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Lee Harvey Oswald's Motives


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Mel Ayton (a member of the Forum) has just published Lee Harvey Oswald’s Motives on the History Network website.

http://hnn.us/articles/23430.html

It includes the following:

Oswald’s upbringing bears directly on his actions as a young man. Poor parenting from a single unstable mother and a fatherless upbringing affected Oswald greatly, warping his sense of right and wrong and creating an individual who was continually frustrated in his relationships with others. In response to these frustrations Oswald transferred his emotional attachments to his inadequate and poorly thought out political philosophy.

Oswald turned to radical politics for the purpose of ego- building. According to Dr Martin Kelly, “The political philosophy to which he gravitated became the ongoing material of Oswald’s ego function, serving as a substitute for normal feelings and judgments, and maintained by persistant fantasies.”

Marina believed that learning Russian gave Oswald a reputation for being intelligent, making up for the fact that he had a reading disability which gave him feelings of inadequacy. He got from his politics something he couldn't get from individuals. It shows the poverty of Oswald's emotional relationship with people which is a psychopathic trait.

Oswald's belief in the socialist ideal has been confirmed by numerous sources who knew him. As an 18 year old Oswald espoused his political principles to Palmer McBride and William Wulf Jr. McBride told the FBI, “During the period I knew Oswald he resided with his mother in the Senator Hotel or a rooming house next door...I went with him to his room on one occasion, and he showed me copies of Das Kapital and the Communist Manifesto. Oswald stated he had received these books from the public library, and he seemed quite proud to have them.”

Aline Mosby, a reporter, interviewed Oswald in Moscow after his defection and this interview gives a clue to the way Oswald acted out his political dramas. Oswald told her he became interested in communist ideology when “an old lady handed me a pamphlet about saving the Rosenburgs...”.

The pamphlet led Oswald to change the direction of his life for it was from this period he became enamoured with left-wing politics. The memory of the Rosenburg case, I believe, lasted until his incarceration in the Dallas police jail. Oswald had made repeated requests the weekend of the assassination for John Abt to defend him. Abt was a left-wing New York lawyer who had defended communists and a newspaper story about Abt had appeared on the same page as the President's visit to Dallas. In attempting to contact Abt Oswald was revealing something about himself - he was already preparing for his appearance on the political stage, emulating the Rosenburgs by becoming a cause celebre.

Oswald had a desperate desire to act in a political way to further the cause of his commitment to communism and to the Cuban Revolution and in so doing elevate himself as an important revolutionary. He needed a cause to belong to; to inflate his self-image and sustain it. Oswald said that nothing kept him in the United States and he would lose nothing by returning to the Soviet Union. His real destination, of course, was Cuba. Cuba was a country which embodied the political principles to which he had been committed since he was an adolescent.

To Oswald Cuba was the last gambit - his last chance to fulfill his political fantasies. As Marina testified to the Warren Commission, "I only know that his basic desire was to get to Cuba by any means and all the rest of it was window dressing for that purpose." He hatched a plan to hi-jack a plane to Cuba and wanted Marina to help. When she refused he abandoned his plans.

Marina has testified to Oswald’s view of Castro as a hero and said Lee had wanted to call their second child Fidel if it had been a boy. Michael Paine told BBC Timewatch researchers that Lee, “…wanted to be an active guerrilla in the effort to bring about the new world order.” Nelson Delgado, Oswald’s friend in the Marine Corps said that Oswald’s hero was William Morgan, a former sergeant in the U.S. Army who became a major in Castro’s army. In August 1959 Morgan received considerable press coverage when he lured some anti-Castro rebels into a trap by pretending to be a counter-revolutionary. This may explain Oswald’s counter-revolutionary activities in New Orleans when he visited anti-Castroite Carlos Bringuier. Oswald wanted to emulate Morgan.

An incident from Oswald's time in the Marine Corps testifies to Oswald's revolutionary fanaticism. Fellow Marine, Kerry Thornley, testified to the Warren Commission about an incident, “which grew out of a combination of Oswald's known Marxist sympathies and George Orwell's book 1984”. After Thornley finished reading the book they took part in a parade.As Oswald and Thornley were waiting for the parade to begin they talked briefly about Orwell’s book even though Oswald “seemed to be lost in his own thoughts.” Oswald remarked on the stupidity of the parade and on how angry it made him, to which Thornley replied, “Well, come the revolution you will change all that.” Thornley said, “At which time he looked at me like a betrayed Caesar and screamed, screamed definitely, 'Not you, too, Thornley.' And I remember his voice cracked as he said this. He was definitely disturbed at what I had said and I didn't really think I had said that much....I never said anything to him again and he never said anything to me again.”

Oswald's political ideals remained with him up to the moment of his death and there is convincing evidence to support this. It was inevitable that someone as politically motivated as Oswald would eventually reveal his political self that tragic weekend. A man like Oswald needed a stage to show the world he was a true revolutionary. But he did not do this by confessing. Instead he showed his commitment to his ideals by a clenched fist salute, a symbol of left-wing radicalism, as he was paraded around the Dallas police station. There are at least two published photos of Oswald giving this gesture. The most famous photograph showing Oswald’s clenched-fist salute was first identified by Jean Davison in her excellent book about Oswald’s motives, Oswald's Game (1983). The photo was taken by an AP photographer.

The second photo has been overlooked by most researchers and appeared in the UPI/American Heritage book Four Days (1964). The caption for the UPI photo reads, “...Oswald shakes his fist at reporters inside police headquarters...”, an unlikely description of Oswald's actions. Most JFK conspiracy advocates have assumed that Oswald was merely showing the photographers his manacled hands. But there is a definite clenched-fist salute portrayed on both occasions. He repeated this gesture as he lay dying in the ambulance. According to Dallas policeman Billy Combest, he made a “definite clenched fist”. Some conspiracists have dismissed this vital piece of evidence claiming that a clenched-fist salute did not come into vogue until the late 1960’s. However, communists and left-wing militant groups have used the salute since the 1930’s - in the political elections in Germany in 1930 and in Spain during that period.

Oswald was influenced in his beliefs and his desire to act them out by a number of politically motivated people and political literature during the last year of his life.

The periodicals that Oswald subscribed to may have influenced his actions. As the Warren Report pointed out, “The October 7th., 1963, issue of the Militant reported Castro as saying Cuba could not accept a situation where at the same time the United States was trying to ease world tensions it also was increasing its efforts to tighten the noose around Cuba.” Castro’s opposition to President Kennedy’s attempt to deal with Cuba was also reported in the October 1, 1963, issue of the Worker, to which Oswald also subscribed. Oswald spoke to Michael Paine about the left-wing paper saying, “You could tell what they wanted you to do ..... by reading between the lines, reading the thing and doing a little reading between the lines.”

In the month before the assassination Oswald may have entered into his revolutionary fantasies whilst watching television. A Secret Service interview with Marina was first recognised by Jean Davison as a telling indication of Oswald's state of mind. Marina told agents that on Friday, October 18th. Oswald had watched two movies on television and he had been “greatly excited”. The first movie was Suddenly, in which Frank Sinatra played an ex-soldier who planned to shoot an American president. Sinatra’s character was to shoot the president with a high-powered rifle from the window of a house overlooking a railway station. The second movie, We Were Strangers, was based on the overthrow of Cuba’s Machado regime in 1933.John Garfield had played an American who had gone to Cuba to help a group of rebels assassinate the Cuba leader. Oswald’s reactions to these movies made a strong impression on his wife, according to the Secret Service report.

Given Oswald’s orientation to violence as evidenced by his willingness to take right-wing activist General Walker’s life in April 1963, his treatment of his wife and his belief in revolutionary violence, the movies are vital to an understanding of Oswald’s frame of mind. As the movie plots suggested, Oswald could see a way in which he could strike out against a government he detested and support a government he admired.

It is also feasible that Oswald may have had direct knowledge about CIA plots to assassinate Castro. On September 9th. 1963 the New Orleans Times Picayune published a story about Castro's warning that assassination plots against Cuban leaders would be met with retaliation. It is possible that Oswald’s revolutionary heroic actions in killing Kennedy were a response to these plots against Castro. Although the American people as a whole did not learn of CIA plots to murder Castro until the 1970's it would have been easy for newspaper readers in New Orleans to read between the lines because it was common knowledge that anti-Castro exiles were engaged in efforts to topple the Castro regime.

Oswald’s first reply to a police officer when he was arrested inside the Texas Theatre was, “I haven't anything to be ashamed of.” He did not say, “I didn't shoot anyone”. He was likely giving himself time to think of an answer to the inevitable questions he would be asked when interrogated. His answer, “I haven't anything to be ashamed of ” is a natural response for a true believer in revolutionary action. He may have committed murder – but within the fantasies of his own mind Oswald’s crime was an act of war which put him outside the norms of lawful behaviour and moral culpability.

In his revolutionary state of mind, Oswald needed only a catalyst to spur him on. And it came in the form of an aristocratic member of the Dallas emigre community, George de Mohrenschildt. DeMohrenschildt had an important influence on Oswald in the year before the assassination. He befriended the Oswalds and the older man became Lee's mentor. Unlike the other members of the Russian community De Mohrenschildt had a soft spot for Oswald and sympathised with his left-wing views. In reality, DeMohrenschildt thought Oswald was a pathetic individual who pretentiously believed himself to be an intellectual and a revolutionary.

It is possible that De Mohrenschildt's statements had influenced Oswald in his decision to assassinate Walker. Oswald’s mentor referred to General Walker as the “Hitler of tomorrow” and Oswald, according to Marina, often repeated unoriginal things which she believed may have come from DeMohrenschildt. One of Oswald’s oft-repeated sayings was that if Hitler had been assassinated it would have benefitted the world. It is therefore possible that the anti-fascist DeMohrenschildt unintentionally provoked Oswald to kill General Walker. Oswald may have wanted to impress his surrogate father.

According to Samuel Ballen who was De Mohrenschildt's close friend, “(In De Mohrenschildt's conversations with Lee) his unconventional, shocking, humourous and irreverant ideas would have been coming out of George all the time.” Ballen stated that he thought De Mohrenschildt could have influenced Oswald to kill General Walker.

The contempt Lee Harvey Oswald showed for authority and to those who disagreed with his vision of the world, the simple ideological answers he embraced in the face of complex issues he spoke of, generally are expressions of self-aggrandisement and a narcissistic tendency. When he began to see himself as "the commander", the learned revolutionary who was given only menial jobs, the gifted politician who headed an imaginary chapter of the Fair Play For Cuba Committee, the “the hunter of the right wing fascists” - the grandiose side was revealing itself. If Lee Oswald had not assassinated President Kennedy he would inevitably have committed a different kind of violent political act.

Oswald’s struggle was to get what he wanted - to be recognised as an important political figure. He achieved a modicum of recognition when he appeared on television and radio in New Orleans in the summer of 1963, when his Fair Play for Cuba activities were noticed. However, his esteem was damaged when television presenter Bill Stuckey ambushed Oswald with statements about his defection to Russia which took away Oswald's status as an objective spokesman for Castro's communist regime.

Oswald hated the American way of life. Years earlier he had come to detest his beloved Russia. And now his entry to his brave new world, Cuba, was barred. Failure seemed to follow him everywhere. He had nowhere to turn except inwards to his embittered and disillusioned self.

Now and then, in the final year of his life, Oswald would show his normal side, seeking work and interacting with others. But he knew he would always return to his life of despair, psychological isolation and unfulfilled political fantasies.

Lee Harvey Oswald’s failure as a man, a husband, a worker, a Marine and a son, began shortly after his birth. And Oswald's embrace of communism, his strong belief in Castro and the Cuban revolution and a desire to be recognised as an important person provoked him to kill President Kennedy.

Mel does have at least one fan (I liked his comparison of Mel being like Rembrandt). In fact, the review is the kind you would write yourself.

Another excellent piece by Mel Ayton, his usual form. In discussing the motives of one Lee Harvey Oswald , too few writers take the time to delve so deeply into the phyche of their subject as Mr. Ayton . We are usually presented with a shallow conspiratorial cardboard version of a man who was deeply disturbed, mentally. Thru Mel's fine scholarship he puts his subject into sharper focus, than has perhaps other authors , who's lack of insight and wisdom ( let alone believability ) have in the past , left me wanting . Mel has turned into one of the great authors/writers of our time for many reasons that are self evident after reading his concise books, articles, essays and posts on the net . He has a uncanny knack of painting, in words, a portrature of his subject that is like a Rembrandt, but uniquely his own , every sentence seemingly a bulls eye . The only problem being when I start my reading, its awfully hard to stop until the very end , similar to a good work of Mitchners ( 'Poland' comes to mind ). Getting to the subject matter : Adding anything of interest or substance to his writings is extremely hard , as hard as trying to figure out what subject he writes best at : psychology , ballistic's , forensic's or physic's , take you pick , he seems equally apt at producing thought provoking packages of various sizes and styles that I'm getting very envious of his abilities , which in depth and breadth are truely amazing . With that in mind , I would like to add a few meager lines to amplify what has been stated about the CT's 'Red Romeo' LHO . Mel states " Oswald desperately wanted to become famous and successful. His brothers and his wife have testified to the many occasions when they sensed a bitter disappointment in Oswald when he failed to draw attention to himself. " This takes me back in time to when I first saw the Frontline special on ' Who was LHO ' and his Brother stated as Lee got off the boat he turned to him and said " What , no reporters ? " and Robert replied " Yes , I've managed to keep it quite " . This moment in time I think shows a facet of LHO that few conspiracy writers will tell you about . A man who's ego clouded his mind until the demon , that rests in all of us , destroyed him . If anyone now wants to say LHO had no reason to kill JFK , its best they review this article , before they take their reader down a path that leads to nowhere . Sincerely Tom Lowry

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Guest Stephen Turner

Mel Ayton (a member of the Forum) has just published Lee Harvey Oswald’s Motives on the History Network website.

http://hnn.us/articles/23430.html

It includes the following:

There are at least two published photos of Oswald giving this gesture. The most famous photograph showing Oswald’s clenched-fist salute was first identified by Jean Davison in her excellent book about Oswald’s motives, Oswald's Game (1983). The photo was taken by an AP photographer.

The second photo has been overlooked by most researchers and appeared in the UPI/American Heritage book Four Days (1964). The caption for the UPI photo reads, “...Oswald shakes his fist at reporters inside police headquarters...”, an unlikely description of Oswald's actions. Most JFK conspiracy advocates have assumed that Oswald was merely showing the photographers his manacled hands. But there is a definite clenched-fist salute portrayed on both occasions. He repeated this gesture as he lay dying in the ambulance. According to Dallas policeman Billy Combest, he made a “definite clenched fist”. Some conspiracists have dismissed this vital piece of evidence claiming that a clenched-fist salute did not come into vogue until the late 1960’s. However, communists and left-wing militant groups have used the salute since the 1930’s - in the political elections in Germany in 1930 and in Spain during that period.

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John I will comment in greater depth later but the above just jumped out at me, talk about scrapping the barrel. So Oswald, the self percieved, and much misunderstood great revolutionary having assassinated the most powerful man in the World, and presented with the perfect stage on which to claim his place in history eschews a political speech, explaining the revolutionary nature of his act, and the potential earth shattering consiquences of it, and instead gives a couple of half hearted clenched fist salutes, one of which as he lays dying, and dons the mantle of "patsy" instead of liberator...TOTAL BOLLOCKS...more later.

Edited by Stephen Turner
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