By Bill Simpich [Originally published 9/2/2010]
Oswald’s ties with US intelligence began as a radar operator for the U-2
Seventeen-year-old Lee Harvey Oswald began his first tentative steps into the intelligence milieu when he joined the Marines in late 1956 and obtained his qualifications as an aviation electronics operator. These credentials allowed him to perform basic radar functions, a post that requires above average IQ. For Oswald, with his spelling problems and a shaky education, this was a big deal. Keep in mind that Oswald may have been unwitting about some or all of the roles he would play for intelligence, although he seems to have been an agent in his own mind. He may have simply been manipulated for other purposes.
During 1957 and 1958, Oswald was stationed at the Atsugi naval air station in Japan, one of the major bases where the CIA flew secret U-2 reconnaissance flights over the Soviet Union. The task of his unit was to use radar to direct aircraft to their targets.
At Atsugi, Oswald and the other radar operators tracked the radar-evading abilities of the U-2s as they flew at high altitudes, which was necessary in order to evade Soviet anti-aircraft fire. He and his unit also traveled to provide similar U-2 support at Cubi Point in the Philippines, where Oswald once tracked a U-2 flying over China and showed it to his commanding officer.
While Oswald was in Asia, Col. Pyotr Popov was a top double agent for the CIA, providing important Soviet military intelligence to legend maker #1 James Angleton’s CI/SIG under the code name ATTIC. In April, 1958, Popov heard a drunken colonel brag about the “technical details” that the KGB had on a new high-altitude spycraft that America was flying over the USSR. Popov concluded that the leak of such details came from within the U-2 project itself. While in Berlin, Popov passed this U-2 leak to the Agency and then returned to Moscow.
In September, 1959, Oswald received a dependency discharge from the Marines on the grounds that his mother was injured and needed his care. However, after a three day visit with her, he left for Europe. Supposedly, he was off to attend college for the first time at the Albert Schweitzer College in Zurich, Switzerland. Percival Brundage, the college president, was Eisenhower’s budget director and a staunch advocate of black budget financing for military and intelligence operations. Brundage is also known as one of the two owner-operators of Southern Air Transport, infamous as the “CIA’s airline” in the Caribbean and in Southeast Asia during the 60s and 70s.
Oswald never made it to Albert Schweitzer College. He changed direction once his freighter docked in France, avoiding the usual visa delays and zipping through to the Soviet Union in unheard-of time for an American at the height of the Cold War. After Oswald arrived in Helsinki on the 10th, he sought a visa on Tuesday the 13th, obtained it on the 14th, and had crossed the border into the Soviet Union by the 15th. How he did it is a highly revealing story.
The day before Oswald’s arrival to Helsinki, the CIA had just confirmed on October 9 that the Finnish city was the only known spot in the Soviet empire where someone could get an instant visa in a few minutes instead of at least a week and prior approval from Moscow. This confirmation came in the wake of an August 28 memo from vice consul/CIA officer William Costille, entitled REDCAP/LCIMPROVE.
Why this complicated arrangement? Something big was about to happen. What were REDCAP and LCIMPROVE?
Background on REDCAP and REDSKIN
Throughout 1959, Costille had been meeting with his Soviet counterpart Gregoriy Golub, cordially swapping unimportant items of information and feeling each other out. During this time, the memos about the Costille-Golub meetings were directed to the CIA division heads for the Soviet Union and Western Europe, bearing the subject line of REDCAP.
REDCAP was originally designed in 1952 to deal with the results of uprisings in the Soviet satellites, with a special focus on defectors and refugees. In the words of former CIA Soviet chief David Murphy:
“First priority went to efforts to recruit Soviets as sources or, as the Redcap sloganeers put it, to encourage them to ‘defect in place’. Failing that, those who insisted on defecting outright would be brought to the West, where their intelligence knowledge could be tapped.”
In July, a REDCAP memo reveals that Golub was sweetened up by spending time with REDSKIN student-travelers PAWNEE/3 and PAWNEE/5. (REDSKIN was a legal program using student travelers and those similarly situated to report what they observed. As seen in the previous article, JFK himself recommended legend maker #3 Priscilla Johnson for entry into a REDSKIN program.) This indicates an ongoing attempt to persuade Golub to defect. However, REDCAP or REDSKIN may have also been used as a means of using Lee Harvey Oswald.
This is illustrated by a crucial memo written by Deputy Director of Plans Richard Bissell on 9/2/59, just days before Oswald left the United States. In this memo, Bissell said that it was time to expand the effort by Clandestine Services against the Soviets, and that it must be done in two ways. One was “to monitor the activities of Soviet personnel and installations (REDCAP) and to negate (their) activities” outside of the USSR, and the other was all the operations aimed inside the USSR itself, including REDSKIN.
Oswald could have qualified as a REDSKIN traveler. The State Department described him as a “tourist” on the defector list. Or, given the presence of only about twenty REDCAP agents actually inside the Soviet Russia in the late fifties, REDCAP could have been a convenient spot to tuck in someone like Oswald who related to the USSR but wanted to keep his option to “defect in in place” or re-defect to the West.
Background on LCIMPROVE
LCIMPROVE has been described by the CIA as “counter-espionage involving Soviet intelligence services worldwide”. LCIMPROVE is a counterintelligence technique used around visas and travel. It’s often seen in conjunction with programs such as REDCAP or REDSKIN.
A CIA Helsinki memo in May, 1959 comments on how Golub and a fellow officer are conducting a “Soviet Cultural Offensive in Helsinki” by inviting younger Western diplomatic and consular corps to lunch and Soviet movies. A REDCAP memo of August 14 states that “arrangements (were) made for a night on the town this Saturday with Costille and date and Golub and a trusted Finnish girl we are certain will give Golub a run for his money.”
A REDCAP/LCIMPROVE memo dated 8/28/59 has Costille discussing how he set up the date for Golub with the trusted Finnish girl – there was a lot of alcohol and flirtation, but no actual sex. The central focus of this memo was that Soviet consul Gregory Golub would issue visas immediately and without Moscow approval. “As long as the Americans had made travel arrangements through a local travel bureau, as well as hotel reservations, (Golub) said he had no objections to giving them a visa in a matter of minutes.”
A crucial memo is dated October 9, with the subject line of “REDCAP, Costille-Pawnee/5-Golub Contact”. Costille reports that during early September, “(t)wo Americans were in the Soviet Consulate at the time and were applying for Soviet visas through Golub”. Golub phoned Costille to state that he would give them their visas as soon as they made advance Intourist reservations. When they did this, Golub immediately gave them the visas.”
Throughout 1959, Costille was gently trying to encourage Golub to defect. Costille learned in June about Golub’s estranged marriage. The Western Europe chief told Costille he was convinced that any hope of the “jilted husband” Golub defecting to the West was becoming more remote, and thought that Golub might be on to Costille’s game.
The next report offers strong evidence that Oswald immediately made good use of Costille’s tip about coming through Helsinki. Oswald arrived in Helsinki late Saturday night on October 10 and submitted his visa request on Tuesday the 13th.
Much of the memo discusses a quick lunch requested by Golub with Costille on the morning of the 13th, which the two men managed to swing that same day. Like the earlier memo, this memo’s subject line is also REDWOOD/REDSKIN/REDCAP/LCIMPROVE. Golub expresses his gratitude to Costille for the two tickets he gave him to see Leonard Bernstein on the 4th. Leonard Bernstein may be the reason that Oswald got into the Soviet Union at all.
After the Costille-Golub lunch on the 13th, Oswald obtained his visa on the 14th, was in the USSR by the 15th, and arrived in Moscow on the 16th. After Oswald’s defection, Golub told a wild story about how one of his American dates spent the night. He gave her his wife’s pajamas. He came back in the room, and she was standing there nude. He went to sleep in another bedroom and never called her back. Golub’s wife “returned to Helsinki on 7 November and surprised him after an absence of four months. (Redacted) states that the relationship appears to be the same as it was before Mrs. G left, and Golub was glad to have her back.” The days of wine and roses were over.
I suggest that Golub, Costille, and the these two CIA division chiefs were central to the plan to get Oswald into the Soviet Union, as part of the LCIMPROVE technique to encourage counter-espionage opportunities aimed at the Soviet intelligence services. We see LCIMPROVE again four years later when someone claiming to be Oswald and trying to get an instant visa to Cuba and the USSR telephones the Soviet embassy in Mexico City shortly before the JFK assassination.
The Marine arrives in Moscow ready to give U-2 secrets to the Soviets
On October 16, 1959, the very day that Oswald arrived in Moscow, Popov was arrested while on a bus and trying to obtain a note from Russell Langelle, his CIA contact from the American Embassy. Langelle was expelled from the Soviet Union. Popov was executed. Popov’s information on the KGB’s knowledge of the U-2 made him one of the most important double agents the US has ever had. Counterintelligence chief James Angleton never recovered from the loss of Popov. Angleton took it as a signal that a Soviet mole had penetrated the Central Intelligence Agency, and was learning all of the Agency’s secrets. He had to act.
The next day, October 17, American Robert Webster went to the US embassy and announced that he was defecting to the Soviet Union. Webster had a strong physical resemblance to Oswald, as can be seen by the pictures here
(Image by unknown)
Webster remembered meeting Oswald’s future wife Marina Oswald on several occasions. Although Marina claimed that she didn’t remember Webster, she confused her own husband with Webster on one occasion by claiming that she had met Oswald at the World Trade exhibition in Moscow in 1959 before he defected. Angleton claimed to be surprised in 1967 to find out that the address of Webster’s apartment building was in Marina’s address book.
On that Saturday, Webster met with Richard Snyder while in the company of his two bosses at the Rand Development Corporation, Henry Rand and George Bookbinder, both former OSS agents and in town with Webster for the World Trade Exhibition in Moscow. Legend maker #4 Richard Snyder had a current clearance to work with CIA officials. Since 95% of the Americans at this event could speak Russian, this particular exhibition was described by Soviet defector Yuri Nosenko as a field day for counterintelligence activities.
Upon arrival, Oswald announced that he was a radar operator with the Marines and he knew some “classified things” that he was going to give to the Soviets. Oswald had also brought with him a handwritten statement renouncing his American citizenship that he wanted the Embassy to accept so that he could seek Soviet citizenship.
Why did the American Embassy officials protect Oswald?
Oswald arrived at the American Embassy in Moscow at 11 am on a Saturday, about an hour before its weekend closing time at 12 am. As Saturday was barely a working day, very few people were in the embassy besides Snyder that morning. We last saw Snyder at Harvard in 1957, working as a spotter for Russian students to recruit into the REDSKIN program.
Oswald had done everything needed to properly renounce his citizenship. For a renunciation to be official, all that was required was for the renunciation to be made in person, in front of a consular officer, reduced to writing, and four copies made. Given Oswald’s threat to turn classified information over to the Soviets, one would think that Snyder would detain him and strip him of his citizenship.
In what some of a skeptical bent have called a “Saturday defection strategy” designed to make it impossible for anyone to renounce their citizenship if they came to the embassy on Saturday, Snyder rescued Oswald that day. Webster had defected two Saturdays earlier, and Nicholas Petrulli had defected on the first Saturday of September.
In the Petrulli case, Petrulli was allowed to renounce his citizenship, and then he immediately turned around and said that he wanted to return to the US. Petrulli was permitted re-entry, as he was supposedly “mentally ill”. This may have been an intelligence gambit by an intelligence agency – Americans or Soviets – to see how the State Department would respond. Curiously, Petrulli is cited in the body of the Warren Report, but not Webster.
After the prolonged drama involving Petrulli, Snyder cited the Petrulli incident as why he would no longer accept a renunciation without a cooling-off period to allow for further investigation and consultation. Webster got a cooling-off period. Snyder, a former CIA officer, was filled with excuses as to why he wouldn’t take Oswald’s citizenship away that day, a man who threatened in his office to turn military secrets over to the Soviet Union.
Instead, Snyder made sure that he got Oswald to hand over his passport to him. I believe that Snyder insisted on obtaining possession so that no other government official could get their hands on it. As we will see, Snyder was also responsible for Oswald ultimately getting his passport back and making sure that he could return to the United States.
Who forewarned Oswald that Snyder would lean on him?
Snyder asked Oswald, “why do you want to defect to the Soviet Union?” Oswald told him that it was because he was a Marxist. Snyder knew that Karl Marx’s philosophies did not play a major role in the bureaucratic USSR, mocking Oswald that “life will be lonely as a Marxist.” Snyder admitted in a three page telegram he sent right after the assassination that Oswald told him that he “had been forewarned I would try (to) talk him out of decision”.
Who, indeed, forewarned Oswald? Was it the Soviets, or the Americans? Consider the Warren Commission hearing where former CIA chief Allen Dulles tried to get Snyder to read this 3-page telegram into the record. Dulles insisted that the telegram was “very short and quite significant”, while Snyder repeatedly claimed there was a “problem of classification” until he convinced the Commission to go off the record.
What was going on was that Snyder was waving his arms and begging his interrogators for a time out so that he could get Dulles to change the subject. Dulles wanted to argue that the Soviets forewarned Oswald. Snyder knew all too well that it was probably the Americans.
At the embassy with Snyder during Oswald’s visit inside the Embassy was a graduate student named Ned Keenan. Keenan was a Harvard student at the time Snyder was a spotter for REDSKIN. Keenan was among the first students to study in the Soviet Union between 1959-1961 as part of the new Student Exchange Program coordinated by the State Department. Like Popov’s contact Russ Langelle, Keenan was eventually declared persona non grata and expelled from the Soviet Union. Keenan is now a historian of Russian history, and a past director of Harvard’s Dumbarton Oaks museum and research center in Washington D.C.. He should contribute what he knows under oath.
After Oswald left, Snyder and his colleague Ed Freers prepared the short October 31 report on Oswald’s visit to the State Department, with copies to the Navy and many other agencies, they included a reference to Oswald’s U-2 experience without using the dreaded word “U-2”. They wrote:
“(Oswald) says has offered Soviets any information he has acquired as enlisted radar operator. In view Petrulli case we propose delay executing renunciation until Soviet action known or dept. advises.”
After receiving this note, the naval attache at the Embassy wrote a note about the defections of Oswald and Webster The reference to Webster was whited out for many years until the recent releases. Webster’s name was hidden from the American public to hide Webster from public scrutiny.
Consul John McVickar recruits Johnson to help Oswald
On November 15, consul John McVickar had a chat with Johnson in the mail room at the American embassy. He told her about Oswald, commenting that he wouldn’t talk to “any of us”, but might talk to Johnson because she was a woman. At Johnson was leaving, McVickar added, “Remember that you’re an American.”
On November 16, Priscilla Johnson interviewed Oswald for about five hours. Oswald told her that the Soviets were “investigating possibilities of my continuing my education at a Soviet institute.”
Johnson also admitted to the Warren Commission that Oswald told her “he felt he had something he could give them, something that would hurt his country in a way, or could, and that was the one thing that was quite negative, that he was holding out some kind of bait.”
The next day, Johnson went out to a cafeteria-style lamb dinner with John McVickar. Johnson said that “we talked about Oswald’s personality and how the Embassy had handled him. John and I, out of sympathy for Oswald, were talking about how Snyder had goaded Oswald.”
McVickar wrote a memo after dinner: “I said that if someone could persuade Oswald at least to delay before taking the final plunge on his American citizenship, or for that matter on Soviet citizenship, they would be doing him a favor and doubtless the USA as well. She seemed to understand this point. I believe that she is going to try and write a story on what prompts a man to do such a thing.”
MacVickar wrote a postscript a couple days later adding that Johnson had told him that Oswald “will be trained in electronics“. Newman said that McMillan was troubled when she learned that McVickar attributed this to her, or that he wrote any report about their dinner. When asked point blank by Newman if she remembered discussing Oswald’s threat to provide radar secrets to the Soviets, McMillan’s long-winded response boiled down to “I can’t remember.”
Johnson wrote up an article based on this interview that was picked up by the intelligence-driven North American News Alliance (see Part One) and printed on November 26, 1959 in the Washington Evening Star. Johnson pitched Oswald as a “nice-looking six-footer” and a “serious, soft-spoken Southern boy” with some different ideas. She suppressed any hint of Oswald’s threat to expose military secrets to the Soviet Union. When interviewer John Newman asked her why she had not written about Oswald’s threat, Johnson responded: “I know, that it is terrible…that is so unprofessional.”
What the devil happened to Mr. Webster?
Someone at the Warren Commission was shaken by Johnson’s reference to Robert E. Webster in the Evening Star article, and they did not want his story to be compared with Oswald’s. The solution was to suppress the Evening Star article as an exhibit. Instead, the Commission used Johnson’s nearly-identical original manuscript with Robert E. Webster’s first name deleted but not his last name – the entire name missing would be too obvious. This deletion had nothing to do with “national security”. The only conceivable reason was to try to insulate Webster from future investigation.
This stratagem was largely successful. Webster was not in the body of the Warren Report, and his full identity was erased from the exhibits. No government agency ever interviewed the now-deceased Webster, or compared the photos of Webster and Oswald.
Oswald/Webster (Image by unknown)
To my knowledge, the CIA-linked Robert Webster was not part of the dialogue of the assassination until the spadework done by the HSCA fifteen years later. Here is the Evening Star article discussing Webster – here is the manuscript with his first name whited out. The whited-out version was published by the Warren Commission, hiding Webster’s identity from the public.
What was the reaction from the State Department and other US agencies about Oswald’s act of treason? No statements of outrage, or even significant concern. Close to total silence…but not, as we will see, from the counterintelligence divisions of the CIA and the FBI.
A tip of the hat goes to Professor John Newman. Some of the analysis here comes from his book Oswald and the CIA, recommended for anyone who wants to go deeper into the issues in this chapter. Many thanks also to researchers Greg Parker and Bill Kelly for sharing their work on Edward Keenan, REDSKIN and REDCAP. As this story progresses, I will acknowledge other researchers and authors as much as possible. Much credit to the efforts of everyone who has moved this case forward with well-vetted evidence.
This series of articles needs vetting – it’s still a work in progress. Suggestions and criticism regarding the state of the documentary evidence and the best approach for a JFK Preservation of Evidence Act are appreciated.
Oswald was an aviation electronics operator: Warren Commission Document 1114, Navy message 22257, From: CNO To: ALUSNA, Moscow, 11/4/59.
Oswald once tracked a U-2 flying over China and showed it to his commanding officer: Interview with James Donovan by John Newman, 7/19/94, in Newman’s Oswald and the CIA, p. 32.
While Oswald was in Asia: Tom Mangold, Cold Warrior, p. 250; Newman, p. 87.
In April 1958, Popov heard a drunken colonel brag, and concluded that the leak came from within the project itself: Mark Riebling, Wedge (Touchstone, 1994), p. 155, quoted in Newman, p. 87.
While in Berlin, Popov passed this U-2 leak…: Newman, pp. 87-88.
In September, 1959, Oswald received a dependency discharge…: McVickar’s Memorandum to the Files, 11/17/59, CE 911, Volume 18, p. 106. www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?docId=1135&relPageId=120
After a three day visit with his mother…: See Mary Ferrell Chronologies, Volume 2 (a) – 1959, pp. 19-20. www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?docId=40396&relPageId=19
Supposedly, he was off to attend college for the first time at the Albert Schweitzer College in Zurich, Switzerland. Percival Brundage, the college president, was Eisenhower’s budget director…: George Michael Evica, A Certain Arrogance (Xlibris, 2006), pp. 216-226 (on background of Brundage, the budget, and SAT); Victor Marchetti, The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence (Knopf, 1974), pp. re ownership of SAT, see Flight/Global Archive, www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1975/1975%20-%200565.html
The CIA admits owning SAT until 1973. See
Washington Post, 10/30/86
(Possible use of Oswald by REDCAP/REDSKIN) illustrated by memo by Richard Bissell, DDP, 9/2/59: www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?docId=12684&relPageId=2
Former CIA Soviet Division chief David Murphy wrote a book in 1997 describing REDCAP as a “defector inducement program”. David Murphy, Sergei K and Bailey, Battleground Berlin (1997), p. 238 (can viewed online at google)
July REDCAP memo about Golub and PAWNEE/3 and /5:
Oswald changed direction once his freighter docked in France on October 8: Warren Commission Document 1, page 49. FBI Summary Report, 12/1/63 www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?docId=10402&relPageId=60 (passport stamped in LaHavre); Warren Commission Document 6, page 311. FBI report by SA J. Dawson Van Eps, 12/3/63. www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?docId=10407&relPageId=310
LCIMPROVE: The meaning of LCIMPROVE is revealed by putting together two different documents (questions posed the CIA by HSCA staffers and the CIA’s responses). LCIMPROVE was described as “Counter-espionage involving Soviet intelligence services worldwide”: The request for the definition of LCIMPROVE by government staffers to the CIA is at www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?absPageId=423713. The CIA’s response is at www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?docId=26341&relPageId=23
A REDCAP memo of August 14 states that “arrangements (were) made for a night on the town this Saturday with Costille and date and Golub and a trusted Finnish girl we are certain will give Golub a run for his money.”: Memo from Chief of Station, 8/14/59, HSCA Segregated CIA Collection (microfilm)/HSCA Segregated CIA Collection (microfilm – reel 8: Golitsyn – Hernandez)/NARA Record Number: 104-10172-10297. www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?mode=searchResult&absPageId=399637
The Western Europe chief told Costille that defection by the “jilted husband” Golub was becoming more remote: Memo from CIA Western European chief Eric Timm to Helsinki CIA chief of station, 9/21/59, HSCA Segregated CIA Collection, Box 5/NARA Record Number: 104-10051-10196, www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?docId=27338&relPageId=3
Definition of REDWOOD: www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?docId=53277&relPageId=3
Oswald made good use of Costille’s tip…and submitted his visa request on Tuesday the 13th: www.russianbooks.org/oswald/journey.htm
A quick Costille-Golub lunch on the 13th: www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?docId=18377&relPageId=3
After the Costille-Golub lunch on the 13th, Oswald obtained the visa on the 14th, and had crossed the border into the Soviet Union by the 15th: HSCA Final Report, p. 211. www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?mode=searchResult&absPageId=69279
After Oswald’s defection, Golub told a wild story about how one of his American dates spent the night: REDWOOD/REDSKIN/REDCAP/ Gregory Golub, 10/22/59, HSCA Segregated CIA Collection (microfilm – reel 8: Golitsyn – Hernandez)/ NARA Record Number: 104-10172-10291
Golub’s wife returns: Personal Information Data, Gregory Golub, p. 10, HSCA Segregated CIA Collection (microfilm – reel 8: Golitsyn – Hernandez)/NARA Record Number: 104-10172-10283 www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?docId=17797&relPageId=10
We see LCIMPROVE again four years later when someone claiming to be Oswald is trying to get an instant visa to Cuba and the USSR just weeks before the JFK assassination: IN 36017, memo from Mexico City to Headquarters, 10/9/63, Oswald 201 File (201-289248)/NARA Record Number: 104-10015-10047 “Cable Concerning Telephone Call to USSR Embassy From American Male Who Spoke Broken Russian”. www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?docId=53277&relPageId=3
Oswald arrived in Moscow on the same day as Popov’s arrest: John Newman, Oswald and the CIA (New York: Carroll & Graf, 1995), pp. 87-88; Time Magazine, 10/26/59, “Foreign Relations – Prefabricated Agent”, www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,864959,00.html#ixzz0bxInX5N6
Langelle was a CIA agent at the American embassy in Moscow: Genzman interview with Langelle, 5/4/76, page 4, HSCA Segregated CIA Collection (staff notes)/NARA Record Number: 180-10143-10233, www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?docId=34085&relPageId=4
Webster had a definite physical resemblance to Oswald: Here’s photos of Webster and Oswald side-by-side: www.jfkresearch.com/Gallery_15/pages/Oswald-Webster.htm. Here’s a solo picture from an AP story and wirephoto, 5/17/62:
Although Marina claimed that she didn’t remember Webster, she confused her own husband with Webster on one occasion by claiming that she had met Oswald at the World Trade exhibition in Moscow in 1959: FBI interview by James Hosty with Katya Ford, 11/24/63, Warren Commission Document 5, page 259. www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?docId=10406&relPageId=265
Webster met Snyder while in the company of his two bosses at the Rand Development Corporation, Henry Rand and George Bookbinder, both former OSS agents and in town for the World Trade Exhibition in Moscow: Johanna Smith, Rough Notes, Staff Summary of Webster, p. 3. NARA Record Number: 180-10142-10469;
www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?docId=49620&relPageId=5 For more on the OSS backgrounds of Rand and Bookbinder: Richard Harris Smith, OSS: The Secret History of America’s First Intelligence Agency, (Lyons Press, 2005, p. 362 (OSS background of Bookbinder) Also see Anthony Summers, Conspiracy, (Paragon House, 1989 edition) pp. 147-148
Snyder had a current clearance to work with CIA officials: HSCA Segregated CIA Collection, Box 46; NARA No. 104-10130-10039; Request for Approval: Richard Snyder www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?mode=searchResult&absPageId=442961
Since 95% of the Americans at this event could speak Russian, this particular exhibition was described by Soviet defector Yuri Nesenko as a field day for counterintelligence activities: HSCA Interview of Yuri Ivanovitch Nosenko, 30 May 1978, p. 6. www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?docId=252&relPageId=10
…Oswald announced to Richard Snyder that he was a radar operator with the Marines and he knew some “classified things” that he was going to give to the Soviets: Testimony of John McVickar, Warren Commission Hearings, Vol. 5, p. 301; www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?docId=40&relPageId=311
Oswald had prepared a handwritten renunciation of citizenship: Warren Commission Hearings, Vol. 18, p. 109; Warren Commission Exhibit 913. www.aarclibrary.org/publib/jfk/wc/wcvols/wh18/html/WH_Vol18_0062a.htm
Oswald had arrived at the American Embassy in Moscow at 11 am on a Saturday, about an hour before its weekend closing time at 12 am: John Newman, Oswald and the CIA, p. 1. www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?docId=946&relPageId=772
For a renunciation to be official, all that was required was for the renunciation to be made in person and in front of a consular officer, reduced to writing, and four copies made.: Testimony of Richard Snyder, Warren Commission Hearings, Vol. 5, p. 273.
In the Petrulli case, Petrulli was allowed to renounce his citizenship…: Warren Report, p. 748
Curiously, Petrulli is cited in the body of the Warren Report, but not Webster: www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?mode=searchResult&absPageId=74172
Here is the Evening Star article that contains Webster’s full name: November 26, 1959, Washington Evening Star, Security File of Priscilla Johnson McMillan, HSCA Segregated CIA Collection, Box 43/NARA Record Number: 1993.08.13.18:14:26:210059, www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?docId=103934&relPageId=43
Compare this Evening Star article to the manuscript provided at the Warren Commission Hearings, Vol. 20, Johnson Ex. 2, p. 288 www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?docId=1137&relPageId=308
Oswald had been forewarned I would try to talk him out of decision: From Tokyo to Secretary of State, 11/27/63, Russ Holmes Work File, 104-10434-10370, Warren Commission Hearings, Vol. 18, p. 101, Exhibit 909. www.aarclibrary.org/publib/jfk/wc/wcvols/wh18/html/WH_Vol18_0058a.htm
Snyder repeatedly claimed there was a “problem of classification” until he convinced the Commission to go off the record: Testimony of Richard Snyder, Warren Commission Hearings, Vol. 5, p. 266. www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?docId=40&relPageId=276
Keenan was a Harvard student at the time Snyder was a spotter for REDSKIN. Keenan was among the first students to study in the Soviet Union between 1959-1961 as part of the new Student Exchange Program coordinated by the State Department. Keenan was eventually declared persona non grata and forced to leave the Soviet Union during 1961. Keenan is now a historian of Russian history, and a past director of Harvard’s Dumbarton Oaks museum and research center in Washington D.C.. He should contribute what he knows under oath: See Newman, pp. 1-2, 6; also see webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:Lo6Q3-_1cqoJ:en.academic.ru/dic.nsf/enwiki/8997789+dumbarton+%22edward+keenan%22&cd=7&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&client=firefox-a
Like Russ Langelle, Keenan was eventually declared persona non grata and expelled from the Soviet Union: HSCA Segregated CIA Collection (microfilm, Reel 54); NARA Record Number: 104-10219-10202, Cable: Mr. Edward Louis Keenan, Student Recently Expelled From. www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?docId=48643&relPageId=2
Also see Newman, pp. 87-88, 160.
When Snyder and his colleague Ed Freers prepared the short October 31 report on Oswald’s visit to the State Department, with copies to the Navy and many other agencies, they included a reference to Oswald’s U-2 experience without using the dreaded word “U-2”. They wrote:
“(Oswald) says has offered Soviets any information he has acquired as enlisted radar operator. In view Petrulli case we propose delay executing renunciation until Soviet action known or dept. advises.” www.aarclibrary.org/publib/jfk/wc/wcvols/wh18/html/WH_Vol18_0060a.htm
Here is the note from the Naval attache hiding Webster’s name: www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?docId=1135&relPageId=129
Here is the unredacted note revealing Webster’s name: www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?mode=searchResult&absPageId=363283