Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Debating The McCrone-Rowley Memorandum

CIA Director John McCone allegedly wrote to Secret Service Chief James Rowley a memorandum which documented Lee Harvey Oswald's association with the CIA and his final standing with the agency at the time of his death. Much debate on the internet ensued from the circulation of this memo, with a majority opinion concluding that it was a forgery. Much less attention was paid to the substance of the correspondence which would shed further light on its value and authenticity.

The March 3, 1964 memo summarizes its knowledge of Oswald thusly: CIA began training subject in 1957 for Soviet assignments under cover of the Office of Naval Intelligence. Initial training involved aerial reconnaissance of mainland China, followed by training at Camp Peary from September 8 - October 17, 1958. He was deployed on a few "relatively minor" assignments before being infiltrated into the USSR in 1959. The DCI states that it would not be "advantageous" to divulge the purpose of the assignment, but that he would provide it if asked by Rowley.

McCone next states that during the Soviet assignment, Oswald became unreliable and expendable. The DCI then speculates that a surgery on April 1, 1961 in Minsk Hospital resulted in Oswald's instability, evidenced in part by his marriage to Marina Prusakova, his primary concern being that Oswald might be a sleeper agent.

After returning to the US, Oswald was assigned to New Orleans where he performed minor assignments under the direction of Guy Banister.

We have condensed the interpretation of the memo to focus on the salient points it raises.

Our judgment of the memo is that its tone is a tad too folksy or pedestrian to be from the DCI - at least veteran CIA officials - lacking the archness, terseness, and jargon commonly associated with such documents. On the other hand, that is somewhat beside the point. Does the memo contain any truth?

The most important element of this correspondence is the evaluation of Oswald's reliability. And on that note, one could easily imagine James Angleton becoming as nervous as a cat in a sauna when he found out that Oswald had married Marina. Was he a double agent? Had he been flipped? We shall see that is precisely how the counter-intelligence chief acted - the one who was convicted of perjury and mail fraud.

At this point we have 2 options regarding his marriage to Marina: 1. he married her for romantic reasons 2. he married her as part of an assignment. We lean toward option 1 because of the adverse treatment he received from the Department of Navy, such as his less than honorable discharge which downgraded his hardship discharge of September 1959.

But the downgrade is very telling for it reveals that Oswald was still in the Navy working for ONI as this memo indicates. A discharge is final unless one is still in the service. Apparently Oswald wandered off the reservation whose retribution was a highly adverse USN action and one which the Marine appealed in vain.

Another extraordinary evidence proving that Oswald worked for CIA was the 201 file opened on him in December 1960 by Ann Egerter who worked for Angleton. Not only does the 201 file prove that Oswald worked for CIA, but that proof is reinforced by the investigation by the CIA's Special Investigation Group which Egerter confirmed in sworn testimony before the House Select Committee on Assassinations was only applicable to employees of the agency.

With these 2 adverse actions against Oswald, it was only a matter of time before the CIA "burned" him wherein he was murdered for "national security." Thus the sum and substance of the memo were in fact corroborated by facts - specifically personnel and security actions which led to his framing as the patsy.

It will be fruitless to debate the memo on documentary grounds for it cannot be found in the National Archive, though telltale signs prove that hundreds of pages have been removed from the related files - meaning that the original may in fact be waiting for discovery. It is quite interesting that this memo, which first appeared in 1980, was light years ahead of the conventional and alternative histories.

Ben Holmes, Credible Evidence that Oswald Worked for the CIA,, June 2, 2016

Walt Brown, McCone to Rowley: Oswald Was One of Our Boys,, October 2004

Copyright 2019 Tony Bonn. All rights reserved.