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Jean Daniel Bensaid and the JFK assassination

John Simkin

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Jean Daniel (Jean Daniel Bensaid) was born in Blida, Algeria, on 21st July, 1920. As a young man he moved to France and became a freelance journalist. On 24th October, 1963, Ben Bradlee of Newsweek arranged for Daniel to meet JFK. Bradlee knew that Daniel was just about to visit Cuba in order to interview Fidel Castro.

JFK told Daniel: "We can’t let Communist subversion win in the other Latin American countries. Two dikes are needed to contain Soviet expansion: the blockade on the one hand, a tremendous effort toward progress on the other. This is the problem in a nutshell. Both battles are equally difficult... The continuation of the blockade depends on the continuation of subversive activities.”

Daniel later wrote: "I did not really wish to suggest anything, since I had never been to Cuba and, on the other hand, I had heard from all sides tales of the privations the Cuban people were suffering owing to their isolated economic situation. But I could see plainly that John Kennedy had doubts, and was seeking a way out."

Daniel met Castro on 19th November, 1963. Daniel later described Castro as listening with "devouring and passionate interest". He made Daniel repeat three times Kennedy's indictment of Fulgencio Batista. Castro told Daniel that Kennedy could become "the greatest president of the United States, the leader who may at last understand that there can be coexistence between capitalists and socialists, even in the Americas."

Daniel was with Castro when news arrived that JFK had been assassinated Castro turned to Daniel and said:"This is an end to your mission of peace. Everything is changed." Later Castro commented: "Now they will have to find the assassin quickly, but very quickly, otherwise, you watch and see, I know them, they will try to put the blame on us for this thing."

It is possible that Daniel was also working with the CIA. JFK actually went to Ben Bradlee to ask him for a person who could begin secret negotiations with Castro. JFK did not know that Bradlee had been working for the CIA since the late 1940s when he was based in Europe.

Jean Daniel Bensaid died on 12th January, 2010.


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  • 2 months later...

I have been informed that Jean Daniel is still alive and living in Paris. My contact is in fact having a meeting with him today.


It is interesting that you note that you believe that Jean Daniel might have had an affiliation with the CIA. I was watching a You Tube interview that Phillip Agee did with an alternative news source in Texas in 1995. Phillip mentioned that at one point when he was writing his first book about the CIA and he was on the run and underground as it where in Paris, France, he was asked to give his story to a French investigative reporter, which he did. However his story was killed by none other than Jean Daniel. The reason he was told was that Jean Daniel was not interested in the intrigue and skull duggery associated with the CIA. Maybe what was more true was that Jean Daniel on behalf of the CIA was not going to publish anything that may potentially embarass the CIA or the United States.

-Greg Kooyman

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