John F. Kennedy’s murder – Did the Russians do it?

The Warren Commission report on the murder of President Kennedy was released on September 24th 1964, exactly fifty years ago today. Many theories, conspiracy and otherwise, have been offered to suggest that he was killed by the Soviets, the Israelis, or the International Bankers. There are of course dozens of other suspects as well, including the CIA and a variety of business interests… the numerous books published on the subject would probably fill a small library.

The important thing to remember about the Warren Commission, particularly for the purposes of this article, is that it was assembled hastily, told to avoid implicating the Soviet Union for fear of possibly nuclear retaliation, and ordered to publish its report well before the next presidential election.

I am in the process of reading the book “Disinformation” by Lt. General Ion Pacepa, former head of the Romanian intelligence service, who defected to the West in 1978. According to him, Lee Harvey Oswald was recruited by Soviet military intelligence in the late 1950’s while stationed at Atsugi Air Base in Japan.

Oswald was a highly-skilled radar operator with the U.S. Marines, and at various times was stationed at Atsugi and at Weisbaden, West Germany, from which the new U-2 spy planes conducted their high-altitude intelligence-gathering flights over the Soviet Union. He also spent time posted to El Toro Air Base in California, from which U-2 pilots flew practice runs.

Because of this, he had access to top secret information regarding U.S. radar capabilities, which was of paramount interest to the Soviets because of their need for precise information regarding the height at which the spy planes were operating, in order to devise counter-measures.

While at El Toro Air Base in California, Oswald became reasonably proficient in Russian, and was nicknamed “Oswaldovich”. There is evidence that while he was there, he had highly classified material placed in a bus station locker where it could be picked up by Soviet agents.

As Pacepa observes, “It is quite possible that Oswald included in such duffel bags some of the new information on the height at which the U-2 planes were flying in their practice runs over that part of Southern California. According to Francis Gary Powers, the U-2 pilot whom the Soviets shot down on May 1, 1960, at El Toro Oswald had access ‘not only to radar and radio codes but also to the new MPS-16 height-finding radar gear,’ and the height at which the U-2 flew was the most highly classified secret about it.”

Oswald defected to the Soviet Union in February of 1962, and claimed in a letter to his brother to have seen Powers in Moscow. According to Pacepa, “It would have been normal procedure for the KGB to take Oswald to observe the Powers trial as one of the rewards given to him for having helped the Soviet Union to shoot down the U-2. Otherwise, there is little reason Oswald would have seen him in Moscow.”

Pacepa refers to Edward Jay Epstein’s book “Legend: The secret world of Lee Harvey Oswald” as follows: “Epstein’s well-documented book, which is centered around suspicions that Oswald had secret ties to Soviet intelligence, provides significant information indicating that Oswald had indeed been manipulated by Moscow. Epstein even collected sufficient data to cause him correctly to suspect that George de Mohrenschildt, the wealthy American oilman who had reportedly come from the old Russian nobility and who became Oswald’s ‘best friend’ after Oswald returned to the United States, was in fact Oswald’s KGB ‘handler’.”

I have added emphasis to the last quote because interestingly, as Pacepa tells us, when Epstein was meeting with de Mohrenschildt in Palm Beach in 1977, a card arrived telling de Mohrenschildt that he would be required to provide testimony under oath to the House Select Committee on Assassinations; he committed suicide later that day rather than comply, in sharp contrast with his willingness to provide lengthy testimony to the presumably far less meticulous and conscientious Warren Commission…

If General Pacepa and Edward Epstein are both correct, then Lee Harvey Oswald was providing highly-secret classified information to the Soviets prior to his defection, and he was under the supervision of a KGB handler at the time of President Kennedy’s assassination.

Strong stuff indeed!

Jeff Goodall.

You can obtain Pacepa’s book “Disinformation” here.

I see that he also wrote a book “Programmed to kill: Lee Harvey Oswald, the Soviet KGB, and the Kennedy assassination” which must not have been available at the time that I purchased “Disinformation”. This is definitely next on my reading list! See here.

You can obtain Epstein’s book “Legend: The secret world of Lee Harvey Oswald” here.

See the Warren Commission’s Wikipedia entry here.

See George de Mohrenschildt’s Wikipedia entry here.