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Soviets ordered Lee Harvey Oswald to kill JFK: ex-CIA chief

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Lee & Marina Oswald, daughter June in Minsk, Russia, 1962. Courtesy: CSU Archives / Everett Collection

Lee Harvey Oswald was a KGB associate who was personally instructed by Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev to assassinate President Kennedy. Sometime shortly thereafter, the Soviets changed their minds, and Oswald was told to drop the plan. But Oswald, harboring a blinding love for all things USSR, refused.

A new book by two former intelligence chiefs — one from the west, one from the east — tosses this tale on the voluminous pile of JFK assassination theories.

“Operation Dragon: Inside The Kremlin’s Secret War on America,” (Encounter Books), was written by Ambassador R. James Woolsey, who ran the CIA from 1993-1995 (and who, ironically, resigned abruptly during the scandal over Aldrich Ames, a CIA officer turned Russian double agent), and Lt. Gen. Ion Mihai Pacepa, a former acting chief of Communist Romania’s espionage service and the “highest-ranking intelligence official from an enemy country ever granted political asylum in the United States” (Pacepa died of COVID earlier this month).

Lee Harvey Oswald's mug shot, taken on November 23, 1963.
Lee Harvey Oswald’s mug shot, taken on November 23, 1963.
Alamy Stock Photo

The authors claim that all the evidence needed to make their case is contained in the 26-volume Warren Commission Report, but that so much of it is “codified” that no one understood its significance until now.

“Decoded, these pieces of evidence prove that John F. Kennedy’s assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, had a clandestine meeting in Mexico City with his Soviet case officer, ‘comrade Kostin,’ ” the authors write, “who … belongs to the KGB’s Thirteenth Department for assassinations abroad.”

Nikita Khrushchev seen speaking with John F. Kennedy in early 1963.
Nikita Khrushchev seen speaking with John F. Kennedy in early 1963.
SSPL via Getty Images

According to the authors, the Soviets recruited Oswald in 1957, when he was a US Marine serving in Japan. After working clandestine missions for them for several years — including providing the information that allowed them to shoot down American pilot Gary Powers in 1960 — he was assigned in 1962, possibly by Khrushchev himself, to begin preparations to assassinate President Kennedy.

“Although Oswald wished to remain in the Soviet Union, he was eventually persuaded to return to the US to assassinate President Kennedy, whom Khrushchev had come to despise,” they write. “Oswald was … given a Soviet wife and sent back to the US in June 1962.”

According to the authors, sometime between that June and April 1963, the Soviets changed their minds, and recalled the assignment. Oswald, though, was too gung-ho, and was set on seeing it through.

Jackie Kennedy seen in a photograph with Nikita Khrushchev.
Jackie Kennedy seen in a photograph with Nikita Khrushchev.
Alamy Stock Photo

“Oswald knew that Nikita Khrushchev, the leader of Oswald’s paradise and new home, the Soviet Union, had entrusted him with that task, and he was confident he could pull it off,” the authors write. “By this time, however, the KGB and [the country’s] leaders realized that Khrushchev’s crazy ideas were giving their country a terrible reputation . . . another false step by the hot-headed Khrushchev, and there might be nuclear war.”

The authors offer no evidence of an assassination order, or of any order to reverse course. They do offer evidence, often in the form of letters, of Oswald meeting with KGB agents, and other preparations for Oswald and his family to return to the Soviet Union once he completed his mission.

The telegraph from Mrs. J.D. Tippit, widow of the Dallas police officer killed by Lee Harvey Oswald, to Jacqueline Kennedy is displayed at the press preview of the special exhibition "A Nation Remembers", about the assassination of U.S. President John F. Kennedy.
The telegraph from Mrs. J.D. Tippit, widow of the Dallas police officer killed by Lee Harvey Oswald, to Jacqueline Kennedy is displayed at the press preview of the special exhibition “A Nation Remembers”, about the assassination of U.S. President John F. Kennedy.
REUTERS/Brian Snyder

In one such letter, Oswald wrote to the Soviet Embassy on July 1, 1963, asking for separate visas for him and his wife and daughters. The authors believe this makes it clear that “Oswald wanted to see his wife and children back in the Soviet Union before assassinating President Kennedy and that he required a separate entry visa for himself to [use] after accomplishing his mission.”

Another, dated November 9 of that year — just two weeks before Kennedy’s assassination — was written after Oswald returned from a trip to Mexico City, and references a meeting with “Comrade Kostin,” who the authors identify as “Valery Kostikov, an identified PGU officer of the Thirteenth Department.”

The former residence of Lee Harvey Oswald at 214 West Neely Street in the Oak Cliff neighborhood of Dallas, Texas.
The former residence of Lee Harvey Oswald at 214 West Neely Street in the Oak Cliff neighborhood of Dallas, Texas.
REUTERS

The authors also offer what they consider evidence of Soviet efforts at disinformation after the fact, as they tried to convince the world that the assassination was driven by any entity but the Soviet Union.

One such piece of evidence is the first book released along these lines, “Oswald: Assassin or Fall Guy?” which hit bookstores in 1964. The book claims that Oswald was “an FBI agent provocateur with a CIA background,” and that he was the fall guy for the real culprits, which included “some officials of the CIA and FBI” along with “reactionary oil billionaires such as H.L. Hunt.”

Lee & Marina Oswald with their daughter in Minsk, Russia, in June 1962.

Alamy Stock Photo

Photo of Lee Harvey Oswald with rifle, taken in Oswald's back yard, Neely Street, Dallas Texas, March 1963. The photo was Warren Commission exhibit 133-A.

Lee Harvey Oswald posing with rifle, taken in Oswald’s back yard, Neely Street, Dallas Texas, March 1963.

Alamy Stock Photo

Secret Service Man Climbing onto President Kennedy's Car

Jackie Kennedy leans over John F. Kennedy after he was shot.

Bettmann Archive

Backseat Of Vice-President Johnson's Car

View of flowers on the backseat of Vice-President Lyndon Johnson’s Lincoln convertible as it sits parked near the entrance of Parkland Hospital, Dallas, Texas, November 22, 1963.

The LIFE Picture Collection via

Jacqueline and Caroline Kennedy Kneeling at John F. Kennedy's Casket

Caroline Kennedy kneels beside her mother, Jacqueline, during memorial ceremonies for the late President John F. Kennedy.

Corbis via Getty Images

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They also claim that the book’s author, Joachim Joesten, was “a German-born American Communist identified as a PGU agent,” and that the book’s publisher was similarly connected.

Whatever the veracity of the author’s claims, people intrigued by the Kennedy assassination will find much here to be enthralled by. If the case they lay out is not exactly iron-clad, their certainty is undeniable.

“In the end, there is no doubt that Lee Harvey Oswald was trained by the KGB to commit the assassination of President John F. Kennedy,” the authors write.

“Even after the KGB ordered Oswald to stand down, Oswald stubbornly went ahead with what he considered his personal mission as bestowed upon him by his hero, Khrushchev.”

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Man spent entire pandemic alone in five-star NYC hotel

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Man spent entire pandemic alone in five-star NYC hotel

Isolated in the lap of luxury, he watched the skyline go dark.

When New York City went into its COVID-19-induced lockdown in March 2020, the fire department announced properties were required to keep one person on-site in case of trouble. For Midtown’s five-star Chatwal hotel, that person became Robert Mallia, Crain’s reported.

Mallia was not the 76-room-hotel owner’s first choice, but when multiple other people passed on the gig out of fear or to prioritize their family, Mallia — a 36-year-old childless bachelor — volunteered.

“Having the chance to live in a building that you worked on is cool,” said Mallia, an architectural designer for the Dream Hotel Group, which owns a portfolio of Manhattan hotels including the Chatwal. “My apartment is quite modest compared to a five-star luxury hotel.”

In the 14 months he’s been living in Room 307, the space has at least become familiar.

“When weeks became months, I got used to my room, like in ‘Shawshank Redemption,’ ” he said. “I’m content in my cell now.”

Initially, though, it was quite the adjustment from his Long Island City apartment, which he still makes frequent visits to.

“At first, it was strange,” he said. “It was perfectly silent.”

With all 59 members of the hotel’s staff gone, Mallia has been responsible for cleaning up after himself. For food, he has mostly relied on takeout. 

“It’s nothing too glamorous, I’m afraid,” he said.

His daily schedule involves waking up at 5:30 a.m. and doing a variety of housekeeping: sorting mail, looking for leaks and other maintenance problems. Once a week, he flushes every toilet in the building; twice a month, he turns on all the showers and sinks for 10 minutes.

His only companions are a rotation of security guards and the building’s chief engineer, who makes weekly visits to confirm fire code compliance.

The owner’s other hotels have begun reopening this month, and the Chatwal will likely follow suit soon — good news for Mallia.

“I miss being at home,” he said. 

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At Miss Universe pageant, Myanmar’s contestant pleads “our people are dying”

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Ma Thuzar Wint Lwin, Miss Universe Myanmar, holds up the "Pray for Myanmar" sign during Miss Universe pageant's national costume show, in Hollywood, Florida May 13, 2021

Myanmar’s Miss Universe contestant, Thuzar Wint Lwin, used the pageant on Sunday to urge the world to speak out against the military junta, whose security forces have killed hundreds of opponents since it seized power in a Feb. 1 coup.

“Our people are dying and being shot by the military every day,” she said in a video message for the competition, where she was appearing in the finals at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida.

“I would like to urge everyone to speak about Myanmar. As Miss Universe Myanmar since the coup, I have been speaking out as much as I can,” she said.

Myanmar’s junta spokesman did not answer calls seeking comment.

Thuzar Wint Lwin is among dozens of Myanmar celebrities, actors, social media influencers and sports people who have voiced opposition to the coup, in which elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi was overthrown and detained.

At least 790 people have been killed by security forces since the coup, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners activist group. It says over 5,000 people have been arrested, with some 4,000 still detained – including several celebrities.

Thuzar Wint Lwin did not make it to the last round of the Miss Universe competition, but she won the award for Best National Costume, which was based on the ethnic costume of her Chin people from northwestern Myanmar, where fighting has raged in recent days between the army and anti-junta militia fighters.

As she paraded with her national costume, she held up a placard that said “Pray for Myanmar”.

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Save time searching your purse with this mini purse light

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Save time searching your purse with this mini purse light

We women all know the struggle. Unless you’re Mary Poppins, we’ve all experienced the endless searching for a particular item in your handbag and pulling out everything except the actual thing you need. Let’s put a stop to the rifling around and start using a purse light. This 3-pack of innovative LED lights turns on automatically as soon as your hand approaches it so you can easily see all of the contents in your handbag. It’s a unique and practical way to save time from rummaging around, so you can get on with your day!

The SOI Purse Light with Automatic Sensor gives off a white translucent glow and has a polished finish. It has a convenient auto-shut-off feature that turns off ten seconds after you’re done searching your bag. Its elegant, circular design is nice and compact so that it will fit perfectly in most handbags.

You can also use this LED purse light in your suitcase, backpack, camping tent, and other dimly lit areas where you need a little light. Since you get three in each order, you can place them in multiple bags for the ultimate convenience. Its battery capacity lasts through approximately 6,000 cycles (1.5 to 2 years), so it’s something you can use for a long time!

This purse light scored an impressive 4.3-star rating on Amazon. One happy customer says, “I love being able to dig in my bag and find something. I love that the light is oval, not a cumbersome ball. I’m completely satisfied.”

Add some more light into your life and get this automatic round light for your handbag while it’s on sale today for only $24.99. You’ll love how much easier you’ll be able to find anything and everything inside that seemingly bottomless bag of yours.

Prices subject to change.

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