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on February 21, 2016
Warning: many readers will incorrectly think they finished John Newman's book upon finishing chapter 20 entitled, ¨Conclusion: Beginning¨. That's because chapter 20 is followed by nearly 100 pages of Documents, followed in turn by nearly 100 pages of notes. But after THAT, unexpectedly, there appears an ESSENTIAL newly added chapter entitled, ¨Epilogue, 2008¨ which you MUST read or else you will miss the author's best guess (and his reasoning) as to who in the CIA was pulling Oswald's strings.
After you read this hidden chapter, you will practically fall off your chair when you get to chapter 5 of David Talbot's book, ¨The Devil's Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA, and the Rise of America's Secret Government¨. There, on page 96, you will find extensive reference to this same person in 1945 when he worked for U.S. intelligence in Italy assisting Dulles in protecting German war criminals!!!
Incidentally, I found after reading John Newman's book that it was especially interesting to see John Newman on YouTube. For example,the YouTube channel entitled, ¨Assassination Archives and Research Center¨ has a video of a speech labeled as, ¨Dr. John M. Newman - Dark Operations - Deciphering the CIA’s Cuban Secrets HD¨.
Jon Newman's book was the first I ever read on the subject of the JFK assassination. I was advised to start with this book by a user review of James Douglass' book, ¨JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters¨. After I finish David Talbot's book, I will start James Douglass' book. I think this is the best reading order for someone who, like myself, is new to the subject of the JFK assassination.
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on October 24, 2014
This publication has the power to carry 10 stars. Subject: Documented discovery regarding Oswald's military service in connection to the U2, his "defection" and the CIA's attempt to cover it up! Most strongly recommend for waking up and to hold the leadership of my country accountable for State Crimes. This publication by John Newman is one of the most astonishing historical treasures regarding my country I've found in the rabbit hole of discovery and I most strongly approve this incredible work in the most passionate way possible. There's a differences between thinking you might know, compared to knowing the factual history. There's no question for me personally now that the CIA, or elements of the CIA control this country.

This eventually became a cool pub to read because it fills the justification/mission on why I read this kind of material the first place. Initially it started off fast but I had to slow way down after a while and even go back and reread previous pages more than a few times because of the exceptionally painful details required a level of concentration in that it's not the easiest work I've read but by far, one of the most rewarding. I most strongly recommend this publication. Regardless of what you or I might think personally about Lee Harvey Oswald, the government paperwork, how it was created, what justified it and where the possible failures/modifications does reveal some pretty astonishing factual info and not something to excuse.

I like the way John Newman starts right up front in the introduction where he details the intent for this work in that the "CIA had a keen operational interest in Lee Harvey Oswald resulting in two different conclusions. One is that the Agency used sensitive sources and methods to acquire intell on Oswald from the time he defected to whether witting or not, Oswald became involved in CIA operations". To validate this, the publication reviews all the known information using government documents that have nothing to do with the specific regarding the assassination of JFK, nor is there anything about Dealey Plaza, but just the known paper trail about Oswald.

This is important for me because so many publications work "By focusing on the issue of conspiracy, the conspiracy-theory label posited that the most important question about the Kennedy assassination was how many people were involved, and typically this was interpreted to mean how many shooters. It did not matter which side of this issue people were on. Whether they were conspiracy believers or conspiracy deniers, they had swallowed the premise that the number of shooters was the decisive issue. This became the central question in investigations of the Kennedy assassination by the government as well as by the government's critics." (Lance de-haven Smith) The point is that the author structures the thesis in a way that uses all the known message traffic or various files created about Lee Harvey Oswald by U.S. government departments in that the traditional details of various possible mechanics and/or tactical review of what happened that day in Dallas is not applicable to this work. For a direct, historical first person perspective of a young woman's adventures with Lee Harvey Oswald the man, I recommend the author, Judyth Vary Baker. Rather than me attempting to explain more about what I think about this work, I've selected the most critical passages I found that just can't be put back into the box and forgotten, regardless of what you've assumed previously.

"The story that a marine who defected and threatened to give military secrets to the enemy was judged to be of only "relatively low national security interest" is dubious. The fact that the HSCA was misled to adds a dramatic and tragic perspective to this cover-up, and impresses one with the lengths to which the CIA was prepared to go to protect the secrets that lay in Oswald's files. Spinning tales is not done for sport, but rather to protect secrets. Oswald's early files are astonishing to read. They establish beyond any doubt that the CIA had a keen interest in him from the very day of his defection."

"At least one member of the Warren Commission knew all about the U-2 program, as he might also have known what steps, if any, the agency took after Oswald's defection. Allen Dulles had been CIA director at the time of Oswald's marine service, and he remained director until Kennedy fired him at the end of 1961"

"In 1959, Nixon and Dulles had cooperated to defeat the State Department recommendations to recognize the Castro regime. "Castro's actions when he returned to Cuba," Nixon wrote twenty years later, "convinced me he was indeed a Communist, and I sided strongly with Allen Dulles in presenting this view in NSC and other meetings."2; The Vice President's performance at the next NSC meeting was memorable, even though it did not mention the ongoing discussion about assassinating Castro. As we have seen, Nixon chose this moment to articulate a new American policy toward Cuba, as recorded in the minutes of the December 16, 1959, NSC meeting"

"Oswald had been an aviation electronics operator and "may have had access to confidential info." Actually, Oswald had access, at a minimum, to secret information while stationed at Atsugi as a consequence of his radar duties there. This much could have been ascertained by no more than a simple phone call to Oswald's former commander at Atsugi, John E. Donovan. "He [Oswald] must have had [a] secret clearance to work in the radar center," Donovan testified to the Warren Commission in 1964, "because that was a minimum requirement for all of us."

"Oswald and his marine companions had walked patrol to guard a supersecret espionage weapon hidden in an airplane hanger. As a radar operator, he had also tracked this dark object with advanced height-finding radar equipment. This particular espionage weapon was then the single most important intelligence asset available to the United States. It was the one that produced the most critical intelligence on the Soviet ballistic missile program at the height of the missile bluff (1957-1960) crisis with Khrushchev: the U-2."

"The U-2 program was TOP SECRET and more, but it was no secret to the marines in Oswald's unit. They saw the planes, they tracked them, and they even communicated with them. That is, until Oswald defected to the Soviet Union, which was the target of the U-2s' espionage mission. The ballistic missile information these dark planes from Atsugi collected as they overflew the Communist giant was vital intelligence for U.S. estimates of the Soviet Union's ability to wage nuclear wars What Oswald knew of the U-2 program before his defection is therefore a matter that deserves close attention."

The other astonishing piece of information that I came across and I think is one of the most important is this::

"By early 1960 a national intelligence estimate predicted that the Soviet Union would deploy thirty-five ICBMs by mid-1960, and 140 to 200 by 1961. In the end they deployed only four by 1961."

This work gets a big thumbs up from the 9/11 magical mystery tour through the rabbit hole of discovery.

Edited: "Newman's work will stand as a beacon to other academic historians..." and, I would add, for emotionally mature adults looking for validation and comprehensive information on what the hell is going on in my government. And, I think more Americans have started to understand that responsible government requires a well informed population.
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on January 12, 2014
This is an amazing book which details most of the relevant documentation that has been unearthed about Lee Oswald and the paper trail through the known CIA records about him. The paper trail is incredibly dense, which is telling in and of itself, but the gaps in the documentation is ever more revealing. Considering then the extent to which the CIA has worked to thwart the research into the gaps in the paper trail shows that there is much more to the story than Lee Oswald being a 'communist lone nut assassin.' The research reveals just who within the CIA was controlling Lee Oswald and protecting his secrets. The book refuses to speculate about the very notion of who was responsible for the assassination but the finger is squarely pointed in the right direction... the only organization in the world that had the means to not only commit an organized murder, but also manipulate so many government agents, politicians and agencies to 1.) effect such a murder 2.) to cover up such a murder, and 3.) create false perpetrators on an international level.

But, the book reads like a research document. It is incredibly dry and may even require notes to be taken in order to fully comprehend the twists and turns. Thus, as Vince Palamara (author of SURVIVORS GUILT about the Secret Service agents associated with the assassination), stated, this is a 5 star document for researchers but for those who are looking for an overview or even intrigue and suspence, this is not a book to read. Very heavy on documentation and very, very light on enjoyable writing style.
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on March 19, 2012
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.
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on May 2, 2013
Yes it’s dry, but for anyone interested in the Kennedy assassination, it’s indispensible. As I read the volume, I was continually struck by how savvy Newman and his staff were in their interpretations of details – routing slips, who read the documents, differences in stamps on the documents. It was clear that the author had a security background – and boy did he!

It’s all primary sources. You can’t argue with any of it. It isn’t speculation. It’s there.

The first obvious aspect is why the files were kept secret in the first place: precisely because Oswald wasn’t a lone nut. He may have been a nut, but he sure wasn’t alone! The FBI and CIA (not to mention the KGB) were following him closely from at least 1959. There’s at least two orders of magnitude more security interest in this guy than I personally suspected, and I’m pretty darn paranoid.

Conclusions? Draw your own, but when you do so, it helps to start with facts. Here they are.
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on January 17, 2016
"Lone nut" theory completely discredited. Thoroughly documented and footnoted. Government agencies still resist complying with JFK Records Act of 1992. Documents that are released have numerous 'redactions' (blacked out lines) that show information is still being withheld.
Boggs down in some chapters as Newman tries to make sense of the various files that were maintained on Oswald by the FBI and CIA.( I certainly hope that now these agencies have a more efficient filing system now than they did in the late 1950's and early 60's.)
It is hard to escape the conclusion that someone in the CIA was setting up Oswald to be a patsy, which he made himself the perfect candidate for by going to the USSR, subscribing to communist literature, being arrogant and argumentative, marrying a Russian, and offering to provide radar information to the Soviets.police
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on January 9, 2015
This book was fascinating to me, probably dry by most people's standards. The book goes into great lengths to explain the documents that the CIA and FBI had on Lee Harvey Oswald without EVER going into the land of conjecture except at the conclusion. It was extremely well written- very impressive. What I took from the book was that there are/were still a plethora of records regarding Oswald working for the CIA and/or Naval Intelligence, that there was no way that Oswald wasn't defecting due to his communist beliefs but rather to determine where there was a spy in CIA's Russia Section as James Angleton was (perhaps rightly) paranoid that it had been infiltrated. The book goes into great lengths about the September/October 1963 Oswald visits to the Russian and Cuban embassies- I don't think he ever visited either from what I read but rather his double made the September visits. My impression was that LH Oswald was extensively handled and that he probably was the perfect patsy for the JFK assassination. It makes me wonder what he (LHO) was thinking . . . Dr. Newman wrote a really good book.
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on February 28, 2013
Long story short: much of the stuff written about the assassination of Kennedy is, well pretty awful. Often poorly written, hard to follow and even some of the better researchers tend to jump to conclusions that are really only untestable hypotheses. This book, when compared to those, is a breath of fresh air: it breaks down the government paper trail (now available from various authentic sources, using contemporaneous documents) from Oswalds time in the Marine Corps to his death. It is amazing to learn what the various government agencies actually had on Oswald. Newman is an intelligence professional, knows how to read and extract information from government documents and can often offer a bit of "back story". This is one of only a very small handful of books I'd recommend for those interested in the assassination. Some very interesting stuff. I am not one of those paranoid conspiracy buffs, but clearly your government never wanted Oswalds well documented connection to intelligence sources (plural) ever revealed. The Warren Commission certainly was not informed of this. Highly recommended.
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on November 4, 2014
A detailed look at JFK assassination-related documents held by the CIA and finally released by the government in the 1990s. Newman's book is very detailed, probably in the quest to establish documentary evidence that casts a whole new light on the relationship between Oswald and the CIA. I'm now leaning towards the theory that Oswald was a CIA asset involved in a fake Russian defection, which ended up down the road being the man's unwitting death knell. Newman includes copies of the documents he reviews, so that there can be no question as to their validity.
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on August 11, 2017
While I do not agree with the inferences Newman makes in his postscript, I nevertheless find his research one of the more valuable contributions to Kennedy assassination research. Newman's meticulous study of government files maintained on Oswald, particularly at the CIA, is essential material to be factored into any analysis of the assassination. A well done and impressive and important contribution to this topic. Right up there with Wagner's analysis in his book, The Assassination of JFK: Perspectives Half a Century Later.
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