Spartacus Blog

The KGB and the JFK Assassination

Thursday, 21st August, 2014

John Simkin

In 1992 the KGB officer, Vasili Nikitich Mitrokhin, fled to the West. He brought with him “six cases containing the copious notes he had taken almost daily for twelve years… on notes he had taken almost daily for twelve years… on top secret KGB files going as far back as 1918.”

Mitrokhin became a British citizen and the material was made available to the historian, Christopher Andrew. The Mitrokhin archive contains material on the assassination of John F. Kennedy. In December, 1963, the deputy chairman of the KGB reported to the Central Committee that three oilmen in Texas, Sid Richardson, Clint Murchison and Haroldson L. Hunt, had organized the assassination: “A reliable source of the Polish intelligence service, an American entrepreneur and owner of a number of firms closely connected to the petroleum circles of the South, reported in late November that the real instigators of this criminal deed were three leading oil magnates from the South of the USA – Richardson, Murchison and Hunt, all owners of major petroleum petroleum reserves in the southern states who have long been connected to pro-fascist and racist organizations in the South.” One of the problems of this theory is that Richardson died of a heart attack on 30th September, 1959.

The KGB also reported that a journalist on The Baltimore Sun “said in a private conversation in early December that on assignment from a group of Texas financiers and industrialists headed by millionaire Hunt, Jack Ruby, who is now under arrest, proposed a large sum of money to Oswald for the murder of Kennedy.”

It seems that Nikita Khrushchev seems to have been convinced by the KGB view that the aim of the right-wing conspirators behind Kennedy’s assassination was to intensify the Cold War and “strengthen the reactionary and aggressive elements of American foreign policy.”

Although there is no evidence of this in the Mitrokhin archive. it is possible that the KGB fed this information back to friendly journalists in the West. For example, Thomas G. Buchanan, worked as a journalist for the Washington Evening Star, but was sacked in 1948 when it was discovered that he was a member of the Communist Party of the United States.

Blacklisted, he moved to Paris and the French newspaper, L’ Express published his articles on the assassination. Buchanan claimed in the newspaper that the Warren Commission had discovered that Jack Ruby knew Lee Harvey Oswald. He argued that Ruby lent him money to pay back the State Department for the $435.71 the U.S. had loaned Oswald when he returned from the Soviet Union. These articles caught the attention of Richard Helms. He sent a memo to John McCone, Director of the CIA: "Buchanan's thesis is that the assassination of President Kennedy was the product of a rightest plot in the United States. He alleges in his articles that the slain Dallas policeman, Tippett (sic) was part of the plot against President Kennedy." Helms went onto inform McCone that a "competent" CIA informant had disclosed that a book by Buchanan on the assassination would be published by Secker and Warburg on 15th May 1964.

Helms informant was right and Buchanan book, Who Killed Kennedy? was published in London in May. Buchanan appears to have been the first writer to suggest that the Military Industrial Congress Complex was behind the assassination. He also argues that the assassination was funded by a Texas oilman. When the book was eventually published in the United States, it was mainly ignored. However, Time Magazine reviewed it and made much of the fact that Buchanan was a former member of the Communist Party of the United States.

However, Buchanan did have his supporters. The left-wing journalist, Cedric Belfrage, argued in the journal, Minority of One, that it was "irrelevant whether Buchanan was a former communist or a former Zen Buddhist". Belfrage went on to state that what was important was Buchanan's "common sense of the assassination and the American crisis it symbolizes". We now know via Venona and the Mitrokhin archive that Belfrage had been working for Soviet intelligence since 1942 (codename UCN/9).

It seems that the KGB continued to believe that Texas oilmen were behind the assassination of Kennedy. In 1991 Boris Yeltsin asked Yevgeni Primakov, the head of the Soviet Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) what the KGB had in the archives on the Kennedy assassination. The SVR report claimed that Oswald had been selected as the assassin by "a group of Texas financiers and industrialists headed by millionaire Hunt". It goes on to argue: "Oswald was the most suitable figure for executing a terrorist act against Kennedy because his past allowed for the organization of a widespread propaganda campaign accusing the Soviet Union, Cuba, and the US Communist Party of involvement in the assassination. But... Ruby and the real instigators of Kennedy's murder did not take into account the fact that Oswald suffered from psychiatric illness. When Ruby realized that after a prolonged interrogation Oswald was capable of confessing everything, Ruby immediately liquidated Oswald."

Oleg Nechiporenko, a KGB officer, points out in his book, Passport to Assassination (1993), that he met Lee Harvey Oswald twice in Mexico City in October 1963. He argues that the plot was organized by Texan oilmen and that the CIA was involved. However, he undermines his case by mixing up E. Howard Hunt and Haroldson L. Hunt. He writes that "billionaire E. Howard Hunt played a special role" in the assassination.

Previous Posts

J. Edgar Hoover, Communist Spies and the JFK Assassination (25th August, 2014)

The KGB and the JFK Assassination (21st August, 2014)

West Ham United and the First World War (4th August, 2014)

The First World War and the War Propaganda Bureau (28th July, 2014)

Interpretations in History (8th July, 2014)

Alger Hiss was not framed by the FBI (17th June, 2014)

Google, Bing and Operation Mockingbird: Part 2 (14th June, 2014)

Google, Bing and Operation Mockingbird: The CIA and Search-Engine Results (10th June, 2014)

The Student as Teacher (7th June, 2014)

Is Wikipedia under the control of political extremists? (23rd May, 2014)

Why MI5 did not want you to know about Ernest Holloway Oldham (6th May, 2014)

The Strange Death of Lev Sedov (16th April, 2014)

Why we will never discover who killed John F. Kennedy (27th March, 2014)

The KGB planned to groom Michael Straight to become President of the United States (20th March, 2014)

The Allied Plot to Kill Lenin (7th March, 2014)

Was Rasputin murdered by MI6? (24th February 2014)

Winston Churchill and Chemical Weapons (11th February, 2014)

Pete Seeger and the Media (1st February 2014)

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Why did the intelligence services murder Dr. Stephen Ward? (8th January 2014)

Solomon Northup and 12 Years a Slave (4th January 2014)

The Angel of Auschwitz (6th December 2013)

The Death of John F. Kennedy (23rd November 2013)

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New Evidence in the Geli Raubal Case (10th November 2013)

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Major Truman Smith and the Funding of Adolf Hitler (4th November 2013)

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Claud Cockburn and his fight against Appeasement (26th October 2013)

The Strange Case of William Wiseman (21st October 2013)

Robert Vansittart's Spy Network (17th October 2013)

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Paul Dacre, The Daily Mail and Fascism (12th October 2013)

Wallis Simpson and Nazi Germany (11th October 2013)

The Activities of MI5 (9th October 2013)

The Right Club and the Second World War (6th October 2013)

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Ralph Miliband and Lord Rothermere (2nd October 2013)