OSWALD, MARINE CORPS INTELLIGENCE, AND THE ASSAULT ON THE STATE DEPARTMENT 1. is LI Introductory Abstract Pete,'
The special handling of Lee Harvey Oswald by the State Department (in conjunction as I have argued with the CIA) was undeniably anomalous. It swiftly aroused (by as early as 1960) the suspi-cions of FBI, ONI and Marine intelligence personnel, and Hoover's allies (notably Otto Otepka) in the State Department Office of Security. We know this chiefly from Oswald's OM records, where we also learn that there were confidential ONI messages on Oswald (alias Harvey Lee Oswald), stored in Marine G-2 (intelligence) files that were never seen by the Warren Commission. The charade of Oswald's discharge from the Marine Reserve in 1960 was an operation co-ordinated by Marine G-2 and ONI Counterintelligence. This discharge was used to challenge State's determinatibn that Oswald had not revoked his U.S. citizenship, and to empower Otto Otepka in a series of vain efforts to pry loose confidential information about Oswald from files in other parts of the State Department. Otepka eventually shared his understandable suspicions about State's handling of Oswald with the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee (SISS). After Otepka was first reprimanded, and then dismissed from his position, the SISS in 1964 publicly explored Otepka's concern that Oswald's passport application had been mishandled by the State Department. The uproar over the Otepka case in 1963 became one more battle in an on-going war between elite (above all State) and anti-elitist (FBI, military intelligence) factions in the U.S. Government, the latter backed by the SISS and virulently anti-Kennedy right-wing organizations, notably in Dallas. The drilling and ransacking of Otepka's safe by Kennedy-appointed officials (later forced to resign) reveals how deeply this conflict divided elements inside the bureaucracy.
Oswald's Suppressed ONI and Marine G-2 Records
Lee Harvey Oswald's defection to the Soviet Union in 1959 was immediately described as an "intelligence matter" by the Navy's Office of Naval Intelligence) In ensuing years the military intel-ligence agencies continued to collect information about him. Since the publication of the Warren Report we have seen the belated release of documents on Oswald from ONI (the Office of Naval Intelligence), from Army G-2 (Army Intelligence) and even OSI (Air Force Intelligence), the first of the military intelligence agencies to consult Oswald's security file in the State Department. Oswald however did not serve in the Navy, Army or Air Force; like his brother Robert he was a Marine. In October 1959, at the time of his defection, he was no longer on active duty, but had transferred six weeks earlier to the Class III Ready Marine Corps Reserve (19 WH 665). We shall see that over three years Marine G-2 (Intelligence) both received and disseminated records concern-ing Oswald, regionally and at Marine HQ. Nevertheless, despite Marine 0-2's sustained interest in Oswald, we still have only three or so documents clearly generated by Marine G-2, all unclassified, and presumably a tiny fraction of the whole.2 ('These large gaps in what is available suggest the existence of a second system for classified records.) The Warren Commission appears to have ignored the question of Oswald's Marine G-2 file (or files). In taking testimony from Lt.Col. Allison Folsom, head of the Marine Headquarters Personnel Records Branch, John Hart Ely of the Warren Commission staff claimed to "have here Oswald's Marine records," while introducing a copy of Oswald's personnel file into the record (8 WH 304). Col. Folsom, in turn, also referred to the personnel file as "the official record held by the Marine Corps of Lee Harvey Oswald" (ibid.).3,
I CNO Message 22257 of 4 Nov 59 to ALUSNA Moscow; Oswald ONI file, ONI-142; reprinted in John New-man. Oswald and the CIA, 446; cf. Newman, 14-15. 2 See Appendix 111. 3 The Warren Commission published the personnel file as the "U.S. Marine Corps record on Lee Harvey
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This personnel file appears to be a compilation (whether from before or after the assassination
is not clear).4 It collects copies of correspondence on Oswald from the files of at least three and
probably more Marine Commands under which he served.5 As published as Folsom Exhibit No. 1
(19 WH 656-768), this personnel file contains only unclassified documents and information. There
are no overt references to Marine G-2, and only one passing reference to the existence of confidential
intelligence records on Oswald in the Department of the Navy.
This reference is in a letter of 29 July 1960, recommending Oswald's discharge from the
Marines. The letter mentions two confidential reports from the Eighth (New Orleans) and Ninth (Chi-cago) Naval District Intelligence Offices, which it cites as follows:
DIO, 9th ND confidential report serial 02049-E of 8 Jun 60 DIO, 9th ND confidential report serial 02296-E of 27 Jun 60.6
Years later, replying affirmatively to a request for these DIO reports from researcher Paul Hoch, the
Naval Investigative Service (successor to ONI) supplied two records. These established a fact not
available from the rest of the personnel file: that Marine G-2 (in regional offices as well as at Marine
HQ) received documentary information from this ONI District Office concerning Oswald.?
In addition at least one of these G-2 records listed Oswald by a slightly different name. This
alternative name, which eventually was used by at least four different military intelligence sources,
was "Harvey Lee Oswald."8 This "Harvey Lee Oswald" reference is no accidental anomaly, but part
of an organized pattern, widely dispersed, that suggests an official intelligence deception (and possi-ble dual filing system). Serial 02296-E of 27 Jun 60 is the earliest Harvey Lee Oswald reference we
now possess of over two dozen, from the files of ONI, FBI, CIA, Army Intelligence, the Secret Ser-
vice, the Mexican Secret Police (DFS), and the Dallas Police.9 A consistent pattern of behavior in
these agencies since the assassination has been the tendency to suppress references to "Harvey Lee
Oswald," and replace them by the more standard "Lee Harvey Oswald."10
Both DIO documents were addressed to the Commander, Marine Air Training Command, Glen-
view, "(ATTN: G-2)." This seems to explain their absence from the Oswald personnel file: classified
intelligence information concerning Oswald (or "Harvey Lee Oswald") was apparently stored in a
different set of G-2 files, both at Marine Headquarters and at regional bases such as Glenview.
Oswald" (19 WH xviii).
As a result the record contains a number of duplicate documents (e.g. 19 WH 669=701. 673=716, 675=715.
etc.), while it does not contain relevant unclassified records available from the ONI file and elsewhere. Compare the
footnote reference below to "Lt. Col. Bill Brewer [of Marine HQ 0-21 compiling the Oswald military file for the
use of the Warren Commission" (11 AH 542).
3 First Marine Air Wing; Marine Corps Air Station. El Toro; Marine Air Training Command, Glenview. In all,
separate files containing Oswald data appear to have been kept by the First Marine Air Wing (1st MAW, 19 WH
683), the Third Marine Air Wing (3rd MAW, 19 WH 724); Marine Corps Air Station, El Toro (MCAS. 19 WH
724), Marine Air Corps Squadron Nine (MACS-9, 19 WH 724) Marine Wing Headquarters Group (MWHG, 19 WH
724), the Marine Air Reserve Training Command (MARTC, 19 WH 703, etc.), and Commander Marine Corps
(CMC). Code CDB (19 WH 721), Code DGK (19 WH 724), Code DK or DKE (19 WH 700; cf. below) Code
DMB (19 WH 670). We know now that the so-called Oswald 201 file in CIA. as presented to the Warren Commis-sion. was in fact a post-assassination reconstruction from at least four files: cf. Newman, passim.
6 Letter of 20 July 1960 to Commander, Marine Air Reserve Training, 19 Will 703.
7 In this paper I am deeply indebted to the archival research and analysis of . Paul Hoch, as well as to additional research by Larry Haapanen and Mark Allen.
The four sources using "Harvey Lee Oswald" are: 010, 9th Naval District, DIO, 8th Naval District, ONI
(NAVCINTSUPPCEN.3) and Army 112th Military Intelligence Group (see Peter Dale Scott, Deep Politics Two.
144). In response to the request for serial 02049-E. the NIS supplied a record with a serial that was contiguous but
slightly different: "DIO. 9th ND confidential report serial 02048-E of 8 Jun 60." The second document, accurately
supplied, carried a title different from the first: "Subj: OSWALD. Harvey Lee." We are left to wonder whether serial
02049-E of 8 Jun 60 concerned Harvey Lee Oswald as well.
9 For a discussion and incomplete list, see Peter Dale Scott, Deep Politics 21vo, 80. 85-89, 118-19, 142-49.
to Ibid.. especially pp. 118-19.
53 July 10, 1996