hunt, and downwards to Oswald."

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Chapter 19 of your book is an article about George de Mohrenschildt that first appeared in New Times Magazine. You mention Willem Oltmans’ claim that de Mohrenschildt “served as a middleman between Lee Harvey Oswald and H.L. Hunt in an assassination plot involving other Texas oilman, anti-Castro Cubans, and elements of the FBI and CIA.”
Oltmans later withdrew his claim that H.L. Hunt was invloved. He claimed that deMohrenschildt was the one who gave him that information but a later investigation proved Hunt was in no way involved.
In August of 1977, Oltmans held a series of press conferences in which he spoke of his so-called knowledge of what happened to JFK.

These events were reported by John Geddie from the Washington Bureau of The News and printed in most of the major papers at the time.

JK

This is what Willem Oltmans told Robert Tanenbaum on 4th January 1977:

Robert Tanenbaum: Up until this time, had he ever mentioned Jack Ruby or H. L. Hunt?

William Oltmans: Yes.

Robert Tanenbaum: Up until this time?

William Oltmans: Yes, I forgot all about that.

Robert Tanenbaum: Would you please tell us that, then.

William Oltmans: O.K. You see, in Dallas, in the many talks I had with him about going, I asked him point blank, "Did you know Ruby?"

"Yes."

"Have you been in Ruby's Bar?"

"Yes."

"Then what happened to Oswald. If Oswald set up the Kennedy Assassination, he must have had a lot of money."

De Mohrenschildt, with a devilish laugh said "He wasn't long enough around to get the money."

Then I said, "But who would pay?"

You see, he talked in circles. He was still talking in circles. He was coming around to talking, but when I asked him, who would put up that kind of money, he said, well, he would reply, "Well, did you see the letter of Oswald, was released by the FBI, to Hunt? Now, why do you think Oswald would write to Mr. H. L. Hunt?"

Then I said "Do you know Hunt, have you known him?"

He said, "I knew him for 20 years. I was very close with him. I went to all his parties."

You see, de Mohrenschildt clearly indicated that the money had come from, that his contacts were "upwards to Hunt, and downwards to Oswald."

On 4th January 1977 Willem Oltmans tells Robert Tanenbaum that George de Mohrenschildt told him the money for the assassination of JFK came from H. L. Hunt.

In August 1977 he holds a press conference and says that de Mohrenschildt did not say that Hunt was not involved in the conspiracy.

If Oltmans lied about Hunt, we cannot take any of the other information he gave to the House Select Committee on Assassinations as being the truth. Why would he lie about this? Why would he retract just one piece of the evidence?

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It is my opinion that everything Oltmans says related to JFK's murder should be taken with a grain of salt.

What is your evidence for this view? I have carried out some research into Oltman's career and would argue that his reporting of events in Indonesia, Cuba and North Vietnam suggest he reflected a consistent left-wing position.

In 2000 Oltmans won his legal case against the Dutch government. The jury agreed that the government conspired to keep him out of work, for which it had to pay him 8 million guilders in damages. This dates back to reports that he was writing about Netherlands New Guinea in 1956. This upset Joseph Luns, the Dutch minister of foreign affairs. The court ruled that Oltmans was right when he claimed that Luns did what he could to sabotage his journalistic career. Luns was a close friend of the CIA and eventually was appointed Secretary General of NATO.

We also know that during this period the CIA was working with Luns in an attempt to overthrow President Sukarno of Indonesia. The head of this CIA operation was Al Ulmer, who ran the agency's Far East operations. In fact, Ulmer lost his job after the failure of the CIA backed coup in May 1958. As Thomas Powers, the author of The Man Who Kept The Secrets (1979), a book about Richard Helms, points out: "The result, of course, was a humiliation for the United States, but it was a quiet humiliation. The Indonesians knew who had been behind the rebels, of course, but they elected to treat the matter calmly... and the American press somehow never got wind of the CIA's role."

Oltmans, who enjoyed a good relationship with Sukarno, did know what was going on and reported this in the Dutch press. This does not sound like someone under the control of the CIA. In fact, by 1962, this journalist who was reporting on events in Cuba and North Vietnam in the early 1960s, was seen as a hero by left-wing students. It is during this period that his network was infiltrated by CIA agent Werner Verrips.

Oltmans also claims that he was supplying President Kennedy with information about the situation in New Guinea. Whatever the truth of this statement, Kennedy, against CIA advice, applied pressure on the Dutch government to hand over the territory to a temporary UN administration (UNTEA). On May 1, 1963, Indonesia took control of the country. It was not only over the policy towards Cuba that the CIA was angry with Kennedy.

Without the testimony of Oltmans I don’t think the story about George de Mohrenschildt claims about the assassination would have entered the public domain. Nor would much attention have been paid to his suicide three months after Oltmans’ testimony to the HSCA.

What is significant is that at the time of his death he was taking part in a planned four-day interview at the Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach with Edward Jay Epstein on behalf of the Reader's Digest magazine. In my view, this was an attempt by the CIA to discover just how much de Mohrenschildt knew about the assassination. We now know that de Mohrenschildt had given an interview to Dick Russell in June 1976.

I know I would trust the evidence of Willem Oltmans and Dick Russell over that of Edward Jay Epstein.

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As Robert has noted earlier, and quoting G.R.Blakey that Oltmans' testimony is worthless, it is clear that you cannot obtain an understanding of George DeMohrenschildt through Oltmans. It was like Tannenbaum was pulling his teeth trying to get a straight answer out of the guy.

Despite being an apparently reputable journalist, Oltmans is a bit of a ego maniac, like DeMohrenschildt himself, and being Dutch, may have had a bit of a language problem.

Oltmans also had an impulsive and abrasive attitude and approach, much like our friend Wim, and cuts to the heart of the question rather than setting it up properly to obtain the correct answer.

For instance, DeMohrenschildts told Oltmans that he was asked to participate in a plot to kill JFK in the office of Lester Logue of Dallas. So Oltmans immediately picks up the phone and calls Logue and says that he has a witness who claims to have been asked to particpate in a plot to kill JFK in his office, what does he have to say about that?

Well, of course Oltmans never got any more information out of Logue, and we don' hear about that any more.

Rather than try to figure out what DeMohrenschildt was about through Oltmans, its much more valuable and entertaining to read DeMohrenschildt's own story, "I'm a Patsy! I'm a Patsy!", which is on line at Mary Ferrell.

Besides working for Dutch TV (with Karl Lenklloyd?), Oltmans used CBS TV crews and equipment when in Dallas and claims to have a nine hour interview with DeMohrenschildt that gets into many details.

What became of this film?

And did the HSCA obtain copies of films and notes Oltmans kept in Holland and offered to HSCA?

Apart from DeMohrenschildt, Oltmans says that he also interviewed Loren Hall on film, which should be part of JFK Collection at NANA, and could have valuable info if anybody checks.

BK

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As Robert has noted earlier, and quoting G.R.Blakey that Oltmans' testimony is worthless, it is clear that you cannot obtain an understanding of George DeMohrenschildt through Oltmans. It was like Tannenbaum was pulling his teeth trying to get a straight answer out of the guy.

Despite being an apparently reputable journalist, Oltmans is a bit of a ego maniac, like DeMohrenschildt himself, and being Dutch, may have had a bit of a language problem.

Oltmans also had an impulsive and abrasive attitude and approach, much like our friend Wim, and cuts to the heart of the question rather than setting it up properly to obtain the correct answer.

For instance, DeMohrenschildts told Oltmans that he was asked to participate in a plot to kill JFK in the office of Lester Logue of Dallas. So Oltmans immediately picks up the phone and calls Logue and says that he has a witness who claims to have been asked to particpate in a plot to kill JFK in his office, what does he have to say about that?

Well, of course Oltmans never got any more information out of Logue, and we don' hear about that any more.

Rather than try to figure out what DeMohrenschildt was about through Oltmans, its much more valuable and entertaining to read DeMohrenschildt's own story, "I'm a Patsy! I'm a Patsy!", which is on line at Mary Ferrell.

Besides working for Dutch TV (with Karl Lenklloyd?), Oltmans used CBS TV crews and equipment when in Dallas and claims to have a nine hour interview with DeMohrenschildt that gets into many details.

What became of this film?

And did the HSCA obtain copies of films and notes Oltmans kept in Holland and offered to HSCA?

Apart from DeMohrenschildt, Oltmans says that he also interviewed Loren Hall on film, which should be part of JFK Collection at NANA, and could have valuable info if anybody checks.

BK

Bill, I lived for quite some time in the Netherlands, all educated Dutch speak Excellent English! I also just spent 30 minutes listening to Oltmans being interviewed IN DUTCH about JFK and DeMohrenschildt and must say he seemed completely honest, in control of his senses, saying the same in Dutch as in English, and sincere....I detected no major ego problems. Comparing him to Wim is really IMO below the belt. I'm trying to locate the film - if it exists....you can hear Oltmans' excellent English here

While his 'information' is a bit 'odd' he was told it by DeMohrenschildt, apparently. Other parts of what he was told don't seem so strange to me at all.

Peter, My point is that Oltmans only knows what DeMohrnschildts told him, and he patiently developed DeMohrenschildt as a source for over two decades.

But when it came to Lester Logue, he calls him on the phone and accuses him of being a suspect and co-conspirator in the assassination without even trying to gain his confidence or find out what Logue really knows. Wim does the same thing.

Why sift what we want to know from Oltman's hearsay when we have DeMohrenschildt's own testimony and manuscript, and if anybody can find it, nine hours of DeMohrenschildt interview on camera with Oltmans?

Has anybody even tried to locate the Oltmans interview with DeMohrenschildt?

BK

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