Lee Harvey Oswald in 1959
Document May Link Agent, Oswald
Army Intelligence Report is Issued
RIF # 198-10004-10015 Army Document
By Michael Dorman
A long-secret government document released this week lends credence to a favorite theory of conspiracy advocates on President John F. Kennedy's assassination: the contention that Lee Harvey Oswald was seen in Dallas with a U.S. intelligence agent about two months before the murder.
That issue has long been connected with unproved reports that a violent Cuban exile group -- perhaps with the help of an American intelligence agency -- was involved in the assassination. The House Select Committee on Assassinations investigated the reports but said in 1978 it was unable to substantiate them.
However, the document obtained yesterday by Newsday provides a previously lacking measure of credibility to the reports. Those reports center on a shadowy figure called Maurice Bishop -- likely a pseudonym -- said to have been an intelligence agent during the early 1960s.
Antonio Veciana, founder of the Alpha 66 Cuban exile group that launched repeated guerrilla raids against Fidel Castro's regime, testified before the House committee that he considered Bishop his U.S. intelligence contact; that he met with Bishop more than 100 times over a 13-year period; that Bishop had directed him to organize Alpha 66 and had paid him $253,00. Moreover, he said, he had met briefly in Dallas with Bishop and Oswald sometime around September, 1963, two months before Kennedy's Nov. 22 assassination. G. Robert Blakey, chief counsel to the House committee, said: "After careful analysis, we decided not to credit Veciana's claim" because, among other things, there was no proof that Maurice Bishop existed.
But the document, released by the U.S. Assassination Records Review Board, supports the contention that Bishop existed and otherwise backs Veciana's story. Government sources said the document -- a U.S. Army intelligence report dated Oct. 17, 1962 -- describes a man who fits the profile of Maurice Bishop. "He used a different name, but we believe this man fits Bishop's profile very closely," one official said.
The document is a report from an Army intelligence officer, Col. Jeff W. Boucher, to Brig. Gen. Edward Lansdale, assistant to Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara and a controversial figure in the Vietnam War. It said the intelligence operative described as fitting Bishop's profile "has contact with the Alpha 66 group" and that Alpha 66 "was going to conduct raids against Cuba."
Alpha 66 leaders, the document said, had told the operative they "desired support of the U.S. Army in the action phase," including funds, equipment and arms. "In return the group would provide intelligence information, would furnish captured equipment, and could land agents in Cuba. The group estimated it would require $100,000 to complete the balance of its program, consisting of four more raids on Cuba."
The document said a unit of Army intelligence had approved debriefing Alpha 66 frogmen who had conducted underwater operations against Castro; exploring the possibility of buying captured Soviet equipment from Alpha 66 and briefing Lansdale on the Alpha 66 proposal to furnish intelligence information and material for financial support.
Because 34 years have passed since the assassination, government officials said, they do not know whether participants in the Bishop affair are still alive -- much less whether anyone can shed additional light on the story.
What follows is an edited version of a message posted to the alt.conspiracy.jfk newsgroup.
For many more of the sordid details of the Bishop-Veciana connection, please refer to Gaeton Fonzi's book The Last Investigation (chapters 14, 15). Fonzi, as a matter of interest, also believed that "Maurice Bishop" was none other than David Atlee Phillips, the spymeister extraordinnaire responsible for the "Oswald in MExico City" deception. Clearly from this just-released document, however, we can see that Oswald was exactly the intelligence (either ONI, or CIA contract agent) operative many of us believe he was.
Further, it should be noted that 3 months after the HSCA report was released -- with Veciana's testimony -- Veciana was driving his pickup truck home from his Miami marine supply store when a 1971 Buick station wagon pulled alongside and four .45 caliber slugs ripped into the cab. The shots only grazed the lucky Veciana, and he was out of the hospital in two days.
On a more personal footnote -- Alpha 66, the group that "Bishop" commissioned Veciana to found, was responsible for the blowing up of Cubana Airlines Flight 455, off the south coast of Barbados, on October 6, 1976. This resulted in the loss of 73 lives, including the entire Cuban national fencing team.
ARMY – Califano Papers
7 Oct 1962
SUBJECT: Cuban Operations (U)
4. (S) To assess Pfunter and his claims, and in the hope of obtaining intelligence information, the USAOSD asked Pfunter to furnish items of Soviet ordnance material and intelligence information on Cuba….It was further indicated that important information concerning Soviet underwater demolition team (UDT) countermeasures was also obtained in this raid, and that the frogmen who attempted to sink a Russian ship desired to discuss their experience with a U.S. expert in underwater swimming. ONI has stated an interest in participating in a debriefing of these individuals on this subject, and arrangements are being made for the debriefing to take place in Puerto Rico.
Jeff W. Boucher
Chief, Collection Division