There was never any substantial reason to congratulate the Warren Commission for its performance. —Murray Kempton In my article last week, I explained why, based on information discovered or disclosed since the 1964 Warren Report, the Report’s principal conclusions—that there was no conspiracy behind the JFK assassination, and that Lee Harvey Oswald, acting alone, shot and killed JFK—now stand discredited. I shall now explain why a reevaluation of the Report in light of the new information requires rejection of other key aspects of the Report.
• The Report was wrong in concluding that there was nothing to support “speculation” that Oswald was an agent, employee or informant of the FBI, the CIA or any other U.S. government agency. Today, the preponderance of evidence indicates that Oswald was an FBI informant and that he was some sort of operative for both military intelligence (the Office of Naval Intelligence) and the CIA. Oswald’s bizarre comings and goings are inexplicable unless he was an undercover U.S. intelligence asset. The evidence also indicates that the FBI and U.S. intelligence agencies lied to the Warren Commission and destroyed or withheld documents in order to cover up their pre-assassination dealings with Oswald.
• The Report was wrong in concluding that Oswald was a leftist, a Marxist or a supporter of Fidel Castro. We can now see that Oswald’s supposed affiliations with the political left were part of what is known in the world of spies as a “legend”—a cover story created to conceal the real activities of a spy or operative. Oswald’s pro-communist or pro-Castro statements or actions involved what in the intelligence community is called “sheep dipping”—manipulated behavior intended to create a desired image. Oswald’s connections with pro-communist or pro-Castro organizations, it is now evident, were paper, not people, connections. In New Orleans, where he resided in the summer of 1963, for example, Oswald was the founder, the head, the publicist and the only member of the local Fair Play for Cuba Committee. It was entirely a put-up job. Anyone who clings to the Warren Report’s notion that Oswald admired Castro or that he did things to advance Castro’s interests has been duped.
• The Report was wrong in describing Oswald as a “loner.” During the 18 months preceding the assassination Oswald was friends with, helped by or frequently in the company of numerous persons. To cite only a few examples, there was the aristocratic “petroleum engineer,” George DeMohrenschildt, who seems to have been assigned by the CIA to keep watch (“babysit” in the lingo of spies) on Oswald; the anti-communist crusader Guy Banister, an ex-FBI agent and a racist; and the weird and violence-prone David Ferrie, who had ties to both the CIA and the Mafia.
• The Report erred in examining JFK’s assassination without reference to various 1963 assassination plots against JFK. It is now firmly established that in the months preceding the assassination both the Secret Service and the FBI were apprised of plots—in Chicago, Tampa and Miami—to shoot JFK from a building while he was motorcading. (The Warren Commission was not told of these plots.) The Dallas assassination therefore can no longer be viewed, as it was in the Warren Report, in isolation. It must be viewed in the context of these 1963 plots. We now know, horribly, that, as assassination researcher David Talbot starkly notes, “Kennedy was, in fact, being methodically stalked in the final weeks of his life… In the final month of his life, John Kennedy seemed a marked man, encircled by a tightening knot of treachery...
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