Is there proof that Oswald was a CIA contact?

Within the CIA was James Angleton’s Special Investigations Group (SIG), part of CIA’s Counterintelligence (CI) department. SIG/CI had what’s called a “201” file on Lee Oswald as of Dec. 9, 1960, 3 years before the assassination. That 201 file was opened by Angleton staffer Ann Egerter.  

On May 17, 1978, she was questioned by the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA).  During the questioning she explained what a 201 file was, and why such a file would be opened. A 201 was opened on those people who SIG/CI saw as being of an intelligence interest or for some reason under suspicion of being a security risk. And it’s clear in the testimony that SIG/CI gets involved with matters relating to “agency personnel.” Does that include Oswald? Egerter had previously said in a March 31, 1978, interview with the HSCA that the SIG office “spied on spies.”

Was Oswald 1 of those spies?

Why the date of Dec. 9, 1960, for opening a 201 on Oswald?  As far as we know, nothing of significance occurred on that date (he was in Russia at the time). Why wouldn’t a 201 file have been opened on Oswald when he told the American Embassy in Moscow, on Oct. 31, 1959, that he was defecting and was a U.S. Marine with radar secrets he could share? Could it be that CIA knew about Oswald in 1959, but didn’t want other agencies aware of him until Dec. 1960?

The CIA has said the 201 file opening date is as a result of Oswald’s name appearing on a list of defectors that was sent to them by the State Department. But other records show that list was sent to CIA on Oct. 25, 1960.

Therefore it seems possible that SIG, run by Angleton, probably was aware of Oswald before opening the 201 file. CIA saw him as being of intelligence interest. This is confirmed by CIA document 104-10067-10212, dated Nov. 25, 1963, which concludes by saying “…..that we showed operational intelligence interest in the Harvey story.”

On Nov. 3, 1994, authors/researchers Jefferson Morley and John Newman interviewed CIA employee Jane Roman, who worked in the liaison staff of Angleton’s CI staff as a releasing officer. She handled many Oswald-related documents. She told them that she had signed off on a document - an FBI report on Oswald’s Fair Play for Cuba Committee (FPCC) activities in New Orleans - which she knew to be untrue. She also distanced herself from the matter saying she was not in on any “hanky-panky as far as the Cuban situation.” And she made an incredible statement when asked about the issue of an untrue report saying, “Well, to me, it’s indicative of a keen interest in Oswald, held very closely on a need-to-know basis.”

And there is this: a May 23, 1963, report made by Angleton to CIA Deputy Director of Plans (DDP), Richard Helms, and disseminated throughout the intelligence community, the Dept. of State, FBI, U.S. Coast Guard, USIA, Department of Defense and elsewhere (but not the White House). It was about Cuban control and action capabilities covering training of subversive, sabotage and espionage agents in Cuba and the development of Cuban Communism. It describes the types and extent of Cuban government controls of the population in Cuba and summarizes the means by which the Cubans can place its personnel and use those of other countries for pro-Cuban activities. Under a section called “Suppression of travel information,” Angleton talks about travelers who wish to conceal the fact that they have visited Cuba.

The document states, “For such persons the Cuban government issues visas to Cuba on separate paper, so that no mark of entry to Cuba appears in the regular passport. An American citizen, for example, can enter Mexico with a tourist card, not even a passport, and obtain a separate visa to Cuba from the Cuban consulate in Mexico City. He can go to Cuba and return, supplied with a new tourist card obtained in Cuba, without any indication that he has ever been there.” Sound familiar?

Four months later, this is exactly what Lee Harvey Oswald was up to. How would he know how to go about this? When Oswald showed up in Mexico City, stopping at Cuban and Soviet embassies, Mexico City CIA Deputy Chief of Station Allan White told the HSCA that Oswald “became someone of considerable operational interest.”

And the CIA tried to hide things by not allowing the HSCA the opportunity to interview other relevant Mexico City CIA staffers, adding that no such interview is to be arranged and HSCA “should not speak to them even if they were locatable by other means.”

Even before the HSCA’s existence, Angleton testified on Sept. 24, 1975, before the Church Committee on intelligence agencies, saying, “It is inconceivable that a secret intelligence arm of the government has to comply with all overt orders of the government,” thus basically saying CIA withholds information.

Additionally, back in March 1964, DDP Helms told Angleton subordinate Ray Rocca, that Angleton “would prefer to wait out the (Warren) Commission” in terms of supplying documents and interviews. The same was true during the HSCA investigation, as noted in Gaeton Fonzi’s “The Last Investigation,” which gives an example of a staffer’s attempt to get files from the CIA and the run around that followed.

In 1993, Soviet Col. Oleg Nechiporenko, stationed in Mexico City at the time of Oswald’s visit, published a book, “Passport to Assassination.” In that book he talks about Oswald in Mexico City and that Oswald hinted that he was on a secret mission while in Russia back in 1959 to 1962. And, as Oswald left the Russian Embassy, he “raised the collar of his jacket to conceal his face and thus attempt to avoid being clearly photographed.” This strongly suggests Oswald knew of the CIA’s surveillance of the Embassy.

CIA, in 1967, likely because of the Garrison investigation of Clay Shaw in New Orleans, also made plans to counter criticism of the Warren Report, noting that public opinion and critics are increasingly showing a belief that Oswald did not act alone. “This trend of opinion is a matter of concern to the U.S. government, including our organization,” says an April, 1967 CIA document which has a note in the lower right corner saying, “Destroy when no longer needed.”

And there is a document that shows that Warren Commissioner Allen Dulles, former director of CIA and fired by JFK after the failed Bay of Pigs invasion, advised the agency on how to respond to Warren Commission requests.

Dulles also, during a Jan. 27, 1964, Commission executive session discussion about agents and handlers, said that records “might not be on paper,” and added that whoever recruited an agent wouldn’t tell, not even under oath.
And there is a letter from HSCA chairman Louis Stokes to the CIA dated Oct. 13, 1978, that complains about CIA not handing over requested documents.

One reason the committee did not receive documents is because the CIA’s liaison to HSCA was the same man, George Joannides, that handled aspects of anti-Castro Cuban operations back in 1963. Thus a conflict of interest, for sure.

This is significant for several reasons. First, because of Joannides firsthand knowledge of 1963 events he would know what not to send the committee. Secondly, he had a strong reason not to assist the committee because it would have opened up a huge can of worms regarding Oswald and those Cuban ops. Thirdly it would show continued CIA deception because Joannides name could have been on the related documents.

Taking all this into account I think it’s clear that a CIA – Oswald connection, at some level, existed from 1959 until Nov. 22, 1963.  If that’s not the case then why are there many documents on Oswald at several government agencies? Why are some documents still being withheld? Why have agency personnel admitted an operational or intelligence interest in Oswald if there was no interest? And why all the obfuscation by the CIA during governmental investigations of Oswald?

A few other tantalizing tidbits: Dallas Mayor Earle Cabell was a CIA contact since 1956. His brother, Gen. Charles Cabell was a CIA deputy director. Among Oswald’s possessions was a small Minox spy camera. Dallas police detective Gus Rose has stated that it was found in Oswald’s sea bag in Ruth Paine’s garage and that the FBI tried to get him to change the record to say it was a Minox light meter.

Right after the shooting in Dallas, Robert Kennedy called CIA and asked if they were involved in his brother’s murder. He also asked CIA Director John McCone and McCone denied it, which one would expect. Robert Kennedy also checked into anti-Castro involvement.

The point being that on Nov. 22, 1963, JFK’s brother/U.S. Attorney General Robert Kennedy suspected others were involved. Why? In my opinion because RFK was well aware of CIA/Mafia/anti-Castro Cuban operations, he knew their capabilities and their hatred of his brother.

Space does not allow for even more documentation of CIA hindrance of investigations and interest in Oswald, so I end with this: an example of interest in Oswald can be seen in CIA document 104-10051-10167. It’s a 16-page document listing various reports, files and documents about Oswald. In other words, it took 16 pages just to list them all.

If readers have questions or want the documentation for this story contact me at jmlunker@suddenlink.net.