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Desmond FitzGerald


John Simkin
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In 1962 Desmond FitzGerald was appointed Chief of the Cuban Task Force. According to Sam Halpern, Robert Kennedy put FitzGerald under a lot of pressure to arrange the assassination of Fidel Castro. Halpern later claimed that "Bobby Kennedy was a bad influence on Des. He reinforced his worst instincts."

FitzGerald personally organized three different plots to assassinate Fidel Castro. This included working with Rolando Cubela, a senior official in Castro's government. He was given the codename AM/LASH and reported to JM/WAVE. However, Joseph Langosch, of the Special Affairs Staff, suspected that Cubela was a "dangle" (a double agent recruited by Castro to penetrate the American plots against him". This idea was reinforced when Cubela refused to take a lie-detector test.

In September, 1963, Cubela had a meeting with the CIA in Sao Paulo, Brazil. It was suggested that Cubela should assassinate Fidel Castro. According to a CIA report Cubela asked for a meeting with Robert Kennedy: "for assurances of U.S. moral support for any activity Cubela under took in Cuba." This was not possible but FitzGerald, now Chief of the Cuban Task Force, agreed to meet Cubela. Ted Shackley was opposed to the idea as he was now convinced that Cubela was a double-agent.

FitzGerald and Nestor Sanchez met Cubela met in Paris on 29th October, 1963. Cubela requested a "high-powered, silenced rifle with an effective range of hundreds of thousands of yards" in order to kill Fidel Castro. The CIA refused and instead insisted on Cubela used poison. On 22nd November, 1963, FitzGerald handed over a pen/syringe. He was told to use Black Leaf 40 (a deadly poison) to kill Castro. As Cubela was leaving the meeting, he was informed that JFK had been assassinated.

Desmond FitzGerald died of a heart attack while playing tennis in Virginia on 23rd July, 1967. He was only 57 years old. Another convenient death.

The photograph below shows Desmond FitzGerald with his first wife, Marietta Peabody.

post-7-1227190751_thumb.jpg

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  • 2 years later...

this is one paragraph from John Simkins' Spartacus thread on Desmond Fitzgerald and it relates to RFK's work with CIA figures in Mongoose:

-----

Robert Kennedy put FitzGerald under a lot of pressure to arrange the assassination of Fidel Castro. CIA agent, Sam Halpern, later claimed that "Bobby Kennedy was a bad influence on Des. He reinforced his worst instincts." Thomas Parrott, the secretary of SGA, claimed that FitzGerald had trouble dealing with Kennedy: "He was arrogant, he knew it all, he knew the answer to everything. He sat there, tie down, chewing gum, his feet up on the desk. His threats were transparent. It was, "If you don't do it, I tell my big brother on you."

-----

My question is what are our sources that "Robert Kennedy put Fitzgerald under a lot of pressure to arrange the assassination of Fidel Castro". This is stated as a simple fact by John, and is not quoted or attributed to any one source. Are we to assume that it is the assertion of Sam Halpern, close associate of Richard Helms? Are there other sources to this bold and simple assertion?

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Halpern later claimed that "Bobby Kennedy was a bad influence on Des. He reinforced his worst instincts."

Should we believe Halpern?

Perhaps time to try to establish parameters of JFK's and RFK's involvement with Mongoose. Can someone remind me of Fletcher Prouty's take on RFK dealing with Mongoose figures at Pentagon, such as Lansdale?

Edited by David Andrews
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  • 4 weeks later...

Halpern later claimed that "Bobby Kennedy was a bad influence on Des. He reinforced his worst instincts."

Should we believe Halpern?

Perhaps time to try to establish parameters of JFK's and RFK's involvement with Mongoose. Can someone remind me of Fletcher Prouty's take on RFK dealing with Mongoose figures at Pentagon, such as Lansdale?

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Yes we should try to establish these parameters ASAP ... to the extent possible. It would be good if the discussion could include people other than Richard Helms spokespeople. RFK knew that the CIA plots re Cuba would go on with or without him. Same with the FBI wiretappings of MLK, that the RFK bashers love to trot out sans context. Does that absolve RFK of responsibility? No. It simply poses important questions.

Should RFK simply have allowed these activities of the permanent unelected bureaucracies to continue without any further "Executive Branch" oversight? That might have made for a tidier obit., but it would have made the Presidency more meaningless... faster.

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  • 11 years later...
On 2/22/2011 at 3:57 PM, David Andrews said:

Halpern later claimed that "Bobby Kennedy was a bad influence on Des. He reinforced his worst instincts."

Should we believe Halpern?

Perhaps time to try to establish parameters of JFK's and RFK's involvement with Mongoose. Can someone remind me of Fletcher Prouty's take on RFK dealing with Mongoose figures at Pentagon, such as Lansdale?

I’m curious if anyone wants to revisit this aborted thread. One thing that jumps out is the name Halpern, who, if Newman and others are right, was singularly focused on smearing the Kennedy family, even Joseph. The other is that, as David Boylan pointed out recently, Cubela’s case officer was Nestor Sanchez, and it was he who met with Cubela on Nov. 22, 1963 in Spain to deliver a poison pen. I’m not entirely sure why I have put Amlash on the back burner all these years, other than the fact that I suspected a CIA misdirection. 

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Spreading lies about the Kennedys through controlled media channels for the purpose of 

dissipating their influence through tarnishing their image seemed like a continuous widespread agenda back then.

I noticed mention of a "high powered, silenced rifle" with long range capability in the initial thread.

That Cubela requested one of these?

I take it there were such weapons back then? 

Which lends at least some weight to the theory that one of these silenced rifles could have been used in Dealey Plaza on 11,22,1963 at the same time another rifle was blasting away with cannon shot loud booms?

Getting back to the most elementary aspects of the TXSBD building shooting story, you have a rifle barrel sticking out of the 6th floor shooting. This rifle booming out 3 shots. At some point, people on the ground are drawn to looking at the location source of the booms.

That would be exactly what another silent shooter would want. The crowd following the boom source.

A simple distraction shooting plan.

 

 

Edited by Joe Bauer
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Paul,

Thanks for bringing this up.

Cubela was a piece of the larger program to "split the regime." It was a multi-faceted program that was started by William Harvey's Task Force W and was later modified by Des Fitzgerald's Special Affairs Staff. Mostly run by the SAS/SO (Special Operations) branch with lots of help from JMWAVE. Most, if not all of Harvey's guys were retained. Members of SO were guys like Henry Hecksher, Alfonso Rodriguez, Seymour Bolten, Charles Anderson, and Nestor Sanchez. Bruce Cheever was Fitzgerald's deputy and Halpern was executive assistant (some unredacted pages here) to Harvey and later Fitgerald.

Split the regime. I find it interesting that Cubela was "recruited" during the World Youth Festival during 1962. https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=180503#relPageId=7

There was some thinking that Cubela was a double agent. - https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=152591#relPageId=4

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30 minutes ago, Joe Bauer said:

Getting back to the most elementary aspects of the TXSBD building shooting story, you have a rifle barrel sticking out of the 6th floor shooting. This rifle booming out 3 shots. At some point, people on the ground are drawn to looking at the location source of the booms.

Hi Joe. Based on the statements of multiple eyewitnesses and the efforts of the FBI and Warren Commission to manage the testimony away from the 5th floor and toward the 6th floor, I would argue the gunman you refer to was likely on the 5th floor, one window below the "Oswald" window. But that's a topic for another day.

There was a lot going on in those upper floor windows in the minutes leading up to the assassination. And it was happening in full view of the spectators below, with seemingly no attempt to conceal the suspicious activity - men with guns. Punctuated by your point: A guy hanging a rifle out the window and cranking off multiple rounds in full view of the crowd below. None of this makes any sense if the goal of the operators observed in those windows was to shoot JFK, regardless of the shooter's identity or the specific window or windows. If, however, their goal was to draw attention to themselves and finger Fidel Castro, it makes perfect sense.

I agree with you, Joe. I believe the activity in the TSBD was largely - perhaps exclusively - theater. A theater of the absurd. Those south-facing windows of the 5th and 6th floors, like sliding panels in an illusion show. Designed to capture the attention of the audience and assign blame to Fidel Castro via Oswald, for an assassination or assignation attempt against Kennedy. There is no evidence that lethal action was applied to Kennedy from behind (the TSBD). The lethal action was applied from in front of Kennedy. Unless you’re part of the Arlen Specter, Warren Commission, jet effect, Dan Rather, etc, etc crowd. <eyeroll.gif>

https://tangodown63.com/2020/12/14/window_watchers/

 

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1 hour ago, David Boylan said:

Split the regime. I find it interesting that Cubela was "recruited" during the World Youth Festival during 1962.

Interesting indeed, David. A Student group. Helsinki, Finland. I'll take, "What were hotbeds of CIA covert activity in the early 1960's for $1,000, Alex."

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3 hours ago, Joe Bauer said:

Spreading lies about the Kennedys through controlled media channels for the purpose of 

dissipating their influence through tarnishing their image seemed like a continuous widespread agenda back then.

I noticed mention of a "high powered, silenced rifle" with long range capability in the initial thread.

That Cubela requested one of these?

I take it there were such weapons back then? 

Which lends at least some weight to the theory that one of these silenced rifles could have been used in Dealey Plaza on 11,22,1963 at the same time another rifle was blasting away with cannon shot loud booms?

Getting back to the most elementary aspects of the TXSBD building shooting story, you have a rifle barrel sticking out of the 6th floor shooting. This rifle booming out 3 shots. At some point, people on the ground are drawn to looking at the location source of the booms.

That would be exactly what another silent shooter would want. The crowd following the boom source.

A simple distraction shooting plan.

 

 

Joe,

There were such weapons back then. According to Carl Jenkins, whom Jeff Morley interviewed for his new book, Scorpions' Dance, the rifle a FAL, was a NATO rifle whose ammunition could be readily sourced. Jenkins considered Nestor Sanchez a good friend. Jenkins became the case officer for Cubela in 1964 before handing these duties off to Manuel Artime.

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On 6/16/2022 at 10:53 AM, Greg Wagner said:

Hi Joe. Based on the statements of multiple eyewitnesses and the efforts of the FBI and Warren Commission to manage the testimony away from the 5th floor and toward the 6th floor, I would argue the gunman you refer to was likely on the 5th floor, one window below the "Oswald" window. But that's a topic for another day.

There was a lot going on in those upper floor windows in the minutes leading up to the assassination. And it was happening in full view of the spectators below, with seemingly no attempt to conceal the suspicious activity - men with guns. Punctuated by your point: A guy hanging a rifle out the window and cranking off multiple rounds in full view of the crowd below. None of this makes any sense if the goal of the operators observed in those windows was to shoot JFK, regardless of the shooter's identity or the specific window or windows. If, however, their goal was to draw attention to themselves and finger Fidel Castro, it makes perfect sense.

I agree with you, Joe. I believe the activity in the TSBD was largely - perhaps exclusively - theater. A theater of the absurd. Those south-facing windows of the 5th and 6th floors, like sliding panels in an illusion show. Designed to capture the attention of the audience and assign blame to Fidel Castro via Oswald, for an assassination or assignation attempt against Kennedy. There is no evidence that lethal action was applied to Kennedy from behind (the TSBD). The lethal action was applied from in front of Kennedy. Unless you’re part of the Arlen Specter, Warren Commission, jet effect, Dan Rather, etc, etc crowd. <eyeroll.gif>

https://tangodown63.com/2020/12/14/windo

This multiple shooter plot theory makes sense if one looks at the booming loud 3 shots from the 6th floor of the Depository building as a classic multiple shooter mis-direction tactic.

I've always thought from just a common sense perspective, that loud booming shooting out the easily seen 6th floor window ( bathed and even illuminated in the brightest mid-day sunshine ) by hundreds of eye and ear witnesses just feet below was an act of mentally deranged, even suicidal proportion on it's own.

It was just too easily seen visible.

Let's say it was Oswald doing the shooting out that window.

To certain degrees Oswald was known for doing things that were dumbly risky regards his personal safety. Handing out pro-Cuba pamphlets in broad daylight in a city filled with hot headed anti-Cuban expats? Resulting in his being jumped and slapped around and even arrested. Traveling to Mexico City and trying to get into the Russian Embassy knowing we had cameras all around it. Taking a pot shot at General Walker and doing so without even a means to escape the scene without a car? Taking a bus home!?

The TXSBD shooting plan however would top them all in life risking dumbness.

For several minutes before the JFK motorcade arrives, you stand ( rifle in hand ) next to a totally sunshine illuminated open window easily visible to hundreds right below you?

Soon enough you're taking 3 loud booming shots from this window ( with the barrel sticking out no less) over 6 seconds? 

Then, Oswald's running for his life escape plan is simply to toss the rifle, run down 5 flights of stairs, stop to buy and drink a Dr. Pepper ( ahhh...boy I was thirsty ) mix with the lobby crowd for a few seconds ( long enough to direct news journalist Robert McNeil to a pay phone) casually walk out the front entrance, then just a few more blocks to get on a city bus, then when it gets stalled in traffic he gets off and catches a cab back home.

That's the most ridiculously simple and poorest minimum wage budget escape plan after just shooting and killing the President of the United States one can imagine.

And yet...it worked!

You get 3 booming loud presidential kill shot rounds off in front of hundreds of crowd members and scores of security, and you are able to walk away like that?

It's all just too preposterous.

As was Jack Ruby getting inches away access to Oswald's gut in his perp walk through the DPD basement parking garage the following Sunday morning.

 

 

Edited by Joe Bauer
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