James Jesus Angleton


Oswald, The CIA & The Assassination of JFK

By Steve Erdmann

 (Copyright 2015, Steve Erdmann – All Rights Reserved)

<Edited by Robert D. Morningstar> 

This article was previously published in the October 31, 2015 UFO Digest.


“Everyone knows there is a price to pay for ignoring the lessons of our post. Thomas Jefferson forewarned our nation at its very beginning regarding the consequences of apathy and insufficient vigilance. He left us this poignant, poetic reminder: ‘If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, it expects what never was and never will be.’”  (p.282.)

Quotation from CIA Rogues and the Killing of the Kennedys, Patrick NolanSkyhorse Publishing, 307 West 36th Street, 11th Floor, New York, N.Y. 10018, [email protected], 2013, 366 pages, $24.95.

“The goal of this book is to show, through forensic science and other resources, the identity of the primary individuals ultimately responsible for these horrific assassinations,” says author Patrick Nolan, speaking about the killings of John and Robert Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr., Lee Harvey Oswald, and other victims.  “A thorough examination and analysis of those who had ample, means, and opportunity concludes that only one small group stands alone: the CIA’s Richard Helms and James Angleton and their rogue band of conspirators and mob allies.” (p. 6.)


Nolan first explores the nature and actions of Richard Helms, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director from 1966 to 1977, and the several “programs” that his organization escorted, over a period of time, in “behavior control”:

Executive Action, psychopharmacological research, hypnosis, rohypnol, LSD, Manchurian Candidate studies, domestic spying, CIA-Mafia assassination plots, CIA-backed foreign coups and attempts, cover stories, programmed patsies, and neutralizing witnesses.

“Under Helms’s guidance, behavioral medicine scientists from across the US were recruited to investigate a curious mix of concepts: creating amnesia, understanding bio-electrics, and attempting to harness parapsychology,” says Nolan. “Soon, this newly contracted legion of psychiatrists began to test mind-altering drugs in conjunction with hypnosis.”

The CIA’s clandestine programs actually started with its forerunner organization, the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) and later Allen Dulles, a World War I spymaster and CIA director (1953-1961).  The CIA was formed officially in 1947 with the passage of the National Security Act.  

Richard Helms and James Angleton (another master-spy from World War II and the OSS) “would form a twenty-five-year partnership in covert operations.”  Under the leadership of Allen Dulles, Helms began to formulate Operation MKULTRA (“Ultra” was a “wave” to the World War II operation that broke Nazi codes, and MK probably stood for “mind control”).

Similar names were Projects Bluebird & Antichoke, and involved drugs as Liquid E or X, lysergic acid disthylamide (LSD), with culprits such as Sidney Gottlieb, John Gittinger, James Angleton, Dr. Harold Wolff, Dr. Frank Olson, William Harvey, as well as the use of hypnotism in “Manchurian Candidate” projects.

…the research proved to be framed for a murder while actually being innocent,” says Nolan. “The assassination would be carried out by hitmen hidden on the sidelines while the patsy would appear to have committed the crime thus protecting the identity of the actual assassins. Their technique of producing such a patsy involved the use of drugs and hypnotism, hence the term ‘hydro programmed fall guy.’”

These techniques were used in a “Helms era between 1953 and 1973” in nearly a dozen CIA-backed foreign coups or coup attempts.  Helms was “able to draw on a variety of specialists from a wide array of nations.  Compartmentalization (strictly compartmented) enabled the CIA to deceive presidents, oversight committees, and the media.”

Within such a rigidly compartmentalized system, “Cover stories” helped to control certain activities.


The use of CIA “cover stories” ranged from planted statements in the trail of Clay Shaw about Shaw (and Helms’s attempts to sabotage DA Jim Garrison’s case) to the allegation that Oswald was not a CIA agent.  The finding of the Senate Intelligence Committee, in the words of Senator Richard Schweiker of Pennsylvania, was that …

“Oswald had intelligence connections…the fingerprint of intelligence.”

Similarly, Helms stated that the CIA did not assist in any assassinations, and he ironically cited Senator Church’s investigation.  However, Church’s remarks were based on the fact that CIA was not cooperating, but were actually hiding these facts.  It came out that the CIA worked with others to do assassinations (such as through the Mob and possibly the use of French assassins or others in Europe and Latin America).


Nolan examines the personality of Richard Helms and discovers that Helms was a sociopath:  He was “truth-challenged,” and perhaps a pathological liar;  he would perform normally, but without any sense of empathy or conscience, and would have no stress or disorientation.  Helms would appear cordial and unusually intelligent, but he would tend to be manipulative and show shallowness of emotions.

“An intelligent sociopath can be most destructive, and Helms was at the top of his class,” says Nolan. “They are focused individuals who aim to achieve their goals. At the same time, they are opportunists who ignore the rules, forging ahead with no inner controls…

“Helms created just such a rule in MKULTRA and spent his entire career trying to perfect it through testing drugs on unwitting subjects, carrying out hypno-programing experiments, and plotting coups, assassinations, and cover-ups while manipulating others.” (p. 49.)

Helms held a mask of normality that people “are loathe” to look beyond, and hide integrity of the “role” itself, says Nolan, and that such people are “legally sane, but they have a serious mental disorder.  They have no conscience.”

James Jesus Angleton



James Jesus Angleton began his intelligence career in the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the forerunner of the CIA, named chief of the Rome office, reading messages decoded from ULTRA (the famous German code that the allies had cracked early on in the war).

Richard Helms described Angleton as “a strange, strange man,” who could gain information through stealth, enabling him to climb to the “top ranks” of the CIA.  All three men, Allen Dulles, Richard Helms, and James Angleton, were “strong believers” in covert operations (p. 56).

“The breakthrough came with the achievement of the capability of ordinary a subject___under the influence of drugs and posthypnotic suggestions___to perform an action and recall it later,” says Nolan. “For example, a subject could be controlled to the point where he would pull out a weapon and fire without remembering later what had happened.” (“Induce hypnosis rapidly on unwitting subjects: create durable amnesia: implant hypnotic suggestions that were ‘operationally useful,’”  p. 59.)

Angleton was convinced that the CIA covert operations could save democracy around the globe.  They, Helms and Angleton,  often stood in stark contrast to the philosophy and opposed or obstructed the actions of the Kennedy brothers.

To safeguard the CIA covert operation, Angleton went about “guiding the search for unwitting fall guys, overseeing their conditioning, and devising their missions.” (p. 61.)  

When asked by a Congressional committee investigator to describe the nature of counter-intelligence, Angleton said:

“To construct a ‘Wilderness of Mirrors’ in which the opponent would be forever lost and confused.”  – Michael Holzman,James Jesus Angleton, the CIA+ the Craft of Counterintelligence [Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2008, p. 302].

Nolan highlights the murder of Mary Meyer, mistress of John Kennedy, and critic of the Warren Commission Report.  In the words of government assassin Joe Simon and another former lover of Mary Meyer, Kenneth Noland, “Angleton had had Mary’s phone bugged.  This was typical of Angleton’s Style … both she and Kennedy had serious reservations regarding the activities of the CIA.”

Operation CHAOS was a CIA program to determine “if foreign governments were behind the anti-war protests and the civil rights movement,” aided by James Angleton, and conducted. further operations under the Special Operations Group (SOG), The SOG unit carried out this domestic spying operation by monitoring peaceful activities, black leaders, and “monitoring and harassing peace activities, black leaders,” andmonitoring and harassing” numerous newspapers (such as the liberal Catholic publication Ramparts, that espoused and published anti-Vietnam War articles).

It was suspected that the Watergate Break-in in June, 1972 was carried out by a team of CIA operatives that was in fact an Operation Chaos mission.  Nolan speculates that Angleton was behind the Watergate break-in and the goal was “to find out if the Democrats had obtained any information concerning who killed the Kennedys and it the leads were pointing in Angleton’s direction.”  (p. 66.)


Nolan surveys the CIA’s part in foreign assassination in Iran, Guatemala, Indonesia, Congo, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Iraq, and Vietnam.

A clandestine CIA operations force in Saigon, led by Lucien Conein, had been working behind the scenes without Kennedy’s full knowledge, leading to the November 1, 1963 coup.  The sudden murders of President Ngo Dinh Diem, and Ngo Dinh Nhu and the coup d’etat in VIet Nam that installed General Duong Van Minh shocked President John F. Kennedy.

Editor’s Note:

President Kennedy Speaks Presently on the DIEM Coup D’etat as seen from Washington, DC

Listen below to President Kennedy’s privately recorded audio tape discussing true responsibility for the Diem and Nhu assassinations in South Viet Nam, as organized by the U.S. State Department, led by Henry Cabot Lodge in Saigon, Averell Harriman, George Ball, Roger Hillsman in Washington, and supported by Michael Forrestal in the White House.   –  RDM*

“I feel that we must bear a good deal of responsibility for it, beginning with our cable of early August suggesting a coup.  In my judgement that wire was badly drafted and should not have been sent on a Saturday. I should not have given my consent to it without a roundtable conference at which MacNamara and Taylor could have presented their views.  While we did redress that balance, that first wire encouraged Lodge along a course to which he was in any case inclined.” John F. Kennedy

(Underlined emphasis above mine – Editor)

Three weeks later, President Kennedy was also assassinated.

On January 28, 1964, General Duong Van Minh was replaced by General Khanh, and the war worsened for the United States.

In 1971, when Richard Nixon was president, Helms’s protégé, E. Howard Hunt, joined Nixon’s administration as a consultant, specializing in the “Dirty Tricks” department.  

Hunt asked Lucien Conein to devise a “fake telegraph” that would make President Kennedy appear to have ordered Diem’s murder.  LIFE Magazine reporter William Lambert questioned the authenticity of Conein’s play.

Howard Hunt was finally arrested for his part in the break-in at the Democratic National Committee Headquarters in 1972.  Hunt had joined the CIA in 1949 at the age of thirty-one. His talent at the CIA was writing disinformation, and he clearly found his “niche” with colleagues like Angleton and Helms.


Alternate theories as to who was behind the John Kennedy assassination ranged from Soviet KGB (State Security Committee), Cuba’s Castro, anti-Castro Cubans, the Mafia, and the Central Intelligence Agency.  It was suggested that Lee Harvey Oswald was a trained recruit and may have been used for the assassination as retaliation against Kennedy’s peace overtures to Soviet and Cuban Communists and the president’s firing of three top-level CIA officials.  But the flaw in this thinking would have been the supposed “great logistical legerdemain” to set up Oswald and the “silencing” of the actual assassins (James H. Fetzer, PhD, Murder in Dealey Plaza [Open Court Publishing, 2000, p. 298]).

Nolan quickly points out that the CIA had been using “logistical legerdemain” in its MKULTRA programs for more than a decade, utilizing “in-depth knowledge, skill and the requisite resources.”  Oswald had been set up to be “an innocent patsy” appearing to have been an assassin.  The real assassins were “hired guns, well-hidden sharp-shooters—CIA-Mafia-connected hired guns that were the hired guns.”

“We know that sources of witnesses died early deaths,” says Nolan, “indeed, the actual assassins were no doubt eliminated soon after the assassination in order to ensure their silence forever.  The hit men who killed them would not have known who they were or why they were being bumped off…”

At 12:30 pm on November 22, 1963 shots rang out hitting Kennedy in the back and in the head. Fifty-two percent of the witnesses would later testify that the shots came from the grassy knoll in Dealey Plaza.  Within the hour Dallas policeman J .D. Tippit was shot next to his patrol car in Oswald’s neighborhood. On November 24, 1963, Lee Oswald was shot (and swiftly died) by local mobster and strip club owner, Jack Ruby (who eventually died of cancer while in jail).


The purpose of the hypno-programming of Oswald “was not to create an assassin, but to create a fall guy by planting highly incriminating information about innocent person,” says Nolan, “while expert marksmen carried out the actual shooting.”

Oswald became adept at the Russian language. Fellow Marines nicknamed him “Oswaldskovich.”   In actuality, Oswald had been sent to a premier military language school, the Defense Languages Institute (DLI) in Monterey, California to study Russian through September of 1957 “…preparing select troops from all branches of the military for work at the National Security Agency,” says Nolan.

Oswald’s next job was at the CIA’s super-secret spy plane U-2 training facility at Atsugi AFB, Japan, Oswald was listed as a radar operator—a duty assignment—a cover for his top secret language-related job.  During his stay in Atsugi, Lee gave disinformation to a young Japanese woman and KGB spy. His 1958 gonorrhea was considered “in the line of duty.” Oswald’s roommate at El Torro Air Station, James Botelho, said:

“Oswald was not a Communist or a Marxist…Oswald was on an assignment in Russia for American intelligence.”

Under a CIA secret “defector” program, Oswald planned to enroll in an also CIA-backed Albert Schweitzer College in Churwalden, Switzerland. Oswald arrived in Helsinki on October 11, 1959, probably by “contract pilots flying private aircraft.”   On a six-day visa, he arrived in Moscow on October 16, 1957.

As a “201 file” CIA employee, Oswald received a steady flow of hidden funds.


Picking up on Oswald’s “defection” scenario, reporters Aline Mosby of UPI and Priscilla Johnson of the North American Newspaper Alliance—both picked up on the Oswald Communist “spin”—with Johnson “working at the time on contract for the CIA.”

Oswald’s “program” or “legend” in Russia included marriage to a Russian woman (Marina Prusakova), creation of a phony “diary,” and an “easy” exit to Hoboken, Jersey on June 13, 1962.

Oswald continued to follow his “mission” (“program,” “legend”) to monitor, infiltrate, and penetrate individuals or groups that posed a threat to the national interest. The CIA TOOK Oswald out of customary ‘posting”—but actually casting him as an enemy of the U.S.  Various “handlers” were used to help “paint’ Oswald as a treacherous person.

“In Lee’s case, it appears that the did not know until the end of his short life that his assignments,” says Nolan, “were also designed to make him appear to be working for the enemy, not just posing as one.”

George de Mohrenschildt was one handler.  De Mohrenschildt was constantly in contact with CIA front organizations; a spy in Mexico during World War II; in Latin America in U.S oil companies after the war; on the fringes in Guatemala at the same time the CIA planned the Bay of Pigs Invasion.

“He reportedly received two thousand dollars in a Haitian bank account shortly after the Kennedy assassination,” says Nolan.

Variations in de Mohrenschildt’s “friends” consisted of Norman Fredrickson (director of Radio Free Europe), Max Clark (former head of security at Convair Aircraft Corporation), Michael Paine at Bell Helicopter (husband of Ruth Paine, Oswald’s landlady at one point), and Ruth Paine (whose father was William Avery Hyde who had worked at AID, a CIA-backed agency).  

Consequently, thanks to de Mohrenschildt, Oswald worked at Jaggar-Chiles-Stoval for six months doing photographic work connected to U-2 spy plane photos.


Nolan paces us through Oswald’s “traits” and “deeds,” such as the nick-name A.J. Hidell (used in intelligence circles), purchase of a World War II Mannlicher-Carcano, fake backyard photos, created story about shooting of retired Army Major General Edwin A. Walker, Lee’s pamphleteering, connections with David Ferrie, Guy Banister, Clay Shaw, his job at the Reily Coffee Company (“Obviously, the Reily firm was more than a coffee shop as evidenced by its alumni’s later assignments in the aerospace defense industry.”), radio and TV appearances, trip to Clinton, Louisiana, alleged trip to Mexico, and Oswald’s eventual employment at the Texas Book Depository building.

The reader should pay especially close attention to the intricate sequence of events that Nolan lays out leading up to assassins’ firing shots at President Kennedy on November 22, 1963, as well as the twisting misidentifications of police officer Jefferson Davis Tippit’s murder, the mysterious deaths following Kennedy’s assassination, such as that of George de Mohrenschildt on March 29, 1977, Jack Ruby, Lee Oswald and others.

“Lee was forceful in his media appearance during several scheduled and impromptu press conference,” says Nolan. “At one point, Oswald said: ‘I didn’t shoot anybody, no sir.’ At another time, he said that someone should ‘come forward to give me legal assistance.’  On November 22, a bewildered Oswald responded to a reporter’s revelation that he had been charged with the assassination: ‘Then I’m the patsy.’” (Plausible Denial: Was the CIA involved in the Assassination of JFK? [New York: Thunder’s Mouth Press, 1991], page 15.)  (p. 165.)


Nolan believes that the same CIA “hypno-programming” (through agents Dr. William Bryan and Manly Palmer Hall and others) victimized Sirhan Bishara Sirhan as a “patsy” in the assassination of presidential candidate Senator Robert F. Kennedy on the evening of June 5, 1968.

Not only did the forensic evidence not match Sirhan’s alleged quilt, but Dr. Eduard Simon-Kallas said that an analysis of Sirhan at San Quentin Prison indicated that “Sirhan was mentally normal, but that he had been hypno-programmed by someone.” (p. 274.)

Nolan treks through the forensic evidence in the RFK assassination; like the JFK assassination, his brother’s murder was meticulously planned and executed.

Dr. Eduard Simson-Kallas said “…that Sirhan in fact does not have any recollection of the assassination nor of writing the notebooks,” says Nolan, “he concluded that Sirhan was ‘prepared by someone. He was hypnotized by someone.’”

Two gunmen in suits who stood directly behind Robert Kennedy, and his left side, fired guns inches away before escaping in the chaos. Sirhan’s gun could not be “positively identified” as the murder weapon because of significant discrepancies.  Lead in the bore of Sirhan’s gun indicated only blanks had been fired. Sirhan’s gun was feet away from Kennedy, yet assassins fired within one-inch. Forensic analysis of recovered residue indicated that more than one gun was fired (p. 253).

Again, as in the case of Lee Oswald, Sirhan had been “associated” with mysterious, possible CIA, contacts: security officer Thane Eugene Cesar, a mysterious lady often near Sirhan over a matter of weeks, as well as a “young women in the polka dot dress seen in the (hotel) pantry” who was assisted by a male companion on the night of the shootings; not to mention the psycho programmers.


Readers will pensively study Nolan’s fascinating literary landscape of facts into the frightening world of power and murder.

Patrick Nolan is a forensic historian who has relentlessly worked to uncover truths surrounding the JFK, MLK, and the RFK assassinations of the 1960s.  He has been a journalist, a television news producer, and a professor at Hofstra University and St. John’s University.

“Mr. Nolan’s early background in news-writing and college teaching, and his perseverance and devotion to this subject, have given him the tools to make sound judgments in these controversial cases,” said Dr. Henry C. Lee, former director of the Connecticut State Police Forensic Science Laboratory and currently Distinguished Professor of Forensic Science at the University of New Haven.

Lee said forensic science professionals, and Nolan, seek the truth, but in the final analysis, the reader must come to a conclusion “based on the best evidence.”

“In dissecting the associations of the sixties, beneath the surface, they involve similar motives, means, and opportunities,” says Nolan on page 282. “The motive of the rogue intelligence operatives was to control America’s destiny in their own twisted way.”

Martin Hay appeared far from a friend of Nolan, and criticized Nolan for lack of proof and hard evidence that Nolan promised in his book, nevertheless Hay agreed the idea of the Manchurian Candidate was a fascinating and real one:

“When he was interviewed by author Dick Russell, Gottlieb denied that creating brainwashed or hypnotized assassins had been an aim of MKULTRA and suggested that such a thing wasn’t actually possible (On The Trail of the JFK Assassins, p. 242).  But there’s every reason to believe it is.  In 2011, British mentalist/hypnotist Derren Brown produced a series of TV shows called The Experiments, the first of which was titled The Assassin.  In it, Brown took a volunteer through a series of hypnosis sessions which the volunteer believed were intended to make him a superior marksman.  In reality, Brown was programming him to commit an assassination against his will of which he would have no memory.  The show culminated with the unwitting gunman firing blanks at British comedian and TV personality, Stephen Fry, in front of a packed and unsuspecting auditorium.  After watching The Assassin, the viewer is compelled to conclude that a mind-controlled assassin is a shockingly real possibility.”

Typical comments about the book and other research suggest many coincidental connections and further intriguing facts of mystery:

“Nolan suggests Oswald’s observed agitation at the Dallas breakfast diner several days prior to the JFK assassination was indicative of MKULTRA’s psycho-programming, but Oswald at that point knew of the scheduled assassination, but was unable to contact his probable White House connection, Fletcher Prouty, as he was outside the country at that time!”

“The other major criticism is that the author does no current research — had he examined the obituaries for Valerie Schulte’s family (she being the so-called ‘mystery witness’ who didn’t fit the description by a long shot!), Nolan would have discovered that Schulte’s aunt and uncle were both employed at the very same classified section at Lockheed as Thane Cesar, the part-time security guard at the RFK assassination.”

“Also, Nolan might have discovered that Schulte’s father worked at Technicolor Corporation on a classified contract with Lockheed, and that the security chief at Lockheed was the former personal US Secret Service bodyguard of Vice President Richard Nixon, who left that position when Nixon lost the presidential campaign, and would return to Nixon’s 1968 presidential campaign after the assassination of Senator Bobby Kennedy.”

— Sergeant Doom: November 29, 2013 at 11:10 AM.

The reader is welcome to further explore into the assassinations labyrinth.


You can reach Steve Erdmann at

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Patrick Nolan, Investigative Reporter




This document was created by the US Government and is, therefore, in the public domain: Image acquired:




This document was created by the US Government and is, therefore, in the public domain. Image acquired:



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