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Operation Tumbleweed?


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Steve, you can find out the details on this from the Newman pressentation that Joe B. was good enough to archive in the Lancer site. Newman speaks to Tumbleweed in that.

Basically Tumbleweed refers to the FBI identification of a foreign national in NYC who had a range of contacts in the U.S. and in Mexico City with persons of interest including Soviet intel. staff. This was part of the identification of Kostikov as attached to Soviet espionage and sabotage. Tumbleweed and Loredo are both names that come up in conjunction with this; interestingly enough Loredo was also a Soviet contact name given by Nagell.

This was one of the biggest FBI counter intelligence breaks of the time and there is reason to belive that Hoover was very much interested in exploiting it.

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I believe the TUMBLEWEED operation merits additional commentary. I do not have my "library" with me now but this is the information from the Lancer cite to which Larry refered:

FROM MR. NEWMAN'S PRESENTATION:

So you can see here. 'Kostikov,' this is the story, 'is an identified KGB officer. He was a case officer in an operation that is evidently sponsored by the KGB's 13th department that is responsible for sabotage and assassination...'

"But it gets better.

'The operation which is controlled by the FBI under the cryptonym TUMBLEWEED involved a German national resident of,' and there's the right amount of letters here for New York, 'who was recruited in Europe...'

"In other words, we doubled a KGB guy. The CIA recruited him in Europe.

'And met this year with Kostikov in Mexico City and shortly thereafter with a known 13th department officer Oleg Brykin in New York.

"And because he's doing it in New York, who's that going to involve? What federal agency? The FBI, they have jurisdiction over these things, once it's inside U.S. borders.

'The instructions given TUMBLEWEED...,' TUMBLEWEED, meaning the guy that we doubled 'by Kostikov,' by the two officers, meaning Kostikov and Brykin 'pinpointed objectives for sabotage and the circumstances of their involvement in the case left no doubt that both of them,' meaning Kostikov and Brykin, 'were working for the same KGB component, the 13th.'

"I'm going to put this in plain English. We doubled a guy that was working for the KGB. He was receiving orders from the 13th department. And the two guys that were giving him orders were Brykin and Kostikov. And it was going on in 1963. And the FBI was the U.S. agency in control of monitoring, and using, and exploiting TUMBLEWEED because it was happening in New York City. Brykin worked in the United Nations undercover as a Soviet something or other up there.

"And I found another document, that explains it even better, just a little better, that has another little paragraph. And this is what's being uncovered on the 23rd. It's not just that Kostikov is some kind of loosely, known to be associated with the KGB 13th department. WE'VE GOT HIM! There is a guy that he's instructing. HE'S OURS! And every time he (Kostikov) instructs him (TUMBLEWEED) to do something he, (TUMBLEWEED) he comes and tells us what his instructions are. SO WE ARE EXPLOITING THE WHOLE THING, through this guy TUMBLEWEED.

"So, where are we going here? It's only hours after the assassination. They just found out that that is not Oswald in the photographs, his voice isn't even on the tapes, but whoever impersonates him, whoever is on the phone saying, 'I'm Oswald' links Oswald to TUMBLEWEED, to the whole TUMBLEWEED thing that the FBI is in charge of which involves Kostikov, and through Kostikov.

"So, I want you to imagine being at the top of the FBI on Saturday when the CIA passes this along to them. Kostikov has been an active case. The TUMBLEWEED program has been an active case all year long. 'You've been watching. You've been watching Oswald. He's an active case. And that it's worse than that, you've got the two meeting. And it's in your files. And you haven't done anything.'

"This is another document I found. That's my handwriting up there because I found 3 copies of this document. This is Kostikov's 201 number up here. (201-305052) Anyway, here's the paragraph, 'Physical description of Kostikov quite accurately is...we had from a year ago in Mexico, and FBI...

"Here, 'He met in Mexico an FBI controlled double agent...' This is the rest of the story I'm telling you. 'The double agent's Soviet case officer in the U.S. has been Oleg Brykin of the 13 department KGB occupying the overt position of translator/transcriber to U.S. Secretary, New York City.

"Now this is blacked out here, you see this is actually redacted. But, I found like I told you I found 3 or 4 copies of this and guess what? I found another copy that they had neglected to redact. And it has not only TUMBLEWEED, but it has TUMBLEWEED'S CIA cryptonym that goes along with it.

"And of course it's an AE crypt. Those of you who are into collecting these cryptonyms like Nosenko, all of those guys were AE/______, whatever. And this guy is an AE crypt.

"And this here is passing, the whole, all of their stuff along. Bagley from the CIA, he passes it along to the FBI. It's on the 23rd. It's in the afternoon and it's pretty bad news.

"I'm not really certain of what's missing out here but this whole memo here, this is an FBI memo from Brennan to Sullivan referencing a call they just got from Bagley.

"This is the other copy I found. I blew it up and you can see the TUMBLEWEED,

AE/_________. Now you figure it out. What do you think? Looks like DURBILL. That's been my guess. AE/DURBILL. We just got a new crypt..

"It's the TUMBLEWEED project which is an FBI controlled program where we have got the inside line on Valery Kostikov, and had him all year, and that would be the guy that Oswald went down there and met with, and whoever impersonated him, made damn sure was inside U.S. intelligence files the day Kennedy was shot.

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The following paper from Rex Bradford should probably be considered here. It relates to the fact that there is no recording of the Saturday, November 23, 1963 phone call between President Johnson and J. Edgar Hoover, relating to Oswald's impersonation in Mexico City:

http://history-matters.com/essays/frameup/...enMinuteGap.htm

Edited by Tim Gratz
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And if memory serves, its an interesting experiment to time how long the published transcript of the "lost" recording takes to read and compare that to the purported time of the conversation. Its probably no fluke that we don't have the actual recording itself anymore...

Also interesting to ponder that Johnson knows about Mexico City and the Kostikov thing when he calls Hoover. Question is, when and how did he learn that?

-- Larry

The following paper from Rex Bradford should probably be considered here.  It relates to the fact that there is no recording of the Saturday, November 23, 1963 phone call between President Johnson and J. Edgar Hoover, relating to Oswald's impersonation in Mexico City:

http://history-matters.com/essays/frameup/...enMinuteGap.htm

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And if memory serves, its an interesting experiment to time how long the published transcript of the "lost" recording takes to read and compare that to the purported time of the conversation. Its probably no fluke that we don't have the actual recording itself anymore...

Also interesting to ponder that Johnson knows about Mexico City and the Kostikov thing when he calls Hoover. Question is, when and how did he learn that?

-- Larry

according to DeLoach, Johnson met with Hoover as soon as he returned from Dallas. I think the Kostivkov info was given to the FBI on the 22nd, so maybe Hoover told him the night before.

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Pat, I would sure like to seem some detail or corroboration for DeLoach's remark. As you know I've studied Johnson's movements on his return almost minute by minute.... largely based in Manchester's work. I can find no indication that Hoover met Johnson in person and although Manchester does record one call from Johnson to Hoover at his home that call has gone missing from the Johnson phone log.

If the two men did meet then something serious has been erased from the record, and DeLoach didn't know not to mention it. Could you give any further details or corroboration?

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And if memory serves, its an interesting experiment to time how long the published transcript of the "lost" recording takes to read and compare that to the purported time of the conversation.  Its probably no fluke that we don't have the actual recording itself anymore...

Also interesting to ponder that Johnson knows about Mexico City and the Kostikov thing when he calls Hoover.  Question is,  when and how did he learn that?

-- Larry

Larry:

I don't think this is much of a mystery, as Peter Dale Scott disclosed some time back.  The call between Johnson and Hoover took place at 10:01 AM.  Here is part of what Scott described:

As noted earlier, the DFS played a central role, along with the CIA, in the management of conspiratorial stories about Oswald in Mexico, including the false Oswald-Soviet intercept. The key to this procedure, as I argued in Deep Politics, was a two-fold process. Phase One put forward the phantom of an international plot, linking Oswald to the USSR, to Cuba, or to both countries together. This phantom was used to invoke the danger of a possible nuclear confrontation, which induced Chief Justice Earl Warren and other political notables to accept Phase Two, the equally false (but less dangerous) hypothesis that Oswald killed the President all by himself.

This essay affords a close-up look of the genesis of the Phase-One story, and how it was first promoted and then defused by the CIA. Michael Beschloss has revealed at, at 9:20 AM on the morning of November 23, CIA Director John McCone briefed the new President. In Beschloss' words: "The CIA had information on foreign connections to the alleged assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, which suggested to LBJ that Kennedy may have been murdered by an international conspiracy." 20 It would be wrong however to think that the CIA cover-up was limited to defusing this Phase-One impression of an international conspiracy. The CIA, by covering up the falsity of the alleged Oswald phone call to the Soviet Embassy, actually helped strengthen a spurious supposed link between Oswald and an alleged Soviet assassination expert, Valeriy Kostikov.

It is not certain whether the conspiracy McCone referred to on November 23 involved Cuba or the Soviet Union. Beschloss's account implies that McCone's "information" concerned Oswald's alleged visit in September 1963 to the Soviet Embassy in Mexico City:

A CIA memo written that day reported that Oswald had visited Mexico City in September and talked to a Soviet vice consul whom the CIA knew as a KGB expert in assassination and sabotage. The memo warned that if Oswald had indeed been part of a foreign conspiracy, he might be killed before he could reveal it to U.S. authorities. 21

Johnson appears to have had this information in mind when, a few minutes after the McCone interview, he asked FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover if the FBI "knew any more about the visit to the Soviet embassy." 22 

For more on this topic, please refer to:

www.memresearch.org/econ/ndoverview.htm 

Revealed by Scott is not only that Langley strenuously pushed an international Commie conspiracy, but also, that the emphasis was on Havana, not Moscow, despite the contrivance of only unmasking Kostikov as a Dept. 13 operative at the precise same time.

That it was all completely without merit didn't deter CIA from pushing it then, their shills and lackeys from regurgitating it in subsequent years, or others from pushing it even today.  You'd think that some people would learn to accept that CIA lied then, and half-heartedly continued to do so for years thereafter. 

However, to do so one must accept CIA as something less than an investigatory agency, and something more closely resembling a participant in the assassination's aftermath, and invariably even the coup's preparatory scene-setting.  That doesn't particularly surprise or disturb me, but I know that some people refuse to accept that personnel on the government payroll could have played any role in the assassination, so deep is their own bias, so vast is their own denial of the obvious.

They are to be pitied, as much as scorned. 

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Robert, sorry if I was unclear, I'm familiar with the 10:01 AM call on Saturday morning....and I think Newman has gone a good way with this story beyond what even PDS did with Deep Politics III.

My issue is that Saturday morning Johnson's first query is about Mexico City; the question then is had Hoover and Johnson discussed Mexico City before? If not who did brief Johnson and when? Plus did Johnson speak with Hoover on November 22......Manchester says he called him at home, DeLoach seems to indicate they spoke in person and Johnsons phone log does not support the call Manchester describes (at least now). If the two did not talk how did Hoover get the order to take over the investigation and evidence from DPD Friday night? And are we really expected to think the Hoover just went home from work that night like any normal day? Or that Johnson called everybody in DC except Hoover?

I wasn't really referring to the Phase 1 and 2 concepts nor even to CIA/Mexico City pushing the Commie plot...which gets agonizingly stupid once you get to the Alvarado story.

I'm stuck down in the details of the individuals personal activities during the first twelve hours or so when there appear to be loose ends and abnormal behavior all over the place.

-- Larry

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Well, Robert Charles-Dunne is obviously wrong about it being obvious that U.S. government personnel were involved in the assassination.

It is worthwhile spending time trying to figure out why someone was attempting to impersonate Oswald in his meeting with Kostikov in Mexico City.

As Robert knows full well, the night of the assassination the CIA gave the FBI personnel in Mexico City its photographs of "Oswald" emerging from the Soviet Embassy. It seems fairly clear that the FBI was aware of the CIA's photographic surveillance, but I could be mistaken about this.

Anyone aware of the CIA photographic surveillance of the Soviet Embasy could not have been part of a plot to link Oswald to a foreign conspiracy. This, in my opinion, fairly conclusively exonerates high level CIA operatives.

So what then was going on?

Two possibilities suggest themselves. One is that the Oswald impersonator was part of a U.S. intelligence operation, but not linked to the assassination of Kennedy. He may have been used, like Oswald, to see if either the Cubans or tje Soviets would implicate themselves by agreeing in "Oswald's" plan to kill Kennedy. They did not take the bait. Or, it is possible this was part of yet another CIA conspiracy to assassinate Castro (perhaps using Oswald's known connections to the Soviet Union and the FPCC to infiltrate the "mystery man" into Cuba).

A second possibility is that the impersonator was indeed trying to link Oswald to the upcoming assassination, in which case the impersonator and his sponsors were clearly unaware of the photographic surveillance. Thus suggesting an outside plot.

As you know, Gerry Hemming has identified the "mystery man" as Saul Sague, a man with whom he had worked in the past. I tend to credit Hemming's identification. For one thing, it dovetails with Hugh McDonald's calling the "mystery man" Saul.

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My issue is that Saturday morning Johnson's first query is about Mexico City;  the question then is had Hoover and Johnson discussed Mexico City before?  If not who did brief Johnson and when? 

Larry, I suspect I was unclear and should have simply cut to the chase.  The Hoover-Johnson call came at 10:01 on 11/23/63.  Forty minutes earlier on that same morning, Johnson had been briefed in person by McCone.  The obvious inference is that Johnson learned of the Mexico City nightmare from McCone, as cited by Scott and Beschloss.  I think this resolves the mystery.

Plus did Johnson speak with Hoover on November 22......Manchester says he called him at home,  DeLoach seems to indicate they spoke in person and Johnsons phone log does not support the call Manchester describes (at least now). 

Barring evidence of a phone call on 11/22, DeLoach seems to be correct and that Hoover and Johnson must have spoken in person.

If the two did not talk how did Hoover get the order to take over the investigation and evidence from DPD Friday night?  And are we really expected to think the Hoover just went home from work that night like any normal day?  Or that Johnson called everybody in DC except Hoover?

Again, I suspect DeLoach was correct about an in-person meeting, rather than the phone call that didn't seem to have transpired, based on the extant logs.

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A second possibility is that the impersonator was indeed trying to link Oswald to the upcoming assassination, in which case the impersonator and his sponsors were clearly unaware of the photographic surveillance.  Thus suggesting an outside plot.

Rubbish.  It was precisely because of the photographic and wiretap coverage of the Soviet Embassy that such an impersonation attempt was undertaken.  Otherwise, there would have been no record of such an "Oswald" visit or phone call to float after the assassination, making the impersonation pointless, if it was designed to implicate Oswald as a Commie proxy.

That you are unable to discern this only illustrates the denial I alluded to in my earlier post.

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