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real or forged?

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real or forged?

Post by greg parker on Sun 27 Oct 2013, 9:24 am

This letter has recently been up for auction. There are no previous records of its existence and the auction site does not give any history  on it. It was first posted by Stephen Roy at the Ed Forum and Larry Hancock has since written about it at his blog: http://larryhancock.wordpress.com/



What can very quickly be established is that if Oswald wrote this letter, it was written between Oct 9, 1962 and May 14, 1963 - this being the period in which the box was open. However, since he had departed for NO on April 24, and if we are taking the letter at face value, then the period was more likely between Oct 9, 1962 and April 24, 1963. 

Three issues quickly come to mind (and the first has already been raised by Mr Roy)

1. Why was this letter missed in mail coverage?

2. What is the provenance of the letter? What steps were taken by the auction house to authenticate it?
http://www.paulfrasercollectibles.com/News/Memorabilia/Lee-Harvey-Oswald-letter-to-highlight-October-24-auction/15274.page

3. The letter stands in stark contrast to Oswald's oft repeated disclaimer - "I am a Marxist - not a Marxist-Leninist". 

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

The last issue is really one of those issues largely ignored and little understood. Yet in terms of the assassination and any perceived motive, it is hugely important.

It boils down to this. Marxists believed in an evolutionary path to a Socialist state. Marxists-Leninists believed in a revolutionary road.

Thoughts?


Last edited by greg parker on Sun 27 Oct 2013, 10:14 pm; edited 1 time in total

_________________
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.
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Re: real or forged?

Post by Guest on Sun 27 Oct 2013, 11:13 am

Fingerprints? No prints i guess its real. He seems to have had an uncanny ability to handwrite notes and leave ink alone.

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Re: real or forged?

Post by greg parker on Sun 27 Oct 2013, 9:40 pm

Alan Dixon wrote:Fingerprints? No prints i guess its real. He seems to have had an uncanny ability to handwrite notes and leave ink alone.
I have checked his other letters to the CPUSA and SWP.

There are two differences that are immediately discernible between this letter and the others.

1. This letter is much neater... lines are straight, writing is of consistent size etc

2. This letter is undated. All the others are dated. The only other putative Oswald letter I can think of that is undated is the so-called Walker letter. And I don't believe Oswald wrote that one.
--------------------

correction - all others bar one are dated, so it was not as an entrenched a habit as assumed.

_________________
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

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Re: real or forged?

Post by Robert Charles-Dunne on Mon 28 Oct 2013, 2:28 am

greg parker wrote:
Alan Dixon wrote:Fingerprints? No prints i guess its real. He seems to have had an uncanny ability to handwrite notes and leave ink alone.
I have checked his other letters to the CPUSA and SWP.

There are two differences that are immediately discernible between this letter and the others.

1. This letter is much neater... lines are straight, writing is of consistent size etc

2. This letter is undated. All the others are dated. The only other putative Oswald letter I can think of that is undated is the so-called Walker letter. And I don't believe Oswald wrote that one.
--------------------

correction - all others bar one are dated, so it was not as an entrenched a habit as assumed.
"trails and tribulations."


I suspect the inclusion of so characteristic a spelling error is indicative of the letter being genuine.

Oswald also purportedly sent honourary members cards for his non-existent FPCC chapter to Benjamin Davis and Gus Hall, who had been defended against federal charges by John Abt.  Unless and until we know the letter was sent and received, however, it's just a piece of ephemera.  And even if it WAS sent and received, it doesn't mean that Oswald was genuine in his desire to join - any more than thousands of others who joined the CPUSA at the FBI's behest - or that he was granted membership.

It could turn out, however, that Oswald WAS granted membership, which would explain the brand new CPUSA membership card Oswald flashed to Ms. Duran in Mexico city.  Then we would have to rationalize how he came to have such a membership card without the FBI's horde of CPUSA inflitrators knowing about it, and what happened to it that it has never been found.

I had always assumed the Mexico City CPUSA membership card was home-made, by somebody.  Perhaps not.

.  


Last edited by Robert Charles-Dunne on Tue 29 Oct 2013, 12:10 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : truly stupid typo)

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Re: real or forged?

Post by greg parker on Mon 28 Oct 2013, 3:54 pm

Robert Charles-Dunne wrote:
greg parker wrote:
Alan Dixon wrote:Fingerprints? No prints i guess its real. He seems to have had an uncanny ability to handwrite notes and leave ink alone.
I have checked his other letters to the CPUSA and SWP.

There are two differences that are immediately discernible between this letter and the others.

1. This letter is much neater... lines are straight, writing is of consistent size etc

2. This letter is undated. All the others are dated. The only other putative Oswald letter I can think of that is undated is the so-called Walker letter. And I don't believe Oswald wrote that one.
--------------------

correction - all others bar one are dated, so it was not as an entrenched a habit as assumed.
"trails and tribulations."


I suspect the inclusion of so characteristic a spelling error is indicative of the letter being genuine.

Oswald also purportedly sent honourary members cards for his non-existent FPCC chapter to Benjamin Davis and Gus Hall, who had been defended against federal charges by John Abt.  Unless and until we know the letter was sent and received, however, it's just a piece of ephemera.  And even if it WAS sent and received, it doesn't mean that Oswald was genuine in his desire to join - any more than thousands of others who joined the CPUSA at the FBI's behest - or that he was granted membership.

It could turn out, however, that Oswald WAS granted membership, which would explain the brand new CPUSA membership card Oswald flashed to Ms. Duran in Mexico city.  Then we would have to rationalize how he came to have such a membership card without the FBI's horde of CPUSA inflitrators knowing about it, and what happened to it that is had never been found.

I had always assumed the Mexico City CPUSA membership card was home-made, by somebody.  Perhaps not.

.  
Robert, 

at least one letter (maybe more) after this one were written to the CPUSA. Nowhere does he complain about never receiving a card. Unfortunately this doesn't tell us much. Either he got the card, so no need to ask about it - or he never got it because he never requested it to start with.

Can I ask where you are getting the stuff about a CPUSA membership card? 

This is all Duran said during her HSCA testimony:

CORNWELL - Did anything else occur on the second visit, any other conversation, or any other event?
TIRADO - No, but I told you, it's uh, he said that he was a friend of the Cuban Revolution. He show me letters to the Communist Party, the American Communist Party, his labor card, and uh, he's working in Russia, I don't remember exactly, but he said on his application, his licence number...
CORNWELL - Marriage license?
TIRADO - (Spoke in spanish.) Se dice serup los recortes del 
CORNWELL - Okay, we had to pause for a second to turn the periodico tapes over. As I recall, you were explaining the kinds of things he brought with him.
TIRADO - Yes, it was his labor card, form Russia, his us, marriage pact, yes, that he was married with a Russian, and uh, a clipping that he was with two policemen taking him by his arms, that he was in a meeting to support Cuba. And a card saying that he was a member of the Fair Play for Cuba in New Orleans. And
CORNWELL - Do you recall what was said or what occurred that caused him to produce all of these documents about his having a Russian wife and his Fair Play For Cuba activity?
TIRADO - Just a minute. (Spanish--what means recall?)
LOPEZ - Recordar. He showed me all of these papers to demonstrate that he was a friend of the revolution.
CORNWELL - But did you say anything to him or did anyone else say anything to him that made him feel he needed to produce this kind of documentation.
TIRADO - No, I don't think so. What I said is that when he said he was a member of the Party, of the Communist Party, the American, I said why don't they arrange, the Party, your Party with the Cuban Party, and he said that he didn't have time to do it.
-----------------------------
on another matter, can anyone translate her Spanish? Best I can make out using google is something about government cuts, but that doesn't seem to fit in context?

_________________
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

greg parker
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Re: real or forged?

Post by Robert Charles-Dunne on Tue 29 Oct 2013, 9:54 am

greg parker wrote:
Robert, 

at least one letter (maybe more) after this one were written to the CPUSA. Nowhere does he complain about never receiving a card. Unfortunately this doesn't tell us much. Either he got the card, so no need to ask about it - or he never got it because he never requested it to start with.

Can I ask where you are getting the stuff about a CPUSA membership card? 

This is all Duran said during her HSCA testimony:

CORNWELL - Did anything else occur on the second visit, any other conversation, or any other event?
TIRADO - No, but I told you, it's uh, he said that he was a friend of the Cuban Revolution. He show me letters to the Communist Party, the American Communist Party, his labor card, and uh, he's working in Russia, I don't remember exactly, but he said on his application, his licence number...
CORNWELL - Marriage license?
TIRADO - (Spoke in spanish.) Se dice serup los recortes del 
CORNWELL - Okay, we had to pause for a second to turn the periodico tapes over. As I recall, you were explaining the kinds of things he brought with him.
TIRADO - Yes, it was his labor card, form Russia, his us, marriage pact, yes, that he was married with a Russian, and uh, a clipping that he was with two policemen taking him by his arms, that he was in a meeting to support Cuba. And a card saying that he was a member of the Fair Play for Cuba in New Orleans. And
CORNWELL - Do you recall what was said or what occurred that caused him to produce all of these documents about his having a Russian wife and his Fair Play For Cuba activity?
TIRADO - Just a minute. (Spanish--what means recall?)
LOPEZ - Recordar. He showed me all of these papers to demonstrate that he was a friend of the revolution.
CORNWELL - But did you say anything to him or did anyone else say anything to him that made him feel he needed to produce this kind of documentation.
TIRADO - No, I don't think so. What I said is that when he said he was a member of the Party, of the Communist Party, the American, I said why don't they arrange, the Party, your Party with the Cuban Party, and he said that he didn't have time to do it.
-----------------------------
on another matter, can anyone translate her Spanish? Best I can make out using google is something about government cuts, but that doesn't seem to fit in context?
Hi Greg:

Sorry for the delay, but life’s been like that recently. 

My source is PD Scott’s “DP II,’ first edition ‘95.  On page 80 and on, he outlines what I’ll attempt to keep brief. 

In August ‘64, the Cuban government advised the Warren Commission of marginalia typed onto Oswald’s visa application: “The applicant states that he is a member of the American Communist Party and Secretary in New Orleans of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee....  He displayed documents in proof of his membership in the two aforementioned organizations and a marriage certificate.”

More than a decade later, the man who signed what had been submitted to the Commission was asked by the HSCA about it.  Consul Alfredo Mirabal testified that Oswald had “presented a card or credentials as belonging to the Communist Party of the United States.”

“I was surprised by the fact the card seemed to be a new card.  I must say that I also have been a Communist for a number of yearsand that generally we do not use credentials or a card to identify ourselves as members of the Party.....  I think it would be interesting to know how be obtained the card.  It did have his name, and it did coincide with the same name that appeared in the other documents.”


Despite the fact that Duran did not mention the CPUSA card specifically to the HSCA, it is virtually certain that LHO presented one, and that she knew of its existence.  The above comes from what the Cubans gave the Commission in late August of ‘64.  It was titled “Observations.” It was (probably written and) typed by Silvia Duran, who would likely have objected to the false contents of the document before presenting it for the incoming Consul’s signature.  If the contents were false.

Consequently, the matter of the card that was presented is more than academic, I think.

The question it begs, though, is which “Oswald” presented it, for descriptions of the Cuban consulate “Oswald” depict neither the man photographed by CIA, nor the man arrested for the President’s murder.

Though it escapes me at the moment where I know this from, I believe Ms. Duran also said at some point that “Oswald” presented a New Orleans newspaper article - with photo of Oswald - about his arrest in the Bringuier fracas.  (No such article was published by any newspaper.)  If the photo subject was discernible as “Oswald,” it presumably looked like the man who presented it, whomever that might have been.

If a newspaper article was counterfeited for Cuban consumption, the card likely was too.  They required the same degree of effort and finesse.

Except we now have this letter addressed to the CPUSA.  Perhaps to backstop the card?

(I believe Messrs. Hancock et Simpich cited the same material as above in their own respective works.

I still think PD Scott is under-valued and under-appreciated, btw.  It can sometimes be dry reading, but he imparts buckets of data with each sentence.  Skill of a surgeon.)

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Re: real or forged?

Post by greg parker on Tue 29 Oct 2013, 11:02 am

Thanks Robert. Appreciate the effort given your limited available time.

The news clip is mentioned in her testimony: "a clipping that he was with two policemen taking him by his arms, that he was in a meeting to support Cuba."

"Backstopping" is a term that needs to be used a lot more in this case.


The question it begs, though, is which “Oswald” presented it, for descriptions of the Cuban consulate “Oswald” depict neither the man photographed by CIA, nor the man arrested for the President’s murder.
Mirabel thought the person presenting as Oswald was the same person whose photo appeared on the visa application.

_________________
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

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Re: real or forged?

Post by Robert Charles-Dunne on Tue 29 Oct 2013, 1:06 pm

greg parker wrote:
The question it begs, though, is which “Oswald” presented it, for descriptions of the Cuban consulate “Oswald” depict neither the man photographed by CIA, nor the man arrested for the President’s murder.
Mirabel thought the person presenting as Oswald was the same person whose photo appeared on the visa application.
True, Greg:

Yet the descriptions given by all three Cuban consular officials who admittedly came into contact with "Oswald" don't describe the man arrested in Dallas.  And when much later shown photos, all three dismissed the Dallas "Oswald" as the man with whom they had dealt. 

Though I also believe Mirabel when he says the man he dealt with was the one filing the visa application complete with photo.  How can these two mutually exclusive possibilities coexist?

The conundrum might be quite easily explained by the presence of numerous CIA-proxies working within the Cuban consulate.  (Thank you Messrs. Lopez y Hardaway.)

It requires nothing more than the swapping in "dead" (inactive) files of an application form - with photo - some time between September 27 and November 22, substituting what would later incriminate Oswald for the one that would have incriminated CIA, via its small blonde proxy. 

Recall that all three denied coming into contact with the man whose picture was found on the visa application they provided to the US.  If not via such simple substitution, how else does such a thing become possible?  Minor mass hallucination?

This may become increasingly important to bear in mind in the coming weeks.  A new book resurrects the old J. E. Hoover report that Oswald is alleged to have threatened to kill Kennedy while in the Cuban Embassy.  The author of said book bemoans that CIA failed to share this information with FBI or other law enforcement, so that they might have stopped Oswald's assassination plans.

Which is precisely why CIA did not inform FBI or others.  It is why in October '63 FBI and others received from CIA entirely false and misleading data related to the name "Oswald," saving the best bits for last, once The Event had occurred. 

FBI would learn of this threat to kill Kennedy, post-assassination, from a paid-informant within the US Communist party, a source who heard it from Castro himself.  Why not from CIA? 

How do we know that CIA had the means to learn what Oswald said inside the Cuban Embassy? 

Aside from any hypothetical room bugs that may have existed, we know from the Lopez Report that at least two CIA informants working for the Cuban Embassy had been confirmed.  What are the odds that "Oswald" could make so provocative a remark in front of Cuban staff, without it becoming the talk of the building?  What are the odds that CIA's moles would not hear, or relay, so flammable a remark?  For what reason would such a remark remain bottled until after Kennedy's death?

The plot unravels when one pulls on this single thread.  Mexico City is David Atlee Phillips' undoing.

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Re: real or forged?

Post by James DiEugenio on Tue 29 Oct 2013, 3:06 pm

Glad you brought that up Robert.

Schiefer and Shenon tried to make this sound like it was new when in fact its as old as the hills.

John Newman showed it to me well over a decade ago.  Its supposed to be from one of the Childs brothers, Operation Solo I think it was called.

Anyway John told me it was a forgery.

This is why it never made any noise.  The HSCA also investigated these charges of Oswald saying this and said it was simply not supportable.

What a pile of BS Shenon is dumping and he gets the gig on CBS and his book goes soaring.

ISn't this the same guy who did a limited hangout on 9-11?

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Re: real or forged?

Post by greg parker on Wed 30 Oct 2013, 9:43 am

This is a post from Stephen Roy at the ed forum on the topic of the CPUSA membership inquiry:


I'm in the difficult position of having to disagree with two of the stars of the research community, whom I respect: Larry and Pat. From his mid-teens until his death, Oswald always held himself out to be a leftist, making the point explicitly on several occasions. While it is possible to mirror-read this and theorize that he might have been a counterspy, either for others or on his own, the evidence is by no means as direct.
 
I'm not arguing that he was either a genuine leftist, or a rightist posing as a leftist; What I am saying is that the evidence is not nearly as one-sided as some in the research community seem to think. When new evidence emerges, it is worth considering under BOTH possible interpretations.
My Roy is basically saying Oswald was always a Lefty, so what would be unusual in his wanting membership in the CPUSA.  

He tries to make this argument stick, brushing aside Larry's objection that Oswald poured scorn on the CPUSA in his writings by suggesting that could have been "for a different audience" - or - because people do change their minds about what they believe.

But right up until his death, Oswald was being quoted as saying he was a Marxist and NOT a Marxist-Leninist.

The CPUSA was a Marxist-Leninist party.

Mr Roy makes his argument by saying Oswald continually painted himself as a Leftist, so why shouldn't we believe him?

Mr. Roy is making the same mistake as the Dallas cops and others at the time - wanting/needing to paint anything left of Ghengis Khan as Soviet Style communism... the only brand in the cupboard...                     

If Mr Roy is serious about believing Oswald - then he needs to seriously doubt Oswald would ever join the CPUSA (as a bona fide "true believer").

_________________
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

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Re: real or forged?

Post by James DiEugenio on Wed 30 Oct 2013, 10:52 am

I have a funny feeling Roy's book, which is taking as long as Lifton's, is going to be a recycling of the WC.

Surprise.

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Re: real or forged?

Post by dwdunn(akaDan) on Thu 31 Oct 2013, 4:12 am

greg parker wrote:This is a post from Stephen Roy at the ed forum on the topic of the CPUSA membership inquiry:


I'm in the difficult position of having to disagree with two of the stars of the research community, whom I respect: Larry and Pat.....
Lee Farley says Pat Speer ain't all that.

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