(LAS VEGAS, KXNT)–Who was Lee Harvey Oswald?
Fifty years after President John Kennedy’s assassination, there remains intense debate about the alleged assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald. “Alleged” because he was never tried or convicted of murdering Kennedy. Oswald himself would be killed less than 48 hours after the assassination, gunned down in the Dallas police station by Jack Ruby, a crime seen live on national television.
Oswald was indeed a mysterious character. An ex-Marine, he defected to the Soviet Union, married a Russian woman and returned to the U.S. a few years later. He then embarked on other puzzling journeys, working odd jobs, demonstrating leftist, pro-Castro political activities, yet crossing paths with right-wing political elements. Researchers have long suspected he was an intelligence agent.
The Central Intelligence Agency and other U.S. intelligence had a keen interest in Oswald. As a former defector, he would naturally attract suspicion and monitoring. But it was his activity just weeks before the JFK assassination–a trip to Mexico City, where he apparently visited the Russian embassy and Cuban consulate–that has become an entirely separate field of study for assassination researchers.
In an interview with KXNT airing as a series this week, Anthony Summers, author of Not In Your Lifetime, recounts that Oswald’s Mexico City visit in late September of 1963 was closely monitored by the CIA, and that tapes of his conversations and surveillance photos of his appearances were made. The CIA would later say the tapes were destroyed. Photos released of “Oswald” were clearly not of the man arrested in Dallas later.
Did the CIA kill the president? Summers does not think so, but he suspects that Oswald was wittingly or unwittingly involved in an intelligence operation in Mexico City targeting Castro forces.
“What I am suggesting is that the CIA was involved in some operation to manipulate Oswald as a low level tool in its secret war against Fidel Castro, and that after the assassination it rushed a cover, to cover this up, and by covering that up, they’ve appeared to have covered up something far more sinister.”
Other researchers have suggested that rogue elements of the CIA could have been involved in a plot to kill Kennedy, noting the odd dissemination of files and information within the agency in the weeks and months prior to the assassination. The CIA’s counter-intelligence division was at the center of a propaganda campaign to discredit pro-Castro groups, including the Fair Play For Cuba Committee. Oswald had formed a one-man chapter of the group in New Orleans in the summer before the assassination.
While it is generally accepted that it was, in fact, Oswald who visited Mexico City, he may have been impersonated in some of the visits to the embassy and consulate, and was impersonated in phone calls to both buildings.