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Director of Central Intelligence Allen Dulles, in 1960 "serving" under President Dwight D. Eisenhower and his very active VP Richard Nixon, wanted Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro dead. Being a true gentleman who never gets his own hands dirty, Dulles ordered his the agency to bring in outside help -- "cut outs" -- for the job. So, through their middleman, Howard Hughes employee Robert Maheu, CIA approached "Uncle Johnny," "Mr. Gold" and "Joe."
How the CIA Enlisted the Chicago Mob to Put a Hit on Castro
Ever wonder about the sanity of America's leaders? Take a close look at perhaps the most bizarre plot in U.S. intelligence history
By Bryan Smith
Chicago Magazine, November 2007
By September 1960, the project was proceeding apace. Roselli would report directly to Maheu. The first step was a meeting in New York. There, at the Plaza Hotel, Maheu introduced Roselli to O'Connell. The agent wanted to cover up the participation of the CIA, so he pretended to be a man named Jim Olds who represented a group of wealthy industrialists eager to get rid of Castro so they could get back in business.
"We may know some people," Roselli said. Several weeks later, they all met at the Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami. For years, the luxurious facility had served as the unofficial headquarters for Mafioso leaders seeking a base close to their gambling interests in Cuba. Now, it would be the staging area for the assassination plots.
At a meeting in one of the suites, Roselli introduced Maheu to two men: Sam Gold and a man Roselli referred to as Joe, who could serve as a courier to Cuba. By this time, Roselli was on to O'Connell. "I'm not kidding," Roselli told the agent one day. "I know who you work for. But I'm not going to ask you to confirm it."
Roselli may have figured out that he was dealing with the CIA, but neither Maheu nor O'Connell realized the rank of mobsters with whom they were dealing. That changed when Maheu picked up a copy of the Sunday newspaper supplement Parade, which carried an article laying out the FBI's ten most wanted criminals. Leading the list was Sam Giancana, a.k.a. "Mooney," a.k.a. "Momo," a.k.a. "Sam the Cigar," a Chicago godfather who was one of the most feared dons in the country—and the man who called himself Sam Gold. "Joe" was also on the list. His real name, however, was Santos Trafficante—the outfit's Florida and Cuba chieftain.
Maheu alerted O'Connell. "My God, look what we're involved with," Maheu said. O'Connell told his superiors. Questioned later before the 1975 U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (later nicknamed the Church Committee after its chairman, Frank Church, the Democratic senator from Idaho), O'Connell was asked whether there had ever been any discussion about asking two men on the FBI's most wanted list to carry out a hit on a foreign leader.
"Not with me there wasn't," O'Connell answered.
Why repeat the Big Lie, Spider Jerusalem?
Posted by Octafish | Tue Dec 3, 2013, 09:43 PM (1 replies)
Talbot's book is going to be literary dynamite. More of what he said at Duquesne...
...Dulles had even less respect for Jack Kennedy's authority than he did for FDR's.
After he was fired from the CIA by Kennedy, Dulles continued to meet with a steady stream of top- and mid-level CIA officials at his home in Georgetown. The two-story brick house on Q-Street became the seat of a sort of government in exile.
Among those Dulles remained in contact with were a number of CIA officials who later came under suspicion for the assassination of President Kennedy, including Jim Angleton and many of his aides, (including) Bill Harvey and Howard Hunt. Over the years, Harvey in particular has aroused strong suspicions.
John Whitten, the CIA official who was originally charged with the agency's investigation of the (John F.) Kennedy assassination, would later tell the House Select Committee on Assassinations in 1978 that Harvey was a likely suspect in the case. Robert Blakey, the committee's chief counsel, and his investigator, Dan Hardway, came to share these suspicions about Harvey, but their investigation
ran out of political support and money before it could be completed.
Dulles gave Bill Harvey the CIA's highest medal and its most murderous assignments, including the Mafia hit or attempted hit against Castro. Bill Harvey was a creature of Allen Dulles' lawless and lethal CIA, a culture that operated with little governmental oversight and little respect for international law.
It was the kind of unhinged environment, where a man like Harvey could seriously propose recruiting mafia hit men, while on duty overseas, to kill members of a left-wing, democratic party, and then draw a gun on one of his own deputies, when the deputy objected on moral and legal grounds. It was the deputy, by the way, who was withdrawn back to Langley, and not Harvey, whose CIA career kept careening out of control for several more years.
Allen Dulles continued to meet with a variety of other sketchy characters when he was in so-called retirement in 1962 and 1963, including (with) Cuban exile leader Paulino Sierra Martinez, who was closely tied in with the Mafia. Dulles also met with -- thank you, Joan Mellen, for this -- also met with Philippe de Vosjoli, the head of French intelligence in Washington and a close associate of Jim Angleton. Dulles asked de Vosjoli to investigate the placement of Soviet missiles in Cuba and report back to the CIA.
Now these are the activities not of a man who has gracefully accepted retirement and is puttering around his garden. This is the calendar of a man who still thinks he is running the show.
Allen Dulles himself makes another curious appearance in the Kennedy story in spite of his so-called retirement. In the fall of 1963, he went on a promotional tour for his memoire, "The Craft of Intelligence,” stopping over in Dallas for two days at the end of October.
On that fateful Friday, November 22nd, 1963, Dulles interrupted his book tour when he got the news
from Dallas. Thank you, Lisa Pease for this: Dulles did not go home when he heard the news. According to his own day calendar, Dulles went to something called the Farm.
I wanted to make sure the Farm was not a family retreat. I interviewed people close to Dulles, including his own daughter; and she had never heard of the Farm. But, the Farm we know was the term given (to) a secure CIA facility located on the Camp Perry Military Reservation near Williamsburg, Virginia.
In 1972, a local newspapar reported that the cia used the facility to, among other things, train assassins.
So, even though he had no longer -- he no longer had any official reason to be there, Dulles spent the entire weekend (of the assassination) at the CIA's facility, the farm.
During that eventful weekend, of course, Kennedy's body was flown back to Washington and subjected to a controversial autopsy. That same weekend, Jack Ruby, a Dallas nightclub operator and hustler, whom Robert Kennedy's Justice Department investigators quickly connected to the Mafia, shot down accused JFK assassin Lee Harvey Oswald, conveniently silencing him forever. And throughout that fateful weekend, the grief stricken Attorney General made a series of frantic inquiries into the murder of his brother.
We know from the nature of these inquiries that Bobby Kennedy immediately suspected his brother was the victim of the CIA and the Mafia, the intelligence agency's junior partner in the murder business.
in other words, Robert Kennedy, the nation's top lawman and the president's devoted protector, a man who had spent much of his own life investigating the dark side of American power, immediately concluded that his brother had been the victim of the same CIA killing machine that had been directed at Fidel Castro and other world leaders deemed trouble.
This machine, built by Allen Dulles in the 1950s, had essentially been brought home to kill the President of the United States. It was a killing machine comprised of contract assassins, cut-outs, underworld operators and other unsavory types and overseen by the Ivy League swashbucklers whom Dulles had recruited to enforce U.S. interests around the world...
PS: There's a ton more from the presentation, including stuff from three of the people Talbot thanked or mentioned, but I have had little time of late. I promise to keep you and DU posted, Judi Lynn. Thank you for the kind words. Your friendship over the years means the world to me.
Posted by Octafish | Tue Dec 3, 2013, 09:32 PM (0 replies)
By Bryan Bender and Neil Swidey
The Boston Globe, Nov. 24, 2013
The newly released RFK papers contain an interesting postscript to all the cloak-and-dagger activity around Cuba. A secret CIA report entitled “Staying power of the Castro regime” concluded that the chances of a successful overthrow were “slim.” However, that report was written in the summer of 1964. In the months leading up to Dallas, acceptance of this idea had been far less widespread, especially among the people who most loathed Robert Kennedy, and, with him, his brother Jack.
Still, if the killing of the president was, as some suspect, a conspiracy to neutralize his brother, why wouldn’t the conspirators have simply gone after Bobby? Wouldn’t that have been a lot easier, especially since the president had the Secret Service protecting him and the attorney general traveled unprotected, even famously leaving the front door of Hickory Hill unlocked?
It is all a matter of speculation, but there could have been a very practical explanation for a more circuitous path. If Bobby had been assassinated, historians point out, his brother could have been expected to marshal every ounce of his prodigious federal power to exact revenge on the murderers and their benefactors. And because the victim would not just be the country’s crusading attorney general but also the president’s brother, the public would have surely given Jack Kennedy a blank check of support for a crackdown on whatever dark forces he determined were responsible.
David Kaiser revealed in “The Road To Dallas” that prior to the assassination Marcello had been overheard fingering RFK as the main obstacle to his mob business that needed to be removed. After moaning about Bobby’s persecution of him, Marcello uttered the Sicilian curse “Take this stone from my shoe,” and then concluded that they’d need to kill Jack to get to Bobby. If they went after Bobby directly, he allegedly said, they could expect the president to unleash the Marines on them.
Government documents released in the 1990s also indicate that decades later Marcello confessed to being part of JFK’s murder to a prison cellmate, who was also an FBI informant working on an undercover operation.
Few people have as intimate knowledge of the contours of the assassination files as Rex Bradford. From his perch in Ipswich, Mass., Bradford is curator of a vast digitized archive of nearly 1 million documents, maintained by the nonprofit Mary Ferrell Foundation. Although he takes no public position on who killed Kennedy, Bradford says many of the newly released documents strengthen the hypothesis that “hard-line intelligence people, hard-liners on Cuba” were somehow involved in the assassination, with “mob people tied into that same milieu.”
But for him and many other serious people who have carefully studied the possibility of an assassination plot, connecting theories of tough characters with the motive to kill Kennedy to the reality of Lee Harvey Oswald in the window of the Texas School Book Depository has been elusive. Oswald, a failure at just about everything he tried and hardly an expert marksman, is no one’s idea of the kind of man one would pick for the vanguard of such a plot.
If certain Cuban exiles and Cold War hard-liners had dreamed of a domino effect in which Castro was blamed for JFK’s murder, precipitating an American invasion of Cuba, that never happened, of course. Nonetheless, all the back-channel efforts at peace quickly withered. New President Lyndon Johnson, insecure in his command of foreign affairs and lacking the credibility Kennedy had won by successfully staring down Khrushchev, was not about to risk being seen as weak against Communists in Havana or Moscow — especially with an election less than a year away.
As for the mobsters, they could finally exhale. One week after Dallas, according to Kaiser, gangster Sam Giancana was caught on tape in a Chicago lounge saying, “This is going to take the heat off us.” The FBI’s focus, he said, would be on Castro-sympathizing leftists for some time.
Jimmy Hoffa is said to have crowed to reporters in Nashville, “Bobby Kennedy is just another lawyer now.”
PS: Thank you for the heads-up on Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.'s article in Rolling Stone. I will read every word in the coming weeks.
Posted by Octafish | Tue Dec 3, 2013, 03:05 PM (0 replies)
The very words of George W Bush on Feb. 14, 2007, uttered at a press conference in which not a single of the callow, cowed press corpse saw fit to ask a follow-up.
And not one member of the White House press corpse followed up. I remember Cindy Sheehan tried to bring it to our nation's attention, but the press didn't run with that story, either.
This is the same mass media that swore North Vietnam attacked America in the Gulf of Tonkin, swore Bush had no idea bin Laden was determined to strike in the United States, and twice swore Iraq had WMDs, and swore for 50 years that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone.
Posted by Octafish | Tue Dec 3, 2013, 02:12 PM (2 replies)
Posted by Octafish | Tue Dec 3, 2013, 10:25 AM (0 replies)
The Raleigh Call
Dr. Grover B. Proctor, Jr.
Combined from two articles published in Spectator Magazine
July 17 and 24, 1980
One of the most interesting and potentially important aspects of the John Kennedy assassination may not have anything to do with the murder itself. A story concerning the actions of the accused assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, has simmered on the back burner of the investigation since its discovery ten years ago, and is considered by leading assassination authorities to be a key in the unsolved mystery.
Oswald's movements and statements inside the Dallas jail up to the time of his murder have always been a huge mystery, and any clues to what happened during that time are vigorously sought by all researchers. So when a story surfaced that Oswald attempted to place a call from the jail to a person whose name had not otherwise entered the assassination investigation, it was big news.
In short, it is alleged that Oswald attempted to place a call to a John Hurt in Raleigh, North Carolina on Saturday evening, November 23, 1963, but was mysteriously prevented from completing the call. Though there is speculation that the call was incoming rather than outgoing (for example, a crank call to the jail from someone by that name), private and Congressional researchers believe Oswald, for whatever reasons, was the one attempting the call. The implications of that call have prompted former U.S. Intelligence officials to speculate on Oswald's possible link with intelligence agencies.
How We Know What We Know
On the night of November 23, 1963, two telephone operators were working the switchboard that controlled, among other Dallas municipal offices, the jail. One of the ladies, Mrs. Alveeta A. Treon, made a statement concerning the events of that night to assassination researcher and attorney Bernard Fensterwald some five years after the assassination, but then refused to sign it on advice from her lawyer, according to Fensterwald. The following is a condensation of that statement:
Mrs. Treon arrived for work at the switchboard between 10:15 and 10:35 that evening, and was told by her fellow worker, Mrs. Louise Swinney, that their supervisor had asked them to assist law enforcement officials to listen to a call that Lee Harvey Oswald would be making soon. Two men, that Mrs. Treon thinks might have been Secret Service agents, subsequently came into the switchboard area and were put in an adjacent room where they could monitor the expected call.
At about 10:45, the call from the jail came through, and both ladies rushed to take it. Mrs. Swinney handled the call, as it turned out; wrote down the information on the number Oswald wished to reach; and notified the two men of the call. Quoting from Mrs. Treon's statement: "I was dumbfounded at what happened next. Mrs. Swinney opened the key to Oswald and told him, 'I'm sorry, the number doesn't answer.' She then unplugged and disconnected Oswald without ever really trying to put the call through. A few moments later, Mrs. Swinney tore the page off her notation pad and threw it into the wastepaper basket."
After Mrs. Swinney left work at approximately 11:00 p.m., Mrs. Treon retrieved the piece of paper, and copied the information from it onto a telephone slip commonly used by the operators to record calls, so that she could keep it as a "souvenir."
Phone slipThat slip, which would turn up seven years later in a Freedom of Information suit brought by Chicago researcher Sherman H. Skolnick (a civil action filed in Federal District Court in Chicago, April 6, 1970, No. 70C 790), contains some startling things. It purports to show a collect call attempted from the jail by Lee Harvey Oswald to a John Hurt at 919-834-7430 and it gives another telephone number in the 919 Area Code, 833-1253. (The slip is reproduced in the Appendix of the 1975 book, Coup d'Etat in America by Canfield and Weberman, the first major work to deal with the "Raleigh call" and its implications for Oswald's links to intelligence agencies.)
What do we know about those two telephone numbers? The House Assassinations Committee gave one of its staffers, Surell Brady, reponsibility for investigating the "Raleigh Call." Though the committee's final report did not mention the call, Brady wrote a 28-page internal memorandum outling the results of their investigation of the incident.
In an insert after page 15 of the document, it is incorrectly reported that the two numbers listed on the telephone slip "were unpublished in 1963." This information was reported as having been supplied by Carolyn Rabon of Southern Bell Telephone Co. in 1978. However, a simple check of the December, 1962 Southern Bell telephone directory for Raleigh, North Carolina (which would have been current at the time of the assassination) and the December, 1963 directory (which would contain any new information and reflect any changes of listing status) shows that both numbers were published.
PS: Thank you for the kind words, CanSocDem. The good doctor, and too many like him, has been hounded -- professionally -- in his work and private life for writing that Oswald was not alone. Ending his research and writing into the assassination of President Kennedy, he has moved from academia into the self-employed sector. Seems if Oswald was a lone nut, people would be able to say that without fear of retribution.
Posted by Octafish | Mon Dec 2, 2013, 11:43 AM (0 replies)
So, when was Lee Harvey Oswald convicted of a crime? The guy died in police custody before he could say much of anything, other than: "I'm a patsy."
That's the term used to describe the fall guy in a criminal conspiracy. Odd thing, the national press didn't follow up much on Oswald's final statements and activities, otherwise they'd have found:
1. Oswald tried to place a telephone call to John Hurt, an active-duty U.S. Army intelligence officer, but was prevented by authorities from completing the call.
2. Oswald wanted to telephone John Abt, a relatively obscure attorney known for defending criminal conspiracies.
3. Oswald had no nitrates on his face, which would've have been present had he fired a rifle.
4. The Chicago plot on the life of President John F. Kennedy was broken up, in part, by a tip from a man named "Lee."
5. The FBI Dallas office destroyed a note written by Oswald minutes after his death.
Posted by Octafish | Mon Dec 2, 2013, 09:59 AM (2 replies)
... integrated- and micro-circuitry were developed for the LEM now enable democracy.
The 450,000 scientists, engineers, manufacturing workers employed during Project Apollo helped build the modern world. And they were well paid.
Imagine if we put the trillions wasted on the Carlyle Group warmonger class over the part 50 years to work for We the People instead?
Health care and meaningful work from cradle to grave for everybody, for starters.
Posted by Octafish | Sun Dec 1, 2013, 09:16 PM (0 replies)
Originally published March 18, 1968:
ARGO: Why is the truth behind the assassination of President Kennedy the last chance of America for its survival?
SAHL: Because the evidence developed by District Attorney Garrison indicates that certain people had to take President Kennedy's life in order to control ours. In other words, as Richard Starnes of the New York World-Telegram said, the shots in Dallas were the opening shots of World War III. There's been a great change in this country since Kennedy. I'm afraid a great deal of our hope was interred with his remains.
This is a man: Mort Sahl was and is unafraid to tell the truth -- even when doing so cost him his livelihood.
Of course, the truth we've learned and the history we've lived since then only support Mort Sahl.
Posted by Octafish | Sun Dec 1, 2013, 01:13 PM (1 replies)
Got it. Also noticed your revealing word selection, which isn't what most Democrats I know have said about the truthfulness, let alone accountability, of the CIA and the other parts of the secret government.
Have you noticed who has benefited most since the death of President Kennedy also happen to be the same people (and their descendants) and corporations Allen Dulles served? If you're interested in democracy and justice, you should.
Posted by Octafish | Sat Nov 30, 2013, 06:19 PM (0 replies)