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Lee Harvey Oswald: The Legend and the Truth

on Wed 22 Nov 2017, 9:47 am
James Norwood wrote:The documentary record of Lee Harvey Oswald’s life may be categorized in three chronological periods:

#1: The first stage of the documentary record runs from his birth until late 1962.  The surviving records point to a composite identity of two young men whose life stories were merged into a single biography of a young man for purposes of the “Oswald Project."  
http://harveyandlee.net/J_Norwood/Legend.html

It is not explained how it was determined that "the first stage of the documentary record runs from his birth until late 1962" nor is it explained exactly what is meant by that.

Of course, I completely disagree with the second part of what is said. The existing records show the types of anomalies that can be found in the records of anyone over a period of time. There has certainly been no attempt here (or anywhere else, by anyone else), to demonstrate that the anomalies are unique to Oswald's records and therefore have some special significance and meaning.

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Re: Lee Harvey Oswald: The Legend and the Truth

on Thu 23 Nov 2017, 1:26 pm
Hello, Greg

I am working on a response to your first question.  In the meantime, I have an opening question for you regarding the premise of my two articles:  the evidence linking Oswald to the American intelligence network.

 
In his long career, Richard Schweiker (1926-2015) served as a member of the House of Representatives and the Senate.  He was also Ronald Reagan’s pick for vice-president during Reagan’s failed bid for the presidency in 1976. 
 
While serving on the Church Committee, Schweiker received an education into the tactics used by the CIA during Cold War.  He was especially troubled about CIA activities that were not reported to the Warren Commission, despite the presence of Allen Dulles on the Commission.  Schweiker said famously that “I think the Warren Commission Report is like a house of cards.  It’s going to collapse.” [1] 
 
Senator Church assigned Schweiker the task of studying United States intelligence agencies shortly after the Warren Commission was formed in late 1963.   Schweiker's awakening came when he learned details of Oswald that were a far cry from the Warren Commission’s final report.  Out of this experience, Schweiker found evidence of ties of Oswald to the CIA.  Schweiker’s conclusion was that
 
"We do know Oswald had intelligence connections. Everywhere you look with him, there are the fingerprints of intelligence." [2]

The assertion of Senator Schweiker about Oswald above is the premise that undergirds my two articles on Oswald, namely, the evidence tying Oswald to the United States intelligence network.  With the Garrison investigation fresh in his mind, Schweiker was following the paper trail uncovered in New Orleans that connected Oswald to CIA propaganda efforts in the Fair Play for Cuba Committee.  Garrison discovered flyers that had been stamped “544 Camp Street,” the address of rabid right-winger Guy Banister.  This evidence was a red flag for Garrison and his team, who were probing Oswald’s activities in New Orleans in the summer of 1963. 

The overarching goal of my two essays is to see how far we can trace back the intelligence connections of Oswald.  For me, the seminal moment is the alleged “defection” of Oswald to the Soviet Union in 1959.  For Garrison, it was clear that Oswald was working as a phony member of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee in New Orleans in August, 1963.  But Garrison also concluded that Oswald was an American agent sent to the Soviet Union at the height of the Cold War in 1959.  Decades later, Schweiker told researcher David Talbot that Oswald was the product of a fake defector program of the CIA and that “in my judgment, the CIA was involved in the murder of the president.” [3]

Based on the background above, I am wondering how much common ground you and I share in understanding the “fingerprints of intelligence” apparent in Oswald’s life.

 
So, what is your view on the topic of Oswald’s intelligence connections, as described above? 


James
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Re: Lee Harvey Oswald: The Legend and the Truth

on Thu 23 Nov 2017, 2:35 pm
James Norwood wrote:So, what is your view on the topic of Oswald’s intelligence connections, as described above?  
"As described above"? Not great, James. The time for reliance on the opinions of failed politicians and DAs has long passed.

Schweiker was a poseur trying to piggy-back his reputation and career on the publicity he got from those committees and hearings. The one time he could have smashed the intelligence community regarding Cuba, he got scared or bought off. And what's more, it was pre-assassination.
https://reopenkennedycase.forumotion.net/t19-pretextural-obligato-a-symphony-of-lies

Garrison was more complex, but still, when it mattered, he failed.

The only other point in relation to what you have written is that you are factually incorrect when you refer to 544 Camp St as Banister's Office. It was not. Banister's office was in the same building with a separate address and office around the corner at 531 Lafayette.

544 Camp, at the time of Oswald's leafleting, was occupied by the Hotel, Motel, and Restaurant Workers' Union, and the Amalgamated Association of Street Electric Railway and Motor Coach Employees of America. Furthermore, there was no access to Banister's office through 544 Camp St.  https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=49346&relPageId=234

Kerry Thornley was a union member, fwiw.  

If what you really meant to ask is what does my own research lead me to conclude about any intelligence ties Oswald may have had, I'd be happy to add that to my answer.

_________________
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Follow Up Question to Greg About Oswald's Ties to Intelligence

on Fri 24 Nov 2017, 3:23 am
greg parker wrote:
If what you really meant to ask is what does my own research lead me to conclude about any intelligence ties Oswald may have had, I'd be happy to add that to my answer.
Greg,

Yes, I would be interested in your views on Oswald's ties to intelligence, as you have phrased the question above, especially pertaining to the 1959 "defection" to the Soviet Union.

James


P.S.  While I would not go so far as to call Schweiker as "poseur," I concur that he could have taken a stronger stand on his beliefs and engaged in greater follow-through about Oswald's ties to intelligence.  In the history of the JFK case, politicians typically have not added much integrity to the conversation, beginning with the Warren Commission.
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Response to Greg: Question about Anomalies

on Fri 24 Nov 2017, 3:41 am
Dear Greg,

My principal response to your first question is that the existing records of the life of Lee Harvey Oswald are so full of contradictions that the resulting biographical profile is nothing like ordinary anomalies in a human life.

In my article, I have subdivided the biographical record of Oswald’s life into three periods:  (1) from his birth in 1939 to November, 1962, shortly after the Cuban Missile Crisis; (2) from November 1962 to his death in Dallas on November 24, 1963; and (3) the crucial period in which the Warren Commission met to finalize its report that formulated a biographical profile of Oswald.  My purpose in this chronological breakdown is to offer a template for studying how the biographical record of Oswald was shaped over time.

In American universities today, a popular term used by cultural historians is the verb “refashion.”  The word is used in analyzing how individuals and groups refashioned themselves and discovered “agency” in their lives in different historical epochs.  In the case of Oswald, however, the refashioning that took place was not of his own agency, but was performed by others.  For this reason, the historical records of Oswald are mired in confusion.



In different ways, each of the three stages identified in my article is filled with what you are calling “anomalies.”  The contradictions in the evidentiary record require that, as historians, we subject each instance to careful scrutiny.

To take one example:

In the final week of September, 1963, Oswald is alleged to be returning to the United States from a trip to Mexico City.  The mainstream media today reports the Mexico City trip as factual in Oswald’s life.  But on either September 26 or 27, three men (two Cubans and one American identified as Leon Oswald) showed up at the apartment of Sylvia Odio in Dallas, at a time when he should have been on the bus from Mexico.  Odio later received a phone call from one of the Cuban men, who identified Oswald as being “loco” because he believed that President Kennedy should have been shot after the Bay of Pigs incident. 

One of the first-generation JFK researchers, Sylvia Meagher, recognized the Sylvia Odio incident as a staged event replete with what you describe in your post above as “some special significance and meaning.”  For Meagher, the planners of this event

“took great pains to plant seeds which inevitably would incriminate Oswald in the assassination carried out on November 22, so that an anonymous phone call would be enough to send the police straight after him even if he had not been arrested within the hour.” [1]

From the Odio incident and others, one may discern a pattern wherein someone “took great pains to plant seeds” that would be vital in profiling Oswald for the historical record.  The term that I prefer to use, as per the article, is the creation of a legend for Oswald.    

I hope that you will offer follow-up questions that will allow us to look at more examples like the one above.  Oswald’s life is simply full of the anomalies, enigmas, and contradictions.  As if by design, the anomalous occurrences were intended to create a legend that was eventually finalized in the Warren Report.

 
In my article, I am arguing that the Oswald anomalies typically have the mark of “the fingerprints of intelligence.”


James

 


[1]  Sylvia Meagher, Accessories After the Fact—The Warren Commission, the Authorities & the Report (New York, Random House, 1967), 379. 
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Re: Lee Harvey Oswald: The Legend and the Truth

on Fri 24 Nov 2017, 7:57 am
James Norwood wrote:Dear Greg,

My principal response to your first question is that the existing records of the life of Lee Harvey Oswald are so full of contradictions that the resulting biographical profile is nothing like ordinary anomalies in a human life.

In my article, I have subdivided the biographical record of Oswald’s life into three periods:  (1) from his birth in 1939 to November, 1962, shortly after the Cuban Missile Crisis; (2) from November 1962 to his death in Dallas on November 24, 1963; and (3) the crucial period in which the Warren Commission met to finalize its report that formulated a biographical profile of Oswald.  My purpose in this chronological breakdown is to offer a template for studying how the biographical record of Oswald was shaped over time.

In American universities today, a popular term used by cultural historians is the verb “refashion.”  The word is used in analyzing how individuals and groups refashioned themselves and discovered “agency” in their lives in different historical epochs.  In the case of Oswald, however, the refashioning that took place was not of his own agency, but was performed by others.  For this reason, the historical records of Oswald are mired in confusion.



In different ways, each of the three stages identified in my article is filled with what you are calling “anomalies.”  The contradictions in the evidentiary record require that, as historians, we subject each instance to careful scrutiny.

To take one example:

In the final week of September, 1963, Oswald is alleged to be returning to the United States from a trip to Mexico City.  The mainstream media today reports the Mexico City trip as factual in Oswald’s life.  But on either September 26 or 27, three men (two Cubans and one American identified as Leon Oswald) showed up at the apartment of Sylvia Odio in Dallas, at a time when he should have been on the bus from Mexico.  Odio later received a phone call from one of the Cuban men, who identified Oswald as being “loco” because he believed that President Kennedy should have been shot after the Bay of Pigs incident. 

One of the first-generation JFK researchers, Sylvia Meagher, recognized the Sylvia Odio incident as a staged event replete with what you describe in your post above as “some special significance and meaning.”  For Meagher, the planners of this event

“took great pains to plant seeds which inevitably would incriminate Oswald in the assassination carried out on November 22, so that an anonymous phone call would be enough to send the police straight after him even if he had not been arrested within the hour.” [1]

From the Odio incident and others, one may discern a pattern wherein someone “took great pains to plant seeds” that would be vital in profiling Oswald for the historical record.  The term that I prefer to use, as per the article, is the creation of a legend for Oswald.    

I hope that you will offer follow-up questions that will allow us to look at more examples like the one above.  Oswald’s life is simply full of the anomalies, enigmas, and contradictions.  As if by design, the anomalous occurrences were intended to create a legend that was eventually finalized in the Warren Report.

 
In my article, I am arguing that the Oswald anomalies typically have the mark of “the fingerprints of intelligence.”


James

 


[1]  Sylvia Meagher, Accessories After the Fact—The Warren Commission, the Authorities & the Report (New York, Random House, 1967), 379. 
The problem here James is that I completely disagree about the Odio incident. I see it as an example only of how houses of cards are built because each new card somehow magically turns the one it sits on into fact when it started and should remain as conjecture.

I think we should set Odio aside as a separate issue to debate after these other first few matters are dealt  with.


Last edited by greg parker on Fri 24 Nov 2017, 10:46 am; edited 1 time in total

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Response to Greg: Question about Anomalies

on Fri 24 Nov 2017, 8:27 am
greg parker wrote:The existing records show the types of anomalies that can be found in the records of anyone over a period of time. There has certainly been no attempt here (or anywhere else, by anyone else), to demonstrate that the anomalies are unique to Oswald's records and therefore have some special significance and meaning.
Greg,


Sure.  We can set aside the Sylvia Odio incident for the present time.  I was only offering it as one of the many extraordinary incidents that recur in the story of Oswald.

My contention is that the conventional biography of Oswald is simply filled with examples just as bizarre, confusing, and contradictory as the Odio case.

If I have understood you correctly, your position is that the contradictory stories and incidents are merely a part of mundane human experience, or "anomalies" as you describe them above.

It seems to me that the only way to debate our two different positions is to look at specific examples in detail.



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Re: Lee Harvey Oswald: The Legend and the Truth

on Fri 24 Nov 2017, 9:05 am
Item One

The State of Oswald's Extant Records: are the number of anomalies and errors so unusual as to suggest something other than administrative error and misinformation given by Lee and Marguerite at various times?

I do not believe so. I have worked in government agencies, and even in a computerized world, errors are common. False information given by the subject of the file is also common. And  in the case of Oswald, some of the anomalies are simply misreadings of the data. The school records are a case in point. 

Both Marguerite and Lee gave false information which entered the records. This happened at some schools and in the New York welfare system. Usually such misinformation has a purpose e.g. to meet certain criteria for assistance, to hide embarrassing information, or for no discernable purpose at all.

Here is just one example of how poorly correct information is obtained and kept  http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-05-25/veda-advantage-provided-incorrect-credit-reports/7444392

Misinformation can also result from reports being entirely made up - such as the report done on Oswald on behalf of Reily. 

Credit agencies in the US were later exposed for such behavior
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2013-07-11/federal-background-checks-faked-by-some-investigators

To summarize some the errors: 
Oswald lied which state they would move to, sometimes lied about his height, lied on several points in his Albert Schweitzer application, lied on his enlistment record by claiming he had never been rejected previously. Marguerite lied to Youth House about family history, got some of Lee's vital stats wrong when describing him to Fain (I am also hopeless at guestimating those things) and even told one school that Edwin Ekdahl was deceased (he was still very much alive at that time.

Marguerite also lied about her addresses while living in Louisiana in the early 1940s. I believe there was a non-conspiratorial reason for this - she was living as Ekdahl's common law wife.

The school records have been completely misread by the Harvey and Lee supporters and do not show, as claimed, any crossover that can be pointed to as evidence of two kids
https://reopenkennedycase.forumotion.net/t1500-one-more-attempt-at-those-darn-school-records

That said, there is information in some school records that do need explaining - specifically, Llily B Clayton and George C Clarke elementary schools both listed Edwin Ekdahl as sole parent of Lee.

Some of his Marine records, as with his school records have also been misread and misrepresented.  
https://reopenkennedycase.forumotion.net/t1399-the-skagit-according-to-a-former-crew-member

Compounding the chances of errors occurring was the constant moving in his young life and the different record-keeping methods used in different jurisdictions. 

Given all of the above, you could pick someone from the same era, with a similar family history and military record and use the errors to make a case for two Joe Bloggs (or whoever) quite easily. But it would be just as meaningless.


Last edited by greg parker on Fri 24 Nov 2017, 10:04 am; edited 3 times in total

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Re: Lee Harvey Oswald: The Legend and the Truth

on Fri 24 Nov 2017, 9:08 am
James Norwood wrote:
greg parker wrote:The existing records show the types of anomalies that can be found in the records of anyone over a period of time. There has certainly been no attempt here (or anywhere else, by anyone else), to demonstrate that the anomalies are unique to Oswald's records and therefore have some special significance and meaning.
Greg,


Sure.  We can set aside the Sylvia Odio incident for the present time.  I was only offering it as one of the many extraordinary incidents that recur in the story of Oswald.

My contention is that the conventional biography of Oswald is simply filled with examples just as bizarre, confusing, and contradictory as the Odio case.

If I have understood you correctly, your position is that the contradictory stories and incidents are merely a part of mundane human experience, or "anomalies" as you describe them above.

It seems to me that the only way to debate our two different positions is to look at specific examples in detail.



James
Well, that's the issue for me. I do not believe it was bizarre, nor do I believe it was Oswald nor anyone deliberately impersonating him. It all has a rational explanation.

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Re: Lee Harvey Oswald: The Legend and the Truth

on Fri 24 Nov 2017, 9:15 am
Greg,


James Norwood wrote:Yes, I would be interested in your views on Oswald's ties to intelligence, as you have phrased the question above, especially pertaining to the 1959 "defection" to the Soviet Union.

James
You can find my take on it here under the subhead "Saving the Disarmament Talks"
https://reopenkennedycase.forumotion.net/t1629-get-me-to-helsinki-in-a-hurry

As for how I would categorize Oswald's relationship to the intelligence community, I think this is the best term:

Floater

A person used one time, occasionally, or even unknowingly for an intelligence operation

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Re: Lee Harvey Oswald: The Legend and the Truth

on Fri 24 Nov 2017, 11:01 am
greg parker wrote:
You can find my take on it here under the subhead "Saving the Disarmament Talks"
https://reopenkennedycase.forumotion.net/t1629-get-me-to-helsinki-in-a-hurry

As for how I would categorize Oswald's relationship to the intelligence community, I think this is the best term:

Floater

A person used one time, occasionally, or even unknowingly for an intelligence operation

Dear Greg,

For the purposes of this debate, I would appreciate it if you would write detailed responses within the forum template boxes, as opposed to sending me links to your previous work.  Our forum readers may not have the time to pull up your links, read your essays, and get the responses.  It will also be helpful to have your words right here on the forum for future reference, as opposed  to tracking them through links.  I have attempted to provide detailed statements of my views in all of my posts without resorting to links to other work.  I request that you do the same.

I did pull up and read your essay “Get Me to Helsinki in a Hurry.”  However, I found the writing to be an exercise in obfuscation in which it is difficult to discern what precisely is your position on Oswald’s ties to the intelligence community.  The essay skips around to far too many Cold War issues, such that Oswald even tends to drop out of the discussion.  The topic sentences in this essay are extremely weak, and there is a great deal of name-dropping without fully explicating the importance of each figure identified.

Towards the end of the essay, you finally arrive at your opinion that “Oswald was indeed recruited” by the CIA.  But you offer no argument about why he was singled out for the mission the Soviet Union, other than the influence of David Ferrie.  I honestly do not find the term “floater” to be helpful in describing Oswald’s ties to intelligence.  Let’s discuss the actual assignments (USSR defection, distribution of propaganda in New Orleans, visit to Sylvia Odio, etc.) that he was given knowingly or unwittingly.


For the purposes of our debate, would you please write a more coherent statement about your views of Oswald’s ties to intelligence.  Specifically, why, when, and where was this obscure Marine private, who never advanced past the ninth grade, selected for a major spying mission by the CIA?

James

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Re: Lee Harvey Oswald: The Legend and the Truth

on Fri 24 Nov 2017, 11:07 am
James Norwood wrote:
greg parker wrote:
You can find my take on it here under the subhead "Saving the Disarmament Talks"
https://reopenkennedycase.forumotion.net/t1629-get-me-to-helsinki-in-a-hurry

As for how I would categorize Oswald's relationship to the intelligence community, I think this is the best term:

Floater

A person used one time, occasionally, or even unknowingly for an intelligence operation

Dear Greg,

For the purposes of this debate, I would appreciate it if you would write detailed responses within the forum template boxes, as opposed to sending me links to your previous work.  Our forum readers may not have the time to pull up your links, read your essays, and get the responses.  It will also be helpful to have your words right here on the forum for future reference, as opposed  to tracking them through links.  I have attempted to provide detailed statements of my views in all of my posts without resorting to links to other work.  I request that you do the same.

I did pull up and read your essay “Get Me to Helsinki in a Hurry.”  However, I found the writing to be an exercise in obfuscation in which it is difficult to discern what precisely is your position on Oswald’s ties to the intelligence community.  The essay skips around to far too many Cold War issues, such that Oswald even tends to drop out of the discussion.  The topic sentences in this essay are extremely weak, and there is a great deal of name-dropping without fully explicating the importance of each figure identified.

Towards the end of the essay, you finally arrive at your opinion that “Oswald was indeed recruited” by the CIA.  But you offer no argument about why he was singled out for the mission the Soviet Union, other than the influence of David Ferrie.  I honestly do not find the term “floater” to be helpful in describing Oswald’s ties to intelligence.  Let’s discuss the actual assignments (USSR defection, distribution of propaganda in New Orleans, visit to Sylvia Odio, etc.) that he was given knowingly or unwittingly.


For the purposes of our debate, would you please write a more coherent statement about your views of Oswald’s ties to intelligence.  Specifically, why, when, and where was this obscure Marine private, who never advanced past the ninth grade, selected for a major spying mission by the CIA?

James

No problem.

Yes, the whole thing skips around because it as an attempt to capture the interview it is based upon. Interviews do tend to skip around a bit...

_________________
Mixing Pop and Politics he asks me what the use is
I offer him embarrassment and my usual excuses
While looking down the corridor
Out to where the van is waiting
I'm looking for the Great Leap Forward

            Billy Bragg
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 Australians don't mind criminals: It's successful bullshit artists we despise. 
             Lachie Hulme            
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Re: Lee Harvey Oswald: The Legend and the Truth

on Fri 24 Nov 2017, 11:15 am
One more thing... I never said he was recruited by the CIA. I said he was recruited into both domestic and foreign components of the CAP anti-subversive program.

_________________
Mixing Pop and Politics he asks me what the use is
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 Australians don't mind criminals: It's successful bullshit artists we despise. 
             Lachie Hulme            
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The Cold War ran on bullshit.
              Me

“God favors drunks, small children, and the cataclysmically stoned...” Steve King
"The worst thing about some men is that when they are not drunk they are sober." Billy Yeats
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Re: Lee Harvey Oswald: The Legend and the Truth

on Fri 24 Nov 2017, 12:38 pm
Oswald's ties to the intelligence community

Oswald was targeted from a very early age by Edwin Ekdahl. There will be some material published soon showing his likely ties to the Hyde and Paine families, fellow electrical engineers in the Rosenberg Spy Ring and to the Trotskyist/anti-communist/right wing of the socialist party who eventually morphed into what became known as neocons.

In 1952, Lee was taken to New York where Ekdahl was now working within a very short distance of the Pic apartment. Pic himself was working at that time with the intelligence wing of the Coast Guard known as the Port Security Unit (PSU). This unit was charged with working alongside the FBI and ONI and their networks of informants in clearing out allegeD subversive elements from the docks and ports. Oswald's truancy would have allowed him to unobtrusively be an observer in all sorts of locations. Oswald ceased being a truant at exactly the time Pic left the PSU.

We next find Lee in New Orleans joining the CAP - which was running it's own secretive anti-subversive programs.  [url=http://fultonhistory.com/Newspaper 18/New York NY PM Daily/New York NY PM Daily 1948/New York NY PM Daily 1948 - 1299.pdf]http://fultonhistory.com/Newspaper%2018/New%20York%20NY%20PM%20%20Daily/New%20York%20NY%20PM%20Daily%201948/New%20York%20NY%20PM%20Daily%201948%20-%201299.pdf[/url]

There can be little doubt, based on Marguerite's testimony that it was Ferrie who encouraged Oswald to join the Marines.

Testimony of Marguerite Oswald:
There was a colonel on the street that I stopped--I didn't know him--I said, "Sir, I would like to talk with you." I told him about the boy wanting to join the Marines and I didn't know what to do. I was frantic. And he was insistent that I let him join the Marines at age 16. 

So he advised me, "Well, if he doesn't want to go to school, let him join the Marines. It is done all the time." 
Now, I was not too happy about this situation. 

Now, a recruiting officer from the Marine Reserve in New Orleans, La., was in my home the next day when I arrived from work, with Lee, in uniform, in the home when I got into the home. He introduced me to him and he said, "Mrs. Oswald"--he didn't tell me what to do. He was very vague about the thing.
 
I said, "No, Lee is too young, age 16, to join the Marines. They are liable to send him overseas." 
He said, "There is less delinquency in Japan and those places than we have here." 
He saw nothing wrong with it. 

What he was doing was telling me to falsify his birth certificate, but not in plain words. He was telling me it would be all right for the boy to join the Marines. He came to my home personally. 

The only uniform Lee owned was his CAP uniform and Ferrie was known for wearing a Captain's uniform around. He also impersonated doctors and priests, so it's no surprise to add Marine Recruitment to the list - esprecially since he was known to encourage other kids to join the Marines. They had obviously just come from a CAP meeting. 

Marguerite also said in testimony "that is why Lee went to the Marine Corps, is because of the Civil Air Patrol. He wasn't in the Civil Air Patrol long."

Additionally, there is this 

Mrs. OSWALD. Lee, at age 16, read Robert's Marine manual back and forth. He knew it by heart. Robert had just gotten out of the Marines, and his manual was home. And Lee started to read communistic material along with that

Mr. RANKIN. What communistic material did he read? 

Mrs. OSWALD. It was a small book that he had gotten out of the library. And I knew he was reading it, Mr. Rankin.

That reading material was exactly in line with the material that the CAP anti-subversive program was getting recruits into that program to read.

By the time Oswald joined the Marines under this program, Khrushchev had made his famous speech on Stalin and opened up the door to all sorts of co operation with the West, particularly the US. One of the first orders of business was the signing of cultural and scientific exchange programs, which would be used as cover by both sides for the legal gathering of information on the ground. On the US side, students in particular, were recruited into the CIA legal travelers program known as REDSKIN. 

By 1959, the Test Ban talks were breaking down due to Soviet objection to the VELA program which was a US program aimed at detecting tests. The objection was based around the fact that VELA could just as easily be used to improve weapons as it could to detect their testing.  As stated in A Scientist at the White House http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?isbn=9780674498426, the US overcame this problem by secretly sharing blueprints of this technology with the Soviets. The secrecy was necessitated by the desire to hide it from the Hawks in both countries. Enter a CAP anti-subversive recruit destined for a trip to the Soviet Union. He would now be carrying blueprints and threatening to hand over secrets as part of his ploy to stay behind the Iron Curtain. In Snyder's office that day was Ned Keenan - an exchange student recruited as REDCAP agent to look after "orientation"  (see Langelle HSCA interview for student REDSKIN agents in orientation programs). The US lost no strategic advantage in sharing this technology with the Soviets because it already had next generation technology well on the way in the form of satellite coverage. This generation was "on the ground" technology. 

In sum, Oswald was inside a CAP program aimed at getting someone inside the USSR and was seconded by the Special Group of the White House to deliver blueprints while there. The CIA was to provide support via REDSKIN and REDSOX programs. The CIA however, subverted this saving of the Summit talks by ensuring a U2 plane was brought down over Soviet airspace.

The REDSOX program was operating inside the USSR when an agent of that program named Mikhail Platovsky was  captured in Minsk in October 1960. After his execution, the CIA terminated the Soviet side of REDSOX and Oswald immediately began making plans to return home.

In the US, he would become a "floater" and used by various groups and agencies, possibly at times, unwittingly, culminating with a phony assignment to keep an eye on Joe Molina inside the TSBD. The real purpose however, was to set him up as the fall guy in the assassination.

_________________
Mixing Pop and Politics he asks me what the use is
I offer him embarrassment and my usual excuses
While looking down the corridor
Out to where the van is waiting
I'm looking for the Great Leap Forward

            Billy Bragg
-----------------------------
 Australians don't mind criminals: It's successful bullshit artists we despise. 
             Lachie Hulme            
-----------------------------
The Cold War ran on bullshit.
              Me

“God favors drunks, small children, and the cataclysmically stoned...” Steve King
"The worst thing about some men is that when they are not drunk they are sober." Billy Yeats
"You're not drunk if you can lie on the floor without holding on." Dino Martin



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Re: Lee Harvey Oswald: The Legend and the Truth

on Sat 25 Nov 2017, 4:38 am
Hello, Greg

Thank you for preparing the detailed summary of your perspectives on Oswald’s ties to intelligence. 


In your statement above, we are in agreement on a number of essential points:

(1) I agree with you about the importance of Edwin A. Ekdahl.  As per my "Legend" article, I reached the conclusion that Oswald’s ties to intelligence begin shortly after Ekdahl’s marriage to Marguerite Oswald.  It is really difficult to locate information about Ekdahl.  So, I commend you on your investigation into this topic.

(2)  I agree that the CIA sabotaged Francis Gary Powers’ U-2 spy mission that scuttled the 1959 Paris Summit and was the low point of the presidency of Dwight D. Eisenhower.  Powers himself believed that his downed aircraft was the result of CIA sabotage.  This topic is important for students of the JFK assassination because Kennedy assumed the presidency at the exact moment when the CIA was willing to stop at nothing to intensify the Cold War and would not allow even a sitting president to get in its way.  If a small number of powerful and zealous Cold Warriors could embarrass on the world stage an American icon like Eisenhower, who was advocating for détente, then it is easy to understand what they would do to JFK, who allegedly wanted to “splinter the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter it to the winds.”

(3)  I agree that Oswald was a false defector in 1959.

(4)  I agree that Oswald was set up as the “fall guy” in the JFK assassination.


On the other hand, we disagree on the following points:

(1) Your preferred term of “targeting” used to identify young Oswald's early ties to intelligence is much too soft.  We are talking about a minor who is essentially being coerced into a dangerous career path that may or may not be of his choosing.  It is difficult even to argue that, as a child, Oswald had much free will as he was being exploited at such a young age.  A useful term used to denote Oswald’s CIA role is the one coined by researcher James Douglass in
JFK and the Unspeakable:  “pawn.”  That word gets at the heart of how Oswald was scapegoated on the chessboard of the powerbrokers of the CIA.

(2)  The reliance on the testimony of Marguerite Oswald is not persuasive as evidence of young Oswald’s ties to intelligence.  To read her Warren Commission testimony is like trying to unpack a postmodernist novel.  Any of Marguerite’s points require corroboration from alternate sources.

(3) The thesis that David Ferrie and CAP played a role in young Oswald being drawn to intelligence work requires greater documentation and support.

(4)  Your statement has not yet offered a plausible rationale for why Oswald was selected (or “targeted”) for a plum assignment as a false defector.  This was an elaborately planned event, as made clear in your “Helsinki” essay.  Yet why would the CIA choose a high school dropout with no bona fide credentials in spycraft other than his experience in CAP?

As we move forward in the debate, I plan to demonstrate the rationale for what is the major question left answered in your statement:  why would young Oswald be targeted for the 1959 defection?  The answer is simple:  he was a native speaker of the Russian language and thereby the perfect candidate for a Cold War plant.  The only way to come to terms with how he was selected as the defector is through an understanding of the two Oswalds.  This is not some wild “theory,” but a plausible explanation that is grounded in hard evidence, as presented in my second article, “Oswald’s Proficiency in the Russian Language.”


James

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Response to Greg: Item One--The State of Oswald's Extant Records:

on Sat 25 Nov 2017, 7:33 am
greg parker wrote:Item One

The State of Oswald's Extant Records: are the number of anomalies and errors so unusual as to suggest something other than administrative error and misinformation given by Lee and Marguerite at various times?

I do not believe so. I have worked in government agencies, and even in a computerized world, errors are common. False information given by the subject of the file is also common. And  in the case of Oswald, some of the anomalies are simply misreadings of the data. The school records are a case in point. 
Dear Greg,

As students of the JFK assassination, we are all striving to understand the life of Lee Harvey Oswald.  It was the politically-driven Warren Commission that formulated the biographical profile of Oswald that is today referenced in history textbooks, popular studies of the assassination, and the media.  These mainstream books, articles and television bytes always miss the point that the Warren Report selectively drew upon pieces of evidence to shape a life story into a legend, which is the title of my article and the basis for this debate. 

When we probe into the evidence of Oswald’s life, we encounter contradictions, or what you call “anomalies.”  In your response to my article “Lee Harvey Oswald—The Legend and the Truth,” you have offered as a talking point “Item One” as a commentary on “the state of Oswald’s extant records.”  In your statement, you make the claim that “administrative error and misinformation given by Lee and Marguerite” will account for the anomalies.

Unfortunately, your hypothesis violates a major tenet of the scientific method and the historian’s task of objectively examining each piece of evidence, prior to drawing conclusions.  It is as if you are pulling up a convenient blanket statement for use in resolving every contradiction that does not suit your purposes.  It is not enough to say that because you have observed anomalies and errors in your work in government agencies that it follows that the major contradictions in the Oswald legend may be written off to human or administrative error. 

As used in espionage, a “legend” is a fabricated biography.  Because Oswald’s life story evolved over time as a legend, it is incumbent on us to examine each contradiction individually, carefully weighing the evidence, in order to arrive at the truth for every point in the record.  It is not appropriate to categorically dismiss entire batches of conflicting evidence with a single catchall like “administrative error.”

For the purposes of this debate, I am offering five case studies of contradictory evidence in the study of Oswald’s life.  Each exhibit offers unique kinds of evidence, including documentary, eyewitness, photographic, formal affidavits, sworn testimony, and other historical artifacts. 

The following five case studies are merely the tip of the iceberg in the scores of instances of contradictions in the evidentiary record of the Oswald biography.  I offer them forthwith for debate.


James
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Case Study #1: 1957-58: One Oswald is in New Orleans and one Oswald is in Japan

on Sat 25 Nov 2017, 7:41 am
Palmer McBride was a friend of Oswald in New Orleans from fall 1957 through early 1958.  But during this same period, another Oswald was stationed in Atsugi, Japan.  McBride was an eyewitness of impeccable character and memory, and he is even mentioned in your essay “Get Me to Helsinki In a Hurry.”  Beyond McBride’s recall of his friendship with Oswald in 1957-58, there is corroborating evidence that Oswald was living and working in New Orleans from employees at Pfisterer Dental Lab where Oswald worked, along with artifacts such as the record of a rare performance of Mussorgsky’s opera Boris Godunov in New Orleans during this period.  The limited-run opera was attended by Oswald and McBride.  As Marine records definitively place one Oswald in Japan from 1957-58, the hypothesis is that a second Oswald was living concurrently in New Orleans.

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Case Study #2: Fall 1954: One Oswald is attending school in Fort Worth while a second Oswald is attending school in New Olreans

on Sat 25 Nov 2017, 7:46 am
In fall, 1954, one Oswald is attending school at Stripling Junior High in Fort Worth while another Oswald is attending Beauregard Junior High in New Orleans.  While the Stripling records were confiscated and lost by the FBI, the vice-principal recalled surrendering the records to FBI.  Students recalled Oswald attending Stripling and residing across the street from the school at 2230 Thomas Place.  Even Robert Oswald informed the Warren Commission that his younger brother attended Stripling.  As students at Beauregard Junior High School in New Orleans vividly recall another Oswald boy attending school in fall 1954, we have another body of conflicting evidence placing two Oswalds in two locations at the same time.
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Case Study #3: John Pic Fails to Recognize his Brother in Photographs

on Sat 25 Nov 2017, 7:49 am
In JFK forums, there is endless arguing about photographs that may represent different Oswalds and different Marguerites.  But even Oswald’s half-brother, John Pic, failed to recognize his brother in either (a) the Bronx zoo photograph of young Oswald or (b) a photo of the adult Oswald in New Orleans, handing out leaflets.  This confusion might be an instance of faulty memory or recall if Pic had failed to recognize his sibling in a single photo.  But it is a genuine anomaly that Pic was unable to make a positive identification in two photos.
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Case Study #4: Before the HSCA, an eyewitness recalls Oswald in Florida at the time when a second Oswald was residing in the Soviet Union

on Sat 25 Nov 2017, 7:52 am
Marita Lorenz testified under oath for the HSCA that she had associated with Oswald in the early 1960s.  But she was harassed by the committee’s staff because her testimony contradicted the known facts of Oswald residing in Minsk. Lorenz failed to back down until she was forced to recant her testimony or face charges of perjury.  Most famously, Lorenz was the mistress of Fidel Castro and was conscripted by the CIA in an assassination attempt on Castro.  But her knowledge of the two Oswalds may be a more significant legacy to the historical record.  Today, Lorenz lives in a self-imposed exile in Costa Rica.  
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Case Study #5: A U.S. Marine recalls a Different Oswald than the Man Who Was Shot by Jack Ruby

on Sat 25 Nov 2017, 7:56 am
Dick Bullock was a United States Marine, who knew Oswald while serving in Japan.  But Bullock was flummoxed on the weekend of the assassination when he was unable to recognize the man being paraded through the halls of the Dallas police headquarters and subsequently shot by Jack Ruby.  For years, Bullock lived in a state of confusion.  The man he remembered from Japan was thirty to forty pounds heavier and three to four inches taller than the man in Dallas.  As time passed and the American public lost faith in its government through the Vietnam War, Watergate, and Iran-Contra, Bullock came to the realization that his government had lied to the American people about Oswald.  When I spoke with Bullock by telephone in early 2017, he was angry when he told me, “the man who was killed on television in Dallas was not the Lee Harvey Oswald I knew in the Marines.”  Bullock’s testimony is only the tip of the iceberg in contradictory recollections of Marines whose paths crossed with two different Oswalds.
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Re: Lee Harvey Oswald: The Legend and the Truth

on Sat 25 Nov 2017, 8:14 am
Thank you, James.

There are FBI documents on interviews with people who had known or met Marguerite in the years between the defection and assassination, including State Dept employees and a doctor, who gave the same story: Marguerite had been adamant that Oswald was an agent of the US government. She continued to try and press that during her WC testimony. 

That her testimony is doubted, is a direct result of the government's successful demonization of her. To dismiss her on the basis of her lack of eloquence is puzzling. Many many others who appeared and who are generally believed, not only lacked eloquence, but also sometimes coherence. Ruby is a prime example. 

To recap her testimony on Lee as Agent:


  • She tied it to his time in CAP
  • She tied his determination to join the Marines to his time in CAP
  • She has Lee in his CAP uniform waiting for her to get home from work with a "Marine Recruitment Officer". According to the Eastern Air Line Hearings on Ferrie’s fitness, he was in the habit of wearing a Captain’s uniform from 1955 through 1960 when conducting CAP meetings.  They had, to my mind, obviously come straight from a CAP meeting
  • She tied his interest in communism to his time in CAP


Her testimony is in complete harmony with what is known about Ferrie and CAP

So what do we know about CAP?


  • In 1948, it was leaked that it intended to set up it's own anti-subversive program funded by businesses. 
  • There would be two components. One would work domestically and entail businesses hiring these cadets and giving them the names of suspect employees to report on. The other component would train the cadets in Russian language, culture and military tactics. 
  • The CAP intended to seek "permission" from both the FBI and CIA which confirms its intentions to operate internally and outside US borders. "Permission" to my mind, could possibly equate to acting at arms length for those other agencies. 
  • "Anti-subversion" was the term used to describe the domestic side of these programs. Interestingly, it was also the term used once by Marguerite to describe Lee's work in Russia  


Before we go any further, I have  acquiesced to all of your requests. I am still however waiting on you to substantiate your reliance on VSA in support of Wilcott with some scientific data backing its accuracy. Since that is your opening salvo in your article in support of your theory, I am not able to let it get a free pass. 

I note you have made a number of posts while I have been composing this one. Happy to address those once we clear this up.

_________________
Mixing Pop and Politics he asks me what the use is
I offer him embarrassment and my usual excuses
While looking down the corridor
Out to where the van is waiting
I'm looking for the Great Leap Forward

            Billy Bragg
-----------------------------
 Australians don't mind criminals: It's successful bullshit artists we despise. 
             Lachie Hulme            
-----------------------------
The Cold War ran on bullshit.
              Me

“God favors drunks, small children, and the cataclysmically stoned...” Steve King
"The worst thing about some men is that when they are not drunk they are sober." Billy Yeats
"You're not drunk if you can lie on the floor without holding on." Dino Martin



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Response to Greg: Question about Wilcott

on Sat 25 Nov 2017, 10:25 am
Greg,

The purpose of providing the Wilcott document at the opening of my article was to inform readers of the evidence suggesting that the 1959 “defection” of Oswald was not that of a genuine Marxist utopian idealist, but was part of a CIA false defector program. 

Specifically, Wilcott identified the term “Oswald Project” that was used in his department of accounting while working for the CIA in Japan.  He gave a lengthy testimony under oath for the HSCA on March 22, 1978.  In his testimony, Wilcott stated that “
I believe that Oswald was a double agent, was sent over to the Soviet Union to do intelligence work, that the defection was phoney.” [1] 

Wilcott also indicated that he was aware of a circle of at least six or seven people who were knew that Oswald was a CIA agent: 


Mr. Goldsmith.  When, exactly, was the very first time that you heard or came across information that Oswald was an agent?


Mr. Wilcott. I heard references to it the day after the assassination.
 
Mr. Goldsmith. And who made these references to Oswald being an agent of the CIA?
 
Mr. Wilcott. I can't remember the exact persons. There was talk about it going on at the station, and several months following at the station.
 
Mr. Goldsmith. How many people made this reference to Oswald being an agent of the CIA?
 
Mr. Wilcott. At least -- there was at least six or seven people, specifically, who said that they either knew or believed Oswald to be an agent of the CIA. [2]


While Wilcott was not a formal witness at the Garrison trial, he was interviewed as part of Garrison’s investigation.  Out of those interviews, Wilcott provided other insider perspectives on the JFK assassination.  As recounted by researcher Joan Mellen, Wilcott asserted that:

Oswald was “an employee of the agency and was an agent.” [3]

• the JFK assassination was an “outright project of Headquarters with the approval of McCone, or under the direction of Dulles and Bissell.” [4]

• “Ruby was paid by CIA to do away with Oswald” [5]


While I am aware that there have been attempts to discredit Wilcott, beginning with Blakey at the time of the HSCA, Wilcott’s testimony nonetheless offers a window into (a) Oswald’s false defection in 1959; (b) the CIA’s plan to assassinate JFK; (c) Oswald as the perfect patsy in an attempt to incite bellicose tensions with Cuba in the aftermath of the assassination; and (d) and Ruby’s task, assigned by the CIA to “do away with Oswald.”

For all of these reasons, I felt that Wilcott would be good lead-in to my article.

I hope this is a helpful response to your question.  However, I did not understand what you meant by "VSA." 


James



[1]  The full Wilcott testimony is easily located online. (ROKC forum template would not allow me to post URL)


[2] Ibid.



[3]  Joan Mellen, A Farewell to Justice—Jim Garrison, JFK’s Assassination, and the Case that Should Have Changed History (Washington, D.C.:  Potomac Books, 2005),  178.

[4]  Mellen, 178.

[5]  Mellen, 178.
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Re: Lee Harvey Oswald: The Legend and the Truth

on Sat 25 Nov 2017, 9:25 pm
James, that certainly gives me more information, but is not responsive to my actual request for some sort of scientific underpinning of VSA, because it  is his VSA result you have included, not the testimony.

While waiting for you to address that, I will address the testimony.

I will see your Wilcott hearsay on Oswald in a CIA defector program and raise you a Monier best guess that Oswald was in an ONI defector program under Naval Code 30.



Who to believe? Wilcott? Monier? Neither?

Certainly not Willcott's version.

It would be a first for the CIA to name a project after the person at the heart of that project.

Most believe there were other false defectors around the time of Oswald. Were they ever discussed? If not, why not? 

Were projects named after each of them?

The vague outline given by Wilcott sounds like the Legal Traveler's program aka The REDSKIN program. Those recruited were indeed known as "agents". There was nothing super special about the REDSKIN program.

Can you point to a single officer or agent of the CIA in the Soviet Union at that time who was being directly paid by the CIA?

Russell Langelle for example, was under cover of State Department. Students and others recruited into the REDSKIN program were funded through various foundations such as Ford and Carnegie. 

There is a singularly good reason for that: plausible deniability. Distance.

Yet you have this super secret one-off Doppelganger program not only named after the participant, but having the CIA directly pass money to him.

Doesn't happen. Didn't happen. Couldn't happen.

_________________
Mixing Pop and Politics he asks me what the use is
I offer him embarrassment and my usual excuses
While looking down the corridor
Out to where the van is waiting
I'm looking for the Great Leap Forward

            Billy Bragg
-----------------------------
 Australians don't mind criminals: It's successful bullshit artists we despise. 
             Lachie Hulme            
-----------------------------
The Cold War ran on bullshit.
              Me

“God favors drunks, small children, and the cataclysmically stoned...” Steve King
"The worst thing about some men is that when they are not drunk they are sober." Billy Yeats
"You're not drunk if you can lie on the floor without holding on." Dino Martin



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Re: Lee Harvey Oswald: The Legend and the Truth

on Sun 26 Nov 2017, 12:08 am
The document on Wilcott you used states that "Cuban Stress Analysis  verified Wilcott validity".

There is no such thing as "Cuban Stress Analysis". Presumably they meant "Voice Stress Analysis" - VSA.

_________________
Mixing Pop and Politics he asks me what the use is
I offer him embarrassment and my usual excuses
While looking down the corridor
Out to where the van is waiting
I'm looking for the Great Leap Forward

            Billy Bragg
-----------------------------
 Australians don't mind criminals: It's successful bullshit artists we despise. 
             Lachie Hulme            
-----------------------------
The Cold War ran on bullshit.
              Me

“God favors drunks, small children, and the cataclysmically stoned...” Steve King
"The worst thing about some men is that when they are not drunk they are sober." Billy Yeats
"You're not drunk if you can lie on the floor without holding on." Dino Martin



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Re: Lee Harvey Oswald: The Legend and the Truth

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