[Photo: Typed letter to the Soviet Union, typed by Lee Harvey Oswald on November 9, 1963, on Ruth Paine’s typewriter]
We’re going to finish up with Michael Paine’s WC testimony now, and then begin a long process to analyze what we’ve seen in the past month. WC attorneys will raise the name of General Walker in this final part of Michael’s WC testimony, and at length we’ll come full circle back to the theme of this website – the resigned General Edwin Walker.
WC attorney Liebeler asked Michael, since he had dinner with LHO on April 2, 1963, did he have any information that LHO was going to shoot at General Walker on April 10, 1963? None at all replied Michael. Liebeler then asked whether Michael and LHO had spoken about General Walker on the night of April 2, 1963, before, during, or after dinner. Michael replied that yes, they mentioned Walker.
It’s worthwhile reviewing some of that testimony:
Mr. LIEBELER: Do you remember any other conversation you and Oswald had during this first evening that you met?
Mr. PAINE: … I think we probably spoke critically of the far right. It even seems to me we may have mentioned Walker. I had been bothered at the time that Walker had – I guess it doesn’t do any good to enter into the matter because I don’t remember his response.
This is interesting testimony. During their first personal meeting on April 2, 1963, Michael Paine and LHO spoke critically about the far-right wing in US politics, and the name that came up for both of them was General Walker. Let’s analyze Michael’s sentence: “I had been bothered at the time that Walker had – I guess it doesn’t do any good to enter into the matter…”
Exactly what about General Walker had bothered Michael at the time? He cut off his own sentence! So, let’s dig deeper. Look at the date of this, their first conversation – April 2, 1963. What was General Walker doing on that date? He was finishing up his so-called Midnight Ride coast-to-coast speaking tour with segregationist Reverend Billy James Hargis and his so-called Christian Crusade agenda.
Walker had started this tour in late February 1963. Walker had planned the tour starting in late January 1963, after a Grand Jury in Mississippi had acquitted Walker of wrongdoing in his leadership role in the violent racial riot at Ole Miss University, for which he was imprisoned on October 1, 1962. That racial riot was national and international news in October 1962, overshadowed only by the Cuban Missile Crisis itself.
This scenario defined the times in which Michael Paine spoke, when he said, “I had been bothered at the time that Walker had…” and then he cut off his own sentence. Why would Michael cut off his own sentence? Most likely because this conversation with LHO that evening about General Walker’s recent behavior was likely more enmeshed than Michael wished to recollect. Let’s continue reviewing his testimony.
Senator COOPER: Did he indicate in any way that he knew about General Walker at that time?
Mr. PAINE: We seemed to agree at least superficially in thinking that the far right was unfortunate in its thoughts…
Mr. LIEBELER: Confining the Senator’s question to the meeting in April, he didn’t indicate in any way that he was familiar with Walker’s attitude or activities?
Mr. PAINE: He was familiar with Walker. He knew who Walker was, there was no doubt about that. We were talking about Walker.
Not only did Michael Paine and LHO talk about General Walker in their context of criticizing the far-right wing in the US, but General Walker was the only individual they mentioned in that context. They even recalled, evidently, Walker’s direct connection with the segregationist Christian Crusade.
Mr. LIEBELER: Did he indicate any understanding to you at that April meeting of Walker’s attitude?
Mr. PAINE: …I had the impression that he was quite familiar with Walker and probably familiar with the names of various right-wing groups, shall we say…the Christian [Crusade]…
Senator COOPER - Are you sure whether or not Oswald made any comment at any time during this conversation about Walker?
Mr. PAINE: …I knew that Walker was known to Lee….
Mr. LIEBELER: It was clear to you at that time that both you and Mr. Oswald had an adverse view of General Walker and did not think favorably of him, is that correct?
Mr. PAINE: That is correct.
The WC attorneys established crucial facts for history. Michael Paine and LHO, in their first conversation, agreed that the far-right wing in the US was “unfortunate,” and the name that came up with General Walker, and both had an “adverse view of General Walker.” Given all this, WC attorney Liebeler asked Michael whether, after the Walker shooting, whether Michael thought that LHO was a likely suspect. “Absolutely not” replied Michael.
At this point, former CIA Director Allen Dulles rose up to question Michael Paine about the relationship between his wife and Marina Oswald. Michael would visit his wife several times weekly throughout 1963, and she kept Michael updated. Marina spoke no English but only Russian, explained Michael, and Ruth loved practicing her conversational Russian all day long.
Michael testified, from his conversations with Ruth, that Marina Oswald didn’t care for serious discussions about religion, social class, or political economics. Instead, they both shared the practical concerns of childcare, housekeeping, shopping, and their rocky marriages. Those topics involved all-day Russian conversation and Ruth was happy with that. For casual chatting they compared US movies with Russian movies.
Therefore, testified Michael, his wife Ruth’s knowledge of Marina Oswald’s life was fairly shallow. Marina was a good guest – politely subdued, reserved, so that Ruth and Marina were always on polite terms; they never quarreled, but neither were they ever genuinely close. Ruth loved this arrangement, testified Michael – she went out less, spent less money, and was always in a cheerful mood whenever he came to visit.
Allen Dulles inquired further. If they were so chummy before the JFK murder, then why did Marina and Ruth abruptly stop talking after the JFK murder? Michael explained that Ruth became quite upset with Marina after reading in newspapers that Marina had known that LHO had been General Walker’s shooter in way back in April 1963. Marina never told the authorities or anybody – not even Ruth.
True, their friendship was only six weeks old at that time – but in late September 1963, when Marina moved in with Ruth to bear her new baby at Parkland Hospital free of charge, and to convalesce in Ruth’s home free of charge – some honesty could have made a big difference – Ruth would have known exactly where she stood and about the risks involved.
Furthermore, continued Michael, after the JFK murder the US public sent Marina sympathy donations through Ruth’s address, and Ruth sent the money over to Marina through her new business manager and landlord, James Herbert Martin. Ruth expected to receive at least one acknowledgement from Marina that she was getting all this cash, but Marina never replied to Ruth – through her manager or a letter or anything. Ruth wondered if Marina ever saw those donations, so she called James Martin on the phone about it, asking to speak with Marina.
James Martin explained to Ruth that he wasn’t a messenger. He told her that Marina possessed her own telephone, so that if she ever wanted to call Ruth, she could just pick up her phone anytime. Since Marina didn’t call, then obviously she didn’t wish to speak with Ruth. Ruth accepted this, yet now she felt insulted by Marina, testified Michael. Ruth wondered if she might have offended Marina somehow. Or was Marina simply too ashamed for bringing the JFK disaster to Ruth’s home? Or had Marina always despised Ruth and never told her? Ruth would break down in tears over these dilemmas.
In Michael’s opinion, James Martin, Robert Oswald, and the US Government had all advised Marina to push Ruth out of her life in order to simplify their extremely complex situations. Ruth worried that Marina was surrounded by money grubbers – but Marina was a free agent, so ultimately it was none of Ruth’s business.
Allen Dulles then asked Michael what he did on the night of the JFK Assassination. Michael answered that everybody (except Ruth’s two small children) went to the Dallas Police Station at about 4 p.m. and they stayed there until about 9 p.m. Soon Marguerite Oswald showed up, and so did Robert Oswald.
The police offered to let Michael speak with LHO in jail, and Michael declined. Ruth declined too. Marguerite and Robert Oswald did speak with LHO, but Michael knew nothing about what LHO might have told them. Michael knew one thing – Marguerite loudly complained that LHO had no legal counsel. So, Michael called the ACLU to investigate, and the ACLU promised that a delegation would arrive in the morning.
After leaving the Dallas Police Station, the Paines and the Oswalds drove back to Ruth’s home where Michael had brought some fast-food hamburgers and fries for everybody’s late supper. LIFE Magazine also knocked on the door, taking photographs and irritating Marina. Ruth soon asked them to leave – and to return in the morning – not too early.
That was substantially the end of Michael Paine’s WC testimony.
All right. Let’s begin now to review and analyze what we’ve seen in the WC testimony of Michael Paine in our past several blog posts. Let’s make it easier and go by numbers.
1. We have plenty of evidence that Michael Paine heard much about LHO as early as February 1963 – from both Everett Glover and Ruth Paine. Yet Michael emphasized that he never met LHO until April 2, 1963, and he preferred to begin his timeline there.
2. Everett Glover, however, testified that Michael had come to his February 1963 party where LHO was on display all night for young Dallas engineers. If so, then what was Michael hiding?
3. Although Michael Paine never interacted with the Russian exiles in Dallas (mainly because he never attended the Russian Orthodox Church services in Dallas and he spoke no Russian), still, one of his best friends in Dallas was the oil engineer Everett Glover, and one of Glover’s best friends was oil engineer professor George De Mohrenschildt (hereafter DM). George DM was an influential Russian exile in Dallas, and the main man who promoted LHO outside of the Russian community.
4. Although Michael had known Glover for years, he did his best to minimize his friendship with Glover when he gave his WC testimony. Though Michael admitted he knew that Glover and George DM were close friends, Michael insisted that he never really met George DM.
5. Michael also knew Glover’s roommates and their girlfriends. In particular, Michael knew Volkmar Schmidt, another oil engineer and another good friend of George DM. Michael didn’t tell the WC that when he’d separated from Ruth in late 1962, he briefly moved in with Glover and Volkmar. That was the time period when Glover first met Marina Oswald at George DM’s home so many times.
6. At Glover’s February 1963 party, Volkmar was there and challenged LHO to a battle of wits. LHO decried JFK and his handling of the Bay of Pigs in early 1961. Volkmar countered with JFK’s deft handling of General Walker at Ole Miss in late 1962. “Walker was like Hitler,” proclaimed Volkmar forcefully to LHO.
7. Evidently Volkmar made an impression, because that was the same reason that LHO gave to Marina on midnight, April 10, 1963, when he confessed to her that he had just taken a shot at General Walker.
8. Also at that February party, Ruth Paine met Marina Oswald and immediately liked her. Marina gave Ruth her contact information, and Ruth quickly made contact and stayed in contact. In their many meetings, Marina complained that LHO was pushing her to return to Russia, but she didn’t want to go. This made Ruth angry at LHO. Then Marina told Ruth that she was also pregnant. This made Ruth furious at LHO.
9. Ruth decided to ‘save’ Marina Oswald and she told Michael all about it. Could she bring Marina home, please? Pretty please? Michael decided that it would be a patriotic act to keep Marina in the US and out of the USSR – but only if it was above board and wouldn’t anger LHO. LHO had to agree fully.
10. They set up a dinner for all of them to meet. The night of that dinner was April 2, 1963. Michael drove to the Neely address to give them a ride. Marina was slow to pack the baby’s necessities, so LHO and Michael had a long conversation about politics there on the Oswald couch. (Michael didn’t tell the WC that LHO had showed him a photograph of himself with his rifle, pistol, and two Marxist newspapers. Michael later admitted this to Dan Rather and Gus Russo in 1993.)
11. Again – the date was April 2, 1963, and LHO’s last day at Jaggars-Chiles-Stovall was only one day before. LHO didn’t tell Michael (in fact, LHO didn’t even tell Marina; he pretended to go to work every morning for a full week before he summoned the courage to tell Marina).
12. To change the topic, Michael told the WC that he didn’t like LHO very much, because LHO was so cruel to Marina during that first meeting.
13. Eight days after this dinner, LHO tried to assassinate General Walker in Dallas. Michael claimed that he never imagined that LHO was Walker’s shooter – yet we might easily doubt that. Michael, like Glover, Volkmar, and George DM, was a Dallas liberal who openly despised General Walker, as they all regarded Walker as a threat to a Democratic Republic.
14. If Michael ever suspected LHO of the Walker shooting, he spared Ruth the worry (nor did he tell her of any Backyard Photograph). So, Ruth kept pulling Marina closer into her circle – and more energetically when she learned that LHO was out of work again. After all – Marina was pregnant.
15. The problem vanished in a few more days, however, when LHO moved to New Orleans. Ruth Paine made this move easier by volunteering to take Marina and baby June into her own home to wait there for LHO to get settled in New Orleans. LHO agreed.
16. Ruth expected that LHO would abandon his family, so she planned to take care of Marina and baby June until the educated Marina could become self-supporting in the good old USA. But if LHO got a new job in New Orleans, then she also agreed to drive Marina and June to New Orleans, personally.
17. Two weeks later, LHO called from New Orleans asking for his family. Ruth packed up her station wagon and drove them to New Orleans. After that trip, the Paines and the Oswalds wouldn’t see each other for more than five months.
18. In late September 1963, Ruth Paine learned that (i) LHO was out of work again; (ii) the Oswald’s had no income, no savings, or insurance; (iii) Marina was now eight months pregnant; and (iv) Marina had not yet seen a doctor.
19. Ruth quickly returned to New Orleans and offered to bring Marina and baby June back to Dallas again, to register her quickly in Parkland Hospital, and to convalesce at Ruth’s home. LHO quickly agreed.
20. In early October 1963, LHO returned to Dallas and contacted Marina and Ruth. Although Michael Paine didn’t live with Ruth and their two toddlers, he still visited several times weekly, and he still used his tools in her garage. While working in their garage, he often noticed a package of something bound in a blanket and tied with string at both ends. It was metallic. He imagined it was camping equipment. But he never opened the package – it was somebody’s private property, he said.
21. Besides that, nearly every weekend starting October 1963 until the JFK murder, Michael had a direct contact with LHO, and they spoke often, as Michael would admit. Politics was a common conversation. For example, LHO got the Daily Worker and The Militant newspapers through the mail at Ruth’s address, and Michael would discuss them with LHO (although Michael mainly mocked LHO’s childish understanding of them).
22. Besides that, Michael would also drive LHO to various political meetings in downtown Dallas. Three dates are crucial – General Walker’s US Day rally on October 23rd at the Dallas Memorial Stadium; Adlai Stevenson’s UN Day rally on October 24th at the same stadium (when Adlai was humiliated by Walker’s whipped up crowd); and October 25th at an ACLU meeting in downtown Dallas.
23. Michael admitted that he drove LHO to the US Day and UN Day events. He also admitted that LHO had attended the UN Day event. These were weekday events, so Michael had to go out of his way to drive LHO to them. Michael and LHO would speak about these events on their rides back home.
24. Calamity came on Friday, November 1, 1963, when FBI agent James Hosty rang Ruth Paine’s doorbell claiming to seek Marina Oswald for a routine FBI check on foreign nationals. Ruth said that Marina was napping with her children at present, since she had just given birth the week before. Hosty said no problem – he just wanted to know where LHO was living and working.
25. Ruth was a conservative – she honored the FBI, so she told Hosty everything she knew. LHO didn’t live there; he had his own room in Dallas somewhere in Oak Cliff. She didn’t know the exact address, but here was his telephone number. LHO worked at the Texas School Book Depository, and here was the address.
26. Ruth welcomed Hosty to return on the weekend when LHO would stay at her house, so that Hosty could speak with LHO himself. But Hosty said no, he didn’t want any more. He said he would return in a few days to speak with Marina, and to see if Ruth could find LHO’s current address. He asked Ruth kindly to let Marina know. Ruth agreed.
27. After Marina awoke from her afternoon nap, Ruth told Marina about the FBI visit, and Marina lost her temper and told Ruth to mind her own business. That evening, when LHO arrived after work at the TSBD, Ruth told LHO everything about the FBI visit. LHO ordered Marina to get the name, phone number, and vehicle license plate number of this FBI agent next time he came to visit.
28. Hosty and an FBI trainee came to visit Marina Oswald on Tuesday, November 5th. They conversed through Ruth. Hosty asked Ruth to tell Marina that the FBI does not harass – the FBI protects people. LHO would misinterpret this to mean that the FBI was encouraging Marina to defect from the USSR.
29. LHO arrived at Ruth’s home on the evening of Friday, November 8th – the start of a long Veterans Day weekend. Evidently that last FBI visit had seriously perturbed LHO. He asked to borrow Ruth’s typewriter and he spent hours typing a letter, not letting anybody see what he was writing. After he finished, he mysteriously left his handwritten draft on Ruth’s typing table.
30. Early the next morning, Ruth read what LHO had written, and she didn’t like it one bit. The letter was addressed to the Russian Embassy in Washington DC, and it criticized the FBI. Ruth respected the FBI. She decided to hand copy the letter to give her copy to FBI agent Hosty the next time he came.
31. The next Tuesday, when Michael came for dinner, Ruth showed him LHO’s original note, and proclaimed her anger with it. Michael testified that he was more upset with Ruth – why would she read anybody’s private mail? He briefly glanced at it, and through the sloppy handwriting he read the apparent greeting, “Dear Lisa.” This was personal mail! Ruth had crossed the line!
32. Michael testified about his thoughts. All that talk about the USSR, Mexico City, the FBI – all of it was baloney meant to impress a girlfriend named Lisa. Ruth, however, was stunned that LHO would lie so boldly, because she’d never known him to lie before. This was a major change and something was clearly wrong! Michael told her to calm down and to mind her own business.
All right let’s break here. LHO’s letter to the Soviet Embassy in Washington DC is noteworthy – more so than the average researcher cares to analyze. The letter was indeed full of lies – but not the same lies that Michael and Ruth Paine had imagined!
LHO was no member of a Communist Party, nor did he have any specific relationship with “comrade Kostin.” He’d never heard of Kostin in his life before entering his Mexico City Embassy on Friday, September 27, 1963. Instead, LHO knew quite well that the FBI was obliged to open all mail going to the Soviet Embassy in Washington DC. LHO wrote this letter specifically for their eyes – in order to mock them in revenge for their alleged harassment.
LHO was aware of FBI protocol, at the very least because his boss, Guy Banister, was a former FBI executive. LHO had personally initiated an FBI record in New Orleans, when from his jail cell, he himself called the FBI to file a report about his local arrest in connection with his FPCC campaign. The FBI did file a report but took no action because it was a police matter. Anyway, the FBI was puzzled about why LHO would request an FBI report on himself in the first place. Weird.
New Orleans D.A. Jim Garrison in 1968 was the first to publicly explain LHO’s strange behavior in New Orleans. LHO called the FBI in New Orleans as part of a campaign to make a public spectacle of himself in police reports, newspapers, FBI files, radio shows, even local television. These were to be his “credentials” at the Cuban consulate in Mexico City.
Therefore, Mexico City had been the ultimate goal of all LHO’s pranks in New Orleans in the first place. Guy Banister had instructed LHO every step of the way, and evidently led LHO to believe that officials at the Cuban consulate were naïve enough to give anybody an instant visa into Havana if only he had newspaper clippings “proving” that he was an FPCC officer. At least, that’s what his behavior strongly suggests.
The pattern is clear – LHO had become accustomed to provoking FBI records in order to portray himself as a person of interest. This would enhance his bogus left-wing credentials. Yet as FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover and FBI Assistant Director Alan Belmont would tell the WC, the FBI knew for a fact that LHO was no person of interest. The New Orleans FPCC was bogus – and the FBI knew it. The address of the New Orleans FPCC belonged to Guy Banister, a former FBI agent and now a far-right politician in New Orleans (and an associate of General Walker, as demonstrated fully by Dr. Jeffrey Caufield, 2015).
The FBI knew all this. The FBI also knew that LHO’s letter to the Soviet Embassy in Washington DC was entirely bogus. LHO was unknown by all FBI spies inside commie cells in the US. The FBI knew that LHO had no genuine Communist connections. Also, LHO had no status in the FPCC, not even as a regular member. LHO went to the Mexico City consulates seeking a quick visa to Cuba and he was soundly rejected there – and that is solid proof that he was a phony.
So – what did LHO’s letter to the Soviet Embassy in Washington DC really mean? The first fact to bear in mind, is that neither Michael Paine nor Ruth Paine had known what to make of it. They were utterly ignorant about LHO’s involvement in the FPCC, or about any Mexico City trip. It was all fiction in their minds, as they themselves testified.
Michael thought it was a personal letter to a girlfriend. Ruth knew it was addressed to the USSR, but that was his American right in her opinion. What really bothered Ruth was that LHO would lash out against the FBI, an institution which she herself respected.
Yes, the letter was full of lies – but not in the way that Michael and Ruth believed. Neither one understood the significance of this letter that they held in their hands. Both were hoodwinked by LHO to imagine that LHO was exactly as he presented himself to them – some naïve Marxist kid. Wrong. In reality, LHO was still working for Guy Banister – and it was this situation that fully explains his actions in Dallas, and that also made him so vulnerable and clueless in Dallas.
To make this point crystal clear, we must analyze LHO’s November 9th letter to the Soviet Embassy more carefully than ever before. The clues to the real personality of Lee Harvey Oswald are laid bare there, I declare, more profoundly in this bizarre letter to the Soviet Embassy than in any other evidence that the WC had ever investigated in the JFK Assassination.
The WC failed to delve very deeply into this Soviet Embassy letter, and so they could never gain a deep insight into LHO’s real personality and motives. Here is where the WC showed their hand – they didn’t want to learn the truth about LHO; they wanted to quickly blame LHO alone for the JFK murder – knowing full well that others were involved. For the WC, this cover-up was a matter of National Security.
Our concern in this blog post is to prepare the reader to focus intently on this crucial evidence that all previous researchers have only superficially noted – the Soviet Embassy letter written by LHO on November 9, 1963.
For perhaps millions of readers, this letter confirms that LHO was a devoted Communist. (Certainly, General Walker and James Hosty insisted on it.) Yet millions of other readers who absorbed the information made public by Jim Garrison in 1968 would not fall for those conclusions. For Garrison and many other authorities, this letter can never be taken at face value.
In our next blog post we will dive deeply into a careful analysis of this letter – sentence by sentence. Michael Paine had held the letter in his hands on Tuesday, November 12, 1963, only ten days before the JFK murder, yet he had no clue what his fingers were touching. He and Ruth had no clue that it contained vital data about US History – not for any truths that it told, but because of the many lies that it told.
Only by radically applying the insights shared by Jim Garrison and many writers who followed in his wake, can we hope to analyze this letter more fully than any other analysis to date. Stay tuned to this blog.
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