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Charlotte Busto / Elsie Scaletti


Guest Mark Valenti
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Guest Mark Valenti

She was attached to the "Mexico desk" for the CIA in Washington when LHO traveled there. "Elsie Scaletti" was her CIA pseudonym. She began her career as a typist but ended up as a Branch boss in Mexico City, having spent around thirty years in the clandestine world. She was an extremely intelligent, knowledgeable person.

When the Mexico City station sent a request for a name trace on LHO, she's the one who handled it. A few tidbits from her testimony:

She sent an "out teletype" to the Department of State, the FBI and the Navy to notify them of the Mexico City request. She testified that she sent that teletype to the Navy because Oswald was an "ex-Navy man" -- despite the fact that he was, in fact, an ex-Marine.

She refers to LHO as "Lee Henry Oswald" in her testimony because "we generally will put in a cable the name as the 201 is opened. So, my only guess is that the basic documents from the Department of State or from somebody in that 201 file probably said his name was Lee Henry Oswald."

Question: "Is it possible in 1963 if you looked up Oswald, Lee Harvey, you might miss Lee Henry?

Answer: "Right."

When asked about the next time she may have heard the name of Oswald: "I don't remember. The only thing I can say is that based on what is in the file that I must have heard about it when the station came and asked -- well, if there was nothing else in the file the name popped up again, I just don't remember about the assassination or whenever."

Question: Do you recall where you were on Friday, November 22, 1963?

Answer: "The only thing I remember about it is going home and finding my husband sitting in front of the TV and talking about it. I probably was at the office but I don't remember anything. I blanked out. I must have been at the office."

Also:

"I don't remember ever finding an Oswald photograph."

On why the Mexico City station may not have gotten a photograph of LHO: "Sometimes the person maybe goes to the bathroom or the person comes in early or a person comes in late or you just get a shot, it is the back."

On the fact that LHO was apparently never photographed: "Then if he was not photographed, he was not photographed."

On the surface, her testimony indicates that there was a lot more going on with LHO in Mexico City, that her agency had an interest in him and that she wasn't about to give up its secrets.

Edited by Mark Valenti
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