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Oswald and the CIA: The Documented Truth about the Unknown Relationship Between the U.S. Government and the Alleged Killer of JFK Paperback – 1 Jun 2008

4.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 669 pages
  • Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing (1 Jun. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1602392536
  • ISBN-13: 978-1602392533
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 15.5 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 77,649 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

One of the most unsettling, revelatory books about the relationship between the CIA and JFK's allege....

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm not a conspiracy nut but there has always been something about the way Oswald was treated that doesn't ring quite true, and more to his background than was released at the time. Newman has done a really good job in navigating through the files held by various intelligence organisations pre-11/22/63 (to use Stephen King's book title). The book doesn't touch on the assassination of Kennedy and doesn't offer any thoughts on whether Oswald did or didn't do it, it just looks at what was known by the intelligence community about Oswald and when, what the audit trail of paperwork at these intelligence organisations tells us - as much as it can do from those documents released and who knew what and when they knew it. It makes interesting reading, albeit that some of it is redacted. Was Oswald a patsy for the CIA? Was he a double sent to the USSR to find out what they knew about the U2 program - there were rumours of a leak that the CIA was trying to identify. The U2 program being run by the military in conjunction with the CIA and which Oswald as a highly trained radar tech was involved in with the appropriate clearance. It really does make interesting reading. You can understand why conspiracy theories abound when you read histories like this one. As I read a lot of historical murder mystery and detective fiction I often wonder what stories the writers 300 years from now would construct about incidents like the assassination of Kennedy and the machinations of our current great and good. This is rather dry as a read but it is also very very good and I thoroughly recommend it.
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Format: Paperback
Firstly let me say that this is not an easy book to read. However its content which has been meticulously researched is a real eye opener. Lee Harvey Oswald was a CIA asset, meaning he was on their payroll and directed by them. What he did not know was, as many believe, he was just a CIA pawn in the assassination of JFK and the CIA allegedly spent time and money setting Oswald up as the fall guy in what many researchers claim was a complex and long planned coup by elements of the agency.

I believe that the fact that the book is written by John Newman who was an intelligence analyst for twenty years has resulted in it being a difficult book to get into as the view of Oswald is from the intelligence community and as a result a number of Oswald's JFK assassination contacts are not developed.

However for those who believe that Lee Oswald was set up by the CIA the book is a fascinating glimpse into the secretive and murky world of America and its intelligence agencies in the late fifties and early sixties.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x8dedade0) out of 5 stars 58 reviews
86 of 90 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8e082dc8) out of 5 stars Fine follow up to hardcover edition 29 Mar. 2009
By Clement Finn - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a follow up paperback ed. of the original hardcover written some 13 years ago. Despite its provacative title, this was originally not a conspiracy oriented book. Newman's journey into the conspiracy camp has been a slow and deliberative process. The afterword added by the author details his own theory of who was behind the assassination, but he is careful to point out that he could be all wrong. This I find is one of the most refreshing aspects of the book. Newman is a very careful writer as one would expect of a history professor of some note at the University of Maryland. He also served in Vietnam as a major in Army intelligence before becoming Executive assistant to the head of the NSA(National Security Agency). That of course, is a quite impressive resume. He also holds the distinction of being perhaps the only author in the conspiracy camp who once landed an interview with Richard Helms. His research here will be appreciated by all I think. The bulk of the book is not really conspiracy oriented until the final chapter. Newman's background in intelligence serves him well especially in examining and explaining government documents in the case. Plainly his forte is in "document forensics". Even skeptical readers will find themselves wondering why both the CIA and the FBI are planting disinformation about Oswald in the weeks prior to the murder of JFK. They will also wonder why people at both agencies are carefully suppressing information about Oswald prior to Nov.22, 1963. Special attention is paid to the person of Marving Gheesling, who inexplicably removed the "flash" (or "stop" in FBI parlance) from Oswald's file in October of 1963. This single act sealed the doom of JFK as it prevented Oswald's being placed on the security index. Gheesling was severely disciplined by J. Edgar Hoover immediately after the murder of the president, though Hoover never informed the Warren Commission. Hoover well understood the import of Gheesling's actions and would do anything to prevent embarassment of the FBI. The entire incident (and others) was buried in FBI files and Gheesling never faced any questioning from any of the official inquiries into the president's death. Newman's work will stand as a beacon to other academic historians who will now have to re-examine this complicated case and also question the official story.
Newman makes a persuasive case that only one man at CIA had access to all the information needed to manage a sophisticated plot and that was ????. Well, read the book!
33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8e4c1468) out of 5 stars The CIA's non-Existent Oswald file? 28 Nov. 2012
By Herbert L Calhoun - Published on
Format: Paperback
In the midst of CIA and Warren Commission denials, this is an important fact-based book. I put it up in the same class as Seth Kantor's book about Jack Ruby, perhaps even a bit higher. Mr. Newman, no stranger to the intelligence game, uses his considerable experience to move a few headstones, where skeletons are buried, around the courtyard at Langley, headstones that a normal reporter or writer might be unable to lift and move at all. What he discovers constitutes the content of this book.

As he goes methodically about the task of composing his narrative, he neither hedges nor anticipates where the facts might lead. He simply lays them out in great detail exactly as he finds them. Needless to say, in the JFK assassination literature, careful fact-finding without heavy-handed interpretation is a sorely needed literary and research attribute. That alone makes this book an academic if not a literary success.

The CIA denials as they ascended the organizational ladder at Langley, started out badly enough and then just continued getting worse -- curiouser and curiouser. When Oswald supposedly defected in 1959, unlike the FBI, which kept a running file on him that it updated as needed, the CIA on the other hand, feigned no interest in him at all? They said the only file they had on this marine who had worked on the highly secret U2 Spy Plane radar system at Atsugi Airfield in Japan, was composed of news clippings of his defection?

Even the cables from Ambassador Richard Snyder at Moscow Station attesting to Oswald's alleged defection and his vow to release U2 secrets, somehow, we are led to believe, did not reach the threshold to trigger CIA interest in him? In fact, as late as February 1964, well after the JFK assassination, the CIA insisted that these important cables from Moscow had somehow gotten lost. And even after having found them, it claimed not to have known who at the CIA might have received and handled them? Given such sloppiness, one cannot avoid wondering what might have happened had Oswald been a "real" rather than a "fake" defector? Not only this, but the CIA's feigned disinterest in Oswald looked utterly ridiculous and wholly disingenuous in the aftermath of a virtual treasure trove of documents on him that eventually emerged from the FOIA searches within the CIA itself, searches that were put to good use here as the primary resource for Newman's analysis.

This work reveals that the author has uncovered a virtual "smoking gun" of highly compartmentalized, multi-level and multi departmental information on Oswald. Perhaps the most important of all is Oswald's role in Mexico and the CIA's direct involvement in manipulating him and his double while he was there. Some have referred to this as the "Rosetta Stone" of the JFK assassination itself.

These data resoundingly refute all CIA denials, and serve to prove that interest in him was not only extensive, and at a very high level indeed, so high in fact that it went directly up the command chain to the very top of the CIA's organizational chart. Combine this with the fact that there was also an equal trail of circumstantial evidence that showed Oswald to actually be on the CIA's payroll, and the denials from the agency's top brass, raise a great many more grave questions than they answer. Here John Newman has succeeded in answering virtually all of them.

That the CIA hierarchy blatantly lied about their own files on Oswald is curious enough in itself, but even more curious is the fact that they did so at a time when the alternative to not knowing about Oswald's defection amounted to revealing the CIA itself as being completely incompetent? Thus when everything is taken together -- the denials of "higher-ups," coupled with the contravening facts to the contrary -- the FOIA data, betray a much larger deeper CIA interest in Oswald, one that was so important and so secret as to require them lying about it? Such "required lying" of course begs the following question: What indeed was so important about Oswald that it required blanket denials from someone as high up the CIA's organizational chart as the Director of Plans, Richard Helms, the agency's highest operational spy? Helms later would become CIA director, where he would then actually be forced into retirement and then ignominiously convicted of perjury.

The correct answer to the question of course is the one the author uncovers; it is also the most obvious one: Oswald's defection was little more than a spy vs spy ruse, one designed to "sheep dip" Lee in operational intelligence as a "dangle" to Soviet intelligence. However, since the Russians did not bite, the CIA's attempt to make Oswald a double agent, failed, and his return to the U.S. empty-handed (but with a Russian wife in tow), turned out to be just another of many failed CIA intelligence operations. That failure in itself could have been enough of a pretext for the Agency to lie about it. However, the way Oswald was moved about on the pre-assassination chessboard (to Mexico, etc.), after his return from Russia, reveals determined manipulators controlling him with a much more sinister purpose in mind. Here Newman tells us what that purpose was; and that only Langley had tentacles long and strong enough to manipulate the man who would become the JFK assassination patsy. This is a most important read. Five Stars
34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8e53efc0) out of 5 stars One of the BEST books on the assassination 19 Mar. 2012
By M. Prior - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is an excellent account of Lee Harvey Oswald and documents related to his activities up until the time of the assassination of President Kennedy. The title is a bit of a misnomer as the documents provide by the author are actually not just from the CIA, but also by various agencies of the United States government: FBI, Department of State, Office of Naval Intelligence in addition to others.

A refreshing aspect to this book is that Newman is reserved about jumping to conclusions. There is no mention of a gunman on the knoll, etc. Instead the author simply assesses whether a particular agency could have done more, dropped the ball, or exhibited gross negligence. In the 2008 addendum added to the back of the book, he does add his conclusion and thoughts about how everything played out the way it did. Again, still refreshingly, he also stipulates that he could be wrong, partly wrong, or maybe right. As a testament to this book, you can see that there are no negative reviews on Amazon from any anti-conspiracy proponents; The author's due diligence simply does not provide them an opportunity to refute his work.

Regardless, if you are just beginning in your inquiry into the assassination "Oswald And The CIA" is an excellent book with which to start. If you have already read a few other books on the assassination, this book is a must have for your collection.
33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8e3df5dc) out of 5 stars The documents speak for themselves 15 July 1997
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
As a intern for Dr. Newman on this particular book, I spent countless hours searching for documents in the National Archives - I know first hand the length he went to provide accurate details. Dr. Newman recounts the interesting story of a dark point in our nation's history. He is very careful not to speculate on the assassination of Kennedy - he deals only with the facts before him - CIA and FBI documents that display what they knew about Oswald. He leaves the rest to the 'assassination buffs'
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8e3a7f48) out of 5 stars Oswald and CIA: was there a connection? Author thinks so. 12 May 1996
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This is an important book in the Kennedy assassination genre. It contains the text of CIA documents not previouslypublished, attempting to establish a CIA connection withLee Harvey Oswald and subsequent efforts on the part of the CIA to conceal this connection through tampering with itsOswald files. The book is flawed by poor editing, andfrom time to time the author makes great leaps in his logic,but for all that, it is well worth the time spent reading.The book breaks off after Oswald's death. One can onlyhope that Mr. Newman writes another volume addressing post-assassination events, including the controversy surroundingthe bona fides of KGB defector Yuriy Nosenko and his claimto have been the KGB officer supervising the Oswald file inRussia
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