Document supports conspiracy theory in JFK slaying Paper buttresses theory that Oswald, agent met

November 28, 1997|By NEWSDAY

A long-secret government document released Wednesday lends credence to a favorite theory of conspiracy advocates on President John F. Kennedy's assassination: the contention that Lee Harvey Oswald was seen in Dallas with a U.S. intelligence agent about two months before the killing.

That issue has long been connected with unproved reports that a violent Cuban exile group -- perhaps with the help of a U.S. intelligence agency -- was involved in the assassination.

The House Select Committee on Assassinations investigated the reports, but the panel said in 1978 that it was unable to substantiate them.

However, the document obtained Wednesday by Newsday provides a previously lacking measure of credibility to the reports. Those reports center on a shadowy figure called Maurice Bishop -- likely a pseudonym -- said to have been an intelligence agent during the early 1960s.

Antonio Veciana, founder of the Alpha 66 Cuban exile group that launched repeated guerrilla raids against Fidel Castro's regime, testified before the House committee that he considered Bishop his U.S. intelligence contact; that he met with Bishop more than 100 times over a 13-year period; and that Bishop had directed him to organize Alpha 66 and had paid him $253,000.

Moreover, he said, he had met briefly in Dallas with Bishop and Oswald sometime around September 1963, two months before Kennedy's assassination Nov. 22.

G. Robert Blakey, chief counsel to the House committee, said: "After careful analysis, we decided not to credit Veciana's claim" because, among other things, there was no proof that Maurice Bishop existed.

But the document released Wednesday by the U.S. Assassination Records Review Board supports the contention that Bishop existed and otherwise backs Veciana's story.

Government sources said the document -- a U.S. Army intelligence report dated Oct. 17, 1962 -- describes a man who fits the profile of Bishop.

"He used a different name, but we believe this man fits Bishop's profile very closely," one government official said.

The document is a report from an Army intelligence officer, Col. Jeff W. Boucher, to Brig. Gen. Edward Lansdale, assistant to Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara and a controversial figure in the Vietnam War.

Pub Date: 11/28/97

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