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"Oswald's" CIA Cryptonym: RX-ZIM

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As many JFK researchers know, James Wilcott was a CIA accountant from May 1957 through April 1966.  At the time of the assassination of JFK, Wilcott worked at the Agency’s Tokyo station where he said he was told by other Agency personnel that funds he himself had disbursed were for “Oswald” or the “Oswald Project.”  During his secret HSCA testimony of March 22, 1978, Wilcott said, “it was my understanding that Lee Harvey Oswald was an employee of the agency and was an agent of the agency.” Asked by Michael Goldsmith what he meant by the term “agent,” Wilcott responded that Oswald “was a regular employee, receiving a full-time salary for agent work for doing CIA operational work.” Following is a brief excerpt from the testimony.

Mr. Goldsmith. I think we had better go over that one more time. When, exactly, was the very first time that you heard or came across information that Oswald was an agent?

Mr. Wilcott. I heard references to it the day after the assassination.

Mr. Goldsmith. And who made these references to Oswald being an agent of the CIA?

Mr. Wilcott. I can't remember the exact persons. There was talk about it going on at the station, and several months following at the station.

Mr. Goldsmith. How many people made this reference to Oswald being an agent of the CIA?

Mr. Wilcott. At least--there was at least six or seven people, specifically, who said that they either knew or believed Oswald to be an agent of the CIA.

A bit later in the testimony comes this:

Mr. Goldsmith. Were there any other times during your stay with the CIA at [REDACTED] Station that you came across information that Oswald had been a CIA agent?

Mr. Wilcott. Yes.

Mr. Goldsmith. When was that?

Mr. Wilcott. The specific incident was soon after the Kennedy assassination, where an agent, a Case Officer--I am sure it was a Case Officer--came up to my window to draw money, and he specifically said in the conversation that ensued, he specifically said, "Well, Jim, the money that I drew the last couple of weeks ago or so was money" either for the Oswald project or for Oswald.

Mr. Goldsmith. Do you remember the name of this Case Officer?

Mr. Wilcott. No, I don't.

And later in the testimony comes this:

Mr. Goldsmith. Did this Case Officer tell you what Oswald's cryptonym was?

Mr. Wilcott. Yes, he mentioned the cryptonym specifically under which the money was drawn.

Mr. Goldsmith. And what did he tell you the cryptonym was?

Mr. Wilcott. I cannot remember.

For some time, it appeared that Wilcott could not remember the names of the case officers he talked to about the CIA’s employment of Oswald or Oswald’s cryptonym.  The point of this post, however, is to show that contemporaneous HSCA notes on Wilcott indicate that the HSCA’s Michael Goldsmith simply would not allow Wilcott to make specific charges in his testimony or, apparently, to indicate that he did indeed know Oswald’s cryptonym.

That cryptonym, Wilcott apparently told the HSCA staff, was RX-ZIM.  

Below are some of the HSCA notes about James Wilcott that have been virtually ignored by JFK researchers for at least two decades.  Why not spend a few minutes and read through them yourself?  There are a number of real surprises among them, including revelations barely hinted at in Wilcott’s long-suppressed testimony.  Comments are welcomed.









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From the same HSCA collection, here’s a summary of Wilcott’s CIA employment starting from May 1957.  Although  he continued to advance at the Agency for a time after the Kennedy Assassination, reaching a GS-9 pay scale during a brief stint at Langley, Wilcott’s relationship with the Agency soon soured.  He quit in April 1966.  



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4 hours ago, James DiEugenio said:

This is some really interesting stuff Jim.

Not just for what it says about Wilcott and Oswald, but also about how the HSCA operated.

I see something like this, and it just makes me sick about the day that Sprague left.

You know Jim, every single time I re-read Fonzi's book, my stomach literally turns when the time comes for Sprague's exit....I absolutely dread that aspect of Fonzi's amazing work...This is incredible documentation. Now its time to roll up our sleeves. Thanks for the work Jim H.

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8 hours ago, James DiEugenio said:

Does anyone know what happened to Wilcott.

I know that in addition to what Goldsmith did to him, the HSCA later tried to smear his reputation.

But does anyone know what happened to him after that?

Jim, see...


This write-up looks pretty spot on to me.  Can you comment on its accuracy, especially the tie-in with Ann Egerter’s testimony?

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Also included in the HSCA files on Wilcott is a 19-page manuscript entitled “THE KENNEDY ASSASSINATION,” which appears to have been written by James Wilcott himself, although clearly with many of the limitations the HSCA demanded.  Nevertheless, there is some interesting material there, especially about CIA plans to invade Cuba.  Here are the first two pages from that document.





The entire manuscript can be read at the following address, starting about eight pages down:



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On 3/23/2018 at 12:08 PM, James DiEugenio said:

Does anyone know what happened to Wilcott.

Jim, Are you referring to the way the FBI went after him with a trumped up federal indictment when he was a finance analyst in Utica, California? James W. Douglass in "JFK and the Unspeakable" devotes a few well-written pages to the harassment the Wilcott's received, including harassing calls, letters, and having their tires slashed. For anyone who hasn't read it, the link to those pages is below. Douglass says that Wilcott participated in protests of weapons shipments during the Contra war; later developed an obscure nerve disorder; and died of cancer on February 10, 1994. What an amazing man.


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On 3/23/2018 at 1:41 AM, Sandy Larsen said:


Wilcott's testimony adds to the mountain of evidence that Oswald was a CIA agent. My question for you is this:  Does his testimony add anything to the Harvey & Lee theory?




I'm afraid I didn't frame my question well.

Yes, I know that Wilcott's testimony supports the Harvey & Lee theory. Just like it supports the "Oswald was a CIA agent" theory. (Both of which I consider to be proven facts, given their respective levels of supporting evidence.)

What I an wondering is this: OTHER THAN ITS EVIDENCE FOR OSWALD BEING A CIA AGENT, can you think of any of Wilcott's testimony that supports the Harvey and Lee theory in particular?

The one thing I can think of is the apparent fact that it was referred to as the "Oswald Project," at least casually so. It seems to me that CIA projects would not normally be named after a participating agent. In this case it is as though OSWALD was the "star" of the project.

My thinking is that it was named the "Oswald Project" because it involved multiple Oswalds.


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Wilcott was (as JFK would write) a profile in courage ... I wonder how any other more ethical and principled CIA employees tried to speak up (and were intimidated or silenced).  You'd think more than a few felt the same way.  Its reassuring to finally read the 'unvarnished' truth, but very sad as well.  The HSCA knew ... they knew the truth, and concocted the Mafia fairy tale. Its simply shameful.  

The climate and culture within CIA are described well by Wilcott.  One can see how being liberal would be viewed with distaste.  It reminds me of the later disparaging remarks by Howard Hunt about liberals.  The condescending and arrogant tone of William R. Buckley on Firing Line. I worked (as a federal employee) with an investigator who had been involved with HSCA in his previous career, and approached him in 1994 to ask "who did it?"  His reply was CIA ... I was less well informed in those days, and somewhat taken aback, finding it difficult to believe a government agency would be complicit.  I countered with "how sure are you?" and he answered that he'd bet a year's salary on it.  He spoke of how utterly impossible it was to get any viable information from CIA or a straight answer.  My last question to him -- the answer to which stays with me today (and forever) - was the inevitable "why don't they just come out (after 30 years) and tell us?  His reply:

"What makes you think that's the worst thing they ever did?"

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