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The JFK Case; the Office that Spied on its Own Spies

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Tilton was no Boy Scout. He reported to Edward Lansdale in 1962-63 as part of the Psychological Operations Group, a psy-op team designed to destabilize Cuba.

Later in the decade, Tilton was the CIA La Paz station chief involved in the capture and assassination of Che Guevara.

Tilton was the last chief of the Phoenix Program in Vietnam, a US program estimated to have killed 20,000 alleged Viet Cong and tortured untold thousands.

Tilton was considering planting "deceptive information" which might "embarrass" the FPCC in areas where it has some support: MEMORANDUM: Fair Play for Cuba Committee, Found in: DDP (Deputy Director of Plans) Files, RIF#: 104-10310-10151 (09/18/63) CIA#: CIA-DDP-FILES (9/18/63); see also Church Committee, Book V, Final Report (1976), pp. 65-66; see also Newman, p. 394.

How would this faux FPCC literature be circulated? "This would be done by distributing propaganda through appropriate cut-outs": MEMORANDUM: Fair Play for Cuba Committee, Found in: DDP (Deputy Director of Plans) Files, RIF#: 104-10310-10151 (09/18/63) CIA#: CIA-DDP-FILES (9/18/63); see also Church Committee, Book V, Final Report (1976), pp. 65-66; see also John Newman, Oswald and the CIA (New York, Carroll & Graf: 1995) p. 394.

On October 27, New York informant NY 3245-S* (who may have been FPCC worker Victor Vicente) got inside the New York FPCC national office and gave to the FBI a couple hundred documents, the foreign mailing list, and a sample of FPCC stationery: Memorandum from SAC, New York, to Director, FBI, 11/27/63, re Fair Play for Cuba Committee, Miscellaneous CIA Series/NARA Record Number: 104-10310-10071

In the swirl of the assassination, these two chiefs took careful note that the letter from Oswald to FPCC head "Vincent Lee" somehow got addressed to "Henry Lee":
Memo from FBI Nationalities Intelligence supervisor W. R. Wannall to Division 5 supervisor William Sullivan, 11/23/63, FBI - HSCA Subject File: FPCC/NARA Record Number:

Oswald reportedly went to Mexico City and tried to obtain the Cuban visa right there on the spot, even though he had no Soviet visa: Oswald's Cuban visa application, Warren Commission Exhibits, Vol. 25, p. 815, Exhibit 2564, 9/27/63.


When asked about Oswald's wife, Oswald reportedly said that she was in New York City and she would follow him from there: FBI report, 5/18/64, Warren Commission Hearings, Vol. 24, p. 589; CE 2121, p. 39. statement made by Cuban consulate employee Sylvia Duran, 11/23/63 that Oswald's
wife Marina was supposedly in New York City.

None of the consulate employees who were present could positively identify Oswald as the person at the Cuban consulate that day. Azcue was emphatic in testifying that Oswald was not the "dark blond" man angrily demanding an instant visa: HSCA Report, Vol. III, 136.

There is no paper trail of documents prior to the assassination showing that Oswald was seen at the Cuban consulate. When CIA director Richard Helms was asked about this near the end of his life, he claimed that the CIA "didn't want to blow their source": John Newman, Oswald and the CIA (New York, Carroll & Graf: 1995), p. 418.

List of Records and Files on Suspect RIS Officers, 11/20/74. Russ Holmes Work File/NARA Record Number: 104-10414-10342. Every page of this document shouts out for more analysis. See, in particular:

Oswald on 9/27/63: See bottom of page 26 of 29.

See reference to Oswald and Kostikov
: Top of page 28 of 29, somehow these pages were separated.

"Y talked with O"
: At mid-page - a reference to Yatskov and Oswald meeting on 9/28/63.

See a REDCAP memo focused on Kostikov during 9/27/63 itself: Memo from Mexico City Chief of Station Willard Curtis (Win Scott) to Chief, Western Hemisphere, DISPATCH: REDCAP/VALERIY VLADIMIROVICH KOSTIKOV, 9/27/63,
HSCA Segregated CIA Collection (microfilm - reel 9: Hernandez - Loganov)/NARA Record Number: 104-10173-10310.

Particularly intriguing is a meeting between Kostikov and a David Paton, with the notation "Kostikov had legitimate contact with Paton on visas":

You have to wonder about Paton as well. Well-known Political aide Frank Mankiewicz wrote a book with Fidel Castro and Kirby Jones in 1975, With Fidel. In the introduction (at vii.), the authors thank several members in the US Foreign Service for making "their travels a lot easier", including "David Paton in Mexico City".

The CIA's Ann Egerter worked at the office that spied on their own spies: Preliminary HSCA Interview of Ann Egerter by Dan Hardway and Betsy Wolf, March 31, 1978, p. 3, 180-10142-10298.

One message inaccurately referred to "Lee Henry Oswald" as "approximately 35 years old, with an athletic build": CIA teletype 74673 to FBI, State Department, and Navy, October 10, 1963; NARA, JFK files, CIA 201 file on Oswald. (Egerter's name is on this last page) Egerter signed this document as a coordinating officer, and was one of the people who reviewed it for accuracy, which described "Lee Henry Oswald".

The other message more accurately described him as "born 18 Oct 1939, five foot ten inches, light brown wavy hair": CIA teletype 74830 to Mexico City CIA station, October 10, 1963, HSCA Segregated CIA Collection, Box 6/NARA Record Number: 104-10052-10057 (Egerter's name is on this last page)

Egerter signed this document as a coordinating officer, and told Congressional investigators that she could not explain the errors in the description of Oswald in these two documents.

Oswald's central CIA file was wrongly entitled by Egerter as "Lee Henry Oswald" several years earlier when he had defected from the Marines to the Soviet Union: Field Personality (201) File Request for Information on Lee Henry Oswald, HSCA Segregated CIA Collection, Box 60/(12/9/1960) NARA Record Number: 1993.07.26.19:17:44:150330.

By the time of the weekend of the assassination, even Walter Cronkite was calling him "Lee Henry Oswald": Walter Goodman, "Reviews/Television; CBS Replays the Weekned of Nov.22:", New York Times, Nov. 17, 1988

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Bill Simpich is a civil rights attorney and an antiwar activist in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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