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CIA plot to kill Castro detailed


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CIA plot to kill Castro detailed By ANITA SNOW, Associated Press Writer

43 minutes ago

The CIA recruited a former FBI agent to approach two of America's most-wanted mobsters and gave them poison pills meant for Fidel Castro during his first year in power, according to newly declassified papers released Tuesday.

Contained amid hundreds of pages of CIA internal reports collectively known as "the family jewels," the official confirmation of the 1960 plot against Castro was certain to be welcomed by communist authorities as more proof of their longstanding claims that the United States wants Castro dead.

Communist officials say there have been more than 600 documented attempts to kill Castro over the decades. Now 80, Castro has not been seen in public since handing power to his younger brother Raul while recovering from intestinal surgery last July. But in a letter published on Monday, the elder Castro claimed without providing details that President Bush had "authorized and ordered" his killing.

And while Cuban government press officials didn't return a call seeking reaction Tuesday, the release of the newly declassified CIA documents had already been noted in state media.

"Upon the orders of the White House, the Central Intelligence Agency tried to assassinate President Fidel Castro and other former personalities and leaders," the Communist Party newspaper Granma said Saturday. "What was already presumed and denounced will be corroborated."

Other aborted U.S. attempts to kill Castro, who rose to power in January 1959 in a revolution that ousted dictator Fulgencio Batista, have been noted in other declassified documents.

The papers released Tuesday were part of a report prepared at the request of CIA Director James Schlesinger in 1973, who ordered senior agency officials to tell him of any current or past actions that could potentially violate the agency's charter.

Some details of the 1960 plot first surfaced in investigative reporter Jack Anderson's newspaper column in 1971.

The documents show that in August 1960, the CIA recruited ex-FBI agent Robert Maheu, then a top aide to Howard Hughes in Las Vegas, to approach mobster Johnny Roselli and pass himself off as the representative of international corporations that wanted Castro killed because of their lost gambling operations.

At the time, the bearded rebels had just outlawed gambling and destroyed the world-famous casinos American mobsters had operated in Havana.

Roselli introduced Maheu to "Sam Gold" and "Joe." Both were mobsters on the U.S. government's 10-most wanted list: Momo Giancana, Al Capone's successor in Chicago; and Santos Trafficante, one of the most powerful mobsters in Batista's Cuba. The agency gave the reputed mobsters six poison pills, and they tried unsuccessfully for several months to have several people put them in Castro's food.

This particular assassination attempt was dropped after the failed CIA-sponsored Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba in April 1961. The CIA was able to retrieve all the poison pills, records show.

Copyright © 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. The information contained in the AP News report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press.

Any thoughts about this from anyone?

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This is how the Guardian reported the story.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/usa/story/0,,2112302,00.html

Simon Tisdall in Washington

Wednesday June 27, 2007

The Guardian

The CIA conspired with a Chicago gangster described as "the chieftain of the Cosa Nostra and the successor to Al Capone" in a bungled 1960 attempt to assassinate Fidel Castro, the leader of Cuba's communist revolution, according to classified documents published by the agency yesterday.

The disclosure is contained in a 702-page CIA dossier known as the "Family Jewels" compiled at the behest of then agency director James Schlesinger in 1973. According to a memo written at the time, the purpose of the dossier was to identify all current and past CIA activities that "conflict with the provisions of the National Security Act of 1947" - and were, in other words, illegal.

The dossier covers operations including domestic surveillance, kidnapping, infiltration of anti-war movements, and the bugging of leading journalists.

But its detailed information on assassination attempts against foreign leaders is likely to attract most attention.

The plot to kill Mr Castro, whom the US government at the time considered a threat to national security and a stooge of the Soviet Union, begins quietly and sinisterly in August 1960.

The documents released yesterday describe how a CIA officer, Richard Bissell, approached the CIA's Office of Security to establish whether it had "assets that may assist in a sensitive mission requiring gangster-type action. The mission target was Fidel Castro".

The dossier continues: "Because of its extreme sensitivity, only a small group was made privy to the project. The DCI (Director of Central Intelligence Allen Welsh Dulles) was briefed and gave his approval."

Following the meeting with the Office of Security, Bissell employed a go-between, Robert Maheu, and asked him to make contact with "gangster elements". Maheu subsequently reported an approach to Johnny Roselli in Las Vegas. Roselli is described as "a high-ranking member of the 'syndicate' (who) controlled all the ice-making machines on the (Las Vegas) Strip and (who) undoubtedly had connections leading into the Cuban gambling interests".

The CIA is careful to cover its tracks. According to the dossier, Maheu told Roselli that he (Maheu) has been retained by international businesses suffering "heavy financial losses in Cuba as a result of Castro's action. They were convinced that Castro's removal was the answer to their problem and were willing to pay the price of $150,000 (£75,000) for its successful accomplishment".

Roselli was also told that the US government was not, and must not become aware of the operation.

Roselli in turn led the CIA to a friend, known as Sam Gold. In September 1960, Maheu was introduced to Gold and his associate, known as Joe. In a development that appears to underscore the amateurishness of the whole operation, Maheu subsequently accidentally spotted photographs of "Sam and Joe" in Parade magazine.

Gold was in fact Momo Salvatore Giancana, "the chieftain of Cosa Nostra (the mafia) and the successor to Al Capone". Joe was actually Santos Trafficante, Cosa Nostra boss of Cuban operations.

At a meeting at the Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami Beach, Gold/Giancana suggested that rather than try to shoot or blow up Mr Castro, "some type of potent pill that could be placed in Castro's food or drink would be much more effective".

He said a corrupt Cuban official, named as Juan Orta, who was in debt to the syndicate and had access to the Cuban leader, would carry out the poisoning. The CIA subsequently obtained and supplied "six pills of high lethal content" to Orta but after several weeks of abortive attempts, Orta demanded "out" of the operation.

Another disaffected Cuban was recruited to do the job, but he demanded money up front. In the event, the dossier relates, "the project was cancelled shortly after the Bay of Pigs episode" (in April, 1961).

Yesterday's document release under the Freedom of Information Act also reveals details of CIA bugging and surveillance operations and the handling of a Soviet defector and KGB agent, Yuri Ivanovich Nosenko, in 1965-67. Also made public are 147 pages of documents relating to CIA assessments of the Soviet and Chinese cold war leaderships.

"The CIA fully understands it has an obligation to protect the nation's secrets, but it also has a responsibility to be as open as possible," CIA director Michael Hayden said yesterday. "The declassification of historical documents is an important part of that effort."

The documents are available at:

http://www.foia.cia.gov/

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So far I have found nothing new about the plots to assassinate Castro, although Google says a document released indicated that CIA Director Dulles had approved the nefarious plot.

According to today's Guardian (quoted above):

The dossier continues: "Because of its extreme sensitivity, only a small group was made privy to the project. The DCI (Director of Central Intelligence Allen Welsh Dulles) was briefed and gave his approval."

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The news has also reached Sweden, as Sweden’s biggest newspapers have articles and even news rapports of CIA’s attempts to eliminate Castro.

http://www.aftonbladet.se/vss/nyheter/stor...1105042,00.html

http://www.expressen.se/1.737536

BTW, John, is the weather starting to get better, as I heard that the Great Britain has got plenty of rain the last couple of days.

Johansson

Edited by Mark Johansson
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I haven't seen anything new about the CIA plots to kill Castro. All old stuff that's been in print for decades.

As Larry Hancock notes in his book SWHT, Roselli testified three times, sang like a bird twice about early plots, the ones from 60-62, but not about his activities at JMWAVE or later plots, before being wacked on a boat off Florida.

They can talk all about the exploding cigars, spiked diving suit, pills that disolved in cream, AMLASH/Cubella and the Mahu/Sam Gold dinners at the Fountainblu all they want, when the only plots to kill Castro that matter are the ones launched during the maritime commando raids, one of which was redirected from Castro to JFK.

The Cuban's Executive Action - 634 Ways To Kill Fidel Castro - The Secret War by Fabian Escalante, sketches many of the plots, but also fails to detail the only ones that really matter.

BK

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Bill, as far as I can tell they are simply releasing documents on the old stuff that was surfaced long ago. In my second

edition I identify at least three different assassination plans that were operational to some extent, one even went as far

as photo recon and photo analysis of the target site. This was revealed due to internal CIA queries during the Church

committee hearings but apparently no info was forwarded to the committee nor were the documents part of this release...

they are cited in the book and I think samples are on my web site.

Bottom line is that there were operational plans being prepared at tactical levels that HQ (and certainly RFK) apparently

new nothing about...these and the people involved would be the real significant ones for us I think ...but then its much

cleaner to shove everything off on to Roselli and Harvey....keeps a lot of other people out of the picture...the people who

actually were running the ops...

-- Larry

I haven't seen anything new about the CIA plots to kill Castro. All old stuff that's been in print for decades.

As Larry Hancock notes in his book SWHT, Roselli testified three times, sang like a bird twice about early plots, the ones from 60-62, but not about his activities at JMWAVE or later plots, before being wacked on a boat off Florida.

They can talk all about the exploding cigars, spiked diving suit, pills that disolved in cream, AMLASH/Cubella and the Mahu/Sam Gold dinners at the Fountainblu all they want, when the only plots to kill Castro that matter are the ones launched during the maritime commando raids, one of which was redirected from Castro to JFK.

The Cuban's Executive Action - 634 Ways To Kill Fidel Castro - The Secret War by Fabian Escalante, sketches many of the plots, but also fails to detail the only ones that really matter.

BK

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I got to page 32 and was tired of the blank pgs. More like "rhinestones" than jewels, but let's not discourage any attempts at declassification. May I remind readers that the chance to get at any jewels was essentially tossed in 1984 with the operational files act -- that was the chance to counter. As I understand it ACLU was involved in this which is interesting if correct. Back to jewels: These docs have some unpolished gems I think. Some operations were withheld from JMWave, the word "Mockingbird" is in the lexicon and yet is shown to be more a surveillance op than anything, but docs prove an op with this name was in play. The idea of making operatives unknown to USG is mentioned, so there's the covert nature, plausible deniablilty whatever you want to call it, spelled out in b&w.

As to the Kissinger knowledge of RFK involvement-he's alive to be interviewed and should be. The BOP was an JFK op, historically JFK's admitted to it and took the blame regardless of its inception post March 17 1959 with Nixon bearing the sweat of the debates knowing it was on the table-question --did JFK know of BOP at time of debates 1960? A debriefing was made for the incoming administration as it should have been. The Tractors For Freedom project to bring the boys home by Xmas was Bobby's deal with family members, friends on Wall Street and old spies on the case. There was IMO selective ransoming with some coming out of Cuban prisons late 70s and on. These political prisoners have many stories to tell.

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Did Roselli,Giancana,and even Jack Anderson ever realize they had been "used?" I'm not buying any part of "the Mafia did it" solution to the asassination.Did the Mafia send LHO to Mexico City? Did the Mafia try to tie him to Castro immediately after the asassination?

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Robin:

Was Oswald silenced?

If so, the person who shot him was by definition part of the conspiracy.

With what organization was Ruby associated?

Mafia involvement is a no-brainer unless you think Oswald's murder was not related to the conspiracy.

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

****

Regarding your questions, I have several comments: (1) There are those who believe Oswald was never in Mexico City. (2) Even if he was, what evidence (if any) links Oswald's trip to Mexico City with the JFK assassination? (3) If it is your theory that JFK was murdered to link Castro to the assassination and prompt an invasion of Cuba, well, then, the conspiracy was rather unsuccessful, was it not? (4) Do you believe the CIA possessed the capability to manufacture evidence to REALLY link Oswald to Cuba (through even, for instance, manufactured documents) had it wanted to do so? If so, why would the CIA instead use "witnesses" who were easily debunked?

Now, if the motivation of the assassination was to get RFK off the backs of the mafia, well, then, the conspiracy was rather successful, was it not?

I think a theory that involves a conspiracy that succeeded in its objective is more likely closer to the truth than a theory involved a conspiracy that failed so miserably.

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Bottom line is that there were operational plans being prepared at tactical levels that HQ (and certainly RFK) apparently

new nothing about...these and the people involved would be the real significant ones for us I think ...but then its much

cleaner to shove everything off on to Roselli and Harvey....keeps a lot of other people out of the picture...the people who

actually were running the ops...

Like Carl E. Jenkins. The released documents even include the articles written by Jack Anderson. It seems that he was getting the information from the CIA in 1967. Why did the CIA leak this information at this time? Was it because the Jim Garrison investigation was revealling information that the CIA was involved in the JFK assassination? Is this why people like Hugh Aynesworth and Dick Billings were writing articles in the summer of 1967 suggesting that Garrison was under the control of "New Orleans mobsters". 1967 was a year when the CIA attempted to persuade the public that the Mafia was involved in the assassination of JFK. What we are seeing is a re-run of history? Why? Is this a response to current investigations that are getting close to the truth?

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John wrote:

"Is this why people like Hugh Aynesworth and Dick Billings were writing articles in the summer of 1967 suggesting that Garrison was under the control of "New Orleans mobsters?".

John, do you have a cite to such articles?

Do you agree or disagree that Carlos Marcello was tied to the assassination? If you disagree, can you offer reasons to refute the evidence against Marcello in John Davis' "Mafia Kingfish?"

Are you aware that while imprisoned and under sedation, Marcello made incriminating statements? See the reports reproduced in "Triangle of Death".

I know you have read "Brothers" in which David Talbot reports that RFK's trusted friend Walter Sheridan had reported to him that the Garrison case was a fraud.

So I guess there are two camps here. Those who think that the Garrison case was intended to get the heat off Marcello and his Mafia colleagues and those who think the CIA was tying Garrison to Marcello to deflect attention away from the CIA.

And the key is . . . Jack Ruby, whose connections were to Marcello (who as you know controlled organized crime activities in Dallas as well.

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And the key is . . . Jack Ruby, whose connections were to Marcello (who as you know controlled organized crime activities in Dallas as well.

One of the mistakes made by some JFK researchers is that they apply the following logic: "Jack Ruby was associated with the Mafia. Therefore he was working for the Mafia when he killed Lee Harvey Oswald."

This logic is clearly flawed. For example, Ruby was also closely associated with the Dallas Police Department. Does that mean he was paid by the DPD to kill Oswald? After all, it was the DPD who made it very easy for Ruby to kill Oswald.

Let us put ourselves into the places of the people who did assassinate JFK. As Oswald was set-up to take the rap for the assassination he needed to be killed soon afterwards. The reason he was chosen was because he had close links to the FBI and the CIA and probably worked as an agent for both organizations. He would obviously use this information to protect himself if he ever had his day in court. After failing to kill him before he was arrested, he had to be killed while in police custody.

This would look very suspicious and any investigation would involve a close look into the murderer’s background. Therefore you would use someone who was not directly linked to the people and organizations behind the assassination of JFK. If it was the Mafia, the last person they would have chosen as the assassin is Jack Ruby. However, if you are the CIA who wants to put the blame on the Mafia, the ideal person to use is Jack Ruby.

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I tend to agree that LHO was probably working for the CIA or FBI (perhaps as a "dangle" attempting to ferret out persons with hostile intent toward JFK). This is one reason why I exclude the organizational involvement of either agency. Oswald was the perfect patsy because his agency association would guarantee a cover-up.

Ruby may have had connections to the DPD but there is no evidence he took orders from them. Moreover, the mafia had ways of forcing someone to do something he would not otherwise have want to do, e.g., threatening harm to loved ones. In fact, there is evidence that an old associate of none other than Jack Ruby used just such a modus operandi in the murder of the mayor of Chicago.

John's logic that Ruby would be the last person the mafia would employ to kill Oswald certainly has superficial appeal. However, I think most members of the Forum (including John) would agree that the conspirators probably had a plan to kill Oswald before he was captured by the police, or get him out of the country and then kill him, and that the conspirators had to use Ruby when that plan failed. So I think the mafia turned to Ruby as an act of desperation when the original plan failed. The Ruby murder of Oswald was most likely Plan B, conceived in both haste and desperation.

Had someone in the DPD ordered Ruby to kill Oswald, it seems the DPD would have made arrangements to kill Ruby in a cross-fire as he was killing Oswald.

Remember that the call to get an attorney for Ruby reportedly came from the Desert Inn in Vegas and that Ruby's lawyer had represented mafioso in other cases.

Remember also that the first person to visit Ruby in jail was tghe top ranking member of the Dallas mafia. Somehow I think it was more than just a social call.

Finally, remember the report in "Ultimate Sacrifice" of a witness to a substantial cash payment to Ruby in Chicago from a known associate of Jimmy Hoffa. Lamar Waldron personally interviewed that witness. And in "Brothers", David Talbot reports that the FBI had received information on such a pay-off only a few days aftert the murder of Oswald.

So while I accept John's logic, the probability that the original plan involved another way to silence Oswald adequately answers that argument, and the facts indicate that Ruby killed LHO for the mob.

Edited by Tim Gratz
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