Monday, 13 December 2021 05:54

Creating the Oswald Legend: Conclusion

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Vasilios Vazakas concludes his seven-part investigation into the creation of the Oswald legend by exploring the delay in opening up a CIA 201 file using Betsy Wolf’s HSCA investigation notes and its relation to James Angleton’s use of mole hunts as cover for more sinister operations.

In 1959, the US intelligence services, and notably the CIA, were trying to infiltrate revolutionary movements like Castro’s government and sympathetic organizations for purposes of infiltration and discreditation. Lee Harvey Oswald had all the earmarks of being prepared with that purpose in mind. In all likelihood, Oswald was a creature of American intelligence who was sent to the USSR to help him build what is called in espionage parlance, a ‘Legend’. He was a defector with Marxist ideology who may or may not have betrayed technical information about the U2 spy plane to the Russians.

The plan was to return to the United States and use this Legend to infiltrate and smoke out subversives: Communists and Castro supporters, not only in public and private life, but also in defense contractor industrial plants. His primary target would have been the newly organized Fair Play for Cuba Committee, which was active in both New York and the Los Angeles area. In the LA area, the first people who established the organization attended Robert Fritchman’s First Unitarian Church. Coincidentally or not, one of his Marine buddies, Kerry Thornley, was also attending that Church. It is most likely then that Thornley, Fritchman, or both provided Oswald with information about the Albert Schweitzer College (ASC), a quite obscure higher learning institute in Switzerland and encouraged him to enroll and study there. For when Oswald made out his passport application to Europe, this was one of the destinations he listed. After being contacted by the Director of the college, his mother thought he might be attending classes there when he left the United States after being discharged from the Marines.

The ASC was created by the International Association for Religious Freedom (IARF) and was supported by the Unitarian American Friends of Albert Schweitzer College. Percival Brundage, an important figure of the Eastern establishment, was one of the Directors of the Unitarian American Friends of Albert Schweitzer College. Brundage was also the Director of the Bureau of Budget (BOB) during the Eisenhower presidency and along with another Unitarian, James Killian, they were involved in the U-2 and CORONA satellite projects, the latter which was intended to replace the U-2 plane.

Brundage held major stocks in Southern Air Transport, which Paul Helliwell, a CIA man in the Far East, had established. Helliwell was responsible for arranging and managing the drug trafficking in the Golden Triangle to finance CIA operations.

As Senator Richard Schweiker stated, Oswald had the fingerprints of intelligence all over him. If there was one person whose fingertips were more dominant than anyone else, that person was James Jesus Angleton. He and his ultra-secretive CI/SIG unit were keeping tabs on the young Marine since his defection to the Soviet Union and maybe earlier. Thanks to Malcolm Blunt, we learned for the first time of the magnificent work of HSCA researcher Betsy Wolf. Her work was nowhere to be found in the HSCA report or in any typed memorandum. Malcolm could only manage to get her handwritten notes when they were declassified in 1998. Her notes helped solve a riddle that had plagued the critical community since 1995 and the release of John Newman’s Oswald and the CIA.

When Oswald defected to the Soviet Union, he made plain his intent to dangle the U-2 spy plane secrets to the Soviets. Yet his defection and this dangerous offer did not cause the opening of a CIA 201 file. That did not occur until 13 months after. Years later, when Richard Helms was asked about this delay, he found it inexplicable. He replied, ‘’I am amazed.’’

Betsy Wolf was most probably doubly amazed when she discovered this odd discrepancy. She set out to find a solution to his mystery. In an HSCA interview of a CIA officer named William Larson, he revealed that if there were more than five documents on someone at the CIA, a 201 file should be opened. Betsy was intrigued by this, because after Oswald’s defection, there were more than five documents concerning him. And yet a 201 file was not opened.

But there was another paradox about Oswald’s files at CIA. Larson revealed that the documents about Oswald should have gone to the Soviet Russia Division (SR), but instead they went to the Office of Security (OS). Malcolm Blunt found out that the OS was cooperating with Angleton’s CI/SIG, or mole hunters unit. Betsy Wolf found out that there a dissemination of files form upon request from CIA offices. In Oswald’s case, someone from OS deliberately directed his files to the Office of Security instead of the General Filing System.

Betsy Wolf’s notes included a new information about a never-before-seen interview of Robert Gambino, then Chief of the CIA’s Office of Security. Wolf interviewed her in the latter half of 1978, as the HSCA was closing down. Gambino told her that it was CIA Mail Logistics, a component of the Office of Central Reference (OCR), that was responsible for disseminating all incoming documents. Mail Logistics should have sent all Oswald documents to the SR division through the General Filing System. That was bypassed. Instead, they were sent to the OS. This was important information, because it revealed that someone had rigged the system at the time of, or even before, Oswald’s defection.

It is possible that this was done for the purpose of a mole hunt, after former KGB officer Pyotr Popov was placed under surveillance. Popov was a double agent who had informed the CIA that information about the U-2 project had been compromised. It is possible that Angleton, who monitored Oswald more closely than anyone else, decided to use him in an to start a mole hunt to find out the alleged Soviet spy who had possibly betrayed the U-2 secrets that led to the alleged 1960 shootdown of the Gary Powers flown U-2 over the USSR., although some observers, like the late Fletcher Prouty, did not think this was how Powers was downed.

Angleton would initiate this mole hunt as a cover to conceal the true purpose of the U-2 incident, which was probably the cancellation of the Paris Peace Summit between Dwight Eisenhower and Nikita Khrushchev. The CIA and the Military Industrial Complex were willing to sacrifice the U-2, since its utility was coming to an end, ready to be replaced by a newer airplane and satellites. A scapegoat was needed, and the Soviet mole—who was never found—was just that. The CIA had the excuse to officially search for him, without success.

Three years later, Angleton would initiate a similar mole hunt in Mexico City after Oswald’s, or an impersonator’s, visit to the Cuban and Soviet Embassies, in order to reveal a Soviet mole who had helped the Cubans impersonate Oswald and expose an official CIA operation to embarrass the FPCC in countries where it had support. The victim this time was the receptionist at the Cuban embassy, Sylvia Duran.

The Mexico City operation was used to conceal Kennedy’s assassination by forcing a major cover up that would ensure that the identity of the perpetrators would never be known. John Newman named Angleton as the CIA officer who was most likely the architect of the Mexico City plot and orchestrated the drama that evolved down there.

What Betsy Wolf revealed was that Ray Rocca, Angleton’s most trusted associate, had cabled Luis Echeverria on November 23, 1963, to inform him about Oswald’s and Sylvia Duran’s relationship. What is striking about this is that it occurred long before Helms assigned Angleton to take over the Mexico City investigation from John Whitten, thus before Angleton became liaison to the Warren Commission. The day after the assassination, the CIA took Elena Garro de Paz under their protection. In other words, the CIA had both the accuser, Elena, and the accused collaborator Duran, under their control within 24 hours of Kennedy’s assassination. It is important to note that Philip Shenon used Elena’s story about Duran being a communist aide to Oswald quite liberally in his Commission supporting book A Cruel and Shocking Act.

Besides Betsy Wolf’s revelations, the Angleton fingertips could have been laid upon Dallas, if one considers the strange behavior of certain Policemen like Gerald Hill and Captain Westbrook. A declassified CIA file revealed that the CIA Police Group had been transferred from the NE Division to Angleton’s CI staff. It was the Counter Intelligence Police Group (CI/GP) that was running the CIA’s police programs.

After Angleton was fired by William Colby, he made the following bizarre remark to reporter Seymour Hersh: “A mansion has many rooms and there were many things going on…I am not privy to who struck John.” This comment was cryptic and it is difficult to interpret it with precision. Did Angleton mean that he was out of the loop and someone else within the CIA was responsible for the assassination, someone even higher up than him? Or, in a similar fashion to the mole hunt, was he trying to deflect all responsibility from himself and blame it on the ever-elusive mole? Do we have any indications that Angleton has ever admitted that his famous mole hunt was just an excuse and a cover?

In part 5, we documented that Angleton revealed to Joseph Trento that E. Howard Hunt was in Dallas on the day of the assassination and possibly sent there by a high-level mole inside the CIA. Trento believed that Angleton was trying to hide his own connections to Hunt and that it was him that had sent Hunt to Dallas. If we consider Trento’s explanation, then we have an indication that Angleton was using the mole hunt as a cover whenever it was suitable to cover his sinister operations.

Hunt himself vehemently denied that he ever was in Dallas that day, but Mark Lane proved in the Liberty Lobby trial that Hunt was contradicting himself. Hunt had testified to the Rockefeller Commission back in 1974 that on 11/22/1963 he was with his wife and children in Washington D.C. Lane asked him if he recalled his testimony at the first Liberty Lobby trial, where he had admitted that his children were upset when allegations came out that he was in Dallas that day and he had to reassure his children that he was not in Dallas that day and had nothing to do with the assassination.[1] Then Lane asked him a question that Hunt could not adequately answer:

Mr. Hunt, why did you have to convince your children that you were not in Dallas, Texas, on November 22, 1963, if in fact, as you say, a fourteen-year-old daughter, a thirteen-year-old daughter, and a ten-year-old son were with you in the Washington D.C. area on November 22, 1963 and were with you at least for the next forty eight hours, as you all stayed glued to the TV set?’[2]

Did Oswald visit Mexico City in the fall of 1963? Angleton may have designed the Mexico City plot, but it was David Phillips and Anne Goodpasture in Mexico who were controlling the information that made it possible to succeed. Years later, Phillips admitted that Oswald likely never visited Mexico City:

I am not in a position today to talk to you about the inner workings of the CIA station in Mexico City…but I will tell you this, that when the record comes out, we will find that there was never a photograph taken of Lee Harvey Oswald in Mexico City. We will find out that Lee Harvey Oswald never visited, let me put it, that is a categorical statement…there is no evidence to show that Lee Harvey Oswald visited the Soviet Embassy.[3]

Continuing with Mark Lane’s encounter with Phillips: he said that if the CIA gave deliberately false information about the incident, Mexico City would ask for the abolishment of the Agency and made a very enigmatic statement that “if some CIA guy that I never saw did something that I never heard of, I don’t want to have to come back here.”[4] Was Phillips trying to say that he was innocent and that someone else within the CIA was to blame for the crime? Or as a former actor, was he was trying to confuse his audience and appear innocent?

Part of Oswald’s mission was to join the Fair Play for Cuba Committee, of which he was the only member in New Orleans. Through people like Guy Banister, Clay Shaw, and David Ferrie, he got into contact with Cuban exiles. In Dallas, the allegedly Marxist Oswald was in contact with peculiar characters like the the White Russians, most prominently George DeMohrenschildt and George Bouhe, and also with Michael and Ruth Paine.

Oswald was probably employed indirectly by the CIA’s Domestic Operations Division, through some proprietary firm, most likely involved in industrial security. As Paul Bleau has shown, William Stuckey was in contact with the FBI in 1962 trying to find out if there was any member of the FPCC in New Orleans. It was Stuckey who arranged the New Orleans radio interview during which Oswald had a slip of the tongue that almost gave away his secret that in Russia he was under the protection of the US Government.

When he was captured in Dallas, he again dropped a hint as to what he was. Roger Craig told Captain Fritz that he saw Oswald entering a station wagon after the assassination. Oswald replied “That station wagon belongs to Mrs. Paine. Don't try to drag her into this.” Then in a very disgusted and disappointed tone, he added “Everybody will know who I am now.” The Warren Commission transposed the ‘now’ and wrote in its report “NOW everybody will know who I am.”[5]

Oswald was likely not an official CIA agent, but he was made to believe so and he was probably the creation of a joint project by primarily the CIA, along with the FBI and the military, exemplified by a mentality mostly marked by the American Security Council. However, this author does not want to give the wrong impression that the American Security Council killed President Kennedy. Oswald just happened to be a protagonist in a drama, a theatrical play where some actors were known to him, but most of them—along with the director, the script writers, and the producers—were operating in the shadows. Oswald had no knowledge of how the story would end. He would soon realize that this theater was larger than he could imagine, that the stage was the Globe, like Zbigniew Brzezinski’s Grand Chessboard (see Appendix).

After Oswald’s funeral, his mother Marguerite, stated to a television camera:

Lee Harvey Oswald, my son, even after his death, has done more for his country than any other living human being.

To sum up Oswald’s tragic life and fate, one has to remember Jim Garrison’s words during an on camera interview for the TV mini-series “The Men Who Killed Kennedy” (Part 4; “The Patsy”):

Lee Oswald was totally, unequivocally, completely innocent of the assassination of President Kennedy and the fact that history, or in the re-writing of history, disinformation has made a villain out of this young man who wanted nothing more than to be a fine Marine, is in some ways the greatest injustice of all.

By all accounts, Oswald was innocent, never fired a shot, and he was not on the sixth floor of the TSBD at the crucial time. The latest research reveals that Oswald might have been outside on the steps watching the Presidential Parade.[6]

If Oswald was innocent, then who committed this heinous crime? Ideally, when trying to solve a murder case, the first step would be to examine the crime scene, evidence and question the witnesses. Sadly, for the JFK assassination it would be an exercise in futility to even try to contemplate such a feat. It would be a Herculean task, since the crime scene has been tampered with, evidence has been destroyed, witnesses’ testimonies were withheld or altered and a massive cover up of Gargantuan proportions ensured that it would be impossible for future investigators to piece it together. It was not only the Dallas Police that did not do its job properly, but also the FBI, the medical doctors at Bethesda, and all the investigative bodies, from the Warren Commission to the HSCA, never really tried hard to uncover the truth.

Faced with this improbable mountain to climb, what is left for today’s researchers is to focus on Fletcher Prouty’s phrase “Cui Bono?’’ and the classic triptych of the Means, Motive and Opportunity. In part 6, we examined Oswald’s elite connections and how JFK’s foreign policy was drastically reversed by LBJ when he ascended into power. We also discussed how enormous profits were made from the Vietnam War and this foreign policy reversal in general. However, this author would like to stress that this is circumstantial evidence and one cannot conclude beyond reasonable doubt who were those that instigated the assassination. Their identities will likely forever remain obscured from the eye of history.

The same could be said for the actual assassins. We’ll probably never find out their names. Lucky for us, a wealth of official documents and tireless research by those who investigated the assassination left us some clues as to who were the facilitators who carried out the instigators wishes.

Some researchers would blame the Mafia, the Cubans, the CIA, or the Military. This author believes that this is a false argument, that neither the CIA per se or the Military per se murdered the President. Most likely members of both participated outside their agencies, carrying out the wishes of a powerful elite, who believed in the American Century and its Manifest Destiny of financial conquest and economic possession, a refined neo-colonialism. This American Century was built on the solid foundations of the US dollar and the American war machine in order to expand around the Globe. As Henry Luce commented about the American Century in 1941, ‘’Tyrannies may require a large amount of living space, but Freedom requires and will require far greater living space than Tyranny.’’ Allen Dulles, the CIA’s Director, had always been in the service of the Power Elite and championed their interests whenever it was needed.

John Kennedy was a part of that elite, but after a while he was perceived as a virus, an internal fault that had to be eliminated and his murder was seen as an erasure of a fault line in the system. This could not be exemplified better than by the chilling and arrogant words that Allen Dulles uttered to Willie Morris, young editor of Harper’s magazine, ‘’That little Kennedy…he thought he was a god.’’[7] Those opposing his policies were a ruthless elite partly composed of Malthusian ideology championing Eugenics, the survival of the fittest, and social engineering.

Regarding Kennedy’s assassination and the critical community, a great deal of time has been spent on finding who the marksmen were: their location, the shot trajectories, etc. This has led to some weird, silly theories: e.g. James Files, John Roselli, Charles Nicoletti.

The late great astronomer, Carl Sagan warned us about the dangers of not using our critical mind:

Finding the occasional straw of truth awash in a great ocean of confusion and bamboozle requires vigilance, dedication, and courage. But if we don’t practice these tough habits of thought, we cannot hope to solve the truly serious problems that face us and we risk becoming a nation of suckers, a world of suckers, up for grabs by the next charlatan who saunters along.[8]

In the case of the JFK assassination, we have been up for grabs for the last 58 years, but it is time to practice these tough habits of thought to stop all those charlatans who have been throwing ashes so shamelessly into our eyes to obscure the truth.

The weight of history will be against us in our effort to reveal the true circumstances of President Kennedy’s assassination, since there was so much obstruction of justice, destroyed evidence, disinformation, and an ongoing cover up, but we must persist in our quest for the truth.

In an X-Files episode, a retired Navy Commander tells Agent Scully:

We bury our dead alive, don’t we?…We hear them every day, they talk to us, they haunt us, they beg us for meaning. Conscience is just the voices of the dead trying to save us from our own damnation.

Later, Scully tells Mulder about what a man said to her “that the dead speak to us from beyond the grave, that that’s what conscience is…I think the dead are speaking to us Mulder, demanding justice. Maybe that man was right. Maybe we bury the dead alive.”[9]

Similarly, we have buried not only John Kennedy alive, but also his brother Robert and Martin Luther King. They have become our conscience, demanding justice and trying to save us from our damnation before it is too late. We only have to listen to our conscience.

Go to Part 1

Go to Part 2

Go to Part 3

Go to Part 4

Go to Part 5

Go to Part 6

Go to Appendix


[1] Lane Mark, Plausible Denial, Plexus Publishing Ltd, 1992, p. 274.

[2] Ibid, pp. 282–283.

[3] Ibid, p. 82.

[4] Ibid, p. 83.

[5] "Roger Dean Craig," Spartacus Educational

[6] Prayer Man

[7] Talbot David, The Devil’s Chessboard, HarperCollins 2015, p. 1.

[8] Sagan Carl, The Demon Haunted World, Headline Book Publishing, 1997, p. 42.

[9] X-Files, episode 3x15, Apocrypha.

Last modified on Wednesday, 15 December 2021 05:37
Vasilios Vazakas

Vasilios Vazakas was born in Athens, Greece, and studied in Edinburgh, Scotland; he holds a BEng in energy engineering and an MSc in building services engineering. He has had a long-running interest in the JFK assassination, its relation to US foreign policy, and its relevance today.  Vasilios has contributed a number of book reviews to this site.

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