Passport to Assassination: The Never-Before-Told Story of Lee Harvey Oswald by the KGB Colonel Who Knew Him

Oleg Nechiporenko, Author Carol Publishing Corporation $22.5 (338p) ISBN 978-1-55972-210-0
Now that the Soviet spooks are able to speak, there will probably be more books like this one--providing an opportunity to see how foolishly similar the vast secret bureaucracies were on both sides of the Cold War. What Col. Nechiporenko knows about Oswald, however, is not revelatory. He was stationed at the Soviet Embassy in Mexico City when Oswald appeared there in 1963 seeking visas to Cuba and Moscow. Nechiporenko recalls Oswald as highly neurotic and agitated; he brandished a pistol and babbled of being persecuted in the U.S. The colonel also had access to all the KGB reports on the odd American during his stay in the Soviet Union, and reveals how Oswald was handled as a hot propaganda potato, but was regarded as too unstable for any kind of espionage work, thus bearing out what Soviet defector Yuri Nosenko told Gerald Posner in Case Closed . On the whole Nechiporenko believes that Oswald was Kennedy's sole assassin, though, somewhat paradoxically, he feels there was a plot, and that Oswald was the planned scapegoat for it; he just acted before the conspirators were ready. There is charm and humor in the book, considerable padding and an intriguing glimpse into how official KGB theorizing works: like something out of Harvard Business School. Photos not seen by PW . (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 10/04/1993
Release date: 10/01/1993
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