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The "Whole Bay Of Pigs Thing"

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Tim C - You deleted the seminar is there any way you could repost it?

All - As for the book asserting that the a Jewish conspiracy including the Mossad was resposible for the JFK assassination as well the MLK and RFK asassinations, Watergate, Monicagate, the pedofile priests scandal and a few other events. Michael Collins Piper the author has a longtime association with ultrarightwing neo-Nazi types namely Willis Carto the fatther of the Holocaust denial movement and an infamous anti-Semite/rascist. Christoper Bollyn a major 9/11 CTist also has a longtime association with Carto.

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THE "WHOLE BAY OF PIGS THING": FROM DALLAS TO WATERGATE

In the year following the Cuban Missile Crisis, President Kennedy took measures that led some to conclude that he had experienced an epiphany as a result of his joust at the abyss. A hot-line was installed between Washington and Moscow to provide for better communication in the event of some future crisis. The superpowers entered into a limited test ban treaty, ending their testing of nuclear weapons in the atmosphere, oceans, and space. During the last year of his presidency, Kennedy had also taken measures to shut down CIA-sponsored operations involving the exile community. This resulted in a schism between the FBI and the CIA, and generated new antipathy toward the Kennedy administration. The President's public assurance about what was "understood by the anti-Castro exiles" was more wish than fact.[1]

Following incidents in March of 1963 when powerboats manned by anti-Castro exiles roared into Cuban harbors shooting up two Soviet freighters, President Kennedy began to take official steps to terminate U.S. support for groups like Alpha 66 that had become out of control. When Bobby Kennedy wrote his brother a memo promoting new efforts to "cultivate" an "internal breakup in Cuba," the President uncharacteristically did not respond, at least in writing.

Apparently the brothers held a private discussion which led to an immediate turn-around, reflected in a presentation to the National Security Council in which Bobby dutifully played his prescribed role of informing the President that "a decision had been made to formulate a plan to shut down the hit-and-run attacks from Florida locales." The following day, the President publicly declared that he would "take every step necessary" to terminate the exile raids against Cuba.

Shortly thereafter, mirroring the Kennedys' earlier turn against the Mafia, the Justice Department began prosecuting exile leaders for "violating U.S. neutrality laws."[2] At the same time, the CIA was ordered to cut off funding for the groups, leaving them to fend for themselves or draw on other sources. The President's public statement regarding the exiles' activities was unequivocal:

"There will not be, under any circumstances, an intervention in Cuba by the United States armed forces. The government will do everything it possibly can; I think it can meet its responsibilities, to make sure that there are no Americans involved in any actions inside Cuba.... The basic issue in Cuba is not one between the United States and Cuba. It is between the Cubans themselves. I intend to see that we adhere to that principle and as I understand it this administration's attitude is so understood by the anti-Castro exiles from Cuba in this country."[3]

Bobby Kennedy held a meeting to formulate plans to implement the new policy. It included two FBI agents, "officials of the CIA, Immigration and Naturalization Service, Navy, Coast Guard, Customs Service, the Internal Security Division of the Justice Department, and the State Department." He explained that the President "wanted to put a halt to the exile raids" and that "sixteen of the officials present" were to leave immediately for Miami "to decide what measures could be taken." Among the steps later taken were:

"... serving restriction notices on certain exile leaders to prevent them from leaving the United States, refusing reentry to the United States to any exile who went beyond the 3-mile limit offshore, increased surveillance by the Coast Guard of the Florida coastline, and intensified FBI intelligence coverage of Cuban exile groups to ascertain and abort plans for future raids."[4]

Following the Miami conference, the combined forces of the federal government clamped down on the same anti-Castro groups and activities that had previously been given such encouragement and support. Numerous raids were conducted in which agents of the FBI closed down exile training camps, seizing large amounts of weapons, ammunition, and explosives. While it is clear that the President was serious about doing nothing to disturb the fragile peace following the Missile Crisis, and had great reason to fear provoking disclosure of his Secret Deal with Khrushchev, it is not so clear that his brother was going along fully. Having little choice but to support the President's policy publicly, there is ample evidence that in private he continued to support the proscribed activities.

The no-invasion pledge and withdrawal of support for exile activities ushered in a particularly bitter season of discontent within the anti-Castro Cuban community. A flyer dated April 18, 1963, and decorated with a profile of the Alamo, was distributed to Cubans in Miami's Little Havana. It stated: "Only through one development will you Cuban patriots ever live again in your homeland as freemen, responsible as must be the most capable for the guidance and welfare of the Cuban people." This blessing could only come to pass:

"If an inspired Act of God should place in the White House within weeks a Texan known to be a friend of all Latin Americans...though he must under present conditions bow to the Zionists who since 1905 came into control of the United States, and for whom Jack Kennedy and Nelson Rockefeller and other members of the Council of Foreign Relations and allied agencies are only stooges and pawns. Though Johnson must now bow to these crafty and cunning Communist-hatching Jews, yet, did an Act of God suddenly elevate him into the top position [he] would revert to what his beloved father and grandfather were, and to their values and principles and loyalties." Obviously encouraging support for the forcible removal of the President among the anti-Castro exiles, the broadside was signed, "A Texan who resents the Oriental influence that has come to control, to degrade, to pollute and enslave his own people."[5]

The least known of the measures taken by President Kennedy was a peace overture made toward Castro. To many, including top officials at the CIA and the State Department, the very idea of any sort of dialogue with Castro was heresy. Nevertheless, Kennedy authorized William Attwood, Special Adviser to the United States delegation at the United Nations, to begin informal talks with the Cuban Ambassador aimed at eventual normalization of relations between the U.S. and Cuba. He also set up a back channel communication with Castro through journalist Lisa Howard, who was flown to Cuba a number of times in 1963 using a covert operative pilot. A message had been received through U.N. personnel that Castro was displeased about the degree to which Cuba was becoming tied to the Soviet Union and was seeking to redress the balance by finding an accommodation with the United States. There was evidence that a rift had developed between Castro and some of his Communist colleagues, including Che Guevara. The Cuban leader had given an interview in which he expressed satisfaction over Kennedy's crackdown on exile raiding parties.

It was at this same time that the CIA made its first contacts in nearly a year with Rolando Cubela, a high-ranking traitor in Castro's inner circle. Without the knowledge of the President or CIA Director John McCone, a small group of CIA officers, led by Desmond FitzGerald, an intimate associate of Bobby Kennedy's, prepared to use Cubela to assassinate Castro. Cubela requested a meeting with Bobby so that he could be sure that the scheme had the approval of the President. What he got was a meeting with FitzGerald, who claimed to be a U.S. Senator and Bobby Kennedy's personal representative. Government reports reveal that Cubela was in Paris being handed a poison pen and a gun at precisely the moment that President Kennedy was assassinated. In 1978, Arthur Schlesinger noted:

"The whole Cubela thing raises even deeper questions. The CIA was reviving the assassination plots at the very time President Kennedy was considering the possibility of normalization of relations with Cuba-an extraordinary action. If it was not total incompetence-which in the case of the CIA cannot be excluded-it was a studied attempt to subvert national policy."[6]

Although the President had specifically ordered that the U.N. discussions be kept secret, "it seems inconceivable that the CIA knew nothing about it. American intelligence had Cuban U.N. diplomats under incessant surveillance."[7] It tapped their phones, intercepted their mail, and followed their every movement. Schlesinger has noted that "if word leaked of President Kennedy's efforts, that might have been exactly the kind of thing to trigger some explosion of fanatical violence."[8] Ambassador Attwood, who subsequently realized that his telephone conversations and private meetings were insecure, agreed. He has said,

"If the CIA did find out what we were doing this would have trickled down to the lower echelon of activists, and Cuban exiles and the more gung-ho CIA people who had been involved since the Bay of Pigs. If word of a possible normalization of relations with Cuba leaked to these people, I can understand why they would have reacted violently. This was the end of their dreams of returning to Cuba, and they might have been impelled to take violent action. Such as assassinating the President."[9]

In an historical irony, one of the President's personal messengers, French journalist Jean Daniel, and Castro were together at the moment they learned of the President's assassination. This initiative was later described by the Cuban leader "as a gesture, as an indication of a desire to establish contact, to explore what our thinking was on all of this-and, furthermore, to establish a certain kind of communication." Castro continued,

"We needed a kind of bridge, some sort of communication. Since Kennedy had such great authority in his own country after the crisis, he could have done things that he had not done before. In my view, he had the courage to do them. You had to have courage to defy the state of opinion on all these questions."[10]

Castro's view of Kennedy's performances, as well as the Cuban historical view as a whole, is very interesting given the realities of the Bay of Pigs, the Secret War, and the Cuban Missile Crisis. Listening to Castro's remarks at an oral history conference in Cuba, James Blight concluded: "Kennedy is by far the most respected-even loved-U.S. president since the triumph of the revolution in 1959." He recorded the statement of one Cuban official:

"You see, by not attacking Cuba in April 1961 and October 1962, we believe Kennedy's anti-Cuban machinery turned against him, like Frankenstein's monster. Those forces-the Mafia, the radical Cuban exiles, and the CIA-afterwards conspired successfully to assassinate him, because he prevented them from assassinating Fidel and destroying the Cuban Revolution. In a strange way, we believe, Kennedy had to die so that the Cuban Revolution could live."[11]

Blight's impression is that when Castro discusses Khrushchev and Kennedy, "one senses that the respect is highly qualified with respect to his old friend Khrushchev, but uncomplicated and sincere regarding his old enemy, Kennedy." Castro feels that because of the "boost in the authority he got after the October crisis, when his leadership was consolidated in the United States," Kennedy was "one of the presidents-or perhaps the president best able-to rectify American policy toward Cuba"[12]

At the moment of his death President Kennedy was on his way to deliver a speech in which he would address the kinds of dangerously false constructions so popular at that time in Dallas, a city which had become the epicenter of right-wing jingoistic criticism. The speech presented an almost transcendental world view which is particularly relevant to the "What would Kennedy have done?" debate over Vietnam. While recognizing that dissent is inevitable, the speech was to go on to say:

"But today other voices are heard in the land-voices preaching doctrines wholly unrelated to reality...doctrines which apparently assume that words will suffice without weapons, that vituperation is as good as victory and that peace is a sign of weakness.... I realize that this Nation often tends to identify turning-points in world affairs with the major addresses which preceded them. But it was not the Monroe Doctrine that kept all Europe away from this hemisphere-it was the strength of the British fleet and the width of the Atlantic Ocean."[13]

Political constructions gain a life of their own, making it difficult to harness the released energies. Like the proverbial genie out of the bottle, these manufactured realities are resistant to subsequent containment. Constructions require a special kind of devotion and loyalty; it may be hazardous to one's health to try to change course. President Kennedy knew that by reversing himself on his support of efforts to eliminate Castro, by arousing and then easing tensions against the Soviet Union, and by accepting the assistance of organized crime figures and then allowing his brother, the Attorney General, to vigorously pursue and prosecute them, he was making himself vulnerable to serious physical danger by those most disposed to lash out violently upon feelings of hatred and betrayal.

During those same months of 1963 when the Cubela operation was implemented, a strange scenario was being acted out in the southwestern U.S. An ex-Marine who had previously posed as a defector to Russia was being constructed as a pro-Castro Communist. Records reveal that all of his associations were actually of the anti-Castro persuasion. He was intimately involved with the anti-Communist "White Russian" community, shared an office with the coordinator of anti-Castro activities in New Orleans, and was known to have been present at one of the exile training camps that was closed down by the FBI that summer. His name was Lee Harvey Oswald.

The day after his brother's murder, Bobby Kennedy sought answers from Harry Ruiz-Williams, a CIA agent staying at a CIA-operated safe house used by Cuban exiles. Afterward, speaking with journalist Haynes Johnson, Bobby said that he "suspected CIA-backed anti-Castro forces of having been involved in his brother's death." He was later quoted as telling one of the investigators from his Senate committee days: "Those Cuban cunts are all working for the mob. They blame us for the Bay of Pigs, and they're trying to make this look like a Castro-Communist hit. I don't buy it. And I don't trust those guys at the CIA. They're worse than the Mafia."[14]

Of course, Bobby knew better than anyone what had transpired beneath the surface of the administration's use of the exiles. More personally, he knew the dark side of his own role in the unleashing of elements he now considered responsible for his brother's death. Many of those close to Bobby who saw in him a classic case of survivor's guilt were unaware that a much deeper level of responsibility may have informed his anguish.

Bobby had personally entertained Cuban exiles at his house, Hickory Hill, and kept in touch with them at their apartments at the Ebbitt Hotel in downtown Washington, where they were housed by the CIA. Even Desmond FitzGerald, Bobby's replacement for Wild Bill Harvey, was concerned about the directness of Bobby's involvement with the Cuban exiles. The Attorney General's freelancing with the the Cuban exile community was a formula for disaster. Peter Collier and David Horowitz have written poignantly about Bobby's anguish over what may have been an unintended consequence of his own actions:

"It was Bobby who had led the administration into dangerous places, daring the gods of the underworld and seizing the fire that finally erupted into anti-Kennedy hatred. He had done it in the service of his brother's presidency, yet he had gone past duty or necessity, using his special status as the brother within to justify what had become at times an almost perverse exploration of self. While Jack was alive, everything was justified; now that he was dead, it was all called into question. Had his acts created an environment for assassination? Had his zeal helped create the concatenation of forces that wanted Jack dead?"[15]

Four years after the assassination of the President, the CIA Inspector General conducted an internal investigation which was forwarded to Lyndon Johnson, who told newsman Howard K. Smith: "I'll tell you something that will rock you; Kennedy was trying to get Castro, but Castro got to him first."[16] In March 1967, columnist Drew Pearson wrote, "President Johnson is sitting on a political H-bomb-an unconfirmed report that Senator Robert Kennedy (Dem. N.Y.) may have approved an assassination plot which then possibly backfired against his brother."

The source for the Pearson article was the original mafioso hired by the CIA to kill Castro, Johnny Roselli. The spin being placed on this new round of stories was, like the Oswald promotion, aimed at leading the public to believe that Castro was behind the conspiracy in Dallas. Roselli had revealed to Pearson, through his attorney, Edward Morgan, that "One of our assassination teams was captured and tortured until they told all they knew about our operation which they said was ordered by the White House." Roselli asserted that "the team was turned around, you know, brainwashed, and sent back into our country to kill Kennedy."

All good lies contain a good measure of truth, and such may be the case with Roselli's attempt at history-making. Although this colorful rendition is compelling, given the source, it should be recognized that contained in this version is the admission that it was an anti-Castro hit team that had killed Kennedy. But this secret "team" would hardly have required anything so exotic as brainwashing to retarget its skills against the President. By November of 1963, Kennedy was clearly a foe to the extreme anti-Castro elements; they believed he had cancelled the airstrikes and betrayed the Bay of Pigs operation, then compounded the betrayal by giving the no-invasion pledge, and finally sealed the antipathy by shutting down the exile camps and beginning negotiations directed toward the normalization of relations with Cuba.

When Roselli's well-connected lawyer asked him how he had contained such explosive information, Roselli noted that "all phases of this operation were approved by Allen Dulles and President Eisenhower." He questioned why neither Dulles, who was a member of the Warren Commission investigating the Kennedy assassination, nor Eisenhower, who had full knowledge of the plots, ever came forward. "So what was I supposed to think?" He inferred that the President "wanted to keep the lid on." Roselli speculated that perhaps Johnson "thought it'd be bad for the country to know about this operation-you know, the government of the United States involved with the so-called Mafia to kill the leader of a foreign country and then it boomerangs."[17]

A possibility that may never be resolved is Johnson's notion that some action taken by Bobby Kennedy "backfired against his brother." There is ample evidence of Bobby's continued encouragement of anti-Castro efforts during a period of time when his brother, the President of the United States, was pursuing a very contrary policy.

Because of the closeness of the brothers it is generally assumed that Bobby was fulfilling one aspect of a multi-track approach on the part of the Administration. While it is understandable that some token support for the exiles might be considered prudent as a way of co-opting more radical elements, the extent to which one approach represented the direct undermining of the other presents a historical conundrum regarding the brothers' coordination of authority. The possibility must be considered that Bobby crossed the line of plausible deniability into a realm in which he was acting in his own highly unofficial capacity apart from any directed intention on the part of the President. Had he, like King Henry II's henchmen, acted on his own to eliminate his brother's Becket?

Consistent with Michael Beschloss' observation that "the most likely explanation for the cause of Kennedy's death lies in his policies,"[18] the convergence of CIA-Mafia-Cuban exile operations with the events surrounding the President's assassination provides strong circumstantial evidence of the motive and means for that crime. But there is more direct evidence. In a 1985 libel trial, E. Howard Hunt ("Eduardo") filed suit contesting an assertion in an article written by former CIA officer Victor Marchetti implicating him in the assassination, including an alleged 1966 memo initialed by CIA Director Richard Helms and Deputy Director for Counterintelligence James Angleton, which discussed Hunt's presence in Dallas and the possibility that "a cover story, giving Hunt an alibi for being elsewhere the day of the assassination, 'ought to be considered.'" Speculating on why such an extraordinary cover-up would be put in writing, a high level CIA source said, "The memo is very odd. It was almost as if Angleton was informing Helms, who had just become director, that there was a skeleton in the family closet that had to be taken care of and this was his response."[19]

Castro's former mistress-turned-CIA agent, Marita Lorenz, testified of her direct knowledge of Hunt's participation, as well as that of other anti-Castro Cubans, in the events in Dallas leading up to November 22, 1963. She claimed to have been in a two car caravan with Frank Sturgis, Orlando Bosch and others traveling from Miami carrying numerous weapons. Upon their arrival in Dallas they were met at their motel on November 21st by their old paymaster, "Eduardo." An hour after Hunt delivered the money and departed, another character out of history arrived: Jack Ruby.

In that trial, an amazing exchange took place after Hunt testified that, "like thousands of other Americans, millions," he, his wife and children had huddled together at home that fateful weekend, "and watched the burial services."[20] Yet, despite providing his own children as alibis, he had also asserted his legal damages to be the doubts in their minds about their own father's activities. The question was asked:

"Mr. Hunt, why did you have to convince your children that you were not in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963, if, in fact, as you say, a fourteen-year-old daughter, a thirteen-year-old daughter, and a ten-year-old son were with you in the Washington, D.C. area on November 22, 1963, and were with you at least for the next forty-eight hours, as you all stayed glued to the T.V. set?" After a long pause, Hunt lamely asserted that. "it was less a question of my convincing them that I was in Washington, D.C. with them-rather, reminding them that I was-than it was to assure them that none of the charges...had any substance to them at all." The magazine's attorney followed up with: "What I want to know is since they knew how outrageous the lies were, why did they have to be convinced by you that you weren't in Texas?" Hunt simply replied: "Reminded, reminded."[21]

Hunt had failed to anticipate that the two elements of his story-that his children were with him the entire weekend and that his children were unsure of where he had been at the time-were mutually exclusive. Hunt lost his lawsuit. The jury did not even debate the malice issue because the truthfulness of the assertion had been sufficiently proven.

On the tenth anniversary of the invasion fiasco, April 17, 1971, E. Howard Hunt had traveled to the Bay of Pigs Monument in the Little Havana area of Miami to recruit exile veterans for a new operation. Resurrecting the dream of overthrowing Castro, Eduardo had assured them that "the whole thing is not over."[22]

Subsequent events would expose a high level role played by these terrorists when a team of Bay of Pigs veterans was caught burglarizing the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate complex in Washington, D.C. Found among the burglars' effects was evidence that they were being coordinated by E. Howard Hunt, who had an office in the White House. In addition to political burglary, Hunt had been given the high-level assignment of manufacturing evidence of President Kennedy's complicity in the assassination of South Vietnam's leader in 1963, Ngo Dinh Diem.

President Nixon subsequently managed to remain in power for more than two years, withstanding remarkable disclosures, until the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that he had to turn over tape recordings of certain Oval Office conversations. Nixon was out of office within two weeks, primarily because of the disclosure of a taped discussion about Hunt that occurred a few days after the break-in. This tape recording has become known in history as the smoking gun conversation.

During that incredible exchange that would topple a presidency, Nixon ordered his Chief of Staff, H. R. Haldeman, to meet with Richard Helms, the Director of the CIA, and tell him to call off the FBI's investigation of the burglary for national security reasons. Nixon suggested that Hunt's involvement be used as a lever to make sure the CIA would cooperate. The transcripts of President Nixon's rantings about Hunt are perhaps the most factually revealing evidence of deep politics in history:

"Hunt...will uncover a lot of things. You open that scab there's a hell of a lot of things.... Tell them we just feel that it would be very detrimental to have this thing go any further. This involves these Cubans, Hunt, and a lot of hanky-panky that we have nothing to do with ourselves. When you get the CIA people in say, "Look, the problem is that this will open up the whole Bay of Pigs thing again." So they should call the FBI in and for the good of the country don't go any further into this case. Period. Just say (unintelligible) very bad to have this fellow Hunt, ah, he knows too damned much.... If it gets out that this is all involved, the Cuba thing would be a fiasco. It would make the CIA look bad, it's going to make Hunt look bad, and it's likely to blow the whole Bay of Pigs which we think would be very unfortunate-both for the CIA, and for the country, at this time, and for American foreign policy. Just tell him to lay off....[23]

Haldeman recorded Helms' dramatic reaction to the threat: "Turmoil in the room, Helms gripping the arms of his chair leaning forward and shouting, 'The Bay of Pigs had nothing to do with this'" Despite this, Helms acquiesced and Haldeman was able to report to the President that "his strategy had worked," that Helms would be "very happy to be helpful." But the remarks and Helms' behavior raised the question in Haldeman's mind: "What was such dynamite in the Bay of Pigs story?" The more innocuous explanation is that Nixon, as the chief White House official involved with the Eisenhower administration's Cuba invasion planning, knew of the government's use of Mafia assassination assets in the efforts against Castro. However, following years of study, analysis and reflection, along with his personal knowledge of the players involved, Haldeman asserted a more astonishing answer to that question: "It seems that in all of those Nixon references to the Bay of Pigs, he was actually referring to the Kennedy assassination." Given his reaction, it is apparent that Helms clearly understood Nixon's message.[24]

Aside from such an interpretation of the dark secret to which Nixon was alluding, he and the CIA director had a more current mutuality of interests. Helms wanted to suppress the CIA-Hunt relationship because it violated the Agency's charter regarding domestic spying. Nixon wanted to suppress the White House-Hunt relationship because it would reveal precisely for whom the chief Watergate burglar was working. E. Howard Hunt clearly represented a problem for more than one major Washington power center. Nine months after the smoking gun conversation, when Hunt was about to be sentenced, Nixon was told that Hunt had issued a blackmail demand in lieu of revealing some of the "seamy things" he had done for the President. Nixon's response was unequivocal: "Well, for Christ's sakes...get it."[25]

Notes

1. Michael R. Beschloss, The Crisis Years: Kennedy and Khrushchev, 1960-1963, (New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1991), 687.

2. William B. Breuer, Vendetta: Castro and the Kennedy Brothers, (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1997), 209.

3. James Reston, "Top U.S. Advisers in Dispute on Aid to Castro's Foes," The New York Times, April 11, 1963.

4. Breuer, 210-211.

5. William Manchester, The Death Of A President, (New York: Harper & Row, 1967), 46.

6. Anthony Summers, Conspiracy, (New York: McGraw-Hill Book Co., 1980), 426.

7. Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., Robert Kennedy and His Times, (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1978), 557.

8. Summers, 427.

9. Ibid., 426.

10. James G. Blight, Bruce J. Allyn and David A. Welch, Cuba On The Brink. (New York: Pantheon Books, 1993), 237.

11. Ibid., 191.

12. Ibid., 191-193.

13. Gaddis Smith, Gaddis, The Last Years of the Monroe Doctrine. (New York: Hill and Wang, 1994), 111-112.

14. David C. Heymann, RFK. New York: Penguin Putnam Inc., 1998), 10.

15. Peter Collier and David Horowitz, The Kennedys, (New York: Summit Books, 1984), 317.

16. New York Times, June 25, 1976.

17. Ovid Demaris, The Last Mafioso. New York: Bantam Books, 1981), 235-241.

18. Jefferson Morley, "November 22, 1963: Why We Need The Real History Of The Kennedy Assassination," Washington Post, (November 24, 1996).

19. Joe Trento and Jacquie Powers, "Was Howard Hunt in Dallas The Day JFK Died?" Wilmington Sunday News Journal, (August 20, 1978).

20. Mark Lane, Plausible Denial, (New York: Thunder's Mouth Press, 1991), 282.

21. Ibid., 283-284.

22. Carl Oglesby, The Yankee and Cowboy War. (Kansas City: Sheed Andrews and McMeel, Inc., 1976), 277.

23. H. R. Haldeman, The Ends of Power, (New York: Times Books, 1978), 33.

24. Ibid., 38-39.

25. Theodore H. White, Breach of Faith, (New York: Reader's Digest Press, 1975), 199-200.

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THE "WHOLE BAY OF PIGS THING": FROM DALLAS TO WATERGATE

In the year following the Cuban Missile Crisis, President Kennedy took measures that led some to conclude that he had experienced an epiphany as a result of his joust at the abyss. A hot-line was installed between Washington and Moscow to provide for better communication in the event of some future crisis. The superpowers entered into a limited test ban treaty, ending their testing of nuclear weapons in the atmosphere, oceans, and space. During the last year of his presidency, Kennedy had also taken measures to shut down CIA-sponsored operations involving the exile community. This resulted in a schism between the FBI and the CIA, and generated new antipathy toward the Kennedy administration. The President's public assurance about what was "understood by the anti-Castro exiles" was more wish than fact.[1]

Following incidents in March of 1963 when powerboats manned by anti-Castro exiles roared into Cuban harbors shooting up two Soviet freighters, President Kennedy began to take official steps to terminate U.S. support for groups like Alpha 66 that had become out of control. When Bobby Kennedy wrote his brother a memo promoting new efforts to "cultivate" an "internal breakup in Cuba," the President uncharacteristically did not respond, at least in writing.

Apparently the brothers held a private discussion which led to an immediate turn-around, reflected in a presentation to the National Security Council in which Bobby dutifully played his prescribed role of informing the President that "a decision had been made to formulate a plan to shut down the hit-and-run attacks from Florida locales." The following day, the President publicly declared that he would "take every step necessary" to terminate the exile raids against Cuba.

Shortly thereafter, mirroring the Kennedys' earlier turn against the Mafia, the Justice Department began prosecuting exile leaders for "violating U.S. neutrality laws."[2] At the same time, the CIA was ordered to cut off funding for the groups, leaving them to fend for themselves or draw on other sources. The President's public statement regarding the exiles' activities was unequivocal:

"There will not be, under any circumstances, an intervention in Cuba by the United States armed forces. The government will do everything it possibly can; I think it can meet its responsibilities, to make sure that there are no Americans involved in any actions inside Cuba.... The basic issue in Cuba is not one between the United States and Cuba. It is between the Cubans themselves. I intend to see that we adhere to that principle and as I understand it this administration's attitude is so understood by the anti-Castro exiles from Cuba in this country."[3]

Bobby Kennedy held a meeting to formulate plans to implement the new policy. It included two FBI agents, "officials of the CIA, Immigration and Naturalization Service, Navy, Coast Guard, Customs Service, the Internal Security Division of the Justice Department, and the State Department." He explained that the President "wanted to put a halt to the exile raids" and that "sixteen of the officials present" were to leave immediately for Miami "to decide what measures could be taken." Among the steps later taken were:

"... serving restriction notices on certain exile leaders to prevent them from leaving the United States, refusing reentry to the United States to any exile who went beyond the 3-mile limit offshore, increased surveillance by the Coast Guard of the Florida coastline, and intensified FBI intelligence coverage of Cuban exile groups to ascertain and abort plans for future raids."[4]

Following the Miami conference, the combined forces of the federal government clamped down on the same anti-Castro groups and activities that had previously been given such encouragement and support. Numerous raids were conducted in which agents of the FBI closed down exile training camps, seizing large amounts of weapons, ammunition, and explosives. While it is clear that the President was serious about doing nothing to disturb the fragile peace following the Missile Crisis, and had great reason to fear provoking disclosure of his Secret Deal with Khrushchev, it is not so clear that his brother was going along fully. Having little choice but to support the President's policy publicly, there is ample evidence that in private he continued to support the proscribed activities.

The no-invasion pledge and withdrawal of support for exile activities ushered in a particularly bitter season of discontent within the anti-Castro Cuban community. A flyer dated April 18, 1963, and decorated with a profile of the Alamo, was distributed to Cubans in Miami's Little Havana. It stated: "Only through one development will you Cuban patriots ever live again in your homeland as freemen, responsible as must be the most capable for the guidance and welfare of the Cuban people." This blessing could only come to pass:

"If an inspired Act of God should place in the White House within weeks a Texan known to be a friend of all Latin Americans...though he must under present conditions bow to the Zionists who since 1905 came into control of the United States, and for whom Jack Kennedy and Nelson Rockefeller and other members of the Council of Foreign Relations and allied agencies are only stooges and pawns. Though Johnson must now bow to these crafty and cunning Communist-hatching Jews, yet, did an Act of God suddenly elevate him into the top position [he] would revert to what his beloved father and grandfather were, and to their values and principles and loyalties." Obviously encouraging support for the forcible removal of the President among the anti-Castro exiles, the broadside was signed, "A Texan who resents the Oriental influence that has come to control, to degrade, to pollute and enslave his own people."[5]

The least known of the measures taken by President Kennedy was a peace overture made toward Castro. To many, including top officials at the CIA and the State Department, the very idea of any sort of dialogue with Castro was heresy. Nevertheless, Kennedy authorized William Attwood, Special Adviser to the United States delegation at the United Nations, to begin informal talks with the Cuban Ambassador aimed at eventual normalization of relations between the U.S. and Cuba. He also set up a back channel communication with Castro through journalist Lisa Howard, who was flown to Cuba a number of times in 1963 using a covert operative pilot. A message had been received through U.N. personnel that Castro was displeased about the degree to which Cuba was becoming tied to the Soviet Union and was seeking to redress the balance by finding an accommodation with the United States. There was evidence that a rift had developed between Castro and some of his Communist colleagues, including Che Guevara. The Cuban leader had given an interview in which he expressed satisfaction over Kennedy's crackdown on exile raiding parties.

It was at this same time that the CIA made its first contacts in nearly a year with Rolando Cubela, a high-ranking traitor in Castro's inner circle. Without the knowledge of the President or CIA Director John McCone, a small group of CIA officers, led by Desmond FitzGerald, an intimate associate of Bobby Kennedy's, prepared to use Cubela to assassinate Castro. Cubela requested a meeting with Bobby so that he could be sure that the scheme had the approval of the President. What he got was a meeting with FitzGerald, who claimed to be a U.S. Senator and Bobby Kennedy's personal representative. Government reports reveal that Cubela was in Paris being handed a poison pen and a gun at precisely the moment that President Kennedy was assassinated. In 1978, Arthur Schlesinger noted:

"The whole Cubela thing raises even deeper questions. The CIA was reviving the assassination plots at the very time President Kennedy was considering the possibility of normalization of relations with Cuba-an extraordinary action. If it was not total incompetence-which in the case of the CIA cannot be excluded-it was a studied attempt to subvert national policy."[6]

Although the President had specifically ordered that the U.N. discussions be kept secret, "it seems inconceivable that the CIA knew nothing about it. American intelligence had Cuban U.N. diplomats under incessant surveillance."[7] It tapped their phones, intercepted their mail, and followed their every movement. Schlesinger has noted that "if word leaked of President Kennedy's efforts, that might have been exactly the kind of thing to trigger some explosion of fanatical violence."[8] Ambassador Attwood, who subsequently realized that his telephone conversations and private meetings were insecure, agreed. He has said,

"If the CIA did find out what we were doing this would have trickled down to the lower echelon of activists, and Cuban exiles and the more gung-ho CIA people who had been involved since the Bay of Pigs. If word of a possible normalization of relations with Cuba leaked to these people, I can understand why they would have reacted violently. This was the end of their dreams of returning to Cuba, and they might have been impelled to take violent action. Such as assassinating the President."[9]

In an historical irony, one of the President's personal messengers, French journalist Jean Daniel, and Castro were together at the moment they learned of the President's assassination. This initiative was later described by the Cuban leader "as a gesture, as an indication of a desire to establish contact, to explore what our thinking was on all of this-and, furthermore, to establish a certain kind of communication." Castro continued,

"We needed a kind of bridge, some sort of communication. Since Kennedy had such great authority in his own country after the crisis, he could have done things that he had not done before. In my view, he had the courage to do them. You had to have courage to defy the state of opinion on all these questions."[10]

Castro's view of Kennedy's performances, as well as the Cuban historical view as a whole, is very interesting given the realities of the Bay of Pigs, the Secret War, and the Cuban Missile Crisis. Listening to Castro's remarks at an oral history conference in Cuba, James Blight concluded: "Kennedy is by far the most respected-even loved-U.S. president since the triumph of the revolution in 1959." He recorded the statement of one Cuban official:

"You see, by not attacking Cuba in April 1961 and October 1962, we believe Kennedy's anti-Cuban machinery turned against him, like Frankenstein's monster. Those forces-the Mafia, the radical Cuban exiles, and the CIA-afterwards conspired successfully to assassinate him, because he prevented them from assassinating Fidel and destroying the Cuban Revolution. In a strange way, we believe, Kennedy had to die so that the Cuban Revolution could live."[11]

Blight's impression is that when Castro discusses Khrushchev and Kennedy, "one senses that the respect is highly qualified with respect to his old friend Khrushchev, but uncomplicated and sincere regarding his old enemy, Kennedy." Castro feels that because of the "boost in the authority he got after the October crisis, when his leadership was consolidated in the United States," Kennedy was "one of the presidents-or perhaps the president best able-to rectify American policy toward Cuba"[12]

At the moment of his death President Kennedy was on his way to deliver a speech in which he would address the kinds of dangerously false constructions so popular at that time in Dallas, a city which had become the epicenter of right-wing jingoistic criticism. The speech presented an almost transcendental world view which is particularly relevant to the "What would Kennedy have done?" debate over Vietnam. While recognizing that dissent is inevitable, the speech was to go on to say:

"But today other voices are heard in the land-voices preaching doctrines wholly unrelated to reality...doctrines which apparently assume that words will suffice without weapons, that vituperation is as good as victory and that peace is a sign of weakness.... I realize that this Nation often tends to identify turning-points in world affairs with the major addresses which preceded them. But it was not the Monroe Doctrine that kept all Europe away from this hemisphere-it was the strength of the British fleet and the width of the Atlantic Ocean."[13]

Political constructions gain a life of their own, making it difficult to harness the released energies. Like the proverbial genie out of the bottle, these manufactured realities are resistant to subsequent containment. Constructions require a special kind of devotion and loyalty; it may be hazardous to one's health to try to change course. President Kennedy knew that by reversing himself on his support of efforts to eliminate Castro, by arousing and then easing tensions against the Soviet Union, and by accepting the assistance of organized crime figures and then allowing his brother, the Attorney General, to vigorously pursue and prosecute them, he was making himself vulnerable to serious physical danger by those most disposed to lash out violently upon feelings of hatred and betrayal.

During those same months of 1963 when the Cubela operation was implemented, a strange scenario was being acted out in the southwestern U.S. An ex-Marine who had previously posed as a defector to Russia was being constructed as a pro-Castro Communist. Records reveal that all of his associations were actually of the anti-Castro persuasion. He was intimately involved with the anti-Communist "White Russian" community, shared an office with the coordinator of anti-Castro activities in New Orleans, and was known to have been present at one of the exile training camps that was closed down by the FBI that summer. His name was Lee Harvey Oswald.

The day after his brother's murder, Bobby Kennedy sought answers from Harry Ruiz-Williams, a CIA agent staying at a CIA-operated safe house used by Cuban exiles. Afterward, speaking with journalist Haynes Johnson, Bobby said that he "suspected CIA-backed anti-Castro forces of having been involved in his brother's death." He was later quoted as telling one of the investigators from his Senate committee days: "Those Cuban cunts are all working for the mob. They blame us for the Bay of Pigs, and they're trying to make this look like a Castro-Communist hit. I don't buy it. And I don't trust those guys at the CIA. They're worse than the Mafia."[14]

Of course, Bobby knew better than anyone what had transpired beneath the surface of the administration's use of the exiles. More personally, he knew the dark side of his own role in the unleashing of elements he now considered responsible for his brother's death. Many of those close to Bobby who saw in him a classic case of survivor's guilt were unaware that a much deeper level of responsibility may have informed his anguish.

Bobby had personally entertained Cuban exiles at his house, Hickory Hill, and kept in touch with them at their apartments at the Ebbitt Hotel in downtown Washington, where they were housed by the CIA. Even Desmond FitzGerald, Bobby's replacement for Wild Bill Harvey, was concerned about the directness of Bobby's involvement with the Cuban exiles. The Attorney General's freelancing with the the Cuban exile community was a formula for disaster. Peter Collier and David Horowitz have written poignantly about Bobby's anguish over what may have been an unintended consequence of his own actions:

"It was Bobby who had led the administration into dangerous places, daring the gods of the underworld and seizing the fire that finally erupted into anti-Kennedy hatred. He had done it in the service of his brother's presidency, yet he had gone past duty or necessity, using his special status as the brother within to justify what had become at times an almost perverse exploration of self. While Jack was alive, everything was justified; now that he was dead, it was all called into question. Had his acts created an environment for assassination? Had his zeal helped create the concatenation of forces that wanted Jack dead?"[15]

Four years after the assassination of the President, the CIA Inspector General conducted an internal investigation which was forwarded to Lyndon Johnson, who told newsman Howard K. Smith: "I'll tell you something that will rock you; Kennedy was trying to get Castro, but Castro got to him first."[16] In March 1967, columnist Drew Pearson wrote, "President Johnson is sitting on a political H-bomb-an unconfirmed report that Senator Robert Kennedy (Dem. N.Y.) may have approved an assassination plot which then possibly backfired against his brother."

The source for the Pearson article was the original mafioso hired by the CIA to kill Castro, Johnny Roselli. The spin being placed on this new round of stories was, like the Oswald promotion, aimed at leading the public to believe that Castro was behind the conspiracy in Dallas. Roselli had revealed to Pearson, through his attorney, Edward Morgan, that "One of our assassination teams was captured and tortured until they told all they knew about our operation which they said was ordered by the White House." Roselli asserted that "the team was turned around, you know, brainwashed, and sent back into our country to kill Kennedy."

All good lies contain a good measure of truth, and such may be the case with Roselli's attempt at history-making. Although this colorful rendition is compelling, given the source, it should be recognized that contained in this version is the admission that it was an anti-Castro hit team that had killed Kennedy. But this secret "team" would hardly have required anything so exotic as brainwashing to retarget its skills against the President. By November of 1963, Kennedy was clearly a foe to the extreme anti-Castro elements; they believed he had cancelled the airstrikes and betrayed the Bay of Pigs operation, then compounded the betrayal by giving the no-invasion pledge, and finally sealed the antipathy by shutting down the exile camps and beginning negotiations directed toward the normalization of relations with Cuba.

When Roselli's well-connected lawyer asked him how he had contained such explosive information, Roselli noted that "all phases of this operation were approved by Allen Dulles and President Eisenhower." He questioned why neither Dulles, who was a member of the Warren Commission investigating the Kennedy assassination, nor Eisenhower, who had full knowledge of the plots, ever came forward. "So what was I supposed to think?" He inferred that the President "wanted to keep the lid on." Roselli speculated that perhaps Johnson "thought it'd be bad for the country to know about this operation-you know, the government of the United States involved with the so-called Mafia to kill the leader of a foreign country and then it boomerangs."[17]

A possibility that may never be resolved is Johnson's notion that some action taken by Bobby Kennedy "backfired against his brother." There is ample evidence of Bobby's continued encouragement of anti-Castro efforts during a period of time when his brother, the President of the United States, was pursuing a very contrary policy.

Because of the closeness of the brothers it is generally assumed that Bobby was fulfilling one aspect of a multi-track approach on the part of the Administration. While it is understandable that some token support for the exiles might be considered prudent as a way of co-opting more radical elements, the extent to which one approach represented the direct undermining of the other presents a historical conundrum regarding the brothers' coordination of authority. The possibility must be considered that Bobby crossed the line of plausible deniability into a realm in which he was acting in his own highly unofficial capacity apart from any directed intention on the part of the President. Had he, like King Henry II's henchmen, acted on his own to eliminate his brother's Becket?

Consistent with Michael Beschloss' observation that "the most likely explanation for the cause of Kennedy's death lies in his policies,"[18] the convergence of CIA-Mafia-Cuban exile operations with the events surrounding the President's assassination provides strong circumstantial evidence of the motive and means for that crime. But there is more direct evidence. In a 1985 libel trial, E. Howard Hunt ("Eduardo") filed suit contesting an assertion in an article written by former CIA officer Victor Marchetti implicating him in the assassination, including an alleged 1966 memo initialed by CIA Director Richard Helms and Deputy Director for Counterintelligence James Angleton, which discussed Hunt's presence in Dallas and the possibility that "a cover story, giving Hunt an alibi for being elsewhere the day of the assassination, 'ought to be considered.'" Speculating on why such an extraordinary cover-up would be put in writing, a high level CIA source said, "The memo is very odd. It was almost as if Angleton was informing Helms, who had just become director, that there was a skeleton in the family closet that had to be taken care of and this was his response."[19]

Castro's former mistress-turned-CIA agent, Marita Lorenz, testified of her direct knowledge of Hunt's participation, as well as that of other anti-Castro Cubans, in the events in Dallas leading up to November 22, 1963. She claimed to have been in a two car caravan with Frank Sturgis, Orlando Bosch and others traveling from Miami carrying numerous weapons. Upon their arrival in Dallas they were met at their motel on November 21st by their old paymaster, "Eduardo." An hour after Hunt delivered the money and departed, another character out of history arrived: Jack Ruby.

In that trial, an amazing exchange took place after Hunt testified that, "like thousands of other Americans, millions," he, his wife and children had huddled together at home that fateful weekend, "and watched the burial services."[20] Yet, despite providing his own children as alibis, he had also asserted his legal damages to be the doubts in their minds about their own father's activities. The question was asked:

"Mr. Hunt, why did you have to convince your children that you were not in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963, if, in fact, as you say, a fourteen-year-old daughter, a thirteen-year-old daughter, and a ten-year-old son were with you in the Washington, D.C. area on November 22, 1963, and were with you at least for the next forty-eight hours, as you all stayed glued to the T.V. set?" After a long pause, Hunt lamely asserted that. "it was less a question of my convincing them that I was in Washington, D.C. with them-rather, reminding them that I was-than it was to assure them that none of the charges...had any substance to them at all." The magazine's attorney followed up with: "What I want to know is since they knew how outrageous the lies were, why did they have to be convinced by you that you weren't in Texas?" Hunt simply replied: "Reminded, reminded."[21]

Hunt had failed to anticipate that the two elements of his story-that his children were with him the entire weekend and that his children were unsure of where he had been at the time-were mutually exclusive. Hunt lost his lawsuit. The jury did not even debate the malice issue because the truthfulness of the assertion had been sufficiently proven.

On the tenth anniversary of the invasion fiasco, April 17, 1971, E. Howard Hunt had traveled to the Bay of Pigs Monument in the Little Havana area of Miami to recruit exile veterans for a new operation. Resurrecting the dream of overthrowing Castro, Eduardo had assured them that "the whole thing is not over."[22]

Subsequent events would expose a high level role played by these terrorists when a team of Bay of Pigs veterans was caught burglarizing the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate complex in Washington, D.C. Found among the burglars' effects was evidence that they were being coordinated by E. Howard Hunt, who had an office in the White House. In addition to political burglary, Hunt had been given the high-level assignment of manufacturing evidence of President Kennedy's complicity in the assassination of South Vietnam's leader in 1963, Ngo Dinh Diem.

President Nixon subsequently managed to remain in power for more than two years, withstanding remarkable disclosures, until the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that he had to turn over tape recordings of certain Oval Office conversations. Nixon was out of office within two weeks, primarily because of the disclosure of a taped discussion about Hunt that occurred a few days after the break-in. This tape recording has become known in history as the smoking gun conversation.

During that incredible exchange that would topple a presidency, Nixon ordered his Chief of Staff, H. R. Haldeman, to meet with Richard Helms, the Director of the CIA, and tell him to call off the FBI's investigation of the burglary for national security reasons. Nixon suggested that Hunt's involvement be used as a lever to make sure the CIA would cooperate. The transcripts of President Nixon's rantings about Hunt are perhaps the most factually revealing evidence of deep politics in history:

"Hunt...will uncover a lot of things. You open that scab there's a hell of a lot of things.... Tell them we just feel that it would be very detrimental to have this thing go any further. This involves these Cubans, Hunt, and a lot of hanky-panky that we have nothing to do with ourselves. When you get the CIA people in say, "Look, the problem is that this will open up the whole Bay of Pigs thing again." So they should call the FBI in and for the good of the country don't go any further into this case. Period. Just say (unintelligible) very bad to have this fellow Hunt, ah, he knows too damned much.... If it gets out that this is all involved, the Cuba thing would be a fiasco. It would make the CIA look bad, it's going to make Hunt look bad, and it's likely to blow the whole Bay of Pigs which we think would be very unfortunate-both for the CIA, and for the country, at this time, and for American foreign policy. Just tell him to lay off....[23]

Haldeman recorded Helms' dramatic reaction to the threat: "Turmoil in the room, Helms gripping the arms of his chair leaning forward and shouting, 'The Bay of Pigs had nothing to do with this'" Despite this, Helms acquiesced and Haldeman was able to report to the President that "his strategy had worked," that Helms would be "very happy to be helpful." But the remarks and Helms' behavior raised the question in Haldeman's mind: "What was such dynamite in the Bay of Pigs story?" The more innocuous explanation is that Nixon, as the chief White House official involved with the Eisenhower administration's Cuba invasion planning, knew of the government's use of Mafia assassination assets in the efforts against Castro. However, following years of study, analysis and reflection, along with his personal knowledge of the players involved, Haldeman asserted a more astonishing answer to that question: "It seems that in all of those Nixon references to the Bay of Pigs, he was actually referring to the Kennedy assassination." Given his reaction, it is apparent that Helms clearly understood Nixon's message.[24]

Aside from such an interpretation of the dark secret to which Nixon was alluding, he and the CIA director had a more current mutuality of interests. Helms wanted to suppress the CIA-Hunt relationship because it violated the Agency's charter regarding domestic spying. Nixon wanted to suppress the White House-Hunt relationship because it would reveal precisely for whom the chief Watergate burglar was working. E. Howard Hunt clearly represented a problem for more than one major Washington power center. Nine months after the smoking gun conversation, when Hunt was about to be sentenced, Nixon was told that Hunt had issued a blackmail demand in lieu of revealing some of the "seamy things" he had done for the President. Nixon's response was unequivocal: "Well, for Christ's sakes...get it."[25]

Notes

1. Michael R. Beschloss, The Crisis Years: Kennedy and Khrushchev, 1960-1963, (New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1991), 687.

2. William B. Breuer, Vendetta: Castro and the Kennedy Brothers, (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1997), 209.

3. James Reston, "Top U.S. Advisers in Dispute on Aid to Castro's Foes," The New York Times, April 11, 1963.

4. Breuer, 210-211.

5. William Manchester, The Death Of A President, (New York: Harper & Row, 1967), 46.

6. Anthony Summers, Conspiracy, (New York: McGraw-Hill Book Co., 1980), 426.

7. Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., Robert Kennedy and His Times, (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1978), 557.

8. Summers, 427.

9. Ibid., 426.

10. James G. Blight, Bruce J. Allyn and David A. Welch, Cuba On The Brink. (New York: Pantheon Books, 1993), 237.

11. Ibid., 191.

12. Ibid., 191-193.

13. Gaddis Smith, Gaddis, The Last Years of the Monroe Doctrine. (New York: Hill and Wang, 1994), 111-112.

14. David C. Heymann, RFK. New York: Penguin Putnam Inc., 1998), 10.

15. Peter Collier and David Horowitz, The Kennedys, (New York: Summit Books, 1984), 317.

16. New York Times, June 25, 1976.

17. Ovid Demaris, The Last Mafioso. New York: Bantam Books, 1981), 235-241.

18. Jefferson Morley, "November 22, 1963: Why We Need The Real History Of The Kennedy Assassination," Washington Post, (November 24, 1996).

19. Joe Trento and Jacquie Powers, "Was Howard Hunt in Dallas The Day JFK Died?" Wilmington Sunday News Journal, (August 20, 1978).

20. Mark Lane, Plausible Denial, (New York: Thunder's Mouth Press, 1991), 282.

21. Ibid., 283-284.

22. Carl Oglesby, The Yankee and Cowboy War. (Kansas City: Sheed Andrews and McMeel, Inc., 1976), 277.

23. H. R. Haldeman, The Ends of Power, (New York: Times Books, 1978), 33.

24. Ibid., 38-39.

25. Theodore H. White, Breach of Faith, (New York: Reader's Digest Press, 1975), 199-200.

Great, I did not realize this had been re-posted. Yea.

Now I want to see Tim posting here again- miss his brilliant "Oglesby-like" posts.

Dawn

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THE "WHOLE BAY OF PIGS THING": FROM DALLAS TO WATERGATE

In the year following the Cuban Missile Crisis, President Kennedy took measures that led some to conclude that he had experienced an epiphany as a result of his joust at the abyss. A hot-line was installed between Washington and Moscow to provide for better communication in the event of some future crisis. The superpowers entered into a limited test ban treaty, ending their testing of nuclear weapons in the atmosphere, oceans, and space. During the last year of his presidency, Kennedy had also taken measures to shut down CIA-sponsored operations involving the exile community. This resulted in a schism between the FBI and the CIA, and generated new antipathy toward the Kennedy administration. The President's public assurance about what was "understood by the anti-Castro exiles" was more wish than fact.[1]

Following incidents in March of 1963 when powerboats manned by anti-Castro exiles roared into Cuban harbors shooting up two Soviet freighters, President Kennedy began to take official steps to terminate U.S. support for groups like Alpha 66 that had become out of control. When Bobby Kennedy wrote his brother a memo promoting new efforts to "cultivate" an "internal breakup in Cuba," the President uncharacteristically did not respond, at least in writing.

Apparently the brothers held a private discussion which led to an immediate turn-around, reflected in a presentation to the National Security Council in which Bobby dutifully played his prescribed role of informing the President that "a decision had been made to formulate a plan to shut down the hit-and-run attacks from Florida locales." The following day, the President publicly declared that he would "take every step necessary" to terminate the exile raids against Cuba.

Shortly thereafter, mirroring the Kennedys' earlier turn against the Mafia, the Justice Department began prosecuting exile leaders for "violating U.S. neutrality laws."[2] At the same time, the CIA was ordered to cut off funding for the groups, leaving them to fend for themselves or draw on other sources. The President's public statement regarding the exiles' activities was unequivocal:

"There will not be, under any circumstances, an intervention in Cuba by the United States armed forces. The government will do everything it possibly can; I think it can meet its responsibilities, to make sure that there are no Americans involved in any actions inside Cuba.... The basic issue in Cuba is not one between the United States and Cuba. It is between the Cubans themselves. I intend to see that we adhere to that principle and as I understand it this administration's attitude is so understood by the anti-Castro exiles from Cuba in this country."[3]

Bobby Kennedy held a meeting to formulate plans to implement the new policy. It included two FBI agents, "officials of the CIA, Immigration and Naturalization Service, Navy, Coast Guard, Customs Service, the Internal Security Division of the Justice Department, and the State Department." He explained that the President "wanted to put a halt to the exile raids" and that "sixteen of the officials present" were to leave immediately for Miami "to decide what measures could be taken." Among the steps later taken were:

"... serving restriction notices on certain exile leaders to prevent them from leaving the United States, refusing reentry to the United States to any exile who went beyond the 3-mile limit offshore, increased surveillance by the Coast Guard of the Florida coastline, and intensified FBI intelligence coverage of Cuban exile groups to ascertain and abort plans for future raids."[4]

Following the Miami conference, the combined forces of the federal government clamped down on the same anti-Castro groups and activities that had previously been given such encouragement and support. Numerous raids were conducted in which agents of the FBI closed down exile training camps, seizing large amounts of weapons, ammunition, and explosives. While it is clear that the President was serious about doing nothing to disturb the fragile peace following the Missile Crisis, and had great reason to fear provoking disclosure of his Secret Deal with Khrushchev, it is not so clear that his brother was going along fully. Having little choice but to support the President's policy publicly, there is ample evidence that in private he continued to support the proscribed activities.

The no-invasion pledge and withdrawal of support for exile activities ushered in a particularly bitter season of discontent within the anti-Castro Cuban community. A flyer dated April 18, 1963, and decorated with a profile of the Alamo, was distributed to Cubans in Miami's Little Havana. It stated: "Only through one development will you Cuban patriots ever live again in your homeland as freemen, responsible as must be the most capable for the guidance and welfare of the Cuban people." This blessing could only come to pass:

"If an inspired Act of God should place in the White House within weeks a Texan known to be a friend of all Latin Americans...though he must under present conditions bow to the Zionists who since 1905 came into control of the United States, and for whom Jack Kennedy and Nelson Rockefeller and other members of the Council of Foreign Relations and allied agencies are only stooges and pawns. Though Johnson must now bow to these crafty and cunning Communist-hatching Jews, yet, did an Act of God suddenly elevate him into the top position [he] would revert to what his beloved father and grandfather were, and to their values and principles and loyalties." Obviously encouraging support for the forcible removal of the President among the anti-Castro exiles, the broadside was signed, "A Texan who resents the Oriental influence that has come to control, to degrade, to pollute and enslave his own people."[5]

The least known of the measures taken by President Kennedy was a peace overture made toward Castro. To many, including top officials at the CIA and the State Department, the very idea of any sort of dialogue with Castro was heresy. Nevertheless, Kennedy authorized William Attwood, Special Adviser to the United States delegation at the United Nations, to begin informal talks with the Cuban Ambassador aimed at eventual normalization of relations between the U.S. and Cuba. He also set up a back channel communication with Castro through journalist Lisa Howard, who was flown to Cuba a number of times in 1963 using a covert operative pilot. A message had been received through U.N. personnel that Castro was displeased about the degree to which Cuba was becoming tied to the Soviet Union and was seeking to redress the balance by finding an accommodation with the United States. There was evidence that a rift had developed between Castro and some of his Communist colleagues, including Che Guevara. The Cuban leader had given an interview in which he expressed satisfaction over Kennedy's crackdown on exile raiding parties.

It was at this same time that the CIA made its first contacts in nearly a year with Rolando Cubela, a high-ranking traitor in Castro's inner circle. Without the knowledge of the President or CIA Director John McCone, a small group of CIA officers, led by Desmond FitzGerald, an intimate associate of Bobby Kennedy's, prepared to use Cubela to assassinate Castro. Cubela requested a meeting with Bobby so that he could be sure that the scheme had the approval of the President. What he got was a meeting with FitzGerald, who claimed to be a U.S. Senator and Bobby Kennedy's personal representative. Government reports reveal that Cubela was in Paris being handed a poison pen and a gun at precisely the moment that President Kennedy was assassinated. In 1978, Arthur Schlesinger noted:

"The whole Cubela thing raises even deeper questions. The CIA was reviving the assassination plots at the very time President Kennedy was considering the possibility of normalization of relations with Cuba-an extraordinary action. If it was not total incompetence-which in the case of the CIA cannot be excluded-it was a studied attempt to subvert national policy."[6]

Although the President had specifically ordered that the U.N. discussions be kept secret, "it seems inconceivable that the CIA knew nothing about it. American intelligence had Cuban U.N. diplomats under incessant surveillance."[7] It tapped their phones, intercepted their mail, and followed their every movement. Schlesinger has noted that "if word leaked of President Kennedy's efforts, that might have been exactly the kind of thing to trigger some explosion of fanatical violence."[8] Ambassador Attwood, who subsequently realized that his telephone conversations and private meetings were insecure, agreed. He has said,

"If the CIA did find out what we were doing this would have trickled down to the lower echelon of activists, and Cuban exiles and the more gung-ho CIA people who had been involved since the Bay of Pigs. If word of a possible normalization of relations with Cuba leaked to these people, I can understand why they would have reacted violently. This was the end of their dreams of returning to Cuba, and they might have been impelled to take violent action. Such as assassinating the President."[9]

In an historical irony, one of the President's personal messengers, French journalist Jean Daniel, and Castro were together at the moment they learned of the President's assassination. This initiative was later described by the Cuban leader "as a gesture, as an indication of a desire to establish contact, to explore what our thinking was on all of this-and, furthermore, to establish a certain kind of communication." Castro continued,

"We needed a kind of bridge, some sort of communication. Since Kennedy had such great authority in his own country after the crisis, he could have done things that he had not done before. In my view, he had the courage to do them. You had to have courage to defy the state of opinion on all these questions."[10]

Castro's view of Kennedy's performances, as well as the Cuban historical view as a whole, is very interesting given the realities of the Bay of Pigs, the Secret War, and the Cuban Missile Crisis. Listening to Castro's remarks at an oral history conference in Cuba, James Blight concluded: "Kennedy is by far the most respected-even loved-U.S. president since the triumph of the revolution in 1959." He recorded the statement of one Cuban official:

"You see, by not attacking Cuba in April 1961 and October 1962, we believe Kennedy's anti-Cuban machinery turned against him, like Frankenstein's monster. Those forces-the Mafia, the radical Cuban exiles, and the CIA-afterwards conspired successfully to assassinate him, because he prevented them from assassinating Fidel and destroying the Cuban Revolution. In a strange way, we believe, Kennedy had to die so that the Cuban Revolution could live."[11]

Blight's impression is that when Castro discusses Khrushchev and Kennedy, "one senses that the respect is highly qualified with respect to his old friend Khrushchev, but uncomplicated and sincere regarding his old enemy, Kennedy." Castro feels that because of the "boost in the authority he got after the October crisis, when his leadership was consolidated in the United States," Kennedy was "one of the presidents-or perhaps the president best able-to rectify American policy toward Cuba"[12]

At the moment of his death President Kennedy was on his way to deliver a speech in which he would address the kinds of dangerously false constructions so popular at that time in Dallas, a city which had become the epicenter of right-wing jingoistic criticism. The speech presented an almost transcendental world view which is particularly relevant to the "What would Kennedy have done?" debate over Vietnam. While recognizing that dissent is inevitable, the speech was to go on to say:

"But today other voices are heard in the land-voices preaching doctrines wholly unrelated to reality...doctrines which apparently assume that words will suffice without weapons, that vituperation is as good as victory and that peace is a sign of weakness.... I realize that this Nation often tends to identify turning-points in world affairs with the major addresses which preceded them. But it was not the Monroe Doctrine that kept all Europe away from this hemisphere-it was the strength of the British fleet and the width of the Atlantic Ocean."[13]

Political constructions gain a life of their own, making it difficult to harness the released energies. Like the proverbial genie out of the bottle, these manufactured realities are resistant to subsequent containment. Constructions require a special kind of devotion and loyalty; it may be hazardous to one's health to try to change course. President Kennedy knew that by reversing himself on his support of efforts to eliminate Castro, by arousing and then easing tensions against the Soviet Union, and by accepting the assistance of organized crime figures and then allowing his brother, the Attorney General, to vigorously pursue and prosecute them, he was making himself vulnerable to serious physical danger by those most disposed to lash out violently upon feelings of hatred and betrayal.

During those same months of 1963 when the Cubela operation was implemented, a strange scenario was being acted out in the southwestern U.S. An ex-Marine who had previously posed as a defector to Russia was being constructed as a pro-Castro Communist. Records reveal that all of his associations were actually of the anti-Castro persuasion. He was intimately involved with the anti-Communist "White Russian" community, shared an office with the coordinator of anti-Castro activities in New Orleans, and was known to have been present at one of the exile training camps that was closed down by the FBI that summer. His name was Lee Harvey Oswald.

The day after his brother's murder, Bobby Kennedy sought answers from Harry Ruiz-Williams, a CIA agent staying at a CIA-operated safe house used by Cuban exiles. Afterward, speaking with journalist Haynes Johnson, Bobby said that he "suspected CIA-backed anti-Castro forces of having been involved in his brother's death." He was later quoted as telling one of the investigators from his Senate committee days: "Those Cuban cunts are all working for the mob. They blame us for the Bay of Pigs, and they're trying to make this look like a Castro-Communist hit. I don't buy it. And I don't trust those guys at the CIA. They're worse than the Mafia."[14]

Of course, Bobby knew better than anyone what had transpired beneath the surface of the administration's use of the exiles. More personally, he knew the dark side of his own role in the unleashing of elements he now considered responsible for his brother's death. Many of those close to Bobby who saw in him a classic case of survivor's guilt were unaware that a much deeper level of responsibility may have informed his anguish.

Bobby had personally entertained Cuban exiles at his house, Hickory Hill, and kept in touch with them at their apartments at the Ebbitt Hotel in downtown Washington, where they were housed by the CIA. Even Desmond FitzGerald, Bobby's replacement for Wild Bill Harvey, was concerned about the directness of Bobby's involvement with the Cuban exiles. The Attorney General's freelancing with the the Cuban exile community was a formula for disaster. Peter Collier and David Horowitz have written poignantly about Bobby's anguish over what may have been an unintended consequence of his own actions:

"It was Bobby who had led the administration into dangerous places, daring the gods of the underworld and seizing the fire that finally erupted into anti-Kennedy hatred. He had done it in the service of his brother's presidency, yet he had gone past duty or necessity, using his special status as the brother within to justify what had become at times an almost perverse exploration of self. While Jack was alive, everything was justified; now that he was dead, it was all called into question. Had his acts created an environment for assassination? Had his zeal helped create the concatenation of forces that wanted Jack dead?"[15]

Four years after the assassination of the President, the CIA Inspector General conducted an internal investigation which was forwarded to Lyndon Johnson, who told newsman Howard K. Smith: "I'll tell you something that will rock you; Kennedy was trying to get Castro, but Castro got to him first."[16] In March 1967, columnist Drew Pearson wrote, "President Johnson is sitting on a political H-bomb-an unconfirmed report that Senator Robert Kennedy (Dem. N.Y.) may have approved an assassination plot which then possibly backfired against his brother."

The source for the Pearson article was the original mafioso hired by the CIA to kill Castro, Johnny Roselli. The spin being placed on this new round of stories was, like the Oswald promotion, aimed at leading the public to believe that Castro was behind the conspiracy in Dallas. Roselli had revealed to Pearson, through his attorney, Edward Morgan, that "One of our assassination teams was captured and tortured until they told all they knew about our operation which they said was ordered by the White House." Roselli asserted that "the team was turned around, you know, brainwashed, and sent back into our country to kill Kennedy."

All good lies contain a good measure of truth, and such may be the case with Roselli's attempt at history-making. Although this colorful rendition is compelling, given the source, it should be recognized that contained in this version is the admission that it was an anti-Castro hit team that had killed Kennedy. But this secret "team" would hardly have required anything so exotic as brainwashing to retarget its skills against the President. By November of 1963, Kennedy was clearly a foe to the extreme anti-Castro elements; they believed he had cancelled the airstrikes and betrayed the Bay of Pigs operation, then compounded the betrayal by giving the no-invasion pledge, and finally sealed the antipathy by shutting down the exile camps and beginning negotiations directed toward the normalization of relations with Cuba.

When Roselli's well-connected lawyer asked him how he had contained such explosive information, Roselli noted that "all phases of this operation were approved by Allen Dulles and President Eisenhower." He questioned why neither Dulles, who was a member of the Warren Commission investigating the Kennedy assassination, nor Eisenhower, who had full knowledge of the plots, ever came forward. "So what was I supposed to think?" He inferred that the President "wanted to keep the lid on." Roselli speculated that perhaps Johnson "thought it'd be bad for the country to know about this operation-you know, the government of the United States involved with the so-called Mafia to kill the leader of a foreign country and then it boomerangs."[17]

A possibility that may never be resolved is Johnson's notion that some action taken by Bobby Kennedy "backfired against his brother." There is ample evidence of Bobby's continued encouragement of anti-Castro efforts during a period of time when his brother, the President of the United States, was pursuing a very contrary policy.

Because of the closeness of the brothers it is generally assumed that Bobby was fulfilling one aspect of a multi-track approach on the part of the Administration. While it is understandable that some token support for the exiles might be considered prudent as a way of co-opting more radical elements, the extent to which one approach represented the direct undermining of the other presents a historical conundrum regarding the brothers' coordination of authority. The possibility must be considered that Bobby crossed the line of plausible deniability into a realm in which he was acting in his own highly unofficial capacity apart from any directed intention on the part of the President. Had he, like King Henry II's henchmen, acted on his own to eliminate his brother's Becket?

Consistent with Michael Beschloss' observation that "the most likely explanation for the cause of Kennedy's death lies in his policies,"[18] the convergence of CIA-Mafia-Cuban exile operations with the events surrounding the President's assassination provides strong circumstantial evidence of the motive and means for that crime. But there is more direct evidence. In a 1985 libel trial, E. Howard Hunt ("Eduardo") filed suit contesting an assertion in an article written by former CIA officer Victor Marchetti implicating him in the assassination, including an alleged 1966 memo initialed by CIA Director Richard Helms and Deputy Director for Counterintelligence James Angleton, which discussed Hunt's presence in Dallas and the possibility that "a cover story, giving Hunt an alibi for being elsewhere the day of the assassination, 'ought to be considered.'" Speculating on why such an extraordinary cover-up would be put in writing, a high level CIA source said, "The memo is very odd. It was almost as if Angleton was informing Helms, who had just become director, that there was a skeleton in the family closet that had to be taken care of and this was his response."[19]

Castro's former mistress-turned-CIA agent, Marita Lorenz, testified of her direct knowledge of Hunt's participation, as well as that of other anti-Castro Cubans, in the events in Dallas leading up to November 22, 1963. She claimed to have been in a two car caravan with Frank Sturgis, Orlando Bosch and others traveling from Miami carrying numerous weapons. Upon their arrival in Dallas they were met at their motel on November 21st by their old paymaster, "Eduardo." An hour after Hunt delivered the money and departed, another character out of history arrived: Jack Ruby.

In that trial, an amazing exchange took place after Hunt testified that, "like thousands of other Americans, millions," he, his wife and children had huddled together at home that fateful weekend, "and watched the burial services."[20] Yet, despite providing his own children as alibis, he had also asserted his legal damages to be the doubts in their minds about their own father's activities. The question was asked:

"Mr. Hunt, why did you have to convince your children that you were not in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963, if, in fact, as you say, a fourteen-year-old daughter, a thirteen-year-old daughter, and a ten-year-old son were with you in the Washington, D.C. area on November 22, 1963, and were with you at least for the next forty-eight hours, as you all stayed glued to the T.V. set?" After a long pause, Hunt lamely asserted that. "it was less a question of my convincing them that I was in Washington, D.C. with them-rather, reminding them that I was-than it was to assure them that none of the charges...had any substance to them at all." The magazine's attorney followed up with: "What I want to know is since they knew how outrageous the lies were, why did they have to be convinced by you that you weren't in Texas?" Hunt simply replied: "Reminded, reminded."[21]

Hunt had failed to anticipate that the two elements of his story-that his children were with him the entire weekend and that his children were unsure of where he had been at the time-were mutually exclusive. Hunt lost his lawsuit. The jury did not even debate the malice issue because the truthfulness of the assertion had been sufficiently proven.

On the tenth anniversary of the invasion fiasco, April 17, 1971, E. Howard Hunt had traveled to the Bay of Pigs Monument in the Little Havana area of Miami to recruit exile veterans for a new operation. Resurrecting the dream of overthrowing Castro, Eduardo had assured them that "the whole thing is not over."[22]

Subsequent events would expose a high level role played by these terrorists when a team of Bay of Pigs veterans was caught burglarizing the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate complex in Washington, D.C. Found among the burglars' effects was evidence that they were being coordinated by E. Howard Hunt, who had an office in the White House. In addition to political burglary, Hunt had been given the high-level assignment of manufacturing evidence of President Kennedy's complicity in the assassination of South Vietnam's leader in 1963, Ngo Dinh Diem.

President Nixon subsequently managed to remain in power for more than two years, withstanding remarkable disclosures, until the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that he had to turn over tape recordings of certain Oval Office conversations. Nixon was out of office within two weeks, primarily because of the disclosure of a taped discussion about Hunt that occurred a few days after the break-in. This tape recording has become known in history as the smoking gun conversation.

During that incredible exchange that would topple a presidency, Nixon ordered his Chief of Staff, H. R. Haldeman, to meet with Richard Helms, the Director of the CIA, and tell him to call off the FBI's investigation of the burglary for national security reasons. Nixon suggested that Hunt's involvement be used as a lever to make sure the CIA would cooperate. The transcripts of President Nixon's rantings about Hunt are perhaps the most factually revealing evidence of deep politics in history:

"Hunt...will uncover a lot of things. You open that scab there's a hell of a lot of things.... Tell them we just feel that it would be very detrimental to have this thing go any further. This involves these Cubans, Hunt, and a lot of hanky-panky that we have nothing to do with ourselves. When you get the CIA people in say, "Look, the problem is that this will open up the whole Bay of Pigs thing again." So they should call the FBI in and for the good of the country don't go any further into this case. Period. Just say (unintelligible) very bad to have this fellow Hunt, ah, he knows too damned much.... If it gets out that this is all involved, the Cuba thing would be a fiasco. It would make the CIA look bad, it's going to make Hunt look bad, and it's likely to blow the whole Bay of Pigs which we think would be very unfortunate-both for the CIA, and for the country, at this time, and for American foreign policy. Just tell him to lay off....[23]

Haldeman recorded Helms' dramatic reaction to the threat: "Turmoil in the room, Helms gripping the arms of his chair leaning forward and shouting, 'The Bay of Pigs had nothing to do with this'" Despite this, Helms acquiesced and Haldeman was able to report to the President that "his strategy had worked," that Helms would be "very happy to be helpful." But the remarks and Helms' behavior raised the question in Haldeman's mind: "What was such dynamite in the Bay of Pigs story?" The more innocuous explanation is that Nixon, as the chief White House official involved with the Eisenhower administration's Cuba invasion planning, knew of the government's use of Mafia assassination assets in the efforts against Castro. However, following years of study, analysis and reflection, along with his personal knowledge of the players involved, Haldeman asserted a more astonishing answer to that question: "It seems that in all of those Nixon references to the Bay of Pigs, he was actually referring to the Kennedy assassination." Given his reaction, it is apparent that Helms clearly understood Nixon's message.[24]

Aside from such an interpretation of the dark secret to which Nixon was alluding, he and the CIA director had a more current mutuality of interests. Helms wanted to suppress the CIA-Hunt relationship because it violated the Agency's charter regarding domestic spying. Nixon wanted to suppress the White House-Hunt relationship because it would reveal precisely for whom the chief Watergate burglar was working. E. Howard Hunt clearly represented a problem for more than one major Washington power center. Nine months after the smoking gun conversation, when Hunt was about to be sentenced, Nixon was told that Hunt had issued a blackmail demand in lieu of revealing some of the "seamy things" he had done for the President. Nixon's response was unequivocal: "Well, for Christ's sakes...get it."[25]

Notes

1. Michael R. Beschloss, The Crisis Years: Kennedy and Khrushchev, 1960-1963, (New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1991), 687.

2. William B. Breuer, Vendetta: Castro and the Kennedy Brothers, (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1997), 209.

3. James Reston, "Top U.S. Advisers in Dispute on Aid to Castro's Foes," The New York Times, April 11, 1963.

4. Breuer, 210-211.

5. William Manchester, The Death Of A President, (New York: Harper & Row, 1967), 46.

6. Anthony Summers, Conspiracy, (New York: McGraw-Hill Book Co., 1980), 426.

7. Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., Robert Kennedy and His Times, (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1978), 557.

8. Summers, 427.

9. Ibid., 426.

10. James G. Blight, Bruce J. Allyn and David A. Welch, Cuba On The Brink. (New York: Pantheon Books, 1993), 237.

11. Ibid., 191.

12. Ibid., 191-193.

13. Gaddis Smith, Gaddis, The Last Years of the Monroe Doctrine. (New York: Hill and Wang, 1994), 111-112.

14. David C. Heymann, RFK. New York: Penguin Putnam Inc., 1998), 10.

15. Peter Collier and David Horowitz, The Kennedys, (New York: Summit Books, 1984), 317.

16. New York Times, June 25, 1976.

17. Ovid Demaris, The Last Mafioso. New York: Bantam Books, 1981), 235-241.

18. Jefferson Morley, "November 22, 1963: Why We Need The Real History Of The Kennedy Assassination," Washington Post, (November 24, 1996).

19. Joe Trento and Jacquie Powers, "Was Howard Hunt in Dallas The Day JFK Died?" Wilmington Sunday News Journal, (August 20, 1978).

20. Mark Lane, Plausible Denial, (New York: Thunder's Mouth Press, 1991), 282.

21. Ibid., 283-284.

22. Carl Oglesby, The Yankee and Cowboy War. (Kansas City: Sheed Andrews and McMeel, Inc., 1976), 277.

23. H. R. Haldeman, The Ends of Power, (New York: Times Books, 1978), 33.

24. Ibid., 38-39.

25. Theodore H. White, Breach of Faith, (New York: Reader's Digest Press, 1975), 199-200.

Great, I did not realize this had been re-posted. Yea.

Now I want to see Tim posting here again- miss his brilliant "Oglesby-like" posts.

Dawn

I was trying to bring this forward, but it has not moved, so sorry for the double post.

as I am doing it again, for the same reason.

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... is there any way you could repost it?

THE "WHOLE BAY OF PIGS THING": FROM DALLAS TO WATERGATE

In the year following the Cuban Missile Crisis, President Kennedy took measures that led some to conclude that he had experienced an epiphany as a result of his joust at the abyss. A hot-line was installed between Washington and Moscow to provide for better communication in the event of some future crisis. The superpowers entered into a limited test ban treaty, ending their testing of nuclear weapons in the atmosphere, oceans, and space. During the last year of his presidency, Kennedy had also taken measures to shut down CIA-sponsored operations involving the exile community. This resulted in a schism between the FBI and the CIA, and generated new antipathy toward the Kennedy administration. The President's public assurance about what was "understood by the anti-Castro exiles" was more wish than fact.[1]

Following incidents in March of 1963 when powerboats manned by anti-Castro exiles roared into Cuban harbors shooting up two Soviet freighters, President Kennedy began to take official steps to terminate U.S. support for groups like Alpha 66 that had become out of control. When Bobby Kennedy wrote his brother a memo promoting new efforts to "cultivate" an "internal breakup in Cuba," the President uncharacteristically did not respond, at least in writing.

Apparently the brothers held a private discussion which led to an immediate turn-around, reflected in a presentation to the National Security Council in which Bobby dutifully played his prescribed role of informing the President that "a decision had been made to formulate a plan to shut down the hit-and-run attacks from Florida locales." The following day, the President publicly declared that he would "take every step necessary" to terminate the exile raids against Cuba.

Shortly thereafter, mirroring the Kennedys' earlier turn against the Mafia, the Justice Department began prosecuting exile leaders for "violating U.S. neutrality laws."[2] At the same time, the CIA was ordered to cut off funding for the groups, leaving them to fend for themselves or draw on other sources. The President's public statement regarding the exiles' activities was unequivocal:

"There will not be, under any circumstances, an intervention in Cuba by the United States armed forces. The government will do everything it possibly can; I think it can meet its responsibilities, to make sure that there are no Americans involved in any actions inside Cuba.... The basic issue in Cuba is not one between the United States and Cuba. It is between the Cubans themselves. I intend to see that we adhere to that principle and as I understand it this administration's attitude is so understood by the anti-Castro exiles from Cuba in this country."[3]

Bobby Kennedy held a meeting to formulate plans to implement the new policy. It included two FBI agents, "officials of the CIA, Immigration and Naturalization Service, Navy, Coast Guard, Customs Service, the Internal Security Division of the Justice Department, and the State Department." He explained that the President "wanted to put a halt to the exile raids" and that "sixteen of the officials present" were to leave immediately for Miami "to decide what measures could be taken." Among the steps later taken were:

"... serving restriction notices on certain exile leaders to prevent them from leaving the United States, refusing reentry to the United States to any exile who went beyond the 3-mile limit offshore, increased surveillance by the Coast Guard of the Florida coastline, and intensified FBI intelligence coverage of Cuban exile groups to ascertain and abort plans for future raids."[4]

Following the Miami conference, the combined forces of the federal government clamped down on the same anti-Castro groups and activities that had previously been given such encouragement and support. Numerous raids were conducted in which agents of the FBI closed down exile training camps, seizing large amounts of weapons, ammunition, and explosives. While it is clear that the President was serious about doing nothing to disturb the fragile peace following the Missile Crisis, and had great reason to fear provoking disclosure of his Secret Deal with Khrushchev, it is not so clear that his brother was going along fully. Having little choice but to support the President's policy publicly, there is ample evidence that in private he continued to support the proscribed activities.

The no-invasion pledge and withdrawal of support for exile activities ushered in a particularly bitter season of discontent within the anti-Castro Cuban community. A flyer dated April 18, 1963, and decorated with a profile of the Alamo, was distributed to Cubans in Miami's Little Havana. It stated: "Only through one development will you Cuban patriots ever live again in your homeland as freemen, responsible as must be the most capable for the guidance and welfare of the Cuban people." This blessing could only come to pass:

"If an inspired Act of God should place in the White House within weeks a Texan known to be a friend of all Latin Americans...though he must under present conditions bow to the Zionists who since 1905 came into control of the United States, and for whom Jack Kennedy and Nelson Rockefeller and other members of the Council of Foreign Relations and allied agencies are only stooges and pawns. Though Johnson must now bow to these crafty and cunning Communist-hatching Jews, yet, did an Act of God suddenly elevate him into the top position [he] would revert to what his beloved father and grandfather were, and to their values and principles and loyalties." Obviously encouraging support for the forcible removal of the President among the anti-Castro exiles, the broadside was signed, "A Texan who resents the Oriental influence that has come to control, to degrade, to pollute and enslave his own people."[5]

The least known of the measures taken by President Kennedy was a peace overture made toward Castro. To many, including top officials at the CIA and the State Department, the very idea of any sort of dialogue with Castro was heresy. Nevertheless, Kennedy authorized William Attwood, Special Adviser to the United States delegation at the United Nations, to begin informal talks with the Cuban Ambassador aimed at eventual normalization of relations between the U.S. and Cuba. He also set up a back channel communication with Castro through journalist Lisa Howard, who was flown to Cuba a number of times in 1963 using a covert operative pilot. A message had been received through U.N. personnel that Castro was displeased about the degree to which Cuba was becoming tied to the Soviet Union and was seeking to redress the balance by finding an accommodation with the United States. There was evidence that a rift had developed between Castro and some of his Communist colleagues, including Che Guevara. The Cuban leader had given an interview in which he expressed satisfaction over Kennedy's crackdown on exile raiding parties.

It was at this same time that the CIA made its first contacts in nearly a year with Rolando Cubela, a high-ranking traitor in Castro's inner circle. Without the knowledge of the President or CIA Director John McCone, a small group of CIA officers, led by Desmond FitzGerald, an intimate associate of Bobby Kennedy's, prepared to use Cubela to assassinate Castro. Cubela requested a meeting with Bobby so that he could be sure that the scheme had the approval of the President. What he got was a meeting with FitzGerald, who claimed to be a U.S. Senator and Bobby Kennedy's personal representative. Government reports reveal that Cubela was in Paris being handed a poison pen and a gun at precisely the moment that President Kennedy was assassinated. In 1978, Arthur Schlesinger noted:

"The whole Cubela thing raises even deeper questions. The CIA was reviving the assassination plots at the very time President Kennedy was considering the possibility of normalization of relations with Cuba-an extraordinary action. If it was not total incompetence-which in the case of the CIA cannot be excluded-it was a studied attempt to subvert national policy."[6]

Although the President had specifically ordered that the U.N. discussions be kept secret, "it seems inconceivable that the CIA knew nothing about it. American intelligence had Cuban U.N. diplomats under incessant surveillance."[7] It tapped their phones, intercepted their mail, and followed their every movement. Schlesinger has noted that "if word leaked of President Kennedy's efforts, that might have been exactly the kind of thing to trigger some explosion of fanatical violence."[8] Ambassador Attwood, who subsequently realized that his telephone conversations and private meetings were insecure, agreed. He has said,

"If the CIA did find out what we were doing this would have trickled down to the lower echelon of activists, and Cuban exiles and the more gung-ho CIA people who had been involved since the Bay of Pigs. If word of a possible normalization of relations with Cuba leaked to these people, I can understand why they would have reacted violently. This was the end of their dreams of returning to Cuba, and they might have been impelled to take violent action. Such as assassinating the President."[9]

In an historical irony, one of the President's personal messengers, French journalist Jean Daniel, and Castro were together at the moment they learned of the President's assassination. This initiative was later described by the Cuban leader "as a gesture, as an indication of a desire to establish contact, to explore what our thinking was on all of this-and, furthermore, to establish a certain kind of communication." Castro continued,

"We needed a kind of bridge, some sort of communication. Since Kennedy had such great authority in his own country after the crisis, he could have done things that he had not done before. In my view, he had the courage to do them. You had to have courage to defy the state of opinion on all these questions."[10]

Castro's view of Kennedy's performances, as well as the Cuban historical view as a whole, is very interesting given the realities of the Bay of Pigs, the Secret War, and the Cuban Missile Crisis. Listening to Castro's remarks at an oral history conference in Cuba, James Blight concluded: "Kennedy is by far the most respected-even loved-U.S. president since the triumph of the revolution in 1959." He recorded the statement of one Cuban official:

"You see, by not attacking Cuba in April 1961 and October 1962, we believe Kennedy's anti-Cuban machinery turned against him, like Frankenstein's monster. Those forces-the Mafia, the radical Cuban exiles, and the CIA-afterwards conspired successfully to assassinate him, because he prevented them from assassinating Fidel and destroying the Cuban Revolution. In a strange way, we believe, Kennedy had to die so that the Cuban Revolution could live."[11]

Blight's impression is that when Castro discusses Khrushchev and Kennedy, "one senses that the respect is highly qualified with respect to his old friend Khrushchev, but uncomplicated and sincere regarding his old enemy, Kennedy." Castro feels that because of the "boost in the authority he got after the October crisis, when his leadership was consolidated in the United States," Kennedy was "one of the presidents-or perhaps the president best able-to rectify American policy toward Cuba"[12]

At the moment of his death President Kennedy was on his way to deliver a speech in which he would address the kinds of dangerously false constructions so popular at that time in Dallas, a city which had become the epicenter of right-wing jingoistic criticism. The speech presented an almost transcendental world view which is particularly relevant to the "What would Kennedy have done?" debate over Vietnam. While recognizing that dissent is inevitable, the speech was to go on to say:

"But today other voices are heard in the land-voices preaching doctrines wholly unrelated to reality...doctrines which apparently assume that words will suffice without weapons, that vituperation is as good as victory and that peace is a sign of weakness.... I realize that this Nation often tends to identify turning-points in world affairs with the major addresses which preceded them. But it was not the Monroe Doctrine that kept all Europe away from this hemisphere-it was the strength of the British fleet and the width of the Atlantic Ocean."[13]

Political constructions gain a life of their own, making it difficult to harness the released energies. Like the proverbial genie out of the bottle, these manufactured realities are resistant to subsequent containment. Constructions require a special kind of devotion and loyalty; it may be hazardous to one's health to try to change course. President Kennedy knew that by reversing himself on his support of efforts to eliminate Castro, by arousing and then easing tensions against the Soviet Union, and by accepting the assistance of organized crime figures and then allowing his brother, the Attorney General, to vigorously pursue and prosecute them, he was making himself vulnerable to serious physical danger by those most disposed to lash out violently upon feelings of hatred and betrayal.

During those same months of 1963 when the Cubela operation was implemented, a strange scenario was being acted out in the southwestern U.S. An ex-Marine who had previously posed as a defector to Russia was being constructed as a pro-Castro Communist. Records reveal that all of his associations were actually of the anti-Castro persuasion. He was intimately involved with the anti-Communist "White Russian" community, shared an office with the coordinator of anti-Castro activities in New Orleans, and was known to have been present at one of the exile training camps that was closed down by the FBI that summer. His name was Lee Harvey Oswald.

The day after his brother's murder, Bobby Kennedy sought answers from Harry Ruiz-Williams, a CIA agent staying at a CIA-operated safe house used by Cuban exiles. Afterward, speaking with journalist Haynes Johnson, Bobby said that he "suspected CIA-backed anti-Castro forces of having been involved in his brother's death." He was later quoted as telling one of the investigators from his Senate committee days: "Those Cuban cunts are all working for the mob. They blame us for the Bay of Pigs, and they're trying to make this look like a Castro-Communist hit. I don't buy it. And I don't trust those guys at the CIA. They're worse than the Mafia."[14]

Of course, Bobby knew better than anyone what had transpired beneath the surface of the administration's use of the exiles. More personally, he knew the dark side of his own role in the unleashing of elements he now considered responsible for his brother's death. Many of those close to Bobby who saw in him a classic case of survivor's guilt were unaware that a much deeper level of responsibility may have informed his anguish.

Bobby had personally entertained Cuban exiles at his house, Hickory Hill, and kept in touch with them at their apartments at the Ebbitt Hotel in downtown Washington, where they were housed by the CIA. Even Desmond FitzGerald, Bobby's replacement for Wild Bill Harvey, was concerned about the directness of Bobby's involvement with the Cuban exiles. The Attorney General's freelancing with the the Cuban exile community was a formula for disaster. Peter Collier and David Horowitz have written poignantly about Bobby's anguish over what may have been an unintended consequence of his own actions:

"It was Bobby who had led the administration into dangerous places, daring the gods of the underworld and seizing the fire that finally erupted into anti-Kennedy hatred. He had done it in the service of his brother's presidency, yet he had gone past duty or necessity, using his special status as the brother within to justify what had become at times an almost perverse exploration of self. While Jack was alive, everything was justified; now that he was dead, it was all called into question. Had his acts created an environment for assassination? Had his zeal helped create the concatenation of forces that wanted Jack dead?"[15]

Four years after the assassination of the President, the CIA Inspector General conducted an internal investigation which was forwarded to Lyndon Johnson, who told newsman Howard K. Smith: "I'll tell you something that will rock you; Kennedy was trying to get Castro, but Castro got to him first."[16] In March 1967, columnist Drew Pearson wrote, "President Johnson is sitting on a political H-bomb-an unconfirmed report that Senator Robert Kennedy (Dem. N.Y.) may have approved an assassination plot which then possibly backfired against his brother."

The source for the Pearson article was the original mafioso hired by the CIA to kill Castro, Johnny Roselli. The spin being placed on this new round of stories was, like the Oswald promotion, aimed at leading the public to believe that Castro was behind the conspiracy in Dallas. Roselli had revealed to Pearson, through his attorney, Edward Morgan, that "One of our assassination teams was captured and tortured until they told all they knew about our operation which they said was ordered by the White House." Roselli asserted that "the team was turned around, you know, brainwashed, and sent back into our country to kill Kennedy."

All good lies contain a good measure of truth, and such may be the case with Roselli's attempt at history-making. Although this colorful rendition is compelling, given the source, it should be recognized that contained in this version is the admission that it was an anti-Castro hit team that had killed Kennedy. But this secret "team" would hardly have required anything so exotic as brainwashing to retarget its skills against the President. By November of 1963, Kennedy was clearly a foe to the extreme anti-Castro elements; they believed he had cancelled the airstrikes and betrayed the Bay of Pigs operation, then compounded the betrayal by giving the no-invasion pledge, and finally sealed the antipathy by shutting down the exile camps and beginning negotiations directed toward the normalization of relations with Cuba.

When Roselli's well-connected lawyer asked him how he had contained such explosive information, Roselli noted that "all phases of this operation were approved by Allen Dulles and President Eisenhower." He questioned why neither Dulles, who was a member of the Warren Commission investigating the Kennedy assassination, nor Eisenhower, who had full knowledge of the plots, ever came forward. "So what was I supposed to think?" He inferred that the President "wanted to keep the lid on." Roselli speculated that perhaps Johnson "thought it'd be bad for the country to know about this operation-you know, the government of the United States involved with the so-called Mafia to kill the leader of a foreign country and then it boomerangs."[17]

A possibility that may never be resolved is Johnson's notion that some action taken by Bobby Kennedy "backfired against his brother." There is ample evidence of Bobby's continued encouragement of anti-Castro efforts during a period of time when his brother, the President of the United States, was pursuing a very contrary policy.

Because of the closeness of the brothers it is generally assumed that Bobby was fulfilling one aspect of a multi-track approach on the part of the Administration. While it is understandable that some token support for the exiles might be considered prudent as a way of co-opting more radical elements, the extent to which one approach represented the direct undermining of the other presents a historical conundrum regarding the brothers' coordination of authority. The possibility must be considered that Bobby crossed the line of plausible deniability into a realm in which he was acting in his own highly unofficial capacity apart from any directed intention on the part of the President. Had he, like King Henry II's henchmen, acted on his own to eliminate his brother's Becket?

Consistent with Michael Beschloss' observation that "the most likely explanation for the cause of Kennedy's death lies in his policies,"[18] the convergence of CIA-Mafia-Cuban exile operations with the events surrounding the President's assassination provides strong circumstantial evidence of the motive and means for that crime. But there is more direct evidence. In a 1985 libel trial, E. Howard Hunt ("Eduardo") filed suit contesting an assertion in an article written by former CIA officer Victor Marchetti implicating him in the assassination, including an alleged 1966 memo initialed by CIA Director Richard Helms and Deputy Director for Counterintelligence James Angleton, which discussed Hunt's presence in Dallas and the possibility that "a cover story, giving Hunt an alibi for being elsewhere the day of the assassination, 'ought to be considered.'" Speculating on why such an extraordinary cover-up would be put in writing, a high level CIA source said, "The memo is very odd. It was almost as if Angleton was informing Helms, who had just become director, that there was a skeleton in the family closet that had to be taken care of and this was his response."[19]

Castro's former mistress-turned-CIA agent, Marita Lorenz, testified of her direct knowledge of Hunt's participation, as well as that of other anti-Castro Cubans, in the events in Dallas leading up to November 22, 1963. She claimed to have been in a two car caravan with Frank Sturgis, Orlando Bosch and others traveling from Miami carrying numerous weapons. Upon their arrival in Dallas they were met at their motel on November 21st by their old paymaster, "Eduardo." An hour after Hunt delivered the money and departed, another character out of history arrived: Jack Ruby.

In that trial, an amazing exchange took place after Hunt testified that, "like thousands of other Americans, millions," he, his wife and children had huddled together at home that fateful weekend, "and watched the burial services."[20] Yet, despite providing his own children as alibis, he had also asserted his legal damages to be the doubts in their minds about their own father's activities. The question was asked:

"Mr. Hunt, why did you have to convince your children that you were not in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963, if, in fact, as you say, a fourteen-year-old daughter, a thirteen-year-old daughter, and a ten-year-old son were with you in the Washington, D.C. area on November 22, 1963, and were with you at least for the next forty-eight hours, as you all stayed glued to the T.V. set?" After a long pause, Hunt lamely asserted that. "it was less a question of my convincing them that I was in Washington, D.C. with them-rather, reminding them that I was-than it was to assure them that none of the charges...had any substance to them at all." The magazine's attorney followed up with: "What I want to know is since they knew how outrageous the lies were, why did they have to be convinced by you that you weren't in Texas?" Hunt simply replied: "Reminded, reminded."[21]

Hunt had failed to anticipate that the two elements of his story-that his children were with him the entire weekend and that his children were unsure of where he had been at the time-were mutually exclusive. Hunt lost his lawsuit. The jury did not even debate the malice issue because the truthfulness of the assertion had been sufficiently proven.

On the tenth anniversary of the invasion fiasco, April 17, 1971, E. Howard Hunt had traveled to the Bay of Pigs Monument in the Little Havana area of Miami to recruit exile veterans for a new operation. Resurrecting the dream of overthrowing Castro, Eduardo had assured them that "the whole thing is not over."[22]

Subsequent events would expose a high level role played by these terrorists when a team of Bay of Pigs veterans was caught burglarizing the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate complex in Washington, D.C. Found among the burglars' effects was evidence that they were being coordinated by E. Howard Hunt, who had an office in the White House. In addition to political burglary, Hunt had been given the high-level assignment of manufacturing evidence of President Kennedy's complicity in the assassination of South Vietnam's leader in 1963, Ngo Dinh Diem.

President Nixon subsequently managed to remain in power for more than two years, withstanding remarkable disclosures, until the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that he had to turn over tape recordings of certain Oval Office conversations. Nixon was out of office within two weeks, primarily because of the disclosure of a taped discussion about Hunt that occurred a few days after the break-in. This tape recording has become known in history as the smoking gun conversation.

During that incredible exchange that would topple a presidency, Nixon ordered his Chief of Staff, H. R. Haldeman, to meet with Richard Helms, the Director of the CIA, and tell him to call off the FBI's investigation of the burglary for national security reasons. Nixon suggested that Hunt's involvement be used as a lever to make sure the CIA would cooperate. The transcripts of President Nixon's rantings about Hunt are perhaps the most factually revealing evidence of deep politics in history:

"Hunt...will uncover a lot of things. You open that scab there's a hell of a lot of things.... Tell them we just feel that it would be very detrimental to have this thing go any further. This involves these Cubans, Hunt, and a lot of hanky-panky that we have nothing to do with ourselves. When you get the CIA people in say, "Look, the problem is that this will open up the whole Bay of Pigs thing again." So they should call the FBI in and for the good of the country don't go any further into this case. Period. Just say (unintelligible) very bad to have this fellow Hunt, ah, he knows too damned much.... If it gets out that this is all involved, the Cuba thing would be a fiasco. It would make the CIA look bad, it's going to make Hunt look bad, and it's likely to blow the whole Bay of Pigs which we think would be very unfortunate-both for the CIA, and for the country, at this time, and for American foreign policy. Just tell him to lay off....[23]

Haldeman recorded Helms' dramatic reaction to the threat: "Turmoil in the room, Helms gripping the arms of his chair leaning forward and shouting, 'The Bay of Pigs had nothing to do with this'" Despite this, Helms acquiesced and Haldeman was able to report to the President that "his strategy had worked," that Helms would be "very happy to be helpful." But the remarks and Helms' behavior raised the question in Haldeman's mind: "What was such dynamite in the Bay of Pigs story?" The more innocuous explanation is that Nixon, as the chief White House official involved with the Eisenhower administration's Cuba invasion planning, knew of the government's use of Mafia assassination assets in the efforts against Castro. However, following years of study, analysis and reflection, along with his personal knowledge of the players involved, Haldeman asserted a more astonishing answer to that question: "It seems that in all of those Nixon references to the Bay of Pigs, he was actually referring to the Kennedy assassination." Given his reaction, it is apparent that Helms clearly understood Nixon's message.[24]

Aside from such an interpretation of the dark secret to which Nixon was alluding, he and the CIA director had a more current mutuality of interests. Helms wanted to suppress the CIA-Hunt relationship because it violated the Agency's charter regarding domestic spying. Nixon wanted to suppress the White House-Hunt relationship because it would reveal precisely for whom the chief Watergate burglar was working. E. Howard Hunt clearly represented a problem for more than one major Washington power center. Nine months after the smoking gun conversation, when Hunt was about to be sentenced, Nixon was told that Hunt had issued a blackmail demand in lieu of revealing some of the "seamy things" he had done for the President. Nixon's response was unequivocal: "Well, for Christ's sakes...get it."[25]

Notes

1. Michael R. Beschloss, The Crisis Years: Kennedy and Khrushchev, 1960-1963, (New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1991), 687.

2. William B. Breuer, Vendetta: Castro and the Kennedy Brothers, (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1997), 209.

3. James Reston, "Top U.S. Advisers in Dispute on Aid to Castro's Foes," The New York Times, April 11, 1963.

4. Breuer, 210-211.

5. William Manchester, The Death Of A President, (New York: Harper & Row, 1967), 46.

6. Anthony Summers, Conspiracy, (New York: McGraw-Hill Book Co., 1980), 426.

7. Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., Robert Kennedy and His Times, (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1978), 557.

8. Summers, 427.

9. Ibid., 426.

10. James G. Blight, Bruce J. Allyn and David A. Welch, Cuba On The Brink. (New York: Pantheon Books, 1993), 237.

11. Ibid., 191.

12. Ibid., 191-193.

13. Gaddis Smith, Gaddis, The Last Years of the Monroe Doctrine. (New York: Hill and Wang, 1994), 111-112.

14. David C. Heymann, RFK. New York: Penguin Putnam Inc., 1998), 10.

15. Peter Collier and David Horowitz, The Kennedys, (New York: Summit Books, 1984), 317.

16. New York Times, June 25, 1976.

17. Ovid Demaris, The Last Mafioso. New York: Bantam Books, 1981), 235-241.

18. Jefferson Morley, "November 22, 1963: Why We Need The Real History Of The Kennedy Assassination," Washington Post, (November 24, 1996).

19. Joe Trento and Jacquie Powers, "Was Howard Hunt in Dallas The Day JFK Died?" Wilmington Sunday News Journal, (August 20, 1978).

20. Mark Lane, Plausible Denial, (New York: Thunder's Mouth Press, 1991), 282.

21. Ibid., 283-284.

22. Carl Oglesby, The Yankee and Cowboy War. (Kansas City: Sheed Andrews and McMeel, Inc., 1976), 277.

23. H. R. Haldeman, The Ends of Power, (New York: Times Books, 1978), 33.

24. Ibid., 38-39.

25. Theodore H. White, Breach of Faith, (New York: Reader's Digest Press, 1975), 199-200.

Great, I did not realize this had been re-posted. Yea.

Now I want to see Tim posting here again- miss his brilliant "Oglesby-like" posts.

Dawn

****************************************************

"Now I want to see Tim posting here again- miss his brilliant "Oglesby-like" posts."

Yeah, BRING BACK T.C.!

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Re: "Now I want to see Tim posting here again- miss his brilliant "Oglesby-like" posts."

Yeah, BRING BACK T.C.!

Some of the new members now again parading LN theories probably are T.C. I don't miss his distracting babble at all.

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[quote name='Norman T. Field' date='Jun 29 2006, 10:43 PM' post='66699']

Some of the new members now again parading LN theories probably are T.C.

HUH?? SInce TC cannot defend himself I am posting that he has NEVER posted a pro LN post. This is a joke right? (DM)

I don't miss his distracting babble at all.

Well many of us do. Infact it's a distraction FROM the "babble".

Dawn

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I've now had the great good fortune of having been directed to Tim Carroll's extraordinary distillation and analysis of the historical context of JFK's assassination, "The Whole Bay of Pigs Thing," and I cannot overstate my admiration for his recognition of, and centered disquisition on, the most salient and relevant forces and factors that converged and condensed that day into a rain of bullets.

When Dylan wrote "A Hard Rain's Gonna' Fall" during the Cuban missle crisis, his fear was a hard rain of missles of a different kind, but his prescience was no less astonishing.

I will revisit this significant work of Mr. Carroll many times. I believe that one of its gifts, among many, is to sweep away a virtual landfill of irrelevancies that has been willfully dumped by the ton over the JFK assassination, leaving in view the bedrock of motives, personnel, and connections that could not possibly have been otherwise than involved.

One of the very stark veins in that exposed bedrock is the trail of E. Howard Hunt from the Bay of Pigs through hard documented evidence of his presence in Dallas directly to the nexus of Watergate, parallelled and joined by confluences of common CIA-connected Cuban personnel, like tributaries of the same river. Their origins all trace back to the same eternal poisoned spring at Langley.

Having leapt from bedrock now into deep flowing waters, I'll say that so consistent is this unbroken stream that the naivety embodied in climbing out and following any inviting path to its exclusion is jaw-dropping.

As to its meanderings into the floodwaters of Watergate: some who have read my own articles and analyses of Watergate as a CIA hoax of almost inconceivable proportions may assume that my own research and Mr. Carroll's there part ways.

On the contrary, I believe that in more expanded and compared analysis they will prove extremely complementary, and that ultimately—if I can be forgiven for throwing yet another metaphor into the blender—they will overlay like matching fingerprints.

I'm woefully far behind him and almost everyone else in this forum on current study and thorough understanding of the JFK assassination, having set it aside some years ago to focus my attention on Watergate, believing—rightly or wrongly—that if the wall of lies around that fraud could be broken down, the truth about the JFK assassination would be found inside the same stronghold.

I believe entirely that just such a breach has been made in that Watergate levy (follow me back into the river), and I believe that answers hidden behind it for so many decades are about to spill out, and that no damage control can repair that breach.

I eagerly anticipate an opportunity to compare notes with Mr. Carroll, and I am dismayed to learn that for whatever reason he is not currently participating—although if some of the Watergate participants here have their way, I may soon be joining him as one of the voiceless.

In any case, I thank him profusely for his contributions to the common store of knowledge, relevance, and reasoned analysis.

Ashton Gray

Edited by Ashton Gray

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Guest John Gillespie

"Well many of us do. Infact it's a distraction FROM the "babble".

Dawn"

________________________________

...on the fat part of the bat, DM. Nice.

JG

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Re: "Now I want to see Tim posting here again- miss his brilliant "Oglesby-like" posts."

Yeah, BRING BACK T.C.!

Some of the new members now again parading LN theories probably are T.C. I don't miss his distracting babble at all.

******************************************************

"Some of the new members now again parading LN theories probably are T.C. I don't miss his distracting babble at all."

What! Are you nuts? You must be confusing Tim Carroll's intitials [T.C.] with our resident Lone Nutter's, [T.P.] aka Tom Purvis. Jeez...get yer facts straight.

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Re: "Now I want to see Tim posting here again- miss his brilliant "Oglesby-like" posts."

Yeah, BRING BACK T.C.!

Some of the new members now again parading LN theories probably are T.C. I don't miss his distracting babble at all.

******************************************************

"Some of the new members now again parading LN theories probably are T.C. I don't miss his distracting babble at all."

What! Are you nuts? You must be confusing Tim Carroll's intitials [T.C.] with our resident Lone Nutter's, [T.P.] aka Tom Purvis. Jeez...get yer facts straight.

Truly my bad. Of course I mean to type T.G. Apoligies to all.

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Just advancing this for Myra.

Ter and I are enjoying your posts Myra.

Dawn

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... is there any way you could repost it?

Thanks for asking for this Len, as I was trying to find it. There's a lot of important information in this article, and I want to go over some of them later on. - God Bless TC, BK

THE "WHOLE BAY OF PIGS THING": FROM DALLAS TO WATERGATE

In the year following the Cuban Missile Crisis, President Kennedy took measures that led some to conclude that he had experienced an epiphany as a result of his joust at the abyss. A hot-line was installed between Washington and Moscow to provide for better communication in the event of some future crisis. The superpowers entered into a limited test ban treaty, ending their testing of nuclear weapons in the atmosphere, oceans, and space. During the last year of his presidency, Kennedy had also taken measures to shut down CIA-sponsored operations involving the exile community. This resulted in a schism between the FBI and the CIA, and generated new antipathy toward the Kennedy administration. The President's public assurance about what was "understood by the anti-Castro exiles" was more wish than fact.[1]

Following incidents in March of 1963 when powerboats manned by anti-Castro exiles roared into Cuban harbors shooting up two Soviet freighters, President Kennedy began to take official steps to terminate U.S. support for groups like Alpha 66 that had become out of control. When Bobby Kennedy wrote his brother a memo promoting new efforts to "cultivate" an "internal breakup in Cuba," the President uncharacteristically did not respond, at least in writing.

Apparently the brothers held a private discussion which led to an immediate turn-around, reflected in a presentation to the National Security Council in which Bobby dutifully played his prescribed role of informing the President that "a decision had been made to formulate a plan to shut down the hit-and-run attacks from Florida locales." The following day, the President publicly declared that he would "take every step necessary" to terminate the exile raids against Cuba.

Shortly thereafter, mirroring the Kennedys' earlier turn against the Mafia, the Justice Department began prosecuting exile leaders for "violating U.S. neutrality laws."[2] At the same time, the CIA was ordered to cut off funding for the groups, leaving them to fend for themselves or draw on other sources. The President's public statement regarding the exiles' activities was unequivocal:

"There will not be, under any circumstances, an intervention in Cuba by the United States armed forces. The government will do everything it possibly can; I think it can meet its responsibilities, to make sure that there are no Americans involved in any actions inside Cuba.... The basic issue in Cuba is not one between the United States and Cuba. It is between the Cubans themselves. I intend to see that we adhere to that principle and as I understand it this administration's attitude is so understood by the anti-Castro exiles from Cuba in this country."[3]

Bobby Kennedy held a meeting to formulate plans to implement the new policy. It included two FBI agents, "officials of the CIA, Immigration and Naturalization Service, Navy, Coast Guard, Customs Service, the Internal Security Division of the Justice Department, and the State Department." He explained that the President "wanted to put a halt to the exile raids" and that "sixteen of the officials present" were to leave immediately for Miami "to decide what measures could be taken." Among the steps later taken were:

"... serving restriction notices on certain exile leaders to prevent them from leaving the United States, refusing reentry to the United States to any exile who went beyond the 3-mile limit offshore, increased surveillance by the Coast Guard of the Florida coastline, and intensified FBI intelligence coverage of Cuban exile groups to ascertain and abort plans for future raids."[4]

Following the Miami conference, the combined forces of the federal government clamped down on the same anti-Castro groups and activities that had previously been given such encouragement and support. Numerous raids were conducted in which agents of the FBI closed down exile training camps, seizing large amounts of weapons, ammunition, and explosives. While it is clear that the President was serious about doing nothing to disturb the fragile peace following the Missile Crisis, and had great reason to fear provoking disclosure of his Secret Deal with Khrushchev, it is not so clear that his brother was going along fully. Having little choice but to support the President's policy publicly, there is ample evidence that in private he continued to support the proscribed activities.

The no-invasion pledge and withdrawal of support for exile activities ushered in a particularly bitter season of discontent within the anti-Castro Cuban community. A flyer dated April 18, 1963, and decorated with a profile of the Alamo, was distributed to Cubans in Miami's Little Havana. It stated: "Only through one development will you Cuban patriots ever live again in your homeland as freemen, responsible as must be the most capable for the guidance and welfare of the Cuban people." This blessing could only come to pass:

"If an inspired Act of God should place in the White House within weeks a Texan known to be a friend of all Latin Americans...though he must under present conditions bow to the Zionists who since 1905 came into control of the United States, and for whom Jack Kennedy and Nelson Rockefeller and other members of the Council of Foreign Relations and allied agencies are only stooges and pawns. Though Johnson must now bow to these crafty and cunning Communist-hatching Jews, yet, did an Act of God suddenly elevate him into the top position [he] would revert to what his beloved father and grandfather were, and to their values and principles and loyalties." Obviously encouraging support for the forcible removal of the President among the anti-Castro exiles, the broadside was signed, "A Texan who resents the Oriental influence that has come to control, to degrade, to pollute and enslave his own people."[5]

The least known of the measures taken by President Kennedy was a peace overture made toward Castro. To many, including top officials at the CIA and the State Department, the very idea of any sort of dialogue with Castro was heresy. Nevertheless, Kennedy authorized William Attwood, Special Adviser to the United States delegation at the United Nations, to begin informal talks with the Cuban Ambassador aimed at eventual normalization of relations between the U.S. and Cuba. He also set up a back channel communication with Castro through journalist Lisa Howard, who was flown to Cuba a number of times in 1963 using a covert operative pilot. A message had been received through U.N. personnel that Castro was displeased about the degree to which Cuba was becoming tied to the Soviet Union and was seeking to redress the balance by finding an accommodation with the United States. There was evidence that a rift had developed between Castro and some of his Communist colleagues, including Che Guevara. The Cuban leader had given an interview in which he expressed satisfaction over Kennedy's crackdown on exile raiding parties.

It was at this same time that the CIA made its first contacts in nearly a year with Rolando Cubela, a high-ranking traitor in Castro's inner circle. Without the knowledge of the President or CIA Director John McCone, a small group of CIA officers, led by Desmond FitzGerald, an intimate associate of Bobby Kennedy's, prepared to use Cubela to assassinate Castro. Cubela requested a meeting with Bobby so that he could be sure that the scheme had the approval of the President. What he got was a meeting with FitzGerald, who claimed to be a U.S. Senator and Bobby Kennedy's personal representative. Government reports reveal that Cubela was in Paris being handed a poison pen and a gun at precisely the moment that President Kennedy was assassinated. In 1978, Arthur Schlesinger noted:

"The whole Cubela thing raises even deeper questions. The CIA was reviving the assassination plots at the very time President Kennedy was considering the possibility of normalization of relations with Cuba-an extraordinary action. If it was not total incompetence-which in the case of the CIA cannot be excluded-it was a studied attempt to subvert national policy."[6]

Although the President had specifically ordered that the U.N. discussions be kept secret, "it seems inconceivable that the CIA knew nothing about it. American intelligence had Cuban U.N. diplomats under incessant surveillance."[7] It tapped their phones, intercepted their mail, and followed their every movement. Schlesinger has noted that "if word leaked of President Kennedy's efforts, that might have been exactly the kind of thing to trigger some explosion of fanatical violence."[8] Ambassador Attwood, who subsequently realized that his telephone conversations and private meetings were insecure, agreed. He has said,

"If the CIA did find out what we were doing this would have trickled down to the lower echelon of activists, and Cuban exiles and the more gung-ho CIA people who had been involved since the Bay of Pigs. If word of a possible normalization of relations with Cuba leaked to these people, I can understand why they would have reacted violently. This was the end of their dreams of returning to Cuba, and they might have been impelled to take violent action. Such as assassinating the President."[9]

In an historical irony, one of the President's personal messengers, French journalist Jean Daniel, and Castro were together at the moment they learned of the President's assassination. This initiative was later described by the Cuban leader "as a gesture, as an indication of a desire to establish contact, to explore what our thinking was on all of this-and, furthermore, to establish a certain kind of communication." Castro continued,

"We needed a kind of bridge, some sort of communication. Since Kennedy had such great authority in his own country after the crisis, he could have done things that he had not done before. In my view, he had the courage to do them. You had to have courage to defy the state of opinion on all these questions."[10]

Castro's view of Kennedy's performances, as well as the Cuban historical view as a whole, is very interesting given the realities of the Bay of Pigs, the Secret War, and the Cuban Missile Crisis. Listening to Castro's remarks at an oral history conference in Cuba, James Blight concluded: "Kennedy is by far the most respected-even loved-U.S. president since the triumph of the revolution in 1959." He recorded the statement of one Cuban official:

"You see, by not attacking Cuba in April 1961 and October 1962, we believe Kennedy's anti-Cuban machinery turned against him, like Frankenstein's monster. Those forces-the Mafia, the radical Cuban exiles, and the CIA-afterwards conspired successfully to assassinate him, because he prevented them from assassinating Fidel and destroying the Cuban Revolution. In a strange way, we believe, Kennedy had to die so that the Cuban Revolution could live."[11]

Blight's impression is that when Castro discusses Khrushchev and Kennedy, "one senses that the respect is highly qualified with respect to his old friend Khrushchev, but uncomplicated and sincere regarding his old enemy, Kennedy." Castro feels that because of the "boost in the authority he got after the October crisis, when his leadership was consolidated in the United States," Kennedy was "one of the presidents-or perhaps the president best able-to rectify American policy toward Cuba"[12]

At the moment of his death President Kennedy was on his way to deliver a speech in which he would address the kinds of dangerously false constructions so popular at that time in Dallas, a city which had become the epicenter of right-wing jingoistic criticism. The speech presented an almost transcendental world view which is particularly relevant to the "What would Kennedy have done?" debate over Vietnam. While recognizing that dissent is inevitable, the speech was to go on to say:

"But today other voices are heard in the land-voices preaching doctrines wholly unrelated to reality...doctrines which apparently assume that words will suffice without weapons, that vituperation is as good as victory and that peace is a sign of weakness.... I realize that this Nation often tends to identify turning-points in world affairs with the major addresses which preceded them. But it was not the Monroe Doctrine that kept all Europe away from this hemisphere-it was the strength of the British fleet and the width of the Atlantic Ocean."[13]

Political constructions gain a life of their own, making it difficult to harness the released energies. Like the proverbial genie out of the bottle, these manufactured realities are resistant to subsequent containment. Constructions require a special kind of devotion and loyalty; it may be hazardous to one's health to try to change course. President Kennedy knew that by reversing himself on his support of efforts to eliminate Castro, by arousing and then easing tensions against the Soviet Union, and by accepting the assistance of organized crime figures and then allowing his brother, the Attorney General, to vigorously pursue and prosecute them, he was making himself vulnerable to serious physical danger by those most disposed to lash out violently upon feelings of hatred and betrayal.

During those same months of 1963 when the Cubela operation was implemented, a strange scenario was being acted out in the southwestern U.S. An ex-Marine who had previously posed as a defector to Russia was being constructed as a pro-Castro Communist. Records reveal that all of his associations were actually of the anti-Castro persuasion. He was intimately involved with the anti-Communist "White Russian" community, shared an office with the coordinator of anti-Castro activities in New Orleans, and was known to have been present at one of the exile training camps that was closed down by the FBI that summer. His name was Lee Harvey Oswald.

The day after his brother's murder, Bobby Kennedy sought answers from Harry Ruiz-Williams, a CIA agent staying at a CIA-operated safe house used by Cuban exiles. Afterward, speaking with journalist Haynes Johnson, Bobby said that he "suspected CIA-backed anti-Castro forces of having been involved in his brother's death." He was later quoted as telling one of the investigators from his Senate committee days: "Those Cuban cunts are all working for the mob. They blame us for the Bay of Pigs, and they're trying to make this look like a Castro-Communist hit. I don't buy it. And I don't trust those guys at the CIA. They're worse than the Mafia."[14]

Of course, Bobby knew better than anyone what had transpired beneath the surface of the administration's use of the exiles. More personally, he knew the dark side of his own role in the unleashing of elements he now considered responsible for his brother's death. Many of those close to Bobby who saw in him a classic case of survivor's guilt were unaware that a much deeper level of responsibility may have informed his anguish.

Bobby had personally entertained Cuban exiles at his house, Hickory Hill, and kept in touch with them at their apartments at the Ebbitt Hotel in downtown Washington, where they were housed by the CIA. Even Desmond FitzGerald, Bobby's replacement for Wild Bill Harvey, was concerned about the directness of Bobby's involvement with the Cuban exiles. The Attorney General's freelancing with the the Cuban exile community was a formula for disaster. Peter Collier and David Horowitz have written poignantly about Bobby's anguish over what may have been an unintended consequence of his own actions:

"It was Bobby who had led the administration into dangerous places, daring the gods of the underworld and seizing the fire that finally erupted into anti-Kennedy hatred. He had done it in the service of his brother's presidency, yet he had gone past duty or necessity, using his special status as the brother within to justify what had become at times an almost perverse exploration of self. While Jack was alive, everything was justified; now that he was dead, it was all called into question. Had his acts created an environment for assassination? Had his zeal helped create the concatenation of forces that wanted Jack dead?"[15]

Four years after the assassination of the President, the CIA Inspector General conducted an internal investigation which was forwarded to Lyndon Johnson, who told newsman Howard K. Smith: "I'll tell you something that will rock you; Kennedy was trying to get Castro, but Castro got to him first."[16] In March 1967, columnist Drew Pearson wrote, "President Johnson is sitting on a political H-bomb-an unconfirmed report that Senator Robert Kennedy (Dem. N.Y.) may have approved an assassination plot which then possibly backfired against his brother."

The source for the Pearson article was the original mafioso hired by the CIA to kill Castro, Johnny Roselli. The spin being placed on this new round of stories was, like the Oswald promotion, aimed at leading the public to believe that Castro was behind the conspiracy in Dallas. Roselli had revealed to Pearson, through his attorney, Edward Morgan, that "One of our assassination teams was captured and tortured until they told all they knew about our operation which they said was ordered by the White House." Roselli asserted that "the team was turned around, you know, brainwashed, and sent back into our country to kill Kennedy."

All good lies contain a good measure of truth, and such may be the case with Roselli's attempt at history-making. Although this colorful rendition is compelling, given the source, it should be recognized that contained in this version is the admission that it was an anti-Castro hit team that had killed Kennedy. But this secret "team" would hardly have required anything so exotic as brainwashing to retarget its skills against the President. By November of 1963, Kennedy was clearly a foe to the extreme anti-Castro elements; they believed he had cancelled the airstrikes and betrayed the Bay of Pigs operation, then compounded the betrayal by giving the no-invasion pledge, and finally sealed the antipathy by shutting down the exile camps and beginning negotiations directed toward the normalization of relations with Cuba.

When Roselli's well-connected lawyer asked him how he had contained such explosive information, Roselli noted that "all phases of this operation were approved by Allen Dulles and President Eisenhower." He questioned why neither Dulles, who was a member of the Warren Commission investigating the Kennedy assassination, nor Eisenhower, who had full knowledge of the plots, ever came forward. "So what was I supposed to think?" He inferred that the President "wanted to keep the lid on." Roselli speculated that perhaps Johnson "thought it'd be bad for the country to know about this operation-you know, the government of the United States involved with the so-called Mafia to kill the leader of a foreign country and then it boomerangs."[17]

A possibility that may never be resolved is Johnson's notion that some action taken by Bobby Kennedy "backfired against his brother." There is ample evidence of Bobby's continued encouragement of anti-Castro efforts during a period of time when his brother, the President of the United States, was pursuing a very contrary policy.

Because of the closeness of the brothers it is generally assumed that Bobby was fulfilling one aspect of a multi-track approach on the part of the Administration. While it is understandable that some token support for the exiles might be considered prudent as a way of co-opting more radical elements, the extent to which one approach represented the direct undermining of the other presents a historical conundrum regarding the brothers' coordination of authority. The possibility must be considered that Bobby crossed the line of plausible deniability into a realm in which he was acting in his own highly unofficial capacity apart from any directed intention on the part of the President. Had he, like King Henry II's henchmen, acted on his own to eliminate his brother's Becket?

Consistent with Michael Beschloss' observation that "the most likely explanation for the cause of Kennedy's death lies in his policies,"[18] the convergence of CIA-Mafia-Cuban exile operations with the events surrounding the President's assassination provides strong circumstantial evidence of the motive and means for that crime. But there is more direct evidence. In a 1985 libel trial, E. Howard Hunt ("Eduardo") filed suit contesting an assertion in an article written by former CIA officer Victor Marchetti implicating him in the assassination, including an alleged 1966 memo initialed by CIA Director Richard Helms and Deputy Director for Counterintelligence James Angleton, which discussed Hunt's presence in Dallas and the possibility that "a cover story, giving Hunt an alibi for being elsewhere the day of the assassination, 'ought to be considered.'" Speculating on why such an extraordinary cover-up would be put in writing, a high level CIA source said, "The memo is very odd. It was almost as if Angleton was informing Helms, who had just become director, that there was a skeleton in the family closet that had to be taken care of and this was his response."[19]

Castro's former mistress-turned-CIA agent, Marita Lorenz, testified of her direct knowledge of Hunt's participation, as well as that of other anti-Castro Cubans, in the events in Dallas leading up to November 22, 1963. She claimed to have been in a two car caravan with Frank Sturgis, Orlando Bosch and others traveling from Miami carrying numerous weapons. Upon their arrival in Dallas they were met at their motel on November 21st by their old paymaster, "Eduardo." An hour after Hunt delivered the money and departed, another character out of history arrived: Jack Ruby.

In that trial, an amazing exchange took place after Hunt testified that, "like thousands of other Americans, millions," he, his wife and children had huddled together at home that fateful weekend, "and watched the burial services."[20] Yet, despite providing his own children as alibis, he had also asserted his legal damages to be the doubts in their minds about their own father's activities. The question was asked:

"Mr. Hunt, why did you have to convince your children that you were not in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963, if, in fact, as you say, a fourteen-year-old daughter, a thirteen-year-old daughter, and a ten-year-old son were with you in the Washington, D.C. area on November 22, 1963, and were with you at least for the next forty-eight hours, as you all stayed glued to the T.V. set?" After a long pause, Hunt lamely asserted that. "it was less a question of my convincing them that I was in Washington, D.C. with them-rather, reminding them that I was-than it was to assure them that none of the charges...had any substance to them at all." The magazine's attorney followed up with: "What I want to know is since they knew how outrageous the lies were, why did they have to be convinced by you that you weren't in Texas?" Hunt simply replied: "Reminded, reminded."[21]

Hunt had failed to anticipate that the two elements of his story-that his children were with him the entire weekend and that his children were unsure of where he had been at the time-were mutually exclusive. Hunt lost his lawsuit. The jury did not even debate the malice issue because the truthfulness of the assertion had been sufficiently proven.

On the tenth anniversary of the invasion fiasco, April 17, 1971, E. Howard Hunt had traveled to the Bay of Pigs Monument in the Little Havana area of Miami to recruit exile veterans for a new operation. Resurrecting the dream of overthrowing Castro, Eduardo had assured them that "the whole thing is not over."[22]

Subsequent events would expose a high level role played by these terrorists when a team of Bay of Pigs veterans was caught burglarizing the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate complex in Washington, D.C. Found among the burglars' effects was evidence that they were being coordinated by E. Howard Hunt, who had an office in the White House. In addition to political burglary, Hunt had been given the high-level assignment of manufacturing evidence of President Kennedy's complicity in the assassination of South Vietnam's leader in 1963, Ngo Dinh Diem.

President Nixon subsequently managed to remain in power for more than two years, withstanding remarkable disclosures, until the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that he had to turn over tape recordings of certain Oval Office conversations. Nixon was out of office within two weeks, primarily because of the disclosure of a taped discussion about Hunt that occurred a few days after the break-in. This tape recording has become known in history as the smoking gun conversation.

During that incredible exchange that would topple a presidency, Nixon ordered his Chief of Staff, H. R. Haldeman, to meet with Richard Helms, the Director of the CIA, and tell him to call off the FBI's investigation of the burglary for national security reasons. Nixon suggested that Hunt's involvement be used as a lever to make sure the CIA would cooperate. The transcripts of President Nixon's rantings about Hunt are perhaps the most factually revealing evidence of deep politics in history:

"Hunt...will uncover a lot of things. You open that scab there's a hell of a lot of things.... Tell them we just feel that it would be very detrimental to have this thing go any further. This involves these Cubans, Hunt, and a lot of hanky-panky that we have nothing to do with ourselves. When you get the CIA people in say, "Look, the problem is that this will open up the whole Bay of Pigs thing again." So they should call the FBI in and for the good of the country don't go any further into this case. Period. Just say (unintelligible) very bad to have this fellow Hunt, ah, he knows too damned much.... If it gets out that this is all involved, the Cuba thing would be a fiasco. It would make the CIA look bad, it's going to make Hunt look bad, and it's likely to blow the whole Bay of Pigs which we think would be very unfortunate-both for the CIA, and for the country, at this time, and for American foreign policy. Just tell him to lay off....[23]

Haldeman recorded Helms' dramatic reaction to the threat: "Turmoil in the room, Helms gripping the arms of his chair leaning forward and shouting, 'The Bay of Pigs had nothing to do with this'" Despite this, Helms acquiesced and Haldeman was able to report to the President that "his strategy had worked," that Helms would be "very happy to be helpful." But the remarks and Helms' behavior raised the question in Haldeman's mind: "What was such dynamite in the Bay of Pigs story?" The more innocuous explanation is that Nixon, as the chief White House official involved with the Eisenhower administration's Cuba invasion planning, knew of the government's use of Mafia assassination assets in the efforts against Castro. However, following years of study, analysis and reflection, along with his personal knowledge of the players involved, Haldeman asserted a more astonishing answer to that question: "It seems that in all of those Nixon references to the Bay of Pigs, he was actually referring to the Kennedy assassination." Given his reaction, it is apparent that Helms clearly understood Nixon's message.[24]

Aside from such an interpretation of the dark secret to which Nixon was alluding, he and the CIA director had a more current mutuality of interests. Helms wanted to suppress the CIA-Hunt relationship because it violated the Agency's charter regarding domestic spying. Nixon wanted to suppress the White House-Hunt relationship because it would reveal precisely for whom the chief Watergate burglar was working. E. Howard Hunt clearly represented a problem for more than one major Washington power center. Nine months after the smoking gun conversation, when Hunt was about to be sentenced, Nixon was told that Hunt had issued a blackmail demand in lieu of revealing some of the "seamy things" he had done for the President. Nixon's response was unequivocal: "Well, for Christ's sakes...get it."[25]

Notes

1. Michael R. Beschloss, The Crisis Years: Kennedy and Khrushchev, 1960-1963, (New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1991), 687.

2. William B. Breuer, Vendetta: Castro and the Kennedy Brothers, (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1997), 209.

3. James Reston, "Top U.S. Advisers in Dispute on Aid to Castro's Foes," The New York Times, April 11, 1963.

4. Breuer, 210-211.

5. William Manchester, The Death Of A President, (New York: Harper & Row, 1967), 46.

6. Anthony Summers, Conspiracy, (New York: McGraw-Hill Book Co., 1980), 426.

7. Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., Robert Kennedy and His Times, (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1978), 557.

8. Summers, 427.

9. Ibid., 426.

10. James G. Blight, Bruce J. Allyn and David A. Welch, Cuba On The Brink. (New York: Pantheon Books, 1993), 237.

11. Ibid., 191.

12. Ibid., 191-193.

13. Gaddis Smith, Gaddis, The Last Years of the Monroe Doctrine. (New York: Hill and Wang, 1994), 111-112.

14. David C. Heymann, RFK. New York: Penguin Putnam Inc., 1998), 10.

15. Peter Collier and David Horowitz, The Kennedys, (New York: Summit Books, 1984), 317.

16. New York Times, June 25, 1976.

17. Ovid Demaris, The Last Mafioso. New York: Bantam Books, 1981), 235-241.

18. Jefferson Morley, "November 22, 1963: Why We Need The Real History Of The Kennedy Assassination," Washington Post, (November 24, 1996).

19. Joe Trento and Jacquie Powers, "Was Howard Hunt in Dallas The Day JFK Died?" Wilmington Sunday News Journal, (August 20, 1978).

20. Mark Lane, Plausible Denial, (New York: Thunder's Mouth Press, 1991), 282.

21. Ibid., 283-284.

22. Carl Oglesby, The Yankee and Cowboy War. (Kansas City: Sheed Andrews and McMeel, Inc., 1976), 277.

23. H. R. Haldeman, The Ends of Power, (New York: Times Books, 1978), 33.

24. Ibid., 38-39.

25. Theodore H. White, Breach of Faith, (New York: Reader's Digest Press, 1975), 199-200.

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