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  » Appendix V
  » Appendix VI
  » Appendix VII
  » Appendix VIII
  » Appendix IX
  » Appendix X
  » Appendix XI
  » Appendix XII
  » Appendix XIII
  » Appendix XIV
  » Appendix XV
  » Appendix XVI
  » Appendix XVII
  » Appendix XVIII
Warren Commission Report: Page 386« Previous | Next »

(CHAPTER VII - Lee Harvey Oswald: Background and Possible Motives)

he was being picked on and "as a means of getting or attempting to get sympathy." 123 In Thornley's view, Oswald labored under a persecution complex which he strove to maintain and '"felt the Marine Corps kept a pretty close watch on him because of his 'subversive' activities." Thornley added: "I think it was kind of necessary to him to believe that he was being picked on. It wasn't anything extreme. I wouldn't go as far as to call it, call him a paranoid, but a definite tendency there was in that direction, I think." 124

Powers considered Oswald to be meek and easily led,125 an "individual that you would brainwash, and quite easy * * * [but] I think once he believed in something * * * he stood in his beliefs." 126 Powers also testified that Oswald was reserved and seemed to be "somewhat the frail, little puppy in the litter." 127 He had the nickname "Ozzie Rabbit." 128

Oswald read a good deal, said Powers, but "he would never be reading any of the shoot-em-up westerns or anything like that. Normally, it would be a good type of literature; and the one that I recall was 'Leaves of Grass,' by Wait Whitman." 129 According to Powers, Oswald said: "All the Marine Corps did was to teach you to kill' and after you got out of the Marines you might be good gangsters." 130 Powers believed that when Oswald arrived in Japan he acquired a girlfriend, "finally attaining a male status or image in his own eyes." 131 That apparently caused Oswald to become more self-confident, aggressive and even somewhat pugnacious, although Powers "wouldn't say that this guy is a troublemaker." 132 Powers said "now he was Oswald the man rather than Oswald the rabbit." 133 Oswald once told Powers that he didn't care if he returned to the United States at all. 134

While in Japan, Oswald's new found apparent self confidence and pugnaciousness led to an incident in which he spilled a drink on one of his sergeants and abusively challenged him to right.135 At the court-martial hearing which followed, Oswald admitted that he had been rather drunk when the incident occurred. He testified that he had felt the sergeant had a grudge against him and that he had unsuccessfully sought a transfer from the sergeant's unit. He said that he had simply wanted to discuss the question with the sergeant and the drink had been spilled accidentally. The hearing officer agreed with the latter claim but found Oswald guilty of wrongfully using provoking words and sentenced him to 28 days, canceling the suspension of a 20-day sentence that Oswald had received in an earlier court-martial for possessing an unauthorized pistol with which he had accidentally shot himself.136

At his own request, Oswald was transferred from active duty to the Marine Corps Reserve under honorable conditions in September of 1959, 3 months prior to his regularly scheduled separation date, 137 ostensibly to care for his mother who had been injured in an accident at her work.138 He was undesirably discharged from the Marine Corps Reserve, to which he had been assigned on inactive status following his transfer from active duty, after it was learned that he had

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