Mykola Lebed was sentenced to death in Poland in 1934. He died in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1998.
By various accounts, he was an assassin, a freedom fighter, a terrorist, a hero, a villain, a prisoner, a refugee, a Nazi collaborator, a Nazi target, a writer, and a war criminal. To the Central Intelligence Agency, which bankrolled his activities for close to half a century, he was known as “Uncle Louie.”
The details of the negotiations and planning surrounding the Cuban Missile Crisis have long been the subject of some contention for historians, with some of the most influential and enduring accounts contradicting what the tapes of those planning sessions tell us. Almost immediately after the Cuban Missile Crisis resolved, rumors began floating around Washington D.C. that the narrative that emerged was the handiwork of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy in an effort to force the resignation of Adlai Stevenson, Kennedy’s Ambassador to the United Nations. A Central Intelligence Agency chronology, originally classified SECRET and recently released to MuckRock, confirms that the architect of this historical revisionism was, in fact, Kennedy - and reveals that denials of this were based on nothing more than word games.
A formerly SECRET report uncovered in the Central Intelligence Agency’s declassified archives shows that in the earliest days of the Cold War, the CIA took an interest in Soviet superstitions. The report, classified for 60 years, details familiar fears such as black cats with more involved customs, such as road bucket etiquette.
A 1951 letter to the Central Intelligence Agency from a former spymaster warned of Russian infiltration in North America’s northern territories. Despite being described by the CIA’s cover letter as discussing the Soviet threat to Alaska and Canada “in very general terms,” its information and warning were considered important enough to send to J. Edgar Hoover in a package marked SECRET, and it remained classified until late 2018 - 67 years after it was written.
As one of the most prominent figures of the 20th Century - not to mention an ardent pacifist during the height of the Cold War - it’s not altogether surprising that Albert Einstein’s Federal Bureau of Investigation file stretches several thousand pages. But while Einstein’s sharp critique of U.S. policy at home and abroad gave the J. Edgar Hoover’s Bureau plenty to work with, some of the other concerns raised in the file were dubious at best. At worst, there were Nazi death beams.