Lee Harvey Oswald, JFK, and the National Security State
by Jacob G. Hornberger
In yesterday’s blog post about the movie Bridge of Spies, I pointed out how the circumstantial evidence that has been released over the decades leads to but one conclusion — that Lee Harvey Oswald, who the Warren Commission accused of assassinating President Kennedy, was an intelligence operative or asset of the U.S. national-security state. That is, that when Oswald traveled to Moscow, walked into the U.S embassy, and announced that he was going to disclose information that he acquired during his military service in the Marines, he was working as a spy, either for Navy Intelligence, the CIA, or some other U.S. intelligence agency.
As I pointed out in yesterday’s article, the U.S. government’s behavior toward Oswald is one of the most persuasive pieces of circumstantial evidence pointing in the direction that Oswald was a U.S. spy. Don’t forget, after all, that all this took place during the height of the Cold War, when the Pentagon, CIA, NSA, and FBI, along with the president and the members of Congress, were absolutely convinced that America was facing a grave existential threat from the Soviet Union.
That’s, in fact, why after World War II the U.S. government became a national-security state, a type of governmental system that is inherent to totalitarian regimes — to oppose the communist totalitarianism of the Soviet Union by grafting a pro-freedom totalitarian apparatus onto America’s original governmental system.
Recall the massive anti-communist crusade in the United States during the 1950s and 1960s. The McCarthy hearings. The FBI’s secret surveillance of Martin Luther King, Ernest Hemingway, and countless other American citizens who were suspected of being communists. The secret infiltration of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee, a nationwide organization whose goal was to establish friendly relations with Cuba, including the lifting of the U.S. embargo against Cuba, with the aim of destroying the FPCC. The blacklisting and resulting ruination of careers of Hollywood writers, filmmakers, and actors who had ever been members of the Communist Party. The attempted destruction of the U.S. Communist Party. The executions of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg for purportedly giving nuclear secrets to the Soviets.
The irony of all this Cold War inanity was that while the Soviets were doing all the same things to their citizens, which isn’t surprising because that’s how totalitarian and communist regimes treat their own citizens who disagree with the government, the U.S. national-security state was doing the same things to its citizens, albeit in the name of “defending our freedoms from communism.” Of course, most Americans, like most Russians, went along with it all, given the deference-to-authority mindset that characterized the citizenry in both countries during the Cold War.
So, why did the U.S. national-security state not go after Oswald when it was going after every other American who had shown sympathy for communism? As I state in my ebook Regime Change: The JFK Assassination, Oswald is a genuine Cold War miracle story. Amidst all the anti-communist inanity initiated by the U.S. national-security state, Oswald, the former U.S. Marine, saunters across the Cold War stage of history, announcing not only that he’s going to defect to America’s Cold War enemy — the enemy that is supposedly trying to destroy the United States or put it under communist domination — but also that he intends to disclose information that he acquired as a U.S. Marine to the Soviets.
At the very least, wouldn’t you think the U.S. Marine Corps would be a bit upset over this big embarrassment and humiliation? But Oswald saunters back to the United States with nary an arrest, interrogation, grand jury subpoena, indictment, or prosecution. They even help him get back by extending a loan to him. I’ll bet Edward Snowden, John Kiriakou, and other people who have disclosed secrets of the national-security state would like to have been accorded the nice, indifferent treatment that Oswald received. And don’t forget — those whistleblowers who have borne the wrath of the U.S. national security state disclosed their secrets to the American people. Oswald intended to disclose his secrets to the national-security state’s avowed Cold War enemy.
As I wrote yesterday, there really is only one logical and rational explanation for this — Oswald, the former U.S. Marine, was covertly working for U.S. intelligence, just as CIA spy Francis Gary Powers was. In fact, consider the fact that Powers was a U.S. Air Force officer when he was recruited to go work for the CIA. Doesn’t that make sense? Wouldn’t the U.S. Armed Forces be a logical place for U.S. intelligence to recruit from? Wouldn’t you think that the U.S. Marine Corps, with its motto “Semper Fidelis” would also be a logical place for Navy Intelligence, the CIA, or the FBI to recruit people?
In fact, as I also point out in Regime Change, the Warren Commission itself went into a panic at the inception of its proceedings when it received information that Oswald had ties to the FBI or to U.S. intelligence. It scheduled an emergency meeting that was kept top-secret, so secret that Warren even ordered the recording of the proceedings be destroyed and never disclosed to the public.
Given the receipt of that information, how did the Commission resolve the issue? By simply asking the heads of the FBI and the CIA to state whether Oswald had been an intelligence operative or asset. When they denied it, that was the end of the matter. After all, everyone knows that U.S. officials don’t lie about matters relating to national security. Just ask the CIA, whose director was convicted of lying to Congress under oath. Or Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper, who lied to Congress under oath and got away scot-free without a criminal indictment.
What else could the Commission do — accuse the CIA and the FBI of lying — at the height of the Cold War? All they would have done is respond, “No, we’re not lying and stop insulting us.” What then? How could the Commission, whose members included former CIA Director Allen Dulles, and Congressman Gerald Ford, who was spying for the FBI on commission proceedings, target these two agencies in a harsh adversarial proceeding over whether Oswald was an intelligent agent or asset? Even the mainstream press couldn’t have avoided having a field day with that sort of controversy. The Soviets certainly would have enjoyed watching the spectacle. And how would they have acquired the records showing Oswald’s intelligence connections, when obviously such records would have been destroyed, just as the CIA destroyed its records relating to MKULTRA as well as those torture videos from Abu Ghraib, with impunity.
How did Oswald, while he was in the military, become fluent in the Russian language, one of the most difficult languages to learn? Why did the Marine Corps treat him with kid gloves when he was reading communist literature while serving on active duty? Why didn’t they go after him when he was pamphleteering in New Orleans in favor of Cuba and Fidel Castro? Why didn’t they go after him after he purportedly visited the Cuban and Soviet embassies in Mexico City a few weeks before the JFK assassination? Why was he permitted to work at a business in Dallas that did classified photography work for the U.S. military?
Of course, one might say, “Well, Jacob, even if Oswald was a U.S. intelligence operative or asset, he still could have shot the president.”
That’s true, but then all sorts of other weird and bizarre anomalies would still pop up, as detailed in my other ebook The Kennedy Autopsy. Why would the Secret Service forcibly prevent the president’s body from undergoing an autopsy in Dallas, as required by Texas state law? Why would they secretly introduce the president’s body into the Bethesda morgue, more than an hour-and-half before the start of the official autopsy? Why would U.S. officials insist on conducting the autopsy on a military base in Maryland? Why would autopsy participants be sworn to secrecy, on pain of court-martial or criminal prosecution?
To protect themselves from being embarrassed by Oswald’s association with U.S. intelligence? Not possible because as I pointed out in Regime Change, when they initiated the steps to forcibly remove Kennedy’s body from Parkland Hospital (while threatening the use of deadly force against the Dallas medical personnel), the Dallas police had had Oswald in custody only a few minutes — i.e., insufficient time to establish his intelligence bona fides.
There is only one logical answer to the many seeming riddles in the assassination of John F. Kennedy, one that all too many Americans still do not want to confront: That the national-security state apparatus that was grafted onto America’s original governmental system, which continues to engage in actions that are damaging our country and our freedom today, effected a regime change in America on November 22, 1963. The reasons were no different in principle than the reasons for effecting regime change during the Cold War in places like Iran, Guatemala, Cuba, the Congo, and Chile. For a more detailed explanation, see our third ebook on the JFK assassination: JFK’s War with the National Security Establishment: Why Kennedy Was Assassinated by Douglas Horne, who served on the staff of the Assassination Records Review Board.
My recommendation: To get the overall sense of what happened in the Kennedy assassination, read our three ebooks in the following order:
The Kennedy Autopsy by Jacob Hornberger
JFK’s War with the National Security Establishment: Why Kennedy Was Assassinated by Douglas Horne
Regime Change: The JFK Assassination by Jacob Hornberger
Then read the following two books: JFK and the Unspeakable by James W. Douglass and David Talbot’s new book The Devil’s Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA, and the Rise of America’s Secret Government.