Beware Of Wrong Conclusions From New CIA Disclosure On Oswald


It's easy to reach wrong conclusions about President John F. Kennedy's assassination based on a 1963 CIA document released this month.
 
Among 2,500 declassified Top Secret CIA Presidential Daily Briefings (“PDBs”) released Sept. 16 is a briefing stating that Kennedy’s accused assassin Lee Harvey Oswald visited two Communist embassies in Mexico City six weeks before he allegedly shot Kennedy in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963. We reported the overall document dump Sept. 27 in a routine summary story that has already received more than two thousand website hits. Today, we drill down on the document that has received the most attention so far nationally.

JFK and the Unspeakable by James Douglass coverThe CIA assertion provided a news peg for a Washington Times story this month headlined, CIA confirmed Oswald contacted Cubans, Soviets before assassination, memo shows. Reporter Kellan Howell wrote, "According to the Nov. 25, 1963 briefing, Oswald — a former U.S. Marine who defected to the Soviet Union in 1959 — visited both the Cuban and Soviet embassies on Sept. 28, 1963."

The Times reporter, busy also preparing an advance story for the GOP presidential debate that evening, used the CIA document to imply the conventional story line. The official story was, as summarized in the Warren Commission report in 1964: that Oswald was a Communist sympathizer who killed the American president for reasons associated with Cold War animosities. The reporter's brief story this month promptly received nearly one thousand reader comments and some 2,500 "likes" on Facebook, thereby illustrating the public's ongoing thirst for knowledge about the crime of the century.

But the newspaper failed to explore strong evidence that the official CIA report on Oswald, made to Kennedy's presidential successor Lyndon B. Johnson, was at best incomplete, confusing, and otherwise unreliable.

Less charitably, the newly released CIA document can also be interpreted as being evidence of a suspected plan by federal authorities to frame Oswald as a patsy, thereby allowing others to escape responsibility for Kennedy's murder.

The murder mystery's importance goes far beyond this month's story. In this column, we test an official document for its likely veracity. That method needs to be more common in review of other official documents, particularly relating to sensitive matters. Cable commentator Bill O'Reilly's best-seller Killing Kennedy, for example, adopts the findings of the commission for the most part and then merely dramatizes them.

The Warren Commission asserted in 1964 that Oswald visited Mexico City from Sept. 27 to Oct. 3. The implication was that his activities there showed his pro-Communist and anti-American mind-set.

But the seven-member commission and its investigators disregarded significant questions about whether Oswald undertook his years of post-military and seemingly anti-American activities as an undercover federal agent playing a role. Oswald joined the U.S. Marine Corps as a teenager and won a high-level secrecy clearance because he worked at the Atsugi Air Force base in Japan on the secret U-2 spy plane overflights of the Soviet Union and China. He defected to the Soviet Union after learning to speak Russian in the Marines, but developed extensive contacts with CIA, FBI, and military personnel upon his return from the Soviet Union in 1962 with U.S. government assistance for him and his Russian-born wife.

After Oswald's arrest in 1963 after Kennedy's killing he may have tried unsuccessfully to phone from the Dallas police station a contact in Raleigh, North Carolina. That was near the Nag's Head location of the Navy's secret "false defector" program during the 1950s. The locale trained personnel to defect and act as double agents, according to numerous sources quoted by Richard Belzer and David Wayne in Hit List. Their expert sources included U.S. Senator Richard Schweiker and former high-ranking CIA executive Victor Marchetti. The evidence about the call is disputed. Whatever the facts on the call, they do not contradict that a false defector program existed.

Some scholars, including James Douglass in his 2008 best-seller JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters, argue that the CIA and allied authorities sought to use imposters and false paperwork to create suspicions of pro-Communist and erratic behavior by Oswald to help confirm his guilt in the public mind after the assassination. Remember the title of the Douglass book. As explained below, the word "unspeakable" is relevant to the Pope Francis address to Congress last week and to each U.S. citizen.

Beyond such questions about the JFK assassination, the debate this month over the CIA's 1963 PDB on Oswald illustrates why official documents are not always accurate even when they describe, as here, secrets never expected to become public.

Therefore, those relying on such research should always regard such documents as a tool but not necessarily the truth.

Faked Oswald Photos?

The Washington Times story failed to mention at least two major pieces of evidence directly discrediting the CIA's Nov. 25 PDB for Johnson, the Texas-reared vice president who assumed the nation's top office Nov. 22 after JFK's death. 

Mexico City Lee Harvey Oswald

First, CIA surveillance photos of the balding, heavyset man visiting the Soviet embassy (shown above and included in the 1964 Warren Report exhibits) suggest that he was not Oswald, whose photo is below left on his  visa application to Cuba from that period. Jefferson Morley authored the biography Our Man in Mexico on the career of the CIA's Mexico City Bureau Chief Winfield Scott. Morley flatly states in his book that Scott, the powerful CIA bureau chief from 1956 to 1969, mistakenly thought "the Lee Harvey Oswald Cuba Passport applicationMystery Man" leaving the Soviet Embassy on Oct. 1 was Oswald. So, Scott reported that finding to the CIA, which included that information (with an apparently mistaken date) in the PDB sent to the new president Nov. 25.

Second, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover told Johnson on Nov. 25, according to now-declassified records, that FBI voice tests indicated that Oswald did not make the phone calls that the CIA claimed Oswald had made in Mexico City to set up appointments at the embassies. That's correct: The FBI was contradicting the CIA, and no one disclosed the contradiction to the public.

The reasons are tangled. But they can be summarized this way, thanks to scholarly study: Hoover (shown below right in a 1967 portrait) and his FBI competed fiercely with the CIA, while also cooperating on some matters. Kennedy had forced out the CIA's top three officials in 1961 in fury over their war-mongering behavior. Kennedy was planning also to oust Hoover, who hated both the president and his brother, Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, Hoover's nominal boss at the Justice Department.

With a new president in office, Hoover doubtless wanted to show off on Nov. 25 his insider knowledge, his willingness to help Johnson, and the kind of mistakes and over-reaching that the rival CIA was making. It helped that Johnson was Hoover's close political ally and neighbor. For years, they had lived across a street from one another in the capital's northwest section.

After Hoover made his point his FBI conveniently lost the suspected phony "Oswald" audiotapes discrediting the CIA. The CIA also lost key evidence regarding Mexico City. Then, the FBI promptly authored an 800-page report in early December 1963 confirming what Hoover told the president on the day of the assassination: that Oswald killed Kennedy and a Dallas policeman, J.D. Tippet, and acted alone in doing so. Johnson told his eminent recruits for the Warren Commission they merely needed to confirm Hoover's FBI report. Thus, the busy commissioners participated in few of the witness examinations of their supposed probe, which was tightly controlled by staff focused almost solely on evidence that could portray Oswald as guilty.

But even the Warren Commission hand-picked by Johnson with a mandate to blame Oswald could not cite the FBI's 800-page report in its 26-book report issued in September 1964. In the report and followup, Hoover and his staff stubbornly insisted that all three "Oswald" shots hit Kennedy. But that failed to explain how a shot discovered in March 1964 to have wounded a bystander could be reconciled with an Oswald-only crime using a bolt-action rifle in a seven-second time-frame.

The commission, leaning heavily on staffer Arlen Specter, the future U.S. senator from Pennsylvania, then adopted a theory that one bullet changed direction multiple times and created multiple wounds, including through bone. The bullet emerged in near-pristine condition on a hospital gurney even though Texas Gov. John Connally, shot at the same time as JFK, insisted (as did experienced Dallas hospital personnel) that some bullet fragments were found during Connally's treatment and also remained in his body.

Warren Commission Report

In 1964, all federal officials of any stature and major news organizations immediately endorsed the Warren Commission's theme that Oswald (shown in an October Time cover featuring news of the report) acted alone to kill JFK and wound the Texas governor, Connally, Lee Harvey Oswald Time Magazine Cover Oct. 2, 1964with three shots from the rear. Yet Connally, a combat veteran, always insisted (as did most other witnesses) that he heard shooting from the right-front in the grassy knoll and picket fence area close to the presidential limo.

Anyone trying to understand the murder and its importance needs to understand the physical layout. As reported in our 2013 column, JFK Murder Scene Trapped Its Victim In Kill Zone, our photo of the picket fence at left shows also an "X" in the road, marking the approximate location of the president at the time of the fatal shot. An empty railroad yard was behind the picket fence.

Many witnesses, including at least one Dallas police officer, tried to storm the picket fence area after the shooting but men claiming to be Secret Service personnel flashed credentials and ordered everyone to get away. Declassified documents, witness reports and other evidence have revealed multiple men claiming credit for assisting the president's murder. One was Chauncey Holt, who admitted gun-running, espionage, and assassinations before his death. In Holt's often-disputed, posthumous 2013 memoir Self-Portrait of a Scoundrel, he claimed to have been a CIA asset and also that he forged the Secret Service credentials to keep the public away from his partners at the picket fence below.

Yet the corporate media have essentially maintained ever since 1963 the theme that Oswald was a "lone nut" shooter with no accomplices, as we demonstrated in Self-Censorship In JFK TV Treatments Duplicates Corporate Print Media's Apathy, Cowardice.

Dealey Plaza Picket Fence (Andrew Kreig Photo)True, some media treatments occasionally mention in passing different theories, including Communist, Mafia, CIA, Cuban, racist, and/or other potential killers, including the absurd by highly publicized Hollywood-promoted theory that a Secret Service agent accidentally killed Kennedy. But the laundry list of possibilities leaves scant opportunity for supporting evidence. Thus, public cannot readily focus on the most solid research undermining the Warren report.

The commission's theory has been eroded by more than two thousand books on the topic, disclosures in more than three million pages of declassified documents, and countless whistleblowers from law enforcement and other relevant fields, many of them meeting premature deaths. In JFK Witness Deaths: Graphical Proof of a Conspiracy and elsewhere, mathematician and author Richard Charnin has calculated for his introduction to the best-seller Hit List there is far less than one chance in a trillion that so many relevant figures would die so soon.

That evidence is summarized in the Justice Integrity Project's "JFK Assassination Readers Guide," which now has 28 parts that are hot-linked at the bottom of today's report.

The establishment news media have insisted on their theory, as we reported in Self-Censorship In JFK TV Treatments Duplicates Corporate Print Media's Apathy, Cowardiceeven though polling has shown for many years that most members of the public do not believe the Warren Report. In a future column, we shall report on close overlap between leading media and intelligence organizations in an ongoing bond that continues to protect the official story of JFK's death.

But certain revelations are key to understanding today's column. So, they are worth repetition.

One still-shocking disclosure more than three decades ago was existence of a secret CIA Operation Mockingbird program. The CIA obtained favorable coverage for its most important themes in virtually all the leading newspapers, magazines and broadcasting outlets. On a parallel track, the Pentagon's secret Operation Northwoods plan would have authorized the U.S. military to undertake "false flag" hijackings and riots killing Americans under the guise of Communism. It provided an excuse for the United States to invade Cuba. In 1962, Kennedy secretly rejected the plan as outrageous, thereby fostering a growing gulf between his policies and the Cold Warriors permeating top ranks of the Pentagon, CIA, FBI and even in key White House and Secret Service posts.

The powerful and still-ongoing struggle between the intelligence-defense sector (along with their allies in the mainstream media) and relatively feeble and poorly funded independent research community was exemplified by a smear campaign in the late 1960s against New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison, the nation's only known prosecutor bringing criminal charges against anyone aside form Oswald. 

Garrison's eloquent 27-minute denunciation of the government-assisted media campaign to destroy his investigation of JFK's murder is worth watching both for his summary of evidence against the Warren Commission's accusations against Oswald and for his more timeless argument that a search for truth must remain paramount in a free society — even if what he repeatedly called elite "press media" line up with government in a unified propaganda campaign to suppress and distort the facts, as in the Kennedy case.

NBC News had been among the leaders in attacking Garrison. Special NBC producer Walter Sheridan supervised a four-year "investigation" seeking to discredit Garrison. Sheridan had previously worked at the CIA and FBI in high-level posts and who was able to use his tight IRS, NSA and Kennedy family contacts.

The role of the Kennedy family in stifling post-JFK murder investigations has been the topic of several books beyond the scope of today's column, but we shall address it soon. For now, the best summary is that family leader Robert Kennedy, elected in 1964 as a U.S. Senator representing New York, felt they needed to regroup in sorrow and fear, and meanwhile show absolute fealty to the nation's power structure visibly represented by such officials as Johnson and Hoover.

On July 15, 1967, NBC allowed Garrison to respond via local studios at WDSU-TV under the then-operative Fairness Act to an NBC program that was highly critical of Garrison's pursuit of alleged Kennedy assassination conspirators in New Orleans.

 

Garrison later lost the case when his main witness, David Ferrie was among those who died before trial of murder conspiracy defendant Clay Shaw. Shaw, a prominent New Orleans businessman, denied (some say falsely) evidence that he had been a CIA asset for many years. Garrison also made some mistakes in his investigation. Yet the prosecutor's eloquent analysis has held up remarkably well through the years, especially in comparison with federal government and the mainstream media accounts. 

Recent Revelations of 'Oswald' In Mexico

Fast forward to recent times. The remainder of this column addresses more current commentary that has occurred after release of declassified government materials. The revelations and expert independent analysis bring us closer to the truth about the Kennedy assassination. Even more important, they help us understand similar pressures in government now and for the foreseeable future.

Mary Ferell FoundationWe begin with a 2002 commentary by historian Rex Bradford about the "Oswald in Mexico" episode in the fall of 1963. "Mexico City remains an enigma wrapped in a mystery inside a riddle, or however it goes," he has written.

Bradford directs the Massachusetts-based Mary Ferrell Foundation, named for a Dallas secretary of modest means who suspected something amiss with the official story about the assassination.

She with her husband began collecting newspapers and documents. This has grown into the world's largest collection of relevant documents aside from those at government-controlled presidential libraries. Her dedication to solving the JFK assassination mysteries can serve as an inspiration, like those of the late FBI agent Don Adams (described below), Catholic theologian Thomas Merton (an assassination critic cited by Pope Francis I last week as one of America's four greatest Americans), and other courageous truth-seekers among workaday Americans too many to mention.

"It is difficult to overstate the importance of what is usually called the 'Oswald in Mexico City' affair," Bradford wrote in a 2002 history published online. "Certainly the topic was an important one to the CIA — probably a third of the roughly 45,000 pages in the Russ Holmes Work File collection of CIA documents are devoted to it." He continued:

The Mexico City story is important because it shows that there was a sophisticated operation which served to 'set up' Oswald prior to the assassination, something beyond the wherewithal of Mob figures or anti-Castro Cubans acting alone. It is also important because it finally provides an explanation for why men like Earl Warren, who certainly weren't part of any conspiracy and normally wouldn't engage in such a stark cover-up, were put in the position where they did so. Mexico City is indeed the Rosetta Stone of the JFK assassination."

Out of the many articles and entire books devoted to Oswald's purported activities in Mexico in weeks before the assassination, we cite just a few as a sample illustrating the pro and con of what most would consider an "unspeakable" theory: That rogue elements of the CIA, FBI and others enabled the president's murder and prepared in advance a cover-up that used doctored evidence. Under this line of inquiry, the fabricated evidence was to show oddball behavior that could be ascribed to Oswald either because he acting under orders undercover or because one or more impostors stirred up trouble, including in Mexico City.

Jefferson MorleyFor an official report on this topic, we start with one in 1978 by former House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) staff investigators Edwin Soto-Lopez and Dan Hardway. They undertook thorough investigations that documented serious problems with the Warren Commission's official account of Mexico City. They amplified their conclusions last year at a conference by the Assassination Archives and Research Center (AARC), which presents an 83-minute video of their discussion on its website.

The HSCA investigation was heavily controlled (and some say gutted and sidetracked) by the CIA, as their former boss, HSCA Chief Counsel Robert Blakey, described at the AARC meeting, summarized in our Former House JFK Murder Prober Alleges CIA ‘Lied,’ Seeks Hidden Records. Blakey's predecessor Richard Sprague and Sprague's top deputy, Robert Tanenbaum, had previously quit the last U.S. investigation of the Kennedy assassination because Congress was too timid to allow them to investigate CIA actions.

Our Man in Mexico City author Morley edits the blog JFKFacts.org, which published this month CIA bares the origins of its JFK cover-up, a commentary on the CIA document release this month. Morley, a former Washington Post reporter shown in a file photo, summarized his commentary as, "Intentionally or not, the CIA was misleading the new president about what Agency personnel knew of the man accused of killing his predecessor."

Dr. Jerome Corsi — senior staff reporter for the conservative-oriented site WND and author of Who Really Killed Kennedy? — published an extensive analysis this month also of the CIA's PDB mentioning Oswald. The column begins with an appraisal by a Soviet bloc intelligence source defector, and states also, "CIA has insisted since the assassination that Oswald visited the Soviet embassy in Mexico City in September 1963," Corsi wrote, "but the agency has never been able to produce photographic evidence, even though the building was under photo surveillance at the time." Further, Corsi noted that the Warren Commission avoided linking Oswald's trip to the assassination.

“The investigation of the Commission has thus produced no evidence that Oswald’s trip to Mexico was in any way connected with the assassination of President Kennedy, nor has it uncovered evidence that the Cuban Government had any involvement in the assassination,” the Warren Commission concluded on pages 308-309.

The Frightful Consequences of Cover-up

There are many experts and books regarding Oswald in Mexico, too many to cite here. Our focus instead concludes with a more general call for accurate history as a guide to current affairs. Given the overwhelming media focus on entertainment, this can only come from civic-minded fact-finders and truth-seekers, some inspired by religion or a powerful sense of duty in that largely thankless quest.

Career FBI agent and Ohio police chief Don Adams was such a man, as illustrated by his 2012 memoir revealing his investigations of the JFK murder.

Adams used the title From an Office Building with a High-Powered Rifle to replicate the words of a Georgia-based racist named Joseph A. Milteer who hated Kennedy and predicted his death with those words in the weeks before Kennedy's shooting. Adams provided an overview also in a 2013 interview with Cleveland-based WJW-TV Fox 8 reporter Suzanne Stratford after book publication. This 4:43 minute interview with her tells the story in video form:


 

As a relatively new FBI agent based in Georgia, Adams was instructed by his superiors to investigate Milteer in late November of 1963. Adams was then was horrified to learn that Kennedy was killed the following week in Dallas.

Adams soon found himself reassigned to work in the Dallas FBI office in 1964. But colleagues discouraged him from voicing doubts within Hoover's tightly regimented FBI about what Adams regarded as gross irregularities and impossibilities in the official investigation. For example: As a Korean War Army veteran and a gun expert since training as a child by his police detective father, Adams could not understand how Oswald could have fired accurately through tree foliage in front of the Texas Book Depository Building in Dallas to hit Kennedy or Connally. 

Adams wrote that it was not until the 1990s he learned that Milteer's apt prediction had been taped on Nov. 9 by Miami police informant William "Willie" Somersett, a longtime trusted police informant and a friend of Milteer's since school. The report and tape-recording were soon forwarded Willie Somersett and Joseph Milteerto FBI and Secret Service officials — who failed to take actions to protect the president during the nearly two weeks between the informant's taped evidence and the president's death.

In compelling fashion, Adams writes that he was appalled additionally to recognize Milteer as being present at Dealey Plaza in a famous photo of Jack and Jackie Kennedy shortly before the president was murdered.

The adjoining photo by James "Ike" Altgens of the Associated Press shows a man Adams identifies as Milteer (marked by the red arrow) staring at the presidential limousine just moments before the shooting. Connally is visible in a front seat between the president and his wife in the rear.

Adams, by the 1990s a retired police chief in the small Ohio city of Fairlawn near Akron and his birthplace, writes that he traveled to the National Archives and learned that his careful 1963 FBI reports on Milteer Joseph Milteer in Dallas with Kennedys (Algens Historical Photo)were incomplete, missing or falsified in important ways. His book documents the problems with extensive reproductions of official papers. He found that vital reports by supervisors and peers were falsified, apparently to provide Milteer with an alibi that he was in Georgia and not in Dallas during the shooting.

Adams does not allege that Milteer was a shooter, only that his taped statements and participation in ultra-right, anti-Kennedy hate groups apparently gave him uncanny power to predict events. Milteer told Somersett, for example, that authorities would arrest a patsy immediately after the killing to deflect public suspicion.

"Evidence was overlooked," Adams concluded in his memoir, "witness statements were lost, reports were falsified and the most important criminal investigation this country faced since its creation was tainted, in an effort to paint Oswald the lone assassin. As a result, the real culprits walked away."

That's powerful, especially because Adams led up to his conclusion by first describing in memorable detail how appointment to the FBI fulfilled his lifelong dream. He could not foresee of course that after 22 years of service he would conclude that the FBI's hierarchy conspired in a murder cover-up that reached the agency's highest levels.

Did Authorities Ignore Informant's Prediction of Martin Luther King's Murder?

The bad news in the 1960s from the did not stop with JFK's assassination, as we know.

Adams describes also how authorities downgraded their Miami informant Somersett's internal status to "unreliable" despite his dangerous and accurate work predicting JFK's death via Milteer.

The informant's tape-recording of Milteer also contained Milteer's description in 1963 of a purported then-recent attempt by racists to kill the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., the Alabama-based civil rights leader leading non-violent protests against still-segregated public facilities in the South. At right, King is shown meeting at the White House with Johnson.

The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Lyndon B. Johnson (LBJ Library)“Incredibly,” Adams writes of the late 1960s, “Somersett surfaces again in FBI files and puts himself on the line for others, even after what the Bureau did to him.”

On April 3, 1968, Somersett called the Miami Police Department to alert them that he had obtained reliable information that Martin Luther King, Jr. was to be assassinated the next day. Sommersett’s information was ignored. There is a record of three other calls that day warning of the same thing.
 
One day later, on April 4, 1968, Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee.

Upon finishing the Adams book this week in the wee hours of Sept. 28 after reading it nearly non-stop, I emailed TrineDay Publisher Robert Kris Millegan to learn if his author might be available for a speaking trip to the nation's capital so that others might hear and examine his story and its extensive supporting documentation.

Millegan, son of a deceased CIA covert officer, informed me that a fire in 2012 after book publication nearly killed Adams and his wife and destroyed their home and his records.

I learned also that Adams died separately of natural causes at age 83 early this year. His hometown paper published an obituary. A few investigative specialty blogs also noted his passing. One was Jefferson Morley's Don Adams RIP: an FBI agent who didn’t buy the official theory and investigative reporter Dan Christiansen's Florida Bulldog on Former FBI Agent Don Adams on Joseph Milteer

That saddened deeply, as did a check on the Amazon.com sales site of the Adams book. It shows fewer than 30 reader comments, many of them a dialog between a handful of readers including former Secret Service agent Abraham Bolden, who was cruelly framed and imprisoned by federal prosecutors and a judge on corruption charges, as documented in Pioneering Black Secret Service JFK Guard Abraham Bolden Warns Of Current Lessons).

Just before the sudden frame-up in 1964, Bolden had tried to warn the Warren Commission about gross shortcomings in the agency's protection of JFK, particularly in view of the hatred that Abraham had heard some Secret Service agents voice toward the president because of his advocacy of desegregation. Those matters are documented by Abraham's memoir, The View From Dealey Plaza, a book that has won considerable praise for its author and his courage. Also, it has prompted a petition drive for President Obama to void his clearly unjust convictions.

Realistically, readership for the Adams and Bolden books can hardly match that of the conventional media. We saw that, as noted in the beginning of this column, reflected in the high number of reader comments even for a flawed news report in the low-circulation Washington Times report.

Thomas MertonBut careful observers the political scene can take inspiration from the words of Pope Francis last week in the U.S. capital as he named the "four greatest Americans." They included Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, and social worker Dorothy Day.

Another, lesser known, was the Trappist monk and scholar Thomas Merton, shown in a file photo.

Investigative reporter Wayne Madsen thereupon profiled Merton with the intriguing headline, Is the Pope a conspiracy believer? 

Madsen is the author of a dozen books and a former Navy intelligence officer. His most recent book, Tales from the CIA Crypt, provides details of dozens of alleged agency-assisted assassinations around the world.

His work is often controversial. One of countless examples was his exclusive report this week naming a Texan as the one whom CNN anonymously quoted on an open microphone Sept. 24 as stating she wanted to throw her shoe at Pope Francis just as he entered under heavy guard a restricted section of the Capitol to address Congress. The New York Post reported the incident in Woman Threatens to throw shoe at pope on floor of Congress, minus the name of the woman making the threat. The threat was apparently a joke among certain members of Congress moments before the pope entered the restricted area for his unprecedented talk. JIP is withholding the woman's name temporarily to provide an opportunity for her or her staff to respond.

In reporting on the substance of the pontiff's address, Madsen noted that the pope's messages of concern for the oppressed often antagonize the powerful and their minions in office. In the same spirit, Merton coined the term "The Unspeakable" in his 1966 book, Raids on the Unspeakable, to describe the deep state's crimes against popular leaders that many ordinary citizens are justifiably too frightened to mention in public.

Madsen thus became one of the few journalists daring enough this past week to note that Merton used his concept of the "unspeakable" to condemn the 1960s assassinations of JFK, King, and RFK as blots that must rectified.

That challenge must fall to others. Merton died on Dec. 10, 1968, only a few months after what he had criticized as "The Unspeakable" assassinations inflicted upon the Reverend King and Sen. Robert Kennedy earlier that year.

Merton died on a pastoral trip to Thailand at age 53. The cause was a mysterious shower accident whereby the priest suffered electrocution. He was buried promptly.

Some remember. Another besides Pope Francis was author James Douglass, who with his wife co-founded a non-violent peace center in Poulsbo, Washington and also a Catholic worker hospitality home in Birmingham, Alabama.

Douglass began his book JFK and the Unspeakable with an extensive description of Merton's career, and then proceeded into what is now widely regarded by alternative scholars as the most careful and compelling of the two thousand books covering the Kennedy assassination.

Clearly, such matters did not escape the notice and voice of Pope Francis, even if most reporters failed to report that part of the story. But such omission of sensitive matters would hardly be a first for what the late Jim Garrison quaintly called the elite "press media." More on that soon here at the Justice Integrity Project.

 

Postscript: Shortly after this column was published, I learned that a five-minute version of the Don Adams interview by Cleveland's Emmy-award winning Fox News 8 reporter Suzanne Stratford posted above has received more than three million page views since the original broadcast May 4, 2013. That tells me how much one reporter can make a difference and how hungry the public is for facts and leaders.

This column his been updated several times, most notably to reflect scholarly skepticism about Chauncey Holt's claims and to provide updates below on a new Politico column by Philip Shenon and a rebuttal by David Talbott.

 
 
Contact the author Andrew Kreig
 
 

Updated Related News Coverage 

Politico, Yes, the CIA Director Was Part of the JFK Assassination Cover Up, Philip Shenon, Oct. 6, 2015. John McCone was long suspected of withholding information from the Warren Commission. Now even the CIA says he did. John McCone came to the CIA as an outsider. An industrialist and an engineer by training, he replaced veteran spymaster Allen Dulles as director of central intelligence in November 1961, after John McConeJohn F. Kennedy had forced out Dulles following the CIA’s bungled operation to oust Fidel Castro by invading Cuba’s Bay of Pigs. McCone (shown in a file photo) had one overriding mission: restore order at the besieged CIA. Kennedy hoped his management skills might prevent a future debacle, even if the Californian — mostly a stranger to the clubby, blue-blooded world of the men like Dulles who had always run the spy agency — faced a steep learning curve.

After JFK’s assassination in Dallas in November 1963, President Lyndon Johnson kept McCone in place at the CIA, and the CIA director became an important witness before the Warren Commission, the panel Johnson created to investigate Kennedy’s murder. McCone pledged full cooperation with the commission, which was led by Chief Justice Earl Warren, and testified that the CIA had no evidence to suggest that Lee Harvey Oswald, the assassin, was part of any conspiracy, foreign or domestic. In its final report, the commission came to agree with McCone’s depiction of Oswald, a former Marine and self-proclaimed Marxist, as a delusional lone wolf.

But did McCone come close to perjury all those decades ago? Did the onetime Washington outsider in fact hide agency secrets that might still rewrite the history of the assassination? Even the CIA is now willing to raise these questions. Half a century after JFK’s death, in a once-secret report written in 2013 by the CIA’s top in-house historian and quietly declassified last fall, the spy agency acknowledges what others were convinced of long ago: that McCone and other senior CIA officials were “complicit” in keeping “incendiary” information from the Warren Commission.

JIP Editor's Note: Author and Kennedy expert David Talbot's responded to Shenon's Politico column as follows. Talbot is the founder of Salon and author of the best-seller Brothers: The Hidden History of the Kennedy Years (Free Press, 2007).  He posted the following on the Politico website and distributed it also by email to a community of longstanding JFK scholars who exchange frequent messages on new research and commentary. Because Talbot previously shared his posting on by Politico and Facebook we excerpt it here. Talbot's latest book is his long-awaitedThe Devil's Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA, and the Rise of America's Secret Government (Harper's) published this month. This editor will attend a book reception for the author Oct. 14 in Washington, DC.

David Talbot Dulles Devil's Chessboard Book CoverNote in the following blunt attack on Shenon, a widely published establishment journalist who formerly reported for the New York Times, the high-level of intrigue revealed by Talbot's research. This involves, among others, Kennedy ally Walter Sheridan, who was described in our Justice Integrity Project column above (drawing on other sources) as thwarting news coverage at NBC News and elsewhere until the time was right for Robert Kennedy to counter-attack the powerful conspirators. Note also the disclaimer by Washington Post Executive Editor Ben Bradlee, a Kennedy friend quoted as confessing that pursuit of the real story of the JFK assassination might thwart his career.

       -- Andrew Kreig

From David Talbot:

Phil Shenon continues to recycle the myth -- long propagated in CIA circles -- that Fidel Castro was behind the JFK assassination. He now adds another piece of disinformation, asserting that Robert Kennedy also fell for this CIA propaganda line. This is completely false.

I interviewed over 150 close friends, colleagues and family members of Bobby Kennedy, including Kennedy administration officials and insiders, for my book, Brothers: The Hidden History of the Kennedy Years. NONE of them indicated to me that Castro was among Bobby's leading suspects in the assassination of his brother. Instead, they said that RFK immediately focused on the CIA and its ANTI-Castro operation as the source of the plot against President Kennedy. My sources included close advisors of Bobby Kennedy like Adam Walinsky, Frank Mankiewicz, Ed Guthman and Richard Goodwin -- as well as assassination researchers with whom Bobby Kennedy met during his secret search for the truth. I also interviewed the widow and close associates of Walter Sheridan, Bobby Kennedy's top investigator ever since his days as the chief of the 1950s Senate rackets probe. Who are Shenon's sources?

RFK was fully aware of how politically explosive his search for the truth about Dallas was, considering the enormous power wielded by the U.S. security forces that he suspected, and the criminal underworld elements with whom they were aligned. So he was very careful in his public remarks about the Warren Report, which he privately considered a whitewash. It is clear from my research that Bobby Kennedy was biding his time until he could return to the White House, at which point he planned to use the full powers of the executive branch to track down those in Washington who were responsible for murdering his brother.

Shenon also repeats the old canard that RFK urged President Johnson to appoint former CIA director Allen Dulles to the Warren Commission. This bogus story apparently originated with Lyndon Johnson himself, who alleged in his 1971 memoir that Bobby recommended both Dulles and John McCloy, another Republican pillar of the Wall Street-national security world. Johnson, of course, was one of the most notorious fabulists who ever occupied the Oval Office. And his hatred of Bobby Kennedy, who by 1971 was conveniently dead, was one of the core passions of LBJ's life. The notion that Johnson would huddle with his arch enemy to make such a politically delicate choice as the makeup of the Warren Commission is absurd. So is the the idea that Bobby himself would recommend two men who were political enemies of his late brother -- two men with whom JFK had strongly clashed over national security policy. In truth, as close CIA associates of Dulles later revealed, such as Richard Helms, Dulles himself arm-twisted his way onto the Warren Commission, where he and McCloy soon established themselves as the dominant players.

Robert Kennedy and John McCone (CIA Photo)(Kennedy and McCloy are shown at right in a CIA photo)

This is one more example of Shenon's gullibility when it comes to covering CIA-related issues. In fact, his new "scoop" in Politico about the Warren Commission is based on newly declassified excerpts from a CIA biography of John McCone, Dulles's successor as CIA director, by CIA historian David Robarge. Shenon treats Robarge's institutional version of this history as an important revelation,when it should be treated with sharp journalistic skepticism. All documents that the CIA freely releases, like Robarge's redacted report on McCone, are made public for a reason. In this case, it's clearly part of the CIA's 50-year campaign to manage public perceptions of the Kennedy assassination.

The mainstream media in this country, from the New York Times (where Shenon once worked) on down, has never had the investigative courage of Bobby Kennedy to deeply examine the true source of the epic crime that took place in Dallas in November 1963. The Washington Post's legendary editor, Ben Bradlee, had the honesty to tell me why, during an interview late in his life. He was afraid it would hurt his rising journalism career, if he dared to open these doors, Bradlee told me.

This is why when Americans search for the truth about the Kennedy assassination, they must look outside these mainstream media circles for the truth, at the pathbreaking work done by independent journalists, historians and citizen researchers.

Esquire, The CIA Keeps (Accidentally) Legitimizing JFK Conspiracy Theories, Charles P. Pierce, Oct. 7, 2015. It should be no surprise that, after the president was murdered in Dallas, the national security establishment's first objective was not to tell the truth to the American people about how their president was snuffed in broad daylight. It was to concoct fictions and diversions, most devoted to bureaucratic ass-covering. This brings us to Philip Shenon's report today. Shenon tells us of how John McCone, who was put in charge of the CIA after Kennedy fired Allen Dulles, did all he could to bury "incendiary" information where the bumbling Warren Commission couldn't find it.​

What is made plain (again) by this latest revelation is that the Warren Commission's investigation was next to worthless except as an exercise in pacification through propaganda. First of all, in one of the great conflicts of interest in American history, [former CIA Director Allen] Dulles was on the commission. Almost every important witness from inside the government either lied to investigators, or shaded the truth so deeply that it began to grow mushrooms. It's been 40 years now since the plots against Castro were revealed and, when they were, the surviving commission staffers went up the wall at having been denied this information at the time they were working the case. Comes now the CIA itself, to explain that McCone was substantially less than forthcoming with relevant information.

 

Related News Coverage

Justice Integrity Project, CIA Declassifies 2,500 Presidential Briefings From 1960s, Andrew Kreig, Sept. 26, 2015. The CIA this month released an unprecedented trove of 1960s top secret presidential briefings after years of litigation by the National Security Archive at George Washington University. Both the Archive and the CIA announced the disclosure with fanfare.

CIA LogoCIA, Brennan Delivers Keynote at President's Daily Brief Public Release Event, John O. Brennan, Sept. 16, 2015. Remarks as Prepared for Delivery CIA Director John O. Brennan at the President’s Daily Brief Public Release, LBJ Library in Austin, Texas. I want to thank Mark [Updegrove, LBJ Library Director] and his excellent staff for hosting today’s event. When President Johnson dedicated this library, he said, “It is all here… the story of our time with the bark off.” You can’t get much further below the bark than Top Secret intelligence reports, so I think President Johnson would approve of today’s proceedings."

National Security Archive, President's Daily Briefs from Kennedy and Johnson Finally Released (Eight Years After Archive, Professor Larry Berman Lawsuit), Thomas Blanton and Lauren Harper, Sept. 16, 2016. Today the CIA and the LBJ Library are releasing online a collection of 2,500 declassified President's Daily Briefs (PDBs) from the Kennedy and Johnson administrations. The PDBs are Top Secret documents containing the most current and significant intelligence information that the CIA believes that the President needs to know, and are records that CIA Director George Tenet once claimed could never be released for publication "no matter how old or historically significant it may be," and that White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer described as "the most highly sensitized classified document in the government."

Washington Times, CIA confirmed Oswald contacted Cubans, Soviets before assassination, memo shows, Kellan Howell, Sept. 16, 2016. Three days after John F. Kennedy was shot and killed in Dallas, U.S. intelligence officials told President Lyndon B. Johnson that they had confirmed that assassin Lee Harvey Oswald had recently traveled to Mexico City to visit both the Cuban and Soviet embassies, according to a half-century old briefing memo declassified on Wednesday.

Politico, 13 newly released CIA presidential briefs from the 1960s you'll want to read, Josh Gerstein, Sept. 16, 2015. The briefings detail the evolution of the war in Vietnam and responses to such events as the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Six-Day War in the Middle East. After decades of stiff resistance, the CIA on Wednesday released about 2,500 President’s Daily Briefs and similar reports delivered to Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson during a nearly eight-year span in the 1960s. The briefings detail the evolution of the war in Vietnam and responses to such events as the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Six-Day War in the Middle East. The mass release Wednesday came despite past vows from the CIA to fiercely defend the secrecy of PDBs. Then-CIA Director George Tenet declared in 2000 that no PDB should be released “no matter how old or historically significant it may be."

JFK Facts.org, CIA bares the origins of its JFK cover-up, Jefferson Morley, Sept. 17, 2105. Three days after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the CIA told his successor Lyndon Johnson that the Jefferson Morley coveragency’s sources had just confirmed press reports that accused assassin Lee Oswald had visited the Cuban and Soviet Embassies in Mexico City two months before. Intentionally or not, the CIA was misleading the new president about what Agency personnel knew of the man accused of killing his predecessor. The November 25 briefing, released by the CIA with much fanfare on September 16, 2015, informed to [sic] the new president that CIA had only learned about Oswald’s contacts with the Cubans and Soviets after Kennedy’s death.

Contemporary news organizations, not well informed about the historical records of JFK’s assassination, found the briefing newsworthy. The Washington Times proclaimed the CIA had “confirmed” Oswald’s links to the Soviets and Cubans within days of the assassination. Politico included the November 25 briefing among “13 newly released presidential briefs you’ll want to read.” In fact, CIA records declassified in the 1990s show that a host of senior CIA operations officers had already learned — and conferred among themselves — about Oswald’s foreign contacts six weeks earlier, in early October 1963, when JFK was very much alive. Here’s the proof: a four-page CIA cable about Lee Oswald, dated October 10, 1963. This document was not declassified until 1998. In short the CIA didn’t tell the new president that certain senior officers had known about Oswald’s actions in Mexico City almost as soon they occurred. If that fact had been shared with a shocked and grieving nation in late 1963, some senior CIA officers might have lost their jobs. The men and women who knew about Oswald’s contacts with communist officials in Mexico City while JFK was alive were among the highest ranking in the agency.

JFK Facts.org, Did the CIA track Oswald before JFK was killed? Jefferson Morley, Feb. 4, 2014. Yes, closely and constantly. This is one of the biggest JFK revelations of the past 20 years, and one that we need talk up in social and news media on the 50th anniversary of JFK’s assassination. While the CIA assured Congress in the 1970s that its interest in Lee Harvey Oswald before JFK was killed was “routine,” the newest documents tell a very different story: Oswald was monitored closely and constantly by an super-secret office within the CIA’s Counterintelligence Staff from 1959 to 1963, known as the Special Investigations Group. The documents show that the CIA officers most knowledgeable about Oswald reported to two of the most powerful men in the agency: deputy director Richard Helms and counterintelligence chief James Angleton, both of whom thought JFK’s policy toward Cuba was weak and misguided.

The story was first documented in John Newman’s 1995 book Oswald and the CIA. Newman is a former intelligence officer turned academic historian. Newman, who taught at the University of Maryland, traced how the CIA intercepted Oswald’s correspondence when he was living in the Soviet Union 1959 to 1962. He showed how the CIA’s own records document growing interest in Oswald in the course of 1963, culminating in October 1963 when a group of senior CIA officials collaborated on a four-page cable assessing Oswald as a security risk. These officials assured colleagues in the CIA and the FBI that Oswald was “maturing” and thus becoming less of a threat. This happened just six weeks before JFK was killed. The many anomalies in the story convinced Newman and other JFK authors that Oswald had been impersonated while in Mexico City. In custody, Oswald denied going to Mexico City and some researchers believe that he never went at all.

JFK Facts, Don Adams RIP: An FBI agent who didn’t buy the official theory, Jefferson Morley, Feb. 1, 2015. Don Adams, whose career as an FBI agent spanned 22 years, never really bought the official line of his Don Adams book cover "From an Office Building"own employer: that Lee Harvey Oswald, acting alone, assassinated President John F. Kennedy. Adams, who died on June 14 at age 83 in Akron, Ohio, eventually wrote From an Office Building with a High-Powered Rifle (TrineDay, 2012), in which he argued that “the FBI’s investigation was compromised from the top down, beginning with FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover.”

WJW-TV Fox News 8 (Cleveland), Former FBI Agent Reveals Who Really Killed JFK, Suzanne Stratford, May 4, 2013. A retired FBI Agent and Police Chief, who was one of the original investigators in Dallas examining the JFK assassination, stumbles upon records and reports that were doctored. He knows that, because he filed the original reports. His decade long investigation would take him deep into history and to the National Archives and beyond. Step by step he says he learned and can prove that Oswald did not kill JFK

WND, Soviet-bloc defector sheds light on new JFK document, CIA releases presidential briefing on Oswald's visit to embassy, Jerome R. Corsi, Sept. 20, 2015. The CIA’s release Wednesday of a Presidential Daily Briefing given to President Lyndon B. Johnson days after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy has renewed controversy over a trip Lee Harvey Oswald made to Mexico two months Jerome Corsi Who Really Killed Kennedy?before the assassination. The key paragraph confirmed press stories reporting Oswald visited both the Cuban and Soviet embassies in Mexico City in an attempt to arrange a visa to travel to the Soviet Union by way of Havana, Cuba. The CIA has insisted since the assassination that Oswald visited the Soviet embassy in Mexico City in September 1963, but the agency has never been able to produce photographic evidence, even though the building was under photo surveillance at the time.

New York Post, Woman Threatens to throw shoe at pope on floor of Congress, David K. Li, Sept. 24, 2015. Despite all the heavy Secret Service and Swiss Guard security around him, Pope Francis came this close to getting a shoe hurled at him as he headed to the floor of Congress. ​As CNN’s cameras awaited the pope’s entry, a woman in the crowd, with a noticeable Southern accent, could be heard ​saying that she planned to “take my shoe off and throw it at his head.”

The words were uttered just as Pope Francis​​ was being led onto the House floor for his historic speech. CNN’s Wolf Blitzer was anchoring coverage and told viewers he would go silent to capture the natural sounds of Pope Francis’ introduction. That’s when the woman spoke about shoe throwing, with no clue that CNN viewers were listening. It wasn’t immediately clear if anyone on Pope Francis’ security team heard the remark. Francis came and went. The threat of shoe throwing evoked memories of President George W. Bush, who skillfully dodged shoes at a Dec. 14, 2008, press conference in Baghdad. The shoe toss was considered an extreme act of disrespect.

WMR, Is the Pope a conspiracy believer?  Wayne Madsen, Sept. 25, 2015. (Excerpted with permission. Subscription required for full column). In his September 24 address to a joint session of the U.S. Congress, Pope Francis I named four "great Americans" who he believes had Thomas Mertona significant impact upon the world: Abraham Lincoln; Martin Luther King, Jr.; social activist Dorothy Day; and Thomas Merton. Most people have heard of the first three. But who was Thomas Merton? Merton was a Trappist monk who advocated interfaith dialogue. Merton's 20th century writings on ecumenicalism and dialogue in a current era of sectarian violence have a special meaning for the Pope. Merton was also a leading peace activist who served as a mentor for anti- Vietnam war priests Philip and Daniel Berrigan. However, it is Merton's coining of the phrase "The Unspeakable" that should have perked up the ears of those who do not believe the official theories about the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy, Reverend King -- who the Pope cited as one of his four greatest Americans -- and Robert F. Kennedy. 

Merton believed that included among "the Unspeakable" crimes of the 1960s were the interwoven murders of the two Kennedys and King. In other words, Merton was a conspiracy realist at about the same time the Central Intelligence Agency came up with the pejorative term "conspiracy theorist" to describe those, including Merton, who questioned the official stories on political assassinations and the reasoning behind America's entry into the Vietnam War.

Washington Times, Knife-wielding man in SUV made it onto tarmac at JFK hours after Pope Francis left, Kellan Howell, Sept. 29, 2015. A man driving a black SUV and armed with a knife breached airport security, making it all the way to the tarmac at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, just hours after Pope Francis had left from the airport for Philadelphia on Saturday, prosecutors said.

 

Justice Integrity Project Readers Guide To JFK Assassination

* Denotes major articles in this Readers Guide series

Dealey Plaza Panorama (Andrew Kreig Photo)At right is a photo by this editor in Dallas showing Dealey Plaza. The Texas Book Depository Building where Oswald worked is behind the row of trees. The car in the center lane is near the location of President Kennedy's limo at the time of his fatal shooting.

  1. Project Launches JFK Assassination Readers' Guide, Oct. 16, 2013.
  2. Project Provides JFK Readers Guide To New Books, Videos , Oct. 26, 2013. This is a list of new books and films in 2013.
  3. Project Lists JFK Assassination Reports, Archives, Videos, Events, Nov. 2, 2013. Leading video, events and archives from the last 50 years. *
  4. Disputes Erupt Over NY Times, New Yorker, Washington Post Reviews of JFK Murder, Nov. 7, 2013. *
  5. Self-Censorship In JFK TV Treatments Duplicates Corporate Print Media's Apathy, Cowardice, Nov. 7, 2013.
  6. 'Puppetry' Hardback Launched Nov. 19 at DC Author Forum on ‘White House Mysteries & Media,'  Nov. 19, 2013.
  7. Major Media Stick With Oswald 'Lone Gunman' JFK Theory, Nov. 27, 2013. Self-censorship.
  8. JFK Murder Scene Trapped Its Victim In Kill Zone, Nov. 30, 2013.
  9. JFK Murder, The CIA, and 8 Things Every American Should Know, Dec. 9, 2013. The CIA implicated itself in the cover-up, according to experts who have spoken out. *
  10. JFK Murder Prompts Expert Reader Reactions, Dec. 19, 2013. Reactions to our Dec. 9 column. 
  11. Have Spy Agencies Co-Opted Presidents and the Press? Dec. 23, 2013. *
  12. Don't Be Fooled By 'Conspiracy Theory' Smears, May 26, 2014. *
  13. Experts To Reveal Secrets of JFK Murder, Cover-up at Sept. 26-28 DC Forum , Sept. 5, 2014. 
  14. Washington Post Still Selling Warren Report 50 Years Later, Sept. 22, 2014. *
  15. JFK Experts To Explode Myths, Sign Books In DC Sept. 26-28, Sept. 24, 2014.
  16. Former Cuban Militant Leader Claims CIA Meeting With Oswald Before JFK Killing, Sept. 27, 2014. *
  17. JFK Readers Guide: Assassination Books, Reports, Oct. 15, 2014. *
  18. Former House JFK Murder Prober Alleges CIA ‘Lied,’ Seeks Hidden Records, Oct. 18, 2014. *
  19. The JFK Murder 'Cover-up' Still Matters -- As Does C-SPAN's Coverage, Nov. 11, 2014. *
  20. JFK, Nov. 22 and the Continuing Cover-Up, Nov. 24, 2014. *
  21. JFK Assassination Readers Guide To 2013-14 Events, Nov. 28, 2014. *
  22. CIA, Empowered by JFK Murder Cover-up, Blocks Senate Torture Report, Dec. 1, 2014. *
  23. Nearly Too Late, Public Learns of Bill Moyers’ Conflicts Over PBS, LBJ, Jan. 2, 2014.
  24. Why Bill O'Reilly's Lie About JFK's Murder Might Matter To You, March 17, 2015.
  25. Free Videos Show Shocking Claims About CIA, JFK Murder Probes, June 29, 2015.
  26. Pioneering Black Secret Service JFK Guard Abraham Bolden Warns Of Current Lessons, July 22, 2015.
  27. Understanding Hollywood-Style Presidential Propaganda From JFK To Trump, Aug. 18, 2015.
  28. Beware Of Wrong Conclusions From New CIA Disclosure On Oswald, Sept. 28, 2015.

  

JIP Editor's Other Recommended Columns

Bill SimpichSan Francisco attorney and prominent JFK Assassination researcher Bill Simpich (shown in a file photo) has published on OpEd News a series so far in 12 parts on "The Twelve Who Built the Oswald Legend." The series began in 2010 with: The JFK Case: The Twelve Who Built the Oswald Legend (Part One: Mother, Meyer, and the Spotters)

The most relevant segment to George de Mohrenschildt is Part 7: The hand-off from De Mohrenschildt to the Paines:

OpEdNews, The JFK Case: The Twelve Who Built the Oswald Legend (Part 7: The hand-off from De Mohrenschildt to the Paines), Bill Simpich, Oct. 22, 2011. When Oswald and his family returned to the Dallas-Fort Worth area from the Soviet Union, they knew that they had make contacts if they were going to put food on the table. Dallas oilman/spy George de Mohrenschildt became a benefactor to the Oswald family, providing them with money and contacts after their return to the US from the Soviet Union. De Mohrenschildt's lawyer Max Clark was also General Dynamics' industrial security consultant and a leader within the White Russian community. Oswald contacted Max Clark's wife shortly after his return, explaining that the Texas Employment Commission had referred her to him as a Russian-speaker and that his wife would like to spend time with another Russian-speaker. Oswald had legend makers precisely because he and his wife presented a perceived threat to national security. De Mohrenschildt visited and exchanged cards and letters with CIA official J. Walton Moore on a regular basis during the fifties and sixties. Moore wrote a memo in 1977 claiming that he only met de Mohrenschildt twice, in 1958 and in 1961. Moore's hazy memory on the number of visits was exposed by the House Select Committee on Assassinations. De Mohrenschildt revealed a few hours before his death that Moore took him to lunch in late 1961, and described to him an ex-Marine in Minsk in whom the CIA had "interest."  In the summer of 1962, an associate of Moore suggested that de Mohrenschildt might want to meet Oswald. De Mohrenschildt then called Moore, suggesting that suitable payback would be a little help by the State Department with an oil exploration deal in Haiti.

The first part of the series is, with additional segments listed below in reverse chronological order. A photo of the Oswalds is via the National Archives:

Lee Harvey Oswald and Marina Oswald National ArchivesOpEd News, The JFK Case: The Twelve Who Built the Oswald Legend (Part One: Mother, Meyer, and the Spotters), Bill Simpich, Aug. 22. 2010. With millions of documents released in the years since the JFK Act was passed in the nineties, the intelligence backgrounds of the twelve who built the Oswald legend have come into focus. A legend maker can range from a "babysitter" who just keeps an eye on the subject to someone handing out unequivocal orders. I count twelve of them, and I'll tell you about them here in this series of essays here.

  1. 08/22/2010     The JFK Case: The Twelve Who Built the Oswald Legend (Part I:   Mother, Meyer, and the Spotters)
  2. 09/02/2010     The JFK Case: The Twelve Who Built the Oswald Legend (Part 2:  An Instant Visa Gets The Marine Into Moscow)
  3. 12/06/2010     The JFK Case: The Twelve Who Built the Oswald Legend (Part 3:  Counterintelligence goes molehunting with Oswald's file)
  4. 11/16/2010     The JFK Case: The Twelve Who Built the Oswald Legend (Part 4:  When the U-2 Goes Down, Oswald is Ready to Return)
  5. 12/27/2010     The JFK Case: The Twelve Who Built the Oswald Legend (Part 5:  The Double Dangle)
  6. 11/22/2011     The JFK Case: The Twelve Who Built the Oswald Legend (Part 6:  White Russians Keep An Eye On Oswald In Dallas)
  7. 06/03/2012     The JFK Case: The Twelve Who Built the Oswald Legend (Part 7:  The hand-off from De Mohrenschildt to the Paines)
  8. 06/04/2012     The JFK Case: The Twelve Who Built the Oswald Legend (Part 8:  The CIA-Army Intelligence Mambo)  
  9. 08/30/2012     The JFK Case: The Twelve Who Built the Oswald Legend (Part 9:  Oswald Takes Center Stage As An Intelligence Asset
  10. 07/26/2013     The JFK Case: The Twelve Who Built the Oswald Legend (Part 10: Nightmare in Mexico City)  
  11. 12/21/2014     The JFK Case: The Twelve Who Built the Oswald Legend (Part 11: The Paines Carry the Weight)
  12. 12/31/2014     The JFK Case: The Twelve Who Built the Oswald Legend (Part 12: The Endgame