Pseudonym: Farenden, Henry
Richard Snyder later worked at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow when Lee Harvey Oswald apparently attempted to renounce his American citizenship and defect to the Soviet Union in 1959. Oswald returned to the U.S. in 1962, and was accused of assassinating President Kennedy in Dallas on November 22, 1963. Oswald himself was killed by Jack Ruby in Dallas on November 24, 1963.
John Newman, in Oswald and the CIA: The Documented Truth About the Unknown Relationship Between the U.S. Government and the Alleged Killer of JFK, wrote about Snyder.
06/30/49: Memo from W.V. F. Vance, Deputy Personnel Officer to Deputy Personnel Officer: "1. Listed below are twenty-two Foreign Service candidates with whom OPC has been negotiating for employment directly...Snyder, Richard E. McVicar, John A...2. These names were obtained from Mr. Cromwell Riches, Executive Secretary of the Board of Examiners for Foreign Service. He is aware of our interest in these candidates and has assisted our office in screening the individuals from the files of those persons who are awaiting appointment by the Foreign Service. OPC has been dealing directly with these individuals with the hope that in selected areas they might be employed in a covert capacity. This possibility apparently no longer exists, however, and your office is therefore being informed of the past history of our dealings with these candidates."
12/07/49: CIA document: "NAME: FARENDEN, Henry O...REMARKS: Pseudonym acknowledged 9 November 1949."
03/06/50: CIA document: "NAME: FARENDEN, Henry O. NATURE OF ACTION: Resignation. EFFECTIVE DATE: COB 26 March 1950. TITLE: Intelligence Officer GS-9. GRADE AND SALARY: GS-9, $4600.00. OFFICE: OPC Operations. DIVISION: FBD Area III. BRANCH: 9D-11-JBEDICT. OFFICIAL STATION: Tokyo, Japan...REMARKS: Subject is being appointed on unvouchered funds under his true name of Richard E. Snyder effective BOB 27 March 1950."
03/12/56: Memo for the record from Joseph J. Bulik: Subject: Richard E. Snyder 201-748009: "1. Sometime late in 1956, Mr. Nelson H. Brickham informed me that a friend of his, Richard E. Snyder, an FSO was studying at Harvard preparatory to being assigned to the American Embassy, Moscow. The purpose of Mr. Brickham's remarks to me was to provide me simply with the facts in the event there was a possibility I might be interested in utilizing Mr. Snyder in any possible way during his assignment in Moscow. 2. Since policy dictated that we could not coopt an FSO going to Moscow without (a) DDP's approval and (b) State Department's knowledge and approval, I said nothing about it. I did not meet or ever talk to Mr. Snyder."
11/02/59: Foreign Service Dispatch from Edward L. Freers, Charge d’Affaires, ad interim, American Embassy, Moscow to State Department, Washington: Subject: CITIZENSHIP: LEE HARVEY OSWALD: "Mr. Lee Harvey Oswald, an American citizen, appeared at this Embassy October 31, 1959 and stated to Second Secretary Richard E. Snyder that he wishes to renounce his American citizenship and that he had applied to become a citizen of the Soviet Union. He presented to the interviewing officer his passport and the following signed, undated, handwritten statement, the original of which is retained by the Embassy (misspellings are as in original)...Oswald is the bearer of Passport No. 1733242, issued September 10, 1959 (retained at the Embassy). The passport shows that he was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, On October 18, 1939, and gives his occupation as 'shipping export agent.' Oswald gave his last address in the United States as that of his mother at 4936 Collinwood Street, Fort Worth, Texas. A telegram subsequently received at the Embassy for him indicates that a brother, Robert L. Oswald, resides at 7313 Davenport, Fort Worth, Texas. He stated that he was discharged from the U.S. Marine Corps on September 11, 1959. Highest grade achieved was corporal. Oswald evidently applied for his passport to the Agency at San Francisco while still in service. He stated that he had contemplated the action which he took for about two years before his discharge. He departed from the United States through New Orleans with the intent of traveling to the Soviet Union through Northern Europe...Throughout the interview Oswald’s manner was aggressive, arrogant, and uncooperative. He appeared to be competent...Oswald gave as the 'principal reason' for his decision that 'I am a marxist,' but declined any further elaboration of his motives..."
11/06/59: Letter from Richard E. Snyder, American Consul, to Lee Harvey Oswald, Room 233, Metropole Hotel, Moscow: "Dear Mr. Oswald: Reference is made to your letter of November 3, 1959 in which you request to be divested of your American citizenship. As you were informed at the time of your visit to the Embassy on October 31, 1959, it is a principle of the American Government that the right of expatriation is a natural and inherent right of any person and that the manner prescribed by law for renunciation of American citizenship is the execution of oath before a diplomatic or consular officer of the United States in the established form. You are again informed that you may appear at the Embassy at any time during normal business hours and request that the Embassy prepare the necessary documents for renunciation of citizenship. The Embassy hours are as follows: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. – 6 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday; 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. on Wednesday and Saturday. Very truly yours..."
11/09/59: State Department telegram from Richard E. Snyder, American Embassy in Moscow to Secretary of State: "Consular officer attempted personal delivery of message from Pic to Oswald today, but unable make contact at hotel. Message being sent registered mail. For Pic’s info previous message from brother Robert Oswald (unintelligible) had to be sent registered mail. Lee Oswald seems determined carry out purpose of seeking Soviet citizenship and renouncing American citizenship, but so far as known Soviet citizenship not yet granted and formal renunciation not yet made at this office. Dept has instructed Embassy may not withhold right renunciation under Section 1999 Revised Statute. Care has been and will be taken, of course, to be sure he has no doubts should he appear to make formal application. He staying at room 233 Metropole Hotel, Moscow. Brother Robert attempted contact him by phone, but result not known. THOMPSON: CONS: JA MCVICKAR."
02/28/61: Letter from Richard E. Snyder, American Consul, American Embassy in Moscow to Lee Harvey Oswald: "Dear Mr. Oswald: We have received your recent letter concerning your desire to return to the United States. Your earlier letter of December, 1960, which you mentioned in your present letter does not appear to have been received at the Embassy. Inasmuch as the question of your present American citizenship status can be finally determined only on the basis of a personal interview, we suggest that you plan to appear at the Embassy at your convenience. The consular section of the Embassy is open from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The Embassy was recently informed by the Department of State that it had received an inquiry from your mother in which she said she had not heard from you since December, 1959 and was concerned about your whereabouts and welfare. Very truly yours..."
11/27/63: Telegram from the American Embassy in Tokyo to State Department: "Following is Snyder’s Statement: To the best of my recollection I had two personal interviews with Oswald, one on his first visit to embassy to announce his defection, second a number of months later when he revisited embassy to sound out possibilities returning to United States. In addition, I conducted several exchanges of correspondence with him. All aspects of above were covered in my reports to the department. I was sole officer handling Oswald case. Following is my rough recollection two interviews: First Interview: (Precise date on record in department). Oswald visited embassy on own initiative and was referred to me as senior consular officer. (Following remarks not necessarily in order). Oswald stated in effect that he wished to give up his American citizenship. That he intended to become a Soviet citizen and to serve Soviet state, that he was doing this because “I am a Marxist”, that he considered our government and policies of the United States as imperialistic, that he admired the system and policies of the Soviet Union and desired to serve the Soviet state. He delivered over his American passport to me, and said that he wanted to take the necessary steps to renounce his American citizenship. He stated desire to conclude matter quickly, that he had been forewarned I would try to talk him out of the decision, that he wanted no lectures from me, desired enter into no discussion..."
06/09/64: Extract from the Warren Commission testimony of Richard Edward Snyder: Page 265: ..."Mr. COLEMAN: Mr. Snyder, when you were talking to Mr. Oswald on October 31, 1959, did he say anything with respect to applying for Soviet citizenship? Mr. SNYDER: Yes; this was contained in his written statement, for one thing, and I believe that he also stated this to me orally. Mr. COLEMAN: Did he say anything with respect to having any information since he had been in the Marine Corps that he would be willing to make available to the Soviet Union? Mr. SNYDER: Yes; he did. He stated again, in effect, that he would make available to the Soviet authorities or to the Soviet Union what he had learned concerning his speciality - he was an electronics specialist of some sort, a radar technician - at any rate, he would available to the Soviet Union such knowledge as he had acquired while in the Marine Corps concerning his speciality. He volunteered this statement. It was rather peculiar. Mr. COLEMAN: You say that the interview lasted about a half an hour. I take it he then left. Did he say he was going to return? Mr. SNYDER: No; I don’t believe he did. He gave no particular indication of when he would return, if he would return, or this sort of thing. Mr. COLEMAN: Do you recall just what he said when he left your office? Mr. SNYDER: No, sir. Mr. COLEMAN: I show you a document - Mr. DULLES: Could I ask one question there? Did he take his passport or did he leave it? Mr. SNYDER: No; I kept it. Mr. DULLES: You kept the passport? Mr. SNYDER: Yes, sir..."