Monday, March 4, 2013

Oswald's Counter-surveillance Tradecraft

                                         Oswald's Counter-survillance Tradecraft

When the Secret Service conducted their filmed reenactment of the assassination, they give a good overview of the general situation and show the target car coming down Houston Street and making the turn onto Elm, and you can’t help but wonder WHY the shooter didn’t take this easy shot, and as the car completes its turn right under the window, you wonder WHY that easy shot wasn’t taken, and then there’s the tree blocking the view of the target before the point is reached where the fatal head shot was taken. 

JFK Assissination Re-Enactment part 1 - YouTube

JFK Assassination secret service Re-Enactment part 2 - YouTube

And the answer is - the head shot was taken from the front as the car approached the shooter who was on the Grassy Knoll. 

Then you watch as the gunman - played by a Secret Service agent in suit and tie, hustles down an isle of books, places the rifle next to a small stack of books directly in front of the steps where it would easily be found, and descends the steps. 

Four flights later, the cameraman follows the assassin to the second floor where you see the door to the lunch room with a square window, through which Dallas motorcycle policeman Marion Baker saw Oswald's head as he ran up the steps behind TSBD Roy Truly, ninety seconds after the last shot was fired. 

For Oswald to have been the Sixth Floor Sniper he had to come down those steps and enter the lunchroom through that door. 

As they examined the situation however, the Secret Service realized that for Baker to have seen Oswald through that window from the steps, the door had to be closed, because if was open, even a little bit, the window would move and disappear. 

On the other side of the door is a vestibule with another door that leads south to the offices and steps and elevator to the front door.

Oswald was last seen (by Arnold) on the first floor and that's where he said he was at the time of the assassination, then went to get a coke in the second floor lunchroom, where he was seen by Baker. The Warren Commission tells us Oswald then left the lunchroom through the south door. 

Two minutes later a court clerk from across the street saw the pantlegs of a man standing and moving boxes around in the Sixth Floor Sniper's nest. If that wasn't Oswald, who was it? 

After giving a report to police and his testimony to the Warren Commission, TSBD Roy Truly was recalled by Warren Commission attorneys for one additional question - does the lunchroom door with the window through which the cop saw Oswald - does that door have an automatic door closer? 

Since they asked this question in an office in the Post Office Annex across the plaza from the TSBD, certainly the WC lawyers could have walked over and looked for themselves to see if the door had an automatic closing device, but instead they asked Truly. 

The question they didn't ask him was why, if he was in front of Baker running up the steps, why didn't he see Oswald as he walked through the door? 

They didn't ask the question because they already knew the answer - Oswald didn't walk through that door, but entered the vestibule of the 2nd floor lunchroom through the south door, the same door he exited. 

The Secret Service filmed Reenactment stops filming what Oswald would have seen if he had done what they say he did - exit through the front door three minutes after the last shot without anyone seeing him or filming him. 

From there the SS Reenactment film uses maps to indicate where Oswald went - walking six to eight blocks east on Elm, then getting into a bus that is going back to the scene of the crime. When the bus gets stuck in traffic, he takes a transfer and walks to the bus station where he gets a cab to Oak Cliff - five blocks past his rooming house and walks back. 

After allegedly changing some clothes, picking up a jacket and a pistol, he is last seen standing at a bus stop, but then appears nearly a mile away at 10th and Patton, where he allegedly encounters DPD officer J.D. Tippit. Dale Meyers, who has studied the Tippit murder thoroughly, but incompletely, claims that its possible that Oswald was walking towards Tippit when he suddenly turned around, and this furtive movement is what attracted Tippit's attention. 

If true, then Oswald's alleged movements in the immediate aftermath of the assassination indicates Oswald three times utilized standard counter-surveillance tradecraft techniques that are taught to those engaged in espionage and covert activities, but not generally known. 

While the Secret Service and the Warren Commission fail to make note of this fact, the Secret Service would have most certainly recognized it, just as they recognized that Oswald did not go through the lunchroom door he had to go through in order to be the Sixth Floor Assassin. 

Not only did Oswald utilized counter-surveillance techniques in the immediate aftermath of the assassination, going into "operational mode," he also utilized a number of other tradecrafts that William Hood mentions in his book Mole, quoted below. 

As a member of the CIA Counter-Intelligence CI Staff with James Angleton, Hood signed off on some of the CIA's Mexico City cables regarding Oswald before the assassination, and he would have certainly recognized these traits in Oswald's alleged movements. How many do you count?

Hood was interviewed by Jeff Morley for his book "Our Man in Mexico," and recently passed away. 

As we struggled to come to terms, the agency reminded me that the director of Central Intelligence is charged by law with safeguarding the agency’s “sources and methods.” I pointed out that in this instance the source had been arrested in 1958 and, according to Soviet authorities, put to death in 1959….There remained the question of methods.

The methods – called “tradecraft” – described in this book are not unique to CIA. Except for the Soviet proclivity for murder, kidnapping, and blackmail, there is not much difference in espionage methodology East or West. Tradecraft may seem mysterious to outsiders, but it is little more than a compound of commonsense, experience, and certainly universally accepted security practices. In the past eighty years newspaper accounts, informed novelists, and historians – particularly of World War II – have put considerable tradecraft into the public domain. In 1976 Senator Frank Church made an immense amount of data available to anyone willing to plow through the reports of his committee’s investigating CIA.
The fact is that tradecraft is like arithmetic: it has been around for centuries. The basics are easy to learn and good texts can be found in any library. Although it is easy to make mistakes under pressure, only the advanced aspects – like multiplying fractions or manipulating double agents – are particularly complex.
The only significant changes in espionage in this century have resulted from the application of advanced technology to operational problems….. (p. xiv)

In any really productive operation, the spy’s motives are of critical importance.   (p. xv)
(p. 1)

Contact men are assigned cover names….
By “plumbing,” Helms meant the operational support structure – safe houses, surveillance agents, letter drops, and a technical section trained to make quick audio installations, handle clandestine photography, and provide reliable short-range radio communications. Safe houses – usually small apartments rented under a pretext – were used by case officers to meet and question, or as jargon had it, to “debrief” agents. 
(p. 10)

…When you score, remember to slug the cable “Blue-Bottle” and send it Eyes Only to me. We won’t want many people in on the act.
“Blue-Bottle” was an agency indicator used only on cables of the greatest secrecy. It meant that the message could be deciphered only by the chief of communications staff on duty when it arrived. Three copies were to be made, one for the chief of operations, one for the chief of the Operations Directorate, and another for Helms. They would be delivered by courier…. (p. 11)

One of the many myths pinned on secret intelligence by imaginative journalists is that no espionage service will accept a spy who volunteers his services. In the real world of secret operations, volunteers have produced some of the greatest coups. “It’s the walk-in trade that keeps the shop open,” is one of the first bits of operational wisdom impressed on newcomers to the business. (p. 15)

Whatever his motives may be, the role of a spy is to betray trust. A man who has volunteered, or been tapped, to commit treason cannot logically ever be trusted again. Every aspect of a spy’s relationship with his case officer, or intelligence service, stems from this basic premise.  (p. 29)

With a new agent, the case officer’s first task is to maneuver him into a position where there is nothing that he can hold back – not the slightest scrap of information nor the most intimate detail of his personal life. Until this level of control has been achieved, the spy cannot be said to have been fully recruited. Only when the recruitment is completed can a “contact” or “source” (as they are sometimes called) be considered a spy, the creature of his case officer and the intelligence service he represents. (p.29)

As an outside man and a newcomer to operations, Alex had done a good job….
[BK: An outside man works “in the field” while an “inside man” works officially out of the embassy or field station, and is separated from the field operations by “cut-outs” and intermediaries.]

Todd also briefed Alex on what he called a “one-shot.” One-shotting has a particular appeal for imaginative amateurs who think they can make an anonymous, one-time transaction with an intelligence service – a packet of information for a wad of cash and no one the wiser. Grasping greenhorns have about as much chance of swinging a deal like this as the average football fan would have of surviving more than a few minutes in a Super Bowl game.

Most spies are mercenaries. No matter how much political gloss they daub on their motives, if money enters the picture at all, chances are overwhelming that money is the motive. (p. 31)

Once in a while, just often enough to give intelligence officers a false sense of confidence, a secret operation goes almost according to plan. (p. 35)

Russian is not a language that lends itself to a simplified, pidgin form. Unlike German, Spanish or even French, there is no such thing as “speaking a little Russian.” One knows the language or not. (p.39)
Captured German and Japanese documents yielded some information on Soviet espionage during the war. In Japan, the net established by Richard Sorge was brought under study, and in Europe, the German files were mined for data on the wide ranging networks partially exposed by the Gestapo, the Sicherheitsdienst (SD) and the Abwehr. Research into the most extensive of these reseaux – called the Rose Kapelle (Red Orchestra) by the Germans – kept a handful of analysts busy for almost a decade after the war. (p42)
Fortunately, one researcher uncovered a press clipping on Ismael Akhmedov, a GRU major who had defected from Soviet Military Intelligence in Turkey in 1944. Although he had been questioned at length on local matters, and later by the British on a broader scale, Akhmedov agreed to another debriefing….It was during this interrogation that Newby was struck by the fact that each time he opened a new topic, Akhmedov would say, “But you must know this. I went over it in detail with the British.” Philby, who had handled Akhmedov’s interrogation for the British, had given SSU but a few scant pages of data from him. …How could so bright a chap as Philby was known to be have misjudged an important defector so badly? (p43)

Still in his stocking feet – to avoid unnecessary sound, everyone in the back room had removed his shoes – the trio came tumbling out. There was another rule. Never under any circumstances was there any drinking in the room with the tape recorders.

Although headquarters continued to swamp the station the station with requirements – intelligence jargon, questions for agents are known as “intelligence requirements,” a pompous military phrase usually shortened to “requirements” or “RQMs”  it was up to the station to balance headquarters enthusiasm for the intelligence product with the reality of agent handling. (p. 91)

One of the biggest threats to a spy – certainly to a Russian working in place – is sudden and unexplained affluence. (p. 110)

Now, he seemed more hurried than usual, as he strode briskly past the safe-house entrance for a hundred yards before abruptly whirling and retracing his steps – a routine maneuver to see if anyone was behind him. Satisfied that there was no one there, Popov stepped into the entrance. (p. 115)

The only agents that can be presumed to be clean – unsuspected by anyone – are those who have been thoroughly investigated but never used operationally. Some of these high-security support agents are recruited and given a small retainer against the day – usually night – they will be needed. Others are kept warm by case officers -…..When needed, they can be formally recruited. Many are used only once. (p182)
By walking back along the route they had driven, Popov could satisfy himself there had been no surveillance behind them. (p. 208)
For centuries surveillance was practiced as an art, its techniques passed from one generation of gray men to another. It was not until the twentieth century that the shadowy craft became a science employing the most advanced – usually referred to by the technicians as “state-of-the-art” – forms of photography, electronics, radio, and all types of transportation. Today, the nondescript, gray men come like sorrows, not singly but in battalions.
New York is a pigeon’s paradise.  A “pigeon,” or target, on the move in Manhatten can chose among subways, buses, taxis, rental cars, private vehicles, elevators, escalators, and stairways. He can scurry along crowded or empty sidewalks, duck into alleys, cross vacant lots, loiter in parks and prowl through as complex a variety of buildings, department stores, shops, museums, and churches as exist in any city.
When a tail-smart spy is trying to spot a possible surveillance, he may appear to act indecisively, even implausibly. Suddenly and without any apparent reason, he will whirl and double back on his tracks, looking into the faces of those behind him and making eye contact with as many of the crowd as he can. Any foot surveillant within a hundred feet of a clever spy who makes a series of these moves is likely to have to drop the chase. Another tactic is to seek sparsely traveled sidewalks, or open areas, where the spy can isolate himself and thus cut down the number of people he must scan if he is to glimpse a familiar silhouette or a face he has seen before.
After doubling, redoubling, and doubling his path again, an agent may board a subway at the last minute, step off at the next stop, walk slowly along the platform toward the street exit, and, at the last moment, jump back onto the train. Leaving the subway, he might enter a tall office building, take an express elevator to the first stop, step out and walk away as if headed for an office. The moment the elevator door closes behind him, he returns, pushes the button for another car, goes up two floors, steps out, and hurries to the emergency stairway. Then, he might walk ten floors down, take yet another elevator to the ground floor and adjacent subway. There he may repeat his on-again, off-again subway technique. For measure, he might stop for an hour of browsing in Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, or any store with escalators, elevators, a good choice of exits, and easy access to a subway station.
The Russians call this “dry cleaning.” Sometimes it works. But when the surveillance is all-out, the pigeon cannot isolate himself. The surveillance team makes its own crowd. Agents dressed as businessmen with briefcases, as messengers, tourists, idlers, housewives with easily discarded shopping bags, combine to make a cross-section of the crowd to be found on any busy street, in a department store or office building. On the move, a pigeon may be convoyed by a score of surveillants, with an equally large reserve team positioned in the rear and ready to leapfrog forward if summoned.
Laid back behind the foot soldiers is a motorized brigade prepared to pick up the chase if the target ops for a taxi or is picked up by a passing car – a “floating contact.” (Not for thirty years has a tail leaped into a taxi, flashed a badge, and told the driver to “follow that car.”) In a full court press or “all skate” – as many as ten vehicles, shabby but fast and well maintained passenger cars, taxis, trucks, motorcycles, and, in good weather, a bicycle or two – might be on the street. (Now that skateboards and roller-sakes are common in New York, a flighty pigeon may have even more to keep an eye on.)
The coordination of this intricate activity requires a communications network almost as complex as that of a motorized battalion moving cross-country. More than one radio channel might be required to link the pocket radio sets, walkie-talkies, and the larger, more powerful radios concealed in the surveillance cars. (p220-221) 

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