The second segment of Tipping Point is now available on the Mary Ferrell Foundation website. As mentioned earlier, we are serializing the full work with the Introduction plus five parts. Part 1 was rather lengthy while parts 2 (Enter Lee Oswald) and 3 (People in Motion – Fall 1963) are shorter, intended to be highly focused, and with considerable detail and commentary in the end notes. The final two segments will much longer.
Part 2 will no doubt be controversial – everything related to Lee Oswald is controversial. My own view is that there is indeed a considerable backstory in regard to Oswald, beginning with Naval Intelligence in Japan, and likely including his early attempts to approach the Russian Embassy in Tokyo. I mentioned that in my last post on Richard Cast Nagell. I do feel that both men crossed paths there, at a time with Henry Hecksher was CIA chief of station in Japan.
That period in time was at the height of the Cold War, and I really don’t believe that Oswald’s interests in Russia, his later interest in Cuba and his overall political views would have escaped intelligence attention. On the other hand, other than establishing a context for intelligence interest in Oswald, and his probable use as a knowing or even unknowing source, Tipping Point attempts to focus entirely on the Dallas conspiracy and attack so I will leave the details of that Oswald’s earlier intelligence associations – prior to 1962/63 – to others.
In regard to conspiracy and the use of Lee Oswald, my quandary has always been finding the specific connection that would have brought Oswald to the attention of a conspiracy. Not in a general sense – as in his having a CIA file or his being known for his “defection” to Russia. And not in terms of his being the subject of entirely expected and proper attention from both CIA Domestic Operations and FBI interest following his return to the United States and Texas.
Of course the common answer has been that Oswald’s highly visible activities in New Orleans established an “image” which made him ideal as a pointer to Cuba and Castro and his value as a patsy for any conspiracy. I agree with that view, but I would also extend it to the view that Oswald may have been viewed as a patsy by different anti-Castro elements, including more than one clique of Cuban exiles and anti-Castro activists.
As I noted in my last post, Nagell’s story of Oswald being manipulated for some sort of action in the Washington area in September is corroborated by Oswald’s own letters of late August. While that plan aborted, possibly based on Nagell’s own interference, we now know that Oswald (and his image) was far more visible within the broader Cuban exile community and specifically within certain elements of the CIA’s Operations Directorate than we were aware of in the early years of research.
The good news is that it is now possible to be much more specific in terms of exactly who was monitoring and taking advantage of the image that had emerged in New Orleans – both among the Cuban exiles and more importantly inside both the Special Affair Staff as well as specifically among CIA officers at JMWAVE. Now we can even connect him to specific projects of SAS officers, projects including political action against Cuba both at the United Nations and in Mexico City. It is those connections that brought Oswald directly to the attention of individuals who became very much aware of him and ultimately his value in regard to the conspiracy that evolved during October and November, the conspiracy behind the attack in Dallas.
And it is those connections which are the topic of Tipping Point segment two – “Enter Lee Oswald”