Lee Harvey Oswald was instructed to assassinate President John Kennedy by the Soviets —perhaps by then-leader Nikita Khrushchev himself, according to a new book by former intelligence chiefs of the CIA and KGB.
“Operation Dragon: Inside The Kremlin’s Secret War on America,” written by Ambassador R. James Woolsey and Lt. Gen. Ion Mihai Pacepa, said Khrushchev and the Soviets later changed their minds about killing Kennedy, but KGB associate Oswald proceeded with the plan due to his love for the USSR, per the New York Post.
“There is no doubt that Lee Harvey Oswald was trained by the KGB to commit the assassination of President John F. Kennedy,” the authors wrote. “Even after the KGB ordered Oswald to stand down, Oswald stubbornly went ahead with what he considered his personal mission as bestowed upon him by his hero, Khrushchev.”
Woolsey ran the CIA from 1993-1995. Pacepa, who died of COVID-19 earlier this month, was a former acting chief of Communist Romania’s espionage service and the “highest-ranking intelligence official from an enemy country ever granted political asylum in the United States.”
The authors claimed the 26-volume Warren Commission Report proved their case, though so much of it was “codified” that no one understood the significance until now.
“Decoded, these pieces of evidence prove that John F. Kennedy’s assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, had a clandestine meeting in Mexico City with his Soviet case officer, ‘comrade Kostin,'” the authors said, “who belongs to the KGB’s Thirteenth Department for assassinations abroad.”
The book said Oswald had been recruited by the Soviets in 1957, when he was a U.S. Marine serving in Japan.
Oswald then spent several years working clandestine missions, including providing information that allowed the USSR to shoot down American pilot Gary Powers in 1960.
New Orleans native Oswald was assigned, possibly by Khrushchev himself, to begin preparations in 1962 to assassinate Kennedy.
“Although Oswald wished to remain in the Soviet Union, he was eventually persuaded to return to the U.S. to assassinate President Kennedy, whom Khrushchev had come to despise,” the authors said. “Oswald was given a Soviet wife and sent back to the U.S. in June 1962.”
Without offering evidence or proof, the authors wrote the Soviets changed their minds sometime between June ’62 and April ’63, and recalled the assignment.
Oswald, however, was determined to see it through.
“Oswald knew that Nikita Khrushchev, the leader of Oswald’s paradise and new home, the Soviet Union, had entrusted him with that task, and he was confident he could pull it off,” the authors wrote. “By this time, however, the KGB and [the country’s] leaders realized that Khrushchev’s crazy ideas were giving their country a terrible reputation. Another false step by the hot-headed Khrushchev, and there might be nuclear war.”
The authors offer evidence, often in the form of letters, of Oswald meeting with KGB agents, and plans for Oswald and family to return to the USSR after he completed his mission.
Oswald wrote a letter to the Soviet Embassy on July 1, 1963, requesting separate visas for him, his wife and daughters. The authors said this made it clear “Oswald wanted to see his wife and children back in the Soviet Union before assassinating President Kennedy and that he required a separate entry visa for himself to [use] after accomplishing his mission.”
A Nov. 9 letter — dated two weeks before Kennedy’s assassination in Dallas — was written after Oswald returned from a trip to Mexico City. In the correspondence, he referenced a meeting with “Comrade Kostin,” whom the authors identified as “Valery Kostikov, an identified PGU [First Chief Directorate] officer of the Thirteenth Department.”
Following Kennedy’s assassination, the Soviets’ efforts at disinformation also were cited by the authors. The USSR tried to convince the world the event had been orchestrated by everyone except the Soviet Union.
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