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Is this Document the Smoking Gun on the Richard Case Nagell Story?

Updated: Oct 11, 2021

In 1992. Dick Russell wrote a letter to Harold Weisberg with some important information on his upcoming book on Richard Case Nagell:


Dick Russell did include one page from the military intelligence file in his book The Man Who Knew Too Much.


Russell discusses the need to find a "smoking gun" to convince people that Nagell "was indeed someone worthy of serious attention." (page 53)


In May 1986, Nagell sent Russell page 2 from a Military Intelligence "Agent Report" dated May 2, 1969. I reproduced that page 2 in my first blog post on Nagell. Russell writes that: (page 54 in the first edition)

"What was so striking about this report was that, unlike any other government file I had seen about him, it stated directly that Nagell had been monitoring the activities of Oswald, his wife, and "Anti-Castro organizations" on behalf of the CIA. The beginning sentences of the report were not phrased in a manner attributable to Nagell. In other words, they did not say "SUBJECT alleged" or "claimed" or "stated"; the facts about Nagell were simply stated as facts."

Just looking at page two, it seems obvious that the material was coming from Nagell. However, here is the complete document:



Just have a look at the opening sentence of page one:

"On 11 April 1969, SUBJECT appeared as a walk-in at Berlin Station and stated in substance as follows:"

No wonder Nagell only sent page two to Dick Russell. Of course, he never would have sent Russell page four which has the agent's notes:

"AGENT'S NOTES: It was obvious throughout both interviews with SUBJECT that HE was mentally disturbed. SUBJECT broke down and cried on numerous occasions, usually when the conversation concerned HIS attempts to locate HIS family. SUBJECT'S allegation that HE received no cooperation from VA Hospitals or the State Department could quite possibly stem from SUBJECT's extreme emotional state and HIS propensity to interpret anything but immediate response to HIS demands as an indication of non-cooperation. Subsequent investigation revealed, in fact, that measures have been taken to fulfill the promises made to SUBJECT."

This "smoking gun" clearly was using smokeless powder. If this is the only document Russell can cite as direct evidence about Nagell, well, his whole case is blown apart. Everything allegation about Nagell just comes from Nagell (and Russell). There is no underlying documentation.


At some point Russell apparently realized that the document didn't quite substantiate his allegations because he did not include this "smoking gun" in his second edition.


By the way, here are Harold Weisberg's comments on this document and on Russell's book:


Hat Tip: I retrieved the military intelligence document from Malcolm Blunt's documents on the Dealey Plaza UK website. Mark Zaid also had received the file through a FOIA request.


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