Nation: A Mother Who Wants to Write

  • Share
  • Read Later

Determined to defend her son's name, Marguerite Oswald last week delivered a monologue before the Warren Commission in Washington. She carried with her a shoulder bag containing letters that Lee Harvey Oswald had written to her from the Soviet Union, as well as several undisclosed "documents." Pre cisely what she told the commission was not made public, but it was evident that the patient investigators learned little that was new or pertinent. Mrs. Oswald, said Chief Justice Earl Warren, "produced nothing that would change the picture."

A Positive Person. Away from the commission's hearing room, she held court for reporters. "I can talk for hours," she said. She insisted that Lee Oswald had been an agent for the Central Intelligence Agency, and that he "had been set up to take the blame" for the Kennedy assassination. He was the scapegoat, she said, mispronouncing it as "scrapgoat." Frequently referring to him in the present tense, she asked: "Who can prove he is not a CIA agent? He isn't going to say he's a CIA agent, and the Government isn't going to say he is. Lee, being an agent, would not say so to anyone." If he was, he didn't tell CIA Chief John McCone, who hastily announced that Oswald had never worked for his outfit.

Undaunted, Mrs. Oswald vowed to reporters that, "I'm a positive person. You know, I have a philosophy. I have a deep sense of justice. I even think a Communist is a human being. Even if my son is a Marxist, he is a human being. Even Buddhists are human beings—Catholics, Jews and Negroes, or whatever our religion, we are all human beings. We live and breathe the same free air. I don't think a name means anything. Just because you're a high official, it doesn't mean anything. It's the man behind the name. Suppose you are a high official, that doesn't impress me. Even a Communist may have wonderful views."

"I'm Indignant." Mrs. Oswald is not very high on one official in particular-Lyndon Johnson. She was offended because the President did not invite her to the White House during her Washington visit. She was also miffed because Jackie Kennedy had neglected to send condolences when Lee Oswald was shot. "After all," Mrs. Oswald said, "we loved Lee just as much as she loved her husband. We're human beings, too. I'm indignant at her, and I resent her thinking we're not as good as she is."

Marguerite Oswald claims that she has plenty more to tell, but she is saving it. "I have to have something left to write about, don't I?" she said to a reporter. "I can't tell you everything." She plans to visit some New York publishers, hopes to get an advance of $25,000 or $50,000 for a book she intends to write. "I don't even think I'll have to have a ghostwriter for my book," she muses. "No, I don't want one. I believe I can write the book by just dictating."