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Assassination


Tim Gratz
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I think it merits some discussion under what circumstances assassination is ever proper. To avoid using loaded words, the question is perhaps best asked whether the killing of a person for a "political" motive is justified. Per most moral ethicists, if a killing is morally justified it is not murder.

A second topic meriting discussion is even if a killing of a foreign head of state is morally justifiable, is it worth the risks (e.g. retaliation). The retaliation could involve more than a retaliatory killing. It was, after all, an assassination that triggered the First World War.

First, I want to coment on the CIA plots to kill Castro. A killing endorsed or supported by an agency of a government stands on a different footing than a killing by a private citizen. For instance, it involves legal as well as moral considerations.

For instance, the killing of a foreign head of state is clealy an act of war and the constitution limits to Congress the right to start a war. Common sense says that a president can respond to an emergency (i.e had the Russians ever shot their missiles at us, obviously the president then in power would not have waited for congress to respond). But there was no emerency that prevented Eisenhower or Kennedy from seeking congressional approval for actions against Castro.

A far more different question is whether the killing of a foreign head of state is justified in the context of an ongoing war. As we know, Allen Dulles was involved in a plot to kill Hitler. Since the killing of a head of state in a war would presumably shorten the war, an argument can be made that the killing of a foreign head of state in a war that is otherwise morally justified should be considered.

Of course, Richard Bissell used the Hitler argument to overcome Robert Maheu's initial moral objections to the idea of killing Castro. As I recall, however, Bissell even talked to Maheu about killing Hitler prior to the start of World War Two and his argument may have been more directed to preventing the loss of lives of American soldiers by preventing a war than to preventing the Holocaust.

I do not think we should have tried to assassinate Castro. But even if one discounts the legal and moral objections it was an astoundingly bad idea for the CIA to involve elements of organized crime. Not only did that decision invite blackmail, it seems morally outrageous to enter an alliance with brutal killers.

Tim Carroll agrees with me that some of the intelligence reforms of the mid seventies were an over-reaction to the CIA abuses of the mid 1960s. He also states that the recent intelligence reforms may have gone too far in relaxing the restriction on assassination. He may very well be right about that.

I do not agree with the theory that a rogue element of the CIA killed JFK (in part because I think LHO may have been working for US intelligence and if so his sponsor would not have set him up as a patsy). I think it is possible that anti-Castro Cubans did it, and framed Oswald, believing he was indeed a Castro supporter. If so, their plot may have been advanced by the CIA's introduction of the criminal element into the war against Castro. I also think (as you know) that the assassination may have been a defensive (not retaliatory) action by Castro. In either event, we paid dearly for a decision initiated by a CIA bureacrat to adopt murder as an instrument of our foreign policy.

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I think it merits some discussion under what circumstances assassination is ever proper.  To avoid using loaded words, the question is perhaps best asked whether the killing of a person for a "political" motive is justified.  Per most moral ethicists, if a killing is morally justified it is not murder.

A second topic meriting discussion is even if a killing of a foreign head of state is morally justifiable, is it worth the risks (e.g. retaliation).  The retaliation could involve more than a retaliatory killing.  It was, after all, an assassination that triggered the First World War.

First, I want to coment on the CIA plots to kill Castro.  A killing endorsed or supported by an agency of a government stands on a different footing than a killing by a private citizen.  For instance, it involves legal as well as moral considerations.

For instance, the killing of a foreign head of state is clealy an act of war and the constitution limits to Congress the right to start a war.  Common sense says that a president can respond to an emergency (i.e had the Russians ever shot their missiles at us, obviously the president then in power would not have waited for congress to respond).  But there was no emerency that prevented Eisenhower or Kennedy from seeking congressional approval for actions against Castro.

A far more different question is whether the killing of a foreign head of state is justified in the context of an ongoing war. As we know, Allen Dulles was involved in a plot to kill Hitler.  Since the killing of a head of state in a war would presumably shorten the war, an argument can be made that the killing of a foreign head of state in a war that is otherwise morally justified should be considered. 

Of course, Richard Bissell used the Hitler argument to overcome Robert Maheu's initial moral objections to the idea of killing Castro.  As I recall, however, Bissell even talked to Maheu about killing Hitler prior to the start of World War Two and his argument may have been more directed to preventing the loss of lives of American soldiers by preventing a war than to preventing the Holocaust.

I do not think we should have tried to assassinate Castro.  But even if one discounts the legal and moral objections it was an astoundingly bad idea for the CIA to involve elements of organized crime.  Not only did that decision invite blackmail, it seems morally outrageous to enter an alliance with brutal killers.

Tim Carroll agrees with me that some of the intelligence reforms of the mid seventies were an over-reaction to the CIA abuses of the mid 1960s.  He also states that the recent intelligence reforms may have gone too far in relaxing the restriction on assassination.  He may very well be right about that. 

I do not agree with the theory that a rogue element of the CIA killed JFK (in part because I think LHO may have been working for US intelligence and if so his sponsor would not have set him up as a patsy).  I think it is possible that anti-Castro Cubans did it, and framed Oswald, believing he was indeed a Castro supporter.  If so, their plot may have been advanced by the CIA's introduction of the criminal element into the war against Castro.  I also think (as you know) that the assassination may have been a defensive (not retaliatory) action by Castro.  In either event, we paid dearly for a decision initiated by a CIA bureacrat to adopt murder as an instrument of our foreign policy.

Tim,

Another excellent thread! A great deal of thought and cutting edge moral issues brought into this. I have a feeling that there will be considerable response to it which is fantastic, as it what this is all about.

While I do not agree with you on who carried out the assassination, I respect your opinions as they are based on knowlege of the times. I do not agree that the anti-Castro Cubans would have set up the assassination without tipping their hands. They have been given a great deal more credit than they deserve in the field of Clandestine Operation secrecy. And the mafia line is not even a consideration IMHO as we had the likes of the Hollywood Pimp Roselli who worked with the likes of blowhard Lansdale to come up with rediculous schemes against Castro such as exploding seashells, poison cigars, etc.. None even came close to being realistically carried out, and could not compare with what happened in DP. I also believe too much weight is given to Oswald by many as a CIA or intelligence operative. He was low level to say the least as the Soviets and even the anti-Castro Cubans could see through him. Beyond a script, he fell apart. IMHO, he was an ideal patsy for the legend they created for him, in hindsight.

The issue of the legality or even morality of government backed assassination, it is a complex issue that needs to be approached on case by case basis, as you have done on your initial posting on this thread. The issue of the Castro assassination attempts of the early sixties IMHO were totally unjustified as Castro came to power due to the majority of the people at the time of the takeover. If he became less than what the people wanted from their leader, then it was their responsibility to remove him from power. If the US could aid in this on a limited basis, then so be it, as long as it was what the majority of the Cuban populous wanted, not what the US government wanted. A classic example beyond Cuba circa early sixties is Nicaragua in the eighties. Was the US motivation to aid the majority of the country's populous or their own needs?

Castro's overthrow failed because their was not an uprising within the island that was needed. The Sandanista regime overthrow initially failed for the same reason. It eventually succeeded because of covert tactics and starving them out. Is this what we want and who are we to Americanize the world?

One last point, we must not prosecute the one who pulls the trigger, but those who ordered him to do so. There is a distinct difference between those who control and those who are controlled.

Al

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Tim,

Another excellent thread! A great deal of thought and cutting edge moral issues brought into this. I have a feeling that there will be considerable response to it which is fantastic, as it what this is all about.

While I do not agree with you on who carried out the assassination, I respect your opinions as they are based on knowlege of the times. I do not agree that the anti-Castro Cubans would have set up the assassination without tipping their hands. They have been given a great deal more credit than they deserve in the field of Clandestine Operation secrecy. And the mafia line is not even a consideration IMHO as we had the likes of the Hollywood Pimp Roselli who worked with the likes of blowhard Lansdale to come up with rediculous schemes against Castro such as exploding seashells, poison cigars, etc.. None even came close to being realistically carried out, and could not compare with what happened in DP. I also believe too much weight is given to Oswald by many as a CIA or intelligence operative. He was low level to say the least as the Soviets and even the anti-Castro Cubans could see through him. Beyond a script, he fell apart. IMHO, he was an ideal patsy for the legend they created for him, in hindsight.

The issue of the legality or even morality of government backed assassination, it is a complex issue that needs to be approached on case by case basis, as you have done on your initial posting on this thread. The issue of the Castro assassination attempts of the early sixties IMHO were totally unjustified as Castro came to power due to the majority of the people at the time of the takeover. If he became less than what the people wanted from their leader, then it was their responsibility to remove him from power. If the US could aid in this on a limited basis, then so be it, as long as it was what the majority of the Cuban populous wanted, not what the US government wanted. A classic example beyond Cuba circa early sixties is Nicaragua in the eighties. Was the US motivation to aid the majority of the country's populous or their own needs?

Castro's overthrow failed because their was not an uprising within the island that was needed. The Sandanista regime overthrow initially failed for the same reason. It eventually succeeded because of covert tactics and starving them out. Is this what we want and who are we to Americanize the world?

One last point, we must not prosecute the one who pulls the trigger, but those who ordered him to do so. There is a distinct difference between those who control and those who are controlled.

Al

Taking your last thought first: we ought to prosecute both, shouldn't we? But if we catch the trigger man, law enforcement often bargains its way up, and I agree this is a defensible strategy to prosecute those ultimately responsible.

Parenthetically, I have appreciated your posts and your law enforcement training gives you the training and credentials to comment knowingly on many of the issues.

From my reading of Rosselli, I think he was probably intelligent enough to plan the assassination (but I am not yet sure if he did). Have you read the magisterial biography of Rosselli by Rappleye and Becker? And Mahoney in Sons and Brothers states that Giancana brought Rosselli in to orchestrate the Chicago mob's rigging of the 1960 election. Giancana realized he needed Rosselli's intelligence to supervise the Outfit's "get out the vote" efforts. (JFK would have won the election without Illinois, but not without Illinois and Texas.)

Rosselli was known as the "Kissinger" of the mob for his intelligence. He wsas one of two men who helped construct the Tropicana Hotel.

I do not believe Rosselli was involved in the ridiculous plots you mention: those were the brainwork of Lansdale and Fitzgerald. When I read of the various schemes they concocted, I wonder, what were these guys thinking?

Rosselli was involved in giving CIA poison to Cubans who were to slip it into Castro's food or drink so his death would not even be considered a murder and the killer would escape with his life. The problem, as I see it, is that Rosselli was getting his Cubans from Trafficante who, I believe, was reporting to Fidel.

I am also not sure I agree with you re LHO. Whether there was one Oswald or two, one was fluent enough in Russian to discuss Russian literature in fluent Russian, an indicia that he was more intelligent than he was often given credit for.

It is possible LHO was a genuine Castro supporter but anti-Castro Cubans manipulated him to shoot Kennedy by pointing out to him, for instance, Castro's remarks to the AP reporter on September 7, 1963. Two staff counsel for the WC wrote a memo suggesting this possibility but, of course, it was never pursued.

This scenario assumes that the ongoing Cubela affair was merely coincidental. This scenario could occur if LHO was a lone shooter or if the planners added shooters to complete the job if Oswald missed.

Your thread about missing evidence is quite persuasive, however, re LHO's actual participation.

The unfortunate thing, of course, is that both pro and anti Castro Cubans had reason to want Kennedy killed - so it is possible that the person(s) who did the killing were being manipulated by persons with a diametrically opposite agenda.

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I think it merits some discussion under what circumstances assassination is ever proper.  To avoid using loaded words, the question is perhaps best asked whether the killing of a person for a "political" motive is justified.  Per most moral ethicists, if a killing is morally justified it is not murder.

Great posting. I would argue that it is not justified to order the killing of a political leader. I say this for moral and political reasons. I think it is very similar to the idea of bombing citizens during a war. It is not morally justifiable to kill civilians. It also rarely works. All it does is increase the survivor’s commitment to continue the struggle. It is true it worked when the two atom bombs were dropped on Japan. However, I will never be convinced of the morality of such an action.

The response of the population to the assassination of their leader would be similar. The only example I can think of where I think it would have worked was to assassinate a political leader was Adolf Hitler in 1944 (I don’t think it would have worked before this date).

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I don't think it is ever justifiable in the particular context of what this nation purportedly stands for. Our mission was always to protect the high-minded principles for which we stood at our founding - and to be the of light the world - never to defend the alibis and excuses of the most despicable human behavior of criminals who may have maneuvered themselves into positions from which they could take hold of the reins of our government. Once we dive into a polluted lake to swim - our standards for acceptable levels of pollution diminish. We should never have let go of our pure ideals and allowed them to be replaced with artificial symbols and slogans pretending to mean the same things. This is the only way in which true American patriotism can be revitalized and reenergized. We should have pursued a course of being the world's friend and mentor - not it's strict and cruel taskmaster.

JFK represented inclusion, education and elevation of all of the world's citizens through positive programs of cooperation. He was replaced by a faction offering domination, subjugation and economic tyranny by military rule - and a systematic reduction of the role of the common man to that of servant, lackey and wage slave.

We shouldn't tolerate the killings or the cover-ups. As in the Biblical admonition, "As ye sow - so shall ye reap..." - if the seed is murder - what will the plant become?

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Tim Carroll agrees with me that some of the intelligence reforms of the mid seventies were an over-reaction to the CIA abuses of the mid 1960s.   He also states that the recent intelligence reforms may have gone too far in relaxing the restriction on assassination.  He may very well be right about that. 

Tim Gratz: The following is very well said:

"The unfortunate thing, of course, is that both pro and anti Castro Cubans had reason to want Kennedy killed - so it is possible that the person(s) who did the killing were being manipulated by persons with a diametrically opposite agenda."

As for the biblical admonition, cited by JL Allen: "As ye sow - so shall ye reap..." So Kennedy said: "'If we get into that kind of thing, we'll all be targets.' That same month Kennedy said in a speech, 'We cannot, as a free nation, compete with our adversaries in tactics of terror and assassination.'"*

Tim

*Arthur M. Schlesinger, Robert Kennedy And His Times, (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1978), 492.

Edited by Tim Carroll
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I can see assassinating the leader of a foreign country with whom we're at war if there is little chance of negotiated settlement as long as he's alive. Killing him could save many soldiers' lives on both sides. Hitler is of course a prime example.

Otherwise assassination is unjustified. It can be carried out for the wrong reasons, it can later be judged a mistake, and if a leader is so low down and despicable that he should be assassinated, then you can be fairly sure that there is someone ready to step into his shoes who is just as bad. I believe Hemming claims somewhere in his HSCA deposition that the goal of the No Name Key group was never to assassinate Castro, because his brother Raul would take over and was even worse than Fidel. If that's true, and it certainly sounds like a sensible judgment, someone should have told the Kennedys and the Mongoose clowns.

There are probably plenty of people who think we should have tried to assassinate Saddam Hussein (assuming it was feasible), hopefully to avoid having to invade his country. What, so one of his psychotic boys could take over? (The neocon Bush regime was going to invade Iraq anyway, so it was in the Bush regime's interest to be sure Saddam stayed alive as justification for war. But that's another story.)

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I can see assassinating the leader of a foreign country with whom we're at war if there is little chance of negotiated settlement as long as he's alive. Killing him could save many soldiers' lives on both sides. Hitler is of course a prime example.

Otherwise assassination is unjustified. It can be carried out for the wrong reasons, it can later be judged a mistake, and if a leader is so low down and despicable that he should be assassinated, then you can be fairly sure that there is someone ready to step into his shoes who is just as bad. I believe Hemming claims somewhere in his HSCA deposition that the goal of the No Name Key group was never to assassinate Castro, because his brother Raul would take over and was even worse than Fidel. If that's true, and it certainly sounds like a sensible judgment, someone should have told the Kennedys and the Mongoose clowns.

There are probably plenty of people who think we should have tried to assassinate Saddam Hussein (assuming it was feasible), hopefully to avoid having to invade his country. What, so one of his psychotic boys could take over? (The neocon Bush regime was going to invade Iraq anyway, so it was in the Bush regime's interest to be sure Saddam stayed alive as justification for war. But that's another story.)

I concur that the targeting of a political leader (or a military leader, for that matter) might sometimes be justified in a time of war but otherwise not at all. One can conceive of a situation when moral considerations could justify an exception, e.g. if the foreign leader was, clearly, engaging in genocide and his elimination could save thousands of innocent lives. (In American law, one can kill a third person if that person is about to kill another person, and few would doubt the morality of that.) But we do enter a "slippery slope" if we entertain killing of foreigners other than in a war situation.

With respect to the Castro assassination plots, it is my understanding that some (but certainly not all of the plots) contemplated killing Fidel, Raul and Che.

When we recently lifted the ban on assassinations, I wonder if the law imposed any restraints, or did it give the CIA unlimited discretion in this regard? (God forbid!) Anyone familiar with the actual law?

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Tim

Read my article on Jimmy Carter's Executive Order 12036, it stated that assassinations were OUT in January 1978, Mondale and Brezhinski went through a review of the Church Committee findings and enlarged upon the Ford Rockefeller reforms, which came in response to William Colby's testimony and Seymour Hersh's reports on CIA assassination plans.

The assassination of Lumumba was the only assassination that the Senate oversight committees ever completely admitted, I believe.

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When we recently lifted the ban on assassinations, I wonder if the law imposed any restraints, or did it give the CIA unlimited discretion in this regard? (God forbid!)  Anyone familiar with the actual law?

I'm not familiar with the law, but ask Paul Wellstone if there are any restraints.

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Tim,

Another excellent thread! A great deal of thought and cutting edge moral issues brought into this. I have a feeling that there will be considerable response to it which is fantastic, as it what this is all about.

While I do not agree with you on who carried out the assassination, I respect your opinions as they are based on knowlege of the times. I do not agree that the anti-Castro Cubans would have set up the assassination without tipping their hands. They have been given a great deal more credit than they deserve in the field of Clandestine Operation secrecy. And the mafia line is not even a consideration IMHO as we had the likes of the Hollywood Pimp Roselli who worked with the likes of blowhard Lansdale to come up with rediculous schemes against Castro such as exploding seashells, poison cigars, etc.. None even came close to being realistically carried out, and could not compare with what happened in DP. I also believe too much weight is given to Oswald by many as a CIA or intelligence operative. He was low level to say the least as the Soviets and even the anti-Castro Cubans could see through him. Beyond a script, he fell apart. IMHO, he was an ideal patsy for the legend they created for him, in hindsight.

The issue of the legality or even morality of government backed assassination, it is a complex issue that needs to be approached on case by case basis, as you have done on your initial posting on this thread. The issue of the Castro assassination attempts of the early sixties IMHO were totally unjustified as Castro came to power due to the majority of the people at the time of the takeover. If he became less than what the people wanted from their leader, then it was their responsibility to remove him from power. If the US could aid in this on a limited basis, then so be it, as long as it was what the majority of the Cuban populous wanted, not what the US government wanted. A classic example beyond Cuba circa early sixties is Nicaragua in the eighties. Was the US motivation to aid the majority of the country's populous or their own needs?

Castro's overthrow failed because their was not an uprising within the island that was needed. The Sandanista regime overthrow initially failed for the same reason. It eventually succeeded because of covert tactics and starving them out. Is this what we want and who are we to Americanize the world?

One last point, we must not prosecute the one who pulls the trigger, but those who ordered him to do so. There is a distinct difference between those who control and those who are controlled.

Al

Taking your last thought first: we ought to prosecute both, shouldn't we? But if we catch the trigger man, law enforcement often bargains its way up, and I agree this is a defensible strategy to prosecute those ultimately responsible.

Parenthetically, I have appreciated your posts and your law enforcement training gives you the training and credentials to comment knowingly on many of the issues.

From my reading of Rosselli, I think he was probably intelligent enough to plan the assassination (but I am not yet sure if he did). Have you read the magisterial biography of Rosselli by Rappleye and Becker? And Mahoney in Sons and Brothers states that Giancana brought Rosselli in to orchestrate the Chicago mob's rigging of the 1960 election. Giancana realized he needed Rosselli's intelligence to supervise the Outfit's "get out the vote" efforts. (JFK would have won the election without Illinois, but not without Illinois and Texas.)

Rosselli was known as the "Kissinger" of the mob for his intelligence. He wsas one of two men who helped construct the Tropicana Hotel.

I do not believe Rosselli was involved in the ridiculous plots you mention: those were the brainwork of Lansdale and Fitzgerald. When I read of the various schemes they concocted, I wonder, what were these guys thinking?

Rosselli was involved in giving CIA poison to Cubans who were to slip it into Castro's food or drink so his death would not even be considered a murder and the killer would escape with his life. The problem, as I see it, is that Rosselli was getting his Cubans from Trafficante who, I believe, was reporting to Fidel.

I am also not sure I agree with you re LHO. Whether there was one Oswald or two, one was fluent enough in Russian to discuss Russian literature in fluent Russian, an indicia that he was more intelligent than he was often given credit for.

It is possible LHO was a genuine Castro supporter but anti-Castro Cubans manipulated him to shoot Kennedy by pointing out to him, for instance, Castro's remarks to the AP reporter on September 7, 1963. Two staff counsel for the WC wrote a memo suggesting this possibility but, of course, it was never pursued.

This scenario assumes that the ongoing Cubela affair was merely coincidental. This scenario could occur if LHO was a lone shooter or if the planners added shooters to complete the job if Oswald missed.

Your thread about missing evidence is quite persuasive, however, re LHO's actual participation.

The unfortunate thing, of course, is that both pro and anti Castro Cubans had reason to want Kennedy killed - so it is possible that the person(s) who did the killing were being manipulated by persons with a diametrically opposite agenda.

Tim,

I totally respect your opinions and you are an extremely competant researcher. My problem with utilizing the mob and the anti-Castro Cubans in this is that this is still unsolved. We can track the dirty deeds of the mobsters and the select anti-Castro Cubans prior to and after the assassination, because the their level of secrecy is far short of respectable. Yet we have been looking seriously at the JFK assassination for over forty years and we cannot do more than imply connections at best. The President's life was threatened with a realistic plan on two previous occasions in November of '63 with similarities as to the Dallas Operation. Both were compromised (Chicago and Miami) and Kennedy made it to Dallas where it succeeded. With what the intel community and the FBI were aware of during this period of these individuals, then how did they fail to isolate the threat in Dallas. How was it so quickly covered up when it went down?

This was a professional operation that could not be traced then or now. The authorities obviously realized it at the time throughout November '63 and were helpless to prevent it in the long run. This type of operation was not one to be assigned to radical anti-Castro Cubans or mobsters. There is no precedence to show prior or latter operational standards consistant with this. Military ops has been doing this type of thing long before and to present day after the assassination of JFK.

Al

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I can see assassinating the leader of a foreign country with whom we're at war if there is little chance of negotiated settlement as long as he's alive. Killing him could save many soldiers' lives on both sides. Hitler is of course a prime example.

Otherwise assassination is unjustified. It can be carried out for the wrong reasons, it can later be judged a mistake, and if a leader is so low down and despicable that he should be assassinated, then you can be fairly sure that there is someone ready to step into his shoes who is just as bad. I believe Hemming claims somewhere in his HSCA deposition that the goal of the No Name Key group was never to assassinate Castro, because his brother Raul would take over and was even worse than Fidel. If that's true, and it certainly sounds like a sensible judgment, someone should have told the Kennedys and the Mongoose clowns.

There are probably plenty of people who think we should have tried to assassinate Saddam Hussein (assuming it was feasible), hopefully to avoid having to invade his country. What, so one of his psychotic boys could take over? (The neocon Bush regime was going to invade Iraq anyway, so it was in the Bush regime's interest to be sure Saddam stayed alive as justification for war. But that's another story.)

I concur that the targeting of a political leader (or a military leader, for that matter) might sometimes be justified in a time of war but otherwise not at all. One can conceive of a situation when moral considerations could justify an exception, e.g. if the foreign leader was, clearly, engaging in genocide and his elimination could save thousands of innocent lives. (In American law, one can kill a third person if that person is about to kill another person, and few would doubt the morality of that.) But we do enter a "slippery slope" if we entertain killing of foreigners other than in a war situation.

With respect to the Castro assassination plots, it is my understanding that some (but certainly not all of the plots) contemplated killing Fidel, Raul and Che.

When we recently lifted the ban on assassinations, I wonder if the law imposed any restraints, or did it give the CIA unlimited discretion in this regard? (God forbid!) Anyone familiar with the actual law?

Tim,

Realistically, Federal Law or constitutional ammendments have never played a part in controllling such operations. Note Boland 1 and 2 of the eighties and how it was violated on a regular basis and in the end, nothing was done about the violations as all basically walked away. And that is with the evidence that came out. The investigation never touched on the teams of US soldiers who went into Central America and assassinated key figures in cities and in the field. All we remember about that is Ollie taking the oath proudly and lying through his teeth. Joe Fernandez waltzed away with him and now they own a company that produces ballistic vests to LE and the military. JUSTICE eh?

Al

Edited by Al Carrier
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I believe Hemming claims somewhere in his HSCA deposition that the goal of the No Name Key group was never to assassinate Castro, because his brother Raul would take over and was even worse than Fidel. If that's true, and it certainly sounds like a sensible judgment, someone should have told the Kennedys and the Mongoose clowns.

Hemming was not only correct, he was stating the official State Department position. I know that the details get lost in the shuffle, but the Kennedys were well aware of the State Department finding that Castro would be succeeded by someone worse. How and whether they listened, and during which periods of time, can be very extensively debated.

Tim

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