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Warren Commission Report: Page 274« Previous | Next »

(CHAPTER VI - Investigation of Possible Conspiracy)

which Oswald belonged are very popular in the Soviet Union. 231 They are frequently sponsored by factories for their employees, as was Oswald's.232 Moreover, Soviet citizens (or foreigners residing in the Soviet Union) are permitted to own shotguns, but not rifles, without joining a society; all that is necessary is that the gun be registered at the local militia office immediately after it has been purchased.233 Experts from the Central Intelligence Agency have examined Oswald's club membership certificate and gun permit and expressed the opinion that its terms and numbers are consistent with other information the CIA has about the Soviet Union. 234

Marina Oswald testified that her husband went hunting only on one occasion during the time of their marriage.235 However, Oswald .apparently joined the Byelorussian Society of Hunters and Fishermen m the summer of 1960 236 and did not marry until April 30, 1961, 237 so he could have been more active while he was still a bachelor. Oswald made no secret of his membership in the hunting club. He mentioned it on occasion to friends after he returned to the United States; 238 discussed it at some length in a speech at a Jesuit Seminary in Mobile, Ala., in the summer of 1962; 239 included it in his correspondence with his brother Robert; 240 and kept his membership certificate 241 and gun permit 242 until the day he was killed. In view of these facts, it is unlikely that Oswald's membership in a hunting club was contrived to conceal some sort of secret training. Moreover, the CIA has informed the Commission that it is in possession of considerable information on the location of secret Soviet training institutions and that it knows of no such institution in or near Minsk during the time Oswald was there. 243

Oswald's marriage to Marina Prusakova on April 30, 1961, 244 is itself a fact meriting consideration. A foreigner living in Russia cannot marry without the permission of the Soviet Government. 245 It seems unlikely that the Soviet authorities would have permitted Oswald to marry and to take his wife with him to the United States if they were contemplating using him alone as an agent. The fact that he had a Russian wife would be likely, in their view, to increase any surveillance under which he would be kept by American security agencies, would make him even more conspicuous to his neighbors as "an ex- Russian," and would decrease his mobility. A wife's presence in the United States would also constitute a continuing risk of disclosure. On the other hand, Marina Oswald's lack of English training and her complete ignorance of the United States and its customs 246 would scarcely recommend-her to the Soviet authorities as one member of an "agent team" to be sent to the United States on a difficult and dangerous foreign enterprise.

Oswald's departure from the Soviet Union.--On February 13, 1961, the American Embassy in Moscow received a letter from Oswald postmarked Minsk, February 5, asking that he be readmitted to the United States. 247 This was the first time that the Embassy had heard from or about Oswald since November 16, 1959. 248 The end of the 15-month silence came only a few days after the Department of State

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