Thursday, March 11, 2010

Executive Session: January 22, 1964

I have read in a number of sources that the Warren Commission was doomed from the start and there were meeting notes to prove it. So, thanks to, I was able to obtain a copy of the official declassified transcript from the executive session meeting on January 22, 1964. The executive sessions were the closed-door meetings of the members of the Commission, and on this day, they were discussing what to do about rumors that Lee Harvey Oswald was an agent of US intelligence. You can read the 13-page transcript here.
It is on this date, in my opinion, that the Warren Commission's desire to seek the truth died. This meeting, which took place before the first witness was ever called, begins with general counsel James Lee Rankin alerting fellow members that rumors are surfacing in Dallas that Oswald was an undercover agent of the FBI. The Attorney General of Texas had called Rankin that morning because an unknown former FBI agent had told the defense counsel for Jack Ruby about Oswald and the FBI. The members discuss the means of proving or disproving this, concluding that even if it were true, the FBI would never admit it. Since the FBI was conducting the investigation, they controlled the flow of evidence. If this rumor were true, or even leaked to the public, the implications would be devastating for the Commission and the FBI. However, there were a number of members on the Commission expressed an interest in researching this further because there were elements of Oswald's life that didn't quite add up. For example, Gerald Ford pointed out that Oswald was "playing ball, writing letters to both the elements of the Communist parties. I mean he was playing ball with the Trotskyites and with the others. This was a strange circumstance to me." Rep. Dale Boggs suggested, "It is conceivable that [Oswald] may have been brought back from Russia." Even former Director of the CIA Allen Dulles thought there was more to this than meets the eye. He stated, referring to the FBI, "They have some people, sometimes American Communists who go to Russia under their guidance and so forth and so on under their control." I find this last quote odd, because the CIA had been running the false defector program. Was Dulles trying to turn the focus away from the CIA? Was Oswald working for both agencies without the other knowing about it?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Comrade Oswald: Agent or Defector?

There is no shortage of material on Lee Harvey Oswald's journey to the Soviet Union at the peak of the Cold War. As I wrote before, John Newman's Oswald and the CIA is on my to-do list, though I probably won't get to it anytime soon. Jim Marrs does discuss Oswald's trek into the heart of communism and the strange details about his entry, life, and return home.

For the years leading up to his defection, Oswald was a low-level Marine who, despite openly professing a support of the United States' greatest enemy, worked on a base in Japan where top secret U2 spy plane operations were underway. Oswald returned home in September of 1959, and by 1960 he was beginning his new life in Moscow. To this day, what Oswald was doing remains a mystery. Marrs points out that US intelligence, which by this point may have already recruited Oswald in some capacity, was running a "false defector" program. This program, as the name surely gives away, would plant US agents posing as communist sympathizers in an effort to gain valuable information on the inside. Was Oswald a part of this program? While we may never know for sure, let's examine the actions of the young defector.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Marine Lee Harvey Oswald(skovich?)

The next chapter of Marrs' book delves into the mysterious life of alleged assassin Lee Harvey Oswald. I'm going to pass on discussing this in too much detail because I have another book that focuses solely on this issue. Yet, I will give an overview of the case that Marrs makes and the troubling questions he raises about Oswald's possible connections to US Intelligence and what that means about the assassination.

  • When Oswald was sixteen years old, he joined the Civil Air Patrol where he met a Captain named David Ferrie. Ferrie was a known right-winger, and had connections with various anti-Castro groups as well as the CIA and FBI. It was after meeting Ferrie that Oswald began sharing his procommunist feelings, which many researchers have taken to mean that Ferrie may have influenced Oswald to act in such a way as a means of creating a cover to later be used as a US agent. 
More after the jump...

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Orville Nix Film

This is some video shot by Orville Nix, who was standing on the south side of Elm near Main Street. Two things stick out to me when comparing this to the Zapruder film: first, notice how Kennedy's limo nearly comes to a stop as the final headshot is delivered. This was reported by a number of eye witnesses, yet is not see in the Zapruder film. Second, notice where the crowd begins to run after the motorcade exits Dealey Plaza: the grassy knoll. One would certainly expect a part of the crowd to gravitate that way simply because it's the same direction the motorcade was going, however there are a few in the background seen running towards the area of the fence.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Kill Zone: Reactions (Part 4 of 4)

This final post on the first chapter of Marr's book will cover a number of accounts, descriptions, events and evidence ignored by the Warren Commission and the FBI when conducting their investigation. In this case there are a number of instances so I will try to point out those that, to me, seemed the most relevant and convincing.

The first issue is that of smoke on the grassy knoll. Sam Holland, a worker at the railyard behind the knoll, was watching the motorcade from atop the triple underpass. He heard four shots and was certain the third had come from behind the picket fence the separated the railyard parking lot from Dealey Plaza. Right in that very spot was a puff of white smoke lingering in the air. James Simmons, another railyard worker, gave a similar account. In a filmed interview in 1966, Simmons told the interviewer that "there was a puff of smoke that came from underneath the trees on the embankment directly in front of the wooden fence." Despite telling the same story to the FBI, his official FBI report from 1964 is vague and incomplete. Re-enactments carried out by the HSCA confirmed that puffs of smoke were both possible and common from rifles that would have been used in 1963.

More after the jump...