Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Oswald and U.S. Customs

Joan Mellen, in her new book A Farewell to Justice, reveals that Lee Harvey Oswald was not only an FBI informant, and an employee of CIA contract agent Guy Banister, but also had an affiliation with U.S. Customs. Bar owner and FBI informant Orestes Pena testified under oath that he saw Oswald with Customs officials on a regular basis. His handler at Customs was a man named David Smith.

In the morning, Pena revealed, Oswald frequented a Greek restaurant on Decatur and Iberville with "other federal agents from the Customs House Building," which housed FBI, ONI, CIA and Immigration. At least ten or twelve times, Pena testified, he observed Oswald having breakfast with his Customs handlers. He had witnessed his own handler Warren de Brueys at that same Greek restaurant when Oswald was there with federal agents. "I believe they knew each other very, very well," Pena said of Oswald and de Brueys...

Pena had also observed Oswald, de Brueys, David and Wendall Roache of the Immigration Service leave the restaurant and head for the Customs House building."

So explosive were Pena's revelations about Oswald's relationships with Customs officers that Pena's files were systematically destroyed by the FBI in a multicity effort that stretched across Europe. A document survives, a teletype directed to J. Edgar Hoover, dated January 14, 1976: "Rome file regarding Orestes Pena: IS-Cuba' Destroyed."
After the assassination David Smith was transferred to Uruguay. Wendall Roache was moved to Puerto Rico. When Roach was finally contacted by the Church Committee in 1975, he said, "I've been waiting twelve years to talk to someone about this." His testimony remains classified to this day.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Release all Church Committee Documents of the New Orleans Customs Officers.

1:50 PM  
Blogger lzambeni said...

Fantastic post! Thanks! :)

3:50 PM  

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