Oswald - CIA Connection?

O.K., first off, I’m not trying to start a debate on whether or not Oswald shot JFK or stir up the conspiracy stuff again (though there’s plenty of fishy stuff on both sides of that fence). What I’d like to know is: Was Oswald an agent or perhaps unwitting subject of the CIA? I’m posting this in GD because the CIA didn’t seem to leave a paper trail on this one…:rolleyes:

[imagining some spook at Langley intercepting and “disappearing” replies to this post]

Alright you right-wing, think you’re above the law btard spook fks, I know you did it, I’m telling everyone who’ll listen, and just you try and do something about it…:mad::wink:

[removes tin foil hat]

Seriously, I think that Oswald did too much travelling and went to the USSR and back (and Mexico and Cuba) way too easily for a supposed ne’er do well lone nut. Plus, his “Fair Play for Cuba” stunts were obvious red herrings.

First of all, Oswlad never went to Cuba.

Second of all, travelling to Mexico is not a big deal. Try it sometime.

Oswald hardly had it easy travelling to the USSR. He had to lie about his destination to get there, and then had to go through almost a year and half of red tape to return.

How so? By all indications the man was a committed communist.

Thanks for the (Posner-esque) reply. Yes, it is correct (as far as WE know) that he didn’t go to Cuba. He visited the Cuban Embassy in Mexico (something it is believed the CIA hastily covered up) in an attempt to get a visa to go to Cuba. Perhaps the Cubans thought he was a dangle and denied the visa for that reason.

Yes, I realize it’s no big deal to go to Mexico. However, his travels (I’m also talking about New Orleans and Florida, too.) were a bit much for an intermittently employed person with a family, etc. Also, during the height of the Cold War, he went to the USSR and back and did all this “I’m a Communist” b.s. with hardly a raised eyebrow from the so-called intelligence community, even when his Fair Play for Cuba office in New Orleans was in the same building as Guy Bannister and other spooks’ offices. He also frequently expressed a desire to be a “double agent”, which could explain all the aforementioned Communist/Cuba stuff.

But the fact that Oswald didn’t visit Cuba and he very obviously (TOO obviously) avowed to be a Communist as you correctly pointed out do not address the question I put forth for debate…-what was, if any, the connection between Oswald and the CIA (or any other intelligence agency for that matter)? My WAG is that he was a wannabe and either did Kennedy to try to impress them or they patsied him. Also, why did our so-called intelligence agencies go to all the trouble of covering up afterwords?

The CIA covered up Oswald’s visit to the Cuban embassy? Its news to me. If anything I thought they had promoted it (badly).

The Cubans probably just weren’t very impressed with Oswald. There’s no need to invoke conspiracies.

Why? Buses are cheap. That is what he used. Mexico isn’t like a trip to Hawai, or anything.

There were plenty of cases like Oswalds during the cold war. It wasn’t common, but it was hardly unique. Oswald did have to give some contact to the FBI. But they hardly had reason to suspect anything more than a misguided man had returned from the USSR.

Oswald never had an office. He just faked one that ended up being in an adjacent building as Bannister. Bannister was never a ‘spook’ (sorry, but FBI ain’t “spooky”), so it does not follow.

Oswald said many things. He also wanted to be a politcal officer in a communist America.

Nope. Not really. Some buffs have stretched some docusments superthin to find connections, and some “witnesses” have come foreward with stories many years after the fact (and with much coaxing by conspitacy book writers). These don’t add up to much.

Cover up? Not much to cover up. A small file here and a few other things there is all they had on Oswald, and most of that is intact… The biggest thing was the FBI’s destruction of a note in which Oswald was whiney and threatening to the agent trying to contact him.

I find that given the nature of the man called Lee Harvey Oswald, it would be very difficult for any intelligence agency to use him in such a manner.

Thanks, Mr. Miskatonic for the salient comments. You have slaain some of my ignorance, but alas, I have a ways to go…:wink:

Although, and I quote:

…sorry, but FBI ain’t “spooky”…

…made me smile. I thought the whole Hanssen thing was pretty spooky, for one recent example…

Anyway, I posted this in GD to get info from BOTH sides of the fence. I’ve looked around on the internet, and most stuff is pro-conspiracy-biased (and factually shaky) or sites that pooh-pooh ANY notion of ANYTHING other than the shopworn “lone nut” scenario (too much denial to be believable). My gut feeling is that it was something in between. Sorry if I’m beating a dead horse, but like the Cubans, I’m not too impressed by Oswald, and I’m suspicious of the people who were employed to prevent such occurrences for letting such a waif (if that’s what he was) get to the president. Kind of like 9/11. The spooks drop the ball and what do we do? Give 'em a blank check, of course. But I digress…:rolleyes:

These days, yes. But in the 50’s (when Banister was FBI’ed) the FBI was a lame-ass national poilce force barely able to monitor local alleged subversive elements. The CIA was much more capapble of action.

Fair enough. Be wanred, though, that a painfully sharp fence that you’re sitting on.

There were a host of circumstances that lead to Oswald being able to take the shot, none of which have any sinister elements to them. I would point out that a recent sniping attempt against the French Premier was only prevented by a few bystanders. It could have gone the Oswald way, and this is in a time when we should ‘know better’.

Truth is, there was little reason to consider Oswald to be anything but a loudmouth, if that. He had no real criminal record, its not really a crime to be Communist, or even to have made a weak defection (Oswald’s here-and-back to the USSR were repeated by many others before and after him). I think you might want to look at the stuff Prouty was able to know with regards to Oswald and tell me why he should think “Gosh, this guy is going to shoot somebody of importance!”?

I’m not that knowledgeable about the whole thing, so I don’t feel comfortable doing the debating for the CIA/Oswald connection. I was hoping someone who was more knowledgeable in that area to chime in. In my head, I can reason that yes, an Oswald slips through now and again, with major ramifications. But I can’t shake the feeling that there is something more here that perhaps we’ll never know. The CIA, FBI et al certainly had motive to look the other way in the Kennedy assassination(s). Yes, that fence is painfully sharp, and I feel the same frustration with the issue as many Americans. I wish I could, with certainty, just let it go and believe that Oswald (and Ruby) were just plain nuts and this stuff just happened to happen. But I smell smoke, and I have no idea where the fire really is.

Anyway, the CIA has done enough horrible stuff that we DO know about to fill volumes, and we don’t need to pin Oswald on them to understand the utterly immoral inhumanity of certain elements of that organization throughout its history. I’m sure they saved our butts a few times, too, but at what price “freedom”?


Covered up? The Warren Commission Report goes into detail about Oswald’s trip to Mexico City Sept. 25-Oct. 2, 1963 (pp. 650-656). Oswald had $214 cash on hand, Sept. 24. His Mexican trip expenses came to $84.

For several months in Russia in early 1962, Oswald tried to secure a loan from the Red Cross and the International Recue Committee to help pay for his airplane fare to return to the U.S. In June 1962, Oswald applied for and received a loan through the U.S. State Department, signing a promissory note for $436. The Diplomatic and Cousular Service had been allotted about $100,000 annually to meet the expenses of indigent U.S. nationals, including those in the Soviet Union, who requested repatriation loans.

In addition, Oswald borrowed $200 from his brother Robert to pay for his travel from New York to Texas.

Oswald’s net salary from the time he returned to the U.S. in June 1962 to January 1963, when he had paid off both loans, was $1,476. His monthly rent and utilities in that period ranged $68-$75, totalling $383 (the Oswalds lived rent-free with friends in July and October 1962).

As they say, you do the math. There was nothing extraordinary or mysterious about how Oswald was able to meet his expenses.

Analysis of Lee Harvey Oswald’s Finances From June 13, 1962, Through November 22, 1963


…but how he got around isn’t what I was asking about in the first place. It was merely something I thought a bit odd. So y’all have told me it’s nothing, nothing at all, sonny boy, nothing to see here. But who’s the source of a lot of this info? It’s a fox/henhouse kind of thing… The Warren Commission, fercryinoutloud…:rolleyes:

O.K., I’ll spell it out. Poke holes in my posts, fine. I’m a big, fat dumba**, I freely admit. I would just like to find out from sources other than spook apologists or wild-eyed conspiracy nuts what the Straight Dope is on LHO’s intelligence connections, if any. I understand you don’t believe there was any. Fine. Duly noted and weighted. I don’t wish to argue that side of it, I want to try to find out if there are any credible sources of info implicating the so-called intelligence community with Oswald. A neutral, trusted (now THAT’S a tall order!) resource debunking it is fine, too. Not the WC, not the govt., not Posner, Prouty or Stone…

BTW, Walloon, thanks for the link…

I would disagree strongly that Posner belongs in the same category as Stone and Prouty. He recieves far more criticism than is deserved for errors (which often are not errors) that are much less grevious than those committed by conspiracy authors, whose books are legion with mistakes.

However, I don’t know your opnion on John McAdams, a person who is definately on the side of lone-nutting, but is more than willing to listen to the arguements of buffs. Often the conspiracy buffs end up pulling the rug out from under other theories becasue they do not ft with their own theories.

(This is alleged to be one of the reasons Posner is so despised, he actually has a working narrative of the events)

Nontheless, McAdams has a page with many links covering most of the allegations that there was an intelligence connection . McAdams has the respect, but not neccessarily the agreement, of many researchers. Only the viritolic find fault with him, and its usually an unfounded issue when they do. Calling him a “spook” is he nutty buffs favorite tactic, and is purely unfounded ad hominen.


I seem to recall that Oswald had an uncle? who was a minor figure in the New Orleans mob…anybody have a link on this ?

Thanks for the link!:slight_smile: McAdams at least addresses the intelligence thing with something other than “you tin foil hat idiot, read the WC report” ala Posner. While I don’t think Posner is nutty, I don’t like his spanky, prosecutorial tone. It’s condescending and has an air of authority that is hard to swallow. I don’t think his work is erroneous much, other than errors of ommission (very little on intelligence, as if he was paid, almost).

Hey, McAdams called Oswald a waif, too… :cool:

Can’t say I ever knew Posner said anything like thhis. He was quite critical of the WC, but also acknowledged the limitations they had to deal with. He didn’t defend them across the board.

The major criticism of Posner seems to be “he didn’t cover XYZ, therefore he must be avoiding them, therefore XYZ must be true, therefore XYZ proves a conspiracy and Posner is a paid disinfo agent”. This is ismply poor logic. Posner had 300 or so pages to disassemble over 30 years of mistakes and ommissions, the vast majority of which came from the buff camp IMNSHO. Had Posner addeda few more pages on intelligence connections (most of which are extremely fleeting and have little basis to start with) then he would have had to remove pages on some other subject, say the backyard photos. Then the “XYZ” would become “ABC” and the same game would be played.

An effect similar to this is described in the sci.skeptic FAQ .

McAdams has the luxury of a modifiable website with essentially limitless storage. You will find more answers there, but lets be fair about what can and cannot be done. Even so, there are issues that McAdams does not cover, simply because they may not mean much.

You might wish to look into the USENET news group alt.assasination.jfk, it is moderated so that the nutballs are kept out, but still seems free enough to have a conversation.