Friday, November 5, 2010
The death of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas in November 1963 was investigated by a commission headed by Chief Justice Earl Warren and including the former director of central intelligence Allen Dulles. The assassin was a lone gunman, Lee Harvey Oswald, who had served in the U.S. Marines and upon his discharge in 1958 had emigrated to the Soviet Union. The Warren Commission concluded that Oswald had acted alone, and not as the agent of any country, although the KGB attempted to exploit the situation by distributing forged documents suggesting that Oswald had been part of a right-wing conspiracy hatched either by wealthy Texans or by émigré Cubans opposed to Kennedy’s policies. Confirmation that the KGB had no knowledge of Oswald’s intentions was supplied in 1964 by a defector, Yuri Nosenko, but when he came under suspicion as a false defector, further doubts were raised concerning the Warren Commission’s conclusions. The extent to which the KGB had sought to capitalize on the speculation surrounding the assassination would not be revealed until Vasili Mitrokhin defected in 1992.