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Bundy allegedly admitted to reporter Charles Roberts (iirc) that he told LBJ the lone nut was in custody.

I under-sold it.

'Robert Morrow', on 07 Dec 2012 - 12:19 PM, said:snapback.png

Ron Ecker: It's from the book The President Has Been Shot. Charles Roberts of Newsweek was on AF1 as it returned to Washington with the president's body. He wrote this about the arrival at Andrews and the unloading of the casket (p. 141):

"I remember looking at (McGeorge) Bundy because I was wondering if he had any word of what had happened in the world while we were in transit, whether this assassination was part of a plot. And he told me later that what he reported to the president during that flight back was that the whole world was stunned, but there was no evidence of a conspiracy at all."

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Person of Interest #1 -- McGeorge Bundy.

Person of Interest #2 -- Averell Harriman

btw, where was the first media reference to Oswald as a Lone Nut?

The New York Herald Tribune. Trib owner Uber-blueblood Jock Whitney wrote a stop the presses editorial Fri night.

That's two Skull & Bones and a Scroll & Key.

Big day for Yale...

Edited by Cliff Varnell
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"The result [of the cable of August 24] is we started down a road from which we never really recovered...[uS Vietnam military commander General Paul] Harkins was against it and Lodge wasn't talking to Harkins. So Henry Cabot Lodge started down one direction, the State Department was rather in the middle, and they suddenly called off the coup. Then the next five or six weeks we were all concerned about whether they were going to have a coup, who was going to win the coup, and who was going to replace the government. Nobody ever really had any of the answers to any of these things...the President was trying to get rid of Henry Cabot Lodge...The policy he [Lodge] was following was based on that original policy that had been made and then rescinded...that Averell Harriman was responsible for..."


"The government was broken in two in a very disturbing way" -- Robert Kennedy

Very disturbing, indeed.

//// CLIFF VARNELL

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Golly gee willikers ....its almost like JFK was already dead ???.......... Never knew how powerful Walker was...

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As I said , "THIS WHOLE THREAD (Trejo part) WACKY " (except Root who started it).

“Vous me blaguez! [You're kidding me.] Cowboys and Indians!”

- French President Charles DeGaulle, on being briefed by a reporter on the lone-nut theory of the Kennedy assassination. Quoted by David Talbot in The mother of all coverups.”

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Bundy allegedly admitted to reporter Charles Roberts (iirc) that he told LBJ the lone nut was in custody.

I under-sold it.

'Robert Morrow', on 07 Dec 2012 - 12:19 PM, said:snapback.png

Ron Ecker: It's from the book The President Has Been Shot. Charles Roberts of Newsweek was on AF1 as it returned to Washington with the president's body. He wrote this about the arrival at Andrews and the unloading of the casket (p. 141):

"I remember looking at (McGeorge) Bundy because I was wondering if he had any word of what had happened in the world while we were in transit, whether this assassination was part of a plot. And he told me later that what he reported to the president during that flight back was that the whole world was stunned, but there was no evidence of a conspiracy at all."

Well, Cliff, I still don't see how you can seemingly jump to two conclusions:

1. That McGeorge Bundy was the first person to articulate the "Lone Shooter" theory.

(Actually, the unloading of JFK's casket at Andrews Air Force Base was around 6pm -- five and half hours after JFK murder. That would have been plenty of time for Bundy to pick up this theory from LOTS of people. Especially if the FBI was spreading the theory -- which is guaranteed if J. Edgar Hoover really was the origin of the theory.)

2. That whoever promoted the "Lone Shooter" theory on 11/22/1963 was necessarily a part of the JFK Kill Team. Although some great researchers have presumed this -- including Mark Lane, Jim Garrison, Jim Marrs, Sylvia Meager, Harold Weisberg, Joan Mellen and many, many more -- that does NOT PROVE that it is a fair assumption.

(Actually it's only the EASIEST assumption to make when one is left to guess with contradictory data. One is quickly prone to believe that the source of a FALSEHOOD is most likely GUILTY of something WORSE. But that's not always true. The "Lone Shooter" theory was possibly (or probably) invented for the purpose of National Security -- i.e. to prevent riots and a Civil War.)

=*=

So again, I say, Cliff, the evidence still draws me to two vastly different conclusions than you (and most JFK researchers for the past half-century) have arrived at, namely:

(i) that J. Edgar Hoover first came up with the "Lone Shooter" theory by 4pm EST on 11/22/1963 and started spreading it to his subordinates in the FBI, who quickly spread it far and wide as they possibly could, at the highest levels they could reach; and

(ii) that the ultimate purpose of the "Lone Shooter" theory was NOT to conceal the identities of the JFK Killers (though the skeptical public would zero in on that aspect), but rather to maintain National Security, which was in danger of collapse in those early weeks and months after the JFK murder.

I'm not hearing your reasons against my proposals here -- I'm only hearing that you're sticking with the majority, period.

The bottom line in my theory is that Lee Harvey Oswald was innocent of the JFK murder, and that the FBI actually knew who did it -- and they prevented the American public from knowing who did it -- and they tampered with the JFK evidence with a massive effort, in photographs, witnesses, ballistics and medical evidence, to force it to fit with the "Lone Shooter" theory.

The reason that Earl Warren thought that the Truth should be held back from the American Public for 75 years proves that the Truth was quite scary -- but it was also probably conditioned by the fact that the Cold War with the Communists was still red-hot in 1963 -- with no end in sight.

Sincerely,

--Paul Trejo

Edited by Paul Trejo
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What continues to befuddle me Paul is how in your next sentence you would say, if asked, that Hoover did the right thing. Do you think the truth that he knew but hid from the American people should still be hidden? Would it be any less disruptive now?

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FBI’s “Suicide Letter” to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Dangers of Unchecked Surveillance
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Global Research, November 13, 2014

The New York Times has published an unredacted version of the famous “suicide letter” from the FBI to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The letter, recently discovered by historian and professor Beverly Gage, is a disturbing document. But it’s also something that everyone in the United States should read, because it demonstrates exactly what lengths the intelligence community is willing to go to—and what happens when they take the fruits of the surveillance they’ve done and unleash it on a target.

The anonymous letter was the result of the FBI’s comprehensive surveillance and harassment strategy against Dr. King, which included bugging his hotel rooms, photographic surveillance, and physical observation of King’s movements by FBI agents. The agency also attempted to break up his marriage by sending selectively edited “personal moments he shared with friends and women” to his wife.

Portions of the letter had been previously redacted. One of these portions contains a claim that the letter was written by another African-American: “King, look into your heart. You know you are a complete fraud and a great liability to all us Negroes.” It goes on to say “We will now have to depend on our older leaders like Wilkins, a man of character and thank God we have others like him. But you are done.” This line is key, because part of the FBI’s strategy was to try to fracture movements and pit leaders against one another.

The entire letter could have been taken from a page of GCHQ’s Joint Threat Research and Intelligence Group (JTRIG)—though perhaps as an email or series of tweets. The British spying agency GCHQ is one of the NSA’s closest partners. The mission of JTRIG, a unit within GCHQ, is to “destroy, deny, degrade [and] disrupt enemies by discrediting them.” And there’s little reason to believe the NSA and FBI aren’t using such tactics.

The implications of these types of strategies in the digital age are chilling. Imagine Facebook chats, porn viewing history, emails, and more made public to discredit a leader who threatens the status quo, or used to blackmail a reluctant target into becoming an FBI informant. These are not far-fetched ideas. They are the reality of what happens when the surveillance state is allowed to grow out of control, and the full King letter, as well as current intelligence community practices illustrate that reality richly.

mlkletters-1.jpg
The newly unredacted portions shed light on the government’s sordid scheme to harass and discredit Dr. King. One paragraph states:No person can overcome the facts, no even a fraud like yourself. Lend your sexually psychotic ear to the enclosure. You will find yourself and in all your dirt, filth, evil and moronic talk exposed on the record for all time. . . . Listen to yourself, you filthy, abnormal animal. You are on the record.

And of course, the letter ends with an ominous threat:King, there is only one thing left for you to do. You know what it is. You have just 34 days in which to do it (this exact number has been selected for a specific reason, it has definite practical significance). You are done. There is but one way out for you. You better take it before your filthy, abnormal fraudulent self is bared to the nation.

There’s a lesson to learn here: history must play a central role in the debate around spying today. As Professor Gage states:Should intelligence agencies be able to sweep our email, read our texts, track our phone calls, locate us by GPS? Much of the conversation swirls around the possibility that agencies like the N.S.A. or the F.B.I. will use such information not to serve national security but to carry out personal and political vendettas. King’s experience reminds us that these are far from idle fears, conjured in the fevered minds of civil libertarians. They are based in the hard facts of history.

Copyright Electronic Frontier Foundation 2014 posted in FAIR USE

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COINTELPRO Revisited:
Spying & Disruption By Brian Glick

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Internet Activists across the country report increasing government harassment and disruption of their work: -In the Southwest, paid informers infiltrate the church services, Bible classes and support networks of clergy and lay workers giving sanctuary to refugees from El Salvador and Guatamala. -In Alabama, elderly Black people attempting for the first time to exercise their right to vote are interrogated by FBI agents and hauled before federal grand juries hundreds of miles from their homes. -In New England, a former CIA case officer cites examples from his own past work to warn college students of efforts by undercover operatives to misdirect and discredit protests against South African and US racism. -In the San Francisco Bay Area, activists planning anti-nuclear civil disobedience learn that their meetings have been infiltrated by the US Navy. -In Detroit, Seattle, and Philadelphia, in Cambridge, MA, Berkeley,CA., Phoenix, AR., and Washington, DC., churches and organizations opposing US policies in Central America report obviously political break-ins in which important papers are stolen or damaged, while money and valuables are left untouched. License plates on a car spotted fleeing one such office have been traced to the US National Security Agency. -In Puerto Rico, Texas and Massachusetts, labor leaders, community organizers, writers and editors who advocate Puerto Rican independence are branded by the FBI as "terrorists," brutally rounded-up in the middle of the night, held incommunicado for days and then jailed under new preventive detention laws. -The FBI puts the same "terrorist" label on opponents of US intervention in El Salvador, but refuses to investigate the possibility of a political conspiracy behind nation-wide bombings of abortion clinics. -Throughout the country, people attempting to see Nicaragua for themselves find their trips disrupted, their private papers confiscated, and their homes and offices plagued by FBI agents who demand detailed personal and political information. These kinds of government tactics violate our fundamental constitutional rights. They make it enormously difficult to sustain grass-roots organizing. They create an atmosphere of fear and distrust which undermines any effort to challenge official policy. Similar measures were used in the 1960s as part of a secret FBI program known as "COINTELPRO." COINTELPRO was later exposed and officially ended. But the evidence shows that it actually persisted and that clandestine operations to discredit and disrupt opposition movements have become an institutional feature of national and local government in the US. This pamphlet is designed to help current and future activists learn from the history of COINTELPRO, so that our movements can better withstand such attack. The first section gives a brief overview of what we know the FBI did in the 60s. It explains why we can expect similar government intervention in the 80s and beyond, and offers general guidelines for effective response. The main body of the pamphlet describes the specific methods which have previously been used to undermine domestic dissent and suggests steps we can take to limit or deflect their impact. A final chapter explores ways to mobilize broad public protest against this kind of repression. Further readings and groups that can help are listed in back. The pamphlet's historical analysis is based on confidential internal documents prepared by the FBI and police during the 60s. It also draws on the post-60s confessions of disaffected government agents, and on the testimony of public officials before Congress and the courts. Though the information from these sources is incomplete, and much of what was done remains secret, we now know enough to draw useful lessons for future organizing. The suggestions included in the pamphlet are based on the author's 20 years experience as an activist and lawyer, and on talks with long-time organizers in a broad range of movements. They are meant to provide starting points for discussion, so we can get ready before the pressure intensifies. Most are a matter of common sense once the methodology of covert action is understood. Please take these issues seriously. Discuss the recommendations with other activists. Adapt them to the conditions you face. Point out problems and suggest other approaches. It is important that we begin now to protect our movements and ourselves. A HISTORY TO LEARN FROM: WHAT WAS COINTELPRO? "COINTELPRO" was the FBI's secret program to undermine the popular upsurge which swept the country during the 1960s. Though the name stands for "Counterintelligence Program," the targets were not enemy spies. The FBI set out to eliminate "radical" political opposition inside the US. When traditional modes of repression (exposure, blatant harassment, and prosecution for political crimes) failed to counter the growing insurgency, and even helped to fuel it, the Bureau took the law into its own hands and secretly used fraud and force to sabotage constitutionally- protected political activity. Its methods ranged far beyond surveillance, and amounted to a domestic version of the covert action for which the CIA has become infamous throughout the world. HOW DO WE KNOW ABOUT IT? COINTELPRO was discovered in March, 1971, when secret files were removed from an FBI office and released to news media. Freedom of Information requests, lawsuits, and former agents' public confessions deepened the exposure until a major scandal loomed. To control the damage and re-establish government legitimacy in the wake of Vietnam and Watergate, Congress and the courts compelled the FBI to reveal part of what it had done and to promise it would not do it again. Much of what has been learned, and copies of some of the actual documents, can be found in the readings listed at the back of this pamphlet. HOW DID IT WORK? The FBI secretly instructed its field offices to propose schemes to "misdirect, discredit, disrupt and otherwise neutralize "specific individuals and groups. Close coordination with local police and prosecutors was encouraged. Final authority rested with top FBI officials in Washington, who demanded assurance that "there is no possibility of embarrassment to the Bureau." More than 2000 individual actions were officially approved. The documents reveal three types of methods: 1. Infiltration: Agents and informers did not merely spy on political activists. Their main function was to discredit and disrupt. Various means to this end are analyzed below. 2. Other forms of deception: The FBI and police also waged psychological warfare from the outside--through bogus publications, forged correspondence, anonymous letters and telephone calls, and similar forms of deceit. 3. Harassment, intimidation and violence: Eviction, job loss, break-ins, vandalism, grand jury subpoenas, false arrests, frame- ups, and physical violence were threatened, instigated or directly employed, in an effort to frighten activists and disrupt their movements. Government agents either concealed their involvement or fabricated a legal pretext. In the case of the Black and Native American movements, these assaults--including outright political assassinations--were so extensive and vicious that they amounted to terrorism on the part of the government. WHO WERE THE MAIN TARGETS? The most intense operations were directed against the Black movement, particularly the Black Panther Party. This resulted from FBI and police racism, the Black community's lack of material resources for fighting back, and the tendency of the media--and whites in general--to ignore or tolerate attacks on Black groups. It also reflected government and corporate fear of the Black movement because of its militance, its broad domestic base and international support, and its historic role in galvanizing the entire Sixties' upsurge. Many other activists who organized against US intervention abroad or for racial, gender or class justice at home also came under covert attack. The targets were in no way limited to those who used physical force or took up arms. Martin Luther King, David Dellinger, Phillip Berrigan and other leading pacifists were high on the list, as were projects directly protected by the Bill of Rights, such as alternative newspapers. The Black Panthers came under attack at a time when their work featured free food and health care and community control of schools and police, and when they carried guns only for deterrent and symbolic purposes. It was the terrorism of the FBI and police that eventually provoked the Panthers to retaliate with the armed actions that later were cited to justify their repression. Ultimately the FBI disclosed six official counterintelligence programs: Communist Party-USA (1956-71); "Groups Seeking Independence for Puerto Rico" (1960-71); Socialist Workers Party (1961-71); "White Hate Groups" (1964-71); "Black Nationalist Hate Groups" (1967-71); and "New Left" (1968- 71).The latter operations hit anti-war, student, and feminist groups. The "Black Nationalist" caption actually encompassed Martin Luther King and most of the civil rights and Black Power movements. The "white hate" program functioned mainly as a cover for covert aid to the KKK and similar right-wing vigilantes, who were given funds and information, so long as they confined their attacks to COINTELPRO targets. FBI documents also reveal covert action against Native American, Chicano, Phillipine, Arab- American, and other activists, apparently without formal Counterintelligence programs. WHAT EFFECT DID IT HAVE? COINTELPRO's impact is difficult to fully assess since we do not know the entire scope of what was done (especially against such pivotal targets as Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, SNCC and SDS),and we have no generally accepted analysis of the Sixties. It is clear,however, that: -COINTELPRO distorted the public's view of radical groups in a way that helped to isolate them and to legitimize open political repression. -It reinforced and exacerbated the weaknesses of these groups, making it very difficult for the inexperienced activists of the Sixties to learn from their mistakes and build solid, durable organizations. -Its violent assaults and covert manipulation eventually helped to push some of the most committed and experienced groups to withdraw from grass-roots organizing and to substitute armed actions which isolated them and deprived the movement of much of its leadership. -COINTELPRO often convinced its victims to blame themselves and each other for the problems it created, leaving a legacy of cynicism and despair that persists today. -By operating covertly, the FBI and police were able to severely weaken domestic political opposition without shaking the conviction of most US people that they live in a democracy, with free speech and the rule of law. THE DANGER WE FACE: DID COINTELPRO EVER REALLY END? Public exposure of COINTELPRO in the early 1970s elicited a flurry of reform. Congress, the courts and the mass media condemned government "intelligence abuses." Municipal police forces officially disbanded their red squads. A new Attorney General notified past victims of COINTELPRO and issued Guidelines to limit future operations. Top FBI officials were indicted (albeit for relatively minor offenses), two were convicted, and several others retired or resigned. J. Edgar Hoover--the egomaniacal, crudely racist and sexist founder of the FBI--died, and a well-known federal judge, William Webster, eventually was appointed to clean house and build a "new FBI." Behind this public hoopla, however, was little real improvement in government treatment of radical activists. Domestic covert operations were briefly scaled down a bit, after the 60s' upsurge had largely subsided, due inpart to the success of COINTELPRO. But they did not stop. In April, 1971, soon after files had been taken from one of its offices, the FBI instructed its agents that "future COINTELPRO actions will be considered on a highly selective, individual basis with tight procedures to insure absolute security." The results are apparent in the record of the subsequent years: -A virtual war on the American Indian Movement, ranging from forgery of documents, infiltration of legal defense committees, diversion of funds, intimidation of witnesses and falsification of evidence, to the para-military invasion of the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, and the murder of Anna Mae Aquash, Joe Stuntz and countless others; -Sabotage of efforts to organize protest demonstrations at the 1972 Republican and Democratic Party conventions. The attempted assassination of San Diego Univ. Prof. Peter Bohmer, by a "Secret Army Organization" of ex-Minutemen formed, subsidized, armed, and protected by the FBI, was a part of these operations; -Concealment of the fact that the witness whose testimony led to the 1972 robbery-murder conviction of Black Panther leader Elmer "Geronimo" Pratt was a paid informer who had worked in the BPP under the direction of the FBI and the Los Angeles Police Department; -Infiltration and disruption of the Vietnam Veterans Against the War, and prosecution of its national leaders on false charges (Florida, 1971-74); -Formation and operation of sham political groups such as "Red Star Cadre," in Tampa, Fla., and the New Orleans "Red Collective" (1972-76); -Mass interrogation of lesbian and feminist activists, threats of subpoenas, jailing of those who refused to cooperate, and disruption of women's health collectives and other projects (Lexington, KY., Hartford and New Haven,Conn., 1975); -Harassment of the Hispanic Commission of the Episcopal Church and numerous other Puerto Rican and Chicano religious activists and community organizers (Chicago, New York City, Puerto Rico, Colorado and New Mexico, 1977); -Entrapment and frame-up of militant union leaders (NASCO shipyards,San Diego, 1979); and -Complicity in the murder of socialist labor and community organizers (Greensboro, N.C., 1980). IS IT A THREAT TODAY? All this, and maybe more, occured in an era of reform. The use of similar measures in today's very different times cannot be itemized in such detail, since most are still secret. The gravity of the current danger is evident, however, from the major steps recently taken to legitimize and strengthen political repression, and from the many incidents which are coming to light despite stepped-up security. The ground-work for public acceptance of repression has been laid by President Reagan's speeches reviving the old red-scare tale of worldwide "communist take-overs" and adding a new bogeyman in the form of domestic and international "terrorism." The President has taken advantage of the resulting political climate to denounce the Bill of Rights and to red-bait critics of US intervention in Central America. He has pardoned the FBI officials convicted of COINTELPRO crimes, praised their work, and spoken favorably of the political witchhunts he took part in during the 1950s. For the first time in US history, government infiltration to "influence" domestic political activity has received official sanction. On the pretext of meeting the supposed terrorist threat, Presidential Executive Order 12333 (Dec. 4, 1981) extends such authority not only to the FBI, but also to the military and, in some cases, the CIA. History shows that these agencies treat legal restriction as a kind of speed limit which they feel free to exceed, but only by a certain margin. Thus, Reagan's Executive Order not only encourages reliance on methods once deemed abhorent, it also implicitly licenses even greater, more damaging intrusion. Government capacity to make effective use of such measures has also been substantially enhanced in recent years: -Judge Webster's highly-touted reforms have served mainly to modernize the FBI and make it more dangerous. Instead of the back- biting competition which impeded coordination of domestic counter- insurgency in the 60s, the Bureau now promotes inter-agency cooperation. As an equal opportunity employer, it can use Third World and female agents to penetrate political targets more thoroughly than before. By cultivating a low-visibility corporate image and discreetly avoiding public attack on prominent liberals, the FBI has regained respectability and won over a number of former critics. -Municipal police forces have similarly revamped their image while upgrading their repressive capabilities. The police "red squads" that infiltrated and harassed the 60s' movements have been revived under other names and augmented by para-military SWAT teams and tactical squads as well as highly-politicized community relations and "beat rep" programs, in which Black, Hispanic and female officers are often conspicuous. Local operations are linked by FBI-led regional anti-terrorist task forces and the national Law Enforcement Intelligence Unit (LEIU). -Increased military and CIA involvement has added political sophistication and advanced technology. Army Special Forces and other elite military units are now trained and equipped for counter-insurgency (known as"low-intensity warfare"). Their manuals teach the essential methodology of COINTELPRO, stressing earlier intervention to neutralize potential opposition before it can take hold. The CIA's expanded role is especially ominous. In the 60s, while legally banned from "internal security functions," the CIA managed to infiltrate the Black, student and antiwar movements. It also made secret use of university professors, journalists, labor leaders, publishing houses, cultural organizations and philanthropic fronts to mold US public opinion. But it apparently felt compelled to hold back--within the country--from the kinds of systematic political destabilization, torture, and murder which have become the hallmark of its operations abroad. Now, the full force of the CIA has been unleashed at home. -All of the agencies involved in covert operations have had time to learn from the 60s and to institute the "tight procedures to insure absolute security" that FBI officials demanded after COINTELPRO was exposed in 1971. Restoration of secrecy has been made easier by the Administration's steps to shield covert operations from public scrutiny. Under Reagan, key FBI and CIA files have been re-classified "top secret." The Freedom of Information Act has been quietly narrowed through administrative reinterpretation. Funds for covert operations are allocated behind closed doors and hidden in CIA and defense appropriations. Government employees now face censorship even after they retire, and new laws make it a federal crime to publicize information which might tend to reveal an agent's identity. Despite this stepped-up security, incidents frighteningly reminiscent of 60s' COINTELPRO have begun to emerge. The extent of the infiltration, burglary and other clandestine government intervention that has already come to light is alarming. Since the vast majority of such operations stay hidden until after the damage has been done, those we are now aware of undoubtedly represent only the tip of the iceberg. Far more is sure to lie beneath the surface. Considering the current political climate, the legalization of COINTELPRO, the rehabilitation of the FBI and police, and the expanded role of the CIA and military, the recent revelations leave us only one safe assumption: that extensive government covert operations are already underway to neutralize today's opposition movements before they can reach the massive level of the 60s. WHAT CAN WE DO ABOUT IT? Domestic covert action has now persisted in some form through at least the last seven presidencies. It grew from one program to six under Kennedy and Johnson. It flourished when an outspoken liberal, Ramsey Clark, was Attorney General (1966-68). It is an integral part of the established mode of operation of powerful, entrenched agencies on every level of government. It enables policy-makers to maintain social control without detracting from their own public image or the perceived legitimacy oftheir method of government. It has become as institutional in the US as the race, gender, class and imperial domination it serves to uphold. Under these circumstances, there is no reason to think we can eliminate COINTELPRO simply by electing better public officials. Only through sustained public education and mobilization, by a broad coalition of political, religious and civil libertarian activists, can we expect to limit it effectively. In most parts of the country, however, and certainly on a national level, we lack the political power to end covert government intervention, or even to curb it substantially. We therefore need to learn how to cope more effectively with this form of repression. The next part of this pamphlet examines the methods that were used to discredit and disrupt the movements ofthe 60s and suggests steps we can take to deflect or reduce their impact in the 80s. A CHECK-LIST OF ESSENTIAL PRECAUTIONS: -Check out the authenticity of any disturbing letter, rumor, phone call or other communication before acting on it. -Document incidents which appear to reflect covert intervention, and report them to the Movement Support Network Hotline: 212/477- 5562. -Deal openly and honestly with the differences within our movements (race, gender, class, age, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, personality, experience, physical and intellectual capacities, etc.) before the FBI and police exploit them to tear us apart. -Don't rush to expose a suspected agent. Instead, directly criticize what the suspect says and does. Intra-movement witchhunts only help the government create distrust and paranoia. -Support whoever comes under government attack. Don't be put off by political slander, such as recent attempts to smear radical activists as "terrorists." Organize public opposition to FBI investigations, grand juries, show trials and other forms of political harassment. -Above all, do not let them divert us from our main work. Our most powerful weapon against political repression is effective organizing around the needs and issues which directly affect people's lives. WHAT THEY DO & HOW WE CAN PROTECT OURSELVES: INFILTRATION BY AGENTS OR INFORMERS Agents are law enforcement officers disguised as activists. Informers are non-agents who provide information to a law enforcement or intelligence agency. They may be recruited from within a group or sent in by an agency, or they may be disaffected former members or supporters. Infiltrators are agents or informers who work in a group or community under the direction of a law enforcement or intelligence agency. During the 60s the FBI had to rely on informers (who are less well trained and harder to control) because it had very few black, Hispanic or female agents, and its strict dress and grooming code left white male agents unable to look like activists. As a modern equal opportunity employer, today's FBI has fewer such limitations. What They Do: Some informers and infiltrators quietly provide information while keeping a low profile and doing whatever is expected of group members. Others attempt to discredit a target and disrupt its work. They may spread false rumors and make unfounded accusations to provoke or exacerbate tensions and splits. They may urge divisive proposals, sabotage important activities and resources, or operate as "provocateurs" who lead zealous activists into unnecessary danger. In a demonstration or other confrontation with police, such an agent may break discipline and call for actions which would undermine unity and detract from tactical focus. Infiltration As a Source of Distrust and Paranoia: While individual agents and informers aid the government in a variety of specific ways, the general use of infiltrators serves a very special and powerful strategic function. The fear that a group may be infiltrated often intimidates people from getting more involved. It can give rise to a paranoia which makes it difficult to build the mutual trust which political groups depend on. This use of infiltrators, enhanced by covertly-initiated rumors that exaggerate the extent to which a particular movement or group has been penetrated, is recommended by the manuals used to teach counter-insurgency in the U.S. and Western Europe. Covert Manipulation to Make A Legitimate Activist Appear to be an Agent: An actual agent will often point the finger at a genuine, non-collaborating and highly-valued group member, claiming that he or she is the infiltrator. The same effect, known as a "snitch jacket," has been achieved by planting forged documents which appear to be communications between an activist and the FBI, or by releasing for no other apparent reason one of a group of activists who were arrested together. Another method used under COINTELPRO was to arrange for some activists, arrested under one pretext or another, to hear over the police radio a phony broadcast which appeared to set up a secret meeting between the police and someone from their group. GUIDELINES FOR COPING WITH INFILTRATION: l. Establish a process through which anyone who suspects an informer (or other form of covert intervention) can express his or her fears without scaring others. Experienced people assigned this responsibility can do a great deal to help a group maintain its morale and focus while, at the same time, centrally consolidating information and deciding how to use it. This plan works best when accompanied by group discussion of the danger of paranoia, so that everyone understands and follows the established procedure. 2. To reduce vulnerability to paranoia and "snitch jackets", and to minimize diversion from your main work, it generally is best if you do not attempt to expose a suspected agent or informer unless you are certain of their role. (For instance, they surface to make an arrest, testify as a government witness or in some other way admit their identity). Under most circumstances, an attempted exposure will do more harm than the infiltrator's continued presence. This is especially true if you can discreetly limit the suspect's access to funds, financial records, mailing lists, discussions of possible lawviolations, meetings that plan criminal defense strategy, and similar opportunities. 3. Deal openly and directly with the form and content of what anyone says and does, whether the person is a suspected agent, has emotional problems, or is simply a sincere, but naive or confused person new to the work. 4. Once an agent or informer has been definitely identified, alert other groups and communities by means of photographs, a description of their methods of operation, etc. In the 60s, some agents managed even after their exposure in one community to move on and repeat their performance in a numberof others. 5. Be careful to avoid pushing a new or hesitant member to take risks beyond what that person is ready to handle, particularly in situations which could result in arrest and prosecution. People in this position have proved vulnerable to recruitment as informers. OTHER FORMS OF DECEPTION Bogus leaflets, pamphlets, etc.: COINTELPRO documents show that the FBI routinely put out phony leaflets, posters, pamphlets, etc. to discredit its targets. In one instance, agents revised a children's coloring book which the Black Panther Party had rejected as anti-white and gratuitously violent, and then distributed a cruder version to backers of the Party's program of free breakfasts for children, telling them the book was being used in the program. False media stories: The FBI's documents expose collusion by reporters and news media that knowingly published false and distorted material prepared by Bureau agents. One such story had Jean Seberg, a noticeably pregnant white film star active in anti-racist causes, carrying the child of a prominent Black leader. Seberg's white husband, the actual father, has sued the FBI as responsible for her resulting still-birth, breakdown, and suicide. Forged correspondence: Former employees have confirmed that the FBI and CIA have the capacity to produce "state of the art" forgery. The U.S. Senate's investigation of COINTELPRO uncovered a series of letters forged in the name of an intermediary between the Black Panther Party's national office and Panther leader Eldridge Cleaver, in exile in Algeria. The letters proved instrumental in inflaming intra-party rivalries that erupted into the bitter public split that shattered the Party in the winter of 1971. Anonymous letters and telephone calls: During the 60s, activists received a steady flow of anonymous letters and phone calls which turn out to have been from government agents. Some threatened violence. Others promoted racial divisions and fears. Still others charged various leaders with collaboration, corruption, sexual affairs with other activists' mates, etc. As in the Seberg incident, inter-racial sex was a persistent theme. The husband of one white woman involved in a bi-racial civil rights group received the following anonymous letter authored by the FBI: --Look, man, I guess your old lady doesn't get enough at home or she wouldn't be shucking and jiving with our Black Men in ACTION, you dig? Like all she wants to integrate is the bedroom and us Black Sisters ain't gonna take no second best from our men. So lay it on her man--or get her the hell off [name]. A Soul Sister False rumors: Using infiltrators, journalists and other contacts, the Bureau circulated slanderous, disruptive rumors through political movements and the communities in which they worked. Other misinformation: A favorite FBI tactic uncovered by Senate investigators was to misinform people that a political meeting or event had been cancelled. Another was to offer non- existent housing at phony addresses, stranding out-of-town conference attendees who naturally blamed those who had organized the event. FBI agents also arranged to transport demonstrators in the name of a bogus bus company which pulled out at the last minute. Such "dirty tricks" interfered with political events and turned activists against each other. SEPARATE BOX: Fronts for the FBI: COINTELPRO documents reveal that a number of Sixties' political groups and projects were actually set up and operated by the FBI. One, "Grupo pro-Uso Voto," was used to disrupt the fragile unity developing in l967 among groups seeking Puerto Rico's independence from the US. The genuine proponents of independence had joined together to boycott a US-administered referendum on the island's status. They argued that voting under conditions of colonial domination could serve only to legitimize US rule, and that no vote could be fair while the US controlled the island's economy, media, schools, and police. The bogus group, pretending to support independence, broke ranks and urged independistas to take advantage of the opportunity to register their opinion at the polls. Since FBI front groups are basically a means for penetrating and disrupting political movements, it is best to deal with them on the basis of the Guidelines for Coping with Infiltration (below). Confront what a suspect group says and does, but avoid public accusations unless you have definite proof. If you do have such proof, share it with everyone affected. GUIDELINES FOR COPING WITH OTHER FORMS OF DECEPTION: 1. Don't add unnecessarily to the pool of information that government agents use to divide political groups and turn activists against each other. They thrive on gossip about personal tensions, rivalries and disagreements. The more these are aired in public, or via a telephone which can be tapped or mail which can be opened, the easier it is to exploit a groups' problems and subvert its work. (Note that the CIA has the technology to read mail without opening it, and that the telephone network can now be programmed to record any conversation in which specified political terms are used.) 2. The best way to reduce tensions and hostilities, and the urge to gossip about them, is to make time for open, honest discussion and resolution of "personal" as well as "political" issues. 3. Don't accept everything you hear or read. Check with the supposed source of the information before you act on it. Personal communication among estranged activists, however difficult or painful, could have countered many FBI operations which proved effective in the Sixties. 4. When you hear a negative, confusing or potentially harmful rumor, don't pass it on. Instead, discuss it with a trusted friend or with the people in your group who are responsibile for dealing with covert intervention. 5. Verify and double-check all arrangements for housing, transportation, meeting rooms, and so forth. 6. When you discover bogus materials, false media stories, etc., publicly disavow them and expose the true source, insofar as you can. HARASSMENT, INTIMIDATION & VIOLENCE: Pressure through employers, landlords, etc.: COINTELPRO documents reveal frequent overt contacts and covert manipulation (false rumors, anonymous letters and telephone calls) to generate pressure on activists from their parents, landlords, employers, college administrators, church superiors, welfare agencies, credit bureaus, licensing authorities, and the like. Agents' reports indicate that such intervention denied Sixties' activists any number of foundation grants and public speaking engagements. It also cost underground newspapers most of their advertising revenues, when major record companies were persuaded to take their business elsewhere. It may underlie recent steps by insurance companies to cancel policies held by churches giving sanctuary to refugees from El Salvador and Guatamala. Burglary: Former operatives have confessed to thousands of "black bag jobs" in which FBI agents broke into movement offices to steal, copy or destroy valuable papers, wreck equipment, or plant drugs. Vandalism: FBI infiltrators have admitted countless other acts of vandalism, including the fire which destroyed the Watts Writers Workshop's multi-million dollar ghetto cultural center in 1973. Late 60s' FBI and police raids laid waste to movement offices across the country, destroying precious printing presses, typewriters, layout equipment, research files, financial records, and mailing lists. Other direct interference: To further disrupt opposition movements, frighten activists, and get people upset with each other, the FBI tampered with organizational mail, so it came late or not at all. It also resorted to bomb threats and similar "dirty tricks". Conspicuous surveillance: The FBI and police blatantly watch activists' homes, follow their cars, tap phones, open mail and attend political events. The object is not to collect information (which is done surreptiously), but to harass and intimidate. Attempted interviews: Agents have extracted damaging information from activists who don't know they have a legal right to refuse to talk, or who think they can outsmart the FBI. COINTELPRO directives recommend attempts at interviews throughout political movements to "enhance the paranoia endemic in these circles" and "get the point across that there is an FBI agent behind every mailbox." Grand juries: Unlike the FBI, the Grand Jury has legal power to make you answer its questions. Those who refuse, and are required to accept immunity from use of their testimony against them, can be jailed for contempt of court. (Such "use immunity" enables prosecutors to get around the constitutional protection against self-incrimination.) The FBI and the US Dept. of Justice have manipulated this process to turn the grand jury into an instrument of political repression. Frustrated by jurors' consistent refusal to convict activists of overtly political crimes, they convened over 100 grand juries between l970 and 1973 and subpoenaed more than 1000 activists from the Black, Puerto Rican, student, women's and anti-war movements. Supposed pursuit of fugitives and "terrorists" was the usual pretext. Many targets were so terrified that they dropped out of political activity. Others were jailed without any criminal charge or trial, in what amounts to a U.S. version of the political internment procedures employed in South Africa and Northern Ireland. False arrest and prosecution: COINTELPRO directives cite the Philadelphia FBI's success in having local militants "arrested on every possible charge until they could no longer make bail" and "spent most of the summer in jail." Though the bulk of the activists arrested in this manner were eventually released, some were convicted of serious charges on the basis of perjured testimony by FBI agents, or by co-workers who the Bureau had threatened or bribed. The object was not only to remove experienced organizers from their communities and to divert scarce resources into legal defense, but even more to discredit entire movements by portraying their leaders as vicious criminals. Two victims of such frame-ups, Native American activist Leonard Peltier and 1960s' Black Panther official Elmer "Geronimo" Pratt, have finally gained court hearings on new trial motions. Others currently struggling to re-open COINTELPRO convictions include Richard Marshall of the American Indian Movement and jailed Black Panthers Herman Bell, Anthony Bottom, Albert Washington (the "NY3"), and Richard "Dhoruba" Moore. Intimidation: One COINTELPRO communique urged that "The Negro youths and moderates must be made to understand that if they succumb to revolutionary teaching, they will be dead revolutionaries." Others reported use of threats (anonymous and overt) to terrorize activists, driving some to abandon promising projects and others to leave the country. During raids on movement offices, the FBI and police routinely roughed up activists and threatened further violence. In August, 1970, they forced the entire staff of the Black Panther office in Philadelphia to march through the streets naked. Instigation of violence: The FBI's infiltrators and anonymous notes and phone calls incited violent rivals to attack Malcolm X, the Black Panthers, and other targets. Bureau records also reveal maneuvers to get the Mafia to move against such activists as black comedian Dick Gregory. A COINTELPRO memo reported that "shootings, beatings and a high degree of unrest continue to prevail in the ghetto area of southeast San Diego...it is felt that a substantial amount of the unrest is directly attributable to this program." Covert aid to right-wing vigilantes: In the guise of a COINTELPRO against "white hate groups," the FBI subsidized, armed, directed and protected the Klu Klux Klan and other right-wing groups, including a "Secret Army Organization" of California ex-Minutemen who beat up Chicano activists, tore apart the offices of the San Diego Street Journal and the Movement for a Democratic Military, and tried to kill a prominent anti-war organizer. Puerto Rican activists suffered similar terrorist assaults from anti-Castro Cuban groups organized and funded by the CIA. Defectors from a band of Chicago-based vigilantes known as the "Legion of Justice" disclosed that the funds and arms they used to destroy book stores, film studios and other centers of opposition had secretly been supplied by members of the Army's 113th Military Intelligence Group. Assassination: The FBI and police were implicated directly in murders of Black and Native American leaders. In Chicago, police assassinated Black Panthers Fred Hampton and Mark Clark, using a floor plan supplied by an FBI informer who apparently also had drugged Hampton's food to make him unconscious during the raid. FBI records show that this accomplice received a substantial bonus for his services. Despite an elaborate cover-up, a blue-ribbon commision and a U.S Court of Appeals found the deaths to be the result not of a shootout, as claimed by police, but of a carefully orchestrated, Vietnam-style "search and destroy mission". GUIDELINES FOR COPING WITH HARASSMENT, INTIMIDATION & VIOLENCE: 1. Establish security procedures appropriate to your group's level of activity and discuss them thoroughly with everyone involved. Control access to keys, files, letterhead, funds, financial records, mailing lists, etc. Keep duplicates of valuable documents. Safeguard address books, and do not carry them when arrest is likely. 2. Careful records of break-ins, thefts, bomb threats, raids, arrests, strange phone noises (not always taps or bugs), harassment, etc. will help you to discern patterns and to prepare reports and testimony. 3. Don't talk to the FBI. Don't let them in without a warrant. Tell others that they came. Have a lawyer demand an explanation and instruct them to leave you alone. 4. If an activist does talk, or makes some other honest error, explain the harm that could result. But do not attempt to ostracize a sincere person who slips up. Isolation only weakens a person's ability to resist. It can drive someone out of the movement and even into the arms of the police. 5. If the FBI starts to harass people in your area, alert everyone to refuse to cooperate (see box). Call the Movement Support Network's Hotline:(2l2) 614-6422. Set up community meetings with speakers who have resisted similar harassment elsewhere. Get literature, films, etc. through the organizations listed in the back of this pamphlet. Consider "Wanted" posters with photos of the agents, or guerilla theater which follows them through the city streets. 6. Make a major public issue of crude harassment, such as tampering with your mail. Contact your congressperson. Call the media. Demonstrate at your local FBI office. Turn the attack into an opportunity for explaining how covert intervention threatens fundamental human rights. 7. Many people find it easier to tell an FBI agent to contact their lawyer than to refuse to talk. Once a lawyer is involved, the Bureau generally pulls back, since it has lost its power to intimidate. If possible, make arrangements with a local lawyer and let everyone know that agents who visit them can be referred to that lawyer. If your group engages in civil disobedience or finds itself under intense police pressure, start a bail fund, train some members to deal with the legal system, and develop an ongoing relationship with a sympathetic local lawyer. 8. Organizations listed in the back of this pamphlet can also help resist grand jury harassment. Community education is important, along with legal, financial, child care, and other support for those who protect a movement by refusing to divulge information about it. If a respected activist is subpoenaed for obviously political reasons, consider trying to arrange for sanctuary in a local church or synagogue. 9. While the FBI and police are entirely capable of fabricating criminal charges, any law violations make it easier for them to set you up. The point is not to get so up-tight and paranoid that you can't function, but to make a realistic assessment based on your visibility and other pertinent circumstances. 10. Upon hearing of Fred Hampton's murder, the Black Panthers in Los Angeles fortified their offices and organized a communications network to alert the community and news media in the event of a raid. When the police did attempt an armed assault four days later, the Panthers were able to hold off the attack until a large community and media presence enabled them to leave the office without casualties. Similar preparation can help other groups that have reason to expect right-wing or police assaults. 11. Make sure your group designates and prepares other members to step in if leaders are jailed or otherwise incapacitated. The more each particpant is able to think for herself or himself and take responsibility, the better will be the group's capacity to cope with crises. ORGANIZING PUBLIC OPPOSITION TO COVERT INTERVENTION A BROAD-BASED STRATEGY: No one existing political organization or movement is strong enough, by itself, to mobilize the public pressure required to signficantly limit the ability of the FBI, CIA and police to subvert our work. Some activists oppose covert intervention because it violates fundamental constitutional rights. Others stress how it weakens and interferes with the work of a particular group or movement. Still others see covert action as part of a political and economic system which is fundamentally flawed. Our only hope is to bring these diverse forces together in a single, powerful alliance. Such a broad coalition cannot hold together unless it operates with clearly-defined principles. The coalition as a whole will have to oppose covert intervention on certain basic grounds--such as the threat to democracy, civil liberties and social justice, leaving its members free to put forward other objections and analyses in their own names. Participants will need to refrain from insisting that only their views are "politically correct" and that everyone else has "sold out." Above all, we will have to resist the government's manuevers to divide us by moving against certain groups, while subtly suggesting that it will go easy on the others, if only they dissociate themselves from those under attack. This strategy is evident in the recent Executive Order and Guidelines, which single out for infiltration and disruption people who support liberation movements and governments that defy U.S. hegemony or who entertain the view that it may at times be necessary to break the law in order to effectuate social change. DIVERSE TACTICS: For maximum impact, local and national coalitions will need a multi-faceted approach which effectively combines a diversity of tactics, including: l. Investigative research to stay on top of, and document, just what the FBI, CIA and police are up to. 2. Public education through forums, rallies, radio and TV, literature, film, high school and college curricula, wallposters, guerilla theater, and whatever else proves interesting and effective. 3. Legislative lobbying against administration proposals to strengthen covert work, cut back public access to information, punish government "whistle-blowers", etc. Coalitions in some cities and states have won legislative restrictions on surveillance and covert action. The value of such victories will depend our ability to mobilize continuing, vigilant public pressure for effective enforcement. 4. Support for the victims of covert intervention can reduce somewhat the harm done by the FBI, CIA and police. Organizing on behalf of grand jury resisters, political prisoners, and defendants in political trials offers a natural forum for public education about domestic covert action. 5. Lawsuits may win financial compensation for some of the people harmed by covert intervention. Class action suits, which seek a court order (injunction) limiting surveillance and covert action in a particular city or judicial district, have proved a valuable source of information and publicity. They are enormously expensive, however, in terms of time and energy as well as money. Out-of-court settlements in some of these cases have given rise to bitter disputes which split coalitions apart, and any agreement is subject to reinterpretation or modification by increasingly conservative, administration-oriented federal judges. The US Court of Appeals in Chicago has ruled that the consent decree against the FBI there affects only operations based "solely on the political views of a group or an individual," for which the Bureau can conjure no pretext of a "genuine concern for law enforcement." 6. Direct action, in the form of citizens' arrests, mock trials, picketlines, and civil disobedience, has recently greeted CIA recruiters on a number of college campuses. Although the main focus has been on the Agency's international crimes, its domestic activities have also received attention. Similar actions might be organized to protest recruitment by the FBI and police, in conjunction with teach-ins and other education about domestic covertaction. Demonstrations against Reagan's attempts to bolster covert intervention, or against particular FBI, CIA or police operations, could also raise public consciousness and focus activists' outrage. PROSPECTS: Previous attempts to mobilize public opposition, especially on a local level, indicate that a broad coalition, employing a multi-faceted approach, may be able to impose some limits on the government's ability to discredit and disrupt our work. It is clear, however, that we currently lack the power to eliminate such intervention. While fighting hard to end domestic covert action, we need also to study the forms it takes and prepare ourselves to cope with it as effectively as we can. Above all, it is essential that we resist the temptation to so preoccupy ourselves with repression that we neglect our main work. Our ability to resist the government's attacks depends ultimately on the strength of our movements. So long as we continue to advocate and organize effectively, no manner of intervention can stop us.

purpleball.gifFBI watch

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FBI Domestic Intelligence ActivitiesCOINTELPRO Revisited - Spying & DisruptionBy Brian Glick

(author of War at Home, South End Press)

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Internet Activists across the country report increasing government harassment and disruption of their work: -In the Southwest, paid informers infiltrate the church services, Bible classes and support networks of clergy and lay workers giving sanctuary to refugees from El Salvador and Guatamala. -In Alabama, elderly Black people attempting for the first time to exercise their right to vote are interrogated by FBI agents and hauled before federal grand juries hundreds of miles from their homes. -In New England, a former CIA case officer cites examples from his own past work to warn college students of efforts by undercover operatives to misdirect and discredit protests against South African and US racism. -In the San Francisco Bay Area, activists planning anti-nuclear civil disobedience learn that their meetings have been infiltrated by the US Navy. -In Detroit, Seattle, and Philadelphia, in Cambridge, MA, Berkeley,CA., Phoenix, AR., and Washington, DC., churches and organizations opposing US policies in Central America report obviously political break-ins in which important papers are stolen or damaged, while money and valuables are left untouched. License plates on a car spotted fleeing one such office have been traced to the US National Security Agency. -In Puerto Rico, Texas and Massachusetts, labor leaders, community organizers, writers and editors who advocate Puerto Rican independence are branded by the FBI as "terrorists," brutally rounded-up in the middle of the night, held incommunicado for days and then jailed under new preventive detention laws. -The FBI puts the same "terrorist" label on opponents of US intervention in El Salvador, but refuses to investigate the possibility of a political conspiracy behind nation-wide bombings of abortion clinics. -Throughout the country, people attempting to see Nicaragua for themselves find their trips disrupted, their private papers confiscated, and their homes and offices plagued by FBI agents who demand detailed personal and political information. These kinds of government tactics violate our fundamental constitutional rights. They make it enormously difficult to sustain grass-roots organizing. They create an atmosphere of fear and distrust which undermines any effort to challenge official policy. Similar measures were used in the 1960s as part of a secret FBI program known as "COINTELPRO." COINTELPRO was later exposed and officially ended. But the evidence shows that it actually persisted and that clandestine operations to discredit and disrupt opposition movements have become an institutional feature of national and local government in the US. This pamphlet is designed to help current and future activists learn from the history of COINTELPRO, so that our movements can better withstand such attack. The first section gives a brief overview of what we know the FBI did in the 60s. It explains why we can expect similar government intervention in the 80s and beyond, and offers general guidelines for effective response. The main body of the pamphlet describes the specific methods which have previously been used to undermine domestic dissent and suggests steps we can take to limit or deflect their impact. A final chapter explores ways to mobilize broad public protest against this kind of repression. Further readings and groups that can help are listed in back. The pamphlet's historical analysis is based on confidential internal documents prepared by the FBI and police during the 60s. It also draws on the post-60s confessions of disaffected government agents, and on the testimony of public officials before Congress and the courts. Though the information from these sources is incomplete, and much of what was done remains secret, we now know enough to draw useful lessons for future organizing. The suggestions included in the pamphlet are based on the author's 20 years experience as an activist and lawyer, and on talks with long-time organizers in a broad range of movements. They are meant to provide starting points for discussion, so we can get ready before the pressure intensifies. Most are a matter of common sense once the methodology of covert action is understood. Please take these issues seriously. Discuss the recommendations with other activists. Adapt them to the conditions you face. Point out problems and suggest other approaches. It is important that we begin now to protect our movements and ourselves. A HISTORY TO LEARN FROM: WHAT WAS COINTELPRO? "COINTELPRO" was the FBI's secret program to undermine the popular upsurge which swept the country during the 1960s. Though the name stands for "Counterintelligence Program," the targets were not enemy spies. The FBI set out to eliminate "radical" political opposition inside the US. When traditional modes of repression (exposure, blatant harassment, and prosecution for political crimes) failed to counter the growing insurgency, and even helped to fuel it, the Bureau took the law into its own hands and secretly used fraud and force to sabotage constitutionally- protected political activity. Its methods ranged far beyond surveillance, and amounted to a domestic version of the covert action for which the CIA has become infamous throughout the world. HOW DO WE KNOW ABOUT IT? COINTELPRO was discovered in March, 1971, when secret files were removed from an FBI office and released to news media. Freedom of Information requests, lawsuits, and former agents' public confessions deepened the exposure until a major scandal loomed. To control the damage and re-establish government legitimacy in the wake of Vietnam and Watergate, Congress and the courts compelled the FBI to reveal part of what it had done and to promise it would not do it again. Much of what has been learned, and copies of some of the actual documents, can be found in the readings listed at the back of this pamphlet. HOW DID IT WORK? The FBI secretly instructed its field offices to propose schemes to "misdirect, discredit, disrupt and otherwise neutralize "specific individuals and groups. Close coordination with local police and prosecutors was encouraged. Final authority rested with top FBI officials in Washington, who demanded assurance that "there is no possibility of embarrassment to the Bureau." More than 2000 individual actions were officially approved. The documents reveal three types of methods: 1. Infiltration: Agents and informers did not merely spy on political activists. Their main function was to discredit and disrupt. Various means to this end are analyzed below. 2. Other forms of deception: The FBI and police also waged psychological warfare from the outside--through bogus publications, forged correspondence, anonymous letters and telephone calls, and similar forms of deceit. 3. Harassment, intimidation and violence: Eviction, job loss, break-ins, vandalism, grand jury subpoenas, false arrests, frame- ups, and physical violence were threatened, instigated or directly employed, in an effort to frighten activists and disrupt their movements. Government agents either concealed their involvement or fabricated a legal pretext. In the case of the Black and Native American movements, these assaults--including outright political assassinations--were so extensive and vicious that they amounted to terrorism on the part of the government. WHO WERE THE MAIN TARGETS? The most intense operations were directed against the Black movement, particularly the Black Panther Party. This resulted from FBI and police racism, the Black community's lack of material resources for fighting back, and the tendency of the media--and whites in general--to ignore or tolerate attacks on Black groups. It also reflected government and corporate fear of the Black movement because of its militance, its broad domestic base and international support, and its historic role in galvanizing the entire Sixties' upsurge. Many other activists who organized against US intervention abroad or for racial, gender or class justice at home also came under covert attack. The targets were in no way limited to those who used physical force or took up arms. Martin Luther King, David Dellinger, Phillip Berrigan and other leading pacifists were high on the list, as were projects directly protected by the Bill of Rights, such as alternative newspapers. The Black Panthers came under attack at a time when their work featured free food and health care and community control of schools and police, and when they carried guns only for deterrent and symbolic purposes. It was the terrorism of the FBI and police that eventually provoked the Panthers to retaliate with the armed actions that later were cited to justify their repression. Ultimately the FBI disclosed six official counterintelligence programs: Communist Party-USA (1956-71); "Groups Seeking Independence for Puerto Rico" (1960-71); Socialist Workers Party (1961-71); "White Hate Groups" (1964-71); "Black Nationalist Hate Groups" (1967-71); and "New Left" (1968- 71).The latter operations hit anti-war, student, and feminist groups. The "Black Nationalist" caption actually encompassed Martin Luther King and most of the civil rights and Black Power movements. The "white hate" program functioned mainly as a cover for covert aid to the KKK and similar right-wing vigilantes, who were given funds and information, so long as they confined their attacks to COINTELPRO targets. FBI documents also reveal covert action against Native American, Chicano, Phillipine, Arab- American, and other activists, apparently without formal Counterintelligence programs. WHAT EFFECT DID IT HAVE? COINTELPRO's impact is difficult to fully assess since we do not know the entire scope of what was done (especially against such pivotal targets as Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, SNCC and SDS),and we have no generally accepted analysis of the Sixties. It is clear,however, that: -COINTELPRO distorted the public's view of radical groups in a way that helped to isolate them and to legitimize open political repression. -It reinforced and exacerbated the weaknesses of these groups, making it very difficult for the inexperienced activists of the Sixties to learn from their mistakes and build solid, durable organizations. -Its violent assaults and covert manipulation eventually helped to push some of the most committed and experienced groups to withdraw from grass-roots organizing and to substitute armed actions which isolated them and deprived the movement of much of its leadership. -COINTELPRO often convinced its victims to blame themselves and each other for the problems it created, leaving a legacy of cynicism and despair that persists today. -By operating covertly, the FBI and police were able to severely weaken domestic political opposition without shaking the conviction of most US people that they live in a democracy, with free speech and the rule of law. THE DANGER WE FACE: DID COINTELPRO EVER REALLY END? Public exposure of COINTELPRO in the early 1970s elicited a flurry of reform. Congress, the courts and the mass media condemned government "intelligence abuses." Municipal police forces officially disbanded their red squads. A new Attorney General notified past victims of COINTELPRO and issued Guidelines to limit future operations. Top FBI officials were indicted (albeit for relatively minor offenses), two were convicted, and several others retired or resigned. J. Edgar Hoover--the egomaniacal, crudely racist and sexist founder of the FBI--died, and a well-known federal judge, William Webster, eventually was appointed to clean house and build a "new FBI." Behind this public hoopla, however, was little real improvement in government treatment of radical activists. Domestic covert operations were briefly scaled down a bit, after the 60s' upsurge had largely subsided, due inpart to the success of COINTELPRO. But they did not stop. In April, 1971, soon after files had been taken from one of its offices, the FBI instructed its agents that "future COINTELPRO actions will be considered on a highly selective, individual basis with tight procedures to insure absolute security." The results are apparent in the record of the subsequent years: -A virtual war on the American Indian Movement, ranging from forgery of documents, infiltration of legal defense committees, diversion of funds, intimidation of witnesses and falsification of evidence, to the para-military invasion of the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, and the murder of Anna Mae Aquash, Joe Stuntz and countless others; -Sabotage of efforts to organize protest demonstrations at the 1972 Republican and Democratic Party conventions. The attempted assassination of San Diego Univ. Prof. Peter Bohmer, by a "Secret Army Organization" of ex-Minutemen formed, subsidized, armed, and protected by the FBI, was a part of these operations; -Concealment of the fact that the witness whose testimony led to the 1972 robbery-murder conviction of Black Panther leader Elmer "Geronimo" Pratt was a paid informer who had worked in the BPP under the direction of the FBI and the Los Angeles Police Department; -Infiltration and disruption of the Vietnam Veterans Against the War, and prosecution of its national leaders on false charges (Florida, 1971-74); -Formation and operation of sham political groups such as "Red Star Cadre," in Tampa, Fla., and the New Orleans "Red Collective" (1972-76); -Mass interrogation of lesbian and feminist activists, threats of subpoenas, jailing of those who refused to cooperate, and disruption of women's health collectives and other projects (Lexington, KY., Hartford and New Haven,Conn., 1975); -Harassment of the Hispanic Commission of the Episcopal Church and numerous other Puerto Rican and Chicano religious activists and community organizers (Chicago, New York City, Puerto Rico, Colorado and New Mexico, 1977); -Entrapment and frame-up of militant union leaders (NASCO shipyards,San Diego, 1979); and -Complicity in the murder of socialist labor and community organizers (Greensboro, N.C., 1980). IS IT A THREAT TODAY? All this, and maybe more, occured in an era of reform. The use of similar measures in today's very different times cannot be itemized in such detail, since most are still secret. The gravity of the current danger is evident, however, from the major steps recently taken to legitimize and strengthen political repression, and from the many incidents which are coming to light despite stepped-up security. The ground-work for public acceptance of repression has been laid by President Reagan's speeches reviving the old red-scare tale of worldwide "communist take-overs" and adding a new bogeyman in the form of domestic and international "terrorism." The President has taken advantage of the resulting political climate to denounce the Bill of Rights and to red-bait critics of US intervention in Central America. He has pardoned the FBI officials convicted of COINTELPRO crimes, praised their work, and spoken favorably of the political witchhunts he took part in during the 1950s. For the first time in US history, government infiltration to "influence" domestic political activity has received official sanction. On the pretext of meeting the supposed terrorist threat, Presidential Executive Order 12333 (Dec. 4, 1981) extends such authority not only to the FBI, but also to the military and, in some cases, the CIA. History shows that these agencies treat legal restriction as a kind of speed limit which they feel free to exceed, but only by a certain margin. Thus, Reagan's Executive Order not only encourages reliance on methods once deemed abhorent, it also implicitly licenses even greater, more damaging intrusion. Government capacity to make effective use of such measures has also been substantially enhanced in recent years: -Judge Webster's highly-touted reforms have served mainly to modernize the FBI and make it more dangerous. Instead of the back- biting competition which impeded coordination of domestic counter- insurgency in the 60s, the Bureau now promotes inter-agency cooperation. As an equal opportunity employer, it can use Third World and female agents to penetrate political targets more thoroughly than before. By cultivating a low-visibility corporate image and discreetly avoiding public attack on prominent liberals, the FBI has regained respectability and won over a number of former critics. -Municipal police forces have similarly revamped their image while upgrading their repressive capabilities. The police "red squads" that infiltrated and harassed the 60s' movements have been revived under other names and augmented by para-military SWAT teams and tactical squads as well as highly-politicized community relations and "beat rep" programs, in which Black, Hispanic and female officers are often conspicuous. Local operations are linked by FBI-led regional anti-terrorist task forces and the national Law Enforcement Intelligence Unit (LEIU). -Increased military and CIA involvement has added political sophistication and advanced technology. Army Special Forces and other elite military units are now trained and equipped for counter-insurgency (known as"low-intensity warfare"). Their manuals teach the essential methodology of COINTELPRO, stressing earlier intervention to neutralize potential opposition before it can take hold. The CIA's expanded role is especially ominous. In the 60s, while legally banned from "internal security functions," the CIA managed to infiltrate the Black, student and antiwar movements. It also made secret use of university professors, journalists, labor leaders, publishing houses, cultural organizations and philanthropic fronts to mold US public opinion. But it apparently felt compelled to hold back--within the country--from the kinds of systematic political destabilization, torture, and murder which have become the hallmark of its operations abroad. Now, the full force of the CIA has been unleashed at home. -All of the agencies involved in covert operations have had time to learn from the 60s and to institute the "tight procedures to insure absolute security" that FBI officials demanded after COINTELPRO was exposed in 1971. Restoration of secrecy has been made easier by the Administration's steps to shield covert operations from public scrutiny. Under Reagan, key FBI and CIA files have been re-classified "top secret." The Freedom of Information Act has been quietly narrowed through administrative reinterpretation. Funds for covert operations are allocated behind closed doors and hidden in CIA and defense appropriations. Government employees now face censorship even after they retire, and new laws make it a federal crime to publicize information which might tend to reveal an agent's identity. Despite this stepped-up security, incidents frighteningly reminiscent of 60s' COINTELPRO have begun to emerge. The extent of the infiltration, burglary and other clandestine government intervention that has already come to light is alarming. Since the vast majority of such operations stay hidden until after the damage has been done, those we are now aware of undoubtedly represent only the tip of the iceberg. Far more is sure to lie beneath the surface. Considering the current political climate, the legalization of COINTELPRO, the rehabilitation of the FBI and police, and the expanded role of the CIA and military, the recent revelations leave us only one safe assumption: that extensive government covert operations are already underway to neutralize today's opposition movements before they can reach the massive level of the 60s. WHAT CAN WE DO ABOUT IT? Domestic covert action has now persisted in some form through at least the last seven presidencies. It grew from one program to six under Kennedy and Johnson. It flourished when an outspoken liberal, Ramsey Clark, was Attorney General (1966-68). It is an integral part of the established mode of operation of powerful, entrenched agencies on every level of government. It enables policy-makers to maintain social control without detracting from their own public image or the perceived legitimacy oftheir method of government. It has become as institutional in the US as the race, gender, class and imperial domination it serves to uphold. Under these circumstances, there is no reason to think we can eliminate COINTELPRO simply by electing better public officials. Only through sustained public education and mobilization, by a broad coalition of political, religious and civil libertarian activists, can we expect to limit it effectively. In most parts of the country, however, and certainly on a national level, we lack the political power to end covert government intervention, or even to curb it substantially. We therefore need to learn how to cope more effectively with this form of repression. The next part of this pamphlet examines the methods that were used to discredit and disrupt the movements ofthe 60s and suggests steps we can take to deflect or reduce their impact in the 80s. A CHECK-LIST OF ESSENTIAL PRECAUTIONS: -Check out the authenticity of any disturbing letter, rumor, phone call or other communication before acting on it. -Document incidents which appear to reflect covert intervention, and report them to the Movement Support Network Hotline: 212/477- 5562. -Deal openly and honestly with the differences within our movements (race, gender, class, age, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, personality, experience, physical and intellectual capacities, etc.) before the FBI and police exploit them to tear us apart. -Don't rush to expose a suspected agent. Instead, directly criticize what the suspect says and does. Intra-movement witchhunts only help the government create distrust and paranoia. -Support whoever comes under government attack. Don't be put off by political slander, such as recent attempts to smear radical activists as "terrorists." Organize public opposition to FBI investigations, grand juries, show trials and other forms of political harassment. -Above all, do not let them divert us from our main work. Our most powerful weapon against political repression is effective organizing around the needs and issues which directly affect people's lives. WHAT THEY DO & HOW WE CAN PROTECT OURSELVES: INFILTRATION BY AGENTS OR INFORMERS Agents are law enforcement officers disguised as activists. Informers are non-agents who provide information to a law enforcement or intelligence agency. They may be recruited from within a group or sent in by an agency, or they may be disaffected former members or supporters. Infiltrators are agents or informers who work in a group or community under the direction of a law enforcement or intelligence agency. During the 60s the FBI had to rely on informers (who are less well trained and harder to control) because it had very few black, Hispanic or female agents, and its strict dress and grooming code left white male agents unable to look like activists. As a modern equal opportunity employer, today's FBI has fewer such limitations. What They Do: Some informers and infiltrators quietly provide information while keeping a low profile and doing whatever is expected of group members. Others attempt to discredit a target and disrupt its work. They may spread false rumors and make unfounded accusations to provoke or exacerbate tensions and splits. They may urge divisive proposals, sabotage important activities and resources, or operate as "provocateurs" who lead zealous activists into unnecessary danger. In a demonstration or other confrontation with police, such an agent may break discipline and call for actions which would undermine unity and detract from tactical focus. Infiltration As a Source of Distrust and Paranoia: While individual agents and informers aid the government in a variety of specific ways, the general use of infiltrators serves a very special and powerful strategic function. The fear that a group may be infiltrated often intimidates people from getting more involved. It can give rise to a paranoia which makes it difficult to build the mutual trust which political groups depend on. This use of infiltrators, enhanced by covertly-initiated rumors that exaggerate the extent to which a particular movement or group has been penetrated, is recommended by the manuals used to teach counter-insurgency in the U.S. and Western Europe. Covert Manipulation to Make A Legitimate Activist Appear to be an Agent: An actual agent will often point the finger at a genuine, non-collaborating and highly-valued group member, claiming that he or she is the infiltrator. The same effect, known as a "snitch jacket," has been achieved by planting forged documents which appear to be communications between an activist and the FBI, or by releasing for no other apparent reason one of a group of activists who were arrested together. Another method used under COINTELPRO was to arrange for some activists, arrested under one pretext or another, to hear over the police radio a phony broadcast which appeared to set up a secret meeting between the police and someone from their group. GUIDELINES FOR COPING WITH INFILTRATION: l. Establish a process through which anyone who suspects an informer (or other form of covert intervention) can express his or her fears without scaring others. Experienced people assigned this responsibility can do a great deal to help a group maintain its morale and focus while, at the same time, centrally consolidating information and deciding how to use it. This plan works best when accompanied by group discussion of the danger of paranoia, so that everyone understands and follows the established procedure. 2. To reduce vulnerability to paranoia and "snitch jackets", and to minimize diversion from your main work, it generally is best if you do not attempt to expose a suspected agent or informer unless you are certain of their role. (For instance, they surface to make an arrest, testify as a government witness or in some other way admit their identity). Under most circumstances, an attempted exposure will do more harm than the infiltrator's continued presence. This is especially true if you can discreetly limit the suspect's access to funds, financial records, mailing lists, discussions of possible lawviolations, meetings that plan criminal defense strategy, and similar opportunities. 3. Deal openly and directly with the form and content of what anyone says and does, whether the person is a suspected agent, has emotional problems, or is simply a sincere, but naive or confused person new to the work. 4. Once an agent or informer has been definitely identified, alert other groups and communities by means of photographs, a description of their methods of operation, etc. In the 60s, some agents managed even after their exposure in one community to move on and repeat their performance in a numberof others. 5. Be careful to avoid pushing a new or hesitant member to take risks beyond what that person is ready to handle, particularly in situations which could result in arrest and prosecution. People in this position have proved vulnerable to recruitment as informers. OTHER FORMS OF DECEPTION Bogus leaflets, pamphlets, etc.: COINTELPRO documents show that the FBI routinely put out phony leaflets, posters, pamphlets, etc. to discredit its targets. In one instance, agents revised a children's coloring book which the Black Panther Party had rejected as anti-white and gratuitously violent, and then distributed a cruder version to backers of the Party's program of free breakfasts for children, telling them the book was being used in the program. False media stories: The FBI's documents expose collusion by reporters and news media that knowingly published false and distorted material prepared by Bureau agents. One such story had Jean Seberg, a noticeably pregnant white film star active in anti-racist causes, carrying the child of a prominent Black leader. Seberg's white husband, the actual father, has sued the FBI as responsible for her resulting still-birth, breakdown, and suicide. Forged correspondence: Former employees have confirmed that the FBI and CIA have the capacity to produce "state of the art" forgery. The U.S. Senate's investigation of COINTELPRO uncovered a series of letters forged in the name of an intermediary between the Black Panther Party's national office and Panther leader Eldridge Cleaver, in exile in Algeria. The letters proved instrumental in inflaming intra-party rivalries that erupted into the bitter public split that shattered the Party in the winter of 1971. Anonymous letters and telephone calls: During the 60s, activists received a steady flow of anonymous letters and phone calls which turn out to have been from government agents. Some threatened violence. Others promoted racial divisions and fears. Still others charged various leaders with collaboration, corruption, sexual affairs with other activists' mates, etc. As in the Seberg incident, inter-racial sex was a persistent theme. The husband of one white woman involved in a bi-racial civil rights group received the following anonymous letter authored by the FBI: --Look, man, I guess your old lady doesn't get enough at home or she wouldn't be shucking and jiving with our Black Men in ACTION, you dig? Like all she wants to integrate is the bedroom and us Black Sisters ain't gonna take no second best from our men. So lay it on her man--or get her the hell off [name]. A Soul Sister False rumors: Using infiltrators, journalists and other contacts, the Bureau circulated slanderous, disruptive rumors through political movements and the communities in which they worked. Other misinformation: A favorite FBI tactic uncovered by Senate investigators was to misinform people that a political meeting

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WHEN I AM NOT SIGNED IN THE MATERIAL POSTED AT TOP (WHICH IS IN RED BELOW) is NOT VISIBLE REPEAT NOT VISABLE (WHAT GIVES ???) CAN SEE WHEN SIGNED IN (1984 ?)

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Person of Interest #1 -- McGeorge Bundy.

Person of Interest #2 -- Averell Harriman

btw, where was the first media reference to Oswald as a Lone Nut?

The New York Herald Tribune. Trib owner Uber-blueblood Jock Whitney wrote a stop the presses editorial Fri night.

(His father and grandfather Skull & Bones. A billionare in todays monies. Worked all night to get out "lone nut" tale. When do billionaires do low level work all night ??) (GAAL.in red)

That's two Skull & Bones and a Scroll & Key.

Big day for Yale...

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What continues to befuddle me Paul is how in your next sentence you would say, if asked, that Hoover did the right thing. Do you think the truth that he knew but hid from the American people should still be hidden? Would it be any less disruptive now?

Good question, Paul B.

In my opinion, the truth that Hoover hid from the American people should no longer be hidden.

Clearly Hoover, LBJ, Dulles and Earl Warren agreed that the American people could not handle the truth in 1963-1964.

Earl Warren was so shocked by it, that he chose to withhold the truth for 75 years.

Yet look at the social conditions of the 1960's, and one can see their point. This was BEFORE Watergate, the HSCA and Iran-Contra.

Heck, in the 1960's, all the sexual affairs of JFK, well-known to folks in Washington DC, were taboo for the mass media. We had no clue about them in 1963. That scandal wouldn't hestitate for fifteen minutes today.

The rational justification for Earl Warren was that the Cold War with the USSR (which was a thermo-nuclear threat) was still raging hot. In fact, we can argue that 1963 was the very PEAK of the Cold War.

It was impossible in those days to predict how things would turn out in 75 years, so Earl Warren was being extra cautious.

However -- the biggest change of the past half-century is that the USSR no longer exists. With the fall of the Berlin Wall and the USSR, the Cold War has vanished into thin air.

In my opinion, the Cold War was a rational justification for withholding the Truth about the JFK murder.

However, with the fall of the USSR, that justification has vanished, and since Watergate and Iran-Contra the American people have come to accept that the US Government isn't perfect. Very little would shock us today, as it shocked us in 1963.

It's nearly 2015. In October 2017 the US Government has promised to release all FBI and secret documents about Lee Harvey Oswald. Then we'll know the Truth -- and the Truth will set us free.

Regards,

--Paul Trejo

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The Cold War - another one of those mysterious definitions by which we gauge current events. Sure, no more USSR. But the nukes still exist, both sides are increasing their arsenals, and the relations between Putin's Russia and the US and west is murky at best. Currently our allies, the Saudis, are cooperating in bringing about the lowering of oil prices, which is directly aimed at Russia, perhaps because of the Ukrainian situation. I am glad you agree at least that the truth should be known now, though I would argue, contrary to your point, that we would be in much better shape and living in a vastly different world if we Americans and our elected government and 'free' press insisted on the truth in 1964. We will always disagree on this, so no need to repeat your reasons. I understand them.

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Here's that 1994 "confession," again, by hit-man James Files, chauffeur for Mafia don, Charles Nicoletti.

It raised a lot of eyebrows in 1994 when it came out. Just the year before Oliver Stone had released his blockbuster, "JFK" and revived national interest in the JFK murder.

Before the 1990's were over however, most JFK researchers concluded that James Files got his information from spending years in prison doing little else than reading JFK research literature.

All the details that James Files relates in his 1994 "confession" could be found in JFK literature from 1965-1993. This was first pointed out by ex-CIA officer John Stockwell.

It was in the 1980's that the theory of Robert Blakey, expert on US Organized Crime and final chairman of the HSCA, wrote that the Mafia was the true killer of JFK.

Already in 1993, however, with Oliver Stone's movie, we heard the ultimate objection -- how could the Mafia generate a nationwide cover-up, appoint the Warren Commission, and manipulate the ballistics and medical evidence?

The Mafia theory is a half-truth. We know that some Mafia dons were involved -- mainly through CIA efforts to kill Fidel Castro. So they were already associating with Bay of Pigs losers in the CIA, like David Morales, Howard Hunt, David Atlee Phillips and William Harvey.

Loran Hall famously said in April, 1977, "there's only me and Santos Trafficante left, and I ain't saying xxxx!" The participation of Carlos Marcello in the JFK murder is fairly well documented by John Davis. But what was their role? They gave truckloads of cash to mercenary street-thugs who boasted they could murder JFK.

The Mafia gave blood money -- that much is documented.

But it is basically an urban myth that Johnny Roselli was a shooter in Dallas that day -- or that his right-hand man, Charles Nicoletti was on the 6th floor of the TSBD that day -- but on the West side of the building.

But once Blakey's romanticized version of the JFK murder became laid out with sufficient drama, a perfect opening for the chauffeur of Charles Nicoletti (currently serving a life term in prison) to leave a legacy of legend with his late "confession," became plausible.

It's now a famous part of the shell-game -- anything to keep attention away from the actual JFK plotters.

Sincerely,

--Paul Trejo

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FTR #190 Interview with Bill Davy

Posted by FTR January 9, 2000Po

davyjustice.jpgLis­ten:
MP3 Side 1 | Side 2
Flash Audio

The 1991 release of the Oliver Stone film JFK led to the release of pre­vi­ously clas­si­fied gov­ern­ment doc­u­ments about the Kennedy assas­si­na­tion. Rely­ing on some of this recently released doc­u­men­ta­tion and his own exten­sive prob­ing of the case, author Bill Davy has crafted a bril­liant and thor­oughly read­able vol­ume that does much to vin­di­cate New Orleans Dis­trict Attor­ney Jim Garrison.

In this pro­gram, Davy dis­cusses his book Let Jus­tice Be Done: New Light on the Jim Gar­ri­son Inves­ti­ga­tion (Jor­dan Pub­lish­ing, copy­right 1999.) Gar­ri­son was clearly onto some­thing. The broad­cast begins with dis­cus­sion of a House Select Com­mit­tee on Assas­si­na­tions memo indi­cat­ing that Clay Shaw (indicted by Gar­ri­son) may have been one of the high-level plan­ners (or a cut-out to the high-level plan­ners) of the assas­si­na­tion of Pres­i­dent Kennedy. After high­light­ing a memo from the CIA chief in New Orleans to Lan­g­ley indi­cat­ing that Garrison’s inves­ti­ga­tion was on the right track, the dis­cus­sion turns to David Ferrie’s mys­te­ri­ous hunt­ing trip on the week­end of the assas­si­na­tion. (A sus­pect almost from the begin­ning of Garrison’s inquiry, Fer­rie also claimed that his mys­te­ri­ous ven­ture was under­taken for the pur­pose of ice-skating. His alibi is full of holes and not credible.)

Next, the pro­gram sets forth the mys­te­ri­ous 544 Camp Street / 531 Lafayette Place address that housed both Lee Har­vey Oswald’s Fair Play for Cuba Com­mit­tee and the Guy Ban­nis­ter Detec­tive Agency. (The alleged com­mu­nist Oswald was the only mem­ber of the New Orleans chap­ter of the FPCC, which shared an address with the oper­a­tions of the vio­lently anti-communist Bannister’s office. Ban­nis­ter appears to have been deeply involved with the anti-Castro efforts in the New Orleans.) Fer­rie worked with Ban­nis­ter against the Cas­tro regime.

The pro­gram doc­u­ments numer­ous con­nec­tions between prin­ci­pal fig­ures in the case and, in turn, con­nects them to the intel­li­gence com­mu­nity. Par­tic­u­lar empha­sis is on the high level gov­ern­men­tal obstruc­tion of Garrison’s probe and the role of the media in sub­vert­ing and dis­cred­it­ing the investigation.

Pro­gram Higlights Include: Ferrie’s and Shaw’s involve­ment in the Freeport Sul­phur**** endeavor (link­ing both of them to each other and the anti-Castro effort); the Clin­ton Louisiana inci­dent con­nect­ing Oswald, Shaw and Fer­rie in an appar­ent sur­veil­lance of black voter reg­is­tra­tion efforts in that city; the Houma muni­tions bur­glary (con­nected to the Bay of Pigs inva­sion); a CIA plan to stage a fake attack on the U.S. Naval Base at Guan­tanamo as a pre­text to invade Cuba; the Deputy Chief Coun­sel of the House Select Committee’s state­ment that the com­mit­tee saw a film of an anti-Castro train­ing facil­ity that linked Oswald to Ban­nis­ter and CIA offi­cial David Atlee Phillips; Oswald’s attempt to gain employ­ment at a Louisiana hos­pi­tal that was involved in the CIA’s MKULTRA pro­gram; con­nec­tions of Dr. Alton Ochsner to that same facil­ity; CIA con­nec­tions of Lloyd Cobb, Shaw’s supe­rior at the Inter­na­tional Trade Mart; the mys­te­ri­ous Mary­dale Farm (a prob­a­ble train­ing site for the assas­si­na­tion); Ku Klux Klan con­nec­tions of Lloyd Cobb’s brother Alvin; con­fir­ma­tion of Shaw’s use of the alias “Clay Bertrand;” attor­ney Dean Andrews’ con­nec­tions to Oswald; Clay Shaw’s numer­ous con­nec­tions to the intel­li­gence com­mu­nity; Jus­tice bepart­ment efforts to under­mine Garrison’s inves­ti­ga­tion; the mur­der of Fer­rie asso­ciate Ela­dio Del Valle (like Fer­rie, involved in the anti-Castro effort; hos­tile fig­ures who infil­trated Garrison’s inves­ti­ga­tion includ­ing Tom Bethell, William Wood (a.k.a. Bill Box­ley) and Bernardo de Tor­res; attempts at intim­i­dat­ing Garrison’s wit­nesses; writer James Phelan’s hit-piece on Gar­ri­son; jour­nal­ist Hugh Aynesworth’s con­nec­tions to the CIA and his smear­ing of Gar­ri­son; Wal­ter Sheridan’s NBC attack on Gar­ri­son and Sheridan’s con­nec­tions to the intel­li­gence com­mu­nity; Ban­nis­ter asso­ciate Aaron Kohn’s attack on Garrison’s inves­ti­ga­tion; rebut­tal of the spu­ri­ous but oft-repeated alle­ga­tions that Gar­ri­son was tied to orga­nized crime. (Recorded on 1/9/2000.)

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Cliff Varnell, on 19 Nov 2014 - 2:29 PM, said:

Person of Interest #1 -- McGeorge Bundy.

Person of Interest #2 -- Averell Harriman

btw, where was the first media reference to Oswald as a Lone Nut?

The New York Herald Tribune. Trib owner Uber-blueblood Jock Whitney wrote a stop the presses editorial Fri night.

(His father and grandfather Skull & Bones. A billionare in todays monies. Worked all night to get out "lone nut" tale. When do billionaires do low level work all night ??) (GAAL.in red)

That's two Skull & Bones and a Scroll & Key.

Big day for Yale...

****Freeport Sul­phur Jock Whitney's prime investment

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<snip>

The New York Herald Tribune. Trib owner Uber-blueblood Jock Whitney wrote a stop the presses editorial Fri night.

(His father and grandfather Skull & Bones. A billionare in todays monies. Worked all night to get out "lone nut" tale. When do billionaires do low level work all night ??) (GAAL.in red)

<snip>

Again, it seems that there is a presumption at work here -- that whoever pushed the idea of the "Lone Shooter" was somehow part of the JFK-Kill-Team

Nobody here has yet offered a response to my challenge -- that the JFK-Kill-Team portrayed Lee Harvey Oswald as a COMMUNIST, while the JFK Cover-up Team portrayed Lee Harvey Oswald as a "Lone Shooter" (aka. "Lone Assassin" aka "Lone Nut").

These two groups were opposing each other.

I now consider it of utmost importance to try to name the FIRST person to articulate the "Lone Nut" theory.

Historian David R. Wrone thinks that it was J. Edgar Hoover, at 4pm EST on 11/22/1963. Anybody else have other theories?

We should also bear in mind that the JFK-Kill-Team kept promoting the COMMUNIST CONSPIRACY explanation of the JFK murder throughout 1964. This included David Morales, Frank Sturgis, John Martino and Ex-General Edwin Walker.

Sincerely,

--Paul Trejo

<edit typos>

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I now consider it of utmost importance to try to name the FIRST person to articulate the "Lone Nut" theory.

Historian David R. Wrone thinks that it was J. Edgar Hoover, at 4pm EST on 11/22/1963. Anybody else have other theories?
TREJO

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(Actually, the unloading of JFK's casket at Andrews Air Force Base was around 6pm -- five and half hours after JFK murder. That would have been plenty of time for Bundy to pick up this theory from LOTS of people. Especially if the FBI was spreading the theory -- which is guaranteed if J. Edgar Hoover really was the origin of the theory.) //Trejo

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'Robert Morrow', on 07 Dec 2012 - 12:19 PM, said:

Ron Ecker: It's from the book The President Has Been Shot. Charles Roberts of Newsweek was on AF1 as it returned to Washington with the president's body. He wrote this about the arrival at Andrews and the unloading of the casket (p. 141):

"I remember looking at (McGeorge) Bundy because I was wondering if he had any word of what had happened in the world while we were in transit, whether this assassination was part of a plot. And he told me later that what he reported to the president during that flight back was that the whole world was stunned, but there was no evidence of a conspiracy at all." Kennedy Sought Dialogue With Cuba. The National Security Archive site includes documents, discussion, and a Kennedy-Bundy meeting audiotape on the subject of the secret talks on accomodation with Cuba.

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PART 3 +++

V. THE KENNEDY-CIA DIVERGENCE OVER CUBA

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“It is inconceivable that a secret intelligence arm of the government has to comply with all the overt orders of the government”

-- James Angleton[1]

Two recent books on the tribulations of the Kennedy presidency have attributed the brothers’ aggressiveness towards Cuba in 1963 to (in the words of Alexander Haig, a junior observer) “the impatient prodding of Robert Kennedy.”[2] Both books argue further (though in different ways) that Bobby’s dabbling in these murderous operations “somehow contributed to his brother’s murder.”[3]

I shall suggest in this chapter that in 1963, after the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Kennedys’ Cuban operations were carefully thought out, and not just attributable as Mahoney suggests to Bobby’s “violent antipathy to Castro.”[4] On the contrary, we shall see that their timing corroborates what JFK himself spoke of in 1963, the targeting of Cuba as part of an elaborate tit-for-tat chess game with the Soviet Union, to retaliate against what were perceived to be Soviet aggressions elsewhere:

As he had explained to the National Security Council on January 22, 1963…”…We can use Cuba to limit Soviet actions in the way the Russians use Berlin to limit our actions.” Now, on April 19, faced with Communist moves in Southeast Asia, the President remarked at least twice that he wanted to link the continued Soviet presence in Cuba with Communist activities in Laos. The Soviets, he commented, were “continuing the type of harassment effort that we had stopped by the Cuban exiles,” and they were not moving out of Cuba as we wished.”[5]

It does not appear that the Kennedys shared this higher rationale for their Cuban tactics with either the CIA or the Joint Chiefs. Both the CIA and the Pentagon had been at odds with the White House following the Kennedys’ failure to bail out the disastrous Bay of Pigs fiasco. In addition the Joint Chiefs of Staff had been excluded from Ex Comm meetings after their recommendations of an invasion to remove Castro from power.[6] It is clear that the Kennedys’ tight control over Cuban ops, for purposes which were either not understood or not shared by subordinates, contributed to further tensions within an already divided administration. Above all, as CIA officer Walter Elder told Seymour Hersh, “There was an intense dislike in CIA for Bobby.”[7]

In all the discussions about the John F. Kennedy assassination, there have been major disagreements about the full range of Kennedy's policies in 1963 towards Cuba. It is clear however that he was simultaneously pursuing more than one "track" in 1963, and that in one of these tracks -- the exploration of a possible accommodation with Castro through direct contacts -- the President pointedly excluded the CIA.

The carrot of accommodation was not the only track. We shall see that by June the Kennedys were also applying the stick of sabotage operations (in conjunction with the CIA). But there were powerful reasons prompting the Kennedys towards accommodation and even direct contacts with Castro representatives, reasons pointing beyond Cuba to the President's larger hopes for accommodation and improved relations with the Soviet Union.

In 1963 both strategies of accommodation, with Cuba and with the Soviet Union, developed increasingly hostile opposition, in the country, in Congress, and even within the Administration. Particularly within the CIA, those elements still smarting from the Bay of Pigs defeat went beyond their policy directives to frustrate the accommodation track.

I shall argue that senior officials within the CIA, notably Richard Helms and Desmond FitzGerald, knew of the Kennedy brothers' secret moves to initiate direct communications with Castro, disapproved of them, and took steps to poison them. Their most flagrant action was to initiate a new series of secret meetings with a known assassin and suspected double agent, Rolando Cubela Secades (code-named AMLASH), at which a major topic of discussion was the assassination of Fidel Castro. Helms, without consulting the Attorney General, authorized a contact plan whereby in October 1963 (and possibly again on November 22) FitzGerald met with Cubela, and promised him material assistance in assassinating Castro, while posing (falsely) as a "personal representative of Robert F. Kennedy."[8]

This meeting seems to have been designed to poison the informal Kennedy-Castro contacts already under way. For there was already anxiety within the Agency that Cubela, who had refused to be polygraphed in 1962, was reporting the substance of these contacts to Castro. We shall see that FitzGerald's own Counterintelligence Chief, Harold Swenson (“Joseph Langosch”), recommended with another CIA officer that FitzGerald not meet with Cubela.[9]

There were good reasons for their advice. On September 7, 1963, within hours of the first new CIA meeting with Cubela in Brazil, Castro had turned up at the Brazilian Embassy in Havana, and warned "U.S. leaders" that "if they are aiding U.S. terrorist plans to eliminate Cuban leaders, they themselves will not be safe."[10] At the time, and thereafter, "nervous CIA men wondered whether Castro had chosen the Brazilian Embassy to make his threat in order to signal his knowledge of the Sao Paolo meeting."[11]

It cannot be conclusively proven that these secret assassination rendez-vous with Cubela from September to November 1963 were designed to frustrate the President's accommodation track. (One clear factor here is that once again there has been much lying in high places; we can name some of those who have engaged in possibly felonious cover-up.) But even to entertain this hypothesis of a perverse design is to raise a serious question about the recurring stories we shall consider in Chapter VIII, that Oswald either offered information about a CIA plot to kill Castro, or alternatively offered, within the Cuban Consulate, to kill Kennedy (a move allegedly interpreted by the Cubans as a crude but official CIA provocation). Either of these two initiatives, while too clumsy and indeed bizarre to gain Cuban interest and "assistance," could nonetheless have had the immediate effect of further poisoning any trust that was beginning to develop, outside the CIA, between representatives of Castro and the President.

It is not gratuitous to link Oswald's provocative talk of assassination with FitzGerald's. For as we shall see, Oswald in Mexico was being watched and reported on by Ann Goodpasture, a member of the same small conspiratorial FI/D Staff (or Staff D), which at the same time was engaged on the tightly held secret task of preparing exotic poison devices for delivery to Cubela, possibly by FitzGerald himself, on November 22, 1963.[12]

Cuban Exile Attacks Against Soviet and Cuban Targets

On March 30, 1963, the U.S. State and Justice Departments (the latter of course headed by Robert Kennedy) jointly announced that they would take "every step necessary" to ensure that raids by Cuban exiles against Cuba were "not launched, manned, or equipped from U.S. territory." Surveillance of the exiles and their bases was immediately intensified.[13] This was one day after CIA Director McCone had recommended that the U.S. not prevent the raiders from using the U.S. as a base.[14]

The primary concern behind this policy shift was not Cuba but the Soviet Union. In March the Cuban exile group Alpha 66, and its spin-off, Comandos L, had been targeting Soviet ships in Cuban waters, hoping to wreck the U.S.-Soviet agreement over Cuba that had been reached after the Cuban Missile Crisis. (The terms of that agreement had not been fully disclosed, but were generally understood to include a U.S. promise not to invade Cuba if the Soviet Union proceeded to withdraw its missiles and most of its troops.)[15] On March 18 Alpha attacked the Russian freighter Lvov at Isabela de Sagua in Cuba; nine days later Comandos L blew up the Soviet freighter Baku in Caibarién, ruining 10,000 bags of sugar.[16]

Not everyone accepted the decision to end the US-based raids.

Captain Bradley Earl Ayers, a paratrooper assigned to CIA, recalled General Victor Krulak, the JCS counterinsurgency specialist, telling him in the spring of 1963 that the operations attributed to exile groups were mostly “planned and conducted under the supervision of the CIA…from bases in southern Florida.”…Despite the death of [anti-Castro Opertion] Mongoose and the lack of Special Group authorization, CIA/Miami evidently continued, under exile cover, to wage its private war against Castro.[17]

These anti-Soviet raids also had the blessing and financial backing of Henry Luce and his Time-Life empire, which allegedly “spent close to a quarter of a million dollars during 1963-1964 on the renegade Cuban exile commandos.”[18] Life magazine dispatched a correspondent, Andrew St. George, to take part in the March 27 attack on the Soviet freighter Baku.[19] (Such arrangements usually meant that Life helped underwrite the costs of the raid.)

Some authors allege that the Soviet-targeted raids were masterminded by a CIA officer, possibly David Phillips, operating under the pseudonym "Maurice Bishop."[20] If so, CIA Director McCone dissembled at the March 29 Ex Comm meeting, claiming only that the plans of these groups “are discussed openly” in the exile Cuban colony, whence they “are picked up by CIA.”[21]

Recently the claim of CIA non-involvement has been told in a different way by former CIA officers in the Special Affairs Staff responsible for anti-Castro activities. Samuel Halpern, Executive Assistant to SAS Chief Desmond FitzGerald, claimed to Seymour Hersh that the raiders “were getting different orders from Bobby. We [in CIA] never knew what was going on.”[22]

Halpern has been one of the most vociferous anti-Kennedy voices among CIA veterans, and some statements of his to Gus Russo can only be called disinformation:

Everyone at CIA was surprised at Kennedy’s obsession with Fidel….We all knew he [Fidel] couldn’t hurt us. Most of us at CIA initially liked Kennedy, but why go after this little guy? One thing is for sure: Kennedy wasn’t doing it out of national security concerns. It was a personal thing.[23]

Russo fails to point out it was the CIA, not Kennedy, who dreamed up the Bay of Pigs. In fact it is clear from the Foreign Relations of the United States that if anyone in the government had an obsession about getting rid of Castro in 1963, it was CIA Director McCone.[24] (This is not to mention the attitudes of military men like Air Force Chief Curtis LeMay, who considered the compromise resolution of the Missile Crisis “the greatest defeat in our history.”)[25]

Hersh develops Halpern’s theme in a close reading of the March 29 record that is outrageous. He writes that “There was an immediate consensus among the Ex Comm members…that the United States should do all it could to stop the exile raids.” But they were “out of the loop,” unlike the “Kennedy brothers, who knew better than anyone else that the exiles in question had likely been `shooting at the Russians.’”[26]

In fact the record shows very clearly that McCone argued against terminating the raids, both orally and in a written memorandum. He “said the continuance of the raids would cause trouble inside Cuba and would discredit Castro in Latin America.” His written memo added his “personal view that a concerted and publicized effort to `stand down’ these operations would probably draw more public and press criticism” than would result from tolerating them. The record is unambiguous that the clearest support for “a complete stand down” came from “the AG” – Bobby Kennedy.[27]

Not mentioned at all by Hersh is that the stand down was (as noted above) publicly announced by State and Justice the next day, and immediately put into effect. Instead Hersh jumps to June 1963, when “Jack Kennedy, fully aware of all the negatives involved [i.e., expressed at the March 29 meeting], formally approved the CIA’s covert support for the ad hoc raids.”[28] But this is a confusion of two different stories: the raids against Soviet targets in March, which were launched from the US and promptly terminated, and the raids authorized in June, which were to be launched from outside the United States and specified Cuban targets only.

The latter story can be traced through various stages of development in the State Department official history. The dates are important, because at every stage the President was clearly thinking about Cuba in the context of the Soviet Union.

1) Memo from Sterling Cottrell, Coordinator of Cuban Affairs, for Ex Comm meeting of January 25, 1963: Actions recommend “support for Cuban exiles who are seeking to return the 26 of July Movement to its original aims.”[29]

This was three days after the President, on January 22, “had designated Cuba as the Soviets’ vulnerable spot: `The President pointed out that we must always be in a position to threaten Cuba as a possible riposte to Russian pressure….’”[30]

2) Memo from Cottrell for April 18 meeting of the Special Group: “Proposed New Covert Policy” asking whether the US should move beyond the above policy “to a program of sabotage, harassment and resistance activities.”[31]According to HSCA testimony, Bobby Kennedy at this meeting “pushed hard for more sabotage and harassment, plus support of exile groups.’”[32]

The context here was Laos. At an NSC meeting on Laos April 20, “The President stated his belief that it was necessary to raise the pressure somewhat in Cuba. He felt that we could hardly carry out a mild policy in Cuba at a time when the Communists are carrying out an aggressive policy in Laos.”[33] When the conversation turned briefly to Cuba, “The President commented that with the prisoners out of Cuba, we might be in a position to act against Cuba if Khrushchev made no move to halt the deterioration in Laos. He asked what action we could take against Cuba.”[34]

3) On June 19 [the meeting to which Hersh refers] the President approved an integrated program, including sabotage, harassment, and support for autonomous anti-Castro Cuban groups, that had been approved the previous day by the Standing Group of the NSC.[35] According to the memo, the President “showed a particular interest in proposed external sabotage operations,” and “asked how soon we could get into action with the external sabotage program.”[36]

June 19 was again a date on which the President was being asked to consider how to deal with a deteriorating situation in Indochina, particularly in Laos. On this same day he discussed a major State-Defense paper which among other options contemplated a possible move “to air action against North Vietnam and the mining of North Vietnamese ports.”[37] Once again the unattractiveness of a major escalation in Asia designated Cuba as a more vulnerable spot for retaliation.

The record shows that some in the Kennedy entourage saw the Indochina-Cuba equation as an opportunity for peaceful as well as hostile initiatives:

The President’s Office Files at the Kennedy Library include a memorandum written in the late summer or early fall of 1963 that raises another interesting possibility. Entitles “Observations on Vietnam and Cuba,” it suggested that the USSR and United States were bogged down, respectively, in unprofitable Cuban and Vietnamese predicaments from which they would probably like to escape. It suggested enlisting de Gaulle’s help to combine Soviet withdrawal from Cuba with American withdrawal from Vietnam, while working for the neutralization of Vietnam under French auspices. The memo, however, is unsigned and undated, and nothing is known about the reaction it provoked.[38]

I have suggested elsewhere that this explains why Kennedy in 1963, a year in which the Vietnam War was reported to be going well militarily, surprisingly almost doubled the number of US troops in Vietnam, to almost 17,000.[39] McCone had repeatedly warned both the President and Congress about the threat of 17,000 Soviet troops in Cuba.[40]

The "Separate Track" of Accommodation and Direct Contacts with Castro

In truth 1963 was a year of hopeful developments for peaceful coexistence, primarily with the Soviet Union, but also (a necessarily related topic) with Cuba. This favored Kennedy's Cuba policy of what McGeorge Bundy called the "separate track" of accommodation with Castro, as documented by the Assassination Report of the Church Committee:

As early as January 4, 1963, Bundy proposed to President Kennedy that the possibility of communicating with Castro be explored. (Memorandum, Bundy to the President, 1/4/63). Bundy's memorandum on "Cuba Alternatives" of April 23 [sic, i.e. April 21], 1963, also listed the "gradual development of some form of accommodation with Castro" among policy alternatives. (Bundy memorandum, 4/21/63) At a meeting on June 3, 1963, the Special Group agreed it would be a "useful endeavour" to explore "various possibilities of establishing channels of communication to Castro." (Memorandum of Special Group meeting, 6/6/63)[41]

The date of the April memo, April 21, is an interesting one. That very morning the New York Times had reported Castro's charge that the U.S. had abandoned a plan for a second invasion of Cuba in favor of a plot to assassinate Cuban leaders. The charge, as reported, may have been in error. Bundy's memo actually called for the National Security Council's Standing Group (successor to the Ex Com of the Cuban Missile crisis) to assess the consequences to the U.S. of Castro's dying independently. As might have been expected, in May the Group agreed with the CIA's Board of National Estimates that the consequences would probably be unfavorable. Castro's probable successors, Raul Castro and Che Guevara, were long-time overt Marxist-Leninists, deemed to be even more anti-U.S. than Fidel.[42]

Soon after the Bundy memo and NSC Group meeting of April 23, Averell Harriman made a quick trip to Khrushchev in Moscow as the President's personal emissary. Harriman's view was that Khrushchev and his bureaucracy were divided over the issue of a hard line or accommodation towards America, much as Kennedy and the CIA were rumored to be.[43] Harriman had three major agenda items to discuss which threatened to block an improvement in U.S.-Soviet relations: violations of the 1962 Laotian Accords, the problem of Cuba, and continued atomic testing.[44]

On April 3 and April 11 Khrushchev and Kennedy had exchanged secret letters that in part concerned Cuba.[45] At the same time a highly-publicized meeting of eight Presidium members without Khrushchev prompted rumors that Khrushchev would soon be ousted. Then on April 11 the leading hard-liner, Frol Kozlov, suffered a near-fatal seizure; and disappeared forever from Soviet politics. Khrushchev met the next day with Norman Cousins, editor of the Saturday Review, and passed the informal message that he was ready for a "fresh start" with Kennedy.[46] Kennedy received Cousins at the White House on April 22, and Harriman left for Moscow soon after to meet Khrushchev. Fidel Castro also left on April 26 for the Soviet Union at Khrushchev's invitation.

On April 21 and again on April 24, shortly before he left, Castro told Lisa Howard of ABC that the "U.S. limitations on exile raids" were "a proper step toward accommodation."[47] On her return to the United States, Lisa Howard told CIA officials that Castro

was "looking for a way to reach a rapprochement," probably for economic reasons. She thought Guevara and Raul Castro would oppose an accommodation, but both [René] Vallejo [Castro's doctor] and [Raul] Roa [the Foreign Minister] favored negotiations. Castro gave her the impression that he was ready to talk with "proper progressive spokesmen," though Kennedy would probably have to make the first move.[48]

An edited version of Howard's report appeared on ABC on May 10.

The simultaneous convergence on Moscow of Harriman and Castro was thus preceded by signals that progress in accommodation between them could be brokered by Khrushchev (who had every motive vis-a-vis his own hard-liners to be successful in this respect). But what looked hopeful to some evoked paranoia in others. Soon the right-wing journalists Robert Allen and Paul Scott, who wrote from sources in military intelligence, wrote a column under the provocative title, "Did Harriman Meet Castro in Russia?" They reported that the Senate Preparedness Subcommittee, chaired by the pro-military Senator John Stennis, was investigating the allegation that the two men had met "around April 28, in either Moscow or Murmansk" (where both were visiting). Castro allegedly was seeking diplomatic recognition in exchange for a reduction in Soviet troop levels. The article was placed in the Congressional Record by Bruce Alger, a right-wing Congressman from Dallas.[49]

Though inadequate to demonstrate that such a face-to-face meeting occurred, the article (together with the reprinting of it in the Congressional Record) is an important symptom of the political opposition developing in Washington to the process of accommodation.

The Track of Overthrow From Within

In fact, though not all of the Kennedys' opponents knew it, the accommodation track was not the only one being explored by the Kennedy brothers. On March 14, Robert had sent his brother a memo urging a combined program to stop Cuban subversion abroad and to appeal within Cuba to elements of the Cuban military:

John McCone spoke at the meeting today about revolt amongst the Cuban military. He described the possibilities in rather optimistic terms....Do we have evidence of any break amongst the top Cuban leaders and if so, is the CIA or USIA attempting to cultivate that feeling? I would not like it said a year from now that we could have had this internal breakup in Cuba but we just did not set the stage for it.[50]

The Bundy memo of April 21 envisaged a total of three possible options: a) forcing "a non-Communist solution in Cuba by all necessary means," B) insisting on "major but limited ends," c) moving "in the direction of a gradual development of some form of accommodation with Castro."[51]

There are abundant indications in the newly released CIA documents that the CIA, along with other agencies, became part of a new U.S. strategy aimed at promoting revolt from within Cuba, particularly among the Cuban military. This inter-agency plan was called AMTRUNK inside the CIA, and "Operation Leonardo" by its original authors, George Volsky of USIA, the Cuban exile Nestor Moreno, and Tad Szulc of the New York Times. Szulc, who had excellent connections inside the Kennedy White House, presented the plan in early 1963 to Robert Hurwitch, the State Department Cuban Coordinator, when the State Department and the White House pressured the CIA "to consider a proposal for an on-island operation to split the Castro regime."[52] Among the CIA representatives at the meeting was Dave Morales, the chief of covert operations in JMWAVE, the CIA’s Miami station.[53]

The CIA's own documents make it abundantly clear how distasteful this White House-backed plan was to them. Old disagreements from the Bay of Pigs operation were revived: the White House wished to use participants in the original Castro revolution, notably men close to Manolo Ray and Huber Matos; and such men were anathema to the more right-wing Cubans who had defected earlier and been championed by the CIA. By 1963 Ray and Nestor Moreno, both close to Szulc, had formed the anti-CIA and anti-Castro group JURE, which not only rejected CIA influence but was suspected by CIA of trying to penetrate its JMWAVE operations. The links of Moreno and Volsky to JURE became key arguments in the CIA's case for disliking AMTRUNK.[54]

By April 5, 1963, JMWAVE Station Chief Theodore Shackley was ready to recommend that the whole AMTRUNK operation "be terminated at the earliest possible moment:"

The AMTRUNKers admit to being anti-KUBARK [CIA] and to be working "with" KUBARK now only because there was no alternative if they were to accomplish their mission....[Redacted, a key AMTRUNK member] believes he is receiving special attention because of his [Washington] connections, and he will not hesitate to go behind KUBARK's back to AMTRUNK-1 [Volsky]...or higher authority, if the operation or KUBARK handling of AMTRUNK does not progress to his liking.[55]

This recommendation to terminate was supported at Headquarters, whose return cable to JMWAVE on April 10 "concurred that the AMTRUNK operation should be terminated for a number of reasons, including the fact that CIA could not at that time be certain that hostile elements [these, in CIA's view, included Volsky and Szulc] were unaware of the plan."[56]

Nevertheless, after the decision recorded in the April 21 Bundy memo, the CIA continued to support the AMTRUNK operation until March 1964.[57] In the Johnson era, however, the purpose of AMTRUNK appears to have changed completely. Instead of infiltrating agents to woo Cuban military leaders, AMTRUNK operations in early 1964 had become the depositing inside Cuba of Belgian FAL rifles for the assassination of Castro.[58] Along with this change in AMTRUNK's purpose, the CIA JMWAVE Station terminated the involvement of Nestor Moreno, the plan's original author, "in the sensitive aspects of AMTRUNK in November 1963."[59] AMTRUNK in other words was by this time subordinated to the Rolando Cubela/AMLASH operation, which had become similarly diverted from politics to assassination (see Chapter VI).

The CIA's continued support of AMTRUNK appears to have been unwilling; and Headquarters soon implemented Shackley's alternative recommendation of giving AMTRUNKers cash to mount their own independent operations.[60] As noted above, on June 18 the Standing Group approved a sabotage program of raids by exiles, "to nourish a spirit of resistance and disaffection which could lead to significant defections and other byproducts of unrest."[61] It was hoped that the pressures on the economy would contribute to "internal discontent that would take appropriate political and military forms."[62] This "track two" concept of "autonomous operations," as distinguished to the "track one" of CIA's support of Artime, was proposed by Walt Rostow of the State Department (a political ally of Lyndon Johnson). One principal beneficiary proved to be JURE, the group which CIA suspected of being behind AMTRUNK.[63] Because "track two" supplied resources to JURE for military operations, it had the effect of de-emphasizing the political objectives of the original Plan Leonardo.

Both the plans for an internal military-based coup and the supporting infiltration and sabotage missions were hereafter known to the CIA as AMTRUNK. The renewed CIA sabotage operations became operational in August 1963. As part of this program, a new exile group, with U.S. Army training and advisers, launched raids on August 18 and October 21 as "Comandos Mambises," from the CIA ship "Rex," a former subchaser.[64]

Rolando Cubela, himself an Army Major, was by CIA accounts approached in 1963 because of his contacts in the Cuban military. His case officers were also part of an operation (which can only be AMTRUNK)

to penetrate the Cuban military to encourage either defections or an attempt to produce information from dissidents, or perhaps even to forming a group which would be capable of replacing the then government in Cuba.[65]

As mentioned above, in 1964 AMTRUNK teams were used by the CIA to supply assassination rifles with long-distance scopes to Cubela (AMLASH).[66]

The CIA's redirection of AMTRUNK exemplified their long-term disagreement with the Kennedy White House over policy objectives. Arthur Schlesinger has argued that, since 1961:

The CIA wished to organize Castro's overthrow from outside Cuba, as against the White House, the Attorney General's office and State who wished to support an anti-Castro movement inside Cuba. The CIA's idea was to fight a war; the others hoped to promote a revolution. Any successful anti-Castro movement inside Cuba would have to draw on disenchanted Castroites and aim to rescue the revolution from the Communists. This approach, stigmatized as Fidelismo sin Fidel, was opposed by businessmen, both Cuban and American, who dreamed of the restoration of nationalized properties. But the CIA alternative was probably dictated less by business interests than by the agency's preference for operations it could completely control -- especially strong in this case because of the Cuban reputation for total inability to keep anything secret.[67]

To this preference for control can be added another one. The CIA, despite its fiasco at the Bay of Pigs, was still hoping to reassert itself as the preferred agency for paramilitary operations, which had accounted for the biggest item in its annual budget. In this respect AMTRUNK, an inter-agency operation, may have been distasteful to it, because by all accounts the key co-ordinating role was given, not to the CIA, but to the Department of the Army under Cyrus Vance and his aides Joseph Califano and Alexander Haig.[68]

Given the normal CIA penchant for secrecy, it is the more remarkable that the CIA, at the Brazil meeting in September, took the suspected blabbermouth Cubela into its AMTRUNK planning. According to the CIA's IG Report of 1967,

Cubela discussed a group of Cuban military officers known to him, and possible ways of approaching them. The problem was, he explained, that although many of them were anti-Communist, they were either loyal to Fidel or so afraid of him that they were reluctant to discuss any conspiracies for fear they might be provocations. Cubela said that he thought highly of [redacted, apparently Major Ramon Guin Diaz] (AMTRUNK-[short redaction]) who was hiding [redacted, identified by the Cubans as the infiltrated CIA agent "Miguel Diaz"]. ["Diaz"] had been sent to Cuba to recruit [Guin] in place, and had done so. Cubela said he planned to use [Guin] but was concerned about [Guin's] "nervous condition" and the fact that he drank heavily. Cubela was told to assist [Guin] in [Guin's] intelligence assignments, but not to help [Guin] leave Cuba -- as Cubela proposed.[69]

According to a later memo from Helms to Rusk, Ramon Guin "was recruited by a CIA agent in August 1963 inside Cuba as a Principal Agent to recruit high-level military leaders."[70] By all accounts the October 29 meeting of FitzGerald with Cubela continued to focus on what Richard Helms, the senior CIA official cognizant of the AMLASH meetings, later called in testimony "the political action part of it...have a group to replace Castro."[71]

Excluding the CIA: The Secret Attwood Initiative

Robert Kennedy's penchant for pro-active operations, even if rationalized as a "stick" to encourage Castro to behave reasonably, was clearly unhelpful to unblocking the accommodation track. Sabotage missions in particular had been denounced in September, not only by Castro, but also the Soviet Union.[72]

Nevertheless the accommodations track, even if interrupted from time to time, seems never to have died under Kennedy. On June 3 the Special Group agreed that it would be a "useful endeavor" to explore "various possibilities of establishing channels of communication to Castro."[73]

Shortly afterwards a public suggestion by Castro that Cuba might consider normalization of relations was rebuffed by John Kennedy at a press conference. The President attacked Cuba as a Soviet satellite. It is possible however that another cause for concern was the fear of some experts, apparently unfounded at this time, that Castro might be tilting towards Beijing in the increasingly evident Sino-Soviet split.[74]

Despite this public rebuff, in September the President approved secret contacts at the UN in New York between a Special Advisor to the U.S. Delegation, William Attwood, and the Cuban Ambassador to the U.N., Carlos Lechuga. On September 5 Lisa Howard told Attwood she was convinced that Castro wanted to restore communications with the United States, and she offered to arrange a social gathering in her apartment so that Attwood could meet informally with Lechuga. (It is not clear if Howard was simply reacting to her Castro interview, or whether the Cubans had proposed talks on September 5, as suggested by the Schweiker-Hart Report.)[75] (Note that September 5 was two days before the CIA resumed contact with Cubela in Brazil; Attwood comments laconically that "the CIA must have had an inkling of what was happening from phone taps and surveillance of Lechuga.")[76]

A week later Attwood went to Washington and saw Harriman, a man with whom he had traveled to India in 1959. Harriman was interested in the proposed approach to Lechuga; and he requested a memo which Attwood submitted to him on September 19. Attwood's memo transmitted information from Guinea's U.N. Ambassador that Castro was unhappy about his dependence on the Soviet Union "and would go to some length to obtain normalization of relations" with the U.S. It proposed a discreet inquiry to achieve three objectives: "a. The evacuation of all Soviet bloc military personnel. b. An end to subversive activities by Cuba in Latin America. c. Adoption by Cuba of a policy of non-alignment."[77] The President gave his approval via Ambassador Adlai Stevenson at the U.N., but it was understood that Attwood would report directly to McGeorge Bundy in the White House. The CIA and the State Department were to be excluded. (Stevenson's response to Attwood's memo was that "Unfortunately the CIA is still in charge of Cuba.")[78]

In addition to knowing Harriman, Attwood had interviewed Castro in 1959 as an editor of Look magazine.[79] On becoming Kennedy's Ambassador to Guinea, he was exposed to the neutralist initiatives of Guinea's President Sekou Touré and Ghana's President Kwame Nkrumah, both of whom were on good terms with Castro. Attwood monitored Cuba as an Advisor to the U.S. Delegation at the 1962 Session of the UN General Assembly.[80] It was the Ghanaian Ambassador to the UN who in March of 1963 had obtained a Cuban visa for Lisa Howard; and it was the Guinean Ambassador to Cuba who in September told Attwood that Castro, dissatisfied with his Soviet relationship, was looking for a way to escape.[81]

The first meeting between Attwood and Lechuga took place on September 23, 1963, at a cocktail party hosted for this very purpose by Lisa Howard.[82] (Note that this meeting occurred just four days before Oswald, in Mexico City, is supposed to have made contact with Silvia Durán, whom the CIA had reported in early 1963 to be Carlos Lechuga's mistress.)[83] The meeting was productive, and produced a series of informal contacts broken only by Kennedy's death on November 22.

Attwood saw Robert Kennedy the day after his rendezvous with Lechuga. Robert told Attwood that a Havana visit would be too risky. It was bound to leak....But the general idea was worth pursuing. He told Attwood to stay in touch with Bundy and his staff man on Cuban affairs, Gordon Chase. The Attorney General consulted his brother, who declared himself willing to normalize relations if Castro ended the Soviet bloc military presence on his island, broke ties with the Cuban Communists, and stopped the subversion of Latin America.[84]

Robert Kennedy proposed that direct U.S. contacts with a special Castro emissary, as proposed by Attwood, should take place at a neutral site in Mexico, with Lisa Howard serving as a go-between.[85] We do not yet know if Thomas Mann, the U.S. Ambassador in Mexico, or Win Scott, the CIA Station Chief, were in any way consulted about, or alerted to, the projected meeting.

UN Ambassador Adlai Stevenson contributed to Attwood's initiative with a speech suggesting "that if Castro wanted peace with his neighbors, he could have it if he stopped trying to subvert other nations, stopped taking orders from Moscow and started carrying out the original democratic pledges of his revolution.”[86]

Framing the Kennedys: The Conflict Between the AMLASH and Attwood Initiatives

On October 24, at Attwood's urging, the President saw the French journalist Jean Daniel, who was about to interview Castro in Havana. (Note that this is just five days before the meeting with AMLASH in which FitzGerald presented himself, falsely, as a representative of Robert Kennedy.)

The President is not known to have mentioned the problem of the Cuban Communists to Daniel, but complained that Castro had "agreed to be a Soviet agent in Latin America." "`The continuation of the blockade,' Kennedy said, `depends on the continuation of subversive activities.' Then: `Come and see me on your return from Cuba. Castro's reactions interest me.'"[87] Daniel went on to wait three frustrating weeks in Havana before seeing Castro.

On October 11, and again six days later, Cubela in Europe had asked to meet a high-level U.S. government official, "preferably Robert F. Kennedy," for "assurances that the U.S. Government would support him if his enterprise were successful."[88] On October 29, five days after the President's meeting with Daniel, Desmond FitzGerald met with Cubela in Paris, using the AMLASH case officer Nestor Sanchez as an interpreter.[89] According to the CIA's I.G. Report, the contact plan for the meeting, a copy of which was in the AMLASH file, had this to say on its cover: "Fitzgerald will present self as personal representative of Robert F. Kennedy who traveled Paris for specific purpose meeting Cubela and giving him assurances of full U.S. support if there is change of the present government in Cuba." FitzGerald claimed he discussed the planned meeting with the DD/P (Helms) who decided it was not necessary to seek approval from Robert Kennedy for FitzGerald to speak in his name.[90] Helms, for whom the I.G. Report was prepared, later confirmed that he had not consulted the Attorney General.[91]

Sanchez' report of the meeting does not mention assassination. It says that FitzGerald told Cubela U.S. support "will be forthcoming only after a real coup has been effected and the group involved is in a position to request U.S....recognition and support."[92] Nevertheless both FitzGerald and Cubela agree that assassination was discussed. FitzGerald recalled that Cubela wanted "a high-powered rifle with telescopic sights."[93] Cubela, conversely, told his interviewer Tony Summers that "it was the CIA who brought up the idea of assassination in the first place -- and he who resisted."[94]

Even if assassination was not the purpose, this meeting between a high-level CIA official and Cubela, a well-known assassin, was extraordinary, perhaps unprecedented.[95] Normally the CIA uses covers and (when assassins are involved) intermediaries or cut-outs. In the well-studied case of the Giancana- Roselli-CIA plots against Castro, the CIA even used one cut-out (Maheu) to contact another (Giancana). Cubela's inability to keep a secret had become known to the CIA a year earlier; and two CIA officials (Shackley and Swenson alias Langosch) later testified that they had warned FitzGerald against this meeting.[96] Their fears were well-grounded. Earlier that same month the FBI had learned of the renewed CIA-Cubela contact (in a report that was not transmitted to the CIA).[97]

There is perhaps one other case where the CIA in 1963 prepared to abandon its normal guidelines of plausible deniability, and it too raises questions of the CIA's loyalty to the Kennedys. In 1962 Robert Kennedy's representative James Donovan, a New York attorney, along with John Nolan of Kennedy's staff, had negotiated the release of the Bay of Pigs prisoners. In April 1963 Donovan and Nolan returned to Cuba, to conclude their negotiations with Castro personally. Their mission concerned a few prisoners, including some CIA men, who remained to be released. But the occasion led predictably to the possibility of normalizing the relations between the two countries. Arthur Schlesinger links the success of the Donovan-Nolan mission to the important interview given by Castro to Lisa Howard in late April.[98]

Desmond FitzGerald of the SAS staff does not appear to have looked favorably towards this step on the accommodation track. In early 1963 the staff arranged for the CIA's Technical Services Division to purchase a wet suit, and contaminate it with tuberculosis bacilli and the spores for a disabling skin disease. The plan was for Donovan (who was not informed of the plot) to give the suit to Castro, his companion in scuba diving.[99]

FitzGerald's assistant Samuel Halpern, an important witness to whom we shall return, later told the authors of the I.G. Report that the plan was abandoned as "impracticable" and "overtaken by events."[100] Significantly he did not apparently mention to them what critics called

the most elementary considerations -- for example that it [i.e. the suit] was in effect a gift from the United States, while the idea was to keep it secret; or, then again, Donovan's feelings about being the gift-giver in this plot. If he wasn't let in on the plot, after all, he might try on the suit himself.[101]

We can see the same CIA antipathy to the accommodation track in October 1963: Helms and FitzGerald offered FitzGerald as a personal representative of Robert Kennedy, at a time when Robert had authorized an accommodation initiative from which the CIA was being excluded. More crudely put, they chose unilaterally to represent him, precisely at a time when they could not know what he wanted, or was up to; a time when there was a distinction and potential divergence between CIA and Kennedy interests.

That the CIA was well aware of this distinction is unconsciously revealed in 1976 by Samuel Halpern. In testimony to the Schweiker-Hart Subcommittee, Halpern discounted the danger that the Fitzgerald-Cubela meeting "exposed the CIA to possible embarrassment, because Fitzgerald had not used his real name and, therefore, AMLASH would have been unable to identify Fitzgerald as a CIA officer."[102]

Only Robert Kennedy would be embarrassed, in other words. This indeed would seem to be the most rational intention of such an unprofessional and disloyal meeting. Both Kennedys were lending support to explorations which promised (or alternatively, threatened) to lead to an accommodation with Castro. Those initiatives could only be harmed by FitzGerald's discussion of assassinating Castro with a suspected leaker or double-agent, while pretending, falsely, to be a representative of Robert Kennedy.

The same Samuel Halpern has argued that the CIA, far from being disloyal to Robert Kennedy in this operation, had in fact gained his explicit approval informally. In the words of John Davis,

Since Kennedy and FitzGerald often met socially and at work, there was no need for formal authorization. The attorney general's approval could just as easily have been conveyed informally and be far less risky for all concerned. This opinion was confirmed by former CIA official, Samuel Halpern, who in 1963 had been executive assistant to the Task Force on Cuba and one of the four men directly involved in the AM/LASH operation. In an interview on November 18, 1983, Mr. Halpern told me that he was absolutely certain that "Des" FitzGerald "had full authorization from Attorney General Kennedy and President Kennedy to proceed with the AM/LASH plot against Castro," adding that he always felt that since they often met socially, Bobby Kennedy and "Des" FitzGerald conducted most of their business together at Washington cocktail parties and receptions, rather than in their respective offices.[103]

But Halpern and Davis seem to have missed the point. It is indeed clear that the CIA had authorization to proceed with the political initiative. But that it had authorization to involve Robert Kennedy's name and authority in an assassination plot, at a time when the Kennedys were attempting to open discussions with Castro, is virtually unimaginable. Both FitzGerald and Helms later denied that the AMLASH operation contemplated assassination.[104] In this case Kennedy's authorization for AMLASH would have been limited to what they described it as, an attempt to find a group to replace Castro.

From this point on the AMLASH initiative had the looks of an anti-Kennedy provocation. This was Attwood's retrospective evaluation of the FitzGerald/AMLASH meetings: "One thing was clear: Stevenson was right when he told me back in September that `the CIA is in charge of Cuba'; or anyway, acted as if it thought it was, and to hell with the president it was pledged to serve."[105]

What is even more significant is that under FitzGerald a Kennedy-sanctioned political operation had become, by October 29 at the latest, an operation discussing a rifle with a telescopic sight. The importance of this deviation is underlined by a curious affidavit which in effect denies it. The affidavit submitted by a CIA officer, “Kent L. Pollock” (CIA pseudonym), the Executive Officer for FitzGerald at SAS. It was transmitted to the HSCA by CIA Officer S.D. Breckinridge, in support of his claim that “The overwhelming evidence is that the relationship with AMLASH did not include any agreement to undertake an assassination during the life of President Kennedy.”[106]

In the affidavit, “Pollock” testified under oath that, “To the best of my knowledge, Mr. FitzGerald considered the AMLASH operation to be a political action activity with the objective of organizing a group within Cuba to overthrow Castro.” “Pollock,” who almost certainly is Halpern,[107] conceded that “The AMLASH operation could have been characterized as an assassination operation” when the lethal pen was offered to AMLASH on November 22, 1963, and rejected by him. But “Pollock” does not mention the meeting of October 29 (not authorized by RFK), when FitzGerald, Cubela, and Halpern have all agreed that assassination was discussed.[108] (In the I.G. Report, Sam Halpern confirmed FitzGerald’s recollection that at the October 29 meeting with Cubela, there was discussion of “a high-powered rifle with telescopic sights”.)[109] Thus, if “Pollock” is Halpern, his affidavit is highly misleading if not perjurious.

What was so sensitive about this meeting that “Pollock” would lie about it? I would suggest that it was part of a false trail linking real CIA plots to assassinate Castro (among which I would not include the hapless and unreliable Cubela) to the CIA-hated AMTRUNK operation authorized by the Kennedys. For this purpose Cubela’s associates were just right. He was close to Juan Orta, the key figure in the unsuccessful CIA-mafia plot to poison Castro in 1961; after which Orta and Cubela had briefly planned to leave Cuba together.[110] He also knew Santo Trafficante, who had put the CIA in touch with Orta; and had worked with Trafficante’s atttorney, Rafael Garcia-Bango Dirube, to secure Trafficante’s release from prison in Cuba.[111]

It is not known whether anyone in the CIA ever brought the possible AMLASH-mafia plot connection to Bobby Kennedy’s attention. It did however surface inside the government in 1965, when a Cuban exile, Victor Dominador Espinosa Hernandez (known as “A” in the Schweiker-Hart Report), gave information to the FBI and CIA, which “suggested a link between the AMLASH operation and the 1960-62 CIA plots to assassinate Castro using underworld contacts.”[112] What was particularly arresting was that the same man (“A”) had in July 1963 transported dynamite to a house near the training camp on Lake Pontchartrain, which Lee Harvey Oswald had tried to penetrate. Known mob figures were involved in this arms cache as well.[113]

The pressure on Bobby Kennedy became more overt in 1967, when Jack Anderson, using some of this material, wrote of “an unconfirmed report that Senator Robert Kennedy…may have approved an assassination plot which then backfired against his late brother.”[114] This column, one of the most significant events in the complex history of the case since 1963, will be discussed in the next chapter.

Economics Versus the Larger Agenda of Accommodation

If in truth the CIA was taking steps to frustrate the Attwood-Harriman initiative, the CIA was not necessarily acting as a rogue elephant. In these diverging paths of accommodation and provocation, Attwood, the Kennedys, and Harriman may have been much more isolated than the CIA. Bundy told Attwood on November 5 that the President was more interested than the State Department in exploring the Cuban overtures.[115] A State Department memo two days later seemed to confirm this: in contrast to the President's three conditions for accommodation, it called on Cuba to "renounce Marxism-Leninism as its ideology, remove Communists from positions of influence, provide compensation for expropriated properties and restore private enterprise in manufacturing, mining, oil and distribution."[116] This detailed list made it clear that at least the oil and mining interests in Cuba (Exxon, Freeport Sulphur, etc.) continued to enjoy their usual influence on the formation of State Department foreign policy.

They were of course powerful in Congress as well. In 1963 the President, according to Ted Sorensen, "opposed an effort in the Congress to impose as the first condition to our dealing with a new Cuba its compensation of those Americans whose property had been expropriated by Castro."[117]

The President's policy was dictated by geopolitics, not economics. A White House memo from Bundy for Attwood on November 12 reiterated that the only "flatly unacceptable" points in Castro's policy were Cuba's submission to external Communist influence and his subversion directed at the rest of Latin America.[118] It is obvious that, in this inattention to economic compensation, it was the White House that threatened to diverge from traditional foreign policy priorities.

As noted above, it is possible that the President, and Harriman, had a larger agenda that dictated this divergence. They sought accommodation, not just with Cuba, but above all with the Soviet Union; and a possible formula for achieving this was a reduction of troop levels, not just by the Soviet Union in Cuba, but also by the Americans in Vietnam.[119]

It is not clear to what extent Khrushchev had agreed to his part in such an agenda. In October Joseph Alsop reported that Khrushchev had assured Harriman in Moscow all Soviet troops would eventually leave Cuba. On October 8 DIA reported to McNamara that “the total Soviet military strength is now estimated to be between 5,000 and 8,000 – representing a reduction to date of at least two-thirds of the number originally estimated to be on the island.”[120] At his October 31 press conference, Kennedy said that "the numbers have steadily been reduced." A week later he reportedly said that he expected "nearly all of them to be out by the end of the year."[121]

As noted above, McCone’s original estimate of 17,000 Soviet troops in Cuba roughly equaled the number of troops (16,732) eventually introduced by Kennedy into Vietnam. (Half of them arrived in 1963, after the Cuban Missile Crisis, at a time when the Vietnam War was officially said to be going well.)[122] The makings of a quid-pro-quo were certainly there.

The President’s pursuit of this larger agenda of accommodation was inhibited by his continuing authorization of anti-Castro covert operations. Schlesinger's generally insightful account of these final months of the Kennedy Presidency has one striking omission: it fails to note the October escalation of sabotage operations:

On October 3, 1963, the Special Group approved nine operations in Cuba, several of which involved sabotage. On October 24, 1963, thirteen major sabotage operations, including the sabotage of an electric power plant, an oil refinery, and a sugar mill, were approved for the period from November 1963 through January 1964. (Memorandum, 7/11/75, CIA Review Staff to Select Committee, on "Approved CIA Covert Operations into Cuba")[123]

If the aim of these raids was to balance carrots with sticks, the results were counterproductive. The Comandos Mambises raid of October 21, 1963, almost certainly contributed to Castro's long delay in meeting Jean Daniel.[124]

The President's IAPA Speech and Its Twofold Consequences

After three weeks of impasse on both the Attwood and Daniel fronts, the President went public with his conditions for accommodation. Flying to Miami on November 18, he delivered to the Inter-American Press Association a speech that, in the Kennedy style, offered something to both the hawks and doves in his audience. As such, it divided aides then, as it still continues to divide scholars. Thomas G. Paterson has recently characterized it as a "tough-minded speech:" "The president, according to his aide McGeorge Bundy, sought to `encourage anti-Castro elements within Cuba to revolt' and to `indicate that we would not permit another Cuba in the hemisphere.’"[125] Michael Beschloss, citing Kennedy's top speech-writer Ted Sorensen, presents it as "a speech that would open a door to the Cuban leader."[126]

The speech itself seems to have been carefully drafted to justify both of these conflicting contentions. Its appeal to reject forces from outside the hemisphere could be responded to by either Castro or his CIA-supported opposition. Thus the language was deliberately ambiguous to the point of duplicity. The President noted that the Alliance for Progress did "not dictate to any nation how to organize its economic life." But

It is important to restate what now divides Cuba from my country and from the other countries of the hemisphere. It is the fact that a small band of conspirators has stripped the Cuban people of their freedom and handed over the independence and sovereignty of the Cuban nation to forces beyond the hemisphere. They have made Cuba a victim of foreign imperialism, an instrument of the policy of others, a weapon in an effort dictated by external powers to subvert the other American republics. This, and this alone, divides us. As long as this is true, nothing is possible. Without it, everything is possible....Once Cuban sovereignty has been restored we will extend the hand of friendship and assistance to a Cuba whose political and economic institutions have been shaped by the whole Cuban people.[127]

Quite clearly the President, unlike his own State Department, required no economic concessions for normalization. Instead "Cuban sovereignty" had to be "restored." This agenda could be accomplished by Castro himself, as the President had indicated to Daniel. Alternatively, Castro and the other "conspirators" could be ousted by the non-Communist AMTRUNK opposition.

The speech's double message immediately energized both conflicting policy initiatives, the Attwood-Daniel accommodation track and the AMLASH provocation track. On November 19, the day after the President's speech, Castro finally talked to Daniel, from 10 PM at night until four in the morning. He expressed great interest in what Daniel reported of his meeting with Kennedy, and asked for key phrases to be repeated. While refusing to retract past criticisms of Kennedy, Castro said that the Cubans could live with him, and that "anyone else would be worse." Castro added that he found "positive elements" in what Daniel had reported, and asked Daniel to prolong his stay so they could continue their discussions.[128] Meanwhile, on November 18, Bundy told Attwood by telephone that the President wanted to see him, and instruct him on what to say to Castro, as soon as he returned from a "brief trip" to Texas.[129]

The CIA, at the same time, used the speech to urge on AMLASH, in a manner which, although unclear, seems quite conspiratorial.

The IAPA Speech, AMLASH, and Assassination

In 1975 Nestor Sanchez, the AMLASH case officer, told the Schweiker-Hart Subcommittee that he

met with AMLASH on November 22, 1963. At that meeting, the case officer referred to the President's November 18 speech in Miami as an indication that the President supported a coup. That speech described the Castro government as a "small band of conspirators" which formed a "barrier" which "once removed" would ensure United States support for progressive goals in Cuba. The case officer told AMLASH that Fitzgerald had helped write the speech. The case officer also told AMLASH that explosives and rifles with telescopic sights would be provided. The case officer showed AMLASH [a] a poison pen and suggested he use the commercial poison, Black-Leaf 40 in it....As AMLASH and the case officer broke up their meeting, they were told the President had been assassinated.[130]

Arthur M. Schlesinger, who himself had a hand in writing the speech, strongly denies that it was a green light for a coup, and doubts that FitzGerald helped write it. He writes that the speech "was meant in short as assistance to Attwood, not to FitzGerald;" but he fails to consider the very Kennedyesque probability that the speech was meant to assist both.[131]

The I.G. Report of 1967, discussing FitzGerald and the AMLASH operation, says nothing about the IAPA speech or FitzGerald's alleged role in writing it. Richard N. Goodwin, the alleged principal author, is likewise silent in his memoir, Remembering America, which sums up Kennedy's Cuba policy by referring to the Attwood initiative.[132]

On the other hand, FitzGerald's interpretation of the speech was not only reasonable, it was the prevailing one at the time. The Associated Press called the speech "an appeal to the Cuban people to overthrow the Castro regime." The Ithaca Journal ran the story under the front-page banner headline, "KENNEDY URGES OVERTHROW OF CASTRO."[133] Particularly significant, though less objective, was the informed comment of Hal Hendrix, a journalist whose CIA connections, later admitted to, have drawn critics' attention for his suppressed role in the Oswald story.[134] Inspired no doubt by his usual sources in the JM/WAVE station, Hendrix wrote that the crucial paragraph of the IAPA Speech "may have been meant for potential dissident elements in Castro's armed forces [i.e. Cubela's contacts] as well as for resistance groups in Cuba."[135]

In short those books are wrong which treat the IAPA Speech unilaterally as an olive branch to aid Attwood and Daniel.[136] Equally wrong are those who see it as evidence of a unified Kennedy-CIA advocacy of rebellion.[137] Like other speeches from late 1963, especially on Cuba, the Soviet Union and Vietnam, the speech is an example of calculated Kennedy doubletalk.

The Kennedy habit of speaking out of both sides of the mouth at once, like the larger Kennedy habit of trying to please both hawks and doves simultaneously, can be criticized as a defect of leadership, even of character.[138] The weakness that led to such ambiguity may well have contributed to the Kennedys' downfall, for it maximized frustration and mistrust within a divided Administration.

But the political schizophrenia expressed by such doubletalk was not just personal, it was national. If the Kennedys failed to speak or to pursue a single policy on Cuba, we must take into account the hurricane of dissenting voices in Congress, and manipulators inside the Administration, that made it virtually impossible to do so.

The CIA, reinforced by powerful forces in the media and corporate world, was becoming particularly manipulative in its massaging of the AMLASH operation into an assassination initiative. As we shall see in the next chapter, there is a deep CIA secret surrounding the November 22 meeting with AMLASH, which the I.G. Report of 1967 does more to conceal than reveal.

We must also consider the claim that the Kennedys had their own conspiratorial connection to the Giancana-Roselli-CIA plots against Castro, a connection the family and their friends still strive to conceal.[139] We must look at E. Howard Hunt, a man whose known role in the AMLASH story may have played a key role in the Watergate intrigue.[140] And above all we must look at a man whose behavior, and whose CIA watchers, were intertwined with the already complex Attwood-AMLASH-Hunt story. This man was Lee Harvey Oswald.


[1] James Angleton, in executive session testimony to the Church Committee, as repeated to Angleton by Sen. Schweiker; Church Committee, Hearings, Vol. II, “Huston Plan,” 72-73; Tom Mangold, Cold Warrior: James Jesus Angleton: The CIA’s Master Spy Hunter (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1991), 351.

[2] Gus Russo, Live By the Sword: The Secret War Against Castro and the Death of JFK (Baltimore: Bancroft Press, 1998) 163. Cf. Richard D. Mahoney, Sons & Brothers: The Days of Jack and Bobby Kennedy (New York: Arcade Publishing, 199), 264-67, etc.

[3] Mahoney, xvii; cf. Russo, xii. Russo gathers indications that Castro was behind the murder; Mahoney points to disgruntled CIA officers.

[4] Mahoney, 267. About Bobby’s earlier predilection for anti-Castro counterinsurgency there is no question. David Corn and Gus Russo, whose books both associate Bobby Kennedy with assassination plots, have collaborated on an article showing that Bobby Kennedy discussed in a small White House meeting a plot to kill Castro while visiting the Hemingway residence in Mexico (David Corn and Gus Russo, “The Old Man and the CIA: A Kennedy Plot to Kill Castro?” available on line at http://www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?i=20010326&s=corn). What is important here is the date of the meeting, March 16, 1962. The authors concede that so far there is no later document linking either Kennedy directly to murder plots.

[5] Kennedy’s remarks in Foreign Relations of the United States, 1961-1963, VII, #125; quoted in David Kaiser, American Tragedy: Kennedy, Johnson, and the Origins of the Vietnam War (Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 2000), 199.

[6] H.R. McMaster, Dereliction of Duty: Lyndon Johnson, Robert McNamara, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Lies that Led to Vietnam (New York: HarperCollins, 1997), 26.

[7] Seymour Hersh, The Dark Side of Camelot (Boston: Little, Brown, 1997), 278; cf. 377, 378, etc.

[8] Assassination Report, 87; I.G. Report, 89.

[9] Schweiker-Hart Report, 17n; Schorr, 165.

[10] Michael Beschloss, The Crisis Years, 639-40.

[11] Beschloss, 640; citing Baltimore Sun, September 9, 1963.

[12] Newman, Oswald and the CIA, 374-75.

[13] U.S. Department of State, Bulletin, April 22, 1963; Richard P. Stebbins, The United States in World Affairs, 1963 (New York: Harper and Row, for the Council on Foreign Relations, 1964), 279-80; and sources therein cited. Although the New York Times did not immediately carry this announcement, it reported on April 1 that fifteen exiles had been curbed by the Justice Department.

[14] U.S. Department of State, Foreign Relations of the United States, 1961-1963, XI, Cuban Missile Crisis and Aftermath (available on line at http://www.state.gov/www/about_state/history/frusXI/index.html; henceforward cited as FRUS), #303-04; 740, 746. On March 28, Secretary of State Rusk had written to the President that such hit and run raids could work “to the disadvantage of our national interest” (FRUS, #302; 738).

[15] Arthur M. Schlesinger, Robert Kennedy, 582; Gaetan Fonzi, The Last Investigation, 121-22; Hinckle and Turner, The Fish Is Red, 135, 155-56. Behind the Kennedy decision to curb the exile raids may have been the desire to bolster Khrushchev's waning status in Moscow against the rising hardliners, headed by Frol Kozlov, who sought reconciliation with Beijing at the expense of U.S.-Soviet reconciliation (Beschloss, 583-84).

[16] Hinckle and Turner, Deadly Secrets, 174-75.

[17] Arthur M. Schlesinger, Robert Kennedy, 586.

[18] Hinckle and Turner, Deadly Secrets, 186-88.

[19] Hinckle and Turner, Deadly Secrets, 174-75.

[20] Fonzi, The Last Investigation, 136, 409; Hinckle and Turner, The Fish Is Red, 154-56; Deadly Secrets, 174. Cf. Mahoney, Sons & Brothers, 266. The allegations that “Bishop” oversaw the raids against Soviet freighters derive from Gaiton Fonzi’s interviews of Antonio Veciana, Alpha-66’s founder and chief executive officer. Veciana’s statements to Fonzi included the provocative claim that he had met “Bishop” in Dallas in the Fall of 1963, along with a third person whom he later identified as Lee Harvey Oswald. Veciana himself was shot through the head during his interviews with Fonzi. I spoke to Veciana by telephone in that period; he impressed me as intelligent and well educated. What he said to me was, “You can’t expect me to talk to you about anything. I was shot through the head.” Some readers may be reminded of Warren Reynolds, a Dallas witness who failed to positively identify Oswald as the man fleeing from the Tippit murder. Two days later he was shot through the head. When he was interviewed by the Warren Commission six months later, he had no question about identifying the man as Oswald (11 WH 435; cf. Sylvia Meagher, Accessories After the Fact [New York: Vintage, 1967], 293-95). I regard Veciana as an important witness who poisoned his own testimony under similar pressure. His CIA status I regard as unproven. However the House Committee on Assassinations reported that “Army intelligence had an operational interest in Veciana as a source of information on Alpha 66 activities, and that Veciana complied, hoping to be supplied in turn with funds and weapons” (AR 136). A document released by the ARRB shows that someone representing Alpha-66 did have contact with Army Intelligence in 1962 (Newsday, 11/27/97).

[21] Memo for Ex Comm meeting prepared by DCI McCone, March 29, 1963, in FRUS, #304, 745; cf. 744.

[22] Hersh, 379; cf. Russo, 47.

[23] Interview with Gus Russo; Russo, 37. Halpern made similar remarks to Hersh: “I don’t know of any senior officer that I talked to who felt, aside from the Kennedys, that Castro had to go” (Hersh, 268).

[24] FRUS, #303, 304, 311, 315, 323, 348, 350, 375, etc.; 739, 746, 758, 764, 783, 838, 843, 884-85, etc. When McCone expressed reservations about sabotage, it was for anything less than an “integrated and continuing” program “to remove the Soviets from Cuba and to take care of Castro” (#350, 843; #315, 764). It should not be “on a stop and go basis” – i.e. not responsively to Soviet excesses, as the Kennedys were proceeding (#350, 843). In a written note McCone “emphasized to the President `the importance and necessity for continuous operations,’” with “a high noise level” that “must be absorbed and not create a change in policy” (#348, 838n).

[25] McMaster, 29.

[26] Hersh, 380-81, emphasis added.

[27] FRUS, #303-304; 739, 745, 746.

[28] Hersh, 381.

[29] FRUS, #273; 678, cf. 679.

[30] Kaiser, American Tragedy, citing Foreign Relations of the United States, 1961-1963, VII, #125.

[31] FRUS, #318; 770.

[32] Mahoney, 265.

[33] Foreign Relations of the United States, 1961-1963, XXIV, Laos Crisis, #460; 987.

[34] FRUS, #319, 733. Kennedy’s comments show how ill informed he was as to the state of affairs in Laos, where the resumed fighting in April 1963 “was chiefly, if not entirely between the two neutralist factions, rather than with the [Communist] Pathet Lao” (Peter Dale Scott, The War Conspiracy [New York: Bobbs Merrill, 1972], 36). The grotesque notion that this fighting could have been halted by Moscow is symptomatic of the ideological distortion fostered at the time by bad intelligence reporting.

[35] FRUS, #346, 829 (CIA Paper for Standing Group); #348; 837 (Memo for Record of President’s approval).

[36] FRUS, #348; 837. These comments refute the account of Mahoney, who is unaware of the Laotian context for the President’s interest: “On June 19, the president, against his better judgment, acceded to the wishes of Bobby and CIA director John McCone and approved a major program of sabotage….It was a fateful decision for which Bobby must bear most of the responsibility.”

[37] Kaiser, 211.

[38] Kaiser, 258; citing John F. Kennedy Library, President’s Office Files, box 128, 1.

[39] Peter Dale Scott, Colombia as Vietnam: The Deep Politics of Drugs and Oil, forthcoming.

[40] FRUS, #265, 657; #274, 682-83; Hersh, 380 (cf. 391).

[41] Assassinations Report, 173. Cf. FRUS, #320; 777 (Bundy memo of April 21, 1963). The other two documents are not in FRUS.

[42] Assassinations Report, 170-71; Beschloss, 96.

[43] Beschloss, The Crisis Years, 584-88 (Khrushchev); Summers, 421 (Kennedy).

[44] Beschloss, 592-93; Rudy Abramson, Spanning the Century: The Life of W. Averell Harriman, 1891-1986 (New York: William Morrow, 1992), 594.

[45] Beschloss, 584-85, 777. The April 11 message is in FRUS, #312; 759. It has been suggested that Kennedy's "Peace Speech" at American University on June 10, 1963, was based partly on ideas agreed to in this secret correspondence (U.S. News and World Report, July 22, 1963).

[46] Beschloss, The Crisis Years, 586-87.

[47] CIA debriefing of Lisa Howard, May 1, 1963; in RFK Papers; Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., Robert Kennedy and His Times (New York: Ballantine, 1978), 584; Robert E. Quirk, Fidel Castro (New York: W.W. Norton, 1993), 458; Beschloss, The Crisis Years, 594-95.

[48] Quirk, 458. Cf. FRUS, #332, 798n.

[49] Washington World; Congressional Record, June 12, 1963, A3785-86.

[50] Schlesinger, Robert Kennedy, 580.

[51] FRUS, #320; 777; William Attwood, The Twilight Struggle (New York: Harper and Row, 1987), 254.

[52] CIA Memo of 14 Feb 1977, "AMTRUNK Operation, Interim Working Draft," 1. Also Russell Holmes file, NARA #104-10400-10123, CIA memo of 25 April 1977. Szulc is given the CIA cryptonym AMCAPE-1 in at least one JMWAVE dispatch of 12 Oct 1963, NARA #104-10400-10128.

[53] Russell Holmes file, NARA #104-10400-10133, CIA Chronology of AMTRUNK documents (meeting); David Corn, Blond Ghost: Ted Shackley and the CIA’s Crusades (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1994) 85 (chief of covert operations).

[54] CIA Memo of 14 Feb 1977, "Tadeusz (Tad) Witold Szulc," 6; WAVE Dispatch 17410 of 20 Aug 1964, 9-11.

[55] WAVE Dispatch 8351 of 5 April 1963.

[56] CIA Memo of 14 Feb 1977, "AMTRUNK Operation, Interim Working Draft," 2, 4; cf. NARA #104-10400-10133, 1.

[57] CIA Memo of 14 Feb 1977.

[58] CIA Inspector General's Report on Plots to Assassinate Fidel Castro, 23 May 1967, 95, 96; cf. 79, 101. Cables reveal that the JMWAVE station did this on orders from Langley (Corn, 113).

[59] CIA Memo of 14 Feb 1977, "Nestor Antonio Moreno Lopez," 3; NARA ID number 1993.07.21.18:28:44:840470, Box JFK36, F16.

[60] David Corn, Blond Ghost, 102. David Corn, a Nation editor, volunteers that "Shackley's instincts were right" about AMTRUNK and "other harebrained projects."

[61] Assassination Report, 173; FRUS #346; 829.

[62] Morris Morley, Imperial State and Revolution (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1987), 153.

[63] 10 AH 77, 140.

[64] Morley, 153; Hinckle and Turner, The Fish Is Red, 137-44.

[65] Assassination Report, 86n; citing AM/LASH Case Officer #1 [Nestor Sanchez], 8/11/75.

[66] I.G. Report, 95, 96; cf. 101.

[67] Schlesinger, Robert Kennedy, 510-11; cf. 514. Fidelismo sin Fidel was originally Manolo Ray's phrase to describe his own political program (Hugh Thomas, Cuba: The Pursuit of Freedom [New York: Da Capo Press, 1998], 1286). See Chapter VI.

[68] Hinckle and Turner, The Fish Is Red, 153, 342. (Haig was appointed to his position under Vance on June 28, 1963.) The CIA lost this bureaucratic battle to the U.S. Army, which in 1964 took over the CIA's Special Operations Group (SOG) in Vietnam, along with its Green Berets.

[69] I.G. Report, 86.

[70] Memo of Richard Helms, Deputy Director of Central Intelligence, for Secretary of State Dean Rusk, "CIA Involvement in Counter-Revolutionary Activities," 7 Mar 1966, para. 2.

[71] Assassination Report, 173; quoting Helms testimony to Church Committee, 6/13/75, 131, 117.

[72] New York Times, September 9, 1963; Quirk, 480.

[73] Assassination Report, 173.

[74] Quirk, 473-75, 477. In 1965 Guevara traveled to China. He then returned to Latin America, where he outflanked Soviet-line Communist parties in Latin America by developing guerrilla groups using Maoist tactics (Quirk, 518, 523).

[75] Attwood, The Twilight Struggle, 258; Schweiker-Hart Report, 20; citing William Attwood testimony, 7/10/75.

[76] Attwood, The Twilight Struggle, 264.

[77] Attwood, The Twilight Struggle, 258-59. The full Attwood memo of September 18 is reproduced in FRUS, #367, 868-70.

[78] Attwood, The Twilight Struggle, 258-59; Assassinations Report, 173-74; Hinckle and Turner, The Fish Is Red, 196.

[79] Attwood, The Twilight Struggle, 248-51.

[80] Quirk, 445.

[81] Quirk, 457 (Howard); Schlesinger, Robert Kennedy, 594 (Attwood).

[82] Beschloss, 638.

[83] John Newman, Oswald and the CIA, 279-82; cf. Chapter III.

[84] Beschloss, 638-39. These three conditions were roughly those outlined as policy objectives in Attwood's original memo submitted to Harriman on September 18. Gordon Chase’s memo of discussion with Attwood October 21 is in FRUS, #372, 877. A second Attwood memo to Chase on November 8 summarizes his meetings with Howard, Harriman, RFK, Lechuga, etc. (FRUS, #374, 879-83).

[85] Quirk, 481; William Attwood, The Reds and the Blacks (New York: 1967), 142-43.

[86] Attwood, The Reds and the Blacks, 143. In his second book Attwood revealed that "Stevenson had asked me for a draft of a reply" (Attwood, The Twilight Struggle, 260). He did not mention that in the speech Stevenson demanded that Castro let the people "exercise the right of self-determination through free elections" (Quirk, 480).

[87] Schlesinger, Robert Kennedy, 596-97.

[88] I.G. Report, 87-88.

[89] I.G. Report, 88-89.

[90] I.G. Report, 89.

[91] Assassination Report, 87. This does not deter Gus Russo from saying that FitzGerald was present at the Cubela meeting as “Bobby Kennedy’s emissary” (Russo, 177).

[92] I.G. Report, 89.

[93] I.G. Report, 90.

[94] Summers, 351.

[95] In 1956 Cubela had achieved political notoriety by assassinating Batista’s chief of military intelligence, Col. Blanco Rico, as he and his wife left a night club (Hugh Thomas, Cuba, 889-90).

[96] I.G. Report, 84 (inability); Schweiker-Hart Report, 17n (warnings).

[97] Ibid.

[98] Schlesinger, Robert Kennedy, 583-84.

[99] Assassination Report, 85-86; I.G. Report, 75. FitzGerald told the I.G. Report authors that the plot began after he took over the SAS staff in January 1963. The Church Committee considered it "likely that the activity took place earlier, since Donovan had completed his negotiations by the middle of January 1963" (Assassination Report, 86). But the premise for this conclusion was obviously incorrect.

[100] I.G. Report, 75.

[101] Thomas Powers, The Man Who Kept the Secrets (New York: Knopf, 1979), 150. The fact that Donovan and Castro planned to dive together may possibly have inspired FitzGerald's famous plan to kill Castro with an exploding sea-shell (Assassination Report, 87, I.G. Report, 77). Samuel Halpern told Thomas Powers that he "protested the seashell plan....Castro blowing up on the ocean floor would point a finger directly at the United States" (Powers, 150). Once again, there is no trace of such protest in the I.G. Report, which has this to say: "FitzGerald states that he, Sam Halpern, and [redacted] had several sessions at which they explored this possibility, but that no one else was ever brought in on the talks. Halpern believes that he had conversations with TSD on feasibility...." (I.G. Report, 77). Halpern's protest was first recorded after FitzGerald had died in July 1967.

[102] Schweiker-Hart Report, 17n; citing Executive Officer testimony, 4/22/76, 55); emphasis added.

[103] John Davis, The Kennedys (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1985), 495.

[104] Assassination Report, 87.

[105] Attwood, The Twilight Struggle, 263.

[106] I suspect this claim is true, at least on the official level. But if so it gives the lie to the alleged claim of FitzGerald’s Deputy, Seymour Bolton, that Kennedy’s IAPA speech (discussed below), contained language drafted by the CIA, “as a message (in Seymour Hersh’s words) of presidential support for a skittish Cuban operative code-named AMLASH. The operative, Rolando Cubela, was the agency’s best hope in the fall of 1963 in its continuing effort to assassinate Castro. The CIA was finally going to get done what Jack Kennedy had wanted since the Bay of Pigs” (Hersh, 440). Hersh heard this from a Church Committee lawyer, James Johnston, who told him that Bolton, who served as CIA liaison to the Church Committee, “`went into orbit over the implication that the CIA was a rogue elephant.’ It was at that point that Bolton told Johnston that in 1963 he had `carried a paragraph…to be inserted into Kennedy’s November 18 speech”…At their meeting, Johnston told me, Bolton (who died in 1985) was incensed at the implication that there was `any difference between Kennedy’s policy and the CIA policy.’” Someone has to be lying (see next footnote).

[107] Both the I.G. Report (p. 94) and the “Pollock” affidavit make much of the fact that only four men knew of the poison pen offered to Cubela. The four were Nestor Sanchez, who served as AMLASH’s case officer, Fitzgerald (the SAS Chief), Samuel Halpern (usually described as Fitzgerald’s executive assistant), and Edward Gunn, the Medical Services Officer who supplied poisons first for the CIA-Mafia plots and then for Cubela. “Pollock” has to be one of these four. “Pollock” further testified that FitzGerald’s Deputy (i.e. Seymour Bolton) knew nothing of the assassination aspects of AMLASH. It is clear that someone, whether “Pollock,” or Bolton, or Johnston, or Hersh, has lied energetically. See below at footnote 123.

[108] Breckinridge Letter with attachment of 6 October 1978; NARA #104-10400-10090.

[109] I.G. Report, 90.

[110] I.G. Report, 80. The I.G. Report found this to be the only significant link between Cubela and the CIA-Mafia plots, ignoring the fact that the same CIA Medical Officer, Edward Gunn, supplied poisons for both.

[111] 5 AH 314-15, 368.

[112] Schweiker-Hart Report, 78; citing I.G. Report, 103. Discussion in Peter Dale Scott, Crime and Cover-Up, 17-19; Deep Politics, 88, 120.

[113] Schweiker-Hart Report, 78; see Scott, Crime and Cover-Up, 17.

[114] San Francisco Chronicle, March 3, 1967, 41; Scott, Crime and Cover-Up, 23-27, etc.

[115] Attwood, The Twilight Struggle, 261; Schlesinger, Robert Kennedy, 597.

[116] Schlesinger, Robert Kennedy, 597.

[117] Theodore C. Sorensen, Kennedy (New York: Harper and Row, 1965), 723.

[118] FRUS, #377, 888-89; Schlesinger, Robert Kennedy, 597.

[119] Cf. Scott, Deep Politics, 225.

[120] FRUS, #370, 874.

[121] Beschloss, 657.

[122] Scott (1972), 227-28.

[123] Assassinations Report, 173. (Note however the late date and addressee of the cited memo.) Sabotage actions had been recommended by the Joint Chiefs of Staff to the NSC Standing Group on October 1 (FRUS, #368, 871).

[124] Hinckle and Turner, The Fish Is Red, 139 (raid).

[125] Thomas G. Paterson, Containing Castro (New York: Oxford UP, 1994), 261; citing Bundy, "Meeting With the President," Dec. 19, 1963 (FRUS, #388, 908). (Bundy used the IAPA speech to develop the case that new new President “could make a public statement…taking a more vigorous line than we have in the past.”) An internal CIA memo of December 9 appears to have interpreted the President's speech the same way (Schweiker-Hart Report, 20n). Cf. discussion of Seymour Bolton claim above at footnote 105.

[126] Beschloss, 659; citing Sorensen, Kennedy, 723. Sorensen's actual characterization of the speech, though balanced and ambiguous like the speech itself, seems to tilt rather towards the Bundy reading. According to Sorensen, the speech reminded the "Cuban people" of "the freedoms...and the American aid which would be forthcoming once they broke with Moscow."

[127] Public Papers of the Presidents, Kennedy, 1963, 876.

[128] The two men met again on November 22, and heard together of the President's murder. Es una mala noticia, Castro muttered over and over: "This is bad news." Jean Daniel, New Republic, December 7,14, 1963; Schlesinger, Robert Kennedy, 598-99; Quirk, 482-83.

[129] Attwood, The Twilight Struggle, 262; Beschloss, 659, Quirk, 183.

[130] Schweiker-Hart Report, 19-20. Nestor Sanchez' name, generally redacted out of the declassified I.G. Report, was allowed to remain on pages 77a and 100.

[131] Schlesinger, Robert Kennedy, 598n: "On its face the passage was obviously directed against Castro's extracontinental ties and signaled that, if these were ended, normalization was possible; it was meant in short as assistance to Attwood, not to FitzGerald. This was the signal that Richard Goodwin, the chief author of the speech, meant to convey. A search of the JFK Papers shows that Goodwin, Ralph Dungan, Bundy, Gordon Chase of Bundy's staff and I were involved in discussions about the speech. No evidence was uncovered of any contribution from FitzGerald and the CIA (W.W. Moss to author, March 30, 1978)."

[132] Richard N. Goodwin, Remembering America ZZ: "By the end of 1963, Kennedy would begin secret discussions with officials of the Cuban government, hoping to lay the foundation for a meeting with Castro and a peaceful solution to the `Cuban problem.'" It is surprising that Goodwin should be recorded as the principal author of the IAPA Speech, since by his own account he moved after the 1962 Missile Crisis from State to the Peace Corps.

[133] Ithaca Journal, November 19, 1963; Hurt, Reasonable Doubt, 343.

[134] For Hendrix and Oswald, see Seth Kantor, The Ruby Cover-Up (New York: Zebra, 1978), 373-82. Hendrix himself played a part in what may have been the key 1963 assassination plot against Castro, the AMTILT Bayo-Pawley raid (Scott, Deep Politics, 114-17; cf. Hinckle and Turner, The Fish Is Red, 169).

[135] Hal Hendrix, Miami Herald, November 20, 1963; reprinted by Cong. Bob Wilson in Congressional Record, November 20, 1963, A7190.

[136] Schlesinger, Robert Kennedy, 598n; Beschloss, 659. Cf. Daniel Schorr, 166: "At the November 22 meeting Fitzgerald [i.e. Sanchez] called attention to [the IAPA speech]. That, he told Cubela, was the signal of the President's support for a coup. It was a gross distortion of a speech in which Kennedy had actually extended a hand of friendship to Castro on condition the Cuban regime cease subversive efforts in other West Hemisphere countries."

[137] Paterson, 261; Hurt, 343.

[138] Richard Reeves, A Question of Character (Rocklin, CA: Prima, 1992), 278.

[139] Davis, The Kennedys, 348-53; Reeves, 262.

[140] Hinckle and Turner, The Fish Is Red, 240, 299-306.

###############################################

After reading Part 1) , PART 2) and PART 3) I think that

golly gee willikers ....its almost like JFK was already dead ???.......... Never knew how powerful Walker was... (GAAL)

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

'Robert Morrow', on 07 Dec 2012 - 12:19 PM, said:

Ron Ecker: It's from the book The President Has Been Shot. Charles Roberts of Newsweek was on AF1 as it returned to Washington with the president's body. He wrote this about the arrival at Andrews and the unloading of the casket (p. 141):

"I remember looking at (McGeorge) Bundy because I was wondering if he had any word of what had happened in the world while we were in transit, whether this assassination was part of a plot. And he told me later that what he reported to the president during that flight back was that the whole world was stunned, but there was no evidence of a conspiracy at all." // Cliff Varnell

=========================================
Heads of PLOT
Harriman ,Bundy,Dulles
Heads of Kill team
Helms/Thomas Hercules Karamessines/Lansdale/Harvey/Morales
Heads of Patsy set up
JJA/Hunt
++++++++++++++++
Above set up Far Right elements / French Intel Agent/ LHO as potential patsy fall guys.
Above set up USA story of attacking Cuba to energize Anti-Castro Cubans/far right elements to participate as useful idiot footmen in DP.
==============
To repeat

After reading Part 1) , PART 2) and PART 3) I think that

golly gee willikers ....its almost like JFK was already dead ???........... (GAAL)

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

If NON-WALKER PEOPLE ACT AS IF JFK ALREADY DEAD AND SAID PEOPLE HAVE THE POWER TO KILL JFK ---I WOULD GO WITH THE WEIGHT OF THE EVIDENCE THAT WALKER NOT MASTERMIND PUT SAD PATSY.(GAAL)

Edited by Steven Gaal
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