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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:

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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."

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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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