Author Topic: Bill Simpich on Lee Henry Oswald, Oct./2009  (Read 5011 times)

Alan Dale

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Bill Simpich on Lee Henry Oswald, Oct./2009
« on: July 11, 2013, 04:46:50 pm »
I wanted to see if I could revive this thread, because I think that the "Lee Henry Oswald" story leads to better understanding of how Oswald was used by James
Angleton's CI-SIG (counter-intelligence, special investigations group) and David Phillips of the SAS. Angleton's assistant Ann Egerter was the one who named the 201 file "Lee Henry Oswald" and denied to the HSCA that the word "Henry" was in her handwriting. More than 30 years later, her deposition is one of the only ones that has not been declassified. The October 1 transcripts and much more are now on-line and readily available. I hope we can keep pushing to have more documents released by the Congressional oversight committees in the coming year.

CI-SIG treated "Lee Henry Oswald" as an intelligence asset

Here are some indications that that Oswald was used wittingly or unwittingly for a molehunt by Angleton:

In “Oswald and the Search for Popov’s Mole”, Peter Dale Scott focuses on the importance of the numerous anomalies that fill Oswald’s 201 file. One important one is Angleton's assistant Ann Egerter opening a 201 file for Oswald more than a year after his defection to the Soviet Union and only after inquiries were made about his defector status by the State Department, and entitling the file “Lee Henry Oswald”.

In "Popov's Mole" Scott argues that inaccurate information was repeatedly planted in the documentary history of Oswald’s files by officials such as Egerter and FBI Special Agent John Fain, specifically to find out if this information leaked somewhere else. If it did, this was evidence that a “mole” had access to it. Jim Angleton’s search for a mole is well-known for having turned the CIA upside down.;relPageId=3

The CIA's top "defector-in-place" (an agent who not only defects, but remains in and feigns loyalty to the target country), Peter Popov. code-named ATTIC, had passed on a leak in 1958 that the Soviets knew a lot more about the U-2 than the US thought. The very day that LHO arrived in the Soviet Union - October 16, 1959 - Popov was arrested. Angleton's biographer Tom Mangold wrote that this event accelerated Angleton's molehunt, believing that "Popov could only have been betrayed by a mole buried deep within
Soviet Division." Mangold also wrote that "Popov was actually lost to the Soviets because of a slipshod CIA operation; there was no treachery."
(John Newman, Oswald and the CIA, pp. 87-88)

Nonetheless, if Angleton was convinced that there was a mole in the Soviet Division, he may have believed that radar operator Oswald's presence in the Soviet Union that day had something to do with it. At a minimum, it is reasonable to believe that Angleton wanted LHO carefully watched, and that intelligence decisions would be made based on LHO's actions. That is a good working definition of an intelligence "asset". As David Phillips told the HSCA, "We covered this man all the time.";relPageId=99

Egerter told the HSCA that the 201 file for a CIA asset "would be a restricted 201 file and it might even be a false 201 file, not having anything in it. Everything would be held by the case officer...operational material is not filed in 201 files...It would be held by the operations officer, case officer." (DiEugenio & Pease, eds., The Assassinations, p. 157, citing Egerter's 5/27/78 deposition, pp. 31-38; was it reclassified?)

Even the transcript of Oswald's October 1 call to the Soviet embassy may not be authentic

The last time “Lee Henry Oswald” was seen in the files was when the CIA generated twin messages with very different descriptions of Oswald on October 10, 1963, stating that he had contacted the Soviet embassy in Mexico City on October 1. The transcript of the October 1, 1963 visit do exist. Although "Lee Henry Oswald" is not invoked there, everyone from J. Edgar Hoover on down seems to agree that LHO was impersonated during the calls that day. You can read them here...;relPageId=8

There is a dispute about the authenticity of the October 1 transcript. Win Scott and David Phillips prepared a cable to CIA HQ on October 8 stating that Oswald spoke in
"broken Russian".;relPageId=2;relPageId=66

Not only does the transcript reflect that Oswald spoke in English, but Oswald's Russian in 1963 was very good.

Another discrepency is that Anita Tarasoff (she and her husband transcribed the tapes) remembered that Oswald was asking for financial aid in the October 1 transcript.;relPageId=96

Amazingly, both Win Scott and David Phillips appear to agree with her:
Win Scott:;relPageId=101
David Phillips:;relPageId=54

When Phillips tried to get around it, Chief Counsel Sprague angrily said to Phillips that "you have slithered around" recent disparaging claims he had made to the media that Oswald had been seeking financial aid. Even Phillips had to agree!;relPageId=94

As the tapes no longer exist, there is no way to test the transcript against the tapes, only against the documentary record.

Ann Egerter's deposition testimony about the October 10 messages from the CIA is not credible, and should be released in full

Moving to the twin October 10 messages with very different descriptions of Oswald: One message was in-house, while the other went to third party agencies (FBI, State Dept., and Navy). The latter message stated that “Lee Henry Oswald” was 35 years old and balding. Egerter checked both of these messages for accuracy.;relPageId=157

These October 10 messages went out just hours after FBI official Marvin Gheesling took Oswald off the FBI’s Watchlist, claiming that it should have been done upon Oswald’s return from the Soviet Union the previous year. As stated by author James Douglass, the upshot was that Oswald’s “staged Soviet connection could then be documented for scapegoating purposes after Dallas, but without sounding a national security alarm that would have put a spotlight on Oswald and prevented Dallas from happening."

When Ann Egerter was interviewed by HSCA investigators on 3/31/78, she asked to use an alias. She said that CI-SIG was known as the “office known for spying on spies” and that its main work was infiltration of the CIA. (pages 1 and 3 of memo) She also said that the words “Henry”, “Marine Corps” and “Navy” on the 201 document did not look like her handwriting and that she did “not recognize 2nd writing”. (pages 9 and 10 of memo; other numbered pages unreadable);relPageId=2

To see Egerter’s handwriting on the document that opened the 201 file:;relPageId=113

Egerter complained to the CIA after the deposition was over that she had not done well, citing her problem with the “Lee Henry” handwriting, among a host of other issues.

Her deposition of 5/17/78 remains one of the only depositions - if not the only deposition - still classified more than thirty years later.

Are the twin messages of October 10 related to the CIA-FBI deception program in foreign countries to counter the FPCC?

As Peter Dale Scott has said, it is important to analyze intelligence operations prior to the assassination, the assassination itself, and the cover-up. The events we have looked at so far appear to focus on a molehunt and possibly an FPCC deception program.

On 9/16/63, John Tilton of the CIA made two requests. One was for the FBI to help obtain FPCC stationery and any existing foreign mailing list in order to have a sample “to produce large quantities of propaganda in the name of the (FPCC)” in order to “counter” their activities in foreign countries. Tilton also said that the CIA was considering planting “deceptive information” which might “embarrass” the FPCC in areas where it has some support. Tilton assured the FBI that no "fabrication" would take place without advance notice and agreement. David Phillips with the SAS was in charge of Cuban affairs during this period, and specialized in actions of deception.

LHO's subsequent visit to Mexico City on September 25 may have been an effort to plant "deceptive information". Pursuant to Tilton's other request, the FBI asked FPCC activist Victor Vicente, NY 3245-S* to provide them with FPCC stationery and the foreign mailing lists.

Tilton did it, and included within the package correspondence to the FPCC, that included a typed copy of a letter from Lee Oswald to V.T. Lee that Vicente had already provided in a previous break-in in April 1963. In this typed version, prepared under the guidance of experienced Oswald investigator FBI agent Robert P. Gemberling, VT Lee was described as "Henry Lee", a phrase that was not used in Oswald's letter. Was this just a mistake, or a conscious effort to link these two men in the documentary record in some way?

The handwritten version of the VT Lee exhibit:
The typed version of the VT Lee exhibit referring to "Henry Lee":;relPageId=676

Tilton was no Boy Scout. He reported to Edward Lansdale in 1962-63 as part of the Psychological Operations Group, a psy-op team designed to destabilize Cuba.;relPageId=73

Tilton was the CIA La Paz station chief involved in the capture and assassination of Che Guevara.

Tilton was the last chief of the Phoenix Program in Vietnam, a program estimated to have killed 20,000 alleged Viet Cong.

A final anomaly brought out in "Popov's Mole" is a crucial key to the assassination itself

A false physical description of Oswald as 5 feet, 10 inches and 165 pounds can be found in three crucial places:

1. This description originated in a memo written by FBI Special John Fain in May, 1960, supposedly based from talking to Oswald’s mother, although Oswald’s weight never varied any more than 130-150 and was 150 at the time of his death. LHO's height was generally described as 5 feet, 9 inches, though the Marines reported Oswald as 5 feet, 11 inches.
LHO seemed to favor the 5'11" description when dealing with government officials, for some still-unknown purpose.;relPageId=10

2. The last known pre-assassination use of this physical description was in the second of the twin October 10 messages was a cable sent two hours later to the station in Mexico: "Oswald is five feet ten inches, one hundred sixty five pounds..." Although Egerter checked it for accuracy, "accuracy" is not the issue. The issue is how this particular description was chosen from all the descriptions out there.;relPageId=157

3. Finally, the broadcast over the Dallas police radio fifteen minutes after JFK was shot was that the unidentified assassin was “5/10, 165 pounds...”

Although confused commentators have claimed that Howard Brennan was the source, it's well documented that an "unidentified citizen" gave the above description to Inspector Sawyer after he saw someone looking like Oswald running from the Book Depository immediately after the assassination. The citizen did not comply with the sheriff's request to come to the office later to fill out a report, and Hoover said that the "sheriff's office can locate no record on this citizen".;relPageId=109

Even after the Warren Report was published, Hoover responded to general counsel J. Lee Rankin's request that according to the Dallas police the information came from an ‘unidentified citizen’.” (There is no record of Hoover re-contacting the sheriff's department).;relPageId=72 - also see Gerald McKnight's (Breach of Trust, p. 109)

Rankin repeated his request to Hoover for more information on this incident, but apparently to no avail.;relPageId=33

- Bill Simpich
Our future may lie beyond our vision, but it is not completely beyond our control. It is the shaping impulse of America that neither fate nor nature nor the irresistible tides of history, but the work of our own hands, matched to reason and principle, that will determine our destiny.