Politics by Assassination?
by J. R. Nyquist, Global Analyst. August 1, 2008
Did the Kremlin order a hit on President John F. Kennedy in 1962? The former chief of Communist Romania’s foreign intelligence service thinks so. And he lays out his case in a recently published book with the title Programmed to Kill: Lee Harvey Oswald, the Soviet KGB, and the Kennedy Assassination. According to Ion Mihai Pacepa, “all Soviet-bloc espionage services were identically organized and had an identical modus operandi.” Pacepa also explained that, “Soviet espionage operations … can easily be identified by their particular patterns, of you are familiar with them.”
Looking at the case of Lee Harvey Oswald, Pacepa sees a KGB pattern. In the mid-to-late 1950s the Soviet bloc intelligence services were ordered to recruit American servicemen. To this end, loose women were used as “spotters” at bars and nightclubs located near U.S. military bases in Germany and Japan. They were told to watch for U.S. servicemen sympathetic to left-liberal or Marxist ideas. Lee Harvey Oswald was not only an America serviceman stationed in Japan in 1957. He was fascinated by Marxism. As a Marine Corps radar operator Oswald also possessed clues to the flight altitude of the American U-2 spy plane. It was no accident, therefore, that the Soviet Union shot down a U-2 spy plane piloted by Francis Gary Powers on 1 May 1960.
It was noteworthy that Oswald seemed to live beyond his means while in Japan. He dated a hostess from one of the most expensive nightclubs, whose attentions for one night would cost a month’s pay. How could he afford such a woman? The answer becomes obvious, says Pacepa, if we realize that Oswald had “Soviet spy” written all over him. When his work in Japan was finished, Oswald didn’t want to be in the Marine Corps any longer. What he wanted was to live in the worker’s paradise – the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. So Lee Harvey Oswald defected to the Soviet Union in October 1959. After helping the Soviets to track and shoot down the U-2 spy plane, Oswald was trained by the KGB as an assassin and returned to the United States.
According to Pacepa, it was standard practice for an agent like Oswald to carry a fake diary (created by disinformation specialists) as part of his “legend.” Oswald had such a diary, an obvious fabrication with British spellings and expressions (due to the fact that Russian special services were not trained in American English until 1964). Another standard practice was to pair recruited American agents with wives from Soviet bloc countries, so that the wives could keep watch on them. As it happens, Oswald returned to the United States with a Russian wife.
As for Pacepa’s sensational assertion about Khrushchev dispatching Oswald to kill Kennedy, the following points are offered by the former Soviet bloc insider: First, Pacepa’s superiors in Romanian intelligence thought that Khrushchev intended to kill JFK. What was Khrushchev’s motive? First there was the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba, which earned Kennedy the KGB codename “Pig.” Hoping for a weak liberal in the White House, Khrushchev was seriously disappointed. Instead of a willing dupe, Kennedy proved to be a strong anti-Communist. Khrushchev angrily told his colleagues that Kennedy was an “arrogant millionaire” and a “warmongering fanatic manipulated by the CIA.”
Bolstered by the CIA’s failed Bay of Pigs invasion, Khrushchev decided to force the Americans to give up West Berlin. “If Kennedy wanted war,” explained Pacepa, “that was his problem – the Soviet Union would have no choice but to accept his challenge.” Kennedy called Khrushchev’s bluff, however. “We cannot and will not permit the Communists to drive us out of Berlin, either gradually or by force,” said Kennedy. According to Pacepa, Romanian intelligence found that Kennedy had ordered “contingency plans for using nuclear weapons against the Soviet Union” should the crisis escalate.
Khrushchev knew only too well that he had few if any ways to reach the United States with Soviet nuclear weapons.” Most Soviet missiles weren’t able to fly as far as the United States in those days. What was the Kremlin’s solution? Khrushchev decided to secretly deploy more than 50,000 Soviet troops to Cuba along with nuclear-tipped missiles that could threaten Washington and New York – allowing Khrushchev to resume his push against West Berlin. Once again, Kennedy opposed the Soviet leader with a blockade of Cuba. As a result, Khrushchev removed the missiles from Cuba. But Khrushchev would not forgive Kennedy. According to Pacepa, the leader of Communist Romania returned from a trip to Moscow and said, “The lunatic [Khrushchev] is so furious at Kennedy that he’s ready to tear him limb from limb with his bare teeth!”
In terms of Khrushchev’s character, and his readiness to order a hit on the American president, Pacepa wrote: “Today people remember Khrushchev as a down-to-earth peasant who corrected the evils of Stalin. But he was not. The Khrushchev I knew was a compulsive political chatterbox who had no objective appreciation of facts, and who had gotten a taste for the simple criminal solution because of his close association with Stalin’s mass killings.”
It is well known that Stalin and Khrushchev both dispatched assassins to the West. In the late 1930s Stalin called for the head of his former colleague, Leon Trotsky. As history records, Ramón Mercader fatally stabbed Trotsky with an ice pick in Mexico. Not only did Stalin reward the assassin’s mother with the Order of Lenin; but in 1961 Khrushchev rewarded Mercader with the highest decoration the Kremlin could offer, Hero of the Soviet Union.
As for Khrushchev’s assassination exploits, they were exposed in the case of Bogdan Stashinsky who confessed to a West German court that he had assassinated two “enemies of the Soviet Union” on Khrushchev’s orders. There is also the case of Nikolai Khokhlov who defected to the West in the midst of an assassination mission. According to Pacepa, Khrushchev wanted to liquidate President Kennedy. There is no doubt he had a motive. In Oswald he found the means.
It is, of course, a fact that many Americans believe the CIA assassinated President Kennedy. After Kennedy’s death this idea was propagated on orders from Moscow to divert attention away from the Kremlin. This propaganda effort is described by Pacepa, and has been documented in the work of former KGB archive specialist Vasili Mitrokhin.
Rather than accepting the KGB disinformation line about the Kennedy assassination, American’s should read Pacepa’s book and judge for themselves.
© 2008 J. R. Nyquist