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  » Appendix XVI
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  » Appendix XVIII
Warren Commission Report: Page 256« Previous | Next »

(CHAPTER VI - Investigation of Possible Conspiracy)

So that it would be an act of rashness and madness for Soviet leaders to undertake such an action as an active policy. Because everything would have been put in jeopardy or at stake in connection with such an act.

It has not been our impression that madness has characterized the actions of the Soviet leadership in recent years.97

The Commission accepts Secretary Rusk's estimate as reasonable and objective but recognizes that a precise assessment of Soviet intentions or interests is most difficult. The Commission has thus examined all the known facts regarding Oswald's defection, residence in the Soviet Union, and return to the United States. At each step the Commission sought to determine whether there was any evidence which supported a conclusion that Soviet authorities may have directly or indirectly influenced Oswald's actions in assassinating the President.

Oswald's entry into the Soviet Union.-Although the evidence is inconclusive as to the factors which motivated Oswald to go to the Soviet Union, there is no indication that he was prompted to do so by agents of that country. He may have begun to study the Russia language when he was stationed in Japan, which was intermittently from August 1957 to November 1958.98 After he arrived in Moscow in October 1959 he told several persons that he had been planning his defection for 2 years, which suggests that the decision was made while he was in the Far East.99 George De Mohrenschildt, who met Oswald after his return from the Soviet Union, testified that Oswald once told him much the same thing: "I met some Communists in Japan and they got me excited and interested, and that was one of my inducements in going to Soviet Russia, to see what goes on there." 100 This evidence, however, is somewhat at variance with Oswald's statements made to two American newspaper reporters in Moscow shortly after his defection in 1959,101 and to other people in the United States after his return in 1962.102 Though his remarks were not inconsistent as to the time he decided to defect, to these people he insisted that before going to the Soviet Union he had "never met a Communist" and that the intent to defect derived entirely from his own reading and thinking. He said much the same to his brother in a letter he wrote to him from Russia explaining why he had defected.103 Which of Oswald's statements was the more accurate remains unknown.

There is no evidence that Oswald received outside assistance in financing his trip to the Soviet Union. After he arrived in Moscow, Oswald told a newspaper correspondent, Aline Mosby, that he had saved $1,500 out of his Marine Corps salary to finance his defection,104 although the news story based upon Oswald's interview with Aline Mosby unaccountably listed the sum of $1,600 instead of $1,500. 105 After this article had appeared, Marguerite Oswald also related the $1,600 figure to an FBI agent.106 Either amount could have been accumulated out of Oswald's earnings in the Marine Corps; during

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