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Tim Gratz

Who Believes Castro Did It?

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I thought I would start a separate thread on exactly who believes that Castro killed Kennedy (with or without the assistance of the KGB).

One question that should be addressed is what is the basis for the opinions of these people. Are any of their opinions based in "inside information" (by which I mean information which is still classified, or information not readily accessible to assassination researchers) or is it merely their theory based on information in the public domain, such as the information I will be posting in the following days.

Even if it is only the latter, the fact that intelligent people, some of whom worked very closely on the Cuban project in the Kennedy administration, e.g. Joseph Califano and Alexander Haig, subscribe to the "Castro did it" scenario means, IMO, that the scenario deserves the careful evaluation of any serious assassination researcher who is really interested in finding out who killed JFK. I cannot, of course, within the confines of this forum, list all of the evidence in several books. Any serious reesearcher, IMO, should read the following books before summarily dismissing this theory:

(1) Gus Russo's "LIve By the Sword". Russo does not assert that Castro did it, but he presents evidence that Castro may have been involved. He basically asserts that Oswald was a Castro supporter and probably shot Kennedy because he knew of the Kennedy' efforts to kill Castro and had read Castro's September 7th speech in the New Orleans newspaper. Russo's book is controversial with assassination researchers in part because he supports the SBT and argues that LHO may have done it alone. Even though we would all agree that Russo is wrong in his opinion about the SBT, the book should be read because it summarizes much of the evidence that would support a conclusion of Cuban involvement in the assassination.

(2) Joseph Trento's "The Secret History of the CIA". As I understand Trento's scenario, it is that a hard-line faction within the KGB and Politburo orchestrated both the assassination of JFK and the ouster of Khruschev (by a nonviolent coup, of course) a year later. Trento argues that the Soviets manuevered so that the Cuban intelligence organization would take primary responsibility for the Kennedy hit, so the Soviets themselves could deny responsibility. So it was a Cuban operation with encouragement and support of the KGB. If I understand the scenario correctly, the primary reason for the involvement of Cuban intelligence was the ongoing American efforts to kill Castro but the Soviets had different and additional reasons more directly related to what they considered the interests of the Soviet Union.

Trento argues that "Khruschev had concluded that the Cold War was bankrupting the Soviet Union, and that the country could not survive without an end to the arms race." He also argues that Khruschev was also demanding more and more internal reforms. The hardliners in the KGB/Politburo felt that Khruschev's reforms threatened the very existence of the Soviet state and therefore Khruschev had to be removed from power. The assassination of Kennedy was the first step in their plot to remove Khruschev.

(Of course, history proved Khruschev right, because one of the reasons for the collapse of the Soviet state was that it had bankrupted itself on the arms race, particularly with the acceleration of the arms race under President Ronald Reagan. In one sense, the West (particularly the US) won the Cold War by spending the Soviets to death.)

Trento states that the following individuals were involved in this plot: Yakterina Fursetseva, the Minister of Culture and a member of the Presidium (and, according to Trento, Khruschev's one-time lover); her husband Nikolai P. Firyubin, who was the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs; Leonid Brezhnev, Politburo member and future Soviet Premier (Trento identifies him as the leader of the conspiracy); and KGB official Yuri Andropov (also a future Soviet premier).

Trento names as his primary sources James J. Angleton, William Corson, Robert T. Crowley and John Sherwood (all CIA officers except Corson). Through Crowley, he also had access to CIA files that may still be confidential, including CIA files that Angelton had removed from the CIA prior to his ouster.

"The Secret History of the CIA" is about far more than the Kennedy assassination and even if you are predisposed to reject Trento's scenario, I think you will find his book fascinating, and you may very well find inforamtion in it that may support or help direct your research. For instance, the book says that David Morales was "Ted Shackley's man"--first in Germany, then at JM/WAVE and then in Laos. Quote: Morales "would do anything for Shackley--from blowing up a radio tower in the Dominican Republic to paying off drug lords. He was totally devoted to Shackley." For those who believe that Morales was involved in the Kennedy assassination, this perspective on the Shackley/Morales relationship may open new areas of inquiry.

Trento's book is very critical of the CIA and has been denounced in the CIA's house organ. When you read it, you will find out why.

I will in the course of the next few days attempt to outline the evidence suggesting Cuban and/or Soviet involvement. But I urge each of you to read the books yourself.

Edited by Tim Gratz

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I think it is of interest to note that, to the best of my belief, the magazine "George", published by President Kennedy's son, in its three or four years of publication, published only one article on the Kennedy assassination.

That article was a discussion of the Cubela affair by Edward Jay Epstein.

The publication of the Epstein article in "George" is not, of course, conclusive proof that John F. Kennedy, Jr. believed that Castro killed his father but it certainly suggests, at a minimum, that he found the theory worthy of investigation (and publication).

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I thought I would start a separate thread on exactly who believes that Castro killed Kennedy (with or without the assistance of the KGB).

One question that should be addressed is what is the basis for the opinions of these people.  Are any of their opinions based in "inside information" (by which I mean information which is still classified, or information not readily accessible to assassination researchers) or is it merely their theory based on information in the public domain, such as the information I will be posting in the following days.

Even if it is only the latter, the fact that intelligent people, some of whom worked very closely on the Cuban project in the Kennedy administration, e.g. Joseph Califano and Alexander Haig, subscribe to the "Castro did it" scenario means, IMO, that the scenario deserves the careful evaluation of any serious assassination researcher who is really interested in finding out who killed JFK.  I cannot, of course, within the confines of this forum, list all of the evidence in several books.  Any serious reesearcher, IMO, should read the following books before summarily dismissing this theory:

(1)    Gus Russo's "LIve By the Sword".  Russo does not assert that Castro did it, but he presents evidence that Castro may have been involved. He basically asserts that Oswald was a Castro supporter and probably shot Kennedy because he knew of the Kennedy' efforts to kill  Castro and had read Castro's September 7th speech in the New Orleans newspaper. 

Elsewhere, you have argued that the Warren Commissioners didn't know about the plots; yet, here you seem at agree with Russo that Oswald knew about the plots.  Um, how did Oswald know something which you maintain the Commissioners, including Dulles [ahem], did not know?

Russo's book is controversial with assassination researchers in part because he supports the SBT and argues that LHO may have done it alone.  Even though we would all agree that Russo is wrong in his opinion about the SBT, the book should be read because it summarizes much of the evidence that would support a conclusion of Cuban involvement in the assassination.

Which is why I'm unsurprised you would recommend it.

          (2)      Joseph Trento's "The Secret History of the CIA".  As I understand Trento's scenario, it is that a hard-line faction within the KGB and Politburo  orchestrated both the assassination of JFK and the ouster of Khruschev (by a nonviolent coup, of course) a year later.  Trento argues that the Soviets manuevered so that the Cuban intelligence organization would take primary responsibility for the Kennedy hit, so the Soviets themselves could deny responsibility.  So it was a Cuban operation with encouragement and support of the KGB.  If I understand the scenario correctly, the primary reason for the involvement of Cuban intelligence was the ongoing American efforts to kill Castro but the Soviets had different and additional reasons more directly related to what they considered the interests of the Soviet Union.

                    Trento argues that "Khruschev had concluded that the Cold War was bankrupting the Soviet Union, and that the country could not survive without an end to the arms race."  He also argues that Khruschev was also demanding more and more internal reforms.  The hardliners in the KGB/Politburo felt that Khruschev's reforms threatened the very existence of the Soviet state and therefore Khruschev had to be removed from power.  The assassination of Kennedy was the first step in their plot to remove Khruschev.

                    (Of course, history proved Khruschev right, because one of the reasons for the collapse of the Soviet state was that it had bankrupted itself on the arms race, particularly with the acceleration of the arms race under President Ronald Reagan.  In one sense, the West (particularly the US) won the Cold War by spending the Soviets to death.)

                  Trento states that the following individuals were involved in this plot:  Yakterina Fursetseva, the Minister of Culture and a member of the Presidium (and, according to Trento, Khruschev's one-time lover); her husband Nikolai P. Firyubin, who was the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs; Leonid Brezhnev, Politburo member and future Soviet Premier (Trento identifies him as the leader of the conspiracy); and KGB official Yuri Andropov (also a future Soviet premier).

                  Trento names as his primary sources James J. Angleton, William Corson, Robert T. Crowley and John Sherwood (all CIA officers except Corson).  Through Crowley, he also had access to CIA files that may still be confidential, including CIA files that Angelton had removed from the CIA prior to his ouster.

Well, now.... there's an impartial and objective list of "sources."  Can't imagine any reason why they would wish to muddy the waters with disingenuous claptrap, can you?

                  "The Secret History of the CIA" is about far more than the Kennedy assassination and even if you are predisposed to reject Trento's scenario, I think you will find his book fascinating, and you may very well find inforamtion in it that may support or help direct your research.  For instance, the book says that David Morales was "Ted Shackley's man"--first in Germany, then at JM/WAVE and then in Laos.  Quote: Morales "would do anything for Shackley--from blowing up a radio tower in the Dominican Republic to paying off drug lords.  He was totally devoted to Shackley."  For those who believe that Morales was involved in the Kennedy assassination, this perspective on the Shackley/Morales relationship may open new areas of inquiry.

Since Morales admitted his participation in the assassination, and his colleague Phillips is implicated in a number of ways, can we soon expect you to post evidence that they, too, were in Castro's employ?

      Trento's book is very critical of the CIA and has been denounced in the CIA's house organ.  When you read it, you will find out why. 

                    I will in the course of the next few days attempt to outline the evidence suggesting Cuban and/or Soviet involvement.  But I urge each of you to read the books yourself.

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I think it is of interest to note that, to the best of my belief, the magazine "George", published by President Kennedy's son, in its three or four years of publication, published only one article on the Kennedy assassination.

That article was a discussion of the Cubela affair by Edward Jay Epstein.

The publication of the Epstein article in "George" is not, of course, conclusive proof that John F. Kennedy, Jr. believed that Castro killed his father but it certainly suggests, at a minimum, that he found the theory worthy of investigation (and publication).

Here is a citation to the Epstein artilcle in George:

http://www.edwardjayepstein.com/archived/castro_print.htm

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