Saturday, September 24, 2005

Did Oswald train at Camp Peary?

By Paul Aron The Virginia Gazette Published March 30, 2005

A purported CIA memo circulating on the Internet says flatly that Lee Harvey Oswald was trained at Camp Peary in 1958, five years before he assassinated President Kennedy. The document is probably fake. “This is one of those cases where if it seems too good to be true, it probably is,” said assassination expert Jim Marrs in an e-mail to the Gazette. Marrs is the author of the 1990 book, “Crossfire: The Plot That Killed Kennedy.”

The document, dated March 3, 1964, purports to be written by CIA director John McCone to Secret Service Chief James Rowley.

“I have no way at this point in time of determining if this document is authentic or not,” Marrs said. “As always, there is considerable controversy even among the experts.”

He added, “The significance of this document, if proven authentic, cannot be underestimated. The implication, namely that Lee Harvey Oswald was being used operationally by the CIA prior to the assassination of President Kennedy, is staggering. This means the assassination was not only a conspiracy, but a coup d'etat in this nation in 1963.”

According to the document, “Oswald subject was trained by this agency, under cover of the Office of Naval Intelligence, for Soviet assignments.” In 1957, Oswald allegedly was “active in aerial reconnaissance of mainland China and maintained a security clearance up to the ‘confidential' level.”

The document goes on to say: “Subject received additional indoctrination at our own Camp Peary site from September 8 to October 17, 1958.” The mention of Camp Peary prompted a reader to e-mail a copy of the document to the Gazette. While it looks official and has the keystrokes of a 1960s-era typewriter, the image is impossible to authenticate without the original.

Most historians have placed Oswald en route to Taiwan with his Marine unit in September 1958, in which case he couldn't have been here then. A CIA spokesman at Langley headquarters outside Washington would not comment on the document, other than to suggest a reporter “steer away from it.”

The CIA has always maintained it had no relationship with Oswald. Testifying before the Warren Commission in 1964, McCone stated, “Oswald was not an agent, employee or informant of the Central Intelligence Agency. The agency never contacted him, interviewed him, talked with him, or solicited any reports or information from him, or communicated with him indirectly or in any other manner.”

The Warren Commission's report, released 10 months after Kennedy's death, offered a clear and simple answer to the question of who killed the president: Oswald did it, alone. Though the document is probably a fake, a number of researchers have previously suggested links between Oswald and the CIA.

Among the early critics of the Warren Report was Jim Garrison, the New Orleans district attorney. He undertook his own investigation in 1966. Garrison was convinced that Oswald was connected with two New Orleans figures, David Ferrie and Clay Shaw. According to Garrison, all three worked for the CIA, which was behind the plot to kill Kennedy. Garrison's theory proved unfounded, despite generating new attention in Oliver Stone's 1991 movie, “JFK.”


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