Pattern of Deception: CIA Dupes the Warren Commission
Why the CIA lied about its surveillance of Lee Harvey Oswald.
On Jan. 31, 1964, deputy CIA director Richard Helms composed a memo for the Warren Commission, summarizing what the Agency had learned about Lee Harvey Oswald, the suspected assassin who denied killing Kennedy.
The CIA had known about Oswald’s defection to the Soviet Union, his return to the United States, and that Oswald had made contact with the Soviet Union’s embassy in Mexico City in October 1963, he wrote.
What the CIA did not know, Helms said, was that Oswald had also visited the Cuban Consulate in Mexico City six weeks before Kennedy was killed.
The construction was passive — “It was learned” — but the meaning was clear: Only after November 22 did the CIA learn that Oswald had contacted the Cubans. The implication was that the CIA simply don’t know much about Oswald until it was too late.
Helms’ statement simply wasn’t true. So said his friend and colleague Winston Scott, longtime chief of the Agency’s Mexico City station.
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