Today is one of the saddest days of my life. I mourn the 35 years that I have unsuccessfully been trying to help my adoptive country see the truth about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. When will Americans stop believing that some element of our own wonderful country could have actually killed one of its most popular presidents?
That is a lie, an infamous slander disseminated and perpetuated by the Kremlin’s intelligence community, to whose leadership I once belonged. In 1978, when I broke with that community, I left in my office safe a slip of paper on which Gen. Aleksandr Sakharovsky, the chief of the powerful Soviet espionage service that invented that lie, had scrawled a few words for me: “Gutta cavat lapidem, non vi sed saepe cadendo.” (A drop makes a hole in a stone not by force but by constant dripping.) Lying next to it was Mao Tse-tung’s version of the same message: “A lie repeated a hundred times becomes the truth.”
It was the KGB that created the lie that Americans killed their own president. For 50 years, that lie has been repeated over and over again, in thousands of books, magazines, newspapers and movies, and it has eventually become “the truth.”
After I was granted political asylum in this marvelous America, I wrote a book called “Programmed to Kill: Lee Harvey Oswald, the Soviet KGB, and the Kennedy Assassination,” in which I documented how the Kremlin had created the myth that America had killed President Kennedy. Last June, in “Disinformation,” a book co-authored with professor Ronald Rychlak, I published additional confirmation of the Kremlin’s role in creating that myth – confirmation based on newly available information, including top-secret KGB documents secretly smuggled out of Russia by the British MI-6. A few days ago, I published in PJMedia a 20-page PDF booklet reproducing other original documents, mostly handwritten by Lee Harvey Oswald, proving without a doubt that the KGB had a hand in the JFK assassination. None of my efforts seems to have made a dent.
But: Gutta cavat lapidem. Perhaps there is only one way to make Americans see the real truth. Point, over and over again, to the irrefutable evidence confirming the KGB’s hand in the JFK assassination. We do not need more evidence – we have plenty. We just need to repeat it, and repeat it, and repeat it, until America believes the truth, not the lie.
Here are some of the truths that need to be repeated, over and over again.
The popular wisdom, widely propagated by the American media, is that Moscow had no intelligence ties with Oswald. There is irrefutable proof to the contrary. No assassination investigator has been able to understand this proof, however, because no one is familiar with the still highly classified KGB operational codes. The FBI once told the U.S. Congress that only a native Arabic speaker could catch the fine points of an al-Qaida telephone intercept, especially one containing intelligence codes. In my other life, as an intelligence general, I also managed the Romanian equivalent of NSA, and I became familiar with the KGB code and cipher systems as well. Oswald used both codes and ciphers. Here is one example of him using codes.
In their hit book, “Disinformation,” Lt. Gen. Ion Mihai Pacepa and co-author, historian and law professor Ronald Rychlak expose some of the most consequential yet largely unknown disinformation campaigns of our lifetime.
On April 10, 1963, just before he tried to kill American Gen. Edwin Walker in a dry run before going on to assassinate President Kennedy, Oswald left his Soviet wife, Marina, a handwritten note in Russian. That very important note contains two KGB codes: friends (code for support officer) and Red Cross (code for financial help). In that note, Oswald tells Marina what to do in case he is arrested. He stresses that she should contact the (Soviet) “embassy,” that they have “friends here,” and that the “Red Cross” (written in English, so that she’ll know how to ask for it) will help her financially. Particularly significant is Oswald’s instruction for her to “send the [Soviet] embassy the information about what happened to me.” At that time, the code for embassy was “office,” but it seems that Oswald wanted to be sure Marina would understand that she should immediately inform the Soviet embassy – whose address was also included in that note. It is noteworthy that Marina did not mention this note to U.S. authorities after Oswald’s arrest. It was found at the home of Ruth Paine, an American friend with whom Marina was staying at the time of the assassination. The KGB building of a false biography for Marina is thoroughly documented in “Programmed to Kill.” I feel sorry for Marina. Her drama is similar to mine. She was only 19 when the KGB decided to use her, and I was 20 when I became an officer of the KGB community. But we are now both Americans, and we both should help our adoptive country to learn the truth.
In my book, “Programmed to Kill,” I presented plenty of proof that Marina came to the United States with a false biography, created by the KGB. No assassination investigator took that proof seriously because no one has ever built a KGB-style wife. I did. In the mid 1980s, Michael Ledeen, at that time an adviser to President Reagan, and I published a long article (“La Grand Fauche”) in the French magazine L’Éxpress, describing how my foreign intelligence service, the DIE, had built such KGB-style wives. Marina Nikolayevna Oswald looks like a carbon copy of such a KGB-style wife described in L’Éxpress.
Here is one similarity. In May 1961, Oswald wrote to his brother, Robert, and to the U.S. Embassy in Moscow telling them that he had gotten married, and that his wife was born in the city of Leningrad. I published Oswald’s letter in “Programmed to Kill.” There I also published quite a few testimonies of Russian émigrés living in the U.S. who met Marina and confirmed that she spoke with a Leningrad accent. But the birth certificate Marina brought with her when she immigrated to the U.S. shows she was born in the faraway town of Molotovsk, a remote area where it would be unlikely for anyone in the West to be able to check. This practice was widely used by the KGB – and my DIE.
I approved many biographical legends for “wives,” and I can spot quite a few other “holes” in Marina’s legend. In the U.S., for instance, she claimed her father had died before she was born, and she did not know anything about him, not even his name. Thus, she took the name of her stepfather, Aleksandr Medvedev. In this case, her patronymic should have been Aleksandrovna, not Nikolayevna. Some of my case officers also lost sight of such details.
Then there is her “uncle” in the KGB – a stock character who was en vogue at that time in the bloc foreign intelligence community. Those “uncles” were used to explain how the “wife” was able to rush the approval for her marriage and for her exit visa. Marina had an “Uncle Ilya,” an NKVD colonel (Ilya Prusakov), who allegedly helped her speed up the approval of her marriage to an American, and obtain her exit visa.
The “uncle in the KGB” continued for many years to play various roles in foreign and domestic KGB operations. Several Marines stationed at the U.S. embassy in Moscow in 1986 and carrying on affairs with local Soviet girls were eventually introduced to an “Uncle Sasha,” who was actually a KGB officer who tried to recruit them. One of those Marines, Sgt. Clayton J. Lonetree (sentenced for espionage), described how his relationship with Violetta Aleksandrovna Seina, a Soviet translator for English, grew from a chance meeting in a Moscow subway station into a series of clandestine rendezvous in a house ostensibly owned by her “Uncle Sasha.” A few months later, Violetta introduced Lonetree to her “Uncle Sasha” himself, at another meeting that also began “in a subway station” (information from George Bouhe published in “Marina and Lee”). Another of those Marines, Cpl. Arnold Bracy, was for his part accused by American authorities of failing to report personal contacts with an attractive Soviet cook and with her “Uncle Sasha.”
Oswald’s “Historic Diary,” which he brought with him when he returned to the U.S. in 1962, has also all the signs of a KGB forgery. An American handwriting expert estimated that this “Historic Diary” must have been written in one or two sittings. It was probably also drafted in a rush after the KGB decided to send Oswald back to the U.S., judging by such anachronisms as giving a figure in new rubles for January 1960, when the ruble devaluation did not take place until a year later, and naming John McVickar as chief American consular officer in Moscow as of October 1959, when he, in fact, did not assume that position until almost two years later. My case officers used to make such mistakes as well. My American wife has noted that the “Historic Diary” also contained a number of British expressions and spellings that could have not been used by an uneducated American like Oswald. “Alferd is a Hungarian chap,” Rosa is “very merry,” and Ella refuses Oswald’s “dishonourable advanis” are just a few such examples. There is an explanation for them as well. In those days, the DIE officers who were sent to Moscow for operational training, which included language lessons, learned only British English, as that was what the KGB instructors spoke – the KGB did not get its first teachers of American English until 1964.
Other recently disclosed KGB documents prove that Moscow also capitalized on the Watergate scandal to implicate the CIA in Kennedy’s assassination. In 1975, a note addressed to “Mr. Hunt,” dated Nov. 8, 1963, and signed by Oswald, turned up in the U.S. The note is nicely ambiguous in its use of “Mr. Hunt.” In 1975, the name of the CIA’s E. Howard Hunt was well known from the Watergate affair.
We, in the Romanian DIE, knew the “Dear Mr. Hunt” note was a fake, but American graphological experts certified that it was genuine. Conspiracy theorists connected the note to the CIA’s Hunt, and used it to “prove” that the CIA had been behind Kennedy’s assassination.
In 1993, when the U.S. commemorated 30 years since Kennedy had been killed, Moscow definitively tried to wash its hands of the case. “Passport to Assassination: the Never-Before-Told Story of Lee Harvey Oswald by the KGB Colonel Who Knew Him,” is a KGB book written for an American, not Russian, audience, by a “retired” KGB officer (Oleg Nechiporenko). It claims to present “definitive proof” that Kennedy was killed by the CIA.
Capitalizing on the “Dear Mr. Hunt” note, the book concludes that the “assassination was organized by the CIA” and was the result of “a conspiracy of right-wing extremists, in which the billionaire E. Howard Hunt played a special role.” Note how nicely the KGB merged the name of the Texas billionaire H. L. Hunt with that of the CIA veteran E. Howard Hunt into a brand new name: “E. Howard Hunt.”
A few years latter, genuine KGB documents smuggled out of the KGB archive by KGB Col. Vasily Mitrokhin, proved that the “Dear Mr. Hunt” letter had been forged by the KGB to implicate the CIA in Kennedy’s assassination. The forged note was twice checked for “authenticity” by the KGB’s Technical Operations Directorate, or OTU, and approved for use. In 1975 the KGB mailed three photocopies of the note from Mexico to conspiracy buffs in the United States. I note that KGB (and DIE) rules allowed only photocopies of counterfeited documents to be used, to avoid close examination of the original.
The “Dear Mr. Hunt” note in the photocopy was then picked up by the New York Times, which claimed it had been authenticated by three handwriting experts and by Oswald’s widow.
The KGB forgery had been “validated.” The assassination was obviously” the CIA’s fault. Most of our media still believe the KGB version, even though the FBI has described the Mitrokhin Archive as “the most complete and extensive intelligence ever received from any source.”
It will be very hard for this humble (and faceless, as far as the public knows) writer to change this perception. Then again, man would not have learned to walk on the moon, if he had never tried.
Information from George Bouhe, obtained in an interview by McMillan and published in her Marina and Lee, pp. 197-198.
George J. Church, “Crawling with Bugs,” Time, April 20, 1987, pp. 14-24.
Molly Moore and David B. Ottaway, “2nd Ranking Embassy Marine A Suspect in Security Breach,” The Washington Post, April 1, 1987, pp. A1, A19.
Edward Jay Epstein, Legend: The Secret World of Lee Harvey Oswald (New York: Reader’s Digest Press, McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1978), p. 109, p. 109.
Epstein, Legend, pp. 109-110.
Oleg Nechiporenko, Passport to Assassination: the Never-Before-Told Story of Lee Harvy Oswald by the KGB Colonel who knew him (New York: Carol Publishing Group, 1993), p. 314.Christopher Andrew and Vasili Mitrokhin, The Sword and the Shield: The Mitrokhin Archive and the Secret History of the KGB (New York: Basic Books, 1999), pp. 228-229.