Given the recent discussion of domestic contacts with Lee Oswald, combined with both FBI and CIA records which appear to have been gone missing, I was asked a very good question as to when and how I feel Oswald was “tagged” to link the JFK assassination to Cuba and Castro. For context I should point out that the “missing” files related to Oswald would logically relate to CIA and FBI associations with him prior to the assassination, associations pertaining to their use of him as a source of intelligence and possibly his value as a propaganda asset (in programs that never jelled due to the assassination).
Any possible use of Oswald by conspirators planning to attack JFK occurring within the CIA (at any level including field officers) would never have been put into a document; it is anathema to create written records relating to any sort of assassination within the CIA (or at least it was after about 1955; up to that point we do find numerous reference to the practice).
Given that, my best answer as to where and when Oswald was tagged begins in New Orleans. By the time he arrived there he was a known figure to both the FBI and CIA and was a cooperative source for the FBI. He was also under consideration for CIA use in anti-Russian propaganda (reference his remarks in his unpublished manuscript of his time there). By the summer of 1963 he was also quite possibly a candidate for joint FBI/CIA use in the AMSANTA FPCC project. Both of those associations would explain why there are missing records in both agencies.
One of the risks both agencies always face is having their sources turned against them (whether knowingly doubled or patsied). Both have suffered from that repeatedly and we know they do damage control by destroying records…its just SOP.
But as far as being tagged for an action against JFK, I believe it was Oswald’s high profile media visibility as a Castro supporter in New Orleans that got him picked as someone who would point to Castro. We have good evidence that he was being used by conspirators in some fashion in regard to a planned incident in the DC area – his own letters – verify that and associate him not only with Castro but with CPUSA. His reference to going “underground” was especially damming in regards to a communist connection (something the Warren Commission studiously ignored).
It was in August/September that he was first “tagged” to point to Castro….but unfortunately we have no clear clue by who….Nagell tells us it was anti-Castro Cubans posing as Castro agents and there is some evidence to support that. Certainly there is evidence that the FBI was encouraging him to make those sorts of contacts. But for whatever reason the DC incident aborted and he ended up in Dallas.
We have some pretty good leads that in Dallas he was doing some strange things on his own, it certainly appears that that he was voluntarily being a dangle to a variety of groups, most likely for the FBI. That would make a lot of sense given the Cuban exile weapons buying efforts going on in the Dallas – which the FBI was all over and which led back to the House on Harlandale. That scenario is also corroborated by Hosty’s remarks about Oswald being under surveillance and meeting with subversives.
In Dallas – where his movements were being monitored – his use of aliases, post office boxes, fake names and fake ID’s suggest he was either playing at being a source on his own accord – or encouraged to do so. And that role was known to the people he was associating with – it was at that point he emerged as a definitive patsy, especially once he went to work at the TSBD.
Beyond that, the argument can be made against his being a knowing part the attack on the president because he continued search for other work, including applying for jobs outside downtown Dallas (that application is on record).
I believe Oswald’s tagging was the culmination of his activities over several months. I also suspect if we could see the Joannides records we would have some support for that…which is why multiple judges have denied access to them. And if the FBI files in New Orleans had not been destroyed there would be more – ditto for all the FBI subversive division files in Dallas. And ditto for the Domestic Contact files.
Up to the day of the assassination it appears the FBI was watching Oswald and viewed him as a window into the subversive activities they were tasked to deal with, the CIA was monitoring his movements and very possibly had plans for him, most likely related to the FPCC.
And then someone who had seemed useful to both agencies turned into a terrible threat to each of them.