JAMES CRARY SAID:
As you know, this image was put forwards by the authorities to prove Oswald was in Mexico City.
Given the relatively large discrepancy in appearances, how is one to trust any of the intelligence offered to the effect that Oswald was doing anything they claimed?
How can you possibly see this as evidence of anything but somebody toying with public scrutiny? It's a mockery.
DAVID VON PEIN SAID:
We don't need to trust "the authorities" to know that Oswald went to Mexico City and visited both the Cuban and Russian embassies. We've got many OTHER people who can confirm that Oswald was down there. There's Silvia Duran and the various Soviet personnel who confirm it was Oswald.
Plus: we've got Oswald's own 12/9/63 letter to the Soviet Embassy in Washington, in which he confirms his visit to Mexico. Plus there's Marina's testimony. She knew all about Lee's Mexico excursion.
And then there's the best physical evidence of all -- CE2564 -- Oswald's SIGNED visa application, which has Lee's own picture and signature on it.
The proof that Lee Oswald went to Mexico and visited the Cuban and Soviet embassies in Mexico City is multi-layered and multi-faceted -- HIS picture on the Cuban application, HIS signature on multiple documents (including the hotel guest register), HIS own letter to the Soviet Embassy dated Nov. 9th, Marina's testimony, Silvia Duran, the officials at the Soviet Embassy, and the witnesses on the bus. The evidence is a mile deep.
But I suppose CTers think this document recovered by the officials at the Cuban Embassy in Mexico City is a forgery too.
ROB CAPRIO SAID:
Can you show me where Sylvia Duran (Tirado) [sic] identified LHO as the man she saw?
DAVID VON PEIN SAID:
Via Silvia Duran's HSCA testimony:
GARY CORNWELL - Did you have any other discussion that you can recall with him about it? Based on that news report? About your contact?
SILVIA DURAN - With my husband?
CORNWELL - Yes.
DURAN - I only told him, I think this man came to the Embassy.
CORNWELL - Then, the next morning you saw a newspaper.
DURAN - Yes.
CORNWELL - Were you sure at that time that that was the man?
DURAN - Yes.
I don't suppose Duran's last "Yes" above means anything to you, does it Rob?
There is also this from Duran's HSCA session, which is even BETTER than a positive identication of Oswald by Duran:
CORNWELL - Going back to the second visit, is it your memory that you typed the application in duplicate, you stapled the pictures at the top of each copy, is that correct?
DURAN - Yes.
CORNWELL - Then what did you do with the application?
DURAN - Well, I used to put it in a file, and uh, I used to keep one copy, another to send, the original, we used to send to Cuba. And I think I have another file.
CORNWELL - Was he required to sign the application?
DURAN - He signed it, yes.
CORNWELL - Did he sign one or both of them?
DURAN - I think both, it has to be.
CORNWELL - Did he sign it in your presence?
DURAN - Yes.
So, Rob, is this document to which Ms. Duran above was referring a faked document (both the signature of Lee H. Oswald AND the photograph of him)?
DAVID VON PEIN LATER SAID:
After seeing Oswald's picture in the newspaper on 11/23/63, what would make Silvia Duran think (for even a brief moment) that Lee Oswald was the same man she had seen in Mexico City if, in fact, the man whom she really saw at the Cuban Embassy had blond hair and was only 5-feet-3?
JOSELYN HEARRING SAID:
What can be shared about the supposed incident of Oswald swearing to kill Kennedy when Oswald was denied a visa at the Cuban Consulate?
DAVID VON PEIN SAID:
I'm never quite sure where the conspiracy believers are seeking to go with this topic about Oswald allegedly threatening to kill Kennedy while LHO was in Mexico City.
Is such a threat being made by the real Lee Harvey Oswald supposed to somehow make it less likely that Oswald really did shoot President Kennedy two months later?
Or do most conspiracists think that if such a threat against JFK was shouted out by someone in Mexico, it must have been an IMPOSTER who was trying to frame the real Oswald for Kennedy's murder?
But since all reasonable and rational people know that the REAL Lee Oswald did go to Mexico City in September 1963, then any verbal threat against JFK would have been a threat made by the real Oswald, which would, of course, be perfectly consistent with what did end up occurring in Dealey Plaza on November 22nd. It would have been a situation where Oswald threatens to kill Kennedy in late September....and Oswald does kill Kennedy in late November.
So, how is that scenario in any way incompatible with the facts and evidence?
JOSELYN HEARRING SAID:
I can't speak for anyone else, but for me it does make Oswald an even more viable assassin if the incident did occur. I can't find reference in the WCR or the attached volumes to this incident, yet surely the CIA knew about it if it did occur.
So I am trying to understand first of all if it is evident that it did occur and if so, why wasn't it presented to the WC.
Would it have exposed sources? Would it cause questions regarding Cuban involvement? Would it have been another example of a "dropped ball" by US intelligence agencies?
DAVID VON PEIN SAID:
Quoting from Vincent Bugliosi's book.....
"Another related story that [Fidel] Castro flatly denies, and with good reason, was the one told by British tabloid journalist Comer Clark. In an October 1967 edition of the National Enquirer, he wrote that on July 15, 1967, he had an exclusive interview with Castro late one night in a Havana pizzeria. He quotes Castro as saying, "Lee Oswald came to the Cuban Embassy in Mexico City twice. The first time, I was told, he wanted to work for us. He was asked to explain, but he wouldn't. He wouldn't go into details. The second time he said something like: 'Someone ought to shoot that President Kennedy.' Then Oswald said—and this was exactly how it was reported to me—'Maybe I'll try to do it.' This was less than two months before the U.S. President was assassinated . . . Yes, I heard of Lee Harvey Oswald's plan to kill President Kennedy. It's possible I could have saved him. I might have been able to, but I didn't. I never believed the plan would be put into effect."
The HSCA learned that Clark, who died in 1972, "wrote extensively for the sensationalist press in England. His articles include such items as 'British Girls as Nazi Sex Slaves' [and] 'I Was Hitler's Secret Love.'"
When the HSCA asked Castro on April 3, 1978, about Clark's allegation, he responded in a blizzard of denunciatory words. Among them: "This is absurd. I didn't say that. It has been invented from the beginning until the end. It's a lie from head to toe. If this man [Oswald] would have done something like that, it would have been our moral duty to inform the United States."
Denying that he had ever met Clark or been interviewed by him, he said, "How could [this man] interview me in a pizzeria? I never go to public restaurants . . . I would never have given a journalist an interview in a pizzeria . . . What is the job of that journalist? What is he engaged in?
. . . You should . . . find [out] who he is and why he wrote it."
In yet another example of good investigative journalism on his part, conspiracy theorist Anthony Summers interviewed Clark's widow and assistant. The widow told Summers that Clark had never mentioned interviewing Castro. Most importantly, Summers writes that the assistant, Nina Gadd, said that "she generated the story, without going anywhere near Havana, on the basis of allegations made to her" by an unnamed Latin American foreign minister.
As it turns out, though Clark's story was a fabrication in that he had never spoken to Castro, an earlier source told the FBI essentially the same story. In a June 17, 1964, letter to Warren Commission general counsel J. Lee Rankin, J. Edgar Hoover said a "confidential source" who had "furnished reliable information in the past" reported that Castro had "recently said" that "our people in Mexico gave us the details" of Oswald 's visit to the Mexican consulate, and when his request for a visa "was refused him, he headed out saying 'I'm going to kill Kennedy for this.'"
The story doesn't make sense. Why would Oswald threaten to kill Kennedy because the Cuban consulate turned down his request for a visa? What's the connection? Silvia Duran, the secretary at the consulate who dealt with Oswald and was present at the time of Oswald's outburst when his request for a visa was denied, said she heard no such threat by Oswald against Kennedy. And the Cuban consul, Eusebio Azcue, who was also present, also said no such threat by Oswald was made, adding that if it had, he would "have passed this information to Fidel."
It should be noted that the Warren Commission should have included in its report Oswald's alleged threat to kill Kennedy at the Cuban consulate in Mexico City, but it did not, and I have not been able to find Hoover's letter to Rankin in any of the Commission's volumes of exhibits.
Because the HSCA sensed from the demeanor of many other employees at the Cuban consulate that they were telling the truth when they denied having any foreknowledge of the assassination, the committee concluded that Oswald had not "voiced a threat [to kill Kennedy] to Cuban officials."
How did this story, which arguably connected Castro with Kennedy's assassination, get started? A few days after the assassination (November 26), Gilberto Alvarado Ugarte, a twenty-three-year-old Nicaraguan secret agent purporting to be working against the Cuban Communists for his country's security service, went to the American embassy in Mexico City and claimed that on September 18, 1963, he was at the Cuban consulate seeking to get to Cuba with the intent to infiltrate Castro's forces.
While standing by the bathroom door, he said he saw three men conversing on an adjacent patio. One was a black man, tall and thin, with reddish hair. The second was a Canadian with blonde hair, and the third man was Lee Harvey Oswald. A tall Cuban joined the group only long enough to pass some currency to the black man.
Alvarado said he then overheard the black man say to Oswald, "I want to kill the man," whereupon Oswald replied, "You're not man enough, I can do it." The black man then said, "I can't go with you, I have a lot to do."
He then gave Oswald $6,500 in large-denomination American bills (he doesn't say how he knew it was $6,500--did he see and bother to count the denominations adding up to $6,500?), $5,000 as compensation to kill Kennedy and $1,500 as expense money, saying, "This isn't much."
Could anyone with an IQ above 50 possibly believe that this was Oswald's recruitment into the conspiracy to kill Kennedy, and his payment for being the triggerman?
Apart from the fact that Oswald was in New Orleans, not Mexico City, on September 18, 1963 (the day Alvarado said the incident took place), when Mexico police interrogated Alvarado, he admitted, in writing, that he had made up the whole matter. His motive, he said, was that he hated Castro and hoped his story would cause the United States to "take action" against him. When reinterrogated by the CIA, he first claimed the Mexico police had pressured him into retracting his story, and that his retraction, not his first statement, was false.
He was then given a polygraph test by a CIA polygraph expert assisted by an FBI agent. The test indicated he was probably lying, prompting Alvarado to say, "I know such machines are accurate, and therefore, I suppose I must be mistaken."
On December 1, 1963, less than a week after Alvarado's claim, another Mexican, Pedro Gutierrez Valencia, a credit investigator for a large Mexico City department store, wrote a letter to President Johnson, making a claim analogous to but not corroborative of Alvarado's: The date (September 30 or October 1, 1963) was different from Alvarado's; there were two men, not three; and the location was in front of the Cuban embassy, not on a patio to the rear of the consulate.
Gutierrez, leaving the embassy after conducting a credit investigation of one of its employees, claims he heard a heated discussion, in English, between a Cuban and an American in which he could understand only the words "Castro," "Cuba," and "Kennedy." The Cuban counted out American dollars and gave them to the American, at which time they got into the Cuban's car and drove off. Gutierrez said the American was Oswald.
Again, the extreme improbability that any agreement and payment for Kennedy's murder would take place not in private, but literally out in the open in view of others, and under the other circumstances Gutierrez described, is alone enough to discount the story.
But other facts that undermine Gutierrez's credibility emerged. It turns out that Gutierrez, like Alvarado, was a zealous anti-Castro activist and thus had a motive similar to Alvarado's for lying: to convince the United States that Castro was behind the assassination, thus inducing this nation to remove Castro from power." -- Vincent T. Bugliosi; Pages 1285-1287 of "Reclaiming History"
JOSELYN HEARRING SAID:
I agree that Comer's story with the pizzeria interview of Castro has been discredited as per Bugliosi's article.
But what about the information received by the FBI from their informant Jack Childs? JEH [J. Edgar Hoover] seemed impressed with his story. Ambassador Mann also appears to have believed some version of the story as he continued to push for further action even after Ugarte's story was recanted.
Do you have any information regarding these sources of the threat story?
Thank you for your help.
DAVID VON PEIN SAID:
From Bugliosi's book....
"Contrary to what has been written—that Hoover sent Jack Childs to Cuba to find out what Castro had meant in a November 27, 1963, speech in Havana when he said Oswald had made a “provocative statement” when he visited the Cuban embassy in Mexico City (Hosty with Hosty, Assignment: Oswald, p.220)—Childs was in Havana on a mission for his other employer, the Kremlin, and it was during his meeting with Castro on this matter that Castro brought up the Kennedy assassination. Castro asked Jack, “Do you think Oswald killed Kennedy?” after which he went on to tell Childs about the threat to kill Kennedy he (Castro) said he had been told about by his people in Mexico City. (Barron, Operation Solo, pp.xiii, xv, 4–5, 25, 36–37, 58, 109–114, 339–340)" -- Vincent Bugliosi; Page 731 of Endnotes in "Reclaiming History"
STEVE M. GALBRAITH SAID:
David: If you can recall, what does VB [Vincent Bugliosi] say about the tapes of Oswald's phone calls and the question of whether the CIA had photos of Oswald entering the Embassies?
Specifically, did MC [Mexico City]/CIA keep dubs/copies of the tapes? Did Slawson and Coleman hear them? And did they indeed have a couple of photos of Oswald? Win Scott said they did.
DAVID VON PEIN SAID:
Quoting Mr. Bugliosi.....
"It should be noted that the ARRB obviously did not accept as having merit the testimony of Anne Goodpasture before the Review Board on December 15, 1995, and the reasons, I think we will see, are obvious.
Goodpasture was a close assistant to Win Scott, the head of the CIA station in Mexico City, and was very knowledgeable about everything taking place there. When she testified before the HSCA on April 13, 1978, she was asked, “How long were the . . . Mexico City station’s tapes concerning Oswald’s conversations with Cuban and Soviet officials maintained?”
She answered, “I think they were probably destroyed,” which she said was after “about two weeks.”
“At the time of the assassination, did the Mexico City station have on hand the tapes of the Oswald conversation?”
“Not to my knowledge.”
“Are you aware of the fact that, after the assassination, it has been alleged that some tapes were given to the FBI to listen to and that it was said that these tapes contained Oswald’s voice on them?”
“Someone asked me about that, but I do not think that I had the
tapes . . . I was not aware that we gave any to the FBI.”
Goodpasture was also asked, “At any time, did anyone in the Mexico City station find any photographs showing Lee Harvey Oswald?”
“Not to my knowledge.”
“There was no picture taken of him [by the CIA’s “photo-surveillance operations” covering the Russian and Cuban embassies]?”
“That is right,” she said under oath. (HSCA Record 180-10131-10339, Transcript of HSCA Executive Session testimony of Anne Goodpasture, April 13, 1978, pp.63, 93–94, 96–97)
And she told the ARRB she recalled “a definite message sent to [CIA headquarters in] Washington which said there was no photograph of Oswald.”
Yet remarkably, seventeen years later Goodpasture told the ARRB that “I think there was” a “copy” made of that portion of the main tape of the CIA’s intercept of the Soviet embassy calls on October 1, 1963, that contained Oswald’s phone conversation with the embassy. “Do you yourself have any knowledge or recollection about a tape of the voice from the October 1st transcript having been given to the FBI?”
“No,” Goodpasture answered.
“Do you have any knowledge about the tape being identified after the assassination as . . . having Oswald’s voice on it?” After answering no, she went on to say, “I don’t know what happened to the tape after I brought it in.” (In this last sentence she has gone all the way from what she told the HSCA in 1978 [that the Oswald tapes were probably destroyed and she was not aware of any Oswald tapes in existence at the Mexico City CIA station at the time of the assassination] to what she had just testified [that “I think there was a tape”], to there definitely being a tape that she had “brought in.”)
She then sounds almost delusional (she retired from the CIA in 1975 after thirty-one years, and although she still spoke well in 1995, she must have been up in years) when she added, “After the assassination, look in the records, there might be—there should be a reference to some FBI agent who hand-carried material to Laredo. I believe they carried a photograph [of Oswald?] and they may have carried the tape dub [copy of Oswald part of October 1, 1963, tape] . . . I seem to recall he carried something up to the border the night of the assassination or the next day.”
Let’s see if we can get this straight. An FBI agent came to Mexico City (or was already there) and instead of flying from Mexico City to Washington, D.C., with the photo and tape of Oswald, he hand-carries it to Laredo? Somehow I have the image of the photo and tape in a small bag of the agent, and the agent trekking across mountain ranges and desert from Mexico City to far off Laredo. Did he then also hand-carry what he was transporting from Laredo to Washington, D.C.?
Goodpasture, after all this, proceeded to tell ARRB counsel that he should contact a particular person who was at the CIA’s taping center in Mexico City during the period in question because “he might remember whether [whether? I thought you said there was a tape?] he made a duplicate of that tape.” (Transcript of oral deposition of Anne Goodpasture before ARRB on December 15, 1995, pp.136, 144, 146–147)
Conspiracy theorists are convinced they have conclusive evidence that copies of several taped intercepts with Oswald’s voice on them were still in existence years after the assassination. Melbourne Paul Hartman was the CIA agent responsible for maintaining the CIA’s file on Oswald at CIA headquarters between 1964 and 1976. When HSCA counsel asked him in 1978, “Did you ever receive tape recordings of voice recordings of Lee Harvey Oswald taken during his stay in Mexico City?” he answered that sometime in the late 1960s he received a “package of tapes [he believed from the Mexico branch] . . . concerning the Oswald case,” which he put in the file.
But it is highly unlikely that the CIA would have kept the Oswald recordings for more than the standard two weeks before recording over them because Oswald, at the time, would have been of little or no interest to the agency. And if, for whatever reason, the CIA did, it is also highly unlikely that it would have kept the tapes when it had already gone on record as not having them, risking their discovery and, hence, proof that the CIA had lied.
Further, Hartman’s testimony is very weak. For one thing, he said, “I never opened the packet.” Also, that “all I can tell you . . . concerning the packet of tapes, whether there were any tapes there with Oswald’s voice on them or whether they were . . . some of the other tapes of some of the other [electronic] taps . . . some other case, [Silvia] Duran or whoever, what have you, I don’t know . . . They were simply tapes concerning the Oswald case.”
Question: “Did you at any time feel that these were tapes of Oswald’s voice?”
Answer: “I have no feelings one way or the other.”
“Do you know whether any tapes of Lee Harvey Oswald’s voice obtained in Mexico City were ever recovered?”
Hartman answered, “No, I don’t.” (HSCA Record 180-10110-10003, Executive Session transcript of testimony of Melbourne Paul Hartman on October 10, 1978, pp.6, 30, 35, 38–39, 73)
Steve Tilley at the National Archives says that in 1999 the CIA turned over to the archives “three large boxes of tape-recordings made in Mexico City around the time of the assassination.” He said that although “they all related to the assassination, and Oswald was mentioned on some of the tapes, we received no tape with Oswald’s voice on it.”
Contrary to the suggestion of an assassination researcher (whose name I am not mentioning), Tilley said he never indicated to the researcher that he was alarmed that at one time the Hartman-Oswald tapes were at the archives and someone removed them and they are no longer there. “I never said or suggested this,” Tilley said. “Whatever was sent to us, we still have.” (Telephone interview of Steve Tilley by author on June 1, 2006)
Pursuant to my request of Tilley, he had Martha Murphy, an archivist, check to see the exact dates covered by the tapes, and she later informed me they covered the period from November 22, 1963 to December 13, 1963 (Telephone interview of Martha Murphy by author on June 5, 2006).
Conspiracy theorists have also relied on the statements of former Warren Commission counsel W. David Slawson that the CIA retained one or more tapes of Oswald’s telephone calls to the Russian embassy. Slawson visited the Mexico City CIA headquarters in April of 1964 with fellow assistant counsels William Coleman and Howard Willens.
When I called Slawson about this in February of 2000, he said he could not remember hearing any tapes of Oswald during his visit to Mexico City. But he told me that while he was being shown something elsewhere at the headquarters, he believed, but was not sure, that his partner, Coleman, heard the tape of a call Oswald made to the Soviet embassy. (Telephone interview of David Slawson by author on February 26, 2000)
When I thereafter called Coleman, he told me he could not remember if he heard any Oswald tape, “but if David said I did, then I did. You’re asking me to remember something that happened over thirty-five years ago” (Telephone interview of William Coleman by author on March 9, 2000).
With respect to Slawson, in March 2006, the expert assassination researcher Gus Russo provided me with information I had been unaware of. Russo was one of the two lead reporters for the Frontline documentary on Lee Harvey Oswald that was shown on PBS in November 1993. He sent me the transcript of Anthony Summers’s September 11, 1993, taped interview of Slawson for Frontline dealing with the Mexico City tapes issue.
Slawson’s statement to Summers was not used on the Frontline show and this is why I had been unaware of it. Slawson told Summers, “I know that they had the tapes of the wiretaps with Oswald’s voice on them. My recollection [which implies he is not 100 percent positive] is that we listened to them, but I don’t think we listened to them all the way through. They were of poor quality and there didn’t seem to be any point in listening to them because we had the transcript that we could study . . . There was no way I could have authenticated [that it was Oswald’s voice] because I didn’t know Oswald’s voice from anything.”
Hardly the type of statement that one could take to the bank on the issue of whether Slawson heard Oswald’s voice on a CIA tape in Mexico City. Russo also furnished me with copies of letters Slawson had written to assassination researchers C. J. Rowell and his daughter in which he said things like the following: “Yes, we had access to the CIA tape of Oswald in Mexico City”; “We were able to listen to as many of the [Oswald tapes] as we wanted to. We listened to some, at least”; “Yes, I listened to the tape of Lee Harvey Oswald’s telephone conversation with the Soviet Embassy in Mexico City.” (Letters from David Slawson to C. J. Rowell or his daughter...dated August 24, 1990, December 4, 1992, and April 14, 1993)
When I called Slawson back in March of 2006 to discuss the tape issue, he essentially reiterated what he had told me in February of 2000, adding a few details. He remembered that the head of the CIA station in Mexico City, Win Scott, and one of his chief assistants, whose name he could not remember, showed him and Coleman transcripts of Oswald’s tape-recorded conversations, which Slawson said he had already seen in Washington, D.C. He said they were told that if they wanted to hear the actual tapes, they could, although Slawson seems to recall that some of the tapes were missing and there “may have only been one left—I’m not sure.”
At that point Slawson said he didn’t see any point in it, since he had the transcript and he could not authenticate that it was Oswald’s voice on the tape since he was not familiar with Oswald’s voice. “But Bill [Coleman] said something like, ‘Being a trial lawyer I should hear all the evidence,’ so he stayed in the secure room while I went upstairs to meet with the FBI agents to discuss our joint efforts to trace Oswald’s activities during his trip to Mexico City in the fall of 1963. I believe, but am not positive, that Bill listened to the tapes.”
When I brought up to Slawson what he had told Summers and the Rowells about having listened to the tapes himself, he said, “You know, Vince, when I was saying these things, my memory was very vague. I was talking about something that happened close to forty [sic] years earlier . . . The first time I really focused on it was when I spoke to you. Actually, to you and [Warren Commission staff member] John Ely, which was after the early 1990s [Summers] interview and letters. I finally clarified in my mind what had happened.”
When I asked him whether he was absolutely sure that Win Scott and his assistant told him and Coleman that they had the actual tapes of Oswald’s voice, he responded, “I cannot be 100 percent positive, but to the best of my knowledge and belief we were told that they did.” (Telephone interview of David Slawson by author on March 8, 2006; Letter from David Slawson to author dated March 22, 2006)
There is no way to know, for sure, whether the CIA, after the assassination, retained the tapes of Oswald’s telephone conversations with the Russian embassy, but the weight of the evidence is that it did not. Leaving aside the fact that the CIA has always insisted it never retained the Oswald tapes, the HSCA investigated the entire matter and said, “The committee determined that CIA headquarters never received a recording of Oswald’s voice” (HSCA Report, p.250).
And certainly, if the Mexico City station of the CIA had the Oswald tapes after the assassination, it would have forwarded them on to headquarters. .... Even Edwin Lopez, the chief HSCA investigator in Mexico City, who is strongly pro-conspiracy, said the Oswald tapes, after being transcribed, were “most likely erased after 16 October 1963” (HSCA 180-10110-10484, Lopez Report, pp. 9A, 183).
And the ARRB, after a re-examination of this issue, came to the same conclusion (ARRB memorandum to file by Irene Marr on September 24, 1998, p.9).
Plus, common sense tells us the tapes were erased before the assassination. If they weren’t, what reason would the CIA have for saying they were? Since the agency has provided the world with the transcripts of the tapes, why not provide the tapes themselves to back up the transcripts?
Also, as David Phillips indicated to me, there was nothing on the tapes, as evidenced by the transcripts, that would cause the CIA to feel they should be retained—that is, Oswald’s words fell into the 95 percent category of conversations that the CIA erased.
On the other hand, as Slawson argues, because of Oswald having defected to the Soviet Union and the fact that he was now having multiple contacts with the Cuban and Soviet embassies and talking about returning to Russia, et cetera, the CIA would not be as likely to treat the Oswald tapes routinely by destroying them (Letter from David Slawson to author dated March 22, 2006).
As far as Slawson’s “belief” that the CIA people told him in Mexico City that they had the Oswald tapes, no one can question the integrity of someone of Slawson’s well-earned stature, but his belief is most likely incorrect, and attributable simply to a failure of memory. Not only would this belief be inconsistent with the weight of the evidence, but if the CIA has consistently maintained to everyone from the very beginning that it had no tapes of Oswald after the assassination, why in the world would the head of the CIA in Mexico City be telling Warren Commission assistant counsel that it did? That makes no sense.
Jeremy Gunn, the former executive director of the ARRB, has articulated an interesting twist on the whole tape issue. Some conspiracy theorists have alleged that the CIA in Mexico City routinely impersonated people in telephone conversations with the Russian embassy (e.g., Newman, Oswald and the CIA, p.364).
Gunn says, “A standard operation there was to impersonate Americans who were in phone contact with the Embassy. I am convinced that this is the big secret with the Oswald tape.”
Gunn said the purpose for the impersonation was to learn more about the embassy and its employees. He believes that someone at the CIA impersonated Oswald’s voice, and the CIA destroyed this tape because “the CIA feared, first, that the public would assume they were working with Oswald and two, their impersonation gambit would be exposed.” (Memo of conversation by Gus Russo of his interview of Jeremy Gunn on September 8, 2003, p.1)
While Gunn’s assertion may be true, it has never been substantiated."
-- Vincent Bugliosi; Pages 596-600 of Endnotes in "Reclaiming History"
[End book quotes.]
Here's a video clip concerning the topic of Oswald's trip to Mexico City, extracted from the 1993 "Frontline" PBS special, "Who Was Lee Harvey Oswald?"....
David Von Pein
September 2-3, 2014
DAVID VON PEIN SAID:
Question for conspiracy theorists:
If Lee Harvey Oswald was not in Mexico between the dates of September 25 and October 3, 1963, then where was Lee Harvey Oswald during that time period?
Nobody that I am aware of places Oswald anywhere EXCEPT in Mexico (or on the busses going to and from Mexico) during that eight- to nine-day period in question.
Marina Oswald certainly didn't say that her husband was with her during that period of time. In fact, quite the opposite. Marina knew darn well that Oswald was going to Mexico City at that time.
And Ruth Paine has never said she saw Oswald during that period just prior to his returning to the Dallas/Irving area on October 3rd.
This might seem like a minor point to some people, but I think it deserves some attention and is a valid and reasonable question that I just asked. I mean, everybody's got to be SOMEWHERE.
So, if Lee Oswald didn't travel to Mexico from Sep. 25 to Oct. 3, 1963, then where the heck was he concealing himself for those eight or nine days after he was last seen in New Orleans?
David Von Pein
September 18, 2010
DAVID JOSEPHS SAID:
Warren Commission decides NOT to show DURAN Oswald's app she processed.
DAVID VON PEIN SAID:
But Silvia Duran did look at that very same visa application when she was interviewed by the HSCA in 1978, and she identified not only the photo as being a picture of the same man (Oswald) she saw at the Cuban Consulate/Embassy in September of 1963, but she also identified the handwriting as her own writing in the upper-right part of the application (the handwritten numbers "779")....
GARY CORNWELL - This is a photograph of what would appear to be a visa application. Does it appear to be basically the type of visa application that we have been speaking about?
SILVIA TIRADO (DURAN) - Yes. The numbers, I think they're mine.
CORNWELL - The numbers in the upper right-hand corner which are handwritten?
TIRADO - I think so.
CORNWELL - Those appear to you to be in your handwriting?
TIRADO - Yeah, because when I file I write in the number.
CORNWELL - I have another photograph of just the upper left-hand corner of the same document, which we'll mark as Exhibit 3 on the back, and ask you if, to the best of your recollection, that is a photograph of the man whom you saw on or about the 27th of September?
TIRADO - Yes.
JAMES DiEUGENIO SAID:
Davey is the greatest cherry picker in the history of the case.
He completely ignores the dialogue with Ed Lopez which took place after this walk-through with Cornwell, which Josephs quoted earlier [here]. And pretty much blows up the whole Cornwell part.
But that is Davey for you.
DAVID VON PEIN SAID:
The Lopez/Duran quotes are actually very nice for an "LNer" like myself, because that exchange between Lopez and Duran only serves to demonstrate once more in this case how people are really bad at estimating the weight of OTHER PEOPLE they are looking at. Duran seems to think that the general build and size of both "skinny" Oswald (Duran's quote) and the 199-pound Edwin Lopez were the same build. (Think "Marrion Baker" and "Howard Brennan", with regard to their individual TOO HEAVY estimates of Oswald's weight.)
And Jimmy will no doubt just ignore the fact that Silvia Duran said that it was her handwriting on the Cuban visa application. And Jim will also totally ignore the fact that Duran also identified the picture on the application---a picture of OSWALD, of course---as being the same man she saw in Mexico City in September 1963.
But that is Jimmy for you.
THOMAS GRAVES SAID:
Going from memory here, but when I watched Ed Lopez walk to the witness chair to give "testimony" in a videotaped mock trial (or some such thing), I never would have guessed he weighed THAT much.
Did he lose a lot of weight between 1978 and the mock trial? Did the court reporter in '78 make a mistake?
DAVID VON PEIN SAID:
I suppose either one of those things is a possibility, Tommy. Because it's hard to imagine a person who is well under six feet tall (which Lopez appears to be; see the video here) being both "skinny" and weighing 199 pounds. That's just not possible. (And Lopez looks quite thin to me in 1986 at the mock trial. But maybe he dropped a load in the eight years between '78 and '86. ~shrug~)
DAVID JOSEPHS SAID:
It's a typo Dave... The 5'3" Lopez weighed 119 lbs... not 199.
DAVID VON PEIN SAID:
[See the excerpt below from Page 103 of HSCA Volume 3, which confirms that David Josephs is correct about the "199 pounds" statement being a typographical error in the transcript of Silvia (Tirado) Duran's June 1978 HSCA interview.]
David Von Pein
January 19—April 11, 2018