Revelation 19.63

For nearly four decades the CIA has kept secret the identity of a Miami agent who may have known too much too early about Lee Harvey Oswald

The guy was Lee Harvey Oswald.

At age 23 Oswald had lived an itinerant life. He grew up in New Orleans and New York City, and enlisted in the Marines when he was seventeen years old. After a series of tours in the Far East, he asked for a discharge in 1959. Sympathetic to communism, he moved to the Soviet Union and lived for two years in Minsk. He married a Russian girl but became disillusioned with socialism and brought his wife back to the United States. They settled in New Orleans, where, by the spring of 1963, he began to call attention to himself as a supporter of Fidel Castro.

The DRE plus 40 (clockwise from bottom): Organizational mastermind Juan Manuel
Salvat flanked by businessman José Antonio Lanuza, Brothers to the Rescue leader José Basulto, and spiritual founder Alberto Muller
Steve Satterwhite
The DRE plus 40 (clockwise from bottom): Organizational mastermind Juan Manuel Salvat flanked by businessman José Antonio Lanuza, Brothers to the Rescue leader José Basulto, and spiritual founder Alberto Muller
When Lee Harvey Oswald handed out pro-Castro pamphlets on a New Orleans street corner in August 1963, the CIA-funded DRE was watching carefully
When Lee Harvey Oswald handed out pro-Castro pamphlets on a New Orleans street corner in August 1963, the CIA-funded DRE was watching carefully


Related Links:
Based on documents found in Foreign Relations of the United States of America, Vol. XI, "Cuban Missile Crisis and Aftermath." President Kennedy comments on the DRE's story about Soviet missiles in cave in Documents 154 and 170.

The best online chat group on the JFK assassination is alt.assassination.jfk

The JFK Collection and database at the National Archives

John F Kennedy Library and archives

The National Security Archive Cuba Documentation Project

OMB Watch report "A Presumption of Disclosure: Lessons from the John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Review Board"

Carlos Bringuier told Borja that Oswald had tried to infiltrate the group on August 5 by walking into the local headquarters of the Directorate and offering to train commandos to fight Castro. Four days later a DRE supporter reported to Bringuier that he'd seen Oswald on a street corner handing out pamphlets for the Fair Play for Cuba Committee (FPCC), the best-known pro-Castro group in the United States. Bringuier and his friends went to find the double-dealing leftist. As they angrily denounced him, a crowd gathered and police broke up the altercation.

Bringuier called Borja to ask what he should do next. "Our answer to him was just face him down,'" the former military-section chief recalls. "Go out there and contest him. Talk to the press, uncover this guy." And Bringuier did just that. On August 16 another friend of Bringuier in the Directorate reported that Oswald was again handing out FPCC pamphlets. Bringuier sent the friend to Oswald's house posing as a Castro supporter to find out who was backing his work.

Meanwhile Oswald's support for the Cuban revolution had caught the attention of a local radio host named Bill Stuckey, also a friend of Bringuier. Stuckey invited Oswald to speak on his weekly program and asked Bringuier to participate. Before the planned debate, Bringuier wrote to Miami, to José Antonio Lanuza, who was in charge of the DRE's North American chapters, requesting background on the FPCC. Lanuza sent back information from the Directorate's files.

On Saturday evening, August 21, 1963, Bringuier and Oswald debated the Cuban revolution over radio station WDSU. In the middle of the discussion, in which Oswald defended Castro's policies, Stuckey suddenly shifted gears. Was it true, the moderator asked, that Oswald had lived in Russia?

"That is correct, and I think those -- the fact that I did live for a time in the Soviet Union -- gives me excellent qualifications to repudiate charges that Cuba and the Fair Play for Cuba Committee is communist controlled," Oswald replied, obviously taken aback.

"I would like to know," Bringuier chimed in, "if it is the Fair Play for Cuba Committee or Fair Play for Russia Committee."

Bringuier was pleased with the program. When it was over, he drafted a press release that called on the U.S. Congress to investigate Lee Harvey Oswald and denounce the FPCC. A rewritten and slightly toned-down version of the press release was issued in the name of the Directorate, as well as Alpha 66 and five other hard-line exile groups. Bringuier also sent a note to Lanuza three days after the debate, stating, "You can rest assured that the traitor Lee H. Oswald (the same one who tried to infiltrate the DRE here) came off looking so bad that it is possible that he will have to be transferred by his organization to another city."

(Although Fernandez-Rocha says he has "no specific recollection" of telling George Joannides about the Directorate's actions against Oswald, Borja recalls that the CIA officer was "definitely" informed. "That's the kind of thing we took a lot of merits and credits for," he says. "That's what the money [given to the DRE] was for.")

Perhaps humiliated in the radio debate, Oswald did indeed cease all public activities in support of Castro. According to his wife, he spent his time reading books and cleaning his rifle on their back porch. The Directorate, Bringuier now says, soon forgot about the FPCC adventurer. A few weeks later, Bringuier says he ran into an FBI agent who told him Oswald had left New Orleans. That was true. In late September Oswald took a bus to Mexico City, where he tried to obtain a visa for travel to Cuba and the Soviet Union. (Coincidentally David Atlee Phillips, the DRE's first CIA handler, was monitoring the Cuban embassy at the time.) Oswald's request was denied. Returning to the States, he went to Dallas, where he moved into a boardinghouse under an assumed name. Seven weeks later Kennedy was dead.

George Joannides's name is unknown to JFK historians. Unlike the countless scoundrels and spies who haunt the vast literature of the assassination, his cameo role in the tragedy has been neither documented nor debated. His name does not appear in the 26 volumes of evidence collected by the Warren Commission in 1964. His relationship to the DRE was unknown to New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison, whose JFK conspiracy case failed to persuade a New Orleans jury in 1969. Joannides's actions do not figure in the twelve volumes of evidence and analysis that accompanied the report of the House Select Committee on Assassinations in 1979. He does not appear in any of the hundreds of books about the assassination. There is no character based on him in Oliver Stone's 1991 film JFK.

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What I do not, and cannot understand is how, after all these years, We The People, the soveriegn owners of these government records, cannot wrest control of them from our paid employees. Why he have to continually deal with redacted information, and how we are FORCED to allow all of the responsible actors to die off, with impugnity, after the greatest crime this country has ever known. Even now, as we watch actors of that time period waltz across the stage of the history of our nation.

Damnit, I want clear, concise, and unequivocal information.

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