Month: October 2013

Lee Harvey Oswald
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Lee Harvey Oswald Once again this blog turns to John Newman's Oswald and the CIA (2008 edition) for evidence from the vast depths of US government files. In this way, pre-assassination documents can throw light on Lee Harvey Oswald. Oswald in New Orleans, April-September '63 Oswald left Dallas not long after the Walker shooting, and went back to his hometown, New Orleans. Once there, he wrote to Vincent Lee, the national director of the left-wing Fair Play for Cuba Committee (FPCC), about setting up a New Orleans branch of the organization. But 'Lee lost interest in Oswald when he violated the bylaws of the FPCC by claiming charter status' for said branch (p.289). Oswald conducted the business of his rogue 'FPCC' under the name 'A. J. Hidell, Chapter President' (p.329), and on some of the literature he handed out (see photo), the address 544 Camp Street was used. This, as...

Marina Oswald
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Marina Oswald Today, 18 October, is Lee Harvey Oswald's birthday. He would have been 74 today (JFK would be 96). At the time of his 24th birthday, in 1963, his wife Marina and their 20-month-old daughter June were living outside Dallas in Irving, in the house of Ruth Paine. During weekdays, Lee stayed in the Dallas suburb of Oak Cliff. His activities in New Orleans and Mexico were behind him now. He had been working in the Texas School Book Depository since the 16th. On the 20th, their second daughter, Rachel, would be born. On his birthday, Marina and Ruth 'made quite an occasion of it. Ruth brought wine, decorated the table, and baked a cake. When the cake was carried in, glittering with candles, everybody sang, "Happy Birthday, Lee." Lee was visibly moved, and his eyes filled with tears' (Summers, The Kennedy Conspiracy, p.282). In the 3 December 2001...

Lee-Harvey-Oswald-backyard
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Continuing directly from the last entry, we examine more of John Newman's trawl through the declassified files in his book Oswald and the CIA (2008 edition). Government interest in Lee Harvey Oswald began with his defection in October 1959 and continued until '63. It's time to look now at his controversial 'redefection' from the USSR back to the USA in June '62. Oswald's 'redefection' It has often seemed curious to the conspiracy theorists, and indeed many others, that Oswald, who defected to the USSR, was allowed to defect back to the US without being punished by the American authorities, causing some people to think he was a secret agent. But we dealt with the issue of Oswald being a 'dangle' in the last entry and it is highly unlikely he was a spook. One of the main factors that it was so easy for Oswald to come back is that...

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There are many mysteries about Oswald, beyond the JFK assassination - his defection, redefection, New Orleans, Mexico, etc. - and no-one seems to clear up mysteries like these better than John Newman, a professor of history and a former military intelligence officer. He trawled through the material released by the JFK Records Act 1992 with a real knowledge of how clandestine systems work, the result being the rewarding tome Oswald and the CIA (1995). I examine here the 2008 edition, with its startling 'epilogue, 2008'. Understandably, as a defector to the USSR in 1959, Oswald was of great official interest to the US authorities from that point onwards. Newman follows 'the trails in Oswald's CIA, FBI, DOD, Navy, Army... American Embassy... State Department... Immigration and Naturalization Service' files (p.xix). His book does 'not address the assassination of President Kennedy. We will not discuss Dealey Plaza. This book is content to...

Mystery Man
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Oswald in Mexico! Directly continuing from the last entry in this series, the reference book to hand is still Deep Politics II The New Revelations in U.S. Government Files 1994-1995 Essays on Oswald, Mexico and Cuba, and all page references are to that, unless otherwise stated. The reader may recall that Nicaraguan intelligence agent Gilberto Alvarado gave up on his story that (a) Oswald was associated with the Cuban consulate in Mexico City and its official Luisa Calderon, and (b) Oswald was paid by the Cuban consulate to assassinate JFK. Alvarado retracted finally on 5 December '63 (and it is unlikely that the story was true: Calderon shows surprise upon being told of JFK's death in the 'transcripts from Cuban embassy and Cubana Airlines conversations on 22 Nov 1963' p.22). But in the meantime, while the Alvarado story was still in play, there were consequences for Silvia Durán, the only...

deep-politics-ii
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There are mind-bending Oswald mysteries in Mexico! Peter Dale Scott's Deep Politics II The New Revelations in U.S. Government Files 1994-1995 Essays on Oswald, Mexico, and Cuba (1995) (3rd edn. 2003) is a short book with a narrower focus than Deep Politics and the Death of JFK (aka Deep Politics I - page references will be to Deep Politics II unless otherwise stated). It deals with my 'favourite' mystery of the JFK saga: Oswald in Mexico. By that I mean it's the most likely thing to make me go 'WHAT!?' repeatedly. Oswald supposedly spent 26 Sep. - 3 Oct. '63 in Mexico City, to obtain a visa to visit Cuba (which had severed diplomatic ties with the US in '61). Win Scott, CIA station chief in Mexico, sent a cable to CIA Director John McCone on 8 Oct. (Deep Politics I, p.39; cable reproduced in John Newman, Oswald and the...