Provocations: Lee Harvey Oswald and the National Security States, 1961-1999
- Attempt to steal the secrets of others and/or fight a clandestine war against others
- Attempt to prevent others from stealing their secrets
- Attempt to provoke enemies to do self-destructive things
- Have access to the product of these organisations and/or direct their activities
- Are protected from public scrutiny by an invocation of “national security”
- The FBI is tasked with domestic counter-espionage
- The CIA is prohibited from operating inside the US
// However the US already had a high level KGB defector. Anatoli Golytsin. James Jesus Angleton, Head of CIA counter-intelligence asked Golytsin his opinion of Nosenko. In Golytsin’s opinion, Nosenko was a plant — a provocation.
Angleton, the CIA officer responsible for detecting Soviet provocations, had a tough choice to make.
By April 1964, Angleton had decided. Nosenko was a fake.
But Nosenko’s information about LHO was too explosive for him to simply slip away into obscurity. Angleton convinced Attorney General Bobby Kennedy that Nosenko had to be broken.
Bobby kennedy gave his consent.
We now know, thanks to a recent book by David Talbot, never accepted the “lone nut” explanation of his brother’s death.
The CIA interrogators went to work.
Nosenko spent the next three years solitary confinement, in permanent light, fed a starvation diet and aggressively interrogated. An extract from a tape of one of these interrogations:
“From my soul. From my soul. I beg you to believe me.”
“That’s bullshit! That’s bullshit! That’s bullshit!”
After four or five months of this treatment Nosenko stuck to his threadbare explanation.
Just days before the completion of the Warren Commission hearings, Richard Helms, the CIA Plans, that is illegal activities, was deputised to testify to the Warren Commission on the role and activities of the CIA in relation to Lee Harvey Oswald.
Helms had to tell the Commission that the CIA suspected that Nosenko was lying about the information he brought out of the Soviet Union about the identity of LHO.
We have contemporary record of this testimony. It was excised from the record. However, Richard Helms did a repeat performance in a Congressional Inquiry in the 1970s, which itself was not declassified until 1998:
Mr Helms: If the information that Nosenko had provided about Oswald was true, then this led to a certain conclusion about Oswald and his relationship with Soviet authorities. If it was incorrect, if he was feeding this to the United States government under instructions from the Soviet service, then it would have led one to an entirely different conclusion … If it were established beyond any doubt that he had been lying and, by implication, therefore, Oswald was an agent of the KGB, I would have thought that the implications of that — not for the CIA or for the FBI, but for the President of the United States and the Congress of the United States would have been cataclysmic.
Question: Can you be more specific?
Mr Helms: Yes, I can be specific. In other words, the Soviet government ordered President Kennedy assassinated.
In the fevered atmosphere of 1964, this was the last thing that the Warren Commission wanted to hear and the very last thing that the Warren Commission wanted the American people to know.
And all the institutions of the American Security State had worked assiduously and had perjured themselves to avoid any suggestion at all of Soviet involvement in the grisly events of Dealey Plaza.
If Yuri Nosenko repudiated his story, all the organs of the American Security State would be exposed as perjurers and the world might find itself embroiled in nuclear war.
The publication of the Warren Report in November 1964 minus Richard Helms’ testimony made it imperative that Nosenko be regarded as a genuine, truth-telling defector. Yet he remained in solitary for another three years.
The pro and anti Nosenko factions within the CIA went to war against each other. There followed purge and counter-purge that resulted in the virtual dismantlement of the Soviet Bloc divisions of the CIA.
From 1964 onward, James Jesus Angleton became an obsessive collector of documentation surrounding the Kennedy assassination. He used his status as Director of Counter Intelligence to protect this information from others whom he saw as morons at best and traitors at worst.
Could the KGB have hoped for a more positive outcome from any provocation?
James Jesus Angleton
Cleveland Cram, CIA’s Chief Historian, was called back from retirement in 1975 to do historical research on the record of Counterintelligence Chief Angleton.
After six years of work he completed the twelve-volume “History of the Counterintelligence Staff 1954–1974” (1981), which remains classified.
It is rumoured that Cram named Angleton as the high level Soviet mole who had bedevilled CIA operations since its foundation in the late 1940s.
Slide 57 – 58
The month before he died in August 2008, several senior officials of the Central Intelligence Agency visited Mr. Nosenko to present him with an American flag and a letter from Michael V. Hayden, the director of central intelligence, thanking him for his service and, by implication, offering a final apology for the way he was treated after he defected to the United States in the winter of 1964.
On 20 June 1999, Russian president Boris Yeltsin unexpectedly handed US President Bill Clinton more than 80 pages of “declassified” Soviet-era documents pertaining to the assassination of President John F.
Significantly, none of these documents concerned Valeriy Kostikov or the Soviet Embassy in Mexico City.
Vladimir Putin, ex-KGB colonel, rose to the leadership of FSB in 1998 less than a year before the release of the Yeltsin Documents.
Was this designed to be a reminder by one intelligence professional to others about their acute embarrassment in the most traumatising case of the 20th century?
Certainly, the assurances of Ambassador Thompson to a deadly enemy assuring them that their government would lie to their people might have given pause for thought.
But no. Who really cares about some dude getting his head blown off in public?
The world is no longer shocked by the behaviour of the Security States.
Powerful evidence of this new attitude would emerge when Bush, Blair and Howard used their security states to justify their war in Iraq.