[Photo: Lee Harvey Oswald and Marina Oswald traveling from the USSR to the USA during mid-1962.]
Lee Harvey Oswald (LHO) was indeed a liar. On a single typewritten page, on his final letter to the Soviet Embassy in Washington DC, we find Michael and Ruth Paine blinking at the sight of his continual lies. They had no idea what all this meant. For Michael and Ruth – so highly educated – they evidently imagined that LHO was some youthful member of a Marxist movement in America.
It would take another five years and New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison to reveal the opposite story – that LHO was a phony leftist who secretly worked for Guy Banister in New Orleans and secretly infiltrated the FPCC to support the Radical Right causes of Guy Banister.
Guy Banister moved in the same political circles as the resigned General Edwin Walker. This fact was amply documented by Dr. Jeffrey Caufield (General Walker and the Murder of President Kennedy: The Extensive New Evidence of a Radical Right Conspiracy, Moreland Press, 2015)
Generations of experts and University professors over the past 56 years have shown that no single individual was capable of causing all the damage revealed in the material evidence of the JFK Assassination that emerged despite draconian efforts by the FBI to hide as much as possible.
We won’t review all of those covered-up facts in this blog post. That was amply done by 1969 by so many pioneers in the field including Bertrand Russell himself, Mark Lane, Jim Garrison, Sylvia Meagher, Penn Jones, Jr., and Harold Weisberg.
(Noteworthy JFK researchers in the 1970’s included Robert Groden, Mary Ferrell, Seth Kantor, Dick Russell, Mae Brussell, Jim Marrs, Walt Brown, Gaeton Fonzi, Joan Mellen, and David Lifton, all of whom had been deeply influenced by Jim Garrison.)
In this post, we simply wish to pay closer attention to the contents of LHO’s final letter to the Soviet Embassy in Washington DC dated November 9, 1963. We’ll interpret this letter through the evidence reported by NOLA D.A. Jim Garrison, and so we’ll see a radically different picture of this letter than Michael and Ruth Paine would ever guess. Let’s use a numbered list:
1. LHO’s letter was addressed to the “Consular Division, Embassy USSR, Washington DC.”
2. Ruth knew that this wasn’t the first letter that LHO wrote to the Soviets over the years. Marina told Ruth often that LHO wrote a continuous stream of letters to the USSR begging them to return there – or at least send his wife and children back to the USSR – of which Marina was still technically a citizen. Evidently his poverty and his failure to find steady employment in the US was uppermost in the mind of LHO, the young father. He needed a backup plan.
3. Guy Banister paid LHO only pin money along with promises of vast fame, riches and parades after Fidel Castro was neutralized due to the efforts of Guy Banister and his NOLA Team.
4. All that is secondary to the main point – that Guy Banister found LHO’s Russian defection to be useful in his own clandestine activities with Cuban Exiles in New Orleans. Perhaps LHO could infiltrate the FPCC for Guy Banister – who had been struggling for nearly two years to get inside. Banister would most likely encourage LHO to write often to the Soviet Embassy in Washington DC – because this would portray LHO as working with the Soviet Union
5. LHO also wrote several letters to the Soviet Embassy to be signed by Marina Oswald, as though she was requesting a return to the USSR. LHO threatened to beat Marina if she refused to hand copy these letters and sign them. Why? Marina told Ruth her guess – that LHO was overcome by worry that he couldn’t support his family in the US; because he was marked as a defector; and because the Marine Corps gave him a “undesirable discharge.”
6. Ruth and Marina both wondered – would LHO send Marina back to the USSR alone, to be a single mother? LHO evidently kept that avenue open – according to Marina herself. Marina hated the idea, and she confided all this to Ruth Paine.
7. Politically speaking, this letter to the Soviets didn’t bother Ruth as such. It was any American’s right to send any letter to anybody else. What bothered Ruth came next.
8. “This is to inform you of recent events since my meetings with comrade Kostin in the Embassy of the Soviet Union, Mexico City, Mexico.”
9. Ruth had no inkling that LHO had really and truly visited Mexico City – a major victory in Banister’s portrayal of the Avatar. LHO was at that Soviet Embassy only 7 weeks before he typed this letter. Michael Paine imagined it to be simple fiction to impress a girlfriend named Lisa. But Ruth worried deeply, “Lee has never lied to me before!” Little did she know.
10. It seems that LHO’s mind snapped after FBI agent James Hosty’s second visit to Marina Oswald on November 5, 1963. LHO composed a nasty letter to James Hosty personally, which LHO hand-delivered to the FBI office on November 12, in Dallas. (NOTE: James Hosty claims his boss ordered him to flush that nasty letter down the drain).
11. LHO composed this document – slowly and carefully crafted, as far as LHO’s mind could take him. He began with a lie – the letter was addressed to the Soviet Embassy in Washington DC – but the actual intended readership for this letter was the US Government, specifically the FBI.
12. Perhaps most military men knew that it was mandatory for agents of the US Government to intercept Soviet letters, make Xerox copies, and, if non-violent, send them on.
13. The FBI would be obliged to ask, “Who is this ‘comrade Kostin’ in the Soviet Embassy of Mexico City? Is Kostin real or not? If real, then what can the Mexico City CIA tell us about him?”
14. FBI agent James Hosty wrote a book entitled, Assignment Oswald (1996) in which he insisted – from the start to the end of his book – that “Kostin” was Valeriy Kostikov, a KGB agent in Mexico. And also, as Hosty insisted, Kostikov was “the KGB’s chief assassination expert for the Western hemisphere” (page 215).
15. For Hosty, the brief meeting of LHO and “Kostin” during the final weekend in September 1963 was conclusive proof that the Communists had killed JFK. (This was exactly what General Walker and the entire John Birch Society would claim for decades). This remains relevant today.
16. One claim is established by many historians, namely, that LHO did indeed meet KGB agent Valeriy Kostikov in Mexico City on September 27, 1963. A colleague of Kostikov was present when LHO met Kostikov and this colleague later wrote a book about it. His name was Oleg Nechiporenko and his book is, Passport to Assassination: The Never-Before-Told Story of Lee Harvey Oswald by the KGB Colonel Who Knew Him (1993).
17. Very briefly – the Cuban consuls weren’t naïve. They looked at LHO’s homemade credentials and denied his request for an instant visa into Havana. LHO made a scene, and they told him, “You’re no friend of the revolution!” and they showed him the door. He likely boasted something like, ‘I’ll get the Soviets to give me a visa today, and then you’ll be sorry’ as he left slamming the door. So LHO, over and above his planning, trudged over to the Soviet Embassy to apply for a visa there.
18. Many researchers propose that LHO really wanted to get back to the USSR himself, and didn’t really care about Havana. Let’s read a quick quote from Marina Oswald’s WC testimony. She said:
Mr. RANKIN. Had he discussed with you the idea of going to Mexico City?
Mrs. OSWALD. Yes.
Mr. RANKIN. When did he first discuss that?
Mrs. OSWALD. I think it was in August.
Mr. RANKIN. Did he tell you why he wanted to go to Mexico City?
Mrs. OSWALD. From Mexico City he wanted to go to Cuba -- perhaps through the Russian Embassy in Mexico – somehow, he would be able to get to Cuba.
Mr. RANKIN. Did he say anything about going to Russia by way of Cuba?
Mrs. OSWALD. ...I know that he had no intention of going to Russia then.
Mr. RANKIN. How do you know that?
Mrs. OSWALD. He told me. I know Lee fairly well – well enough from that point of view.
Mr. RANKIN. Did he tell you that he was going to Cuba and send you on to Russia?
Mrs. OSWALD. No, he proposed that after he got to Cuba, that I would go there, too, somehow.
19. All that is supporting fodder that LHO went to the Soviet Embassy in Mexico City as a sort of strategy to strongarm the Cuban consulate to expedite a visa for this “friend of Fidel and the FPCC.” Jim Garrison in 1968 showed clearly that LHO was deep into deception here – yet evidently not deep enough because the Cuban consulate in Mexico City rejected LHO’s homemade “credentials!” How irregular that an alleged dignitary would arrive at any government office unannounced? How naïve!
20. What exactly happened in that Soviet Embassy? Nechiporenko wrote that LHO came to the Soviet Embassy in Mexico City begging for an immediate visa to Russia so that he could take it to the Cuban consulate to demand an immediate visa to Cuba. Aside from the nonsense of the request, perhaps there was a simple mix-up, and it can be fixed, given enough time.
21. Yet LHO made a clear demand to immediately grant him his visas! Kostikov and his team kindly replied to LHO that he had come unannounced, with no prior authorization, with no genuine credentials. Despite these lacks, the Soviet Embassy would give LHO the benefit of the doubt and allow him to apply for a regular visa. Minimum time to complete – four months.
22. LHO didn’t like that and raised his voice to them – so the Russians showed him the door. After he left, the consuls decided quickly that LHO was a “high-strung neurotic” who was “not telling everything” (page 74).
23. The next day, Saturday, September 28, 1963, LHO returned to the Soviet Embassy carrying a loaded pistol. This turned some heads. LHO placed the pistol on the desk and broke into tears, crying that the FBI was persecuting him. He was afraid for his life, he said, so he had to carry this gun. The Russian consuls took the gun, removed the bullets, returned the gun to LHO, and let him finish his story. After that, they told him firmly – wait the four months or just forget it. After LHO left, Kostikov and his colleague agreed that LHO was “unstable mentally,” and “suffered from a serious nervous disorder” (page 81).
24. 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.
25. If we take this at face value, this was a half-truth. The name on his Mexican visa was, “Lee Harvey Oswald.” This was the only name he had ever used in his correspondence to the Soviet Embassy since before he returned to the US. There was no other name.
26. The jarring phrase in this snippet is this: “unless I used my real name.” This sentence is a clear boast that he was using the name, Lee Harvey Oswald, as a phony name for somebody whose real name we don’t know! There are other issues, but I find them all minor compared with this.
27. Why should we accept that “Lee Harvey Oswald” was his real name in light of this Soviet Embassy letter of November 9, 1963? The answer is simple – if LHO truly had another identity – then why in the world would he advertise it in plain language in a typed postal letter? It was certain to be opened by the FBI in Washington DC (or any wayward Postal Inspector) simply because of its postal address during this peak of the Cold War.
28. Answer – he wouldn’t. Neither would you or I or any mature person. It’s not a secret name if you boast openly in an Embassy Letter that you have another name!
29. So, it’s a lie mixed with truths. LHO did indeed visit the Mexico City Embassy Compound consistently from September 26, 1963 through September 28, 1963, and he did indeed meet with “comrade Kostin” in the Soviet Embassy during this brief period. Yet LHO was no secret agent – and to pretend so was mere immaturity. This silly claim to have a secret name is sufficient evidence to cancel any alleged seriousness in the rest of this letter.
30. We shall find, at length, that this letter was not intended for the eyes of the Soviet intelligentsia. I shall argue that LHO's Soviet Embassy letter (November 9, 1963) was intended as an act of mockery of the FBI. LHO teased the FBI saying in effect: “I have a secret KGB name and you never knew that until I just told you!”
31. What about his theatrics in Mexico City? LHO said he was afraid for his life, so he carried this loaded pistol. The Russian consuls took the gun, removed the bullets, returned the gun to LHO and let him finish his story. Then they told him to wait four months or just forget it. After LHO left, Kostikov and his colleague agreed that LHO was unstable mentally, and “suffered from a serious nervous disorder” (page 81).
32. 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.
33. Here LHO gives historians some solid ground to tread upon. He admits that he “had not planned to contact the Soviet Embassy in Mexico.” That matches Marina Oswald’s WC testimony in this sense – LHO planned first and foremost to get to Havana, Cuba. He repeated that goal to Marina since August – more than a month.
34. Sometime in August 1963 in New Orleans, LHO told Marina that he wanted her help to hijack an airplane bound for Cuba. She was shocked. LHO sounded mentally – dangerously – unstable. She told him he was crazy and left to change the baby sheets again.
35. There was always a hint of the arrogant maverick about LHO. He got himself accepted as a defector in Russia in 1959, by cutting his wrists. The theatrics evidently worked quite well for a while. The Soviets offered LHO asylum in the USSR but assigned him to live in Minsk – where all political “others” were sent for continual KGB observation. LHO’s immaturity showed, but it had also worked for him in the past.
36. It seems to me that with all of his silly theatrics in the Soviet Embassy and Cuban consulate in Mexico City, LHO had made an impression as a political buffoon.
37. Back to the letter. If LHO had been able to reach Havana Cuba (on a moment’s notice) he would have headed straight for the Soviet Embassy in Havana, “as planned.” Planned by whom? By Guy Banister, of course! The whole charade has Banister’s stamp all over it. A fake FPCC branch, a fake FPCC Secretary, fake posters, fake membership rolls.
38. Also, LHO wrote, “the Embassy there would have had time to complete our business.” The phrase “our business” stands out. Whatbusiness? We know who – LHO and the Soviet Embassies. But what business? Again – if there truly was a genuine secret business between a spy and the USSR headquarters, would any mature person claim that up front in a postal letter? Especially any letter written to USSR headquarters in Washington DC – the Soviet Embassy!
39. Of course, the Soviet Embassy was not at fault. They were, as I say, unprepared. The Cuban Consul was guilty of gross breach of regulations. I am glad he has since been replaced.
40. Again, LHO shares some real history with us. The Soviet Embassy was surprised by LHO’s sudden visit, and he admits this openly. LHO completely blamed the “Cuban consul” for his many failures on their watch. Yet the consuls followed regulations in demanding LHO to show regular credentials – which he consistently failed to do.
41. As we’ve seen, the Soviet Embassy in Mexico City was “unprepared” for LHO’s visit in the sense that nobody in high official channels had alerted them to LHO’s visit. No normal organization behaves that way. Also, the Mexico City Soviet Embassy was “unprepared” for LHO’s visit in the sense that LHO failed to show any legitimate credentials at all. Newspaper clippings? Is that all?
42. Nor was anybody in the Cuban consulate negligent in tossing LHO out of the building. This was entirely in line with normal regulations. So, nobody was really “replaced” that month, as if LHO could get instant information from secret Mexico City communists about staff changes in the consulate! What a conceit!
43. 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.
44. Put yourself in Ruth Paine’s shoes when you read this long sentence. “The FBI is not now interested in my activities in the FPCC.” Ruth Paine was stunned at this point, because FBI agent James Hosty had just visited her own living room twice in the past week alone!
45. True, LHO had lived and worked in New Orleans for 6 months or so, and maybe he was or maybe he wasn’t a secretary of the FPCC in New Orleans during that time – that’s beside the point. Again – if you’re writing to the headquarters of the Soviet Union in Washington DC, you surely don’t need to remind them of all your titles. No – this letter was written for the eyes of the FBI.
46. However, the F.B.I. has visited us here in Dallas, Texas, on November 1. Agent James P. Hosty 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.
47. Ruth Paine rightly interpreted this sentence as a lie. Ruth Paine was in the room when James Hosty questioned Marina. She still remembered his questions. Ruth knew for a fact that LHO was not present at those meetings. Yet here LHO claims that the FBI “had visited us here in Dallas”. “Us?” It’s a bald-faced lie!
48. And since first clause began with a lie, let’s expect the next clause to be another lie. Correct. Ruth was there. She saw that Hosty never warned LHO about anything, because LHO wasn’t even present in the room at the time. Barely half-way through the sentence we already have two lies. So, we cannot in good faith accept any part of the sentence, or even the spirit of the sentence.
49. This agent also ‘suggested’ to Marina Nichilayova 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.
50. Again, Ruth was there, and these three sentences infuriated Ruth like none other. Hosty said no such thing! Hosty told Marina that, “The FBI does not harass people, the FBI protects people.” LHO wasn’t even in the room! How dare Lee to so blatantly lie!
51. LHO was never present to “protest” any tactics of any sort. Even beyond that, Ruth especially disliked LHO’s phrase, “notorious F.B.I.” ‘Who the hell did he think he was? And using my typewriter!’
52. Please inform us of the arrival of our Soviet entrance visas as soon as they come.
53. LHO knew for a fact that there were no Soviet entrances visas, simply because he never filled out any paperwork in Mexico City to apply within the four-month procedure to acquire a visa. This is further evidence that LHO while writing his so-called Soviet Embassy letter of 9/9/1963 was addressing the US FBI – pulling their chains.
54. 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.
55. This was fairly weird – “to my wife?” What did that mean? The political purpose is implied in the lie that James Hosty ‘tried to get Marina to defect.’ This is evidence that LHO regarded Marina Oswald as a Soviet citizen. Obviously, LHO regarded Marina Oswald as a Soviet citizen. Even if she wanted to stay in the US, that was irrelevant to LHO. By naming Marina by her maiden name, “Marina Nichilayova” LHO implied that Marina was well known to them as a citizen of Minsk.
56. Perhaps Marina was LHO’s insurance policy just in case he could never find a permanent job in the US. Perhaps they could always return to Russia. Really? Where’s that contract? In my reading, the phrase implies that since Marina Oswald was a Soviet citizen (and a Russian name), then the USSR should accept Audrey Marina Oswald as a Soviet citizen as well.
57. (This could be LHO’s revenge on James Hosty for allegedly trying to get Marina to defect from the Soviet Union.)
58. Ruth Paine quickly copied this letter in her own handwriting. She would hand it to James Hosty the next time he came to her door. The letter disturbed her deeply. She didn’t fear LHO; she was disoriented by him; he’d seemed like a real nice guy for the past several weeks. He had been so caring about Marina and his kids. Why, worried Ruth, did LHO ever compose this letter? It just came out of left field.
59. There’s my reading of the Soviet Embassy letter of November 9, 1963 – the letter that explained LHO’s situation in life on November 9, 1963 better than any other writing I know –
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