History, Russia, Top Stories

The Soviets and the JFK Conspiracy Theorists

Editor’s Note: This article was adapted from Fred Litwin’s new book, I Was a Teenage JFK Conspiracy Freak. For further information, please visit www.conspiracyfreak.com.

It’s an open question whether the Russians successfully tilted the 2016 American election to Donald Trump. We know they did their best, but we’ll probably never know if their attempts really shifted the vote. What is certain is that Russian attempts to influence American politics and public opinion are not new. Back in the 1960s and the 1970s, the Soviets tried to convince people that the CIA was behind the JFK assassination. 45 years later, we are still learning about the full extent of these efforts. In the following extract from my new book, I look at just three of these Soviet disinformation campaigns. They have had a demonstrable effect on the thinking and arguments of conspiracy theorists, and these, in turn, have gradually seeped into the wider popular culture and helped shape public misperceptions about the assassination.

The Mark Lane Connection

Some of the evidence of Soviet interference comes from the April 2018 release of JFK assassination documents, one of which related to the American conspiracy theorist Mark Lane. Lane was an attorney and civil rights activist, and one of the earliest critics of the official Warren Report into the assassination. In 1966, he published the first of a series of books on the assassination entitled Rush to Judgment, which would go on to become a bestseller. A CIA document discovered in the FBI’s file on Lane disclosed that, according to information obtained from an unnamed foreign government, the KGB had funnelled $1,500 through a “trusted contact” to Lane for his “work on a book” and $500 for a trip to Europe. The document says that “LANE was not told who was financing his work, but he might have been able to guess” and adds that, in 1964, Lane “wanted to visit Moscow and acquaint the authorities there with the revealing materials he had regarding the KENNEDY murder.”

But the Soviets did “not wish to enter into difficulties with the US” and so the trip was postponed. From then on, “trusted contacts among Soviet journalists met with Lane,” and he maintained regular contact with Genrikh Borovik, a Soviet writer, film-maker, and suspected KGB agent. In 1969, Lane again expressed interest in travelling to the Soviet Union to screen his 1967 documentary (also entitled Rush to Judgment), but “he was delicately told that the time was not right for such a trip, since the American government might begin a slander campaign against him in connection with his involvement in the anti-war movement.” Furthermore, “American communists who were in Moscow in 1971 expressed the opinion that, although LANE was engaged in activity that was advantageous to the Communists, he was doing this not without profit to himself, and sought to achieve personal popularity and become a national figure.” The CIA memo also claims that “other investigators and Kennedy assassination buffs were supplied by the KGB not only with money but also with circumstantial evidence that made the affair appear to be a well-concealed political conspiracy.”

The Clay Shaw Connection

On March 1, 1967, gay businessman Clay Shaw was arrested by New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison and charged with conspiring with Lee Harvey Oswald to kill President John Kennedy. This startling development and Garrison’s lengthy investigation, both dramatised in Oliver Stone’s epic 1991 blockbuster JFK, led to further instances of Soviet disinformation.

The Paese Sera story.

Shaw’s arrest reverberated around the globe. In Rome, a small Communist Party-owned newspaper, Paese Sera, ran a story on March 4 claiming that Clay Shaw was involved in unsavoury activities while serving on the Board of the Centro Mondiale Commerciale (CMC). Paese Sera alleged that the CMC was a “creature of the CIA…set up as a cover for the transfer to Italy of CIA-FBI funds for illegal political-espionage activities.” Shaw was indeed on the Board of the CMC from 1958-1962, but there was nothing sinister about the organization. Its purpose was simply to take advantage of the new European Common Market and to make Rome an important trading hub.

Nevertheless, the Paese Sera story was reprinted in Pravda (the official newspaper of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union), L’Unita (the newspaper of the Italian Communist Party), L’Humanité (the newspaper of the French Communist Party), and, finally, in Le Devoir in Canada. Le Devoir ran the article in the March 8, 1967, edition, followed by a longer article on March 16, under the byline of their New York correspondent Louis Wiznitzer. He listed the items confiscated from Shaw’s apartment and described him as a “Marquis de Sade.” He also alluded gratuitously to Shaw’s homosexuality, writing, “Finally, another detail that doesn’t lack for a certain spiciness: in his youth Clay Shaw published a story from which John Ford took his film, Men without Women.”

The Report in Le Devoir

Clark Blaise’s article, “Neo-Fascism and the Kennedy Assassination” in the Sept-Oct, 1967, issue of Canadian Dimension, a left-wing socialist publication, referenced the articles in Le Devoir and noted that they have a “breezy disregard for documentation.” Blaise “expected to see the story spelled out that afternoon in the Montreal Star, or at least to see a solid article or two appear in the liberal journals. Nothing more ever appeared.” He was also disappointed that the New York Times never mentioned any of the details about the activities of the CMC and felt “it was useless” to write to CBC and NBC. Ramparts (a leading left-wing magazine in the 1960s), on the other hand, followed its radical comrades by running an essay entitled “The Garrison Commission” in its January, 1968, issue which referenced Paese Sera and Le Devoir as its sources on Clay Shaw and the CMC.

A persuasive body evidence now shows that Soviet intelligence would routinely plant misinformation in outlets like these. Between 1956 and 1985, KGB archivist Vasili Mitrokhin secretly documented the activities of the Soviet Union around the globe. His notes would subsequently be collected and released as The Mitrokhin Archive, after he defected to the UK in 1992. In a book co-authored with MI5 historian Christopher Andrew, Mitrokhin claimed that, “In April 1961 the KGB succeeded in planting on the pro-Soviet Italian daily Paese Sera a story suggesting that the CIA was involved in the failed putsch mounted by four French generals to disrupt de Gaulle’s attempts to negotiate a peace with the FLN which would lead to Algerian independence.”

The American historian Max Holland has written a number of articles suggesting that the original Paese Sera story about Clay Shaw and the CMC was also planted by the KGBHolland found a note in the Mitrokhin archive which stated that: “In 1967, Department A of the First Chief Directorate conducted a series of disinformation operations … One such emplacement in New York was through Paese Sera.” Sure enough, an article in the left-wing National Guardian, which had previously published and promoted Mark Lane’s conspiracy theories, discussed Shaw’s arrest on March 19 and uncritically reproduced the claims made in the Paese Sera report. This technique was corroborated by a senior KGB officer, Sergey Kondrashev, who told Tennent Bagley, Deputy Chief of the Soviet Bloc Division in CIA counterintelligence, that “the most obvious route toward the broad Western public was, of course, newspapers, and magazines—planting articles in cooperative papers.” Paese Sera in Italy was among the examples Kondrashev cited.

By mid-March, 1967, Jim Garrison had received copies of the Paese Sera article, quite possibly sent to him by Ralph Schoenman, who was Bertrand Russell’s personal secretary. We know this from the diary of Richard Billings, a senior editor at Life magazine, who was a confidante of Garrison’s. His entry for March 22 reads, “Story about Shaw and CIA appears in Humanite [sic], probably March 8 … [Garrison] has copy date-lined Rome, March 7th, from la press Italien [sic].” Jim Phelan wrote in the Saturday Evening Post that, after the Paese Sera article, Garrison’s switchboard “blazed like a pinball machine gone mad.” He now had a direct link from Clay Shaw to the CIA.

In addition, the plethora of left-wing conspiracy enthusiasts who had flocked to New Orleans convinced Garrison to move away from his initial theory that the assassination had been motivated by homosexual thrill-seeking and to begin theorizing about an ever-widening plot. Over time, Garrison’s conspiracy would grow to include “Minutemen, CIA agents, oil millionaires, Dallas policemen, munitions exporters, ‘the Dallas Establishment,’ reactionaries, White Russians, and certain elements of the invisible Nazi substructure.” But at the heart of Garrison’s thinking was some sort of massive CIA-planned assassination plot, although even that was somewhat malleable.

Clay Shaw was eventually found not guilty and the Garrison prosecution was exposed as a massive fraud. That didn’t stop Oliver Stone from making Jim Garrison the hero of his film JFK and Clay Shaw the evil villain. Stone, of course, makes use of the Paese Sera story, and does so with a subtle sleight of hand, characteristic of his slippery handling of facts. The Paese Sera story was published three days after Shaw’s arrest; but in Stone’s film, Garrison confronts Shaw with its contents before the arrest, thereby implying that it was part of what justified his decision to charge him:

Jim Garrison: Mr. Shaw, this is an Italian newspaper article saying you were a board member of Centro Mondo Commerciale [sic] in Italy? That this company was a creature of the CIA for the transfer of funds in Italy for illegal political espionage activity. It says this company was expelled from Italy for those activities.

Clay Shaw: I’m well aware of that asinine article. I’m thinking very seriously of suing that rag of a newspaper.

The ‘Oswald Letter’

The recently declassified CIA documents mentioned above details another interesting KGB operation (also described in the Mitrokhin archive). In 1975, copies of a note that purported to be from Lee Harvey Oswald were sent from Mexico to three American conspiracy theorists. The letter, dated November 8, 1963, was addressed to a Mr. Hunt and said, “I would like information regarding my position” and “am suggesting that we discuss the matter fully before any steps are taken by me or anyone else.”

The note, however, was part of a Russian intelligence operation codenamed ‘Arlington.’ It was a Soviet forgery designed, the CIA document explains, to exploit “an assassination theory that was widespread in the US, according to which theory Howard HUNT, a former CIA employee, who was convicted in 1974 in connection with the Watergate affair, participated in 1963 in organizing a plot, the victim of which was President KENNEDY.” The KGB wrote the note using “individual phrases and expressions taken from letters written by Oswald during his stay in the USSR” on “a scrap of writing paper that OSWALD used in Texas.” Furthermore, “the note was on two occasions subjected to graphological and chronological examination ‘for authenticity’ by the Third Section of the KGB’s OUT (Operational-Technical Directorate).”

The note was then sent to assassination theorists Harold Weisberg, Penn Jones, and Howard Roffman. It was accompanied by another note saying that the document had been sent to FBI director Kelly and that he “has to date not done anything with this document.” The idea was to have the researchers ask the FBI to “produce the original note” and when Kelly denied he had received it, “this would encourage the investigator even more to obtain the desired document.” The operation was “carried out in such a way as to fuel [the flames of suspicion] with fresh news and to expose the participation of the American special services in the liquidation of KENNEDY.”

The problem for the KGB was that the conspiracy theorists tended to assume that the Oswald letter was intended for H.L. Hunt, the Texas oil billionaire, rather than for E. Howard Hunt, the former CIA operative. The first references to the document appeared in 1977, and the New York Times noted its possible authenticity.

Amusingly, the CIA document notes that “the FCD’s disinformation service believed that OSWALD’s connection with HUNT the millionaire, rather than with HUNT, the CIA officer, was purposely played up in the American press in order to divert public attention from OSWALD’s contacts with the special services.” The Oswald letter was later investigated by the House Select Committee on Assassinations which concluded that the letter was “much more precisely and much more carefully written” than other writings of Lee Harvey Oswald. They also professd themselves puzzled that Oswald’s middle name was misspelled—something he was not known to do—and were thus uncertain as to whether it was an authentic document. We now know that it was simply another operation designed to sow distrust and confusion.

*     *     *

Donald Trump’s decision to keep some of the JFK assassination documents secret caused huge consternation when it was announced in April of this year. But the explanation is straightforward enough—surviving informants must be protected and certain intelligence gathering operations need to remain confidential in the name of national security. In any case, the release of the outstanding documents has only been put back until 2021, and it is highly unlikely that we will learn much from them anyway.

We can learn far more from the files still under wraps in Russia and Belarus. Opening the Russian files could be useful in determining what else they did to influence American public opinion. As the declassified CIA document notes: “the KGB informed the Central Committee of the CPSU that it would take additional measures to promote theories regarding the participation of the American special services in a political conspiracy directed against President Kennedy.”

There aren’t many mysteries left in the JFK assassination. Lee Harvey Oswald killed JFK and he did so alone. There was no conspiracy, and any fair-minded person who looks at the evidence supporting the lone gunman theory will eventually arrive at the same conclusion the Warren Commission reached. But files still held in the archives in Russia and Belarus might yet tell us something about the efficacy of Soviet disinformation campaigns, and who else in the United States was either financed or duped by them, or both.

 

Fred Litwin is the President of the Free Thinking Film Society of Ottawa. In addition to I Was a Teenage JFK Conspiracy Freak, he is the author of Conservative Confidential: Inside The Fabulous Blue Tent. You can follow him on Twitter @FredLitwin

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Filed under: History, Russia, Top Stories

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Fred Litwin is the President of the Free Thinking Film Society of Ottawa and author of Conservative Confidential: Inside The Fabulous Blue Tent. You can reach Fred at his website: https://conservativeconfidential.com/

25 Comments

  1. Michael Young says

    Hey! Fred, hey you never go wrong writing about the JFK conspiracy case to a US American like oh myself. Myself personally the whole idea of it being a conspiracy is like basically saying 9/11 or what is a conspiracy too us seeing that it what The Towers there were come down in a way: and us hearing and reading a decent amount of the NIST and the 9/11 Commission’s report, and having them tell us that what a demolition doesn’t look like what is there a demolition anymore, and an inside job is nothing like what we could have seen for all possibilities sake to how explosives get set up in the buildings. Physics there not mattering anymore at 9/11, and chemical biology gone. Composites here are not composites but magic tools. Anyway, oh true thinking Americans like myself never believed in what JFK’s murder were any type of theory, for the fact for what oh went on in front of our eyes. Even just look at the Zapruder film, when I first saw that film as a kid, and I am in my 40’s right now I turned to my family in my parents living room. And said that I saw the driver shoot the President also. Here and what I saw that video in so live TV video time; it looked like to me that the driver shot Kennedy in the head. It were pretty obvious to me. And seeing that as a kid, without having the benefit of slow motion nor the Japanese government as breaking down the Zapruder film or their scientists coming to the same conclusion. I told my parents that it looked like Kennedy were shot by driver. Anyways I enjoyed your piece. Hey! Take a look at my literary piece that I wrote about 9/11, it is a small book. Go to 911truthministries.blogspot.com

    • Debbie says

      What the hell are you talking about? I can’t make sense of half of what you wrote. I guess that makes since considering you’re a 911 truther who thinks the driver shot kennedy.

  2. Nobody wants to touch this one huh lol I don’t blame you. Definitely get weird shillish vibes now and then on Quillette but hey, it’s a “Silent War” (William Cooper).

    I’ve excepted my own paranoia when it comes to this stuff. Gotta keep moving forward.

    Secret service was ordered to step down off of JFK’s limo before he was shot…

    JFK gave a speech right before his assassination calling out a “monolithic conspiracy” if I remember right… He said it was the job of the press to exspose it and report the truth…

    And then of course there was the Executive Order he signed to have US Treasury issue money instead of Federal Reserve.

    And the Zapruder film.

    According to the author:

    “There aren’t many mysteries left in the JFK assassination. Lee Harvey Oswald killed JFK and he did so alone. There was no conspiracy, and any fair-minded person who looks at the evidence supporting the lone gunman theory will eventually arrive at the same conclusion the Warren Commission reached.”

    What’s up with that?

    Let me know if I’m wrong on anything, the Executive Order and so on. JFK’s speech before he was killed is pretty easy to understand what he was getting at.

    • Secret Service was not ordered to step down. Kennedy did not call out a “monolithic conspiracy.” And there was no Executive Order. You’re wrong on all counts.

      Fred

      • Thanks the reply Fred I appreciate that.

        Michael Young’s comment looks like that of a shill, and it created the exact reaction from Debbie as it was intended to do. That’s why I made the comment in my post about a shilling vibe on Quillette, before Debbie’s post.

        Ok Fred to respond to you telling me I’m wrong with no evidence, let’s get out the links:

        Secret Service standing down (shortest clip I can find do your own research)
        https://youtu.be/lzNS15ssgIk

        He actually called it a “monolithic and ruthless, conspiracy”
        The YouTube search for this popped up as “JFK monolithic speech”
        https://youtu.be/RhkjYJAHCjM

        On YouTube type in “JFK e”. Information on Executive Order 11110 pops up.

        Anyone think Fred will respond with something to work with?

        • That monolithic conspiracy was communism. The secret service did not stand down. and that Executive Order is very innocuous. Thanks for playing.

  3. David Pittelli says

    “We know they did their best” [to help Trump win]

    No, we don’t know that. We know that the Russians also fed stories about Trump and golden shower prostitutes, etc., to a bagman paid by the DNC and the Clinton Campaign, so it is clear that the Russians were working both sides. Occam’s razor suggests they wanted chaos and dissension more than a victory for Trump or for Clinton.

    • Elwood says

      My friend from Russia agrees that chaos and destabilization were probable motives.

    • Deltaeus says

      “We know they did their best” – what rubbish!

      What we know is that Clinton/DNC hired FusionGPS, who hired ex-MI6 Christopher Steele and Pablo Miller who was the handler for Sergei Skripal, most likely the source for the ridiculous dossier.
      http://www.moonofalabama.org/2018/03/spy-posions-spy-and-the-anti-trump-campaign.html

      What we know is that the UK government issued a D notice to suppress any mention of Miller’s name, even after it had been published in US media in connection with the Skripals’ poisoning.

      What we know is that the files from the DNC were written to a disk at a speed that precludes them being transmitted over a network. That means there was no “hack” by Russians. They were copied directly onto a flashdrive by someone inside DNC HQ. No Russians, not even playing both sides.

      What we know is that senior people at FBI and DOJ have conspired against a US President. None of those people are Russian, but they were certainly doing their best to interfere.

      It might have been better to start off with something less controversial (and wrong).

  4. Everyone knows it was Professor Plum with the revolver in the library! Case closed! Moving on to the 21st century now….

  5. Deltaeus says

    Yeah Lee Harvey Oswald did it, but Brett Kavanaugh helped him. I have a vivid memory of him slapping Lee on the back and saying “good shot!”

  6. Man From Oakland says

    Mark Lane’s documentary Rush To Judgement is actually very good. He does not speculate. He interviews many witnesses to that day in Dallas, many people that were ignored by the Warren Commission. This article is a weak attempt to smear him. I’m sure anyone struggling to make a doc would be happy to get help, and suggesting that a donor got their money from Soviet agents doesn’t implicate Lane. It’s also not surprising he would want to show his film in Russia, it’s not a stretch to think the KGB might have information about the assassination- that also does not imply that they had anything to do with it. By JFK’s death, he was working with Khrushchev to de-escalate the cold war. Meanwhile JFK was battling with American military geniuses that thought it could win a tactical nuclear war, if only they struck soon before the Soviet Union caught up with them in nuclear weaponry.

    • Mark Lane was an ambulance chaser who was always out for money. He was a charlatan. His book and film were a total disgrace, full of errors and misrepresentations. You should read my book for many examples of how Mark Lane distorted the truth.

      • So it is Fred Litwin.

        I went to your website you look like an ambulance chaser yourself… I like the big bold quote you got front and center “I Was A Teenage JFK Conspiracy Freak” Fred Litwin
        And of course the kid with a tinfoil hat pictured right below it how perfect.

        Your reply to me the other day:

        “Secret Service was not ordered to step down. Kennedy did not call out a “monolithic conspiracy.” And there was no Executive Order. You’re wrong on all counts.”
        Fred

        You are totally wrong yourself, you walked back on the “monolithic conspiracy” (“That monolithic conspiracy was communism”)

        Did you watch the video I shared? Because it clearly shows Secret Service standing down plus in the videos you can see SS jumping on Jackie’s side of the car and not JFK’s after he was shot in the head.

        Lol and yeah, there was an excecutive order 11110, which then you claim “that Executive Order is very innocuous”.

        I don’t trust you one bit you have no clue what you’re talking about in response to my comments and you’re a lousy “conspiracy theorist”. No sustance at all when it comes to the “mysteries”. Why would we give you money for your book. Fake news. And the fact that you’re trying to make guys like me who care about the truth look bad and discredit that endeavor, well you’re an enemy of the people. Game Over.

        Timm

        • The Executive Order you refer to did not do what you claim it did. It WAS innocuous.. The Secret Service did not stand down. Just refer to the House Select Committee on Assassinations. And, yes, I don’t think you thought Kennedy’s “monolithic conspiracy” was communism. But, believe what you want.

  7. “When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is to co-operate with evil, and in some small way to become evil oneself. One’s standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control.”

    -Theodore Dalrymple

    Kavanaugh’s accuser has now revealed CIA connections.

  8. Eric Liskey says

    How ironic that the author begins a story conspiracy theories by engaging in one. No, it is not an open Question whether Russia tilted the election to Trump. There is Zero evidence that they did so.

  9. tarstarkas says

    A big reason why they are trying to silence Tommy Robinson. If there is no legal way to complain about wrongs, they can justify using force on those who turn to other methods of displaying their discontent with degradation of the lives.

  10. Quillette should admit it publishes sponsored content like this and ask its Patreon supporters for more money so it doesn’t need to publish sponsored content like this and thus be truer to its “Free Thought Lives” vision.

  11. For a scholarly treatment of the recent 2018 JFK document release, I encourage readers to read Prof. Jerry Kroth’s recent book or to watch his Youtube video summarizing its key findings: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ihnqSyUF8pY

    Mr. Litwin’s article is primarily a recitation of old allegations made by CIA media asset Max Holland and his UK counterpart Christopher Andrews. I”ll briefly address each point.

    1. Mr. Litwin repeats the libelous charge against Mark Lane (now deceased) that he received “$1,500” from the KGB through some unnamed close friend, and that $500 was also paid for him to attend a conference in Budapest. I believe the charges originated with Andrew’s and Mitrokhin’s book, The Sword and the Shield, and the allegation was later repeated by Holland. No evidence is provided for this assertion. No dates are given, nor are any persons identified. The accusation is structured in such a way as to avoid a lawsuit, since Andrew also claims that Lane ‘had not been told the source of the money.’ Mr. Litwin fails to acknowledge that the CIA led a decades-long media campaign against Mr. Lane. Lane denied the allegation and and wrote about it in his last book Last Word. Lane reported to have documented all donated funds, none of which amounted to $1500. Holland later insinuated that the money could have been given in very small amounts, again without evidence. Why would Mr. Litwin not provide Lane’s response to this rumor, or mention the CIA’s media strategy to discredit his work? He then calls Mr. Lane an ‘ambulance chaser’ – one can quarrel with LAne’s scholarship, but this does not warrant dismissing Lane’s decades-long work with what amounts to politically-motivated libel. (Also, it is telling that Mr. Litwin doesn’t mention Buckley’s CIA ties…)

    2. Mr. Litwin then alleges that the KGB planted a story in the March 1967 in an Italian left-wing newspaper Paese Sera. This theory has was again promoted by CIA asset Max Holland (who lectures for the CIA and writes articles for them on their official website). The problem is that there the only evidence for this is a handwritten note by KGB defector Mitrokhin purportedly summarizing a KGB document Holland has never seen – the handwritten note never mentions Clary Shaw, CMC, or Jim Garrison. The 6-part series which appeared in the Italian periodical had nothing to do with JFK or the KGB. As the editors (that Holland never bothered to interview) told reporter Joan Mellen, the articles were assigned in the wake of the right-wing coup in Greece.

    Why does this matter at all? Who cares? This is part of a strategy to insinuate that doubts regarding the Warren Commission’s conclusions (which, by the way were rejected the House Select Committee on Assassinations) are ultimately a result of a KGB disinformation campaign. The specific allegation in this case is that Garrison read or was made aware of the article and that this motivated him to prosecute Clay Shaw. This is patently absurd.

    3. Finally, Mr Litwin misquotes a letter allegedly written by Oswald and addressed to a Mr Hunt, in which Oswald writes, “I would like information concerding [sic] my position. I am suggesting that we discuss the matter fully before any steps are taken by me or anyone else.” This letter is indeed mysterious. KGB defector Mitrokhin claims that Oswald’s letter to Hunt was fabricated by the KGB. Marina Oswald, however, thought it was her husband’s handwriting. The HSCA had 3 handwriting experts analyze it: one couldn’t be sure, one believed it was genuine, and the third expert thought it was fake. Several researchers regard Mitrokhin-Andrew book as a ‘sponsored fraud’ (Kroth citing personal email from Prof. Joan Mellen). Prof. Kroth has found that the allegation that it was the KGB that forged the letter did not come from the Soviet archives. Kroth contacted Andrew, who referred him to the Churchill Archives where the Mitrokhin documents are stored. Kroth writes that, “to my surprise, there were absolutely no documents at all on this matter. Mitrokhin does not seem to have possessed a KGB document about the Oswald letter whatsoever”.

    However, if the Soviet’s did forge this letter, they did a hell of a job! As Kroth notes, the real Oswald misspelled “concerding” three years earlier exactly as he did in the Hunt letter. The Warren Commission actually corrected most of Oswald’s writings for spelling and punctuation. Fortunately, autobiographer Diane Holloway transcribed every spelling and punctuation error.

  12. With respect to the bigger picture, the Warren Commission was simply an attempt to prove a predetermined conclusion. Most scholars do not accept its findings, with the exception of a handful of people who get the most attention like Holland, Bugliosi, Posner, etc. Since the case made by the Warren Commission is so ridiculous for so many reasons, it is hard to know where to begin when evaluating it. For interested readers, I’ll just mention a few recent revelations:

    * E. Howard Hunt made a ‘deathbed’ confession to his son of CIA involvement. The confession can actually be viewed onlin, e.g.. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Do_VfoOVjk

    * Antonio Veciana was an anti-Castro activist who ran Alpha 66 for the CIA, was closely involved with David Atlee Phillips (aka Maurice Bishop), CIA’s chief of operations in the Western Hemisphere (working from Mexico City). In his memoir written at age 88 (available at amazon), Veciana claims that on September 7, 1963, when he arrived for a meeting in Dallas, David Atlee Phillips was talking with Lee Harvey Oswald! Oswald was only there for a brief time, according to Veciana.

    * That Veciana saw Phillips (codename Maurice Bishop) and Oswald together is also corroborated by a recent JFK release from this year, available at: https://www.archives.gov/files/research/jfk/releases/docid-32273595.pdf where it is also revealed that Philiips paid Veciana $253k in cash for services rendered.

    * Moreover, the estranged brother of David Phillips, Jim, recounts that on David confessed to him over the telephone (while dying from lung cancer) that he was in Dallas on the day of the assassination – upon which Jim hung up and never spoke to him again.

    MEXICO CITY.

    For those unfamiliar with the JFK assassination, the CIA alleged that Oswald went to Mexico City in the summer prior to the assassination to visit the Cuban consulate and Soviet embassy. There’s no evidence Oswald actually went to Mexico City, but plenty of evidence the CIA fabricated the story to portray Oswald as a crazed communist. The CIA also concocted a second, backup story, which they fed to people like Earl Warren, to head off any real investigation – the story was that Oswald was in fact a KGB agent or asset of some kind and that this information had to be withheld from the general public to avoid a nuclear war. Some new details are revealed by the Trump document release:

    * Phillips asked Veciana to bribe a MExican couple to say they saw Oswald in MExico City (doc id 32273595)
    * A WC document cites a man named Cecilio Cardenas as witnessing Oswald on a bus to MExico City, but a new document release reveals that he said he was “never on that bus” and that he “never seen such a person” (doc id 32161929)
    * Another CIA functionary at the the Soviet Embassy in Mexico City, now revealed, said that the ‘Oswald’ he had seen was about 6 feet tall and had an athletic build – which means it wasn’t Oswald (doc id 32271039)
    * The CIA story about Oswald relied heavily on the testimony of Sylvia Duran from the Cuban consulate. In a recently released document, however, it is revealed that the CIA heavily tampered with her testimony. She said e.g. that Oswald was blond (release 180-10147-10188)
    * To obtain her testimony, Duran was arrested, rearrested, not allowed to the bathroom, and ‘bruised’ (doc id 32271437)
    * That Oswald never went to Mexico City has been known for a long time, however.- look up, for example, the infamous Hoover Memo. J Edgar Hoover wrote a memo to LBJ stated that “we have up here the tape and the photograph of the man who was at the Soviet Embassy using Oswald’s name. The picture and the tape do not correspond to his man’s voice, or to his appearance…” What is even more damning is that Phillips had testified that Oswald had been to Mexico City, that he was planning the assassination for almost two months, and that they had proof, tape recordings of his voice and photographs. The HSCA asked for this evidence, and Phillips swore that the tapes HAD BEEN DESTROYED by the CIA PRIOR TO THE ASSASSINATION as routine procedure. Hoover and the FBI, however, clearly had the tapes after the assassination, which means that Phillips’s testimony was a lie. It also means that the CIA was busy fabricating the Oswald Mexico City legend months before the assassination took place.

    It is also clear that Oswald had ties to intelligence agencies. For one, the address (544 Camp St) printed on the pro-Castro leaflets he handed out in New Orleans was the office of Guy Bannister, an ex-FBI agent and anti-Castro and devout anti-communist Catholic. It’s clear that Oswald knew David Ferrie, a conclusion also reached by the HSCA…

    I’ve barely scratched the surface here, and the significance of these details may elude readers unfamiliar with this case. The take-away, however, is that the evidence points to a coup d’etat by LBJ and some elements of the CIA (PHillips, Hunt, David Morales, etc.), using mafia assets (e.g. Giancana, Nicoletti, Roselli, etc.).

    • RB Glennie says

      Thanks Mr. Litwin for this article – I’m not sure how relevant is the Soviet disinformation to the growth of the JFK assassination conspiracy story (don’t call them `theories’, they are no such thing). But I will respond to the commenter “JH” just briefly. Oswald went to Mexico in Sept of 1963, not the summer (although the season doesn’t end to the 21st or 22nd of course). He was, without question present there, attempting to get back into the Soviet Union or into Cuba. If you believe he was not, then you have to believe that: personnel at the Cuban and Soviet Embassies both, were somehow involved with … what do they call it nowadays, the U.S. `deep state’ is it?… to frame Oswald for the assassination. Not only these two unlikely allies, but also several other people, regular U.S. citizens who encountered Oswald on the bus-trip back to Texas…

  13. Hollywood Mark says

    Nice try Mr. Litwin. Really an amateur.

    This is yet ANOTHER limited hangout by the CIA and their neocon friends regarding the JFK assassination. Either the Soviets and/or Castro is always blamed. Don’t you guys ever pass away?
    I love that you mention “historian” Max Holland. LOL. – you mean, the CIA website director? Nice source.

    Anyway, regarding Clay Shaw – simply because you are both gay gives you no moral high ground to speak from. Meaningless.

    REGARDING JFK the film – no facts demonstrated in the classic has ever been disproven. None. There is factual basis for every single theory posited. I suggest you read JFK Book of the Film with its hundred of footnotes. But that’s not your game. The limited hangout is your game and the game of your neocon Atlantic Council benefactors.

    Who has time to pick through the crazy crap in your article. it’s just shocking that it’s in this forum.

    Regarding Shaw:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clay_Shaw

    “In 1979, Richard Helms, former director of the CIA, testified under oath that Shaw had been a part-time contact of the Domestic Contact Service of the CIA, where Shaw volunteered information from his travels abroad, mostly to Latin America.”

    “In 1996, the CIA revealed that Shaw had obtained a “five Agency” clearance in 1949.”

    (https://www.cia.gov/library/readingroom/docs/DOC_0000904662.pdf)

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