Lee Harvey Oswald, JFK, Puzzle
Oswald Jigsaw Puzzle. Photo credit: Adapted by WhoWhatWhy from Jolene Faber / Flickr (CC BY 2.0), ARCHIVES.GOV.

This is a complex story, as fascinating as it is appalling. It is about how the CIA and FBI suppressed a major clue to the existence of a pre-JFK-assassination conspiracy. And about how alleged evidence of Lee Harvey Oswald in Mexico was manipulated and altered by elements in the CIA and their Mexican clients, the Dirección Federal de Seguridad (DFS).

When John F. Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963, the United States lost more than its president. It lost its innocence. The subsequent investigations into the young president’s killing raised more questions than they answered — and caused Americans to lose faith in their government. Indeed, for many people in the US and across the world, the assassination marked the point at which their fundamental perceptions changed.

Just after the Warren Commission released its report on the assassination, the level of public trust in government was at 77 percent. A decade later it had plummeted to less than half that (36 percent).

Kennedy’s death and the circumstances surrounding it gave birth to a movement. This movement, composed of all kinds of people, is dedicated to investigating the story behind the story, to exposing the power networks hidden beneath surface events. These machinations have been dubbed “Deep Politics.” Those who study it believe there is much more to national and world events than what the public is told by government officials and evening newscasters — and, as you will see, Peter Dale Scott proves it.

On the occasion of the anniversary of Kennedy’s assassination, WhoWhatWhy is pleased to present excerpts from Chapter 2 of Scott’s latest work — Dallas ’63: The First Deep State Revolt Against the White House by Peter Dale Scott (Open Road Media, September, 2015).

For Part 1, please go here; Part 2 go here; Part 3 go here; Part 5 go here; Part 6 go here.

4. The Management of the False Oswald Intercepts — October 1:

It has been customary to contrast the fluid, changing stories about Oswald from human sources with the allegedly “hard,” objective reports of Oswald himself talking, or being discussed, in intercepts obtained from a tap on Mexican phone lines into the Soviet Embassy.[87] However this intercept record is deeply flawed, and in part almost certainly falsified. In addition to containing false information, the intercepts share two other features with the managed stories discussed above. They supplied the changing need for first “Phase-One” and then “Phase-Two” stories. And they too reached the CIA via the Mexican DFS, the most likely candidate to have falsified them. (Although it is customary to talk of “CIA intercepts,” the initial tapping and taping were handled by the DFS.)

It is helpful to consider the intercepts in the chronological order in which they reached CIA Headquarters. We see then that the intercepts can be divided into two categories: two early “Phase-One” intercepts, hinting that Oswald was part of an international Communist conspiracy, and a host of later “Phase-Two” intercepts, clarifying that Oswald’s sole purpose for visiting the Soviet and Cuban Consulates was in connection with obtaining a Cuban visa.

“We have up here the tape and the photograph of the man who was at the Soviet embassy, using Oswald’s name. That picture and the tape do not correspond to this man’s voice, nor to his appearance.” [J. Edgar Hoover]

We have already referred to the suggestive “Phase-One” character of the first intercept, the only one forwarded to Washington before the assassination. This linked the name of Lee Oswald to a Soviet Consul, Kostikov, whom the CIA later identified (at least for a time) as a KGB Agent from Department Thirteen, specializing in assassinations. The cable deserves to be quoted verbatim:

Acc[ording] LIENVOY [the CIA’s phone intercept program] 1 Oct 63, American male who spoke broken Russian said his name Lee Oswald (phonetic), stated he at Sovemb on 28 Sept when spoke with Consul whom he believed be Valeriy Vladimirovich Kostikov. Subj asked Sov guard Ivan Obyedkov who answered if there anything new re telegram to Washington. Obyedkov upon checking said nothing received yet, but request had been sent. [88]

Almost certainly this speaker was not the Lee Harvey Oswald who visited the Soviet Union, and spoke relatively fluent Russian.[89] No less an authority than J. Edgar Hoover advised Lyndon Johnson of this by telephone on the morning of November 23: “We have up here the tape and the photograph of the man who was at the Soviet embassy, using Oswald’s name. That picture and the tape do not correspond to this man’s voice, nor to his appearance.”[90] Audio tapes for these LBJ phone calls have been preserved at the LBJ Library. However nothing of this conversation can be heard on the relevant tape; it would appear to have been erased.[91]


J. Edgar Hoover and LBJ. Photo credit: LBJ Presidential Library

Hoover’s reasons for saying this were laid out in a Letterhead Memorandum sent out on the same day to the President and to the Secret Service:

The Central Intelligence Agency advised that on October 1, 1963, an extremely sensitive source had reported that an individual identified himself as Lee Oswald, who contacted the Soviet Embassy in Mexico City inquiring as to any messages. Special Agents of this Bureau, who have conversed with Oswald in Dallas, Texas, have observed photographs of the individual referred to above and have listened to a recording of his voice. These Special Agents are of the opinion that the above-referred-to individual was not Lee Harvey Oswald.”[92]

Other FBI cables and memoranda confirm that the tape was indeed flown up on a US Navy plane from Mexico City to Dallas, where FBI agents confirmed the voice was not Oswald’s.

John Newman has shown in detail how this initial candor was obfuscated by subsequent clumsy attempts by the Mexico City CIA to assert, falsely, that the tape, and others like it, had been erased.[93] By noon EST November 23, the Mexico City CIA Station had cabled headquarters to say that “Station unable compare voice as first tape erased prior receipt second call” (on October 1).[94]

This false claim was soon abandoned. A headquarters memo reports that by 7 AM EST November 24, headquarters knew that the first tape had been reviewed, and the voice found to be identical with that in the other intercepts.[95] Anne Goodpasture, who handled the intercepts in the Mexico City CIA station, has confirmed that she herself commented on an internal document that the voices on the first and other intercepts had been compared (by “Douglas Feinglass” [Boris Tarasoff], the responsible translator) before the assassination.[96]

The October 8 intercept cable was the strongest single piece of evidence for an illusory Oswald-Soviet assassination conspiracy. By concealing its falsity, the CIA and FBI did not just keep alive the illusion. More importantly, they obstructed the pursuit of the most important available clue at that time of a high-level assassination conspiracy.

Later on the same critical day of November 23, the CIA reverted to a second false cover story: that all the Oswald intercept tapes had been erased by that time, not just the first. The FBI notified its Dallas office that evening that “With regard to the tapes [deletion] referred to herein, CIA has advised that these tapes have been erased and are not available for review.”[97] This crucial lie (concealing the existence of evidence which could have led to a conspirator in the assassination) was repeated the next day in a cable from CIA Mexico City to headquarters: “HQ has full transcripts all pertinent calls. Regret complete recheck shows tapes for this period already erased.”[98]

However contemporary CIA documents suggest that comparisons of the voices on the tapes had been made, including tapes only listened to after November 22.[99] I do not accept this as conclusive evidence of the survival of the pre-assassination tapes, because (as I shall argue shortly), nothing said by the CIA about these alleged Oswald intercepts can be accepted as certain. But in April 1964 two members of the Warren Commission staff, William Coleman and David Slawson, visited the Mexico City CIA Station, and later said they listened to the pre-assassination tape of the man identifying himself as “Lee Oswald.”[100] So the tape existed on November 23, when FBI agents are supposed to have listened to it. And the rebuttal that the tapes had been destroyed is false.

In 1976 the staff of the Church Committee discovered the evidence that the October 1 tape had been listened to, revealing the role of an Oswald impersonator; and they reported also the ensuing cover-up. Their staff report, only recently released, noted cogently as follows:

On November 25, 1963 — some two days after Dallas cabled the Bureau that the tapes had been erased — Bureau supervisor Burt Turner cabled legat stating: “If tapes covering any contact subject [Oswald] with Soviet or Cuban embassies available forward to Bureau for laboratory examination. Include tapes previous reviewed Dallas if they were returned to you.”[101]

But this explosive staff report was ignored in Book V of the Church Committee’s Final Report, which purported to review the performance of the intelligence agencies in the investigation of the assassination of President John. F. Kennedy.[102] In a misleadingly detailed chronology of CIA and FBI behavior on November 23 and 24, 1963, the central problem of the October 1 tape in Dallas is ignored altogether.[103]

The cover-up was perpetuated, in a more sophisticated manner, by the House Select Committee on Assassinations [HSCA]. Its report stated, no less than three times, that no “recording of Oswald’s voice” was ever “received” or “listened to” in the United States.[104] This language is a lawyer’s subterfuge: what was received and listened to was precisely not a recording of Oswald’s voice.[105]

In contrast to other “benign” “Phase-Two” cover-ups of a false Oswald-Soviet link, this cover-up in November 1963 can only be called sinister. The October 8 intercept cable was the strongest single piece of evidence for an illusory Oswald-Soviet assassination conspiracy. By concealing its falsity, the CIA and FBI did not just keep alive the illusion. More importantly, they obstructed the pursuit of the most important available clue at that time of a high-level assassination conspiracy.

Digression: The October 1 Kostikov Intercept and the November 9 “Kostin” Letter

This clue did not stand alone. It dovetailed with a letter, purportedly from Oswald, which was mailed from Irving, Texas on November 12 to the Soviet Embassy in Washington. In this letter, the writer spoke of “my meetings [sic] with comrade Kostin in the Embassy of the Soviet Union, Mexico City.”

The letter also alluded suggestively to the lack of time there “to complete our business.” Even more alarmingly, the author revealed knowledge that the Consul in the Cuban Embassy had been “replaced.”[106] (The CIA confirmed later that Consul Azcue “was scheduled to leave in October but did not leave until November 18.”)[107] And finally the writer spoke of speaking with Dallas FBI Agent James Hosty on November 1, a claim which would cause considerable post-assassination embarrassment to the FBI at the very highest levels.[108]


“The Warren Report.” Photo credit: LBJ Presidential Library.

The Warren Commission accepted the genuineness of this letter, largely because of corroborating evidence in the form of a rough draft, said to be in Oswald’s handwriting, which Ruth Paine allegedly discovered and then after the assassination gave to James Hosty.[109] The Soviets however considered the letter to be a fake. In a post-assassination analysis they observed that the letter was typed, whereas all of Oswald’s other correspondence had been in his own handwriting. As the Soviet Ambassador pointed out at the time, the tone was also quite dissimilar to anything Oswald had communicated before; it gave “the impression we had close ties with Oswald and were using him for some purposes of our own.”[110]

I myself suspect that neither the letter nor the rough draft were genuine. There is no evidence that Oswald had plural “meetings” with Kostikov; I doubt that he had any. There is only one slight passing reference to the question of Oswald’s and Marina’s possible return to the Soviet Union, which had been the sole topic of their urgent appeals to the Washington Consulate in July.[111] It is surprising that there is no reference whatsoever to the Consulate’s rejection, just one month earlier in October, of Marina’s application to return to the Soviet Union.[112]

What is particularly suspect about the November 9 Kostin letter is its timing. After being intercepted by the FBI on its way to the Soviet Embassy in Washington, the letter was summarized and communicated to Dallas, where the news arrived on November 22. Hosty thus only learned of it right after the assassination. Had he learned earlier, Oswald would probably have been put under surveillance; and the assassination story could not have unfolded as it did.

As for the rough draft, I believe that it was composed, as well as discovered, after the assassination: to corroborate, and also neutralize, the dubious Kostin letter. The “draft” pointedly converts the typed letter’s ominous “Phase-One” language (“time to complete our business”) into an innocuous description of Kostikov’s role (“time to assist me”).[113]

Quite independently, and for different reasons, the researcher Jerry Rose also argued that “the typed version was generated before the handwritten one,” the latter designed “to create proof that Oswald had written the letter.”[114] Among other things, Rose pointed out that six words spelt incorrectly in the “final” typed version, are in fact spelt correctly in the “draft”; while there are no misspellings in the “draft” that are corrected in the “final” version.[115] It is worth adding that virtually all the evidence that arrived separately to the authorities from the Paine household — a note about Gen. Edwin Walker, a pristine Mexican bus ticket—is suspect.[116]

The Kostikov intercept, and the supporting Kostin letter, were and remain two of the most incontrovertible clues of a pre-assassination conspiracy. The CIA and FBI conspired together to suppress the known fact that the voice of the intercept was not Oswald’s; and the CIA, at least, saw this as an operational matter.[117] The CIA’s behavior here was in accordance with its agreement with the Department of Justice. Its priority was to protect its sources and methods—in this case, one of its most secret and important intercept operations. By prior agreement, it put this priority ahead of the pursuit of justice—in this case, the major US political crime of the century.

Whoever did have control of the originating typewriter should be considered a prima facie suspect in the murder conspiracy.[118]

5. The Management of the False Oswald Intercepts — September 28:

The second intercept forwarded to Washington, at 2 PM EST on November 23, must have seemed even more indicative of a mysterious relationship between Oswald, the Cubans, and the Soviets. Keep in mind that at this stage the cables to Washington had not yet indicated that Oswald’s visits to the two Embassies were in pursuit of a visa:

On 28 Sep 63 Silvia Duran Cuban Emb called Sov Consul saying Northamerican there who had been Sov Emb and wish speak with Consul. Uniden Northamerican told Sov consul quote “I was in your Emb and spoke to your consul. I was just now at your Emb and they took my address.” Sov Consul says, “I know that.” Uniden Northamerican speaks Russian “I did not know it then. I went to the Cuban Emb to ask them for my address because they have it” Sov Consul “Why don’t you come again and leave your address with us It is not far from the Cuban Emb”. Uniden Northamerican “Well, I’ll be there right away.”[119]

This strange intercept might have appeared credible if the DFS had truly heard from Silvia Durán in her first interview (as alleged by Salvador Diaz Verson) that Oswald “had stayed in her home in Mexico City.”[120]

Nevertheless, as discussed below, this alleged intercept is even more improbable than the first. Both the Soviet and the Cuban Embassies were closed to the public on September 28, a Saturday. Durán has subsequently testified that she made only one phone call on Oswald’s behalf, on Friday September 27; and that she did not see Oswald again on Saturday (3 AH 49-51). MEXI 7023 notes further that the unidentified Northamerican “spoke terrible, hardly recognizable Russian;” as already noted, Oswald was relatively fluent in Russian.

In 1993 a new witness claimed that, although the Soviet Embassy was closed to the public on Saturday, Oswald was indeed admitted there. This witness was Oleg Nechiporenko, a Soviet KGB official who claimed to have taken part in a Saturday morning meeting in the Embassy with Oswald and also Kostikov.[121] However Nechiporenko also denied strenuously, on videotape, that there could have been any phone calls into the Soviet Embassy on September 28; because the switchboard was closed.[122]

The September 28 “address” intercept, is even more than the October 1 “Kostikov” intercept, an important clue as to the perpetrators of the Kennedy assassination. It is possible that on October 1, the Soviet phone and CIA intercept program were exploited by an outsider, about whom we know only that his Russian (and quite possibly his English) was bad.[123]

If Durán and Nechiporenko are correct, however, the alleged “address” intercept of September 28, did not occur at all, at least in its purported form of a phone call to the Soviet Embassy. In this case we would have a strong clue that conspirators to frame Oswald in a “Phase-One” conspiracy existed within the LIENVOY intercept process, either in the CIA, or (as I shall suggest) within the DFS.

Let me summarize the arguments that the “address” intercept of September 28 was a fake through and through:

1) Both the Cuban Consulate and the Soviet Consulate were closed on September 28.

2) Silvia Durán has testified repeatedly that on September 28 Oswald was not in the Cuban Consulate, where their voices are alleged to have been overheard (3 AH 49-50).

3) Oleg Nechiporenko of the Soviet Embassy is the chief source supporting the claim that Oswald was in the Soviet Embassy on September 28. Yet he has stated, on video, that the telephone switchboard was closed on September 28, and that there could have been no phone conversations on that day.

4) The voice said to be Oswald’s was reportedly that of the first “Kostikov” intercept, and if so not that of the Dallas Lee Harvey Oswald.

Response to the “Phase-One” Intercepts

It was in response to these two intercepts, but especially the second, that the CIA Station Chief moved unilaterally to have the Mexican DFS arrest Silvia Durán:

Silvia DURAN, the girl who put Oswald in touch with the Soviet Embassy, is a Mexican citizen. It is suggested that she be arrested as soon as possible by the Mexican authorities and held incommunicado until she can be questioned on the matter. She lives at Bahia de Morlaco #74. Her mother lives at Ebro # 12. Her brother [i.e. brother-in-law Rubén Durán] lives at Herodoto #14.” [124]

Note that the CIA already had information on both Silvia and Rubén Durán, and may have been responsible for the latter’s arrest as well. [125]

Four days later this second intercept was being characterized by Win Scott in “Phase-Two” language:

A telephone call … by Silvia DURAN who puts on an unidentified norteamerican man who tells the Soviet that he was just at their Embassy and wants to give them his address. The Soviet tells him to return to the Embassy with the address. [126]

But the ominous importance attached to it originally is reflected in the tone of the questions the CIA (apparently CIA station chief Scott in Mexico) prepared on November 24 or 25:

Was the assassination of President Kennedy planned by Fidel CASTRO Ruz; and were the final details worked out inside the Cuban Embassy in Mexico?…

Did the Cuban Embassy furnish him a place to stay in Mexico City? It is reliably reported that OSWALD did not know his address in Mexico City, but the Cuban Embassy did know his address in Mexico City….

If CASTRO planned that OSWALD assassinate President Kennedy, did the Soviets have any knowledge of these plans? [127]

That Scott formulated these questions on November 25 suggests that he already contemplated the rearrest and reinterview of Silvia Durán (as he and Ambassador Mann, along with the FBI attache, formally requested one day later).[128] Indeed the ominous questions may have contributed to Durán’s rearrest, after they were read on the night of November 25 to the President of Mexico.[129] If so, the apparently fortuitous arrival of Alvarado on November 25 fit into a project already formed in the mind of the Mexico Chief of Station.

Next: Part 5.

For Part 1, please go here; Part 2 go here; Part 3 go here; Part 6 go here.


Related frontpage panorama photo credit: Dallas ’63: The First Deep State Revolt Against the White House (Open Road Media / Amazon), Flag of the Soviet Union (СССР / Wikimedia), Assassination Records Review Board (ARCHIVE.GOV), Tiger Head (Ross Elliott / FlickrCC BY 2.0), Peter Dale Scott (PETERDALESCOTT.NET), Oswald at about the time of his defection. (ARCHIVES.GOV)

[87] See for example AR 249-50; Summers, Conspiracy, 373.

[88] MEXI 6453 of 9 Oct 090043Z; NARA #104-10015-10047; 4 AH 212. The CIA Station later supplied an allegedly verbatim transcript of this conversation. In this transcript the person identifying himself as Oswald did not mention Kostikov as the cable suggested; he merely replied affirmatively when Obyedkov suggested that Kostikov was the Consul who had been spoken to on Saturday (Lopez Report 79). Was this transcript in fact a later “Phase-Two” rewrite to neutralize the “Phase-One” cable? This possibility seems less far-fetched when we see how the only other alleged Oswald allusion to Kostikov, the “Phase-One” “Kostin” letter of November 9, was similarly neutralized by the later presentation of a dubious alleged “draft,” also “Phase-Two”.

[89] As noted in Chapter 1, some in the Mexico CIA Station themselves doubted that the caller was Oswald. One of them wrote that “Both Mexican monitors… said caller who called himself Oswald had difficulty making himself understood both (as I recall) in English and Russian” (Handwritten note on Scott D. Breckinridge Memo for the Record of 12 December 1976, NARA #104-10095-10001, emphasis added). Corroborating evidence is provided by Dallas FBI chief Gordon Shanklin’s report that in the days after the assassination his FBI agents listened to a copy of a Mexico City tape purported to contain Oswald’s voice. What they heard was a voice speaking in broken English who was not Oswald. (See, p. 39)

[90] Phone call from Hoover to LBJ, 10:01 AM, 11/23/63 (Beschloss, Taking Charge, 23; Newman, Oswald and the CIA, 520).

[91] Rex Bradford, “The Fourteen-Minute Gap,” Kennedy Assassination Chronicles, Spring 2000, 28-32.

[92] Letterhead Memo from Hoover to James J. Rowley, Secret Service, 11/23/63; AR 249-50; cf. FBI #62-109060-1133, NARA #104-10419-10022. (The drafter is SA Fletcher D. Thompson of Criminal Division, who on the next day flew to Dallas with SA Richard Rogge, to prepare memoranda on deaths of Kennedy and Oswald: 3 AH 465, 478, 479). Discussion below; Scott, Deep Politics and the Death of JFK, 41-45.

[93] Address to November 1999 JFKLancer Conference, available on line at

[94] CIA Cable MEXI 7023 231659Z (11:59 AM EST November 23), NARA#104-10015-10124.

[95] “SUMMARY of Relevant Information on Lee Harvey OSWALD at 0700 on 24 November 1963,” NARA #104-10015-10359. Reprinted in Hosty, Assignment Oswald, p. 289. Cf. CIA Memo of 11/23/63 to FBI, CSCI-3/778,826, NARA #104-10004-10257: “Voice comparisons indicated that the `North American’ who participated in several of these conversations is probably the person who identified himself as Lee OSWALD on 1 October 1963.”

[96] Anne Goodpasture comment on newspaper column by Robert S. Allen and Paul Scott (10/21/64) preserved in Mexico City Oswald file; NARA #104-10125-10001. See December 1995 ARRB Interview of Anne Goodpasture, p. 140: Q. “So did Mr. Feinglass then make that identification prior to the assassination?” A. Prior to the assassination and prior to Sylvia Duran’s arrest. Q. Yes is the answer? A. Yeah.”

[97] FBI Cable of November 23 from Eldon Rudd to SAC, Dallas; FBI file MX 105-3702-12. Eldon Rudd was of course the FBI agent who reportedly had flown up the tapes the day before. In 1995 Anne Goodpasture told the ARRB that she thought Rudd “may have carried the tape dub [copy].” She suggested that the ARRB interview Rudd: “I think he refused to talk to the House Committee [on Assassinations] because he was a Congressman at that time” (ARRB Interview of Anne Goodpasture, 12/95, p. 146).

[98] CIA Cable MEXI 7054 2401837Z (1:37 PM EST November 24), NARA #104-10015-10082. The day before, at 2:11 PM EST, the station had reported it was “probable that Oswald conversation LIENVOY tapes erased” (CIA Cable MEXI 7024 23911Z, NARA #104-10015-10125).

[99] E.g. CIA Memo to FBI of 23 November 1963, CSCI 3-778/826, NARA #104-10004-10257: “Voice comparisons [by Boris Tarasoff] indicated that the `North American’ who participated in several of these conversations is probably the person who identified himself as Lee OSWALD on 1 October 1963.” Goodpasture wrote: Douglas J. Feinglass [Boris Tarasoff] who did transcriptions says Oswald is identical to the person para one speaking broken Russian who called from Cuban embassy September 28 to Soviet embassy” (Memo from Mexico City station to CIA HQ, 11/23/63, NARA #104-10414-10330).

[100] ARRB Counsel Jeremy Gunn in ARRB Deposition of Anne Lorene Goodpasture, December 1995, p. 147: “Q. I have spoken with two Warren Commission staff members who went to Mexico City and who both told me that they heard the tape[,] after the assassination obviously.”

[101] Church Committee Staff Memo of 3/5/76; NARA #157-10014-10168.

[102] US Cong., Senate, Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations, Final Report, Book V, The Investigation of the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy: Performance of the Intelligence Agencies; 94th Cong., 2nd Sess., Report No. 94-555.

[103] Ibid., p. 102. The Report is dated April 23, 1976; it is possible that the 3/5/76 memo was prepared too late for inclusion.

[104] AR 250.

[105] One of the HSCA staff stressed to me that this evasive language had ben chosen “very, very carefully.”

[106] Warren Commission Exhibit 15, 16 WH 33.

[107] WR 310; Warren Commission Exhibit 3126.

[108] The importance of the alleged Kostikov-Kostin material was underlined in his autobiography by former FBI Director Clarence Kelley (Kelley: The Story of an FBI Director [Kansas City: Andrews McMeel, 1987], p. 293): “William C. Sullivan, assistant director in charge of security in Washington, was probably the highest FBI official, at that point, to review the Oswald file. What he discovered there must have astounded him. He read the data on the meeting between Oswald and Kostikov (Sullivan would have known exactly who Kostikov was), surmised the Cuban connection, viewed the CIA surveillance data on the Soviet embassy in Mexico City, studied FBI wiretaps involving Oswald and Kostikov, then read the November 9 follow-up letter from Oswald to the Soviet embassy in Washington. This information, it would surely have struck him, had such dire international implications that the White House must be informed immediately.”

[109] WR 309-11; WCE 103, 16 WH 443; cf. 3 WH 14, 97; James Hosty, Assignment Oswald, 40-41, 85-86. Hosty claims that he received the draft on November 23, but this is uncorroborated. The draft does not form part of the inventory of items retrieved on that day from Ruth Paine’s residence and typed three days later in the FBI office (24 WH 332-37). Hosty gives an elaborate explanation of why this draft was not filed by him in the regular way, but segregated in an envelope (Hosty, Assignment Oswald, 85-86; Curt Gentry, J. Edgar Hoover: The man and the secrets [New York: Norton, 1991], 546). An alternative explanation would be that knowledge of Oswald’s Mexico trip, still classified because of its origin from a CIA intercept program, had not yet been shared with the Dallas police.

[110] Ambassador Dobrynin in AP story, “Soviets Suspected Oswald Letter a Fake”; Boston Globe, 8/6/99, A8. This Soviet reaction was also headlined in Canadian newspapers, but omitted from George Lardner’s account of the recently released “Yeltsin documents” in the Washington Post, 8/6/99. The full text is in Yeltsin Documents, p. 91; LS no. 0692061-26 Washington to Moscow cable of 27 November 1963: “This letter was clearly a provocation: it gives the impression we had close ties with Oswald and were using him for some purposes of our own. It was totally unlike any other letters the embassy had previously received from Oswald. Nor had he ever visited our embassy himself. The suspicion that the letter is a forgery is heightened by the fact that it was typed, whereas the other letters the embassy had received from Oswald before were typewritten.” Cf. p. 91: “The embassy had suspicions about this letter the moment it arrived: either it was a forgery or was sent as a deliberate provocation. The embassy left Oswald’s letter unanswered.”

[111] Warren Commission, CE 7-14 (16 WH 10-32); CE 986 (18 WH 501-35).

[112] Yeltsin Documents, LS no. 0692061-8, Washington Embassy Cable 1967-1968 to Moscow, 23 November 1963. The cable notes that Marina’s application had been rejected by a Foreign Ministry letter of October 7,1963. The cable does not explicitly say that this information had been forwarded (as one would expect) to Marina, and there is no trace of such notification in the Warren Commission release of the Consulate-Oswald correspondence (WCE 986, 18 WH 501-35). But, whether the Oswalds had received news of the rejection or not, it is hard to believe that a genuine Oswald letter to the Consulate would pay such marginal attention to the issue.

[113] The “Phase-Two” draft is thus exactly analogous to the “Phase-Two” Kostikov intercept transcript indicating that Oswald had not in fact spoken of Kostikov (as the earlier “Phase-One” Kostikov intercept cable had suggested). Both “Phase-Two” documents purported to be earlier; but both in fact entered the record later. Even the draft had alleged corroboration, in the form of a handwritten draft which Ruth Paine allegedly made and gave to FBI Agent Bardwell D. Odum after the assassination. It too was withheld from the regular inventory of Oswald evidence (Hosty, Assignment: Oswald, 86). Ruth Paine testified about making this copy (3 WH 15, 52), but for unexplained reasons it (unlike the draft) was not introduced as a Warren Commission Exhibit (cf. 3 WH 52).

[114] Jerry Rose, The Fourth Decade, November 1999, 5. I had not seen this article until after writing my own comments.

[115] Ibid. Rose also pointed to real problems with the date of the postmark on the typed letter, and the unlikelihood that Oswald, having concealed the typed letter from Ruth Paine, would then leave his “draft” on her desk for her to pick up afterwards (cf. 3 WH 13-15).

[116] Both the Walker note and the Mexican bus ticket were retrieved from the pages of books in Ruth Paine’s house, both just when they were needed to fill gaps in the reconstructed “Phase-Two” account of Oswald’s life. See Jim Marrs, Crossfire (New York: Basic Books, 2013], 261 (Walker note); Peter Dale Scott, “Some Familiar Faces Reappear in Monicagate.” Pacific New Service, January 26, 1998 (ticket). (Other suspect evidence would include a silver Mexican coin, Spanish-English dictionary, silver bracelet for Marina, and postcards from Mexico City, all of which Ruth Paine confirmed seeing together in Marina’s drawer; 3 WH 13).

[117] We see evidence of this in the cover-up cable that the CIA sent to Mexico City shortly after noon on November 23. The cable reported the FBI as saying “that photos of man entering Soviet Embassy which MEXI sent to Dallas were not of Lee Oswald;” it said nothing about the voice on the tape which the FBI had also shown not to be Oswald’s (DIR 84888 231729Z; NARA #104-10015-10115). The cable had an unusual releasing officer: William P. Hood, WH/COPS. Hood was the Chief of Operations for Western Hemisphere Division. More importantly, Hood was a senior Counterintelligence Officer who had been involved for some time on a highly sensitive case, a possible Soviet mole who had leaked information about the CIA’s secret U-2 program. Before the assassination, William Hood had signed as Authenticating Officer for the misleading HQ cable in response to news of the Kostikov intercept (DIR 74830 of 10 October 1963; NARA #104-10015-10048. I will argue later that Oswald and his files were manipulated as part of the search for this mole. See Chapter 3, “Oswald and the Hunt for Popov’s Mole.”

[118] Ruth Paine gave false or misleading testimony on a number of matters, but virtually always to corroborate a “Phase-Two” interpretation of events.

[119] CIA Cable MEXI 7023 231659Z; NARA #104-10015-10124.

[120] 26 WH 411.

[121] Oleg M. Nechiporenko, trans. Todd B. Bludeau, Passport to Assassination, (New York: Birch Lane/Carol, 1993), 75-81; see discussion in Deep Politics II, 12-15.

[122] “Interview with a KGB Colonel: Peter Dale Scott interviews Col. Oleg Nechiporenko in Dallas” (videotape). For some years this videotape was available from Prevailing Winds Research (#884) via a website ( that no longer exists.

[123] According to a later CIA note, the monitors of the call said that the “caller (who called himself Oswald) had difficulty making himself understood both (as I recall) in English and in Russian” (Handwritten note on Scott D. Breckinridge Memo for the Record of 12 December 1976; NARA #104-10095-10001).

[124] CIA TX-1915 of 23 Nov 1963; NARA #104-10015-10055. Cf. MEXI 7029 232048Z; NARA #104-10015-10091, in which Scott reports that he has suggested to the Mexicans that they arrest Durán, citing an earlier cable (MEXI 7025) with the full texts of the two “Phase-One” intercepts.

[125] Scott’s error in describing Rubén Durán as Silvia’s brother, rather than brother-in-law, is consistent with, and may have derived from, Garro’s recurring habit of describing the Duráns (as opposed to Rubén Durán’s wife) as her “cousins” (3 AH 295, 297, 305). Scott also supplied a wrong address for Silvia, who told the DFS she lived at 143, Calles de Constituyentes. This may explain why the DFS went first to Herodoto #14, and only arrested Silvia when she arrived there.

[126] CIA TX-1907 of 27 Nov 1963; NARA #104-10015-10428.

[127] CIA Memo of 24 or 25 November 1963, “Subject: Lee Harvey OSWALD, also known as Lee Harry OSWALD; Alex HIDELL; Harvey Oswald LEE,” NARA #104-10195-10265, p. 3. Cf. Edward Jay Epstein, Legend (New York: McGraw Hill, 1978), 250; Gus Russo, Live By the Sword (Baltimore: Bancroft Press, 1998), 344. The memo is undated and unsigned, but is aware of Oswald’s death on November 24. It mentions nothing about the claims made by Alvarado on November 25, which were included in a list of questions compiled by Scott for the Mexicans to ask after Durán’s second arrest (MEXI 7124 282116Z; NARA #104-10016-10010).

[128] CIA Cable MEXI 7072 262113Z; NARA #104-10015-10368.

[129] Cover sheet to memo, in Scott’s handwriting with initial: “Read to President on night of 25/XI/63—S.” The Washington Post (November 14, 1993) concludes that the memo was read to President Johnson, but this is most unlikely. The Church Committee concluded (I believe correctly) that the person informed was “a senior Mexican government official” (Schweiker-Hart Report, 28).


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