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94th Congress \ «TrMATF / Report 

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April 23 (under authority of the order of April 14), 1976 


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FRANK CHURCH, Idaho. Chairman 
JOHN G. TOWER, Texas, Vice Chairman 

PHILIP A. HART, Michigan HOWARD H. BAKER, Jr., Tennessee 



ROBERT MORGAN, North Carolina RICHARD SCHWEIKER, Pennsylvania 

GARY HART, Colorado 

William G. Miller, Staff Director 

Frederick A. O. Schwarz, Jr., Chief Counsel 

Curtis R. Smothers, Counsel to the Minority 

Audrey Hatry, Clerk of the Committee 



Oil behalf of the Senate Select Committee to Study Goveniiiiental 
Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities, and pursuant to 
the mandate of Senate Resolution 21, I am transmitting herewith to 
the Senate the volume of the Oommittee's Final Report entitled, "The 
Investigation of the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy : 
Performance of the Intelligence Agencies." 

I want to express the deep appreciation of the Committee to Senator 
Richard S. Schweiker and Senator Gary Hart for their excellent work 
on this phase of the Select Committee's investigation. 

Frank Church, 



On May 2(5, 1976, tlie Select Committee voted to release the section 
of its final Repoi-t entitled. "The Investigation of the Assassination 
of President John F. Kennedy : Performance of the Intelligence 
Agencies." Senators Church, Baker, Philip Hart, Mondale, Huddle- 
ston, Morgan, Gary Hai-t, Mathias, and Schweiker voted to release 
this Report. Senators Tower, and (lokhvater voted against the release 
of this report. 

This Report has been reviewed and declassified by the appropriate 
executive agencies. After the Committee's original draft of this report 
Avas completed, copies of it were made available to the executive 
agencies. These agencies submitted comments to the Connhittee on 
security and factual aspects of the draft report. On the basis of these 
comments, the Committee and staff confer-red with representatives of 
the agencies to detennine which sections of the Report should be, re- 
drafted to protect sensitive intelligence sources and methods. These 
sections of the original draft, were then i-evised to reflect the agencies 
concerns while retaining the original thrust of the Report. 

Names of individuals Avere deleted when, in the Connnittee's judge- 
ment, disclosure of their identities would either endanger their safety 
or constitute an unwarranted invasion of privacy. Consequently, foot- 
note citations to testimony and documents occasionally contain only 
descriptions of an individual's position. 



Letter of Transmittal iii 


A. The Scope of tJie Committee's Investigation 1 

B. Summary 2 

C. Findings 6 




A. The CIA Response 23 

B. The FBI Response 32 


A. The Rrfationship between the FBI and the Warren Commis- 

sion 46 

B. The Relationship between the CIA and the Warren Commis- 

sion 57 

C. Unpursued Leads 60 

D. Knowledge of Plots to Assa.ssinate Castro 67 


A. 1965: Termination of the AMLASH Operation 77 

B. 1967 : Allegations of Cuban Involvement in the Assassination. 80 

APPENDIX A : The FBI and the Oswald Security Case 87 

APPENDIX B : The FBI and the Destruction of the Oswald Note 95 

APPENDIX C: Chronology 99 



The Select Committee's invest ig-atioii of alleged assassination at- 
tempts ao-ainst foreign leaders raised qnestions of possible connections 
between these plots and the assassination of President John Fitzgerald 
Kennedy. Questions were later raised about whether the agencies ade- 
quately investigated these possible connections and whether informa- 
tion about these plots was provided the President's Commission on the 
Assassination of President Kennedy (the Warren Commission). As a 
result, pursuant to its general mandate to review the performance of 
the intelligence agencies, the Select Committee reviewed their specific 
performance with respect to their investigation of the assassination of 
the President. 

A. The /Scope of the Commit fee^s Investigation 

The Committee did not attempt to duj^licate the work of the AVarren 
Commission. It did not review the findings and conclusions of the 
Warren Commission. It did not re-examine the physical evidence 
which the Warren Connnission had. It did not review one of the prin- 
cipal questions facing the Commission : w^hether I.^c Harvey Oswald 
was in fact the assassin of President Kennedy. 

Instead, building upon the Select Committee's earlier work, and 
utilizing its access to the agencies and its expeiiise in their functions, 
the Committee examined the performance of the intelligence agencies 
in conducting their investigation of the assassination and their rela- 
tionships to the Warren Commission. 

In the course of this investigation, more than 50 witnesses were 
either interviewed or deposed. Literally tens of thousands of pages of 
documentary evidence were reviewed at the agencies and more than 
5,000 pages were acquired. In addition, the Committee relied a great 
deal on testimony taken during the course of its investigation of 
alleged plots to assassinate foreign leaders, especially testimony 
relating to knowledge of those plots. 

The Committee has been impressed wnth the ability and dedication 
of most of those in the intelligence community. Most officials of the 
FBI, the CIA, and other agencies performed their assigned tasks 
thoroughly, coinpetently. and pi-ofessionally. Supei'visors at agency 
headquarters similarly met theii- responsibilities and are deserving 
of the hisrhest praise. Yet, as this Report documents, thcvse indi- 
viduals did not have access to all of the information held by the 
most senior officials in their own agencies. Nor did they control, or 
even influence, many of the decisions made by those senior officials, 
decisions which shaped the investigation and the process by which 
information Avas provided to the Warren Commission. Thus, it can- 
not be too strongly emphasized that this Report examines the per- 
formance of the senioi' agency officials in light of the information 
available to them. 


Many potential witnesses could not l)e called because of limitations 
of time and resources. For tliis reason the Conmiittee has relied a great 
deal on the documentary record of events. The Committee's Report 
distino-uishes information obtained from documents from information 
it obtained through sworn testnnony through citations, since the docu- 
mentary records may not accurately reflect the true events. On the 
other hand, the Committee has on many occasions noted that witnesses 
may have no recollection of the events described in documents which 
they either prepared or in which they were mentioned. 

The followinii" Report details the evidence developed to date. The 
Report is intended to be descriptive of the facts the Committee has de- 
veloped. The Committee believes the investigation should continue, 
in certain areas, and for that reason does not reach any final conclu- 
sions. Instead, the Select Committee has recommended that the Senate 
Committee on Intelligence continue this investigation in those areas 
wher-e the Select Committee s investigation could not be completed. 

B. ^u7)vmaTy 

In the days following the assassination of President Kennedy, 
nothing was more important to this country than to determine the 
facts of his death ; no one single event has shaken the country more. 
Yet the evidence the Committee has developed suggests that, for dif- 
ferent reasons, both tlie CIA and the FBI failed in, or avoided carry- 
ing out, certain of their responsibilities in this matter. 

The Conunittee emphasizes that this Report's discussion of investi- 
gative deficiencies and the failure of American intelligence agencies 
to inform the Warren Commission of certain information does not 
lead to the conclusion that there w^as a conspiracy to assassinate Pres- 
ident Kennedy. 

Instead, this Report details the evidence the Committee developed 
concerning the investigation those agencies conducted into the Pres- 
ident's assassination, their relationship with each other and with the 
Warren Commission, and the effect tlieir own operations may have had 
on the course of the investigation. It places particular emphasis on 
the effect their Cuban operations seemed to have on the investigation. 

Howevei-, the Committee cautions that it has seen no evidence that 
Fidel Castro or others in the Cuban government plotted President 
Kennedv's assassination in retaliation for ILS. operations against 
Cuba. The Report details these operations to illustrate why they were 
relevant to the investigation. Thus, tlie CIA operation involving a 
liigli level Cuban official, code-named AMLASH, is described in order 
to illustrate why that operation, and its possible ramifications, should 
have been examined as part, of the assassination investigation. Simi- 
larly, althouch Cuban exile groups opposed to Castro may have been 
upset with Kennedy administration actions which resti-icted their 
activities, the Committee has no evidence that such groups plotted the 

Almost from the day Castro took powei- in Cuba, the Ignited States 
became the centei- of attempts to depose him. Cuban exiles, anti- 
connnunists, business interests, underworld figures, and the United 
States (xovernment all had their own reasons for seeking to over- 
throw the Castj-o government. These interests generally operated 
independently of the others; but on occasion, a few from each group 
would join forces in a combined effort. 

Ill April 1961, a force of (^iiban exiles and soldiers of foitiine backed 
by the CIA, attempted an invasion of Cuba at the Bay of Pigs. In 
November of that year, the United States Government decided that 
further such overt paramilitary operations were no lon<2;er feasible, 
and embarked on Operation MONOOOSE. This operation attempted 
to use Cuban exiles and dissidents inside Cuba to overthrow Castro. 

When the United States faced a major confrontation with the Soviet 
Union during the October 1962 Cuban missile crisis, it terminated 
MONGOOSE; the CIA's covert operations against Cuba were re- 
duced; and the FBI and other agencies of government began to re- 
strict the paramilitary operations of exile groups. This rather sudden 
shift against paramilitary activity of Cuban exile groups generated 
hostility. Supporters of some of these groups Avere angered by the 
change in government policy. They viewed this as a weakening of the 
U.S. will to oppose Castro. 

Throughout this period, the CIA had been plotting the assassination 
of Castro as another method of achieving a change in the Cuban gov- 
ernment. Between 1960 and early 1963 the CIA attempted to use under- 
world figures for this assassination. By INIay 1962. the FBI knew of 
such plots, and in June 1963 learned of their tennination. 

Following a June 1963 decision by a "Special Groui)" of the Na- 
tional Security Council to increase covert operations against Cuba, 
the CIA renewed contact with a high-level Cuban government oiRcial, 
code-named AJSILASH. At his first meeting with the CIA in over a 
year, AINILASH proposed Castro's overthrow through an "inside 
job," with U.S. support. AMUASH considered the assassination of 
Castro a neceSvSary part of this "inside job." Shortly after this meeting 
Avith AMLASH, Castro issued a public warning reported prominently 
in the U.S. press about the United States' meeting with terrorists who 
wished to eliminate Cuban leaders. He threatened that Cuba would 
answer in kind. 

Five days after Castro issued this threat, the Coordinating Com- 
mittee for Cuban affairs, an interagency planning committee sub- 
ordinate to the National Security Council's Special Group, met to 
endorse or modify then existing contingency plans for possible re- 
taliation by the Cuban Government. Eepresentatives of the CIA, and 
of the State, Defense and Justice Departments were on this Com- 
mittee. The CIA representatix'es on this Committee were from its 
Special Affairs Staff (SAS), the staff responsible for Cuban mat- 
ters generally and the AINILASH operation. Those attending the meet- 
ing on September 12 agreed unanimously that there was a strong 
likelihood Castro would retaliate in some way against the rash of 
covert activit}' in Cuba. 

At this September 12 meeting this Committee concluded Castro 
would not risk major confrontation Avith the United States. It there- 
fore rejected the possibility that Cuba would retaliate by attacking 
American officials within the Ignited States ; it assigned no agency the 
responsibility for consideration of this contingency. 

Within weeks of this meeting the CIA escalated the level of its 
covert, operations, informing AMLASH the United States supported 
his coup. Despite Avarnings from certain CIA staffers that the opera- 
tion Avas poorly conceived and insecure, the head of SAS, Desmond 
Fitzgerald, met AMLASH on October 29, 1963, told him he Avas the 

"personal representative" of Attorney General Robert Kennedy, and 
stated the United States would support a coup. On November 22, at 
a pre-arranged meeting, a CIA Case Officei- told AMLASH he would 
be provided rifles with telescopic sights, and explosives with which 
to carry out his plan. He was also offered a poison pen device. 

Following the President's death, seai'ches of FBI and CIA files 
revealed that Lee Har'vey Oswald was not unknown to the intelligence 
agencies. In late 1959, the FBI opened a "security file" on Oswald 
after his defection to the Soviet ITnion. After Oswald's return to this 
country in June 1962, he was interviewed twice by FBI agents; on 
each occasion he repeatedly lied. He also refused to be polygraphed 
about his negative answers to quevStions of ties with Soviet intelligence. 
Yet the FBI closed tlie Oswald secui'ity case immediately after the 
second interview. The case was i-eopened in March 196'3, but Oswald 
was not interviewed by the FBI until August 10, 1968, when he re- 
quested an interview after his ai-rest in New Orleans for disturbing 
the peace. On the occasion of this third interview, he again repeatedly 
lied to FBI agents. A month later Oswald visited INIexico Oity, where 
he visited both the Cuban and Soviet diplomatic establishments, and 
contacted a vice consul at the latter who was in fact a KGB agent. 
Despite receiving this information on Oswald's Mexico City activity, 
the FBI failed to intensify its investigative effoits. It failed to inter- 
view him before the assassination despite receiving a note from him 
warning the FBI to leave his wife alone. 

Immediately after the assassination, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover 
ordered a complete review of the FBI's handling of the Oswald se- 
curity case. Within six days he was given a report which detailed 
serious investigative deficiencies. As a result of these deficiencies 
seventeen FBI personnel, including one Assistant Director, were dis- 
ciplined. The fact that the FBI felt there were investigative deficien- 
cies and the disciplinary actions it took wei'e never publicly disclosed 
by the Bureau or communicated to the Warren Commission. 

The evidence suggests that durino- the Wai-ren Commission investi- 
gation top FBI officials were continually concerned with protecting 
the Bureau's reputation and avoiding any criticism for not fulfilling 
investigative responsil^ilities. Within weeks after the assassination, the 
FBI, at the ui-ging of senior Government officials, issued a rei)ort con- 
cluding that Oswald was the assassin and that he had acted alone. 

The Bureau issued its report on the basis of a narrow investigation 
focused on Oswald, without conducting a broad investigation of the 
assassination which would have revealed any conspiracy, foreign or 

Despite knowledge of Oswald's apparent interest in pro-Castro and 
anti-Castro activities and top level awareness of certain CIA assassi- 
nation plots, the FBI, according to all agents and supervisory per- 
sonnel who testified before the Committee, made no special investiga- 
tive effort into questions of possible Cuban goveniment or Cuban exile 
involvement in the assassination independent of the Oswald investi- 
gation. There is no indication that the FBI or the CIA directed the 
interviewing of Cuban sources or of sources within the Cuban exile 
community. The division of the FBI responsible for investigating 
criminal aspects of the assassination, and not the division responsible 
for investigating subversive activities (including those of Cuban 

groups), was primarily responsible for the investigation and served 
as liaison to the AVari-en (Commission. 

Director Hoover himself perceived the Warren Commission as an 
adversary. He repeatedly remarked that the Connnission, pailicu- 
larly the Chief Justice, was "seeking to criticize" the FBI and 
merely attempting to "find ga[)s'- in the FBI's investigation. On two 
separate occasions, the latter immediately upon release of the Com- 
mission's Report, Director Hoover asked for all derogatory material 
on Warren Commission members and staft' contained in the FBI files. 

Neither the CIA nor the FBI told the Warren Commission about 
the CIA attempts to assassinate Fidel Castro. Allen Dulles, former 
Director of Central Intelligence, was a member of the Warren Com- 
mission and presumably knew alK)ut CIA plots during his tenure with 
the Agency, although he probably was unaware of the A^H^ASH 
operation. FBI Director Hoover and senior FBI officials also knew 
about these earlier plots. In July 1964, two months before the Warren 
Commission issued its 2()-volume report of its investigation and find- 
ings, FBI officials learned that a Cuban official (not known to the 
Bureau as "AMLASH") was plotting with the CIA to assassinate 
Castro. However, there is no evidence this knowledge affected the FBI 
investigation of the President's assassination in any way. The Attor- 
ney General and other government officials knew there had been pre- 
vious assassination plots with the underworld. None of the testimony 
or documents i-eceived by the Warren Commission mentioned the CIA 
assassination plots. The subordinate officers at the FBI and the CIA 
who acted as liaisons with the Warren Commission did not know of 
the CIA assassination attempts. 

The AMLASH plot was more relevant to the Warren Commis- 
sion's work than the early CIA assassination plots with the under- 
world. Unlike those earlier plots, the AMLASH operation was in 
progress at the time of the assassination; unlike the earlier plots, the 
AMLASH operation could clearly be traced to the CIA; and unlike 
the earlier plots, the CIA Jiad endorsed AlSILASH's pi'oposal for a 
coup, the first step to him being Castro's assassination, despite 
Castro's threat to retaliate for such plotting. No one directly involved 
in either agency's investigation Avas told of the AMLASH operation. 
No one investigated a connection between the AMLASH operation 
and President Kennedy's assassination. Although Oswald had been 
in contact witJi pro-Castro and anti-Castro groups foi- many months 
before the assassination, the CIA did not conduct a thorough investiga- 
tion of questions of Cuban Government or Cuban exile involvement 
in the assassination. 

CIA officials knowledgeable of the AMLASH plot testified they 
did not relate it to the Prevsident's assassination ; however, those at CIA 
and FBI responsible for their agency's investigation testified that, had 
they been aware of the plot, they would have considered it relevant to 
their investigation. The individiud who directed the CIA investigation 
for the first month after the assassination, testified that he felt knowl- 
edge of the AINILASH operation would have been a "vital factor" in 
shaping his investigation. His successor at the CIA also stated that 
knowledge of the AMLASH plot would have made a difference in his 
investigation. Individuals on the AVarren Commission staff have ex- 
l^ressed similar opinions as to all plots against Castro. There is also 


evidence tihat CIA investio;atoi's requested name traces which should 
have made them aware of the AMLASH operation, but for some rea- 
son, they did not learn of that operation. 

Although the Wan-en Commission concluded its work in September 
1964, the invest i<rat ion of the assassination was not to end. Both FBI 
Director Hoover and CIA Deputy Dii-ector for Plans Richard Hehns 
pled^-ed to keep the matter as an open case. 

In 1965, the FBI and the CIA received infoi-mation about the AM- 
LASH operation. Avhich indicated the entire operation was insecure, 
and caused the CIA to terminate it. Despite the fact that the informa- 
tion then received mi^ht have raised doubts about the investigation of 
the President's assassination, neither agency re-examined the assassi- 

The assassination of President Kennedy again came to the attention 
of the intelligence agencie.s in 19(57. President Johnson took a personal 
interest in allegations that Castro ihad retaliated. Although the FBI 
received such allegations, no investigation was conducted. 

On the very day President Johnson received the FBI reports of 
tliese allegations, he met with C^IA Director Richard Helms. The next 
day. Helms ordered the CIA Inspector General to ])repare a report 
on Agency sponsoi-ed assassination i)lots. Although this report raised 
the question of a possible connection l>etween the CIA plots against 
Castro and the assassinaton of President Kennedy, it was not fur- 
nished to CIA investigators who were to review the Kennedy assassi- 
nation investigation. One© again, although these CIA investigators 
requested information that should have led them to discover the 
AINILASH operation, they apparently did not receive that information. 

C . Findings 

The Committee emi)hasizes that it has not uncovered any evidence 
sufficient to justify a conclusion that, there was a conspiracy to assas- 
sinate President Kennedy. 

The Committee has, however, developed evidence which impeaches 
the process by which the intelligence agencies ari-ived at their own 
conclusions about the assassination, and by which they provided in- 
formation to the Warren Connnission. This evidence indicates that 
the investigation of the assassination was deficient and that facts 
which might have substantially affected tbe course of the in\estiga- 
tion were not ]>rovided the Warren Commission or those individuals 
within the FBI and the CIA, as well as other agencies of Government, 
AVho were charged with investigating the assassination. 

The Committee has found that the FBI, the agency with pi-imar-y 
responsibility in the matter, was ordered by Director Ilooxer and 
pressured by higher government officials, to conclude its investigation 
quickly. The FBI conducted its investigation in an atmosphere of con- 
cern among senior Bureau officials that it would lie criticized and its 
reputation tarnished. Rather than addressing its investigation to all 
significant circumstances, including all })ossibilities of coiis])iracy, the 
FBI investigation focused narrowly on Lee Harvey Oswald. 

The Committee has found that even with this nai-row focus, the FBI 
investigation, as well as tihe CIA inquiry, was deficient on the specific 
question of the significance of Oswald's contacts with pro-Castro and 
anti-Castro groups for the many months Ijefore the assassination. 

Those individuals directly responsible for the investigations were not 
fully conversant with the fluctuations in American policy toward 
those who opposed Castro, and they lacked a working- knowledge of 
pro-Casti'o and anti-Castix) activity. They did not know the full extent 
of U.S. opei'ations against Cuba including the CIA effoi'ts to assas- 
sinate Castro. The Committee further found that these investigati^'e 
deficiencies are probabl}' the reason that significant leads received by 
intelligence agencies were not pursued. 

Senior Bureau officials should have realized the FBI efforts were 
focused too narrowly to allow for a full investigation. They should 
have realized the significance of Oswald's Cuban contacts could not be 
fully analyzed without the direct involvement of FBI personnel who 
had expeiitise in such matters. Yet these senior officials pennitted the 
investigation to take this course and viewed the Warren Commission 
investigation in an adversarial light. 

Senior CIA officials also should have realized that their agency was 
not utilizing its full capability to investigate Oswald's pro-Castro and 
anti- Castro connections. They should have realized that CIA opera- 
tions against Cuba, particularly operations involving the assassination 
of Castro, needed to be considered in the investigation. Yet, they 
directed their subordinates to conduct an investigation without telling 
them of these vital facts. These officials, whom the Warren Com- 
mission relied upon for expertise, advised the Warren Commission 
that the CIA had no evidence of foreign conspiracy. 

Why senior officials of the FBI and the CIA permitted the investi- 
gation to go forward, in light of these deficiencies, and why they per- 
mitted the Warren Commission to reach its conclusion without all 
relevant information is still unclear. Certainly, concern with public 
reputation, problems of coordination between agencies, possible 
bureaucratic failure and embarrassment, and the extreme compait- 
mentation of knowledge of sensitive operations may have contributed 
to these shortcomings. But the possibility lexists that senior officials in 
both agencies made conscious decisicuis not to disclose potentially 
important information. 

Because the Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations 
With Respect to Intelligence Activities ended on May 31, 1976, a 
final resolution of these questions was impossible. Nevertheless, the 
Committee decided to make its findings public, because the people have 
a right to know how these special agencies of the Government fulfill 
their responsibilities. 

The Committee recommends that its successor, the Senate Select 
Committee on Intelligence, the permanent Senate Committee oversee- 
ing intelligence operations, continue the investigation in an attempt to 
resolve these questions. To assist its successor, this Committee has for- 
w^arded all file^ peiiaining to this investigation. 

This phase of the Committee's work will undoubtedly stir contro- 
versy. Few events in recent memory have so aroused the emotions of 
this Xation and the world, as those in Dallas, in November 1963. 
Conspiracy theories and theorists abound, and the public remains un- 
satisfied. Regrettably, this Report will not put the matter to rest. Even 
after additional investigative work, no additional evidence may come 
to light on the ultimate question of Avhy President Kennedy was 


In assessing- the performance of the intelligence agencies in investi- 
gating President John F. Kennedy's assassination, one of the focuses 
of the Select Committee's investigation was whether the Warren Com- 
mission was supplied all the infonnation necessary to conduct the 
"thorough and independent investigation of the circumstances sur- 
rounding the assassination" which President Johnson had ordered. At 
the outset of its invevStigation, the Select Committee had evidence that 
the Warren Commission was not given information about CIA at- 
tempts to assassinate foreign leaders. As the Select Committee later 
discovered, the Warren Commission was also unaware of the full ex- 
tent of the agencies' involvement in operations directed against Cuba. 
Tliis section of the report, summarizes aspects of those operations 
relevant to the Warren Commission's investigation. 

On New Year's Day, 1959, Fidel 'Castro's forces overthrew the 
Batista regime and assumed control of the government of Cuba after 
a long revolutionary struggle which had received support from many 
witliin the Ignited States. The subsequent actions of the Cuban Gov- 
ernment, particularly its move toward Communism and alignment 
with the Soviet I^'nion, gradually pi'oduced forces strongly opposed to 
Castro — forces which wanted bis government out of Cuba. 

Repoi-ts which the Select Committee lias ol>tained from the intel- 
ligence agencies document the varying interests outside Cuba which 
opposed Castro. Perhaps foremost in the opposition to Castro were 
the thousands of Cubans who had fled Cuba after his takeover. The 
Cuban exiles in tlie Ignited States formed a variety of organizations 
to voice their opposition to Castro. Some of these organizations not 
only voiced opposition, but also planned and executed pai'amilitary 
operations to harass the Castro government. 

Many Amei-icans outside the Cuban exile comnumity opposed the 
Castro regime. To them, the Castro government represented a major 
move by the Soviet Union to spread Communism into the AVestern 
Hemisphere. To these people, halting Castro meant halting 

Other less idealistic intei-ests were also opi)osed to Castro. His com- 
munist government liad expropriated the property of foreign busi- 
nesses and Cubans who had tied Cuba. Removal of the Castro govern- 
ment Avas one way to regain their lost businesses and pi-operty. Other 
business interests opposed Casti-o because his control over the Cuban 
economy had a major effect on their own operations. 



Finally, ccitain underworld interests were opposed to Castro. Be- 
fore his take over, Cuba had been vei-y imj^ortant to these interests, 
but Castro had forced the underworld out. Removal of CavStro likely 
meant these intei-ests could return to Cuba.^ 

In addition to this strong anti-Castro sentiment in the private sector, 
the United States Government was pursuing a policy of opposition to 
the Castro regime. The precise government policy varied during the 
early 1960s as did the specific government action implementing that 
policy. Both planning and implementation of the policy involved 
almost all major departments of the Federal government, including 
the intelligence agencies. 

The intelligence agencie.s had two primary responsibilities. All the 
intelligence agencies collected information on Cul^an, pro-Castro, and 
anti-Castro activity. Their com})ined efforts resulted in an extensive 
intelligence network in Cuba, in other Caribbean countries, and in the 
ITnited States, a network which reported on a wide range of matters. 
Second, the intelligence agencie^s, primarily the CIA. undertook covert 
operations against Cuba. The techniques utilized in these covert opera- 
tions ranged from propaganda, to paramilitary action, and included 
the outright invasion at the Bay of Pigs. These operations were con- 
ducted not only through individuals directly employed by the agencies, 
but also thiough certain of the anti-Castro groups ostensibly inde- 
pendent of the intelligence agencies. 

Obviously, it is difficult to discover the details of any intelligence 
operation, since intelligence operations were designed to i^revent such 
discovery. Except in a few instances, the Seleet Committee has not 
attempted to unravel these operations, but has instead focused on the 
general nature of the operations. 

In 1901 the President was forced to admit publiclv that the Bay of 
Pigs invasion was an operation sponsored by the CIA. In Novembei- 
1961, after a period of reappraisal following the failure of the Bay of 
Pigs invasion, another approach to the Cuba problem. Operation 
MONGOOSE, was conceived. As described in more detail in the Select 
Committee's Report. "Alleged Assassination Plots Involving Foreign 

^ Indeed, during; the mi.ssile crisis, an FBI informant reported that "he believes 
he conld arrange to have Fidel Castro assassinated . . . ITnderworld figures still 
have channels inside Cuba through which the assassination of Castro could be 
successfully arranged." 

"He said that in the event the ITnited States Government is interested 
in having the attempt made, he would raise the necessary money and 
would want nothing from the Government except the assurance that such 
an undertaking would in no way adversely affect the national security. 
He expressed confidence in his aliility to accomplish this mission without 
any additional contact with Government representatives and with a 
minimum of contacts with private individuals." 

The Bureau reported this contact to the Attorney General and concluded : 

The informant was told that his offer is outside our jurisdiction, which 
he acknowledged. No commitments were made to him. At this time, we do 
not plan to further pur.sue the matter. Our relationship with him has 
been most carefully guarded and we would feel ol)ligated to handle any 
recontact of him concerning this matter if such is desired. (Memorandum 
from Hoover to the Attorney General, 10/29/62.) 


Leaders," MONGOOSE was to use Cuban exiles in operations designed 
to foment an internal revolution in Cuba.- 

The Soviet-U.S. confrontation during the Cuban missile crisis in 
October 1962, was a factor leading to another reappraisal of American 
policy toward Cuba. This resulted in Operation MONGOOSE being 
phased out and the Special Group (Augmented) ordering a halt to 
all sabotage operations.^ 

As the Assassination Report has detailed, from 1960 until 1962 the 
Central Intelligence Agency met regularly with underworld figures 
plotting the assassination of Fidel Castro. In early 196-'), William 
Harvey, the CIA's contact to these underworld figures, told them the 
CIA was no longer interested in assassinating Castro.^ 

After the missile crisis, CIA operations against Cuba apparently 
decreased, while opei-ations by Cuban exile groups on their own con- 
tinued. On March 18, 1963, there was a reported attack on a Soviet 
vessel off the northern coast of Cuba by members of two exile groups, 
Alpha 66, and the Second National Front of Escambray.^ There was 
another i-ejwi'ted attack on a Soviet vessel off the northern coast of 
C^uba on the evening of March 26-27, 1963, by members of another 
anti-Castro group, Commandos L-66.*' 

This appai-ently caused considerable concern within tlie U.S. Gov- 
ernment that such activity by Cuban exile groups could produce a 
confrontation with the Soviets.' One witness stated, "the whole appa- 
ratus of government. Coast Guard, Customs, Immigration and Natu- 
ralization, FBI, CIA, were W'Orking together to try to keep these 
operations from going to Cuba.'' ^ 

These moves to restrict exile activities had an impact on New 
Orleans at the time Lee Harvey Oswald was living there. As i-eported 

^ "Alleged Assassination Plots Involving Foreign Leaders," 11/20/75, pp. 139- 
148, referred to hereinafter as the Assassination Report. 

The Committee has discovere<l since the issuance of its Assassination Report 
that, in addition to the CIA and Department of Defense, the FBI was also con- 
sulted in INIONGOOSE planning. In November 1961, the Bureau submitted its 
own five-point program of action against Castro, advocating strong support of 
rebel activity within Cuba. (Memorandum from Belmont to Tolson. 11/9/Gl.) 

* Memorandum for the record from General Lansdale, 10/30/62. 

*The Assassination Report discussed at length who knew of the CIA's assas- 
sination plots against Castro. So far as has been determined, knowledge of plots 
involving the underworld were known by a luniiber of government officials out- 
side the CIA. For example, FBI Director Hoover prepared a memorandum dated 
May 10, 1962, in which he recounted a private meeting he had with the Attorney 
General that day. Hoover noted : 

Maheu had been hired by CIA to approach Giancana with a proposition 
of paying .$150,000 to hire some gunman to go into Cuba and kill Castro. 
He further stated that CIA admitted having assisted Maheu in making 
the bugging of Las Vegas. 
A copy of this memorandum was di.sseminated to Messrs. Tolson, Belmont, 
Sullivan, and DeLoach. 
= Memorandum from Miami Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 3/29/63. 
•Memorandum from ,T. Edgar Hoover to Director of Bureau of Intelligence 
and Research, Department of State, dated April 1, 1963. Subject: Anti-Castro 
Activities in the United States — Internal Security — Cuba-Xeutrality Matters. 
' Section Chief testimony, r)/ll/76, pp. 19-22. 
« Chief, .IMWAVE testimony, 5/16/76, pp. 21, 22. 


on page one of the New Orleans Times-Picayune on August 1, 1963, 
the FBI seized more than a ton of dynamite, 20 bomb casings, napalm 
material and other devices at a home in the New Orleans area on 
July 31. Newspaper interest in the seizure continued with prominent 
articles in the Times-Picayune on August 2 and August 4. The War- 
ren Commission learned that, on August 5, Oswald contacted a Cuban 
exile in New Orleans, Carlos Bringuier, offering to help in training 
anti-Castro forces. Then on August 7, Oswald returned and left his 
Marine Corps training manual for Bringuier. Two days later, Brin- 
guier saw Oswald handing out pro-Castro literature, which resulted 
in fighting and their arrest. Oswald subsequently appeared on a radio 
debate with Bringuier, again taking a pro-Castro position.^ 

Additional FBI reports provided to the Warren Commission de- 
tailed other facts connected to this anti-Castro activity in New Orleans 
at the time of Oswald's contact with Bringuier. On July 24, accord- 
ing to FBI reports, ten Cuban exiles arrived in New Orleans from 
Miami. These ten joined an existing group of exiles at a "training 
camp" north of New Orleans, whicli was directed by the same in- 
dividuals who were involved in procuring the dynamite the FBI 
seized. By late July, some 28 Cuban exiles were at the training camp, 
allegedly awaiting transportation to Guatemala where they would 
work for a lumber company. 

Some of those who owned the land on which the Cuban exiles were 
staying became concerned alK)ut the FBI interest in the anti-Castro 
activities and ordered them to leave. Carlos Bringuier was called upon 
to assist in getting this group back to Miami.^° 

Although this was the extent of the Warren Commission investiga- 
tion of this incident, at least one FBI report, on the seizure of mate- 
rials which was not provided the Warren Commission, raises 
additional questions about the purpose of Oswald's contact with 
Bringuier. Indeed, Bringuier himself believed Oswald was attempt- 
ing to infiltrate the anti-Castro movement in order to report its 
activities to pro-Castro forces.^^ 

A report of the Miami Office of the FBI revealed some of the in- 
formation the FBI had on this incident : 

On June 14, 1963, information was received that a group 
of Cuban exiles had a plan to bomb the Shell refinery in Cuba. 

On June 15, 1963, United States Customs Agents seized a 
twin Beechcraft airplane on the outskirts of INIiami, Florida, 
along with a quantity of explosives. 

[...., . . . ., . . . ., "A" and . . . ., along with American 
. . . .] were involved and detained, but not arrested, by the 
United States Customs Agents. It was ascertained that 
[....] supplied the money and explosives for this operation. 
[Hel is well known as a former gambling concession operator 
in Havana. . . . 

On July 19, 1963, [....] advised there was another plan to 
bomb Cuba, using bomb casings and dynamite located on the 
outskirts of New Orleans, Louisiana. 

' Warren Report, pp. 407, 408. 

'^° Memoranrlum from New Orleans Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 5/15/64. 

^ Warren Report, Vol. X, pp. 43-45. 


On July 31, 1963, the Federal Bureau of Investigation 
(FBI) at New Orleans, Louisiana, obtained a search warrant 
and seized 2,400 pounds of dynamite and 20 bomb casings 
near Lacombe, Louisiana. This material was located on the 
property of [. . . .] brother of [. . . .], [of] Miami Beach 
.... and former operator of a casino in the Nacional Hotel, 
Havana, Cuba. 

Investigation determined that this dynamite was purchased 
at Collinsville, Illinois, by ["B"] for "A", who was involved in 
the June 14, 1963, seizures at Miami. "A" transported the 
dynamite to New Orleans in a rented trailer. Also involved in 
this bomb plot were .... 

[....] advised on June 14, 1963, "B" of Collinsville, Illi- 
nois, recently arrived in Miami, Florida, in a Ford station 
wagon with a load of arms for sale. American adventurers 
and mercenaries, [....] and [....] took "B" around to 
meet the different Cuban exile leaders in INIiami. . . ." ^^ 

On another occasion, an intelligence agency conducted a sensitive 
operation which developed information on the location of arms caches 
and training camps in another country. That information was given 
to the other country, which tlien raided the camps and seized the ma- 
terials. Raids and seizures such as these apparently were commonplace 
throughout the summer and fall of 1963.^'' Those individuals appar- 
ently sponsoring this activity Avere angered by these raids and seizures. 

Reports in the files of the intelligence agencies in mid-1963, docu- 
ment a series of meetings among major leadei*s of the anti-Castro 
movement.^* These reports indicate that some of these leaders claimed 
the support of the United States Government. 

Whether these were in fact related to decisions by the U.S. Govern- 
ment is not known, but such meetings followed the June 1963 decision 
of the Special Group to step up various covert operations designed 
to encourage dissident groups inside Cuba, to worsen economic con- 
ditions in the country, and to cause Cubans to doubt the ability of the 
Castro regime to defend the country.^' 

Contemporaneously, the CIA took steps to renew its contact with a 
high-level Cuban official code named AMLA SH. The CIA's previous 
contact with him had been sporadic; he had not been in direct con- 
tact with the CIA since before the missile crisis of October 1962. 
The exact purpose the CIA had for renewing contact is unknown, 
but there is no evideaice the CIA intended at this time to use AMLASH 
in an assassination operation. 

On August 16, 1963, the Chicago Sun Times carried an article claim- 
ing that the CIA had dealings with an underworld figure, Sam 
Giancana. This prompted Director McCone to ask the Deputy Director 
for Plans, Richard Helms, for a report about the article. McCone 
testified that Helms gave him a memorandum on the CIA operation 

" Memorandum from Miami Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 10/3/63. 
" Intelligence officer's testimony. 5/10/64. pp. 21-24, 26. 

" For example, memorandum from Miami Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 
10/18/63, pp. 5-10. 
^ Memorandum for the Special Group, 6/19/63. 


involving Giancana and orally informed him tliat it involved assas- 
sination on August 16,^® 

Within weeks of Helms' report to the DCI, CIA case officers held 
their first 1963 meeting with AMLASH. Although before this meeting 
CIA's interest in AMLASH may have been to gain intelligence and 
to cultivate him as an asset for covert operations, the case officers 
learned that AISILASH was interested primarily in getting the United 
States to invade Cuba, or in attempting an "inside job" against Castro, 
and that he was awaiting a U.S. plan of action.^" This was communi- 
cated to CIA Headquarters on September 7. 

Late in the evening of September 7, Premier Castro held an im- 
promptu, three-hour interview with Associated Press reporter Daniel 
Harker and in that interview warned against the United States "aid- 
ing terrorist plans to eliminate Cuban leaders." He stated, according 
to Harker, United States leaders would be in dan.q-er if they helped in 
any attempt to do away with leaders of Cuba. "We are prepared to 
fight them and answer in kind. United States leaders should think that 
if they are aiding terrorist plans to eliminate Cuban leaders, they 
themselves will not be safe." He added: "Yet the CIA and other 
dreamers believe their hopes of an insurrection or a successful guerrilla 
war. Tliey can go on dreaming forever." ^* 

Of course, discussions among Cuban exiles regarding the assassina- 
tion of Castro were common among the more militant Cuban exiles. 

. . . "assassination" was part of the ambience of that time . . . 
nobody could be involved in Cuban operations without hav- 
ing had some sort of a discussion at some time with some 
Cuban who said . . . the way to create a revolution is to 
shoot Fidel and Raul ... so the fact that somebody would 
talk about assassination just wasn't anything really out of 
the ordinary at that time.^^ 

One FBI report on a Cuban exile organization reported an exile group 
meeting in August 1963. A military officer fi'om a Latin American 
country was there : 

[He] acted toucrh, talking about assassinations and left no 
doubt he is a military man. He ofi'ered training camps, mili- 
tary equipment, and military bases from which Cuba could be 
attacked. He spoke very derogatorily of the Central Intelli- 
gence Agency (CIA) and explained that his proposed opera- 
tions had the sanction and support of top United States 
military officials.^" 

" Assassination Report, p. 107. 

" Characterization of this phase of the AMLASH operation is disputed. The 
Assassination Report concluded this was an assassination operation, but several 
CTA officials involved do not agree with this conclusion. However, the CIA case 
officer for this operation agreed that AMLASH liimself believed assassination 
was the first step of any coup in Cuba and the CTA met with him on that basis. 

"This account of the interview appeared in the Miami Herald, p. lA. Septem- 
ber 9, 1963. While other major newspai)ers carried the story, some did not in- 
clude Premier Castro's warning. 

" Chief, .TMWAVE testimony, .5/6/76. p. 35. 

^Memorandum from Miami Field Office to FBI Headouarters, 8/19/63. 

The Committee found no evidence to support such a claim of support by Ameri- 
can military officers. 


Castro's September 7 statement could have been referring to infor- 
mation he had received relating to such assassination plots hatched by 
exile leaders. In addition there were paramilitary raids on Cuba by 
exile groups shortly before Castro's interview. However, Castro's 
warning about the safety of "U.S. leaders . . . aiding terronst plans 
to elimniate Cuban leaders" suggests he was aware of some activity 
attributable to the U.S. Government.-^ 

At this time review and approval of covert operations against Cuba 
were the responsibility of the National Security Council's Special 
Group, chaired by McGeorge Bundy. Responsibility for developing 
covert action proposals was delegated to an Interagency Cuban Co- 
ordinating Committee chaired by a Coordinator from the State 

On September 12, only three days after the Associated Press story 
about Castro's September 7 warning to U.S. leaders was carried in 
American newspapers, the Cuban Coordinating Committee met. The 
purpose of this meeting, was to conduct a broad revieAv of the U.S. 
Government's Cuban contingency plans and to come up with an en- 
dorsement or modification of the existing plans. Specifically the Com- 
mittee, according to this memorandum, unanimously agreed : 

that there was a strong likelihood that Castro would retaliate 
in some way against the rash of covert activity in Cuba. At the 
same time, the Coordinator emphasized that it was his view 
that any Castro retaliation will be at a low level and not along 
a track which would precipitate a direct confrontation with 
the United States.^^ 

The Coordinator, again according to this memorandum, referred to 
the meeting as a "brainstorming" session. This memorandum listed 
the possible retaliatory actions Cuba might undertake. 

4. Actions against U.S. targets in Latin America employing 
Castro allied forces. 

(c) Increased attempts at kidnaping or attempts at assassi- 
nation of American officials or citizens. (Likely) 

5. Actions against targets in the U.S. 

(a^ Sabotage or terrorist bombings. (Unlikely) 

(b) Attacks against U.S. officials. (Unlikely) 

(c) Cuban controlled raids by unmarked boats or aircraft 
in the Keys. (Unlikely) 

(d) Jammings of U.S. radio stations. (Likely)" 

'^The individual who was the CIA "point of record" for working with the 
Warren Commission wrote in 1975 : 

There can be no question from the facts surrounding the Castro appear- 
ance, which had not been expected, and his agreement to the interview, 
that this event represented a more-than-ordinary attempt to get a mes- 
sage on the record in the United States. (CIA memorandum, 5/23/75.) 
A CIA analyst on Cuban affairs reached a similar conclusion. (Briefing 
of Select Committee staff. 1/7/76.) 

'" Assassination Report, p. 170. 

=* Memorandum for the Record, by DOD representative, 9/13/63. Subject: 
Minutes of Cuban Coordinating Committee meeting held at Department of State, 
1430 hours, 12 September 1963. 


The memorandum concluded by noting the Coordinator had stated 
that the State Department would pro\'ide a list of the most significant 
Castro actions on Friday, September 13, and expect comment by Sep- 
tember 17 from the members. The next meeting was scheduled for 
September 18. 

On September 13. 1963, the Coordinator circulated a list of "those 
possible retaliatory actions by the Cuban Grovernment which we agreed 
at our meeting of September 12 represent situations which have 
priority in a review of our contingency ]>lanning." ^^ The list of pos- 
sible actions included : "Actions against U.S. Targets in Latin America 
Through Castro-Allied Forces . . . Increased Attempts at Kid- 
napping or Attempts at Assassination of American Officials or 
Citizens." It also included a category "Actions Against Targets in the 
U.S." AMiile the Committee decided at its September 12 meeting that 
sabotage or terrorist bombing was an unlikely action, that possibil- 
ity was included in the Septeml)er 13 list. The joossibility of "Attacks 
Against U.S. Official" was not included in the September 13 list. 

On September 27, 1963, the Coordinator of Cuban Affairs prepared 
a memorandum listing assignments for contingency papers relating to 
possible retaliatory actions by the Castro regime.-'' The Subcommittee 
on Cuban Subversion was directed to submit papers on the possible 
increased attempts at kidnapping or attempts at assassination of 
American officials or citizens by October 4. The memorandum noted : 
"This exercise will be part of the Subcommittee's study of measures to 
meet general intensification by Castro regime of subversive efforts in 
Latin America." -'' 

Possible attacks against U.S. officials in the LTnited States was not 
considered a likely contingency at the September 12 meeting and so 
the September 27 memorandum gave no agency responsibility for that 
contingency. With regard to "sabotage or terroristic bombings against 
U.S. territory," the assignment was given to the Justice representative 
to "bring Coordinating Committee's views to the attention of the 

The available information indicates that the CIA Special Affairs 
Staff which was responsible for Cuban ojierations, was, as an organiza- 
tional entity both plotting with AjNILASH and at the very same time 
participating in this interagency review of contingency plans for pos- 
sible Cuban retaliation.^^ Moreover, SAS as an organizational entity, 

^Ibid. (Emphasis added) 

^Memorandum to the Interdepartmental Coordinating Committee of Cuban 
Affairs, from Coordinator of Cuban Affairs, 9/13/63, re: Possible Retaliatory 
Actions by Castro Government. 

^ Memorandum to the Indepartmental Coordinating Committee of Cuban Af- 
fairs, from Coordinator of Cuban Affairs, 9/27/63. Subject: Contingency Paper 
Assignments re Possible Retaliatory Actions by Castro Government. 

'' Ibid. 

=* Ibid. 

^Because the Select Committee staff only recently discovered the documents 
discussed above, it has had no opportunity to question the persons who prepared 
them or who attended these meetings. The Select Committee staff has requested 
a number of agencies to provide photo copies of all documents on the Cuban 
Coordinating Committee, including documents on the possibility of retaliation 
and is awaiting a response from these agencies. The Committee staff has been 
told informally that the CIA representatives on this Committee were from its 
Special Affairs Staff. 


had knowledge that the interagency committee had concluded "Cuban 
attack against U.S. officials within the United States" was an unlikely 
response to the rash of covert activity in Cuba. Nevertheless, either 
during or shortly after completion of the review of possible retaliatory 
actions, SAS made the decision to escalate the level of CIA covert 
activity directed against Cuba. 

Meetings between CIA case officers and AISILASII continued after 
this review.3° At one such meeting, AIMLASH was told his proposal 
(a coup, the first step of which was the assassination of Fidel Castro) 
was under consideration at the "highest levels". The case officer who 
made this representation testified he only intended to refer to the 
highest levels of the CIA.^^ 

In response to this representation, AMLASH requested a personal 
meeting with Robert Kennedy to obtain his assurance of U.S. sup- 
port. Instead, the CIA sent Desmond Fitzgerald, the senior CIA offi- 
cer who headed the Special Affairs Staff, which was the CIA section 
charged with responsibility for Cuban affaire, to meet AMLASH on 
October 29, 1963.^2 

^ The security of the AMLASH operation as of October 1963 was very dubious. 
CIA files contain several reports in this time period which raise questions about 
the security of the operation. The Chief of SAS Counterintelligence testified he 
always doubted the security of the operation. 

Moreover, although the CIA did not inform the FBI about the AMLASH op- 
eration, and in fact the code-name, AMLASH, was unknown to the FBI, the FBI 
on October 10, 1963, received a report from an informant that a certain Cuban 
official was meeting with the CIA. The Cuban ofiicial identified by his true name in 
that report is in fact AMLASH. This report was not passed to the CIA, although 
the fact the FBI had learned the CIA was meeting with AMLASH might have 
prompted the CIA to scrutinize the security of the AMLASH operation. 

^ AMLASH Case Officer, 2/11/76, p. 18. 

^Two CIA officials have testified they advised Fitzgerald not to meet per- 
sonally with AMLASH. The Chief of JMWAVE Station testified : 

My advice to [Fitzgerald] was that it would probably not be a good 
idea for [Fitzgerald] to meet with [AMLASH] ... the only thing I 
could see coming out of the contact would be that . . . Fitzgerald would 
get a feel for what makes some of these people tick . . . and that prob- 
ably was too high a price to pay for the prospect if anything went wrong, 
an individual as prominent in Washington, both within the Agency and 
in the social world in Washington [as Fitzgerald] would be exposed in 
the press. That would create a flap that I thought was not worth what 
would be gained from the meeting. 

(Chief, .IMWAVE testimony, 8/19/75, p. 80; see also his testimony, 
5/6/76, pp. 45-46.) 

The Chief of Counterintelligence for the SAS testified he thought the operation 
was "nonsense" and "counterproductive" and that AMLASH's "bona fides were 
subject to question." 

I disagreed basically with whole thrust of the AMLASH operation. My 
disapproval of it was very strong. Des Fitzgerald knew it . . . and pre- 
ferred not to discuss it anymore with me. 

(Chief, SAS/CI testimony, 5/10/76, pp. 21-23.) 

Howe\er, the Executive Officer for Desmond Fitzgerald dismissed the possi- 
bility that Fitzgerald's meeting with AMLASH exposed the CIA to possible 
embarrassment because Fitzgerald had not used his real name and, therefore, 
AMLASH would have been unable to identify Fitzgerald as a CIA officer. (Ex- 
ecutive officer testimony, 4/22/76, p. 55. ) 


Fitzgerald used an alias and was introduced to AMLASH as a "per- 
sonal representative" of Attorney General Kemiedy.^^ 

According to the case officer's report on the October 29 meeting, 
Fitzgerald told AMLASH that the United States was not prepared 
to support an isolated uprising. According to this report, Fitzgerald 
told AMLASH that the United States was prepared to provide sup- 
port only after a real coup had been effected, and the group involved 
was in a position to request U.S. recognition and support. The memo- 
randum goes on to say : 

Nothing of an operational nature was discussed at the Fitz- 
gerald meeting. After the meeting [AMLASH] stated that 
he was satisfied w4th the policy discussion but now desired to 
know what technical support we could provide him."' 

"WHiether AMLASH interpreted this. meeting as CIA endorsement 
of his proposal to initiate the coup by assassination is not clear. When 
interviewed by the CIA Inspector General staff in 1967, Fitzgerald, 
who is now dead, said that AMLASH spoke of the need for an assas- 
sination weapon, specifically, a high-powered rifle with telescopic 
sights or some other weapon which conld be used to assassinate Castro 
from a distance. Fitzgerald said he rejected this request and ordered 
the case officer, who served as interpreter, to tell AlVILASH the United 
States simply did not do such things."^ Fitzgerald's executive officer, 
who was not at the meeting but was fully briefed on the AMLASH 
operation, also told the Inspector General staff that Fitzgerald had 
rejected A^MLASH's request."*' 

Fitzgerald's recollection of this meetins: is supported by a CIA 
memorandum of a conversation with A]VI"\^'niP, a Cuban exile who 
had talked to AMI^ASH after this October 29 meeting. According 
to that memorandum, the meeting satisfied AMLASH as far as policy 
was concerned : 

but he was not at all happy with the fact that he still was 
not given the technical assistance for the operational plan as 
he saw it. He could not understand why he was denied certain 
small pieces of equipment which permitted a final solution to 
the problem, while, on the other liand, the U.S. Government 
gave much equipment and money to exile groups for their 
ineffective excursions."^ 

Fitzgerald's recollection of the October 29 meeting conflicts with the 
case officer's sworn testimony before the Select Committee in 1975 and 
1976. The case officer, who was also the interpreter for Fitzgerald, 

^ The Committee found no evidence that the Attorney General authorized, or 
was aware of this representation. Helms testified he did not seek the Attorney 
General's approval because he thought it was "unnecessary." (Helms, 6/13/75, 
pp. 117-118.) 

^ Case officer's Memorandum for Record, 11/13/63. 

^ 1967 Inspector General Report, p. 90. 

^ lUd. 

'^ CIA Memorandum for the Record, 11/14/63. 


testified that Fitzgerald gave assurances that the United States not 
only would support the government which emerged after a successful 
coup, but also gave general assurances that the United States would 
help in bringing about that coup.^^'' The case officer testified that he 
recalled no discussion of what specific support the CIA would give 
and he did not recall Fitzgerald saying the U.S. would have no part 
of assassination. 

Q. Was it also clear that in some way or other Fitzgerald 
was promising that support would be given for the planning 
of a coup operation as you have said, which was not con- 
tingent on whether tlie operation was successful or not ? 

A. That was implied, definitely, that supjiort would be 
given, and again, I repeat, AMLASH did interpret it that 

The case officer returned to Headquarters sometime in November. 
By November 19, Fitzgerald had told the case officer that he was 
authorized to tell AINILASH that the rifles, telescopic sights, and ex- 
plosives would be provided. The case officer also waited at Head- 
quarters while a ballpoint pen was fashioned with a needle on it Avhich 
could be used to inject a lethal dose of poison. The pen proved difficult 
to fashion and it was not ready until a few days before the Novem- 
ber 22 meeting. The exact purpose the CIA had for offering AlVH^ASH 
the pen is discussed in detail in the Assassination Report.^^ 

On November 19, AMLASH told a CIA officer that he planned to 
return to Cuba immediately.^®^ On November 20, 1963, a CIA officer 
telephoned AMLASH and asked him to postpone his return to Cuba 
in order to attend a meeting on November 22. AINILASH asked if the 
meeting would be interesting, and the CIA officer responded he did 
not know whether it would be interesting but it was the meeting 
AMLASH had requested.^®" 

At earlier meetings with the CIA, AIVHjASH had only received gen- 
eral assurances of U.S. support for a coup plan and thus the Novem- 
ber 20 telephone call was the first indication that he might receive the 
specific support he requested. Of course, AMLASH could not have 
known with certainty what support, i.e., weapons, he would receive 
until November 22. 

The case officer met with AMLASH on November 22, 1968. At that 
meeting, the case officer referred to the President's November 18 
speech in Miami as an indication that the President supported a coup. 
That speech described the Castro government as a "small band of 
conspirators" wffich formed a "barrier" which "once removed" would 

» Case officer's testimony, 7/29/75, pp. 77-80. 
" Case officer testimony, 7/29/75, pp. 79-80. 
Assassination Report, pp. 88-89. 
• CIA cable to Headquarters, 11/19/63. 
'"CIA cable to Headquarters, 11/20/63. 


ensure United States support for progressive goals in Cuba,^^ The case 
officer told AMLASH that Fitzgerald had helped write the speech."*" 

The case officer also told A^NILASH that explosives and rifles with 
telescopic sights" would be provided. The case officer showed AM- 
LASH the poison pen and suggested he could use the commercial 
poison, Black Leaf -40 in it.-*^ The case officer cannot recall specifically 
what happened to tlie poison pen ; he does not believe AMLASH car- 
ried it with him when he left, the meeting. He does recall that AM- 
LASH Avas dissatisfied with the device. As AMLASH and the case 
officer broke up their meeting, they were told the President had been 

Two other events which occurred in the October-November 1963 
time period should be noted in this discussion of U.S.-Cuban relations. 
The first is that talks between the Cuban delegate to the UN, La 
Chuga, and a U.S. delegate, William Atwood, were proposed by the 
Cubans on September 5. Although there were discussions about the 
location for such talks and Atwood's expressed U.S. interest, no con- 
crete plans for meetings were made. On November 29, La Chuga in- 
quired again of Atwoofl about U.S. interest in talks.*^ 

^ Washington Post, 11/19/63. p. A-15. 
*" Case Officer testimony, 2/11/76. 

The fact that the CIA intended President Kennedy's speech to serve as a 
signal to dissident elements in Cuba that the U.S. would support a coup is con- 
firmed by a CIA paper, completed less than two weeks after Kennedy's assas- 
sination, which sugge.sted .statements the Johnson administration could make 
which would "stimulate anti-Castro action on the part of di.ssident elements in 
the Cuban armed forces." The paper states that Cuban dissidents 

must have solemn assurances from high level U.S. spokesmen, especially 
the President, that the United States will exert its decisive influence 
during and immediately after the coup. . . . 
Citing Kennedy's speech of November 18, 1963, the CIA paper concluded ". . . it 
remains for President [Johnson] and other administration spokesmen to instill 
a genuine sense of U.S. commitment to our efforts." (Memorandum for the DCI, 
"Considerations for U.S. Policy Toward Cuba and Latin America," 12/9/63.) 
'^The Chief of JMWAVE testified that although this operation often was 
tasked to get weapons into Cuba, he could not recall being tasked to get rifles 
and telescopic sights into Cuba. The documentary record reveals, however, that 
the JMWAVE station was tasked to supply the explosives, rifles, and telescopic 
sights to AMLASH. The Chief of the JMWAVE station testified he did not recall 
seeing the cable containing these instructions. 

Q. Was it common to drop caches of rifles or telescopic sights for 

A. I would not necessarily have known what was in each cache. 
Q. Well, was it common . . ., to your knowledge, to drop rifles with 
telescopic sights? 

A. Well, I think the thing that would be uncommon would be tele- 
scopic sights. Many of our caches were weapons caches. ... I think if 
I were looking at a cache list and I saw a tele.scope on it matched up 
with a Springfield '03 rifle, that probably would have struck me as being 
unusual, but I did not see the inventories of all the caches. 
(Chief. JMWAVE testimony. 5/6/76, pp. 47-48.) 

*^ Assassination Report, p. 89 : Case Officer testimony, 2/11/76, p. 46. 

^ Assassination Report, pp. 173-174 ; William Atwood testimony, 7/10/75, p. 9. 


Second, the French reporter, Jean Daniel, had a brief interview 
with President Kennedy on October 24, before setting off on an as- 
signment in Cuba, At that meeting the President expressed his feeling 
that Castro had betrayed the revolution.** 

Daniel travelled to Cuba but got no hint of a similar meeting with 
Castro. Then on November 19, the day after the President's speech in 
Miami, Castro contacted Daniel and spent six hours talking to him 
about U.S.-Cuban relations. Daniel again met Castro on November 22, 
spending most of the day with him. Daniel's report of this meeting, 
"When Castro Heard the News," describes Castro's reaction to word 
of the assassination. After word that President Johnson had been 
sworn in reached Castro, he asked : "What authority does he exercise 
over the CIA?" "s 

** Daniel, "UnoflScial Envoy : A Historic Report from Two Capitals," New Re- 
public, 12/14/63. 

*^ Daniel, "When Castro Heard the News," New Republic, 12/7/63. 

UARY 1, 1964 

This section of the Report discusses the performance of the FBI 
and the CIA during the weeks immediately following the assassina- 
tion of President John F. Kennedy. 

The performance of these agencies should not be evaluated in isola- 
tion. Senior government officials, both within the agencies and out- 
side them, wanted the investigation completed promptly and all 
conspiracy rumors dispelled. For example, only three days after the 
assassination, Deputy Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach wrote 
Presidential Assistant Bill Moyers : 

It is important that all of the facts surrounding President 
Kennedy's assassination be made public in a way which will 
satisfy people in the United States and abroad that all the 
facts have been told and that a statement to this effect be 
made now. 

1. The public must be satisfied that Oswald was the 
assassin; that he did not have confederates who are still at 
large; and that the evidence was such that he would have 
been convicted at trial. 

2. Speculation about Oswald's motivation ought to be cut 
off, and we should have some basis for rebutting thought that 
this was a Communist conspiracy or (as the Iron Curtain 
press is saying) a right-wing conspiracy to blame it on the 

On November 29, 1963, President Johnson told Director Hoover 
that, although he wanted to "get by" on just the FBI report, the only 
way to stop the "rash of investigations" was to appoint a high-level 
committee to evaluate that report.- On December 9, 1963, Deputy At- 
torney General Katzenbach wrote each member of the Warren Com- 
mission recommending that the Commission immediately issue a press 
release stating that the FBI report, clearly showed there was no 
international conspiracy, and that Oswald was a loner.^ 

A. The 01 A Response 

This section deals with the CIA's immediate response in investigat- 
ing the assassination. It discusses what information the CIA received 
alleging Cuban involvement in the assassination, and the steps taken 
by the Agency to investigate those allegations. 

^ Memorandum from Nicholas deB. Katzenbach to Bill Moyers, 11/26/63. 
^Memorandum from Hoover to Messrs. Tolson, Belmont, Mohr, Sullivan, De- 
Loach, and Rosen, 11/29/63. 

' Memorandum from DeLoach to Tolson, 12/12/63. No such release was issued. 



Since Oswald had come to the attention of the CTA in October and 
November 1963, the Agency needed no orders to begin an investigation 
of the assassination. On November 8, the CIA received an FBI report 
dated October 31, 1963, discussing the Bureau's investigation of 
Oswald's activities in New Orleans. On November 15, that report was 
forwarded to SAS Counterintelligence, the CIA section specializing 
in Cuban affairs. Tlie routing slip on the. report, indicates it w^as sent 
to the Counterintelligence Division of the CIA on Novemlier 22.-* The 
Chief of SAS Counterintelligence recalled that immediately after the 
assassination. Director INIcCone requested all Agency niaterial on 
Oswald. The Chief testified that he probably reported seeing a recent 
FBI report on Oswald, but he could not" remember whether SAS 
had routed the report to the Counterintelligence Division before or 
after the assassination.^ 

The CIA Mexico Station also realized that Lee Harvey Oswald had 
come to its attention in early Octobei- and cabled CIA Headquarters 
at 5 :00 p.m. on the afternoon of the assassination." Other CIA stations 
and overseas elements of the State Department and Defense Depart- 
ment soon l^gan reporting any information they received which might 
be relevant to the assassination. 

For the first tAventy-four hours after the assassination, the CIA's 
attention focused primarily on Oswald's September 27, 1963, visit 
to Mexico City. CIA Headquarters wanted all relevant information 
developed by its Mexico Station in order to begin its analysis of the 
information. On the morning of Novemlx>r 23, Director McCone met 
with President Johnson and his national security advisor, McGeorge 
Bundy, to brief them on the information CIA Headquarters had 
received from its Mexico Station. McCone's memorandum for the 
record of that meeting contains the essential infoimation extracted 
from the Mexico Station's cable which had been received by that 

According to the 1967 Inspector General Report, CIA Headquar- 
ters cabled the AMLASH case officer on the morning of November 23, 
and ordered him to break contact with AMLASH due to the Presi- 
dent's assassination and to return to Headquarters.^ Neither those 
who prepared the I.G. Report, noi- current CIA officials could locate 
a copy of that cable. The case officer testified he recalled receiving such 
a cable, but could not recall whether it made specific mention of the 
President's assassination as the reason for breakino; contact with 
AMLASH and returning.^ He did connect that cable's instructions 
with the assassination.^" 

* Moreover, on September 16, 1963. the CIA had asked the FBI to obtain infor- 
mation on the Fair Play for Cuba Committee which the Agency could use in a 
propaganda campaign. In acquiring the information, the FBI obtained a copy 
of one of Oswald's letters to FPCC headquarters. 

^ Chief, SAS/CI, 5/10/76, pp. 6-7. 

'All times have been converted to Eastern Standard Time. The assassination 
occurred at 1 :30 E.S.T. 

■'On March 8, 1976, Walter Elder, DCI McCone's executive officer gave the 
Committee staff access to Mr. McCone's calendar and memoranda from this time 
period. The following disaission is based, in part, on these records. 

« I.G. Report, p. 94. 

» Case Officer, 2/11/76, p. 53. 

" Ibid. 


That same morning, CIA personnel on the Counterintelligence staff 
who Avere responsible for Soviet intelligence prepared a memorandum 
suggesting the possibility that Oswald's contacts in IMexico City with 
Soviet pei-sonnel might have sinister implications." The memorandum 
also stated that the essential information was transmitted to the agen- 
cy's FBI liaison by telephone at 10:30 a.m. that morning. 

Sometime on November 28, Deputy Director for Plans Richard 
Helms called a meeting to outline responsibility for the CIA investi- 
gation of the assassination. At that meeting Helms informed his 
Deputy, Thomas Karamessines, and Chief of Counterintelligence 
James Angleton, that a desk officer in the Western Hemisphere Divi- 
sion would be in charge of the CIA investigation. This desk officer 
had professional expeiiise in conducting counterintelligence investiga- 
tions for the Agency. Helms instructed Karamessines and Angleton 
to provide the desk officer full cooperation and access to all informa- 
tion he requested. ^^ Karamessines testified he could not recall the desk 
officer being assigned responsibility for the investigation.^^ 

At 5:00 p.m. CIA Headquartere received a cable from the Mexico 
Station stating that the ]\Iexican police were going to arrest Sylvia 
Duran, a IMexican national employed by the Cuban consulate who was 
believed to have talked to Oswald when he visited the consulate in 
September.^^ Headquarters pei^onnel telephoned the ]\Iexico Station 
and asked them to stop the planned arrest.^^ The IMexico Station said 
that the arrest could not be stopped.^^ 

After learning the arrest could not be prevented, Karamessines 
cabled the Mexico Station that the arrest "could jeopardize U.S. free- 
dom of action on the whole question of Cuban responsibility." ^^ The 
desk officer could not recall that cable or explain the reasons for trans- 
mitting such a message.^^ Karamessines could not recall preparing the 
cable or his reasons for issuing such a message. He speculated that 
the CIA feared the Cubans were responsible, and that Duran might 
reveal this during an interrogation. He further speculated that if 
Duran did possess such information, the CIA and the U.S. Govern- 
ment would need time to react before it came to the attention of the 

Later that evening, the AMLASH case officer arrived in Washing- 
ton. The case officer cannot recall whether he reported to Headquarters 
that evening but he Avas in his office the next morning, Sunday, Novem- 

" Memorandum from CI staff to the Director, 11/23/63. The thesis of the 
memorandum was disproved hy later investigation ; however, it reflects the fact 
that at least some officials in the CIA were concerned with the iwssibility of a 

"Western Hemisphere Division Desk Officer, 5/7/76, p. 7. (Referred to here- 
inafter as the Desk Officer. ) 

" Karamessines, 4/18/76, p. 10. 

" Memorandum for the Record by Desk Officer, 11/23/63. 

^ Administrative Sheet, Mexico Station Cable, 11/23/63. 

'« Memorandum for the Record by Desk Officer, 11/23/63. 

" CIA Cable from CIA Headquarters to Mexico Station. 11/23/63. 

^ Officer, 5/7/76, p. 52. 

" Karamessines, 4/18/76, pp. 26-27. 


ber 24.'° Early that morning, the 24th the Mexico Station cabled its re- 
sponse to a Headquarters request for the names of all known contacts 
of certain Soviet personnel in ]Mexico City. The purpose of obtaining 
these names was to determine the significance of Oswald's contact 
with the Soviets and to assess their activities. AMLASH's real name 
was included in the list of names on the Mexico Station cable.-^ 
Karamessines was asked what would have been done witli this cable. 

Q. The message reporting back on this gave all contacts, 
known contacts that these individuals had in ]Mexico City. 
And what is the next step in your process ^ 

A. You check these names out to see whether your files give 
any evidence of suspicious activity. And if the}' don't, if they 
simply don't indicate any suspicious activity, that would be 
the end of it. If it does indicate suspicious activity, then you 
would follow from there, and you would pass this informa- 
tion on to other interested parties within the Agency or within 
the Government, and you would carry on from there and in- 
vestigate further. 

Q. That is the point I am getting to ... Is it routine 
standai-d operating procedure to check the CI [counterintelli- 
gence] file on that named individual ? 

A. Yes, unless the desk officer that receives it happens to 
know^ who that fellow is and doesn't have to check. And that 
happens quite frequently." 

The Executive Officer in the Special Affairs Section was asked what 
would happen if those at the CIA investigating the assassination had 
requested a name trace on AMLASH. 

A. The name trace would have given whatever Ave knew 
about the individual except our oi^erational contacts with him. 
It would be biographic information. 

Q. Well, if the Counterintelligence Division asked for 
information on AMLASH, even if they were furnished bio- 
graphical information, it would not contain the fact that he 
was involved in some assassination plot. 

A. That's correct. That would noi-mally go to the case offi- 
cer concerned, who Avould be alerted by the name tracers that 
somebody had asked for AMLASH. 

Q. And what would the case officer have done in that case? 

A. Well, in this case I'm sure he would have gone and talked 
to Mr. Fitzgerald about it. 

Q. Do you know whether the case officer did ? 

A. I don't know, no. 

Q. So in other words, the fact that the CIA was involved 
with AMLASH . . . would normally have been kept from 
the CI, counterintelligence investigators. 

A. It would have been held back from the ordinary case 
officer, yes. "\Miether it would have been held back from the 

=" AMLASH Case Officer, 2/11/76, pp. 54-55. (Referred to hereinafter as the 
Case Officer.) 

^ Cable from Mexico Station to CIA Headquarters, 11/24/63. 
^ Karamessines, 4/18/76, pp. 24-25. 


men in chfirfre, I don't know. That would have been up to the 
Chief of SAS, in this case, Fitzgerald and the DDP.-^ 

Thus, early in the morning of November 24, the CIA officials 
investigating the assassination had come across AlNILASH's name. 
Had routine procedure been followed, that name would have been 
checked in Agency files.'^ Operational information, i.e., details of 
CIA plots with AMLASH to assassinate Castro, would not have been 
routinely provided. The decision to provide such information would 
have been made by Fitzgerald or Helms. The AMLASH Case Officer 
can recall no discussion about connections between AMLASH and the 
assassination of President Kennedy.-^ 

CIA files on its investigation of the President's assassination con- 
tain no evidence that such information was provided. The Desk Officer 
who coordinated the CIA investigation of the assassination testified 
he was not then aware of any assassination plots and certainly was 
not then aware of the A^MLASH plot. 

Q. Did you know that on November 22, 1963, about the 
time Kennedy was assassinated, a CIA case officer was pass- 
ing a poison pen, offering a poison pen to a high-level Cuban 
to use to assassinate Castro ? 

A. No, I did not. 

Q. Would you have drawn a link in your mind between 
that and the Kennedy assassination ? 

A. I certainly think that that would have become an ab- 
solutely vital factor in analyzing the events surrounding 
the Kennedy assassination.^*' 

On November 24, at 10 a.m.. Director McCone met with the Presi- 
dent and briefed him about CIA operational plans against Cuba. That 
l)riefing could not have included a discussion of AMLASH since 
]McCone testified that he was not aware of the AMLASH assassination 

On November 25 at 12:00 p.m., the Mexico Station dispatched a 
cable reminding Headquarters of Castro's September 7, 1963, state- 
ment threatening L^.S. leaders.^^ 

The Case Officer's "contact report" on the November 22 meeting 
vnth A^ILASH bears the date November 25. He testified it was prob- 
ably prepared on either November 24 or 25.^^ The report does not note 
that the poison pen was offered to AMLASH although it does state 
that AlVILASH was told he would receive explosives and rifles with 
telescopic sights. The Case Officer testified the contact report does 
not discuss the poison pen because Fitzgerald ordered him to omit 
that matter.3° He probably showed the report to Fitzgerald on the 

^ Executive Officer, 5/10/76, pp. 36-37. 

^ No document in the AMLASH file mentioned the poison pen, so even access 
to his file would not have given a person knowledge of this key fact. 
^ Case Officer, 2/11/76, pp. 59, 60. 
^ Desk Officer, 5/7/76, pp. 31, 32. 
^ McCone testimony. 6/6/76, p. 59. 

"" Cable from Mexico Station to CIA Headquarters, 11/25/63. 
^ Case Officer, 2/11/76, p. 61. 
=" lUd., p. 65. 

72-059 O- 76 - 3 


same day, but recalls no discussion with Fitzgerald about a possible 
connection between the AjNILASH operation and Pi-esident Kennedy's 
assassination.^^ The Case Officer also stated that there Avas no reason to 
make such a connection and he ceitainly made no such connection in 
his mind.^- When asked why he did not associate President Kemiedy's 
assassination by a pro-Castro activist with his own involvement in the 
AMLASH operation, the Case Officer stated he does not know to this 
day that Oswald had any pro-Castro leanincfs.^^ 

The case officer said he was reassigned shortly after returning to 
Headquarters. He testified that he Avas never involved in discussions 
at the CIA about possible connections between his November 22 meet- 
ing with AMLASH and President Kennedy's assassination.^* 

At noon on November 25, "D," a Latin American, appeared at the 
American Embassy in Mexico City.^^ He told Embassy personnel that 
he Avas in the Cuban consulate o)i September 17 and saAv Cubans 
Avho discussed assassination pay OsAvald a sum of money. He later 
repeated his story to the CIA Mexico Station Chief. The CIA and 
the Warren Commission later concluded that the story Avas a fabri- 
cation, but the Agency Avas clearly concerned Avith "D's" story at the 

On the evening of November 25. a senior American Embassy official 
in Mexico City informed a senior Mexican government official of the 
knoAvn facts about OsAvald's visit to Mexico City.^^ This memorandum 
concludes by posing questions designed to determine AAdiether Oswald's 
visit to Mexico City Avas part of a pre-conceived plan to assassinate 
the President and Avhethei- the Cubans Avere involved in such a plan. 

On NoA^ember 26, Dii-ector McCone again met Avith President 
Johnson, Avho told him that the FBI had responsibility for investi- 
gating the President's death and directed him to make CIA resources 
aA^ailable to assist the Bureau. Tlie Desk Officer testified that there 
was a feeling in the CIA that the Bureau may have been derelict in 
its handling of OsAvald before the assassination, and that the CIA 
investigative efforts should ho as independent as possible of the 

Later in that day, the Mexico Station cabled Headquarters on the 
details of its inten-ogation of "D*'.'^^ It also reported othei- information 
from a sensitive and reliable source Avhich tended to confirm "D's" 
story that OsAvald may have been paid by the Cubans to assassinate 
President Kennedy. This report, has neVer been satisfactorily ex- 
plained, although it Avas made available to the Warr-en Commission 

^ Case Officer, 7/29/75, pp. 115-116 : Case Officer, 2/11/76, pp. 59-60. 

'= Case Officer, 7/29/75, pp. 115-116. 

^ Case Officer, 2/11/76. p. 91. 

*» Case Officer, 7/29/75, p. 115 : Case Officer, 2/11/76, p. 76. 

^This incident is discussed in the Warren Report, pp. 308, 309; Cable from 
Mexico Station to CIA Headquarters, 11/25/63. 

seujy,, later admitted that the story about Oswald had been fabricated. (Cable 
from Mexico City to CIA Headquarters. 11/30/63.) It had also been determined 
by the FBI that Oswald probably was in New Orleans on September 17. (Cable 
from CIA Headquarters to Mexico Station, 11/28/63.) 

^ Memorandum. 11/25/63. 

^ Desk officer. 5/7/76. pp. 62, 63. 

=» Cable from Mexico Station to CIA Headquarters, 11/26/63. 


staff. In any event, these reports certainly must have fueled suspicions 
of Cuban involvement in the assassination. Based on the evidence it 
reviewed, the Warren Commission later determined that "D's" story 
was a fabrication. 

The American Ambassador in Mexico later sent a cable to the State 
Department through CIA channels. In that cable he gave his opinion 
that the Cubans were involved in the assassination, and recommended 
certain investigative steps which should be taken in Mexico.^^ 

On the same day, a cable listing DDP Helms as the releasing officer 
was dispatched to CIA stations in Europe and Canada. This cable 
stated that stations should carefully examine material obtained from 
a specified sensitive and reliable source, "because of obvious signifi- 
cance of any scrap information which bears on [the] assassination 
issue." *^ The Desk Officer in charge of the CIA investigation was 
unaware that such a message had been sent out and was at the time 
unaware of the sensitive and reliable source mentioned.*^ 

On November 27, a European Station cabled information to Head- 
quarters which had been obtained through the use of this sensitive and 
reliable source. That information indicated that AMLASH w^as in- 
discreet in his conversations.^^ This cable does not reference any Head- 
quarters' cable, as station cables often do, but, since it reports infor- 
mation obtained through the use of the sensitive and reliable source 
which had been specified in the November 26 cable which Helms re- 
leased, it appears likely that it was indeed a response to the Helms 
request. The cable from the European Station was placed in the 
AMLASH file but was not disseminated to those investigating the 

By November 27, the Mexico Station and CIA Headquarters were 
also beginning to question the accuracy of "D's" story. The cables 
between the Mexico Station and Headquarters indicate the possibility 
that the story was a fabrication. Nevertheless, on November 28, Head- 
quarters cabled a reminder to the INIexico Station to "follow all leads." 
The Station was instructed to continue investigating the possibility 
of Cuban or Soviet involvement, because Headquarters had not ex- 
cluded the possibility that other persons were involved with Oswald.^* 

Later that day itleadquarters learned that Mexican authorities 
planned to arrest Sylvia Duran again and warned the station that 
the Mexicans must take responsibility for the arrest. After learning 
that the U.S. Ambassador was continuing to press for a vigorous 
investigation into Cuban involvement. Headquarters also warned 
the Station Chief that the Ambassador was pushing the case too hard 
and his proposals could lead to a "flap" with the Cubans.^^ Finally, 
the Agency concluded that "D's" story was a fabrication and termi- 
nated its interest in him.^^ 

*' Cable from Mexico Station to CIA Headquarters, 11/26/63. 

"Cable from CIA Headquarters to various European and Canadian stations, 
11/26/63. Precise text of this cable paraphrased to protect sensitive intelligence 
sources and methods. 

" Desk Officer. 5/7/76, pp. 27-28. 

*' Cable from European station to CIA Headquarters, 11/27/63. 

*• A cable from CIA Headquarters to Mexico Station, 11/28/63. 

*« Ibid., 11/28/63. 

« Ibid. 


On November 30, Director IMcCone met with the President at 11 a.m. 
The meeting lasted for an hour and a half. McCone's memorandum 
for record states that the President "again" raised the question of 
Cuba and that McCone pointed out speeches made by President Ken- 
nedy on September 5, September 13, and November 20, 1962."^ The 
memorandum also refers to a discussion of a Cuban arms cache which 
had been discovered in Venezuela. A^Hiile there was a discussion of the 
allegations made by "D" the memorandum records no action was 
required on the "Oswald situation." •^^ 

On December 1, McCone met with the President and Bundy. Mc- 
Cone's memorandum of the meeting indicates they again discussed 
"D's" story. Later that day, Headquarters cabled the Mexico Station 
and stated that the White House had been told the story was a 

Headquarters also informed the Station that it had received infor- 
mation from a sensitive source that a Cubana airlines flight to Havana 
had been delayed in Mexico City from 6 p.m. until 11 p.m. E.S.T. on 
the day of the assassination, to await an unidentified passenger who 
arrived in a twin-engine aircraft and boarded the Cubana aircraft 
without going through customs.^" According to the CIA information, 
the unidentified passenger rode in the cockpit on the flight to Havana. 
This cable was found in the Mexico Station file, but the Agency has no 
record of any follow-up action on the report.^^ The FAA was contacted 
by the Select Committee staff in order to determine the origins of the 
twin-engine aircraft, but indicated it would have no records, such as 
flight plans, from that time period. 

On December 2, IMcCone met with the President and Bundy at 
10 a.m. Later that day, the INIexico Station reported it had reason to 
doubt its earlier conclusion that "D" was fabricating. At 3 p.m. 
that afternoon. Director McCone's calendar reveals he attended a 
meeting: on Cuba in the CIA conference room. 

On December 3, CIA Headquarters first received information from 
the Mexico Station on a Cuban — American. According to Passport 
Office records, his file there was checked on December 4 by a repre- 
sentative of the CIA. This CIA re]Dresentative testified that he could 
not recall such a check or the report.^- 

The CIA received its first report from a Cuban agent on Decem- 
ber 4. This agent reported that he believed he had met Oswald in 
Cuba, Mexico or the United States, since his face seemed familiar. 
He also reiterated his belief that the Cuban government employed 
assassins and had carried out at least one assassination in Mexico.^^ 

On December 5, the Mexico Station cabled that a source saw the 
Cuban — American board a flight from Mexico City to Havana re- 
ported that he "looked suspicious." It also reported what was then 
known about his itinerary.^^ On December 8, CIA Headquarters cabled 

^ Memorandum for the Record by Director McCone, 12/2/63. 

" IMd. 

^^ Cable from CIA Headquarters to Mexico Station. 12/1/63. 

" I etter from CIA to Senate Selert Committee. 2/4/76. 

^' CIA Liaison Officer testimony, .5/7/76, p. 9. 

^ Cable from Mexico Station to CIA Headquarter.s. 12/4/63. 

" CIA Cable from Mexico to Headquarters. 12/5/63. 


its Florida Station ordering it to halt two planned operations against 
Cuba pending a high-level policy review,^^ One of these operations 
was the delivery of rifles, telescopic sights, and explosives to 

A December 9 memorandum to Director McCone discusses U.S. 
operations against Cuba. Although the memorandum did mention a 
plot for a coup in Cuba, it does not refer to the AMLASH operation. 
It noted that : 

. . . These non-Communist anti-Castro dissident Cubans 
. . . assert that they must have solemn assurances from high 
level U.S. spokesman, especially the President, that the 
United States will exert its decisive influence during and 
immediately after the coup to prevent their pereonal liquida- 
tion and a political regression. 

2. CIA has attempted in a general and very limited man- 
ner to provide these assurances, but it remains for the Presi- 
dent and other Administration spokesman to instill a genuine 
sense of U.S. commitment to our efforts.^^ 

On December 10, Director INIcCone met with CIA staff in the 
Agency conference room at noon to discuss Cuba. On December 12 
the Mexico Station reported that the FBI was attempting to com- 
plete the Mexico aspects of the case.^' 

The desk officer in charge of the investigation recalled sometime 
in the latter part of December he completed and submitted a brief 
report on his investigation which was then taken to the President.^^ 
After he prepared the report, he was given an opportunity to review 
the FBI report on its part of the investigation. The desk officer testi- 
fied that in reviewing the Bureau's report he learned many new facts 
which he felt were significant but which had not been known to him 
during his investigation.^^ As an example, he testified that until read- 
ing the FBI report, he had not known that Oswald allegedly shot at 
General Walker in Aprill963.6o 

The desk officer recalled a meeting in late December 1963 with 
Helms, Karamessines, Angleton and others where the CIA report was 
discussed. According to the desk officer, Angleton suggested that his 
oAvn Counterintelligence Division take over the investigation and 
Helms acceded to this suggestion.^^ According to one of Angleton 's sub- 
ordinates, he did not become involved with the investigation until 
Januai-^^ 23, 1904, when the Warren Commission began requesting in- 
foiTuation from the CIA, at Avhich time Angleton designated him the 
"point of record" for all matters related to the assassination and the 
Warren Commission .^- 

^ Cable from CIA Headquarters to JMWAVE Station, 12/^/63. 
^Memorandum for the DCI, "Policy Considerations for Cuba and Latin 
America." 12/9/63. 

^ Cable from Mexico Station to CIA Headquarters, 12/12/63. 
^ Desk Officer, 5/7/76, pp. 6-9. 
^ Ibid. 

^ Desk Officer, 5/7/76, pp. 60, 61. 

Mr. Karamessines could recall no meetings on the structure of the CIA's 
investigation. (Karamessines, 4/18/76, p. 41.) 

'^ Staff summary of interview of CIA analyst, 3/15/76. 


B. The FBI Resvonse 

The FBI investigation of the assassination of President Kennedy 
was a massive effort. Literally thousands of leads were followed in the 
field by hundreds of agents, many of whom worked around the clock 
during the days immediately following the assassination. The FBI 
files produced by this investigation are in excess of five hundred and 
ninety volumes. 

Two divisions at FBI headquarters supervised the assassination 
investigation. Because the Bureau's jurisdiction Avas originally predi- 
cated upon statutes which made it a crime to assault a Federal officer, 
primary responsibility for the investigation was assumed by the Gen- 
eral Investigative Division, which regularly supennsed those kinds 
of criminal investigations. Certain responsibilities for the investiga- 
tion were assumed by the Domestic Intelligence Division which had 
conducted a security investigation of Oswald in connection with his 
trip to the Soviet Union and activities on behalf of the Fair Play for 
Cuba Committee. 

Although the Domestic Intelligence Division did participate in the 
Bureau's inquiry, the case was handled primarily as a traditional 
criminal investigation. Lee Harvey Oswald was charged with the 
murder of the President and, as the identified subject of a criminal 
case, became the focus of the Bureau's investigation. The investiga- 
tion collected evidence on Oswald's background, actiAaties, and con- 
tacts, and specific data relative to the act of the assassination itself. 
The investigation thus relied heavily upon interviews of eyewitnesses, 
analyses of physical evidence, and ballistic tests. The Committee has 
found no evidence that the Bureau ever conducted a wide-ranging 
investigation which explored larger questions, such as possible foreign 
involvement in the assassination. 

1. The Investigative Attitude of Senior FBI Oificials 
Almost immediately after the assassination. Director Hoover, the 
Justice Department and the "WHiite House "exerted pressure" on 
senior Bureau officials to complete their investigation and issue a 
factual report supporting the conclusion that Oswald Avas the lone 
assassin. Thus, it is not suprising that, from its inception, the assassi- 
nation investigation focused almost exclusively on Lee Harvey 

On November 23, 1963, J. Edgar Hoover forwarded an FBI memo- 
randum to President Johnson Avhich detailed the results of the Bu- 
reau's preliminary "inquiry into the assassination" and "background 
information relative to Lee Harvev Oswald." ^^ The memorandum 
stated that "state complaints were filed on November 22, 1963, charg- 
ing Oswald with the murder of President Kennedy" and detailed 
evidence which indicated that Oswald had indeed assassinated the 
President. Althouirh the memorandum did not inform President 
Johnson that the FBI had an o]:)en security case on Oswald at the 
time of the assassination, it did provide a limited description of 
Oswald's background, including his visit to the Soviet Union and 
activities for the Fair Plav for Cuba Committee.*^* 

^^ Letter from Hoover to President Johnson, 11/23/63, with attachment. 
^ lUd. 

In a telephone conversation with White House Aide Waher Jenkins 
immediately following Oswald's murder, Director Hoover stated : 

The thing I am most concerned about, and so is Mv. Katzen- 
bach, is having something issued so we can convince the 
public that Oswald is the real assassin.^^ 
The pressure to issue a report that Avould establish Oswald as the lone 
assassin is reflected in internal Bureau memoranda. On November 24, 
1963, Assistant FBI Director Alan Belmont informed Associate FBI 
Director Clyde Tolson that he was sending tAvo Headquartere super- 
visors to Dallas to review 

the written interview and investigative findings of our agents 
on the Oswald matter, so that we can prepare a memorandum 
to the Attorney General . . . [setting] out the evidence 
showing that Oswald is responsible for the shooting that 
killed the President.*'^ 

On November 26, 1963, J. Edgar Hoover spoke with Deputy At- 
torney General Katzenbach. According to Alan Belmont, Hoover 
relayed : 

Katzenbach's feeling that this [FBI] report should include 
everything which may raise a question in the mind of the 
public or press regarding this matter. 

In other words, this report is to settle the dust, insofar as 
Osiaald and his activities are concerned, both from the stand- 
point that he is the man who assassinated the President, and 
relative to Oswald himself and his activities and back- 
ground.®^ [Emphasis added.] 

The next day, Belmont responded. 

Eelative to the Director's question as to how long we esti- 
mate the investigation in this matter will take, we plan to 
have the report on this matter, and on the Jack Ruby matter, 
this Friday, 11/29/63. 

The investigation in both cases will, however, continue, 
because we are receiving literally hundreds of allegations 
regarding the activities of Oswald and Ruhy, and these, of 
course, are being run out as received. I think this will continue 
and in the absence of being able to prove Oswald's motive 
and complete activities, we must check out and continue to in- 
vestigate to resolve as far as possible any allegations or possi- 
bility that he was associated with others in this assassination. 
Likewise, we have to continue to prove [sic] the possibility 
that Jack Ruby was associated with someone else in connec- 
tion with his killing of Oswald.*'^ [Emphasis added.] 

^Memorandum to the Files, by Walter .Tenkins, 11/24/63. (4 p.m.). 

By November 23 the State Department had concluded there was no foreign 
conspiracy involved in the President's as.sassination. (Dean Rusk testimony, 
6/10/64, Warren Commission, Vol. V, pp. 367-368.) 

'^ Memorandum from Belmont to Tolson. 11/24/63. 

^ Memorandum from Belmont to Sullivan, 11/26/63. 

® Memorandum from Belmont to Tolson, 11/27/63. 


The following notation appears at the bottom of this memorandum 
in Director Hoover's handwriting : 

The Presidential Report on both matters should not be pre- 
pared until all allegations and angles have been completed.*'^ 

The FBI delivered these reports to the White House and the Attor- 
ney General on December 5, 1963. 

In a November 29, 1963, memorandum, Hoover recounted a tele- 
phone conversation he had that day with President Johnson : 

The President called and asked if I am familiar with the 
proposed group they are trying to get to study my report — 
two from the House, two from the Senate, two from the courts, 
and a couple of outsiders. I replied that I had not heard of 
that but had seen reports from the Senate Investigating 

The President stated he wanted to get by just with my file 
and my report. I told him I thought it would be very bad to 
have a rash of investigations. He then indicated the only way 
to stop it is to appoint a high-level committee to evaluate my 
report and tell the House and Senate not to go ahead with the 
investigation. I stated that would be a three-ring circus. 

I advised the President that we hope to have the investi- 
gation wrapped up today, but probably won't have it before 
the first of the week as an angle in Mexico is giving trouble — 
the matter of Oswald's getting $6,500 from the Cuban Em- 
bassy and coming back to this counti-y with it ; that we are not 
able to prove that fact ; that we have information he was there 
on September 18 and we are able to prove he was in New 
Orleans on that date ; that a stoiy came in changing the date 
to September 28 and he was in Mexico on the 28th.''° 

On December 3, 1963, the UPI wire carried a story reported in 
various newspapers under the following lead 

An exhaustive FBI re^wrt. now nearly ready for the White 
House will indicate that Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone 
and unaided assassin of President Kennedy, Government 
sources said today.'^^ 

Wlien he was informed of these news articles, Director Hoover wrote, 
"I thought no one knew this outside the FBI." "- According to William 
Sullivan, Hoover himself ordered the report, "leaked" to the press, in 

™ Memorandum from Hoover to Tolson. Belmont, DeLoach, Mohr, Sullivan and 
Rosen, 11/29/63. 

William C. Sullivan, former Assistant Director in charge of the Domestic Intel- 
ligence Division, stated that "on Novemher 20, 1963, the FBI had no data to sup- 
port the conclusion that there was no foreign conspiracy." (Staff interview of 
William C. Sullivan, 4/21/76.) 

"^ Washington Evening Star, 12/3/63. 

"^ Hoover handwritten note on UPI ticker of 12/3/63. 


an attempt to "blunt the drive for an independent investigation of the 
assassination." ^^ 

In a December 1963 memorandiun prepared to aid the Director in 
briefing the President, W. C. Sullivan wrote : 

No evidence has been developed which would indicate 
Oswald's assassination of the President was inspired or di- 
rected by these [pro-Castro] organizations or by any foreign 

2. Investigation by the General Investigative Division 
The evidence developed by the Committee reveals that certain senior 
FBI offiials in May 1962 learned of th& 1960-1962 CIA-underworld 
plots to assassinate Fidel Castro, and learned from an infonnant in 
July 1964 that meetings between the CIA and a Cuban official dealt 
with the assassination of Castro/^ Information concerning these plots 
was not general knowledge within the Bureau. For example, Alex 
Rosen the Assistant Director in charge of the General Investigative 
Division during the assassination investigation, testified that he had 
been unaware of CIA efforts to kill Castro and of Castro's retaliation 
threat.''^ Rosen was also unaware of any discussion of possible Cuban 
involvement in the assassination. For example, he testified : 

I don't remember the Castro name coming up. Obviously it 
did, but I do not recall it. It is not fixed in my memory at all 
as being pertinent to the investigation.^^ 

The Committee heard similar testimony from the Headquarters 
officials who were actually responsible for the Division's day-to-day 
supervision of the assassination case.'® One of these supervisors testi- 
fied that he had "no knowledge whatsoever" of any Federal investi- 
gation of possible Cuban government involvement in the assassination 
of President Kennedy.''* Another supervisor testified that he never 

'^ Staff interview of William C. Sullivan, 4/21/76. 

The Bureau, in response to a Committee request for documents in a letter 
dated 4/28/76, stated that it had no documents pertaining to any FBI release of 
the referenced preliminary report. Other persons, possibly knowledgeal)le of the 
alleged "leak," have not been questioned. 

'* Memorandum for the record from J. Edgar Hoover, 5/10/62; memorandum 
from Sullivan to Belmont, 12/4/63. 

Sullivan told the Committee .staff that "his initial view of his responsibility 
in the investigation [as head of the Intelligence Division] was to resolve ques- 
tions of international involvement in the conspiracy." (Staff interview of William 
C. Sullivan, 4/21/76.) 

"^ Memorandum from Miami Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 7/29/64. 

This Cuban official is referred to as AMLASH in this report and in the Com- 
mittee's Assas.sination Report. 

The FBI could not have characterized these meetings involving the Cuban 
official as the AMLASH operation because they did not know the Cuban had 
been code-named AMLASH by the CIA. 

■"■ Rosen, 4/30/76, pp. 14, 21. For further discussion of the retaliation threat. 

'" Ihid., p. 23. 

■'^ Testimony of Supervisor I, 4/27/76, p. 19; testimony of Supervisor II, 4/ 
27/76. p. 25 ; testimony of Supervisor III, 4/29/76, p. 9. 

™ Testimony of Supervisor I, 4/27/76, p. 13. 


attended any conference or meetin,^ where there was discussion of 
whether Castro or the Cuban crovemnient were responsible for the 
assassination,^" According to one of these supervisors, the General In- 
vestigative Division's responsibility was "primarily dealing with the 
physical aspects of the case, the weaf>ons, the bullets, the scientific ap- 
proach to it, circumstances of [Oswald's] apprehension and subse- 
quent killing, and that uiould he about it^ ^^ [Emphasis added] 

3. The Domestic Intelligence Division 

In November 1963, William Sullivan was the head of the Domestic 
Intelligence Division, which was responsible for the "subversive 
aspects of the assassination case." Sullivan told the Committee staff 
that he had never been informed of any assassination plots after 1962, 
including the AINILASH operation.®^ Although he had been apprised 
of earlier Agency efforts to use underworld figures to assassinate 
Castro, by a memorandum detailing Director Hoover's ]\Iay 10, 1962 
conversation with Attorney General Kennedy, Sullivan's impression 
was that these plans had only been in the "discussion stage." ^^ Ac- 
cording to Sullivan, the Bureau made an "all-out effort" to investi- 
gate "i)OSsible foreign conspiracy" in the President's assassination. 
Sullivan could not recall specific measures the Bureau had taken and 
stated that he believed there were certain "gaps" in the FBI 

Within the Domestic Intelligence Division, the assassination in- 
vestigation was supervised by a squad of several Headquarters agents 
in the Soviet Section.^^ One of the Soviet Section supervisors who con- 
ducted the investigation described it as follows : 

. . . our investigation was primarily concentrated on Lee 
Harvey Oswald, was he the assassin and to get the complete 
background investigation of him ... it was an investigation 
of Lee Harvey Oswald, the man. 

Question : But it didn't include Cuba? 

Supervisor: Well, it included Oswald's contacts within the 
Cuban area.^® 

This Soviet Section supervisor could not i-ecall whether he had known 
of the CIA plots against Castro or Castro's warning of September 7, 
1963.^^ Although in late 1963 he had been assigned the "responsibility 
of going through every file in the FBI to see whether any lead had 

* Supervisor testimony, 3/31/76, p. 24. The third case supervisor within 
the General Investigative Division is deceased. 
^ Supervisor testimony, 4/27/76, p. 12. 
'' Staff interview of William C. Sullivan, 4/21/76. 

® lua. 
« lua. 

^ The Domestic Intelligence Division had supervised the FBI security case on 
Lee Harvey Oswald before the assassination. Within that Division, the Espio- 
nage Section (which handled Soviet matters) and the Nationalities Intelli- 
gence Section (which handled Cuban matters), had specific responsibilities in 
this case. 

^ Soviet Section Supervisor testimony, 4/23/76, pp. 5, 22. 

^ Ibid, p. 25. 


been overlooked in the case," to his knowledge, the Bureau never 
conducted an investigation to determine whether the Cuban govern- 
ment was responsible for the assassination of President Kennedy. The 
Supervisor noted that if such an investigation had been conducted, 
it would have been the responsibility of the Nationalities Intelli- 
gence Section of the Domestic Intelligence Division.^^ 

The Select Committee also examined former FBI officials who had 
been in the Nationalities Intelligence Section in the early 1960s. These 
officials were the Bureau personnel most familiar with Cuban mat- 
ters and the activities of anti-Castix) groups at the time of the assas- 
sination. The Chief of the Nationalities Intelligence Section testified 

the investigation of the assassination was not in the division 
and I wasn't privy to any of the discussions, . . . even the 
phases that spilled over to the division were handled in the 
[Soviet] Section.«» 

Another official in the Nationalities Intelligence Section, reputed 
to be the leading Cuba expert within the Bureau, testified that he was 
never informed of any CIA assassination attempts against Fidel 
Castro.*"^ This supenasor had no rex^ollection of any Bureau investiga- 
tion of Cuban involvement in the assassination. 

Q. Were there ever any meetings that you recall where 
there were discussions as to whether or not the Cubans were 
involved in the assassination of President Kennedy ? 
A. No. I don't recall. I would say no. 
Q. Do you know if that possibility was investigated ? 
A. Weil, I can't even say that for sure, no, I can't. 
Q. Do you recall at any time ever seeing any memoranda 
or instructions that Cuban sources be contacted to see if there 
was any Cuban involvement in the assassination of President 
Kennedy ? 

A. There were no such communications, to my knowledge, 
ever sent out from Headquarters. 

Q. If they were sent out, in all likelihood you would have 
known about it ? 

A. Yes, I think I would have. It's — ^that would have been a 
normal way of handling this kind of thing.^^ 
This supervisor does not recall ever being informed of Castro's warn- 
ing of retaliation. He did testify that had he been informed, he would 
have conducted the investigation differently. 

Q. We have here a copy of an article from the New Orleans 
Times-Picayune on Septeml^er 9, 1963, which I think has re- 
cently been in the press again. I will read a portion of it to you. 
It says "Prime Minister Fidel Castro turned up today at a 
reception at the Brazilian Embassy in Havana and submitted 
to an impromptu interview by Associated Press Correspond- 
ent Daniel Harker." 

Ibid, p. 19. 

' Former Section Chief, te.stimony, 5/11/76, p. 36. 
' Supervisor testimony, 5/5/76, p. 33. 

Ibid., p. 34. 


Now, we have been told by CIA experts that Castro giving 
an interview at that time was somewhat imiisual. 

Would yon agree with that ? 

A. Yes! 

Q. And it was also unusual that he would go to a reception 
at the Brazilian Embassy ? 

A. Uh huh. 

Q. And the first paragraph of the article says, "Prime 
Minister Castro said Saturday night U.S. leaders would be 
in danger if they lielped in any attempt to do aAvay with lead- 
ers of Cuba." Then it goes on from there. 

Do you recall ever seeing that article or hearing that state- 
ment from Castro? 

A. No, I don't. In retrospect that certainly looks like a 
pointed signal, ... If it had come to our attention — you 
know, if this article had been routed to us, it would have been 
a typical reaction by headquarters, to instract the key field 
offices handling Cuban matters to alert their sources and be 
aware, you know, be particularly aware of anything that 
might indicate an assassination attempt but there was no such 
communication, to my knowledge, ever sent out from head- 

The Committee also took testimony from the Nationalities Intelli- 
gence Section expert, on anti-Castro exiles in the United States. This 
supennsor testified that he was never asked to conduct an iuA'estigation 
of whether anv Cuban exile group was involved in the assassination,^^ 
and stressed that he was "not part of the assassination team." He 

If there would be anything of interest to me, they may have 
given it to me. I don't recall any specific incident about that, 
but they were handling the assassination ; T was handling the 
exiles. We were pretty much apart. I had little contact Avith 
them on the assassination, fer se.'^^ 

The Documentary Record. — ^The Committee's review of FBI in- 
stnictions to its field offices in the United States, and to legal attache 
offices around the world, confirms that FBI Headquarters did not 
inform field agents involved in the investigation of the CIA plots 
or Castro's warning.^^ Additionally, no instinictions were ever issued 
by FBI Headquartei*s autthorizing an intelligence investigation to 
determine whether there had been foreign involvement in the assas- 

For examole, the FBI had sources in the field who might have been 
able to provide relevant information on possible Cuban involvement in 

•"/fiW., pp. 32-34. 

^ Supervisor I. 4/27/76, p. 16. 

"76trf.,p. 6. 

This supervisor also testified that he could not recall any occasion where the 
issue of possible foreign involvement in the assassination was raised. {Ihid, p. 

^ Each of the field agents involved in the assas.sination investigation who tes- 
tified before the Committee confirmed this fact. 


the assassination, l:)ut those sources were never utilized.^^ The instruc- 
tions from FBI Ileadcjuarters were very general in nature and did not 
focus on such a possibility. The only Bureau communication which 
could have been construed as an instruction to interview security in- 
formants was rescinded by an instniction issued on the following- day. 
Those security informants would have included individuals familiar 
witli Cuba and Cuban exile matters. 

At 9 :40 p.m. on November 22, 1963, the Bureau dispatched a tele- 
type to all of its field offices which read : 

All offices immediately contact all informants, security, racial 
and criminal, as well as other sources, for information bear- 
ing on assassination of President Kennedy. All offices im- 
mediately establish whereabouts of bombing suspects, all 
known Klan and hate group members, known racial ex- 
tremists, and any otlier individuals who on the basis of infor- 
mation available in your files may possibly have been 

At about 11 p.m. on November 22, 1963, the Bureau sent another 
telet3'pe to its field offices : 

The Bureau is conducting an investigation to determine who 
is responsible for the assassination. Yoii are tlierefore in- 
structed to foll-ow and resolve all allegations pertaining to the 
a^ssassination. This matter is of utmost urgency and should be 
handled accordingly keeping the Bureau and Dallas, the office 
of origin, apprised fully of all developments.'*'' [Emphasis 

However, at 11 : 20 a.m. on November 23, 1963, the Bureau dis- 
patched the following teletype to all of its field offices : 

Lee Harvey Oswald has lieen developed as the principal sus- 
pect in the assassination of President Kennedy. He has been 
formally charged with the President's murder along with the 
murder of Dallas Texas patrolman J. D. Tippett by Texas 
state authorities. In view of developments all offices should 
resume normal contacts with informants and other sources 
with respect to bombing suspects, liate group members and 
know^n racial extremists. Daily teletype summaries may be 
discontinued. All investigation bearing directly on the Presi- 
dent's assassination should be afforded most expeditious han- 
dling and Bureau and Dallas advised.^^ [Emphasis added.] 

^ It is also instructive to note that CIA Director John McCone telephoned FBI 
Director Hoover on the morning of November 26, 1963, and after noting that the 
President wanted to make sure the CIA was giving the FBI full support, specif- 
ically offered to make "CIA's operational resources in Mexico" available to the 

The Committee has seen no evidence that the FBI asked the CIA to conduct an 
investigation or gather information on the assassination case, but middle-level 
CIA personnel did routinely provide the Bureau with information that came to 
tlieir attention in tlie assassination case. 

^' Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to all Field Offices, 11/22/63. 

•« Ihid. 

"^ Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to all Field Offices. 11/23/63. 


Thus, the Committee found that FBI Headquarters neA^er in- 
structed field agents to contact informants or sources familiar with 
Cuban matters to determine whether they had any infonuation con- 
cerning Cuban involvement in the assassination. Those Cuban issues 
which were explored related solely to Osumld and OsirahPs contacts, 
rather than the larger issue of determining whether subversive activi- 
ties of the Cuban government or Cuban exile community were relevant 
to the avSsassination. No counterintelligence program, operation, or 
investigation, was ever initiated or discussed, to pursue this question. 

The FBI rnvestigation in Mexico City. — The FBI Legal Attache 
(Legat) in INfexico is the highest ranking Bureau official in that coun- 
tiT, thus, the Bureau's assassination investigation there was under his 
direction. The Legat stated that while conducting the investigation, 
he proceeded imder the "impression" conveyed to him bv Bureau Head- 
quarters, that Oswald was the lone assassin."" He further stated : 

Our investigation was dedicated or directed toward estab- 
lishing OsyK/Jd's activities in INIexico and looking toward try- 
ing to establish whether he had been accompanied by anyone 
while he was in Mexico. 

We were able to get him, in, get him out, where h'e stayed. I 
don't recall that we were able to establish where hf was every 
day in Mexico."^ [Emphasis added.] 

Bureau documents and testimony of knowledgeable officials revealed 

that the investigation was as circumscribed as the Legat testified.^"^ 

On November 23, 1963, the INIexico Legat informed Headquarters : 

[The] Ambassador ... is greatly concerned that Cubans 
behind subject's assassination of President. He feels that 
both we and CIA doing everything possible there to estab- 
lish or refute Cuban connection."^ 

On November 24, 1963, the I^gat cabled FBI Headquarters: 

Ambassador here feels Soviets much too sophisticated to par- 
ticipate in direction of assassination of President by subject, 
but thinks Cubans stupid enough to have participated in such 
direction even to extent of hiring subject. If this should be 
case, it would appear likely that the contract would have been 
made with subject in U.S. and purpose of his trip to INIexico 
was to set up get away route. Bureau may desire to give 
consideration to polling all Cuban sources in U.S. in eifort 
to confirm or refute this theory.^"^ 

^•^ Legat testimony, 2/4/76, p. 23. 

^•^ Ibid, pp. 22, 24. 

^"^The evidence also establishes that there was confusion as to which U.S. 
agency was conducting the investigation in Mexico. Although the Ambassador 
and high-level government officials in Washington believed that the FBI was 
conducting the investigation in Mexico, the FBI's position was that, although the 
FBI would cooperate, only the "State Department and CIA have jurisdiction in 
getting investigative results abroad." (Memorandum to A. Belmont, 11/27/63.) 

Ironically, neither the Legat nor the Bureau supervisor sent down to "direct 
and coordinate the investigation" knew whether the State Department or the 
CIA was in fact investigating in Mexico. 

^^ FBI cable, Mexico Legat to Headquarters, 11/23/63. 

i« FBI cable, Mexico Legat to Headquarters, 11/24/63. 


The Committee found no indication that the Bureau ever attempted 
to confirm or refute this theory. Indeed, a FBI Headquarters super- 
visor's handwritten notation on the cablegram states : "Not desirable. 
Would serve to promote rumors." 

Richard Helms' sentiments coincided with this Bureau supervisor's. 
In his November 28, 1963, cable to the CIA's Mexico Station chief, 
Helms stated : 

For your private information, there distinct feeling here in 
all three agencies [CIA, FBI, State] that Ambassador is 
pushing this case too hard . . . and that we could well create 
flap with Cubans which could have serious repercussions.^"^ 

On November 27, 1963, the Legat sent an urgent cablegram inform- 
ing Bureau Headquarters that a press release had been made by a 
foi-mer Cuban diplomat and noting : 

At one point in the lengthy release he was quoted as saying 
that they do not have the slightest doubt that assassination of 
President Kennedy and subsequent elimination of his assassin 
is work of Communist direction. To back up this statement he 
alleged that Fidel Castro in his speech made at the Brazilian 
Embassy in Havana on September 7, 1963, accused CIA and 
President Kennedy of planning attempt against Castro and 
that Castro stated "Let Kennedy and his brother Robert take 
care of themselves since they too can be the victims of an at- 
tempt which will cause their death." ^°® 
One of the major areas of investigation soon after Kennedy's 
assassination involved an allegation made by a Latin American, "D".^°^ 
"D" walked into the American Embassy in Mexico City on November 
25, 1963, and alleged that on September 18, 1963, he had observed 
Oswald receive $6,500 from a Cuban consulate employee. "D" eventu- 
ally admitted that he fabricated the allegation.' °« The Warren Com- 
mission reviewed "D's" original claim and concluded it was false, since 
overwhelming evidence indicated Oswald was in New Orleans on Sep- 
tember 18, 1963.'°^ 

Cable traffic discussing investigative responses to "D's" allegation 
indicates problems of coordination, especially in the area of possible 
Cuban involvement. When the American Embassy learned of "D's" 
allegation, the Ambassador requested that a Bureau representative 
"come down from Washington to Mexico City." "° CIA cables reflect 
the Ambassador's belief that he was not being fully infonned on all 

'<^ CIA cable, Headquarters to Mexico Station, 11/28/63. 

109 FBI cable, Mexico Legat to Headquarters, 11/27/63. 

The Committee has seen no indication that any action was taken upon receipt of 
tliis cable. 

'<" Memorandum from Hoover to Messrs. Tolson, DeLoach, Sullivan, Belmont, 
Mohr and Rosen, ll/21>/63. According to this memorandum, the Director advised 
the president that the FBI lioped "to have the investigation wrapped up today 
but probablv won't have it before the first of tlie week as an angle in Mexico is 
giving trouble— the matter of OswaUrs getting .$6,500 from the Cuban Embassy." 

^"^ Cable from Legat. Mexico City, to FBI Headquarters, 11/30/63. 

^** Warren Commission Report, pp. 307-309. 

"" CIA cable from Mexico Station to Headquarters, 11/26/63. 


developments in the FBI investig:ation in the United States. The 
Ambassador was also concerned about the gravity of "D's" allegation 
and requested that the investigation of "D's" claim be given the high- 
est prioi-ity.^^^ J. Edgar Hoover shared the Ambassador's concern over 
the allegation, noting : 

Ambassador . . . may be one of the psuedo-investigators, a 
Sherlock Holmes, but he has made a lot of statements which, 
if true, throw an entirely different light on the whole 

The supervisor's presence in Mexico City w^as short-lived. He ar- 
rived on November 27, and returned to FBI Headquarters on Decem- 
ber 1, 1963. The supei-visor testified that on the morning after his 
arrival in Mexico City that he, the Legat and the CIA Station Chief 
met with the Auibassador. At this meeting, the Ambassador 

expressed his opinion that he felt that this was definitely a 
conspiracy and that we must turn over the last stone to find 
out if there is any overt conspiracy on the part of the Cubans. 

He also made reference, I believe, to previous boasts by 
Castro that he would endeavor to get back at attempts by 
American forces to assassinate him. 

At that time we tried to stress to Ambassador that every bit 
of information that we had developed in Washington, at 
Dallas, and elsewhere, indicated that this was a lone job.^^' 

The supervisor also testified that he "knows of no investigation in 
Mexico to determine if there was Cuban involvement in the assassina- 
tion of Presideiit Kennedv," other than disproving the "D" allega- 
tion."* Once "D" admitted he had fabricated his story, the Ambassa- 
dor "advised that it was no longer necessary for [the supervisor] 
to stay." ^^^ Sullivan's previous statement that the supervisor was 
"selected to go to Mexico to direct and coordinate the entire investiga- 
tion there and pursue it vigorously until the desired results are ob- 
tained^'''' "^ cannot Ix^ reconciled unless the thorough investigation and 
desired results were to discredit "D's" allegations.^^^ 

Q. "WHiat I am trying to understand is what was 
done other than what ended up being the disproving of the 
"D" allegation. It looks like a negative investigation . . . 
well, let's get down there and wash it out and get this am- 
bassador off our backs and we will all be happy and gay. 

^ Memorandum from Sullivan to Belmont. 11/27/63. 

One former FBI official told the Committee that Hoover's labeling the Ambas- 
sador a "Sherlock Holmes" had the effect within the Bureau, of causing FBI 
personnel "to disregard what the Ambassador was saying." 

^ FBI supervisor testimony, 4/8/76, p. 10. 

The supervisor subsequently testified that he had no knowledge of American 
attempts to assassinate Fidel Castro. 

^* IWd, p. 38. 

^ Memorandum from Belmont to Sullivan, 12/3/63. 

^' William C. Sullivan, while admitting that this was a "poor choice of words," 
denied that he sent the supervisor to Mexico specifically to placate the Ambas- 
sador and "disprove "D." 

"■^ Select Committee staff interview of W. C. Sullivan, 4/21/76. 


Supervisor : Well, possibly on one hand you could say yes, 
we wanted definitively to protect the Bureau from any future 
allegations that the investigation was shoddy. 

I believe there was a feeling that wc had an outsider here, 
possibly a Sherlock Holms, who wanted to insert himself 
on this ... so we went down there cei'tainly to cover our- 
selves, to pacify the Ambassador, but in no way were we 
going to try to water it down.^^*' 

The supervisor also testified that he never had the opportunity to 
question "D." On the morning he arrived in Mexico City, the CIA 
turned "D" over to the Mexican police and denied the supervisor's 
repeated requests to interrogate "D".ii9 He learned that the ISIexican 
police had exhaustively interrogated "D" and that he had recanted 
his allegations. The supervisor testified : 

Q. There could have been a feeling of gratitude to the 
Mexican police's interrogation that resulted in this giiy's 
recanting his story, that you wouldn't have the change to get 
it out of him. 

A. That could be very definitely, I know the pressure was 
off when the Mexican police came and told us this was a 
complete fabrication.^^" 

"* Supervisor, 4/8/76, p. 43. 
^^/Md., p. 57. 
^ Ibid., p. 58. 

However, the FBI Mexico City Legat later had access to "D" and interrogated 

72-059 O - 76 - 4 


Legally, the assassination of President Kennedy and the subsequent 
murder of Lee Harvey Oswald were within the jurisdiction of Texas 
state authorities. However, in the days immediately following the 
assassination, many Americans questioned how a President could be 
assassinated despite the vast U.S. intelligence apparatus. Many were 
also openly skeptical of the FBI findings that Oswald was the lone 

Congress and the President felt that public concern could only be 
assuaged by a thorough and independent investigation of the assas- 
sination. Two resolutions were submitted in Congress calling for 
congressional investigations into the circumstances surrounding the 
assassination. The State of Texas established a Commission for the 
same purpose. The Warren Commission, established by President 
Johnson's Executive Order on November 29, 1963, preempted the field. 

The President stated that he established the Commission to ensure 
a thorough and independent investigation of the circumstances sur- 
rounding the assassination.^ Because the only previous investigations 
of the assassination were those conducted by the Dallas Police Depart- 
ment and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and recognizing i:)ublic 
criticism and skepticism directed toward these agencies, it would ap- 
pear that the Commission's investigation was to be independent from 
the Bureau's. As the Warren Commission's report noted : "Because of 
the numerous rumors and theories, the Commission concluded that the 
public interest in insuring that the tnith was ascertained could not be 
met by merely by accepting the reports or the analyses of Federal or 
State agencies.^ 

When it began its substantive work in mid-December, the Commis- 
sion received a tremendous number of reports from various Federal 
and State agencies. By far the largest number of reports were supplied 
the Commission by the FBI. The FBI forwarded a five-volume Decem- 
ber 9, 1963 report summarizing the Bureau's investigation immediately 
after the assassination. Subsequently, the Commission requested and 
received the report of the field investigation from which the Decem- 
ber 9, 1963, report had been derived. The Warren Commission noted 
in its report : 

As these investigative reports were received, the staff began 
analyzing and summarizing them. The members of the legal 
staff, divided into teams, proceeded to organize the facts 
revealed by these investigations, determine the issues, sort out 
the unresolved problems, and recommend additional investi- 
gation by the Commission. . . . 

' Warren Commission Report, p. ix. 
- Warren Commission Report, p. x. 



After reviewing the accumulating materials, the Commis- 
sion directed numerous additional requests to Federal and 
State agencies. 

Because of the diligence, cooperation, and facilities of Fed- 
eral investigative agencies, it was unnecessary for the Com- 
mission to employ investigators, other than the members of 
the Commission's legal staff .^ 

With only minor isolated exceptions, the entire body of factual 
material from which the Commission derived its findings was supplied 
by the intelligence community, primarily, the FBI. Even when mate- 
rial was provided by an agency other than the FBI, that agency 
usually checked with the Bureau before supplying information to the 
Commission. INIoreover, CIA and Secret Service personnel reviewed 
Director Hoover's testimony before the Commission prior to the ap- 
pearance of CIA Director McCone and DDP Helms and Secret Serv- 
ice Director Rowley to ensure that there were no conflicts in testimony. 

Thus, the Commission was dependent upon the intelligence agencies 
for the facts and preliminary analysis. The Commission and its staff 
did analyze the material and frequently requested follow-up agency 
investigations; but if evidence on a particular point was not supplied 
to the Commission, this second step would obviously not be reached, 
and the Commission's findings would be formulated without the benefit 
of any information on the omitted point. 

On the crucial question of whether Oswald was involved in a con- 
spiracy to assassinate the President, the Warren Commission noted 
that tiie Secret Service, CIA and FBI and Treasury, Justice, State 
and Defense Departments independently arrived at the same conclu- 
sion, that there was no evidence of a conspiracy."^ 

It must be remembered that the purpose of the Committee's in- 
quiry was to allow for an evaluation of the intelligence agencies (both 
prior and subsequent to the assassination) arul the process by which 
information was provided to the Warren Commission. The following 
section discusses the FBI's and the CIA's relationship to the Warren 
A. The Relationship Between the FBI and the Warren Comrnission 

Director Hoover initially opposed President Johnson's decision to 
create the Warren Commission ; ® but once the Commission was estab- 
lished by Executive Order, he had to accept that decision and re- 
spond to the Connnission's requests." Nevertheless, he repeatedly told 
others in the Bureau that the Warren Commission was "looking for 
gaps in the FBI's investigation" and was "seeking to criticize the 
FBI." * The memoranda of other senior Bureau officials also reveal a 

' Warren Commission Report, pp. xii, xiii. 

^ Warren Commission Report, p. 374. 

'Memorandum from Hoover to Messrs. Tolson. Belmont, Mohr, DeLoach, 
Rosen and Sullivan, 11/29/63. 

^ Cover Sheet. 11/29/63. with attached memorandum from Hoover to Messrs. 
Tolson. Belmont, Mohr. DeLoach. Rosen and Sullivan. 11/29/63. 

' Memorandum from Hoover to Tolson, Belmont. Mohr. Sullivan. Rosen, FBI 
Inspector and DeLoach. 1/31/64 ; Hoover handwritten note on memorandum from 
Rosen to Belmont, 4/4/64. 


deep concern that tlie FBI might be charp:ed with some dereliction in 
connection witli the President's death.'' Thus, although the Commis- 
sion had to rely on the FBI to conduct the primary investigation of 
the President's death, their relationship was at times almost adver- 
sarial.^" Such a relationship was not conducive to the cooperation 
necessary for a thorough and exhaustive investigation. 

1. The FBPs Perception of the Warren Convmission as cm 

In the days immediately following the assassination of President 
Kennedy, the Bureau was subjected to its first major public criticism 
in years for its handling of the Lee Harvey Oswald security case be- 
fore the assassination. Many Americans were skeptical of the Bureau's 
investigative findings that Oswald w^as the assassin and that he acted 
alone. If the Warren Commission reported that the Bureau's han- 
dling of the assassination investigation or the Oswald security case 
was deficient in some manner, the FBI would have been open to em- 
barrassment and criticism. Given this possibility, and FBI Director 
Hoover's known hostility to criticism or embarrassment of the Bureau, 
it is not at all surprising that from its inception, the Commission was 
perceived as an adversary by both Hoover and senior FBI officials. 

After the Warren Commission had been established, each time 
Hoover received word that a particular person was being considered 
for the Commission staif, he asked "what the Bureau had" on the 
individual. Although derogatory information pertaining to both 
Commission members and staff was brought to ISfr. Hoover's attention, 
the Bureau has informed the Committee staff that there is no docu- 
mentary evidence Avhich indicates that such information Avas dis- 
seminated while the Warren Commission was in session.^^ 

On December 10, 1963, Hoover informed Assistant Director Alan 
Belmont that he would be "personally responsible for reviewing every 
piece of paper that went to the Warren Commission." Hoover also 
designated the FBI Headquarters inspector who had previously been 
assigned to supervise the Dallas field investigation as the Bureau 
liaison with the Warren Commission. In a memorandum recounting 
the December 10th meeting, where this inspector was briefed on his 
new assignment, the Director wrote : 

I told [the inspector] that I wanted him to establish the 
closest and most amiable w^orking relationship with Mr. Ran- 

' Memorandiim from Section Chief to Sullivan, 2/18/64 ; memorandum from 
Section Chief to Sullivan, 4/3/64. 

^ Memorandum from Hoover to Tolson, Belmont. Mohr, DeLoach, Ro.sen, FBI 
Inspector and Sullivan, 1/31/64, p. 4 ; Hoover handwritten note on memorandum 
from Rosen to Belmont, 4/4/64. 

"The Committee and the Bureau defined their terms, such that "dissemina- 
tion" includes informing the person himself of the derogatory information. Addi- 
tionally, in order to ensure the protection of individual privacy, the Committee 
did not request access to any derogatory information. 


kin. I told him that I had personally known Mr. Eankin quite 
well since he had served as Solicitor General under Attorneys 
General Brownell and Rogers. 

I also alerted [the inspector] that there were indications 
that the Chief Justice, who headed the Presidential Commis- 
sion, was endeavoring to find fault with the FBI and certain 
information had be«n leaked by the Chief Justice to [a news- 
paperman] which was critical of the FBI's functioning in 
Dallas prior to the assassination. 

I told [the inspector] and Mr. Belmont that the Chief Jus- 
tice had now demanded all of the so-called "raw" reports 
upon which the FBI report of the assassination was predi- 
cated, and in doing so that Chief Justice had characterized 
the FBI report as being in "skeleton form." I stated the Chief 
Justice had further added in his statement to the press : "In 
order to evaluate it we have to see the materials on which the 
report was prepared." 

I stated that this statement by the Chief Justice I felt was 
entirely unwarranted and could certainly have been phrased 
better so as not to leave the impression, at least by innuendo, 
that the FBI had not done a thorough job." 

On January 28, 1964, Lee Rankin met with Hoover at the Commis- 
sion's direction to discuss the allegation that Oswald was an FBI in- 
formant. According to a Hoover memorandum of January 31, 1964 : 

Rankin stated that the Commission was concerned as to 
how this matter could be resolved, and it was for this reason 
that they asked him to see me. He stated that the Commis- 
sion did not de-sire to initiate an investigation on the out- 
side ... as it might appear the Commission was investigat- 
ing the FBI. 

I told INIr. Rankin that Lee Harvey Oswald was never at 
any time a confidential informant, undercover agent, or even 
a source of infonnation for the FBI, and I would like to see 
that clearly stated on the record of the Commission and I 
would be willing to so state under oath. 

I commented to him that I had not appreciated what I in- 
terpreted as carping criticism by the Chief Justice when he 
referred to the Bureau's report originally furnished to the 
Commission as being a "skeleton report." " 

Throughout the Warren Commission's existence, Alan Belmont 
kept Hoover informed daily on : 

1. the internal Commission meetings and decisions ; 

2. the areas in which the Commission was requesting in- 
formation, or further FBI investigation; and 

" Memorandum from Hoover to Tolson. 12/26/63. 

^* Memorandum from Hoover to Messrs. Tolson. Belmont, Mohr. Sullivan. 
Rosen, FBI Inspector and DeLoach, 1/31/64. 


3. the materials which the Bureau intended to provide to 
the Commission.^^ 

On various occasions, Hoover learned that the Commission membere 
or staff had stated that they were impressed with the testimony of 
Bureau personnel and the investigation conducted for the Bureau.^^ 
His handwritten notation on an April 4, 1964, memorandum succinctly 
states his usual response to such complimentary remarks : 

I place no credence in any complimentary remarks made by 
Warren nor the Commission. They were looking for FBI 
"gaps'' and having found none yet they try to get sympathy.^'' 

In an April 3, 1964 memorandum to William Sullivan, a Bureau 
Supervisor wrote : 

While complimenting the Bureau for its cooperation, the 
President's Commission, by letter dated 3/26/64, forwarded 
what purports to be 30 questions (by actual count there are 
52 as some of the enumerated questions have more than one 
part) to which they request a reasoned response in reason- 
able detail and mth such substantiating materials as seem 

The questions are those of a cross-examining attorney and 
it is evident that this is a cross-examination of the FBI or a 
part of it in the case of the assassination of President 

Mr. Hoover noted on the memorandum, "Their so-called compli- 
ments of the Bureau's work are empty and have no sincerity." ^^ 
Similarly, when he was informed that the Commission intended to 
send two of its staff members to INIexico City, the Director "expressed 
concern as to how lawyers on the Commission could spot gaps in our 
investigation." ^^ 

*^ For example, memorandum from C. D. DeLoach to J. Mohr, 12/12/63 ; memo- 
randum from A. Rosen to A. Belmont, 4/4/64. 

FBI documents also reveal that .James Angleton of the CIA passed informa- 
tion he received about the Warren Commission investigation to the FBI. On 
May 13, 1964, he contacted William Sullivan, stating "that it would be well for 
both McCone and Hoover to be aware that the Commission might ask the same 
questions, wondering whether they would get different replies from the heads of 
the two agencies." Angleton then informed Sullivan as to the questions he believed 
McCone would be asked, and the "replies that will be given," two of which 
series are set forth below : 

( 1 ) Q : Was Oswald ever an agent of the CIA ? 
A: No. 

(2) Q : Does the CIA have any evidence showing that a conspiracy ex- 

isted to assassinate President Kennedy? 
A: No. 

(Memorandum. W. C. Sullivan to A. H. Belmont, 5/13/64.) 

" Memorandum from A. Rosen to A. Belmont, 4/4/64. 

" Hoover's handwritten note on memorandum from Rosen to Belmont, 4/4/64. 

^ Memorandum from Section Chief to Sullivan, 4/3/64. 

" Hoover's handwritten note on memorandum from Section Chief to Sullivan, 

'<• Memorandum from Section Chief to Sullivan, 2/18/64. 


2. TJi-e FBPs Handlmg of the Osivald Security Case 
Immediately after the assassination, J. Ed^ar Hoover ordered a 
complete analysis of "any investigative deficiencies in the Oswald 
case." ^^ On December 10, 1963, Assistant Director J. H. Gale of the 
Inspection Division reported that there were a number of investigative 
and reporting delinquencies in the handling of the Oswald security 
case. Gale wrote : 

Oswald should have been on the Security Index ; his wife 
should have been interviewed l>efore the assassination, and 
investigation intensified — not held in abeyance — after Os- 
wald contacted Soviet Embassy in Mexico.^^ 

In the paragraph immediately preceding Gale's recommendations for 
disciplinaiy actions, he observes : 

Concerning the administrative action recommended herein- 
after, there is the possibility that the Presidential Commission 
investigating instant matter will subpoena the investigating 
Agents. If this occurs, the possibility then exists that the 
Agents may be questioned concerning whether administrative 
action had been taken against them. However, it is felt these 
possibilities are sufficiently remote that the recommended 
action should go forward at this time. It appears unlikely at 
this time that the Commission's subpoenas would go down to 
the Agent level.^^ 
Director Hoover responded, "In any event such gross incompetency 
cannot be overlooked nor administrative action postponed." ^* 

Assistant Director Cartha DeLoach responded to Gale's report as 
follows : 

I recommended that the suggested disciplinaiy action be held 
in abeyance until the findings of the Presidential Commission 
have been made public. This action is recommended inasmuch 
as any "leak" to the general public, or particularly to the 
commimications media, concerning the FBI taking discipli- 
nary action against its personnel with respect to captioned 
matter would be assumed as a direct admission that we are 
responsible for negligence which might have resulted in the 
assassination of the President. At the present time there are 
so many wild rumors, gossip, and speculation that even the 
slightest hint to outsiders concerning disciplinaiy action of 
this nature would result in considerable adverse reaction 
against the FBI. I do not believe that any of our personnel 
will be subpoenaed. Chief Justice Warren has indicated he 
plans to issue no subpoenas. There is, however, the possibil- 
ity that the public will learn of disciplinary action being 

^ The Bureau's handling of the pre-assassination Oswald case is discussed in 
Appendix A. 

^ Memorandum from Gale to Tolson. 12/10/63. 

=» IMd. 

^ Hoover's handwritten note on memorandum from Gale to Tolson. 12/10/63. 


taken against our personnel and, therefore, start a bad, un- 
justifiable reaction.^^ 

Director Hoover, however, responded to DeLoach's recommenda- 
tion, "I do not concur." ^^ 

On December 10, 1963, 17 Bureau employees (five field investigative 
agents, one field supervisor, three special agents in charge, four head- 
quarters supervisors, two headquai*ters section chiefs, one inspector, 
and one assistant director) were censured or j)]aced on probation for 
"shortcomings in connection with the investigation of Oswald prior 
to the assassination." -^ Although the transfers of some of these agents 
were discussed at that time, certain transfers were held in abeyance 
until the issuance of the Warren Commission's report on September 24, 

One of the specific shortcomings identified by Assistant Director 
Gale was the failure to include Oswald's name on the Security Index.^^ 
Indeed, of the seventeen agents, supervisors, and senior officials who 
were disciplined, not a single one believed that Oswald met the criteria 
for the Security Index. In this regard, Assistant to the Director Alan 
Belmont noted in an addendum to Mr. Gale's December 10, 1963 
memorandum : 

It is significant to note that all of the supervisors and officials 
who came into contact with this case at the seat of govern- 
ment, as well as agents in the field, are unanimous in the 
opinion that Oswald did not meet the criteria for the Secu- 
rity Index. If this is so, it would appear that the criteria are 
not sufficiently specific to include a case such as Oswald's 
and, rather than take the position that all of these employees 
were mistaken in their judgment, the criteria should be 
changed. This has now been recommended by Assistant 
Director Gale.^° 

Mr. Hoover made the following handwritten notations next to Mr. 
Belmont's addendum : "They were worse than mistaken. Certainly no 
one in full possession of all his faculties can claim Oswald didn't 
fall within this criteria." ^^ 

On September 24, 1964, the same day the Warren Commission's 
report was officially released. Assistant Director William C. Sullivan 
wrote : 

In answer to the question as to why Lee Harvey Oswald was 
not on the Security Index, based on the facts concerning 

* Memorandum from Gale to Tolson, 12/10/63. 

"^ Hoover's handwritten note on memorandum from Gale to Tolson, 12/10/63. 

" Memorandum from Gale to Tolson, 12/10/63. 

^ Memorandum from Gale to Tolson, 9/30/64. 

^ Memorandum from Gale to Tolson, 12/10/63. 

See Book II, "Intelligence Activities and the Rights of Americans," pp. 91-93 
for a discussion of the Security Index. It is important to note, however, that 
under the procedures then in effect, the inclusion of Oswald on Security Index 
would not have resulted in the dissemination of Oswald's name to the Secret 

•* lUd. 

''Hoover's handwritten note on 'memorandum from Gale to Tolson, 12/10/63. 


Oswald which were available prior to his assassination of the 
President, it was the judgment of the agents handling the 
case in Dallas and New Orleans, the field supervisor, and the 
SAC in New Orleans, as well as supervisors at the Seat of 
Government, that such facts did not warrant the inclusion of 
Oswald in the Security Index. The matter has, of course, been 
re-examined in the Bureau and Mr. Gale by memorandum 
12/10/63 expressed the opinion that Oswald should have been 
placed on the Security Index prior to 11/22/63. The Director 
concurred with Mr. Gale's opinion and administrative action 
has been taken.^^ 

Hoover wrote on this Sullivan memorandum that the Bureau per- 
sonnel who failed to include Oswald on the Securitv Index, "could 
not have been more stupid . . . and now that the Bureau has been 
debunked publicly I intend to take additional administrative 
action." ^^ 

Certain FBI agents testified before the Warren Commission on 
May 5, 1964. One of the agents had previously requested to talk to 
Hoover, and he learned from Alan Belmont on the morning of May 6, 
1964, that he would be allowed to see the Director later that day.^^ Ac- 
cording to the agent, the Director could not have been more pleasant ; 
he quoted Hoover as saying that "Everything was in order'' and that 
he had "nothing to worry about." ^^ Indeed, this is exactly what the 
agent recounted to his special agent in charge ui:>on his return to 
Dallas.^^ Mr. Hoover's version of the meeting differs considerably 
from the agents. According to the Director : 

I discussed with him the situation which had developed in 
Dallas . . . and of embarrassment which had been caused.^^ 

On September 28, 1964, four days after the Commission's report had 
been issued, eight of the Bureau employees against whom disciplinary 
action had been taken in December 1963 were again censured, or put 
on probation, for reasons identical to those that led to action being 
taken against them in December 1963. Some of the eight were also 
transferred on this occasion.^^ In addition to the above eight, three 
other employees who had not been disciplined in December 1963 were 
disciplined as follows : 

1. A Special Agent in Dallas was censured and placed on 
probation for failing to properly handle and supervise this 
matter ; 

2. An inspector at FBI Headquarters was censured for not 
exercising sufficient imagination and foresight to initiate 
action to have Security Index material disseminated to Secret 
Service : 

^ Memorandum from W. C. Sullivan to A. H. Belmont, 9/24/64. 
^ Hoover's handwritten note on memorandum from Sullivan to Belmont, 

^ FBI Special Agent, 12/5/75, p. 71. 

^ lUd. 

^ SAC testimony, 12/20/75, p. 19. 

^^ Memorandum from Hoover to Tolson, 5/6/64. 

^ Memorandum from Gale to Tolson, 9/30/64. 


3. An Assistant to the Director at FBI Headquartei's was 
censured for his overall responsibility in this entire matter. ^^ 

In a memorandum disseminated to senior bureau officials on October 12, 
1964, Hoover noted : 

There is no question in my mind but that we failed in carrying 
through some of the most salient aspects of the Oswald in- 
vestigation. It ought to be a lesson to all, but I doubt if some 
even realize it now.^° 

J. Edgar Hoover did not believe that these disciplinary actions 
would ever l^ecome known outside the Bureau, and they did not until 
October 1975. Although none of the information made available to the 
Commission by the FBI suggests the slightest investigative deficiency 
in the Oswald security case. Bureau officials were continually con- 
cerned with the possibility that the FBI might be regarded as "re- 
sponsible for negligence that resulted in the assassination of President 
Kennedy be<?ause of pre-assassination investigative deficiencies in the 
Oswald case." *^ 

3. The BureaiCs Reaction to the Warren Commission Report 
On September 25, 1964, when the FBI received a copy of the War- 
ren Commission's Report, the Director noted : "I want this carefully 
reviewed as it pertains to FBI shortcomings by Gale. Chapter 8 tears 
us to pieces." *^ On September 29, 1964, Mr. Hoover, after reading a 
Washington Post article captioned "Praise is Voiced for Staff En- 
gaged in Warren Report," directed that the Bureau's files on the 84 
staff membei-s listed in the article "be checked." ''^ On October 2, 1964, 
the Director was informed that "Bureau files contain derogatory in- 
formation concerning the following individuals and their relatives." ^* 
On September 30, 1964, Assistant Director Gale presented Associate 
Director Clyde Tolson with a memorandum captioned "Shortcomings 
in handling of Lee Harvey Oswald matter by FBI personnel." Gale 
wrote : 

The Commission has now set forth in a very damning manner 
some of the same glaring weaknesses for which we previously 
disciplined our personnel such as lack of vigorous investiga- 

» lUd. 

*• Administrative Cover Sheet to memorandum from FBI Supervisor to Gale, 

^ Memorandum from A. Belmont to C. Tolson, 10/1/64. 

^ Hoover's handwritten note on memorandum from DeLoach to Mohr, 9/25/64. 

" Hoover's handwritten note on a 9/29/64 Washington Post article, "The Fed- 
eral Diary." 

** Memorandum from Rosen to Belmont, 10/2/64. 

On November 8, 1966, memoranda were furnished to Presidential Assistant 
Marvin Watson, setting forth background information, including derogatory ma- 
terials on seven private citizens who wrote unfavorable articles concerning the 
Warren Commission findings. A February 3, 1975, FBI memorandum which dis- 
cusses these memoranda and their dissemination in 1966 to the White House 
recounts : 

No information was developed or furnished to the White House concern- 
ing immoral conduct on the part of the seven above listed critics of the 
Warren Commission with the exception of the information furnished 
regarding [identity of individual deleted for reasons of privacy]. 


tion aft^r we had established that Oswald visited the Soviet 
Embassy in Mexico.^^ 

Gale notes several instances where the testimony of FBI agents makes 
the Bureau "look ridiculous and taints its public ima:^e.-' These in- 
stances include : 

One agent testified that conditions in the Dallas ix>lice station 
at the time of detention and interrogation of Oswald were not 
"too much unlike Grand Central Station at rush hour, maybe 
like Yanke<^. Stadium during the World Series games." It is 
questionable whether the agent should have described condi- 
tions in such an editorializing and flamboyant manner but 
rather should have indicated conditions were crowded.^® 

More importantly, Gale's memorandum reveals a dichotomy between 
the Bureau's "public position" and what Bureau officials regarded as 
the tnith : 

The Commission report indicates that we did not have a stop 
on Oswald's passport Avith the Department of State and did 
not know Oswald applied for a passport, in June 1963, to 
travel to Western European countries, Soviet ITnion, Finland 
and Poland. This is another specific example of how this case 
was improperly investigated. The same personnel are respon- 
sible for this example as were previously criticized for not 
using appropriate t^eohniques and making a more vigorous 
and thorougli investigation, to determine with whom Oswald 
in contact or whether he had intelligence assignment. The 
Bureau hy letter to the C ommissimi mdicated that the facts 
did not waiv'ant placing a stop on the passjjort as our i7ivesti- 
gation disclosed no evidence that Oswald was acting under 
' the instructions or on hehaJf of any foreign Government or 
or instrumentality thereof. Inspector feels it was proper at 
that time to take this ^'■public'''' position. Howeve?% it is felt 
that with OsvmlcPs background ice shoidd have had a stop 
on his passport, particularly since tee did not kfiow definitely 
whether or not he had any intelligence assignments at that 
time. [Emphasis added.]*'' 

Not surprisingly, Gale states in the "observations" section of this 

memorandum : 

We previously took administrative action against those re- 
sponsible for the investigative shortcomings in this case some 
of which were brought out by the Commission. It is felt that 
it is appropriate at this time to consider further administra- 
tive action against those primarily culpable for the derelic- 
tions in this case which have now had the effect of 
publicly embarrassing the Bureau. [Emphasis added.] '^^ 

^ Memorandum from Gale to Tolson. 9/30/64. 
*" Ibid. 
*' Ibid. 
*" Ibid. 


After reviewing the Gale memorandum, Alan Belmont forwarded 
a one-page memorandum to Clyde Tolson on October 1, 1964, Belmont 
argued that : 

I think we are making a tactical error by taking this dis- 
ciplinary action in this case at this time. The Warren Com- 
mission report has just been released. It contains criticism of 
the FBI. We are currently taking aggressive steps to chal- 
lenge the findings of the Warren Commission insofar as they 
pertain to the FBI. It is most important, therefore, that we 
do not provide a foothold for our critics or the general public 
to serve upon to say in effect, 'See, the Commission is right, 
Mr. Hoover has taken strong action against personnel in- 
volved in this case and thus admits that the Bureau was in 
error.' *^ 

Mr. Hoover disagreed with Belmont's observations, writing : 

We were wrong. The administrative action approved by me 
will stand. I do not intend to palliate actions which have 
resulted in forever destroying the Bureau as the top level in- 
vestigative organization.^" 

By letter dated September 30, 1964, the Bureau infoniied the Wliite 
House and Acting Attorney General Katzenbaoh that "the Commis- 
sion's report is seriously inaccurate insofar as its treatment of the FBI 
is concerned." ^^ In an October 1, 1964 memorandum to Clyde Tolson, 
Alan Belmont considered whether a copy of this letter should be sent 
to the Warren Commission. Belmont wrote : 

It is noted that this letter is an indictment of the Commis- 
sion in that we charge that in the Commission's approach, 
instead of adopting a realistic and objective attitude, the 
Commission was more interested in avoiding possible criti- 
cism. Bearing this in mind, if we send a copy of this letter to 
the Commission now, it will probably make the letter public 
together with a definite answer. 

I suggest we may want to w-ait a few days before we con- 
sider sending a copy of this letter to the Commission. Cer- 
tainly we owe no courtesy to the Commission.^^ 

After reviewing the October 1, 1964 Belmont memorandum. Hoover 

We might as well lay down and let anybody and everybody 
kick us around and not defend nor retalmte.^^ 

" Memorandum from Belmont to Tolson. 10/1/64. 

^ Hoover's handwritten note on memorandum from Belmont to Tolson. 10/1/64. 

Mr. Tolson also di.sagreed with Mr. Belmont. In an addendum to the Gale 
memorandum Tolson wrote : "Most of the administrative directions with respect 
to the Security Index, the prompt submission of reports, etc.. and not the Oswald 
case per se." (Memorandum from Gale to Tolson, 9/30/64.) 

'^ Letter from Hoover to .Jenkins. 9/30/64. 

^ Memorandum from Belmont to Tolson, 10/1/69. 

® Hoover's handwritten note on the memorandum from Belmont to Tolson. 


On October 1, 1964, a senior Bureau official instructed the FBI In- 
spector, who had liandled the Bureau's liaison with the Warren Com- 
mission, to telephonically contact Commission General Counsel J. Lee 
Rankin and inform him that "he did the Bureau a ^-eat disservice and 
had out-]McCarthyed McCarthy." ^^ A memorandum dated October 2, 
1964, reflects that this request was carried out. 

On October 6, 1964, Cartha D. DeLoach forwarded to Assistant 
Director John Mohr a memorandum captioned "Criticism of the FBI 
Following the Assassination of the President," in which he wrote : 

The criticism concerning the FBI and its role in events sur- 
rounding the assassination of President Kennedy raises three 
questions which merit consideration at this time. 

(1) AVliat is the public image of the FBI at the present 
time ? 

Certainly, it cannot be denied that the public image of the 
FBI has been affected in certain areas by the criticism made of 
the Bureau and its role in the events taking place prior to the 
assassination of the President. It is believed this situation 
reached one stage during the days immediately following this 
event and was climaxed by Dallas Chief of Police Curry's 
statements which left the implication this Bureau was serious- 
ly derelict in discharging its responsibilities as an intelligence 

The second stage, the most acute, followed the issuance of 
the Warren Report. 

While there is admittedly no absolute way to assess a public 
image, it is believed the image of the FBI improved steadily 
since the week following the assassination, and it improved 
immeasurably up until the release of the Warren Report. At 
the time we suffered a rough setback. Following the release 
of the Director's testimony, we have been well on the road 
back to good prcvstige. There is every indication this improve- 
ment will continue if we follow our current program regard- 
ing this situation. 

(2) What has been done to counteract this criticism of 
the FBI? 

Immediately following the assassination, we undertook a 
program designed to eliminate the misunderstanding as to 
the statutory i-esponsibilities of the Secret Service and the 
FBI which existed among the uninformed . . . Every ap- 
propriate medium such as the news media, radio scripts, 
FBI tours, correspondence, speeches and police training was 
used to clear the air concerning our responsibility. 

For the more educated group, those who were not neces- 
sarily biased, and who were aware of the statutory authority 
of the FBI we furnished full explanations for our actions 
prior to the assassination with respect to Lee Harvey Oswald. 

^ Memorandum from Rosen to Belmont, 10/2/64. 

The FBI Inspector could not recall the identity of the Bureau oiBeial who in- 
structed him to make the phone call. (Staff Interview of FBI Inspector, 3/20/ 


This was desigjied to convince them that this Bureau did not 
fail to properly evaluate the information available on Oswald 
prior to November 22, 1963, and that, in light of the facts 
available and the authority granted within which to act, we 
were not derelict in disseminating pertinent information to 
proper authorities. 

(3) What should be our future course in this matter? 

The liberal press, with the exception of the "New York 
Times," and its friends will continue to make a determined 
effort to place the FBI on the defensive ; however, it is not 
felt we should engage in any prolonged debate with them. 
By keeping the argument going, we are diverting public 
attention from Secret Service and the State Department and 
their culpability. 

The Director has said that "nothing is more devastating 
to a smear than an oifensive of real outstanding accomplish- 
ments." Our attention and energies should be directed to- 
ward this end in the coming months.^'^ 

At the bottom of the last page of this DeLoach memorandum, Mr. 
Hoover made the following handwritten notation : 

The FBI will never live down this smear which could have 
been so easily avoided if there had been proper supervision 
and initiative.^^ 

B. Relationship Between the CIA and the Warren Coinmission 

After the CIA's initial review of the assassination was completed by 
the Western Hemisphere desk officer in December 1963, Helms assigned 
i-esponsibility for investigative matters related to the President's 
assassination to the Counterintelligence Division headed by James 

When the Warren Commission began to request information from 
CIA, Angleton directed one of his subordinates to become the "point 
of record" for coordinating research undertaken for the Commission. 
This CIA analyst said it was his responsibility to know what materials 
the CIA had on the assassination and to know what research was being 

This analyst chose three others from the Counterintelligence Staff 
to work with him. They were experts in the KGB and Soviet matters, 
and were not affiliated with the CIA Cuban affairs staff. Cuban opera- 
tions were uniquely compartmented within CIA. As one witness 
described the Special Affairs Staff, it was "sort of a microcosm of the 
Agency with emphasis on Cuban matters." ^^ SAS had its own counter- 
intelligence staff which coordinated with Angleton's, but was not 
subordinate to it. 

^ Memorandum from DeLoach to Mohr, 10/6/64. 

^ Hoover's handwritten note on memorandum from DeLoach to Mohr, 10/6/64. 

"" See Chapter III, p. 31. 

^ Staff summary of interview of CIA analyst, 3/15/76. 

«• Chief SAS/CI testimony, 5/10/76, p. 6. 


Files on this phase of the CIA investigation reflect the Soviet 
orientation of the investigation. The CIA staff exhaustively analyzed 
the significanc-e of Oswald's activities in the Soviet Union, but there 
is no corresponding CIA analysis of the significance of Oswald's con- 
tacts with pro-Castro and anti-Castro groups in the United States. 

During the Warren Commission investigation, the Commission 
worked directly with designated CIA officials. The Commission staff 
was given access to CIA files on the assassination, including material 
obtained from sensitive sources and methods. 

However, the AVarren Commission staff did not work directly Avith 
anyone from SAS. Although the CIA centered its work on the assas- 
sination in its Counterintelligence Division, the Chief of SAS 
Counterintelligence testified that the SAS had no "direct" role in the 
investigation of the assassination. ^° 

SAS was not completely removed from investigative work on the 
assassination. The Counterintelligence Staff occasionally requested a 
name check or similar information from SAS, but there is no evidence 
Avhatsoever that SAS was asked or ever volunteered to analyze 
Oswald's contacts with Cuban groups. The Chief of SAS/CI testified 
he could recall no such analyses.^^ 

Moreover, SAS capabilities to obtain information from Cuba, and 
from Cuban exiles, were not fully utilized. The CIA J]VrV\^AVE Chief 
of Station in Florida was asked what his station's capability in this 
regard was: 

Well, in relationship to Cubans living in the United States, 
I would say that our capability was quite good. Now if you 
are referring to our capability to conduct an investigation in 
Cuba, I would have to say it was limited.®- 

He summarized his station's participation in the investigation in the 
following testimony : 

We felt that the nature of our capability was to simply re- 
spond to what we were able to obtain in the Miami area, and 
from our sources in a passive way, because this was an inves- 
tigation that was beina: conducted in the United States with 
the primary responsibility with agencies other than CIA. 

We had no reason at the particular time to feel that there 
was any kind of a case, hard information, that the Cubans 
were behind the assassination .... But we had no persuasion 
that this was being mounted by the Cubans at that particular 

Indeed all the evidence suggests that the CIA investigation into any 
Cuban connection, whether pro-Castro or anti-Castro, was passive in 
nature. The Speeial Affairs Staff did conduct name traces on the 
request of the CIA investigators. The JISIWAVE station passed along 
any information its intelligence network collected on the assassination. 
SAS did interrogate one defector from Cuban intelligence about his 

* Chief. SAS/CI testimony, 5/10/76. p. 9. 
"^ Chief. SAS/CI testimony. 5/10/76. pp. 9-12. 
« Chief, JMWAVE testimony, 5/6/76, p. 13. 
« Ibid, p. 14. 


knowledge of C^^ban involvement, but. there is no evidence that the 
CIA made any affirmative effort to collect such information. Indeed, 
AMLASH himself had access to high government officials in Cuba. He 
was never asked about the assassination of President Kemiedy in meet- 
ings Avith the CIA in 1964 and 1965. 

Some CIA witnesses before the Select Committee have argued that 
an intensive investigation into Cuban involvement was not warranted 
by the facts known at the time, and in any event the FBI had primary 
responsibility for the investigation. Yet in view of Oswald's preoccu- 
pation with Cuba, and his visit to Mexico City ostensibly to obtain 
visas to Cuba and the Soviet Union, it would appear that potential 
involvement with pro-Castro or anti-Castro groups should have been 

Even if CIA investigators did not know that the CIA was plotting 
to kill Castro, they certainly did know that the Agency had been op- 
erating a massive covert operation against Cuba since 1960. The con- 
spiratorial atmosphere of violence which developed over the coui"se of 
three years of CIA and exile group operations, should have led CIA 
investigators to ask Avhether Lee Haivey Oswald and Jack Ruby, 
who were known to have at least touched the fringes of the Cuban 
community were influenced by that atmosphere. Similarly that argu- 
ments that the CIA domestic jurisdiction was limited belie the fact 
CIA Cuban operations had created an enormous domestic apparatus, 
which the Agency used both to gather intelligence domestically and to 
run operations against Cuba. 

CIA records relating to its investigation of President Kennedy's 
assassination, including documents acquired after issuance of the 
Warren Commission Report, are contained in approximately 57 file 
folders. The Select Committee staif has reviewed those records and 
taken testimony from key figures in the CIA investigation. All of the 
evidence reviewed by the Committee suggests that these investigators 
conducted a thorough, professional investigation and analysis of the 
information they had. So far as can be detenuined, the CIA furnished 
the Warren Commission directly, or through the FBI, all significant 
information CIA investigators had, except as othei^ise noted in this 

For example, one of the CIA mail surveillance operations did ac- 
quire at least some of Oswald's correspondence from the Soviet Union. 
Despite the fact that this operation was of the highest sensitivity at 
that time, the CIA did furnish the FBI with the information the 
Agency had acquired.^^ Similarly, the CIA interrogated a former 
KGB officer who had access to Oswald's KGB dossier. Despite the 
extraordinary sensitivity of this defector, the CIA furnished the War- 
ren Commission the details of his knowledge and an assessment of his 

The CIA investigation of Cuban matters for the Warren Commis- 
sion was not comparable to its effort in the Soviet area. The CIA staff 
for Cuban affairs was not in direct contact with the Warren Commis- 

* CIA Letter to Rockefeller Commission. 5/7/75. 

The Agency regularly supplied information gathered by this mail surveillance 
program to the Bureau. See the Select Committee staff report, "Domestic CIA 
and FBI Mail Opening." 

72-059 O - 76 


sion, and the counterintelligence chief of that staff never met with the 
Commission or its staff.^^ 

Apparently, neither the Warren Commission as a bodv nor its staff 
was eriven details of CIA Cuban operations. Although CIA manpower 
in Florida far surpassed the FBI, the Warren Commission and its 
staff relied completely on the FBI for reports about the Cuban exile 
community in Florida. Apparently, unaware of the fact that the CIA 
maintained a sizeable book on all Cuban exile organizations, their 
leadership, and activities, the Warren Commission asked the FBI to 
provide information on all such organizations. The Commission was 
informed by the FBI that the CIA could provide "pertinent informa- 
tion" on certain exile organizations, but there is no evidence that the 
Warren Commission either asked the CIA about that interest or 
pursued the matter in any way with the CIA.*^ There would seem to 
liave been some obli;ffation for the CIA to disclose the general nature 
of its operations which might affect the Commission's investigation. 

In any event, the Warren Commission did not pursue with the CIA 
the questions of Oswald's pro-Castro and anti-Castro contacts. Of the 
thirty-four requests to the CIA from the Warren Commission on file 
at the Archi^'es of the I"^nited States, fifteen deal with the Soviet I^nion 
or with Oswald's stay in the Soviet Union, but only one requests in- 
formation on a Cuban matter. That is a rexiuest for the CIA to furnish 
information about Jack Ruby's alleged visit to Cuba in 1959. 

C. Unpursv£d Leads 

In the course of its investigation, the Select Committee noted sev- 
eral instances where detailed knowledge of the intelligence agencies' 
operations with respect to Cuban matters would have been of assist- 
ance to the Warren Commission in its investigation. It is possible that 
the Warren Commission and its staff' either received briefings on 
Cuban operations or were told informally about these operations. 
However, the Committee has necessarily relied on the documentary 
record to determine whether the Warren Commission or its staff was 
aware of specific details. The following discussion is based on a com- 
parison of the documents located in CIA files with those in Warren 
Commission files. 

Given the thorough investigation the CIA and the FBI conducted 
of most of the leads they received, their failure to follow significant 
leads in the Cuban area is surprising. These leads raise significant 
questions, and there is no evidence the Warren Commission staff was 
ever provided information which would have allowed it to pursue the 

On December 1, 1963, CIA received information that a November 22 
Cubana airlines flight from Mexico City to Cuba was delayed some 
five hours, from 6:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. E.S.T.. awaiting an un- 
identified passenger.''^ This unidentified passenger arrived at the air- 

^ Chief, SAS/CI, 5/10/76, pp. 7, 8. 

'^ The index of Warren Commission documents contain no such request. 

"^ Cable from CIA Headquarters to Mexico Station. 12/1/63. 

The CIA also received highly reliable information that many of the Cuban 
diplomatic personnel in Mexico City had gone to the airport at about this time 
on November 22. Again, there is no evidence CIA checked on this information. 


port in a twin-engined aircraft at 10 :30 p.m. and boarded the Cubana 
airlines plane without passing through customs, where he would have 
needed to identify himself by displaying a passport. The individual 
travelled to Cuba in the cockpit of the Cubana airlines plane, thus 
again avoiding identification by the passengers.*'^ 

In response to a Select Committee request of January 9, 1976, the 
CIA wrote it had no information indicating that a follow-up investi- 
gation was conducted to determine the identity of the passenger and 
had no further information on the passenger, and no explanation for 
why a follow-up investigation was not conducted.^" 

In early December 1963, even more intriguing information was re- 
ceived by the CIA, and passed almost immediately to FBI. In the case 
of the Cuban- American, a follow-up investigation was conducted. 
Although the information appeared to relate to the President's assas- 
sination and one source alleged the Cuban-American was "involved" 
in the assassination, the follow-up investigation was not conducted as 
part of the FBI's work for the Warren Commission. 

The CIA learned that this Cuban-American crossed the border from 
Texas into Mexico on November 23,^^ and that the border had been 
closed by Mexican authorities immediately after the assassination and 
reopened on November 23.^^ The Cuban-American arrived in Mexico 
City on November 25. He stayed in a hotel until the evening of No- 
vember 27, when he departed on a late evening regularly scheduled 
Cubana airlines flight to Havana, using a Cuban "courtesy visa" and 
an expired U.S. passport. He was the only passenger on that flight, 
which had a crew of nine." 

In March 1964, the CIA received a report from a source which 
alleged the Cuban-American had received his permit to enter Mexico 
on November 20 in Tampa, Florida.^* The same source also said the 
Cuban- American was- somehow "involved in the assassination." " 
There is no indication that CIA followed-up on this report, except 
to ask a Cuban defector about his knowledge of the Cuban-American's 
activities. ■'^ 

The FBI did investigate this individual after receiving the CIA 
report of his unusual travel. However, by the time the AVarren Report 
was published, the Cuban-American was still residing in Cuba and 
therefore outside FBI's jurisdiction. Before the FBI terminated the 
case, it had developed the following confusing and incomplete 

The Cuban-American applied for a U.S. passport at the U.S. Con- 
sul Office in Havana in June 1960.^^ In July 1960, he was issued a pass- 
port, but it was only valid until January 1963, when he would bfccome 
23 years old.^^ 

' CIA cable from Headquarters to Mexico Station, 12/1/63. 
' Letter from CIA to Select Committee, 2/4/76. 
CIA cable from Mexico Station to Headquarters, 12/3/63. 
' CIA cable from Mexico Station to Headquarters, 12/3/63. 
' CIA cable from Mexico Station to Headquarters, 12/5/63. 
' CIA cable from Mexico Station to Headquarters, 3/19/64. 
■ Ibid. 

' Memorandum from CIA analyst to Helms, 5/11/64, attachment. 
'Memorandum from Washington Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 12/9/63. 
'Memorandum from Washington Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 12/9/63. 


In May 1962 the Cuban- American requested tihat Cuban authorities 
permit him to return to Cuba.^° The Cuban- American's cousin said the 
Cuban- American apparently did travel to Cuba sometime after May 

1962, and spent several weeks there.^^ In Au^ist 1962, the Cuban- 
American married an American woman. They lived in Key West until 
June 1963, when they moved to Tampa. In Au^ist 1963, his wife 
moved back to Key West because of marital problems. His wife and 
others characterized the Cuban-American as pro-Castro.^^ 

The Cuban-American allegedly told FBI sources that he had 
originally left Cuba to evade Cuban militai-y service. Nevertheless, 
some sources told the FBI that the Cuban- American had returned to 
Cuba in 1963 because he feared being drafted in the United States, 
while others attributed his return to his worry about his parents or 
about his own health.^^ 

It was also reported to the FBI that the Cuban- American had a 
brother in the Cuban military who was studying in the Soviet Union.^* 

On November 17, 1963, according to several sources, the Cuban- 
American was at a get-together at the home of a member of the Tampa 
Chapter of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee, where color slides of 
Cuba were shown. 

There was some talk about the Cuban-American having been 
at the residence for some time waiting for a telephone call 
from Cuba which was very important. It was understood that 
it all depended on his getting the "go ahead order" for him to 
leave the ITnited States. He indicated he had l>een refused 
travel back to his native Cuba . . . .^^ 

On November 20, 1963, the Cuban-American obtained a Mexican 
tourist card at the Honorary Consulate of Mexico in Tampa and on 
November 23 crossed the border into Mexico at Nuevo Laredo.*" Since 
the Cuban-American was apparently not listed as the driver of any 
vehicle crossing the border that day, the FBI concluded he crossed in 
a privately owned automobile owned by another person.*^ 

At a regular monthly meeting of the Tampa FPCC in December 

1963, a woman told the group that she had telephoned Cuba at 5 : 00 
a.m. and was informed that the Cuban-American had arrived there 
safely via Texas and Mexico.^ Another source reported that as of 
September 1964, the Cuban- American was not working in Cuba but 
spent a great deal of time playing dominoes.*^ 

The preceding was the extent of the FBI and the CIA investiga- 
tion.^° So far as can be determined, neither the FBI nor the CIA told 

*" Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to Miami Field OflBce, 6/7/62. 

^ Memorandum from Tampa Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 8/26/64. 

^ Memorandum from Tampa Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 6/3/64. 

® Memorandum from Tampa Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 6/3/64. 

^ Memorandum from Tampa Field Office to FBI Headquarters. 3/31/64. 

^ Memorandum from Tampa Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 3/31/64. Presi- 
dent Kennedy made several public appearances in Tampa on November 18. 

^ Memorandum from Mexico Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 12/5/63. 

^ Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to Mexico Field Office. 11/31/64. 

** Memorandum from Tampa Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 3/31/64. 

^ Memorandum from Tampa Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 10/26/64. 

^ A CIA employee did check the U.S. Passport Office's file on this individual in 
early December 1963, after the Mexico Station cabled a request for a check. In 
May 1964, a defector from Cuban intelligence was asked if he knew anything 
about this individual and he responded in the negative. 


the "Warren Commission about the Cuban- American's strange travel. 
Warren Commission files contain an excerpt of the FBI check on the 
Cuban- American at the Passport Office, but nothing else. In respond- 
ing to the Commission's request for information on the ]\Iiami chapter 
of the FPCC, FBI reported that the Tampa chapter had 16 members 
in 1961 and was active in INIay 1963. The FBI response did not discuss 
the Cuban-American or the November and December 1963 meetings.^^ 

INIoreover, a possible connection between Oswald and the Tampa 
cliapter of FPCC had already been indicated. Oswald applied to V. T. 
T^e, national president of the FPCC, for a charter for a New Orleans 
chapter. Lee wrote Oswald on May 29, 1963, suggesting Oswald get in 
touch with the Tampa chapter, which Lee had personally organized ^- 
Thus, the suspicious travel of this individual coupled with the possi- 
bility that Oswald had contacted the Tampa chapter certainly should 
have pi'ompted a far more thorough and timely investigation than the 
FBI conducted and the results should have been volunteered to the 
Warren Commission, regardless of its failure to request such infonna- 

In the two preceding cases the Wan*en Commission staff was ap- 
parently not furnished with what now seems to be significant informa- 
tion relating to possible Cuban involvement. In other instances, the 
Warren Commission staff levied requirements on the FBI for infor- 
mation on pro-Castro and anti-Castro groups, apparently unaware 
that other agencies could make a significant contribution to the Com- 
mission's work. 

On March 26, 1964, J. Lee Rankin, the General Counsel of the 
Warren Commission, wrote Director Hoover requesting the FBI to 
furnish the Commission with information on certain pro-Castro and 
anti-Castro organizations which were then active in the United 
States.^^ In a letter of May 20, 1964, Rankin again wrote Hoover: 

As a result of my letter of March 26, 1964, with respect to 
background materials on the Fair Play for Cuba Committee 
and certain other subversive gi^oups, it was agreed that your 
Agency would await further instructions from this 

The Commission would now appreciate your providing the 
following information on the Fair Play for Cuba Committee, 
"JURE," "DRE," Alpha 66, and 30th of November 

Rankin's letter went on to detail the nature of the requested 
information : 

1. all reports from Dallas and Fort Worth in 1963 on active mem- 
bers of the groups ; 

2. summaries of the groups' activities in Texas in 1963 ; and 

3. a general summary of the activities of such groups outside Texas 
in 1963 with particular reference to activities in certain parts of the 

^ Memorandum from Hoover to Rankin, 6/11/64. 
*" Warren Commission Report, Vol. XX, pp. 514-516. 
" Memorandum from Rankin to Hoover, 3/26/64. 
" Memorandum from Rankin to Hoover, 5/20/64. 


FBI Director Hoover responded to this request on June 11, 1964. 
Enclosed witli this letter were 15 reports on named individuals and 46 
memoranda on the identified organizations.^*' All 46 memoranda were 
prepared by FBI field offices in various cities and all were dated after 
May 20, 1964."^ In other words, it appeare that FBI Headquarters 
simply directed its field offices in identified cities to prepare the 
responses. The individual responsible for preparing this response at 
FBI Headquarters has not been questioned by the Select Committee 
on this matter. However his superior was asked whether he thought 
the FBI response provided a fair and accurate picture of the infor- 
mation FBI held on thcvse groups. 

Q. Would you have received that correspondence [of June 
11, 1964] and be asked whether it was an accurate or fair por- 
trayal of these [Cuban] groups? 

A. No, because this correspondence would have been the re- 
sults of investigations we had conducted, regularly submitted 
by investigative reports or by letterhead memos, and there 
would be no need for me to review that and say this was a fair 
portrayal of the invastigation.^^ 

In addition, Hoover's letter directed the Commission's attention to 
the fact that the CIA and the Department of the Army "may have 
pertinent information concerning these organizations." ^^ On the copy 
of the letter not provided the Warren Commission, but kept in FBI 
files, there is a note which states that the CIA and the Department of 
the Army in faet had "operational interests" in identified organiza- 
tions and certain individuals involved with these groups.^°° This FBI 
letter alerted the Warren Commission to the fact that the Army and 
CIA might provide "pertinent information" on these groups and indi- 
viduals, but it did not disclose the fact that those other two agencies 
actually had an "operational interest," e.a., that those agencies might 
be using the groups or individuals for intelligence collection or in 
covert, operations. The Select Committee was unable to locate any docu- 
mentaiy evidence that the Commission pursued this matter with either 
the CIA or the AiTny. 

At this time the CIA was in fact funding and sponsoring the activi- 
ties of several anti-Castro groups.^°^ Although most CIA contacts with 
these groups in the Fall of 1963 were for gathering intelligence and 
issuing propaganda, paramilitary operations of these groups may 
have received Agency support. 

The Department of the Army was in contact with the members and 
leadership on one group. Apparently, the Army attempted to use in- 
dividuals associated with the group to collect intelligence on Cuba."^ 

Whether pursuing these connections to the CIA and the Army would 
have affected the Warren Commission's investigation is difficult to 

•" Memorandum from Hoover to Rankin, 6/11/64, with attachment. 

"" lUd. 

^' Section Chief, 5/11/76, p. 45. 

** Memorandum from Hoover to Rankin, 6/11/64, with attachment. 

^**' Memorandum from Hoover to Rankin, 6/11/64. 

^"^ Memorandum from Hoover to Rankin, 6/11/64. 

'*" Letter from Department of Defense to Select Committee, 4/30/76. 


determine. The Warren Commission might have asked the Army and 
the CIA to use their sources in these groups to obtain additional in- 
formation on the groups' activities. More impoi-tantly, such informa- 
tion might have given the Warren Commission a better understand- 
ing of the background of the individuals it Avas investigating. For 
example, one Cuban in the Dallas area was investigated by the FBI 
at the request of the Warren Commission, because he was alleged to 
be an agent of the Cuban government."^ The FBI agent Avho inter- 
viewed the individual was apparently unaware that this Cuban exile 
was an approved, though unused, source of Army intelligence in 1963 
in an operation centered in the Miami area and that he had been used 
as a source in 1962 in Miami.^"* 

The FBI reports on Alpha 66 furnished the Commission did note 
that Alpha 66 was responsible for an attack on a Soviet vessel in 
March 1963,"^ but did not detail the fact that it had continued 
planning paramilitary operations against Cuba."° These reports did 
not include information, scattered through several other FBI reports, 
that Alpha 66 had held discussions with other anti-Castro groups in 
an attempt to unite their efforts."^ The FBI reports did not include 
the fact that the Alpha 66's leaders in September 1963 had been nego- 
tiating for the use of aircraft with which to conduct raids against 
Cuba, with those involved in a New Orleans anti-Castro training 

Although the FBI informed the Warren Commission that the CIA 
and the Army had "pertinent information" on some of these groups, 
the Select Committee has been unable to find any evidence to indicate 
that the FBI itself contacted these other agencies. The Select Com- 
mittee has been unable to find evidence that either the CIA or the 
Army independently contacted their sources in these groups to deter- 
mine what they might be able to contribute to the investigation. 

The CIA also took an interest in the Fair Play for Cuba Committee 
with which Oswald was associated. According to the FBI documents, 
on September 16, 1963, the CIA advised the FBI that the "Agency is 
giving some consideration to countering the activities of [the FPCC] 
in foreign countries." "" The memorandum continued : 

CIA is also giving some thought to planting deceptive in- 
formation which might embarrass the Committee in areas 
where it does have some support. 

Pursuant to a discussion with the Liaison Agent, [a middle 
level CIA official working on anti-Castro propaganda] ad- 
vised that his Agency will not take action without first con- 
sulting with the Bureau, bearing in mind that we wish to 
make certain the CIA activity will not jeopardize any Bureau 

''"' Memorandum from Dallas Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 6/14/63. 

^°* Army Intelligence Dossier. 

^* Memorandum from Miami Field Office to FBI Headquarters. 6/3/64. 

^'^ lUd. 

^« lUd. 

^"^ Memorandum from^FBI liaison to Liaison Section Chief, 9/1S/63. 

"" Memorandum f rom'FBI liaison to Liaison Section Chief, 9/18/63. 


The CIA specifically wanted the FPCC's forei^ mailing list and 
other documents,^^^ On September 26, 1963, FBI Headquarters wrote 
its New York office about the proposed CIA operation, concluding : 

New York should promptly advise whether the material re- 
quested by CIA is available or obtainable, bearing in mind the 
confidential nature and purpose of CIA's request. If available, 
it should be furnished by cover letter with enclosures suitable 
for dissemination to CIA by liaison.^" 

At the bottom of the Headquarters copy of tliis directive is the note : 

We have in the past utilized techniques with respect to 
countering activities of mentioned organization in the U.S. 
During December 1961, New York prepared an anonymous 
leaflet which was mailed to selected FPCC meml3ers through- 
out the country for purpose of disrupting FPCC and causing 
split between FPCC and its Socialist Workers Party (SAVP) 
supporters, which technique was very effective. Also during 
May 1961, a field survey was completed wherein available 
public source data of adverse nature reagrding officers and 
leaders of FPCC was compiled and furnished Mr. DeLoach 
for use in contacting his sources. 

It is noted, with respect to present status of FPCC during 
July and August, 1963, several New York sources reported 
FPCC was "on the ropes for lack of funds" and in danger of 
being taken over by Progressive Labor members."^ 

By Airtel of October 4, 1963, the New York office responded to the 
Heaclquart«rs dii-ective saying: "The NYO plans to contact an (in- 
formant) on about 10/27/63 and it is believed possible that this source 
will be able to furnish both of the above mentioned items." ^^* 

By Airtel of October 28, 1963, the New York Office reported to 
Headquarters : 

"On 10/27/63, [the informant] was contacted by agents of 
the New York office. This source furnished approximately 100 
photographs of data pertaining to the current finances and 
general activities of the FPCC. In addition, the source fur- 
nished other documents and information regarding the 
FPCC mailing list. After processing the photographs, 
prompt dissemination will be affected and the material of 
interest to CIA per referenced Bureau letter will be immedi- 
ately forwarded to the Bureau." 

The FBI documents indicate processing of the 100 photo- 
graphs was not completed before the assassination. The New 
York office began an expedited review of the material so ob- 
tained on the afternoon of the assassination to detennine 
whether it contained anything about Oswald. This was inen- 
tioned in a November 23 memorandum to William Sullivan. 


Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to New York Field Office. 9/26/63. 
■ Memorandum from New York Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 10/4/63. 


That memorandum also reported the New York office's expe- 
dited review uncovered a letter Oswald had written Ted Lee 
about Oswald's FPCC activities in New Orleans,"^ 

By letter of November 27, the New York office wrote Head- 
quarters : 

On 10/27/63, [the informant] furnished the above material 
to agents of the NYO. Enclosed for Bureau are suitable for 
dissemination, dated and captioned as above, containing in- 
formation furnished by [informant]."** 

Enclosed with this letter was a copy of "the foreign mailing list of 
FPCC as of October 1963." "^ 

It should be noted that there is no reason to believe that any of this 
FBI or CIA activity had any direct connection with Oswald. The 
CIA could not have received the information it requested the FBI to 
obtain until after the assassination, so there is no reason to think the 
CIA propaganda program was underway before the assassination. 
Although the FBI liaison was told by the CIA that any action the 
CIA took against the FPCC would be cleared first with FBI,"« Bu- 
reau documents do not indicate any request for such clearance. 

D. Knowledge of Plots to Assassinate Castro 

The Warren Commission was concerned with the general subject 
of political assassination. For example, the Commission requested in- 
formation from the State Department ^^^ on alleged attempts at politi- 
cal assassination in other countries. However, none of the-se requests 
involved the plots conceived by the CIA ; and the Warren Commission 
did not ask if the United States government had sponsored assassina- 
tion attempts. 

With the exception of Allen Dulles, it is unlikely that anyone on 
the Warren Commission knew of CIA assassination efforts. Former 
Senator John Sherman Cooper, a member of the Commission, advised 
the Select Committee that the subject never came up in the Com- 
mission's deliberations.^^'' Lee Rankin, Chief Counsel for the Warren 

"^Memorandum from New York Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 10/28/63. 
A copy of what probably is the same letter was turned over to the Warren Com- 
mission by Ted Lee. Wa — en Commission files at the Archives contained infor- 
mation that may have come from these photographs of documents. However, 
Warren Commission files contain no reference to any CIA interest in FPCC or 
to the FBI operation which yielded the mailing list. 

"^^ Memorandum from New York Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 11/27/63, 

"^ Memorandum from FBI liaison to Liaison Section Chief, 9/18/63. 

"* State Department Information Report 2/1/55, re : Assassination of Presi- 
dent Remon of Panama. Commission Document #279 ; State Department In- 
formation Report, 5/10/57, re : Attempted Assassination of Vice President Chang 
Myon, Republic of Korea, Commission Document #280; State Department In- 
formation Report, 5/24/62, re : Attempted Assassination of President Sukarno, 
Indonesia, Commission Document #283; State Department Information Report. 
6/14/62, re : Attempted Assassination of President Sukarno, Indonesia. Commis- 
sion Document #284 ; State Department Information Report, 9/27/62, re : At- 
tempted Assassination of President deOaulle. Commission Document #285 ; 
State Department Information Report, 1/25/63, re : President Olympio, Togo, 
Commission Document #286. 

^ Staff discussion with Ambassador John Sherman Cooper, 5 /24/76. 


Commission, and Biirt Griffin, Howard Willens, and David Belin of 
tlie Commission staff have all stated they were not aware of the CIA 

INIany government officials, however, were aware that the CIA used 
the underworld in attempts to assassinate Castro. Attorney General 
Kennedy had been informed of these plots ,"' and FBI Director Hoover 
knew there had been such operations,''^ Allen Dulles, who had been 
Director of Central Intelligence until November 1961, was a member 
of tho Warren Commission, and knew of the CIA plots with under- 
world figures which had taken place during his tenure at the Agency."' 
Since CIA, FBI, and Justice Depai-tment files all contained informa- 
tion about these plots with the underworld, any number of government 
officials may have known that the CIA had attempted to assassinate 

Nevertheless, it might have appeared to those government officials 
that there was no clear reason to connect these underworld plots to 
the President's assassination. Most government officials who were 
aware of them probably assumed they had ended in 1962. Since that 
time, the Cuban missile crisis had occurred and U.S. -Cuban hostility 
had cooled. Officials at both the CIA and the FBI were aware that 
William Harvey had told his underworld contacts in early 1963 that 
the CIA was no longer interested in Castro's assassination.^ So these 
unsuccessful plots were officially terminated well before President 
Kennedy's assassination. 

Moreover, Fidel Castro probably would not have been certain that 
the CIA was behind the underworld attempts. Elements of the under- 
world and of the Cuban exile community which were not affiliated in 
any way with CIA were also interested in assassinating Castro, It is 
unlikely that Castro could have distinguished the CIA plots with the 
underworld from those plots not backed by the CIA. In fact, the 
methods the CIA used in these attempts were designed to prevent the 
Cuban government from attributing them to the CIA.^-^ 

The AIMLASH operation was clearly different. CIA case officers, 
not underworld figures, were in direct contact with AMLASH 
and told him they were with the CIA. ITpon meeting AJNH^ASH, Mr. 
Fitzgerald, a senior CIA official, told him that he was the personal 
representative of Attornev General Robert Kennedy.^-' Fitzcerald 
and the case officer assured AMLASH that his proposed coup had the 
support of the United States government.^ ^^ Thus, if anyone learned 
of the operation, he would have known that the CIA was clearly 
responsible for it. 

In addition, the AMLASH operation was underway at the time of 
the President's assassination. "\\^ile the assassination plots against 
Castro, which involved the underAvorld, may not have been considered 

^ Letter from Burt Griffin to David Belin, 4/7/75. p. 3 : staff interview with 
Howard Willins, 5/12/76 ; memorandum from Belin to the Rockefeller Commis- 
sion 5/20/75, p. 1. ' 

^- Assassination Report, pp. 130-131. 

"; Thid. 

^ Assassination Report, pp. 91-92. 

'^ Memorandum of FBI liaison to CIA, 6/20/63. 

^"^ 1967 I.G. Report, p. 55. 

^ 1967 I.G. Report, pp. 88-91. 

^ Ibid. 

relevant to the President's assassination, the AMLASH operation had 
particular sipiificance. 

Very few individuals in the United States government knew of the 
AMLASH plot. Mr. McCone, who was then Director of Central In- 
telligence, testified he did not know of the AINILASH operation. 

Q. Were you aware of any effort to assassinate Mr. Castro 
throu2:h an agent known as AMLASH ? 

A. No. 

Q. I would like to draw your attention to [the fact that] 
at the very moment President Kennedy was shot, a CIA of- 
ficer was meeting with a Cuban agent . . . and offering him 
an assassination device for use against Castro. 

I take it you didn't hear anything about that operation? 

A. [Indicates "No"] .^29 

Mr. Helms, who was Deputy Director for Plans, knew of the op- 
eration, although he would not characterize the operation as an as- 
sassination plot.^^° The case officer, who met with AMLASH on No- 
vember 22, similarly rejected such a characterization.^^^ 

Several individuals on the CIA Special Affairs Staff knew of the 
operation, but they were not in direct contact with the Warren Com- 
mission. Desmond Fitzgerald, Chief of SAS, knew of the operation, 
as did his executive officer who has testified that he regarded it as an 
assassination plot."^ The Chief of SAS Counterintelligence also knew 
of the operation, and testified that he regarded it as an assassination 
plot.^33 Others within the SAS who had access to the AMLASH file 
obviously knew about the operation but, since there is no record of the 
poison pen in that file, they may not have known that key fact. Those 
CIA technicians who fabricated the pen would have been aware of its 
existence, but probably would not have known anything else about the 

James Angleton, whose Counterintelligence Division conducted 
CIA research for the Warren Commission, has testified that he was 
not aware of the AMLASH operation, although he did suggest that 
he had reason to suspect there was something to Harvey's meetings 
with "underworld figures." ^^* His assistant, who was made "point of 
record" for the Warren Commission, has stated he did not know of any 
assassination plots against Castro.^^^ In 1975, after being questioned 

^ John McCone testimony. 6/6/75, p. 59 ; Assassination Report, pp. 99-100. 

""Helms' testimony, 6/13/75, pp. 133, 135; See Assassination Report, pp. 
174-176, for further discussion. 

"^ Case Officer testimony, 2/11/76, p. 22. 

^ Executive Officer testimony, 4/22/76, p. 15. 

^ Chief, SAS/CI testimony. 5/10/76, p. 24. 

'^Angleton testimony, 2/6/76, pp. 31-34. It is important to note that Mr. 
Angleton testified he was often in contact with Dulles after the latter had left 
the Agency. Angleton testified that Dulles consulted with him before agreeing to 
President .Johnson's request that he be on the Commission and that he was in 
frequent contact with Dulles. Angleton has also indicated that he and Dulles 
informally discussed the progress of the Commission's investigation and that 
Dulles consulted with him about what further investigation the CIA could do. 
So if Dulles relied solely on Angleton to discretely check matters, which Dulles 
did not feel the entire Commission should know about, he would not have learned 
of the AMLASH operation. 

^ Staff interview of CIA analyst, 3/15/76. 


by the Rockefeller Commission on this point, he noted knowledg-e of 
an on^nfoin^ assassination plot might have changed his thinking about 
Oswald's Mexican trip.^^^ 

Thomas Karamessines, who had some contact with the Commission, 
has testified that he was unaware of the CIA assassination plots.^^^ 

Thus, according to the testimony, Mr. Helms was the only CIA 
official who was both in contact with the Warren Commission and 
knowledgeable of the AMLASH operation. On several occasions Mr. 
Helms has been questioned about whether he informed the Warren 
Commission of the CIA assassination plots. 

Chairman Church : Since you had knowledge of the CIA 
involvement in these assassination plots against Castro 
[from the context the question is not specifically focused on 
the AMLASH plot], and knew it at the time ... I would 
have thought . . . that ought to have been related to the 
Commission, because it does bear on the motives whatever 

Mr. Helms: . . . Mr. Allen Dulles was a member of the 
Warren Commission. And the first assassination plot hap- 
pened during his time as director. "WHiat he said to the War- 
ren Commission about this ... I don't know. But at least he 
was sitting right there in [the Commission's] deliberations 
and knew about this, and I am sure that the same thought 
that occurred to you must have occured to him.^^^ 

Senator Morgan : . . . [in 1963] you were not . . . just 
an employee of the CIA. You were in the top echelon, the 
management level, were you not? 

Mr. Helms : Yes, I was Senator ^Morgan. . . . 

Senator Morgan : . . . you had been part of an assassina- 
tion plot against Castro ? 

]\Ir. Helms : I was aware that there had been efforts made 
to get rid of him by these means. 

Senator Morgan : . . . you were charged with furnishing 
the Warren Commission information from the CIA, informa- 
tion that you thought was relevant ? 

Mr. Helm : No sir, I was instructed to reply to inquiries 
from the Warren Commission for information from the 
Agency. I was not asked to initiate any particular thing. 

Senator Morgan : ... in other words if you weren't 
asked for it, you didn't give it. 

Mr. Helms : That's right, sir."^ 

Mr. Helms also stated that he thought the Warren Commission 
could have relied on public knowledge that the United States wanted 
"to get rid of Castro." 

I don't recall that I was either instructed or it occurred to me 
to cover with the Warren Commission the precise d-etails of 
the Agency's operations not because I made a significant 

^ Memorandum from CIA analyst. 4/2/7.^ 
"^ Karamessines, 4/18/76. p. 32. 
'"* Helms testimony, 7/18/75, pp. 36-37. 
"^ Helms testimony, 7/17/75, pp. 118-119. 


judgment not to do this, but . . . my recollection at the time 
was that it was public knowledge that the United States was 
trying to get rid of Castro.^*" 

In testimony before the Rockefeller Commission, INIr. Helms was 
directly asked Avhether he linked Oswald's pro-Cuban activity with 
the possibility that Castro had retaliated for CIA attempts against 

Q. Now, after President Kennedy was assassinated in 
November 1963, and after it became known to you that the 
individual, Lee Harvey Oswald, was believed very broadly 
to have done the shooting, that Oswald had had some activity 
in the Fair Play for Cuba Committee . . . did you hold any 
conversations with anybody about the possibility that the 
assassination of President Kennedy was a retailiation by 
Oswald against the activitv, the talks and plans to assassinate 

A. No. I don't recall discussing that with anybody. I don't 
recall the thought ever having occurred to me at the time. 
The first time I ever heard such a theory as that enuniciated 
was in a very peculiar way by President Johnson. . . . 

Q. I am not asking you about a story. Ambassador, I am 
asking you whether or not there w'&s a relationship between 
Oswald's contacts with the Cuban's, and his support for the 
Castro government, his attempts in September 1963 to get a 
passport, to Cuba, to travel to Cuba, his attempts to penetrate 
anti-Castro groups. Did this connection ever enter your mind ? 

A. I don't recall its having done so.^*^ 

Mr. Helms also testified he did not believe the AMLASH operation 
was relevant to the investigation of President Kennedy's 

The testimony of the AMLASH Case Officer is similar. He stated, 
"I find it very difficult to link the AISH^ASH operation to the assas- 
sination. I find no way to link it. I did not know of any other CIA 
assassination attempts against Fidel Castro, so I have nothing to 
link." 1*3 

Director Hoover knew of CIA effort to assassinate Castro using 
underworld contacts. While Hoover may have assumed that those 
plots terminated in 1962, in June 1963, the FBI learned that William 
Harvey had told his underworld contacts that the CIA was no longer 
interested in assassinating Castro. In October 1963, an informant re- 
ported to the FBI that the CIA had recently been meetina: with a 
Cuban official (AMLASH), but there is no evidence the FBI then 
had actual knowledge of the assassination aspect of the operation in- 
volving the Cuban."* 

After receiving a report of an assassination plot against Castro in 
January 1964, the FBI liaison to the CIA checked to see if the CIA 
was involved in the plot."^ According to a memorandum prepared by 

**° Helms testimony, 6/13/75, p. 82. 

^*^ Richard Helms te.stimony. Rockefeller Commission, 4/24/75, pp. 38^391. 
^*' Helms testimony. Rockefeller Commission, 4/24/75, pp. 389—391-2. 
^" Case OflBcer testimony, 7/29/75, p. 116. 

^** Memorandum from Miami Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 10/10/63. 
The FBI knew the true name of the Cuban official, but was unaware that he 
had been code-named. 

**^ Memorandum from FBI liaison, 1/24/64. 


the FBI liaison : "The Agency currently is not involved in any activ- 
ity which includes plans to assassinate Castro." ^*^ This memorandum 
was distributed to two Section Chiefs, and to the Bureau supervisor 
responsible for anti-Castro activities. In February, this information 
was passed to at least one field office. 

In late July 1964, an FBI informant again reported that the CIA 
had meetings with the Cuban official (AMLASH). This report indi- 
cates that the purpose of those meetings had been to plan the assassi- 
nation of Castro.^*^ The informant reported that the Cuban official had 
been unhappy with the CIA response and that Attorney General Ken- 
nedy had refused to support the plan.^^^ He also reported that the 
plan had not been completely put to rest.^*^ Because the informant re- 
quested that the Bureau not inform the CIA or the White House about 
this report, it was not disseminated outside the FBI. Headquarters 
advised the field office in contact with the informant, to keep them ad- 
vised.^^° The FBI supervisor involved noted on his copy of the com- 
munication to the field office, that the Bureau, acting on orders from 
the Attorney General, was investigating a reported undei-world plot 
against Castro, and that this might be the same as the alleged plot 
involving the Cuban (AMLASH). 

In hindsight, the AMLASH operation seems veiy relevant to the 
investigation of President Kennedy's assassination. It is difficult to 
understand why those aware of the operation did not think it relevant, 
and did not inform those investigating President Kennedy's assassina- 
tion of possible connections between that operation and the 

The Desk Officer who was in charge of the initial CIA investigation 
of President Kennedy's assassination, first learned of the AMLASH 
operation when he testified before the Select Committee : 

Q. Did you know that on November 22, 1963, about the 
time Kennedy was assassinated, a CIA case officer was passing 
a poison pen, offering a poison pen to a high level Cuban to 
use to assassinate Castro ? 

A. No, I did not. 

Q. Would you have drawn a link in your mind between 
that and the Kennedy assassination ? 

A. I certainly think that that wmild have been — become an 
absolutely vital factor in analyzing the events surrounding 
the Kennedy assassination.^^^ 

Several Warren Commission staff members have also stated that a 
connection between CIA assassination operations and President 
Kennedy's assassination should have been investigated. For example, 

'« Ihid. 

"^ Memorandum from Miami Field Office to FBI Headquarter, 7/29/64. 

^" imd. 

"' ma. 

^^ Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to Miami Field Office, 8/8/63. 
^^ Desk Officer, 5/7/76, pp. 31, 32. 


Mr. Belin, Executive Director of the Rockefeller Commission and 
Counsel to the Warren Commission wrote : 

At no time did the CIA disclose to the Warren Commission 
any facts which pertained to alleged assassination plans to 
kill Fidel Castro .... 

The CIA withheld from the Warren Commission infor- 
mation which might have been relevant ... in light of the 
allegations of conspiratorial contact between Oswald and 
agents of the Cuban government.^^^ 

Another former Warren Commission staff counsel, Judge Burt 
Griffin, expressed his views on the matter. Judge Griffin wrote Belin 
expressing his opinion that assassination plots against Castro might 
have a significant effect on the Warren Commission findings : 

As you can see, my questions are prompted by two underlying 
theories: First, if Castro or Castro sympathizers, feared a 
U.S. fostered effort on his life, it is likely that they might 
have tried to assavSsinate Kennedy first. Second, if the CIA 
suspected that pro-Castro individuals, in addition to Oswald, 
were behind the assassination of John F. Kennedy, they 
would have considered retaliation against Castro. Those 
theories lead not only to the issue of possible conspirators 
with Oswald, but also his motive.^^^ 

The Chief of SAS Counterintelligence was asked whether it was 
reasonable to make a connection between AMLASH and President 
Kennedy's assassination : 

Q. Would you quarrel with individuals who had the same 
knowledge you did — and who have testified that they did not 
draw such a connection ? 

A. That they did not draw a connection ? 

Q. Yes. 

A. I couldn't quarrel with them, no. 

Q. In other words, you think knowledgeable officials, 
knowledgeable of both the Kennedy assassination investiga- 
tion and of the AMLASH operation. . . . 

A. I think it would have been logical for them to consider 
that there could be a connection and to have explored it on 
their own.^^* 

The CIA Inspector General seemed to make a connection. Desmond 
Fitzgerald's Executive Officer testified about being interviewed in 1967 
by the Inspector General : 

Q. Did [member of Inspector General's staff] ask you 
about any connections between the Kennedy assassination and 
CIA plots against Castro? 

A. No. The only comment I think he made was something 
to tlie effect that it was strange and ironic that the day 

^°^ Memorandum from David Belin to the Rockefeller Commission, May 20, 
1975, p. 1. 

^ Letter from Burt Griffin to David Belin, 4/7/75, p. 3. 
^ Chief SAS/CI testimony, 5/10/76, p. 21. 


Kennedy died the case officer was tiying to ^ve AMLASH 
a poison pen. That is the only connection that I remember.'^ 

Finally, the CIA analyst, who was the "point of record" coordinat- 
ing the CIA research for the Warren Commission, prepared a memo- 
randum stating he was unaware of the plots until 1975, and expressing 
concern about the Warren Commission's findings in light of this new 

The conduct of the AMLASH operation during the fall of 1963, 
should have raised major concerns within the CIA about its possible 
connection with the Kennedy assassination. The Chief of SAS Coun- 
terintelligence has testified he was always concerned about the opera- 
tion's security ."^^ Indeed, various reports received by the CIA during 
the fall of 1963 contained information which should have raised ques- 
tions about the operation's security. In 1965, when CIA ties to the 
Cubans involved in the AMLASH operation were severed, the Chief 
of SAS Counterintelligence pointed out the security problems in the 

Among other things noted in that memorandum is the possibility 
that AMLASH had Seen a provocation, i.e., an agent sent by Cuban 
intelligence to provoke a certain reaction from the CIA.^^^ 

Lentil Select Committee staff informed officials at the CIA, the 
Agency was unaware that in October 1963 the FBI had received a 
report that the CIA was meeting with AMLASH.^^" That report con- 
tained information which indicates that the FBI informant knew the 
date and location of one of the meetings.^^^ In July 1964, the inform- 
ant gave the FBI additional details about the AMLASH operation, 
including the fact that the operation had involved assassination 
plotting."^ Thus, an operation the CIA felt to be extraordinarily 
sensitive, perhaps so sensitive that its existence could not be disclosed 
to the Warren Commission, was known to at least one FBI informant 
in the United States. 

Finallv, the operation should have been of concern because Desmond 
Fitzgerald had personally met with AMLASH. The Chief of the CIA 
JMWAVE station testified that Fitzgerald had asked him if he should 
meet with AMLASH. The Chief told Fitzgerald that he should not 
meet AMLASH because such a meeting could prove very embarrassing 
for the CIA, if AMLASH was working for Cuban intelligence. 

My recollection of this AMLA.SH case is as follows. At 
some point in time, I had a conversation with Desmond Fitz- 
gerald in WasJiington during one of my periodic visits to 

"= Executive Officer, 4/22/76, p. 44. 

^ Memorandum for the record from CIA analyst, 4/1/75. 

^' Chief, SAS/CI testimony. 5/10/76, pp. 23-24. 

^ Undated memorandum from Chief, SAS/CI to Chief, WHD Cuba. 

^^ Undated memorandum from Chief. SAS/CI to Chief, WHD Cuba. 

^*' In 1965 the FBI did pass to CIA information that they received from "A" 
tWat he was aware of the AMLASH oper'ation. Tliey offere<l the CIA the opportu- 
nity to interrogate "A", but the FBI did not pass to the CIA information re- 
viewed in October 1963. 

^*^ Memorandum from Miami Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 10/10/63. 

'*" Memorandum from Miami Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 7/29/64. 


Washington from Miami. We discussed at that meeting the 
nature of our approach to the military establishment in Cuba. 
In the context of that conversation, Mr. Fitzgerald asked 
me if whether I thought it would be a good idea for him to 
meet one of these Cuban military personalities, and he sub- 
sequently identified to me the personality he was talking 
about was AMLASH. My advice to him was that it would 
probably not be a good idea for him to meet liim, and the only 
thing that I could see coming out of that kind of contact 
would be ... a personal feel for what makes some of these 
people tick, in human terms, and that that was too high a 
price to pay for the prospect if anything went wrong. . . .^^^ 

The Chief SAS/Counterintelligence had similar reservations. AVhen 
questioned about the security of the AMLASH operation, he testified : 

Q. Did vou know back in November 1963 that the CIA was 
meeting with AMLASH ? 

A. Yes, and I had expressed my reservations about such a 
meeting. I didn't consider him to be responsible. 

Q. Did you know that Mr. Fitzgerald met with AMLASH 
in late October of 1963? 

A. I believe I did. I have vague recollections of that now, 

Q. What was the purpose of that meeting ? 

A. I believe this was related to the assassination, an assassi- 
nation plot against Castro, and as to this I had reference 
before. I couldn't recall the exact time frame, but I thought 
it was nonsense. I thought it would be counterproductive 
if it had been successful, so I opjwsed it. 

Q. Did you know that Mr. Fitzgerald went ahead with it? 

A. Yes. Mr. Fitzgerald and I did not always agree. 

Q. But he told you he was going ahead with the operation ? 

A. I expressed my reservations about it. He went ahead. 
He didn't ask my permission. He was my boss."* 

Thus, information on the AMLASH operation, an operation which 
those who investigated the assassination of President Kennedy now 
believe would have been relevant to their inquiries, was not supplied 
to either the Warren Commission or the FBI. Even the CIA personnel 
responsible for investigating the assassination were not informed of 
the operation. 

^•° Chief, JMWAVE, testimony 8/19/75, pp. 79-80. 
"** Chief, SAS/CI, 5/10/76, pp. 20, 21. 

72-059 O - 76 - 6 


Before the Warren Commission issued its report on the assassination 
of President Kennedy on September 2-4, 1964, both the CIA and the 
FBI had assured the Commission that they would never close the 
case. When appearing before the Warren Commission, CIA Deputy 
Director for Plans Richard Helms stated : 

Q. . . . after the Commission completed its report you 
would keep the matter open if there was anything new that 
developed in the future that could be properly presented to 
the authorities? 

A. Yes. I would assume the case Avill never be closed.^ 

FBI Director Hoover made a similar statement before the Warren 
Commission : 

... so far as the FBI is concerned, the case will be con- 
tinued in an open classification for all time.^ 

A. 1965: Termination of the AM LASH Operation 

Although 1965 developments in the AMLASH operation should 
have raised questions about the possibility of a connection between 
that operation and the President's assassination, there is no evidence 
that either the FBI or the CIA investigated such a possibility. 

As the Select Committee's Assassination Report noted: 

ToAvard the latter part of 1964, AMLASH became more in- 
sistent that the assassination of the Cuban leadership was a 
necessary initial step in a successful coup.^ 

A fall 1964 memorandum states : 

AMLASH was told and fully understands that the United 
'States Government cannot become involved to any degree in 
the "first step" of his plan. If he needs support, he realizes 
he will have to get it elsewhere. 

FYI : This is where B-1 could fit in nicely in giving any 
support he would request.^ 

AMLASH and B-1 were then put in contact with one another, and B-1 
kept the CIA informed of their plotting.^ 

In early 1965, the Agency began receiving indications that the 
AMLASH operation was not secure. By that time a number of other 

^ Helms testimony, 5/14/64, Vol. V, Warren Commission Hearings, p. 124. 

^ Hoover testimony, 5/14/64, Vol. V, Warren Commission Hearings, p. 100. 

' Assassination Report, p. 89. 

* IMd. 

MUd., pp. 89-90. 



individuals outside the CIA had been brought into the operation, 
and the Agency learned that one of these individuals was in clan- 
destine contact with Cuban intelligence.^ 

Several months later, "A," a Cuban exile who had been involved 
in transporting explosives to New Orleans in 1963, contacted the 
Immigration and Naturalization Service with information about the 
AMLASH operation. This information was turned over to the FBI 
which informed the CIA. Representatives from both agencies inter- 
rogated "A" jointly in June 1965.^ The interrogation established that 
the Cuban exile knew that (1) AMLASH and others were planning 
a coup which involved the assassination of Castro, and (2) the CIA 
had been involved with AMLASH and others in the plotting. 

Although "A" claimed that he and AMLASH were lifelong f riends,^ 
the reports of the interi'ogation do not indicate that he knew of the 
fall 1963 AMLASH-CIA meetings.^ The 1967 I.G. Report noted that 
information given by "A" suggested a link tetween the AMLASH 
operation and the 1960-1962 CIA plots to assassinate Castro using 
underworld contacts. In other words, the information "A" provided 
raised the possibility that underworld figures who were aware of the 
assassination plots in which William Harvey participated, may have 
also been aware of the AINILASH operation.^" 

On July 2, 1965, the FBI sent some of the details obtained from the 
interrogation to the White House, the Attorney General, and then DCI, 
Admiral Raborn." The CIA reaction to the information was to 
terminate the entii-e A]\H^ASH opei-ation. It cabled its stations: 

Convincing i)roof that entire AMLASH group insecure and 
that further contact with key members of group cx>nstitutes a 
menace to CIA operations. . . . Under no circumtances are 
newly assigned staff personnel or newly recruited agents to 
be exposed to the operation.^- 

In an undated memorandum, the Chief of SAS Counterintelligence 
wrote : 

The AMLASH circle is wide and each new friend of whom 
we learn seems to have knoweldge of plan. I believe the prob- 
lem is a more serious and basic one. Fidel reportedly knew 
that this group was plotting against him and once enlisted 
its support. Hence, we cannot rule out the possibility of 

In mid-1965, the CIA interrogated AMWHIP one of the Cuban 
exiles who had been involved with the AMLASH operation from the 

' Cable from European station to CTA Headquarters. 3/18/65. 

'' Memorandum from New York Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 7/2/65. 

* Memorandum from New York Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 6/2/65. 

' Tbid. 

" I.G. Report, p. 103. 

" Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to New York Field Office, 7/2/65. 

^ Cable from CIA Headquarters to various European Stations and JMWAVE 
Sta<-ion. 6/23/05 in AMWHIP file. 

" Undated memorandum from Chief, SAS/CI to Chief WHD. 

"Provocation" in this context is the use of an agent by an intelligence agency 
to induce a response from another intelligence agency. 


beginning ; a person who knew about the meetings between AMLASH 
and the CIA case officers in the fall of 1963. The report of the interro- 
gation cautioned that analysis of the results was difficult since the 
examination was conducted in English and the subject had difficulty 
understanding the questions. The report recommended a second exam- 
ination be conducted in Spanish. Nevertheless, the report tentatively 
concluded that the subject was deceptive during the interrogation and 
withheld pertinent information in one or more relevant areas." 

The report noted that the subject apparently lied in response to 
certain questions dealing with AMLASH and with both the subject's 
and AMLASH's ties to Cuban intelligence.^^ During the examination, 
the subject told the interrogator that AMLASH had no plan to over- 
throw Castro and that the subject had never considered^ AMLASH's 
various activities as constituting a plan for such an objectiye.^^ The 
subject said AMLASH never controlled a viable group inside Cuba 
which could attempt a coup against Castro.^^ The subject said 
AMLASH had strong connections with Cuban intelligence and was 
probably cooperating with it in various ways. Although AMLASH 
had not mentioned these connections to his CIA case officers, the sub- 
ject stated that AMLASH had mentioned them to him, and almost 
everyone else AMLASH met.^^ There is no record of a second interro- 
gation. The last documents in the file on this individual are dated only 
months after this interrogation, indicating that the CIA terminated 
all contact with him. 

Although the CIA had received information that the AMLASH 
operation was insecure and the possibility that AMLASH was a "prov- 
ocation," there is no evidence that the CIA investigated the possibility 
of a connection between its fall 1963 meetings with AMLASH, and 
the assassination of President Kennedy. Moreover, CIA files contained 
at least some FBI reports on "A" the Cuban exile who was involved 
in transporting explosives to New Orleans in 1963. These reports detail 
his involvement with anti-Castro exiles and underworld figures who 
were operating the guerrilla training camp in New Orleans in July 

The FBI clearly made the connection between "A's" 1963 activi- 
ties and the fact that in 1965 he was knowledgeable of CIA 
involvement in plans to assassinate Castro.^^ But there is no evidence 
that either the FBI or the CIA made any investigation of this con- 
nection. It was not until 1967 that both the AMLASH operation 
and the President's assassination, including the facts developed in 
1965, were reviewed by either agency."^ 

" Report of Interrogation. 

^^ Report of Interrogation. 

^' Ibid. 

" IMd. 

^ IMd. 

" Unaddressed memorandum from FBI Headquarters, 6/4/65. 

"* It should be noted that the committee found no conclusive evidence that 
Castro was aware of AMLASH's 1963 dealings with the CIA. 

During Senator McGovern's recent trip to Cuba, he was provided with a 
notebook containing details of numerous assassination plots against Castro 
which Castro believed were CIA inspired. AMLASH's 1963 meetings with the 
CIA were not mentioned within this notebook. 


B. 1967 : Allegations of Cuban Involvement in the Assassination 

In late Januaiy 1967, Washington Post columnist Drew Pearson 
met with Chief Justice Earl Warren. Pearson told the Chief Justice 
that a Washington lawyer had told him that one of his clients said the 
United States had attempted to assassinate Fidel Castro in the early 
lOeO'Sj^o and Castro had decided to retaliate.-^ Pearson asked the 
Chief Justice to see the lawyer; however, he declined. The Chief 
Justice told Pearson that it would be necessary to inform Federal 
investigative authorities, and Pearson responded that he preferred 
that the Secret Service rather than the FBI be notified.^" 

On January 31, 1967, the Chief Justice informed Secret Service 
Director James J. Rowdey of the allegations. Rowley testified: 

The way he [the Chief Justice] appmached it, w^as that he 
said he thought this was serious enough and so forth, but he 
wanted to get it off his hands. He felt that he had to — that it 
had to be told to somebody, and that the Warren Commission 
was finished, and he wanted the thing pursued, I suppose, by 
ourselves or the FBI.^^ 

According to Rowley, Warren and Pearson arranged for the lawyer 
to see him on Febiniary 8, 1967.-^ On February 10, 1967, Rowley told 
the Chief Justice that neither Pearson nor the lawyer had called, and 
that he would forward the information to the Bureau.-^ 

On February 13, 1967, Rowley wrote Hoover informing him of the 
allegations. Hoover immediately sent the Rowley letter to six senior 
Bureau officials on an "eyes only'' basis.-** FBI files contain no record 
of internal meetings or discussions concerning the allegations. Super- 

^ The Select Committee found concrete evidence of at least eight plots involv- 
ing the CIA to assassinate Fidel Castro from 1960 to 1965. Each of these plots is 
described in detail in the Committee's Assassination Report. 

^ Memorandum from Rowley to Hoover, 2/13/67. 

Secret Service Director James J. Rowley confirmed the allegations detailed 
in that memorandum in his testimony before the Committee on February 13, 
1976. The Secret Service has informed the Committee that they do not have 
copies of either the 2/13/67 Rowley memo or the 2/15/67 FBI response, or any 
other materials pertaining to the Rowley-Warren meeting or the retaliation 

" Memorandum from Rowley to Hoover, 2/13/67. 

"' .James J. Rowley testimony. 2/13/76, p. 17. 

Rowley also testified that the Chief .Justice did not state whether this was the 
first time he had heard that the United States Government had plotted to a.s- 
sas.sinate Castro. (Rowley, 2/13/76, p. 16.) 

^The lawyer testified that no such meeting was ever arranged or even dis- 
cussed with him. 

^^ Memorandum from Rowley to Hoover, 2/13/67 ; memorandum from Rosen to 
DeLoach, 2/14/67. 

It was Rowley's understanding that either Pearson or the lawyer was to meet 
with him on February 8, 1967, or else contact him to arrange a meeting on 
another date. Rowley still had not heard from either by February 10, 1967, and 
he decided to forward the information to the FBI. (Rowley, 2/13/76, p. 20.) 

Assistant FBI Director Cartha DeLoach later informed Marvin Watson 
that Rowley had "made several attempts to contact" the lawyer, but the lawyer 
refused to keep the appointments. (Memorandum from Delxiach to Tolson, 
3/17/67. Neither Rowley nor tlie lawyer recalled any such attempts.) 

^ Bureau personnel have testified that use of the "eyes only" classification on 
internally disseminated material was extremely rare. This classification was 
employed only when material was extremely sensitive. 


visoi-y personnel assio:ned to the assassination investifration have uni- 
formly testified that they do not recall ever discussing or reviewing 
memoranda which touch upon Cuban involvement in the assassination, 
or the possibility of Cuban retaliation for CIA assassination attempts. 

The supervisor in the (jeneral Investigative Division who was 
assigned responsibility for the assassination case in March 1964 drafted 
the FBI response to the Eowley letter. Although senior Bureau offi- 
cials had been told of CIA assassination attempts against Fidel 
Castro in 1962 this supervisor had never before heard even allega- 
tions of such attempts.'" The supervisor testified that when the Rowley 
letter came to his attention, he asked the Domestic Intelligence Divi- 
sion whether there was any Cuban involvement in the assassination.-'' 

He summarized its response as follows : 

In connection with the allegation regarding the alleged Castro 
conspiracy, the Domestic Intelligence Division advised that 
during the investigation of Lee Harvey Oswald no evidence 
was uncovered indicating the Cuban Government had any 
involvement in the assassination. Sensitive and reliable 
sources of the Bureau and CIA reported Oswald was un- 
known to Cuban Govermnent officials when he visited the 
Cuban Consulate in Mexico City on 9/27/63, and attempted,, 
without success, to get a visa foi- travel to Cuba. Secretary 
of State Dean Rusk testified before the Commission on 
6/10/64, and stated there w^as "very considerable concern'' in 
Cuba immediately following the assassination as to whether 
Cuba would be held responsil)le for the assassination and what 
effect the assassination might have on Cuba's position and 

The supervisor testified that, on the basis of this resj^onse, he believed 
the possibility of Cuban involvement in the assassination had been 
thoroughly investigated, and that there was no substance to the allega- 
tions Rowley had received. -^^ 

On February 15, 1967, Cartha DeLoach received a memorandum 
with a proposed FBI reply to Rowley's letter. The memorandum stated 
that "no investigation will be conducted regarding the allegations 
made ... to Chief Justice Warren." ^^ Both the memorandum and 
letter were drafted by the General Investigative Division supervisor. 
The letter thanked Rowley for the information furnished, and noted : 

In connection with the allegation that a Castro Conspiracy 
was involved in the assassination of President Kennedy, our 
investitration uncoAcred no evidence indicating Fidel Castro 

^General Investigative Division Supervisor testimony, 3/31/76, p. 8. 

=^/6frt.. p. 18. 

-° Memorandum from Rosen to DeLoach, 2/15/67. 

='" General Investigative Division Supervisor, 3/31/76, pp. 19-20. 

'^ ISIemorandum from Rosen to DeLoach. 2/15/67. 

Alex Rosen, then Assistant Director in charge of the General Investigative 
Division testified before the Committee on April 30, 1976. It should be noted that 
Mr. Rosen informed the Committee that he was hospitalized in the Spring of 
1967 and therefore had no knowledge of the sequence of events described in this 
section of the Report. In this regard Mr. Rosen testified that this memorandum 
would have been written over his name by one of his subordinates. 


or officials of the Cuban Government were involved with Lee 
Harvey Oswald in the assassination of President Kennedy. 
This Bureau is not conducting any investigation regarding 
this matter. However, should Mr. Pearson, [the lawyer], 
or [his] source of information care to volunteer any informa- 
tion to this Bureau, it would be accepted. Thereafter, con- 
sideration would be given as to whether any additional 
investigation is warranted.^- 

The supervisor testified : 

Everyone in the higher echelons read this and there wa^ a 
decision made apparently some place along that line as to 
wliether there was any basis in fact for [these allegations] 
or not. And to this day I don't recall how or what decision 
was made or who was involved in it but I had the responsi- 
bility then [upon orders from superiors] of concluding it by 
preparing this and stating that no" further investigation was 
going to be conducted.^^ 

When asked why the FBI did not investigate such a serious allega- 
tion, particularly in light of Director Hoover's testimony before 
the Warren Commission that the assassination case would always 
remain open,^* the supervisor responded : 

I understand your thinking and I can't truthfully and 
logically answer your question because I don't know.^^ 

The letter was approved and sent to Rowley on February 15, 1967. 
A copy was also sent to the Acting Attorney General and the Deputy 
Attorney General, but the internal FBI memorandum from Rosen 
to DeLoach stated : 

Consideration was given to furnishing this information to the 
Wliite House, but since this matter does not concern, nor is it 
pertinent to the present Administration, no letter was being 

Although the General Investigative Division supervisor testified 
that he was instructed to put this language in the memorandum, he 
cannot recall who issued these instructions, or their basis.^^ 

President Johnson subsequently learned of the allegations and the 
Bureau's decision not to investigate. On March 17, 1967, Cartha 
DeLoach received a telephone call from Presidential Assistant Marvin 
Watson, who informed him that, "The President had instructed that 

^ Letter from Hoover to Rowley, 2/15/67. 

** General Invpstigative Division Supervisor, 3/31/76, pp. 11-12. 

^ Hoover testified before the Warren Commission : 

Well, I can assure you so far as the FBI is concerned the case will be 
continued in an open classification for all time. That is, any information 
coming to us or any report coming to us from any source will be thor- 
oughly investigated, so that we will be able to either prove or disprove 
the allegation. (J. Edgar Hoover testimony, 5/6/64, Warren Commission, 
Vol. I, p. 100.) 

^ General Investigative Division Supervisor, 3/31/76, p. 16. 

'' Memorandum from Rosen to DeLoach, 2/15/67. 

^^ General Investigative Division Supervisory, 3/31/76, pp. 46-47. 


the FBI interview [the lawyer] concernino; any knowledge he might 
have regarding the assassination of President Kennedy." ^^ AVatson 
stated that, "Tliis request stemmed from a communication which the 
FBI had sent to the White House some weeks ago." ^° DeLoach ex- 
plained that he believed this communication was actually supplied by 
Secret Service. According to DeLoach, he briefed Watson on Drew 
Pearson's discussion with Chief Justice Warren and then, 

told Watson that, under the circumstances, it appeared that 
[the lawyer] did not want to be interviewed, and even if he 
was interviewed he would probably not divulge the identity 
of his sources who apparently were clients. Watson stated that 
the President still desired that the FBI conduct the interview 
in question. I told Watson that, under the circumstances, we 
had no alternative but to make this attempt ; however, I hoped 
he and the President realized that this might be putting the 
FBI into a situation with District Attorney Garrison, who 
was nothing more than a publicity seeker.^^ 

DeLoach concluded : 

Under the circumstances it appears that we have no alter- 
native but to interview [the lawyer] and then furnish the 
results to Watson in blind memorandum f orm.^^ 

The responsibility for interviewing the Washington lawyer was 
assigned to the General Investigative Division. This assignment is 
itself somewhat puzzling, because the Domestic Intelligence Division 
had been assigned responsibility for possible foreign involvement in 
the assassination.*^ 

The lawyer was interviewed by two agents from the FBI's Wash- 
ington Field Office, both of whom had had supervisory responsibility 
on the assassination case within their office. These agents testified 
that they were briefed at FBI Headquarters prior to the interview, 
but neither could recall the details of that briefing or who was pres- 
ent.** Both agents testified that they were "surprised" during the 
interview when the lawyer recounted United States' assassination 
efforts targeted at Fidel Castro.*^ These agents stated that they could 
not evaluate the lawyer's allegations or question him in detail on 
them, since they had not been briefed on the CIA assassination efforts.*^ 

** MemQraudum from DeLoach to Tolson, 3/17/67. 

*" Ibid. 

*^ Ibid. 

^ Ibid. 

^ The FBI Headquarters supervisor in the General Investigative Division, who 
was responsible for the interview with the lawyer, could not explain why it was 
assigned to his division, stating "I've often wondered about that myself." (Gen- 
eral Investigative Division Supervisor, 3/31/76, p. 30.) 

**FBI Agent I testimony, 5/3/76, p. 8; FBI Agent II testimony, 4/13/76, 
p. 10. 

The Bureau's response to the Committee's March 18, 1976 request for documents 
reflects that there are no memoranda in Bureau files relating to said briefing. 

"^FBI Agent I testimony, 5/3/76, p. 24; FBI Agent II testimony, 4/13/76, 
p. 18. 

The lawyer testified he had no recollection of having been interviewed by any 
FBI agent about the information he gave to Drew Pearson. (Washington Lawyer 
testimony, 3/17/76, p. 53.) 

'« FBI Agent I testimony, 5/3/76, p. 25 ; FBI Agent II testimony, 4/13/76, p. 16. 


Neither the agents, nor FBI Headquarters personnel could explain 
why they were dispatched to conduct an interview without the benefit 
of all relevant background material in FBI files. 

On JNIarch 21, 1967, the Washington Field Office sent FBI Head- 
quarters ten copies of a blind memorandum reporting on the interview. 
This memorandum can be summarized as follows : 

1. The lawyer had information pertaining to the assassi- 
nation, but that it was necessary for him in his capacity as an 
attorney to invoke the attoniey-client privilege since the in- 
formation in his possession was derived as a result of that 

2. His clients, who were on the fringe of the underworld 
were neither directly nor indirectly involved in the death of 
President Kennedy, but they faced possible prosecution in a 
crime not related to the assassination and through participa- 
tion in such crime they learned of information pertaining to 
the President's assassination. 

3. His clients Avere called upon by a governmental agency to 
assist in a pi'oject which was said to have the highest govern- 
mental approval. The project had as its purpose the assassina- 
tion of Fidel Castro. Elaborate plans were made; including 
the infiltratioji of the Cuban government and the placing of 
informants within key posts in Cuba. 

4. The project almost reached fruition when Castro became 
aware of it; by pressuring captured subjects he was able to 
leani the full details of the plot against him and decided "if 
that was the way President Kennedy wanted it, he too could 
engage in the same tactics." 

5. Castro thereafter employed teams of individuals who 
were dispatched to the United States for the purpose of 
assassinating President Kennedy. The lawyer stated that 
his clients obtained this information "from 'feedback' fur- 
nished by sources close to Castro," who had been initially 
placed there to carry out the original project. 

6. His clients were aware of the identity of some of the 
individuals who came to the United States for this purpose 
and he understood that two such individuals were now in the 
State of New Jersey. 

7. One client, upon hearing the statement that Lee Harvey 
Oswald was the sole assassin of President Kennedy "laughs 
with tears in his eyes and shakes his head in apparent 

8. The lawyer stated if he were free of the attorney — client 
privilege, the information that hp would be able to supply 
would not directlv identify the alleged conspirators to kill 
President Kennedy. However, because of the project to kill 
Fidel Castro, those participating in the i^roject, whom he 
represents, developed through feedback infornlation that 
would identify Fidel Castro's c^unterassassins in this country 
who could very well be considered suspects in such a 

Memorandum from Washington Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 3/21/67. 


The transmittal slip accompanying this memorandum noted, "No 
further investigation is being conducted by the Washington Field 
Office unless it is advised to the contrary by the Bureau." ''* Had the 
interviewing agents known of the CIA-underworld plots against 
Castro, they would have been aware that the lawyer had clients who 
had been active in the assassination j^lots. 

The AVashington Field Office memorandum of the interview was 
rewritten at FBI Headquarters before it w^as sent to the White House, 
the Attorney General, and the Secret Service.^" The cover letter sent 
with this memorandum did not recommend any FBI investigation of 
the lawyer's allegations. As rewritten, this memorandum varies from 
the original field version in two significant respects. Three new para- 
graphs Avere added summarizing FBI file materials about CIA-under- 
world plots to assassinate Castro.^^ In addition the rewritten version 
of the memorandum twice deletes the words "in place" from the 
phrase "sources in place close to Castro." ^^ The super\asor who re- 
wrote the memorandum could provide no explanation of the omission.^^ 

Neither the Field agents who interviewed the lawyer nor the Head- 
quarters supervisory agents assigned to the assassination case, could 
provide any explanation for the Bureau's failure to conduct any fol- 
lowup investigation.^* When they were informed of the details of CIA 
assassination efforts against Castro, each of these agents stated that 
the allegations and specific leads provided should have been investi- 
gated to their logical conclusions.^^ 

Although the Select Committee has not been able to establish 
through direct evidence that President Johnson asked CIA officials 
about the lawyer's allegations, CIA Director Helms met with the Presi- 
dent at the White House on the evening of March 22, 1967. Earlier 
that day, the President had been furnished the FBI memorandum 
which summarized CIA use of underworld figures in plots against 
Castro and the lawyer's interview. On March 23, Director Helms 

** Memorandum from Washington Field OflSce to FBI Headquarters, 3/21/67. 

^ There was no dissemination to the CIA. 

^ According to the FBI Headquarters agent who wrote the memorandum, this 
information was given directly to him by the Dome.stic Intelligence Division. 

^ General Investigative Division Supervi'^or, 3/31/7G, p. 20. 

^ Supervisor testimony, 3/31/76, p. 20. It is unclear whether the identity of 
"the sources in place c'ose to Castro" was known to the FBI or whether the 
Bureau attempted to develop information concerning them in either 1963 or 1967. 

^ It should be noted that neither the President, nor the Attorney General 
ordered a follow-up investigation after receiving this memorandum. 

It was during this time period that New Orleans District Attorney James 
Garrison was conducting his own probe of the Kennedy assassination. Although 
there is no evidence that the Bureau's avoidance of any activity in support of, 
or interference with Garrison's investigation was the reason for its refusal to 
follow up on the lawyer's allegations, certain documents suggest that this might 
have been at least one of the factors that influenced the determination. For 
example, DeLoach cautioned : 

The agents interviewing [the lawyerl should make it quite clear that the 
FBI is not interfering with any current investigation being conducted 
by local authorities in New Orleans. (Memorandum from DeLoach to 
Tolson, 3/15/67.) 

^ The Select Committee questioned the lawyer and the clients who were the 
sources of the allegations. The "clients" told the Committee they had no recol- 
lection of either receiving information that Castro retaliated or discussing it 
with the lawyer. (Client No. 1, 4/23/76, pp. 12, 13; client No. 2, 4/28/76, p. 4.) 


ordered the CIA Inspector General to prepare a report on the CIA 
assassination plots. 

On April 24, 1967, the I.G. began submitting portions of his report 
to Director Helms. The May 23 draft report which was the only draft 
retained by the CIA, refers to the Drew Pearson columns and the 
lawyer's contacts with Chief Justice Warren, Rowley and the FBI, 
but does not analyze the retaliation allegations. 

Sometime between April 24 and May 22. the Director met and orally 
briefed President Johnson on the I.G.'s findings.^® "Wlien questioned 
during the course of the Committee's investigation into CIA assassina- 
tion plots. Helms was not asked specifically whether he briefed the 
President about the fall 1963 AMLASH operations. Helms did testify 
that he did not brief President Johnson about the 1964 and 1965 phases 
because he did not regard AISILASH as an assassination agent.^^ 
Although a note in Director Helms' handwriting, which apparently 
was prepared for use in briefing the President ^® only refere to covert 
actions against Cuba through mid-1963, the I.G. Report treated the 
AMLASH project from 1963 through 1965 as an assassination 

Even before work began on the 1967 I.G. Report, the CIA analvst 
on the counterintelligence staff who had been the "point of record" for 
the CIA work for the Warren Commission was asked to analyze 
public allegations of conspiracy. This analyst was not furnished a 
copy of the 1967 I.G. Report and was not asked to determine whether 
there were any connections between CIA assassination operations and 
the assassination of President Kennedy. CIA records disclose that 
he did request a name check on "A," the individual who had been tan- 
gentially connected with an anti-Castro training camp in New 
Orleans. Although "A's" file at the CIA notes that he was aware of the 
AMLASH operation in 1965, the response to the name check did not 
disclose that fact. Indeed, it was not until 1975, during the Rockefeller 
Commission's study, that this analyst learned of the CIA assassination 

Assassination Report, p. 179. 

Richard Helms testimony, 6/13/75, p. 135. 
'Assassination Report, p. 179. 
' Staff summary of interview of CIA Analyst, 3/15/'3 


The FBI and The Oswald Security Case 

A. OsivalcTs Defection 

On October 31, 1959, after learning that Lee Harvey Oswald had 
defected to the Soviet Union and informed officials at the American 
Embassy in Moscow that he intended to provide "radar secrets" to the 
Soviet Union, the FBI opened a "security case" with Oswald as the 
subject.^ As part of the investigation, the Bureau made inquiries of the 
Navy and discovered that Oswald did not have knowledge of strategic 
information that would benefit the Soviets, The FBI concluded that a 
stop should be placed against Oswald's fingerprints to prevent him 
from obtaining a passport and entering the United States under any 

About six months later, the Bureau interviewed Oswald's mother 
who believed that he had taken his birth certificate with him to the 
Soviet Union.'' In a memorandum subsequently sent to the State De- 
partment, the FBI raised the possibility that an imposter might 
attempt to return to the United States using Oswald's identity.^ 

B. OswakPs Return to the United States 

Despite this concern that an imposter might attempt to enter the 
United States using Oswald's identity, the FBI did not interview 
OsAvald until almost three Aveeks after his return on June 1^, 1962.^ 
There is no indication that any of the FBI agents assigned to the 
Oswald case were ever warned that an imposter might attempt to 
assume Oswald's identity. In particular. Special Agent James Hosty, 
the FBI asrent responsible for the Oswald case at the Dallas Field 
Office, testified that he had neither seen a copy of the June 3, 1960 
memorandum, nor attempted to determine whether someone had as- 
sumed Oswald's identity.® 

On June 26, 1962, Special Asrents John W. Fain and B. Tom Carter 
interviewed Oswald in Fort Worth, Texas. According to SA Fain's 
report, Oswald was cold, arrogant, and difficult to interview, Oswald 
denied that he told State Department officials at the American Em- 
bassy in Moscow that he was going : 

(1) was going to renounce his American citizenship; 

(2) apply for Soviet citizenship ; and 

( 3 ) reveal radar secrets to the Soviets.^ 

^ Memorandum from Belmont to Soviet Section Supervisor, 11/4/59. 

" Hid. 

^ Report from Dallas Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 5/12/60. 

* Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to Department of State, 6/3/60. 
^Memorandum from New York Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 6/26/62. 

Oswald was interviewed at the dock by an Immigration and Naturalization 
Service Inspector on his return to the United States. 

* Hosty, 12/12/75. p. 119. 

The Committee has found no evidence that an imposter entered the United 
States in Oswald's stead. 
' John W. Fain testimony, Warren Report, Vol. IV, p. 418. 



Wlien Fain asked Oswald to take a polygraph test, Oswald refused to 
even be polygraphed on whether he had dealings with Soviet in- 

Oswald also denied he had traveled to the So^aet Union because "of 
a lack of sympathy for the institutions of the United States." ^ A 
second interview on Auj?ust 16, 1962, yielded similar denials. Despite 
Oswald's attitude and demonstrable lies, the Bureau closed the Os- 
wald security case on August 20, 1962. It was not to be reopened until 
March 26, 1963.^° 

The only additional action taken by the Bureau before March 26, 
1963, consisted of: reviews of the Oswald file at the Department of 
State, inquiries of two low-level Dallas Communist Party informants 
as to whether they knew of Oswald (with negative responses), and 
interviews with three of Oswald's relatives.^^ Although wide-ranging 
interviews were a basic investi.q-ative technique commonlv used by the 
Bureau to develop background information on subjects of security 
investigations, no neighborhood or employment sources were checked 
in Oswald's case, nor was his wife interviewed.^^ 

The FBI did not interview Marina Oswald prior to the assassina- 
tion. Although Marina Oswald was considered in June 1962 for a 
Bureau program which monitored the activities of Soviet immigrants 
and repatriates to detect possible foreign intelligence ties, the Dallas 
Field Office supervisor postponed consideration of her for the pro- 
gram on July 25, 1962, noting that "her activities could be sufficiently 
monitored in connection with the security case on Lee Harvey Os- 
wald." " Hoover as noted above, the FBI security case on Le© Harvey 
Oswald was closed less than a month later. 

With respect to Oswald's marriage to Marina, and her return to 
the United States, the Warren Commission stated : 

Oswald's marriage to Marina Prusakova on April 30, 1961, 
is itself a fact meriting consideration. A foreigner living in 
Russia cannot marry without the permission of the Soviet 
Government. It seems unlikely that the Soviet authorities 
would have permitted Oswald to marry and to take his wife 
with him to the United States if they were contemplating 
using him alone as an agent. The fact that he had a Russian 

^ Memorandum from Dallas Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 7/10/62. The 
Warren Commission apparently was not provided with the administrative cover 
pages of SA Fain's report Avhich discussed OsAvald's refusal to T)e polyg^raplied. 
Nor did Fain report Oswald's refusal to be polygraphed when he testified before 
the Warren Commission on May 6, 1964, despite detailed questioning by Commis- 
sion members Ford and Dulles as to the discrepancies in Oswald's statements and 
Fain's reaction to them. (Fain testimony, Warren Report, Vol. IV, p. 418.) 

* Memorandum from Dallas Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 7/10/62. 

^° Memorandum from Gale to Tolson, 12/10/63. 

" Memorandum from Gale to Tolson, 12/10/63. 

■^ Assistant Director Gale commented upon this failure in his memorandum of 
December 10, 1963. where he wrote: "No neighborhood or employment sources 
developed, wife not interviewed, no mail covers or other techniques were used 
to determine whom Oswald in contact with or whether he had an intelligence 
assignment. Inspector feels this limited investigation inadequate. Dallas agent 
responsible for delinquencies now retired and no explanations obtained from 

^ Memorandum from Dallas Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 7/25/62. 

wife would be likely, in their view, to increase any surveil- 
ance under which he would be kept by American security 
agencies, would make him even more conspicuous to his 
neighbors as "an ex-Russian", and would decrease his mo- 
bility, A wife's presence in the United States would also 
constitute a continuing risk of disclosure. On the other hand, 
Marina Oswald's lack of English training and her complete 
ignorance of the United States and its customs would 
scarcely recommend her to the Soviet authoi-ities as one mem- 
ber of an "agent team" to be sent to the United States on 
a difficult and dangerous foreign enterprise." 

In contrast, a retired Bureau Soviet Section Supervisor told the 
Committee that of greatest concern to him in the Oswald case was the 
fact that the Soviets had allowed Marina to return to the United 
States with Oswald. He felt that if they desired to "tap Oswald on the 
shoulder and make use of him at some future date, Marina's presence 
would give them a great deal of leverage." The supervisor explained, 
"The Russians might try to exert leverage, possibly through her rela- 
tives or threats to her relatives in Russia and that sort of thiiig.^^ 
However, it should be emphasized that the Supervisor testified that 
he is not aware of any evidence which establishes that the Soviets in 
fact used or attempted to contact Oswald.^® 

C. The ContAnued Investigation: Dallas 

On September 28, 1962, the New York Field Office learned that 
Oswald subscribed to 7' he Worker^ which the Bureau characterized as 
"an east coast Communist Newspaper," and subsequently informed 
the Dallas Field Office. From the FBI's perspective, Oswald's sub- 
scription to this newspaper contradicted his interview statements that 
he was "disenchanted with the Soviet Union." ^^ Oswald's subscription 
was noted in his field office security file but FBI Headquarters was 
not informed of the subscription until Sejitember 10, 1963, and then 
only after it had requested information on Oswald from the Dallas 
office.^^ Assistant Director Gale critically commented on this aspect 
of the Bureau's handling of the Oswald' case: "In light of Os^yald's 
defection, the case should have been reopened at the first indication of 
Communist sympathy or activity (i.e., September 1962)."'^^ 

" Warren Commission Report, p. 274. 

"^ Staff summary of interview with former FBI Headquarters Supervisor, 
1/16/76 ; FBI Headquar'ters Supervisor testimony, 3/15/76, p. 21. 

"The Committee has discovered no surh evidence. 

"Memorandum from Dallas Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 9/10/63. 

See, e.g.. testimony of SA .Tames P. Hosty, .Tr., 12/13/75, p. Ill, who previously 
recommended on March 25, 1963, that the Oswald ease be reopened on the basis 
of this contradiction. 

" Memorandum from Dallas Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 9/10/63. 

"Memorandum from Gale to Tolson, 12/10/63. 

Director Hoover noted on November 29, 1963, that, "In Oswald's case there 
was no indication of repentance but only one of openly avowed hostility, and 
contacts with subversive elements." (Memorandum from W. C. Sullivan to A. H. 
Belmont, 11/29/63.) 

None of the Bureau's internal criticism of its own handling of the Oswald 
security case, or even the fact that there was such criticism, was ever made 
known to the Warren Commission. 


In October 1962, SA Hosty was assi^ed the Marina Oswald security 
case, Avhich was then in a "pendine: inactive" status. The file was re- 
viewed by Hosty in March 1963, when he also locate! Marina Oswald, 
but he did not interview her because of her alleofed marital difficulties.^" 
Hosty reviewed the Dallas security file on Oswald and, on the basis 
of Oswald's subscription to The Worker, requested approval to 
reopen the case." On ^March 26, 1963, Hosty received approval. Hosty 
stated that he did not interview Marina Oswald because he had de- 
veloped information that Oswald had been drinking to excess and 
beating his wife, and the relevant FBI manual provision required that 
he allow a "cooling off" period.^^ pgj Director Hoover later com- 
mented on the December 10, 1963, Gale memorandum that "this was 
certainly an asinine excuse" and "I just don't understand such solici- 
tude." Inspector Gale had written that : 

this entire facet of the investigation was mishandled. Mrs. 
Oswald definitely should have been interviewed and the best 
time to get information from her would be after she was 
beaten up by her husband. 

The Director added the following notation next to Gale's conclusion: 
"This certainly makes sense." ^^ 

On April 21, 1963, the New York Field Office learned that Oswald 
had written a letter to the Fair Play for Cuban Committee. This was 
the first indication in Bureau files that Oswald had a relationship 
with this pro-Castro organization.^^a Oswald's letter stated that he 
had passed out FPCC literature in Dallas with a placard around 
his neck reading "Hands Off Cuba — Viva Fidel." This information was 
not reported to Dallas until June 27, 1963,^^ and not reported to Head- 
quarters until September 10, 1963.^^ Once again, Oswald's activities 
contradicted his interview statements. 

On May 27, 1963, Hosty returned to the Oswalds' Neely Street 
residence to interview Marina and was informed that the Oswalds 
had moved from the Dallas area without leaving a forwarding ad- 
dress. In response to an SAC memorandum issued by the Dallas 
office seeking information on the Oswalds' whereabouts, the New 
Orleans office informed Dallas on July 17, 1963, that the Oswalds were 
living in that city.^" The Bureau apparently learned of Oswald's 
presence in New Orleans from a letter he had written to The Worker 
on June 26, 1963. Oswald claimed in the letter to be a long-time 
subscriber and stated that he was forming an FPCC chapter in 
New Orleans. He enclosed honorary membership cards for "those 

^ Hosty, 12/12/75, p. 119. 

^ Hosty, 12/13/75, p. 111. 

" Hosty. 12/12/75. p. 119. 

The Committee has verified that since such a manual provision was in effect, 
it appears that Hosty's decision to allow "a cooling off" period prior to inter- 
viewing Marina was entirely in accordance with FBI regulations. Neither the 
documents nor the testimony of knowledgeable FBI Officers provides any ex- 
planation for either Hoover or Gale's critical comments. 

■'^ Memorandum from Gale to ToLson. 12/10/63. 

==' Memorandum from Dallas Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 9/10/63. 

'* Memorandum from Gale to Tolson, 12/10/63. 

^Memorandum from Dallas Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 9/10/63. 

^ Memorandum from Dallas Field Office to FBI Headquarters and New Orleans 
Field Office, 8/23/63. 


fighters for peace," Mr. Giis Hall (Secretary General of the Com- 
munist Party, USA) and Benjamin Davis (National Secretary of 
the Communist Party, USA) .2" On September 10, 1963 New Orleans 
became the office for the Oswald case.^^ 

D. The Continued Investigation: New Orleans 

Oswald Avas arrested on August 9, 1963, in New Orleans in connec- 
tion Avith his FPCC activities and charged with "disturbing the peace 
by creating a scene." -^ On the morning of August 10, Oswald asked to 
see a Bureau agent, and he was intei-viewed at length by SA John L. 
Quigley. Oswald also repeatedly lied to this FBI agent. For example, 
he told Quigley that he had met and married his wife in Fort Worth, 

The New Orleans office learned on August 22, 1963, that OsAvald 
participated in a radio program Avhere he stat-ed that he was a Marxist 
and that "Cuba is the only real revolutionary country in the Avorld 
today." ^^ On August 23, 1963, the New Orleans office was instructed 
by Headquarters to "submit results of their OsAvald investigation to 
the Bureau." ^- On September 24, 1963, the New Orleans office advised 
the Bureau that the investigation was continuing and that a report 
detailing the investigative findings would be furnished.^^ An investi- 
gative report Avas subsequently sent to the Bureau on October 31, 1963, 
but it did not contain any significant information that was not already 
in OsAvald's Headquarters file. The report reveals that only tAvo in- 
formants in the New Orleans area Avere asked about OsAvald and that 
neither had heard of him.^* 

On October 2, 1963, agents of the New Orleans office attempted to 
ascertain Oswald's residence and place of employment. They learned 
that the Oswalds had left New Orleans. Leads to locate Oswald were 
sent to Dallas, Fort Worth, and Malvern, Arkansas.^^ 

^ Memorandum from New Orleans Field Ofl3ce to FBI Headquarters, 10/31/63. 

^Memorandum from Dallas Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 9/10/63. 

^ There is no indication in FBI documents or the Warren Commission's record 
that Oswald was in New Orleans on any occasion between October 1959 and 
April 24, 1963. However, an Immigration and Naturalization Service Inspector 
testified before the Committee that he is absolutely certain that he interviewed 
Lee Harvey Oswald in a New Orleans jail cell sometime shortly before his April 
1, 1963, transfer out of New Orleans. Although the Inspector is not now certain 
whether OsxA-ald was using that particular name at that time, he is certain 
that Oswald was "claiming to be a Cuban alien" and that he "interviewed Os- 
wald to verify or disprove this status." The Inspector neither recalls what Os- 
wald said nor what language or languages he conversed in. He does not recall 
anything unusual about Oswald's dress or demeanor, and believes that he quickly 
ascertained that Oswald was not a Cuban alien, at which time he would have 
left Oswald in his jail cell. (I&NS Inspector testimony. 12/11/75.) 

On .lanuary 6, 1976, the Committee staff telephonically contacted the New 
Orleans Police Department and requested that they review their Oswald arrest 
records to see if he had been arrested other than on August 9, 1963. On .January 7, 
the staff was informed that there was no record of another Oswald arrest, and 
that the New Orleans Police Department, in fact, had no information on Oswald 
prior to August 9, 1963. 

^ Memorandum from New Orleans Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 8/15/63. 

^ Memorandum from New Orleans Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 10/31/63, 
p. 11. 

'' Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to New Orleans Field Office, 8/23/63. 

=° Memorandum from New Orleans Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 9/24/63. 

=^ Memorandum from New Orleans Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 10/31/63. 


The evidence indicates that Lee Harvey Oswald was in INIexico 
City from September 27, 1963, through October 2, 1963. On October 10, 
1963, Burean Headquarters was provided with a copy of a CIA cable 
which stated that "Lee Henry Oswald" (sic) had been in contact 
with the Soviet Embassy in Mexico City on September 28, 1963.^*' 

It was not until October 22, 1963, that information pertaining to 
Oswald's Mexico City trip Avas provided to the New Orleans office.^" 
SA Hosty in Dallas had by chance ascertained similar information 
from the local I&NS office and coincidentally, his report detailing 
this information was received in New Orleans on October 22, 1963.^^ 

Thus, despite the fact that both the Dallas and New Orleans field 
offices were aware that Oswald had been in contact with the Soviet 
Embassy in Mexico City, there is no evidence that either of these 
field offices intensified their "efforts" to locate and interview Oswald. 
Most surprising, however, is that the "Soviet experts" at FBI Head- 
quarters did not intensify their efforts in the Oswald case after being 
informed that Oswald had met with Vice Consul Kostikov at the 
Soviet Embassy in Mexico City.^^ Not only were these experts familiar 
with Soviet activities in general, but they knew that Kostikov was a 
member of the KGB. Further, the Bureau's Soviet experts had reason 
to believe he was an agent within the KGB's Department which car- 
ries out assassination and sabotage.'*" They were also aware that 
American citizen contacts with the Soviet Embassy in INIexico City 
were extremely rare." Ironically, the teletype which informed the 
Bureau of Oswald's Mexico City activities was sitting on a pile of 
documents on a Headquarters supervisor's desk aAvaiting initial ac- 
tion on November 22, 1963. That portion of the Gale memorandum 
which discusses Oswald's Mexico City trip reads as follows : 

The SOG [Seat of Government] supervisor failed to take any 
action on the teletypes, stating it did not appear to him any 
action was warranted. Inspector (i.e., Gale) feels . . . the 
field should have been instnicted to intensify investiga- 
tion . . . and Oswald placed on Security Index.'*- 

E. Continued Investigation : Dallas 

On October 26, 1963, the New Orleans Field Office advised the 
Dallas offic-e that the Oswalds had left, a forwarding address in Irving, 

^ CIA Cable from Mexico Station to FBI Headquarters 10/10/63 ; memorandum 
from LEGAT, Mexico City to FBI Headquarters, 10/18/63. 

All the information that the FBI had prior to November 22, 1963, on Oswald's 
activities in Mexico City came from the CIA. On October 3, 1963, the CIA Mexico 
Station reported to Headquarters that Oswald had been in contact with the 
Soviet Embassy. On October 10, 1963, CIA Headquarters passed this information 
with some background material to the Navy, the State Department, and the 
FBI. The Mexico Station made a similar distribution to FBI and State Depart- 
ment officials in Mexico. Since Oswald was an American citizen, and since FBI 
was the responsible aarency, disseminating this information ended CIA's re- 
sponsibility in this matter. 

"Memorandum from FBI Headquarters to LEGAT, Mexico City, 10/22/63, 
copy to New Orleans Field Office. 

** Memorandum from Dallas Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 10/22/63, copy 
to New Orleans Field Office. 

^' Memorandum from LEGAT, Mexico City to FBI Headquarters, 10/18/63. 

""Information regarding Vice Consul Kostikov was made available to the 
"Warren Commission. (Letter from CIA to the Warren Commission, 1/22/64.) 

*^ "former FBI Mexico City Lesral Attache testimony, 2/4/76, p. 17. 

*^ Memorandum from Gale to Tolson, 12/10/63. 


Texas. Dallas was asked to verify the new residence,''^ and on October 
30, 1963, SA Hosty reported that although Oswald's family was living 
with the Paine family in Irving, Oswald Avas not living there. On 
November 1, 1963, Hosty went to the Paine residence to "find out where 
Oswald was residing."' " Ruth Paine informed Hosty that she did not 
know where Oswald lived ; however, she did state that Oswald was 
employed at the Texas Book Depositoiy. Toward the end of the inter- 
view, Marina Oswald came into the room. According to Hosty, she 
expressed fear of the Bureau and their brief conversation, with Ruth 
Paine translating, was an attempt to re-assure her.^^ 

After the assassination, the Dallas office explained to FBI Head- 
quarters that the investigation had been delayed to "be sure that it 
was in possession of all information from New Orleans." Inspector 
Gale commented on this explanation in his December 10, 1963, 
memorandum : 

Inspector definitely does not agree, New Orleans submitted 
sixteen-page report, 10/31/63, and only leads outstanding in 
New Orleans were to ascertain Oswald's whereabouts. No 
indication New Orleans had any further data. . . . Even if 
New Orleans had not reported all information in their pos- 
session, Dallas should have intensified investigation in light of 
Oswald's contact with Soviet Embassy in Mexico City and not 
held investigation in abeyance.^^ 

Finally, it should be noted that facts publicly disclosed by the Bureau 
in October 1975,^^ establish that some two weeks prior to the assassi- 
nation Lee Harvey Oswald visited the FBI's Dallas Field Office and 
left a note for Special Agent James P. Hosty, Jr., and that the note 
was subsequently destroyed. The circumstances surrounding the receipt 
and destruction of the Oswald note are discussed in Appendix B. 

*^ Memorandum from New Orleans Field Office to FBI Headquarters, 10/25/63, 
copy to Dallas Field Office. 

■" It should be noted that under the relevant FBI manual provisions then in 
effect, any contact such as Oswald's with the Soviet Embassy in Mexico City 
required that immediate investigative action at the appropriate field office be 
undertaken. However, it should be further noted that other provisions precluded 
the field office's interviewing Oswald without the express written approval or 
direction of Headquarters. 

*^ Hosty, 12/13/75, p. 54. 

** Memorandum from Gale to Tolson, 12/10/63. 

*■' Deputy Associate FBI Director James B. Adams testimony, before the House 
Judiciary Subcommittee on Civil and Constitutional Rights, 10/21/75. 


The FBI and the Destruction of the Oswald Note 

In early July 1975, a Dallas newsman met with former FBI Special 
Agent-in-Char^e for Dallas, J. Gordon Shanklin. The newsman in- 
formed Shanklin that an unidentified source had told him that Lee 
Harvey Oswald had visited the FBI office in Dallas sometime prior to 
the assassination and had left a threatening note for Special Agent 
James Hosty, who had been conducting the FBI investigation of 
Oswald. The newsman stated that neither Oswald's visit, nor the note, 
were reported to FBI Headquarters officials. Shanklin suggested that 
the newsman contact Deputy Associate Director James Adams at FBI 

On July 7, 1975, the newsman met in Washington, D.C., with Adams 
and Director Kelley and informed them of these allegations. The At- 
torney General was advised on July 8, 1975, that the Bureau intended 
to conduct an inquiry regarding these allegations.^ Later that day, 
Director Kelley held a conference with Adams, Shanklin, the Head- 
quarters agent assigned to the assassination case, the Assistant Direc- 
tor in charge of the Inspection Division, and the Dallas SAC. The 
Assistant Director in charge of the Inspection Division was assigned 
personal responsibility for directing the FBI inquiry of the cir- 
cumstances surrounding the delivery and duplication of the note.^ 

The Bureau's initial file review failed to develop any information 
indicating that Oswald had ever visited the FBI field office in Dallas 
or that he had left a note.* FBI interviews with personnel assigned to 
the Dallas field office in 1963 established that : 

(1) Lee Harv^ey Oswald did visit the office some two or 
three weeks prior to the assassination ; 

(2) Oswald asked to see SA James Hosty, and upon being 
informed that he was not in, left a note for Hosty ; and 

(3) the note was destroyed after the assassination.^ 

The evidence developed by the Bureau contained sharp conflicts. 
The investigation failed to establish : 

( 1 ) whether the note was threatening in nature ; and 

( 2 ) at whose instruct ion the note was destroyed. 

Rather than attempting to draw conclusions from an evidentiary 
record replete with factual discrepancies, the Committee has decided 
to set forth in summary fashion the evidence developed by the Bureau 
and the committee, highlighting those areas where discrepancies 

^ J. Gordon Shanklin testimony, 12/19/75, p. 10. 

= Memorandum from the Director, FBI, to the Attorney General 7/29/75. 

=> Ibid. 

* Memorandum from the Director, FBI to the Attorney General, 7/29/75. 

« Ibid. 



The Wording of the Note 

Approximately one week or ten days prior to November 22, 1963, 
Lee Harvey Oswald appeared at the reception desk in the Dallas 
field office and asked to see Special Agent James Hosty. After being 
informed that he was not available, Oswald left an envelope with 
a note inside for Hosty. The envelope Avas unsealed and the note was 
partly visible. According to the receptionists, the note read as follows : 

Let this be a warning. T will blow up the FBI and the Dallas 
Police Department if you don't stop bothering my wife. 
Signed — Lee Harvey Oswald. 

Sometime later in the day the receptionists personally gave the note 
to Hosty .^ 

Hosty recalled the note's wording as : 

If you have anything you want to learn about me, come 
talk to me directly. If you don't cease bothering my wife, 
I will take appropriate action and report this to proper 

Hosty's supervisor said he recalled that the note contained some 
kind of threat, but could not remember specifics.*^ 

Aside from the i-eceptionist. Agent Hosty, and the supervisor, no 
one else interviewed by the FBI recalled having seen the note. Some 
other individuals indicated that from conversations they had had 
with the receptionist after the assassination, they understood that the 
note contained a threat. 

CircuTnstances Sui-^^ouruling the Destruction of the Note 

After reading the note, Hosty placed it in his workbox, where it 
remained imtil the day of the assassination. On the day of the assassi- 
nation, Hosty participated in an intei'view of Oswald at the Dallas 
Police Department. When he returned to the field office about an hour 
later, Hosty was called into Shanklin's office where he met with his 
supervisor and Shanklin. One of them displayed the note and asked 
Hosty to explain its contents.'' Hosty told them he had intendewed 
INIarina Oswald at the residence of Ruth Paine on November 1, 1963. 
According to Hosty, during the post-assassination interview at the 
Dallas Police Department, Oswald commented that Hosty was the 
FBI agent who had Iwthered his wife, and that if the agent wanted 
to know something about Oswald, he should have come and talked to 
Oswald himself." 

According to Hosty, Shanklin ordered him to prepare a memoran- 
dum detailing facts pertaining to the note and his interview with 
Marina Oswald and Ruth Paine. Hosty testified that he did prepare 
such a memorandum and delivered it to Shanklin on the evening of 
November 22, 1963." 

' Affidavit of receptionist, 7/15/75. 
' Affidavit of James P. Hosty, Jr., 7/17/75. 
* Affidavit of supervisor, 9/8/75. 

The supervisor stated that the note was on plain paper, was either hand- 
written or handprinted, and was threatening in nature. 
' Hosty affidavit, 7/17/75 ; Hosty, 12/13/75, p. 147. 
'"' Hosty affidavit, 9/22/75 ; Hostv, 12/13/75, p. 148. 
^ Hosty, 12/18/75, p. 153. 


Hosty's supervisor said that he had found the note in Hosty's work- 
box very soon after the assassination of President Kennedy. He stated 
that he took tlie note to Shanklin's office, but liad no recollection of 
what happened to the note or who may have had it thereafter,^- 

Accordintr to Hosty, approximately two hours after Oswald had 
been pronounced dead on November 24, his supervisor told him that 
Shanklin wanted to see him. Hosty testified that he Avas -instructed 
by Shanklin to destroy both the note and the November 22 memo- 
randum reo:arding it, and that he complied with these instructions.^^ 
Shanklin denied any knowledge of Oswald's visit to the Dallas Office 
and the note. He also maintained that he did not issue any orders to 
destroy the note. In fact, Shanklin claimed that he had no knowledge 
of this entire matter until July 1975.^* 

The personnel assigned to the Dallas Office in November 1963, do 
not know whether anyone at FBI Headquarters was ever informed of 
the Oswald visit, note, or subsequent events. However, William Sulli- 
van, who was an Assistant Director of the Bureau at the time of the as- 
sassination, has stated that he discussed the Oswald case many times 
with Shanklin ; and that Shanklin stated "he had an internal prob- 
lem involving one of his Agents who had received a threatening mes- 
sage from Oswald because the Agent was investigating Oswald." Sul- 
livan recalls that Shanklin seemed disinclined to discuss the matter 
other than to say he was handlino; it as a personnel problem with As- 
sistant to the Director, Jolm P. Mohr.^^ Mohr has denied under oath 
any knowledge of the note or its destruction.^^ Similarly, each of the 
other living Bureau officials in the chain of command of the two in- 
vestigative divisions which supervised the Kennedy assassination case 
furnished the Bureau with a sworn statement denying any knowledge 
of this matter. 

"Affidavit of Supervisor. 9/1.5/75. 

" Hosty affidavit. 9/22/75 ; Hosty, 12/13/75, p. 183. 

Deputy Associate FBI Director James B. Adams testified before the Sub- 
committee on Civil and Constitutional Rights of the Hou-se Committee on the 
Judiciary, 10/21/75, that the agent who destroyed the note did so to "avoid 
embarrassment to the Bureau." 

" Shanklin affidavit, 9/24/75 ; Shanl^lin. 12/19/75, p. 10. 

However, a recently retired Special Agent, in an affidavit submitted to the 
Bureau, stated that he mentioned the note and the destruction to Shanl<lin while 
driving with liim in a ear in August 1974. (Special Agent affidavit, 7/23/75.) 

'^Affidavit of William C. Sullivan, 9/16/75; Staff interview of Sullivan, 

Sullivan added that he did not know whether other Headquarters officials were 
aware of the note, or that the note had been destroyed. 

" Affidavit of John P. Mohr, 9/12/75. 



January 1 — Fidel Castro takes over the Cuban government, Batista 
and his personal aides leave Cuba. 

December' 11 — Dulles approves "thorough consideration be given to 
the elimination of Fidel Castro." 


Late September — Bissell and Edwards brief Dulles and Cabell 
about operations against Castro. 

Initial meeting between Rosselli, Maheu and CIA Support Chief. 
A subsequent meeting takes place in Florida. 


January 22 — President Kennedy succeeds President Eisenhower. 

March — President Kennedy raises subject of assassination with 
Senator Smathers, indicating his disapproval. 

April — Rosselli passes poison pills to a Cuban in Miami. 

April 15-17 — Bay of Pigs invasion fails. 

May 22 — Hoover memorandum to Attorney General Robert 
Kennedy noting CIA had used Giancana in "clandestine efforts" 
against Castro. 

November 16 — President gives speech mentioning opposition to 

November 29 — John McCone succeeds Allen Dulles as Director, 

November— O^^v2it\on MONGOOSE is created. 

December— FBI meets with Lansdale re : MONGOOSE. 


February 19 — Helms succeeds Bissell as Deputy Director, Plans, 

April — Harvey establishes contact with Rosselli. 

Late April — Harvey passes poison pills to Rosselli in Miami. 

May 7— Houston and Edwards brief Attorney General on pre-Bay 
of Pigs underworld assassination plot. 

May 76?— Attorney General Kennedy tells Hoover that the CIA has 
used underworld figures in an effort to assassinate Castro. 



Septemher 7 — Rosselli tells Harvey the pills are still in Cuba. 
October 22-28 — Cuban missile crisis. 
November — OpeTation MONGOOSE ends. 


Early 1963 — William Harvey tells underworld figures the CIA is 
no longer interested in assassinating Castro. 

March 75^Attack on a Soviet vessel off the northern coast of Cuba 
by members of Alpha 66, assisted by members of the Second National 
Front of Escambray reportedly occurs. 

March 26 — Attack on a Soviet vessel by members of Commandos 
L-66, another anti-Castro group, reportedly occurs. 

April — Special Group discusses the contingency of Castro's death. 

May-September — Lee Harvey Oswald moves to New Orleans; be- 
comes involved with FPCC. He contacts anti-Castro Cubans as well. 

Mid 1963 — Series of meetings among major leaders of the anti- 
Castro movement. 

June — Special Group decides to step up covert operations against 

July 21f. — Ten Cuban exiles arrive in New Orleans from -Miami and 
join the "training camp" north of New Orleans. This "training camp" 
is directed by the same individuals who were previously involved in 
procuring dynamite. "A", a life-long friend of AMLASH, had helped 
procure the dynamite, 

Late July — Carlos Bringuier is requested to assist exiles at the 
"training camp" in returning to Miami. 

July 31 — The FBI seizes more than a ton of dynamite, 20 bomb cas- 
ings, napalm material and other devices at a home in the New Orleans 
area. Articles appear in the New Orleans Time Picayune on August 1, 
2, and 4, 1963. 

August 16 — Chicago Sun Times carries an article that reports CIA 
had dealings with the underw^orld figure Sam Giancana. 

Helms informs McCone of the CIA operation involving Giancana, 
and tells him it involved assassination. 

August — According to FBI report, a Latin American military offi- 
cer attends a Cuban exile group meeting and talks of assassination. 

Early September — Talks between the Cuban delegate to the United 
Nations, La Chuga, and a U.S. delegate, AVilliam Atwood, are pro- 
posed by the Cubans. 

September 7 — CIA case officers, after their first meeting with 
AMLASH since prior to the October 1962 missile crisis, cable head- 
quarters that AMLASH is interested in attempting an "inside job" 
against Castro and is awaiting a U.S. plan of action. 

Castro gives an impromptu, three-hour interview with AP reporter 
Daniel Harker. He w-arns that U.S. leaders aiding terrorist plans to 
eliminate Cuban leaders will themselves not be safe. 

September 12 — Cuban Coordinating Committee meets to conduct a 
broad review of the U.S. Government's Cuban continoency plans. They 
agree there is a strong likelihood that Castro would retaliate in some 

101 - 

way against the rash of covert activity in Cuba ; however, an attack on 
U.S. officials within the U.S. is considered unlikely. 

Late September — Oswald is in Mexico City and visits both the 
Cuban and Soviet Consulates. 

September 21 — The coordinator of Cuban Ajffairs circulates a memo- 
randum listintj assi^mnents for continofency papers relating to possible 
retaliatory actions by the Castro regime. No responsibility is assigned 
for attacks on U.S. officials within the United States. 

October 6 — FBI Headquarters learns of Oswald contacts in Mexico 

October 7(9— The FBI is told by an informant that the CIA is 
meeting with AMLASH. 

October 24 — Jean Daniel, the French reporter, conducts a brief 
interview with President Kennedy before setting off on an assignment 
in Cuba. President Kennedy expresses his feeling that Castro had 
betrayed the revolution. 

October 29 — Desmond Fitzgerald, a senior CIA officer, meets 
AMALSH. Fitzgerald tells AMLASH that a coup would receive U.S. 
support. Fitzgerald is introduced to AMLASH as a personal repre- 
sentative of Attorney General Kennedy. 

November 1 — Diem is assassinated following a coup. 

November — Case Officer is told by Fitzgerald that AMLASH may 
be told the rifles, telescopic sights and explosives will be provided. 

November 17 — According to FBI reports, the Cuban-American is at 
the home of a member of the Tampa FPCC. He is there awaiting a 
telephone call from Cuba which is to give him the "go-ahead order" 
to leave the U.S. 

November 18 — President Kennedy makes a public appearance in 
Tampa and delivei*s a speech on Cuba policy in INIiami. 

November 19 — Castro contacts Daniel and spends six hours talking 
to him about U.S. — Cuban relations. 

November 20 — CIA officers telephones AMLASH and tells him there 
will be a meeting on November 22. AMLASH is told that it was the 
meeting he has requested. 

According to FBI reports, the Cuban American obtains a Mexican 
tourist card at the Consulate in Tampa. 

November 22 — President Kennedy is assassinated. 

The Case Officer meets iwith AINILASH. He refers to President 
Kennedy's speech of November 18 in ^liami and indicates that Fitz- 
gerald helped write the speech. He tells AMLASH the explosives and 
rifle.s with telescopic sights will be provided. The Case Officer also 
offers AlVIL ASH the poison pen device but AMLASH is dissatisfied 
with it. As the meeting breaks up, they are told President Kennedy 
has been assassinated. 

Daniel spends the day with Castro and later reports his reaction to 
news of the assassination. 

McCone requests all Agencv material on Oswald. 

Mexico Station cables CIA Headquarters, 1730 hours, to inform 
them of Oswald's October visit to Mexico City. 


FBI Headquarters dispatches a teletype at 9 :40 p.m. to all field 
offices requesting contact of all informants for information bcarino; on 
the assassination. 

FBI Headquarters dispatches a teletype at 11:00 p.m. to all field 
offices requesting they resolve all allegations pertaining to the 

November 23 — Director McCone meets with President Johnson and 
McGeorge Bundy and briefs them on information CIA Headquarters 
had received from Mexico Station. 

CIA Headquarters cables the AMLASH Case Officer and orders 
him to break contact with AMLASH because of the President's as- 
sassination and to return to Headquarters. 

CIA personnel on the CI Staff prepare a memorandum suggesting 
that Oswald's contacts in Mexico City with Soviet personnel midit 
have sinister implications. This information is transmitted to CIA's 
liaison with FBI by telephone at 10 :30 a.m. 

Desk officer is * put in charge of CIA investigation of the 

CIA Headquarters telephones the Mexico Station to get the planned 
arrest of Duran called off, but learns the arrest could not be called off. 
Karamessines Fends a cal)le to Mexico Station saving, the arrest "could 
jeopardize IT.S. freedom of action on the whole question of Cuban 

Legat informs FBI Headquarters that the U.S. Ambassador to 
Mexico is concerned that Cubans were behind Oswald's assassination 
of President Kennedy. The Ambassador requests both the CIA and 
FBI do everything possible to establish or refute this Cuban con- 

FBI Headquarters dispatches a teletype to all field offices rescinding 
the early teletype of November 22, 1963. 

Novemhev 21^ — INfexico Station dispatches a cable to Headquarters 
with the names of all known contacts of certain Soviet personnel in 
Mexico City. Among the names in the cable is that of AMLASH. 

At 10 :00 a.m., Director McCone meets with the President and briefs 
him about CIA's operational plans against Cuba. 

Cablegram is sent from Mexico to CIA Headquarters stating that 
the U.S. Ambassador to Mexico feels that the Soviets are too sophis- 
ticated to participate in a direct assassination of President Kennedy, 
but ih^ Cubans would be stupid enough to have participated with 

Oswald is murdered at 12 : 21 p.m. EST. 

November 25 — The Case Officer prpparcs a "f^ontact rpoort" on the 
November 22 meeting with AMLASH. On Fitzgerald's orders, no 
mention is made of the poison pen being offered to AMLASH. 

At noon, "D" shows up at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City. He 
tells Embassy personnel that he was in the Cuban Consulate on Sep- 
tember 18 and saw Cubans pay Oswald a sum of money and talk about 
Oswald's assassinating someone. 

At 12 :00 p. m., Mexico dispatches a cnble to CT \ Headquarters re- 
mindinp- Headnuarters of Castro's September 7, 1963 statement threat- 
ening U.S. leaders. 

A senior U.S. Embassy official in Mexico City tells a senior Mexican 
Government official known facts nbout Oswald's visit to INIexico City 
and raises questions of Cuban involvement. 


November 26 — McCone ao;ain meets witli President Johnson. The 
President tells him the FBI has responsibility for the investigation of 
the President's death and directs him to make CIA resources avail- 
able to assist the FBI's investigation. 

The American Ambassador in INIexico sends a cable to the State 
Department through CIA channels. He gives his opinion that the 
Cubans were involved in the assassination. 

CIA Headquarters cables CIA stations in Europe and Canada for 
all information on the assassination issue, noting they should care- 
fully examine material obtained from a specified resource. 

Deputy Attorney General Katzenbach writes Presidential Assistant 
Bill Moyers, stating "that the facts should be made public in such 
a way as to satisfy the people of the U.S. and abroad, that the facts 
have been told and a statement to this effect be made now." The 
public should be satisfied that Oswald was the assassin and specula- 
tion about his motive ought to be cut off. 

November 27 — Legat cables FBI Headquarters and notes a press 
release referencing to Castro's speech of September 7, 1963. 

One CIA Station cables information received from the specified 
resources that AMLASH had been indiscreet in his conversations, 

FBI sends a supervisor to Mexico City to coordinate the investi- 
gation and to pursue it vigorously until the desired results are 

November 28 — CIA Headquarters cables a reminder to the Mexico 
Station to "follow all leads'' and to continue to investigate the possi- 
bility of Cuban or Soviet involvement, 

CIA Headquarters warns the Station Chief in Mexico that the Am- 
bassador was pushing the case too hard and his proposals could lead 
to a "flap" with the Cubans, 

November 29 — President Johnson announces formation of the 
Warren Commission after discussing other possibilities with Direc- 
tor Hoover, 

November SO — Director McCone meets with President Johnson at 
11 :00 a,m. and they discuss the Cuba question. "D" is mentioned. 

December 1 — INIcCone meets with both Bundy and President John- 
son, McCone's memorandum indicates they discussed "D's" story. 

CIA Headquarters cables Mexico Station indicating it has received 
information from a sensitive source that a Cubana Airlines flight to 
Havana had been delayed in INIexico City from 6:00 p.m. until 11:00 
p.m. on the day of the assassination. It was awaiting an unidentified 
passenger who arrived in the twin engine aircraft and failed to go 
through customs. The passenger rode in the cockpit on the flight to 

December 2— At 10 :00 a,m., McCone meets with the President and 

At 3 : 00 a.m., McCone's calendar reveals he attended a meeting at the 
CIA with the subject being Cuba. 

December 3 — CIA Headquarters receives information from Mexico 
that the Cuban— American left the U.S. on November 23 and flew from 
Mexico City to Havana on November 27. 


Decemher J^. — CIA receives a report from one of its Cuban agents 
that he tliou<^ht he liad met Oswald in Cuba, INIexico City or the United 
States. This ao;ent believes that the Cuban government employed 
assassins and had carried out at least one assassination in Mexico. 

FBI memorandum from Sullivan to Belmont indicates there is no 
evidence that Oswald's assassination of the President was inspired 
or directed by [pro-Castro] organizations or by any foreign country. 

Decemher 5 — Mexico Station cables that someone who saw the 
Cuban-American board the aircraft to Havana on November 27 re- 
ported that he "looked suspicious." 

Decemher 6 — Warren Commission holds its first meeting, as the 
FBI and CIA are completing their own investigations. 

December 8 — CIA Headquarters cables its Miami Station ordering 
a halt to an operation to supply weapons to AMLASH, pending a high- 
level policy review. 

Decemher 9 — A memorandum to Director McCone discusses U.S. 
operations against Cuba, but does not mention the AMLASH opera- 
tion, or any other specific operation. 

FBI's 5-volume report on the assassination is completed. 

Deputy Attorney General Katzenbach w^ritcs the "Warren Commis- 
sion and recommends that the Commission immediately state that the 
FBI report clearly shows Oswald was a loner. 

Decemher 10 — Hoover receives report on the investigative deficien- 
cies in the handling of the pre-assassination Oswald case. Results in 
disciplinai-y action against 17 Bureau officials. 

Director McCone meets with CIA staff and the subject of the meet- 
ing is Cuba. 

Decemher 12 — CIA Mexico Station reports the FBI is pushing to 
wind up the ISIexican aspects of the case. 

Late Decemher — CIA desk officer completes a brief report on his 
investigation, which is submitted to the President. 

The CIA decides to have the Counterintelligence Division continue 
the investigation. 


January 2S — A subordinate to the Chief of Counterintelligence is 
designated the "point of record" for all matters relating to the assas- 
sination and the Warren Commission. 

January 24 — FBI liaison is told by CIA official that there are no 
active plots against Castro. 

January 28 — Rankin meets with Hoover and they discuss the alle- 
gation that Oswald was an FBI informant. 

Januain/ 31 — Hoover indicates in his memorandum of the Janu- 
ary 28, 1964 meeting, that he did not appreciate the statement by 
Chief Justice Warren that the Bureau's report was a "skeleton report." 

March 26 — The President's Commission requests the FBI to re- 
spond to 52 questions. In a subsequent memorandum (4/3/64) by 
a Bureau Supervisor to William Sullivan, he states the Commission is 
cross-examining the Bureau in regard to its investigation of the Presi- 
dent's assassination. 


Rankin requests that the FBI furnish the Commission with infor- 
mation on certain pro-Oastro and anti-Castro organizations. 

May H — Both Hoover and Helms testify the case will always be 

May 20 — Rankin requests additional information on certain pro- 
Castro and anti-Castro groups. 

June 11 — Warren Commission receives a summary of the organiza- 
tions from the field offices but not from FBI Headquarters. Hoover's 
letter informs the Commission that the CIA and Department 
of the Army "may have pertinent information concerning these 

July — The FBI learns some details of the CIA's AMLASH opera- 
tion from one of the FBI's informants. 

September 9 — The Bureau informs the White House and the Act- 
ing Attomey General that "the Commission's report is seriously in- 
accurate insofar as its treatment of the FBI is concerned." 

September 25 — Bureau receives a copy of the Warren Commission's 

September 30 — Assistant Director Gale presents a memorandum 
that reviewed the Commission Report "as it pertained to FBI 
shortcomings." Bureau again disciplines agents. 

October 1 — An FBI inspector telephonically contacts Rankin and 
informs him that "he did the Bureau a great disservice and he'd out- 
McCarthy'd McCarthy." 

Late 1964. — AMLASH becomes more insistent that the assassina- 
tion of Cuban leadership is a necessity. He is told that the U.S. 
Government cannot become involved in the "first step." He is put in 
contact with B-1 and the CIA through B-1 is kept informed of the 

May — "A" contacts I&NS with information about the AMLASH 
operation. He is turned over to the FBI for handling. The FBI in- 
forms the CIA about "A". 

Jym£ — Both agencies interrogate "A" and establish that he knew 
who was involved in the AMLASH operation, including the CIA. 

June 23 — CIA Headquarters cables its Stations stating the entire 
AMLASH group is insecure and further contact constitutes a menace 
to CIA operations. 

July 2 — FBI writes that the details of the meeting with "A" and 
the CIA were sent to the White House, the Attomey General and the 


Late January — Drew Pearson meets with Chief Justice Warren and 
informs Warren that a lawyer was told by an underworld contact 
that Castro planned Kennedy's assassination. 

January 31 — Rowley meets with Warren, Rowley is informed of the 
lawyer's story. 


February 2 — Warren calls Rowley and informs Rowley that he 
spoke Avith Pearson who said the lawyer w^anter to see Warren. 

February 8 — Tentative date set by Pearson with Warren for the 
lawyer to meet with Secret Service. Neither Pearson nor the lawyer 
contacted Secret Service. 

February 10 — Rowley advises Warren that neither Pearson nor 
Warren have contacted Secret Service. Rowley tells AVarren the in- 
formation would be passed to the FBI. 

February 13 — FBI is informed by James J. Rowley that Chief 
Justice Warren had recently been informed of U.S. attempts to as- 
sassinate Castro in 1962 and 1963, that Castro had decided to utilize 
the same procedure and that Warren wants these allegations looked 

February 15 — Hoover informs Rowley that the Bureau "is not con- 
ducting any investigation" but would accept volunteered information. 

March Jf — Robert Kennedy's secretary calls Hoover and requests a 
copy of Edward's memo of May 7, 1962 at which time Robert Kennedy 
was briefed on assassination plots. 

March 7 — Drew Pearson's column is published. 

March 17 — Presidential Assistant Marvin Watson advises DeLoach 
that President Johnson has instnicted the FBI to interview the lawyer 
concerning any knowledge he had in the assassination of Kennedy. 
Watson says request "stemmed from a communication the FBI had 
sent the "White House some w^eeks ago." 

March 20 — The lawyer interviewed by the Washington Field Office 
would not identify his source of the information that Castro plotted 
to kill Kennedy. Agents interviewing the law^yer were instructed to 
make it clear the FBI was "not interfering with any current investiga- 
tion in New Orleans. 

March 22 — The FBI forwards results of the interview with the 
lawyer to the "\Aniite House. The information indicates that the lawyer's 
sources allegedly were used by the CIA in attempts against Castro. 
The "Wliite House also receives information originally from CIA re- 
lating to CIA's use of ]Maheu and Giancana in a plot against Castro. 
Material also includes infomiation that Robert Kennedy advised on 
INIay 9, 1962 that CIA should never take such steps without first check- 
ing with the Department of Justice. Helms meets the President at the 
White House in early evening. 

March 23 — Helms assigns the Inspector General the task of report- 
ing on CIA assassination attempts against Castro. 

April 4 — Watson calls DeLoach and advises that the President is 
convinceci there was a plot in connection with Kennedy's assassination. 

April 2Ji- — I.G. Report is delivered to Helms in installments. 

May 22 — Helms returns copy of report to I.G. 

May 23 — All notes and other derived source material of the I.G. 
Report are destroyed. 


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