Wednesday, 08 September 2021 16:04

Operation Dragon

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Jim DiEugenio takes an incisive look at Operation Dragon, by former CIA Director James Woolsey and the late Ion Mihai Pacepa, and concludes that, due to being riddled with errors and marred by unwarranted assumptions, it is an outdated, slightly humorous propaganda effort.

Operation Dragon, by former CIA Director James Woolsey and the late Ion Mihai Pacepa, is a revealing book. Not for its ostensible subject, the JFK case. In fact, in that regard, it is qualitatively poor and misleading. It’s revealing, because of what it says about the current state of relations between the USA and Russia; and how badly the CIA wants to fan the embers of the Cold War, in order to set it aflame again.

Pacepa was an advisor to the deceased President of Romania, Nicolae Ceausescu. At the time of Pacepa’s defection in 1978, he was acting chief of its foreign intelligence service. Once established in the USA, he worked for the CIA in operations against the client states of the former Warsaw Pact. His writings were published on the conservative blog PJ Media and in publications like the Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, The Washington Times, and FrontPage Magazine. He also wrote several books, including Programmed to Kill, which figures heavily in Operation Dragon. I will explain why later.


On the very first pages of the book, the authors set the overarching theme of what is to come. Consider the following: “America has always stood against tyranny from any ideological source.” (p. 1) One could argue quite cogently that what Dwight Eisenhower and John Foster Dulles constructed in South Vietnam was a tyranny. The Nhu brothers were pretty much a dictatorship and, in our blind obeisance to the strictures of the Cold War, not only did we back other dictators, we actually overthrew democratically elected governments. The most prominent examples being Iran in 1953, Guatemala in 1954, and Chile in 1973. We went further and cooperated in the assassination of a democratically-elected leader, Patrice Lumumba, in Congo in 1961. It’s quite an achievement to somehow wipe those instances from the pages of history; but in no time flat that is what this book does.

The idea behind the book is to use the same old intel scheme that the CIA has always used. The classic propaganda model is to place white hats on the people the CIA backs and black hats on their perceived enemies, whoever they are. Considering what the authors are going to propose—that somehow Lee Oswald, under orders of the Kremlin killed Kennedy—the idea is to portray the USSR, and today’s Russia, as being the guys with the black hats.

There is something weird about this whole experiment, because Russia is not a communist state anymore and has not been one for decades. Mikhail Gorbachev began the economic reforms of Perestroika back in the 1980’s. When Boris Yeltsin took power after Gorbachev was kidnapped, he introduced the economic Shock Doctrine to Russia under people like his own advisor Yegor Gaidar and the Americans Jeff Sachs and Larry Summers. It is not an exaggeration to write that, as the late Steve Cohen declared, the result might have been the worst thing to happen to Russia since the Nazi invasion, but Woolsey and Pacepa are only getting warmed up. On page 3, the man who many think was one of the finest prime ministers of England, Clement Attlee, is called an undercover Marxist. Need I add that, somehow, Russia caused the 9/11 attacks? (p. 5)

The depiction of Russian history in this book might have been written by the late Richard Pipes. (See, for example, p. 15) Pipes was one of the intellectual godfathers of the neocon movement. He criticized any attempt at détente with the USSR, because the neocons ended up being to the right of the CIA. Pipes’ view of Russia fit in with the likes of Paul Nitze, who revived the rightwing, militaristic Committee on the Present Danger (CPD) in 1976.

That Nitze ended up being wrong on every major point about the threat the USSR posed did not matter. (Article by Fred Kaplan in Slate, 9/7/2004) Accuracy about the military might of the Soviets was not the point, but the revival of the CPD did much to move the Republican Party to the far right—past Nixon and Ford—and set the stage for Ronald Reagan. Therefore, Pipes was on Reagan’s National Security Council in 1981–82. In a very real sense, one can say that the creation of the CPD in 1976, and its almost ludicrous exaggeration of the Soviet threat, marked the complete destruction of whatever was left—and there was not much left—of John Kennedy’s foreign policy.

Reagan’s depiction of the USSR as the Evil Empire owed its dark coloring to Pipes and Nitze. Thirty-three members of the CPD ended up being part of the Reagan administration. With the rise of Reagan and Pipes, the depiction of the USSR grew more and more extreme—with no end in sight. It was due to this that America failed to recognize who Mikhail Gorbachev really was. He was not a disguised apparatchik; he was a real reformer. But partly because of this intentional demonization, both Reagan and George H. W. Bush missed an historic opportunity. One only has to recall the nuclear deal Reagan turned down at Rejkavik in 1986 and Gorbachev’s later peace plans for Afghanistan and Iraq, both also declined, to realize just how badly the neocons had mischaracterized the man. In this author’s opinion, and Cohen’s, the failure to recognize this moment is what eventually caused the fall of Gorbachev and the rise of the disastrous Boris Yeltsin.

Cohen and Pipes bitterly argued about their two views of the USSR. Pipes wrote that Russia had somehow always been destined to be the home of a Marxist tyranny under Joseph Stalin and was, therefore, incorrigible. Cohen disagreed with this view. He argued against it cogently and eloquently in his first book, Bukharin and the Bolshevik Revolution. Needless to say, the neocons won. Cohen not only lost, but by the end of his life he had been pretty much vanquished from the public scene. (Click here for more on Cohen)

Today, even though Russia is not a communist country, has let go of virtually all of its former provinces, and NATO has almost advanced to the Russian border, the neocon version of Russia and Vladimir Putin prevails. In other words, the two threats that men like Nitze and Senator Henry Jackson bandied about—communism and territorial expansion—are non-existent. Yet, with very little exaggeration, the continued demonization has not just continued; it has become an industry.


The above outline is necessary in order to explain the utter fruitiness of a book like Operation Dragon. James Woolsey was an Undersecretary of the Navy, a negotiator in atomic weapons with the USSR, and he then became President Clinton’s CIA Director in 1993. But, by all accounts, Clinton and the CIA Director were not close. After leaving that position, Woolsey became a member of the infamous Project for the New American Century. He was one of the signatories urging Clinton to overthrow Saddam Hussein in 1998. He also became a patron of the Henry Jackson Society. As I tried to explain in my article on the TFX pseudo-scandal, Senator Jackson represented the contrary foreign policy views of John Kennedy within the Democratic Party. And many of the founders and extreme zealots of the neocon movement came from Jackson’s staff (e.g. Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz). (Click here for details) Today, in keeping with that tradition, Woolsey is on many corporate and private interest boards that are focused on national defense and international affairs.

All of the above helps explain what the book states about Attlee, but there is also the bothersome characterization of Robert Oppenheimer. Oppenheimer was a brilliant physicist who played a strong role in the development of the Manhattan Project. After the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Oppenheimer had second thoughts about what he had participated in. He wanted to control nuclear power in order to halt proliferation and he was against the development of the H-bomb. This led to the loss of his security clearance in 1954. In 1963, President Kennedy awarded him with the Enrico Fermi Award.

The ordeal Oppenheimer went through was not enough for Woolsey. Neither were any of the biographies of the scientist. With the help of Pacepa, the book does with Oppenheimer what it did with Attlee. Oppenheimer now becomes part of a Soviet apparatus to steal the secrets of the atomic bomb. Since the atomic age is his specialty, I consulted with author/historian Peter Kuznick about this. In an email of August 22nd, he wrote to me:

There’s no evidence to indicate that Oppenheimer was the source. He was CP until he began the Manhattan Project, but he was careful to distance himself after that. Others close to him were still in the party. The Sherwin-Bird biography is the best source, though they are agnostic on whether he was ever in the party.

As Peter said to me, the two main sources the Soviets had from the West were Klaus Fuchs and Theodore Hall. Much has been written about Fuchs, but little about Hall. Yet, he began informing the USSR in late 1944 about both the design of the bomb and who was working on it. His detailed information about the project flowed to Moscow until August of 1945. He was then re-recruited by the KGB in 1948. The National Security Agency (then known as Army Security Agency and, later, as Armed Forces Security Agency) had figured out who Hall was and what he was doing, but the FBI did not prosecute him since it endangered exposure of signals intelligence capabilities. (Kuznick e-mail)

Significantly, and tellingly, Ted Hall’s name is not in this book. Why is Hall, who surely was an informant on the bomb not in Operation Dragon, but yet Oppenheimer, who in all probability was not, is.

This odd selectivity is explained by the presence of Pacepa. He was the first of many intel defectors from the East Bloc and former USSR. This wave of defectors increased substantially with the collapse of the Berlin Wall, the disintegration of the USSR, and the reign of Yeltsin. Looking back, it’s fairly easy to see why. When most all of Gorbachev’s reforms and his entreaties to the West failed to create any real détente, his reign collapsed in 1991. This showed just how powerful the neocon faction had become domestically. It was fairly clear that, by then, the Jackson/Democratic Party wing was infected by the neocon philosophy also.

This became rather clear when President Clinton decided to back Yeltsin’s shelling of the Russian White House, the home of the Duma in 1993. (Click here for details) There were hundreds of casualties during that ten-hour siege. Afterwards, Yeltsin ordered arrests and he banned certain political parties and their publications. This did not just reveal what Clinton and the Democratic Party was becoming; it also sent a clear signal to what was left of the Russian apparatus in the intelligence ranks. Yeltsin’s path was what the USA wanted and they would back him in almost any method he used to maintain it. For all intents and purposes, no matter what Yeltsin did, no matter what happened to Russia internally, Yeltsin was Clinton’s boy. (Click here for details)

Seeing that Russia was now crumbling economically, Gorbachev was persona non grata, and Yeltsin was America’s new horse, former intel operatives decided to head west. People like Vasili Mitokhin and Alexander Vassiliev gave up on a crumbling country and were well rewarded for their literary efforts in England and America. As scholars like Amy Wright have noted, the MSM has been all too accommodating to them. (Click here for details)

These men, and others, knew what the British and American intelligence community wanted from them. They delivered the goods in the form of “notes” they wrote down before they left. (As Wright asked: Somehow there was no copying machine in the KGB offices?) Two themes that these defectors realized would be welcome, were that first, there really was a large Soviet spy apparatus in America during the fifties and sixties. In other words, Joe McCarthy was correct; and this explains Operation Dragon’s spin on Oppenheimer. Secondly, that somehow and some way, the Soviets were involved in John Kennedy’s assassination: both actively and as contributing large amounts of disinformation into the press to confuse their true role.


To show how eager to please this trade in intelligence was, there have been some claims by these defectors that have been proven to be simply false. For instance, as with Attlee, British Labor Party leader Michael Foot, allegedly accepted funds from KGB agents. Foot sued for libel. Understandably, publisher Rupert Murdoch did not want to appear in court, so he settled in Foot’s favor. (Click here for details)

Mitrokhin maintained that Mark Lane was also supplied with funds by the KGB. One donation was for $1500 and one for $500. Lane kept notes on the contributions he received for his JFK work. He said the only contribution he got that was even close to those amounts came from Corliss Lamont, an heir to the giant JP Morgan fortune. Probably not high on the list for KGB recruiting. Further, although Mitrokhin said the transfer occurred in New York in 1966, Lane was not living there at the time. He was living in Britain, finishing up Rush to Judgment. Finally, the next largest contribution Lane got was from Woody Allen for fifty bucks. (Lane, Last Word, pp. 92–93) In other words, the charges by Mitrokhin were manufactured, but they were what Western intel wanted to hear: Liberals were communists and Warren Commission critics were KGB funded.

Another piece of confection from Mitrokhin, much appreciated by the CIA, dealt with Clay Shaw and the mysterious business entity, Permindex-CMC. Shaw was arrested by New Orleans DA Jim Garrison on March 1, 1967. Three days later, the Italian leftist newspaper Paese Sera began publishing a six part series on the activities of Permindex-CMC in Italy. In an article published in the Daily Beast by Max Holland, the Mitrokhin notes say that the USSR started this disinformation program in Paese Sera that was later picked up in New York. (Daily Beast, April 28, 2017)

Since Shaw’s arrest preceded the publishing of the articles, it is unlikely they had any impact on Garrison’s indictment of Shaw. The late Bill Turner told me that in going over the Italian articles, he told the DA that, since the reportage concentrated on the entity’s business activities in Rome, it would have little relevance to his case against Shaw in the USA. And, in fact, at Shaw’s trial, they were not brought up.

But the real point of the original series is not indicated by Holland or Daily Beast. I have read the articles in English translation. It was a lengthy six-part series which explored the business activities of the CMC in Italy. An investigative series like this would take a team of reporters weeks to research and then days to write and prepare for printing. But what makes the Mitrokhin story even more strained is this: there was every reason for the newspapers in Italy—and it was not just Paese Sera that printed stories—to be suspicious of Permindex. This business enterprise had previously been kicked out of Switzerland, due to there being a long, drawn out controversy over its sources of funding. In particular, one of the banks was rumored to be involved was Henry Schroder’s, which had been directly associated with CIA Director Allen Dulles. (William Davy, Let Justice be Done, pp. 96–97) Therefore, the Italian newspapers were wholly justified in investigating Permindex-CMC as a suspicious business entity when it moved to Rome and announced its real estate plans. In fact, with the Swiss example behind it, it would have been irresponsible not to.

But as it turns out, there was nothing for the KGB to create and hand off in the first place, which is what gives the lie to Mitrokhin and shows what a hack Max Holland was and is. Clay Shaw was on the board of Permindex as it moved to Italy in late 1958. He himself noted this in his Who’s Who in the Southwest entry and it was also announced by Permindex and relayed to Washington in a State Department cable. (Ibid, Davy p. 98)

Years later, looking through the papers of Montreal lawyer Louis Bloomfield, researcher Maurice Phillips discovered that the attorney was an important figure in the Permindex scheme. Bloomfield coordinated meetings and elicited investments in the enterprise for the titular leader of the organization, Ferenc Nagy. These contributions were requested from some of the wealthiest men in the world at the time, such as Edmund deRothschild and David Rockefeller. (Letter from Bloomfield to Dr. E. W. imfeld, 2/10/60) There can be no doubt of a CIA angle to the operation due to Shaw’s presence; plus Phillips discovered Nagy was a CIA asset who offered the Agency the use of Permindex in any capacity. (CIA memo of March 24, 1967)

The worst suspicions about Permindex-CMC were pretty much certified in Michele Metta’s book, CMC: the Italian Undercover CIA and Mossad Station. The brother of Shimon Peres, one Gershon Peres, was on the board of Permindex from 1967. (Metta, p. 114) But further, Permindex shared the same office space with Propaganda Due. (ibid, p. 120) P2 was one of the very worst and deadliest secret societies to exist—not just in Italy—but in all of Europe. When it was led by the infamous Licio Gelli, it was implicated in numerous crimes and murders (e.g. the death of banker Roberto Calvi). With all of this evidence in the record today, we can see the Mitrokhin scheme as being nothing but a made to order distraction. Permindex was for real, and it was what Garrison suspected it was.


All of the above is a necessary introduction to what is supposed to be the heart of the book. In borrowing from Pacepa’s Programmed to Kill, the authors will now state their main thesis about President Kennedy’s assassination, which is this: Oswald was somehow instructed to kill Kennedy by Nikita Khrushchev. (see pp. 62–78) His control agents on the mission in the West were George DeMohrenschildt in Dallas and Valery Kostikov of the Russian Embassy in Mexico City. Somehow the Russian leader changed his mind, but Oswald proceeded anyway with guidance from Cuban agents.

To say there are more holes in this “plot” than a Swiss Cheese is an insult to Swiss Cheese. In fact, this Rube Goldberg contraption actually does the impossible: it makes the Warren Report look somewhat credible.

First of all, to proffer today that Oswald shot Kennedy to any informed person that is simply a non-starter. The overwhelming evidence declassified by the Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB) has all but made that thesis untenable, but Woolsey is so intent on running away from that evidence that he does not even mention it. (see, for example, The JFK Assassination: The Evidence Today by James DiEugenio, particularly Chapters 5 and 6) One can only conclude that he understands how it would vitiate his “theory.” In fact, one will not find a reference to the ARRB in his index. It is like these declassifications did not occur.

The other problem with this Woolsey/Pacepa confection is the very real doubts today about Oswald being in Mexico City. People like John Armstrong and David Josephs have made lengthy and detailed studies about his not being there. (Armstrong, Harvey and Lee, pp. 614-702; click here for David’s series) For example, if somehow Oswald was interacting with Kostikov at the Soviet Embassy in Mexico City, why is there no picture of him entering or leaving that structure, when in fact, there should be four of them. (DiEugenio, p. 291)

And beyond that, Oswald’s calls to the Soviet Embassy are, to say the least, puzzling. According to analyst John Newman, they are a mixture of fluent Spanish and broken Russian. (Newman, Oswald and the CIA, p. 356) Yet as the authors of the Lopez Report maintain, the evidence is the contrary: Oswald spoke broken Spanish and fluent Russian. (Lopez Report, pp. 117, 121) There is also a call to the Soviet Embassy on Saturday, September 28, 1963; this is supposed to be a call by the Cuban consulate aide, Sylvia Duran to the Soviet Embassy. Yet, Duran insisted that Oswald did not call her back after Friday, so this could not be her on this Saturday call. (Lopez Report, p. 190) When the Commission asked the FBI for a picture of Oswald in Mexico City, they got a photo of what has come to be called The Mystery Man. This appears to be a husky, six foot male with a crew cut outside the Soviet Embassy. (Click here for details) When Dan Hardway and Ed Lopez figured out how this picture was sent up to the FBI, they deduced that not only did Anne Goodpasture of the CIA know it was not Oswald, she very likely knew who it really was, likely KGB agent Yuri Maskolev under diplomatic cover. (Lopez Report, p. 179)

Finally, there is another question that the authors of this book do not bring up about Oswald in Mexico City. This addresses the question of what was Oswald doing there in the first place. If one buys the Warren Report, Oswald was there to get an “in transit” visa, which meant that he would go to Russia via Havana. Therefore, Oswald had to visit both embassies, but since he was so ill-prepared with the proper paperwork, he could not get either passport while in Mexico. Again, this is questionable. The State Department had approved his passport to Russia that summer, but had stamped it with a warning that anyone going to Cuba could be prosecuted. If Oswald wanted to return to Russia, he could have just gone the same route he had taken in 1959. But going through Cuba posed a legal problem. (Newman, Oswald and the CIA, p. 615) Neither of our authors address this or any of the other above problems. Yet Mexico City is a central tenet of their theory.

What about their other chief suspect? As DeMohrenschildt told Edward Epstein, he did not approach Oswald and his wife Marina at the behest of the KGB. He did so at the request of J. Walton Moore of the Dallas CIA office. In fact, Moore had to push George into doing this and Moore did so on three separate occasions. As DeMohrenschildt stated to Edward Epstein, “I would never have contacted Oswald in a million years if Moore had not sanctioned it.” (The Assassination Chronicles, by Edward Epstein, pp. 558–59) I don’t see how one can make it more clear than that. And since Epstein’s work is used profusely in Operation Dragon, it’s hard to buy that Woolsey and Pacepa did not know this.

The authors place a lot of weight on the letter Oswald allegedly wrote to the Soviet Embassy in Washington shortly after the first week in November. (Woolsey, p. 65) I strongly recommend to the reader that they read Peter Newbury’s excellent analysis of this document. (Click here for details) It brings up all the obvious questions about this letter and the fact that there were three versions of it. And the Warren Commission asked questions about, not the typed version, but the hand copied version which was done by Ruth Paine. (For an examination of the possible role of Ruth Paine with this letter, click here)


Woolsey describes the scene in Havana after Kennedy’s assassination with Jean Daniel speaking with Fidel Castro and Fidel getting a call telling him the president was shot. (pp. 141–43) But yet, his description of what was said does not match the one given by Daniel and written about in a famous New Republic article. (The New Republic December 7, 1963) The authors also leave out the entire background of the meeting between Daniel and Castro. Namely, it was the final step of what had begun in January of 1963 with an approach from Castro’s physician to Kennedy administration lawyer James Donovan. Donovan had been negotiating the return of the Bay of Pigs prisoners. Rene Vallejo broached the subject with him of normalizing relations between the two countries. Castro had not liked being the centerpiece of an arm-wrestling contest during the Missile Crisis. These negotiations continued through different messengers (i.e. Donovan, Lisa Howard, Bill Attwood and finally Daniel in November of 1963). (James Douglass, JFK and the Unspeakable, pp. 56–58)

Castro was surprised at how eloquent, empathic, and forceful Kennedy’s final message through Daniel was. He replied by saying, “Suddenly a president arrives on the scene who tries to support the interest of another class…” Fidel was so elated he spent the next three days with Daniel, saying, among other things, that Kennedy could now become the greatest president since Lincoln. (ibid, pp. 85–89) On the third day, he got the phone call about Kennedy being shot and then the announcement he was dead. Like everything in the paragraph noted above, the authors cut out what Castro said to Daniel after he hung up the phone. Daniel described Castro as looking stunned. Fidel sat down and then repeated over and over: “This is bad news…this is bad news…this is bad news.” When the announcement about Kennedy’s death came on the radio, Castro stood up and said, “Everything is changed. Everything is going to change.” That line is also cut by the authors.

So, what do the two ultra Cold Warriors substitute instead? If you can believe it, they say that Castro was really play acting about all this. Who is their source for Castro’s Oscar winning performance? You will not at all be surprised when I write the words Brian Latell. Brian, of course, was a longtime CIA analyst and then professor in the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown, which means he was teaching up and coming State Department and CIA officers. He became the Agency’s front man for their “Castro killed Kennedy” propaganda effort. His work has been pretty much perforated and his sources deflated by our own Arnaldo Fernandez. (Click here for details)

But in reality, Operation Dragon falls apart when confronted with a stereo view of Oswald’s defection to Russia, that is, from his arrival in Moscow, and also what happened to his CIA file at Langley.

From the day he arrived, in October of 1959, the KGB did not buy Oswald as a genuine defector. They always suspected he was an intel operative sent from either the CIA or the Navy. They had good reason to suspect this. Quite simply, the number and frequency of American defectors into the USSR had been increasing since about 1958. From single digits per year, it had grown almost exponentially. They were quite suspicious of Oswald, not just for that reason, but because he told his government tour guide he had classified information about airplanes. (James DiEugenio, Destiny Betrayed, second edition, p. 140) He also said he wanted to become a Soviet citizen. When his plea was turned down, he staged a faked suicide attempt and was sent to the psychiatric ward of Botkinskaya Hospital. Upon his release, Oswald was sent to the Hotel Metropole, which was under KGB electronic surveillance. Clearly, they were debating what to do with Oswald, while watching him interact with American reporters on the scene (e.g. CIA asset Priscilla Johnson).

In early January of 1960, Oswald was called to the passport office. He was handed 5000 rubles and sent to Minsk, about 400 miles from Moscow. He was given a rent free apartment by the mayor and a generous salary of 700 rubles per month for his work in a radio factory. (ibid, p. 144) The Russians had decided Oswald was a false defector. They wanted him out of Moscow, but they did not want him to leave yet. So they made life easy for him, while turning the tables on the American. The KGB gave the Oswald case a handler. They then encased Oswald with a ring of human surveillance, including Pavel Golovachev, who worked at the radio plant.

I ask the reader: Does this sound like a person the Soviets would recruit to kill Kennedy? A man they suspected from the start was a false defector meant to spy on them, while working for the other side? We know today that, almost beyond a shadow of a doubt, the Russians were correct on this. Through the work of the ARRB analyst and British researcher Malcolm Blunt, we now know that the Oswald file at CIA was rigged in advance of his defection.

Betsy Wolf was assigned to work on the Oswald file at CIA by the HSCA. One of the things that puzzled her was why Oswald’s 201 file was not opened upon his arrival in Moscow. It took 13 months for that to happen. Wolf could not understand why this was the case. She could also not understand why Oswald’s files went to the Office of Security (OS), instead of where they should have gone: the Soviet Russia Division. According to its own internal rules, Oswald should have had a 201 file opened almost immediately, but Wolf later found out that the OS worked closely with the counter-intelligence division. In other words, knowing that OS would not open a 201 file was likely one of the objectives of counter-intelligence.

It turned out that Betsy learned the system had been rigged in advance. This was done through a mechanism called CIA Mail Logistics. (Click here for details) Only someone who knew the system, and for whom Oswald was a special project, would have known how to do this and wanted to do so. In Oliver Stone’s upcoming documentary, John Newman points to this rigging of the system as proof that Oswald was a witting false defector. His source is none other than Pete Bagley, a veteran Counter intelligence officer of the CIA for 20 years. In the light of that, this book’s tenet that CIA never had any kind of operative connection with Oswald is ludicrous. (p. 137)

Operation Dragon is also risible in that the authors say that somehow Oswald proved he could shoot JFK by his attempt upon General Walker. (p. 138) As more than one credible author has shown, and for solid evidentiary reasons, it is highly unlikely that Oswald took a shot at Walker. (Gerald McKnight, Breach of Trust, pp. 48–59)

The authors follow with this, “On April 13th just before Oswald traveled to Mexico to show the KGB what a good shot he was.” I do not think this is an error. I think they actually are saying that Oswald took this early journey to Mexico, but they source this to Epstein’s book Legend. I could not find it there. Epstein seems to align with the late September, early October 1963 dates for Oswald’s Mexico journey.

Finally, the authors blame Joachim Joesten and his publisher Carl Marzani as being responsible for the idea that Oswald was some kind of intelligence undercover agent. And presto, they are now Soviet agents. Naturally this comes from, respectively, Pacepa and Mitrokhin. (pp. 75–76) I don’t have to tell the reader how thoroughly investigated these two men were by both the FBI, State Department, and the CIA or the rather interesting and relevant fact that Oswald was suspected of being an FBI informant as early as January of 1964, and this information was printed in The Nation. In other words, the indications were there for anyone to see. (Click here for details)

Operation Dragon is a complete, fall-on-its-face failure in what is tries to do. It does not in any way achieve its aim of showing that the JFK murder was a Russian/Cuban operation. It is so riddled with errors, constrained by censorship, and marred by unwarranted assumptions that it simply cannot be taken seriously on any level, except as an outdated, slightly humorous propaganda effort.

Last modified on Wednesday, 08 September 2021 17:30
James DiEugenio

One of the most respected researchers and writers on the political assassinations of the 1960s, Jim DiEugenio is the author of two books, Destiny Betrayed (1992/2012) and The JFK Assassination: The Evidence Today (2018), co-author of The Assassinations, and co-edited Probe Magazine (1993-2000).   See "About Us" for a fuller bio.

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