The central document that Dallas FBI agent James Hosty named in his 1975 sworn statement (and extolled in his 1996 book) was also one of the first documents that the WC had accepted into its record, namely, Commission Exhibit #15. It was written on 11/9/1963 by Lee Harvey Oswald (LHO), who also mailed it on 11/12/1963 to the Soviet Union Embassy in Washington DC. Let’s read LHO’s typewritten letter in full, and then I’ll offer my opinion about it.
FROM: LEE H. OSWALD, P.O. BOX 6225, DALLAS, TEXAS
MARINA NICHOLAYEVNA OSWALD, SOVIET CITIZEN
TO: CONSULAR DIVISION
NOV. 9, 1963
This is to inform you of recent events since my meetings with comrade Kostin in the Embassy of the Soviet Union, Mexico City, Mexico.
I was unable to remain in Mexico indefinitely because of my Mexican visa restrictions which was for 15 days only. I could not take a chance on requesting a new visa unless I used my real name, so I returned to the United States.
I had not planned to contact the Soviet embassy in Mexico so they were unprepared, had I been able to reach the Soviet Embassy in Havana as planned, the embassy there would have had time to complete our business.
Of course, the Soviet embassy was not at fault, they were, as I say unprepared, the Cuban consulate was guilty of gross breach of regulations, I am glad he has since been replaced.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is not now interested in my activities in the progressive organization Fair Play for Cuba Committee, of which I was the secretary in New Orleans (state Louisiana) since I no longer reside in that state.
However, the F.B.I. has visited us here in Dallas, Texas, on November 1. Agent James P. Hasty [sic] warned me that if I engaged in F.P.C.C. activities in Texas the F.B.I. will again take an ‘interest’ in me.
This agent also ‘suggested’ to Marina Nicholayevna that she could remain in the United States under F.B.I. ‘protection.’ that is, she could defect from the Soviet Union. Of course, I and my wife strongly protested these tactics by the notorious F.B.I.
Please inform us of the arrival of our Soviet entrance visa’s as soon as they come.
Also, this is to inform you of the birth, on October 20, 1963, of a DAUGHTER, AUDREY MARINA OSWALD in DALLAS, TEXAS, to my wife.
Lee H. Oswald
In my opinion, this letter is a hoax, written by LHO himself. It wasn't meant to fool the Soviet Union. It was meant to torment the FBI. I base my opinion on the work of Jim Garrison. In my reading, LHO disrespected the FBI, but he respected Guy Banister, David Ferrie, Clay Shaw and Cuba Raid groups like Gerry Patrick Hemming's Interpen and Loran Hall's La Sambra. In the immature opinion of 23 year-old LHO, the FBI was beneath him.
Guy Banister was probably the one who told LHO that all mail sent to the Soviet Embassy in Washington DC was always intercepted by the FBI. This is why I say that LHO knew for a fact that the FBI would read this letter. For this reason, LHO included several jibes against them, as well as several tell-tale signs for the wary. Here's my account:
1. This letter continues the Fake Communist front that LHO constructed in New Orleans with the help of Guy Banister, David Ferrie and Clay Shaw. In this letter, LHO is pretending to be a Communist. In his own mind (I say) LHO falsely believed that he was really a double agent working for Guy Banister, toward a full-time job in the CIA.
2. Today we know that in late September 1963, at the Embassy compound in Mexico City, the consuls of Cuba and the USSR unanimously saw LHO as a political fool, and they sent him away empty-handed. This letter claims the reverse – that the trip was a great success. The unwary FBI agent would be alarmed by this.
3. LHO jabs at the FBI by calling Marina a “Soviet Citizen” in the heading of this letter. The full reason for this phrase would become clear at the end of the letter.
4. Any serious Embassy letter would name a specific person to receive it. Yet, LHO knew nobody at the Soviet Embassy. This is obvious to the wary, because of LHO’s greeting: “Dear Sirs.”
5. LHO boasted that his trip to Mexico City was fruitful because he had met with “comrade Kostin.” (The two Russian consuls whom LHO met were Nechipornko and Kostikov. Not “Kostin.” Yet the real name did not matter to LHO, since he was only mocking the FBI, anyway.)
6. LHO pretended that the Soviets cared why he stayed in Mexico City for only a short time. The Soviets cared nothing about LHO’s stay in Mexico, firstly because LHO was nobody special, and secondly because LHO never notified them that he was going to Mexico. After the consuls in Mexico City had confirmed this, anything that LHO claimed about his “plans” was obvious nonsense.
7. LHO toyed with the FBI by suggesting that he used an alias; and that perhaps Oswald wasn’t his real name!
8. LHO pretended that he returned to the USA because his visa had expired – not because the consuls in the Cuban and Soviet Embassies had laughed him out of their offices.
9. LHO poked at the FBI by claiming that he had planned to contact the Soviet Embassy in "Havana" to “complete our business.” (If LHO had any business in Havana, it was for Guy Banister.)
10. LHO unwittingly confirmed Marina’s WC testimony that LHO’s one and only goal in Mexico City was to get to Cuba. LHO blamed the Cuban consulate for his failure to get to Cuba. Certainly not the Soviet Embassy! As if the Soviets did not also control the Cuban consulate!
11. LHO pretended to be an important Soviet figure by using make-believe about Cuban consulate staff “breaching regulations” and about some consul being “replaced.” The real reason that LHO failed to get to Cuba was because his so-called credentials were idiotic.
12. LHO mocked the FBI by directly naming them, saying, “the FBI is not now interested in my activities.” Actually, FBI agent Hosty had just visited Marina Oswald and Ruth Paine on November 1st and November 5th – only 4 days before this letter was written.
13. LHO informed the Soviets that he was the FPCC “secretary in New Orleans (state Louisiana).” As if the Soviets would be ignorant of any official FPCC branch! Even J. Edgar Hoover himself wrote (and later testified) that there was no such genuine FPCC branch in New Orleans.
14. LHO falsely claimed that FBI agent Hosty had warned him to refrain from FPCC activities in Texas. No such warning occurred. Hosty had never yet met LHO.
15. LHO mocked the FBI by falsely accusing James Hosty of offering Marina FBI “protection” to remain in the USA – with suggestions of “defection.”
15.1. Ruth Paine was present at both FBI visits to her home, and she testified that Hosty had said nothing to Marina about protection or defection.
15.2. Furthermore, insisted Ruth, LHO was not even present at those meetings.
15.3. Nor, according to Ruth, did Marina (with or without LHO) “strongly protest” anything that Hosty said.
15.4. Ruth was angry that LHO would lie about her own meetings in at her own house.
16. LHO mocked the FBI with his phrase, “notorious FBI.” This phrase also enraged Ruth.
17. LHO announced the birth of daughter Audrey “to my wife.” To my wife? This takes us back to the heading of the letter, where LHO identified Marina as a “Soviet Citizen.” It mildly insinuated that since Audrey was born “to my wife,” that Audrey was also a Soviet citizen!
There is my summary of the “Mexico City Letter,” a hoax written by LHO as his final swan song.
In my opinion, it is highly unlikely that FBI Headquarters took LHO’s “Mexico City Letter” seriously. It is also unlikely that James Hosty himself took the letter seriously. Nevertheless, James Hosty in his 1996 book neglected all these falsehoods in order to emphasize only one point to the exclusion of all others – the name of “comrade Kostin.”
James Hosty in 1996 insisted that: (1) “Kostin” was identical with “Kostikov”; and (2) that Kostikov was a professional KGB assassin, plotting to assassinate JFK.
Hosty pretended that other people knew this -- and that other people told him this years later. Yet his own book is evidence that Hosty knew about this facade a solid month before the JFK Assassination had occurred. Hosty strained to prove that FBI Headquarters also knew about “Kostikov the KGB assassin,” and tried to hide the fact from Hosty himself.
Ignoring the folly of LHO’s “Mexico City Letter,” Hosty treated it as nothing more or less than LHO’s personal confession of Hosty's conspiracy theory -- that LHO had plotted with KGB assassin Kostikov to assassinate JFK. Hosty’s 1996 book presents this as a historical fact. He insisted that the FBI, CIA and State Department all knew about this fact and had conspired for the final three months in 1963 and first three months in 1964 to conceal this fact from James Hosty specifically.
Yet, our only source for this conspiracy theory is James Hosty himself. Today we have access to documents that even the Warren Commission didn’t have. So, we are better positioned to judge the merits of Hosty’s claim than any other generation. Let's ensure that we review them carefully.
RUTH PAINE AND THE MEXICO CITY LETTER
I was privileged to interview Ruth Paine at the end of 2015 and the beginning of 2016 in the context of a paper on US History at UT Austin. Ruth told me about her role in the “Mexico City Letter.” She was always conservative, and she respected the FBI. James Hosty had visited Ruth’s house twice – once on November 1st, and once on November 5th.
Although Ruth willingly told Hosty where LHO was working, and that LHO was living in an unknown room in Dallas, she didn’t tell him LHO’s telephone number. She explained why. She truly believed that the FBI could find any phone number in America in a few minutes. If Hosty would have asked for it, she would have given it to him – but he didn’t ask.
Also, she said, she felt sorry for poor Marina, because LHO had already lost three jobs in the past year alone. So Ruth didn’t immediately volunteer as much information to Hosty as she wanted.
However, five days later, when Ruth found LHO’s handwritten “Mexico City Letter” next to her typewriter (a letter which LHO had left there overnight) she became enraged. LHO had insulted the FBI and told lies about them in his bizarre letter to the USSR. This was the first time that LHO had lied in her presence – and he had used her typewriter on her table to do it.
For example, in that letter LHO had written that the FBI was no longer interested in him. Yet Hosty had visited Ruth herself twice in the past week alone, and on his second visit Hosty had asked only about LHO.
Ruth wanted James Hosty to see the “Mexico City Letter” on his next visit, so she made her own hand-written copy of it, specifically for Hosty. She didn’t give it to the Dallas Police when they came to her house on the day JFK was assassinated, because she was saving it for James Hosty. When he visited her on the following day, she handed it to him. She never saw her copy again. Hosty owned it.
Michael Paine confirmed the basics of Ruth Paine’s story about the “Mexico City Letter.” Michael was annoyed with Ruth for prying into LHO’s personal life. But Ruth chose to be an informant for James Hosty; to tell him all about LHO – an unsupportive father of two children, and a bad husband.
After LHO mailed his typewritten letter to the Soviet Embassy in Washington DC, the FBI routinely intercepted and copied it. In 60 days, it became CE 15. Ruth Paine knew nothing about that part.
JAMES HOSTY – THE INCREDIBLE COUNTER-INTELLIGENCE AGENT
James Hosty’s 1996 Kostikov-LHO fiction portrays LHO as a super-spy who had traveled to the Soviet Embassy in Mexico City in order to plot with the KGB to kill JFK. Let's see how this fiction played out.
On the afternoon of 11/22/1963, when all hell was breaking loose in Dallas, Hosty went to the Dallas Police Station, and at 4:24 PM, he saw LHO’s black address book. It had Hosty’s name, telephone number and car license plate number. Hosty wrote the following:
“...What in the Sam Hill is my name doing in Oswald’s address book? Then it hit me...I had met Oswald’s wife on November 1st and 5th. During the first visit, I had given Marina’s friend Ruth Paine my office telephone number and name…Ruth later learned from Marina that Lee gave her explicit instructions to get my car tag number if I returned. When I returned on November 5th, Marina quietly sneaked out of the house while Ruth was talking to me and wrote down my license plate number.” (Hosty, 1996, Assignment Oswald, p. 27)
Hosty told true history in that snippet. Marina Oswald herself admitted to every word of that account. Then, Hosty remembered a little more. At 10 AM on 11/23/1963, he remembered:
“Ruth said, ‘After your second visit, Mr. Hosty, Lee came home again for the long Veterans’ Day weekend...and I came across a handwritten letter from Lee to the Soviet Embassy.’ ‘Do you still have it?’ I asked, ‘trying not to sound too anxious. ‘Sure, let me get it...’ (Hosty, ibid. p. 40)
By the way -- Hosty honestly yet mistakenly believed that Ruth had given him LHO’s original handwritten letter. In her WC testimony, however, Ruth set the record straight; the copy she gave to Hosty was her own handwritten copy. Ruth further supposed that since LHO’s original letter had quickly become CE 130, it was probably found in Oswald’s room at 1026 North Beckley.
Be that as it may, Hosty here speaks of meeting Ruth Paine on the morning after the JFK Assassination. From his words, one may easily get the impression that Hosty had never seen the "Mexico City Letter" before Ruth offered it to him here. In his 1975 sworn statement to the FBI, however, Hosty said that he that he had seen the "Mexico City Letter" shortly before meeting LHO for the first time -- about four hours after JFK was assassinated.
In my opinion, it is even likely that James Hosty saw the “Mexico City Letter” soon after the FBI had first intercepted it in a New York post office on November 12, 1963. As for linking the names of Kostikov and LHO in Mexico City, Hosty himself admitted in his 1996 book that he had learned of it a full month before the JFK Assassination.
Not under oath to the Warren Commission, but years later, James Hosty pretended that the "Mexico City Letter" was solid proof of his conspiracy theory. Actually, however, one must read the "Mexico City Letter" with a measure of naïveté in order to accept Hosty's late interpretation of it. I think my reading of the letter above, makes this clear.