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Castro’s secret archives by Wayne Madsen


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Castro’s secret archives: US Special Ops prepares to snatch five decades of damaging material

By Wayne Madsen

Online Journal Contributing Writer

http://onlinejournal.com/artman/publish/article_5738.shtml

Mar 29, 2010, 00:31

(WMR) -- WMR has learned from knowledgeable sources in the Pentagon that the U.S. Special Operations Command has recently been tasked to come up with a covert operation designed to snatch the secret archives complied over five decades by former Cuban President Fidel Castro.

Our sources report that among Castro’s archives are documents proving the collaboration of top U.S. Mafia figures, including Mafia financial boss Meyer Lansky, with the CIA in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas in 1963. Castro apparently kept track of many of those involved in the assassination of Kennedy because they were also actively involved in anti-Castro plots associated with right-wing Cuban exiles that were organized out of Miami, New Orleans, Houston, and Dallas, cities where the Mafia was extremely active.

WMR has learned that Castro’s extensive archives have been secured in a well-protected facility on the Isle of Youth (formerly the Isle of Pines) off the southwest coast of Cuba.

In addition to documents that point to the mob’s and CIA’s involvement in the Kennedy assassination, including the roles played by the Canadian Bronfman family and their wealthy attorney, the CIA-connected Louis Bloomfield of Montreal, the Castro archives reportedly contain a wealth of information about Cuban support for Angola’s government and liberation movements in Africa and Latin America. The archives also have details about the role of the CIA in the Angolan civil war and the coups that toppled Chilean President Salvador Allende and other leaders, as well as Henry Kissinger’s infamous Operation Condor that “disappeared” thousands of leftist, student, and labor leaders in Latin America.

The plans by the U.S. Special Operations Command to surreptitiously land on the Isle of Youth and secure the Castro archives may have something to do with the recent arrest of a U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) contractor as he was boarding a plane in Havana. Alan Phillip Gross of Potomac, Maryland, was arrested on December 5 last year and charged with espionage. Gross entered Cuba on a tourist visa but began working on projects designed to provide Internet technology services for Cuban Jewish communities. Gross worked for Development Alternatives, Inc. (DAI) of Bethesda, Maryland, a State Department contractor that specializes in bringing high-technology services to “civil society organizations.” Gross is reportedly a satellite technology expert.

Gross reportedly made a number of trips to Cuba before his arrest. Throwing doubt on claims that Gross was in Cuba to help provide Internet access to the Cuban Jewish community, several prominent members of Cuba’s Jewish community said they never met Gross. In addition, Cuba’s small Jewish community was already receiving computer and Internet assistance from ORT, a non-governmental organization.

Gross’s mission in Cuba has been clouded in mystery. Cuba said Gross was illegally distributing satellite communications equipment, which would be important for in-country support in a mission to secretly insert a U.S. military team into Cuba to spirit away Castro’s archives.

Due to Gross’s visibility with Jewish groups in the United States, his arrest has affected on-going talks between Washington and Havana designed to improve relations between the two nations.

DAI’s website states the company started operations in 1970 and by 1980 was active in Sudan, the then-Zaire, Tanzania, and Indonesia. In a move that mirrors that of Barack Obama and his mother Ann Dunham, DAI extended its development operations from Indonesia to Pakistan and by 1982 the firm was fully active in that nation at a time the U.S. was using Pakistan as a base to support the Afghan mujaheddin against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. DAI is also active in Jordan, Palestine, Mexico, and South Africa.

The arrest of Gross in December came as former President Fidel Castro began to reassert control over the government, particularly through the appointment as Vice President of the Council of State Ramiro Valdes Menendez, a Castro loyalist and former interior minister who understands the need to protect the Island of Youth archives from being snatched by the United States or other non-state players.

In April 2003, a Cuban man hijacked an Antonov-24 from the Isle of Youth and, after a brief landing at Havana’s Jose Marti International Airport, where some women and children passengers were released, was allowed to fly to Key West. The hijacker, who threatened to blow up the plane with two hand grenades, was eventually granted asylum in the United States after the ritualistic debriefing by FBI and CIA personnel.

Previously published in the Wayne Madsen Report.

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Let's see, a former National Security Agency officer Wayne Madsen reports that a reliable Pentagon source leaked to him the fact that a US special ops team is planning to heist Castro's secret archives in a daredevil mission that will retreive documents that implicate the Mafia in the assassination of President Kennedy.

Do I have that right?

What's the definitions of Black Propaganda and Disinformation again?

Textbook case.

COPA members met twice with Cuban security officials in Brazil and the Bahamas and the Cubans opened many of their files and were quite persuaded that they knew who was behind the assassination of President Kennedy and it wasn't the Mafia, but the CIA/DIA officers who were running the anti-Castro Cuban operations Castro had thoroughly penetrated.

BK

Castro's secret archives: US Special Ops prepares to snatch five decades of damaging material

By Wayne Madsen

Online Journal Contributing Writer

http://onlinejournal.com/artman/publish/article_5738.shtml

Mar 29, 2010, 00:31

(WMR) -- WMR has learned from knowledgeable sources in the Pentagon that the U.S. Special Operations Command has recently been tasked to come up with a covert operation designed to snatch the secret archives complied over five decades by former Cuban President Fidel Castro.

Our sources report that among Castro's archives are documents proving the collaboration of top U.S. Mafia figures, including Mafia financial boss Meyer Lansky, with the CIA in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas in 1963. Castro apparently kept track of many of those involved in the assassination of Kennedy because they were also actively involved in anti-Castro plots associated with right-wing Cuban exiles that were organized out of Miami, New Orleans, Houston, and Dallas, cities where the Mafia was extremely active.

WMR has learned that Castro's extensive archives have been secured in a well-protected facility on the Isle of Youth (formerly the Isle of Pines) off the southwest coast of Cuba.

In addition to documents that point to the mob's and CIA's involvement in the Kennedy assassination, including the roles played by the Canadian Bronfman family and their wealthy attorney, the CIA-connected Louis Bloomfield of Montreal, the Castro archives reportedly contain a wealth of information about Cuban support for Angola's government and liberation movements in Africa and Latin America. The archives also have details about the role of the CIA in the Angolan civil war and the coups that toppled Chilean President Salvador Allende and other leaders, as well as Henry Kissinger's infamous Operation Condor that "disappeared" thousands of leftist, student, and labor leaders in Latin America.

The plans by the U.S. Special Operations Command to surreptitiously land on the Isle of Youth and secure the Castro archives may have something to do with the recent arrest of a U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) contractor as he was boarding a plane in Havana. Alan Phillip Gross of Potomac, Maryland, was arrested on December 5 last year and charged with espionage. Gross entered Cuba on a tourist visa but began working on projects designed to provide Internet technology services for Cuban Jewish communities. Gross worked for Development Alternatives, Inc. (DAI) of Bethesda, Maryland, a State Department contractor that specializes in bringing high-technology services to "civil society organizations." Gross is reportedly a satellite technology expert.

Gross reportedly made a number of trips to Cuba before his arrest. Throwing doubt on claims that Gross was in Cuba to help provide Internet access to the Cuban Jewish community, several prominent members of Cuba's Jewish community said they never met Gross. In addition, Cuba's small Jewish community was already receiving computer and Internet assistance from ORT, a non-governmental organization.

Gross's mission in Cuba has been clouded in mystery. Cuba said Gross was illegally distributing satellite communications equipment, which would be important for in-country support in a mission to secretly insert a U.S. military team into Cuba to spirit away Castro's archives.

Due to Gross's visibility with Jewish groups in the United States, his arrest has affected on-going talks between Washington and Havana designed to improve relations between the two nations.

DAI's website states the company started operations in 1970 and by 1980 was active in Sudan, the then-Zaire, Tanzania, and Indonesia. In a move that mirrors that of Barack Obama and his mother Ann Dunham, DAI extended its development operations from Indonesia to Pakistan and by 1982 the firm was fully active in that nation at a time the U.S. was using Pakistan as a base to support the Afghan mujaheddin against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. DAI is also active in Jordan, Palestine, Mexico, and South Africa.

The arrest of Gross in December came as former President Fidel Castro began to reassert control over the government, particularly through the appointment as Vice President of the Council of State Ramiro Valdes Menendez, a Castro loyalist and former interior minister who understands the need to protect the Island of Youth archives from being snatched by the United States or other non-state players.

In April 2003, a Cuban man hijacked an Antonov-24 from the Isle of Youth and, after a brief landing at Havana's Jose Marti International Airport, where some women and children passengers were released, was allowed to fly to Key West. The hijacker, who threatened to blow up the plane with two hand grenades, was eventually granted asylum in the United States after the ritualistic debriefing by FBI and CIA personnel.

Previously published in the Wayne Madsen Report.

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Alan Philip Gross

Potomic, Maryland

http://www.havanatimes.org/?p=22412

April 2, 2010

HAVANA TIMES, April 2 – Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez and Cheryl Mills, head of the office of the US secretary of state, held talks in New York on the situation of US operative Alan Gross, detained in Cuba since last December 4, announced Philip Crowley, spokesman for the US Department of State. The Cuban authorities accuse Gross of espionage, reported IPS.

U.S. Government Confirms Sanctions Don't Work by Jacob G. Hornberger

Mar 9, 2010 ... The man, Alan Phillip Gross, who resides in Potomac, Maryland, is suspected of being a spy for the CIA. While U.S. officials are denying ...

www.fff.org/blog/jghblog2010-03-09.asp

Conservatives Love Castro's Judicial System

by Jacob G. Hornberger

Last December a 60-year-old American citizen was taken into custody in Havana by Cuban authorities. The man, Alan Phillip Gross, who resides in Potomac, Maryland, is suspected of being a spy for the CIA.

While U.S. officials are denying that Gross is a spy, circumstances surrounding the case are enough to raise eyebrows. He was in Cuba distributing cell phones as a consultant to a company that received a multi-million grant from USAID, whose projects over the years have included regime change in Cuba. Oddly, Gross' detention was kept secret for more than a week after he was taken into custody.

Presumably, Gross violated Cuba's Law 88, which criminalizes the "distribution of financial, material, or other resources that come from the United States government, its agencies, subordinates, representatives, functionaries, or private entities."

Meanwhile, many, if not all, of the conservatives who have been denouncing American criminal defense attorneys for representing accused terrorists at Guantanamo and demanding federal-court trials for them, have remained silent about Cuba's treatment of Alan Gross.

The reason is not difficult to decipher. The fact is that conservatives love the judicial system that Cuba's communist leader Fidel Castro has implemented in Cuba.

After all, don't forget that the reason that conservatives have ardently supported the decision by President Bush and the Pentagon to locate their prison camp for suspected terrorists in Cuba rather than the United States was that Gitmo was intended to be a Constitution-free zone, one in which the U.S. government would have the same power to treat suspected terrorists as Cuba has in treating suspected spies like Gross.

Look at how the Cuban authorities have treated Gross. He's been held in jail since December without a preliminary hearing and without being formally notified of the charges against him. He has no legal way to challenge his detention because habeas corpus, which is the lynchpin of a free society, isn't recognized under Cuban law. So far, there's not even any indication that Gross will be put on trial, meaning that he could be incarcerated indefinitely, just like the people on the U.S. side of Cuba.

Of course, conservatives love all this. After all, Gross is a spy, right? Why should a spy be accorded any more rights than a terrorist, especially when he is a foreigner, right? Like those terrorists on the U.S. side of Cuba, Gross simply deserves to be punished.

Nonetheless, there is a possibility that the Cubans will decide to put Gross on trial anyway, if for no other reason than to make it look like justice has been done before he's punished, much like the way those tribunals work at Guantanamo. If that were to happen, there would be virtually no chance of an acquittal, given that Cuba does not permit independent criminal trial attorneys to ardently defend their clients. A conservative's dream, as we see from the way that conservatives are denouncing those criminal-defense attorneys who have been representing people being detained by U.S. authorities on their side of Cuba.

American conservatives would undoubtedly agree that the Cuban criminal-justice system is a conservative's dream-come-true. No coddling of criminals, no due process of law, no grand-jury indictments, no preliminary hearings, no suppression of illegally acquired evidence, no prohibition against tortured confessions and testimony, no independent criminal defense attorneys, and pre-ordained, rigged verdicts at the hands of fearful judges. Just quick, severe punishment of spies, terrorists, and other criminals.

Compare that system with the judicial system that the Founding Fathers established: the presumption of innocence, the right to be formally advised of criminal charges, preliminary hearings, grand-jury indictments, no coerced confessions, no unreasonable searches for evidence, the right to an independent and competent attorney, the right to bail, the right to a speedy trial, the right to trial by jury (as compared to a kangaroo tribunal), and so forth.

What conservatives fail to realize, however, is that the only way to truly determine whether Gross is guilty of that Cuban law is with a trial. And not just any trial, but with a trial by jury of regular citizens, where the jury can acquit Gross if they think the law is a bad, immoral one.

By the same token, the only way to determine whether the people are the U.S. side of Cuba are guilty of terrorism is, again, with a trial, and not just any trial, but rather a trial by jury consisting of regular citizens, not a kangaroo tribunal.

The Constitution brought into existence the greatest criminal-justice system in history. Of course, it has its faults and can be improved upon. But Americans will rue the day they permit conservatives to ditch it in favor of the type of judicial system employed by Fidel Castro and his communist cronies.

Jacob Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. Send him email. [/size]

What Was Alan Gross Doing in Havana? -- Politics Daily

Feb 11, 2010 ... During the first week of December, Alan Phillip Gross, an American from the Washington, D.C., suburb of Potomac, Md., was arrested at ...

www.politicsdaily.com/2010/.../what-was-alan-gross-doing-in-havana/ -

Contractor Jailed in Cuba Was Aiding Religious Groups, U.S. Says

By GINGER THOMPSON and MARC LACEY

Published: January 12, 2010

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/13/world/americas/13havana.html??

WASHINGTON — The United States contractor detained in Cuba last month and accused of being a spy is a 60-year-old social worker from the Washington suburbs who had gone to Cuba to provide communications equipment to Jewish nonprofit organizations, according to American officials.

In postings on the Internet, the contractor, Alan P. Gross — whose identify had not previously been made public — said he had more than 20 years' experience in development work around the world. One of his Internet networking sites said he had been a volunteer field organizer for Barack Obama's presidential campaign.

American officials say that Mr. Gross had gone to Cuba as part of a United States government program and was providing encouragement and financial assistance to religious nonprofit groups. The officials acknowledge that Mr. Gross entered Cuba without the proper visa, though they contend that he was not involved in any activities that posed a violent threat to the Cuban government. And they flatly dispute any allegations that he is a spy.

The Cuban government, however, has characterized his work as a threat to national security.

In the United States, where Cuba continues to fire political passions, Mr. Gross's detention has become the source of new tensions between Washington and Havana, and it threatens to ignite more debate on Capitol Hill about how the Obama administration ought to proceed in its Cuba policy.

Specifically, the case has raised questions about whether the administration should continue a Bush administration practice of sending development workers to conduct the kind of semicovert operations that landed Mr. Gross in jail.

Mr. Gross has visited Cuba several times, delivering computer and satellite equipment to three Jewish community groups, according to people with knowledge of his work.

In December, they said, he was on a follow-up trip for Development Alternatives Inc., a contractor working with the United States Agency for International Development. The people who know about his work, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to comment on the matter, said Mr. Gross was sent to research how the groups were making use of the equipment he had previously distributed to them.

"His work in Cuba was focused on facilitating communications among people in a nonviolent, nondissident religious organization," DAI said in a statement.

Details about Mr. Gross and his work in Cuba slowly began to emerge this week. Mr. Gross studied social work at the University of Maryland and the Virginia Commonwealth University, and he had a long career as an international development worker that took him to at least 50 countries.

In 2001, he started a company called Joint Business Development Center, whose Web site says it has "supported Internet connectivity in locations where there was little or no access," including Iraq, Afghanistan, Armenia and Kuwait. Records show his company earned less than $70,000 last year.

One friend, Howard Feinberg, said, "The Alan I know is someone who is concerned only about helping improve the human condition, not meddling in people's politics."

President Obama came to office promising a new era of engagement with Cuba. But after lifting some restrictions on travel and remittances, he has been reluctant to take further steps, citing continuing reports of human rights abuses in Cuba. Some Cuba experts have said that Mr. Gross's arrest may harden Mr. Obama's stance.

Cuba, meanwhile, said the episode signaled that Mr. Obama was just as committed to overthrowing the government as his predecessor was.

Havana has used Mr. Gross's arrest as an opportunity to raise an old grievance: America's long prison terms for five Cuban agents convicted of spying on Cuban exile organizations. Havana maintains that the agents were in the United States to prevent terrorist acts against Cuba and has called on the Obama administration to release them.

As for Mr. Gross, Cuba has said little. The government has not formally charged him with a crime. Cuban authorities have provided the United States almost no information, nor have they made any demands.

As a result, Washington and many American experts on Cuba have been left speculating about Havana's intentions.

"The Cuban regime is obviously looking for some kind of U.S. concession, callously using the contractor as a bargaining chip," said Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Republican of Florida, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Some American officials said they suspected that Cuba aimed to shine light on A.I.D.'s undercover Cuba programs, whose financing has grown in the past decade from about $5 million to over $45 million a year and have a history of mismanagement.

Senator John Kerry, chairman of the powerful Foreign Relations Committee, has called for a comprehensive review of the A.I.D. programs.

Representative Bill Delahunt, Democrat of Massachusetts, meanwhile, asked whether there might be other ways to provide information to nongovernmental groups. "If we want to have influence on the island, what makes sense?" he said.

Others say that sometimes covert actions are necessary.

"This is the kind of thing we do all over the world when we are trying to reach people their governments don't want us to reach," said an aide to a Democratic senator. "It's naïve to think that if we asked Cuba for permission, we'd get it."

Ginger Thompson reported from Washington, and Marc Lacey from Mexico City.

Edited by William Kelly
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Guest Tom Scully

Bill,

If Senator Byron Dorgan's assessment, quoted in the following NY Times excerpt, is an accurate account of the impact of Alan Gross's continued detention by the Cuban government, it is incumbent, given the risk of the alternative, opening Cuba up for commercial exploitation by American HNWI, for the Cubans to hold Gross for a long, long, time.

I've excerpted snippets about the corruptive influence of the heir to the "business" in just one small section of the country, that the Kennedy brothers permanently empowered in their agenda to win a second term for JFK, by moving to the right in an attempt to attract the votes of right leaning independents. They made a pact with the devil, Russell Buffalino and other mafia leaders, with the goal of taking out Castro.

Obama has conducted his presidency in a similar vein. Nothing has changed, except that the political dominance of the right is even more intense, as well as the resulting damage to the US Treasury and to US society and to the rule of law that is its consequence.

What, pray tell, did they intend to replace Castro with, a capitalist, "paradise" like the one Louis Denaple dominates in the state of Pennsylvania, today?

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/29/world/americas/29cuba.html

Dreaming of Cuban Profits in Post-Embargo World

By MARC LACEY

Published: March 28, 2010

“Cuba does have problems,” said Kirby Jones, a business consultant, stating the obvious at the start of a meeting last week that brought American travel industry executives and Cuban government officials to Cancún to strategize on what might, and what might not, play out in the years ahead.

Mr. Jones urged potential investors to banish certain words from their minds — Bay of Pigs, dissidents, Elián González, hijackers and socialism, for instance — and to focus on the fact that the Cuban government had already joined more than 200 joint ventures with foreign corporations, none of them American...

....Senator Byron L. Dorgan, a North Dakota Democrat, is pushing legislation that would lift the ban on travel, and he offered an optimistic view of his bill’s chance of passing this year. But he also told the Cuban officials at the meeting that they were endangering the legislation by jailing an American government contractor, Alan P. Gross, whom the Cubans accuse of espionage but the State Department says was engaged in democracy-building.

“That sort of thing is a problem and a hindrance to change U.S. policy toward Cuba,” said Mr. Dorgan, addressing the conference by telephone. ...

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08003/846272-85.stm

Priest accused of lying about his mob ties in casino case

Thursday, January 03, 2008

By Tracie Mauriello, Post-Gazette Harrisburg Bureau

HARRISBURG -- A Scranton priest was charged with perjury yesterday over statements he made to a grand jury investigating whether his friend, Louis A. DeNaples, lied in his application to open a casino in the Poconos.

The Rev. Joseph F. Sica, 52, wore both a white collar and handcuffs during his arraignment at the Dauphin County Court House. He was released on $20,000 unsecured bond.

Father Sica, chaplain at Mercy Hospital in Scranton, testified in an investigation into Mr. DeNaples' application to operate the $412 million Mount Airy Casino Resort in Monroe County, which opened in October.

Father Sica is accused of lying to the grand jury on Aug. 29 when he testified that he had met organized crime boss Russell Bufalino only in passing and had no relationship with him. Contradictory evidence surfaced during the investigation.

Photographs show the two arm-in-arm at a barbecue. A note from Father Sica to Mr. Bufalino and his wife was signed "love, Joe." A 1982 letter from Father Sica to former Pennsylvania first lady Ginny Thornburgh refers to Mr. Bufalino as "a friend." A witness recalled the Bufalinos attending Father Sica's ordination....

http://www.mcall.com/news/local/all-a1_5pr...,0,701320.story

DeNaples' priest had deep debt

Sica owed bulk of money to bank headed by casino owner.

By Matt Birkbeck Of The Morning Call

January 4, 2008

On a take-home pay of $880 a month, the Rev. Joseph Sica amassed debts of $218,000.

And he owed the vast bulk of the money -- $148,000 -- to a bank headed by his friend, Louis DeNaples, owner of Mount Airy Casino Resort.

How Sica qualified for credit cards, auto and personal loans on a Roman Catholic priest's income, and what he spent all the money on, are mysteries unaddressed by the bankruptcy court papers that document his financial hole.

Even the man prosecuting Sica for allegedly lying to a grand jury investigating DeNaples can't explain it, saying he was unaware that DeNaples' bank, First National Community Bancorp of Dunmore, Lackawanna County, was a principal creditor.

''But I find it very interesting and will pursue it further,'' Fran Chardo, Dauphin County's chief deputy district attorney, said Thursday. ''It shows another connection between the father and DeNaples.''

The grand jury is investigating whether DeNaples, a wealthy Scranton businessman, lied about his alleged ties to organized crime to get a slots license.

Sica, 52, is accused of lying during his testimony on Aug. 29 to the grand jury about his relationship with the late Russell Bufalino, the longtime head of a northeastern Pennsylvania crime family.

A priest assigned to the Diocese of Scranton, Sica has regularly accompanied

DeNaples at state Gaming Control Board hearings and meetings, and at times has acted as DeNaples' bodyguard, shielding him from crowds.

Kevin Feeley, a DeNaples spokesman, said Sica and DeNaples, 67, have been friends since Sica's childhood. Feeley declined to comment on Sica's bankruptcy filing or two personal loans of $77,202 and $54,000 to Sica from DeNaples' bank.

Sica also owed $16,500 to the bank for an auto loan on a 1996 Chevrolet Trailblazer, Eddie Bauer Edition, according to court documents.

Scranton Catholic Diocese spokesman William Genello could not be reached Thursday, and officials at the chancery said no one there was available to talk about Sica.

The diocese said Wednesday that Sica's arrest was ''deeply distressing.'' It said Sica would not celebrate Mass publicly and he was granted a leave of absence from his position as chaplain at Mercy Hospital in Scranton.

In addition to the money owed to DeNaples' bank, Sica's other debts included a $20,000 personal loan from LA Bank in Lake Ariel, Wayne County; a $15,000 personal loan from Community Bank & Trust Co. of Nicholson, Wyoming County; a $10,019 credit line from Associates Investment Co. of Charlotte, N.C.; and balances on Chase and Discover credit cards totaling $15,716.

Sica filed his bankruptcy petition in March 1997, but two months later he filed another motion seeking its dismissal. According to court records, none of the creditors objected and the case was dismissed in June 1997.

There's no record of repayment of Sica's debts.

Sica was arrested Wednesday at 430 Pittson Ave., Scranton, where he is in residence at St. Mary of the Assumption Church. He later was charged in Harrisburg with perjury for allegedly lying to the grand jury about his relationship with Bufalino, once described by a U.S. Senate committee as ''one of the most ruthless and powerful leaders of the Mafia in the United States.''

Sica testified he had no personal relationship with Bufalino, saying he met Bufalino in the early 1980s when Bufalino was hospitalized and Sica was a deacon visiting Catholic patients.

But according to the grand jury, Sica had a long-standing relationship with Bufalino, writing letters on his behalf seeking his release from prison following his 1982 conviction for conspiring to kill a mob witness.

The grand jury also said Bufalino attended a party celebrating Sica's ordination and the pair were photographed together at the party and at a barbecue. Sica and Bufalino are also seen in photos with William D'Elia, who according to the Pennsylvania Crime Commission took over as head of the Bufalino family after Bufalino's death in 1994.

D'Elia, who is in prison awaiting trial on federal charges of money laundering and conspiracy to kill a witness, testified before the DeNaples grand jury in July and ''was aware of a relationship between Sica and Bufalino,'' according to the grand jury report.

http://www.poconorecord.com/apps/pbcs.dll/...301/-1/NEWS0903

....An influential figure

DeNaples, 66, is a dominant figure in Scranton — and an influential player in Pennsylvania politics.

He owns landfills, quarries, 35,000 acres, auto-parts and forestry-equipment dealerships, and more — almost 90 businesses. He once headed the board of trustees at the University of Scranton.

Sometimes giving in his own name, sometimes through his partnerships, DeNaples and his partners have contributed about $1 million since 2000 to state politicians and political committees, both Democratic and Republican. Gov. Rendell received $140,000.

Rendell defends DeNaples as "the salt of the earth" and said he was unconcerned about the investigations.

"Grand juries investigate virtually everyone," he said in a recent interview. "It doesn't mean a bloody thing."

Rendell brushed aside criticism of the gaming board....

http://articles.mcall.com/2005-12-22/news/...-louis-denaples

By Matt Birkbeck Of The Morning Call | December 22, 2005

A Scranton businessman with a felony conviction and alleged ties to organized crime has enlisted two former federal prosecutors to support his application for a gaming license for the Mount Airy Lodge resort in the Poconos. Louis DeNaples, owner of the Keystone landfill in Dunmore, Lackawanna County, and one of the richest men in northeastern Pennsylvania, Wednesday submitted his application for a stand-alone slots license. The application, which included detailed plans and a required $50 million letter of credit, also included letters of support from Peter Vaira, a former U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and Sal Cognetti Jr., a former assistant U.S. attorney for the Middle District in Scranton.

http://articles.mcall.com/2010-01-27/news/...cation-scranton

Marino to run for Congress in Scranton

The former U.S. attorney vouched for Louis DeNaples despite probe.

January 27, 2010|By Matt Birkbeck OF THE MORNING CALL

Former U.S. Attorney Tom Marino said Tuesday he's running for Congress.

Marino, a Republican, is the second GOP candidate seeking to unseat U.S. Rep. Chris Carney, D-10th District. The district covers much of northeastern Pennsylvania, including Scranton.

Marino, a former Lycoming County district attorney, was appointed in 2002 as U.S. attorney for the middle district, which includes Scranton and Harrisburg.

The Morning Call reported in August 2007 that Marino had provided a reference for Louis DeNaples on DeNaples' gaming application for Mount Airy Casino Resort even as Marino's office was investigating DeNaples.

Marino resigned as U.S. attorney in October 2007 and was subsequently hired by DeNaples as an in-house counsel for non-casino businesses. Marino, 57, of the Williamsport area recently resigned that job to focus on his congressional bid.

Marino announced his congressional run Tuesday on a Williamsport radio program and said an official announcement will come today.

Edited by Tom Scully
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  • 2 weeks later...

I know Alan P. Gross is part of the system.

There were others before him - Barghorn? - professor arrested by Russians, in the hours before his death JFK vouched for him and got him off - then learned that he was, after all, a spy.

John Martino, arrested and jailed and let out with a group in a trade-off similar to the Bay of Pigs prisoner exchange.

The Libyans wrongfully accused some Bulgarian nurses of intentionally infecting children at a hospital, tried and sentenced them before they were released, and now Libya is still holding two Swiss businessmen for ransom after Hanabal Ghadafi (son) was accused of beating his servant in Zurich, which also led to Libya withdraw of 200 billion from Swiss banks despite Swiss appologies.

So now Cuba has Gross, and he's tied to the State Dept. through the Foundation.

As for Buffalino, his territory was north, rural Pennsylvania and lower New York state, and parts of North Jersey that New York didn't want.

Of all the Mafia bosses, Buffalino had the least territory and influence, but he sat on the Commission with close associate Angelo Bruno, the Philly boss, the five New York family bosses, Chicago (Giancana), who controlled Vegas and California, and New Orleans (Marcello) and Tampa (Trafficante).

If you read some of the Angelo Bruno files of the HSCA posted at Mary Ferrell (thanks Rex), you see that Buffalino had invested heavily with Bruno in a casino in Havana shortly before Castro took over, and they lost it all.

So the same outfit buying in to the Mt. Airey Lodge casino today seems like they're still in the same business, except going legit.

BK

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I know Alan P. Gross is part of the system.

There were others before him - Barghorn? - professor arrested by Russians, in the hours before his death JFK vouched for him and got him off - then learned that he was, after all, a spy.

John Martino, arrested and jailed and let out with a group in a trade-off similar to the Bay of Pigs prisoner exchange.

The Libyans wrongfully accused some Bulgarian nurses of intentionally infecting children at a hospital, tried and sentenced them before they were released, and now Libya is still holding two Swiss businessmen for ransom after Hanabal Ghadafi (son) was accused of beating his servant in Zurich, which also led to Libya withdraw of 200 billion from Swiss banks despite Swiss appologies.

So now Cuba has Gross, and he's tied to the State Dept. through the Foundation.

As for Buffalino, his territory was north, rural Pennsylvania and lower New York state, and parts of North Jersey that New York didn't want.

Of all the Mafia bosses, Buffalino had the least territory and influence, but he sat on the Commission with close associate Angelo Bruno, the Philly boss, the five New York family bosses, Chicago (Giancana), who controlled Vegas and California, and New Orleans (Marcello) and Tampa (Trafficante).

If you read some of the Angelo Bruno files of the HSCA posted at Mary Ferrell (thanks Rex), you see that Buffalino had invested heavily with Bruno in a casino in Havana shortly before Castro took over, and they lost it all.

So the same outfit buying in to the Mt. Airey Lodge casino today seems like they're still in the same business, except going legit.

BK

And another thing Tom - As I was reminded by the review of books in the Turkish blog, and...

Although it's a big backyard, a neigbhor of Buffalino in Northeast Pennsylvania is the powerful Pinchot family - Mary (Meyer) and her mother, who JFK visited on the first leg of his conservation tour on September 24, 1963.

I don't know if there's a connection between those very powerful families, one being Italian Mafia and the other being stunch Republican industrialists, but hey, they had to cross paths in such a small swamp.

BK

Edited by William Kelly
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Guest Tom Scully

Mobbed up former U.S. Attorney Tom Marino "won" tonight....it's almost time to pack up and migrate to Belize.

http://www.poconorecord.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20101102/NEWS/101109930/-1/NEWS01

Pocono Record

November 2, 2010

Republican challenger Tom Marino ousted Democratic Rep. Chris Carney from his 10th District post in the U.S. House of Representatives Tuesday.

Carney, a two-term incumbent, was in one of the battleground races being watched nationally for control of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Marino, a former U.S. Attorney, battled negative publicity from news reports about his relationship with Mount Airy Casino Resort owner Louis DeNaples.

Marino allowed DeNaples to use him as a reference in his application for a casino license, later worked as in-house counsel for DeNaples’ non-casino business interests and resigned from that job to launch his House campaign, the Associated Press reported.

Carney mentioned the relationship in debates and political ads, charging that Marino was unfit for office.

Marino and his backers responded with money, lots of it, for advertising connecting Carney to unpopular Democratic votes. Marino maintained that he did nothing wrong and labeled Carney’s attacks as “desperate.”...

Bill,

If Senator Byron Dorgan's assessment, quoted in the following NY Times excerpt, is an accurate account of the impact of Alan Gross's continued detention by the Cuban government, it is incumbent, given the risk of the alternative, opening Cuba up for commercial exploitation by American HNWI, for the Cubans to hold Gross for a long, long, time.

I've excerpted snippets about the corruptive influence of the heir to the "business" in just one small section of the country, that the Kennedy brothers permanently empowered in their agenda to win a second term for JFK, by moving to the right in an attempt to attract the votes of right leaning independents. They made a pact with the devil, Russell Buffalino and other mafia leaders, with the goal of taking out Castro.

Obama has conducted his presidency in a similar vein. Nothing has changed, except that the political dominance of the right is even more intense, as well as the resulting damage to the US Treasury and to US society and to the rule of law that is its consequence.

What, pray tell, did they intend to replace Castro with, a capitalist, "paradise" like the one Louis Denaple dominates in the state of Pennsylvania, today?

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/29/world/americas/29cuba.html

Dreaming of Cuban Profits in Post-Embargo World

By MARC LACEY

Published: March 28, 2010

“Cuba does have problems,” said Kirby Jones, a business consultant, stating the obvious at the start of a meeting last week that brought American travel industry executives and Cuban government officials to Cancún to strategize on what might, and what might not, play out in the years ahead.

Mr. Jones urged potential investors to banish certain words from their minds — Bay of Pigs, dissidents, Elián González, hijackers and socialism, for instance — and to focus on the fact that the Cuban government had already joined more than 200 joint ventures with foreign corporations, none of them American...

....Senator Byron L. Dorgan, a North Dakota Democrat, is pushing legislation that would lift the ban on travel, and he offered an optimistic view of his bill’s chance of passing this year. But he also told the Cuban officials at the meeting that they were endangering the legislation by jailing an American government contractor, Alan P. Gross, whom the Cubans accuse of espionage but the State Department says was engaged in democracy-building.

“That sort of thing is a problem and a hindrance to change U.S. policy toward Cuba,” said Mr. Dorgan, addressing the conference by telephone. ...

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08003/846272-85.stm

Priest accused of lying about his mob ties in casino case

Thursday, January 03, 2008

By Tracie Mauriello, Post-Gazette Harrisburg Bureau

HARRISBURG -- A Scranton priest was charged with perjury yesterday over statements he made to a grand jury investigating whether his friend, Louis A. DeNaples, lied in his application to open a casino in the Poconos.

The Rev. Joseph F. Sica, 52, wore both a white collar and handcuffs during his arraignment at the Dauphin County Court House. He was released on $20,000 unsecured bond.

Father Sica, chaplain at Mercy Hospital in Scranton, testified in an investigation into Mr. DeNaples' application to operate the $412 million Mount Airy Casino Resort in Monroe County, which opened in October.

Father Sica is accused of lying to the grand jury on Aug. 29 when he testified that he had met organized crime boss Russell Bufalino only in passing and had no relationship with him. Contradictory evidence surfaced during the investigation.

Photographs show the two arm-in-arm at a barbecue. A note from Father Sica to Mr. Bufalino and his wife was signed "love, Joe." A 1982 letter from Father Sica to former Pennsylvania first lady Ginny Thornburgh refers to Mr. Bufalino as "a friend." A witness recalled the Bufalinos attending Father Sica's ordination....

http://www.mcall.com/news/local/all-a1_5pr...,0,701320.story

DeNaples' priest had deep debt

Sica owed bulk of money to bank headed by casino owner.

By Matt Birkbeck Of The Morning Call

January 4, 2008

On a take-home pay of $880 a month, the Rev. Joseph Sica amassed debts of $218,000.

And he owed the vast bulk of the money -- $148,000 -- to a bank headed by his friend, Louis DeNaples, owner of Mount Airy Casino Resort.

How Sica qualified for credit cards, auto and personal loans on a Roman Catholic priest's income, and what he spent all the money on, are mysteries unaddressed by the bankruptcy court papers that document his financial hole.

Even the man prosecuting Sica for allegedly lying to a grand jury investigating DeNaples can't explain it, saying he was unaware that DeNaples' bank, First National Community Bancorp of Dunmore, Lackawanna County, was a principal creditor.

''But I find it very interesting and will pursue it further,'' Fran Chardo, Dauphin County's chief deputy district attorney, said Thursday. ''It shows another connection between the father and DeNaples.''

The grand jury is investigating whether DeNaples, a wealthy Scranton businessman, lied about his alleged ties to organized crime to get a slots license.

Sica, 52, is accused of lying during his testimony on Aug. 29 to the grand jury about his relationship with the late Russell Bufalino, the longtime head of a northeastern Pennsylvania crime family.

A priest assigned to the Diocese of Scranton, Sica has regularly accompanied

DeNaples at state Gaming Control Board hearings and meetings, and at times has acted as DeNaples' bodyguard, shielding him from crowds.

Kevin Feeley, a DeNaples spokesman, said Sica and DeNaples, 67, have been friends since Sica's childhood. Feeley declined to comment on Sica's bankruptcy filing or two personal loans of $77,202 and $54,000 to Sica from DeNaples' bank.

Sica also owed $16,500 to the bank for an auto loan on a 1996 Chevrolet Trailblazer, Eddie Bauer Edition, according to court documents.

Scranton Catholic Diocese spokesman William Genello could not be reached Thursday, and officials at the chancery said no one there was available to talk about Sica.

The diocese said Wednesday that Sica's arrest was ''deeply distressing.'' It said Sica would not celebrate Mass publicly and he was granted a leave of absence from his position as chaplain at Mercy Hospital in Scranton.

In addition to the money owed to DeNaples' bank, Sica's other debts included a $20,000 personal loan from LA Bank in Lake Ariel, Wayne County; a $15,000 personal loan from Community Bank & Trust Co. of Nicholson, Wyoming County; a $10,019 credit line from Associates Investment Co. of Charlotte, N.C.; and balances on Chase and Discover credit cards totaling $15,716.

Sica filed his bankruptcy petition in March 1997, but two months later he filed another motion seeking its dismissal. According to court records, none of the creditors objected and the case was dismissed in June 1997.

There's no record of repayment of Sica's debts.

Sica was arrested Wednesday at 430 Pittson Ave., Scranton, where he is in residence at St. Mary of the Assumption Church. He later was charged in Harrisburg with perjury for allegedly lying to the grand jury about his relationship with Bufalino, once described by a U.S. Senate committee as ''one of the most ruthless and powerful leaders of the Mafia in the United States.''

Sica testified he had no personal relationship with Bufalino, saying he met Bufalino in the early 1980s when Bufalino was hospitalized and Sica was a deacon visiting Catholic patients.

But according to the grand jury, Sica had a long-standing relationship with Bufalino, writing letters on his behalf seeking his release from prison following his 1982 conviction for conspiring to kill a mob witness.

The grand jury also said Bufalino attended a party celebrating Sica's ordination and the pair were photographed together at the party and at a barbecue. Sica and Bufalino are also seen in photos with William D'Elia, who according to the Pennsylvania Crime Commission took over as head of the Bufalino family after Bufalino's death in 1994.

D'Elia, who is in prison awaiting trial on federal charges of money laundering and conspiracy to kill a witness, testified before the DeNaples grand jury in July and ''was aware of a relationship between Sica and Bufalino,'' according to the grand jury report.

http://www.poconorecord.com/apps/pbcs.dll/...301/-1/NEWS0903

....An influential figure

DeNaples, 66, is a dominant figure in Scranton — and an influential player in Pennsylvania politics.

He owns landfills, quarries, 35,000 acres, auto-parts and forestry-equipment dealerships, and more — almost 90 businesses. He once headed the board of trustees at the University of Scranton.

Sometimes giving in his own name, sometimes through his partnerships, DeNaples and his partners have contributed about $1 million since 2000 to state politicians and political committees, both Democratic and Republican. Gov. Rendell received $140,000.

Rendell defends DeNaples as "the salt of the earth" and said he was unconcerned about the investigations.

"Grand juries investigate virtually everyone," he said in a recent interview. "It doesn't mean a bloody thing."

Rendell brushed aside criticism of the gaming board....

http://articles.mcall.com/2005-12-22/news/...-louis-denaples

By Matt Birkbeck Of The Morning Call | December 22, 2005

A Scranton businessman with a felony conviction and alleged ties to organized crime has enlisted two former federal prosecutors to support his application for a gaming license for the Mount Airy Lodge resort in the Poconos. Louis DeNaples, owner of the Keystone landfill in Dunmore, Lackawanna County, and one of the richest men in northeastern Pennsylvania, Wednesday submitted his application for a stand-alone slots license. The application, which included detailed plans and a required $50 million letter of credit, also included letters of support from Peter Vaira, a former U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and Sal Cognetti Jr., a former assistant U.S. attorney for the Middle District in Scranton.

http://articles.mcall.com/2010-01-27/news/...cation-scranton

Marino to run for Congress in Scranton

The former U.S. attorney vouched for Louis DeNaples despite probe.

January 27, 2010|By Matt Birkbeck OF THE MORNING CALL

Former U.S. Attorney Tom Marino said Tuesday he's running for Congress.

Marino, a Republican, is the second GOP candidate seeking to unseat U.S. Rep. Chris Carney, D-10th District. The district covers much of northeastern Pennsylvania, including Scranton.

Marino, a former Lycoming County district attorney, was appointed in 2002 as U.S. attorney for the middle district, which includes Scranton and Harrisburg.

The Morning Call reported in August 2007 that Marino had provided a reference for Louis DeNaples on DeNaples' gaming application for Mount Airy Casino Resort even as Marino's office was investigating DeNaples.

Marino resigned as U.S. attorney in October 2007 and was subsequently hired by DeNaples as an in-house counsel for non-casino businesses. Marino, 57, of the Williamsport area recently resigned that job to focus on his congressional bid.

Marino announced his congressional run Tuesday on a Williamsport radio program and said an official announcement will come today.

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