A new document dump from the Federal Archives pertaining to the JFK assignation reveals that Lee Harvey Oswald had indeed met with members of the KGB before the fateful day.
The confirmation that Oswald met with the KGB was in the form of a CIA memo. The memo was part of a trove of nearly 1,500 documents released by the National Archives and Records Administration. The records also disclose that an anonymous tipster warned US embassy officials in Australia a year earlier that Kennedy would be assassinated by the Soviet Union for a $100,000 bounty.
But the tip was never passed on to the CIA.
“Cabled to Canberra asking full details of the telephone conversation of 23 November and the call made 15 October 1962, a 1964 memo said. “It should be noted that CIA had not previously known of the 1962 telephone call.”
The records also include newly revealed details of Kennedy’s death — but fall short of resolving decades-old speculation and “conspiracy theories” about the case.
Among the revelations in the files was a meeting and follow-up phone call between Oswald and a Soviet operative before JFK was shot in Dallas.
“According to an intercepted phone call in Mexico City, Lee Oswald was in the Soviet Embassy there on 23 September and spoke with Consul Valeriy Vladimirovich,” the document said.
“Oswald called the Soviet Embassy on 1 October, identifying himself by name and speaking broken Russian, stating the above and asking the guard who answered the phone whether there was ‘anything concerning the telegram to Washington,’” read the memo from then-acting CIA Chief Tennent Bagley.
The documents include a transcript of the Oct. 1 call.
“Hello, this [is] Lee Oswald speaking,” he said. “I was at your place last Saturday and spoke to a consul, and they said that they’d send a telegram to Washington, so I wanted to find out if you anything new. But I don’t remember the name of that consul.”
After a brief exchange, KGB officer Valery Kostikov answered, “Just a minute. I’ll find out. They say that they haven’t received anything yet.”
“Have they done anything?” Oswald asked.
“Yes, they say that a request has been sent out, but nothing has been received yet,” Kostikov answers before hanging up.
Bagley’s memo about the call was dated Nov. 23, 1963, one day after Oswald was charged with assassinating Kennedy.
Two days after the assassination, the records said another tipster called the US Naval Attaché in Australia — identifying himself as a Polish driver for the US embassy in Canberra.
It is unclear from the records if it was the same tipster from a year earlier, but the caller reiterated that the Soviets were behind the assassination.
“This individual, while discussing several matters of intelligence interest, touched on the possibility that the Soviet Government had financed the assassination of President Kennedy,” a May 22, 1964 memo said.
The newly released documents were collected during a five-year review of the Kennedy assassination that wrapped up in 1997 — but thousands of records remained under seal – and many still do, despite what was uncovered in this recent release.
President Joe Biden had promised that the trove of records would be released by October but later delayed the move and blamed the COVID-19 pandemic.
Even now, the Biden administration said it would withhold many of the files and keep them under wraps until next December, the outlet said.
“It’s an outrage,” JFK’s nephew, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., fumed to Politico in October. “It’s an outrage against American democracy. We’re not supposed to have secret governments within the government.”
The Kennedy assassination has long been the subject of widespread speculation and conspiracy theories — and continues to be surrounded by mystery.
Oswald was shot and killed by Dallas bar owner Jack Ruby just two days after his arrest — taking many of the unanswered questions to the grave.