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

By       Message Bill Simpich       (Page 5 of 12 pages) Become a premium member to see this article and all articles as one long page.     Permalink

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The photo turned out to have been taken on October 2, not October 1, and it was not Oswald. The House committee found Goodpasture's story of the photo "highly implausible".

Hoover himself told LBJ that "we have up here the tape and the photograph of the man who was at the Soviet Embassy, using Oswald's name. That picture and the tape do not correspond to this man's voice, nor to his appearance. In other words, it appears that there is a second person who was at the Soviet embassy."

In other words, this October 8 message from LADILLINGER has been cited for many years as the strongest proof that Oswald was impersonated when he was in Mexico City. The LCIMPROVE subject line on LADILLINGER's memo is telling evidence that this impersonation was part of a counter-espionage program aimed at the Soviets. I haven't seen LCIMPROVE in any of the earlier Mexico City memos.

The second document, dated October 15, 1963 from GFGESTETNER, is very short. The Mexico City CIA station asks CIA headquarters to "pls pouch photo Oswald", or "please send a photo of Oswald". It may be that the Mexico City station itself was aware that there are problems with any would-be Oswald photos at the station. The message refers to "Lee Henry Oswald", not "Lee Harvey Oswald". This 10/15/63 message can be seen here.

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The 10/15 document also refers to "DIR 74830" this was the 10/10/63 message to Mexico City discussed above that provides a far more accurate description for "Lee Henry Oswald" "born 18 Oct 1939, five foot ten inches, one hundred sixty five pounds, light brown wavy hair, blue eyes". Except for his name and his weight (which varied between 130-150 pounds during his short life as an adult), this message got it right.

In Popov's Mole, Scott brings home how the repeated use of the name "Lee Henry Oswald" and the error regarding his weight was part and parcel of the molehunt being led by CI/SIG's Egerter while Oswald was in the Soviet Union. With great determination, Egerter had succeeded in getting these details wrong for three years.

The 10/10/63 message also told the Mexico City CIA station to provide the 5'10"/165 description to their local FBI, Navy, INS, and State Department contacts.

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However, CIA headquarters sent a second and contradictory message on the same day to the headquarters of these agencies providing totally wrong information for Oswald: "approximately 35 years old, with an athletic build", and falsely assuring them that their local contacts were being provided the same information.


Ann Egerter helped prepare both of these contradictory messages. Remember that for Egerter, counter-intelligence meant that her group CI/SIG had to run an "office that spied on spies".

During the 1970s, the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) analyzed these two 10/10/63 messages from CIA headquarters and verified that they were drafted at the same time and sent within a few hours of each other.

Given these contradictory messages, and the lack of an operational name accompanying LCIMPROVE, it indicates that Oswald may have been part of what the CIA refers to as a "hip pocket group" or a "vest pocket group" known to only a few persons.

We have every reason to believe that Ann Egerter in Washington at CI/SIG teamed up with "Gerald F. Gestetner" (a pseudonym for chief of Soviet affairs Herbert Manell) and his wife "L.A. Dillinger" (a pseudonym for Barbara Murphy Manell) and others at the Mexico City CIA station to run this espionage operation using Oswald and aimed at the Soviets.

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We know that Egerter's boss was James Jesus Angleton, the legendary head of CIA counterintelligence that presided over Egerter's molehunting unit. Angleton is legendary for almost tearing the agency apart in the paranoid manner that he hunted for Soviet moles.

We also know that Gestetner and Dellinger answered to David Phillips, the number three man at the station and the one in charge of covert actions as well as the Cuban desk. Phillips had a history of running anti-FPCC operations. Phillips made a point of letting Cuban exile leader Antonio Veciana see him with Oswald just a few weeks earlier in Dallas. Phillips admitted under oath that "we covered this man (Oswald) all the time" in Mexico City right after he wrote a book called The Night Watch describing Oswald as a "blip".

Gestetner testified that his duties as Soviet affairs chief were to monitor counterintelligence, to negate Soviet efforts to penetrate their station, and to recruit Soviets to their side.

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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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