I am going to write this article with a relative state of ignorance. I am pretty sure I read Dick Russell’s book many years ago, but I can’t find it in my library.
So I ordered it again. Hopefully it will give me more information than what I can get from the Internet.
If I change my mind, I’ll let you know.
In short, I think Richard Case Nagell’s (RCN) story is one of misdirection. Maybe Nagell did know Oswald, maybe he didn’t. One thing we can be confident of is that Richard Case Nagell was an intelligence operative; therefore his story must be set aside as to whether it is true or false. It might be true, it might be false. We must set it aside.
Personally I think his story is not true.
His letter to Arturo Verdestein, that you can read here, indicates that Case Nagell is an extremely intelligent individual. He’s therefore intelligent enough to present a false story very convincingly.
I’m not going to go into the usual run of his mental instability.
What is principally lacking within his story is what is lacking within the Warren Commission fable: context.
Anyone can tell a story; tell me the context within which that story falls. Show me some evidence that you were hanging around Lee Oswald, David Ferrie, and Guy Banister in New Orleans between April and September 1963.
Receipts, photos, tape recordings?
I am presented with none of these items when I read his story.
Case Nagell was particularly cryptic in even naming the agency he was associated with.
What are we to make of this?
How about this?
Richard Case Nagell was told to do what he did in order to implicate Lee Oswald and the New Orleans crowd. That’s essentially what he did. He tells us that in his conversations with Oswald, that Oswald tells him that he is a friend of Cuba. This is from Jim Marrs book, Crossfire: The Plot That Killed Kennedy:
RCN states that he has a tape of this New Orleans Cabal, presumably Banister, Ferrie, Shaw, and Oswald talking about the assassination.
Well, where is it?
To add spice to the pot, Nagell throws in the Alpha 66. Alpha 66 is a condiment that you throw into the conversation when you want people’s minds to stop thinking.
I’m not buying it.
It’s a distraction from the real assassination team.
With all due respect to the intelligence of the New Orleans Cabal (Ferrie, Shaw and Bannister) and the Cubans, they don’t have the operational expertise nor the connections into Oak Cliff and Dealey Plaza to pull this off.
To successfully pull off this operation to assassinate JFK, you either need to know connected people or someone who is connected. You need access into multiple buildings. You need to know the guy behind the guy.
Yes, I know Clay Shaw is a connected, smart guy. But he is a trade representative, not a man who plans assassinations for a living.
The anti-Castro Cubans don’t have the connections to pull this off. Yes, I know they’re smart, but they don’t have the pull, and they don’t have the expertise. Nor did they have the temperament. Even the CIA had problems dealing with the anti-Castro Cubans. They were all over the place, and they were very emotional. Of course their emotion was understandable; it was their country and their businesses that got confiscated by Castro. Emotional people are not the type of people you want to pull off an assassination. They are too passionate and therefore likely to make mistakes.
How about Castro? Fidel Castro was a killer, but he wasn’t stupid. There is no way that Fidel Castro is going to unilaterally take out JFK. There is no way that he is going to jeopardize his relationship, his lifeline, with the Soviet Union. Now, Castro might send out innuendo and false rumor after the deed was done to make people think that he is more dangerous than he is, but he’s not stupid. He didn’t get to be the leader of Cuba by being stupid.
No, this assassination was undertaken off the books by a CIA officer who contracted with Israeli assassins to take out JFK. Israelis were the perfect people to do this. Number one they have no emotional attachment to JFK. An American might feel even 2 to 5% emotional attachment in taking out a United States leader. You don’t even want that. You must succeed in taking out the President. The stakes are too high. You can’t afford to have anyone even one percent soft in carrying out their task. Secondly, Israelis have more experience, probably than anyone in the world, in taking out their opponents.
I don’t want to harp on this too much except to say that Richard Case Nagell effectively implicates the Cubans.
This individual, Nagell, was fed this information about Oswald, by the assassination architect. That was his mission. Go into the bank in El Paso, shoot off a weapon, walk outside and tell your story.
Here are items found on him or in his car after he was arrested:
(1) One miniature Minolta camera and developing kit.
(2) Fair Play for Cuba leaflets.
(3) The P.O. Box for the Fair Play for Cuba committee in New Orleans, Louisiana. The committee which had only one member. Lee Oswald.
(4) Cuban and Communist literature including the The Crime Against Cuba by Corliss Lamont, one of the documents also being used in New Orleans by Lee Oswald.
(5) A notebook containing the unlisted telephone number of the Cuban embassy, the same number as found in Oswald’s notebook.
(6) The notebook also contained names of individuals who would much later be identified as CIA personnel from its Los Angles office. (The names were submitted by the FBI to the CIA in October ’63 and eventually verified by the CIA as being names of actual employees)
In addition, the trial files for Richard Nagell also contain an identification card, the card being a military ID with Nagell’s photo and the name and signature of Lee H. Oswald.
This I found from many websites. Who the original author is I do not know. I corrected the title of the pamphlet by Corliss Lamont, as well as his name.
Clearly, Mr. Nagell had information that would lead one back to LHO. The implication was that he knew him.
Well, what if he didn’t? Suppose Oswald’s handler did, and suppose Oswald’s handler gave RCN the data. Let’s go over the items in question.
It would be no problem for Oswald’s handler to provide the first six items on the list as his handler probably gave LHO some of those items. Indeed, Oswald’s handler probably made him write down the number of the Cuban Embassy and watched him do it. And, if it was unlisted how did Oswald get it in the first place? Unlisted numbers are usually unlisted for a reason. It would be difficult for me to believe that this unlisted number would be the general number of the embassy. It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me that they would release this number to either LHO or RCN, unless, of course, they were operatives who had a reason to call there.
The identification card is more problematic. Why would RCN have a military ID with RCN’s photo and LHO’s name and signature (not identical to the signature on LHO’s original ID? What am I missing here? Are we to believe that RCN stole Oswald’s military ID for the purpose of copying and altering it? I don’t get it. What would be the purpose of having such an ID? Is he trying to tell us that he knew Lee Oswald and that this is the proof? Sorry, no cigar.
The ID doesn’t make much sense. What would be the point of having such an ID? You would be implicating yourself in forgery or some nefarious undertaking.
Here is a picture showing Lee Oswald’s original ID and what was found on RCN.
The signatures are different, as are the photos.
I suppose the point of having Oswald’s ID is to say to the world: “Hey, look here, I have a copy of his military ID that I duplicated. How would I get it unless I knew him?”
Well, I suppose RCN could have gotten it from LHO’s handler or from a CIA database which might retain a copy.
If you had LHO’s military card, why would you alter the signature?
An elementary school student in 1963 had access to tracing paper. Why doesn’t RCN? Or why doesn’t RCN’s handler? Why wouldn’t you keep the signature the same? Is it because you want an ID card with something closer to your handwriting in case you have to sign something and someone wants to match it up to your ID card? If so, that seems reasonable.
Why would RCN or his handler need to fake Oswald’s ID card anyway? Was RCN engaging in activity alongside Oswald’s handler that would set LHO up? If you have a photostat of someone’s altered ID card, it makes sense that you have the original somewhere. Where is the original? What’s the point of having a photostat of an ID? What does that get you except a record of documentation? If you are going to use it to purchase items, perhaps a PO Box, perhaps a rifle, perhaps a revolver, don’t you need the original?
Who altered the ID card? Does RCN have those capabilities? It makes more sense that LHO’s handler had that ID altered.
It’s also quite possible that RCN didn’t know Lee Oswald at all. If we believe that LHO wasn’t in Mexico and that RCN claims that he met him in Mexico, than that makes RCN a teller of fables. If RCN is lying about the meeting in Mexico, then maybe he is lying about meeting LHO in Japan.
Here’s an idea. Suppose LHO’s handler is also RCN’s handler, and further suppose that LHO’s handler uses RCN to go around town and present himself as Oswald in order to set Oswald up. In other words, RCN becomes a dupe in a greater plan.
Part of that greater plan is to implicate Oswald and to cast a spotlight on his Cuban connections as THE assassins.
The trick is to get RCN to give himself up. How do you get him to go into a bank and fire two shots into the ceiling. That’s a federal crime, and RCN is smart enough to know that. And why on earth would you have him do this before the assassination?
It would be easy to put pressure on RCN to get him to conform if he has committed any violations of the law, which he probably has in setting up LHO. Or you could promise him future pain if he doesn’t go along.
Why would you have to do this before the assassination? Because it means more. It means more to have RCN implicate Lee Oswald before Lee Oswald becomes famous. “I said that he was going to do it, and then he did it.” sounds better than “I should have told you.”
In summary, the RCN tale, while enticing, is false. It didn’t happen.
Just as the Pharaohs of old placed false pathways within their pyramids, so the assassination architect here has set up false pathways in which you can conjecture for a lifetime while getting nowhere close to the truth.
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