TO: Mr. James J. Rowley
Chief, U.S. Secret Service
FROM: Mr. John McCone
Director, Central Intelligence Agency
Subject: Central Intelligence Report on the assassination of John Kennedy.
In response to the request made by your office on 24 February 1964 re: Lee Oswald’s activities and assignments on behalf of this agency and Federal Bureau of Investigation, there follows a narrative summary of the internal subversive activities of the Oswald subject.
I recommend that unless the Commission makes a specific request for specific information contained herein, that this information not be volunteered. This agency has reason to assume that some junior Commission staff members may be potential sources of leaks to the news media or to other agencies; due to the highly sensitive nature of the enclosed material, it would certainly be in the national interest to withhold it at this time — unless there is, of course, a specific request made.
It is my understanding that Mr. Hoover has certain sensitive information within his agency, which has be transferred to his own personal files for safekeeping; he concurs that no material should be voluntarily given to the Commission which might affect the status of field operatives or their safety. He is particularly concerned about the De Bruey memorandum, which Central Intelligence has obtained and which, I understand, you have obtained. It is imperative that this information, at least for the time, remain under wraps.
Oswald subject was trained by this agency, under cover of the Office of Naval Intelligence, for Soviet assignments. During preliminary training, in 1957, subject was active in aerial reconnaissance of mainland China and maintained a security clearance up to the “confidential” level. His military records during this period are open to your agency and I have directed they be forwarded to the Commission.
Subject received additional indoctrination at our own Camp Peary site from September 8 to October 17, 1958, and participated in a few relatively minor assignments until arrangements were made for his entry into the Soviet Union in September 1959. While in the Soviet Union, he was on special assignment in the area of Minsk. It would not be advantageous at this time to divulge the specifics of that assignment; however, if you wish this information, it can be made available for your personal inspection within the confines of our own offices, or I can send it by courier on the condition that it not leave the custody of the courier. I am concerned that if this information were in any way disclosed to the wrong persons, it would lead the media to erroneously claim this agency, and perhaps others, were directly involved in the Dallas action. While the persons involved were in the employ of this agency, as well as the Federal Bureau of Investigation, it is virtually impossible for this or any agency to maintain full, 24-hours-a-day responsibility over its operatives.
At the time of the Dallas action, the Oswald subject was only seldom in our employ; after the Soviet assignment, we found him to be unreliable and emotionally unstable. He was of little use to us after his marriage and De Bruey, from what I understand, concurred in this. He was provided with a few unimportant infiltration assignments and proved of little or no value. It is possible that Oswald, given his instability, might have been involved in some operation involving Hoffa, as noted in SAIC Bertram’s report to your agency dated 1/3/64. Mr. Hoover advises that his agency is trying to determine whether Hoffa might have been involved laterally or vertically with the Dallas assassination I have advised that I would be interested in seeing the results of that investigation.
Mr. Hoover advises that the facts given in SAIC Bertran’s [ed. note: “Bertram” in first usage, Bertran” here] 1/3/64 report are basically correct. His agency has advised Deputy Sweatt against any further unauthorized statements to the news media which might adversely affect the investigation. Mr. Hoover advises he has no knowledge of how Deputy Sweatt obtained his information, as there is no record of the agency distributing any such information to Sweatt or any other member of Dallas Sheriff’s office. It is regrettable that this information has come to the attention of the news media, but I am sure Mr. Hoover will be able to clarify the situation.
Speculation within this agency — and this is only speculation at this point — is that Oswald subject became unstable following surgery April 1, 1961, in the Minsk Hospital. He may have been chemically or electronically “controlled”… a sleeper agent. Subject spent eleven days hospitalized for a “minor ailment” which should have required no more than three days hospitalization at the most. Six days after his release, he met Marina Prusakova. This agency is particularly interested in her intelligence background and I have requested a report on same from our Soviet Embassy contact.
After his return to the U.S., Oswald worked in New Orleans through the Anti-Communist League of the Caribbean and Friends of Democratic Cuba; his case officer was SAIC Guy Bannister from the Chicago F131 office. He was transferred from his assignments there after he was arrested and fined stemming from an incident of his distribution of pamphlets for the Fair Play for Cuba Committee. While our files here show no flirther assignments or contact, I am requesting an (xx) check on the subject from our New Orleans and Ft. Worth offices.
Please direct any further communication on this matter to my personal attention so that your requests may be expedited, or feel free to call me anytime. My office is always available to you.
/s/ John McCone