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The Sting

Paranoia strikes deep

Into your life it will creep

It starts when you're always afraid

You step out of line

The man come and take you away

Buffalo Springfield-For What it's Worth

The cold war began even before WWII ended. In the latter's waning days plans were already being implemented for the former. The Dulles brothers and their like-minded OSS, Military Intelligence, remnants of the defeated Nazi regime, as well as right-wing factions of government and industry (the military industrial complex), began planning for the demise of the Soviet Union. Project's like Gladio and Paperclip were born of the ashes of a doomed alliance between east and west. The Yalta Conference was seen as a betrayal. The Dulles faction began to believe there was communist infiltration of our government. Thus the McCarthy era was born. Paranoia ruled both eastern and western thinking. This is the environment in which JFK took office. Spy's and betrayal were the backdrop of a world of mistrust and suspicion. Kim Philby, Pyotr Popov, Alger Hiss and the Rosenbergs were household names and added fuel to the growing paranoia. The Prince of Paranoia was James Jesus Angleton.

This paranoia wasn't only prevalent among the cold war adversaries on both sides of the globe, it manifested itself among U.S. intelligence agencies that were supposed to be interacting with each other for the common good. As Peter Dale Scott pointed out in his book, Dallas '63, these agencies not only didn't cooperate with each other, they each had their own agendas and secret projects. This lack of communication and internal secrecy may explain the bizarre story of a victim of cold war paranoia named Lee Harvey Oswald.

Oswald first became a pawn in the extremely complex world of intelligence while stationed at Atsugi in Japan. From what is known, we can piece together a pattern of manipulation in a game of espionage that began when he was approached by Japanese communists. As I see it, it began with his seduction by a waitress at a Japanese club called the Queen Bee, who attempted to get him to talk about his work at the U2 base. When he reported this to his superiors, he was encouraged to play along and infiltrate the commune. Oswald took to this line of work like a duck takes to water. Since his youth, he had escaped the oppressiveness of his mother's clutches by creating a fantasy world. He fancied himself a spy living multiple lives like his idol Herb Philbrick on the TV show, I Led Three Lives for the FBI. Aware of his successful portrayal of a soldier with communist sympathies, the ONI enlisted him in their false defector program and sent him to the Soviet Union as a dangle. In turn, the paranoid guru of CIA Counterintelligence, James Angleton, aware that Oswald had worked in the secret U2 project, saw an opportunity to use him in a mole hunt to expose what he believed to be a leak in the project itself. His knowledge of such a mole came from the ramblings of an intoxicated counter-intelligence spy Pyotr Popov. Behind the scenes, the CIA may have been aware of Popov's impending arrest by the Soviets which happened on the very day Oswald arrived in Moscow. Was this part of his mission?

The U-2 crisis serves as an historical example of how the outcome of one celebrated international incident can damage the prospects for progress between the superpowers.”

E. Bruce Geelhoed

Another operation involving Oswald may have been the sabotaging of the upcoming Paris Peace Talks via the downing of Francis Gary Powers U2 spy plane. The plan here was probably not to have Oswald give secret information to Russians enabling them to shoot the plane down, but to sabotage the plane themselves in Turkey before takeoff and use Oswald as a patsy to take the blame.

However, as Scott so perceptively observed, other agencies may also have played roles in this charade as well. Agencies who may not have been aware of ONI's or Angleton's operations due to the compartmentalization and lack of communication between agencies, or even between different departments in the same agencies. The right hand seldom knew what the left hand was up to. The point is that once the crap hit the fan after the assassination, each of these agencies were forced into a cover-up. They had to protect top secret ops and sources as well as their own deficiencies and dereliction of duty.

As Scott observed, problems began when Oswald threw down his passport on Richard Snyder's desk at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow and loudly proclaimed that he intended to give secrets to the Russians. This should have set off alarms and Oswald, still technically in the marine reserves, should have been arrested on the spot. That didn't happen. Scott's use of the analogy, the dog didn't bark, is perfect. This is a reference is to a Sherlock Holmes mystery entitled “The Sign of Four.” In the story a race horse is kidnapped from his stable in the middle of the night. No one saw the crime taking place so it seemed unsolvable. Holmes however deduced that it was an inside caper. His reasoning was that the stable dog never barked. In essence it proved that the dog knew the perpetrators and felt no threat. The innuendo in Oswald's embassy escapade is that the dog didn't bark because it knew Oswald was not a real defector and that his threat was just a ploy for Russian ears since he knew the embassy was bugged. The dog, in this case being Snyder, the State Department and U.S. and or military intelligence. In fact, Snyder later stated that that was what he thought at the time. The Soviets shared the same perception. Oswald's charade was meant for the Russian microphones hidden in the embassy.

But their was more going on here. It seems that there was also a paranoiac relationship between the FBI and Marine G2 with the State Department. In spite of the fall of McCarthy, Hoover was still obsessed with communists under every bed and their infiltration of the State Department in particular. Oswald's vocal threats gave credence to Hoover's convictions and he blamed the State Department for not acting on this subversive traitor. Later, Hoover's mole in the State Department, Otto Otepka ended up losing his position after trying to determine if Oswald was really a defector giving secrets to the enemy. Other allies of Hoover in his game were Martin Dies Jr., chairman of the House Committee on UnAmerican Activities, and J. G. Sourwine, chief counsel for many years to a Senate subcommittee that sought to uncover subversion and Communism. All the inter-agency paperwork on Oswald resulted in a multitude of files. Some shared and others held secret. In the case of Angleton's CI/SIG, there were files with different versions of Oswald's name, some containing false information used as a barium meal in the mole hunt. In Oswald's case it is likely that ONI and CIA (Angleton's counter-intelligence group in particular), were in the know and that the FBI was out of the loop. Marine G2 may have been in the loop if Oswald's act was part of their efforts to expose liberals in the State Department. In fact, Snyder may have been one of those suspected. In that case Oswald would be putting on his show at their behest. So, even though FBI and Marine G2 may have been running the same type of operation, FBI may not have been in the loop as to Oswald's game. All this led to the confusion involving Oswald's files to this day. Some released, others not. Marine intelligence files remain illusive.

Trying to make some sense of it all But I can see it makes no sense at all Is it cool to go to sleep on the floor? 'Cause I don't think that I can take anymore

Stealer's Wheel-Stuck in the Middle with You

Since it seems likely that these other operations were piggy backed with Angleton's mole hunt, Oswald being set up as the assassin of JFK set in motion what amounted to an automatic cover up. Was this coincidence or did someone “in the know” manipulate it to happen? Did this Machiavellian puppeteer manipulate a forced cover up as part of a coup not only sure to be successful, but safe from prosecution as well.

What if someone was not only setting up Oswald, the Cubans and/or Russians, but the CIA, FBI, ONI and Marine G2 as well. A plot within a plot within a plot? I feel the presence of a genius lurking in the background here. Someone who had manipulated Oswald before in a mole-hunt as his personal singleton agent. Someone who understood all the levels of the intelligence complex.

To make it all work, it was necessary to link Castro and or the Russians to the assassination. A scenario along the lines of Operation Northwoods. The device used to make this work was Oswald's trip to Mexico City and supposed contact with Kostikov and KGB Department 13, specializing in sabotage and assassination. This puppeteer knew the inner workings of the Mexico City apparatus intimately. His brilliant but paranoid mind always working behind the scenes, spinning webs, never in the limelight.

In order to accomplish all of this the pupeteer needed a cut-out. Someone to not only handle Oswald on a personal level, but someone who knew the Mexico City Station and it's inner workings as well as he did. Someone who was in charge of photographic and audio surveillance of Cuban Diplomats. Someone who was, at the time, running Cuban Ops out of Mexico City. Someone who had just been promoted to Operations Officer on September 29th, 1963 at the exact time the episode was beginning. Someone who, a CIA memo in fact revealed, “... would be assigned to CA (Counter Intelligence) Staff (Mexico City) to develop Ideological Warfare.” Someone who had been seen talking to Oswald in Dallas shortly before he left for Mexico City. Someone named David Atlee Phillips.

According to Scott,

David Phillips is the one man who seems to cover all aspects of the CIA-Oswald operation and cover-up in 1963. David Phillips even had one friend, Gordon McLendon , in common with Jack Ruby. McLendon, a sometime intelligence officer and Dallas owner of radio stations, had known Phillips since both men were in their teens. (The two men would in the 1970's join in forming the association of Former Intelligence Officers._ McLendon was close to two other wealthy men in Dallas who have attracted the attention of JFK researchers, Clint Murchison and Bedford Wynne.

What was not yet known is why McLendon, whom Ruby described as one of his six closest friends, embarked on a sudden and surprising trip with his family to Mexico in the fall of 1963.”1

The initial response to the assassination came in two phases. Scott points out that these were in essence, two interpretations of “who done it.” He calls these phase one and phase two. The phase one solution was that Castro and/or the Russians were behind the president's demise. This scenario was promoted by the likes of factions of the CIA such as Win Scott, David Phillips, William Harvey and Dave Morales. The Mafioso proponents were Richard Cain, John Roselli, Sam Giancana and John Martino. Others like Gerald Ford and Henry and Clair Booth Luce jumped on this bandwagon. It was based on events like Oswald's Mexico City trysts with Kostikov and Duran as well as other jury-rigged events like the Bayo-Pawley raid. LBJ used this phase one information to convince Earl Warren and others on the commission to pursue a cover-up to avoid a nuclear war.

Phase two, as Scott describes it, was the lone assassin scenario. This quickly replaced the phase one version and was pursued by the FBI and Hoover, with president Johnson's blessing. In essence this is when the intelligence agencies began to scramble to hide the family jewels under the bed.

But Scott believes there was also a phase three scenario. This one also came out of the Bayo-Pawley raid and may have been it's purpose all along. In the 1970's Johnny Roselli began feeding a story to columnist Jack Anderson. It was an altered version of the Bayo-Pawley raid. Roselli's story was that an assassination team was part of the mission and their goal was to kill Castro. He related that Castro had captured them and “turned them.” They returned to the U.S. and killed Kennedy instead. The intention of the Castro retaliation motive was aimed primarily at embarrassing the CIA and Robert Kennedy in particular by exposing their efforts to murder Castro. It may actually have worked to keep RFK from going after the real culprits. Kennedy would be forced to deal with the possibility that his efforts to kill Castro backfired and resulted in his brother's death.

It seems clear that the the phase one and phase three stories resulted in the false phase two cover-up. But the deeper truth is that unless there was a massive governmental conspiracy, one of the intelligence agencies would have followed leads that exposed the truth. Instead those agencies were manipulated into a frenzy of self preservation to protect top secret operations and sources from being exposed.

Were they all outsmarted by one of their own? Was the mole hunter a mole himself in the world of intelligence.....two chess moves ahead at all times? James Angleton would have been the perfect choice for the lead part in the movie...The Sting.

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