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Volume 4: Mail Opening
For a period of approximately two decades, agencies of the U.S.
government ran operations which opened the mail of some American
citizens. The first identified intercept operation was started by
the CIA’s Office of Security in 1952, and mail going to and from
the Soviet Union was a subject of keen interest. “Take” from the
mail interception was shared in many cases with the FBI. A particularly
large-scale mail-opening operation was conducted in New York, and
targeted mail entering from the Soviet Union. This operation, run
by the CIA, went by the project codename HTLINGUAL. One of the more
famous persons to have his mail opened was Lee Harvey Oswald, the
accused assassin of President Kennedy. Witnesses included senior
officials of the CIA, the Postal Service, the FBI, and the Justice