INTERVIEW WITH JANE ROMAN

DATE:† 2 November 1994

Participants: Jane Roman, John Newman, Jefferson Morley.

Transcribed by Mary Bose of the Washington Post on 7 November 1994. Corrected by Jefferson Morley in June 1999.† Editorsí notes by Jefferson Morley.

[SIDE A OF TAPE]

NEWMAN: The first time I saw your name in this collection of what I would call the Oswald personality file, um, was actually at Ground Zero in connection† with Halloween, you know it was Halloween here two or three days ago, well, Oswald defected on Halloween [ed. note 1959] on Saturday.

ROMAN: Defected?

NEWMAN: Yeah. He went into the American Embassy and Ö

ROMAN: Oh, oh, oh

NEWMAN: Ö renounced his citizenship and said he was going to turn over radar secrets and something of special interest and this caused some cables immediately to be sent back to Washington saying the same thing; and alerting the FBI and the CIA and the State Dept. and the Navy.

ROMAN: This was from Mexico?

NEWMAN: No, no, no, this is back in 1959 when he defected.

ROMAN: You mean here in Washington.

NEWMAN: No, he defected in Moscow.

ROMAN: Oh, I see, to our embassy in Moscow.

NEWMAN: Correct. Through them. In other words, defection is a two-part process where Ö

ROMAN: But he was already in, in Russia?

NEWMAN: Yes.

ROMAN: Yes

NEWMAN: Um, I, the first, that was a Saturday, by the way. And of course, theyíre twelve hours or more ahead than the U.S.† time so that the news came back on Saturday here. And there were a number of things that were done internally. The FBI had the fingerprints checked, and things like that. And the Navy began searching his records.

At some point, when Monday morning came, and everyone got to their offices and actually looked at this then the wheels started turning inter-agency wise. And you† received a phone call on Tuesday from Sam Papich. This [showing the original document] was a document that they released and youíre the one, the CIA liaison person, who took his Ė it was just a query Ė wanting to know what the agency had or what you knew about him. Do† you remember that telephone call?

ROMAN: No, about Sam Papich† we met every day and we were very good friends. Say what you will about the FBI, and many people do, but he was an excellent representative. And I think that [inaudible phrase] more than some people.

NEWMAN: Oh yeah, still today I think researchers and historians find him accessible. And he didn't, he came down on the right side of some of the issues that the Bureau leadership was coming down on the wrong way on over the years. I think heís getting credit for that.

ROMAN: His name will appear, you know, with Ė

NEWMAN: Oh Sam Papich is already a household figure, [Roman laughs] itís the case, believe it or not.

ROMAN: And heís a great guy.

NEWMAN: And heís used to it by now. He doesnít take it wrongly when people come off half-cocked. Heís been very good about giving interviews and doing the best.

ROMAN: Weíre still in touch. Occasionally, you know, we go to his house and talk about this and that.

NEWMAN:† Ö So you donít really remember much about the initial call.

ROMAN: No, I didn't. Every day† these calls came† in asking for information about this and that Ö

NEWMAN: Well, so you donít remember then searching for anything on Oswald when he defected and passing on the answer to the FBI at this point. This is okay not to remember. Itís a long, long time ago. This is not to be raising you anxiety level. I just have to ask these questions because I know that you were involved in some of these personnel actions.

ROMAN: No, I mean Ė remember that date, that time, that query? No.

NEWMAN: All right. Fair enough.

ROMAN: But it would obviously be routine and appropriate.

NEWMAN: One of the things that bothers everybody about the case is that Oswald was stationed everywhere there was a U-2 program, it was in the Marines.

ROMAN: Oh, really?

NEWMAN: Yes, and in fact, Iíve researched this thoroughly and found out that every place he is on the ground: at Suki, Pyngtong Ė which is the northern part of Taiwan Ė there is an air base there, and also at Cubie Point, those are the three places he was. And all three locations we were staging U-2 op, out over the impact areas.

I wondered if you had any knowledge of that program, and if so, do you remember this classification Ė IDACHESS. This is a U-2 document thatís been released in 1994 which is going to make NSA very unhappy to see it.

ROMAN: This is the highest classification.

NEWMAN: Yes, this is the first time, I have an intelligence background, I think I told you that Ė 20 years in intelligence.

ROMAN: No.

NEWMAN: Mostly in NSA.

ROMAN: Oh, really.

NEWMAN: so when I saw this document I was amazed.

ROMAN: Did you know, Frank Rowley?

NEWMAN: : I know the name but ---

ROMAN : Before your time.

NEWMAN:† Yeah, I actually worked for Gen. Odom when he was director there. I was his military representative. But I had many, many years as an Army guy. In any event, yeah, when I saw this piece of paper, I said thatís NSA material. And thereís this IDACHESS caveat.

ROMAN: Iím not familiar with that. That must be an NSA Ö

NEWMAN: I believe it must be for the program would have been whatever their material was, this is what they were calling it. OK. Well, do you remember anything about Oswald and the U-2 program?

ROMAN: No.

NEWMAN: For example, when a U-2 was shot down in Russia, did his name come up?

ROMAN: Not to my knowledge, not in my area.

NEWMAN: All right, let me move on, where I donít get any fish--No fish? Donít fish there, right?

ROMAN: Right.

NEWMAN: Let me ask you today, from this perspective, when was the first time that you recall having heard about Lee Harvey Oswald and saying something about him?† Or hearing somebody saying something to you about him.

Was there a time before the assassination? How far back does it go, really?

ROMAN: I donít think I ever heard about him before the assassination.

NEWMAN: Well, OK well, we need to refresh your memory on it. [Roman laughs.] I have a few documents today.

ROMAN: I warned you about my memory.

NEWMAN: Itís okay. This is not an interrogation in the sense that youíre supposed to know something that happened back then.

ROMAN: To reassure you, all people my age, apparently Ė I mean, I say:, "Oh dear, oh dear."

And they say join the club. So thatís what happens to you.

NEWMAN: I wish I had Ann Egeter still† alive because she handled more closely those 201; in fact, it was restricted to her when it was open at the end of 1960.

ROMAN: She died.

NEWMAN: Yes, Iíve heard that through many sources. So Iíve given up looking for her. In fact, in fact, I wasnít sure you were alive. I looked for you for a long time and gave up and it wasnít until Dick Helms said ďI was just on a trip and met her. You must find her.Ē

So thatís when I told Jeff I was interested, that I knew you were alive. And I didnít know he was going to go to all this trouble to find you but he did. So thatís what happened; it was Dick Helms who was at the bottom of this.

ROMAN: Well, he could have told you how to find me.

NEWMAN: Well, he did. He said that he thought I should try New York for some reason. But his memory is also --- [Roman laughs knowingly]

Iím going to have to do a different tack than I intended here because Oswald has a very interesting, almost spectacular, record before the assassination.

ROMAN: Now, something just came back to me that might be pertinent: The Fair Play for Cuba committee ---

NEWMAN: Yes, that would be exactly one of the subjects.

ROMAN: Yeah, some documents may have come through from the FBI.

NEWMAN: I have them today to show you. You can look at those documents.

ROMAN: So you know, that you knew, it may be in that connection. [inaudible]

NEWMAN: So do you remember vaguely something about the FPCC and Oswald?

ROMAN: Oh, yeah.

NEWMAN: I mean, prior to the assassination, of course.

ROMAN: Iím just saying that itís a possibility, I donít remember.

NEWMAN: Well, in fact, no, your memory is very good. And I have those documents with me today and Iím going to show them to you. Theyíre FBI documents. They concern, among other things, his activities for the FPCC and you were, in fact, receipted for them. You have your initials and the date stamped on it. So your recollection is very good on that. Although it may be better to show. In fact, Iím going to do that very shortly, right now.

So you donít have a recollection, for example, of his departure from Russia and arrival back in the United States, any of that? Coming back on the boat with his wife.

ROMAN: Of course, at this point I know it happened, I know the story. But I canít really be sure.

NEWMAN: Let me just change up then and letís go straight to an important point here. To show you Jeff and I have our own copies over here, three documents. Letís begin with one here, and weíll take our time with it.

Thatís the Ė let me unfold this bottom part for you Ė um, this is of course, the standard from 610A routing and record sheet

ROMAN: Right.

NEWMAN: and your copy has the actual document that this was attached to. We donít but I know whatís in that document so I can talk to you about it.

[crosstalk] This one did not. But Ann Egeter has it here. But youíll understand the pattern of what Iím doing here. This is an FBI document. And I believe it may even get into, you can look at, it [inaudable] basically covers his early activities after returning to the United States. After heís off the boat. Letís see. They've got a physical description of him. Fort Worth, Texas.

Would you characterize this Ė these are the people who read this FBI report on Oswald. And again, Iíd like to emphasize that it is after he came back from the United States [sic he means Soviet Union].This is Sept. 11, 1962, for example when he comes in to RID [ed. Note Records Integration Division]. He goes through all these people, of course that would make sense. They are the Russia Division and counterintelligence folks. Would you --Is that a fairly wide distribution or a significant number of people who were reading?

You handle these things on a daily basis. How would you characterize this many people reading this file?

ROMAN: Well, theyíre all very closely connected. I mean, normally [inaudible part] They worked all very closely together.

NEWMAN: What kinds of organizations are we talking about here?

ROMAN: Well, the CI staff I donít know them too well. [inaudible]

NEWMAN: Special Investigation Group. Birch D. OíNeill was the chief, right?

ROMAN: And they worked very closely on these [inaudible]. Then they took out CII so that was sensible because those were the operations officers who had to deal with operations per se. They were never interested in this kind of thing. The counter-intelligence staff branch with the Soviet Division ---

NEWMAN: To Lt. Bagley, I believe it is by this time. Wasnít it Pete Bagley, isnít he SRCI? I think so.

ROMAN: I think so, yeh

NEWMAN: Iíve done a lot of interviews already by the way.

ROMAN: Who have you talked to?

NEWMAN: Well, I talk, in the CI arena, Scottie Miler who was very, very helpful. Birch is too old. Heís 83 and heís not well. He has a heart problem, so it really, it upsets him to talk about it so I donít bother him. But he is alive and he is here, close by.

ROMAN: How well is Scottie? Heís in what, North Carolina?

NEWMAN: Yeah. But heís chipper and well and heís accessible. If youíre not totally crazy, heíll talk to you.

ROMAN: And he was a good guy. He was in CI operations, but he was very close, worked very closely with [inaubile].

Iíll bet. And Iíve talked to a lot of people in the Soviet, so some of these names I do know. But Iím interested in what your views are on, on† why these people are reading Oswaldís file. Does this ---

ROMAN: The rest of these are Soviet?

NEWMAN: Yeah, the rest of these are, exactly. Until it comes back to CI in the end. See, Ann Egeter has the whole thing charged out to her, so the way I interpret that, you canít put anything in, you canít take it out of the 201 without her approval. So, in fact, this was always the MO. Youíd see CI at the beginning and the end of these distributions. But I want to ask you frankly, is this, when you look at something like this, all these people and these particular, you know, the CI folks everywhere, and the SR6. This is the Soviet realities branch, Is this the mark of a personís file whoís dull and uninteresting? Or would you say that weíre looking at somebody whoís ---

ROMAN: No, weíre really trying to zero in on somebody here. I mean ---

NEWMAN: So there is some acreage (?) in this?

ROMAN: Oh, absolutely.

NEWMAN: You would have a very good perception institutionally on that, you see.

ROMAN: Yeah. If somebody went to the Soviet embassy, the American embassy in Moscow and said he wanted to defect Ė is that was this is all about?

NEWMAN: Actually, this is a little bit later than that. I have some earlier ones, this is what Iím taking you through now, this document and the next two I will show are what he did after he came back and got off the boat. This is one of the initial reports. This is in the fall of 1962, so heís already done all that, and spent, what, almost two years over there. All of 1960, all of 1961, so itís more than that. Two and a half years heís been in Russia, and how heís back, and heís doing things, weird things again, writing to the FPCC, writing to† The Worker, and this FBI report is detailing those activities.

ROMAN: I see. Well, let me ask you one thing, because Ö the years† [inaudible]Ö my memory. Had he gone down to Mexico and talked to the Cuban embassy?

NEWMAN: Weíre heading in that direction. No, this is a year away. This is September í62; itís about a year before that. But the next documents Iím going to show you pertain to that time frame. But Iím very interested in the period of Oswald, U.S.Ė in other words, his post-Russian period, which is what I call the Cuban period in his life. In any event, you were going to characterize this. We were talking about the level of interest.

ROMAN: I would say that there was some keen counter-intelligence interest in somebody who had returned from Russia and had offered to defect. Then ,of course, he becomes the, not the property of the FBI but the

NEWMAN: The purview, yeah.

ROMAN: But they keep us posted. Well, when did he get in touch with the Fair Play for Cuba Committee ---

[crosstalk] Ö

NEWMAN: He got back in June of 62 and within two months or so.

ROMAN: Well as I recall it, that wouldíve been of keen interest to us, and particularly in the Soviet connectionÖ

NEWMAN: Yes, you have a very large agency operation picking up at this point. Right in the middle of, of course, this Mongoose thing that the Kennedys set up with Lansdale, and weíre cresting into the Cuban missile crisis by this time, so thereís a very great deal of concern on Cuban matters.

ROMAN: What was the date of the Bay of Pigs?

NEWMAN: Thatís 1961, April 19th. So itís a year before this, more than a year before this. In any event, so that would be my interpretation, but I was not a CIA employee, so I couldnít tell you on a daily basis how many people this is. Just my own sense of my own 20 years in government in intelligence is that this looks to me like a lot of people were interested in this file.

MORLEY: Can I ask just one? On something like this, when you get a file with the next person down on the list, would that be somebody who you were saying, ĎHey, I think youíll be interested in this?í Or was that just you were required to pass it on to the next person on the list?í What would be the Ė Ann Egeter had been saying, okay, I think CI ops will be interested in this? Or would CI have just automatically gotten it? Is that a question that can only be answered in specific cases?

ROMAN: Well, I would say this ---

NEWMAN: I could probably answer that question, [Roman laughs] because Iíve asked a number of people about these. It varies. The people in the Records Integration Division for example, often assigned, put suggestions on here. Sometimes they were followed, sometimes they werenít. Sometimes they would leave a space because they would anticipate people who further down the line would want to add organizations to it.

ROMAN: Right. As I recall, it would be vaguely routed in, I mean, ---

[inaudible]

NEWMAN: But itís not something thatís sort of religious, a lockstep that you have to follow whatever the first --- Quite often they just check it off or cross it out.

ROMAN: If somebody writes something in.

NEWMAN: I want to move on to the next document. But suffice it to say that we have a great deal, as you said, keen interest, at least at CI apparently, in the man, in his activities since his return to the United States.

ROMAN: Right.

NEWMAN: Okay.

ROMAN: And I would assume that our interest would stem mainly from the Cuban angle because the bureauís interest, at that time, the bureauís interest would focus on the Soviet in this country.

NEWMAN: Right exactly, right. And the next document I want to show you is this one. Itís a little bit, itís cut off at the bottom but its what it is.† And now weíre moving ahead almost a year. And the date is September of 1963 Ė in fact, it is a year later. And the report that weíre talking about here is, these are, these are their actual, the Bureauís sources in New York where they actually went in, broke in and took pictures of these Ė we have some of them Ė of the lists inside the FPCC offices, the mailing lists. Theyíve got pictures of Oswaldís letters at the time. The envelopes and so on. So they were really checking out, you know, what he was doing writing to all these Ė hereís the earlier versions [inaudible] blacked out. But here weíre really talking about where heís employed at the time and the relations with his wife and family, connections with the Communist party. And hereís a whole appendix on the FPCC Ė actually from the Chicago office. This was from Dallas. [inaudible] Once you can read these files, itís very interesting, whoís doing all of this stuff.

But again, weíre talking about basically Cuban activities and so on. And the people who are reading this, itís a little bit tighter. Itís interesting, and after Records Integration Division, youíll notice the person whoís at the top of the list, there on 23 September, who signed for this is named, looks to me like itís Jane Roman.

ROMAN: Right, it is.

NEWMAN: And then it goes through CI ops, and I believe thatís Will Patoki [sp?] And then itís International Communism element, under CI. I donít know who that is.

ROMAN: Well, I think that was [inaudible] but he was never in International Communism.

[crosstalk/inaudible]And then to SRC I believe [inaudible] And then Iíve got this Tom Ryan. This is Tom Ryan of Soviet Russian, counter-intelligence, KGB, counter-intelligence branch, KGB section. I know because Iíve interviewed people Ė and then back to Ann Egeter again.

Now all of this happens at a very interesting time. It comes in on the 10th of September. You get it on the twenty --- looks to me like the 23rd. I have a better copy at home. And then Will Patoki signs off on the 25th of September. And it looks to me like it goes back to the KGB boys on the 17th of December. So it looks like it goes its normal route here, and then it goes, get refiled in RID after Bagley sees it back† here. But Iím not sure because I donít have any dates. It may actually have set over in CI Ops the whole time, I donít know.

What I would like to draw your attention, Iím going to have to show you the other copy though, is where it ends up being filed right away, which isnít in his 201 file. Itís in this file here, 100-300-11, itís a Cuban file. Now, Iím going to take this document back out and just leave it side by side with this one, because these are both FBI reports about Oswaldís activities in the United States, as weíve gone through it, various activities.† And I want to give you the final document in this series that weíre going to talk about today. There it is.

And in this case, what we have is another FBI report, probably the most interesting of all in terms of his Cuban escapades, because this details his arrest in New Orleans, in jail, and hanging out there with the Fair Play for Cuba Committee, these pamphlets on Canal Street, itís got the whole story in here. Again, filed initially [inaudible].

ROMAN: What did you say that was? The Cuban file?

NEWMAN: yeah.

ROMAN: Cuban [inaudible] file?

NEWMAN: Yeah, FPCC. I believe this may be the FPCC generic or Cuban. I know that it is. This copy isnít so good. In any event, hereís Corliss Lamont, the Communist party guy that Oswald had written to and so they wanted a characterization of him, and hereís more left-wing organizations that mention Oswaldís letters and so on. So its, what weíre looking at here is a fairly extensive report about his arrest record in New Orleans, his Cuban capers and escapades, etcetera. And this comes into the agency on the second of October. Here it is, yeah. Oct. 2 at 4:26 p.m. This is a very interesting time. Oswald is, that very day, leaving Mexico City to return to the United States. I'm sure that just a [inaudible]† But in any event, it gives you a time for when weíre talking about. This particular document is very interesting.

So two days later, now, understand Oswald is now back in the United States, but this file Ė which is not about his trip to Mexico City which is, as youíve seen, about the weeks prior to that in New Orleans. And it lands on your desk on the 4th. And presumably you read it.

ROMAN: The fourth of October?

NEWMAN: Yes. In other words, it comes into the agency to RID on Oct. 2, 4:26 p.m. And Ann Egeter† routes it to you first on the 4th. And then, it goes from you to Horn who is counter-intelligence over in SAS which had replaced Mongoose. Weíve now gone through the transition from Mongoose to the Special Affairs Staff and the Cuban problem. They got rid of Lansdale. The agency took back control of that whole empire that had been built down there in the JMWAVE station, and have now reorganized directly under Desmond Fitzgerald as chief of SAS, by this time. And Horn Ö

ROMAN: On the Cuban desk?

NEWMAN: And Fitzgerald worked ---

ROMAN: The Special Affairs Staff was really mostly an anti-Cuban operation. It was before that Mongoose which wasnít really controlled by the agency. It was a special thing that John Kennedy and Bobby Kennedy set up with this guy Landsale.

ROMAN: Dick Lansdale?

NEWMAN: Uh, Edward Lansdale.

ROMAN: Not Col.. Landale?

NEWMAN: A general. He was a colonel.

ROMAN: Oh him, yeah.

NEWMAN: Well, it was† not an amicable situation [Jane laughs.] to have this outsider really in charge of an enormous slice of the agencyís material. So it was contentious and after a year, they got rid of him. But they, all those people were still there doing all these myriad anti-Cuban operations. So they just called it SAS at this point, Special Affairs Staff, it didnít replace PP or it didnít replace CI. The other staff were all still there.

ROMAN: But it came under CIA, didnít it?

NEWMAN: Yeah. DO [Directorate of Operations] It was staff† level, along with Angletonís counter-intelligence staff and propaganda and paramilitary staff, and then the Special Affairs Staff. It will change again shortly. It was Mongoose, then it became SAS for this time frame, and then itís going to be downsized and become, again, a branch in Western Hemisphere like it was, before the whole thing started. So it goes through this sort of evolution into this big thing that Kennedy makes, then the Special Affairs Staff, then back to a reasonable size branch in the division again.

But at this point, in 1963, when Oswald was going around doing all these things, the Special Affairs Staff is in existence. And thatís who weíre talking about here, Desmond Fitzgerald is the chief, Horn is the counter-intelligence guy in SAS. And it goes from you to him.

ROMAN: I'm not familiar, I donít remember his name at all.

NEWMAN: Fair enough. We want to maybe come back to all that. I need to take you through this process now because weíre going somewhere with this. From him, it goes to somebody else, Iím not sure who this is --† Control, Counter-Intelligence Control Ė on the 10th, and then on back through Ann Egeter and so on. And then weíve already characterized what weíre talking about here, itís a very interesting period of his Cuban escapades in New Orleans. But this is going on inside the agency, just after his trip to Mexico City

And I would like to mention to you now the dates when Mexico City asked headquarters: "Who is this masked man named Oswald down here?" [laughter] And headquarters responded with what they know about him.

And the date that headquarters Ė excuse me, that Mexico City asked headquarters at this date, and the date of the response was this date. And weíre going to go into that right now. It may be a total coincidence, Iím just pointing out to you ---

ROMAN: May I interrupt for a second?

NEWMAN: Sure.

ROMAN: We spotted him going into the Cuban embassy, right?

NEWMAN: I want to show you some documents about that, because this is a problem area. And I will not attempt to mislead you in any way. Iím going to work through that problem with you about his entering the Cuban consulate and what the agency [inaudible].

Okay, so where Iím going to go now is, the two cables go back and forth between Mexico City station and headquarters response to them about his trip in there, because thatís really the backdrop for whatís happening here. So now Iíve gone through all this material, and itís time to proceed to the next piece.

ROMAN: Let me just be sure I have this straight, my mind is not as sharp as it was at one point. Letís see, the first report was from the FBI that this guy had tried to defect to the Soviet embassy.

NEWMAN: Yeah, heís already back, this is what heís doing Ö. I donít have those documents in front of me. In other words, I havenít brought you all of the documents at the time of his defection. Weíre just looking at the record ---

ROMAN: The FBI lets us know that this guy has come back to the States.

NEWMAN: Right. They did. There was a lot more of these.

ROMAN: Then this is all about this being in touch with the Fair Play for Cuba Committee.

NEWMAN: All three of these are his Cuban life.

ROMAN: Yeah, this was where [inaudible]

NEWMAN: His Cuban life Ö Thatís an interesting point by the way. At this point, itís the Cuban aspect of Oswald that wouldíve interested you, not the Russian one.

ROMAN: Right.

NEWMAN: That's what you just said, Iíve had that feeling myself, that that was whatís interesting about him at that time. Heís not doing things Russian.

ROMAN: They donít accept it, I mean, they wanted to send him home, get rid of him. And so obviously he didn't get particularly far with the Russian Ö..

NEWMAN: Okay, Jane, what happens at this point, as Iíve said on the 8th, Mexico City sends up a cable saying this guy has been here, heís using the name Oswald, who is he? And this is the response that headquarters sent. As I said on the 10th, itís the same day that actually, this guy is looking at this file. And it contains a long background of Russia, Minsk and everything that he was doing way back in í59 and Ď60. In fact, that this whole first page is all about that.

ROMAN: Well, I shouldnít bother to read that.

NEWMAN: No. Itís not interesting anyway. [Roman laughs] All this is about the Russian period. Now, it says the latest headquarters information Ė in other words, hereís the latest stuff we have on this man was a State report dated May í62. Do you see anything wrong about this picture here?

ROMAN: Ö spent, what , about a couple years in Russia?

NEWMAN: Yes. And heís been back already for a year and a half. This is now 10 October 1963, you see, to refresh your memory here JaneÖ We took you through all of the material the agency has been reading since his return to the United States. You see the problem that I have is that this says they donít have anything since 1962.

ROMAN: Well, I donít find that particularly surprising. These are all FBI reports. And State would have no particular interest in them.

NEWMAN: This isnít State, this is being sent to your own station. This is going to Ö

ROMAN: No, but youíre asking if itís surprising that this is all that State has on this.

NEWMAN: No, not State, this is headquarters. This is latest headquarters info.

ROMAN: Oh, I see.

NEWMAN: This is the headquarters response to the query. I just donít have the query in front of you. Itís not, we donít need it. Win Scott says, ďHey, thereís a guy here by the name of Oswald. Whatís going on here?Ē This is the response.

ROMAN: [Laughs] Well, did the desk write this?

NEWMAN: Well, weíre going to get to that right now. Here are the people who are the drafters here. And I have other copies of this. This is Ann Egeterís in here. SPG was another way of referring to SIG Ė Special Projects Group or Special Investigations Group. Jack Scelso for Chief WH3 and this is Stephen Roll [spelling?]

ROMAN: The Cuban desk?

NEWMAN: Yes, exactly. WH3 handles Cuba. This is Stephan Roll. I donít know what the A is unless itís assistant chief. [crosstalk] So thatís a little bit problematic. I donít know about the word surprising because I donít try and interpret what Iím looking at here because Iím just now trying to grapple with the dimensions of the problem here.

ROMAN: The only interpretation that I could put on this would be that this SAS group would have held all the information on Oswald under their tight control, so if you did a routine [inaudible] check, it wouldnít show up in his 201 file.

NEWMAN: Yeah, I think that that is a very interesting possibility, of which there are more than just one, but thatís the first one that occurred to me too because of those numbers I was showing you. These 100 dash 300 numbers, I think would lend credence to that explanation.

But still, you realize weíre opening up another can of worms here, because the 201 file is restricted. And that doesnít mean you get around the business by creating a separate file somewhere. If I understand the agency procedures right, really Jane, weíre talking here about a procedure where Ann Egeter should have had this information and should have made the decision. And this is a little bit abnormal. This is a restricted file, since December 1960, a restricted 201. And itís been followed until we get to this particular point. Now I must tell you that itís difficult as an historian, when I see Oswald running around in the Cuban consulate down there in Mexico City, and I see all of a sudden these anomalous things start to happen at headquarters, the first of which is the parking of this information in this weird file, and then I see this response go down that obviously has nothing to do with reality.

ROMAN: Well, um, the Cuban desk wrote this. They might have not had any access at all to this restricted file.

NEWMAN: To the 201 you mean? But see, if you read this, this describes the contents of the 201, except for this Cuban material.

ROMAN: When they started to restrict it.

NEWMAN: No, it wasnít restricted back in ,† no, thatís not true, Jane. There's a lot .. this is from the restricted file. It was restricted back in Dec. of 1960. And this is all the story about Oswaldís Russian sojourn.

ROMAN: Maybe they thought that was all they needed to know or something.

NEWMAN: Well, thatís one thing. Not having a need to know. Itís another thing to actually say something thatís not true. I mean, thereís a difference.

ROMAN: I havenít read it, but itís all true ---

NEWMAN: Except for that one sentence.

ROMAN: Oh, except that [inaudible]

NEWMAN: Sure. Itís not even a little bit untrue. Its Ö [Roman laughs] Öitís grossly untrue. As you can see here, Iíve also schematically laid it out. Itís very impressive when you actually look at it this way. Those are all the people after they read these Oswald files that supposedly didnít exist. Itís 18 monthsí worth of his life. And of course, itís nothing to do with all this stuff in Russia. This is October 1963. The manís been running around doing all sorts of things that people have been watching very closely. But it has nothing to do with whatís in this message. See, this is all about Russian, Russia, Russia, Minsk, Minsk, Minsk, Soviet, Soviet. Soviet, Ö.And itís written, as you have pointed out ably, not by the Soviet Russian component, but by the Special Affairs Staff. Who are the counter-intelligence people, and when did they do it? Look at these dates. See? They take it from you on the 8th, the day the query comes up, ĎWho is this guy?í And it goes through SAS counter-intelligence control the day this is authored.

ROMAN: Well, these CI people signed off on it.

NEWMAN: Yep. Karamessines signed off . Now, can I show you something thatís even more perplexing? The same day, a mate was sent to this-- to the FBI and State Dept. and National Security Council because they had to inform the rest of Washington as well as answer to the Mexico City station. And Jane, this is essentially the same as this, except for that sentence is missing. The special sentence is gone. In other words, they told it only to the Mexico City station, but they did not tell the FBI about the latest headquarters information [laughter] until May í62. [inaudible}

Iím not interested in any guesses. If you donít remember anything, thatís okay Jane. We need to take this slowly. As you can see, this is now a matter of public record. Itís out, and what we need to do is very carefully reconstruct how this happened, and why.

ROMAN: Well, I would say that all these things that you have shown me so far, before the assassination, would have been very dull and very routine as far as Ė Itís interesting that this guy tries to defect in Russia then he comes back to the United States, [inaudible] turn him over to the FBI. Then he gets in touch with the Fair Play for Cuba Committee and all the-- the Cuba task force, they got word how to handle this.

NEWMAN: They have the word?

ROMAN: Well, I mean they hold it within themselves and within the special operations FBI staff. [inaudible] need to know and did† anybody [inaudible] and what not.

NEWMAN: Yeah, thatís very interesting. I mean, I find that entirely credible, but extraordinary. And we can get into why I think thatís extraordinary, but for now, I need to ask you some direct questions, quite apart from where this stuff was stored as to whether itís in the Cuban file or the 201 file.

Jane, you knew that Ė you read this file just a couple of days before you released this message. So you knew thatís not true. Whether or not you remember it today, you must realize, at least analytically, logically, that you had to know that this sentence here was not correct.

ROMAN: Well, I had, you know, thousands of these things.

NEWMAN: Right, Iím willing to accept whatever your explanation is, but I have to as you this ---

ROMAN: And I wasnít in on any particular goings-on or hanky-panky as far as the Cuban situation [inaudible]

NEWMAN: Right. So youw wouldnít have--what youíre saying is-- tried to examine it that closely?

ROMAN: Yeah, I mean, this is all routine as far as I was concerned.

NEWMAN: Problem though, here.

ROMAN: Yeah, I mean, Iím signing off on something that I know isnít true.

NEWMAN: No, maybe. Iím not saying that that is whatís going on. You may not even Ė

ROMAN: I may have not noticed it or anything. And normally I wouldn't be moving the cable.

NEWMAN: Right.

ROMAN: I mean, higher-ups than me. Iím a desk, division chief.

NEWMAN: Well, and Karamessines signed off on there, and Hood for, excuse me, Wood, for chief of WH, exactly.

ROMAN: Hood.

NEWMAN: Excuse me Wood. Hood. Well, this is a problem though. If what weíre saying is they slipped this one in ---

ROMAN: Maybe they considered it was so run of the mill that I was authorized to sign off on or they put me down to sign off on. Whoever had--heads up this cable put me in† to sign off on it.

NEWMAN: Itís not necessarily--youíre not a drafter, huh?

ROMAN: Oh no. I didnít draft it.

NEWMAN: Itís just going through you, I guess. Youíre signing off on a draft, a draft copy, basically.

ROMAN: Well, theyíre just disseminating information, and I wouldnít necessarily remember at that point other information that had come in.†

NEWMAN: OK. Certainly not. I mean, I accept that, although if you do get any recollections on this matter, this sentence, that appear strange to you or maybe didnít register. If you† have any more thoughts, weíd sure appreciate hearing from you about it because this is going to become an issue. But I want to ask you another question about it, without regard now, to whether you remembered it at the time, or realized at the time. Let me ask you today, knowing what you know about the agency, What does this tell you about this file, that somebody would write something they knew wasnít true? And† Iím not saying that it would have† to be considered sinister. Donít misunderstand if I donít say anything, I tell you you donít have a need to know. But if I tell you something that I know isnít true, thatís an action that Iím taking for some reason. But, I guess, what Iím trying to push you to address square on here is, is this indicative of some sort of operational interest in Oswaldís file?

ROMAN: Well, to me, itís indicative of a keen interest in Oswald, held very closely on the need-to-know basis.

NEWMAN: To the point where they would actually slip in something thatís a bit deceptive?

ROMAN: Well, [crosstalk] anything unusual.

NEWMAN: Well, it is. And they donít put it† in this one. Itís very interesting. Iíve interviewed a lot of senior people by the way, along the way. Somebody Ė Iíll mention his name to you Ė Ed Junovich came up through SR division, and then later rose to become the acting DDP under Reagan. He came up through Soviet Russia.

ROMAN: What was his name?

NEWMAN:† You wouldnít have known him that well at the time.

ROMAN: I retired in í71.

NEWMAN: Well, he was not at that point a senior, a very senior person yet. But he was still in Soviet Russia, probably in Japan at that time. But heís been both down in the trenches and I [inaudible] with you, took an entire day to fly out to California.

[ TAPE ENDS]

[Ed. Note. JANE ROMAN INTERVIEW/2 NOVEMBER 1994 / SIDE B OF TAPE]

NEWMAN:† Öthatís one interpretation, that there was an operation thatís going on and Oswaldís file and what is known about it is considered, in this context.

ROMAN: You mean, they were considering using Oswald?

NEWMAN: Not using in a direct sense but an operation built around what heís doing in there. In other words, Oswald is in the Cuban consulate. Do you see the pattern here? Oswaldís physically there. And what weíre having going on here is this very intricate story at headquarters and Mexico City at that very time where weíre telling a false story of what we know about this man.

Where essentially we donít know anything about his Cuban life. The only thing we know about it is his Russian life and yet the real meat and potatoes of whatís going on with Oswald is that heís in that Cuban consulate down thereÖ Now I must tell you thereís an enormous amount of documents that have been released with respect to the operations that we had going on inside that embassy, penetrating the embassy and using those people to get back into Ė

ROMAN: When you say ďwe,Ē youíre talking about?

NEWMAN:† The Central Intelligence Agency attempting to recruit Cuban consulate people. It was the largest Cuban op, the largest communist Cuban foreign operation was in Mexico City and we had a large one ourselves. I mean in fact the CIA station had a special cell in the Western Hemisphere, WH3/Mexico† in Mexico, a special cell down there and so did Ö

ROMAN: Thatís who originated.

NEWMAN: It was WH3 for starters but I donít know if it was WH3 Mexico, yes it is WH3 Mexico, yes Ė which is interesting because the guy who takes over Cuban operations in WH3 Mexico on the 8th of October 1963 is named David Phillips. Thatís the date he assumed charge of Cuban operations in that cell.

ROMAN: Well thatís just what I was saying, itís suddenly become important and they donít want to spread it around.

NEWMAN: Yes, and that can only mean that Oswaldís file is important. It was important to somebody Öfor some reason. And it was a calculated decision that to withhold this information at this time, that is to some advantage, for a reason, some operational reason. Thatís the only thing I can conclude. I mean you donít do things like that without making sense to your job and your life. Iíve never known people in the intelligence arena to do anything that wasnít necessary Ė or at least perceived as necessary Ė in the course of their duties. Iím not just, hey, Iím going to throw in a full sentence today in the old cable to Mexico City.

ROMAN: No, there wouldnít be any point in withholding it. There has to be a point for withholding information from Mexico City.

NEWMAN:† Yes, I just donít know what it is offhand.

ROMAN: Of course at that point all that Mexico knew is that he had applied at the Cuban embassy for a visa to Cuba.

NEWMAN:† Yeah, in fact we need to move directly to that point right now. Can we do that? Because that is so important so, Iíll just leave this out as well. Ö. And let me move directly to this problem of the Cuban consulate.

There are two documents Iíd like to show you. This is Dick Helms talking to Lee Rankin, the chief counsel for the Warren Commission in 1964. And at that time Mr. Helms said, as you can see, that the reason for the† Mexico City station reporting this event in the first place was his visit to both locations, the Cuban consulate and the Soviet embassy.

ROMAN: They didn't know at that time that our [inaudible]

NEWMAN: Yes they did. I just didn't bring you the query out of Mexico City.

ROMAN: Oh I see.

NEWMAN: This is just the next year they want to know--the Warren Commission wants to know why it was reported. Whis story of the actual communications, the information from the Mexico City station to headquarters about Oswaldís visit there. And Helms makes the comment in the context of that question that well, they reported it headquarters because he was in both locations. That made it very significant. Almost as if he Ė

ROMAN: Well they would have reported it in any event.

NEWMAN: Yeah, Iím not disagreeing with that, Iím just saying Helms said that. This makes it clear that his presence in both places was known at the time, that it was reported. Thatís what that tells me. And this here is another CIA document,. Actually Angleton has just been fired for the LINGUAL program and Kalaris has now taken his position as head of CI, and this memo comes out and it talks about several cables in October [1963] about his visits to both locations. So this is another CIA document which makes it clear.

But I must tell you, well, let me ask you this: from these two things would you say that the agency knew that he was in the Cuban consulate at the time? Did they know who was in--that he had visited the Cuban consulate? Wouldnít this tell you that they had to know in October?

ROMAN: Sure. Mexico would have reported right away.

NEWMAN: They didnít though.

ROMAN: They didnít?

NEWMAN: They didnít talk about Cuban consulate in the first message Ė and I wish I had it for you† here. It only talked about the Soviet embassy. Didnít talk about the Cuban consulate. Itís missing, too, just like the headquarters side. [Roman laughs] In other words they donít talk about anything Cuban at headquarters, when they send that query up from down there they donít talk about Cuba either, they just say he was at the Soviet embassy, making a call. Everything about this Cuban life just happens to fall through the cracks.

ROMAN: Refresh† my memory. Did you stop him at the Soviet Embassy in Mexico City as well as Ė

NEWMAN: Yes, both of them. Many times. Three times in the Cuban consulate, twice to the Soviet embassy and several phone calls as well. Busy, busy, fellow. In those few days.

Anyway, I asked Dick Helms the same questions as Iím asking you and itís so straightforward but I hate to ask straightforward questions.

ROMAN: Why?

NEWMAN: I donít know, this is a problem, I wouldnít waste your time bringing this to your attention if this were not a problem. Let me clear about the problem here. The agency has always maintained that they didnít know that he went into that consulate until after the assassination.

The problem is, it doesnít square with these documents. And these cables are classified, theyíre in the National Archives, you go into that file and guess what happens? There are little pink withdrawal sheets on every one of Ďem.

And Iíd like your guess and after I get your reaction Iíd be happy to share Dick Helmsís reaction with you and then get your reaction to his reaction.

ROMAN: Say again what you first said.

NEWMAN: The question Iím asking is, When did the agency know he went into that Cuban consulate?

MORLEY:† Hereís the third thing, this is agency 31 January, information developed by CIA on the activities of Lee Harvey Oswald. And thereís the statement that they filed.

ROMAN: Ö to Mexico City.

NEWMAN: [inaudible]

MORLEY:What theyíre saying is after an intensive review of all available sources Ė

ROMAN: [inaudible]

NEWMAN: This is not explicit, Jeff. What Jeff is trying to say is that this is part of the story we didnít know til after the assassination. That he was in the Cuban consulate.

MORLEY: This is the official position.

ROMAN: I see. And it didnít even mention that he also went to the Soviet embassy?

NEWMAN: Thatís the only thing they do admit to knowing. Before the assassination. they knew about his visits. The Soviet but not the Cuban.

MORLEY: Theyíre saying after an intensive review of all available sources it was learned Ö that he had also visited the Cuban consulate.

ROMAN: And who is this to? The committee did you say?

NEWMAN: To the Warren Commission.

MORLEY: This is the first summary that was forwarded to the Warren Commission.

NEWMAN: But there are better examples of this. I mean I could show you, this is just one that I knew I had the exact sentences.† Ö The real problem is this: does that square with this? You see, Helms here says they didnít report it--the reason they reported it in the first place was that heíd been in both locations--and this here describes cables in October of 1963 about his visits to both locations.

Now either the agency is wrong, in saying something like this or Helms is wrong and the drafter Kalaris, or whoever drafted this for Kalaris, is wrong. But they canít both be right. [Roman laughs]

NEWMAN: And once again itís the damned Cuban story, it confounds me everywhere I turn. I have no problem with the Russian story. Everybodyís just tickled to death to talk about that, you† know, in great detail. Of what use it was at the time, I donít know, but this stuff was very hot. What was going on in the anti-Cuban operations, let me tell† you, in September and October 1963. The assassination plots against Castro? All the plans to invade and penetrate Cuba, just an enormous amount of operations were cresting and coming to a head at this very time. [Newman knocks on the table] Everywhere we look Ö we find this problem.

And I donít even mind if we say itís classified and the agencyís position is that, we would request--hereís the way the law works. The agency has the right to request findings be postponed from release but they donít have the authority any more to make those decisions themselves. Thatís been taken away and rests with five Americans. This review board will have the power.

ROMAN: Are these Congress people?†

NEWMAN: They were appointed by the president and they were sworn in, yes, by Congress.

ROMAN: But theyíre not government employees?

NEWMAN: Yes, they are. They absolutely are.

ROMAN: No, I mean theyíre not Congress people.

NEWMAN: Theyíre very erudite professors, historians, professionals, yes. Itís okay if the agency says, "Look, this is an operational matter, thereís people weíre protecting, theyíre still alive." Thatís okay, theyíre allowed to do that. But theyíre not allowed anymore to make up a cover story and put it into place of the truth. In other words, the only procedure open now is to tell the truth or request that the truth be withheld. But it is not where the American public can be fed a cover story or a false story any more. Thatís finished.

ROMAN: Is there any one on this committee who was ever connected to the CIA?

NEWMAN: No. On purpose. It was written in the law that that could not be. In the public law.

ROMAN: Well, all I can think of [inaudible], note to myself, something called administrative error.

NEWMAN: Well I accept that. The problem is that when Mr. Murphy stares at me and smiles at me every time I turn the corner, I have a problem accepting it everyday.

ROMAN: Who is Mr. Murphy?

MORLEY: Murphy's Law.

NEWMAN: Murphyís Law. If something can go wrong it will.

[ROMAN laughs]

NEWMAN: A very senior guy over there, he asked me, he said, ďJohn, have you ever heard of Murphyís Law?Ē And I said, ďDave, absolutely.Ē You know, every time I turn a corner of the CIA, heís smiling at me again.

Itís too much. Thereís too many people reading these documents for this to be accidental, Somebody withheld that information from Mexico city on purpose. There was an operational reason for doing it. That appears true. I donít know exactly what Ė

ROMAN: I canít conceive of what. The cable was not written you say by the special group that handled [inaudible]

NEWMAN: Well, you know, youíve got here Ė letís see what are we doing here? Weíre taking this and weíre leaving that.

ROMAN: What did you say again, the special group was within the Ė

NEWMAN: Oh you mean that cell WH3? Mexico.

ROMAN: I mean this was the group that was knowledgeable of all the goings on?

NEWMAN: Well, yes and we have an enormous amount of the cable traffic that went both to Mexico City and back, and to JMWAVE and back, on Cuban operations. Itís an enormous amount of material by the way and Iíve spent months and months analyzing it, and I was a traffic analyst in my day so I know how to take this information on tops and bottoms and recover the internal structure of the organization and itís complete. I have a huge chart of WH and of CI and of Soviet Russia division and I have it all. Iím surprised that they left all this information for anybody, itís possible to recover the entire diagram as we call it.

But the thing you have to do, you have to set this guy here next to these two dates. Hereís your SAS interface, I believe they are reading this, they know about this, they have to know about this. So I believe youíre right, that somebody in SAS decided, for whatever their reasons were, to do this thing. At least somebody there, if not perhaps someone else. I donít know where else it goes but this, to me, is the signature. These are the bookends, this brackets the back and forth from Mexico City to headquarters and back. And itís cut and dry† that weíre looking at somebody has made a decision about Oswaldís file here.

I am very reluctant, Iíll tell you, to interpret this at all because I realize it was so significant. And any time you bump into something like this I think one has to pull back from the urge to interpret and be very disciplined about trying to get to the real truth of the matter.

ROMAN: Well, the obvious position which I really canít contemplate would be that they thought that somehow whether they could make some use of Oswald.

NEWMAN: Or his file, or what was known about it. In other words, it doesnít have to be even you know James Bond, you know, Ďyou do something.í Itís in the context of who knows about this guyís activities and if we withhold this information and see what we find out, I mean it could be as simple as that, I donít know what it is.

ROMAN: As you undoubtedly knew they were very keen on the need to know.

NEWMAN: Right.

ROMAN:† [inaudible] one of the important things.

NEWMAN: Itís taking us into a very interesting arena though with this need to know stuff on Oswald and Cuban operations at the time. This is a very different story than I anticipated when I got into it. I did not know or suspect that there would be this depth to Oswaldís file in the agency† and this amount of interest.† I donít know what you call it† but things are going bump in the night here, the guyís walking around in the Cuban consulate down there at a very, very sensitive time.

ROMAN: I would think that there was definitely some operational reason to withhold it, if it was not sheer administrative error but when you see all the people who signed off on it. Ö

NEWMAN: Jane, can we, can I make a proposal to you that rather than trying to understand everything all at once that you kind of step back now and let you think about this and leave you a copy?

[Jane laughs]

Iím serious. This is really for all the marbles, you know, for all time here and it needs to be done slowly. Iíd like, for example,Ė Iím sorry I donít have it with me, the Mexico City query, that really needs to be set next to this so you can see the back and forth.

And I want to give you Helmsís reaction, by the way, to the Cuban consulate problem and I want your advice on who we should talk to and where if you were in our shoes looking at this who should we Ė I mean you know the lay of the land in there pretty well. How would we test for whatís going on here? Who can we talk to about this, do you think would be helpful? Birch is beyond help right now.

ROMAN: Ray Rocca --

NEWMAN: Ray just died.

ROMAN: I went to his funeral.

NEWMAN: -- and he was wonderful. He was very helpful, yes extensively. I had several interviews but I didnít know this at the time and, yeh, he demystified a lot of things for me and some of these cryptonyms and caveats and so on that are very easy to draw all sorts of weird conclusions about them. He was a helpful person. But heís not with us, so thatís no help now.

ROMAN: He was, as you know, the coordinator for the CI staff [inaudible]

NEWMAN: Whoís Stefan Roll? Stephen Roll.

ROMAN: Heís a very nice guy. I didnít know him all that well, I can remember that he was on the CI staff.

NEWMAN: Well heís on these documents with you, I mean on this one, he signed also on that [inaudible]

ROMAN: Which is my fault not to. He's on as [inaudible] I think Iíd connect him with Russia Division, Soviet Division.

†NEWMAN: Maybe we should find him. Heís alive. And Scelso might be somebody to talk to as well. Heís on there. Western hemisphere.

MORLEY: S-C-E-L-S-O. Jack Scelso.

NEWMAN: Heís very, very important to them in Cuban arrangements [inaudible] Well at this time anyway.

ROMAN: Well the whole Cuban operation per se was extremely closely held to and I didnít personally know him. Well, in the position that I was in, I was in the position to give out agency policy Ė and I mean there were 20 government agencies [inaudible]. And we had had a number of our agents assassinated by the Soviets at one point or another by the [inaudible]. And whoever it was they said to me, ĎDoes the CIA assassinate any of their agents?í And so I checked with Jim Angleton [inaudible] to find out you know what the agency policy was. And I was told that we do not fight fire with fire. We do not assassinate.

Well, there was Patrice Lumumba, of course. But I couldnít condone that anyway because actually we didnít assassinate him although we supported the group financially and otherwise. [inaudible] And it was the group that actually did the assassination.

So I told him, believing this myself, that we did not. And then just by sheer error [inaudible] somebody started talking to me about assassinating Castro, plans to do it. And I was horrified and thought ĎThis is the time Iím going to leave the agency" except I had to hang around three more years so I could retire which I had to do, I mean I had to have my pension.

So thatís how closely held things were. So as far as this Cuban hit, I mean I knew about the Bay of Pigs. I learned that, you know, the United States of America could not pull of this little invasion and it was so closely held that it doesnít surprise me that they would mix [inaudible]Ė

NEWMAN: Well I think at this point, I just want to brainstorm for a few minutes with you about general things.

ROMAN: Did you tell me, I keep interrupting, what Dick Helms Ö?

NEWMAN: Oh yes. I went through the same documents with him that I did with you on the issue of when did the CIA know that Oswald had visited the Cuban consulate in Mexico City. And his interpretation of the documents, which is what they are, I mean they say whether he knew and heíd say oh yes. And when I showed him what the position was he said ďWell we were trying to cover our sources" Ė which is a rather startling admission but frankly is a breath of fresh air to me. I donít really care who killed Kennedy. I do, Iím curious intellectually but it doesnít really resolve that issue one way or the other whether or not there was some kind of operation involving Oswald. You could argue that, consistent with both the Warren Commission adherents and detractors. So Iím not really interested in that. Iím interested in the truth about Oswald and his bosses, thatís what Iím focused on. Iím focused a work now, writing about the internal record of Oswald. And I need to know the truth and if the truth is that weíre protecting sources, and methods, fine. And when Helms told me that I was pleasantly surprised. I already suspected that but pleasantly surprised that an agency director or a DCI. I should say, directorís not the same thing Ė

ROMAN: That he was protecting a source?

NEWMAN: That the story that we didnít know about his visits to the Cuban consulate until after this big investigation was to protect our sources inside the consulate. There could have only been two ways we would have known.

ROMAN: I can we were probably tapping the phones.

NEWMAN: NSA or CIA Cuban sources but itís some sensitive source. And we know that because theyíre freaking out all the time in these documents that werenít even saying how sensitive the whole embassy situation, Cuban hostage situation was.

Thatís okay to me. I donít get upset when the CIA person says, ďLook, okay, we did it. We made up that story then for operational reasons to protect sources and methods. That was 30 years ago." And as long as weíre truthful today that means everythingís working today. So thatís the important thing is what was really happening and trying to sort out what was a cover story then† from the reality that weíre allowed to know about today. Thereís a difference.

ROMAN: Well, may I give you an idea of how important this was to us? And of course you know all about World War II and all the intercepts. Churchill knew that the Germans were going to bomb Coventry, he didnít tell anybody. He didnít tell the civilians to get in the shelters, he didnít mention it because he didnít want to affect the deaths --[inaudible]

The Soviets, the Russians, the Soviets, they sacrificed Iím not sure whether it was a regiment or a division but it was something of tremendous Ė I mean we signed away our† name in blood before we were informed of the fact that information as available and get the benefit for whatever.

[inaudible]

If Dick Helms says that Ö [inaudible]

NEWMAN: That tells me is to stop there.† I take that as: okay, we did that, and we had a reason for that. He said,† "Itís not for me to give away the secrets of the agency. And I said, fine, Iím not here to try and get you to do that. "

But of course, the Review Board is going to have to know. That is their job.

ROMAN: Well, they will ask Helms.†

NEWMAN: They will, at some point. Theyíll probably want to talk to you as well along the way I would imagine when they see all these documents. Thatís their role.

They have subpoena power too as well. But itís a narrower type of subpoena power than previous investigations, because their venue is really the record. Itís the Assassination Records Review Board. So they wonít use that power unless itís used to illuminate the documentary reccord. This is not a witch hunt or anything like that. Itís more they can subpoena people if it can be reasonably expected to shed a light on the documentary situation. Behind closed doors, even publicly, itís really up to them.

I find the approach of ĎThis is secretí much better than a false story that: ďOh we didnít know about it.í Or : ĎWe just werenít interested in Oswald.í

Statements like that are no longer credible. Thereís a great deal of interest in this man and apparently, at some very sensitive moments, things were done with respect to his file.

And Iím content to stop at that and let the process of this law and the documents take its course. Itís going to take us a while, I think, to get over, first of all, are we going to see those cables out of Mexico City. Until I see those cables, Iím afraid to guess just exactly what ---

ROMAN: What cable havenít you seen?

NEWMAN: The October í63 cables about Ė remember the document I showed you that mentioned the October í63 cables about his visits to the Cuban consulate? Theyíre all classified.

ROMAN: Oh, you canít get access to them.

NEWMAN: There were 12. We have almost all of the cable traffic back and forth but they are holding on to about a dozen and theyíre all from Mexico City after Oswaldís visit there but before the assassination. And in their place is a pink withdrawal sheet in the National Archives. You canít even see the top and bottom. The whole cable has been withdrawn.

ROMAN: Well itís obviously protection of† sources.

NEWMAN: Exactly. And I think what weíre seeing here is some manifestations of this problem. The cable to Mexico City. This whole story Ė thereís another one about Kostikov. Kostikov is the guy that Oswald met down there in the Soviet embassy. Koastikov was KGB Dept. 13. The Agency position is that they didnít know that until after the assassination.

You see the problem with that is Ė itís in their their files. So you see, Mexico City actually quoted his name in that first October cable. He talked to Kostikov, said the cable, on 8 October. Well thatís very very touchy that Kostikov, the Department 13, is right here in this cable six weeks before the murder of John Kennedy. So the Agency position is† well, we didnít know it until after twenty three November. Then we took a closer look and found, oops, and guess what? We found out on 23 November he was Department 13.} And I think we have the same problem there of how we knew Kostikov, or knew about him. In fact, this whole case about Oswald is littered with things like this. Even in the Russian period,† I havenít had time to go into it with you today.

I donít know what else we can do at this moment about the story other than to your recollection go over again, if you could. I would really appreciate the chance to come back to double back with you after youíve had time to sleep on this. This is a lot to take in all of a sudden. Youíre welcome to any of these documents that you want.

Maybe in a month or so, I'll call you up when youíve had time to mull this stuff over. Not as an authoritative explanation, mind you, but as someone who fathoms a guess or two based upon your own window of knowledge.

ROMAN: Whatís this committee doing? According to [inaudible] they're laying the thing to rest.

MORLEY: Their mission is to create a public body of documents for everybody to see and to decide for themselves. And Iím with John, Iím totally convinced thatís the way to go now. Thereís no need for more speculation. The Cold War is over. This is history. Letís understand this episode right. Letís look at the record. Talk to the people who know the record. Letís not speculate. Letís not guess. Letís not concoct crazy theories. Thereís way, way too much of that. And nobodyís interested in that any more, thatís behind us. We can do some good.

ROMAN: But then they put out a movie like ďJFK.Ē I donít know whatís in the movie. But I understand that [unintelligible phrase].

MORLEY: Yeah, itís a Hollywood picture. We want to get the record right.

NEWMAN:† Well, thatís why weíre here. I wasnít pushy, I was glad when he found you. I had given up, frankly. If I canít find you, youíre pretty well hidden. I wasnít able to, I tried. Jeffís pretty good. [Laughter ] He found you.

ROMAN: [to Morley] You should be with the FBI. [to Newman] But youíve talked to Sam Papich.

NEWMAN: Not yet, Iím getting ready to talk to him. Others have. Iím waiting. I have the benefit of most of the interviews heís given already. I have a specific order. Iím focused on somebody else named Jim Hosty in the FBI and them Iíll get Papich. But the liaison function of the FBI† Iím going to save for the very end. Right now Iím working my way through to the FBI bureaucracy.

ROMAN: Sam Papich was extremely knowledgeable.

NEWMAN: Yes, and heís said a lot of things already that have been very, very helpful on the record.†

ROMAN: I don't know he would[inaudible]

NEWMAN: I donít have your phone number.

ROMAN: XXX-XXXX. [Phone number withheld to protect privacy.] [inaudible]

NEWMAN: Brannigan was one of the first people that shows up on Oswaldís files, at the FBI, Ground Zero. Brannigan is writing memos, checking out his story. And a guy by the name of Reddy, he just died. His wife called me returning my messages named Joe Reddy and Brannigan were the two guys who came up in his files early.

[END OF INTERVIEW]