The Soviet Union and its proxy Cuba was at an early stage blamed for the assassination in some circles. The Soviets themselves rather liked Kennedy. Kennedy and Khrushchev had struck up a rapport after the peaceful resolution of the Cuba crisis which led to the creation of the telephone hot line, after which Kennedy had become alienated from his own military industrial complex. Kennedy’s 10 June speech had been broadcast in its entirety across the USSR, probably a first. Khrushchev allegedly wept when he heard about the assassination. The UN ambassador instructed his staff to tell people the USSR was officially regretted by the Soviet Union, that the USSR was in shock. This was probably a genuine feelings.
The KGB was assigned to find out who the new man Lyndon Baines Johnson was and, at the same time, try and determine the identity of the Kennedy assassin.
The report was completed in December 1965 and is available in translated form in James Tague’s LBJ and the Kennedy killing. (James Tague was in Dealey Plaza that day, and was injured in the face from debris from when one of the missed bullets struck the kerb. He later became a writer on the Kennedy assassination.)
The KGB report is quite interesting.
The report says the presidential motorcade was travelling at 20km/h through Dallas and greeted by many people in the streets Security came from the secret service and local policemen. The limousine had to secret service agents in the front. There were agents in the cars behind, and motorcycle cops on both sides of the car nut behind it.
Kennedy was heading to a meeting hall in another part of town where he was due to speak at a luncheon. Dealey Plaza was the last place visited before the motorcade mounted the motorway. The cars turned sharply to the right, then sharply to the left, in order to take the road (Elm Street) – alongside which lay the infamous Grassy Knoll – that would lead to the motorway entrance ramp. In doing these manoeuvres, the motorcade slowed down very much. The KGB report notes scoldingly that this was a very bad security lapse. Slowing down the car to turn a sharp corner: It was this problem that led directly to the assassination of archduke Ferdinand in Sarajevo in 1914. It is easier to get a shot in when your target is moving slowly.
Another security lapse: The route was published in detail in the Dallas newspapers, before the arrival of Kennedy in Dallas. This might have enabled the assassins to plan where they would be standing to maximise their chances of success
And successful they were: the presidential car drove past a tall building on the right side of Elm Street, the Texas Book Depository. There were no secret servicemen in the building and none lining the route: they were all in the motorcade. Yet another lapse – if indeed it was a lapse, a mistake, and not deliberate. The area was not cleared beforehand. And the president paid the price.
When the President’s car had passed the building, shots were fired. Most observers in the plaza reckoned at least some shots came from behind the picket fence under some trees, the area known as the grassy knoll. If secret servicemen had investigates the area beforehand, the assassins would not gave got a chance
The Warren commission, as we know, says all shots came from behind, from the Book Depository That was where Lee Harvey Oswald was working and it enabled them to put all the blame on the shoulders of that man. The KGB report hewed to another version of events, one more popular with independent Kennedy researchers. So: the KGB said the first shot came from the front and caught the president in the throat, the second shot struck governor Connally, this bullet from above and behind, ie the book depository. It penetrated into his chest cavity, broke some ribs, struck the wrist and then came to rest in the governor’s thigh. The third shot struck the upper right hand side of the president’s head; blood and pieces of brain sprayed all over the upholstery and over the trunk of the car. The motorcycle cop to Kennedy’s rear left was struck with full force of Kennedy’s brain matter, supporting the contention that the bullet came from Kennedy’s front right, ie, from the grassy knoll, not the sixth floor of the book depository behind Kennedy, which would have thrown the brain matter forward and missed the motorcycle cops.
Further back was one motorcycle cop who said he had spotted the rising of pigeons from the book depository roof was inside the book depository building within a minute, Together with the buildings manager,, he went upstairs and found Oswald in the second floor lunchroom sipping a coke. The lifts were stuck on the sixth floor and had been switched off so one could operate it. No one had heard Oswald come down the stairs.
Oswald left the building a few minutes later, unobserved. He went back to his lodgings and stayed a few minutes while changing into fresh clothes. Leaving again, he went to a cinema called the Texas Theatre. That much is certain. Another event less so: a few streets away from the Theatre, he was alleged to have shot JD Tippit, a policeman patrolling in a car who wished to stop and question him – but, the KGB report says that only one witness saw Oswald and that woman, with all probability Helen Markham, was regarded as unreliable. Maybe it was someone else who killed Tippit and Oswald was framed it to make him seem more guilty than he in fact was.
Anyway, Oswald was arrested in the cinema and taken to the police station, where he was beaten. All records of his interrogation were destroyed by the Dallas police. During the questioning, he was led up and down open corridors, again a lapse of security.
Leaving the murder, the KGB report goes into Oswald’s background. The KGB report then says something interesting: Oswald was a source for Russian intelligence. This was how it happened. Oswald came to the USSR in 1959 saying he wanted to defect. The Soviets were suspicious at first but then realised he was in possession of important information. As a US marine, Oswald had been stationed at the U2 base in Japan called Atsugi. The U2 was the ultra fast high altitude spy plane that the American airforce used to map Soviet territory and military displacements. The Russians hated these spy flights, but their planes and missiles were not fast enough to catch the flights. However Oswald was able to provide them with the material whose analysis made it possible to shoot down the aircraft piloted by CIA employee Gary Powers.
As thanks for the information, Oswald was allowed to settle in Russia – but in Minsk, far away from potential influence of American diplomats. He was given work in a radio factory and behaved well. He spoke fluent Russian and had several liaisons, with both sexes. He met and married the niece of a local intelligence official called Marina Prusakova. She wanted to emigrate back to the United States; because this was difficult with a Soviet citizen, he started telling things to his contacts in Minsk, including the fact that he worked for the US Office of Naval Intelligence.
The KGB report says that the information that Oswald had with him was removed with the approval and facilitation of the Office of Naval Intelligence who said Oswald’s task was of great importance and a guarantee that he would be offered future profitable employment with US intelligence. The idea was to pass off as a “pro Russian”, defector to the Soviet Union and pass on the material. The KGB reckoned that Oswald had been betrayed: US intelligence had considered him expendable, happy to let him rot in Russia. Oswald did not realise that once he had “defected” it would be difficult to “defect back”.
What the KGB report implied – it is hard to say if they are aware of this – is that US intelligence somehow wanted to put across information that would allow the Russians to shoot down a spy plane and reignite the cold war. Eisenhower had asked for these overflights to stop but the CIA apparently continued doing them, provoking the Russians. The Russian shoot down in turn and very public humiliation of the captured pilot made it impossible for Eisenhower to pursue his peace policy with Khrushchev. Oswald was therefore a pawn in the various false flag operations designed by the CIA designed to keep the cold war in play in contravention of the plans of the US president.
The KGB report suggests the liaison with the attractive but cold and calculating Marina, who put pressure on Oswald, changed the dynamic in an unexpected way in that it propelled Oswald back to the United States
Under pressure from his new wife, Oswald became quarrelsome and wanted to leave Russia. The Russians realised that Oswald could be of use to them as an informer in the United States so allowed to him and Marina, newly married to leave. The American Embassy, to whom Oswald fed harmless but confidential information fed to him by the KGB, was allowed back to the States. The Office of Naval Intelligence had no further use for him, but he started working as an informer for the FBI, spying on pro Castro groups on New Orleans under the cover of being a pro-Castroite himself. Local TV obligingly filmed him demonstrating in favour of Cuban causes. He appeared on TV and established a reputation for being a pro-Marxist, pro-Cuba kind of activist. But in reality having infiltrate the ranks of Cuban insurgents he reported his findings to the FBI and also the KGB.
The CIA, wrote the KGB, was resentful at Kennedy’s antiwar approach. There were plans for an Operation Northwood (the KGB doesn’t mention it by name; that name only came out when the story came out in the Western media in the 1990s when the papers were declassified) that would consist of false flag attacks against US citizens and be blamed on Cuba in such a way that would force Kennedy to invade Cuba. The CIA and the “Highest American military leadership” were both in on this. There were plans to attack US bases with Cuban insurgents posing as Castro’s regular troops – this giving the Americans a casus belli against the Cuban leader – but Kennedy found out about this and had the operations halted.
According to the KGB, Kennedy, unsure whether the military and CIA were going behind this back, ordered FBI chief Edgar Hoover to report on the CIA’s ongoing plots.
The KGB report then goes onto the Ruby killing. Officially Ruby acted on his own – he wanted to spare Jackie the ordeal of a trial – just as Oswald was supposedly a lone nut. But the KGB report says it was clear that Oswald was a patsy and the case against him would not have stood up in court; instead would reveal many embarrassing things about the conspiracy. So he had to be killed.
Ruby was a more complicated figure than the media let on. Like Oswald he had homosexual inclinations; Oswald had been a visitor to Ruby’s carousel club, some reports indicated. Ruby was unstable and weird. There was no speculation by the KGB on whether Ruby and Oswald had a homosexual relationship. Ruby had excellent connections with the mafia and the Dallas police, which explained how he could shoot Oswald when the man was surrounded by armed officers in the police basement. “He was a well connected man with the Dallas police department and it was felt that he might have access to the building without a challenge.” It was obvious that Ruby killed Oswald to “silence him”.
The KGB then talks about literature surrounding the murder. Most of it was “worthless” from a historical point of view. “They represent the views of obsessed people who twist information to suit the authors’ beliefs”. There were three main lines of thought. That the mafia killed Kennedy because his brother Robert was harassing them. Second, that it was Cuban refugees angry that JFK had given up on their plan to oust Fidel Castro. Third, that was various racist, or fascist business groups together with intelligence interests either singly or in combination.
“American officials have not only made no effort to silence these writers but in many cases have encouraged them. The government feels, as numerous confidential reports indicate, that the more lunatic books that appear the better. This way the real truth is concealed as to appear impenetrable.”
The CIA had close relations with American gangsters, a relationship that began in the Second World War when the American OSS made connections with the Sicilian members of American gangs to assist them against the Mussolini regime. “American foreign policy was, and still is, firmly in the hands of the CIA. It alone makes determinations as to which nation is to be favoured and which is to be punished. No nation is permitted to be neutral; all have to be either in the US camp or are its enemies. Most often, the interests of American business are paramount in the determination as to which nation will receive US support and which will not only be denied this support but attacked. It is the American CIA and not the Soviet Union which has divided into two camps.”
The KGB report trowel “In order to better cooperate with the Soviet Union President Kennedy used to keep regularly in close private communication with the chairman. These contacts were kept private to prevent negative influences from the State Department and mist certainly from the Central Intelligence Agency. The president said several times that he did not trust his agency which was bent on stirring up a war between the two nations. Through his personal contact, many matters that might have escalated due to the interference of others were peacefully settled.”
“From this brief study it may be seen that the American president was certainly killed by orders of high officials in the CIA working in close conjunction with very high American military leaders It was the CIA’s belief that Kennedy was not inly circumventing their own mapped out destruction of Fidel Castro by assassination and invasion but actively engaged in contracts with the Soviet Union to betray the CIA actions. American military leaders (known as the Joint Chiefs of Staff) were also determined upon the same goals, hence both of them worked together to ensure the removal of a president who was acting against their best interests and to have him replaced by a weaker man whom they believed they could control.
“President Johnson, Kennedy’s successor, was very much under the control of the military and CIA during his time in office and permitted enormous escalation in South East Asia.”
The Soviets were terrified of developments following the assassination and felt their country and Cuba were being framed along the following lines. Oswald had been a very vocal supporter of Marxist theory; had defected to the Soviet Union; and had married a Soviet woman with intelligence connections. The KGB said that the putting Oswald forward as the assassin was very alarming to the Soviet Union in view of the recent very serious Cuban missile crisis, which had almost resulted in world war 3. “To avert that, the Soviets promptly dispatched a number of senior intelligence personnel and files to Washington in order to reassure president Johnson and his top aides that the Soviet Union had no hand in the assassination.”
My thoughts on this are: Perhaps that could explain why Lee Harvey Oswald’s alleged pro Cuban connections were emphasized at an early stage, and later de-emphasized in favour of the idea he was a lone nut. LBJ had been convinced the Soviets were not involved. But what about CIA involvement? Here another story was useful.. Apparently LBJ told the members of the Warren commission that it was convenient to have the lone nut theory explain everything because digging too far would lead the commission to Oswald’s Cuban Soviet links…and that might lead to world war 3 if Soviet responsibility (as LBJ claimed it) were exposed. That gave the Warren commission the self assurance that it was doing the right thing by manufacturing a cover up job….a cover up that actually served to prevent the CIA’s role in the Kennedy murder from being exposed.”
There followed an analysis of the Soviet intelligence report, possibly from Vedder Driscoll, a colonel and chief of the Soviet/Warsaw Pact division of the Directorate for Intelligence Research whose name was on the Defense Intelligence Agency cover letter that came with the English language translation of the KGB report. He confirmed many things, but came up with a few corrections. Yes, the CIA wanted the U2 plane shot down so as to create a negative atmosphere between West and East so to give a continued reason for the organisation’s existence. But some corrections were in order: Oswald was sent to the USSR by the Office of Naval intelligence having stolen documents, but it was a CIA operation through and through. The ONI was in it. It was only because Oswald had a such a good relationship with his handler at the ONI that it was felt better of the pretense was maintained that it was an ONI operation. Oswald was seen as the perfect candidate for putting the U2 technical secrets across: he was smart, pro-Marxist, homosexual and suffered from low self esteem and a sense of alienation. The ONI promised promotions and a successful career if he came back to America. Once back in America, the information he had compromising to the intelligence services made him a marked man and that made him an obvious choice to be the patsy. The Driscoll (?) comment on the report said that neither the mafia nor the Cubans were involved, that Ruby was not acting alone and that Ruby’s fatal blood clot in jail three years after the assassination was the “result of outside assistance”. It also said that, in producing the report, Soviets had high level contacts and sources within the agency. “The possession of material relating to certain highly classified American military papers has been referred to the CIC for investigation and action.”
So, one has to ask: is this purported KGB translation and the accompanying DIA analysis real? It is true that it hasn’t been commonly circulated elsewhere the allegation that Oswald was homosexual. That said, the KGB report – allegely writrten 38 years ago – could be wrong in some aspects, right in others. It also seems a bit incriminating and obvious somewhere: would an official document that lays out US intelligence culpability in that stark matter ever be written? In the annex to the KGB report, the author, presumably Driscoll, pretty much says the KGB got it right. The U2 story is not one I had heard before either
If if it is true, it is a very important step forward in understanding the Kennedy case. The account turns up as a whole chapter in the Tague book. The material also features, apparently, in a book called Regicide by the writer Gregory Douglas. Douglas gets quite a bit of flak some corners of the internet where he is accused of being a disinformation artist.. The well known assassination writer James Fetzer seems inclined to give Gregory the benefit of the doubt and believes the documents could be real. Vedder Driscoll, it appears, was a real person who died in 1983. He had a military background. Googling, I cannot immediately find his DIA connection confirmed. We shall see. Fetzer speculates that a cp,,pm intelligence agency trick is to put a nearly true story via a well known scammer so that when his reputation is exposed the almost true theory falls in reputation with it, and so killing of the line of inquiry that will lead to the true solution. Devious thinking!