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Jefferson Morley: What Jane Roman Said


John Simkin
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I am a great admirer of Jefferson Morley’s What Jane Roman Said. I think it is so good it deserves its own thread.

In the summer of 1994 I became curious if a retired employee of the Central Intelligence Agency named Jane Roman was still alive and living in Washington.

I was curious because I had just seen Jane Roman’s name and handwriting on routing slips attached to newly declassified CIA documents about Lee Harvey Oswald, the accused assassin of President John F. Kennedy. This is what I found significant: these documents were dated before November 22, 1963. If this Jane Roman person at CIA headquarters had read the documents that she signed for on the routing slips, then she knew something of Oswald’s existence and activities before the itinerant, 24 year-old ex-Marine became world famous for allegedly shooting President John F. Kennedy in Dallas. In other words, Jane Roman was a CIA official in good standing who knew about the alleged assassin in advance of Kennedy’s violent death.

What self-respecting Washington journalist wouldn’t be interested?

Of course, I knew enough about the Kennedy assassination to know that many, many, many people knew something of Lee Oswald before he arrived in Dealey Plaza with a gun—a small family, an assortment of far-flung buddies from the Marines, family and acquaintances in New Orleans and Dallas, some attentive FBI agents, not to mention the occasional anti-Castro Cuban, and even some CIA officials.

But Jane Roman was not just any CIA official. In 1963 she was the senior liaison officer on the Counterintelligence Staff of the Central Intelligence Agency in Langley, Virginia. That set her apart. At the height of the Cold War, the counterintelligence staff was a very select operation within the agency, charged with detecting threats to the integrity of CIA operations and personnel from the Soviet Union and its allies. The CI staff, as it was known in bureaucratic lingo, was headed by James Jesus Angleton, a legendary Yale-educated spy, who was either a patriotic genius or a paranoid drunk or perhaps both. Jane Roman’s responsibilities in the fall of 1963 included handling communications between the CI staff and other federal agencies.

I was excited, perhaps foolishly, in June of 1994, when I learned that the CIA’s Jane Roman was living not far from me, on Newark Street in the Cleveland Park neighborhood of Washington DC....

You can find the full article here:

http://www.history-matters.com/essays/fram...RomanSaid_1.htm

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excerpts from Jefferson Morley's article in blue. Excerpts from Bill Kelly's post on counter-interrogation techniques in red:

************************

Could she spare some time to review them with a colleague and me?Roman said she was going away for the summer, maybe when she got back in the fall.

In the period before arrest – and certainly before interrogation – the prisoner should have made up his mind as to what facts he must conceal at all costs.

************************

There was an awkward moment when Roman insisted I tell her how I had found her. I said, ridiculously, that I had my sources. She said she wanted to know or she didn’t see the need to go any further. I promptly folded.

In all interrogation sessions, the prisoner should try to discover the following: a. What is known about him b. Where did the interrogator get this information?

************************

“When was the first time that you recall having heard about Lee Harvey Oswald and saying something about him,” Newman asked, turning his palms up. “Or hearing somebody saying something to you about him?”

He paused: “Was there a time before the assassination?”

“I don’t think I ever heard about him before the assassination,” Roman said evenly.

Nothing should ever be admitted....

************************

Newman produced a sheath of copies of the CIA cables that Roman had signed for over the years. They were all cables about one Lee Harvey Oswald of New Orleans and his travels between November 1959 to October 1963. Roman took her time examining them.

From that point on, Roman did not dispute that she had been familiar with Lee Harvey Oswald before November 22, 1963. She spoke with candor.

Nothing should ever be admitted... unless the evidence that the interrogator exhibits is overwhelming.

************************

On the tape, I was mortified to hear moments when Roman’s age showed. She admitted to a failing memory. She seemed at times befuddled by Newman’s courtly but fast-paced cross-examination. She sometimes lost all sense of chronology and needed reminders -- which Newman readily provided. With the documents in front of her, Roman demonstrated that her recollection of details was acute. When Newman mistakenly referred to a CIA official listed on one document as “Wood,” she caught him.

A prisoner can sometimes waste a great deal of the interrogator’s time by long and involved description of trivial affairs and matters. This is particularly effective if, from the beginning, the prisoner has used complicated constructions and confusing non sequiturs in his explanations. When stopped in a rambling discourse, the clever prisoner flounders and gets mixed up, loses the thread of what he was saying and then winds up starting at the beginning once more.

************************

That's just covering part one of the story. Part two continues in the same way with a bunch of BS about the FPCC being the cause of interest in Oswald. By '63, the FPCC was already a lame, if not quite dead duck. The organisation was crumbling, numbers decimated and rarely anyone even bothering manning head office.

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John Newman who visited Jane Roman with Jefferson Morley included this passage on her in his book, Oswald and the CIA (1995):

On October 4, Jane Roman read the latest FBI report on Oswald's FPCC activities in New Orleans, an event that was impossible if the October 10 cable to Mexico City-which she coordinated on behalf of CI/Liaison-was true. When recently shown both the cable and the FBI report with her initials, Roman said this: "I'm signing off on something that I know isn't true." Roman's straightforward answer is as noteworthy as the fact that the CIA has released her name on these reports while redacting the names of others. One explanation might be that she was not in on the operation and therefore not in a position to question why the two cables were being drafted with such ridiculous sentences. "The only interpretation I could put on this," Roman says now, "would be that this SAS group would have held all the information on Oswald under their tight control, so if you did a routine check, it wouldn't show up in his 201 file." Roman made this incisive comment without being shown the documents lists that demonstrate that she was right. "I wasn't in on any particular goings-on or hanky-panky as far as the Cuban situation," Roman states. Asked about the significance of the untrue sentence on the "latest headquarters" information, Roman replied: "Well, to me, it's indicative of a keen interest in Oswald, held very closely on a need-to-know basis."

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John Newman who visited Jane Roman with Jefferson Morley included this passage on her in his book, Oswald and the CIA (1995):

On October 4, Jane Roman read the latest FBI report on Oswald's FPCC activities in New Orleans, an event that was impossible if the October 10 cable to Mexico City-which she coordinated on behalf of CI/Liaison-was true. When recently shown both the cable and the FBI report with her initials, Roman said this: "I'm signing off on something that I know isn't true." Roman's straightforward answer is as noteworthy as the fact that the CIA has released her name on these reports while redacting the names of others. One explanation might be that she was not in on the operation and therefore not in a position to question why the two cables were being drafted with such ridiculous sentences. "The only interpretation I could put on this," Roman says now, "would be that this SAS group would have held all the information on Oswald under their tight control, so if you did a routine check, it wouldn't show up in his 201 file." Roman made this incisive comment without being shown the documents lists that demonstrate that she was right. "I wasn't in on any particular goings-on or hanky-panky as far as the Cuban situation," Roman states. Asked about the significance of the untrue sentence on the "latest headquarters" information, Roman replied: "Well, to me, it's indicative of a keen interest in Oswald, held very closely on a need-to-know basis."

John, they had her cold... no doubt about that. And you are right... it is a great and potentially very important piece.

I doubt being presented with those two documents was something that crossed her mind as a possibility during her "holiday", leaving her with no prepared plausible cover story.

Dick Helms' Man in Miami gets to the heart of the issue surrounding Oswald's FPCC activities. Roman's statement that the interest was because of Cuban funding of the FPCC doesn't make a whole lot of sense since that was old news, and the CIA would have known, just as the FBI would have, that the organisation was by then, dwindling in both supporters and influence.

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Rather than led this thread die off I would like to second John and Greg. The importance of Jeff and John's find here is immense. Working through it step by step we can generate the following:

1. More than one senior staff officer in the CIA signed off on a document knowing it to be false, this is not a minor incident.

2. More importantly, these individuals are signing off on an internal response being given to a foreign CIA station, a station at the forefront of counter intelligence activities against both the Cubans and the Russians.

3. The net restult of this response is an attempt to mis-direct Mexico City on Oswald's recent activities and particularly his pro-Castro and pro-Cuban visibility.

4. This makes absolutely no sense unless their is a "compartmentalized" operation going on within the CIA which somehow involves Oswald and somebody wants Mexico City staff not to interfere by minimizing Oswald's background.

We know that this sort of compartmentalization did occur and in the fall of 1963 we have one concrete example of a project going on in MC that was to be rigorously comparmentalized, AM-WORLD. We have documents showing that project was to be totally concealed from local station staff - except for David Phillips.

5. The net of all of this can only be that Oswald was of very special interest to some small group of CIA staff or of some comparmentalized project and that this was being conducted outside the general knowledge of MC station - presenting the need to keep them jumping into the middle of it with both feet.

Imagine the newspaper headlines on November 23 with only this one piece of information.

-- Larry

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Working through it step by step we can generate the following:

1. More than one senior staff officer in the CIA signed off on a document knowing it to be false, this is not a minor incident.

2. More importantly, these individuals are signing off on an internal response being given to a foreign CIA station, a station at the forefront of counter intelligence activities against both the Cubans and the Russians.

3. The net restult of this response is an attempt to mis-direct Mexico City on Oswald's recent activities and particularly his pro-Castro and pro-Cuban visibility.

4. This makes absolutely no sense unless their is a "compartmentalized" operation going on within the CIA which somehow involves Oswald and somebody wants Mexico City staff not to interfere by minimizing Oswald's background.

We know that this sort of compartmentalization did occur and in the fall of 1963 we have one concrete example of a project going on in MC that was to be rigorously comparmentalized, AM-WORLD. We have documents showing that project was to be totally concealed from local station staff - except for David Phillips.

5. The net of all of this can only be that Oswald was of very special interest to some small group of CIA staff or of some comparmentalized project and that this was being conducted outside the general knowledge of MC station - presenting the need to keep them jumping into the middle of it with both feet.

Imagine the newspaper headlines on November 23 with only this one piece of information.

The other important point is that Whitten spoke to Win Scott, the CIA station chief in Mexico City, within hours of the assassination. At this stage Helms had not given the job to Whitten to investigate the assassination. Scott told Whitten that Lee Harvey Oswald had been photographed at the Cuban consulate in early October, 1963. He added that Oswald had also visited the Soviet Embassy in Mexico.

Whitten was Win Scott's boss. Yet Scott had not passed this information to Whitten before the assassination. In fact, Whitten had not been informed of the existence of Oswald, even though there was a 201 pre-assassination file on him that had been maintained by the Counterintelligence/Special Investigative Group.

This suggests that Scott was part of this group that was taking a close interest in Oswald before the assassination.

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Good point John - although have to consider that there could well be two CIA camps in operation here. It could be that the Mexico City staff were doing their job quite well and became aware of Oswald and began investigating him on their own. This would explain the observation by the interpreter that the office was "hot" about Oswald even at the time the first call was being translated.

Oswald may have come onto their radar screen independently from whoever was running the compartementalized opearation. Then you run into the conflict of the local office being hot about what he's really doing there and the covert faction trying to lower their attention so their compartmentalized operation doesn't get stepped on.

Which probably explains a large amount of the apparant internal conflict and contradiction we see between different CIA elements immediately following the assassination. Talk about "conflicted"...

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John,

Roman says now, "would be that this SAS group would have held all the information on Oswald under their tight control, so if you did a routine check, it wouldn't show up in his 201 file." Asked about the significance of the untrue sentence on the "latest headquarters" information, Roman replied: "Well, to me, it's indicative of a keen interest in Oswald, held very closely on a need-to-know basis."[/color]

Who were the people who ran the false defector operations?

Were they the same SAS people?

I would think that whoever ran the false defector operations would want to keep a close eye on any who came back for a long, long time.

Steve Thomas

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IMMIGRAION AND NATURALIZATION ???

Wiki: History of the Immigration and Naturalization Service

Immigrant Inspectors, circa 1924Shortly after the U.S. Civil War, some states started to pass their own immigration laws, which prompted the U.S. Supreme Court to rule in 1875 that immigration was a federal responsibility. The Immigration Act of 1891 established an Office of the Superintendent of Immigration within the Treasury Department. This office was responsible for admitting, rejecting, and processing all immigrants seeking admission to the United States and for implementing national immigration policy. 'Immigrant Inspectors', as they were called then, were stationed at major U.S. ports of entry collecting manifests of arriving passengers.

http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/doemoff/govinf...mmigration.html

The Immigration Bureau was organized in 1891 as the Office of the Superintendent of Immigration. Prior to that date, immigration reports were collected and transmitted but the State Department until 1874, and thereafter through the Statistics Bureau of the Treasury Department.

Under the act of March 3, 1933, and an executive order effective August 10, 1933, the Immigration and Naturalization Service was formed through the consolidation of the former Bureaus of Immigration and of Naturalization. Reorganization Plan V effective June 14, 1940, transferred the Service from the Department of Labor to the Department of Justice.

On March 1, 2003, the Homeland Security Act of 2002 transferred the service and benefit functions of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) into the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Edited by John Dolva
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John,

Roman says now, "would be that this SAS group would have held all the information on Oswald under their tight control, so if you did a routine check, it wouldn't show up in his 201 file." Asked about the significance of the untrue sentence on the "latest headquarters" information, Roman replied: "Well, to me, it's indicative of a keen interest in Oswald, held very closely on a need-to-know basis."[/color]

Who were the people who ran the false defector operations?

Were they the same SAS people?

I would think that whoever ran the false defector operations would want to keep a close eye on any who came back for a long, long time.

Steve Thomas

-------------

Steve-- the relevent pages from John Newman's Oswald and the CIA seem to be 182-185

Newman Wirtes the the CIA's SR/6 or "Soviet Realities" department--which was in charge of establishing

mundane details of Soviet realites like the location of streetlamps, buildings on a street etc-- had opened

"soft files" on many American defectors. These "soft files" were less formal files that "could be maintained

just about anywhere"

The time period covered in this SR/6 sorft file, "around" 1960 to "ca. 1963," overlaps

perfectly the time between this group's defection and thier return to the United States.

All of this particular groupof defectors redefected to the United States by 1963, ezcept

Dutkanicz, the most intriguing of the group, who died in the Soviet Union (p. 182-3)

This use of "soft files" is here described by Newman as a deliberate act of compartmentalization, ostensibly to protect sources inside the USSR. As to who had ultimate control of these files Im' pretty sure it was

the Counterintelligence division under Angleton, but would like someone else to confirm this.

Was the use of this "soft file" somehow connected to the false information sent by Angleton to the Mexico City station?

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Here's another Lee Henry Oswald document from October of 1963.

The description they give of Oswald certainly isn't of the man shot by Jack Ruby although they quote his 201 number correctly.

FWIW.

James

___________________________________

James,

What does the handwritten notation in the left margin of the document say? The arrow seems to be pointing to the bit about the man having a receding hairline.

The fact that the document says that the man was about 35 years old, six feet tall and had an athletic build reminds me of the pictures of the infamous "mystery man" in Mexico City. "Saul Sague," AKA "Mario Tauler" perhaps?

Thanks, Thomas

___________________________________

Edited by Thomas Graves
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